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Yes - Yessongs CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 887 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
2 stars This is a marvellous collection of songs. If this was a 'best off', it would deserve no less then 5 stars. But I'm not blown away by the performance. I do enjoy the rocking edge and rough sound but that is not enough for me to make it into an excellent live album.

The music stays largely true to the original versions, which will probably satisfy most listeners. But with musicians such as Bruford, Squire and Howe in action, I had expected more. There are only a couple of exceptions where they try out some soloing/improvisation, such as the extended version of Long Distance Runaround/The Fish. But judging from that one, my conclusion is that improvisation wasn't Yes strongest asset. I like the bass noise Squire produces here, but as an improv, this doesn't hold together at all.

The jamming during Yours Is No Disgrace seems to suit them better. Another good moment comes from Wakeman on his Six Wives suite. He avoids the more cheesy parts of the original and his over the top classical music on synth theatrics in the middle are quite funny actually. I hope it was meant like that. The second half contains some nice vintage keyboards interplay.

But my biggest disappointment stems from the vocals. Jon Anderson's vocals and harmonies were always one of Yes's main attractions, but in this live setting these harmonies fail. I don't know who gave Chris Squire the idea he should sing. Not only is his voice unpleasant and grating, it's often out of tune. Close To The Edge is a track that particularly suffers from that issue. On the other hand, tracks such as Roundabout and Siberian Kathru are performed really well.

I have always had mixed feelings about this album, even in the years when Yes ruled my rock. Some tracks are excellent, some of the harmony vocals make me cringe. To comfort sceptics like me, the original triple vinyl packaging with Roger Dean's amazing artwork on the inside is really irresistible. Overall, nice to have, but not recommended to non-Yes fans. Hence 2 stars.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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