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THE YES ALBUM

Yes

Symphonic Prog


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spsmith45@aol
5 stars One of the geat breakthrough prog albums. Great compositions, an unusually clean sound which was laboured over for many hours and immense originality. The guitar work from Howe is fabulous, whilst drummer Bruford has that technical, accurate and mechanical quality some love. (He is now a much better drummer, by the way!) Highlights are Yours is No Disgrace, Straship Trooper and Perpetual Change - all prog classics.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12842)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the first truly essential Yes album, wherein all the masterful elements that would later typify the Yes sound were magnificently present.

Every tune (except possibly "A Venture") is excellent, and many later concert favourites are here. Proof of this great disc's staying power can be found in the fact that the stellar "Starship Trooper" and "All Good People" still get regular radio play.

While not quite as fully-realized or polished as subsequent masterworks Fragile and Close To The Edge, THE YES ALBUM is an ambitious and mature work by a band that had become one of the leading lights of the progressive rock pantheon. There is much fantastic music to be found -- and enjoyed again and again -- herein. All confirmed Yes fans, and all fans of classic prog rock in general, should own a copy of THE YES ALBUM.

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#12884)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2003 | Review Permalink
corbet
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars As others have said, this is the first "full-power" Yes album, where the Anderson/Squire core acquire their primary gun who is of course guitarist Steve Howe. Not barely a minute into the first track, Howe's impeccable style and glorious tone boldly announce the arrival of arguably the greatest progressive guitar player; and at the same time, the full arrival of the now unstoppable musical force which is Yes. Although the band would certainly evolve throughout their career and tackle increasingly ambitious projects, the music on this album is not diminished the slightest bit in the shadow of their later, more far-reaching masterworks -- in fact, "Starship Trooper" contains one of my favorite musical moments of all time: a little over 4 minutes into the song (4:14) begins one of the most transcendent and beautiful vocal harmony arrangements one could ever hope to hear. The opening track, "Yours Is No Disgrace," is one of those timeless classic songs that for me has the feeling of heralding in the heart of the progressive era; especially check out the thumping bass and organ fireworks beginning around 5:00. Bottom line, this album is a masterpiece by one of the greatest bands and no lover of music should be without it.

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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#12892)
Posted Friday, January 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars The Yesssssssssss Album

As Yes grew in stature, they became more ambitious and went on to change their line-up (the first of many) to fit their ambitions. Thinking that their guitarist Peter Banks was a little "short" on guitar and fired him to allow the ex-Tomorrow (shorter) guitarist Steve Howe. As unfair as it may sound for Banks, this move proved providential for Yes as Howe would soon become a gifted songwriter, although in here, he's just adapting. We are now entering the classic Yes phase, even if the album's artwork isn't a Roger Dean painting, but by Hygnosis' less-inspired ideas.

Opening on the almost 10-mins Yours is No Disgrace, a track that will become the first Yes epic that is loved by fans and still played nowadays, as is most of this album. Right from the first guitar notes, Howe shows the why of his hiring, and the show goes on with the amazing acoustic guitar solo piece of The Clap, a Django Reinhardt live-extravaganza. Another uber-Yes classic the 9-mins+ three-part Starship Trooper fills the rest of this first flawless side of vinyl, where Tony Kaye's organ flies forward because of Howe's more versatile nature.

All Good People is another timeless Yes classic with 7-mins divided in two movements, and what a way to open up an album's flipside. This track transpires positivism and is still often used as their first encore live. Probably the only track that's not well-known, A Venture is just as superb as the rest of the album and still remains under-rated today, despite Kaye's graet piano solo and plenty of tricky time sigs. The closing 9-mins Perpetual Change is another classic track that made this album a legend and actually much more consistent than the following Fragile album to come.

This is my soft spot on Yes as I think of it as the real genesis of Yes. Sure the cover is no Dean cover and sure Wakeman is not yet in, but then again Tony Kaye was a fine player that got a rough deal getting bumped out for the KB Wizzard. I think the rest of the group was a little ashamed and this is why they asked him by in the 80's. Tons of classics here still played in concert nowadays but the real gift here is the Howe guitars battling the organs of Kaye and unfortunately this is the only place you will hear that in Yes.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#12843)
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
lovullo1@asu.
5 stars This album features the track Starship Trooper. Although the lyrics are meaningless to me (as are most Yes lyrics) this track has one of the greatest moments in rock history. Not progressive rock history but rock history itself. The long build up in the section entitled Wurm and then the release which in itself is delayed (the solo comes in after the rest of the band is already rocking) is absolutely perfect. It has been copied many times since but there are very few examples of such an idea before (Stairway is the only thing that comes to mind.) Of course there are many examples of repetive droning passages but there are none that explode with such beauty combined with a power that is rarely seen anywhere and is not seen in the rest of Yes' work. For younger listeners new to this kind of music think of the coolness of Searching With My Good Eye Closed or Porcelina of the Vast Oceans where things drone on and then bang something happens. The difference is in the placement of the bang and that makes all the difference. In the songs I mentioned the bang occurs after the droning intro (impressive) but with this song after several different parts with different timing and key the band plays a simple three chord droning kind of pattern. The guitar subtley changes throughout the buildup but the bass work is what is amazing. Working off of the three chords Chris Squire taunts the listener with an array of tones augmented by very low keyboard notes (probably as low as is possible with the equipment at the time) that build the suspense. At the best possible moment after a few false starts the band rocks as it never does again. When I say rock I mean heavy rock not fast not slow but powerful in everyway. One of the limitations of everyone working brilliantly in music is that the core gets lost and thus the 'heaviness' is lost. Here Yes is heavy. The organ and the rhythm guitar keep the band centered as Steve Howe lets loose with one of the top five guitar solos of all time. Not a technically brilliant solo but a perfect solo nonetheless. The timing is the key more than the notes like the solo to Comfortably Numb. The guitar is not occupying all of the space allowing the music to breathe. Anyway, this is a magnificent album even if all of the other tracks were horrible. As they are actually very good (but not powerful in the same way) it is stupid not to own this album. The only advice I would give to a Yes newbie is that Classic Yes is a perfect album to own but it will limit you to the radio songs that Yes produced at their peak. You will get the perfection of Starship Trooper but you will miss the amazing tracks (that do not rock for the most part) that highlight their musicianship and creativity. I was not a real Yes fan (except for Starship Trooper and the obvious radio tracks like Roundabout) until I bought the albums that those tracks came from. It is truly a different beast when you here The Clap and compare it to the radio songs. I think Starship Trooper gives the listener the opportunity to sample the sound of Yes but not the core of what they are about. Unfortunately, Yes never went as heavy in their career and so if you are a Zeppelin listener the rest of the stuff maybe a little difficult to digest but it is full of great parts that are a little on the subtle side. Sorry for such a long ramble but I feel very strongly about this song. It is one of a very few that actually produce a physiological response for me. A few songs that I like have an ability to kick in my adrenalin and when it gets the the good part I get a opiate like high. So it is kind of like a drug or probably more accurately a runner's high where I get a massive tingling weird pleasure quite unlike what other songs that I love equally provide. Stairway does not do it but November Rain does for some reason. It's all build up related songs but some are subtle builds like Burden In My Hand while others are obvious like Starship Trooper. Friends of mine have a few songs that they react to in the the same or similar ways but they are always different. I think it involves some sort of emotional attachment that at least in my case is not lyrically driven but is instead driven by the realization that something in the music is absolutely perfect. For Starship Trooper it is that beautiful build but November Rain I guess it is the way the band sets up a simple and yet perfectly emotional (almost cheesy) solo. Any way, By this album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12839)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Bonanza!

This is in reality where it all began for Yes.

The previous two albums were good, but they were made by a band finding their feet. When it came to making the Yes album, Steve Howe came on board, and the band had suddenly discovered their direction. Thus they confidently setting about recording what was to be one of their finest albums.

"Yours is no disgrace" is a superb opener, dynamic guitar, beautiful vocals, and a driving rhythm. According to Bill Bruford (speaking on the "YesYears" video), the main theme was inspired by the TV programme "Bonanza"! The following track, Clap" is often unfortunately named "The clap", even on the original sleeve. It is a brief acoustic interlude by Steve Howe which still features in the live set from time to time.

"Perpetual change" is one of the many under-rated Yes tracks. It has a classic prog structure, and a strong melody. While the song was perhaps slightly overshadowed by other tracks on this album, it became one of the highlights on the "Yessongs" live collection.

A venture" is the only average track on the album, and is pretty much dispensable. The remaining two tracks, "I've seen all good people" and "Starship trooper" are well known, and remain standards to this day. "All good people" is a two part number the opening section "Your move" being an acoustic section with Anderson singing chess related lyrics. If you listen carefully during the transition to the second part, you can hear the strains of "All we are saying is give peace a chance" (the John Lennon song) which the band simply felt "sounded good" there. "Starship Trooper" has three fairly distinct sections, cumulating in the closing repetitive instrumental refrain. The track has been developed in live performances over the years but the original retains its vitality.

In all., a great album, and one of the milestones in the development of prog rock. If you have the first remastered version of the CD, there's little on the expanded remaster to justify another purchase.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#12825)
Posted Monday, March 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars "The Yes Album" is another classic and contains some of YES' most popular material. This was really the start of the classic YES line-up and has some of the greatest pieces of work YES ever put together. As with all of Yes' works, this contains some incredible musicianship and tasty song writing throughout. This is yet another essential recording and deserves the title as a classic.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#12840)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A bit ingenuous in a few circumstances, as for the lack of Rick WAKEMAN, the keyboards' wizard, but the impact is quite strong and the style by Steve HOWE becomes an important imprinting. A special mention for the stunning vocal harmonization within the mini-suite "Starship Trooper" and the excellent guitar excursion as well. Recommended!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#12841)
Posted Sunday, April 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Yes Album" just comes before "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge". The album is much more a conventional catchy prog/rock/hard rock of the early 70's. Tony Kaye, on keyboards, is VERY efficient, although less refined than Wakeman. Compared to the previous records, the arrival of Steve Howe on guitars here give some depth to the melodies, and we feel the good direction taken to the magnificent 2 next albums. Howe plays excellent rythmic acoustic guitars, and he shows his unbelievable talent on the acoustic "Clap" track. The musicians often play on the border of the hard rock style. The record is very original because of the omnipresent prog flavour, as revealed by the numerous rythm changes. The lead & backing vocals are, as always, unforgettable and impressive. Squire's bass is very bottom and elaborated. Bruford's drums are very good too.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#12874)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was one of my first Prog rock Albums, and what a beginning!! Yours is no disgrace is my favourite Yes Song. This album is really plenty of very high points, lots of good arrangements. Starship trooper (with the crescendo guitar solo - Wurm) is simply fantastic. Spectacular guitar and bass playing. One kind of album solid based on songs, instead of concept ideas (an Yes trademark) that really rocks!! Almost every second of this record is truly amazing. My reviews about yes are really showing me how i really like this band, it´s very funny to think about these albums separately. I´ve always listened to them as a group of albums: 1) proto prog era (two first ones) 2) Golden era (from Yes Album till Tormato) 3) Drama (different record that doesn´t fit with any definition) 4) Stupid Rabin Era (90125 till Talk) and 5) Reconstruction efforts (from Keys to now). The way I listen to an album from Yes is pretty influenced by the previous knowledge about the fragmentation of Yes music.. Maybe they could repeat the same level of musicianship that was observed in Yes album, maybe not..Anyway it will be Ever a GREAT prog rock band (my second best favourite, Emerson Lake & Palmer is on the top.

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Send comments to fredfontes (BETA) | Report this review (#12844)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If their last album was something of a misstep, "The YES Album" is in all ways a quantum leap. Some have pointed to the addition of guitarist STEVE HOVE as the band's turning point, and their decision to reclaim production is another positive step, but it's a newfound musical "elasticity" and unbound musical imagery that distinguish this record from their earlier work. The album opens with the nine-plus minute "Yours Is No Disgrace", a forceful and vibrant epic musical journey that plumbs the limits of progressive rock like little else before it. ANDERSON's lyrics are mystical in nature, suggesting images rather than pushing along a plot line, while the band's arrangements scale imaginary walls in a sonic conflict that comes to a peaceful resolution. As if to allow the listener to recharge, STEVE HOVE's acoustic instrumental "The Clap" follows, a lighthearted but technically impressive showcase from the one member perhaps most responsible for the band's deliverance. Another epic follows, "Starship Trooper", the first example of YES' multipart works and a classic in the band's canon. Even if its relation to the HEINLEIN novel of the same name is incidental at best, "Starship Trooper" transports the listener into a science fiction/fantasy realm that few could imagine. "I've Seen All Good People" is a study in contrast between the band's founders and principal songwriters, JON ANDERSON and CHRIS SQUIRE. The first part, "Your Move" (which served as the album's obligatory single), is acoustic and spiritually informed, trademarks of ANDERSON's style. The second part, "All Good People", is much more physical in nature, with Squire's bass achieving a tangible quality that listeners could feel as well as hear. TONY KAYE's piano steps into the limelight for the off-kilter acoustic storytelling of "A Venture", offering only brief respite before the explosive finale, "Perpetual Change", which walks between the airy and material worlds of Anderson and Squire with stunning results. However, the contributions of individual songwriters are incidental to "The YES Album"'s achievements; it's the dynamic expansion of their instruments - from BRUFORD's intricate rhythms to HOWE's acrobatic guitar solos - that represents the real breakthrough. And the scary part is, the band was about to get better.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#12847)
Posted Tuesday, May 04, 2004 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This was for many years my favourite YES album, probably because it was the first I heard of them. "Disgrace", "Starship Trooper" and "I ve Seen All Good People" are now classics, with the latter having their customary tribute to the BEATLES (stemming from their early days and debut LP rendition of "Every Little Thing") in the form of harmonies "all we are saying is give peace a chance" in the background! Very effective, innovative and great music, especially by Howe's wild guitar soli and Squire's thumping bass lines. "Venture" and "Clap" although seeming just like fillers, are actually very effective "breaks" between more demanding compositions. And why not Howe to show off some classical guitar technique?

"The Yes Album" is highly recommended even for casual prog listeners and can serve as an excellent starting point for serious YES researchers.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#12858)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
yes777ok@yaho
3 stars This is really good album, but there is something which is missing from this album as Yes album (I think Rick Wakeman's keyboard sound is missing) and if you compare this album's tracks with Yessong, then I will say there is no point to have this album if you can get Yessongs. Almost all tracks you can listen from Yessongs album, which is a brilliant album. Real Yes started from Fragile...Going For The One. Enjoy.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12875)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
chessman
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars A strange band, Yes. I was a big fan round the time of Close To The Edge. (Still their best, although Fragile, Relayer and Going For the One run it close.) Out of their first 5 albums, they produced 4 classics....and this. I can't believe so many fans rate this. It really is the most awful, tuneless and unmemorable album they were to do until Tormato. All the songs are mundane and laboured. The recording sounds rough, like it is all done in a box. The lyrics are schoolboyish and silly and the whole thing is only worth turning into an ashtray. They were, and are, the most unpredictable of bands. At their best, they are tremendous, at their worst...well, this is a good example of that.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#12880)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Before I criticize, let me say that this is a timeless album by an incredible band- I have loved it for years and discover new things every time I listen. It places second in my favorite YES releases, right after "Close to the Edge", but has a more immediate and accessible sound, more comparable to "Fragile". I would not hesitate to give it the full five stars except for a few nagging thoughts that have developed after years of repeated listenings...for one thing, despite my respect for Steve Howe and the Leo Kottke- inspired "The Clap", I feel it sounds out of place here; although I can appreciate the song on its own terms, I find myself skipping it from time to time..."A Venture" also seems stylistically out-of-phase and strangely truncated; I have a feeling that with a different structure and arrangement it could have been a brooding "Heart of the Sunrise"- type classic but unfortunately sounds more than a little like a throwaway track between the incomparable "All Good People" and the grand, uplifting "Perpetual Change". Despite those flaws, this album remains one of my favorites and I would not hesitate recommending it to anyone- progressive rock fans or not.

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Send comments to James Lee (BETA) | Report this review (#12881)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gitch@neo.rr.
5 stars Being an "old timer"..that is, listening to rock since the sixties, I had to chime in on this album. "The Yes Album" in my opinion, is the best effort by this band. Many of you will cringe when I say this, but it is the best because Rick Wakeman has not arrived. He is, without a doubt, a keyboard "wizard", but I don't think he was a good fit with Yes. Just when they found their groove, so to speak, on this album, they jettisoned the keyboard player!...strange...By the way, after all these years, "The Yes Album" still ranks in my personal top ten of all time.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12827)
Posted Monday, June 07, 2004 | Review Permalink
Dick Heath
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Jazz-Rock Specialist
5 stars An album that has stood the test of time for me, and I bought the LP a few weeks after the original UK release date. But I waited until after I had seen, what turned out to be a great set by Yes at Kingston Poly (was Queen the support band - I can't remember??), before buying it. I had previously bought and particularly enjoyed large sections of 'Yes' and 'Time and Word' albums , which demonstrated rock virtuosity, without suggesting anything as powerful and original of what was to come as the third Yes album. Nevertheless, with other exciting new bands doing new things out there, I was having serious doubts as to whether to spend my hard earned and limited cash, on this unheard or rather go for some other band's album. That Kingston Poly show, more than hinted that there was something different awaiting on "The Yes Album" and Steve Howe was something else. As a reminder, this was the period when technoflash guitarists were greatly admired (e.g. 10 Years After's Alvin Lee), but clearly Howe had a very large bag of riffs with the occasional trick, and so didn't have to hide behind showmanship to entertain.

With hindsight, this is a recording of a band in transition, moving through a quantrum jump. And again with hindsight, now with access to Steve Howe's back catalogue, I've discovered some of the best riffs here were honed when Howe was part of the band Bodast* - but sounding so much better in Yes compositions/arrangements and played by Yes. And with Tony Kaye's R'n'B roots, he seems to prefer to play the minimum number of keys, there being some reluctance to play synths, so Howe doesn't have to compete that hard for the lead. (Check out the later released Kaye-lead 'One Live Badger' to hear an R'n'B based prog album and clearly what Kaye preferred to play). With the move of Kaye to Badger via Flash, and the arrival of music college-trained Wakeman from the Strawbs, to provide the rococo and virtuosity on keys, you get Yes broadening and deepening as musicians and composers - emerging more fully from the chrysalis as one of a handful of the major progressive rock bands.

And again hindsight: I'm left wondering what Yes would have sounded like if Robert Fripp had been persuaded to join them, instead of Howe.........

*Check out the info at http://www.cherryred.co.uk/rpm/rpm/stevehowe.htm

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Send comments to Dick Heath (BETA) | Report this review (#12828)
Posted Tuesday, June 08, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Starship Trooper, Yours is no Disgrace.....need I say more. The classic Yes sound really kicked in on this album and fortunately lasted for at least a decade. You can see why looking back at an album of this quality why the modern era is so lacking with high premium music. Sure there is plenty outthere but not consistently reproduced like it was back in the 70's. And to think also that albums were released every year. This album just shows what a bunch of geniuses these guys were and still are to produce such quality at such a young age. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#12829)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Brilliant, brilliant album. Yes make me proud to have grown up near them! "The Yes Album" saw Yes evolving from their rather patchy previous albums and setlling down to their unique progressive sound. This album is a real wonder as it follows its own concept. The albums from "Fragile" up to "Relayer" had similar concepts and progressive suites and sidelength tracks but "The Yes Album" is more original and spellbounding.

This album perhaps doesn't have as much vast exploration in sound and progression as the albums that would follow it but the songs here are gold. Perhaps the lyrics and musicianship are still evolving as they sound a bit toned down and simplistic compared to the epic "Close to the Edge".

"Yours Is No Disgrace" is a brilliant opening track. It is one of the easiest prog rock tracks to get into because the song isn't too overly produced. The lyrics are pretty simplistic (not their best lyrical work) and the cool bass and keyboards are pretty simplistic but they really manage to pull in the listener. This album doesn't seem 9 minutes as it moves pretty swiftly. I love the progressing guitar parts and the way Jon's voice seems to get better and better as it goes along.

"The Clap" is a dinky little tag along song. Even tho its a nice little acoustic piece it is the worst track on the album. However, its is silly, funny and entertaining! Why not add this song onto the album.

"Starship Trooper" is the first suite by yes and it is bloody amazing. This one is just as captivating as some of their 20 minute long songs but its probably good for beginners because it isn't as lengthy. Includes a great intro section which leads into impressive acoustic work. I love the outro with the trademark guitar solo's that weave in and out of the rest of the bands musical inputs.

"I've Seen All Good People" is another great effort from the lads. The vocal intro is very over the top but you shouldn't let it put you off because what lies after is pure gold. Includes a great acoustic background and it's nice to hear the recorder seeping through. This sound was definetly unique to this album as afterwards they explored much vaster musical paths. When the song progresses into a more rocking reprise of the intro the song shows a great balance from the mellow and emotional first part of the song that leads into the uplifting second half. Brilliant!

Apart from "The Clap", the shortest song on the album is "A Venture". This song is an excellent bouncy feast of vocal and piano work. This song has the most simplistic structure on the album as they are no vast progressive adventures. The "choruses" show brilliant vocal work and this couldn't be pulled off by anyone other than Jon Anderson.

The album closes with another 9 minute journey. "Perpetual Change" starts off with the perculiar keyboard and guitar jam that leads into a smooth and relaxing guitar solo. The song starts off quietly and gradually goes up and down to create suspense as the song builds up. Jon's "inside out, outside in" is just beautiful to hear. All the yes players do so well on this album and they succeed in making the album easy to get into before they went of exploring vast progressive songs on the following albums. This song progresses marvellously as Jon pours his heart out as he sings "whos sees perpetual change?".

The Yes Album is probably the most relaxed album and although the albums that followed this one are produced better and show much more experimentation and epic musicianship, the toned down, simplistic songs here are solid gold. This is one of the best Yes albums of all time, probably the first masterpiece they created which serves as a great starting point for newcomers. This was my first yes album i listened to and i have never put it down since. Another great thing to note is how the album starts off simply yet by the end of the record you are listening to much more complicated and directional music. A great way to lead into "Fragile". Yes never stopped progressing, which is why they are probably the best band in the field. Top stuff.

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Send comments to frenchie (BETA) | Report this review (#12832)
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars YES`s first full Progressive album. I prefer this album more than "Fragile". Steve Howe`s guitars are very good in this album, but I also find some similarities in his style with Peter Banks`s style. So, the change of guitarist wasn`t too "drastic" for the sound of YES as a band. Howe maybe has more "speed" in his fingers to play solos and complicated chords, but his style fits with the previous sound of the band. But Howe was also a composer, or at least his musical ideas were more appreciated than Banks`s musical contributions (Banks in the notes in the booklet for the album of YES`s BBC recordings called "Something`s coming", said that he never had a songwriting credit in YES despite he contributed to some songs). Howe`s sound is more "dynamic", and in this album YES gained a lot with him. "Yours is no disgrace" is a clear example of Howe`s "dynamic" guitars, with also the first appearance of a moog synthesizer in a YES album, played very good and simply by Tony Kaye, who have said in interviews that he wasn`t very interested in these new instruments, so he didn`t stay with YES for more time than the tour for this album. Rick Wakeman appeared, and as Wakeman was more interested in mellotrons and synthesizers, which was what YES wanted, Kaye had to left YES. "Clap" is an energetic acoustic guitar piece recorded live at the Lyceum in London. It seems that YES wanted to say to their fans "listen to our new guitarist!". "Starship Trooper" is one of my favourite songs from YES. Howe shows his mastery of several styles of playing, with a very "country & western" style for the "Disillusion" part of this song ("Disillusion" was previously a part of a song called "For Everyone", played live with Peter Banks and available in the "Something`s Coming" C.D.; both guitarists played this part in a very different way). Kaye plays his usual organ and a bit of moog. Squire plays an almost bass solo in "Würm", until Howe`s guitars play several solo parts until the end of the song. "I`ve seen all good people" includes a vachalia played by Howe, and recorders played by Colin Goldring (which were played in concerts using a mellotron or other keyboards), with very good vocals by Anderson, Squire and Howe, and effective piano and organ by Kaye, plus percussion and drums by Bruford (with maybe Anderson on percussion too, as he is credited in the back cover). "A venture" shows one of the few times that Tony Kaye used the piano as the main keyboard in YES, and he shows in this song that he is a very good piano player too. "Perpetual Change" has some experiments made with musical time signatures, and the use of recording the band twice playing two different sections at the same time. Kaye also used the moog in this song. YES also had fun with the mixing of this album in Stereo, with constant changes of the instruments in the channels. "The YES album" is a very good album, with a lot of experiments and creativity, and very good arrangements.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#12849)
Posted Monday, September 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
penguindf12
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album has definitely grown on me with time.

Initially I thought it was too raw and too lacking in Wakeman keyboard theatrics. These factors, now, seem to be advantages. The "raw" feel makes the songs seem more honest; Kaye's organ simply GRINDS, proving that many times "less" is more.

"Yours is No Disgrace" is something of an anthem to me. The bass guitar riff seems to speak of such affirmation, well, just look at the band's name. The song isn't as classically-inflected as later Wakeman works, but the jazzy feel that pervades is a wonderful alternative.

"Clap" is a wonderful Howe guitar-picking instrumental, taken from a live tape. Impressive, to say the least, and good fun.

"Starship Trooper" is another 5-star work and personal anthem. I get chills at the final instrumental buildup - simply transcendental, as are all great Yes songs.

"I've Seen All Good People" achieves similar heights, but with more modest means and a more folk/pop-rooted construction. I've yelled this one at the top of my lungs while driving, a self-conscious anthem for the redemption of everyone, or something similar. In any case, it gets rockin' at the end.

I like "A Venture," but it is, sadly, rather lackluster. I hate to admit this.

"Perpetual Change" doesn't quite make it for me - it has very cool parts, like the hard-panned 7/4 instrumental midsection, but it comes out to be somehow less that the sum of said parts.

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Send comments to penguindf12 (BETA) | Report this review (#12851)
Posted Friday, October 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My introduction to the wonderful world that is Yes, and it couldn't have been a better one. It's always good to start off with a band with one of their best album, but not their absolute best (Close to the edge in this case) as it happens some times that after having listen to THE GREATEST album of a band the rest seems like a bit of a step down. Luckily Yes made so many excellent albums between 1971 and 1977 that this is not likely to happen, even if you start off with Close to the edge, yet it's nice to know that there is something even "better" waiting for you in a bands catalog.

"The Yes album" may not be as colossal as "Close to the edge", "Tales..." or "Relayer" and yes, Tony Kaye obviously is not Rick Wakeman, but I still like it , and a lot. And why is that? First of all, this record really shacked me the first time I heard it, more than any other Yes album. Second, songs like "Yours is no disgrace", "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual change" would be the foundations of what Yes would be later on, so there is a certain "historic" feel to it that makes it extra good for the fans, and third.Steve Howe. I mean, this guy always plays some awesome stuff, but he really owns this album, rarely has a band improved that much with the arrival of a new member. very rarely. A classic!!!

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#12853)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
tswistchew@bl
5 stars What can one say about yes they are a truly phenomenal band whose music spans the decades as a beacon to all who love rock music.i first heard yes in 1982 when i went to see them play in the usher hall in lothian road and was wowed by the vocals of jon anderson and the music of the band.the song perpetual change i can say was a greatly imprinted song in my heart and the music of yes is inspirational to any who listen with an open mind.the clap was one of the greatest acoustic guitar solos i have ever heard and i love the yes band their music comes from the heart and reaches the heart of the listener. Go listen to yes trevor swistchew vocals and rythm guitar raw power scotland tswistchew@blueyonder.co.uk

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12856)
Posted Monday, November 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
alonso0440@la
4 stars This is the first album of Yes i bought, and i think, was the first one that were recorded with Steve Howe on guitars. Well, this is the type of album that can make you a prog rock fan, because it's a great mixture of virtuosism and excitement and not just one song but the whole album! The begining couldn't be better, ¨Yours is no disgrace¨ is a masterpiece with fantastic acoustic guitar arrengements in the middle, few tempo changes that althought gives a fluid musical concept to the listener- The song moves like a circle, no matter how complex it would be it always ended the same way it started- and mind blowing solos that last exactly the time they have to last. The acoustic ¨The Clap¨ is a great instrumental piece but there are two songs that I particularly like: ¨Starship Trooper¨ which is an outstanding number, with this space atmosphere crossing all the song- in a subtle way- and one of the finest solos I ever heard in a Yes album, and ¨Perpetual Change¨ that has this rare arrengement of keyboards playing one tempo and drums playing another, but oddly enough it works. The rest of the album is not bad either but, if I have to choose a masterpiece of this band I will go with ¨Close To the Edge¨.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12859)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars By the time 1971 first rolled around, Yes had released two albums - Their self-titled 1969 debut, and their 1970 sophomore effort Time And A Word. Although the two albums were great, they also showed that the band hadn't truly found a sound yet. Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and all the others had serious potential, but hadn't yet discovered the best way to use it. But in 1971, the band received a new member who would prove to be vital to the band's success - guitarist Steve Howe. With the arrival of the new guitarist, the band recorded and released their third album 1971's The Yes Album. Steve Howe proved almost instantly that he was a guitar genius, and the guitarist that would take the band to new heights (not to say his predecessor was bad, though.) I've Seen All Good People, one of the band's biggest hits, comes from this album. The song is mostly a melodic piece, but it features a straight-up classic rock outro that is priceless. And it, of course, is not the only worthwhile song on this album. Every song that is featured here is excellent in its own way - no two songs sound alike. Interestingly, one of the songs featured on the album, Clap, is a live version (the band put the live version on the album because they felt it was superior to the studio version they had recorded.) In the end, The Yes Album is one of the progressive rock act's finest hours. Though I did give it a 3 (good, but not-essential) I feel that all yes fans should have this album.

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Send comments to asuma (BETA) | Report this review (#12860)
Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
davidlevinson
4 stars THE YES ALBUM. This is pretty much where it all began. Right from the openiing riffs of 'Yours Is No Disgrace" to the closing of Perpetual Change. Although it does not have the YES aspects of Fragile and later albums, this is a start. The Mystical Lyrics Of Jon Anderson, the classical guitar playing of Steve Howe, and the powerful vocal harmonies. Now, usually people prefer original personel than their replacements, but the Steve Howe replacement of Peter Banks is a major exception. Howe is more talented and has more style than Banks so this album is defintiley the one that put them on the map. It would take 1 more album to complete the Yes picture!!! "The Yes Album" Is pretty much where it all began...

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12863)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is without doubt the finest prog album ever, a defining moment. I never fail to be uplifted by the quality of the musicianship, the dense lyrics and soundscapes created by this incredible group of musicians.

Who cares if Jon is away on his own planet, I wouldn't mind joining him there, a sight better than this world. Lancashires' finest son.

The Yes Album sounds as fresh today as it did 30 odd years ago and turned a generation of rock fans into progs. My only regret is not seeing them live in the early 70's.

Having listened to some of their more recent material,( Yesstudio in particular) the quality is still there. Class is permanent. Steve Howes' acoustic work is awesome.

I could go on, if the kids of today only knew what they are missing!

Long may Yes reign.

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Send comments to Redcat (BETA) | Report this review (#12866)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Yes Album" was released in March 1971. It was a major leap from Yes' two first albums as it featured Steve Howe, replacing original guitarist Peter Banks. The songs here are generally longer and more epic. Notably "Starship Trooper" is a standout as well as Yes' first "suite" divided in three parts and clocking in at more than 9 minutes. The guitar solo at the end is a classic Progressive Rock moment if you ask me. The shorter tracks, "Clap" and "A Venture" is both good and pretty underrated. While not really up to pair with the rest of the album, they surely are both very intersting tracks.

The mood on this album is kinda dark, In my opinion. Maybe it's the green and creepy band-picture cover that affect the music for me, but it doesn't make the album weaker. This is a very good Yes album, their first "real" Yes album too. While I like "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" better, this one is not to be missed in any prog fans collection. Highly recommended! 4/5

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#12868)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars I don't usually review Yes releases because as much as I love their early albums I dislike Jon Anderson's voice but even then I must admit that without him Yes wouldn't be the same. Drama for example is a great album but I can't get used to Trevor Horn's vocals even when I believe has a much better voice

But the problem with Yes Album is double, because I believe this release contains the best songs ever recorded by the band, but the sound absolutely lacks of energy and strength, as if this tracks were created to be listened in live albums.

I'm not going to talk about all songs because there are all well known and with more than 30 reviews there's not too much more to talk about, except for two which are specially important for me.

The opener Yours is no Disgrace is my all time favorite Yes song I almost when crazy in 1999 when had the chance to listen this track in my country, absolutely perfect changes with an outstanding guitar work by master Steve Howe and incredibly Jon's voice sounds better than ever, still I like more the Yessongs version.

The other track I'm talking about is I've Seen all Good People, which is also an excellent song that combines the calm mood of Your Move with the energy and power of All Good people, but the question I will always ask is why did they recorded this song with that annoying blank space in the middle?

In my opinion the beauty of this song relies in the contrast between the two parts of the song and in Yessongs this abrupt change is perfectly managed with a short drum section that joins the two parts and gives an starting impulse to All Good People, in Yes Album this track doesn't have that dramatic and looses that blank space always leaves me thinking something important is missing.

All the other songs are also essential to any Yes fan, so there's nothing bad I can say about the musical quality and the only reason why I don't rate it with 5 stars is because the terrible production and the weak sound.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#12869)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars If there is one album that clearly defined Yes as band that could become an all around progressive rock/pop band between albums, The Yes Album is the one that history points to as their crossover breakthrough. The most important factor that made this change happen was the exit of Peter Banks (not to say that Banks was not a fine guitarist) and the entry of Steve Howe as the band's lead guitarist, Howe being a versatile, do-it-all kind of player that could change direction at the drop of a hat. This kind of flexibility is what the band needed to move on to a more mainstream level. Although their music was not intent on becoming top-forty oriented, it happened regardless. The reach to their audience was now moving to the next level and garnering a lot of attention with a string of charting singles, regardless of their status and unique approach to rock music.

"Yours Is No Disgrace," "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" found a wider audience because of the catchy rhythms and the choruses of Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, backed by the oomph of pinpoint guitar chords from Howe and the sweeping and driving keyboard passages of Tony Kaye. All of those songs have stood the test of time and receive regular airplay to this day. With a newly packaged set as this, the remastered sound brings new sparkle and life to classic prog-rock-pop diamonds that shine ever so brightly all over again, awaiting another generation of audiences to unearth.

This was the first commercially successful album for Yes and there would be many more. For their sake, it was a good thing the changes were set in motion. As history shows, now with their massively successful catalog of recordings, it would turn their career around forever. Three solid bonus tracks are included with informative liner notes to make the package a complete treasure.

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Send comments to Muzikman (BETA) | Report this review (#12871)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An album that absolutely stands the test of time, more so than several Progressive Rock classics of the 1970s in my opinion. I liked this album then and find that I like it even more now. It's something that I can easily listen to at any time.

The cheap cover art (I know, let's get a polystyrene window-dummy head, suspend it from the ceiling using a nylon line and take a photo of the band standing behind it looking po-faced like zombies) belies the music, which is top quality progressive rock without sounding too pretentious, at least to my ears. By the way, Tony Kaye does a great job on keyboards.

I'm a sucker for melody and a good tune, and this album supplies these in abundance, but without sounding at all lightweight or twee. Unlike on later albums, not all the lyrics are totally abstract. Again Jon Anderson's voice and the lyrics themselves add another, pleasant, hue to the picture.

I enjoy all the tracks and I can't pick a favourite. I do think 'Your Move', the first part of 'I've Seen All Good People', is clever: the music really is evocative of the mathematic precision of a chess game. Great stuff.

I'll settle for four stars (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection) as I think the band had even better to come. This is a real classic, though, and a worthwhile investment for any Progressive Rock fan. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#12873)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A great album, and the beginning of an era. The Yes Album sees the introduction of Steve Howe to the band, Peter Banks was adequate, and quite good, but this line-up change turned out to be a turning point in progressive rock history. Howe gave a complete new face to the sound of Yes, providing more complex and technicallity to the sound. Songwriting and arranging have improved, and the production is far superior compared to their earlier recordings. (compared to their later work it is still a bit lacking though).

Steve's guitar is prominent throughout the album, with a lot of soloing, with accoustic and electric guitars. Of course Chris's basslines are again powerfull, and provides a great solid rock foundation to the music. Bill's drumming can't be faulted, soft and delicate where required, and upfront and loud when needed. Tony Kaye gives his best performance to date, with some rock and roll rhythmics in the piano parts, this is his last album with Yes, until 90125. Singing is good too.

1. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:36) Yes collectively build a complex texture, using quite simple melodie lines, for each individual instrument, a very rhythmic sonic experience. Great song and a brilliant opener. 2. The Clap (3:07) Fabulous accoustic guitar solo from Steve (the title does not refer to a venereal disease BTW), great fun. 3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion/Würm (9:23) Great great song, fabulous bassplay, rhytmic guitar and drums build up the first part of the song, with a spacier melodic midsection and finally Würm, the most hypnotising repetetive guitar parts, slowely building up, towards a more heavy energetic rock, without really changing much in the notes/chords being played, but the intensity of the arrangement changes, almost fluidic.

4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All... (6:47) A soft magical melodic opening, with Jon's vocal central and some fine melodic keyboards (flute-like), turning into a Rock & Roll song. Great well-known song. 5. A Venture (3:13) Great melodic short song, with great piano, I like this song very much, great fun. 6. Perpetual Change (8:50) Heavy symphonic piece, with intricate guitarplay, great basslines, alternating soft atmospherics, with more heavy pieces. A great song.

The Yes Album is a definitive must have for all proggresive rockers, if alone because of the brilliant Starship Trooper. All songs are greatly composed, and the album has a consistent sound throughout. This is the transition album, changing from the more psychedelic- symphonic rock of their first two albums to the more epic phase that started with this album.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Send comments to tuxon (BETA) | Report this review (#12898)
Posted Tuesday, March 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars So tasty! What a huge step forward from the first two albums (which were good in their own right); Steve Howe apparently was the last piece of the puzzle that made this group into what it perhaps THE definitive progressive rock band (which would just be further strengthened a year later with Rick Wakeman). I'm a little too young to have actually experienced this, but imagine this scenario: You are a fan of Yes from the first two albums, and you are disappointed to hear that Peter Banks has left the band. So you buy this album not really knowing what to expect from the new, relatively unknown guitarist. You slap the record onto the turntable, and sit down. The first track you hear is Yours Is No Disgrace and you are blown away by these wild, intricate jazz & boogie guitar lines being thrown all over the place. Wow, what an experience that must have been! And then after that you get Clap (NOT intended to be called "The Clap", as Steve now laments). And then comes Starship Trooper, and then...well, you get the picture: every track is a classic, apart from perhaps A Venture. More than just a great starting point for new Yes fans, I feel this would be the best album ever produced to try to convert someone who had never heard prog into a fan. Absolutely essential.

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Send comments to Ben2112 (BETA) | Report this review (#12897)
Posted Wednesday, March 02, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes has revealed their third album to the world. I like this one a lot. Now a more Symphonic appearance but still bluesy in places (I like that). When I first heard 'Yours Is No Disgrace' I thought wow and another favourite track 'All Good People/Your Move' is also a great track to listen to. Steve Howe's First album with the group. 'Clap' is is first solo with Yes. There are plenty of great tracks on this album. A Even Bigger Improvement from the last two albums. Sadly it would be the last album to feature Tony Kaye as he leaves to do other projects. RECOMMENDED.

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Send comments to PROGMAN (BETA) | Report this review (#12903)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album introduced first real progressive elements to the band's music, and mini epics "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" are real gems in their repertoire. STEVE HOWE has also now joined the band, and his solo live number demonstrates his playing abilities (which are wonderful). "I've Seen All Good People" is then almost a gospel song, with imaginative grooves. Recommendable album!

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#12904)
Posted Friday, April 01, 2005 | Review Permalink
hoggstar@hotm
5 stars Undoubtedly the greatest Yes album made. It is not only what put them on the map but also has 3 of the best songs ever written on it. It has a range of great tracks and anyone who doesn't have this album in their collection should try to find immediately

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#12906)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Yes at their very best. There are several classics here (Starship Trooper, Perpetual Change, Yours Is No Disgrace) and the songs are far less complicated and pretentious as some later offerings. There are no fillers or duff tracks at all; every one is worthy. Tony Kaye was a fine KB player - not as technical or (over?)adventurous as Wakeman but he gels better with the band and his interplays with Howe are superb. The lyrics are a bit meaningless (or absurd) in parts ("Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are" - what?) but Anderson's superb voice often acts more like another instrument and profound lyrics are often not a feature of prog! Chris Squire gives a lesson in how to drive a band along in melodic style and Bruford's drumming is always excellent. They were a bit "heavier" in those days and it benefits the music. A must have album!

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Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
pyciu@hoga.pl
5 stars One of my favourite from their collection.The last album they recorded before Rick Wakeman came. "The Yes album" is the reason I fell in love with Steve Howe's music, and he became on of my favourite guitarist He's great, and every song on that LP proves that. Each of six tracks is beautiful. You probably can't expect any album to start with such a killer like "Your Is No Disgrace", which is a masterpiece and a Yes classic theme. An incredible album from band that proved on their later releases they can be even better. What more can I say. Five stars - no doubt.

