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Yes - Yessongs CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 891 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I already mentioned in my review of "Genesis Live" that I purchased these two albums on the same Wednesday afternoon (school off) in November 1973. What a great day this was. What a revelation ! These were my entries to both bands.

A week before my purchase "Yessongs" was the album of the week on a radio programme I was listening to every night. They used to play one song of it every night and this is how I discovered YesSongs. It was so gorgeous that I decided to buy it almost immediately (this was quite an investment for a fourteen years old kid : a triple album - I remember having paid almost 799 BEF which is now the equivalent of 20 ?).

As a feedback to "Easy Livin" review, about the price, I can tell you that Yessongs was quite expensive in comparison to a standard album (at the time this ranged between 299 or 335 BEF which is 7,5 to 8,4 ?). This comment is valid for Belgium. But for this price, I got over two hours of the best prog I could have dreamed of !

It was quite difficult to choose where to start with that day : Genesis or Yes ? Yes or Genesis ? Fantastic to get this choice, no ? The classic opener (for about 30 years, almost uninterrupetedly) from Stravinski's work "Firebird" will, for generations, tell the audience that the band was arriving on stage. The tracklist of this live album is INCREDIBLE. All the YesClassics of the era are there. Most of the songs will be taken from their supporting tour for "Close" : so, obviously the whole of this album is recorded here. One of the first collapse in the line-up will take place before the tour : Bill will leave the band and Alan will replace him on the drums. That's why Bill is only featured on two songs on YesSongs (taken from the "Fragile" tour : "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround / The Fish". In 2006, Alan was still the drummer of Yes (and this without break since 1973). Their other two previous fantastic studio albums "Fragile "and "The Yes Album" are providing almost the rest of this triple LP. There will be only one exception (on top of the opener of course) : "Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" from Rick. Most of the tracks are rockier than the originals, specially "Siberian", "Heart", Roundabout" and "Perpetual Change"

Since I discovered the live versions before the studio tracks, it took me quite a while to appreciate the studio ones more than the live ones. I must also admit that the sound of the album is not great (to say the least). Almost on par with boot quality. I do not own the CD remastered version but I have read that is is not very superior to my vinyl original. "Heart" and "Perpetual" are truely gorgeous renditions. My highlights of this triple set. If you revert to the original vinyl version of YesSongs, I would say that disc II is, by far, the weakest. But weak compared to one of the most glorious prog moments ever, is it really weak ? I have never really been found of "Your Move / I've Seen", "The Fish" (which is quite extended and boring) and "Mood For A Day". The medley of Rick's album "The Six Wives..." gives a pretty good idea of his album. The greatest song of disc two is of course "Roundabout" but the sound is rather weak.

Should I play the game of comparisons, I would say that both studio & live versions for "And You & I", "Yours" and "Starship Trooper" end on a draw. "Close" is not working very well here. One of the best version for this song (if not the best one available) appears bizarrely on "Friends & Relatives" released in 1998.

Emotionally, I rate it with five stars.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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