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Yes - Yessongs CD (album) cover

YESSONGS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 691 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Music that transports the mind.

"Fragile" was the first prog album I ever owned if memory serves but Yessongs is the album which addicted me to the music of Yes for so many years. It was nothing short of a revelation. I believe I played this album more than any other non-Zeppelin album in my formative years. Why so special? It's quite simple. More than any other album I recall Yessongs is a complete package capable of transporting the listening to another place. Really. This is a tour-de-force that takes the listener to the place represented visually so perfectly by the artistic eye of Roger Dean. Never has a partnership between musicians and cover artists been so spectacularly successful in enhancing the listening experience. Panel after panel of Dean's work is so magical and breathtaking, so adept at non-verbal communication.

And then there's the music! With selections pulled from only three studio albums (Yes album/Fragile/CTTE) the band wisely avoided using material from the first two. These three albums provided a focused and well integrated selection of songs. It begins with the most exciting prog opening ever, Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" which thereafter would raise the endorphin level of the Yes fan at first note. While the sound quality is poor by today's standards as mentioned by many, I have noticed that the sort of "fuzzy glow" inherent in this album's sound actually seems to enhance the mood of the material. Perhaps that's just a personal thing but the sound has never detracted from my enjoyment here. To this day the only song I will skip is "All Good People" which I've always felt was a very subpar Yes track. My favorite track is probably "Heart of the Sunrise" which just takes on otherworldly qualities in this live treatment.

After three good albums and this triumphant live package, Yes would release their two finest masterworks in "Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer" before ending their peak years with the fabulous QPR live show. They would hit rock bottom in the Rabin years and never reach such heights again. But from CTTE through QPR it was a moment of symphonic prog heaven equaled by very few.

Recommended to anyone building a serious symphonic collection. 4 stars.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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