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Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Philo
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars It's conclusive. Yes are a band that I can never fully warm to or accept completely without prejudice. Prejudice toward singer Jon Anderson or simply annoyed that the rest of the band leave him far too much space for Anderson to exploit. After going through a handful of Yes albums covering their different eras from Fragile, which I find to be a stunning effort, to their eighties sounding but for me failing Big Generator I finally picked up The Yes Album in a hope that it might offer some respite. But again the music to me is standoffish and more or less completely inaccessible, no, that might well be the wrong word but I'm unsure what word would suffice to be honest. I find it hard to get into Yes without be offended by or again simply annoyed by the mundane pseudo intellectual nature of some of the pieces. Were they trying too hard? I cannot say. I was simply a spectator while this was going on and could not see a time when I could interact with the music on The Yes Album. It is never that this is a bad album, nor equally the case a good album but as I listened it stayed stagnant and static as I lacked any emotion, yet I was not having an off day, it simply failed to make any impact or grab me with an urgency. At times there were gaping holes in the songs which I found terribly frustrating, this album has been well written about and all I can say is that if The Yes Album is a prog fans delight then I for one will never be fully accepted as a prog music fan though I do like progressive music, but hopefully not so much as to pigeon hole myself. But hey, I'm completely happy with this so its not all bad.

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Posted Thursday, April 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Yanns
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Rewritten review number 5.

I had originally given this album 5 stars. I got to thinking from this. I recognize that Close to the Edge is a 5-star masterpiece album. And I didn't know if I could consider this album a masterpiece. It's a tough word. The Yes Album is one of the most fantastic recordings for a band as young and as changing as Yes. This was Steve Howe's debut with Yes, and the first album before Rick Wakeman showed up. Whereas Fragile and CTTE are masterpieces, The Yes Album, methinks, doesn't fully reach that status. It kills me. It really does. I felt the same was about King Crimson's Lizard and Lark's Tongues, but this one hurts more. It's probably a 4.5 star album. But I don't round up. If it isn't five stars, it isn't five stars.

Anywho...

Yours Is No Disgrace: Yes discovers who they are. Right from the opening, it pulls you in, and then Kaye's keyboards layer over it. It builds and builds, with Jon's voice laying it on top. It, like all 8+ minute Yes songs, changes a great deal. This song, as well as three other songs on this album, could also be considered an epic. The second best song on the album.

Clap: This is a fun little Howe song, recorded live. While nice and fun, I much prefer Mood For A Day. Clap is simply a happy little ditty, but it can't compare to the atmosphere of Mood For A Day. Nonetheless, it's a fine little song, it makes me happy when I hear it.

Starship Trooper: The best song on the album. Fom the opening "Life Seeker" section to "Wurm", it's perfection in music form. Actually, "Wurm" is my favorite closing section to a song. Howe proves his songwriting skills here. The simple guitar riff is great enough, but Bruford's drums join in, and it goes and goes and goes. It is a song that's impossible to describe. Disillusionment, in the middle, picks up the pace acoustically, also.

I've Seen All Good People: As some call it, it's the mini-epic. Short (compared to some other songs), but doesn't let down. It's one of the only songs by Yes that you'll hear on the radio, but don't let that phase you. It's still a prog song. It isn't just some commercial song.

A Venture: Nice little song. However, it doesn't match up to Long Distance Runaround/The Fish. The bass here is especially nice, though, and Jon's voice, as always, is almost Heavenly. I wonder, a lot of the time, if his voice was the best in prog. I tend to think that it was.

Perpetual Change: The third best song here. Also very good live... Anywho, it does show the band playing in top form. The crazy 7/8 riff throughout the song helps it along, and the climax when it fades back into the beginning verse is fantastic. Good close to the album.

If you're a Yes fan, then you already have this. If you do not, I can't tell you to go get it, I can only say "What's wrong with you?" If you want to get into Yes, I think you should start with the main lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, and Bruford before you go into pre-Wakeman and post-Yessongs/Bruford. But, it's a classic, classic album and deserves its spot among your collection. Highly recommended. 4.5/5.

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Posted Thursday, April 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
jebarrie75@ho
5 stars This is without a doubt the greatest Yes record ever made. Before Jon Anderson lost the plot near the end of the 70´s, before John Squire wore those horrible tights in the 90125 tour, Yes was a truly kick-ass rock band. Steve Howe´s influence on the band is undeniable and he shines throughout this record. Everything clicks on this one. This is the sound of top-class musicians finally finding their way, and what a ride it is. "Starship Trooper" and "Yours is No Disgrace" are bonafide galactic rock classics, "A venture" is a jazzy pop gem, "Seen All Good People" is a Yes live staple and an FM regular; but the real climax of the record is "Perpetual Change", a perfect balance of melodic hooks and epic mucisianship. "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" are generally considered the best of the Yes back-catalogue, and these are certainly works to be reckoned with. However, "The Yes Album", with its cool and mysterious pre-Roger Dean cover, is less fragmented, more direct, more urgent than those two other classics, and in my humble opinion, the definitive Yes album.

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Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
theinfiltrate
5 stars One of my favourite Yes' albums. There isn't enough diversity or creativity here, but it's still great. Steve Howe gets into the band and he gets a chance to shine on "Clap", a pretty acoustic track. The best stuff is on the longer tracks, just some silly pop songs with various parts. The best one is "Starship Trooper", who has some interesting moments at first (with nice melodies and acoustic guitars) and a great coda. But "Yours Is No Disgrace" is also an entertaining piece with a nice riff, while "I've Seen All Good People" is the catchiest of them all, especially in the second part. "Perpetual Change" is more of the same, but this one gets overlooked, and I think it's almost as good as the others. The weakest song here (and the most "different" one) is "A Venture", which is nice anyway.

The only problem is that it sounds too monotonous, since the 4 main songs are really simmilar. For a while I thought this one was their best effort but "Fragile"'s longer songs beats this ones.

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Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
r.constant@cl
4 stars Yes, what a wonderful name to a band, as many in those times, and to say about those times is funny as a lot of people enjoy new prog, some of these bands are not really progressive but heavy or experimental hard rock, but, that's a matter of taste. From the energetic classic introduction of the first song (Yours is no Disgrace), in my opinion the best of the record and one of their best songs, to me, "The Yes Album" and "Close to the Edge" are their best; this song is very. upbeat, very happy. The Clap, acoustic piece played alive where Steve Howe show his super powers. Starship Trooper, a song many people seems to like, another thriller introduction to a thriller song, I've seen all good people another good song, bit repetitive in the end, . here Yes left the proto prog of "Time and a Word" to an excellent record where ALL the musicians sounds awesome, included Tony Kaye.

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Posted Tuesday, June 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
FishyMonkey
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I like Fragile and CTTE more.

While CTTE managed to create three long songs that aren't boring, the htree long songs on The YES Album aren't quite up to par. For example, the first three minutes of Starship Trooper is nothing but the same melody. It picks up considerably after that and is a rather great song, but the beginning is dull. Yours Is No Disgrace suffers from the same thing as Starship Trooper -- boring parts, then awesome parts randomly scattered throughout. For example, Yours Is No Disgrace has an awesome guitar feature about halfway through the song, but the beginning is a little dull, and the melody gets a little repetative.

The shorter songs are actual quite good, though. I've Seen All Good People is a great song, catchy, musical, technical, and fun to listen to, comparable to Siberian Khatru. Clap is probably the greatest acoustic solo ever written, no doubt. The musicianship is amazing, and the whole song is highly entertaining. However, A Venture is just average and Perpetual Change is about on the same level as Starship Trooper and Yours Is No Disgrace: some amazing moments, some...pretty damn awful ones. Overall the album is good, but not awesome. Sorry. Get Fragile, CTTE and Relayer instead.

3.9/5

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Posted Wednesday, June 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
ezcarmona@yah
5 stars For me, this is the beginning of the real YES as a prog group, it is excellent, this album was the first one hat i heard because in Peru never this album (noone until 90025) was edited, and YES music for me were all different than i 've heard before, since then, i became a number fan here in Peru, brillliants guitar riff from Steve Howe, a melodic voice of Jon Anderson captured me, including that classic begginning of Yours is no Disgrace (TA TA TA TA, TA TA TA TA, TA TA TA TA TA TA,TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA) (like BONANZA), never in my life I will forget that album that changed my musical life an become a prog music fan since I 've heard that album, beutiful melodies like Starship Troopers, you can imagine flying for space withouth limits, continuing with I've seen all good people, remind Beatles Harmonies, in short for me since Yes Album, Yes became THE REAL YES

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Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Philrod
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The first classical Yes. It helped build the sound for the next albums. From the first note of ''Yours is no Disgrace'', you know you now deal with a new Yes. The arrival of Steve Howe in the band marked a change in the artistical point of view and in the turning of the music, as the previous guitarist war more jazzy and less technical. The musicianship is absolutely incerdible all around, from Squire's basslines to Tony kaye's great work. The themes of sci-fi arrived, the first charting success, ''Your move'', brought attention to the group. Not a band song on the album, and the are almost all highlights. As there is not much that has not been said earlier, let the music speaks for itself. A strong 4.5/5.

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Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
NetsNJFan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Rating: 5 / 5

Coming in 1971, THE YES ALBUM was the first truly progressive work from the archetypal Prog band, Yes. This is also one of their most creative albums, and one of their most fun to listen to. At this time, Yes was comprised of founders Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (Bass), Bill Bruford (Drums), and Tony Kaye (keyboards). Steve Howe had just joined the group, replacing Peter Banks on guitar. THE YES ALBUM is a huge progression over the pop-rock of Yes's previous albums, and is their first release featuring their famous extended tracks. This is also the album when vocalist Jon Anderson abandoned writing real lyrics, and began writing spacey, spiritual, indecipherable lyrics.

THE YES ALBUM opens with one of Yes's strongest works ever. Your's is No Disgrace has all of the characteristics of the Yes Sound. It begins with Steve Howe laying down a basic melody, along with Bill Bruford's superb drum work. Chris Squire's distinctive picked bass comes in, weaving itself perfectly into the song. Then Tony Kaye's trademark organ comes in, giving the song incredible richness. Overall, this is an incredible track. Its only flaw is the pointless, repetitive lyrics. One can overlook this, as they are sung beautifully by soprano Jon Anderson. His vocals are the touch needed to send Yes's music into orbit. The next track, The Clap, is a very simple, and enjoyable Steve Howe acoustic guitar solo, recorded live. This song allows Yes to showcase it's new prodigal guitarist. Side one closes with another Yes classic, Starship Trooper. it is named after a Heinlein science-fiction novel, and asserts Yes's place in the new 'space rock' genre. This piece closes (the third section, Wurm), with an amazing guitar workout by Steve Howe.

Side Two begins with Yes's first trans-Atlantic hit, I've Seen All Good People. This song reached the top 40 on the US charts, and gave Yes the foothold they needed for their breakout album, FRAGILE, in 1972. This is a great track. The first part describes a chess game, and is the gentlest piece on the album. It is greatly improved with the recorder accompaniment. The second part of this track, I've Seen All Good People, is an abrupt rock change over the Your Move, and is good, but goes on just a little to long. A Venture is a simplistic track, and would easily fit on one of Yes's previous albums. It is a good song though, and gives nice balance to the album when juxtaposed with the longer, more epic track. THE YES ALBUM closes with Perpetual Change, a strong piece with excellent performances with all involved. It can be found live on YESSONGS (1973), where it is given even greater ferocity.

THE YES ALBUM is the first album where we hear the traditional Yes sound, and paves the way for their masterpieces, like CLOSE TO THE EDGE (1972). One reviewer says Yes does not write songs, they paint sonic murals. This album is the beginning of this, as Yes abandons conventional song formats. Steve Howe's guitar is the dominant instrument here. This trend would change with the arrival of keyboardist Rick Wakeman in 1972, after the departure of Tony Kaye. A very solid album - the first Yes essential: Five Stars

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Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
ttaylor102003
5 stars This is the first Yes album I bought. It is truly great. WHile all the songs are good, parts of them just are a little bit 'meh' for me. It starts off with a great rocker, Yours is No Disgrace, which features many style changes throughout, from rocking, to slow, to bluesy, etc. etc. Then comes the Clap, a great acoustic instrumental in which STeve Howe really shines. Starship Trooper is the best song on here. Great riffs, great melodicicity, excellent lyrics, and the outro and the solo (wurm) are truly great. The second half opens with Your Move, the better half of I've seen all good people. Nice acoustic guitar, great 'chess' lyrics (of course its all symbolic). The second half, All Good People, is not as good, because its just straight rock'n'roll, and Yes is not too good at just pure rocking. A Venture is an underrated little gem, with a great story, and some great piano work by Tony Kaye. Then the album closes with Perpetual Change, a rocker, with its ups and downs. I don't know why, the verse just does not do much for me here. But anyway, this album has good and almost no bad. A true prog rock masterpiece. Highlights: Yours is no Disgrace, Starship Trooper, Your Move, A Venture.

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Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars To me this is one of the three best albums that Yes has, with Close To The Edge and Fragile the other two(that is saying alot). In no way can this album be overated. It has great songs that show each of the mucisians skills very well. Yours Is No Disgrace is a great song to start an album that in no way is to long. Clap is great and just shows how well Howe can play the guitar. Starship Trooper is one of my all time favorite songs and the build up in wurm to the guitar gets to me every time. I've Seen All Good People, A Venture and Perpetual Change are also Great songs. This album really started to show that Yes is one of the greatest Prog. Rock bands.

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Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
sj_digriz@msn
5 stars I find it interesting that Speakerfish in the previous review hit on something that I always liked about this Album. It sounds raw, yet warm and personal. It almost seems like a live recording even though some of the dub edits are clearly audible. This is my 2nd favorite album by Yes after Going for the One. Yours Is No Disgrace is an amazing song. I have seen some reviews that discount A Venture, but I even like that as much or better than perpetual change. It's one of the few songs where Jon Andersons lyrics are almost in regular story mode instead of the usual abstract mysticism.

I decided to review this after listening to the actual record this weekend when a friend came over and said he hadn't heard anything other than All Good People. That song is so over-played that even I am tired of it. But, the rest of record still holds my attention completely.

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Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
slack4justice
4 stars Yes recruited Steve Howe after the departure of Peter Banks, and dropped the orchestra and took the new album into their own direction. This album is an evolution in many ways from the last one. The best of this album was the best of Yes to date.

"YOURS IS NO DISGRACE" starting off this album is amazing because it is definitely their best song to date, improving on even their best output so far, like Then and Everydays. It's also their longest song, structurally it's well put together and the dynamics and melodies have never worked so good together in a Yes song. "THE CLAP" makes the listener fully aware that they have a phenomenal guitarist in Steve Howe. Recruiting him was inergral in their new sound, and The Clap is an amazing acoustic solo, showing him off quite well. Howe's dexterity and his improvisational skills along with his compositional skills, and even along with his soloing skills are simply unmatched in my opinion. There can be weirder players than him, faster players than him, but no one can put together something as captivating as a Howe solo like The Clap. "STARSHIP TROOPER" is Yes' first multi-part song, containing yet again, fantastic playing by Steve Howe, and the good old heavy end of Squire's bass. The 3 parts of this song meld together beautifully. When Disillusion starts, prepare to hear an awesome acoustic part by Howe, remeniscent of a bluegrass banjo player, and then seguing off into the atmospheric Wurm. What a great song! "I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE" is probably the weakest track on the album actually, no matter it's commercial success, it's still a good song, but it's the least dynamic and most repetitive. "THE VENTURE" is a really cool track instrumentally, great melody, they've really found that great sense of melody. "PERPETUAL CHANGE" is another long song, closing off the album on a decent note, there are a lot of good parts in the song, but for the most part, it's a drag-on.

A step-up in a lot of ways from Time And A Word, but not as consistent in quality, and doesn't prove to be a complete experience as an album. Yes would take their best elements from this album and throw them at you soon enough.

Best songs: Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper

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Posted Sunday, July 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
squidy@hotmai
5 stars Uh.... Were to begin, 24 carrot Gold for 95% of this album, with a few tiny lapses. These are easily forgotton however, as this album stands as one of the finest moments in prog hisory. BRAVO YES!

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Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 4.6 Stars

This is my first yes album I heard, and it stands as my 3rd favorite of the yes discography. And it is definitely a masterpiece for sounding so great, so progressive, so complex, and yet ... so accessible!

Yours is no Disgrace 9.5/10 : This is an amazing opener, that should attract any curious listener. It has great hard rock riffs, good bass riffing accompanied with a beautiful melody (with terrible nonsensical lyrics), and a middle section that contains some of the best guitar solos of Steve Howe, and a great ascending organ riff. This song may feel a little long, but it is too good that it doesn't decrease the value of the song.

The Clap 7/10 : just a great acoustic guitar short piece but it feels very out of place here.

Starship Trooper 10/10 (masterpiece) : This is my favorite track from the album and one of my favorite tracks from Yes. IT has a great electric 'spacey' guitar sound in it, great melodies, an acoustic great jam, a harmony of voices after it containing also a great descending guitar riff .. until it hits the coda of a repetitive guitar riff with a great pedal used which starts growing until it explodes in a guitar solo duet.

I've seen all Good people : 7/10 : the weakest song of the album. It starts promising with a brilliant pop melody, and if the second section had ben cut, it would have gotten a 9/10. But while it draws me in after the diiddit diddit amazing chorus with a church organ riff, I think the best is yet to come .. but no ... I hear a repetetitive rock&roll jam that seems to never stop!

The venture 8/10 : it is a very enjoyable short track in which tony kate shines with the piano. the lyrics are good this time, the guitar is simple yet effective and jazzy. This song sounds like a song that was rejected from the first album.

Perpetual Change 8.5/10 : What a great finale! ... while the first minutes are not very interesting, it later contains a jazz guitar solo, and a completely original section in which all instruments play the same riff until a second guitar comes and plays a strange solo.

This should be the perfect album to show anyone who is interested in progressive rock. It is accessible yet very proggy.

My Grade : A-

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Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With this third album, the band really took their music off!!! Yeah .. It was a major and significant progress by Yes as this album embarked to the new music direction of Yes music by putting their arrangements into more rocking and more complex sounds. You bet! It's probably attributable to the fact that the band had new guitar player Steve Howe. The opening track "Yours is No Disgrace" has been a legendary track that has always been played by the band in most of their concerts. "The Clap" gave a full chance of the new brilliant guitarist Steve Howe to perform his virtuosity with the acoustic guitar. "Starship Trooper" is another favorite track. Not even with the band, Rick Wakeman - the band's next keyboard player - has also liked this track especially when he performed his solo concert. He was not here yet at the time of this album. "I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All... ", as you know, it's a legendary track that has been very often played live. "A Venture" is another great happy track. I really love the beats. "Perpetual Change" was my favorite track which I knew at the first time from Yessongs double live set album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

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Posted Saturday, July 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
hugo_dream2th
5 stars After the musical revolution of Sgt Pepper this album was the first that really took the music into a more progressive way.Yes took the style of Sgt Pepper and show the world a completely new way to make music.And Yes are masters in making great music.This is the first album with Steve Howe on guitars.On the first track "Yours Is No Disgrace" the influence of Howe is notable and the solo in the middle of the song is absolutely amazing for the time and remember that was 1971!The second song on the disc is "The Clap" wich is a guitar instrumental."Starship Tropper" is one of the best songs that Yes ever made together with "Awaken","Close To Te Edge" and "Heart Of The Sunrise".The rest of the disc is Yes at their best:"Ive Seen All Good People", "Venture" and "Perpetual Change" are the tipical Yes "full of joy" tune.The instrumental section of "Perpetual Change" as one of the most funiest solos of all time.One of the most influential albums of all time that inspired bands like Genesis,Pink Floyd and Rush to the Progressive Music.

Highlights:Starship Trooper and Yours Is No Disgrace definitively the best tracks on the album.The rest is also very very good too!!!!

Weak Points:This in an album where is dificult to find weak points, the material is close to magical and marked Yes as the most influential band of Prog.

Yours Is No Disgrace - 10/10 Strarship Trooper - 10/10 The Clap - 8/10 I've Seen All Good People - 9.5/10 A Venture - 9.5/10 Perpetual Change - 9/10

In average: 9.33

MASTERPICE ALBUM

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#40561)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is the first Yes's album that is really good in my humble opinion, very much better that the two previous LP's. And the most important fact that made this improvement possible was the Steve Howe's imcorporation, who is one of the best progressive guitarist of the 70's, along with Steve Hackett and Robert Fripp in my opinion.

Here we can find songs in the purest Yes's style, like Yours Is No Disgrace and the classic Starship Trooper. Another songs like I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change showed a transition between the old poppy tracks and the future symphonic compositions.

But there are two songs that I don't like from this record: The Clap, strange theme where Steve Howe plays in a very american style; and A Venture, a little boring and weak effort in my opinion. For that (along with the fact that this was a transition album...) I think that this album deserves only 3 stars.

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#42604)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A conscious step in the right direction. The band are clearly grasping for bigger, more expansive sounds and really are a lot closer to attaining their goal. The weak link in the chain, curiously, is Tony Kaye. His lively organ work, which made the earlier albums seem so colourful, now seems more of a liability. His dogged determination not to update his keyboard sound restrains the band a bit. There's a bit of tentative Moog synthesizer on the album, but it feels added on as an afterthought.

On the other hand, new member Steve Howe on guitar makes this album a true delight to listen to. Basically possessing the same influences, and a similar bag of licks, as his predecessor, he nonetheless seems to operate on a whole new level from the more workmanlike Banks. His frenetic and relentless playing fills up the empty space, creating a virtual guitar-orchestra on "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper". He also adds a lot more classically-styled acoustic guitar playing, which is an important development for the band's future activities.

The dated psychedelic feel of earlier albums is long gone. The whole album feels fresh and vibrant. The songs have grown to become grand multi-part suites, offering much variety in feel. "Yours Is No Disgrace" offers variations on a theme, bristling with tension and release. "Starship Trooper" is cosmic and exciting. "I've Seen All Good People" captivated the public's interest most, starting with a gradually building, enchanting folk motif before exploding into a jazzy, swinging coda. And "Perpetual Change", with it's demi-orchestral fanfares, pointed the way towards the future.

In short: this is the album where Yes found their voice.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#42898)
Posted Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Any Yes fan should at least respect this album, for if something of this magnitude hadn't been released, Yes was going to be dropped from their label. Who knows what would have ensued? "The Yes Album" is more catchy and accessible than later releases, but by no means any less brilliant. It saw new guitarist Steve Howe on board, bringing his fantastic and awe-inspiring guitar technique, a blend of folk/western, early rock riffing and progressive/ experimental elements. Howe is really the star of this album, for he even got his own solo track, track two of the whole album, for that matter!

The album starts with bang, wasting no time with an upbeat rhythm and Kaye's driving organ line. "Yours Is No Disgrace" doesn't hesitate to show off the skill of all the musicians. The solo/instrumental middle passage is a low point in the song, but it's too long before everything picks right back up. To hear some really great soloing, pick up the 1973 live album, "Yessongs." Howe's ill-titled solo piece "The Clap" (it's really supposed to just be "Clap), shows just how versatile he is. Pulling all the plugs out on his influences, it's almost impossible not to think of Chet Atkins (one of Howe's favourite guitarists) on this one. It is truly an amazing piece of acoustic guitar work. A real tour- de-force, "Starship Trooper" is the highlight of the album and a fan-favourite. The beginning part. "Life Seeker," was edited as a single, which is dominated by Howe's guitar and Kaye's atmospheric keyboard. "Disillusion" once again features Howe on acoustic guitar, one again just playing something amazing, along with Anderson and Squire vocal duo. Finally, an abrupt segue into "Wuerm" changes the pace for the whole song. Dominated by a dreamy and atmospheric three-chord progression from Howe, all the musicians slowly come in until a psychedelic space jam ensues. Squire's echoing bass and Kaye's organ give it an out-of-this-world feeling. Howe's outro solo on "Wuerm" is just sheer bliss.

"I've Seen All Good People" still gets adequate radio play even to this day, in both its full form and the edited single version. The whole song is popish, but nonetheless great. "Your Move" has a more low-key and reserved feeling with some thoughtful mandolin playing from Howe, minimal playing from Squire and Bruford and a recorder too. "All Good People" picks up the pace a lot with country-influenced guitar playing from Howe. Both parts of this song are a great foil to each other, one being more reserved and sleepy and the other more upbeat and inspiring. The simplistic "A Venture" follows, in which Kaye's bouncy piano playing dominates throughout. It's just a little fun song before a great closer. "Perpetual Change" shows the band playing at top form, with Bruford's usual intricate drumming keeping everything tied together. So many different moods and atmospheres are created, it's almost like a roller coaster. With such wonderful song structure and melodies, it's a shame such a song as this is underrated. A true classic indeed.

Yet "a true classic indeed" goes for the whole album as well. The production is sharp and bright, marring the music in no way. The only fault I can seem to muster up when it comes to this album are Anderson's repetitive lyrics. By all means I find them wonderful lyrics, but too often, in too many of the songs, he just sings the same line over and over. It's like too much of a good thing. But minor accusations aside, "The Yes Album" is an amazing piece of work, not even considering what was coming the following year ("Fragile" and "Close To The Edge"). Highly recommended to any progressive rock fan.

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Send comments to Arsillus (BETA) | Report this review (#46983)
Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Ken4musiq@yah
5 stars The Yes album was the first prog rock album I bought. My HS music teacher introduced the class to it back in 1975. I enjoy the element of Yes that is characteristic of this album, Going for the One and even 90125. Like Genesis, Yes had the strong ability to write a good song and develop a progressive atmosphere around it. What makes this album essential and a favorite to me is that it maintains some of the folk element of the earlier Yes albums and in this sense sounds much more distinctly British than later Yes, with its classical overtones.

The strength of this album is the interplay of opposing sections of the band as in Perpetual Change where the closing introduces the drums and bass against the guitar and keyboard or I've Seen All Good People, in which the closing chorus is interjected on top of the guitar solo. The guitar work on the album is some of Howe's best and a fine introduction for the new member of the band. His The Clap is a fun up beat folk based guitar piece that is still a highilght of Yes concerts.

The record is two distinct sides with a lush closing in Wurm of side one and Perpeutual Change of side 2. It is a transitional album that saw the band coming into its own with increased virtuosity of playing and writing, a must for any prog rock fan.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#51201)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The great guitar of Steve Howe cranked out of the speakers as the album opened... and with that, Yes had their first masterpiece.

Yours is no disgrace: Yes has done numerous songs that are around ten minutes long. Aside from "Siberian khatru", this is my favourite of the bunch. This great song has pretty much everything in it. Incredible guitar work (what a way to kick off Howe's introduction to the band), driving bass, beautiful vocals, nice backing keyboard, the usual perfect drumming. To not like this song is to not like Yes. 10/10, easily.

(The) Clap: Similar in style to "Mood for a day", this one is a nice little break into between the longer songs. Like any little acoustic song, it can get annoying from time to time, but overall it's useful. 8/10.

Starship trooper: When people talk about this album, this seems to be the one track they rave about, particularly the "Wurm" section at the end. I'm not as crazy about it as most, but I still feel it deserves a big score. 9/10 for this one.

I've seen all good people: I've seen this called bad, pop, weak, etc. and I have to disagree. I think this is a very nice song on par with the track that preceeded it. 9/10

A venture: This is routinely called a filler... but I think it's the third best song on here. I sometimes find myself waiting for the previous track to finish just so I can hear it. I absolutely love the vocals and backing instruments on it. "A peaceful man would realize alone is no adventure"... 10/10

Perpetual change: Oh my, yes. Much like Howe came and kicked you in the teeth to introduce himself on the album's opener, he returns at the end to do similarly as the album winds down. A very powerful track that's a fantastic album clincher. Honestly, I prefer the Yessongs version, but this is still worthy of an ace. 10/10.

To me, this is an easy five star album (not an average of the above scores) and has to be picked up by any prog fan.

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Send comments to dagrush (BETA) | Report this review (#56350)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The beginning of Yes's progressive period can be seen in this album. Although they wouldn't hit their zenith until Fragile, this album is a good precursor. As Steve Howe's debut studio album with Yes, he certainly gets a lot of the spotlight with solos on top of solos on top of solos, this could be one of Howe's most noodly albums with Yes. Chris Squire now takes a powerful forefront with his jagged bass sound that pierces through the Peter Banks drenched atmospheres. Bill Bruford is adequate on this album, nothing terribly spectacular or noteworthy. This album could be seen as the beginning of Jon Anderson's wall of poetry lyrics frenzy that can be seen on the next few albums.

Noteworthy tracks are Yours is No Disgrace, Clap, and Starship Trooper. All of these tracks are Steve Howe dominated, but they are enjoyable to listen to. Yours is no Disgrace is a bluesy rocker that has sprawling work from Howe, and some great bass and drum interplay from Squire and Bruford. Clap is the precursor to Mood for a Day. Steve Howe goes with a bit of a rockabilly, country feeling to this one, and it is a fan favorite still today. Starship Trooper is probably the definitive Yes track along with Roundabout and Close to the Edge, split up into three parts, the most noteworthy is Wurm. This section features phased chord work from Howe and one of his best solos on top of this epic riff. The second side of the album is good, but not really noteworthy and otherwise drags down this album.

Overall, this is a great precursor to the things that were to come. Yes would eventually get better, and their next album would arguably be their best.3.5/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#56481)
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars If You Are A Person Who Has Never Got Into Yes, Or A Person Who Has Never Come To Really Appreciate The Band, Then The Yes Album Would Be One Hell Of An Eye Opener. There Is Plenty Of Virtuoso Playing From Every Single Member Of The Band, But It Is Ultimately The Strength Of The Songs That Make This Album A Classic. The Opener "Yours Is No Disgrace" Basically Challenges Every Prog Band In Full Flight At The Time. King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Genesis etc. Were Already Making Excellent Progressive Rock Records But Yes, Who Were Almost Latecomers To The World Of Prog, Entered With Such Force That It Was Obvious This Band Would Outdo Them All. Although The Yes Album Is Strictly Their Third Record, It Is Their First "Progressive Record", Encorporating A Wide Range Of Styles, Songs Smoothly Going Through Seperate Sections, The Band Seemed To Be Evolving Into Quite An Act. One Reason For The Bands Swift Evolution Was The Entry Of Guitarist Steve Howe, Who Brought His Own Unique Talents Which All Have Come To Enjoy And To Love.

The Yes Album Was One Of The Greatest Steps Forward In The History Of Progressive Rock Music. It Showcased All Of The Yes Traits That Would Later Take A Step Forward In Such Albums As "Close To The Edge" And "Relayer". Highlights Include, The Widely Known "Starship Trooper", A Song Broken Into Three Seperate Sections, The First A Hard Edged Rocker Led By Squires Booming Bass Line That Soon Changes Into An Almost Folksy Tune Led By Howes Stunning Acoustic Guitar Before Capping It All Off With A Slow Cresendo And An Insane Instrumental Frenzy. "I've Seen All Good People" Is By Far The Most Accessable Track On The Album, Enjoyable Rhythm, Beautiful Vocal Harmonies, A Great Tune, And Of Course The Wonderful 50s Style Rock Out That Breaks Through In The Middle Of The Track, It'll Have You Humming To Yourself For Days. Howes Acoustic Showcase "The Clap" Proves How Good He Really Is, A Very Exciting Tune, Just Don't Think You'll Be Able To Play It! Altogether There Is No Weak Moments At All On The Record, A True Masterpiece And A Lot Of Fun. Just Listen To The Albums Closer "Perpetual Change" A Rocker With Touches Of Jazz And A Huge Anthemic Outro. Do Not Dismiss This Album.

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Send comments to Winter Wine (BETA) | Report this review (#60800)
Posted Monday, December 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is for me an absolute masterpiece of rock music! In this album Steve Howe join the band and bring more complexity and technical skills than Peter Bank. The three classics "Starship Trooper", "Yours is no disgrace" and "I've seen all goods people" win the test of times. "Yours is no disgrace is one of my favourite "yessong", it begins with a great guitar and keybord riff and progresses with the excellent dinamic howe guitar solo, there's no other words to describe this great song.....majestic and monumental! "Starship Troopers" it's another classic and it'is divided in three parts, with one of my favourite acoustic guitar interlude, while the last part is characterized by the ripetitive and hypnotic sequence of chords, that ends with a great howe solo. "I've seen all good people" it begins with the acoustic section and wonderfull vocal harmonies by Andersson and the chorus(Squire and Howe) ; it ends with the final rock 'n' roll part, with the great vocal and electric guitar refrain. The "Venture" is the only good song between these monumental classics, while "Perpetual Change" is the most underrated song of the album, a great bluesy opener that progresses in different complex variations. "Clap" is the first acoustic instrumental jewel by Steve Howe. A must in every serious prog rock collection!!

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Send comments to nico (BETA) | Report this review (#61961)
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
info@clivehay
4 stars Having read and enjoeyd a lot of the reviews on this webpage for the Yes Album, I believe that we have missed the whole point of the album, from the cover, through "Yours is No Disgrace" right to the end of "Perpetual Change" - Yes had written the worlds first audio movie, complete with intermissions a la "Clap" on side one, and "A Venture" on side two. After the mind-blowing tour-de-force of "Yours is no disgrace", the welcome break of " (the) Clap" was a wonderful light piece to get you in the mood for travels into outer space with the neo-classical, out-of-this- world "Starship Trooper". The next 'movie' (Side B) if you will, gets a little hippyish, but hey, this is Yes in 1971, still feeling the effects of the 60's, obviously still HUGE Beatles fans, but not letting this get too much in the way of who they are and what was to come with "Fragile" and, particularly "Close to the Edge". Hey, everyone - "A Venture" is a great number, a welcome break, a SHORT Yes song (not many of those around) and a good, light piece of music that I don't have to think too much about before my senses get heightened and sucked in once again to the challenge and wonder of "Perpetual Change" (better on "Yessongs", but still a masterpiece here). When the curtains close, I'm tired but satified that I've been priviledged to witness not one, but four 'movie' masterpieces on one incredible album, punctuated by some nice music intervals. As for the production, sure, it's not CTTE, but if I'm not mistaken, this was Eddie Offord at the helm of a Yes ship that was moving into uncharted territory...

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#63058)
Posted Tuesday, January 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This album - the third released by Yes, was my first contact with the band and truly it was a great one! Compared with the previous works the band are much more mature and experienced also displaying a new guitarist, the ingenious Steve Howe; perhaps this addition provided Yes an extra confidence and determination to produce a splendid album.

"Yes Album" together with next 2 albums form a classy trilogy of the entire musical scene, not merely for the progressive. Now, musicianship of band members are almost at their peaks, as heard along the tracks; even Anderson's voice sometimes annoying - although very tuned, provides good points and helps with overall harmonic atmosphere.

'Yours is no disgrace', the opening track, is an awesome introduction card for the rest of the work; keyboards do a good job (and the keyboardist is Tony Kaye not yet Rick Wakeman), guitar and bass brings remembrances of Beatles' 'Day tripper' - Yes never forgot their roots and influences; fair vocals and drumming background; the softer parts of the song are amazing, with good breaks and changes in time.

'Starship trooper' is the best track in the album, the way the song flows is highly pleasant, all instruments play splendidly and vocals are awesome; also there are always some agreeable surprises as when the acoustic guitar breaks the keyboard and singing part thus conveying the music to another marvelous section; one of the best songs of the entire Yes repertoire.

'The clap' and 'A venture', the weakest tracks, sound like fillers but this sour impression is compensated by 'I've seen all good people', a soft song with a lovable pop touch and by the ending track, 'Perpetual change', which has the clear Yes brand with vocals and instruments joining in a way never to forget.

"Yes Album" is a great work, indeed, in spite of being slightly spoiled by filler tracks; but the final rating takes in account the excellence of singing and playing across the album. Total: 4.

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Send comments to Atkingani (BETA) | Report this review (#66586)
Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
AC/DCrox@eart
4 stars The Yes album is one of the trophies of the Yes' acheivements. The album contains a few of Yes' greatest song such as "Starshiptrooper", and "Yours is no Disgrace". Both of these apear on the greatest hits album, but my favorite of the two is Yours is no Disgrace. If you are just getting into Yes than this is a good album to start with. This album also has the song "Perpetual Change", this song is okay.

Steve Howe has a solo song called "Clap" on this album. This is an awesome gituar song, it kind of songs folkish, but you will be amazed by the rythum he creates. If you like this song you maybe interested in buy a Steve Howe solo album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#67218)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the album that changed my life. I was 17, hadn't really listened to ANY music with any real attention; dismissed it as an irrelevance. i just couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. The Beatles? Catchy, irritating nonsense. The Stones? Better, but still just - well - pop! The music charts were full of simplistic, trashy There was no depth to any of it, so I quite happily ignored it all.

And then I heard "Yours Is No Disgrace" on a friend's stereo... It was the most astounding music I had ever heard. A track that didn't confine itself to one simple tune or time signature, that felt as if it was a carefully thought-out composition, yet was performed with such exuberance by such incredible musicians...

"The Clap" - astonishing acoustic guitar the like of which I'd never heard... "Starship Trooper," with its three movements ending with the slow-building "Würm" which burst into electric guitar splendour...

. "I've Seen All Good People" - a crowd-pleaser with a simple repetitive refrain but still holding your attention because the musicianship...

. " A Venture" - okay, probably the weakest track on the album as most other reviewers point out, but still far and away superior to most of the other pap on the radio...

. And ending with "Perpetual Change" - such energy and power!

In the space of 41' 56" I became a fan, not only of Yes, or Progressive Rock, but it allowed me finally to open my ears and realise that music, whether progressive rock, classical, or even (occasionally) pop had a place in my life - so thank you Yes!

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Send comments to bruin69 (BETA) | Report this review (#67285)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably my favorite Yes, but you really can't go wrong with any of their albums released between, but it's a tough call between Fragile, Close to the Edge and Relayer.

The thing I like most about this album is it's mood. No other album can put me in such a good mood. Right from the beginning, with the song 'Yours is No Disgrace' I feel a sense of elation at great music. The music is happy, but still hard hitting and in no way a cheesy kind of happy. It only gets better from there, after an excellent rendition of the virtuosic playing of Mr. Steve Howe with Clap, who really became the melodic mastermind of Yes when he came in. This was indeed the first Yes album featuring Steve Howe and you can definitely hear an improvement, despite the fact that their first two albums were great in their own right.

I think the album hits its highest point with Starship Trooper. This is the definitive Yes song in my opinion. Excellent playing, excellent composing, excellent melodies. It's also their happiest and most uplifting song. I don't think any other song puts me in as good a mood. The song never ceases to amaze me, particularly when Steve Howe breaks into the acoustic Disillusion section, with Jon Anderson and Chris Squire singing sections of one of their older songs, For Everyone. But it only gets better, the Wurm section is mostly instrumental, and is basically four repetiitive chords that slowly build for several minutes into a blistering and unforgettable guitar solo. This is the starship (or perhaps airship) taking off.

The second side, admittedly is not as strong as the first, but still excellent in its own right. I've Seen All Good People is a great song, and their first big hit. A Venture is another great song, but probably the most forgettable of the ones on this album. Perpetual Change is another excellent epic, although I never thought the studio version did it much justice. A better version is available on Yessongs.

The title of this album is very fitting. this is THE Yes album, because it was the one that really defined their sound. As their name implies, Yes is a very positive sounding band.

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Send comments to Gianthogweed (BETA) | Report this review (#68338)
Posted Saturday, February 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
ColinClare@ei
5 stars 'The Yes Album' (1971) is simply a Classic. The opening track 'Yours is no Disgrace' has a fine intro, Excellent drum work from Bill Bruford, Jon Anderson really grabs your attention with some very strong, Clear vocals. Anderson leads the band on, with fine leadership skills, His lyrics are very important here also 'Crawling out of dirty holes, Their morals, Their morals disappear' referencing the Vietnam war. Squire and Howe also add their own unique musical abilities that have become the definitive Yes sound, Propulsive bass and wonderful tricky riffs. In my opinion this is Tony Kaye's best album with Yes, He really creates some excellent sounds from his agressive Organ work! 'Yours is no Disgrace' is delivered excellently, and is simply a great attention grabber.

'The Clap' is great fun (Not the STD however) Howe really leaves you with something! Using the acoustic guitar almost like a lead guitar in an almost eccentric ragtime style. An enjoyable, energetic listen.

'Starship Trooper', This one is really one of the best on the album, The track is split up into three very different parts, The first part 'Life Seeker' Squire really comes in with some booming bass guitar while typical Jon Anderson adds some beautiful lyrics with in a 'sweet a customed way'. The second part is named 'Disillusion', Howe comes in with some great acoustic guitar playing. The last part 'Wurm' is all Howe he finishes the masterpiece with a great guitar solo.

'I've seen all good People', Anderson really draws you into this excellent track with some great vocals backed up by Squire and Howe, Fantastic organ towards the end of the track from Kaye before the Rock 'n' Roll starts. The band have simply created a masterpiece by now, with just four tracks! But there's more to come.

'A Venture' is really a relaxed mellow track, which calms down the album, but still keeps your full attention, Kaye plays some wonderful piano, and although the track is based around a few simple melodies, none the less is a Delight.

'Perpetual Change' has a very jazzy feel to it which makes it seem very Bruford, It was his idea to have both themes playing at the same time near the end of the track. Doesn't seem as instantly fantastic as some of the other tracks, But it's just as good!

'The Yes Album' was my first ever Yes album. I would highly recommend this album to any sort of prog fan out there. A real mind blowing album. Full of energy and strong songwriting. A quality five star album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#72325)
Posted Sunday, March 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars My very first Yes Album, and of couse, my favourite one. The Yes Album starts with "Yours Is No Disgrace", which is one of the strongest Yes's songs. It starts with a nice intro played by Howe & Bruford. Then comes the keyboards smoothly, and then it begins to roll. This is very groovy song and lasts for almost 10 minutes. No boring spots and incredible entertaining song.

Then comes "The Clap", this is not very Yes style song but very happy one. I think Howe was in a bar at the time he got the idea of this. 3 minutes is a pretty long time for a guitar session but I can take it because of the next song.

"Starship Trooper", one of my favourite Yessongs. Anderson's vocals are incredible, so beautiful. The song is actually not very professional, it rolls the same melodies for a very long time, but I still love it (mostly because of the vocals and the nice drums).

"I've Seen All Good People", starts with an al cappella sung by Jon Anderson and Squire (I think). And then Howe starts with a guitar intro and then, ah, Anderson's vocals again. This song would be amazing even without instruments.

