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Yes Yesterdays album cover
3.12 | 256 ratings | 37 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. America (10:31)
2. Looking Around (3:59)
3. Time and a Word (4:31)
4. Sweet Dreams (3:47)
5. Then (5:46)
6. Survival (6:20)
7. Astral Traveller (5:53)
8. Dear Father (4:18)

Total Time: 45:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass and vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards on 1
- Tony Kaye / keyboards on all others
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Steve Howe / guitars on 1
- Peter Banks / guitars on all others

Releases information

Atlantic records (lps sd 18103)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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YES Yesterdays ratings distribution

(256 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

YES Yesterdays reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars 3.5 or 4 stars depending on your collection!!!

Getting this one for the Simon and Garfunkel cover of America alone would be justified, but also you will avoid you buying the first two (expandable if you want this one) albums because this is mainly a compilation of those two, but not just that. Indeed, there is also a track not yet available on Lp, and it comes in the form of the average Dear Father. Definitely not one of Roger Dean's best works in term of artworks, though.

And really, the two better tracks of the debut (Looking Around and the amazing Survival) are gathered here or should I say the proggier or rockier songs, as opposed to pop numbers of the rest of the album. As for the selection of their second album Time And A Word, indeed four of the best five are present here, including Astral Traveller, Then, and the title track, but unfortunately The Prophet is excluded, most likely for time restraints. But the real sweetness is the afore-mentioned America cover (Yes's last one that I'm aware of), but definitely enhanced and dramatized compared to Simon And Garfunkel's original composition. Indeed, this track is close to being an "epic" and could've easily found a spot on the superb Yes Album, qualitatively speaking or on Fragile sonically-speaking. .

BTW, America appeared as a bonus track of some Fragile remastered version, so you can acquire it without splurging for this compilation, especially if you want the original albums. The track selection in Yesterdays from those first two albums is exactly the one I would've made (bar the omission of the complex and longer The Prophet), so if you are not too keen on those early Yes releases this will be more than apt substitute!

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a compilation from the early Yes' albums: mostly "Time and a word" and their first album. The "America" track is a long bonus song composed by Paul Simon. This record gives a good idea on how Yes began: less progressive, more simple, catchy and accessible. However, it has NOTHING to do with the progressive Yes, which consists in epic, complex and air changing songs. Anyway, it is a good record to discover how Yes were naturally catchy and ahead of their time in their early years..
Review by daveconn
3 stars "Yesterdays" is a sampler from the band's first two records, plus "America" in all its 10- minute glory. Released while the band was on tour, the record actually charted better than the albums it drew from, and gave listeners unfamiliar with their earlier catalog a chance to see the seeds of greatness at work. Selections like "Astral Traveller" and "Survival" are not on a par with their subsequent masterworks, but they do reveal the shadows of majesty and intricate arrangements at play. For all the accolades offered to STEVE HOVE and RICK WAKEMAN, PETER BANKS and TONY KAYE were more than competent musicians, they were equal partners in the band's original vision (as "Looking Around" clearly illustrates). Somehow, this album strikes a balance between YES and "Time And A Word" that benefits both albums; by separating tracks like "Time And A Word" and "Then" from the sticky-sweet grip of their second album, they shine. Enjoyable as these early tracks are, however, the album's highlight is the unedited version of SIMON AND GARFUNKEL's "America", originally released in 1972 and arguably the best cover the band has ever done. This song contains all of the elements that YES fans had come to enjoy: acrobatic guitar leads from STEVE HOVE, intricate rhythms from CHRIS SQUIRE and BILL BRUFORD, JON ANDERSON's soaring vocals and RICK WAKEMAN's playful keyboards. Some of those elements are also in attendance on the surrounding tracks - notably the work of SQUIRE and BRUFORD - lest it seem that YES happened upon this style overnight.

