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Yes - Yessongs CD (album) cover

YESSONGS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.28 | 690 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yes: Yessongs [1973]

Rating: 7/10

Yes's first live album had the potential to be an absolute masterpiece. It features the classic lineup of the band performing their greatest songs during their creative peak. However, Yessongs misses the mark in one regard: sound quality. The entire album sounds like it was recorded underwater. Poor production is something that I can forgive on a studio album, as I believe that quality of the content matters much more. A live album is different, though. Live albums are meant to provide the listener with a new and unique perspective on previously-released material; when the sound quality is inferior to that of the original recording, this re-experience is difficult.

Sound quality aside, the songs on this album are fantastically performed. Particularly notable performances include: a fourteen-minute extended version of 'Perpetual Change' with stunning guitar and bass work and an excellent drum solo from Bruford, a medley of 'Long Distance Runaround' and 'The Fish' featuring a long bass/wah-guitar jam, and an extended 'Yours is No Disgrace' with a fantastic lengthy solo from Howe. Along with these three, every song here is presented with passion and precession. The only track that doesn't live up to its studio original is 'And You and I.' Howe's guitar seems a bit off here, although this may yet again be the fault of the recording quality rather than the actual playing (I'm inclined to assume the latter).

I don't want my negative comments about the sound quality of Yessongs to cast the album in a negative light. These performances are fantastic, and the main reason why the recording is such a problem is because the quality of the material here deserved a better treatment. Although the two Keys to Ascension albums are Yes's live masterpieces, Yessongs is still an excellent live album that captures one of the greatest bands of all time during the peak of their career.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |

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