"A Venture", this is one of my leastplayed Yessongs. This could have been in a Beatle-album, I can only imagine how Mr. McCartney would sing in here. Nice song here in the end, before the great ending.

"Perpetual Change", which ends this truly awesome album. Starts with a beautiful intro, such as in Yours is no disgrace. Vocals next, stunning, as always and then comes the same ol' riff again. It's hard to know how Yes could create such beautiful melodies that I want to listen to them again and again.

In overall this album is one of the most entertaining albums ever. It's hard to call it a masterpiece, but It's definetly worth of five stars in my scale. I love it, you could too.

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Send comments to Ounamahl (BETA) | Report this review (#72961)
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
micky
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5 stars Another one of the fabulous 5 prog albums that I encountered as a young impressionable youth through the good musical tastes of my parents hahhaah. To be honest I'd like to stick to review albums that aren't reviewed as much to try to add something to to the whole reviews section. However this album has been such a musical landmark for me that I can't pass up a chance to say a few words about it.

I have often said and believe with all my musical heart that this is the album for a person just gettting into Yes to get. No Rick Wakeman on this album but that really is not important, if Yes has proven anything in it's 35+ years of musical existence. The keyboardist is just another piece, and a replaceable one at that, to the puzzle. See Relayer and Drama for proof of that. The Yes sound is composed of two parts.. without either it really isn't Yes. Both are on display here. One is rather apparent and mentioned quite often. The distinction Rickenbacker bass of Chris Squire. His style may have come from the god-fathers of the English rock bass school McCartney, Bruce, and Entwistle but that tone was distinctive then and still is instantly recognizeable today. The other defining aspect of the Yessound is their vocal harmonies. Not mentioned as much, but one look at an album like Drama and you can see how it is so much of the yessound. This of course was the first album with Steve Howe on it and was a quantum leap into the prog arena over their previous two releases.

The songs off of this album have been analyzied forwards and backwards so I really don't have much to add other than my tertiary reason for reviewing this album. This album is much more accesible is less dense than many of their upcomming albums would be so I would recommend to anyone wanting to check out Yes (I assume there are people out there that is hahhahah that haven't) to start with this album. As I have said, and have been rarely proven wrong. You may like this album and not like Yes's future works... but if you don't like this album... you won't like Yes. A positive either way hahahha. My rating on it. Personally 4.5 (a half a point deductionfor A Venture). For the forum at large the college equivalent to YES 101. An essential album from an essential prog group. 5 stars. An album that should be in every prog fans album collection... and that should be worth 5 stars in anyone's book.

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Send comments to micky (BETA) | Report this review (#74495)
Posted Sunday, April 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Fantastic Album, a real litle prog gem it is, if i hade writen this review a year ago when i first bought the album i whuld probobly have given it 4 stars, i thought it was great but not realy up there with the other great Yes albums, but now i have lisened to it some times probobly some 100 times. And i have come to the conclution that this album realy is worth a perfect 5 it isent a weak song on heare, The album starts of with Yours Is No Disgrace beter opener whuld be hard to find it sets the tone for the rest of the album and everything is yust amazingly good I especialy loves the guitars played by Mr Howe that guy realy knows how to play that litle thing dont you think? Well the song have a realy stomping beat and the lyrics preety funny if you lisen to em. After that litle mindblower of a 9.30 min song we get a nice litle guitar break form Mr Howe and boy can that guy play the guitar, then comes what probobly most people whuld call the big classic song form the album Starship Troopers and yes it's preety much so a monster of a song yust amazing not much else to say everyone knows this song so. After that litle trip comes I've Seen All Good People and i think this one was a small hit actualy back in the day when progrock ruled the world and well the first part is preety hity i agree but the second part is much more progy and once again all in all a great song. Then come another pop sounding thingy A Venture the worst song on the album in my opinion no doubt but still not bad at all a nice litle pop tune it is. And after that we have come to the final song of the album Perpetual Change and its a great closing song its preety complex and not realy as memorabel as the rest but great. Well the album as a whole is not very dark compered to most other prog album from this time its actualy a very sunny and popy prog album and very very good, prog dont have to be dark and depresing to be good you know and it dont need to be ultra complex this one mixes the best stuff from prog symphonic sound and complex playing with great pop hooks. And in the end i yust cant give it anything else then 5 stars. A must have album and a perfect start album for prog Noobs.

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Send comments to Zargus (BETA) | Report this review (#75160)
Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This superb album put Yes on the map, and when I first heard it, it came as an incredibly fresh breath of air. Until then, I didn't have a clue that rock bands could sound so visionary.

Nowadays, I don't play THE YES ALBUM all that much - particularly since I've heard Bill Bruford explain that "Yours is no Disgrace" was based on the "Bonanza" theme tune... The main exception to my rule is "Starship Trooper", probably the best thing Yes ever created. I would happily go to my grave without hearing "All Good People" ever again, but "Starship Trooper" is one of those tracks that LIFT ME UP (just like Bach's B Minor Mass, or Beethoven's 6th symphony) whenever I give it a spin. But oh - Mr Howe's extended guitar solo on "Yours is no Disgrace" isn't half bad either...

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#75364)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes' first masterpiece! However, I find that this is Yes' only album which really 'rocks' all the way through - only on Roundabout and Siberian Khatru do we see that slightly harder edge to Yes with more prominent guitars and an actual beat from Bruford, rather than his usual flamboyance. The reason for this is that this album is a Steve Howe showcase - his first album and he makes an incredible impact on the direction of the band.

Of course, the rest of the band are on excellent form as well - the rhythm section continuing from 'Time and a Word' (although I find Squire's very muddy bass sound a little worse than on his favourite album), Jon Anderson reaching a creative peak (or a suppose a crest considering the next six albums), and Tony Kaye doing an admirable job.

All songs on here are fabulous, including Howe's delicious virtuosic interlude 'Clap', but especially Starship Trooper (I just love the intro to this song!). Everything has really been said about the individual songs before - incredible song-writing throughout. An essential for Yes and prog rock in general - a very effective starting point to get into Yes as well, especially if you listen to mostly classic rock.

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Send comments to Analog_Kid (BETA) | Report this review (#78695)
Posted Friday, May 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes' most consistently overrated album. It is very much a stepping stone to greater things, with all that that implies of roughness and lack of finesse.

Nothing here (apart from maybe "Perpetual Change") can stand side-by-side with the band songs on Fragile, nor indeed anything the band would do in the next few years to come.

You have to wait until Tormato's "Circus of Heaven" to again find anything as cringeworthy as "I've Seen All Good People" (albeit for other reasons). Whatever it was that possessed Yes to revert to good ol' boy boogie rock of the worst kind was thankfully exorcised with that overlong workout, and that may be its sole reason for existence (although why this slice of musical stupidity has to be played in concert to this day is beyond me - one would think that this was exactly the kind of retrograde predictability that Yes was trying to break out of).

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Send comments to Teaflax (BETA) | Report this review (#79347)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The general feeling in 1971 was "Now that the earth-shaking sixties are officially over, where are we going to take rock music now?" This album provided a lot of answers. Some of us were familiar with Yes from their first two LPs and considered them somewhat of an odd little group that did interesting versions of deep album cuts from American artists and experimental original songs like "Astral Traveller" and we were eager to see what was next. Little did we know that the addition of Steve Howe would elevate the band into prominence the way he did. From the first staccato chords of "Yours is no Disgrace" we realized that something big was happening. It was time for everyone to reassess Yes and move them into the "major player" category.I recently got the Rhino remaster and, like their reconstruction job performed on TFTO, it is incredibly well-done and made me feel like I was hearing it for the first time. This album, despite it's depressingly dreary cover (thank God Roger Dean showed up in time for "Fragile"), spread across college campuses like wildfire in the early 70s and helped to propel "I've seen all good people" onto the heavy-rotation lists of FM radio stations all across the USA. The song gave the band and its genre the exposure that it sorely needed. The album sizzles with incredible energy and invention and was greatly responsible for unlocking more doors leading to the progressive rock explosion that characterized the best musical advances of the seventies. No collection of Yes recordings is complete without this pivotal and well- produced album.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#82236)
Posted Thursday, June 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I consider this album to be on level with Fragile and even better then both Close To The Edge and Relayer. Now I know that's blasphemy around here but I have many reasons why. I find it to be much more of a complete album then the two of them and I simply just like the songs alot better. I first fell in love with Yes after listening to Fragile but some of my earliest memories of music came from this album. Every single minute of this album is perfect in my opinion (with exception of some parts of perpetual change. The album also flows better then any Yes album I ever heard. I defiantely consider this an essential piece of work. I could only imagine how it would have been with Wakemen on this (but Kaye is still amazing)

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Send comments to theblastocyst (BETA) | Report this review (#83639)
Posted Thursday, July 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is very different than Time and a word and their debut, and it starts a wonderful series of albums by Yes, that would include the absolute masterpiece of progressive, Close to the Edge, and also the strange Fragile, the pretentious Tales From Topographic Oceans, and the jazzistic Relayer. These five albums consolidate Yes as the best group of Progressive Rock, in my opinion.

Here, Steve Howe comes into the band, and he fits prefectly with the group, and also completes the vocal harmonies that Yes already used, and that get really better in this album. Steve shows virtuosity in various guitars: he uses all the styles of electric guitar that you can expect in a progressive band, and knows very well how and when to use each one; the acoustic is very good, too: he does a fantastic finger-picking in The Clap, and strange and beautiful riffs with the vachalia, that sounds like a banjo.Tony Kaye's playing is economic, and he doesn't want to be the star, but I like him this way, and because of this, we can hear Howe's guitar almost always on the first plan of the songs. Chris Squire does a great job, as usual, but here his style is more subtle than in Close to the Edge, and even in Time and a Word. Bruford gets better in this album, giving an interesting and progressive energy even to straight and simple drum works, like in All good people. Anderson changes a little bit his style, with a voice that is more angelical. Let's see each song, and why it is Yes' first masterpiece. The album starts with Yours is no disgrace. A main theme that Bruford once said that reminds him circus music is accompained by a strong and melodic organ riff. Howe starts, then, a sui-generis guitar solo, showing all his virtuosity, and then the voices enter. Since the beggining we note the vocal harmonies are different than in Time and a Word, with the addition of Steve's voice, that fit so well with Chris and Jon(altough Steve, singing alone, is a pathetically bad singer). The lyrics are, very subtly, about the Vietnam War. In a calm part, Chris shows us how well he can play, adding a special feeling to every note, each note played by him "says" something different than its predecessor. But he doesn't throw the notes in your face, you have to pay attention to him most of the times to listen to his wonderful bass style. Than, we have The Clap. Steve Howe plays so well and so fast that anyone who has ever touched a guitar will envy him. This recording is from a live presentation, when everything went perfectly well. Fantastic. The applauses don't even finish, and we listen to the two chords of Starship Trooper. The interesting about these chrods are the six notes of bass, that seem to move brilliantly under the "skin" of the music. After this, we have Jon singing a beautiful melody. In Disillusion, Steve acompains Chris and Jon's voices with a very original riff on the vachalia. Than, the Life Seeker lyrics returns, and we have Würm, where three complex chords accompain a brilliant guitar work by Steve. On live presentations, Chris and Rick Wakeman improvise in this part, and it's very interesting. I've seen all good people starts with Your Move, that has a splendid melody sung by five(yes, five!) different voices in some parts. Maybe you dindn't notice, but Your Move's lyrics are about a chess game... make the white queen run so fast... move on back two squares... of course Jon Anderson makes the lyrics in his very own way, and sometimes they seem to be abstract, but they aren't. After this, there's All good people, with only one verse, and an improvisational work by Steve Howe and Chris Squire. Tony Kaye's organ here is a bit boring and we can see why the band traded him for Rick Wakeman. He just doesn't evolve, keeps al the song with the same organ chords, played at the same way. A venture, however, shows a magical work by Kaye, in the piano, and in the ends he uses a moog, very well. Steve does a good guitar riff, and Chris makes a mind-blowing bass work, accompaining the strange time changes with even stranger bass lines. Perpetual Change shows us what Yes would do in the next albums. It's a complex song, with lots of time changes, including some crazy(in a good way) experiments with the 7/8 time signature. All the band members play VERY well, even Tony Kaye, that uses the piano in a simple but elegant way. The themes change all the time, just like in Close to the edge, and the voices are all great.

It is a masterpiece, the first album where Yes achieved a good cohesion between songs, and altough they may have some problems, they're all greatly composed, arranged, and played. Yes made here a "perpetual change" in their sound, with more elaborated songs, more important instrumental sections, and more complex vocal harmonies. In short, Yes really started to be Yes here.

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Send comments to Evandro Martini (BETA) | Report this review (#84399)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Five stars of historic merit, though not just that.. "The Yes Album", as others have suggested before me, is probably Yes's most accessible album, yet its compositions have remained concert classics throughout the years and, in some instances, have never really been bettered. A very optimistic, mellow-sounding record, it is not as adventurous as its follow-up, "Fragile", nor majestic as the mighty CTTE, but definitely a joy to listen to.

As everybody knows, there's no Rick Wakeman here - but the understated, more rock'n'roll-styled Tony Kaye does indeed quite a good job. And let's not forget that this album marks the debut wth Yes of legendary guitarist Steve Howe - one of the key elements of the band's sound thoughout the years. Just listen to "The Clap" (apart from the rather unfortunate title...) to get a taste of his dazzling acoustic skills. Obviously, the real cornerstone of Yes' sound is, here just like everywhere, Chris Squire's powerful basswork, which meshes effortlessly with the other instruments without swamping them, as it sometimes happens in later recordings (not that I mind, bass freak that I am...). Drummer extraordinaire Bill Bruford complements him quite perfectly, his playing here deceptively less complex than in the following two albums of the band, yet as crisp and fluid as it can be.

Album opener "Yours Is No Disgrace" is doubtlessly one of Yes's most unforgettable efforts, showcasing from the word go some Jon Anderson-led, celestial vocal harmonies and Squire's pounding, intricate bass lines. The four-movement "Starship Trooper", often used as a concert closer by the band, blends energy and dynamics with more reflective, acoustic-flavoured passages; while "I've Seen All Good People", with its accapella opening, it's one of the ultimate feel-good songs, proving most effectively that prog is not all doom'n'gloom as some people seem to think - possibly one of the best-ever Yes vocal tracks. "A Venture" may be the weakest song on the album, but it's very pleasant and upfliting in its own way, though it feels sometimes squashed between the monumental epics that comprise most of the record. Things end with a bang with the long, guitar-heavy "Perpetual Change", whose riff is certainly one of the most recognisable in the history of prog.

The only negative note in this review is for the drab, green-tinged cover, as the band had not yet begun their collaboration with artist Roger Dean, which was to produce some of the most impressive examples of album cover art ever. As you should never judge a book by its cover, though, don't let the less-than-impressive external appearance fool you - this is definitely a must-listen for any serious prog fan, particularly of the symphonic variety.

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Send comments to Raff (BETA) | Report this review (#84905)
Posted Thursday, July 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first Yes Prog album, and a very good one at that! This is my second Yes album after Close to the Edge. It's not difficult to see this album is quite different from their first 2 albums and the ones after this. This is the album Yes found their sound.

At the time of this album, prog was just starting out and becoming more popular, but not at all to the extent that it was in the 1974 period. Sure, Yes followed the prog "trend", but they sound like not other prog band. This album shows a mix of their hippy rock side and their prog side, and my, is it happy music! There is no real dark moment on this album, save maybe a Venture. Every song is well crafted, there are really no fillers. The songs, however, often tend to repeat themselves in several places with the same lyrics and melodies, but this album is still proggy. "Clap", which is the real name, not "THE Clap" is a mind-blowing acoustic guitar track the shows the ability of new member Steve Howe.

This album is excellent and is a milestone is Yes' development. Not Close to the Edge, but still wonderful. This album always puts me in a good mood.

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Send comments to MajesterX (BETA) | Report this review (#85429)
Posted Tuesday, August 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars What a difference a guitar makes! Peter Banks is out and Steve Howe is in. The switch was actually made even before Time and a Word released, but this is the first time we hear Howe in the studio. Kaye is still on keyboards but delivers an admirable performance. Wakeman would come along a year later and complete the transformation of the band to a progressive rock legend.

"Yours is no Disgrace" seems to pick up where "Time and a Word" leaves off, a lengthy, wandering work full of intricate interplay between guitar and keyboards, with Anderson's vocals soaring above it all. The difference on guitar is immediately noticeable, with Howe providing a much more dynamic presence than the capable but unspectacular Banks.

"Clap", unfortunately and mistakenly labeled "The clap" on the original cover, is the live acoustic interlude piece from Howe that was the start of a long tradition of solo showcases by band members throughout the group's recorded and concert history.

But just when the listener has their expectations set for another technically sound but seemingly haphazard arrangement of tunes, along comes "Starship Trooper", the first truly epic progressive work by the band. This one has it all - intensely delivered and frantic bass by the unequaled Chris Squire; an incredible array of guitar riffs by Howe; Anderson's celestial but strong vocals; and Kaye's keyboards providing the catalyst for a range of tempo shifts with rising and falling moods. To this day I don't know or care what the vocals are all about - this is just a wonder to behold in every respect.

As if this weren't enough, Anderson launches immediately into the brilliant "I've Seen all Good People", a celebration of life and living that starts with a bit of chess doublespeak and works its way into a treatise on human relationships. Howe is much more subdued at first, satisfied to lead with an understated supporting performances, while Kaye dominates with his heavy organ before both Howe and Squire kick things up a notch for a rocking second movement with Kaye switching to piano chords until things wind around to a close. Both of these songs would grace many a compilation in the band's later years.

"A Venture" is much more subdued, and a largely forgettable short character sketch featuring piano overdubbed with organ and much more emphasis on the lyrics than the music.

The closing "Perpetual Change" would be the last studio track to feature Kaye for a dozen years, and opens with strong keyboards and an almost bluesy guitar riff from Howe before lapsing into a rather dull bit of poetic lyrical noodling from Anderson. The vocal harmonies and Howe's guitar are pleasant enough, but this song has a very 'summer of love' dated feel to it that doesn't stand the test of time like some of the band's stronger works do.

By the time The Yes Album released it was obvious this was no ordinary 60s holdover band. The best was yet to come, but this is a very solid work overall, and definitely has a place in any progressive music collection. A no-brainer for four stars.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#86519)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
sleeper
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.

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Send comments to sleeper (BETA) | Report this review (#87930)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes Album is actually the first symphonic prog album that I owned and for years I did not even know that it was a prog album. I always thought that this was an amazing album, but I only recently discovered the wonderful world of prog music. When I first heard this album I was kind of taken back by how intricate the songs were and how bombastic sounding it was. I was blown away so to speak. The reason I sought out this album was because I had heard Starship Trooper for the first time at a laser light show featuring "space" themed songs. That song really stuck out to me. Hearing that song for the first time on such loud speakers was quite the experience. Sorry for that tangent, I will now continue with the review.

The Yes Album, to me sounds like a new beginning. They already had an album entitled "Yes" but their third album was entitled "The Yes Album" with emphasis on "The." In other words, this was "The" Yes sound, and "The" first real Yes album. Now, granted I have never heard "Yes" or "Time and a Word," but from what I heard these are not even close to what their sound developed into.

Yours is No Disgrace starts out with a loud, bombasitic, syncopated, intro that will grab your attention. The song is never boring, very musical, great lyrics, and is one to blast in your car. The Clap is a great acoustic number performed by Steve Howe. Here he is basically showing off his skills, but this is really a great song. Maybe it doesn't fit in with the rest of the music, but still. Of course Starship Trooper is an amazing song with a great guitar riff that is repeated for most of the first part of the song. The end of the song does get repetitive, but not to the point where it is annoying or pointless; it builds appropriately to a short solo by Steve and ends.

The second half of the album is only slightly weaker than the first. If you have ever listened to any classic rock radio then you have probably heard I've Seen All Good People. It's a great song, but personally I enjoy the Your Move section much more than the second part which is repetitive and doesn't have that umph that most Yes stuff has. A Venture is a good tune, but just good. It is short and seems somewhat pointless compared to the other stuff on the album. Now, Yes ends the album with Perpetual Change, an amazing song. There is another syncopated intro just as in Yours is No Disgrace, but it is still very different from Yours is No Disgrace. There are jazzy moments here; transitions between more rocking parts and slower, softer passages; and lyrics that are interesting and obscure ("And one peculiar point I see, As one of many ones of me").

In closing, this is an excellent album by Yes, but their best was definitely yet to come. I am giving this album 4 stars due to the unimpressive second section of I've Seen All Good People and the weaker track A Venture. The highlights here are Yours is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, and Perpetual Change.

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Send comments to jfleischh (BETA) | Report this review (#89334)
Posted Saturday, September 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars No.

For as much as I respect Yes and the undoubtedly large legion of fans they have gained over the years, I have a hard time contemplating what people get out of this album, other than perhaps nostalgia. It's average at best, and admitted by fans of the band as a 4th or 5th ranking album behind the other "classics".

For me personally, it's much too common sounding. I get bored easily from the album and find little in terms of the music connecting with me. Starship Trooper has a nice and pleasant closing to it, and is the highlight of the record for me. Other than that, not much really is here that makes me go "wow, this is incredible stuff". It's some average prog playing at best, and not nearly up to par when I compare it to CTTE or Fragile.

Hard-line Yes fans will certainly enjoy this, but for those with a very broad progressive base, I would suggest looking elsewhere for Yes's best material.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#95610)
Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Good, but not great. Does not even compare to close to the edge, though the classic yes sound is very apparent here. Track 1, your is no discrace, is the best in my opinion. clap is your typical howe solo piece. A venture is not particularly impressive. Starship trooper is a classic of course! Perpetual change is probably second best, a good song to be certain. Probably the most progressive. Ive seen all good people is ok, but too comercial and is a little too definitly 'split down the middle' between the two main sections. If your a yes fan, you'll like this album, but get fragil and close to the edge first!3/4, would be 4, but it's really not that progressive. Better than their 80's stuff though!

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Send comments to purplepiper (BETA) | Report this review (#96205)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the album that marked a big change in the band. With Peter Banks out and Howe in, Yes were ready to take on new challenges and break new boundaries.

The music in this album is quite different from the previous, abandoning the Psych rock feel for a more mature and musically serious direction.

Howe shines on numbers like Your's is No Disgrace, with a excellent solo. The rest of the compositions are solid and enjoyable, a real accomplishment for Yes at the time.

A taste of what was to come!

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Send comments to OGTL (BETA) | Report this review (#101438)
Posted Saturday, December 02, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A major line-up change (more to come) with this album : Steve Howe as a guitarist will propulse Yes to yet unknown frontiers. From the very first seconds of the opening track "Yours Is No Disgrace" one understands that something fundamentally changed within Yes. Vocal arrangments are great and Jon's cristal voice is fanstastic here. The whole band comes to a symbiosis for the very first time (this complicity is still lasting more than 35 years later, even if the line-up will change several time Chris being the sole member to have stayed with Yes throughout their entire career). "Clap" is nothing fancy to remember (it shows though the skills of Steve Howe) but with the next track, one really enters into the new YesWorld. "Starship Trooper" is really a true gem of the prog history and will remain a YesClassic up to now. They still play it regularly during their live sets. It is quite remarkable that the three "movements" of this number were written by three different people ("Life Seeker" by Anderson, "Disillusion" by Squire and the last Instrumental part "Wurm" by Howe. Still the number shows a wonderful unity. I have a more mixed felling about "Your Move" (by Anderson) - "All Good People" (by Squire). IMO, it is one of the weakest track here. "A Venture" is a short but nice tune with some jazzy moments at the end. "Perpetual Change" is one of my favorite ever from Yes. A bit jazzy (again) but melodious with a very good backing band (Bruford / Squire). I first discovered the live version with YesSongs (in November 73 while I was 14), and although the studio version is very good, I prefer the live rendition. There are some bonus tracks on the expanded version (Your Move - Starship Trooper - Clap) which are single / excerpts versions from longer tracks and are not really interesting. Four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#105059)
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes Album rocks! There are definitely great tracks on this album. I love this album. Now, for the individual track ratings.

Yours is No Disgrace: ***** This song, at 9:41, has a great instrumental passage. I'd have to say that this is my favorite song on the album. LONG LIVE WAR SONGS!

Clap: *** I like this song. This is a guitar solo done by Steve Howe. It could be longer, though.

Starship Trooper: ***** This song's ending is pretty awesome. I didn't expect it to be as acoustic as it was, though. I thought it would be more spacey. That's not a complaint, it's just one of those first impression things.

I've Seen All Good People: ***** Now here's a great song. This is the first song I heard from the album, and it was way before I heard the rest, because it is the only one that receives regular airtime (at least around me). I enjoy the song.

A Venture: *** I like this song. It could be longer, though. What's it about, anyways?

Perpetual Change: ***** Listen to that steel guitar! It is actually used right this time. And it's 8:50 with an awesome instrumental passage. THis instrumental passage is special because at one time, there's two melodies out of time with each other being played at the same time.

-Ray

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Send comments to Jeams Pfirp (BETA) | Report this review (#106368)
Posted Sunday, January 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Yes Album marks the entrance of prog guitar hero Steve Howe, who wasted no time climbing to the tops of wannabe guitarists' lists of influences. A professed fan of country musicians like Chet Atkins, Howe pioneered the use of fingerpicking in rock music. This album is the first real success of Yes. Jon Anderson steps up his lyrics, and the rest of the band give great performances, though not as masterful as later performances on CttE and Fragile.

"Yours Is No Disgrace" opens the album with its thinly veiled anti-war statement. Great passages, strong vocals and stronger lyrics make this Yes' first classic. "The Clap" is where Howe gets to first demonstrate his prowess. His solo here is one of his best. "Starship Trooper" is the best song on the album. The riff is fantastic, and the ending passage is a bit repetitive but it's so good that I don't mind at all. Chris shines on this track, as he both complements Steve's rythm and forges his own path.

"I've Seen All Good People" opens the second half splendidly with Howe's best use of fingerpicking on the album. The lyrics seem a bit abstract, but they come together after a few listens. The problem here is that Tony Kaye's contributions are dull. He's no slouch keyboardist, but he always seems to stop just short of exploding into the plateau that Wakeman lives on. "A Venture" is a silly number that contrasts the fairly depressing subject matter of the rest of the album. The band has a Rush moment, where they have a nearly-flawless album then they add a pointless song that ruins the flow and cohesiveness. "Perpetual Change" ends the album on a high note with Howe's excellent steel guitar. Bruford and Squire work very well together on this track. Jon's vocals aren't as good as they normally are, but they aren't awful.

The Yes Album is a must own for any Yes and symphonic prog fans. Steve's fingerpicking is a revelation. If you want to hear where Steve Morse picked up his tricks, look no further than this disc. Steve's mastery of the steel guitar and fingerpicking suggests that he could easily appear on any country album and fit right in. A Venture kills the album, and some repition in Starship Trooper are annoying, but this is still a prime slice of Yes.

Grade: B

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Send comments to 1800iareyay (BETA) | Report this review (#106753)
Posted Tuesday, January 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Mind-blowing. Epic. Masterful!

From the first notes to the closing fade, you are sucked into this album, you can picture everything, feel everything and it just takes you away to some fantasy-scape of awesome music! "Yours Is No Disgrace" opens this album up with a barrage of music, featuring some excellent synth work while Jon's vocals are at their crystal-clear high point. "The Clap" is Steve Howe's first introduction into the world of making a solo song. It seemed a bit filler- ish to me at my first listen, but now I have grown to enjoy and respect the amazing talent of Steve on this piece. "Starship Trooper" is the song many non-Yes fans know. They still play it live to this day, and it always receieves a standing ovation from me, especially for the amazing musicianship in the song. Did you know each of the three parts was written by a different member of Yes? Neither did I, because they flow so great together nobody could sense a gap of style. "I've Seen All Good People" is that one song off the album that receives all the attention, but hey I'm not complaining about it! One of the most radio-aired Yes songs around, it is certainly worth it. I prefer the rockier second part over the slowed down "Your Move", but they both blow my mind away! "A Venture" is a nice, short little number that does happen to against the grain of the album by being rather upbeat and happy, but it's still a good listen none-the-less. "Perpetual Change" is not one of my favorite Yes tunes, but I respect it immensely. That folks, is how you play steel guitar. Plus Jon's vocals are absolutely beautiful again.

So, what happens when you get excellent musicians, excellent songs, and excellent production? A five-star masterpiece of an album!

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Send comments to Chris H (BETA) | Report this review (#106931)
Posted Tuesday, January 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
Modrigue
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Yes searches itself... The album alternates mini-epics and short songs.

The first track Yours is no Disgrace has some swinging interesting passages but tends to be cheesy. The Clap features a good joyful blues acoustic live solo from Steve Howe showing his technical skills. Then comes a classic from Yes, Starship Trooper, one of their first song taking you to magic places. The introduction and ending themes are particularly original. But the second part of the disc is pretty weak and comes as a deception. I've Seen All Good People is rather lazy and boring, A Venture fails to take off and Perpetual Change is hardly empty...

The remastered version features Your Move, which is an alternative version of I've Seen All Good People, the single version of Starship Trooper and the studio version of The Clap.

I give 2 stars for Starship Trooper which is really an enchanting piece.

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Send comments to Modrigue (BETA) | Report this review (#108253)
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the first album with Howe on board and he really helped to define their sound.

"Yours Is No Disgrace" has so many highlights, from Squire's outfront bass playing, to Howe's guitar melodies, to Anderson's great vocals. "The Clap" is all about Mr.Howe and his amazing acoustic guitar work done live. "Starship Trooper" is my favourite song on the record. The melody 2 minutes in is really good, and the harmonies and acoustic melodies are beautiful.The instrumental 6 minutes in is great ! And the guitar from Howe is incredible after 8 1/2 minutes.

"I've Seen All Good People" seems to look at life as a game and you move ahead or backwards in life depending on the choices you make. Fantastic vocals in this one as well as some good organ and bass lines. "A Venture" is all about the piano. "Perpetual Change" is a complex track where Anderson really shines.

For me this is a step down from what would come in the future in "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" but this still is a stunning record that should be in everyone's collection.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#112389)
Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
clkarob@nbnet
3 stars Love 4 out of 6 songs. One - Iv'e Seen All Good People is rightfully considered a masterwork of prog, accessible but still not necessarily your usual mainstream issue music. One concert favourite for years - Clap. Although I still think Gary Green & Ray Shulman from Gentle Giant did a better acoustic guitar bit. 2 Yes classics, Starship Trooper & Yours is no Disgrace. I really like them, but there not the songs I reach for when I feel like listening to Yes. The other 2, well, I can't remember the last time I heard them, but they never really caught my ear. Mostly because later on, I would find they sounded like the group was learning how to play Yes's songs. So 4 out of 6. & only 2 that I still listen to regularly. Er, middling at beast, even considering how this is where the classic Yes period starts.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#115783)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This may sound irrelevant, but I really can´t write about this album without rating 5 stars. This is simply not only an all time classic, but a ground breaking record that was absolute news in 1971. I think most reviewrs who not gave higher ratings forget its historical importance, for this is really one of the most important single releases in prog music. Yes, up to them was a promising band, but not much more than that. With The Yes Album they were skyrocket to the major league. It´s hard to find a single fault in the whole album. Even simple songs like A Venture fit here well. And the classics started a kind of symphonic rock that were a style on its own. No wonder Yes is one of the most influential/imitated bands of progressive music.

Thsi CD is a complete joy from beginning to end, with great compositions, a good production for its time and a brilliant, inpired perfomance by the whole group. Steve Howe is, maybe, the catalyst of this incredible chemistry, his playing is unbelieveble! You don´t even miss Rick Wakeman on this LP! This is a must have for any, I mean ANY, prog fan. In the first half of the decade Yes was considered the best band in the world. At 14, I agreed at the time, I still do. No other band contribuited more for the love I have for progressive music. Hail!

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#115806)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars

Welcome Steve Howe aka mr. Guitar Museum!

If you compare this album (1971) with their two previous efforts Yes (1969) and Time And A Word (1970), you can conclude that the coming of Steve Howe was a huge boost, Yes turned from progressive pop into progressive rock because of his eclectic guitarwork and adventurous mind. In his early childhood Steve Howe suffered from severe nightmares, playing guitar was his way to sublimate the negative emotions and feelings. He was very determined to become a professional guitarplayer and soon his virtuosity was acknowledged by many musicians, the fans and the press. After his arrival in Yes he start to blossom, on this album he embellishes almost every song with ecellent and varied guitarplay, from the agressive wha- wah sound in Yours Is No Disgrace and the exciting and cheerful acoustic piece Clap (not The Clap!) to the Portuguese 12-string guitar (a present from his sister) and the powerful riffs and jazzy solo in Perpetual Change. Tony Kaye delivers some fine sounds (including the Moog) but when he left, Rick Wakeman prooved that Yes could make masterpieces (to start with Close To The Edge), The Yes album is a solid four star rating for me, no more or less.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#117517)
Posted Saturday, April 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah, The Yes Album, my wonderful first encounter with the world of Yes, is fittingly the first of my yes reviews. This album had an almost magical effect on me the first time I heard it, with fantastic ideas and lyrics, musical textures, and overall production. It still "grabs me" every time I listen...

"Yours Is No Disgrace" - A solid intro piece. Has fairly disjointed yet interesting lyrics, and until I read them, I had absolutely no idea that it was in fact about Vietnam.

"Clap" - What a wonderful acoustic solo! This was played live, and I much prefer it to the studio-version bonus track. It's definitely a difficult song, to say the least, and stands as one of the most impressive guitar pieces I have heard.

"Starship Trooper" - Cool bass line hook and entertaining segments throughout the song. Another classic.

"I've Seen All Good People" - An astonishing song with excellent lyrics that metaphorically relate life to a game of chess (in the first half, "Your Move"). The second half of the song "All Good People" has great instrumentation. Overall this stands among the best songs in Yes' catologue.

"A Venture" - Typically considered the "lost" gem of The Yes Album, a nice little song with an interesting story.

"Perpetual Change" - it seems like this song is very much overlooked, and is just as good as Yours is No Disgrace or Starship Trooper. Possibly my favorite song from this album (but just by a little) - A perfect closer to a masterpiece.

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Send comments to ClassicRocker (BETA) | Report this review (#118767)
Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes Album was the first Yes LP I owned and is what got me into Yes. The primary songs on this LP display the power and creativity of the band. Interestingly, I read that Tony Kaye balked at using synthesisers & mellotrons, claiming he was an organist and this was a major factor in his being replaced by Rick Wakeman. Thus, the synth work on this album is sparse, mostly organ or piano. However, the simple synth hook in "Yours is no Disgrace" really makes that tune.

"Yours is no Disgrace" is Yes' first magnum opus, a brilliant song. The thumping bass line in the intro would come to define Chris Squire's big Rick bass tone, imitated by numerous progressive bands to follow, such as Renaissance and PFM. Steve Howe's arpeggiated phrasing along with Kaye's synth line is beautiful. Lyrics are memorable and catchy "Silly Human Race." Amazing lead guitar. 10/10

"The Clap" a display of Steve Howe's inhuman acoustic guitar prowess and a very challenging piece for aspiring guitarists... One of the first albums to feature a solo acoustic showcase such as this, following Page's "White Summer" or "Black Mountainside" and Beck's "Greensleeves" For what it is 10/10

"Starship Trooper" A ultimate Yes classic, with the chorused bass and guitar adding an ethereal element to the tune. Very powerful sonic ridges and valleys. The closing section "Wurm" is a bit I would hear numerous guitarists play, a sitting in the park favorite. 10/10.

"Seen all good People" A very simple song, but a major hit and one I recall on the radio as a youngin. Can grow tiresome if you've heard it a million times... I like the live version on Yessongs better. Lyrics are sort of hippy dippy. Amazing lead guitar work though and a stomp your foot beat & bass line. 8/10

"A Venture" a jazzy departure from the other tunes... is a precursor to "Long Distance Runaround" IMO... Kaye's level of talent, compared to Wakeman, is evident on this track...they really start to rock when it fades out 7/10

"Perpetual Change" Another staunch Yes standard... Very rocking, very prog, great lyrics, great guitar, great bass, great drums...10/10

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Send comments to mrmayo (BETA) | Report this review (#121378)
Posted Wednesday, May 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With Steve now on board YES was ready to make things happen-and this was a good start. Howe's playing would become a necessary component of the YES sound from here on out. (don't even mention Trevor in this writer's presence!)

Half of this album is very good and half is still pretty unremarkable. The good half here is Starship, Perpetual Change, and Yours Is No Disgrace. The Clap and Venture are nice little filler pieces, and I'm no longer able to be objective about All Good People because FM radio has killed the song for me. I honestly can't tell you if it's a good song or not because my ears shut down when they hear that one ;-)

Your is No Disgrace and Starship in particular really embody the new spirit and direction YES would begin to take and would become fan favorites forever. At the encore of the show I saw in 84, Starship Trooper just brought down the house. It was the definite favorite of the audience on that night. (Of course, anything from the 70s sounded like Heaven after enduring countless numbers from 90125.)

The Yes Album is not their finest hour but it puts everyone on notice that this was a band to be reckoned with. 3.5 stars. Too bad the cover doesn't reflect the majesty of the music, it's really pretty poor.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#121443)
Posted Wednesday, May 09, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello Symphonic rock!!!

The first great Yes' album. This band's early years (1968-1970) was promising. They were inventing the symphonic rock. And, in 1971, they gave us "The Yes Album", may be the first Symphonic rock jewel. Tony Kaye surprises me because I had a prejudice.

(1) "Yours is no disgrace": great opening. The five guys was awesome whit their instruments. Steve Howe, in his first featuring with Yes shows his skills and 'musicality'*****

(2) "The Clap": Howe in all his splendor, showing he is more than a rocker... But I don't like very much a solo track in a studio album (may be in a live album...). Then the rate is just three stars.***

(3) "Starship Trooper": another great work. In 1971, this track and the number 1, were an innovation. I wasn't born yet... but I'm sure. A nice song at the beginning. Then, a country part appears, where the vocals arrangement is awesome. From 6th minute, the best part of the track: the guitar, the keyboards... the intensity increases. So, a terrific guitar's solo 'introduces the ending'. ST is one of the firsts epics song of prog rock.*****

(4) "I've seen all good people": an emotional song. Vocals arrangement are a Yes's trademark. In this song they are awesome. I love the harmony arrangement too. It is sublime. The most rocker part, in the middle, is great too.*****

(5) "A venture": an strange but nice song. The piano in the final 'jam session' is distinguishing in this song.****

(6) "Perpetual change": another great composition. A violent theme in some moments. And, in another parts, a jazzy ballad. At about the 5th minute, there is a part revolutionary. This section is a futurist vision. And then, the song returns to the calmness. The coda is awesome too. *****

"The Yes almbum" is a masterpiece of prog-rock.

Average rate: 4.5 stars

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Send comments to Marcos (BETA) | Report this review (#121620)
Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars An excellent warm-up before Wakeman enters the fold. This is the album that made Yes a band to watch out for. What impresses me about it is the fact that even though it's Steve Howe's debut with the band he is already contributing considerably to the songwriting and musicianship and really leaves a mark on the bands sound. The only real problem I have with this album is that Wakeman isn't in there yet. Already great songs such as Starship Trooper really became incredible on the live album Yessongs when Wakeman came in. But make no mistake this is still a supurb album with classic Yes songs such as; Starship Trooper, Yours is no Disgrace and I've Seen all Good People. I also quite like Howe's little acoustic guitar instrument Cla its a pleasant happyu little piece ( and if I'm correct dedicated to his son Dylan). The other pieces are good and kept the album at a high standard although quite forgettable. I love the energy in Yours is no Disgrace, and the mysticism of Starship Trooper with some excellent songwriting talent by Anderson, Squire and Howe. I think that this is a great album for your prog collection but at the end it always makes me wish that Wakeman had joined at this point, how much more fantastic these songs would be, other than that a great album to your collection with some truly terrific songs on it.

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Send comments to Cheesecakemouse (BETA) | Report this review (#123315)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is first true Yes album. We have here 4 long songs with all elemnts that Yes is known from.

Yours Is No Disgrace - Good opener, very rocky 4/5

The Clap - quite nice acoustic guitar piece 4/5

Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion... - incredible space rock music 5/5

I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All... - too much singing IMO 3/5

A Venture - this one is something that many people say it should be abanded from this LP. Well... I like this one anyway 4/5

Perpetual Change - very good rock song 4/5

All in all 4 stars

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Send comments to signify (BETA) | Report this review (#125052)
Posted Thursday, June 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars First, this is obviously a personally subjective opinion and everything that I write here is as such influenced in some degree, by my personal life experiences and by my acqiured tastes. With this in mind and noting that I have no formal education in any form of critqueing,I humbly submit my personal review of this recording based on my experience gained through the diligent collecting and consuming of recorded music. After all of that, I have to say that this is my number one desert island disc! In other words, for anyone unfamiliar with the expression, it is the number one album I would request if strictly limited to the amount of music available to me if stranded on a desert island! Once again, this is based on my finite knowledge of recorded music; I'm sure there is other recorded music out there that I haven't heard or that in another moment of my life would seem just as substantial. But for now-it holds that position, and has for many a year! Where to start.Well I guess the weakest point is as good as any.And that is nearly a musically correct statement about this album (they will always be albums to me-though I'm not an anolog purest by any means, I have duplicated many an album on cd). `A Venture` is probably the low point on this album,though you'd barely get your ankles wet.It has the feel that it could fit well on the `Fragile` album.A very, very good album in it's own right but not quite as solid or homogenous as this classic.The over-all feeling of this album is of continuous fluidity and masterful creativity.Even the sometimes over-played `I've Seen All Good People`,over-played simply due to the general lack of air time for the other gems on this album, is an outstanding peice of music!`The Clap` is a really fun solo acoustic bit of quality friviality from master guitarist Steve Howe. It's a great little filler for what could have been a slightly,ever so slightly top heavy album. The remainder of the album is beyond reproach.I would find it difficult to rank them,as they are all great songs! It is hard to find, in Yes' complete ouvre, any other instances where Tony Kaye on keyboards, Chris squire on bass and Steve Howe on guitar produce a more satifying array of progressive musical statements.Also I can't let the quality studio production of Eddie Offord, Yes' premiere early producer go uncredited.Now once again I'm not an expert here by a long shot, but I do feel that a quality album is hardly possible without a strong and sensible producer. Now, if you can digest any of that garbage or if you bothered to read it I thank you. It is a sincere review which I stand behind 100%. I believe I can honestly say that if you give this album a fair listening to that you will, in the end, at the very least, consider it on a short list of your desert island disc's!

