Solid Mental Grace: Listening to the Music of Yes

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by Simon Barrow

In Solid Mental Grace: Listening to the Music of Yes, Simon Barrow looks at how the progressive rock band Yes helped define a musical genre, combining sounds and textures to produce lengthy, elliptical compositions. Journeying through many highs and lows towards its remarkable 50th anniversary, the band still seems in search of some lost song or symphony. This book highlights an artistic imagination in Yes’s finest moments that defies ready-made labels. It illustrates the capacity of honest musical appreciation to remake us, rather than simply to confirm our prejudices. The author asks why Yes music has elicited such intense devotion and opprobrium. He reconsiders the band’s musical creativity, variety and value – plotting a course through the commercial fads and critical fashions that have sometimes trapped it.

978-0-9957381-8-8. Cultured Llama. PB. 210×148mm. ca.160pp. March 2018. Curious Things. £12.00

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Simon Barrow is director of the think-tank Ekklesia and a widely published writer on politics, beliefs and culture. Music (especially contemporary classical and jazz) has been a major part of his life. He has followed the ebb and flow of Yes music for nearly 45 years.

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