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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2623 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars The Yesssssssssss Album

As Yes grew in stature, they became more ambitious and went on to change their line-up (the first of many) to fit their ambitions. Thinking that their guitarist Peter Banks was a little "short" on guitar and fired him to allow the ex-Tomorrow (shorter) guitarist Steve Howe. As unfair as it may sound for Banks, this move proved providential for Yes as Howe would soon become a gifted songwriter, although in here, he's just adapting. We are now entering the classic Yes phase, even if the album's artwork isn't a Roger Dean painting, but by Hygnosis' less-inspired ideas.

Opening on the almost 10-mins Yours is No Disgrace, a track that will become the first Yes epic that is loved by fans and still played nowadays, as is most of this album. Right from the first guitar notes, Howe shows the why of his hiring, and the show goes on with the amazing acoustic guitar solo piece of The Clap, a Django Reinhardt live-extravaganza. Another uber-Yes classic the 9-mins+ three-part Starship Trooper fills the rest of this first flawless side of vinyl, where Tony Kaye's organ flies forward because of Howe's more versatile nature.

All Good People is another timeless Yes classic with 7-mins divided in two movements, and what a way to open up an album's flipside. This track transpires positivism and is still often used as their first encore live. Probably the only track that's not well-known, A Venture is just as superb as the rest of the album and still remains under-rated today, despite Kaye's graet piano solo and plenty of tricky time sigs. The closing 9-mins Perpetual Change is another classic track that made this album a legend and actually much more consistent than the following Fragile album to come.

This is my soft spot on Yes as I think of it as the real genesis of Yes. Sure the cover is no Dean cover and sure Wakeman is not yet in, but then again Tony Kaye was a fine player that got a rough deal getting bumped out for the KB Wizzard. I think the rest of the group was a little ashamed and this is why they asked him by in the 80's. Tons of classics here still played in concert nowadays but the real gift here is the Howe guitars battling the organs of Kaye and unfortunately this is the only place you will hear that in Yes.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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