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Send comments to HarmonyDissonan (BETA) | Report this review (#126196)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars EXIT PETER BANKS, WELCOME STEVE HOWE and EDDIE OFFORD!

The YES ALBUM is where the carreer of YES starts really cooking! By ditching PETER BANKS in favor of STEVE HOWE, YES will reach the upper level and become one of the main forces of not only the progressive music scene of course , but also of the whole rock world. STEVE HOWE is not only one of the most original guitar player, he can actually play every style from picking country to Jazz to classical like a virtuoso. All those influences will create a formula that makes StEVE HOWE sound uniquely recognizable, thus bringing YES in uncharted territories....we can describe as YESmusic!!

Also the arrival of STEVE HOWE will help to enhance the creative process as he will share the writing duties with JON ANDERSON and CHRIS SQUIRE. Out of the 6 tracks of this album, 4 of them will become instant YES classics and are still playing live when YES is on a tour.

I am not here to describe the album song by song as we all know them and most of us love them to death. YOURS IS NO DISGRACE, I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE, PERPETUAL CHANGE and the magnificent STARSHIP TROOPER are all part of the gotha of prog music EDDIE OFFORD is the new producer and will be considered as the sixth YES member as he is also responsible for the classic YES sound.

With 4 masterpieces on one album, we have also 2 subpar songs, i won't say filler as THE CLAP is an excellent guitar showmanship from STEVE HOWE, but A VENTURE is the weakest. Thanks god, there are also the shortest ones (3 minutes each). Let say they are a nice interlude sandwiched between the heavy weights!

Overall an almost perfect album, between 4 and 5 stars. But i can't give the full 5 stars because of the 2 aforementioned songs and the fact the the 4 great ones will even sound better live on YESSONGS.

So 4.5 stars reduced on 4 stars PA scale!

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Send comments to febus (BETA) | Report this review (#126653)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes this album was indeed my first Yes experience; The Yes Album

Yours Is No Disgrace is the first batter-up and a good choice to make it the opener too. This song is strong with pounding bass, pouring syth into the mix of whriling guitar gives it a "video-game-feel" yet what makes this song shine is it's upbeat tempo, strong bass and strong drums, plus it sounds agressive and ahead of it's time. Next comes the acoustic driven folkish sounding peice entitled The Clap, it is absent of vocals and is relatively short running short of three and a half minuets...oh and did I mention it was live? "Says the blue bird, flying high above" this is the best (and secound longest) song on the album; Starship Trooper as Yours Is No Disgrace starts off with strong riffs and incredible bass from Chris Squire. About three minuets into the song it becomes all acoustic and then becomes electric with Jon Anderson and Crue providing incredible vocal harmonies. At about 5:45min into the song is my favorite part of the song, the flanged rhythm guitar and all other instruments slowly hovering in sync with the rhythm guitar, then comes the closing/fading guitar solo that ends the song and side one.

Overall yes, Yes is a very good band, and the best albums where made in the early seventies the three best Yes albums are 1.Fragile... 2. Close To The Edge... 3. The Yes Album...this album is very beautiful and strong, and because it is part of Yes' top three albums it is therefore a masterpeice of progressive music and an essential for a Rock 'n' Roll music collection.

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Send comments to Jake E. (BETA) | Report this review (#127132)
Posted Friday, June 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Steve Howe's album. He is the main man on this album, providing us with great sonic varieties. One one side we have twangy nashville-influenced tele, on the other the smooth jazzy sound of a hollowbody. In addition to that, he plays acoustic guitar and mandolin! So if you are a guitar person get the Yes album before any other Yes album! Tony Kaye is a very tasteful keyboard player who stays in the background the most part, unlike his successor who would hog all the space on later albums. The opening song starts with a proto AC/DC riff, and continues with guitar mastery by Mr. Howe. It also features great vocal harmonies as is common with yes. The next piece is "The Clap", a live solo by Mr. Howe, which shows just how versatile the man is. Great dynamics and control on his acoustic, without losing any edge. Starship Trooper has been a live staple and a fan favorite for ever, while I've Seen all Good People was their first major hit, and it singlehandedly inspired bands like the Flower Kings to make fluff. A Venture is the only filler track on this album, but it is still quite listenable. A Perpetual Change is definitely a classic Yes song, in league with their best works, and it seems to be unfairly overlooked! The Bonus tracks are just radio edits of the two well known songs, plus a studio version of "The Clap", which is quite worthy hearing. IMO, this was a unique album for Yes, as it saw the band in transition from a post-psychedelic band to a full blown-prog band with all the individual egos - and for my taste this was really the perfect Yes!

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Send comments to Magor (BETA) | Report this review (#127681)
Posted Friday, July 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Yes Album was the first in a series of masterpieces released by the almost-classic Yes lineup. On their previous two albums, the group were just trying to find themselves showing some potential of what was to come. This is also the album on which the amazing guitarist Steve Howe joined the group.

When you compare this work to their previous work, you can really hear a major leap in all of the members' performances, from Squire's intricate powerful bass lines, to Anderson's soaring vocals, and Bruford's complex drumming, and even Tony Kaye's soaring organ. Prior to this release, no other group had produced such an interesting overall sound and it was this new sound that would influence many future prog bands. Everything you could want in a prog album is here: complex time signatures, multi-part extended songs with many superbly constructed instrumental sections, beautiful harmonies, excellent and complex guitar riffs, skilled drumming, beautifully crafted, yet oddly obscure lyrics, and even the obligatory acoustic piece.

The Yes Album is a highly recommended masterpiece and the perfect place for those unfamiliar with Yes to start with. Easily five stars, for both the music and its historical importance to the genre.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#128101)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My, oh my! My second 5 star review in a row. I should feel ashamed. I had mentioned once that there are not many albums that should garner 5 stars. I was naive. For me, this is the beginning of one of the most fertile collection of music to grace our ears. YES started out with a couple of decent albums, not major, not great, just decent. Then BAM! Kick out one guitar player and bring in another. Who would have thought that doing such a thing would cause such an explosion of creativity. Right from the start, from "Yours Is No Disgrace" to "Perpetual Change" each and every song is a hands down classic. Okay, I'll admit "A Venture" sounds like a "Time And a Word" leftover, but it still has Howe's finger picking to boost it up beyond the former guitar player's range, (and hey, I do like Banks playing...it's just not as adventurous to me). I'm not going to ramble on and on about each song. Suffice it to say, this should be your starting point with YES all the way to 1980. Each and every one should be in your collection, for they all have something of merit be it a few songs to the whole freaking album. This is the first boys and girls, the start of something miraculous. The first YES masterpiece!

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#128154)
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first Yessound album for Yes. This album is extreme Prog and present songs like: "Your Move", "The Clap" (Howe acoustic guitar solo), "Perpetual Change", "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "I've Seen All Good People",tThat is the first list of masterpieces of Yes. However, "The Yes Album" is very dry and therefore don't 5 stars. Also Kaye isn't Wakeman. But "The Yes Album" is a pure gem.

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Send comments to Ely78 (BETA) | Report this review (#129373)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars After a pair of mediocre albums, Yes dishes out this titan. They really find themselves here, probably mostly due to Steve Howe joining the band. This album begins a string of classics, but, to me, this one is the best. The Guitar and Bass work is top notch here.

Yours Is No Disgrace opens the album well. The solos in there are great, and the ending fade-up is one of my all time favorite Yes moments. After that, we get The Clap. It's a live guitar solo. It's a nice touch. Starship Trooper comes next. This is a classic. I think this is the best song on the album. It's just beautiful, and I love Jon Anderson's vocal performance on the track. The A side of this record is as good of a side that you can get, really.

The B side is a bit weaker then the A, but still awesome. I've Seen All Good People is one of Yes's best known tracks, and with good reason. Its light listening, which I like in this case. A Venture comes next. I think of the song as being like one scoop of ice cream next to two scoops. Sure, it's good, just not as good as the 2 scoops (the rest of the album). Things wrap up with Perpetual Change. It's like Yours Is No Disgrace, but not quite as exiting, and more chilled out. A fine finish.

All prog fans should have The Yes Album in their catalogue. It is probably the best introduction to the band, as well.

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Send comments to Morak99 (BETA) | Report this review (#130181)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yours is no disgrace 5 A great guitar heavy opening. Steve Howe is on board.Great keyboards by Tony Kaye and perfect opening solo from Howe. A complex vovcal melody, a tight rhytm section, great cooperation between Kaye and Howe, who plays another great solo The song features a nice acoustic passage as well...One of the classics. The clap 3.5 An acoustic instrumental, jsust Steve Howe on the guitar. Filler, but a very nice one. Howe´s playing is gorgeous. Starship trooper 5 A great song. Perfect singing from Anderson, great ringing bassguitar, fine organ by Tony Kaye, powerful drumming. Melody is gorgeous and Howe gets a fine guitar solo as well. I´ve seen all good peopple 5 Marvelous vocal melody. Well, the whole song is. Ianderson sounds great in the lighter, acoustic passages. The faster rocking part is just as good. Howe pulls off a great rockabilly like solo. A venture 4 A nice jazzier number. A great paino solo by Tony Kaye. Perpetual change 4 A great melodic intro. &The vocal melody is not that great,(except for the chorus), but there are some fine instrumental passages (great solos by Howe).

Overall:26,5:6=4.4= 4STARS

EXCELLENT ADDITION TO ANY PROG MUSIC COLLECTION

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Send comments to Peto (BETA) | Report this review (#130796)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the first 2 albums, which I listened to but decided not to buy (I never have!), I did not really expect too much when this came out in 1971. However, a friend at university made me a tape and it blew my mind. Whether it was the substitution of Steve Howe for Pete Banks, or simply growing maturity, or a combination of both, is uncertain, but whatever, this is a giant leap forward from its mediocre predecessor.

All 4 of the longer tracks are excellent, particularly, Starship Trooper and Yours is no Disgrace. I love the bass playing in Wurm, which is one of the first times a bass moved out of the shadows into the lead. A Venture is fine but unexceptional and my only real criticism is for that old concert favourite, The Clap, which I feel is pointless and doesn't fit the rest of the album at all, even though Howe plays it well.

This was to be Tony Kaye's final album with the band before he was kicked out for the caped crusader, Mr Wakeman (my lookalike). This was exceptionally harsh, as he contributes excellent work throughout, albeit in a slightly more undestated way than his successor. Howe plays some fine guitar; I've never quite rated him up there with Hackett or Latimer, but his solo at the end of Wurm is very fine indeed. The rhythm section is truly awesome, being tight and inventive throughout. Anderson sings as only Anderson can; his voice is an acquired taste and on this album he really starts to blossom.

In my view, this is the best Yes album overall and comes close to masterpiece standard. Remove The Clap and put on one more good long track and it would have been the perfect prog album. As it is, it falls a little short of that, but is highly recommended and an essential album for any prog collection.

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Send comments to Hercules (BETA) | Report this review (#131498)
Posted Friday, August 03, 2007 | Review Permalink
jammun
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars There are certain albums that are so unique that one remembers (more or less) the exact circumstances of when they were acquired. The Yes Album is one of those, for me.

I was a senior in high school, and for some reason we had been let loose early, so a friend and I went out music hunting, and ran across an album by Yes, with an atmospheric green-hued photo of the band on cover and the same, purplish-hued, on the back. I remember buying this, based on the cover and perhaps some vague knowledge that there was a band called Yes that might be good. Back in the day a good cover was all it took to make the sale. So I went home, ripped off the cellophane, and popped the sucker on the turntable.

Give Yes credit, what an opening shot is "Yours Is No Disgrace"! The growling Hammond will get you from the start, from which point you're led into a new and unique musical world. This was (is) great stuff, and they just don't let up (save for the what I consider filler (The Clap, The Venture)) for the next 40 minutes or so. Starship Trooper is decent, but approaches greatness with the stunning Wurm section. The other two classics here are Perpetual Change and I've Seen All Good People, which show Yes expanding their musical vision and which were included in their live shows during the time.

As far as the recording goes, my only complaints with the album are that Bruford is not more prominent in the mix, and that Howe's guitar just never has enough bite when needed.

The Yes Album is not essential, but it's one of Yes' finest. Yours is No Disgrace is about as close to perfection as any piece of music we call prog is likely to get.

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Send comments to jammun (BETA) | Report this review (#133860)
Posted Sunday, August 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Enter the guitar God.

While not yet up to the par of their later work this was definately a turning point for the young band. The addition of guitar virtuso Steven Howe also seems to have helped, as he immediately brings forth a lot of great material. Here is an album that shows the band leaving this phychadellic/pop era of the late 60s and departing into the progressive genre. Gone as well is the symphony that accompanied them on their previous work "Time and a Word", leaving us with pure Yes, and though the great Wakeman is not yet around, on this offering you hardly seem to miss him.

Starting with the excellent YOURS IS NO DISGRACE, Squire proves himself, yet again, as an increadible bass player that can whip up a catchy riff equil to that of his guitar counterparts. The rest of the song moves nicely until it seems to just fly away and replaces itself with Howe's solo endeavor CLAP (unfortunately sometimes called The Clap), which is a nice, short guitar workout recorded live, a studio version is also availible on the cd remaster of the album, but honestly, the live is much better and more energenic. STARSHIP TROOPER is a true Yes classic, starting again with that great bass player, this song progesses through it's parts until it comes to it's instumental outro, which is amazing, I must say. SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE is definately the most poppy song on the album, but it definately has it's charm, and A VENTURE is a bit slower, with some mellowed out story telling, but is also quite good. The next big standout, however, lies in the coda PERPETUAL CHANGE, which really forecasts where the band would be heading, and sometimes sounds like the first steps towards their later masterpiece "Close to the Edge". Again, this is a band in evolution, so the sounds to this album are quite unique and interesting.

It may not be Close to the Edge, but this is definately one of this genre's best band's best albums. All throughout it does not dissapoint or let down. 4 stars, excellent addition to any prog collection.

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#137038)
Posted Friday, September 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Yes Album sees Yes continue to sculpt both the band and its music. We're closer to what the band would eventually come but still a little while and a key lineup change a way. Musically, the album is a very solid effort that still contains the basic elements that make up Yes and their music. It was commercially successful as well as it holds their first big radio hit in "I've Seen All Good People". Many of the songs shine in parts but most seem to not be as strong as a whole. "I've Seen All Good People" features strong vocal harmonies and an interesting concept (it's about chess if you don't know). But as soon as it turns electric it loses its charm and just becomes a boring rocker. "Yours is no Disgrace", despite being strong from the beginning, seems to just drag on with no direction.

Final analysis: As much as "The Yes Album" shows Yes' strengths, it exposes their weaknesses. They digress often and sometimes let their ideas run stale. Still definitely worth having but not essential.

Highlights:"Starship Trooper", first half of "I've Seen All Good People"

Rating: 3 stars

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Send comments to White Shadow (BETA) | Report this review (#137295)
Posted Saturday, September 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Everybody agrees this is the first "classic" Yes album.So do I. Steve Howe replacing Peter Banks it's like you won the lottery or something.The guy came with plenty ideas,and the technical abillities, bringing in the freshness that the band desperatly needed.

"Yours is no disgrace" is to become their hit and a concert standard. it has different sections,it's full of energy,and it's the best song from the album.The whole band contributes into it.

The band realised that Steve Howe is a big plus for them,so they had to make him feel comfortable and they had to let him know they want him to stay in the group. So they let him to do "The Clap". The fans also got to know his talent thru this live recorded track.

"Starship trooper" is suprisingly simple song...but it works!!! It's in the key of E major.If you think for a second,most of Yes songs is in E. It's kinda' spooky... What makes this song great is "the wurm" - the closing part of the song with Howe's solo. What's even better? The live versions were Howe and Wakeman have a moog/guitar battle during the "Wurm" .they used that often to close their concerts.

"I've seen all good people" is a true sing along song that always brings some good vibrations and a positive energy on stage. Again,it's in E major :)

"A venture" is a simple song in terms of chords and rhytm...in fact it's just an Anderson's story told.He had that lyrics at the time,and the band quickly composed a simple,short song(in my opinion,at least).

The closing track "perpetual change" starts off with a bang,and then takes us into a melodic dance.then the powerful chorus ("and there you are...") comes on...etc. it's a great potential for live playing,and the band did realised that,and they played it on yessongs,but this time with mr. Rick Wakeman :) You could easily rename this song into "rhytm change" or "mood change" because of it's sudden changes in the arrangmant.

If you are a yes fan,you already have this.If not,become one, and buy this album

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Send comments to Frier_John (BETA) | Report this review (#137613)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This...is a masterpiece. 4 perfect tracks, one very good track, and a nice acoustic solo by new guitaris. Tony Kaye has perfected the sound of his organ, and he puts it to good use. "Yours is no Disgrace"' despite the little sense it makes, has the best sonic texture I have ever heard. Squire's muscular base, Howe's unique guitar, Bruford's drums, the best-sounding things ears can pleasure themselves with, and Anderson's ever-more angelic voice have created streamlined perfection throughout whole songs. "The Clap", or just "Clap" is bouncy and fun. Enough said. "Starship Trooper"...is the ultimate. The chords are magnificent, all nine of them, which is more conservative for Yes, but this is truly an epic among epics. The end of the song is so awesom and well done for just being three chords repeating over and over. But it is "All Good People" that perfects this album. Starting of with the most beautiful melody imaginable (not counting wishy-washy romance music *blech*), this song, like many of its prog contemporaries, slowly builds upon its main chess-oriented theme. But this building upon is done in a somewhat intricate way, with harmonies, back-up vocals, and finaly, the most powerful organ you have ever heard grinding away, with incredibly dramatic sound. The song reaches its climax, and, after a long pause, becomes the most rocking Yes song ever, and ends with that same forceful organ, fading away with style. "A Venture" is creative and colorful, but a little repetetive for its length. "Perpetual Change" is also amazing. It has a great chorus and an insanely intricate section which adds more prog to an already quite progressive album. Nothing before or after The Yes Album has sounded like this, and this will remain one of Yes' most consistent albums. Though this is not their greatest...

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Send comments to progroxmysox (BETA) | Report this review (#137700)
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes, this is a masterpiece. 6 very good tracks, 6 very good reasons to buy this album.

This is Yes' last album with Tony Kaye. It's pretty evident if you listen to this album and Fragile one after the other. Fragile is filled with complex keyboards, and extended solos. This is however, Yes' first album with Steve Howe, this is even more album if you listen to Time and a Word. Case and point is made in The Yes Albums' first track "Yours is no Disgrace." Wow... just wow. One of Yes' more political songs about war. It sounds like How had a lot of fun on this album playing with the stereo sound system. After starting out with an electric guitar rocker, they segue into "Clap" where Howe showcases the acoustic guitar. Kind of folkey, but if you think this is good, wait for "Mood for a Day" from Fragile. Starship Trooper is, simply put, beautiful. Probably Yes' greatest mini epic. Howe's final guitar solo on this track is memorable from the first listen. Your Move/I've seen all good People continues to get fair radio play on classic rock stations. Is this song seriously about chess? Not only about chess, but from the perspective of the white bishop? I guess that is typical Yes. Perpetual Change I often see as the hidden Gem on TYA. It's crazy, everytime I listen to this song, I think my headphones have gone bad at the end when the only play in one ear for an extended period.

This is the first of Yes' 5 straight albums without one bad song. Not many bands can lay claim to a statistic like that. Five Stars. A must own.

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Send comments to SiberianKhatru (BETA) | Report this review (#141010)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Steve Howe is in the place !!! and it's really fascinating to listen for his first appearance this guy with his unique guitar's style.

The sound of the band is more cohesive than previously and they were very closed to find their own way with this one. But to say the truth. If you know the two previous LP you won't be surprised by The Yes Album. It's a logical suite.

Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change are classics, very often played on stage by Yes even recently.

The clap is just a self indugent solo acoustic guitar and A venture a simple song a bit disjointed in comparaison with the 4 jewels.

Not perfect, but absolutely necessary to Yes fans, and more generally to people involved in proto-symphonic prog.

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Send comments to H.NOT (BETA) | Report this review (#141017)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Enter Steve Howe and this is First great Yes album. The Yes album starts off with Yours is no Disgrace a great track to start off the album and great bass playing by Chris Squire. You can instantly feel Steve Howe's guitar in this album. It makes their sound so much more big. Next is The Clap, a little blugrassish song by Steve Howe. Next is Starship Trooper one of my Favorite classic Yes tracks and a great solo by Howe at the end of the song. Ive seen all good people is a popular yes number, this is one you might hear on the radio a lot, good vocals by Chris,Jon,and Steve on this track. A venture is just there to lead you to Perpetual Change a great Yes song but i prefer the live version on yessongs better.l This is where it started for Yes. Each musician shines on this album like all other Yes albums. 4 stars

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Send comments to JROCHA (BETA) | Report this review (#148078)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is it. This should be the starting point for people who have never heard Yes. This is the album that introduced legendary guitarist Steve Howe to the world, and the album that introduced me to Yes and prog rock. I heard "Owner of a Lonely Heart" on the radio, looked for records by Yes at a used LP store, and bought "The Yes Album". Organist\pianist Tony Kaye is sort of underrated, he is overshadowed by his succeeder, Rick Wakeman, who takes his place on the next album, "Fragile". (Kaye didn't leave immediately after this album, he left amidst ) I own the LP so I will include sides.

SIDE ONE:

"Yours is No Disgrace": This opener is awesome, Yes has always been great with openers. The rocking chords at the beginning immediately pull you in. The first time I heard it I was hooked and I wanted to dance. (I didn't, however) Great, great song. A personal favorite.

"Clap": Renamed "THE Clap" by a mis-introduction by Jon Anderson at the concert where this song was recorded, this track's chief purpose is to show off the mad guitar skills of Steve Howe. Nothing special though.

"Starship Trooper: a. Life Seeker b. Disillusion c. Würm": An awesome track, one of the three focal points of this album. Great vocals from Jon Andreson, this entire song has a great surrealistic feel. The ending part is one of the best parts of this track, "Würm", it is a great jam-like tune.

SIDE TWO:

"I've Seen All Good People: a. Your Move b. All Good People": The third of the three focal points of the album (the first being "Yours is No Disgrace"). This may be the best song on the entire record. A great pounding drum from Bill Bruford, awesome organ from Tony Kaye, and Jon Anderson's vocals are so melodic, especially when paired with the perfect acoustic guitar of Steve Howe. Brilliant track. It is also the most played Yes song, according to a radio interview with bassist Chris Squire, if I remember correctly.

"A Venture": A nice tune with a great beat, I don't think I can really put it into words.

"Perpetual Change": Not one of my favorites, but decent.

Overall, this is not a masterpiece, but it sure almost came close to one, and besides, this is only a warmup for what would come two albums and one year later. This is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection, and an excellent starting point for anybody who is new to Yes and looking for a first album from the band.

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Send comments to Teh_Slippermenz (BETA) | Report this review (#148107)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Close to the Edge and Relayer are generally considered the most symphonic albums by Yes and I agree with that. But I can say I also have a very soft spot for this release. The two famous ones on this album, Yours is no disgrace and Starship trooper are classics forever and I will never be bored by these two. Yours is no disgrace is a song I still hear a lot on the radio and then they often play a shorter version. When I hear the full one again I enjoy it even more. Starship trooper is of course the song with the great build up: a sort of song I like a lot, going to a climax.

The third very nice track is I've seen all good people, also a famous one with a nice epical structure. The clap was always a funny track to me, more of a joke. The last two songs are less significant in my opinion but that doesn't spoil the overall opinion for me. This is an obvious 4 star case.

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#149196)
Posted Tuesday, November 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you are the essential prog listener this is the album for you. Steve Howe is mind Blowing. There isint a better guitar player then steve. Yours is no disgrace is that best progressive song ive listend to ever. The solo is mind blowing. This is there best album i think. Mainlt the point is if you are the begining prog lisiener or have been listening for years this is the album for you.

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Send comments to zronni (BETA) | Report this review (#149263)
Posted Tuesday, November 06, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars After two lackluster albums that demonstrated the remarkable potential of the band but simply did not deliver, this third effort by Yes is the first of three consecutive classics of progressive rock. The addition of Steve Howe and departure of Peter Banks was a decided plus in the formula for success for Yes. Anderson's lead vocals are terrific. I really like Tony Kaye's textured organ playing (don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I like it more than Rick Wakeman's later contributions) and it compliments this record well. Chris Squire's bass play is excellent. This record ages well. Yours is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change are timeless classics. It borders on a five star recording.

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Send comments to LARKSTONGUE (BETA) | Report this review (#151826)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The yes album shows Yes' potential at this stage in their careers with three songs here: Yours is no disgrace, one of the best early mid-length efforts of any prog band, Starship trooper, which is excellent for the first two parts, but perhaps goes on for too long towards the end, also ending lamely, and I've seen all good people, perhaps the best song on the album, which has a real two part contrast, manages as much in 6 minutes as Starship trooper does in 10, and perhaps preempts And you and I. As always with Yes, the lyrics here are fairly rubbish. The other three songs are kind of non-events, and do not require much re-listening.

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Send comments to La fraisne (BETA) | Report this review (#152370)
Posted Friday, November 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars.

The first great album from my favorite band. This is the one that got them going, that got them on the map, that sent them into progressive stardom. It was hard for me not to give this one five stars, but I have to be conservative.

Yours Is No Disgrace (9/10) A classic. Some of Steve's best guitarwork is in this song. The live version on Yessongs is a big improvement however, so if you like this song, check out that release.

The Clap (8.5/10) "Welcome to the band Steve. Here's three minutes to show off your stuff... Wow! Great job!" Not as good as Mood For A Day, but still a great acoustic song.

Starship Trooper (9.5/10) One of Yes's best songs with good musicianship from the whole band. I'm particularly fond of the Wurm part. This song became a live staple.

I've Seen All Good People (9/10) Yes's first hit. This is the song that got them noticed by masses of eager, young music enthusiasts. I prefer the Your Move section.

A Venture (8/10) This is a very underappreciated song, I think. It almost sounds like it should have been on TaaW. Great piano from Tony Kaye.

Perpetual Change (8.5/10) I love this song. The chorus is beautiful, the song is addicting, and the solo is mesmerising. The only reason I didn't rate it as highly as some of the other songs is because I heard the live version on Yessongs first, so I am naturally more partial to that one (I think it's much better).

This is an essential purchase for any Yes fan.

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Send comments to Nucleus (BETA) | Report this review (#154341)
Posted Wednesday, December 05, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A classic Yes Album, showing their capabilities with as good a guitarist as Steve Howe. Tony Kaye is still handling the keyboards, but he does a fine job trying to match Howe's soloing capabilities. The rest of the band is superb, starting to hit their stride in terms of songwriting. As usual, Anderson's lyrics dont make much sense, but theyre good in their own way.

Yours is no Disgrace: a really cool writing style with alternating sections of intense instrumentality and softer vocal parts. My favorite line in this song is just "Silly Human Race". Its very silly and yet has some truth. Steve Howe shows off a bit nearing the end, classic epic.

The Clap: a great little acoustic piece by Howe that apparently was only ever recorded live. nice, bouncy interlude.

Starship Trooper: Best song on the album, with a nice opening, and some melodic harmonies from the newly made trio of singers, Anderson, Howe and Squire. Some great bass work underlies the vocal parts, and this continues for a while. the middle part is a bubbly acoustic part, with interesting time signatures and singing. and of course, the ending Jam of The Wurm is incredible, even better when live due to Wakeman soloing as well as Howe. Overall, a classic yessong.

I've Seen All Good People: the single, some great vocal harmonies and lute work, a pop song through and through, but a good one. the second movement has some electric guitar that is really stunning if you see it live.

A Venture: The odd man out here, nice piano and melodies, but doesnt seem to go anywhere.

Perpetual Change: Another in the style of Yours is no Disgrace, alternating heavy instrumental parts and softer, slower vocal parts, although the vocal parts soon get to be very blasting. More Howe Brilliance, and a great closer to a great album.

Overall, classic Yessound is starting to develop, and would take the last step with the addition of Rick Wakeman on Keys. All three epics on this album sound amazing when done live, the only 3 songs that Yes could improv on, with all other songs merely being recreated, with the exception of their typical jams going along with Long Distance runaround and the fish. This is a very unique album in the yes repetoire, and a good one too.

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Send comments to The Ace Face (BETA) | Report this review (#154550)
Posted Friday, December 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first of a series of incredible Yes albums. The Yes Album is another album that got me into Yes music (and thus prog rock overall), it is magnificent and delightful to listen to, analyze, and simply have, in any prog collection. From start to finish the album is well written and realized, each song is a classic Yes song. There are only a couple songs that strike me as slightly mediocre, and even they grow on me more each time I give the album a listen. The band at this point has finally found it's trademark sound and have become quite comfortable with composing new music; it was certainly a step up from Time and a Word, especially with the introduction of one of my favorite guitarists Steve Howe. Of course, the band would have yet to mature it's songwriting capabilities to epic heights, and would have yet to break through the commercial barrier, but this album proved the band's potential to become one of the greatest progressive bands of all time. It is essential to any Yes fan or anyone who loves raw symphonic progressive music. Along with Fragile it's also a great album to introduce anyone to progressive music and especially Yes. I give it a perfect 4.

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Send comments to Draith (BETA) | Report this review (#156902)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first progressive album and at the very beginning was like having a lot of puzzle pieces mixed in my mind. Then little by little all of the pieces started to fit, so I became a Yes fan and because of that I'm a progressive rock fan. I bought the album because of the song called I've Seen All Good People a beautiful soft song. But the rest of the album is very different with songs that later became Yes classics like Yours is not Disgrace, Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change; three excellent and extended songs with some of the more brilliant Steve Howe's guitar performances. This record is in my opinion as good as "Fragile" or "Close to the Edge", the other two Yes jewels, and must be included in any progressive rock collection. When I listen it again, more than thirty five years later, still produces in me the same emotion. Definitively a masterpiece which deserves 5 stars.

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Send comments to Jorge_B (BETA) | Report this review (#161975)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

This is where the perect string of albums begins...this is out of control, how is this possible? YES is just mind blowing now, the music has reached new heights...no more orchestration and less excessiveness and we have MORE power and emotion than ever? HOW!? Simplicity and beauty. Man, these songs are perfect. Of course, although overplayed on radio and whatever, I cannot deny the incredible nature of the track I've Seen All Good People...I mean, wow, just wow...unheard of. The moment that little ocarina like flute hits you just know this is God sent stuff. OK, not to mention that every other track is atrocious, and I know atrocious would mean bad, but I want to use atrocious to describe them because they are just SO DAMN GOOD it makes you sick. Terrible stuff...Clap and Starship prove us wrong all of us who said Steve How and Chris Squire were crap, because now we know they are of a different planet :)

So YES, yes, this is a perfect album and you should buy this and enjoy every song and play it for your friends and family and just feel absolutely amazing every day THANKS!

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Send comments to The Lost Chord (BETA) | Report this review (#163517)
Posted Saturday, March 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Only 6 songs here. Often considered as one of Yes's best albums, The Yes Album (what a simple-but- efficient name !) is the first with Steve Howe on guitar - and if you want to know how good he is, please have a listen to the instrumental and live-taken piece The Clap, perfect. The other tracks are vocalized. Some Yes classics here, like Starship Trooper or Yours Is No Disgrace. I don't really like I've Seen All Good People (especially the first part) and A Venture. In order to quote all the tracks, the last one is beautiful, Perpetual Change, but not my favorite from the album (which is Starship Trooper). I think that if you're a beginner, you shouldn't begin to listen to Yes with this album, it's very particular. Be sure to prefer Fragile or Close To The Edge, or even Yessongs, which proposes a lot of songs from this album.

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Send comments to Zardoz (BETA) | Report this review (#163969)
Posted Saturday, March 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Changin' some styles.

I don't want to say that I like this or hate this. Songs are awesome but so much . At the same time I didn't find so much prog as I wanted here, hearing only a classic rock album. But it's only my IMHO.

1. Yours Is No Disgrace -5/5- 4.5 actually. I like this song so much and i fing it prog but it's such long for being Yes top hit. Riffs by Howe amazing, melody too, but i don't really want to hear this 9-minute lenght song for a couple of times, please give me an edit one! 2. The Clap -3/5- Howe acustic solo. Not prog actually. This song took a wrong place here, it must be in Howe's album. 3. Starship Trooper -4.5/5- I began to understand this only now. It's not epic, but three-part piece sounds different, instrument part is memorable in the middle. 4. I've Seen All Good People -4/5- I found it disaser! Only now I hear something, but, in my opinion, it's not prog really. 5. A Venture -3.5/5- same thing as in the previous one, but I dislike it now however. 6. Perpetual Change -5/5- favourite on this tape. I may hear it eternaly, all melodies and riffs at the right way to be played. Art-rock masterpiece!

Not poor but not essentional, rated 4 stars.

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Send comments to Resurrected (BETA) | Report this review (#167668)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars (Re-edit on 5/12/2009) It looks like I finally say ''yes'' to THE YES ALBUM. Took me too long...

THE YES ALBUM, if anything, sounds more akin to hard rock with extended instrumental passages than the unique prog rock sound Yes is more known. Don't get me wrong, it's still a bona fide progressive rock album, but Yes's better days are still ahead of them at this point.

Steve Howe as a new member really makes his presence known here, especially on ''Yours Is No Disgrace'' and his solo bit ''Clap''. Compared to his predecessor, Peter Banks, Howe seems to have more versatility and better command of the guitar best evidenced on ''Yours Is No Disgrace''. I remember when I first reviewed the album and panned that track, but since then, the song has taken on a new life even if some of the solo bits get a bit tedious.

This might be one of the more problematic albums for those who don't like Jon Anderson's voice. I don't find it as welcoming or as confident as it is on future releases, ''Perpetual Change'' excluded. As for Kaye, Squire and Bruford, I don't think any of them have any true standout performances, but all three are very solid throughout the album, particularly Squire. One other note is that many of the songs can get old easily. I once enjoyed ''Starship Trooper'' a lot, but it seems to have lost luster over repeated listens. I now find the piece to be a bit dragging barring the ''Disillusion'' section.

One of the most overlooked tracks in Yes's library is ''A Venture''. It's only a little over three minutes long, not that complex, but very beautiful and moving with a nice little jam-y finish. The piano bit deserves bonus points.

Get this if you're remotely interested in Yes as many of their classics (''Starship Trooper'', ''Perpetual Change'', ''I've Seen All Good People'', ''Yours Is No Disgrace'') are present here. It could take time to get used to if you've heard CLOSE TO THE EDGE era Yes before this, but those with a strong rock background ought to go for this one first as the album harkens closest to that type of sound. A reserved four stars.

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Send comments to Sinusoid (BETA) | Report this review (#168177)
Posted Saturday, April 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This is where all the pieces come together-- from the songwriting to the instrumental virtuosity-- to create the first truly essential album, and one of their most energetic and exciting.

Howe's immense contribution to the band's sound aside, The Yes Album is a stellar showcase of the band's focused progressive sound, featuring some fantastically deep and memorable songs with outstanding performances from all members. The rise in quality (across the board) is very evident from their 2 previous albums, and although Howe's debut may steal the show I can guarantee that listeners will find themselves grooving to Squire's awesome bass just as much.

The opener blows away most of their contemporaries work with its shows of lightning dexterity, and the album itself generates undeniable likeability-- while retaining its ambitiousness-- which is something I never felt that the other prog-fathers could manage. There is powerful music here, true to its rock roots while embracing and striving for something more.

The Yes Album is the perfect place to begin listening to the outstanding classical period of this group's work, and is a milestone in the genre for its stellar songs and memorable performances.

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

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Send comments to Prog Leviathan (BETA) | Report this review (#168390)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Left in a succeed or be dropped scenario Yes were not in the least intimidated the result of their late 1970 studio sessions The Yes Album is along with Close To The Edge the record of their career. New guitarist Steve Howe's contribution is undeniable, his virtuoso acoustic solo piece Clap and the Boogie- Rock riffing of I've Seen All Good People show him instantly slotting in like a long-lost jigsaw piece. All the characteristics of Classic Yes are here, complex vocal harminsation, lush keyboards, the signature twang of Chris Squire's Rickenbacker and unfortunately the impossible to decipher nonsense that Yes call lyrics. Essentially this takes little away from the experience, uplifting, melodic and ambitious, the epic trudging of Yours Is No Disgrace, the Beatlesque Psych-Pop of The Venture and of course the baffling contrast of the two part suite I've Seen All Good People are amongst the finest pieces Yes have ever written. Although the replacement of Tony Kaye with keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman for follow up album Fragile would represent an obvious step forwards musically fundamentally The Yes Album is far superior record.

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Send comments to TheRocinanteKid (BETA) | Report this review (#169536)
Posted Friday, May 02, 2008 | Review Permalink
LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Italian Prog Specialist
2 stars Right from the first Bonanza-like chords of Yours Is No Disgrace to the fading guitar of Perpetual Change I sit back with some sort of forced enjoyment. Out of the two biggies in symphonic prog, Yes is my favourite, but neither them or Genesis have ever managed to pluck my stings with an entire album. There's always the parts or songs that have the same effect as a sore thumb: it's annoying and painful, gets even more annoying and painful the more it's exposed and it's extremely potent when it comes to deteriorating the mood as a whole.

Two, no three, things make up this 'sore thumb' on The Yes Album. First it's Jon Andersons gigantic role in the mix, second it's Jon Andersons' voice, which I shouldn't have a problem with. Rush is one of my favourite bands, and Geddy's high-pitched voice needed no time to grow. Jon's have been given that time and it showed no sign of improving. Third is Steve Howe's guitar. No, don't rush to conclusions here. It's merely the sound that I'm not to keen of - sometimes fuzzy, crunchy, but ultimately powerless chords, sometimes it's the electric 'banjo'. And as he is quite a big part of the soundscape, these few things turn quite ugly after a while. Yes have always been bubbly, first in a '60s way and later naturally in a '70s way, with hippie-Beatle-esque esthetics all over the early albums. And that's another thing that takes this record down a notch. Even with great musicianship, some of the potential is lost for me due to this flimsy, light-weight approach to the music, sometimes even in a twisted jazzed up rockabilly form - it fails to move me. It's playful, no doubt, but not the way I like it.

Bashing aside, there are of course things speaking in favour of The Yes Album. Steve Howes melodic mini-solos and background noodling, or his shorter classical interludes speaks of better things to come, and Chris Squire is always classy with his sharp, punctual and melodic bass. Almost every song contains interesting, edgy parts but they all seem to fade away before they get chance to build up steam.

Two songs contain more of these parts than the others: Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change. Starship Trooper was probably the first song I heard by the band, perhaps beaten by Roundabout. Since it's built of different parts I also have a favourite among those. It starts with a slightly lazy, but still interesting theme, with the organ very far back in the mix and Steve Howe's guitar together with the trusty Rickenbacker of Squire carries it in to a part entirely dominated by some acoustic, pseudo-classical guitar work and Jon Anderson. It then wanders around aimlessly for a while with ethereal vocals to enhance the cosmic theme. But it's only when an impromptu stop grows into the phased guitar of Howe that things really build up some steam and pressure. Suggestive, dramatic and the best thing on the album, it then gradually builds up with more instruments, more complexity and finally, a triumphant fake solo duel from Howe. This is the stuff of which stars are made.

Thus ending on a positive note, this is an effort that means so much too many, and so little to me. It was my gateway to Yes, and as Micky says 'You may like this album and not like Yes's future works... but if you don't like this album... you won't like Yes'. Not entirely true for me, but at least to a great extent. I'll gladly recommend other albums, but not this.

2 stars.

//LinusW

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Send comments to LinusW (BETA) | Report this review (#170893)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Review 40, The Yes Album, Yes, 1971

StarStarStar

No disgrace.

The Yes Album is where my current Yes collection begins (never really had the inclination to try the debut), and was one of the two Yes albums I started with (along with Close To The Edge). There are plenty of people who consider it a masterpiece, and I'm not among them. We can see some of the superb musicianship and composition that we will see in later Yes, even if Wakeman really completes the set for me and Bruford really comes into his own on Fragile. There is a lot of energy on the album, and that's certainly good for it. However, the problem is the arrangement, which sometimes falls down into a bombastic and bouncy section that has basically no relation to the song it's in, and the vocal repetition is often rather excessive. This is certainly a good album, and a nice, relatively accessible introduction to Yes, but they've yet to reach the stellar heights of things like South Side Of The Sky or Siberian Khatru.

The cheerful chords of Yours Is No Disgrace (even if repeated for rather longer than I think is necessary) introduce us to the style of the album, with Tony Kaye's blocky organ. A whirl of guitar from Howe leads us impressively to the initial heavily harmonised vocals with an organ background, and we move on through a few mostly un-necessary instrumental sections with repeats abounding to a vocal-bass section to a great biting Howe solo (and a couple of additions from Kaye and Bruford). From then on, the song is a little more satisfying: Howe's melodic acoustic and electric guitars over some superb organ from Kaye and a typically excellent Squire-Bruford duo delights every time, while all the vocals feel well-placed and the pompous 'bam-babam-bam' theme does seem appropriate. Howe and Squire both throw in some soloing. On the plus side, some very nicely done lyrics and essentially good playing throughout, but the flow is lacking in the first half.

The Clap is an acoustic delight from Howe, with a cheerful feel, superb moments, extremely good flow and never dull. A very mobile, original and enjoyable piece.