"Yesterdays" is ultimately a better listen than their first two albums, and the inclusion of the otherwise hard-to-find, unedited version of "America" and "Dear Father" is enough of a carrot for serious fans.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars This is a good compilation, released in 1975, two or three months after "Relayer" was released. The L.P. has a green inner sleeve with credits about each song. It also has individual photos of Anderson, Banks, Bruford, Kaye, Squire, Howe, Wakeman and even Alan White (who doesn`t appear in the songs). It seems that this album was going to be released in 1974, as the "(P)1974" in the label and in the cover says.But in several YES discographies in the Intenet and in the book "The Complete Rock Family Trees" (wirtten by Peter Frame), I found that it was released until February 1975. . I like almost every song selected for this album, except "Astrall Traveller" and "Then", two songs which are not among my favourites. But the rest of the songs are very good. As the inner sleeve says, "America" was released in an Atlantic Records L.P. compilation in 1972 called "The New Age of Atlantic", with songs by other artists. "Dear Father" was the B-side of the single "Sweet Dreams", and it is a good song too (there is a recording for the B.B.C. of this song, released in the album "Something`s Coming", with a different arrangement, and without the orchestral arrangement). I don`t know if this album is still "necessary" , since the recently new remastered C.D versions with bonus tracks of the "Time and a Word" and "Fragile" albums have bonus tracks. It seems that "America" appears in the new remastered version of "Fragile", and "Dear Father" in the new remastered version of "Time and a Word".
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This compilation introduced me both to the music of YES and to progressive rock generally, so therefore I guess it holds a special place in my heart. I hadn't even heard the music of SIMON & GARFUNKEL back then, so I also found their music via this album. I think that this extended version of their "America" is great. I also like the early "non prog" material of YES, so this is a nice album to listen now and then for getting some nostalgia feelings. I think this compilation could also fit to those collections, which owners are not so keen on the two first YES albums, that they would want to buy them. One cannot get a complete overall look to the classic career of YES with this album alone, but if this is backed up with the "Classic Yes" compilation, then the picture gets much more precise!
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Cashing in

"Yesterdays" (note the title is plural) was an early Yes compilation, released to capitalise on the band's massive success with albums such as "Fragile" and "Close to the edge". In order to ensure that the album "fitted in" in the racks of the record shops, a fine Roger Dean sleeve was added. It has to be said straight away though, the music here is not of the Dean era Yes but from the bands early days pre Wakeman and Howe.

The sole exception to this is the 10 minute opening track, "America", a superb cover version of the Simon and Garfunkel song. To call the Yes version a cover is however something of a travesty, as their interpretation transforms the song from a pleasant singer-songwriter folk piece, to an out and out prog classic. The song, the only one here on which Wakeman and Howe appear, was originally released on the Atlantic label compilation "The new age of Atlantic", which included other fine rarities such as "Hey hey what can I do" by Led Zeppelin. For these tracks alone, the sampler (as compilations were then known) was an essential purchase.

The rest of the tracks here are gleaned from Yes' first two albums "Yes" and the orchestrated "Time and a word", or date from that period. The band were still finding their feet at that time, the vocals being more rough and ready than the refined sound of "Close to the edge", and the instrumental work is somewhat muddier. There are moments of inspiration though. "Time and a word" (the title track), is a pleasant pop piece, while "Survival" gave the first indication that Yes could create symphonic prog of the highest order.

The tracks which are included on this album have since appeared on numerous compilations and as bonus tracks on expanded remasters, rendering this set largely redundant, except for the more ardent Yes collector.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's an experience sharing - not a review. You may skip it. I remember vividly when this album came out I was visiting Jakarta (at the time I was at my 9th grade in Madiun, far away from Jakarta) and my big bro, Jokky, had this album in the form of Perina Aquarius cassette - the black'n'white cover. When I heard "America" it blew me away at first listening experience. I was not aware that it was a Simon & Garfunkle's song was. During my stay in Jakarta I played my big bro's cassette over and over whenever he worked at his office. Well, he came home he always played this cassette as well - so you can imagine how many times in a day I listened to this album - it was about 4 to 5 time in its entirety! It was not the only cassette actually - because my bro also played great white blues album from the Dutch band called Cuby + Blizards (any of you know about this band? It's a fantastic blues band!) with a ground breaking hit "Simple Man" which then became one of the seventies icons in my country at that time. Life was so tough at that time and I could not afford to buy the cassette of Yes "Yesterday" for my own collection back home in Madiun, East Java. So, when I came back home, I only had the songs like "Looking Around", "America", " Sweet Dreams" and "Dear Father" were played virtually inside my head! Never mind, music is emotion. I still can enjoy the music without phisically playing the cassette / cd. As long as I can sense the nerves in the forms of melody for each song - let my mind sing along the melody - even with no lyrics. I did not really care. I only got this album into my collection sometime in mid nineties when I started my first stack of rock music collection (jazz was not my priority; sorry .) in the format of CD (with most of them under AAD recording technology - no remaster at the time).

