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I too have been feeling that meh this year about music as well. You should check out the new Mountaineer and Lesser Glow albums for some nice post-Metal.
Closely resembles charts, so that's probably why. Gotta check the new Caspian Voivod Nocte Bookmarked this for the couple of albums I haven't yet spun and a few that I need to spin again.
OmairSh Always liked NFG. TheNotrap It's not your usual cup of tea. I'll add that to my list. I don't know if a new pop punk band could get away with the kind of album NFG still likes to write. I really like it.
I think they throttled back the eccentric side just enough to be more enjoyable. Two very different albums. Still, with enough editting there is lots of excellent music by these guys. I'm shocked by how impertinent, patronising and offensive the average YES fan appears to be. Well, I don't believe - as one might think - that it is an emotional or 'religious' experience. I would rather say that it is a 'scientific' one. I spelled their name in capital letters!
George, we seem to disagree on the concept of large-scale musical structure. I remember you saying something about "unneccesary repeats" or something similar in Thick as a brick. I don't think that melodic invention and motivic development can be compared; you cannot compare the achievements of a Wilson or a McCartney with those of a Wakeman or an Oldfield.
When it comes to extended movements like those which the prog bands tried to impress us with, it is not melodic invention that counts. On the contrary I would say that mastery of all larger forms is the ability to develop a limited number of ideas The pure technical skill of counterpoint is to deliberately limit oneself to one idea. No other band in the short history of popular music c:a have achieved this with the same effectiveness as has YES, and believe me, I spend all my time trying to find bands that have.
Gentle Giant have not attempted any extended movements. Neither have King Crimson; their lenghty pieces are not through-composed in any way. Jethro Tull and Genesis relied on a plethora of melodies and duly neither of these bands have attempted a more structural approach.
Logically, a gift for melodic invention impedes a musicians' development as a structuralist and vice versa Thus, one might argue that not being gifted with melodic invention as a good thing. Well, I know that melody is the prime criteria for your ratings, but I would say that the gift for motivic development is a sine qua non for an attempted extended movement just in the same way as a striking melody is for a three-minute pop song.
Of course you need melodies to develop, but these are, by definition, different than those that are to be identically repeated four or five times. The first theme of 'And you and I' "A man can see a moment's answer to a dream Popular music doesn't get more 'organic' than that.
I also remember you saying something like " I don't like prog for the sake of prog Every atmospheric effect in YES is achieved by music, not by sounds. Music is music is music Don't bother with Anderson's lyrics!! Somebody once asked Schumann what his piano-piece meant, whereupon he played it again, louder. Everything is relative you cannot compare the Beatles with YES since there is no point of reference but everything is also objective YES' music is more music than the music of the Beatles is.
To be to the point, I am somewhat of a fan of Yes. In my book, they're more or less tied with Genesis for my favorite prog. For me, their stretch of albums from The Yes Album through Going for the One compare favorably with those of The Rolling Stones, The Who, et cetera and of course, the Beatles stand way above all of the aforementioned groups :.
Though I can extol their virtues for quite a while, I'll save some of that for their albums. Especially, during this period, one can follow a different instrument through a song and leave thoroughly entertained. As for your opinions on Yes, in some ways I'm glad that you have a more critical view on them, exposing their weaknesses, which I agree with to some extent or another.
At least they're no longer a 2-star band! If anything to you, just don't pay too much attention to Jon Anderson's "graphomania" good term! But, I must admit his lyrics often border on "new age" preachiness lately. To cap this off, I'd personally rate them as a 4-star group; not any higher, beacuse of their inconsistency from Tormato onward. Back in , i started listening to progressive, i was like 18 years old by the time.
I listened to everything i could, and it was easy to get almost any record since my father is in the records bussiness. I found it somewhat entertaining, you are right when saying Yes are good as performers, and i appreciate their ability to fit every sound with a lot of precision Close to the edge and Relayer are both like a remix of Fragil and The Yes album.
When i listen to those horrible and monotonous songs, i feel something very similar to a deep anguish, my heart starts to beat quicker and my breathing colapses for the disgusting experience of listening to the same annoying voices, the same sound of every song in every single YES album, the same absurd unapealling lyrics.
Was this one of the progressive giants? In my most humble opinion, YES is probably the most gifted and best progressive rock group in the seventies. The group are all accomplished musicians and I admire them for their musical vision.
