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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2841 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
5 stars Checkmate.

The first great album of Yes. The band finally hit the target after the uncertainties of the previous album "Time And A Word", for which the band makes three fundamental innovations:

1) the construction of longer tracks, with frequent changes of pace, and extremely complex arrangements with solo parts of high technical difficulty.

2) the entry of the new band member Steve Howe, a virtuoso guitarist, capable of incredible technique performances, with a style close to jazz, and an unusual ability to create very intricate and complex guitar solos.

3) the total abandonment of the orchestral arrangements, that had strongly influenced the sound of the previous album.

Probably Yes have not reached here the definition of "Yessound", which will born only with the next album "Fragile" and the arrival of Wakeman; Therefore, "The Yes Album" can not be considered the most representative of their work, their absolute classic, but I believe that in their discography, this album is second only to "Close To The Edge". The stunning opening track Yours Is No Disgrace, probably the top of the album, shows immediately Howe virtuosity. We have a lot of wonderful instrumental sections here, with frequent changes of pace and mood, while the guitarist shows his prodigious technique. While Bruford and Squire validly support the prodigious technical fury by Howe, keyboardist Tony Kaye remains in the background. The second vocal section, beautiful and melodic, is another great moment. The Clap, the second track, is a wonderful piece in ragtime style, performed only by Howe on guitar. Almost superfluous to point out the extraordinary technique display by the guitarist in this song. The subsequent Starship Trooper (perhaps inspired by the science fiction novel of the same name by Robert Heinlein) is another gem, a longer track divided into three parts. The whole band seems inspired and once again the guitarist leaves a mark: the accompaniment to Anderson in the second half and the final part ("Wurm") are anthology. I never tire of listening to the hypnotic finale, a unique masterpiece built from a simple chord progression by Howe and then subsequently developed with the add of the other instruments in a unique instrumental crescendo. I've Seen All Good People is another classic. The first part ("Your Move") is melodic and very well sung by Jon Anderson. Beautiful vocal harmonies between singer and backing vocals. The second part is typically built on a rock and roll rhythm, and is perhaps a bit repetitive. A Venture is a song lighter and shorter, it seems a remnant of "Time And A Word". It's not bad but it is obviously of lower quality than the others. Howewer, it's a relaxing break before the great finale. Perpetual Change is a perfect ending, with Bruford and Squire authors of convincing performances and Anderson's great interpreter of a very melodic and pleasant vocal parts.

No doubt a great album, easier to digest than "Fragile" or "Close To The Edge" as less obscure and bizarre. If you do not yet know the music of Yes, "The Yes Album" would be the appropriate album to start with (keep in mind, howewer, that it's not the most representative of their style). My rating: 10/10 and five stars.

Best song: Yours Is No Disgrace

Dark Nazgul | 5/5 |


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