Starship Trooper is probably going to be the highlight for most progressive-ly interested people, being around ten minutes long and featuring an expanding theme. On Anderson's Life Seeker, Bruford provides some superb style, Squire provides strong bass and the swelling organ is appropriate for the song. Jon Anderson's vocal is relaxed, yet assertive and strong enough to handle the stripped back spots rather well. There are a couple of places where I think the bombast inserted compromises the piece's flow. Squire's section, Disillusion, features some unsurprisingly excellent bass playing, even if the vocals on 'loneliness is a pow'r that we possess' don't do much for me. The flow up to Howe's excellent entrance to the final instrumental section (Wurm, written by Howe) is perfectly handled, and that section is certainly worthy of Yes's efforts, with an excellent build-up, careful additions from Kaye and Bruford, and Howe gets to handle an electric guitar solo, which is suitably awesome. It is very well concluded, but the first two parts of Starship Trooper don't really satisfy me.

The following 'I've Seen All Good People' is a mixed piece, with an annoying opening, some beautiful vocals from Anderson, but some terrible harmonies. Howe provides an acoustic background to the vocals, with an occasional thump in the background from Bruford. A flutey sound, probably from Kaye's direction is present throughout until the large organ bursts in. The more cheerful All Good People proper features a more bouncy rhythm created by Squire and Howe, while Kaye and Bruford add in a little bounce with some piano and excellent drumming. Unfortunately, the repeats from Anderson don't really help the song a lot, and the massively blocky organ doesn't really do the end much. One of those ones I don't really like, even if I admire the components.

I actually like the maligned and folky 'A Venture', which contains a delicious piano opening, followed by a rather consistent bass part, Anderson contributes to some great moments as everyone else drops out, and everyone gets to do a bit of jumping out of the piece's mould. Again, the problem is flow, with a couple of 'just to hide away' sections feeling awkward, but the ending is actually very good, with a bizarrely chosen guitar solo when the piece has already basically faded.

Perpetual Change, the albums third longer piece, begins with the bombast that the other two have already seen, and the Howe guitar and Squire bass feels a little powerless on the opening. Again, we have the flow not complimented by feeble bridging efforts. A brief Squire bass solo features before another repeat of the chorus and the bombast. The verse proper, however, is wonderful, with Anderson's high vocal contrasting with the harmonies, and we get some more rocking moment from the band with Anderson's powerful 'You'll see perpetual change' blasting out from the speakers with a couple of taps on piano not too dissimilar to something on Aqualung. The piece takes off into an excellent instrumental section which bridges properly, instead opting to move into a repeated riff. A moog hum brings us onto the final vocal section with a very satisfying conclusion created by the vocals and the wordless harmony, and the bombastic throbs of the earlier song being repeated, but feeling appropriate. Everyone takes a brief solo and the piece comes down to a calm end.

The bonus material isn't great. A single version of I've Seen All Good People and Life Seeker is pretty unnecessary. The start of Your Move is very jarring after the album proper's conclusion. However, the studio version of The Clap, which does vary enough from the one included to be of interest, is worthy of inclusion on the remaster.

All in all, lots of potential, and some great sections scattered about the place. However, the overall flow of lots of the pieces is lacking, and Kaye's rather simplistic organ as well as the arrangement-shaped hole and bombastic (I'm sorry for horribly overusing this word. Allegorical in the extreme) guitar-chords become quite annoying at times. A nice album. One I like. There are some bits of this that every Yes fan must hear, and everyone else will certainly like, but only with Wakeman do Yes become an essential band.

Rating: Three Stars (but a good three stars) Favourite Track: Perpetual Change or Starship Trooper, but I don't particularly prefer any of the individual tracks to the others.

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Send comments to TGM: Orb (BETA) | Report this review (#172022)
Posted Friday, May 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Well,this is a must have,it's the album where YES finally developed their own sound and made a school for all the prog rock students!...It's not as good as their later masterpieces but it's an album where the progressive term finds its meaning!...Influences by THE BEATLES are very obvious filtrated under the label of symphonic prog with complex arrangements in most of the tracks...Very good work by Tony Kaye and his organ, trademark vocals by Jon Anderson...and maybe it sounds strange but the guitar sounds to me like early RUSH or if you want YES might have been a great influence for Alex Lifeson of RUSH...

Compared to masterpieces like ''Close to the edge'',''Fragile'' or even ''Tales from topographic oceans'', this one loses the battle and should be rated with 3 or 3.5 stars...so I guess a 3 star rating would be more fair...Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#172132)
Posted Sunday, May 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Yes Album is the third album from symphonic prog rock legends Yes. This is the album that made the big change for them as a band. With their two first albums they had been struggling for recognition and didn´t get enough according to Atlantic Records who would have fired them if The Yes Album proved not to be succesful. Bearing this in mind it´s very strange that Yes did all the opposite things of what other bands in the same situation might have done. They didn´t change their music so it would be more commercial. On the contrary The Yes Album is more complex and challenging than any of their previous two albums which shows exactly how bold and innovative a force Yes was in those days. That´s what I call a true progressive spirit.

The Yes Album consists of six songs and four of them are pretty long. Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change are all great progressive rock songs with lots of mood and harmony changes, exciting intrumental parts and great vocals from Jon Anderson and Chris Squire. I´ve Seen All Good People is a song it took some time for me to appreciate, but today I enjoy the elaborate vocal arrangement and the feel good spirit of the song. Listen to those harmonies and tell me that The Flower Kings haven´t listened here. The Clap is a short bluegrass guitar piece played by new guitarist Steve How who replaced Peter Banks prior to writing The Yes Album. A Venture which is the shortest of the band songs here is not that memorable and quite frankly the least exciting song here. It´s allright but nothing more.

The musicianship is outstanding. Notice how each musician is beginning to find his playing style. Bill Bruford´s drumming is becoming more and more fusion influenced and dare I call The Yes Album Steve Howe´s album ? He meant so much for Yes at this time. His playing lifted there music to a higher plain IMO. It´s funny about The Clap being a Bluegrass song, because you can hear lots of influences from that genre in Steve Howe´s playing.

The production is really good and just helps emphasise the excellent music.

This is an excellent prog rock album and allthough Yes have made better albums later on in their career this one was the album that started it all. It´s essential in that respect but it´s not worth the full 5 stars IMO so I´ll rate it 4 well deserved stars. This is a highly recommendable album.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#172778)
Posted Sunday, June 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Yes Album heralded the arrival of Steve Howe to the band and launched the band into superstardom. Yes' third album is not only a prog classic but a classic album in general, garnering recognition from the mainstream across the radio. The sound of the band and songwriting became immensly stronger with the addition of Steve Howe and the maturing of Jon Anderson and Chris Squire as writers and preformers. The Yes album is considered the first installment of the Classic Yes sound. An essential album and a good reccomendation as a starting point to a new Yes listener.

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Send comments to Relayer09 (BETA) | Report this review (#173289)
Posted Sunday, June 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the breakthrough album for Yes, being their first real success, also being their You're off Atlantic if you don't score any hits on the next record record. They really did put in effort, but it sounds very mainstream, the latter probably being the reason why.

Yours Is No Disgrace! This song, you can hear Steve Howe's differentiation over Peter Banks. He's very lick oriented, moreso than Banks. The drumming and bass playing on this track are really nice. But something I noticed, was Tony Kaye. He must have been playing three pianos at once for this track. The break in the middle of the song is very jazzy. The live version of this song, (The House Of Blues version in specific) is much better, with some interesting guitar solos from Howe. Great song! (9/10)

MAMA HELP ME! I'VE GOT THE CLAP! Clap is a ctachy little live guitar ditty written by Howe. I really like it, as it reminds me of some of the music on one of my favorite childhood films; Toy Story. Yeah, wonderful little song. (10/10)

Starship Trooper starts out with the heavy bottom bass really being powerful. The guitar playing is very nice, with the phasing in and out. Life Seeker being my least favorite part, Disillusion being my favorite, with an acoustic guitar backing Jon Anderson soft vocals. But Wurm, is very special. It starts out with Steve Howe playing the guitar line on his phasing guitar, then it becomes this intense heavy instrumental. This is a great way to cap a great song. (10/10)

I've Seen All Good People! The vocal start kind of annoyed a little. But then the vachalia (Polish or Portuguese Mandolin, i'm unsure) comes in and I fell in love with the song. The lyrics are somewhat related to the game of chess. The best part of this song isn't the jam at the end, but the vocals! The chorus vocals I really love, the dededede vocals. Really nice. The jam at the end, I found to be somewhat weak and unenergetic, in comparison to the live version. Overall great song. (9/10)

A Venture? This song I don't even remember listening to. Starts off nice with the keys and guitar, then becomes...a little like Genesis. I don't really get this song, sort of random and pointless. (6/10)

Perpetual Change, starts off with the classic Yes unison. Then a very cool drum fill, then a break reminding of Yours Is No Disgrace. The break is nice, with a nice piano line. The lyrics are catchy too, Inside Out, Outside In. The chorus, I really liked. It's very catchy and nice. The song slows down again, then goes into this slower jazz infused slow down. Steve Howe's chops really show here, he's amazing. Then after that, the only way I can describe the next part, is the Nintendo solo. The organ or moog playing with the Bruford following. Then the whole chorus starts to play behind them, with Howe soloing. Amazing ending song. (10/10)

The whole album was a nice change for Yes. Slowly creeping into their Symphonic Prog form, Wakeman was the ending of the metamorphisis. Tony Kaye is a good keyboardist, just not phenominal. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Treasure (BETA) | Report this review (#174664)
Posted Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
5 stars Yes, indeed!

This is Yes' first masterpiece and an absolute Prog classic. Apart from A Venture, every song on this album has become a true Yes classic and probably every single Yes concert until this very day has included at least one or two songs from this album in the set list. Yours Is No Disgrace is a personal favourite of mine (but this studio version is not the best version, I particularly like the live version from the excellent House Of Yes DVD).

Steve Howe is heard here for the first time on a Yes album and, as we all know, Howe's unique guitar style instantly became one of the most (I would say the most) important features of the Yes sound. Those few albums without Steve Howe (the two first ones as well as a couple of albums in the 80's and one in the 90's) are simply not as good as the ones with him.

Rick Wakeman was yet to join the band and while he too became an important part of the band's distinctive sound, there are many great Yes albums without Rick (and the one under review here is a perfect example of that). In the live environment Rick would later put his very own stamp on several songs from this album, particularly Starship Trooper which was given an incredible Moog solo that can be heard on the Yessongs double live album. Rick also often ends his solo shows with a rendition of Starship Trooper (despite the fact that he didn't appear on this original version of it).

Another lifelong association with the band had yet to be born. I'm thinking, of course, of Roger Dean who would paint his first Yes cover art for their next album, Fragile.

The Yes Album might not be the Yes album, but this album was where it all really begun for them. With this album they proved for the first time that they are a really, really special band. The Yes Album is a milestone in the progressive rock genre and one of the most important albums of all time.

Need I say more?

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#176861)
Posted Monday, July 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is generally heralded as YES first masterpiece. As much as I hear some very interesting things going on here, I don't agree with that statement.

For me there are two big problems with "The Yes Album" that stops me from judging it as highly as I would its successors. The first has to do with the music itself. Even though some tracks are definitely captivating (especially the excellent "Yours is no Disgrace"), some are weak and, in general, they lack that symphonic feel and treatment that their later albums would have. Many songs here are pretty simple in essence, with strong familiarities with plain rock n' roll. And some are actually disappointing.

The second issue that somewhat reduces my enjoyment of this record is Jon Anderson's increasingly annoying vocals. Curiously, that problem is not so evident in future releases like "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer", maybe because those albums feature more instrumental sections, or perhaps because his voice was actually treated in a different way. But here in "The Yes Album" his high pitch really sounds awkward, and, mixed with the sometimes-uninspired music, helps give the record a deranged- psychedelia flavor. The music is slightly psychedelic, and Anderson's voice adds to the feeling of weirdness, of a bad "trip" so to speak.

Your is no Disgrace (9/10) opens the album with brilliance. Squire's bass is the driving force in this very interesting song with great textures and a fantastic performance by Howe, one of his best ever.

Clap (7.5/10) A live acoustic-guitar jam by Howe, it's attractive once or twice. It loses interest after a few listens. His playing is very good, though.

Starship Trooper (8/10) The longest song in the record is good but nowhere near their future masterpieces. It tends to drag a little in the later sections.

I've Seen All Good People (6/10) An OK song that is ruined by Anderson's voice. If his vocals were ever annoying, nowhere were they more so than in this song. The poor melody and the mediocre hard- rock sections are brought down even more by the continuous annoyance of Anderson's high-pitched vocal harmonies.

A Venture (8/10) this one starts pretty well, mostly thanks to Howe, Kaye and Squire creating excellent textures. The song is rather short and simple, but it's enjoyable.

Perpetual Change (7.5/10) After a brilliant start the verse just can't maintain the same level, with terrible clichéd lyrics sung by Anderson. The song seems to gain stem again, mainly propelled by Kaye's energetic keyboard, but it ultimately fails. The second half is much better, with an excellent instrumental section, until Anderson's "inside out outside in" vocals return. A decent closer.

The good points about this album are, without question, Howe's excellent performance and some great textures by Kaye and Squire. But the average songs hurt the experience, and make me give this album a 3-star rating.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#178196)
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Early in 1971 aliens came and replaced the members of YES with the most talented and visionary musicians from the planet Progadoccia. That or something like it must have happened, surely: how else does one explain the remarkable transformation in sound between this, an absolute prog classic, and the two mediocre and rather derivative YES albums that went before?

Some say it was the addition of STEVE HOWE to the lineup. I don't think so. HOWE doesn't deliver those incredible pulsing bass lines with the shattering intensity of controlled detonations. Six seconds into the album comes the first of them, a glorious slide that introduces the new CHRIS SQUIRE, unfettered at last. Yes, HOWE has the talent to match this peerless rhythm section, but even without him that rhythm section comes into its own. Suddenly ANDERSON is really singing rather than annoying us with that over-breathy whispering that masqueraded for vocalisation on the first two albums.

I say it's confidence, allied with a new spirit of adventure. Apparently Atlantic were about to ditch them: unlike other bands in that situation, who try to manufacture a commercial success, YES opted to make their last album a great one. With this album YES took the mantle of leader of the prog rock movement away from KING CRIMSON and, apart from a few moments when they shared it with fellow prophets GENESIS, wore it for the next few years. With this album they showed us where prog rock could take us. They extended their compositions past all sense and into a new place, combining jazz sensibilities with the power of rock and an increasing appreciation of the 'feel' a symphonic arrangement can bring to a song, and simply let loose.

It's no easy thing, this letting loose, this voluntary removal of restraint. Unless you are very confident, you can end up looking foolish. But these arrangements work spectacularly well. 'Yours is No Disgrace' starts us off: liberal borrowing from 'Bonanza' is disguised by the outrageous arrangement. The intro is in itself a masterpiece, with a minute and a half of deliciously tight interplay between rhythm section, HOWE's characteristic guitar and that sumptuous Hammond. When KAYE parks the Hammond to herald the vocal line, we've already had more than YES have heretofore offered us. The song works its way through a collection of meaningless lyrical phrases, selected for their sound, not their meaning, another sign that the band had abandoned any attempt to copy anyone else and gone looking for their own sound. And ah, the results. A growing understanding of symphonic patterns means lovely motifs, such as SQUIRE's bass at 3:30, can be played, stored and repeated with stunning variations later on. In between, the song's middle section showcases great guitar chops and a quite unique sound, in all its stereophonic glory. All this leads to one of prog's finest melting moments: SQUIRE's bass from the seven minute mark, its interaction with ANDERSON's vocals, and finally BRUFORD's re-enty into the song is quite the classiest, funkiest thing you're likely to hear. Gloriously simple, profoundly effective, totally dependent on the platform they've just spent seven minutes assembling, impossible to achieve without the breadth of vision these men demonstrate, and utterly compelling.

At this moment in 1971 YES are balanced at the very peak of the musical world. This song, I believe, is perfect. Not a moment wasted, not a moment too short or too long. It takes me three minutes to recover, which is exactly why 'The Clap' works so well at this point.

The thunderous opening to 'Starship Trooper' notches the album even higher. This is not the concrete slab of LED ZEPPELIN or the chainsaw of BLACK SABBATH, nor is it the melodic beauty of GENESIS: it is, somehow, something of them all. Listen to that bass sound, that vibrating Rickenbacker, melting your spine with its power. Anderson's had a voice transplant, seemingly: he shows precision and range not even hinted at earlier. BRUFORD slaps out complex fills without breaking a sweat, and KAYE underscores it all with that mouthwatering Hammond. Oh, listen as SQUIRE gets to work, those bass runs all desperately compelling. Rightly, the uncluttered arrangements are centered around his stunning sound. We get a short acoustic/vocal break (Disillusion) and return to the main theme in true symphonic style, a lead-in to the justly famous 'Wurm'. Each transition gives the band a chance to show off their stuff. While other albums, even the excellent 'Thick as a Brick' struggle with segues, YES make it a feature of their work, with their very best sounds occurring in the transitions between parts.

Wurm, now, Wurm. Three ominous, flanger-soaked chords given the STEVE HOWE treatment in a gradual build into orgasmic glory, enough to depilate the scalp of the most churlish music-lover. The guitar solo at the end comes as a sweet release of the incredible pressure the prolonged build-up brings to bear on the listener. This is so far past mere mastery it enters into realms beyond compare. My only regret is that it fades out far too soon: that sound could march on in my mind forever.

'All Good People' continues the intensity. An oddly constructed song, the first part is beautifully melodic, with ANDERSON at his best, as SQUIRE and the crew work manfully to provide vocal harmony. The instruments take a back seat, with GOLDRING's guest flute combining with a gentle acoustic and the regular thump of the bass drum to reinforce the reflective pace of the song. KAYE's keyboard highlights the end of this first part. All changes as the instruments come to the fore, dwarfing the repetitive main theme. Another daring experiment; another success. Just listen to the confidence these musicians are now demonstrating.

'A Venture' gives us another moment to rest, a gentle song fragment lowering the intensity somewhat at the right time. Notable for KAYE's excellent piano.

One last monster, the surprisingly underrated 'Perpetual Change'. Winner of the most absurd lyric of 1971 ('And move the movement on the lawn' - didn't they put their 'No Dogs' sign up?), this is the fourth slab of symphonic greatness on this indispensable album. 'You'll see perpetual change!' ANDERSON roars. And we did, we did, for album after stunning album. Again, the interplay of the rhythm section is astonishing - what about that amazing piece at the five minute mark? how on earth did they think of that? - and the song is drawn to an exciting climax. 'Inside out/Outside in/All of the way.'

Though a WAKEMAN short of the classic YES lineup, this album contains stellar examples of everything essential about this magnificent band. For myself - if you haven't already worked it out - I can't think of music more representative of everything I love about this wonderful thing we call Prog Rock. Take a pair of fresh ears out of the drawer and give this old chestnut another listen.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#178366)
Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
CCVP
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My personal favorite Yes album (at least at the time i am writing my review . . .)

This album is a big turning point for Yes and probably the most important point in their careers (in the 70's): they drop the pop rock that characterized their previous albums (Yes, from 1969, and Time and a Word, from 1970) and start to make music much more complex and aggressive than before (yes, Yes's music is in this period more aggressive than other symphonic bands alike, such as Genesis), they got their first line-up change, something that probably influenced the change in their music (Steve Howe was tackling the guitar duties in Peter Banks's place), this was the album that made Yes blossom commercially and also was the last album of the keyboardist Tony Kayne with Yes in the 70's. This album also set the model of the next album (Fragile), whose structures are very alike on each side (side 1: epic - short song - epic / side 2: songs - epic).

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Pressured by the record company (Atlantic) to make success, the band spent two months in a farmhouse near Ilfracombe trying to create something completely original and new, trying to change their music, and they did. This album represent a giant leap forward towards progressive rock for Yes: the album contains many tempo changes, virtuosi performances by the musicians (specially Howe's playing style that is somehow aggressive and delicate at the same time) and has a democratic composition style, something new for the band since Jon Anderson composed almost everything in their previous albums.

All songs are great, but there are some that are better (duh!). In my opinion, Yours is no Disgrace is the best song of this album and a killer introduction for the album (seriously, the choice for the first song of the album could not have been better); Starship Trooper comes in second and as the third best song comes Perpetual Change. Although at first i thought that The Clap and A Venture were fillers, now i see they fit well in the album flow and are actually very good songs (The Clap is even kind of copied by Yezda Urfa, because Texas Armadillo have some similarities with it).

Grade and Final Thoughts

I don't think that there is something else to say here, besides that this album is an absolute rock classic. 5 stars and end of story.

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Send comments to CCVP (BETA) | Report this review (#179989)
Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars really!The Yes Album is not my kind of music.It is not my philosophy about progressive rock.I acknowledge it is better than the first two albums,but I cannot give it more than the same.Here is the first masterpiece Yes' song - I've Seen All Good People!This song is incredible song,but I want my conscience to be clear and if I give 4 stars to this album it will not be so!The other songs (except I've Seen All Good People) are not completed enough and their structure is chaotic.Of course,this is first album where the traditional Yes sound is!Earlier,I gave 4 stars to such a great album like Genesis' Duke and I don't think this one deserves the same mark.I've never listen to it except I've Seen All Good People.Because of that incredible song 3.5 stars,but not 4!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#180902)
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Yes - 'The Yes Album' 4.5 stars

Enter, Steve Howe.

-Steve Howe rant, you can skip this. I personally find Steve Howe to be the greatest progressive rock guitarist of all time. He is able to match his skills and not substitute them for compositional skills either. Steve Howe has mastered various styles of music like jazz, classical and blues. The mastery of these styles made Steve has many useful tools in his disposal, being able to apply any of these styles in Yes's varied song structures. Another presence he brought to the music is his use of other guitars that the former didn't really use, which is the acoustic guitar and pedal steel guitar, just to name a few. Steve Howe didn't change Yes per say, but he did climb right onto the ship Yes was moving in and made it to the helm right away. The best prog guitarist of all time, in my opinion.

Every song on this album is a good one, and the weak moments are all too few. This album is not a five star for me because it never had that ever-lasting appeal or the ability to make me feel like this is the most epic thing I have ever heard. None the less, I feel like this is almost as good as an album can get.

'Yours is no Disgrace' is a near 10 minute opener. The pop sensibilities in Jon Anderson's vocals just sticks with the music and for good reason, it fits. The piece keeps a simple form but the instrumentation is noticeable as being more prompt and just at the forefront.

'Clap' is a classical guitar piece by Steve Howe. I thought it was pretty nice, but just a flashy classical guitar solo, not really my thing personally.

'Starship Trooper' is a Yes classic, possible the first was a complex piece that still was able to reach a large crowd of new fans in the mainstream music scene. It features three different parts each having their own unique taste.

'I've Seen All Good People' was another great hit, but its true potential was brought out live and acoustic. The vocal harmonies that would truly be at the top if its game on later albums was started with this song.

'A Venture' seemed to be an ode to the style of early Yes, but with its new look that was brought about on the first few tracks. I little bit of blues and pop mix with some truly identifiable leads by Bill Bruford.

'Perpetual Change' was a great closer to choose. Perhaps a statement of what Yes wanted to do. This song is similar in style to 'Yours is no Disgrace' and features a classic Howe solo that presents many more to come from the man. A great Yes song, but fails in comparison to the next few gems.

This album isn't as good as the next few, but it should not be overlooked. There are quite a few really exciting tracks can pull any fan of progressive rock in. I highly recommend this album.

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Send comments to ProgBagel (BETA) | Report this review (#183253)
Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Yes put out two very good records before this one, but this one begins a lengthy string of essential albums that will establish the band's prominence in progressive rock music. It is certainly not the strongest Yes album available, but it represents a shift in direction and contains several absolutely magnificent pieces of music. The lineup changed before this album; Peter Banks is out, and master guitarist Steve Howe is in, which is unquestionably for the better. All the other members are tight in their respective roles.

"Yours is No Disgrace" A bouncy guitar and some organ get things rolling. Howe's lead guitar work throughout the song is extremely well-constructed and downright creative, and almost instantly, I see that Banks's replacement was a good thing. Jon Anderson's lyrics are becoming more obscure than ever, and his voice has finally reached it's prime. Chris Squire's bass is more pronounced. All in all, this is one of my absolute favorite Yes songs.

"Clap" This Steve Howe solo acoustic guitar piece changed the way I approached the instrument as a musician once I learned to play it. It's a flatpicking sound, and several dominant 7th chords give it a real country / bluegrass flavor. Howe wrote it to celebrate the birth of one of his sons, not as a happy-go-lucky tribute to gonorrhea, as the incorrect title might lead one to believe.

"Starship Trooper" One of the best two songs on the album, this one has pleased progressive rock fans for quite a long time. It was one of the songs responsible for getting me into Yes. Squire's tremolo-laden bass drives this song, and Howe plays an original riff with a clean guitar. The chord progression is simplistic but phenomenal under the soaring melody. The song has three distinct parts, the first of which returns to bridge the second and third. The first part is the best, and showcases the whole band the most. The second part highlights Yes's vocal ability and Howe's flatpicking. The final section is a lengthy and repetitive segment that builds and builds until Howe treats us to a guitar solo.

"Your Move / I've Seen All Good People" Personally, I like "Your Move" more than "I've Seen All Good People." Even though the latter is more energetic, and Steve Howe goes absolutely insane, I enjoy the counterpoint vocals and the easygoing instrumentation, as well as the chess-inspired lyrics, of the former. The second song of the track just gets a tad too repetitive, since the guys simply sing the same line over and over. Because these are two distinct songs, I've always felt they should have been divided onto two separate tracks, even if they will always be played together live.

"A Venture" This short song is similar to much of the music put out on the first two albums, but that in no way makes it an inferior track. I enjoy the simplicity of it, and the lyrics are entertaining. Here, Tony Kaye's piano work is at its strongest.

"Perpetual Change" The final song is a solid one, but not exactly one of my personal favorites. The main riff is overused, and I do not care a whole lot for the bland chord progression. "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual Change" should have been swapped, since the former has such a stronger ending. I've always found the part five minutes in rather goofy, and the way the main chords come in over the top of it silly. Even Howe's distorted guitar playing is a bit pedestrian. All that said, I do like this song. The vocal melody is strong (and I especially like the backup singing). Howe's clean guitar interlude is some of the best playing he has ever done. Kaye has one of his only synthesizer performances with Yes (even though it's brief). And even though I said the ending was weaker than that of "Starship Trooper," I honestly do like the way it goes.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#192362)
Posted Monday, December 08, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I happened to get this album while I was on leave during the winter of 1971. I also got Death Walks behing you by Atomic Rooster at the same time. I have to sya that I liked Atomic Rooster right off the bat. It was considerably heavier than The Yes Album was. I think the immediate favorite of mine was The Clap by Steve Howe. It is just an excellent piece by any standard. I remember that I was buying music by bands that were putting out extra long tunes. I was steering away from top forty stuff and these kinds of albums were not designed for pop radio. Anyway, I also liked Your is no Disgrace and Starship Trooper right away. The only thing I didn't like about Starship Trooper for a few years was what I considered an annoying last part of the song where there wasn't much going on at all between the last line and the guitar solo. I was wondering why in the world they would just play rythmn for at least three minutes. I didn't listen to it too much until I got older. Then, I began to get into that part. I still listen to it regularly. I also didn't care for I've seen all Good People. It only had 2 different parts and it was on the boring side. Now I love it. I enjoyed A Venture somewhat. It was a little too sweet to latch onto, for me, but it was catchy. Perpetual Change Was also a disapointment to me. It was long, but they never did much with the tune. Those were my first impressions. The good parts were, the music was well done and there was enough good stuff on the album that I continued to listen to it and like I said, I enjoy it more now than when I first got it, so many years ago. With that said, I can only give it between 3 & 4 stars. Let's say 3.25 to be exact. It isn't essential, but it is enjoyable.

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Send comments to KEITH (BETA) | Report this review (#196456)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm having a little bit of a golden age prog renaissance at the moment, tearing through the classic King Crimson, Genesis (1970 - 1975 any day now!) and Yes catalogues, as I type. Well the renaissance part isn't exactly true, I might be old enough to have been around when these boys were popular in the early 70s, but I was far too taken by T Rex, Slade, The Sweet and Bowie (just to hang on to a little credibility) et al to be bothered by all that long winded nonsense.

Strange how thing's change isn't it? Anything by T Rex is likely to give me nostalgic goosebumps and I've Lord knows how many Bowie CD'S ad LP'S racked up behind me. But to be honest they don't get a lot of play these days, although if I were pushed (and not very hard) I'd still say that Bowie is the most constant musical presence throughout my life and his flamboyance was a vast influence for me as a teenager. I even shaved my eyebrows al la Young Americans in 1975, although this didn't bring me the success I expected with girls. Strange that. (Married, two daughters, dog and mortgage, so I suppose I turned it around at some point...)

Sorry about the preamble, I can't seem to write a review without a little bit of a warm-up first. Anyway, Yes, The Yes Album. I started my Yes journey with Close to the Edge, then moved onto Fragile and played them constantly for a couple of weeks until I felt ready for Tales. All of them perhaps marginally more sophisticated and musically complex than this, but The Yes Album had a far more immediate impact. I guess it's more hook laden and guitar oriented, which plays to my sensibilities, but there's more to it than that. I've not heard the first two albums, so cant say what impact Steve Howe had or what changes his style and versatility brought, but this is his album, he's all over it and absolutely magnificent.

Yours Is No Disgrace has some great, catchy hooks and I found Jon Anderson wonderful and emotional, which surprises and pleases with equal measure. His falsetto, although ethereal and reminiscent of a bygone era, was the characteristic I least enjoyed in Yes. No longer. Chris Squire on the other hand was the first reason Yes caught my ear (Close to the Edge) and is one of the most significant and creative bass players, his dexterity and prominence throughout this album is a joy, the echo at the beginning of Starship Trooper is so spacey and surreal, setting the tone for the track perfectly.

Bill Bruford is incredible isn't he. Not splashy or showy, just incredibly economical, but one of the few musicians likely to sway me toward a purchase if his name's on the back cover. THRAK for instance. And Tony Levin, of course. Okay and Mr Fripp. But Bill Bruford is almost a guarantee of quality, the playing in Yours Is No Disgrace and All Good people is staggering and deceptive in its simplicity. I've seen All Good People is perhaps the first track that has a signature 'Yes' sound and the transition from Your Move to All Good People is just sublime...surprising and exciting. A Venture is I think far less simple to play than it may at first seem, but a great little track, starting with some eerie piano and economically wound up in just over three minutes. I love Perpetual Change, again Jon Anderson emotes beautifully, some great jazzy guitar, crazy time changes, while Tony Kaye goes around complimenting everything. This is a very talented bunch of players just beginning to hit their stride, ready to try anything, and the great thing about the 70s is that they could. And Yes did, the general consensus is that they actually got better after this, but personally, I like this the best.

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Send comments to Namor (BETA) | Report this review (#200627)
Posted Sunday, January 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In 1967, The Moody Blues invented symphonic progressive rock.

In 1969, King Crimson refined and popularized the sound.

In 1971, Yes took KC's blueprint and twisted it into what would become the template for symphonic prog ever after. And they did that on The Yes Album.

So when you pick up The Yes Album, you pick up a piece of history. Few LP's have had more of an impact upon the development of prog. Keyboards have become much more than background atmosphere. Squire's growling bass influences bands far and wide. Howe's virtuosity overshadows that of Fripp. Anderson introduces an entirely different approach to lyrics. The ten minute mini-epic becomes a hallmark of prog. So much for the historicity of it.

This album holds up really well. What was good back in 1971 still sounds just as good today. So if you've not heard this landmark of prog, you need to listen to it. And if you've heard it, you probably will enjoy spinning it again.

5 stars all the way. Both enjoyable and historically important.

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Send comments to ghost_of_morphy (BETA) | Report this review (#201392)
Posted Sunday, February 01, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Finally, after a medium and a good album, Yes produced their first masterpiece.

Clap: first solo piece by Howe, it is a good melody and has rhythm. Sometimes I think this song is a little childlike, but nothing that takes the merit of it. Great start for Steve. 4 stars.

A Venture: very catchy song, it has incredible melody and harmony. It's calm, soft and has something special. I really like it. 4,25 stars.

I've Seen All Good People: this album made some hymns for Yes, some songs that Yes NEEDS to play in any show. This is one of them. With its opening probably influenced by medieval music, where we can hear a lute or something like that, it has a powerful phrase: 'I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied, I'm on my way'. All fans shout this sentence when they play it. Obviously. It's a catchy song, very melodic, harmonic and beautiful. At 3:32, it becomes a rock song, that's amazing. 5 stars.

Perpetual Change: simply amazing. It contains some of the most important elements of Progressive Rock. If somebody asked me to show a progressive rock song, I'd probably show this song, and when it arrived at 5:10, I'd say 'My friend, THIS is Progressive Rock'. Great lyrics, great rhythm, there's a lot of complexity, mainly by Bruford's syncopation and by the counterpoint part (5:10 - 6:26). The end of the song is absolutely amazing, that wonderful rhythm playing with the "aaaahs" till the song fades out. Nothing more to say, great hymn by Squire and Anderson. 5 stars.

Starship Trooper: Another hymn for the band, a necessary song for any show. I'd call it a Progressive Psychedelic song, because of its psychedelic atmosphere, given by all instruments. Very mystic, the lyrics and the guitar fit perfectly with the drum fills. This is about 'Life Seeker', cause 'Desillusion' is totally different from the whole song, but of course it is good as well. Fast, with country and folk influences, this part is very beautiful, mainly the acoustic guitar and the lyrics. The section 'Wurm' is so Progressive that it almost describes all Prog Rock by itself: the remarkable guitar chords with effects, the acoustic guitar following the electric guitar, the drums entering softly and the guitar solo are fantastic. Classic Yes song. 5 stars.

Yours Is No Disgrace: This song is almost impossible to be described in mere words, at least for me. Another MUST-BE-PLAYED-YES-SONG, this classic has fantastic lyrics. I've read somewhere they are about Vietnam war. I don't know if it's true, but they're amazing anyway. The intro is simply the BEST INTRO I've heard in a song in my whole life. Jon Anderson's voice is soft in some parts, aggressive in others. He really gives the emotion this song needs. All instruments are so incredible and fit so good together, it seems this song is so perfect that it doesn't exist. But thank god it does. The bass line is, once again, a classic from Mr. Squire. The part from 4:45 to 6:56 is very Psychedelic, and the part after that is very emotional. The way the band plays in this part is different from the beginning, it has more feeling. The song ends with the riff from the intro and a bass which goes to infinity (if you ever listened to it, you know what I'm talking about.). 1000 stars.

Yes, this album opened all the doors to Yes. 5 stars.

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Send comments to claugroi (BETA) | Report this review (#201463)
Posted Monday, February 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm going to start going through Yes albums in the same way I did with Genesis & Marillion, starting with this, the first essential Yes album purchase, and the moment when they began the transformation from being interesting to legends.

Of course, this transformation was wholly owing to the recruitment of Steve Howe on guitars, a maestro who brought a fresh and cutting edge sound to the band lacking both previously with Peter Banks. Although many people regard the commencement of the band to becoming prog legends as being Fragile with Wakeman's recruitment, I have to say that Tony Kaye is very good on this album.

Yours is no Disgrace starts the album off very strongly, and already you hear the interplay between Howe's chords and Squire's thundering basslines - Squire, of course, is such a virtuoso that he might be playing lead guitar some times! I also love the Kaye organ part on this. I regard this as being the band's first true prog song.

The Clap is the Howe acoustic classic, the one we have heard so many times now live that some might be wishing for a bit of a change. It's good, of course, but I regard it as being a bit of a filler on the studio LP.

Starship Trooper is, of course, an all time classic, right from the first intro bars to the pounding finale. I never tire of hearing this, and I especially adore Jon Anderson as a vocalist. The notes the man hits are incredible. This song, of course, marked the beginning of the cosmic tag that carried the band, but would also drag them down somewhat with Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Your Move/I've Seen All Good People is a track I personally can take or leave. I find it rather repetitive, although on this original version less so than later live versions. Again, Howe shines with his intricate guitar lines taking the band to previously unthought of heights. I would have preferred them leaving it at the end of Your Move

A Venture is pleasant, but a filler I think was a hangover from the previous lineup, although I might be wrong in this.

The album closes with Perpetual Change, which is utterly fantastic. Kaye's opening keyboard blast is superb, strong, and sets the tone for the rest of the song. All band members play tightly, and Anderson rocks on this one. A fine end to a fine album.

Although I have the first two albums, I regard this as being the first proper Yes album, and it is well worth the four stars I have awarded. Highly recommended (if, of course, there is anyone reading this who hasn't got it already!).

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#203586)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of my fav Yes albums, in my top 3 ever by this band. While here is not Wakeman, Tony Kaye is a great musician who knew how to manage to keep the Yes atmosphere in a briliant album. Every single tune from this realse is outstanding, keeping in mind that the album is from 1971, the musicianship is top notch and the sound way ahead of it's time. Most of the bands from that era were at the begginings, Yes achived with this album big apluses and gained the notoriety of creme de la creme in progressive music. The opening track must be one of my fav pieces of prog music ever written, Yours Is No Disgrace - is full of catchy arrangements, excellent guitar chops made by the young (then ) Steve Howe and a spectacular drming from mr. Buford. The rest of the pieces are great, not a weak one here. Not very much to add, but if you want to discover some Ys albums without the classic line up, try this one, you won't be deseppointed at all. Great arelease by one of the most important bands in prog music ever. Still very freash after almost 40 years. 4 stars, recommended.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#204937)
Posted Tuesday, March 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm not sure why I've put off this review for so long. Honestly, I haven't even listened to this album for a few years. But I've heard it so many times I think it's safe to say I can hear the entire thing in my head anytime I want :-)

For some reason, this album just isn't a masterpiece or one of my favorites. I suspect it's the lack of the symphonic part of symphonic prog that Yes would go on to define and master. Tony Kaye IS a great Hammond player, no doubt about that. But it's kind of one dimensional really. Still, the song writing is fantastic and this is without a doubt some of Steve Howe's best playing ever. I think he decided that his presence on this album was going to be very pronounced, and I think there is no doubt that he was going to be a permanent member of the band from the very first notes he plays on here.

Speaking of which, Yours Is No Disgrace is without doubt a classic Yes track. Probably the one that most foreshadows what is to come (along with the Your Move part of All Good People). An incredible piece of work that simply never lets up. Outstanding melodies, incredible rhythm section, great solos, and extended instrumental workouts. What more could you ask? The Clap is good fun and certainly shows off Howe's considerable fingerstyle skills (though he would later play this song much better). Starship Trooper is another classic, and actually manages to sound symphonic during the main section, with Howe's solo at the end being something of a classic in and of itself. Actually, the multi-section nature of this song is also a hint of things to come. All Good People was probably the first Yes song I ever heard (or maybe Roundabout), back when I was just a small child, on the radio during some trip to some relative or others house. Something of an homage to the Beatles to my ears, with Anderson's incredible singing and melodic sense dominating (and great vocal harmonies as well). The second half being more of an almost country western type of romp, or maybe rockabilly, but far more sophisticated than either.

A Venture was a song I always enjoyed, probably because I hadn't heard it a million times like most of the other tracks on this album (either on radio or in live versions). It probably is the weakest song on the album, but I still think it has an interesting melody and unusual lyrics for a Yes song. Finally, we have Perpetual Change, which even though it has a strong resemblance to the opening track, has a charm all it's own. The title and lyrics are probably the biggest foreshadowing of all on this album. Especially when you consider what the next 40 years or so would hold in store for this band. I've always felt this song was a little disjointed and not quite as good as its near twin, Your Is No Disgrace. But still a good track on the whole.

Well, how to rate such a seminal prog album as this one? I'm going to bump my personal rating of 3 stars up to 4 for the archives because I think it certainly is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. But on the whole, I don't consider it much more than good. But it IS a historical document of a legendary band, so it deserves perhaps a bit more consideration. Definitely not a masterpiece, but one of those albums that EVERY prog fan needs to hear at least once, if not have in their collection.

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Send comments to infandous (BETA) | Report this review (#205967)
Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars

From the onset, this album stands out as one of Yes' finest. The powerful 'Yours Is No Disgrace' opens with Steve Howe establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, he gracefully transitions from a crunching opening riff into a delicate and fluid section while the band is in full prog swing. A true tour de force with the group repeating the same theme twice before going into this lovely section with Chris laying down a superb bassline while Jon shines. And then they return to the opening riff...ahh isn't it lovely when Kaye's organ comes in alongside this main riff. Howe does some interesting guitar work as the band explores some remarkable instrumental sections, building gradually in power before returning to more mellow mood as a spacey Howe highlights the instrumental. Jon returns again with acoustic guitar and bass providing nice texture to his vocals, again the piece builds slowly with Bill entering and electric guitar lines from Howe. The piece closes with the main instrumental break that opens the piece.

'The Clap' is a strong classical acoustic guitar piece by Steve Howe, a great example of his range and skill as a guitarist. 'Starship Trooper' is a very dynamic piece of music going from electric sections to an acoustic driven section in the middle of the song. Another piece that exhibits a splendid combination of simplistic riffs and more compex parts layered around. And then the ending: Wurm features a hypnotic repitition of this jazz like riff that only Howe could conjure up (its not exactly jazzy). Chris and Bill develop their ideas around this same theme, the band gradually building to an electrifying coda solo by Howe.

'Ive Seen All Good People' is the hit from this album, and with good reason: beautiful melody, vocals and instrumentation. (Don't surround yourself with yourself) The harmonies and multi-tracking of Jon's vocals is the highlight of the first part with Kaye's organ entering midway through the piece, bridging the piece into a brief pause and then part two. The band enters a nice groove behind the chorus and Howe ventures off into multiple solo sections. Overall, a strong piece of music that deserves the recognition it gets.