Their music has the structural complexity that is found in classical music which not only makes one listen to the music but to think. If one does not like Yes or progressive music then one should remain with ordinary rock music which has simplistic structures.
The purpose of progressive rock music is to go beyond the simplistic tunes of ordinary rock and to push its boundaries towards the compexities of classical music and to create a sound which is visionary. I admire the group for stretching their virtuosity and musical vision.
Yes is one of my absolute favorite bands, but they certainly have a lot of flaws. They almost always rule live, though, and it seems to me, if one likes or has learned to like a Yes song, it doesn't grow boring as quickly as a lot of music, so hearing the classics over and over again, with new solos and subtle variations, is for me tons of fun Yes is certainly over-bombastic, and if one does not have taste for that, it gets dull.
They compose loooong songs, that needs repeated listens to grow on you it's hardly fair to review Close To The Edge after 3 listens. And they truly are an Art Rock band, meaning that they often go for artistic values although they don't always succeed. It's easy to bash them for all this, and it takes patience, even if one has a "musical ear", to grip some of their material.
But I love them. About your General Evaluation, your Diversity rating seems unjust since you gave Genesis a higher rating. Yes does not care for diversity, that might be true to an extent, but they have done pop, psychedelia, rock, prog rock of many kinds and heavy metal, and often add certain other elements for example boogie elements in the horrible Going For The One.
I'd say that's more diverse than Genesis' output. And about Resonace, I'm hardly an Anderson lyrics fan, but I still appreciate many passages, for example "I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughters It doesn't mean much, but when I don't bother thinking so much about what Anderson's purpose with the lyrics was, and just listen to the music and hearing not listening to the lyrics, it often gives me a feeling, a picture if you like, which is quite likeable.
No Paul Simon lyrics perhaps, but still. I haven't read all your reviews of the Yes section, which I'll do later, but judging from your introduction and all reader's comments, I won't agree with them. Here's another yes fan, but rather than firing my guns, I'd just like to make a few points. I suppose the one comment that's closer to my opinions on the subject was voiced above by Mattias Lundberg.
First and foremost, it seems that they were interested in music composition, rather than ordinary song-writing. There's a great gap here: 3-minute tunes have their own set of parameters which is different from larger-scale pieces. So you don't go comparing a lied with a sonata and, by extension, you will not go on saying that this composer is better than the other, because he has written mostly songs rather than fugues or vice-versa. While this might work for your ordinary pop review, where neither the reviewer not the reader is particularly musically aware, it breaks down when discussing Yes or King Crimson.
So attempting to find a fit for these review categories when looking at progressive rock will basically lead to all sorts of missed points. In a way, that'd happen if you were attempting to, say, review a jazz recording to keep it inside "popular music" : how resonant is Koko by Charlie Parker, how listenable is Coltrane's Ascension , how adequate is Ralph Towner's Solstice?
How about trying an alternative view of progressive rock, with less meaningless review categories and more appreciation of musical detail? That'd have been more appropriate talk about 'adequate' Unfortunately, this is not really found anywhere when it comes to rock criticism, so you are not alone.
I have a suggestion, and wonder what your readers think about it. How about Lindsay Buckingham as the Yes guitarist? He certainly has the acoustic chops, he can sing, he could play Yes songs both Rabin and Howe style pretty easily, I think, and for Yes' future has non-cheesy pop sensibilities. Everything else stays exactly the same! I don't have the first album, but I'm familiar with the tunes. I find them listenable, but nothing special.
The band just wasn't all that unique at this point, except, for all your complaints, Jon's voice. But the band wasn't writing really strong melodies at this point, so the rhythm section is really all over the place.
And Banks and Kaye could be a guitarist and organist from any old post-psychedelic band from this period. If this lineup had persisted, the band would have dropped from sight long before Fragile. Here's a thought. But their first two albums, this one and Time And A Word , are a lot of fun, and the cover tunes are the best ones. And man, Anderson and his yesmen might've been a bunch of humorless prigs after or so, but I defy you to tell me they aren't enjoying the HELL out of themselves on "Every Little Thing.
