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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover

THE YES ALBUM

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 1900 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

infandous
4 stars I'm not sure why I've put off this review for so long. Honestly, I haven't even listened to this album for a few years. But I've heard it so many times I think it's safe to say I can hear the entire thing in my head anytime I want :-)

For some reason, this album just isn't a masterpiece or one of my favorites. I suspect it's the lack of the symphonic part of symphonic prog that Yes would go on to define and master. Tony Kaye IS a great Hammond player, no doubt about that. But it's kind of one dimensional really. Still, the song writing is fantastic and this is without a doubt some of Steve Howe's best playing ever. I think he decided that his presence on this album was going to be very pronounced, and I think there is no doubt that he was going to be a permanent member of the band from the very first notes he plays on here.

Speaking of which, Yours Is No Disgrace is without doubt a classic Yes track. Probably the one that most foreshadows what is to come (along with the Your Move part of All Good People). An incredible piece of work that simply never lets up. Outstanding melodies, incredible rhythm section, great solos, and extended instrumental workouts. What more could you ask? The Clap is good fun and certainly shows off Howe's considerable fingerstyle skills (though he would later play this song much better). Starship Trooper is another classic, and actually manages to sound symphonic during the main section, with Howe's solo at the end being something of a classic in and of itself. Actually, the multi-section nature of this song is also a hint of things to come. All Good People was probably the first Yes song I ever heard (or maybe Roundabout), back when I was just a small child, on the radio during some trip to some relative or others house. Something of an homage to the Beatles to my ears, with Anderson's incredible singing and melodic sense dominating (and great vocal harmonies as well). The second half being more of an almost country western type of romp, or maybe rockabilly, but far more sophisticated than either.

A Venture was a song I always enjoyed, probably because I hadn't heard it a million times like most of the other tracks on this album (either on radio or in live versions). It probably is the weakest song on the album, but I still think it has an interesting melody and unusual lyrics for a Yes song. Finally, we have Perpetual Change, which even though it has a strong resemblance to the opening track, has a charm all it's own. The title and lyrics are probably the biggest foreshadowing of all on this album. Especially when you consider what the next 40 years or so would hold in store for this band. I've always felt this song was a little disjointed and not quite as good as its near twin, Your Is No Disgrace. But still a good track on the whole.

Well, how to rate such a seminal prog album as this one? I'm going to bump my personal rating of 3 stars up to 4 for the archives because I think it certainly is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. But on the whole, I don't consider it much more than good. But it IS a historical document of a legendary band, so it deserves perhaps a bit more consideration. Definitely not a masterpiece, but one of those albums that EVERY prog fan needs to hear at least once, if not have in their collection.

infandous | 4/5 |

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