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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2601 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Starship Troopers make their presence felt.

The Yes Album is a bonafide Symphonic Prog classic. It was the first time I had heard Yes and this was a long time before I began to truly appreciate them as essential to my collection. The first time I really took notice of them was after hearing Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm which quickly became jammed in my brain. It was due to the incredible guitar sweeps and picking of Steve Howe and Jon Anderson's phenomenal vocal technique. The lyrics never made sense but it was something about a bluebird flying, a theme they continue to return to even today with Fly From Here. The lengthy instrumental passage is brilliantly executed, Squire's pulsating bass and Bruford's percussion generate a formidable rhythm machine. They were unsurpassed virtuosos in any guise, but with Yes the magic was nothing short of miraculous. To top this off was the keyboard work of Kaye who perhaps was overshadowed in later years by the wizardry of Wakeman.

There were four key points of the album that every Yes addict would treasure for years to come. The opener is quintessential to the Yes inventory; the ingenuity of Yours Is No Disgrace is sheer genius. The structures of diverse time signatures layered with polyphonic meters and 4/4 rock styles could not be bettered in its day.

Starship Trooper is my all time favourite Yes track and it will never be bettered as it had such an impact on me and eventually turned me into a Yesaholic. The melodies, the odd time sig, the surreal lyrics, Anderson's stirring performance, Kaye's inventive keyboarding, the sporadic drumming of Bruford, Squire's complex bassline, and Howe's blazing guitar pieces absolutely define the prog rock genre.

The third key track is I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People that features on every compilation and every concert virtually and for good reason. The track has a killer melodic hook, soaring lead breaks and detours into several sections, all equally brilliant and well known. The chorus was cemented into brainwaves worldwide "I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way..."

The album also concludes with a fourth classic which is also a mini epic, the enchanting Perpetual Change, with wonderful atmospherics and Anderson's soothing high falsetto vocals.

Sandwiched in between these four gems were some lesser known tracks that may even be classed as filler material though with some endearing moments, The Clap which is merely a live showpiece for Howe's dextrous guitar playing and sometimes finds its way into concerts in an expurgated form works as a transition between the masterpieces. A Venture, which is more forgettable and more or less exists solely on this album, is a curio on this album but Kaye does get a chance to shine on this track, though it really is the low point of the album.

So to conclude the album was really a high peak for Yes, who were heading to the stratosphere with their next few albums. Their status as super musos really began here and this is an essential listen that has stood the test of time. The four big songs are easy to find on compilations but it is still wonderful to hear this album in its entirety. A recommended masterful 5 star piece of Yesstory that is impossible to ignore for the serious prog freak.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |


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