Yes, “Final Eyes” from Big Generator (1987): YESterdays

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Yes’ third and final single from 1987’s Big Generator, “Final Eyes” seems to walk a better balance between rock and pop than Side 2 opener “Love Will Find a Way.”

The song, written by the entire band sans drummer Alan White, builds convincingly off of Trevor Rabin’s acoustic guitar. Jon Anderson sings a direct lyric which avoids ’90s-rock cliché, while Tony Kaye’s organ and piano swirl in the background. Light touches of synthesizer assist in developing the mood, which then shifts with a less-than-nuanced rock back beat. The Trevor Rabin-sung bridge and electric guitar leads are a nice touch, but the synthesizer sound becomes a little too conventional.

“Final Eyes” has a lot going on, but for the most part it works. At almost six and a half minutes, it seems to have been an unlikely single, but the song does have more credibility among fans of the progressive rock band than either of the era’s two hits. It’s also an interesting milestone for the band working as one in the studio, while the making of Big Generator was tearing Yes apart.


YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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