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Yes - 2 Originals Of Yes CD (album) cover

2 ORIGINALS OF YES

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.53 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review Nš 162

"2 Originals Of Yes" is a very special compilation of Yes. It's an economic package that includes Yes' debut eponymous studio album, released in 1969 and their second studio album "Time And A Word", released in 1970. This is a very interesting compilation because it includes the first two studio albums of Yes' catalogue at a very cheap price, what would be a very worth purchase at the time, when it was released. It's also very interesting because it shows the group giving their first steps before the beginning of their most creative phase, the period of their great masterpieces, which would turn them in one of the best, most important and most influential progressive rock groups ever. This is also very interesting because this compilation reunites together the only two albums with the original line up of Yes. These are also the only studio albums from the group that include songs which weren't written by Yes. So, and all in all, despite both albums can't be properly considered as two fundamental works from Yes, and two indispensable purchases, both have its merits and deserve to be checked and appreciated by all Yes' fans and all progressive rock lovers.

The line up on both albums is Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Peter Banks (vocals and guitars), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Chris Squire (vocals and bass) and Bill Bruford (drums).

As I've already reviewed these two albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my both reviews. However, in here I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of both albums.

"Yes": Although Yes' eponymous debut album be not exactly what they're remembered most for, it's still a decent piece of proto-prog. From quite obvious reasons this is also their most 60's influenced album. Two of the tracks, "Beyond And Before" and "Sweetness" dates back from the time when Anderson and Squire were in a band called Mabel Greer's Toyshop. Some of the Yes' trademarks can already been heard here, like the falsetto vocal-harmonies and the powerful and distinctive bass playing of Squire. But it's of course a much more basic and rougher album than their symphonic progressive rock classics from the 70's. "Survival" remains the classic track from this album, and it's also the track with most glimpses of what Yes later would made. They also covered The Byrds' "I See You" and The Beatles' "Every Little Thing" in a very refreshing and convincing way. "Yesterday And Today" is a beautiful and atmospheric little tune, but the other ballad on the album "Sweetness" is all too sweet and fluffy. "Looking Around" and "Beyond And Before" is a kind of a late 60's progressive power pop driven song by the excellent Hammond work of Kaye and the gutsy guitar playing of Banks. "Harold Land" is another pretty tune with progressive tendencies and good melodies. In short, "Yes" marked a decent starting point for a band that would become one of the greatest progressive rock bands ever.

"Time And A Word": Yes' second album, the last with the original guitarist Banks, was the first where the band began to move into a more symphonic direction. They even hired a small orchestra to prove the point. Although, their sound was still under development, there was already plenty of excellent progressive rock to enjoy here. "Then", "Astral Traveller" and "Sweet Dreams" were all among the best tracks from very early Yes. The sound on the album is dominated a lot by the tasty Hammond work from Kaye and the orchestral arrangements works, fine nicely in my ears. The beautiful title track was the only track from the first two albums that would remain in their live sets for years to come, while "The Prophet" has a delightful fairytale atmosphere. And as just happened with their first album, "Time And A Word" also included two cover versions of songs. First there was a very tight and "yesified" version of Richie Haven's "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and an atmospheric version of Stephen Still's "Everydays" with an incredible instrumental part in the middle. Yes still had some more steps to go before they would reach their creative highlights and definitive masterpieces, but "Time And A Word" is a good piece of early 70's progressive rock, anyway.

Conclusion: If you have already the two individual studio albums of Yes, you don't need this compilation because it hasn't anything new to offer, like bonus tracks, for instance. Unless you are a collector and you have the chance to discover this, as a forgotten vinyl record, in any record store. In this case, this would be a great purchase and a good complement for you, to add a new item to your record collection. Anyway, if you don't have these two albums yet, on vinyl or CD format, I think you must buy them. But, as I wrote above, these two albums aren't properly two fundamental works of Yes. However, they represent a different side of Yes. Still, they witness the first moments as a band starts to develop and watch them progress, is one of the most rewarding things a music enthusiast can take part in. However, two years later the scaffold will be removed and the building work will be complete, and as strong as it would ever be.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |

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