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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1383 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Everything has a beginning...

Anderson, Squire, Kaye, Banks, Bruford were a superstar line up and the excitement generated by their playing was one of the high points of the early 70s as prog came into being. 1969 was an essential year for prog with the release of the new Van der Graaf Generator, Genesis and of course King Crimson's "In The Court of the Crimson King" which perhaps invented the genre as we know it today. Yes were disciples in amongst all these changes and had not quite found their feet as the indispensable prog giants that would release masterpeices such as The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge. This then was their starting point and it was not a prog album but one that was nevertheless full of infectious melodic songs.

A lot of it was inspired by the 60s, The Beatles, and the British invasion that rocketed up the charts. Music was changing with the advent of Vietnam, Woodstock and Neil Armstrong's penultimate giant step. Yes had discovered a spacey psychedelic sound but it is one that is grounded in simple time sigs and rhythms. The incomparable Peter Banks has some chops of course but it is quite subdued here apart from the odd embellishment on certain tracks such as Beyond and Before. The band indulge in cover versions, something that they would not repeat often. I See You belongs to The Byrds and does not sound any better here. Every Little Thing is a little known song from The Beatles that has stood the test of time as being a highlight of this album. Yesterday and Today is catchy and Anderson has a young undeveloped high falsetto. The sugar sacharinne sweetness of er... Sweetness is trite, as is the equally soft billowing flower power nonsense of Harold Land. It perhaps more represents the flower child craze of the late 60s and is as outdated as panel vans and love beads.

The highlights are encased in two tracks. Looking Around has some wonderful moments and is very listenable, especially the instrumental virtuosity of the members, but you have to wait to the end of the album to find an excellent track. The closing number is undoubtedly the best track and defines the Yes we would come to know and love. Survival clocks in at 6 minutes and features some delightful Banks guitars and the irrepressible Bruford and Squire rhythm machine.

Enough said, except that this is definitely NOT the starting point to discover the brilliance of Yes.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 2/5 |


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