I mean, I love the way they have utterly NO respect for The Beatles' "mystique" - they tear this sucker apart and reassemble it in a completely different way. You know that it's all in good fun after Peter Banks throws in that "Day Tripper" riff near the beginning. What can I say? I really enjoy this song a lot; I suppose it's the definition of a truly "guilty" pleasure. As for the self-penned tracks here, they're actually quite pretty little things, if insubstantial.
I don't instrumental virtuosity when its put to benign use like this. In fact, whisper it quietly, but I quite dig this little disc. Sure that sound preposterous but it's what I believe. And I'm a moron. You see, the main difference between Yes' debut and From Genesis To Revealtion is that Jon Anderson was almost 25 when this was realized, Genesis were in their teens. Yes had also had years of experience unlike Genesis. It's amazing how mature this album is - really, for a debut, these guys sound incredibly sure of themselves, with lots of energy and, well, melodies!
Let's face it, Yes weren't always the catchiest group, but a lot of this early stuff is pretty memorable. You don't have to hear it five or more times to remember how it goes. Which is the problem with that first Genesis album, I guess - any melodies on there only establish them after endless repetition, and those ones certainly are quite less than "exciting. Although I do miss the atmospherics that the band would perfect on later songs "To Be Over"! Oh, how I love "To Be Over"!
A high eight. The Yes lads seem so happy and naive on this harmless album, which makes it hard for me not to like it. Yes covering the Byrds? Jon sounds completely female on "Yesterday and Today" with some smooth falsetto vocals. It's a little too melodramatic, but enjoyable nonetheless. Most people like "Survival. Overall, a lively and semi-goofy first album. Good debut on the small scale; compared to In the court Even if the album, of course, is far from typical of the band, many things on the extra-musical level are here already: Squire's LARGE bass sound, Anderson's little squeak and Bruford's funky drumming.
The songs, however, are not very strong at all in my opinion. Of all the prog bands that struggled before they found a style, YES were the slowest learners. The production, but also to some extent the playing, is marred by an airy and noisy 60s sound.
I agree, the cover adaptations are cleverly and idiomatically done, but they have little original value. And everyone who slags off Anderson's voice should acquire the taste on 'Yesterday and today' and start from there. What a nice debut! Peter Banks isn't nearly as bad as some may say, since he has a warm jazzy tome to his guitar. Bill Bruford id brilliant from the beginning, though he'd definitely improve.
Plus, he even bashes the drums HARD on one song, which is far from his "tin biscuit" sound he's known for. As for the songs, "Looking Around" is my favorite, having a solid organ riff underneath, as well as a solid Banks solo underneath.
The Beatles cover is a way to scare my brother who dislikes Yes , having been converted into a psychedelic cover. Finally, I mention "Survival", due to its intro the guitar and bass are quite driving here , and that I regret it doesn't develop any further. As for drawbacks, the overall instrumental firepower isn't that powerful yet, leaving parts of songs approaching dullness.
All in all, this gets an 8 I would never expect You'd like a Yes record more than I. He sounded crafty at times, but he should have stuck to the solid playing in the background, like in "Beyond and Before". Playing the rhythm was his strenght: he beats Howe when it comes to passion and power; but while soloing he seemed to resort to a number a low number of tricks.
Generally I long for more diversity on this album, as for the very sound: the organ and guitar tones stay the same throughout the record with the exception of "Yesterday and Today" and maybe "Survival". By the way, this will be very subjective - I charge the following albums with a similar monotonousness of the instrumental layer: "The Doors" and "Thick as the Brick".
Now, the RED songs. First of all "Survival" and "Harold Land". But as for the latter, I guess the vocal harmonies are outstanding especially in the following moments: some of the 'GOing home' lines, and the last 'leading the attACK' note. Then we have the powerful songs penned or co-penned by Squire, I find them very concrete, very convincing although I'm not sure if some of the organ notes in "Looking Around" are exactly the ones Kaye intended to play. Both "Sweetness" and the Beatles cover also have their moments.
This album sorta stinks. I like "Astral Travaller", and "The Prophet", and the rest is passable. More of the same, except for the orchestra. And sometimes the arrangements work, and sometimes they doesn't -- sounds clumsy on "Clear Days," but supportive and warm on the title track and exciting on Richie Havens "No Opportunity. And as for the naive lyrics on the title track, so what?