Even though this album is a compilation one, I still think that I have to own the CD for two reasons: 1. It's YES man! 2. The cover looks great. So, for any of you who start collecting Yes albums, this one is a good one. Oh by the way, there is one truly memorable song in here that unfortunately the band has ignored this song because never been performed live, i.e. "Dear Father". At the time my dad just passed away - so you can imagine how I was so attached with this melancholic song. Sorry - this review is probably too personal. But it happened to me. One thing for sure: music makes great impact to people! Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Review by Progbear
2 stars In 1975, the individual band members of Yes took time off to reflect and record solo albums. YESTERDAYS appeared as a stopgap release, a single disc compilation anthologizing some of the band's earliest material. As most fans latched onto them with THE YES ALBUM, it allowed a glimpse of the earlier material. It also included the single-only B-side "Dear Father" and a ten-minute rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "America".

The latter two are easily available as bonus tracks on the remastered CD's by Rhino, making YESTERDAYS utterly superfluous.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars STRANGELY a collection of early Yes released in 1974.CLEARLY only a marketing decision to take advantage of the greater successes from Close to the Edge or Fragile.

This is THEIR own advantage for such a compilation to be bought.but which is OUR? Sincerely I don't it America? Yeah, great one, but does it's enough?

Better then not to think so much about the compilation, just listen to the nice songs: my favourites are classics as Time and a Word and Then.

Not particularly a remarkable compilation: three stars.

Review by Australian
3 stars "Yesterdays" in an interesting assortment of Yes stuff from their pre-classic period ('Yes' and 'Time and a Word') which includes the adapted version of Paul Simon's "America." This is not a bad arrangement of songs as it covers all the good stuff from the two early albums. "America" is really an interesting song when compared to the original version which is a folk song written by the legendary Paul Simon. It is interesting making a comparison between the two songs and seeing just how warped Yes's music was for it's time. The song is basically dominated by Steve Howe who plays many cool riffs on the electric guitar, it is very good song.

"Yesterdays" really did a good job of capturing all the best moments from their first two albums, all the best are there "Time and a Word"," Sweet Dreams", "Dear Father" and so on. The cover picture is another extraordinary piece of art by the amazing Roger Dean and, if you look very closely you will see something very interesting, wink, wink. The inside picture is a bit disturbing though. Basically this CD is a very uplifting one and every song takes on a happy tone except "Then" and "Survival"," Sweet Dreams" is a prime example of a nice, happy Yes song.

It is interesting to listen to how the early Yes sounded, the compositions were not as complex as they were and are. The synthesizers and guitars weren't used so much as lead instruments and they were fillers with the occasional short solo here and there. It is interesting to compare these songs to some of their more complex stuff from The Yes album, 'Close to the Edge', 'Fragile', exedra.

"Yesterdays" is a good album as far as best of CD's go and it is not a bad album to have from a collectors point of view. I believe that all true Yes fans should have at least one album of the band's early arsenal to see what it was like in the beginning. "Yesterdays" is an excellent place to get such an example of early Yes. I would recommend "Yesterdays" to all hardcore Yes fans, but beyond that the songs are good but not essential to your collection. Good, but non-essential

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As said in previous reviews, I normally avoid reviewing compilations because according to my opinion an album must be listened in the way the artist released originally, specially when listening Progressive Rock albums, being that even in the case that it's not a conceptual album, the albums use to have a preeminent atmosphere that makes each one absolutely individual.

But here are always exceptions and in this case it's mostly because of sentimental reasons. Lima in the mid/late 70's was not a fertile ground for Prog Rock and except Dark Side of the Moon and a couple of ELP albums there was nothing to buy, so after listening for a long time Yessongs, went to the store and bought "Yesterdays" despite I didn't knew any track.

I must also accept that the incredibly beautiful art cover by Roger Dean helped me to take the decision, being that my only approach to YES was via home recorded cassettes without cover, I remember listening the music and watching the old LP for hours, those were the days in which I became a real proghead.

