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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover

THE YES ALBUM

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 1902 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

NetsNJFan
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Rating: 5 / 5

Coming in 1971, THE YES ALBUM was the first truly progressive work from the archetypal Prog band, Yes. This is also one of their most creative albums, and one of their most fun to listen to. At this time, Yes was comprised of founders Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (Bass), Bill Bruford (Drums), and Tony Kaye (keyboards). Steve Howe had just joined the group, replacing Peter Banks on guitar. THE YES ALBUM is a huge progression over the pop-rock of Yes's previous albums, and is their first release featuring their famous extended tracks. This is also the album when vocalist Jon Anderson abandoned writing real lyrics, and began writing spacey, spiritual, indecipherable lyrics.

THE YES ALBUM opens with one of Yes's strongest works ever. Your's is No Disgrace has all of the characteristics of the Yes Sound. It begins with Steve Howe laying down a basic melody, along with Bill Bruford's superb drum work. Chris Squire's distinctive picked bass comes in, weaving itself perfectly into the song. Then Tony Kaye's trademark organ comes in, giving the song incredible richness. Overall, this is an incredible track. Its only flaw is the pointless, repetitive lyrics. One can overlook this, as they are sung beautifully by soprano Jon Anderson. His vocals are the touch needed to send Yes's music into orbit. The next track, The Clap, is a very simple, and enjoyable Steve Howe acoustic guitar solo, recorded live. This song allows Yes to showcase it's new prodigal guitarist. Side one closes with another Yes classic, Starship Trooper. it is named after a Heinlein science-fiction novel, and asserts Yes's place in the new 'space rock' genre. This piece closes (the third section, Wurm), with an amazing guitar workout by Steve Howe.

Side Two begins with Yes's first trans-Atlantic hit, I've Seen All Good People. This song reached the top 40 on the US charts, and gave Yes the foothold they needed for their breakout album, FRAGILE, in 1972. This is a great track. The first part describes a chess game, and is the gentlest piece on the album. It is greatly improved with the recorder accompaniment. The second part of this track, I've Seen All Good People, is an abrupt rock change over the Your Move, and is good, but goes on just a little to long. A Venture is a simplistic track, and would easily fit on one of Yes's previous albums. It is a good song though, and gives nice balance to the album when juxtaposed with the longer, more epic track. THE YES ALBUM closes with Perpetual Change, a strong piece with excellent performances with all involved. It can be found live on YESSONGS (1973), where it is given even greater ferocity.

THE YES ALBUM is the first album where we hear the traditional Yes sound, and paves the way for their masterpieces, like CLOSE TO THE EDGE (1972). One reviewer says Yes does not write songs, they paint sonic murals. This album is the beginning of this, as Yes abandons conventional song formats. Steve Howe's guitar is the dominant instrument here. This trend would change with the arrival of keyboardist Rick Wakeman in 1972, after the departure of Tony Kaye. A very solid album - the first Yes essential: Five Stars

NetsNJFan | 5/5 |

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