You can hardly expect Plastic Ono Band from Yes. Again, not too shabby for an ostensibly stick-up-the-arse prog outfit. Supposedly this one's a real let down for all the hardcore fans, but I likes it just fine, even if the orchestration is a little bit ridiculous. The organ fires up, it sounds great, and then And they're really ostentatious and pushed up in the mix, flailing around wildly, but they're so unsubtle as to be charming. That musical quote in the middle of the song is beyond audacious, as if they were completely mocking themselves the whole time.
And I like that a lot. Any band that can make fun of themselves immediate gets some slack cut from me. Go figure, it's a Ritchie Havens song. Remember what I said about Yes as a cover band? And also their take on the Buffalo Springfield song "Everydays" is great inasmuch as it takes a really banal song from an otherwise great album Buffalo Springfield Again and makes it into a speed-jazz boogie.
I really like the wateryvocals of "Astral Traveller" for some reason, too. Truth be told, I'm not too sure why I find Time And A Word and Yes perfectly acceptable and Tales From The Topographic Oceans nausea-inducing; I think it's because I'm surprised that any group as overblown, bloated, and waterlogged as Yes a dinosaur if ever there was one was actually pretty spry and down-to-earth at one point. That's why. Also, it's a heck of a lot more interesting. A little question: did Howe play on this album at all?
Just wondered what the reason behind his being on the cover picture is all about. It must have been taken after the recording sessions, after Banks had left. The use of pedal points on 'Sweet dreams' clearly portend their later style. You'll all hate me for this, but I am certain that the 'it factor' missing here is the very pretentiousness that most people hate about the band.
If ideas are to be developed, you have to turn everything inside out,.. What is the stimulus needed for this effort if not pretension? To become something, you must first conceive yourself as something because no one else will, not even in , they would , Ergo: give us some of that pretention, boys! This one will be short. The intro songs and "Time and a Word" are quite compelling otherwise, while "Sweet Dreams" is for me the most realized song in this collection. I like the way the momentum via the harmonies, in particular are slowly buit up from stanza to stanza.
So, this gets a 7 Just to answer Mattias question above The reason Howe appears on the cover is that that is not the original cover. The original vinyl cover was a black and white illustration. I suppose the one we see was from an American re-release or something after the boys had finally made it with The Yes Album and Fragile. Richard C. They actually are not all that bad on this album because they have not gone off the deep end yet torturing people with hours on end of pretentious filler.
The problem I have with this group is that I really just want to take only the songs I like off all their albums and stick them together and dump the rest. I can't sit thru entire albums all the way through because they filled them with such crap songs and tried to sell them as spirtual harmonious whatevers.
That is why on my original comment on this band I mixed up where 'All Good People' came from, I forgot the exact album because I just don't pull them out that much. Slightly better. What a brilliant album title! Well, "Yours Is No Digrace" is a little too long, it would have benn better if it was minutes.
I could live wothout "Perpetual Change". Not great, but enjoysable anyway! Not being familiar with the full body of Yes' work, it's hard for me to give ratings, but on the Yes scale for me I suppose this is about an 8.
Full rating an 11, maybe. The mix of happiness and long song structures still hasn't been perfected it would be on the following album, or at least as far as I know and some of the tunes, like "Perpetual Change," suffer from unneeded excesses.
What's wrong with the first few minutes?!? That's the coolest part! The stomping guitars, the bizarre time signature, everything! Best song on the album, though the whole "doo doo doo doo doo! I can't really get into "The Clap" however, but that's because I'm a worthless moron who doesn't go crazy over guitar technique.
All of you real music fans out there should find me and kill me. I am not the biggest Yes Fan in the world. Their songs are mostly way too long and Jon Anderson's soprano style is a little hard to endure sometimes. However, there is alot of creativity on these six pieces. Tony Kaye's organ playing is outstanding whether its effects or solos. Steve Howe is on top of his game as well. Long songs can be good if the song combines the best of creativity and structure and Yes suceeds very admirably on this release.
Huge, huge disagreement! This is my favorite, even if the next lineup had better musicianship. And the reason for that is Steve Howe. He is a totally unique, versatile guitarist -- the most indispensable element of Yes with Squire a close second. He provides the anchor for the songs, resulting in the rhythm section getting itself under control while playing excellently.