The album starts with "America" a 10:30 minutes cover version of Simon and Garfunkel's hit recorded for an album called "The New Age of Atlantic" in 1972. In the way home from the record store on a bus (I was 13 and of course couldn't drive yet) read the credits and expected a soft bland song as the original version, but what a pleasant surprise, it was breathtaking from start to end, the acute voice of Jon Anderson never sounded better. This is how a cover must sound, respectful of the original spirit but at the same time the new artist must add something of his own soul and YES did it.

"Looking Around" was almost a shock, the guitar was harder than what I had previously listened in YES music (Just then learned that Peter Banks played before Steve Howe) and of course the keyboards sounded different, less pompous and also discovered that Wakeman hadn't been YES keyboardist since the start.

More Rock oriented and easier to get into with strong guitar chords an incredible vocal work despite the poor production that sounds as if the song had a patch near the end, but each moment I liked this Prog thing more..

"Time and a World" works as a relief after two frantic tracks, a bit oneiric and ethereal as if the voice of Jon and Chris was recorded in different planes, not a Prog masterpiece but still a very solid song.

"Sweet Dreams" is a very interesting song, a very coherent opening that explodes when the voice of Jon blends with a beautiful collision of sounds and instruments as trying to bring coherence to a provoking chaos, odd timings, violent changes and again a solid guitar by Peter Banks, who of course is not a Steve Howe but still knows how to Rock.. First class material, at this point my jaws were wide opened with this strange and challenging sound.

"Then is another solid track" in the beginning seems that we're before a violent and complex song with Chris Squire's incredible bass work but then Jon joins and again the things come back to normal. This is the first YES track with orchestral arrangements that I ever heard and it was more than I could have ever expected, but at the middle ii turns more rocker than ever with a really nice keys work by Tony Kaye and master Bill Bruford perfectly accurate, by far the best song up to this moment of the album.

"Survival's" intro was pretty disappointing, I never got to like the sound of the guitar, seems fake and out of place but the song violently changes into a soft ballad that goes "in crescendo", pretty but not impressing despite the excellent vocal work, seems that the idea was good but they were not able to achieve it at the end a vibrant coda, good but not in the level of the previous, don't know why but always believed they planned to make this song longer and for a reason I don't know was cut abruptly.

"Astral Traveller" is a strange song, sounds much closer to Psychedelia than to Progressive Rock, I don't deny it's complex but never convinced me, the Baroque keyboards sound absolutely out of place and I'm not able to find coherence, the weakest song in the album IMHO.

The album ends with "Dear Father" a simple but incredibly beautiful track, strong from start to end, has many time changes but everything sounds in it's place, Jon's vocals in an unusual low range (well for him) blend perfectly with the excellent backing work by Chris Squire, nothing special from a musical perspective but it became my favorite YES song for several years, still today I have goose bumps every time I listen it, the closing section is absolutely perfect.

I would love to rate this album with 5 stars because of the sentimental value it has for me but it wouldn't be honest being that I believe YES was still far from their peak, this is one of the occasions in which I wish Prog Archives had half stars because 3.5 would be the perfect rating, but sadly will have to go with three very solid and a it unfair stars, good introduction for YES newbies.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars There seemed to be a rash of albums like this one in the mid-70s: progressive bands who had recently become household names, and whose labels were looking for a way to capitalize on their popularity by promoting their back catalogs. Jethro Tull did Living in the Past; King Crimson had their Young Person’s Guide; Pink Floyd’s was the blatantly commercial A Nice Pair package; Caravan had Canterbury Tales; Deep Purple launched 24 Carat Purple; Electric Light Orchestra had Olè ELO; and Traffic had their (not) Best of Traffic. It was a popular way at the time of making new fans aware of the artists’ early and less-known work, but it was also frankly a way for the labels to try and get back some of their investments in the bands’ early recording sessions, I suppose. Most of these records were simply collections of early songs with nothing new or unique to add any value.

In the case of Yes, their dredge-up-the-old-stuff album was Yesterdays. And for the most part the songs here are ones that have since become staples for fans of the band – “Time and a Word”, “Sweet Dreams”, “Astral Traveller”. Most are from the band’s debut album or from Time and a Word.

But for me the real meat comes at the beginning and at the end of the album. The opening track “America” is the Yes interpretation of the Simon & Garfunkel classic, done up Yes-style with some brilliant guitar work from Steve Howe and several extended instrumental passages. This is a great version of a huge song. Yes had covered David Crosby’s “I See You” and Lennon/McCartney’s “Every Little Thing” on their debut so this sort of thing wasn’t unheard-of, but neither of those approaches the grandiose arrangement of this one. Well worth the price just for that.

