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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2622 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This was the first Yes album that I bought, not knowing that it was Yes's first truly progressive album. Fitting this as I find it better to start at the beginning rather than get hooked on a bands middle releases that may or may not be better. But anyway, what a start, the album that introduced the world to the guitar genius that is Steve Howe.

This is a good album with a band that has found its muse and the type of music that it wishes to pursue. Most of the songs on here are very good, with the bluesy Starship Trooper and Yours Is No Disgrace being particular highlights. What really stands out is the way that the band works together on this album, especially since this was Steve Howe's first album with the band.

All the guitar lines are perfectly in place and very tasteful giving the album a very powerful edge to its sound. This is evident best in Starship Trooper as he closes the song with a controlled build up that ends with short bursts of extravagance from his guitar. The short acoustic song Clap also serves perfectly to illustrate that Howe is definitely not short of talent.

The keyboard lines of Tony Kay I have found are the best that Yes produced until Patrick Moraz joined for Relayer. Throughout this album you get a perfect blend of atmospheric playing, that plays off the strength's of Bruford, Howe and Squire, and technical solo's that highlights his ability. I always felt that his departure was a big loss for Yes.

Chris Squire is technically a very talented bass player that could really let the instrument find its own niche in the rock band, moving between rhythm and melody excellently without ever being overly noodely or unlistenable. However I can here the start of the tone that he would go on to use in future albums that really annoys me, plus on occasion I think he misses opportunities for his bass lines to interact with what the others are doing that could have really lifted the overall quality of the album.

Bill Bruford's drumming is very good here but I feel that it lacks both the creative edge and the control that he displays after he joins King Crimson. Lastly Jon Anderson's performance here is very good, he's a decent singer, though not one of my favourites but his lyrics continue to annoy me greatly as being pointless nonsense, words that are only there because they rhyme and make a nice sound when he sings them.

Overall it's a good album but has a few downsides to it. Mostly, the band don't seem to gel perfectly, there's something cold in the way they play together that puts me of Yes, though its not so bad here on The Yes Album. I also find that some of the songs on here have aged poorly against some of the others. I do like this album and find it to be one of their best so I'll give it 3 stars.

sleeper | 3/5 |


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