And as for Kaye, he's in more of a support role than a soloist here, which suits the songs fine. The one place where one wishes for Rick Wakeman is on the low point -- "A venture. And while you dis Jon's voice, it's worth noting that there are some wonderful harmonies here, especially on "Your Move.
He hasn't gone off the deep end yet. Yeah, the big breakthrough. But so forkin' what? Not much to say here. To step back from hyperbole, it's not an utterly travesty, it starts out fine but it's surely not worthy of its length.
Squire's bass is good, sure, but there's so little of musical interest that I just can't focus on it. Nothing else really worth mentioning. This is where Yes begins to go horrible wrong for me This gets a 9 from me. No weak tracks whatsoever - every song works. Other than that, I've got no complaints. The first 2 parts of 'Starship Trooper' rule in a major way, but the instrumental coda at the end is my favorite instrumental coda of all time.
I love everything about it - it's absolutely beautiful, exciting, and it manages to build suspense. It's easily one of my favorite tunes of all time, and I don't care how overplayed it is. The first half is the most beautiful mantra ever recorded, and the second half doesn't fail to excite either - great guitar licks and vocals.
Who cares if the lyrics are meaningless? Like I said, a 9, and a high one at that. Buy this record. You know, I really expected to hate this one, seeing as two of the three songs that I had heard prior to my purchase were musical pieces that always had stirred up hatred from the very deepest depths sorry - lack of better word of my heart - but, surprisingly, I think it's rather good.
In fact, I will even go so far as to say that I now believe "Yours Is No Disgrace" to be a great song, even if that first verse is a little ugly. The rest is MEGA, though! Why am I the only one who realizes how much that song sucks? All I know is, from that a-capella intro to the dumbshit closing disco chorus, I am in musical HELL whenever the song is playing. Rest of the album is good. Yes, I do get that same vision in my head while listening to 'Starship Trooper'.
That's what makes the entire album so great - unlike many future Yes records, it's very evocative. This time, they manage to develop a fantasy world within the music itself and not by benefit of a Roger Dean cover. Only low point for me would be 'A Venture', although it provides some breathing room between 'Yours Is No Disgrace' and 'Your Move', two of the band's finest moments. Still learning and testing, and why not enjoy the process. The experiments with pedal points, in order to achieve the original Yes brand of grandeur, continues here with the last reprise of 'Yesterday, a morning came I happen to disagree totally on the 'Wurm' coda; in my opinion it's one of the weakest spots together with 'A venture' and it is only partly saved by Howe's good ol' bluesy licks.
A little note for the 'derivative police dpt. Wouldn't like to comment. I may have some bias, as this is the first one I ever bought from Yes, since it contained "All Good People".
But I soon found out that that not the best song on the album surprise! What helps is that Squire and Bruford are hitting their stride, and that Howe has joined the band!! And, Howe's multiparted solo, especially the "fuzzed" part, is easily the most exciting part of the song. Needless to say the music is ingenious throughout. The "Wurm" coda is easily amon the most compelling moments of this album, due to its slowly rising tension, capping with more Howe.
I have not much to add to "All Good People", except I like the way Bruford seems to hit the accents off target from the rest of the band in the second half of the song. Finally, I just find "Perpetual Change" a bit dull, though it still has its moments like the intro and the mid section.
I find it intersting that the prog isn't nearly as complex as it would be. So, Bruford is right calling Yes a "puffed up pop group". And, who cares how happy this album is? We need some happiness in our lives! Though Yes was to improve, I still see this as one of their finest accomplishments, and a 10 14 at that. The Yes Album is one of my favourite albums overall. Great singing, great playing, great singing, even if the lyrics are somewhat bluffing. I can't stand the guitar in "Clap" sorry, Mr.
Howe but "A Venture" is somewhat pretty, although it's the closest song to filler here. I'd give this album a nine, no more no less. Go and buy it now! Also, has a cool cover. Wow, you love these guys, don't you?
Okay, so I'm not a Yeshead or anything. I own only a few albums. The Yes Album is certainly great. I think the "what the hell are these guys trying to give me" tagline is JUST spot-on. Prog for the sake of Prog? I think they were just practicising the Prog schtick on here, though. This is, to me, nothing but a big rehearsal. But every rehearsal gives a few interesting results. What a beautiful song!
