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YES

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.23 | 868 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Seyo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Unlike many fans and critics, I am particularly fond of the early YES - "The Bruford period" - and among these first two albums are usually brutally overlooked.

Yes debut was a surprisingly mature work for 1969 and I can almost hear all key ingredients of the giant of prog rock to come. Of course, Howe's guitar would later become one of the symbols of the band sound while none could deny the Wakeman's attractive virtuosity on the keyboards. But for me, Tony Kaye was a damn good organist on this brilliant debut, while Banks provided some fine, even if rare, guitar slices and picks. Anderson/Squire leadership did an excellent musical arrangement and their songwriting is very decent, if not highly sophisticated yet. Bruford was and still is one of the best drummers out in the world, bar none.

Of course, you cannot deny this was the work of novices and paying tributes to their idols is a normal thing for a young band. But what YES did with THE BEATLES' "Every Little Thing" and especially with THE BYRDS' "I See You" was more than that: these are examples of early experimenting and progressing towards new musical landscapes, jazz or psychedelia. Bruford/Banks jazzy jamming in the latter is almost precursor to the coming age of fusion.

Of their originals, "Harold Land" and "Survival" are perhaps the strongest pieces containing excellent melodies and fine musicianship that was to characterize future progressive rock development. Kaye's organ is brilliant in the way you almost do not notice its presence in the music! Just compare this to the debut of GENESIS, VAN DER GRAAF, or any of THE NICE or MOODY BLUES albums of 1969 and you will hear what I mean.

The album was probably unlucky to appear during the year of the heavy rock boom (just remember first two ZEPPELIN albums!) so it was somehow overlooked. But do not miss this opportunity now when there is a remastered version with excellent sound available (+ several bonus tracks including 2 version each of brilliant BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD hommage "Everydays", "Dear Father" and particularly interesting "Something's Coming" theme from Bernstein's "The West Side Story").

PERSONAL RATING: 4,5/5

P.A. RATING: 4/5

Seyo | 4/5 |

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