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Yes - Yessongs CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.33 | 911 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Go stick on 'Close to the Edge' and slap your hands over your ears - that's what listening to 'Yessongs' sounds like. In one of the greatest music crimes of the twentieth century, what ought to have been the greatest live album of all time is, at best, a muted triumph.

That's all I'll say about the dreadful sound, I promise. 'Yessongs' is a collection of songs performed live, culled from the three greatest albums YES ever recorded. The general consensus is that the live versions are generally more powerful than their studio counterparts, but I'm afraid I don't agree. There are brilliant renditions, to be sure, considering they are live, but that last is the essential caveat. In my view, apart from the odd moment (the extensions of Perpetual Change, The Fish and Yours is No Disgrace), these live versions add little to the originals.

Still, that's not how a great live record should be assessed. It's the overall experience, the degree to which it invites you to share the live experience, and the album more than passes muster in this regard. The running order is a treat, and the crowd is always voluble. With anything like reasonable fidelity this would be rated as a masterpiece, but how can one award five stars to a record that constantly reminds you of its single shortcoming?

Drat, I promised, too. Sorry.

russellk | 4/5 |


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