Nov 162013

As the classically trained musicians in Yes  hold down a cubed time signature while guitarist Steve Howe‘s wild runs through the Pixarlodian scale, focus on singer Jon Anderson. He shakes a single maraca, holding it close enough to the mic to be heard clearly. We’ve studied before the things singers need to do during long solos,  but Anderson’s single-maraca shake takes the cake.

Jon Anderson had brass balls, if for no other reason for singing the way he did. I listened to the awesome late-period Yes song “Going for the One” at the gym this morning. Anderson sings so high that he could have sung the song an octave lower and still cut through the fury of advanced chordings. Maybe that’s the range God intended his voice to occupy, and if that’s the case, He is a good god, for He gave Jon Anderson the brassiest balls in rock.

Battle Royale: Does anyone in rock have brassier balls than Jon Anderson?


  7 Responses to “Battle Royale: Does Anyone Have Brassier Balls Than Jon Anderson?”

  1. Scott (the other one)

    “He shakes a single maraca, holding it close enough to the mic to be heard clearly.”

    Heard so clearly there are times it’s the dominant instrument. Which is no easy feat when competing against Howe and Squire and a determined to make his mark and prove he belongs (well…try to prove. Sorry, Pat) Moraz.

    If I were Alan White, I’d have been pretty hacked. He’s playing his guts out back there and you can barely hear his drum kit over the sound of a single maraca. Awesome.

  2. Exactly! I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in taking the belt from Anderson as he close-shakes that maraca. Damn, how often do you even get to refer to that instrument in the singular?

  3. “I got a fever. And the only prescription is more maraca.”

    I would suggest that the entire band’s brass balls are on display just by virtue of the fact that they chose to cover Jazz Odyssey.

  4. Holy crap, I think Chris Squire might be singing a high harmony during the verse.

  5. hrrundivbakshi

    I don’t often get to see things that are both hilarious *and* unwatchable. Thanks.

  6. misterioso

    Brass balls or just a rich appreciation of the absurd? Hard to say.

  7. alexmagic

    At around 16:25, he retreats to the drumkit and breaks out a tambourine. If this had gone another 20 minutes – and I assume if they’d really been into it, it would have – by minute 37, you’d probaby see Anderson backing a cement mixer up to the mic.

    I think it’s instructive to go to the 12:52 mark when they cut to the long shot of the stage and check out Anderson’s weird body language while empty-handed. His arms are really stiff at his sides and he’s just sort of rocking in place. I think, ideally, the segway would have been invented already and he could have stood on one of those and maybe roamed around the stage a little during the extended jams.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube