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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 2966 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album has a certain warmth to it. The package as a whole, seems almost intentionally ambiguous: a simple, unrevealing title, and a picture of the band for it's cover. This was very debut-like, especially for American onlookers, who were just discovering Yes at the time of TYA's release. But of course the band had had two [relative] flops in the UK and were more experienced now. They also had a significant new member; the faultless guitarist Steve Howe, who saved them from orchestra-land and took Yes to new heights (and song-lengths).

The wonderful charm of this album, comes from the sheer enjoyment of creation that shines through in the playing. Perhaps unlike later efforts, listening to 'Yours is no Disgrace' or 'Perpetual Change', is like listening to five people having fun, yet being creative at the same time. There is certainly a more mature compositional approach (which may be down to Steve), but it is well balanced with the rocking vehicle of the rhythm section and the ever harmonious vocals of Jon and Chris, whose voices become more and more suited to each other with every album. Obviously no record as casually created as this one can be perfect though. Kaye's involvement was diminishing (a result of his own refusal to utilise anything other than his precious hammond and piano), limited now to quiet background chords and only one breif moment of creative freedom on the coda of 'A Venture'. He would be fired accordingly, just as Peter Banks was less than a year prior. But when he's barely audible in the mix, it is easy to forget his minimal contributions and share the guitar-led warmth that embodies The Yes Album. 'Starship Trooper' is wonderfully climactic, lending itself well to live performances. 'All Good People' is overrated but pleasant nonetheless. 'YIND' explains through music how it is easy to mistake this band for a new one, as opposed to the creators of those mediocre predeccessors. And 'Perpetual Change' has all the ingredients of an extended prog work, with a busy, colourful middle-section that still appears to be impossible to carry off live (yet was successfully replicated on every live performance after).

This album isn't mindblowing or in any way thematic. It is a perfectly captured 40 minutes of a band, simply displaying where they were at the time and why Yes is so special.

thehallway | 4/5 |


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