If one were to merge Yes and Genesis, I believe they would get 'A Venture'. It is an good piece but does not stand up to sheer ingenuity of the rest of the album. However, it does provide a nice break before the finale 'Perpetual Change', which is the definitive statement from this album, merging the styles and sounds that would become undeniably Yes. Again, a powerful riff- this time supplied by Kaye's piano with Chris' bass just exploding out of the speakers. Howe isn't far behind, layering the song with incredibly well placed fills and solos on guitar. A new theme is introduced midway through the song, notice how underneath Kaye's organ is returning to the main theme. Howe's distant guitar and Kaye's moog bring the song back to the main vocal section. The song goes through another tempo change, a variation of the chorus, before heading for the end with Jon's vocal harmonies taking the music upward...a fitting end to a daring album.

The only reason I consider this album a 4 star album is that I feel the production on the proceeding albums captures their sound much better, meaning the ambitious nature of those works is captured in all its glory. In terms of raw intensity, this album is unique in the Yes catalouge as it is much more rock oriented in its attack than [I]Relayer[/I] is, which is more fusion oriented. Ultimately, a worthwhile album to explore for those familiar with Yes or fans of Symphonic Prog. It rewards with every listen. Enjoy!

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Send comments to mr.cub (BETA) | Report this review (#210717)
Posted Tuesday, April 07, 2009 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
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5 stars The Yes Album, by the great YES, well, what can I say? Really?! This was the first YES album I bought and listened ten years ago or so, and till this very day still one of the great pieces of music ever written in music history and, of course, on Progressive Rock history!

Here we've got everything YES will be known till today.

- In Yours Is No Disgrace, track 1, that syncopated beginning and that Hammon organ make our ears pay attention in every single note. - The Clap comes in and, well, simply make your mouth open all the way, specially if you play guitar. - Starship Trooper and his 3 parts is something magic, just love the vocals and the melody. - I've Seen All Good People and the vocals, I was impressed back on tha day I first listen to it, and still today. Lovely melody. - A Venture; Couldn't hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide away, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide away. - Perpetual Change Maybe the best, can't say, the whole album is great, but Chris Squire's Rickenbacker here shine more and more.

I do think this is one of THE great prog rock albuns ever, the time passes away and still think the same as I first listen to it. Amazing!

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#213370)
Posted Saturday, May 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have been to no less than 15 YES concerts thru the years, most notably in the mid 70's, when THE YES ALBUM was in its prime.

Talk about drugs sex and rock and roll. I was a student at UC Berkeley 73-77 and we used to go to Winterland 1-2 times a Week! I saw Yes at Winterland in 1973,4,5. Other venues in 76,7,8,9, and 80. The Yes album is their best work overall, or are the drugs just kicking in?

Seriously, this album has no weak songs, and Starship Trooper is my all time favorite Yes song. Perpetual Change ranks in the top 5. Enough said.

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Send comments to Ken-Boston (BETA) | Report this review (#226531)
Posted Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Let's start the journey!

As far as I know, this is the album where YES started to play progressive music. It's a great start, nevertheless it's just the start to find their new sound, to achieve much greater albums later on. There are longer songs, but I wouldn't call them "epics", since they are in (comparatively) lighter mood, a pleasant mood, mostly pop based songs with more complex structure. The structures are not fully developed, they mostly repeat the parts on and on, with sometimes contrasting breaks. This is also a mostly guitar dominated album, Probably the new guitarist Stewe Howe wanted to take great place on the album. I like his playing, especially on the acoustic guitar.

Let's go. We have the first song "Yours is no disgrace": Simple but great rythm guitar chords that turns in to kind of jamming with the synths and drums come in. Well, the lyrics with "silly human race" and ships going nowhere are odd to the world of yes and to the happy nature of the song...(except the acoustic break when its a slower, a bit sad mood).

"The Clap" is an upbeat guitar solo with a boogie dance like rythm. The amazing thing is that it's played by ONE guitarist. It's a bit of having fun.

"Starship Trooper" slows down a bit to a mellow dreamier song, one of the best of the album. Not amasterpiece, the acoustic break is really boring, but the beginning is like a vision in a dream, or something unexpected going on. Interesting guitar sound. The three chord progression that forms the last part "Würm" start like "How many times should we repeat this....? But in the end it's quite transcendental, the guitar bursts out of solid ground...

"I've seen... people" This is not as good as the fist ones. Its like somewhat uninspired and too typical, sweet pop song, and especially the second part with the heavier blues section, when they simply take the chorus and repeat it a hundred times... The end is very funny, its like they always tune down a whole step.

"The Venture" This is the weakest song, simply a easy-listening rocker, blundering piano solo at the end.

"Perpetual change" is however one of my favourite, this may be even better than Trooper. The three themes repeat all over again, the second is a slower, very beautiful melody (Influence of Lennon? I don't know, just the Inside out, Outside in sectoin...) There is a very fast, hilarious riff in the middle. Great one.

Good album, I recommend it to listen while riding( or along a Venture...?) D major!

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Send comments to klvin (BETA) | Report this review (#231841)
Posted Sunday, August 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Enter Steve Howe.

Anyone who has listened to Yes with any seriousness, from that sentence, understands that this is the album where the band became a force to be reckoned with. To be sure, there was nothing wrong with Peter Banks guitar playing; he proved himself quite able in the first two albums, in songs such as Survival and Astral Traveller. But Yes was striving to be more than able, and Steve Howe was the ticket to that.

Yes continues the formula of starting each album on a high note, on this one with Yours is No Disgrace. The up-beat guitars immediately let the listener know that the guitar has been upped a notch, and the spacey lyrics now resemble the lyrics that would become a Jon Anderson trademark:

"Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face. Caesars palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race. On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place. If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace."

The album then moves onto 'Clap', where Steve Howe's presence is once again made abundantly clear, this time in terms of his prowess on the guitar. It is a short piece consisting completely of Steve playing on the acoustic guitar, and is essentially a Steve Howe solo (making him the only member of Yes, so far, to have a 'solo' piece on a Yes album). The song is upbeat and catchy, and leads nicely into the next song.

Starship Trooper is one of Yes' best known songs and remained a concert mainstay for decades to come. It is split into multiple movements, the first Yes song to be split such, hinting at the many times they would do so in the future. Following this song is another multi-part Yes classic, I've Seen All Good People, which is also split into two parts: An acoustic bit making references to chess, and then an upbeat section where the band sings the same line on repeat for a while. Ultimately a catchy tune.

The album ends with two underlooked gems: A Venture, which starts with a nice piano intro by Tony Kaye, lead into the main piece; and Perpetual Change, once again containing some high class playing from all members of the band.

The only question is; does that make this album a 5 star album, or a 4 star album? Starting with this album, Yes released 6 albums that are each hugely successful and could be argued as essential, but some are better than the rest. This one comes close to five stars, but it does not quite reach the lofty heights yes would at the peak of their career. A very reluctant 4 stars is granted.

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Send comments to TheGazzardian (BETA) | Report this review (#232068)
Posted Sunday, August 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Sure, it's a good progressive rock album, but it can't seem to get close to me. I really like "Starship Trooper" , it's a great song, almost an epic, very good composition. In my opinion, the real face of what would be symphonic music added to an rock ensemble is shown on "Close to the Edge", not on "The Yes Album".

Of course, this disc gives us strongs hints of what is to come, but i look at it as an "unfinished" piece. It resembles "Fragile", but the latter has better stand-alone songs. Best musician on this album would be Steve Howe I guess.

Mild performance.

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Send comments to aSimionescu (BETA) | Report this review (#234119)
Posted Saturday, August 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Howe can Banks quit?

The Yes Album is the start of a new Yes-era, which is a less psychedelic, and more progressive one. The Yes Album features Yes songs which have became massive classics over the years, like Yours is No Disgrace, I've Seen All Good People and Starship Trooper. The album has a famous sound which can be recognized in a second by true Yes fans, with it's instrument volumes and overall sound.

The symbolic opening of hit Yours is No Disgrace is the start of this fantastic album. Tony Kaye's out-of-time organ chords and Bill Bruford's snare are the things this opening what it is. Steve Howe's sound is very similar to Peter Banks'; a fat guitar with a fat sound, fast blues-styled playing, yet with many classical influences, meaning Howe isn't as original as he originally seemed to be. Chris Squire is getting closer to the famous Squire- Rickenbacker sound on this album, now playing on an Ampeg amplifier with a slight amount of distortion, through the amp.

The thing Howe did not steal from Banks is actually acoustic and classical guitar playing. The Clap is a perfect example of what you will hear on following albums, like Mood for a Day on Fragile, and so on and so forth. Howe also has his famous ES-355-with-flanger sound, most famously utlized on I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change, both on this album, but especially on Wurm, the third segment of Yes classic Starship Trooper.

Your Move, the first section of I've Seen All Good People, has Colin Goldring, of soon-to-be Gnidrolog half-fame, playing the recorder. "For the queen to use" is a lyric which I have never really understood, but everytime I hear it makes me wonder what it might mean and what context it is said. Also, there are barely audible backing vocals on the Your Move section singing what seems to be John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance, a song which has Alan White's (soon-to-be Yes drummer) drumming.

This album is diverse yet simple, it goes high and low, right and wrong, good and bad, stop and go, happy and sad. This album really is a perpetual change, with its, well, endless changing. Like Squire, Bruford is one step closer to his trademark sound here, and I mean that seriously, his snare is even tuned a tad higher!

Anyway, The Yes Album is the beginning of Yes' trademark sound, with the trademark lineup starting only on the next album, Fragile, with Rick Wakeman joining in on keyboards, and staying up until his departure from the band in 1974, due to band problems. The playing here is fantastic, despite the arrival of a new guitarist and a whole new sound, so yeah, this album is an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection. The Anderson- non-false-falsetto sound has yet to change, and nor will it for a long time from this album, which is around, 38 years. So my final words are: this album is great, must-buy for starter Yes fans, people who have discovered Flash before Yes, and people who want to get turned on to progressive rock in general: 4/5 stars.

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Send comments to The Runaway (BETA) | Report this review (#237354)
Posted Saturday, September 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Though this might not be my favorite Yes album ever, its definatly awesome. This marks the entrence of one of the best guitarists ever, Steve Howe. Howe brings increadible riffs and awesome soloing to the band. Peter Banks was a very good guitarist, but he was nothing like Steve, his style, and his overall playing is much better than Banks. Anyways, we get strong performances from every band member. Chris' bass is very upfront as always, the unmistakable Rickenbacker tone, and Jon Anderson with his near-female voice is always clear, and very interesting with all of the harmonies and stuff with Chris and Steve. Tony Kaye is okay at the keyboards and piano instruments, but the next album, Fragile, has an even better keyboardist, Rick Wakeman.

The album starts with "Yours is no Disgrace" which is absolutly awesome, with crunching guitar, heavy bass, nice drums, and unmistakable organs makes this an awesome song. It starts out with a very straight forward chording by Steve and Chris, and has very deep and heavy passages throughout the whole song. The rest of the album is not bad, but the only song that can really match "Yours is no Disgrace" is "Starship Trooper," I'll get to it later. So there is one live song on the album, "Clap" (There is a studio version on the new remastered edition if you are interested in listening) which is pretty interesting, though not as interesting as the rest of the album is. "Starship Trooper" is one of the best songs on here. Its so melodic and laid-back and pretty sounding. All of the keyboards and gutairs sound excellent here, it just makes me feel "right" when I listen to "Starship Trooper." "I've Seen all good People" is kind of annoying from the vocal standpoint, the begining is just really hard for me to listen to, but the rest of the song is decent, but about halfway through the song is becomes harder and more rockish, which makes it a bit more enjoyable, for me. "A Venture" is always one of the songs that I skip forward, its kind of boring and a little too short my taste. "Perpetual Change" is alright, but not as strong as the other "epic" songs.

Overall, this album is pretty awesome for more than half of the album, but the rest of it is just okay. It does have its own feel that I do like. If you dont have this Yes album, get it.

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Send comments to Rushlover13 (BETA) | Report this review (#239826)
Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The Yes Album is more or less my favourite Yes album. There are multiple reasons for that. First of all it's an excellent set of prog tracks. The shorter tracks may be a bit flawed but the 3 long suites are absolute standouts.

But the main reason for my soft spot for it might be the man on the keyboards: Tony Kaye. His keyboard work is so much more fulfilling than the ego-tripping of Wakeman. Where Wakeman would squeeze in a 34-keystrokes-a-second solo just to show off, Kaye will work for texture and use keyboard parts that actually enhance the song instead of smothering it. The frequent use of the Hammond organ gives the sound also more body then future Yes albums. Next to Kaye, the album features another favourite Yes member: Bill Bruford. His groove and sound are so unique that they bring all albums he plays on to a higher level.

I'm sure true Yes fans will rate Fragile and Close to the Edge higher but though I like them a lot, I would have liked Yes a lot more if they made more albums like this one. 4.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#239922)
Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars ****1/2, really ! The vivid, optimistic YES mood brought them long live and huge success. In my reviews about seminal prog year 1970 development scene -please see GRACIOUS and CARAVAN "if I could" ones - I didn't mention "Yes Album", as I guess it was released in 1971 although in my vinyl is written it was recorded at Advision, autumn 1970. My favorites are "yours is no disgrace" (one of my all times YES favorite composition) and "starship trooper". The entire album flows well and I don't get bored.

Here at "Yes Album" the greatest prog band ever trajectory in fact begun. Many innovations appear here. Steve Howe invented violin like, Wa-Wa, clean and other guitar resources interplay which remains avant-garde and reference even nowadays; Squire brought to the front the bass guitar making it leading (particularly in "disillusion" cut) while in most bands the "bass" was only a complementary instrument. Virtuoso playing was exalted - ps: Tony Kaye would be replaced in next "Fragile" (1971*****) by Rick Wakeman - and the almost ala sacred chorus are also YES innovations.

For these inventions reasons I could give 5 stars to "Yes Album" which is almost as ground breaking as 1969 "in the court of Crimson King" and Colosseum "Valentine Suite" side long track. "Yes Album" brought uplifting music instead of "21st century schizoid" or more "intellectual" ones, probably one of the the reasons why YES got so popular. Acquiring my taste (yeah I love GG), I'll keep 4 1/2 stars to "Yes album" as there are not so adventurous intellectual voyages here like in MARSUPILAMI (1970) or GRACIOUS (1970) or the quite adventurous or "cult" art rock by KC "Lizard" (1970) and "Islands" (1971). Nice that KC made no concessions to friendly easier melodies, even after their 1969 "in the court..." huge success, instead KC kept steady in the orthodox research art trend !

By the way I watched a MOODY BLUES " the lost performane- live in Paris1970" DVD. I liked the mellotron and vocals, but compositions are in song realm, so to me it's not groundbreaking innovative prog music, it's nice but after some time it falls in sameness radio format songs limitations trap. So please don't forget others 1970 year pioneers MARSUPILAMI, VDGG, GRACIOUS, WEB, ELP and EGG merits !! I know Genesis "Trespass" you will not forget. In Britain 1971 the prog scene was extremely rich so there are many classics, but in the 1969 and 1970 albums are the prog origins.

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Send comments to Prog_Veteran (BETA) | Report this review (#240295)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'The Yes Album' - Yes (71/100)

Greatness has to start somewhere, and though Yes have long since earned a place in the pantheon of prog rock legend, there was in fact a time when Yes found themselves in troubled waters. Before "Roundabout", before Fragile or Relayer or any of the band's notable achievements, Yes were a psychedelic prog act with a pair of commercially unsuccessful albums. Yes and Time and a Word were solid records to be certain, but they weren't enough to keep Atlantic records happy. Thus was delivered an ultimatum; Yes would have to notch up their act and attract some attention, or the record label would be forced to drop them. As it so appears, diamonds aren't the only gems to be forged from pressure. There's no knowing whether The Yes Album would have come together the way it did had the band not had that weight of expectation on their shoulders, but it marks the first memorable and style-defining classic of their illustrious career. It has not aged as well as the masterpieces to come, but Yes' fusion of pop-infused cheer with prog rock sophistication set a strong foundation for the band's golden era.

Some will point the finger at Fragile or even "Close to the Edge", but I've always felt The Yes Album was the perfect point of entry for someone looking to see what Yes were all about. Although undeniably rooted within prog rock territory, The Yes Album is an incredibly accessible album. Even in their unabridged forms, "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" have the potential to instantly stick in a casual listener's mind. Yes would almost always have an optimistic tinge in their atmosphere, but The Yes Album is outright cheerful. The mid-paced softer track "A Venture" is a bit of a baroque, mysterious-sounding exception, but the majority of the album evokes vivid imagery of summer and bright-eyed wonder. "I've Seen All Good People" even echoes the chorus to "Give Peace A Chance" at a point! I would say that there is a resounding sense of hope here, but that would suggest the potential for a darker outcome. The Yes Album negates darkness entirely with its atmosphere. Sure, the lyrics at times might be interpreted as less-than-cheery (I've heard "Yours Is No Disgrace" commonly interpreted as being about the Vietnam War, I've sometimes seen the lyrics even regarding the fallout of nuclear war) but even then, the only possible outcome for the subject matter is one where all is resolved and humanity flourishes with the power of love. I mean, I don't think I've ever heard a song that's so unrepentantly rose-tinted about human nature as "I've Seen All Good People". As optimistic as they may sound compared to prog rock both then and now, the rest of Yes' albums didn't even sound as cheerful as this.

The slow, unassuming closer "Perpetual Change" has never struck me as a particularly memorable piece, and "A Venture", in spite of its clever songwriting, tends to get lost in the woodwork of the album, dwarfed by the two epics that precede it. Barring that last third, The Yes Album contains some of the most memorable songs Yes ever wrote. As I've said, "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" are instantly gratifying epics. Even if the musicianship is kept to an expectedly high standard (Bill Bruford's lively drumwork stands out in particular), the passages that focus on technical skill are few and far between. It's all about accessible, breezy songwriting here. Hell, "I've Seen All Good People" would have made a perfect radio single even in its unabridged seven minute form. "Yours Is No Disgrace" offers some pretty stark dynamic changes throughout its ten minute course, but it always feels direct and focused in its approach.

Yes' more instantly gratifying approach to progressive rock was likely what saved them from the cutting block, and the songwriting should only need one or two spins to get really stuck in a listener's head. Therein lies some of the problem I've had with The Yes Album, really; it offers up its eggs so readily, and without any challenge to the listener. Especially with an album that's widely considered to be one of progressive rock's finest, I would have hoped and expected to hear an album that grows on me with time and age. Instead, the wilful optimism and ubiquitous cheer only tend to wear on the nerves, given too much exposure. Compared to Fragile and especially Close to the Edge, The Yes Album sounds downright primitive. Like I said, it's a gateway album.

With The Yes Album, there's no denying that Yes owed a large part of their stronger style and success to Steve Howe, replacing Peter Banks as the band's new guitarist. In retrospect, it's difficult to think of Yes without the rich, twangy and lively fingerstyle Howe brought to the table. "Yours Is No Disgrace" introduces Howe's style wonderfully; a lead played overtop the intro marries a clean electric rock tone with a brand of rapidfire fingerpicking you would sooner find in bluegrass of all things. "The Clap" (retitled in a few painfully politically correct reissues merely as "Clap") is a total showcase of his brilliance as an acoustic player as well. Howe's classical guitar influence isn't as evident here as it would be on future albums, but he made a bold and adventurous introduction with the band here. It's not often a recently added musician goes to such lengths to influence a band's sound, but Howe's addition only ever worked to the band's favour.

Even upon first hearing it in its instantly gratifying glory, The Yes Album has never struck me as the masterpiece others attest it is, and of the three notable mini-epics here, only "Starship Trooper" gets regular attention from me. It isn't as brushed up or thoughtfully arranged as the rest of the albums from Yes' golden period, but that can easily be forgiven when you take the album in the context of their career. The Yes Album marked a strong transition from just being another psych rock band to a burgeoning legend of prog. If The Yes Album, in all of its poppy, pep-rally glory can be held to thank for making everything from Fragile to Going for the One possible, then I can only be thankful for its existence. It's a great place for a newcomer to start with Yes, but make no mistake, there are far greater things to experience from them.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#250398)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Because of two songs, this album is exceptional masterpiece. Cruel truth, but it's like that. Of course talking 'bout (Round 'bout ?) Yours Is No Disgrace and Starship Trooper suite. So if we assume that these two songs can drag the rest half of this album, as exemplary example (huh?) of masterpiece, it would be unfair to just drag it down by others. No, talking about these two is meaningless (by the way Starship Trooper was first song by Yes that I heard, quite late - after 17 years of life, because my father don't like vocals here, this music wasn't played at home), because their (not only) progness is clear, but also the fact that they're cool, good, the best, extraordinary, perfectly mastered, played and performed (and other positive words you can imagine). But others, like Clap (is not crap, not at all) can be taken from prog point of view too. It's not just folky training song, but can be example of master's crafting skills. OK, maybe this "intro" to I've Seen All Good People can be quite annoying, as with its uplift, annoying style (OK, he has high pitched voice, but that's not reason why to destroy it in something like these seconds in beginning of this song). But later on, it gets better, much better (his tone is returning to normal boundaries).

I can't do anything else than 5(+), because there's switching between perfect and "not-so- perfect, but still-very-good-songs", so there's no other option. Very recommended album for everyone new in Yes matter.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#252610)
Posted Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Yes - The Yes Album (1971)

Yes has never been my favourite band, but this record does show how talented they were. That is, on side one. Yours Is No Disgrace and Starship Trooper are both masterful progressive tracks. They are truly progressive, the melodies are still very catchy and the song-structures are evidence of great compositional capabilities. The acoustic guitar on The Clap is also nice but out of place. A live recording of an acoustic solo guitar track on a studio album isn't much of a good idea. I would still rate side on of this record between four and five star material.

But them came side two. I've Seen All Good People has a nice main melody, but fails to impress in all other aspects. The other songs on side two are plain bad pop songs. This is a pity, with a good side two this might have been my favourite Yes album. Now I only listen to side one.

Conclusion. An album with two perfect progressive compositions that took progressive rock to a wider audience. This isn't quite enough for more then three stars, because of the bad material on side two. All Yes fans should own this, all symphonic prog listeners should check it out and if you want to turn on acceptable prog for the non-experienced this is also suitable. Three stars.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#254954)
Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 1971 saw Yes releasing their first album to feaure a guitarist that would be of huge importance to Yes's classic sound, Steve Howe. Steve Howe's striking guitar playing would have a big role in the formula to Yes's success as a progressive rock band. The Yes Album features some pieces that are close to 10 minutes, of which two even are suites. The band's sound would clearly become more progressive and unique on this album and several later releases.

The album opens with the smooth and memorable guitar chords of "Yours Is No Disgrace", a piece that takes the best out of several of the band members. I personally find this piece very interesting thanks to Steve Howe's distinctive guitar playing and Chris Squire taking the bass to the foreground. The song is catchy, diverse, musically very interesting and really is a great way to open the album. The second piece is "The Clap", a guitar piece of Steve Howe which is performed live on this recording. I personally find this one a bit misplaced, which might be because it's a live recording on a studio album. The absolute highlight of the album (and perhaps more than only this album) comes next. "Starship Trooper" is a three part suite, and it's absolutely stunning. The sound of the piece is very warm and pretty thick. Chris Squire plays some very fine bass, and Jon Anderson's vocals are as pleasant as usual on this track. The middle piece features some groovy guitar playing by Steve Howe, but after a short while reprises the first part of the piece. The final 4 minutes slowly build up towards an epic climax, featuring Steve Howe's somewhat psychedelic sounding guitar playing and Tony Kaye's warm sounding organ.

Next is "I've Seen All Good People", a catchy two part suite. The first part features gentle acoustic guitar playing with some pounding drums and soothing recorder playing. The second part is much rougher though, featuring Chris Squire's amazing and razor-sharp bass sound and bluesy guitar playing by Howe. Jon Anderson sings the same very catchy line over this several times, though it doesn't get repetative at all. "A Venture" is a 3 minute song. Though not being a great piece, it still is a very fine song and has a distinctive sound thanks to the combination of Tony Kaye's grand piano playing and Chris Squire's groovy bass playing. The final song on the album is another piece close to 10 minutes. "Perpetual Change" is not as great as the other two epics on the album though. The song opens with some powerful chords, but soon moves to a very delighting melodic verse. The choruses sound pretty unexpected though, and really are among the best moments of this song. After the 5 minute mark an up-tempo part will come in, featuring some groovy bass and organ playing, and being quite dissonant for Yes's standarts. The song ends with a lovely melodic vocal section over some nice instrumentation.

The Yes Album is a great album I think, and some of the songs are definitely among Yes's best. The album isn't a masterpiece like Fragile though, but there's definitely not a very big difference in quality between them. Also, this album would show the first signs of Yes's disinctive sound. Because of the these things, I give it a 4 star rating. An excellent album.

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Send comments to The Sleepwalker (BETA) | Report this review (#261634)
Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes Album - Yes (4.11 stars) Original Release: 2/19/1971

Songs:

Yours Is No Disgrace (4 stars) The lyrics seem to be about the folly of the efforts of the human race; and so your personal folly is no great matter. Staccato melody on guitar, bass and drums, then nice counterpoint from the organ. Then this shifts to a synth sound that is atmospheric. The guitar wraps around the beat like a rhythmic fairy. The bass swings away in the background with the same energy as previous albums but not so much in the foreground. At one point the guitar makes little melodic whines in counterpoint to vocal rhythm. The song returns to its original theme repeatedly in subtly different forms. In a more extended instrumental section after a guitar solos oscillating in left and right channels various progressive instrumental melodies play out which compliment the main theme. The guitar is heard in various ways. Although the overall variety of melodies is not great this long song does not seem long. Each section contains subtle variations which present and represent the themes in every changing ways. The overall groove is engaging and yet somehow stately.

Clap [Live] (4 stars) This is a guitar solo played live somewhere to a small group of people. The genre seems to be country or folk. It has a good pace, rhythm, the chords and plucking blend together gracefully showing up the great dexterity of the guitarist's fingers. The song acts as a kind of palette cleanser between the two longer songs which flank it lightening the tone a bit.

Starship Trooper: Life Seeker/Disillusion/Wurm (5 stars) The lyrics seem to be invoking a familiar Yes theme of the "hidden glories" of life. Contrasting qualities of summer and winter (as in "Yours is no Disgrace"), the visible and invisible help to describe a mystical perspective which is self-consciously realized by the vocalist it seems. "Life Seeker" begins with a heavy bass theme and lighter guitar counter theme. At first this first movement of the song avoids settling into a beat. Then an instrumental bridge brings us into a rhythm and a different lyric with nostalgic references. The bass plays with muscle under the melody. In "Disillusion" the acoustic guitar takes over and the vocals are rhythmic. This second movement finds its way after an instrumental bridge to a melody from the first movement building until it releases into the third movement "Wurm". "Wurm" is a repeated series of three minor chords which seem to descend and ascend with a kind of dark, demonic quality. Gradually the various instruments build up an intensity which eventually erupts into a furious guitar solo. The first two movements of the song seem to joyfully anticipate the third movement like an extended joyful prophet announcing the coming of an awesome power. The way the instruments represent this arising/descending power is a wonder to behold and if you are caught by the deep mystery of this song you probably forever hold it in high esteem.

I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People (4 stars) In the politics of life you may not be well respected but make your moves as you would make them and karma and your love will prevail...so say the lyrics. More rhythmic vocals create a stark and energetic intro to this two part song. Soon the acoustic guitar and a heartbeat bass come in for a relaxed vocal section. There is a pan flute or synth flute sound as well to add flavor. The vocals harmonize and there is some doo-wap that adds further punch. Layered vocals with lead and a countering background are also employed. Eventually a cathedral organ comes in to darken and intensify the mood. The organ climaxes and then there is a silence...after which the second part of the song kicks in with a swing-rock rhythm. The same single lyrical line with which the song began is now repeated...a very long sentence sang in a rhythmic way. The guitar lays down a blues flavor. Once again the organ and bass come in with dark intensity and the same vocalizations fade away with a more profound energy.

A Venture (3 stars) The lyrics seem to be about living your life and not separating yourself from others; to control your passions utterly is to breed addictive behavior. The Beatlesque rhythm of this song passes quickly and ends with an interesting off kilter instrumental jam with the guitar and the bass and the piano frolicing around each other.

Perpetual Change (4 stars) The vocalist seems to be having a discussion with someone who thinks that consciousness is everything...that we control ourselves, even our destiny. But deep inside we are moved by forces greater than us. This song also features a staccato instrumental intro, a strong hammering fanfare. Then is shifts down into a laid back bluesy rock rhythm where the vocalist comes in. The song flows even as it changes through matching shades of color; from militaristic to swing to blues and back again perhaps reflecting the title of the song elegantly. Then comes a brief instrumental section which suddenly transforms into a march-like, complex, clock-work like phrase that winds up and builds energy. A keyboard sound comes in to tie it all off. Then back to vocals with a heightened sense of energy applied to a repeated lyrical section. Then seems to breakaway from its twists and turns with a atmospheric vocal/instrumental coda of yet another flavor although this too is playfully interrupted a couple times with another staccato phrase.

Your Move [Single Version] (2 stars) Cut down version of the album song.

Starship Trooper: Life Seeker [Single Version] (2 stars) Sounds the same as the corresponding portion of the same song on the album.

Clap [Studio Version] (2 stars) Slightly longer version of the album song. It is enjoyable to hear the song more clearly in a studio context. There are some differences in the song showing that the song would be played slightly differently at times. For me the live version flows more naturally, but this may be due to that version's greater familiarity.

Album:

On Yes' third album there is an elegant coordination of the various instruments. The guitar is a stronger player in the mix with a wide variety of styles. Somehow the sound of the album is more open making each instrumental contribution more approachable. The songs themselves have an improved sense of craft in that the musical ideas within a song seem to fit together more coherently. Admittedly, I've heard this album so many times that at first it was hard to really hear it, but taking a critical approach to it has reawakened some of my original appreciation for it. This album shows how Yes has taken a leap of confidence in their song compositions as they seem to have combined simplicity with complexity in an optimal way.

Yes seems to have left their 60s pop sound far behind and defined a new level of sophistication within their own repertoire. With this album they join Genesis, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer in what is fast becoming the then new genre of Progressive Rock.

MP3 recommendation:

I have no good MP3 highlights to recommend. As usual for me I don't get much out of the extra song versions.

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Send comments to sealchan (BETA) | Report this review (#264203)
Posted Thursday, February 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Im not saying nothing new but Yes is a very special group: Born in the turnmoil of the psychedelic years, Yes was atracted by the most positive side of it. Involved at least espiritualy with the west coast folk psychedelia (Byrds, love, Buffalo S.) Yes uses a lot of vocal harmonies in Crosby, Still, and Nash way. But the influence doesnt stop there: For them psichedelia is irrestricted positive beatifullness. Nothing quirky, wicked, ambiguos, tragical. No Doors, No Joplin, no Mc5....no these have nothing to do with yes. Their heroes appart from jazz players and clasical composers where the aforementioned (Thats why in the first album you have a really wonderfull cover of the Byrds "I see you" and another cover from Stephen Still). But to the melodic, harmonic taste Yes adds an incredible instrumental skill, so basicaly the add to the folk harmonies simply good rock. Did you ever thought DejaVu lacked some real rock? For those whose answer has been :Yes....Yes is the answer. What is the effect of these combination? Powerfull rocketing rock exploding with beatifullness in a blissfull angelical musical paradise. Everyone knows later on they will become prog-masters and they style will change, even if retaining some characteristic flavour. But for me what is special of the "Yes Album" is that we find Yes in the middle, not a psychedelic band no more nor a prog band, or better said a psychedelicprogresive band all the way trough. Also the song writting is fabulous delivering rock clasics with apparent easyness. So i think the yes album is a must for every rock fan and not just for proggers. Is a gigantic, listenable, joyfull experience for everybody with a minimum of taste and love for grandeur. Lets get to the music: "Yours is no disgrace" a great clasical number with strange and simpleton lyrics ( The way Anderson composes the lyrics puzzles me, you can never know if hes saying really something or is just simple hippy cliche), Howe,s guitar flies here and there in high pitch scales, squire bass is superb rumbling with powerfull rocking lines. The middle section more laid down is also beatifull with its vocal harmonies . Then comes the clap...a little bit disapointing Howes fails some notes, and the number is very light. Then the absolutely wonderfull and powerfull "Starship trooper" with its power chords its psychedelic guitar sections, a monster bass and a astounding and misterious end that makes you think that the ufo is going to land over your head....really one of those moments in music that make living worthy of being experienced. Then Seen all good people with its lyrical intro (Your move) is a superb ultrapositive song for summer mornings. Then comes "A venture" a song i actually like a lot, one of the fiews that have a thinkable lyrical content ( a great one indeed althought delivered in a simple manner). Is a little number in the disc as a whole but is pure delight. I feel it to be greatly underrated. Then comes another clasic "Perpetual change" it has all the apparently mixed elements of psychedelia and that shows the future progyness of their music rising: It starts with the most powerfull rock intro withan incredible monster bass then turns into a lullaby, then it explodes in multicolored psychedelia, the guitar has a extrordinary presence with delightfull passages....but the surprise comes in the end: a strange humoruos up-tempo section appears seemingly turning the song in other direction but then comes the organ with epic chords, and it all fits perfectly magicaly!!!! Another of those moments in music. A definition of talent. By its listneability and addictive tunes i give it four stars and a half against the average prog apreciation of this gem.

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Send comments to shockedjazz (BETA) | Report this review (#277016)
Posted Friday, April 09, 2010 | Review Permalink
thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This album has a certain warmth to it. The package as a whole, seems almost intentionally ambiguous: a simple, unrevealing title, and a picture of the band for it's cover. This was very debut-like, especially for American onlookers, who were just discovering Yes at the time of TYA's release. But of course the band had had two [relative] flops in the UK and were more experienced now. They also had a significant new member; the faultless guitarist Steve Howe, who saved them from orchestra-land and took Yes to new heights (and song-lengths).

The wonderful charm of this album, comes from the sheer enjoyment of creation that shines through in the playing. Perhaps unlike later efforts, listening to 'Yours is no Disgrace' or 'Perpetual Change', is like listening to five people having fun, yet being creative at the same time. There is certainly a more mature compositional approach (which may be down to Steve), but it is well balanced with the rocking vehicle of the rhythm section and the ever harmonious vocals of Jon and Chris, whose voices become more and more suited to each other with every album. Obviously no record as casually created as this one can be perfect though. Kaye's involvement was diminishing (a result of his own refusal to utilise anything other than his precious hammond and piano), limited now to quiet background chords and only one breif moment of creative freedom on the coda of 'A Venture'. He would be fired accordingly, just as Peter Banks was less than a year prior. But when he's barely audible in the mix, it is easy to forget his minimal contributions and share the guitar-led warmth that embodies The Yes Album. 'Starship Trooper' is wonderfully climactic, lending itself well to live performances. 'All Good People' is overrated but pleasant nonetheless. 'YIND' explains through music how it is easy to mistake this band for a new one, as opposed to the creators of those mediocre predeccessors. And 'Perpetual Change' has all the ingredients of an extended prog work, with a busy, colourful middle-section that still appears to be impossible to carry off live (yet was successfully replicated on every live performance after).

This album isn't mindblowing or in any way thematic. It is a perfectly captured 40 minutes of a band, simply displaying where they were at the time and why Yes is so special.

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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#277852)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RPI
5 stars Chup-a-chup chup, chup-a-chup chup, chup-a-chup chup chup cha, brrrrrr! My apologies for the lame onomatopoeia, which makes me think of lollipops, but I hope that anyone who is familiar with The Yes Album (1971) will appreciate my attempt at imitating the intro to YOURS IS NO DISGRACE. For those who don't understand, then you may not have heard this song. This is arguably one of the top progressive songs ever, regardless of era or genre. What is not open to debate is that it is most definitely classic Yes, one of several such pieces on this album. The Yes Album was the band's most democratic to date, with all members being involved in the compositions. Steve Howe makes a strong impression on this his first recording with the band, although I find his live solo THE CLAP to be tedious and out of step with the remainder of the material on the album. Apparently this was written in tribute to his baby son; I always thought it referred to a sexually transmitted disease! Whatever the correct title of this piece, it is introduced by one of the band as 'The Clap' on this recording. STARSHIP TROOPER and I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE are among the band's finest songs and are noteworthy for being their first experiments with multi-part suites. The album's other long track, PERPETUAL CHANGE, is another cracker and A VENTURE is more than mere filler. Detailed description of these songs is needless. What you need, if you don't already own a copy, is to get this album.

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Send comments to seventhsojourn (BETA) | Report this review (#279322)
Posted Sunday, April 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Peter Banks was a great guitarist, don't get me wrong, but the fact remained that his style of guitar playing, as thick and as satisfying as it was, just wasn't compatible with the direction the band was about to take. So Yes did the smart thing, and brought in one Steve Howe, who proved from the get-go that he was the perfect choice for the group, both in artistic vision and in sheer talent. Take Exhibit A: "Clap." This is a live track (which, by the way, explains why this album will sometimes be mislabeled as a live album in some professional review guides) with Howe playing this silly, but thoroughly impressive acoustic melody while the rest of the band get beers and drain their lizards. But it's not just this lone track, not by a long shot. All throughout the album, he adds a touch of color here, a solo here, a riff there, all sorts of little things (in all sorts of little ways) that Banks never really tried. More than anything, though, even when he's relatively subdued, he is still able to successfully serve as a guide and conductor through the, as is mentioned in a second, increasingly complex material.

Indeed, the addition of Howe, as important as that was, is not the biggest change from the previous two albums. At last, the songwriting of the band has reached a point where Anderson and Squire's ambitions could be justified. For the first time, they stretch out and begin writing "epics," with 3 of the songs going over 9 minutes and another going almost 7. And they're catchy too! "I've Seen All Good Peopl"e might seem a bit monotonous at first, but then you realize that the mantra they keep repeating is one of the coolest lines of gibberish ever written. "I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way." Yay! And how about the bassline on "Yours is No Disgrace?" Or, for that matter, the guitar in that song (in particular, the introduction, though the middle jam with the wah- wah's jarring from speaker to speaker is really cool too)? To me, the intro of that song just reeks of fantasy, science fiction, whatever. It calls up adventure, bravery, and all of that rot that belongs in good fiction. And that is really the key to this album. The tracks are legitimate songs, to be sure, with hooks everywhere, but more than that, they are essentially aural paintings to be interpreted by the listener however he wants.

Plus, just as important as the purely musical hooks, are the 'epic hooks.' Stuff like the opening jam of "Yours is No Disgrace," for instance, or the ending harmonies of "Perpetual Change." You hear them, and you have no idea what they mean, but somehow you feel inspired, even if you don't know for what. And that is key - just as there are "hooks" within a melodic context, an aspect that is able to grab and hold your attention from a musical perspective, so are there hooks from an imagery standpoint. Lots of tracks attempt to set up a bombastic and epic feel, but not all pull it off - the same way plenty of bands try to create catchy melodies but fail because they lack the necessary hooks. Hopefully the concept is clear, then.

Oh, and yeah, the lyrics are becoming obscure, but there is still enough substance in them where you can grab hold and ride them to lands and times and other places in your mind. If you want to escape reality for a while, this is a good album to turn to. Of course, one may argue that such abstraction of thought is merely a product of individual fantastic tendencies, and one would indeed have a point - on the other hand, I fully believe that virtually all people have the capability within them to let go of their "grip on tangible reality" for lack of a better term, and if Yes is able to so easily entice the listener into that inherent state, why should we hold it against them?

Either way, there's far more to this album than the trippy mental landscapes that it can create. For the first time, it becomes obvious just how smart this band is musically. This is best demonstrated, in my opinion, by the centerpiece of the album, good ol' "Starship Trooper." There are just so many good ideas in this song! The opening chords, for instance, are a fantastic showcase for their understanding of hard-soft dynamics, with that quiet guitar part following those "buh-DUM buh-DUM" and then starting again. And later, when Anderson hits the "speak to me of summer..." part, I'm absolutely enraptured. Throw in the silly clap-along "Dillusion" ditty in the middle and the closing "Würm" jam, with Steve playing the same chord sequence over and over again while the rest of the band builds the tension before jamming, and you've got yourself one heck of an epic.

Oh yeah, and the playing is mind-blowing. Besides Squire and Howe doing their stuff as well as they ever would, Bruford finally begins to truly come into his own, and even Tony Kaye gets into the act, stretching his sorta-dull playing style as far as it could go and maybe even further. "YIND" is wonderfully performed (which successfully masks the fact that the song structure is a bit too stretched out), but you also have to remember the 'boogie-jam' at the end of "All Good People," and ESPECIALLY that part near the end of "Perpetual Change" where everybody is playing this ridiculously difficult part at the same time so tightly that you could never believe that it wasn't just done by a computer - but sure enough, they actually could (as evidenced by live performances on the Yes Album, Fragile and later Ladder and Yessymphonic tours). All in all, simply delectable.

The album does have a flaw, however, one which keeps me from considering it my favorite Yes album (and also helps explain why it's hard to give too long of a description of the pieces). The musical themes found within the various extended pieces of this album are exquisite, to be sure ... but they are repeated again and again and again until it's possible your brain will get annoyed and sick of them. That's part of the point, of course - on the one hand, this is the first instance of the band taking the idea of a pop song (a single musical motive repeated several times) and stretching it into an almost satirical take on the concept, and on the other hand, the way they are repeated in different combinations from different channels serves to almost hypnotize the listener. Basically, the band takes what could be a weakness and turns it into a strength, but like it or not it's still a weakness, and as such hurts the album a smidge.

Still, a great album. Fortunately, although The Yes Album was by almost all accounts a success, what with its great playing and phenomenal songwriting, the band still wanted to get better. And so, alas, they cut what they perceived to be a weak link; Tony Kaye. Which does make some sense; although he had played really well on the album, he knew and the band knew that he could not play any better, and this did not gel with Anderson's wish to continually improve in every way. So in his place, they brought in somebody who would allow them to continue to improve ...

