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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1384 ratings

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Merrimack Mike
4 stars Yes's maiden voyage is not an essential progressive album, but it is worth owning and listening to repeatedly for two reasons.

1) The absence of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman here reveal the contributions that Chris Squire and Bill Bruford made to the original Yes sound. I mean no disrespect to Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, the guitarist and keyboardist on this recording. They have decent prog chops. Indeed, Banks' jazzy guitar work on "I See You" is one of the album's highlights. Nonetheless, The percussive angularity and the dramatic tension provided by Squire and Wakeman shape the melodies here--and set the listener up to appreciate these elements more deeply on later Yes albums.

2) After The Yes Album, no one ever accused this group of being too concise. On their first album, however, they manage to produce hard-rocking songs that are both concise (by prog standards) and ambitious (by mainstream rock standards). This band was not yet ready to generate progressive epics, but they could craft tunes that hold the attention of the careful listener.

Newbies should not begin their Yes journey here, but veterans who have driven close to the edge should backtrack to this scenic pit stop.

Merrimack Mike | 4/5 |


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