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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover

THE YES ALBUM

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 1831 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Enter Steve Howe.

Anyone who has listened to Yes with any seriousness, from that sentence, understands that this is the album where the band became a force to be reckoned with. To be sure, there was nothing wrong with Peter Banks guitar playing; he proved himself quite able in the first two albums, in songs such as Survival and Astral Traveller. But Yes was striving to be more than able, and Steve Howe was the ticket to that.

Yes continues the formula of starting each album on a high note, on this one with Yours is No Disgrace. The up-beat guitars immediately let the listener know that the guitar has been upped a notch, and the spacey lyrics now resemble the lyrics that would become a Jon Anderson trademark:

"Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face. Caesars palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race. On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place. If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace."

The album then moves onto 'Clap', where Steve Howe's presence is once again made abundantly clear, this time in terms of his prowess on the guitar. It is a short piece consisting completely of Steve playing on the acoustic guitar, and is essentially a Steve Howe solo (making him the only member of Yes, so far, to have a 'solo' piece on a Yes album). The song is upbeat and catchy, and leads nicely into the next song.

Starship Trooper is one of Yes' best known songs and remained a concert mainstay for decades to come. It is split into multiple movements, the first Yes song to be split such, hinting at the many times they would do so in the future. Following this song is another multi-part Yes classic, I've Seen All Good People, which is also split into two parts: An acoustic bit making references to chess, and then an upbeat section where the band sings the same line on repeat for a while. Ultimately a catchy tune.

The album ends with two underlooked gems: A Venture, which starts with a nice piano intro by Tony Kaye, lead into the main piece; and Perpetual Change, once again containing some high class playing from all members of the band.

The only question is; does that make this album a 5 star album, or a 4 star album? Starting with this album, Yes released 6 albums that are each hugely successful and could be argued as essential, but some are better than the rest. This one comes close to five stars, but it does not quite reach the lofty heights yes would at the peak of their career. A very reluctant 4 stars is granted.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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