But “Dear Father” closes the album, and is the other song that is not readily available much of anywhere else, unless you can find some old single B-side or BBC recording. I’m not sure if this is an autobiographical song, but it is an interesting look at the band’s personal side as opposed to another mystic epic. An interesting curiosity at least, and a charming period piece at best.

This doesn’t rank among the better compilations from the band, but it can be had most anywhere for budget prices, so if you’re looking for an economical entry-point into the early works of Yes and/or you want to pick up a couple of really interesting and rather obscure pieces (especially “America”), this is probably for you. I’m not thrilled with the song selection, particularly “Then” and “Survival”, which I think could have been better replaced with “The Prophet” and “Harold Land”. But it gets an extra nod for the two non-album songs I’ve already mentioned, so three stars it is.

Worth picking up unless you already have the first two albums. If so, get The Best of Yes instead since "America" is on it and there is a more interesting assortment of later tracks there as well.


Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This was a lost vinyl I forgot. When I saw it posted on this website, I remember I bought it at the time of release but did not really liked it. With the noticeable exception of "America" of course. This is one of the best cover ever done : it can be compared to "With A Little Help From My Friend" from Joe Cocker or "Help", "Hey Joe" and "River Deep, Mountain High" from the Purple. The track has been completely revisited. The use of a cover is to offer an alternative approach of the original. This is definitely the case with this one although I have no clue how Simon & Garfunkel's fans have reacted to these fabulous ten minutes ! At that time, it was the only song I loved from this compilation. I did not know their back catalogue. I only owed YesSongs and this compilation was too different from what I had been used to with Yes. So, I did not really liked it and I sold it quickly to a friend.

Ages later, I got hold of "Yes" and "Time & A Word" and I must say that is a pretty good summary of their first two albums : two of the best songs from "Yes", their first album : "Looking Around" and "Survival" (the only one missing is "Beyond & Before" probably) and the best two from their second effort : "Astral Traveller" and "Time & A Word". Maybe they could have included "Clear Days" but that's a personal feeling.

The last three songs are not really interesting. Three stars (thanks to "America").

Review by fuxi
2 stars YESTERDAYS is now a historic relic, only of interest to those who are keen on collecting Roger Dean cover art. For about two decades this album was the only place where you could hear Yes' magnificent ten-minute version of Paul Simon's "America", first on LP, then on (unremastered) CD, unless you happened to own a compilation album entitled THE NEW AGE OF ATLANTIC. But that old problem has been now solved once and for all, since "America" appeared, in all its glory, as one of the bonus tracks on the most recent remaster of the classic album FRAGILE.

The remainder of YESTERDAYS consisted of tracks from Yes' first two albums, as well as the eminently forgettable "Dear Father". As previous reviewers have pointed out, YESTERDAYS was an excellent example of a record company trying to cash in on Yes' newly found fame. Since the album was also bought by lots of Yes fans who already owned YES and TIME AND A WORD, and who simply wanted to get their hands on "America", why didn't Atlantic include the riveting "Something's Coming", which used to be even more unavailable than "America" once was, and which is related to it in several ways? (To start with, "Something's Coming" is from WEST SIDE STORY, a musical Chris Squire actually quotes from in his bass line to "America"! The band also gave both songs similar instrumental arrangements.) Were there copyright problems, perhaps?

I also have some doubts about the tracks that DO appear on YESTERDAYS. It always seemed a pretty lame decision to have the band's two most commercial tunes ("Time And a Word" and "Sweet Dreams") simply follow each other. At least one of these should have been replaced with the equally early "Beyond and Before", "The Prophet", or even "Every Little Thing", all of which are more ambitious and pack far more punch.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars I have fond memories of Yesterdays. At the time it was released the two first Yes albums were not available in Brazil. So for an avid 15 year old fan like me it was a must have. Besides, it included a 10 minute version of Simon & Garfunkel´s America and a b side (Dear Father) that were not included in any official Yes album.

But nowadays I wonder if this compilation should be considered to buy it. After hearing Yes and Time And A Word I think some of their most interesting works on those algums were left out (like The Prophet and Sweetness, for exemple). I still love Dear FAther, an obscure track that does move me a lot, even today. America? Interesting. the remaining songs? Good, but not particularly essential. Yes is one of those bands that even their first atempts to find an identity are worth buying them. Those guys were so good... even when they were not really that symphonic or did not really know which direction they should take.

