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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2623 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Yes Album marks the entrance of prog guitar hero Steve Howe, who wasted no time climbing to the tops of wannabe guitarists' lists of influences. A professed fan of country musicians like Chet Atkins, Howe pioneered the use of fingerpicking in rock music. This album is the first real success of Yes. Jon Anderson steps up his lyrics, and the rest of the band give great performances, though not as masterful as later performances on CttE and Fragile.

"Yours Is No Disgrace" opens the album with its thinly veiled anti-war statement. Great passages, strong vocals and stronger lyrics make this Yes' first classic. "The Clap" is where Howe gets to first demonstrate his prowess. His solo here is one of his best. "Starship Trooper" is the best song on the album. The riff is fantastic, and the ending passage is a bit repetitive but it's so good that I don't mind at all. Chris shines on this track, as he both complements Steve's rythm and forges his own path.

"I've Seen All Good People" opens the second half splendidly with Howe's best use of fingerpicking on the album. The lyrics seem a bit abstract, but they come together after a few listens. The problem here is that Tony Kaye's contributions are dull. He's no slouch keyboardist, but he always seems to stop just short of exploding into the plateau that Wakeman lives on. "A Venture" is a silly number that contrasts the fairly depressing subject matter of the rest of the album. The band has a Rush moment, where they have a nearly-flawless album then they add a pointless song that ruins the flow and cohesiveness. "Perpetual Change" ends the album on a high note with Howe's excellent steel guitar. Bruford and Squire work very well together on this track. Jon's vocals aren't as good as they normally are, but they aren't awful.

The Yes Album is a must own for any Yes and symphonic prog fans. Steve's fingerpicking is a revelation. If you want to hear where Steve Morse picked up his tricks, look no further than this disc. Steve's mastery of the steel guitar and fingerpicking suggests that he could easily appear on any country album and fit right in. A Venture kills the album, and some repition in Starship Trooper are annoying, but this is still a prime slice of Yes.

Grade: B

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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