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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1384 ratings

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3 stars The 1969 debut by Yes has a distinctly West Coast feel with the Crosby, Stills & Nash-style harmonies of the spirited BEYOND AND BEFORE among others, and the 7-minute cover of The Byrds' jazzy, raga-influenced I SEE YOU. The latter is notable for Peter Banks' guitar improvisation, with Bill Bruford's drums providing the sole accompaniment, midway through the song. Jon Anderson's YESTERDAY AND TODAY is a straightforward love-ballad, enlivened by some pleasant electric piano. Keyboardist Tony Kaye then plays some mean Hammond on LOOKING AROUND and HAROLD LAND, but these are really little more than pop songs. HAROLD LAND reminds me of early Genesis for some reason; they had released their debut album earlier in the same year and, of course, 1969 was a significant year for progressive debuts.

The album's second cover version, The Beatles' EVERY LITTLE THING, almost tops the 6- minute mark and includes some heavy jamming with Banks throwing in a few cheeky 'Day Tripper' motifs for good measure. It sounds fresh and spontaneous, not words I would normally use to describe Yes, and it's one of the album's highlights. SWEETNESS is another dreamy little ballad that includes the immortal line: ''She puts the sweetness in and stirs it with a spoon''. Fortunately Jon Anderson redeems himself with the album's tour de force, SURVIVAL. Chris Squire's rousing bass intro gives way to a jazzy groove that has Bruford supplementing his drums with some sparkling vibes. The main part of the song builds in intensity, from subdued verses to a vigorous chorus... splendid stuff. Ok, so this doesn't come close to any of their monster albums but it is a nice collection of songs with some progressive leanings. Good, but definitely not essential.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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