2,5 stars. I added a half star for personal reasons: I still like this album a lot, but if you´re new to their earlier stuff, you better buy the original ones. they have a lot more to offer.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "cashin in" should have been the title. (You are correct Easy Livin.)

Here's another pointless regurgitation from the "greed is good" series. You get some selections from the first two Yes albums which you already have if you are a Yes fan. Then they throw the sneaky rare cover tune on there to make you think you really need this. Sure, the rare track isn't bad but it certainly doesn't justify buying a whole album when you could spend that money on a legitimate quality release. The selections they make from the first two albums is inadequate, if you are a Yes fan you will want to have those albums in your collection.

The album cover is great I admit so Roger Dean collectors will need this by all means. But that's it. Two stars because prog fans should oppose extortion and because this is truly "for collectors only."

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Yesterdays" is extremely worthy early compilation of YES. It combines probably the best and most developed moments from the first two, largely overlooked, studio albums - the self-titled debut and "A Time and a Word". Plus there is previously unissued cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "America", which alone can justify the puchase of this collection. True, the classic YES period starts with their third "The Yes Album", but perhaps just because of that "Yesterdays" can serve as excellent introduction before you play "Yours Is No Disgrace"! And personally, I am even more inclined towards the early underdeveloped, naive but sincere and explorative works of YES than to their later overblown and pompose space-rock "concepts" after 1972.
Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars The problem with compilation albums is the fact that they are usually a record company's motivation to 'cash in' on a band's success and popularity. And also, they generally include some rare and non- album material, so what do we do, we buy them. This is Yes' first collection like this, presented beautifully in another surreal Roger Dean art-work and offers 2 rare goodies, amongst 6 other tunes. The first treat being a great version of Paul Simon's 'America', totally dissected and re-invented, performed by the 'classic' line-up of Anderson/Bruford/Wakeman/Howe/Squire and lasts 10 minutes and 31 seconds. Every bit as worthy as Close To The Edge. The other treat included here is 'Dear Father', which was intended for the album 'Time and a Word', but was relegated to a B-side. It is another quality tune, and bears the distinctive, 'underground' vibe of that album. Actually, the remaining selection of tracks, culled from the first 2 albums, 'Yes' and 'Time and a Word', are quite representative of Yes' brand of boundary- pushing symponic rock music. 'Looking Around' & 'Survival' being top examples of Yes in 1969. No less than half the tracks of TAAW have been chosen, 'Time and a Word' and 'Sweet Dreams' being quite accessible and catchy songs, and both 'Then' and 'Astral Traveller' showing a band willing to explore unchartered territory, at least, at that point in time. This record serves as a reliable and enjoyable introduction to the world of Yes, and, worth obtaining for the rare tracks. 3.5 rating.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An excellent Roger Dean cover housing some of the lost eclectic Yes tracks from the early years, makes this a collectors item. The tracks are all great for the early material but of course obtainable on many compilations. Worthwhile effort to some degree especially for those new to the Yes repertoire. However, apart from the cover, there is little to recommentd unless oy are one of the few who do not already have these tracks. There are bettercompilations out there for example, the awesome 'Yes: In A Word' 5 CD Boxset or the 'Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection' double CD package. However, this is not a bad collection featuring some of the best Yes material such as Time and a Word, Sweet Dreams, Survival and Astral Traveller. Best to get this on vinyl for its sheer rarity.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Not a very impressive compilation. The most outstanding elements from this release are the Roger Dean cover and the track America written by Paul Simon. The latter is often a crowd pleaser at concerts but personally unless you are from USA I guess it misses some of the gloss. This early material seems mostly out of place even when listening to Time And A Word or the debut album. A polyfilla type release for the time to enable the band some breathing space pending their next studio album. At the time of the release I recall it being quite popular so it struck a chord or two with the fanbase. Unusual in many respects for a band to release a compilation so early on in their career. I would have to recommend for completionists only and not for any new Yes enthusiasts to start with.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Yesterdays" is a compilation album by UK progressive rock act Yes. The album was released through Atlantic Records in February 1975. The album consists of a selection of songs from their first two full-length studio albums "Yes" (1969) and "Time and a Word" (1970), the B-side track from the June 1970 single "Sweet Dreams"/"Dear Father", and Yes cover of "America" by Simon & Garfunkel. The cover of "America" was recorded in 1971 and had already appeared on the Atlantic Records sampler album "The New Age of Atlantic" (1972), but for most Yes fans this was their first oppertunity to hear the song.