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#279454)
Posted Monday, April 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars After their previous two albums, which I found to be quite disappointing, Yes finally release an album worthy of their name, with a fresh sound and a stable line-up that fans will come to recognize as vintage Yes.

The opening track 'Yours Is No Disgrace' is easily one of my favourite Yes songs, and 'I've Seen All Good People' has endured as one of Yes-fans most beloved tracks. But sadly the other songs just aren't so great. I mean, they're not terribly bad or anything, they just don't have the same fire and enthusiasm as the tracks I mentioned. 'The Clap' and 'A Venture' feel like nothing more than delightful fillers, and although 'Perpetual Change' and 'Starship Trooper' are good, they're just not all that special to me.

The bonus tracks are also a bit of a waste. Although the two 'single versions' are good songs, they're nothing more than the original song played halfway through. Although the 'Clap' studio version is a nice touch.

Overall this is a good album that firmly places Yes on the map. It may be far from my favourite Yes record, but it's definitely the start of something special.

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Send comments to Valarius (BETA) | Report this review (#280376)
Posted Monday, May 03, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars How amusing that the word "pretentious" keeps cropping up with regard to progressive rock. A good friend once told me that prog wasn't REAL prog until the songs were at least 10 minutes long, had parts labelled in Roman numerals, and had obscure and/or mythical references with very long subtrack titles. (I'm sure we could all name a whole lot of bands now) Well, unfortunately THE YES ALBUM only commits one of these sins. As I speed headlong towards my half century of existence I can only say that this album is still as awesome as when I first heard it in the mid-70s. Why look for pretension when you can just have clean and pure complex melody and lyrics? A lot of the reviews of this album (without spelling it out) imply that catchy tunes and/or popular tracks somehow diminish the progressiveness of what is without a doubt a superb album. Perhaps a more succinct or clearer definition needs to be made about what is or isn't prog...but personally it'd be like picking gnat[&*!#] out of pepper. Prog-pop, prog-rock...I mean...really...just put the headphones on...turn the lights off...and enjoy. Pretentious...moi? Never.

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Send comments to CaptainZero (BETA) | Report this review (#281911)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Okay this album is simply incredible. People are like I dont get the music of yes. Well its like what Lester Bangs once said "You dont choose the music, the music chooses you." Just the song Starship Trooper makes that whole album. That song is just amazing along with every song on this album. Though I like older Yes rather than newer Yes. This album to me just defines what great prog music really is and what its all about. Come on Chris Squier on bass on Starship is ridiculous, everything is on that song is insane. Keep on keepin on Yes, I wish music were like this now.

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Send comments to themattinator7 (BETA) | Report this review (#282556)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is mine favorite Yes album. It rocks and there is some very good and (I am looking for the correct word) nice (yes nice) music here. YES are not over doing it here like they will do it with they later work Close To The Edge.

Album starts with Yours Is No Disgrace. A good dynamic guitar opener. This opening theme repeats again several times but its always sounding refreshing and just a bit different. Very good rocking song and probably mine favorite from Yes. Starship Trooper another catchy rocking song and one of the bands best songs. It lasts 9:23 minutes and consists of three parts Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm there is no Stravinsky here just good old prog , very nice guitar solo at the end. I've Seen All Good People, only song where Andersons voice doesn't sound bad maybe because the song sounds so groovy. Anyway this is nice mini epic and one of the highlights of the album. I will not deny that I am not big fan of Yes but I always did like listen to The Yes Album and Fragile and still very much do.

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Send comments to Archangel (BETA) | Report this review (#283242)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Third from the beginning and first really progressive Yes album. I like that sound - still raw, but without bombastic over orchestrated keyboards, with still live rock soul from that time. I like to hear every movement and every sound in still quite atmospheric mix.

For sure, this album is first band's step on what later will be their empire, one can easily hear there how they're searching on their own sound and way in music. I like young Anderson's voice there, and Howe guitar's wah-wah accessories. Keyboards are simple and flat, but very natural, without useless bombastic.

Some songs are strange ( as blue-grass "The Clap"), and possibly they destroy album's concept. But could you imagine such things on Yes albums in their top-period? And there, still far from stardom, musicians play music they enjoy. Without counting how album's buyers will react.

Bigger part of album's song show what is their sound coming soon though. Melodic, keyboards-led energetic symphonic prog with still raw rocking roots. Yes, I must to agree, they do it best. No strange, they will concentrate on this direction in their future.

Far not their most professional album, it save some fresh air and unpredictability, which Yes loosed very soon on their most matured works.

My rating - 4+.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#284863)
Posted Friday, June 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm perhaps in the minority in thinking that 'Yes' lost something (at least temporarily) in order to gain something. And I'm not just talking about changing guitarists. In my eyes this album... lacks colour compared to both the first two LPs and 'Fragile'. Maybe its the over-reliance on chunky rock riffing ('Perpetual Change' and 'Yours is no Disgrace' are about as close as the band ever came to straight "hard rock"). Maybe its because the keyboard player, who was such a delightful feature of the previous LPs, appears to have been locked out of the studio for most of the sessions. Maybe its because they hadn't yet perfected the art of the 'long song' - more so than at any other period, you can see where two or three riffs have been bolted together to create a 'big song'(By 'Fragile', they kicked arse at this, mind). Anyway... though I can't exactly put my finger on why, 'the Yes album' has never been a favourite of mine. Something is missing here...

For my money, 'Starship Trooper' stands as the clear highlight here. The opening riff is pretty cool, but (aside from some sweet fills by Mr Bruford), it comes across as a mite repetitive. Oh well, no biggie. The song gets better as it goes on, anyway. The middle section goes all twisty turny and semi-acoustic with some rather evocative bitter-sweet imagery ('I still remember/the talks by the water...') coming through from the lovely Mr Anderson. Then there's the lovely stacking 'aaahs' bit. Then (in the form of the 'Wurm' section) there's possibly the best piece of music the band committed to tape - a grungy riff that the band scaffolds upon thrillingly, increasing in intensity and pitch (Mr Squire, your bass is so nice!), like the sun bursting up through the ruins...

Then they [%*!#] it up by putting some unnecessary (and surprisingly shaky) guitar-wanking by the usually ace Mr Howe at the end. Damnit! Ah well, still, all in all, a very cool song and, for my dosh, the best long-form piece they'd constructed up to this point.

To be honest, I can take or leave the rockier "anthems" at the beginning and end of the album... not becuase they're bad or anything, I just think they are rather uninspired and 'safe' in style and structure compared to the biggies off 'Fragile', for example. I actually preferred the 'big pop' approach of the debut to the 'totem rock' approach they try out here.

'The Clap' is just... there. 'A Venture' is rather nice, but draws very little attention to itself. 'I've Seen all good people' is probably my second fave - it's really pretty! Its also got a rather more playful and less heeeeaavvy arrangement than a lot of the other tracks on the record (I love the flutes on the verses and the booming organ during the 'du-dut du-dut du-dut' bridge bit!). Colourful - I like! It does ride on its chorus hook a bit long for my taste though... I mean, it ain't THAT great.

Well, something's missing from Yes's brew here... but all would soon cohere!

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Send comments to Rhyme Drag With Drag (BETA) | Report this review (#286029)
Posted Friday, June 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This marks the beginning of Yes' emergence into becoming progressive giants. Hints of classic rock are present throughout this album but this is true, pure prog in all its glory. Songs from this record were among the first I heard from Yes and I was completely astounded by them. I knew these chaps were not normal and definitely far more superior musically than their counterparts. This album, along with many (I cannot help it), will always be special to me and I will continue to have a soft spot for it. Essential for those barely entering the world of prog; a powerful start.

1. "Yours Is No Disgrace" - 9/10

2. "The Clap" - 9/10

3. "Starship Trooper" - 9/10

4. "I've Seen All Good People" - 10/10

5. "A Venture" - 9/10

6. "Perpetual Change" - 9/10

55/6 = 91.67% = 5 stars

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Send comments to Lark the Starless (BETA) | Report this review (#286679)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
SgK
5 stars What an amazing album! Yes delivers their first of many masterpieces with The Yes Album, arguably the most important album for the entire symphonic prog genre. Having averaged around 5 minutes per song in their previous two albums, Yes suddenly jumped up to an average of 7 minutes a piece with this album; a key feature for explaining the greatness of this album, in my opinion. Yes is best enjoyed in these lengthier intervals, when the listener has a chance to dive deeper into the music and let the song grow onto him. While there are many easily listenable Yes songs, the top tier of their style is actually hard to get into at first, but when finally allowed will blow your mind into making an '89er like me wish I was a teenager in the early '70s. The Yes Album is performed with such optimism and warmth, a key signature of Yes, that it can just turn any bad day upside down.

Best track: Starship Trooper

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Send comments to SgK (BETA) | Report this review (#291634)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After two solid but pretty unspectacular albums the Yes formula finally clicked with the group delivering one of the early classic albums of the progressive rock genre. Gone was lead- guitarist Peter Banks, to be replaced by 23-year old former Tomorrow and Bodast axeman Steve Howe, and the new boy set about freshening up Yes' sound with his wildly inventive guitar style. Released in 1971, 'The Yes Album' would become the group's first big-seller and would also yield much critical acclaim, finally placing Yes amongst the big boys of British rock. The album even enjoyed minor success in the USA. Yes had, in effect, thrown of the shackles of mediocrity that had so far hindered their evolutionary arc and constructed an eclectic mixture of styles featuring expert craftmanship and superior musical ability. There is not a dud track on the album, with the sublime 'Yours Is No Disgrace' kicking things off nicely and setting a sonic trend that would fully develop over the course of the next decade. Anderson's soaring vocals and the multi-tracked harmonies compliment Howe's electric playing and Squire's throbbing bass effectively, and the group's instrumental verve is explored to the full on the epic 'Starship Trooper', a song featuring some more blazing guitar work from Howe. The album would also feature five individually-concocted pieces from each member of the band, with the pick of the bunch being Squire's hugely-impressive 'The Fish', a track constructed completely out of bass guitar sounds that has to be heard to be (dis)believed. A testament to not only their abilities as musicians but also their resolve and foresight, 'The Yes Album' was so good it stopped Atlantic Records from dropping the group and set Yes on their way to stardom. To this day it ranks as one of the band's best and also one of the high watermarks of the entire progressive rock genre. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#293398)
Posted Wednesday, August 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album where Yes really became the band they had always dreamed of.

With lengthy compositions and amazing song structures, this album is really where classic Yes had begun to grow.

Overall, this album is just perfect in every way, with no real flaws, making it a real prog gem, and a definite masterpiece.

1. Yours Is No Disgrace - Amazing rhythmic intro. The vocal harmonies are great and the instrumental work is really the glittery glue that holds it all together. 10/10

2. Clap - Chickman (Steve Howe) showing us what his claws can do. 9/10

3. Starship Trooper - One of my all time favourite Yes songs. The real gem is the end instrumental. Wow, very epic indeed. 10/10

4. I've Seen All Good People -A folk like song about chess. The arrangement is very beautiful 10/10

5. A Venture - A very underlooked Yes song in my opinion. Great chorus and some fantastic melodies presented. 10/10

6. Perpetual Change - A very jazz based song with some phenomanal instrumental work. 9/10

CONCLUSION: This is where it began. Revel in the joy it brings.

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#294759)
Posted Monday, August 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was not my first Yes album, but it was one that perennially cemented the band into my favorites. This album is really different from the previous two, which many people thought were lacking. Although prog music is thought to be inaccessible, this album succeeds in not only having some catchy tunes, but also some complex passages that are common in prog.

This album is often regarded as Yes's first masterpiece, and I definitely agree with that sentiment. With classic tunes like Starship Trooper, Yours Is no Disgrace, I've Seen All Good People, etc., this album possibly is Yes's finest. The music is enjoyable to listen to and has many hooks, yet also is very complex.

The album has good transitions and excellent instrumental work. Each band member plays his instrument masterfully, and the music is more mature compared to Yes's previous albums. Every prog fan should at least listen to this album. Yet, this album does not capture my complete attention like later works Fragile and Close to the Edge would, so I'll give it 4 stars.

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Send comments to Mystery (BETA) | Report this review (#295310)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars After the first two albums, the YES have finally found their sound. This album is essential to understand the whole YES production, it's where it all began.

"Yours is No Disgrace" is probably the best opener on a YES album. With Starship Trropers, I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change we have four of the most classic YES songs played tons of times in all their gigs regardless the changes in the lineup. What else? Some people dislikes Jon Anderson's voice, but without him the YES wouldn't have been the same. His voice is an additional instrument perfectly tuned with Howe's guitar and Squire's Bass, and Squire's background vocals.

Close to The Edge and Fragile are probably the most celebrated YES albums, but the YES Album still has that freshness that they lost when their music became more pretentious. Given their skills they CAN be pretentious, of course.

Also the two short tracks are more than fillers. The Clap has the same role that Mood for a Day has on Fragile and A Venture, even if not a masterpiece is a typical Yes song with a remarkable effort of Chris Squire.

This is an essential album, at least for the Yes history.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#297814)
Posted Tuesday, September 07, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars "The Yes Album" is one of those interesting cases where all of the pieces for excellence are there, yet none of them seem to be working together quite as well as they should. An enjoyable effort nonetheless, "The Yes Album" is a good blueprint for what would come from the band down the line.

The one thing that you could say about the three "essential" Yes albums-this, "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge"-is that they are PERFECT adventure albums. No band was able to capture that swashbuckling sci-fi feel quite like Yes, and that's evident on the first and arguably best track, "Yours is No Disgrace". Opening with one of Steve Howe's most sweeping, energetic guitar riffs, the song conjures images of a grand adventure on a mysterious planet-it slows down a bit in places, and not to the song's advantage either, but overall it's a great way to start the album.

A lot of people enjoy "Clap", but...meh. Sounds like filler, is filler. Things pick up again with "Starship Trooper", a more meditative, wide-eyed take on that adventurous spirit I was talking about earlier-Yes never quite managed to kick their hippy/psychedelic roots and the fact that this song name drops "Sister Bluebird" in the first line makes that perfectly clear. Things go slightly awry when Howe tries to focus on that guitar riff for the last 4 minutes of the song, however-it's a nice build, but "nice" isn't good enough to focus on for half of the runtime.

"I've Seen All Good People" continues in the album's softer, more pacifistic vein, although it isn't psychedelic as much as it is simply pleasant. Even the largely instrumental charge that arrives when the bulk of the song has concluded is welcome after such a delightful sojourn. "A Venture" is yet another filler track-you can tell that Yes were far more interested in their 10 minute epics and weren't too keen on devoting much time to the shorter, non-single tracks(of which there are two). Finally, things end with "Perpetual Change", which is a little bit too similar in structure and tone to "Yours is No Disgrace" to really get excited about. The speaker drop psych-out does get me every time though, I will admit that.

As I said...all the parts were there, and yet the listener can't help but walk away from the album somewhat dissatisfied. The compositions are masterful, but they don't excite, not like they would later, and Anderson's stream-of-consciousness songwriting can at points be labeled as goofy rather than inspired. Overall, though, it's the the disjointed feel of the album that does it in-the feeling that it isn't so much a cohesive whole, but rather several songs that just happened to be placed next to each other. A fine enough album, it still forces one to wonder what a great album it could've been if it only had a little bit more of that "X" factor.

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Send comments to 40footwolf (BETA) | Report this review (#300751)
Posted Monday, September 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A really great album wich is really proggier than the two before him. Just like if it was their real first album. The problem with Yes's albums is that the mastering is not pretty good. It's not a big problem since the compositions a so good and the musicianship of the band members is as high as the sky. A really representative album for the Era of wich it came from. Peace, love, vegetarian musicians who wears cape and robes as stage costume. Though it seems funny now it represents the hippies. Hope everyone of you will enjoy the album as it deserves.

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Send comments to The_Jester (BETA) | Report this review (#301535)
Posted Saturday, October 02, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I picked this album at a used vinyl shop after the purchase of the soundtrack to Legend the movie.

I immediately thought the album sounded very bad, trying to change sounds at so many instances I

am beginning to think would cause mental illness unless you are English lineaged.

I seem to find all the English garbage in the USA?

Yet If I was probably in England it would be vice versa or just the opposite.

The album cover is a joke the string can be seen, and so this album comes off as professionally accomplished musicians trying to conjure sound, like they never really cared and so on...

Don't expect a horror cover to have success yet all of the reviews have had very positive if not saying legendary reviews in progressive music--they are a commercial success since they are graduates of music.

I could give all the English, French, Chinese, Germans, Italians 5 star reviews since they are all on high from the reference, and these reviews could count as alms for them.

I just cannot figure that one out anymore if thinking presently and that is where I am writing from, this group is as racist as the next and will not get my alms.

Once more island based individuals conjuring or reflecting the mainland-- They are not a progressive group but a performance based group.

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Send comments to thewickedfall (BETA) | Report this review (#305521)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars After two albums without much energy, Yes really was consolidated with his third album, the semi-titled "The Yes Album." Marking the debut of Steve Howe on guitar, this album is a really good, maybe even perfect!

The very first track, "Yours Is No Disgrace", already has an idea of what Yes would be tornar.This is a long song, with almost 10 minutes, in contrast to the shorter songs from the albums previous. I like this song.All is good here: her lengthy introduction, the vocals, the section of jazz. "Clap" is a typical acoustic section, courtesy of "guitar master" Howe.As next two are still the most known of the Yes: "Starship Trooper" started the trend of the band to split the music into sections, like the erudite pieces (in this case, music is divided into three sections). "I've Seen All Good People" is another well classic, The harmony vocals really lift the music, which is contributed by the omnipresent organ of Kaye. "A venture" is not a great song, just a sort of reprise of aguns themes of the album."Perpetual Change "has a good chorus and closes the album greatly.

From that album, Yes would become one of the biggest (and perhaps most ambitious) exponents of progressive rock.

(10/10) -Yours Is No disgrace -Clap -Starship troopers -I 've Seen All Good People -Perpetual Change

(8.5/10) -A venture

Average: 9.7

5 stars indeed!

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Send comments to voliveira (BETA) | Report this review (#319925)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars I never saw The Yes Album as more than a collection of great compositions. Some might say that it's all that you'll ever need in an album but I'm more into thematic albums, which might explain why I generally dislike compilation releases.

There is no doubt in my mind about the great quality of this release but it's entirely based upon the two great compositions Yours Is No Disgrace and especially Starship Trooper. The rest of the album is great but too unstructured for me, with fun but ultimately pointless fillers like The Clap and A Venture. I've Seen All Good People is a nice track that actually gets even better in the live setting, but the weird contrast between a folk-like style here and lengthy Symphonic Prog masterpieces does ruin it a bit for me. Perpetual Change is a close descendant of the two lengthy tracks on side one, except I never enjoyed this tune as much as those other two. There is a certain lacking here that I honestly can't explain, so I'll leave it at that.

I've always enjoyed the very revealing album cover of this release for showing me exactly how things were in the Yes camp at the time. The main bulk of the band were Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Jon Anderson, all standing up, while the empty chair next to Kaye and Bruford symbolized, to me, the fact there were "adjustments" needed to be made and those guys were not in a favorable position. In other words, a completely hilarious picture! Overall, The Yes Album is the first Yes-release that is worthy of the legacy that this band has accumulated over the years. It might not be among my top three favorites but a step in the right direction is always appreciated!

***** star songs: Yours Is No Disgrace (9:36) Starship Trooper (9:23)

**** star songs: I've Seen All Good People (6:47) Perpetual Change (8:50)

*** star songs: The Clap (3:07) A Venture (3:13)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#322275)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars As it's been said before, this is the album where Yes really found their sound. This album is definitely one of the classic Yes albums and is arguably stronger than Fragile as a whole. Before I go track by track I'd just like to say that I don't have the remastered edition but the original CD release and it sounds good for the most part but doesn't include lyrics, liner notes or anything too interesting. But the music is still great!

1. Yours Is No Disgrace- Probably my favorite track off the whole album. It starts off with an awesome groove and just takes off from there. This one has some really good vocals and shows incredible musicianship. You just have to listen to it. 10/10

2. The Clap- Honestly, I can appreciate the fact that Steve Howe is really good at finger picking and that the guitar work in this song is really complicated, but it's really not that interesting unless you are a guitarist. It seems like something that shouldn't have been on a studio album. It's good to hear once in a while but it kind of breaks the flow. 7/10

3. Starship Trooper- I know that not many people will agree with me but I kind of think this song is overrated. I mean, it's not bad by any means, but it's probably my 5th favorite off of the album. But I really like the way this one is sung and the part that's like, "Though you've seen me, please don't say a word." is really cool. But musically, it's not very interesting like the other songs are and Wurm is pretty much straightforward classic rock. 8/10

4. I've Seen All Good People- When I first heard this song, I had no idea it was by Yes but I always liked it a lot. I was quite surprised to find out it was Yes. The first part is calm with the melody sung beautifully and is about a chess game, actually. By the second part, All Good People, it really gets rocking and stuff. 9/10

5. A Venture- I kind of like to think of this one as the hidden gem on the album. It's actually quite catchy and it tends to get overlooked because it's short and between I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change. Be sure to listen to this one and not overlook it. 8.5/10

6. Perpetual Change- I'd say this my second favorite song off of the album. You may have to turn the music down a bit when it first starts off but give it a chance. This one really develops into a great song. The vocals are really great on this song and it's really a beautiful song. I'd just like to mention that some time during the jamming, the volume gets lower and lower for about 30 seconds, stays quiet, then goes back to normal in about a minute. I really don't think this is intentional and I think the remastered version fixed it. But, whatever. 9/5/10

Overall, The Yes Album is really good and foreshadows what's to come on later Yes albums and has some true classic Yes songs on it.

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Send comments to skihero45 (BETA) | Report this review (#343205)
Posted Saturday, December 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of my favourite Yes albums. As most of us know, "The Yes Album" was a breakthrough for the band and set stage for the sound they'd develop for the next two albums.

One thing many fans like about this album is the fact that each member made his own contribution to the music, so there's a democratic balance and fusion of ideas here. Howe's guitar work is probably the most prominent, especially on "Yours Is No Discrace". The acoustic "Clap" also gets him to show off his talent. Kaye's work on piano, organ and moog synths are also great, especially the spacey, electronic mood created on "Starship Trooper".

"I've Seen All Good People" has such a brightness to it and is probably one of my all time favourite Yes songs. Anderson's voice is as powerful as ever. There are lots of great, effective bass lines by Squire and strong drumming from Bruford from start to finish.

I can't find many faults with this album, it is an absolute classic. Very creative, innovative and original music. I have played this album to death at home and I'll never become tired of it, although the very best of Yes' music was yet to come. 4.5 stars.

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Send comments to Frankie Flowers (BETA) | Report this review (#357149)
Posted Sunday, December 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is where the story of Yes really begins for me. The early albums were about finding their feet, making their own sound, doing their own songs instead of the rewrites that they'd copped from 1-2-3 (Clouds), shaking off that influence to find their own voice.

Having said all that, I still find the music cloyingly pretentious, the lyrics often ridiculous, the themes nonsensical, yet this has to be a five-star album. Progressive Rock couldn't exist without this band. Along with ELP and King Crimson (who for me, are the first fully-formed progressive rock band) they defined the genre, and always attempted to be interesting and inventive. The playing is almost perfect, at times, faultless; the vocals are well-conceived, the harmonies clever and of the highest quality. It's the content that gets on my nerves, all the Tolkien bull[&*!#], a lot of airy-fairy nonsense that to me, wasn't necessary, and was even unhelpful to a great group's legacy.

But I'm glad they did what they did.

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Send comments to JeanFrame (BETA) | Report this review (#362457)
Posted Friday, December 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't know if I am the most qualified person in the world to comment on music; but I CAN tell you that this is a GREAT album and one of Yes' best. This is creative symphonic prog rock at it's finest. This is the first of what is considered their classic albums. It was their third album but their first to 'click'.

The sound is full of impressive organ/keyboard work that add an airy/symphonic feeling to the album; yet, Yes are a band that are traditionally dominated by guitars. The songwriting is very strong. Although a lot of progressive rock albums have weak production where the vocals are somewhere in the background, even within the discography of this band, this album has a great production. The songwriting is focused and very strong. There are even some 'hooks' here and there. The songs actually aren't as complex as they would be on later albums like 'Close to the edge', these songs don't meander a lot, they try and stick to a few well-written melodic themes over their usually 8-9 minute duration, that's why I said the song-writing is more 'focused'. I don't think that meandering is bad, but this album isn't really meandering.

Although 'Perpetual Change' and 'Starship Trooper' are excellent prog epics at about nine minutes each, my favourite tracks are 'I've seen all good people' with it's bouncy vocal harmonies and I absolutely love the engaging 'Yours is no disgrace', which has such a catchy chorus they repeat it a few times in several styles, such as jazz.

One of Yes' crowning glories, and an album that is not hard to appreciate even if you are not a 'prog-head'

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Send comments to Brendan (BETA) | Report this review (#377461)
Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Yes: The Yes Album [1971]

Rating: 9/10

It is on this album that Yes finally found themselves musically. After exploring many different styles on their first two albums, Yes discovered their niche within the emergent genre of symphonic progressive rock. The album contains everything that makes Yes so great: balanced interplay between instrumentation and vocal delivery, amazing musicianship, skillful composition, and epic songs.

"Yours is No Disgrace" is a roller-coaster ride of pounding rhythms and soaring keys. Steve Howe, having just joined the band, shows his talent here. This song's bridge contains one of Anderson's greatest and most soulful vocal performances. "The Clap" is a short acoustic instrumental that is yet another testament to Howe's talent. "Starship Trooper" is another epic. There's more excellent acoustic guitar in the middle here, and the conclusion ("Wurm") is one of the finest moments on the album. "I've Seen All Good People" opens with a well-known vocal mantra. The first half of the song is dominated with Anderson's wonderful vocals; this is also the first time in the band's career that Squire shows himself to be an excellent backing vocalist. The song then transitions into a heavy rocker focused on Howe's guitar and the vocal mantra. I've always considered "A Venture" to be an underrated gem, particularly because of the excellent short piano solo at the end. "Perpetual Change" closes the album in an epic fashion. The jazzy middle-section of this song is particularly excellent, along with its energetic conclusion.

I grew up on this album; I fondly remember listening to it in my dad's car and playing air guitar to it as a six-year-old. The album has a lot of emotional relevance to me, and I've been able to appreciate it more and more with time. This album is essential, even though Yes would continue to get even better in the years to come.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#404622)
Posted Monday, February 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars When Yes jettisoned Peter Banks (a fine guitarist in his own right) and replaced him with Steve Howe, they miraculously came up with their signature sound (and that was without Rick Wakeman).

"The Yes Album" was every bit as groundbreaking as the first albums of Yes' peers, King Crimson and Emerson Lake & Palmer. And all but one of the songs, the underrated A Venture are still concert favorites four dacades later - and most still get radio airplay.

Who can deny the majesty of Yours Is No Disgrace (I just love those harmonics Howe throws in), Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change? And I've Seen All Good People, although relatively simple in structure, is still fun to sing along with.

Even (The) Clap is great. It served as an introduction to the acoustic skills of Yes' newest member.

The only drawback is Tony Kaye's fairly weak performance. On this album, he is pushed into the background, playing mostly repetitious chord washes. But it doesn't diminish the value of this great work.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#412965)
Posted Tuesday, March 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars This is a Yes album(ha!) that deserves 5 stars. Light years ahead of the first two albums in terms of sound and composition. This was the last album to feature Tony Kaye for a long time. His organ work here is fantastic and is the glue that holds everything together. He also plays a little bit of piano and Moog as well. According to legend, Kaye was fired from the band because he didn't want to use synths and Mellotrons. However, he was using both as well as an electric piano on the One Live Badger album, recorded within two years of this album.

I think the rest of the band wanted a keyboardist who could be the equal of the new guitarist, Steve Howe. He added so much to Yes' sound when he joined. He even gets his own solo spot on the album in the form of "The Clap." Recorded live, it features Howe doing some great Chet Atkins style guitar playing. It's the closest thing to filler on here but I never feel like skipping it. Bruford is in fine form on this album. Jon Anderson, as usual, sounds like an old woman. Apart from maybe "The Fish", I don't think Chris Squire ever had a better bass sound than here. At times his bass is run through a Leslie cabinet, other times he uses some sort of tremolo effect.

The album begins with one of my favourite Yes songs, "Yours Is No Disgrace." The Moog in this song is subltle but effective. Howe really shines on this song. Great harmony vocals. Love Squire's bass. The part with Howe's guitar going back and forth is terrific and is only topped by the part that immediately follows. Love the sped-up ending, a nice touch. "Starship Trooper" is another classic. I like how the bass is mixed slightly left of center, making it stand out more. Bruford does some excellent drumming on this song which adds so much. A little bit of Moog at the end of the 'Lifeseeker' section. Love the sound of Howe's guitar during 'Wurm', this is one of the best moments of any Yes song. Great double-tracked guitar solos and organ at the end.

"I've Seen All Good People" is the most famous song from the album. Also the most mainstream sounding song here. Along with "The Clap" this was always my least favourite song on the album, but it's still really good. Like the recorders(?) which you don't get on live versions. The organ here is fantastic. Always thought the 'give peace a chance' line was pointless and slightly dates the song. The 'All Good People' part shows Yes doing some straight up rock'n'roll. "A Venture" is often ignored but is a great song. Like the piano getting faded in. The slow polka-type rhythm is interesting. More great harmony vocals in this song. I like how the instruments get a bit looser near the end. One of my biggest complaints about this album is that Howe's solo at the end gets faded out.

That leaves us with yet another classic, "Perpetual Change." Cool call and response type vocals. At 5:09 starts one of the best and most experimental parts of any Yes song: a dissonant jazzy section in the left channel while the main theme is played slowed-down in the right channel. Some guitar and Moog gets added in the center. Simply brilliant, too bad they couldn't pull this section off live (see: Yessongs). Love the ending with the harmony vocals going "ahhh".

This whole album is timeless...it could have been recorded yesterday (pun intended). Such a great, unique sound which the band never recaptured again. Although I can understand the love for the next two albums, this one is far more consistent. Yes were never the same without Bruford, but they weren't the same without Kaye either. Wakeman may be a better keyboardist technically, but the Hammond sounds Kaye comes up with here are just fantastic. He's one of my favourite Hammond players, along with Keith Emerson, Jon Lord and Dave Stewart. Although the cover is just a band shot (rare for Yes), it has it's own uniqueness. A great early triumph for this band. 5 stars.

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Send comments to zravkapt (BETA) | Report this review (#418615)
Posted Sunday, March 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Much maligned in some quarters for stealing the thunder of 1-2-3 (later Clouds), taking the concept of drastic and adventurous re-writes into new territory, what's often ignored in the somewhat-fashionable rush to denigrate this band is that they were able to successfully and seamlessly take that concept and make it work in a completely new context, ie, their own compositions, not the restructured frameworks that was the province of 1-2-3, the originators of the form.

The fruits of that concept come together more clearly here, finally breaking away from the confines that condemned Clouds to no more than an interesting footnote to history. King Crimson are generally lauded as the first true progressive rock beginning, but would that have been seriously possible without Yes? 1-2-3/Clouds are often cited as the bridge between pop and progressive, but lost in that true fact, is that Yes could easily be said to be the bridge between Clouds and Crimson.

Here in this album, the promise of the future comes to life, there is a clarity to the expressions that wasn't there before, the sparkling musicianship overcomes the somewhat cloying sentiments and flowery writing that threatens to bring the edifice down (and indeed eventually did). Love them or loathe them, this is an essential band in the history of the genre.

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Send comments to giselle (BETA) | Report this review (#428158)
Posted Tuesday, April 05, 2011 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Yes Album is the first true classic album by Yes, and marks the point when Steve Howe joins the band.

Even upon hearing the first track, "Yours Is No Disgrace", it becomes obvious that all the members of the band have grown in musicianship quality and songwriting ability, and the instrumentation is far more elaborate and exuberant. Most of the tracks on this album are longer and feature more passages. The Yes Album includes some extremely popular songs in the Yes repertoire such as "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Starship Trooper", "I've Seen All Good People" and "Perpetual Change".

Unfortunately, I don't enjoy this album very much at all even though it shows an evolution into the sound of classic Yes that I love so much. The compositions are longer and more elaborate, but a lot of the changes from passage to passage sound slightly random, and some passages even completely unnecessary. The flow from track to track, passage to passage, just isn't done as well as on their debut or on the next few classic albums. I think I'm in the minority by thinking that at this point in their career, Yes still has a stronger edge for writing the shorter and more to the point songs - "A Venture" is probably my favorite track on the album because it's a great song and is to the point but manages to get the point across that this band is indeed progressive and intelligent. "The Clap" is a fantastic jiggy guitar solo track displaying how well versed Steve Howe is on his instrument. It's short, but supremely enjoyable. "I've Seen All Good People" is another one of the better tracks on the album because the band doesn't try to write outside of their own comfort zone, and it flows fantastically between the two sections while also being quite a happy jam.

Most people really enjoy this album, but I don't. Of course that is only my personal verdict on this album, anyone would probably find much to like about this first classic album by Yes and is still highly recommended.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#429345)
Posted Friday, April 08, 2011 | Review Permalink
baz91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 'The Yes Album' is when Yes started to develop their signature prog-rock style. As a result, no less than three songs on this record have become Yes classics, and their first two albums were to become mainly overlooked. However, on this record, there is something quite beautiful, and different to the other classic Yes albums. Whilst 'Close To The Edge', 'Tales...', 'Relayer' etc, take themselves extremely seriously, this album has a lighter, more charming feel to it. Songs like I've Seen All Good People make this album sound like it wants to be your friend.

Yours Is No Disgrace is the first classic from this record. In addition to extremely silly (but still fantastic) lyrics, this song has an amazing instrumental that feels a little improvised. The lyrics are repeated in several different moods, adding to the experimental nature of this wonderful track. The main riff is a killer too.

The Clap is a guitar solo recorded live in London, 1970. This piece is a lot of fun, and the live aspect feels much more appropriate than if this had been a studio track. HOWEver, it's still a solo track, and feels a little bit out of place on this record.

Next is one of my all-time favourite Yes tracks: Starship Trooper. This the first track they ever split into sections. The first and second sections contain amazing lyrics and wonderful melodies, but the third and final section, Würm, is by far the most memorable part of this song, and indeed this album. It is four minutes long, entirely instrumental, and only consists of three chords being played one after the other. In four minutes, Yes do the most amazing job of building up to the spotlight guitar solo finish to this track. This song is simply marvelous. The amount of times I've had to get up from whatever I was doing to perform an improptu air guitar solo is innumerable. This is a prog rock song that will never be forgotten.

The third and final 'classic' from this record is I've Seen All Good People. This is split into two sections, which are wholly seperate from each other. In fact the only way you'd know they are linked is that the lyric 'I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way.', which is repeated endlessly in the second part, is used twice at the beginning of the first part. The first half, Your Move, is a wonderful acoustic piece, with some of Jon's best lyrics seemingly to concern chess. The second half, All Good People, is more of a rock and roll instrumental with the lyrics repeated over it. A wonderful classic.

On the other hand A Venture is a real obscurity! The writing and the musicianship of this song is very clever, but sadly this song is just nowhere near as memorable as it's counterparts on the record. Listen to hear the wonderful instrumental talents off Messrs Squire, Howe, Kaye and Bruford in the outro to this track!

Perpetual Change has also been relatively overlooked through time, but this piece is very underrated. This song is progressive in every single way (look, I'm even using mannerisms from the song). The instrumental that begins at 4:00 is very experimental, and the most remarkable part of the track is when there are seemingly two Yes's playing at once, one in the left channel, one in the right! The musical future of Bill Bruford is prophesied when he plays the exact drum fill from 21st Century Schizoid Man at 0:38. Great prog track.

This is one of those classic albums that you just need to have if you're a prog fan. I know that there is hardly any need for me to say this, since so many people have done so before me, but it's absolutely true that this is a wonderful record.

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#433960)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars My second favorite Yes album, THE Yes Album has many flaws, but most of these flaws are helpful to the album's amazing quality. Sometimes it does seem to drag on a bit, but for me, that doesn't ruin the music.

Yours is No Disgrace (10/10): Amazing, proggy, and epic start to the album. Great guitars, impressive keys (for Kaye), and excellent vocals are the showcase of this masterpiece.

The Clap (8/10): A nice little acoustic guitar solo, which would be improved upon on Fragile with Mood for a Day, but why didn't they keep the studio version? It sounds much better on the remastered album than the live version that they kept.

Starship Trooper (10/10): Great song, probably the best on the album, that sounds quite a bit like what they would do on later song of the same length, like And You and I.

I've Seen All Good People (9.5/10): Great beginning, excellent tune, but if the first part had been longer and the second part have been less repetitive, I would give this song a 10.

A Venture (7/10): A boring piece of filler, my least favorite track on the album.

Perpetual Change (9/10): Nice way to close the album. Drags on a bit for me, though.

This album was first in what was to become Yes' eventual progressive direction. It would be my favorite Yes album, if I swapped two Fragile tracks, Mood for a Day and Long Distance Runaround, to replace The Clap and A Venture, and if I've Seen All Good People was changed up a bit.

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Send comments to FloydsaysYes1497 (BETA) | Report this review (#437169)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
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

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Send comments to Dark Nazgul (BETA) | Report this review (#441634)
Posted Monday, May 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Yes Album ? 1971 (2.8/5) 10 ? Best Song: I've Seen All Good People

Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are? Does this line speak tomes to you of deep, compelling emotional depth? If so, then you most likely have a metal heart. You also most likely masturbate to moog solos. Speaking on that note, isn't Howe a great guitarist? Too bad he doesn't play on this album. But that guy, that hacky-thwacky dude they did get to play on the Yes Album, he's a real monster of a six-string genie. He turns the awful jam session noodling of 'Yours is No disgrace' (complete with one of the worst moog accompaniments in all of progressive rock history.

In case you didn't know, this is the album that propelled the band forward into the overbearing 'art rock' territory. If you're interesting in what I think, then you've came to the wrong place, because this isn't my site, it's Madden's site. Here's what he thinks of the Yes album: When ya got them guys, guys he he heh when ya got them guys, with the great guitarist playing his whiddles and ?guys the mooger guy is running down the field. TOUCHDOWN! Hur hur. And that's great football. A+

There you have it. John Madden gives the Yes album a 15/15. Not me. I think it's alright. But you wouldn't care anything about how I think that Howe just gave the band a bigger consensus ego and led them to allowing his plodding acoustics into the sets more often than not, even when they did nothing for the song. 'Clap' shows how Howe (how how?hoo ha how howwowow) can fiddle his diddle with and acoustic riddle. I hate the piece. It has nothing to it. What makes this so different from your typical Rush record? High-pitched, obnoxious vocalist, check. Melodically restrained, technically complex jamming with 'space opera' lyrical themes, check. 'Starship Trooper' was one of their big hits, but this is another case where the keyboard elements totally turn me off from the whole shenanigan. The guitar tone takes on this astral whorl, which only adds to the music if you dig that style. Props to their bassist, though, he does good things. For such a bloated prog rock giant, they did keep a head up on pop (lightweight, inoffensive, unassuming, bland 1960's pop).

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Send comments to Alitare (BETA) | Report this review (#442947)
Posted Wednesday, May 04, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars "The Yes Album", for me at least, is hard to describe. There is not a single bad song on the album, yet only two of the songs ("Yours is No Disgrace"; "Starship Trooper"; maybe "Perpetual Change") are essential to a Yes fan's collection. "Starship Trooper"'s spacey theme always becomes weaved into my brain after listening, and "Yours is No Disgrace" is just a wonderful, quite possibly underrated song. The other songs just aren't as memorable to me, such as "The Clap", which is a nice acoustic tune, but seems a bit too minimalistic for Yes. "I've Seen All Good People" starts off with interesting lyrics about a chess game ("Your Move"), but Jon Anderson begins to repeat the "All Good People" lyrics from the intro of the song, and ends up just being annoying (Everything else is wonderful, however). "A Venture" is a good but short tune, yet not as good as later Yes work. "Perpetual Change" is an excellent closer, but it falls short from the standards set by "Yours" and "Starship".

Overall, it is a great album to listen too, but only half is essential. I would recommend it for anyone who has already listened to Fragile and Close to the Edge, and is waiting to learn the next Yes offering their ears should digest.

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Send comments to paura (BETA) | Report this review (#457411)
Posted Sunday, June 05, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I would not consider "The Yes Album" as a turning point in the band's music. The previous can be considered as almost 'flawless', but so is this one. The curcial point is to consider it as an expansion (technologically and technically but also lyrically speaking) towars further horizons in the astonishing carrer of 70's Yes.

Your's Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change can be considered the best songs in the album. And this because of their wide range of options, that include: a variety of theme's and motives in constant dialogue and compenetration; sharp turns in compass and "rhythm"; excellent combination of emotional inflections (in the vocals) with musical (or rather instrumental) emphasis; and strong well structured main themes.

However, this could be read as a subestimation of Clap and A Venture, which is not. Considered alone, both songs stand pretty close in importance to the ones mentioned before, not just because of their inclusion in the album per se, but because of their extremely well elaborated "simplicity" that dances around a kind of musicality close to the inaugurating external influences that made progressive rock the milestone of 20th century rock music.

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Send comments to elcaballodecaligula (BETA) | Report this review (#460965)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Damn, this is a good album! Peter Banks is out and Steve Howe is securely in place, but what makes the real difference this time around is confidence. The band have at this point clearly established their own sound and have sufficient faith in it to make a complete album without resorting to cover versions and without having to bring in a string section - the band by itself is powerful enough to carry the music without orchestral boosts.

