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Yes - Progeny: Highlights from Seventy-Two CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 67 ratings

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Ever since I first heard Yessongs, back when I was in high school, I was disappointed in it. I just couldn't get over the fact that Alan White's rendition of Close To The Edge. First, and foremost, he didn't get the hang of Bill Bruford's off-beat emphasis synchronized with Chris Squire's bass. This to me was an important feature of the song's greatness. I have come to realize that this was more due to Bruford's towering greatness, rather than a deficiency on White's part.

Second, while I could tolerate White playing along with Rick Wakeman's exquisite keyboard at the end of I Get Up, I Get Down, his insistence of tapping his sticks before the band roars into Seasons Of Man diminishes the power of the transition between the sections of the song.

More recently I have found that on other than Close To The Edge, White's style fits in with the Yes classics perfectly. And I have decided to finally purchase my own copy of Yessongs.

I am reluctant to purchase the boxed set this collection was culled from, as it contains 7 complete shows from a very limited time period. I was burned before, by purchasing one of ELP's bootleg sets, that showed me just how similar ELP was from show to show, with the same set list and solos from night to night. So this selection of (hopefully), the best version of each song in the set, put together as if it was a continuous show.

The concert (as this compilation recreates it) is very good. They start out sloppy, and you can feel the band come together as they warm up.

There aren't many surprises, other than some interesting keyboard choices from Wakeman. I'm sure most are due to the difficulty of setting analog synth settings on the fly. The dirty sax sound he uses at the beginning of And You And I is laughably cheesy.

White, for the first time (I've seen him with Yes more times than I an actually remember) does not click his sticks in the middle of CTTE, but he does sound clumsy on the accent beats. He performs admirably on the rest of the album.

The best track for Yes fans should be Yours Is No Disgrace, beginning with a keyboard/drum jam, and stretched out to over ten minutes.

I must say, this brings me back to my high school days, in a good way.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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