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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2622 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After the first 2 albums, which I listened to but decided not to buy (I never have!), I did not really expect too much when this came out in 1971. However, a friend at university made me a tape and it blew my mind. Whether it was the substitution of Steve Howe for Pete Banks, or simply growing maturity, or a combination of both, is uncertain, but whatever, this is a giant leap forward from its mediocre predecessor.

All 4 of the longer tracks are excellent, particularly, Starship Trooper and Yours is no Disgrace. I love the bass playing in Wurm, which is one of the first times a bass moved out of the shadows into the lead. A Venture is fine but unexceptional and my only real criticism is for that old concert favourite, The Clap, which I feel is pointless and doesn't fit the rest of the album at all, even though Howe plays it well.

This was to be Tony Kaye's final album with the band before he was kicked out for the caped crusader, Mr Wakeman (my lookalike). This was exceptionally harsh, as he contributes excellent work throughout, albeit in a slightly more undestated way than his successor. Howe plays some fine guitar; I've never quite rated him up there with Hackett or Latimer, but his solo at the end of Wurm is very fine indeed. The rhythm section is truly awesome, being tight and inventive throughout. Anderson sings as only Anderson can; his voice is an acquired taste and on this album he really starts to blossom.

In my view, this is the best Yes album overall and comes close to masterpiece standard. Remove The Clap and put on one more good long track and it would have been the perfect prog album. As it is, it falls a little short of that, but is highly recommended and an essential album for any prog collection.

Hercules | 4/5 |


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