Actually, this is rather a unique album in the Yes catalogue, being the only one of their "mature" albums to feature Tony Kaye on keyboards - Kaye strongly favours traditional keyboards like the organ, which at the time was the cause of tension in the band because of his reluctance to use the Moog (compared with Rick Wakeman, who never met a synthesiser he didn't like), but this subtle difference in the keyboard sound sets The Yes Album apart from all the band's other classic-period albums. Still, a masterful album and once which I am happy to join most of the other reviewers in heartily recommending.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#470886)
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars To say bands don't make albums like this anymore would be facetious. I don't think they ever made 'em like this, and the reason Yes' third is considered their 'breakthrough' has to do with a lot more than just its #4 stats in the UK. The material and performances broke through as well, right off the vinyl and into your soul for the rest of your life-- and I'm not quite sure why. A perfect middle-ground between their simpler past and turgid future? Maybe, but that's too easy. There was something happening between these five young players that supercharged the writing and rehearsals at the old Langley Studios in Devon with a fresh energy. Perhaps the rural atmosphere and agreeable climate of southwestern England, new member Steve Howe and his contagious spirit, or the building tensions of a dynamic group of people each with their own vision of what the future held.

The 1971 release is of such an undeniably high caliber that many of the cuts are still played on FM radio in the states. Pretty good for a bunch of geriatric vegan longhairs. But then, in 1971 they were young and eating meat. More importantly, they were hungry, and the first two albums didn't seem to do the trick. In fact the band's appetite was just getting bigger and this entrée showed the ravenous ambitions of Squire, Anderson, Kaye, Bruford and Howe. Still rock to be sure, but something else, something more than what Zeppelin and Tull and Sabbath and CSN&Y and Traffic and everyone else with important things to say was offering. It was as if with one stroke the band had unknowingly thrown down a challenge to be more than the best you can be, and still remain loyal to your rock 'n roll roots. And the promise held in the release, the implication of what these guys were capable of next time and in years to come, was electrifying. In just a few months the whole musical landscape would change but in 1970/'71, briefly, The Yes Album was probably the single most important rock LP of its era, particularly to musicians. Though no one really knew that just yet.

It also boasts membership in the small club of Prog gateway records and is held warmly in many listeners' hearts (not just proggies) as one of their intros to the larger world of rock as art. The beautiful purity of Howe's chords complimented by Kaye's bottomless Hammond B-3 is 'Yours is No Disgrace', Jon Anderson's sympathetic lyric, and the unexpectedly sublime vocal harmonies that had now become a Yes staple. Childlike details inserted, answered by sheer power and an uncanny knack for planned spontaneity. Steve Howe's acoustic solo remains one of the finest instrumental performances ever captured and caused every pimply 16 year-old with dreams of guitar godhood to stand in silent awe, tears swelling with the knowledge they'd probably never be that good. And suite 'Starship Trooper' is a popular favorite filled with more rich, glistening vocal chorals, Howe's country-time ground, all capped by 'Wurm' with its droning vamp and hypnotic, nearly orgasmic crescendo. And that was just the first half.

Of course this was when the two sides of an LP were relevant to how the music was laid down and heard, and 'I've Seen All Good People' was an ideal side-2 starter; a soft respite with Anderson's sweet voice in command, the band on support and accentuation. Near-perfect 'A Venture' shows the CS&N impact on many bands, a lovely and clean track, and 'Perpetual Change' is strongly layered with everything the quintet had, thrown at us including a clashing Charles Ives-style cacophony. Wonderful.

Indispensable and uniquely crucial not just to Prog but to all popular music of the time, and still to this day. One of the greatest statements put to record by anyone anywhere in the history of rock, and should be gratefully consumed often by all.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#482660)
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The album that introduced Steve Howe to the world.

Howe came in and showed how(e) good this band could be. His guitar leads this album, with Tony Kaye behaving more as a rhythm player.

Howe's influence is shown from the opening of Yours is no Disgrace. This track is a masterpiece, but actually took me a couple of listens to get. Howe's solo in the middle is brilliant. I just love how(e) he split up the guitar solo into 3 parts: Classical, Sustain, and Clean Jazz.

Clap comes next. Not bad, but kinda boring (Mood for a Day was better).

Next, we have the masterpiece of the album and possibly of Yes's career (only Close to the Edge tops it and Gates of Delirium ties it): Starship Trooper. Its just so majestic and beautiful. Life Seeker gives us those brilliant melodies, while Disillusionment adds a bit of relief. Disillusionment actually makes fun of Jon's lyrics ("Take what I say in a different way and see that this is all confusion...."). Finally, we come to the transcendent climax: Wurm. Steve said that he wrote it as the soundtrack to an acid trip, but those chords are a trip in themselves. His solo at the end is one of his best. Perfect track.

I've seen All Good People is the other classic here. The acoustic chess part is really beautiful and the rock part is actually really cool, with another amazing Howe solo. He gets to show his roots in 50s rock here.

A venture is pretty average, but it does include a nice Kaye solo at the end.

Now, for a contradiction between me and most Yes fans: I don't think Perpetual Change is all that great. Parts are good, but the section where the two rhythms play against each other is kinda sloppy. Its an average track, but not awful.

The Yes Album is the beginning of Yes's holy trinity (though I would substitute this for Relayer) and began a string of great records.

4/5-Really good record

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Send comments to MattGuitat (BETA) | Report this review (#484731)
Posted Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
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.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#530041)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes made a major jump from their previous album and created this amazing (creatively titled) album. The presence of Steve Howe as guitarist enhanced their sound and helped to create this prog rock classic.

Yours Is No Disgrace is an epic cosmic rocker with Steve Howe noticably rocking hard with all sorts of playing: jazzy solos, acoustic bits, rhythm, wah wah, the volume effect, fills, and just normal solos; showcasing what he has to offer for Yes in the future. Everyone else's contributions are great as well with the usual unique bass sound, the synth and organ, complex drumming and the 'out there' lyrics with great harmonies. The main theme is catchy and the structure is spot on. 9.5/10

Then there's Clap (not 'The Clap'). Yeah it's a good, fun, live song but I don't love it. It's just an acoustic guitar and I lose interest because it goes for too long and feels a little out of place. 6.5/10

Now another full band epic and they somehow exceed the heights of the first song. Starship Trooper contains three parts, all which connect nicely and make a good complete piece. It doesn't feel as 'in your face' as the first song, but it's better. The first part is pleasant and rocking, the second is an excellent mix of acoustic guitar and vocal harmonies, also with a recurring part from the first, and the third is a build up of a few chords which climaxes and fades out with a great guitar solo. This is definitely one of the best Yes songs and also one of my favourites. 10/10

I've Seen All Good People is a more commercially friendly song in two parts. It begins pleasant with recorder, nice guitar strumming and chess themed lyrics. Eventually an organ comes in and changes nicely onto a more upbeat rock / pop song. It's a good addition to the album but nothing incredible. The repeated lyrics of the chorus can get a little annoying though. 7/10

A Venture is an average song and arguably the worst on the album. It begins promisingly but turns into a simple lyrical song with a sort of quirky sound and beat. Not great but not terrible either. 6.5/10

Perpetual Change is a great song but not an 'epic'. It's a pleasant song, not very technical. But then out of nowhere comes this fast music is played and put onto one side of the speaker. Then music at half speed is brought in on the other side and the result is a blown mind. This play on stereo effects is a definite highlight. Then the main song comes back and fades out very nicely, creating a good close to a good album. This song doesn't disappoint. 8/10

So all in all an amazing album from the Yes catalog. It's the six minutes of Clap and A Venture that weigh it down though. I highly recommend this. 4 stars.

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Send comments to Quirky Turkey (BETA) | Report this review (#538374)
Posted Saturday, October 01, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the one. This is the album where Yes was finally able to achieve some level of mainstream success. And that's a very good thing, because if this album had failed like their first two, the record label would have pulled the plug, and Yes would have been left dead in the water.

Fortunately, The Yes Album didn't fail and it's not all that hard to see why. One key factor to the album's success was the addition of virtuoso guitarist Steve Howe to the lineup, a vast improvement over the late Peter Banks (who was no slouch himself). Just listen to some of the tasty licks he throws into his solos in Starship Trooper or Yours Is No Disgrace. Even when he isn't at the forefront, he's always contributing something, somewhere, to drive the composition forward. In fact, Yes seemed eager enough to show off their new member that they give him a short solo spot (the first in Yes history), the fast paced, catchy, and utterly irresistible "Clap," which is one of my favorite acoustic guitar pieces ever.

Of course, his addition would be of no consequence if the tracks on this album were not almost universally very good. Only one, the short "A Venture" I would consider mediocre. Neither the vocal melody or Kaye's simple keyboard backing do anything to get my attention. No matter, though. The rest of the album makes this three minute bore all the more forgettable.

The other four tracks, all long multi-part epics, are some of the most classic in Yes history. Despite their length (a few approach ten minutes), the strength of playing and composition easily justifies it. Take "Starship Trooper" as an example, easily my favorite on the album. The first few parts of this song feature all four musicians playing perfectly in-sync with each other, as Anderson sings some of the most addictive lyrics in Yes history. Then comes the Würm coda. Howe, playing only three chords over and over again, is able to create an incredible amount of tension through repetition before releasing it in what may be his most recognizable guitar solo anywhere. Ever.

The other songs aren't all that far behind. The first half of "I've Seen All Good People" is gorgeous, before the band breaks out into a guitar-led jam, with Anderson, Howe, and Squire singing "I've seen all good people turn their heads each day, so satisfied I'm on my way" over and over again. What does it mean? I've got no clue, but I like it. The fantastic vocal harmonies and another strong instrumental performance make this song a winner. "Yours Is No Disgrace" opens the album on a high note. I love the way Kaye's organ meshes with the guitar near the beginning, and the guitar break in the middle is yet another Howe signature moment. And although "Perpetual Change" hasn't gotten as much exposure as the other classic tracks, it's definitely equally good. Just listen to the opening guitar riff. Of course, all the instrumental skill would be for naught if the compositions weren't equally interesting. And they are. One listen should confirm that.

The first time I listened to this album, what stuck out most was the fantastic guitar. But, if you were to try focusing on just the bass, Squire's skill and dexterity with the instrument would quickly become apparent. His playing might not be as in-your-face as on Fragile or Drama, but it's still as good as ever. And while Bruford was still developing his technique on the drums, his playing on this album, while sometimes more understated than usual, fits right in. Anderson's at the peak of his vocal powers here. His lyrics still make no sense, but it's no matter. They fit perfectly in with the music and more often than not I'll find myself singing along.

The biggest issue I have with The Yes Album, though, is a lack of energy. Just listen to any live version of the four epic tracks (especially the Yessongs versions) for comparison. Howe's solos might have been impressive here, but on Yessongs they are so powerful they almost seem to explode out of the speakers (just listen to the second half of "All Good People" to see what I mean). You will no doubt be disappointed by Yes's failure to capture their live energy in the studio. Still, if you're looking to get into Yes, this is a great place to start. It includes several of their most classic tracks, and the production is first rate, unlike the muddy live Yessongs, where the poor sound quality can be off-putting.

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Send comments to 1970sgenesisfan (BETA) | Report this review (#569038)
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are so many things I could say about The Yes Album, I don't know where to begin or what to include and what to leave in the Akashik Records for later revelation. Is it my favorite Yes album? Sometimes. Does it define their sound? Largely. Does it encapsulate all that they have to offer? No, it doesn't. But it does contain my favorite Yes song, "Yours Is No Disgrace." I'm not even going to try to descibe what I think any of these songs sound like, but I will say that I love the arpeggiated guitar Steve Howe adds to the very bright major section that pops up every so often, and I think Tony Kaye predated both Rick Wright (see "Any Color You Like") and Tony Banks [see "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"] by 2 years in using the synth lead sound he uses in this song... not that he was trying to, but it's a very good synth line. Above all, the song contains my favorite Yes lyrics. As for Yes lyrics in general, I love their positive message, and I think their songs were easier to understand before this album, yet more deep and profound later on, so right here we have the most universally effective version of them, with such great lines as "lost in losing circumstances/that's just where you are" (I always felt special emphasis on the word "where" in that line), and of course, "if the summer change to winter/yours is no disgrace." The whole song, along with the whole rest of the album, is composed and arranged perfectly, with the songwriting level they acheived on Time and a Word stretched to the limit, and the arrangements opening up to a new dimension into what was developing at that time into what we now call progressive rock. Even if The Yes Album doesn't define Yes' whole career, it could serve as a good example of the genre, even if it doesn't sound exactly like every other prog album out there, and even though "Yours Is No Disgrace" doesn't sound exactly like every other song on The Yes Album, it could define it, so I will forgoe describing in detail the awesome space rock of "Starship Trooper" (I do want to mention really loving those great snare and kick fills that Bill Bruford plays in the verses in that song, though) and "Perpetual Change" in favor of recommending all who hear "Yours Is No Disgrace" on the radio next time you hear it to check out the whole album, unless you don't like that song, of course.

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Send comments to 7headedchicken (BETA) | Report this review (#584426)
Posted Wednesday, December 07, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 8/10

Cheerful, spacey, pondering, "The Yes Album" is an essential chapter in Yes' discography.

Yes' third studio album finally is a contributor in Prog Rock's evolution, but even more importantly it will have an impact on the band itself. This album is one of the culminating peaks of the band, however they will be still many others that top this one.But this is the first album that defines the band's sound as we known it, so a listen to this one is absolutely essential for any Prog Rock fan.

A massive improvement is found here compared to the previous two albums: first of all, the musicianship is even more refined, especially Jon Anderson, who gives great performances in each one of these songs. Here, the concept of Progressive, as it is it's definition, expands compared to the modest experimentations of the debut and sophomore and debut LPs: the songs are much more stretched out, leading almost to the nine minute mark on two thirds of the album. The songwriting is still very melodic, as Yes will always be, but here it is almost always top-notch: all of the melodies are great, the structure of these songs is always epic regardless of their lengths. The wonderful alternation between the strong bass-lines, the soaring keyboard solos, and the spacey guitars, is always present, except for some Folk Rock parenthesis that pop up in many moments.

A science fiction theme is present on this album, like it is frequent for Progressive albums, not only in the lyrics of "Starship Trooper" but also in the music itself: at times, the sound is very wide and spacey, yet still very earthly. By listening to this LP you feel like you're about to take off in space, and you're in the spaceship already, waiting, . The lyrics however are more abstract than how they were on the first two albums, and without having necessarily a Sci-fi feeling to them: "Perpetual Change" has possibly the most interesting words, as they seem to play on the pessimistic points of view of nature compared to mankind. "Yours Is No Disgrace" also has interesting theme, once again focusing on mankind, the "Silly human race".

This six song LP is well structured, ranging from calm, Folkish moments to cheerful, yet complex ones. "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Perpetual Change" and "Starship Troopers" have similar flows one another, starting with a strong set of melodies, then toning down the mood a bit with a quiet piece, and then finishing once again strong. "Clap" and the huge hit "I've Seen All Good People" are more acoustic driven, especially the first one, which is a short instrumental recorded live with an acoustic guitar. "A Venture" is interesting and, despite its short length it has a good structure and a wonderful melody that makes it a really good song in par with all the other ones.

"The Yes Album" is an essential album in Yes' discography, for it was the first one to give to the band their sound. Enjoyable all the way through, if you haven't listened to it yet, fix that.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#597383)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I like this album. I'm not all abuzz with excitement because of the music (especially the lyrics, for that matter), although the music is really good in general. There are lots of strong parts on this record, as well as a few noticeable weaknesses, so it certainly deserves a four. This is a very consistent album in terms of quality, like Genesis' "Selling England by the Pound". The band is trying to be musically interesting through instrumental music writing and eclecticism. This is certainly musicianship taken in moderation, which is why some people might say that the band here is not as much fun as it is on "Close to the Edge". Some are here for the fun of it, others are here for emotion. On this album the boys seem to be focusing on both, which could explain the reputation of this album as a minor classic, mayhaps. Jon Anderson sounds like he is doing his very best to add that edge of emotion to the album. What is my personal favorite here? 'Starship Trooper', particularly the coda 'Wurm'.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

1. 'Yours is No Disgrace' - ****

2. 'The Clap' - **** (So, my mom was shopping in Target, and that's all I could hear throughout the entire time of being there.)

3. 'Starship Trooper' - **** (If you don't like the coda, find that devil who bought your soul, and find him fast.)

4. 'I've Seen All Good People' - ****

5. 'The Venture' - *** (I would focus on the obligatory vocal delivery, the supplemental guitar lines, the cool drum work, and the piano at the very end than the lyrics.)

6. 'Perpetual Change' - **** (The drum work might be in 7/8, but it feels like it needs to be counted in 16ths.)

Stamp: "I like it."

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Send comments to Dayvenkirq (BETA) | Report this review (#613947)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars

This is a very nice album, but I still find it to be very much a formative effort. It feels like the group really wants to make long songs, but the results are not so much "brilliantly composed suites" as they are "really long pop songs with virtuosic solo sections." As such, they wear out their welcome a little bit. In addition, the keyboard department is a bit thin; I've personally never been very fond of Hammond organs, and they pervade this album. The synthesizers that Rick Wakeman would go on to introduce improved Yes's music significantly. Despite all this, it really is a fine album to listen to, and all of the tunes are well-written; the only problems arise in how the songs develop (or don't).

The opening 9-minute song, "Yours is No Disgrace", is a nice high-energy number, punctuated by very good drumming on Bill Bruford's part. The grinding Hammond organs that pervade the piece occasionally get a bit annoying, but the main theme is still fun and bouncy, and there are nice touches of Moog in the beginning and end. Plus Steve Howe adds little guitar lines all over the place, and does very well. The main flaw I would say crops up in this piece is its length. The middle solo section is pretty good, but the group goes through a whole bunch of different repetitions of the main theme, and it eventually stops being interesting. The one other nice thing that stands out is the ending; the last Moog note climbs while suddenly simultaneously fading out, which is quite surprising.

The following "Clap" is a fun, brief, folky acoustic piece to show off Steve Howe's talents in that department. The theme meanders a bit uncertainly, but it's still a nice breather between two epics and very different from the rest of the material on the disc.

After this comes my favorite song on the disc: the relatively famous "Starship Trooper". It's somewhat unfair to refer to this as a single song, as it's an example of a somewhat disappointingly assembled cut-and-paste suite; it's basically 3 song fragments with little relation to each other stapled into one track. That being said, they're 3 good song fragments. The opening "Life Seeker" is a joyful and atmospheric track that repeats the same theme a couple of times; however, as this only goes on for a few minutes, and incorporates enough variety to stay interesting, it does not tire out. With a sudden blast, it transitions into the relatively simple acoustic interlude, "Disillusion", which after a bit more repetition of the theme, it returns to a sort of atmospheric portion, with relatively simple arpeggiating guitar and vocal harmonizing, until a sudden transition into the final section, "Würm", which is great: the guitars and keyboard play a repetitive but powerful grumbling, tension-building sequence which concludes in a triumphant final guitar riff. The whole thing is very heavy and very exciting; it advances just fast enough to prevent boredom from setting in, but slowly enough to convery tension. Unfortunately, it then just fades out.

After this, you get the second "multi-part" song, "I've Seen All Good People", which is even more of a cut-and-paste effort than the previous. It is also, unfortunately, less exciting. The initial "Your Move" is a nice major-key tune with acoustic strumming and some sort of piping in the background; eventually a blaring Hammond bursts in, which is somewhat disruptive, but the whole thing is quite pleasant. Then after building to a sudden climax and stopping, the second, titular portion begins, which is just one nonsensical phrase repeated over a bouncy, energetic background. It's catchy, sure, but it does go on quite a bit--much like this review.

After this there is (thankfully) another breather--the quirky "A Venture", which has a sort of oom-pah music-hall feel. It starts out nice, but doesn't really go anywhere, with the main vocal line suddenly drifting off into a piano solo. This song feels distinctly unfinished, which is a shame.

The disc concludes with "Perpetual Change". Once again the song begins with the repetition of a couple of (very good) themes. This improves later, when suddenly the band starts up a fascinating counterpoint, with all of the parts playing differently on top of each other (including the base reprising the original theme), until finally returning to one last repetition of the chorus. And then they continue to introduce more variations until fading out. This song has the variety that most of the others on this album lack.

In summary, I would say that this album shows a band still finding its footing as one of the most long-winded of the 70s, but it also shows a lot of promise. Highlights include "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual Change".

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Send comments to Zargasheth (BETA) | Report this review (#621685)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars All bands hope that a transition can work their way out of tough times. Yes managed to do so and put themselves on a path that would solidify their ranks as one of the early forgers of prog. The swapping of guitarists, the industrious Steve Howe, adds a new dimension to the band's sound; while the band attempts to add great lengths and depths to their songs. Squire and Bruford have made definite improvements over Yes and Time And A Word, which will eventually lead them to their name-stays in the future.

Yours Is No Disgrace opens the album, showing a drastic change in style from their first two albums, and showcasing the power of Howe. Howe shows some rip-roaring guitar, possibly the fastest of his era. Squire and Bruford show some complex beats underlying the main theme of the song. Then the verse/chorus presents the first essence of the classic Yes vocal chorus. The song tends to cycle back to the same theme, so there isn't much to say, but it provides a different tooling each time. Howe gets a solo of constant stereo panning, including the band going into several crescendos. This marks the beginning of what's to come.

The Clap is a live version of the many solo songs that Howe would create, another indicator of the band showing off his abilities. The Clap is an acoustic diddy, and sounds pretty playful for a tune to be put on this album. Obviously this style would appear again with Mood For A Day, the opening to And You And I, and many sections of Tales From Topographical Oceans. I would suggest getting the remaster since it contains the original version the band intended to use.

Starship Trooper represents the early success of Yes in terms of progressiveness and musicianship. The song divided into three segments Life Seeker, Disillusion, and Würm. Life Seeker is the most memorable portion with the main riff and Howe's around-the-board playing. We also get a demonstration of Anderson's vocal ability, and Bruford's syncopated rhythms. The following section of Disillusion is similar to The Clap in the sense that Howe rips out a wild acoustic section. The main theme returns for a moment before the long repetitive Würm section comes in. I have to say that this section really builds up until Howe's closing solo, and Squire builds his bass in the back. The fadeout is something that ruins it a bit though, because none of the energy in the end is being built into anything except for Howe's solo. I must also say that the is one of the few times on the album where Kaye really can be heard well.

I've Seen All Good People has become a classic amongst rock radios, predating the popularity of Roundabout. The opening section is fairly unique for the time period, incorporating a cappella, wind instruments, and acoustic as the main drive. Some of this part of the song is really repetitive, but has charming qualities of it because of Anderson's singing. Your Move definitely creates a base for some future genres of prog, where bands like Renaissance and Genesis get some of their more medieval qualities. After the a long build of sound, the band goes into their groove section, where Howe again puts out some concrete solos. There is an influence of Jazz/Jazz fusion in this section mainly by the groove, clapping, piano and beat. Kaye has some fun with a regular piano in this section too. The song goes through the groove before coming back to the main line, but then slowly fading out with the song staircase-ing downward by half-steps.

A Venture is a bizarre piece at this point of the album, citing references to previous albums, and the short silly tunes that are found again on the next album Fragile. There is some bouncy piano and lyrics, but nothing I can site as being too special on the album. It's classic, classic Yes.

Perpetual Change is another nice piece in the vein of Starship Trooper, with a thick main riff and a calm verse. The chorus as well is a good addition where the chorus seems to ebb and flow with the instruments. There is some noodling in places while Howe gets more soloing. I only call it "noodling" in the good sense. The way the song is contrived allows for excessive expansion, since the song returns to theme a lot and contains some jazzy interludes. In terms of long songs on the album, this one seems to be decent as the rest; with the interludes and theme.

Besides the studio version of The Clap, the bonus tracks on the remaster are just tokens of the time period.

Overall, this album is key to those that wish to see the evolution of Yes and progressive rock, as this album creates many paths for which Yes went down. Sadly, Kaye would have to be booted. I wouldn't say that it's a masterpiece though, mainly for the fact that it was a transition period, Yes were still experimenting, and there is much more rock sound to it than abstraction.

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Send comments to FromAbove (BETA) | Report this review (#631864)
Posted Sunday, February 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
Sagichim
COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars From the first minute you feel you stepped into something special , and here is a band that has something to say. the start of 'yours is no disgrace' all instruments fuse together in a perfect way to create the main riff and kick the song forward with squire's heavy sound and howe's eclectic guitar. this is truely progressive as the songs move forward and even when returning to sing another verse , it returns on a different platform behind. there is no doubt this is one of the greatest albums to come out of england in 1971 , yes manages to be very intricate and complex but also being very accessible and loveable. featuring an all star musicians , you might as wel call them a supergroup. bruford's drumming is waving through the lines like a stroll in the park. the band is fusing between slow and fast between hard and soft and between complex and simple. melodies are very memorable and gives the music a very fun vibe. the album is the first great record yes produced and represents a promising start and just indicates of what to come. all songs enjoy perfect arrangements and carried out beautifuly . one can look at this as a prog rock school teacher.

With this yes started on a great journey making some of the best prog rock albums ever , it's a very good place to start with , just like i did. 5 stars.

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Send comments to Sagichim (BETA) | Report this review (#635880)
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Silly human, silly human race!

Yes had never sounded so professional before. In "The Yes Album" Yes became mature. From the first notes on Yours is No Disgrace they sound professional and what a great job of the bassist on this first song! The song is loosely structured with many sideways, while still going on with the main-theme. This song is a classic, like this record is!

I do like the highly technical folky, bluesy accoustic parts on the first side. In fact Yes was not the archetypical band yet which they became at the Close to the Edge. The fact they sometimes just sounded like hard-rock or folk and the vocals were still a lot influenced by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, while in the meanwhile doing some excellent complex stuff may be the reason that I do like this record as one of their best! They just made some excellent songs and only used complexity when this was effective and not for the sake of it.

The guitarsolo on the end of side one is IMO the best one Steve Howe ever recorded: it's catchy, powerfull and gives me the thrills. His great technique on The Yes Album is far more effective here then on some later records like Relayer and Going for the One. It's like Howe was more inspired and less going for the technical approach only.

The "I've seen all good people" could have been a cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. A great folky song, with those particular multiple vocals. There is some nice progression from folk to slightly progressive rock.

There is said enough about this record to get some idea of the other songs. I just wanted to mention like a lot of us prog-listeners that this was the first masterpiece Yes made: not an ultimate progressive one, but a record which combines many styls (folk, rock, progressive rock) to create just an excellent record.

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Send comments to the philosopher (BETA) | Report this review (#646603)
Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes Album is one of those albums that simply just doesn't raise my passions, but whose light hearted and seemingly effortless delivery leaves me with a lasting positive impression. The succeeding five albums will see Yes release some of the most stunning music ever recorded. For this frozen moment in early 1971 though, those heights have yet to be hit and the band seems fresh and unserious in a way that isn't really felt again until Going for the One.

For all it's easy going charm, there is no knockout punch delivered on The Yes Album. You can hear the band reaching, especially on Starship Trooper, for the kind of sound they'll achieve less than a year later on Fragile, but aren't quite capable of yet. I think it can be accounted for in two ways. Firstly, Yes' song writing tends to follow an evolutionary path. An album like Fragile wouldn't be possible without these early forays on the Yes Album. The second is of course that Rick Wakeman would not be added to the band until after this album was already completed.

Still fans of the band will be enamoured. Those who respect Yes but find their later work unapproachable might find solace here. And, those who are interested in very good progressive rock album should definitely check it out. With nearly 1500, largely positive, reviews at the time of writing, I think it should be fairly clear that this is a safe bet. 4 out of 5, an excellent addition to any progressive rock music collection.

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Send comments to R-A-N-M-A (BETA) | Report this review (#730746)
Posted Monday, April 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars From 1971, this is where the band Yes really takes off on their voyage. A classic album that I can not give less than 5 stars too, even without Rick Wakeman. "Starship Trooper", "Yours is no Disgrace", "Ive Seen all Good People"....how can you complain. Even the shorter tracks like "The Clap" and "Venture" are great. Not up there with CLOSE TO THE EDGE, but darn close and still an easy one to give a perfect score to. Too bad it had such an ugly album cover. Roger Dean had yet to work his magic with this band, but it's coming... 5 stars

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#733606)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
rogerthat
COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars This is where the starship trooper called Yes really take off. Steve Howe's presence makes a significant impact, to say the least, and Bill Bruford and Chris Squire lay down a punishing rhythm section. But, upon closer investigation, the starship still seems to run into some air turbulence intermittently. This may be one of the albums that is not quite as good as it plays the first time.

The level at which the band perform their music here is truly awesome. It seems almost as if Howe has become a rallying point for the rest of the band and they rock very hard. The aforementioned rhythm section give the band some serious propulsion while Howe provides the leads, keeping the proceedings engaging. It may be a cliched thing to say, but Howe's coda in Starship Trooper especially makes a huge impression and lingers in my mind for a long time.

As for Jon Anderson, I have never really liked his singing but I can live with that because he is just sort of wailing in the high register without calling too much attention to himself. Tony Kaye is another weak link in the band at this point. His contributions cannot be particularly faulted, but they are also rather generic and don't make much of an impression. It clearly took the arrival of Rick Wakeman to take the band to another level. Overall, the band play their songs so well it forgives a lot and makes the experience enjoyable as long as you are listening 'at the surface', so to speak, and don't analyze it too much.

Compositionally, though, there are a few minor problems. First of all, the long pieces, namely Yours is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change lack a bit of organisation. This is an aspect they would improve upon in their subsequent album Fragile. For instance, on Starship Trooper, there is a break in the middle where Howe goes acoustic. Neither does the track develop seamlessly into that moment nor does it resolve particularly well back into the vocal melody. It sort of works on intuition and doesn't jar or annoy the ears, but it could stand to be more convincing. The impression I get is the band are still only putting together sections of music that fit reasonably well. It is not cohesive enough for the coveted masterpiece status, at this point.

Another aspect that takes away a little bit is the emotional side, or relative lack thereof, of the album. The music feels like a very happy, sunny (and, er, epic) version of Led Zeppelin and/or Deep Purple. This could plausibly be said for some tracks from subsequent albums of Yes as well. But there's no Wakeman yet and without his touch of brilliance (see South Side of Sky), the proceedings start to get a bit bland after a while. It doesn't help, of course, that Anderson's voice doesn't transport me to those astral places he dreams of; that might have made a difference.

To be sure, I am not complaining too much about all that. That's obviously why I still feel it deserves 4 stars, 4.5 thereabouts in fact. While there are some flaws that I feel must be highlighted in a review of an album that is often held up as one of the masterpieces of symph prog, these are not serious flaws either and don't take away too much from the enjoyment of the music. The Yes Album falls short of the hype by a bit but is still a solid release worthy of a place in your prog collection.

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Send comments to rogerthat (BETA) | Report this review (#757431)
Posted Thursday, May 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes album is really the first essential album. The previous two had some moments, but this one is more refined and focused, mostly due to the acquisition of Steve Howe, whose unique guitar sound is all over this album.

Yours Is No Disgrace' (10/10) is a very good intro to the album. It's super upbeat and centered around a really driving bass.

'Clap' (5/10) is an acoustic instrumental. It's not bad, but it's nothing special.

'Starship Trooper' (8/10) is another upbeat number with heavy bass and a few acoustic moments. I especially like the buildup that occurs around five minutes.

'I've Seen All Good People' (6/10) is a cheery, if slightly poppy tune. It's a bit too simple for me, but a good song nonetheless.

'A Venture' (4/10) is another song that simply doesn't go anywhere and isn't very interesting.

'Perpetual Change' (7/10) ends the album on a high note with some rather jazzy guitar bits and a chaotic middle section in 7/4.

Overall, this is the first decent prog record from Yes. Vocally it's fine, but instrumentally the sound is slightly immature compared to their later efforts in Relayer and Close to the Edge.

7/10

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Send comments to Mr. Mustard (BETA) | Report this review (#779546)
Posted Friday, June 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is with great fondness for my favorite band that I write this review. This album as well as "Fragile" were my first glimpses into Yes, and indeed Prog itself.

'Yours is No Disgrace' explains the moral reasoning behind why Steve Howe joined the band. With a mix of psychedelic and acoustic guitar soloing, there is no regret behind Yes' decision of joining forces with technical master Howe. And yes, the song as a whole stands out as one of the best on the record.

'The Clap', if you needed further proof, credits Howe as a songwriter and reveals his style and influences (whatever they may be, I'm no music historian). A short and live acoustic solo (his first of many), this song is a jolly good segue into my favorite Yes song.

'Starship Trooper' is my personal favorite mainly because of the live version found on "Yessongs" but as for the studio recording, it is a cheerfully uplifting song worthy of it's name. Good song writing by Anderson and Squire fill up the first half, so as to send the listener into space first before unveiling the grand chord progression 'Wurm'. Here, none other than Steve Howe takes control of the rhythm until it escalates into one his finest solos to date before fading out.

'I've Seen All Good People' then greets us with the highest of high vocals that Jon Anderson can offer (except for maybe on Going For the One). While more commercially satisfying, there is no lack of complexity. Peacefully singing about nothing, Anderson guides the song steadily through vocal melodies set to the backdrop of Howe's vachalia. The real energy starts in the second half, not unlike the previous song. A groovy uptempo melody to say the least, the song ends leaving the listener feeling fulfilled.

'A Venture' is not often talked about, but I think it should be. A short song written by Anderson, this piece should not be overlooked as it bridges the last two big songs together with Tony Kaye's piano work and a catchy melody.

'Perpetual Change' might have the most uplifting energy of all the songs on the album. With driving chords and a memorable chorus, this song proves that complexity is no problem for these musicians. With a contrast of quiet verses in between louder choruses, there is a good balance between collective meddling and jamming out. The unique riff found roughly five minutes in is simply Prog.

"The Yes Album" is exactly that. While maybe not as matured or appraised as their next two albums, this one certainly helped pave the road for both "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge", and deserves equal recognition in my opinion.

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Send comments to ebil0505 (BETA) | Report this review (#873773)
Posted Saturday, December 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is a huge leap forward for Yes, Peter Banks the original guitarist was replaced by a relatively unknown man by the name of Steve Howe who was in a few bands before he joined Yes. Once he joined there was no looking back, he would help define the signature Yes sound up until the confused mess that was Tormato (that's another review). Before that album though Steve and the Yes men made this seminal recording. The recording company threatened to drop them if they didn't make an album worth selling. Then came the Yes Album. On with the show

Here is the track listing

1. Yours Is No Disgrace - This is really when Yes finally started to find itself, Bill and Chris with a rhythm section to die for it's just a great piece. I love how funky the guitar is from Steve. Guitar solos from Steve are so jazzy and yet still so rocking everything on this song is spot on 10/10

2. The Clap- A jumpy guitar piece recorded live from Steve Howe and it's very funny and cool too, Chet Atkins inspired I believe, it's also a celebration for Steve's newborn son Dylan, I love it 10/10

3. Starship Trooper- I love this song, it goes through three different sections, Life Seeker is good then it heads to Disillusion a great acoustic guitar break from Steve it's a very tasty guitar break it's just so lush, then it heads to Wurm, it's sounds like grunge or Nirvana before grunge or Nirvana even existed, though it's rather repetitve there's a groove and during this portion of the song Bill starts to go off on his drum set,.Bill Bruford and Steve Howe shine best on this track 10/10

4. I've Seen All Good People- I like this song for its lyrics and its meaning though it's rather Crosby, Stills, & Nash-esque but I like it and the semi-country guitar line adds flavor to it, the chorus repeats itself over and over that's a negative of it but it doesn't really bother the piece it's still good 8/10

5. A Venture- Funny little piece my least favorite on the album 8/10

6. Perpetual Change- This is the song that sent Yes into the stratosphere. It's got good call and response vocal deliveries and harmonies, Steve yet again propels this song listen to it when it goes through the instrumental section, it's pure studio magic!!!. 10/10

Overall 56/60 9.2 out of 10. Out of 5 it's a 4.6/7 out of 5

I highly recommend this or Fragile as a start if you want to get into Yes. Peace out!!!!!

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Send comments to ProgMetaller2112 (BETA) | Report this review (#886991)
Posted Friday, January 04, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The Yes Album by Yes is their first work that is absolutely essential to any prog rock afficianado's collection. Without it, one would not have the founding of the Yes sound, as new guitarist Steve Howe takes over for the departed Peter Banks. The rest of the lineup is the same as it was with the start of the band - Jon Anderson - vocals, percussion, Chris Squire - bass, backing vocals, Bill Bruford - drums, percussion, and Tony Kaye - keyboards.

This album features cuts that are still played on the radio (Your Move/All Good People and Starship Trooper) as well as some that are still done in concert. This was the watershed album in the career of Yes that propelled them to greater heights, but they couldn't have been reached without the groundwork layed by this album.

Allmost every track is a classic Yes track, with A Venture being the only one that I would exclude from the classic Yes work. Besides the ones already mentioned, the great triple LP Yessongs featured all but A Venture and Clap.

Every prog rock fan...shoot, every rock fan should own this album.

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Send comments to wehpanzer (BETA) | Report this review (#912840)
Posted Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my opinion Yes have never bettered third album and is worthy of the full 5 stars. The whole thing starts off in aggressive guitar fashion on "Yours Is No Disgrace" before going into some great bad mooded Hammond Organ from Tony Banks. The whole band then kick off with some fine huggins eye sounds, then we enter some nice laid back juzzy Bass and Allenish vocals from Jon Anderson. There is also a touch of Gillian Whittle in Howes playing on this track.

Then we have "The Clap" an instrumental in that finest George Best tradition. Steve Hillage sounds like he is really having fun on this one, with some fine country fingerpicking and lovely soft vocals.

"Starship Trooper" is quite simply amazing in it's captain Kirk complexity. The song seems to be about someone having a bluebird as a Sister, and recalls Dennis Cox too. The song then goes into a nice Charlie meets Nobby section before ending with "Wurm" which has a brilliant ominous build up, with some fantastic Chiddy atmospheres and for some reason always makes me think of a nutcase 8 year old trying to smash a window with a toy truck. The climax shows Stove Howe at his most Miss Senior best with one of my favourite guitar solos of all time. "I've Seen All Good People" starts off with Jon Anderson singing "I've Seen All Good People" and ends there really as the band move into "Your Move" which has a lovely aniseed feel to it, and appears to be about Jon Anderson only having one Bishop left on the chessboard - The one on the black square, because he keeps singing about moving onto black squares. "All Good People" is a rock and roll type workout with its cartoon Mr Mortimer feeling to it. I love the stinka feel to Steve Howes guitar on this one.

"A Venture" has a fantastic stepdad having a shave vibe to it, and Tony Kayes piano playing is quite Christmassy when your a kid too. This song could have been written my McCartney in "The Beatles" Magical Mystery Tour era Brilliant little song which also recalls ice poles and has a distinct babysitting feel to it.

"Perpetual Change" is sheer Catchlove in it's beginning, before going into a nice Karen Collins vibe. Some great K4 Club Hammond from Tony Kaye which brings to mind Philip Dollins mind being tormented that Man United have just beaten Liverpool 2-0 in 1972. Horns vocals are pure Gibbs and the rest of the band ride out the album in an ecstasy of mind blowing brilliance with a great Kissacky intent.

For fans of Yes, Starcastle, Flash, Druid and The Who.

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Send comments to Alard Charlton (BETA) | Report this review (#1045101)
Posted Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars It was 1984, and I was 14 years old. I had discovered Yes that year. Not because of Owner of a Lonely Heart, which I liked but didn't pay much attention to, but because of Leave It. When I heard the a cappella sections I knew I had to check it out. Then, to acquire the back catalogue. This, The Yes Album, was my very next purchase. At that time in my life, I eschewed "old" music, and at first this album sounded so very strange to me. I could not understand what was going on, and it seemed like ancient music (although only 12 years prior to 90125, how very strange that is now!!). Obviously, I "got it" as I continued to listen over and over. I vaguely remembered my older brother having this album, and I remembered singing to Starship Trooper when I was maybe 5 years old! This music is special to me in so many ways. A perfect album.

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Send comments to mneil1968 (BETA) | Report this review (#1145891)
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars In a world rife with heinous harrumphitude and tantrum yoga, the purveyors of positivity released this phenomenal transitional album way back in1971. One of my earliest introductions to progressive rock music was THE YES ALBUM which burst onto the scene in 1971. So powerful is this album that it completely overpowers the first two which often get completely ignored. Many erroneously believe this to be the first YES album because it is the first of the string of masterpieces that grace the early to mid-70s.

What we have here is a band who had already developed their sound quite successfully and ratcheted it up to the next several levels and deliver it with a sense of bravado not quite developed on the first two albums. Exit Peter Banks who contributed his signature progressive guitar runs over the basic blues licks of the 60s and in is alien extraordinare Steve Howe who took that sound and jazzed it up with gusto. In still is Tony Kaye on keyboards who just couldn't let that 60s moog sound go. Ultimately he exited stage right because of his unwillingness to progress with the band but on this sole album the crossroads are fertile creating a little musical goldmine in the process. Also gone are the covers and this is the debut of all original YES material which signifies that this band is now ready for prime time.

The magic of this album is how accessible and complex it is at the same time. Just listen to this next to say, "Tales Of Topographic Oceans" or "Relayer" and it's obvious how easy it is to love instantly. That matters not because it is so brilliantly executed. The melodies are contagious but the band is on fire!!!! The passion pit is sweltering with the coals of long lost musical tidbits resurrected to create a renaissance of musical magnificence. Steve Howe's solo piece "The Clap" is a perfect example of how he brings a sorta homey feel to the complexities that arise. The acoustic guitar virtuoso displays a good old countrified bluegrass ragtime blitzkrieg that only replicates itself amongst the more spacey and progressive tracks on this album thus keeping the tunes from spiraling into the stratosphere and reining them in to the accessisphere. A classic of classics that is the perfect place to dive into the wonderful world of YES where even the most hardened progger can entertain melodic magnificence with melodramatic progginess seeping into every nook and note. Hippy dippy and WTF lyrics rule here but that is what makes it so cute and charismatic at the same time. YES! I love this album! YES! Oh God YES!

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Send comments to siLLy puPPy (BETA) | Report this review (#1268155)
Posted Friday, September 05, 2014 | Review Permalink

YES The Yes Album ratings only


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