While both "Yes" (1969) and "Time and a Word" (1970) are arguably good quality progressive rock releases, they are usually not counted among the best material released by Yes, and it wasn´t until their third album "The Yes Album" (1971), that they had their breakthrough. While being good quality releases both the debut and the sophomore full-length studio albums do feature material which aren´t as great/memorble as the best material on those albums, but "Yesterdays" collects six of the highlights from the two albums and combined with "Dear Father" and especially "America", this ends up a really strong collection of songs.

"America" is definitely a highlight, but tracks like "Then", "Astral Traveller" and "Survival" are also standout compositions and all of them early examples of the greatness and innovative nature of Yes. I´m trying not to degrade the "Yes" (1969) and "Time and a Word" (1970) albums, because as I mentioned above I do consider both good quality progressive rock releases, but on the other hand "Yesterdays" might be enough for some listeners in terms of listening to the early beginnings of Yes, as much of the strongest material from the two releases are present here plus a few extras. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This is an odd compilation. Released after "Relayer", when each of the members of the band released a solo album, and Rick Wakeman came back, this, the first compilation from the group contains only songs from the original lineup, plus the great cover of Simon and Garfunkel's America, recorded for an album honoring the once proud Atlantic record label.

Sporting one of Roger Dean's strangest album covers (featuring a spectral nude woman floating in the air on one side, and two nude children, one of whom is urinating on the other), the only reason for it's being seemed to be the above mentioned America, which was also released in a castrated single edit.

The remainder of the album are selections from the Banks/Kaye lineup, with one song, Dear Father originally the B-side from a single, appearing on an album for the first time.

Since America and Dear Father are now available as bonus tracks on "Fragile" and "Time And A Word" respectively. it relegates this set to now be a collector's piece.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Then

Yesterdays is a very fitting name for this compilation which gathers together tracks from the early days of Yes' career with Peter Banks as the band's guitarist. The sole exception to this is the Simon & Garfunkel cover America which opens this collection. The latter was recorded in 1972 and features Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. Even though it was recorded later than the rest, it fits in very well on Yesterdays because it really sounds as if it came out of an earlier age when Yes used to record covers of other people's songs. By the time of The Yes Album in 1971, however, Yes had moved beyond this embryonic phase of their career and now were focusing exclusively on their own material. In this context, the recording of another cover song at this point constituted a bit of a throwback to the band's earlier days that this compilation primarily celebrates. Hence, America fits in here among the older songs much better than you would expect.

Yes' version of America was first released on a multi-artist, label sampler compilation album called The New Age Of Atlantic in 1972. An edited version of the song was also released as a single in the same year. While the single edit runs for just over four minutes, the full version of the song has a running time of ten and a half minutes. It is the latter, full version that appears on Yesterdays and this is clearly the more interesting version as it develops the song to a much greater extent from the Simon & Garfunkel original. While it doesn't measure up to the band's own songs from this period, it is definitely a song that Yes fans need to hear and the Yesterdays compilation was for a long time the best way to get hold of it. However, it has since been included as a bonus track on the 2003 remastered CD resissue of Fragile.

The bulk of this compilation holds tracks that originally appeared on the band's self-titled 1969 debut album and the 1970 follow-up Time And A Word. If you have those albums there is not much here of interest. The exception is Dear Father, a non-album b-side, only available previously on the Sweet Dreams single. This one too has since been included as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of Time And A Word which makes Yesterdays obsolete.

The cover art of Yesterdays is of course by the amazing Roger Dean who started making the covers for Yes with Fragile and has created many album covers for the band since then. This particular picture is somewhat uncharacteristic of his style in that it has a naked woman floating in the air in an otherwise recognisable Dean background. The art work makes this a valuable collectors item.