What's better than a song that annoys people? And 'A Venture' is not weak enough to make me blue it out - it's just slightly annoying, with all the "hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide awaaaaaaaaay" choirs. Only 'Starship Trooper' qualifies as fantastic, in my opinion.
I give it a Oh, Jon Anderson can be a bit annoying, yes. It is also their most musically consistent and their most how oxymoronic is THIS description moderately complex and bombastic. On the one hand, they were getting the hang of all those complex time changes, whacked-out guitar solos, etc. This along with Fragile are the best of the lot. It's okay. Ricky Wakeman does add something to the band, though I'm not sure what.
That's not an insult, he is a great player. I heard "Roundabout" far too many times during my life. It has a great melody, lyrics that acually make sense Kind of , and a spooky piano solo!
It's pathetic. I only listen to this on occasion! Yep, a 10 will do. The filler pieces don't detract from the feeling of the album even "Five Per Cent For Nothing" since it's short and the longer songs are long in a way that The Yes Album attempted but failed at on a few occasions. As is the whole album, even that stupid Wakeman Brahms thing.
The album doesn't flow well with the solo spots alternating with the group performances. Great musicianship, though. And, again, wonderful harmonies, especially on "Roundabout. On the whole, though, I think I would have preferred a full album of group performed tunes. Pretty much the last hurrah for these guys in terms of music I can stand.
But I'll grudgingly admit that Fragile is pretty damn rockin' - I can get my ya-ya's out of their glass case for a lot of stuff here.
Because here's a capital example of some the amazing things these guys could have done if they'd just kept their megalomania under control: this song is SO quirky, offbeat, with bass lines and guitar runs that objectively make no sense whatsoever but resolve themselves brilliantly into Jon Anderson's vocal melody is really good on this one, too.
Possibly my favorite Yessong ever, it's just so full of promise that they never fulfilled. But still, this album, for all its diffusion, has a real unified mood, and I have to say, I give it a spin more often than I'd care to admit. But I always put on The Clash afterwards as a corrective. From here on out the Yes discography is pretty much a wasteland This album is really overrated. While the four actual songs are really good "Roundabout" no longer annoys or bores me at all!
About "Cans And Brahms," I don't think he butchered the original piece, but I also feel that it has no place on the album. Ruins the album's consitency, I feel - it doesn't flow with all of those short bits tossed in. And anyone who can deny that "Heart Of The Sunrise" is the most fantastic song this band ever recorded has got something in their ears.
It's fabulous. Atmospheric, rockin', and catchy, it has everything that makes Yes cool, and a couple of things that they never achieved elsewhere. That song moves the six score up to a seven.
Man it's cool! It's hard to complain about this one except Wakeman's pointless 'Cans and Brahms', which is kinda cheesy and doesn't fit the feel of the album. The actual songs are all nearly perfect - I don't even rank them because they're all great. The solos except for Wakeman's are all great, too. And even if you don't like it, it's 30 seconds long.
Howe contributes a great guitar solo, Anderson does a fun, cheery vocal harmony piece, and Squire contributes one of the greatest bass songs ever! How cool is that?! Highly recommended for anyone remotely interested in prog. Some good stuff here.
Squire's bass is extremely prominent on this album. I would venture to call this a bass album, because it really sets the whole tone. Bill Bruford's drumming is superb here, too. Despite hearing "Roundabout" over a million times, it's still good. The whole song works perfectly, and it seems hard to believe that it's actually eight and a half minutes long. The piano section in the middle creates a great lonely atmosphere.
The 'solo' spots take away from the album's cohesiveness, though. My favorite solo spot is "Mood for a Day. This is Yes' best bet for a prog masterpiece, not that it is, but it comes pretty close. I'll save the word masterpiece for Genesis and Jethro Tull, and maybe once for King Crimson, but I don't know them that well. Other prog bands, well, we'll just have to see, or in this case, hear.
The opener, 'Roundabout' is probably the best Yes song there is, though I haven't heard all of their output. The melody is awesome and Anderson's vocals are very expressive. If only they could have done something with those qualities on Tales From Topographic Oceans which I have heard, unfortunately.
It's a good song. The middle is tedious but it isn't too much to endure. Not that it's played that much, but compared to the other Yes songs played, it is played quite frequently. It's another good song, not great, but good.
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