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This compilation is not one with much meat on its bones for the vast majority of listeners. Apart from the opening track "America", which is an incredible prog cover of a Simon and Garfunkel tune that features some of Steve Howe's best heavy riffing on record, all of the tracks come from the band's first two albums. These two albums, "Yes" and "Time And A Word", are both far different from the catalog that most Yes listeners are familiar with, consisting largely of jazz rock and psychedelic music as opposed to the symphonic and progressive music that they're best known for. Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman are also nowhere to be found, instead having the guitar and keyboard parts played by Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, respectively. Given the availability of 7 of the disc's 8 tracks on the first two albums, there isn't much point in going out and buying "Yesterdays" unless you want to hear "America" or are a fan of the Roger Dean album cover and wish to keep it on your shelf as wall art.

Having said that, "America" is also available on the Yes compilations "The Best of Yes" and the exhaustive "In A Word" so unless you're a very big fan of Roger Dean's art, just get the music off of other releases.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nº 149

Yes, was formed in 1968 with Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Peter Banks (guitars), Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Bill Bruford (drums). Yes, always was a band where members often changed, and in some cases the members went out and returned to the group very often. Yes became as one of the most important bands of the 70's, together with Genesis and Pink Floyd. These three bands were the bands who farther contributed to the rise of the movement of Progressive Rock. These are probably the three bands, which more have influenced progressive groups, until today.

'Yesterdays' is a compilation of Yes and was released in 1975. 'Yesterdays' is a collection of songs of the band and was launched at the time in which the band members released their solo musical projects. It consists mostly of material of their first two albums, their eponymous debut studio album 'Yes' and their second studio album 'Time And A Word'. Added to this, it features the B side 'Dear Father' and a cover of the song 'America' of Simon & Garfunkel.

All tracks on this compilation feature the original line up of the group with Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, except on 'America', which includes Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, on guitar and keyboards respectively. So, the band members that participate on this compilation are Jon Anderson (vocals), Peter Banks (guitar), Steve Howe (guitar), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Rick Wakeman (keyboards), Chris Squire (vocals and bass guitar) and Bill Bruford (drums).

This was the last Yes' album until their tenth studio album 'Drama' to use a cover of the artwork of Roger Dean. The front cover of the album presents elements of the front cover of 'Time And A Word', and when I say the front cover of the album I mean the U.K. front cover, while the back cover was designed to be used as an alternative front cover.

'Yesterdays' has eight tracks. The first track 'America' is a cover of a Simon & Garfunkel's song released on their studio album 'Bookends', in 1968. It never was released on any studio album of them. It was featured on an Atlantic Record sampler album called 'The New Age Of Atlantic', in 1972, which was a collection of songs that became noted, especially due to two of them. The Yes' 'America' cover song and Led Zeppelin's 'Hey, Hey, What Can I Do', both unavailable elsewhere at that time. The second track 'Looking Around' was released on 'Yes', the third track 'Time And A Word' was released on 'Time And A Word', the fourth track 'Sweet Dreams' was released on 'Time And A Word', the fifth track 'Then' was released on 'Time And A Word', the sixth track 'Survival' was released on 'Yes', the seventh track 'Astral Traveller' was released on 'Time And A Word' and the eighth track 'Dear Father' was also a song which never was released on any studio album of Yes. It was released as the B side of the 'Sweet Dreams' single, a song taken from 'Time And A Word' and that was the single that served to promote the album at the time.

So, 'Yesterdays' is basically a compilation of tracks from the two very first Yes' albums. But Atlantic was of course wise enough to also include a couple of non album tracks, as a bait. The version of Paul Simon's 'America' was originally released as a single in 1972, but here we get the full length, a 10 minute version, in all its glory. It shows very well how a simple and light pop tune can be transformed into a complex progressive rock track. This track is a complete surprise because, besides being an extensive version of the original song, isn't a soft ballad song as the original version. It respects completely the original spirit of the song but is, at the same time, a completely new song. And we also may say that this is practically a Yes' song. This is a great cover song. The other non album track is 'Dear Father', a simple and beautiful song which was only released as a single. It's a very calm song with many time changes and with beautiful Jon Anderson's vocals perfectly supported by Chris Squire's vocals. However, its inclusion here will probably please completists most, as the song has a rather typical B side quality and is really not all that good. The rest of the album consists of thoughtfully selected songs from the first two albums. As I said before, from the debut we have 'Survival' and 'Looking Around', and from the second 'Astral Traveller', 'Then', 'Sweet Dreams' and the title track.

Conclusion: Usually, I don't much care about progressive rock compilations. However, in this case, I'm convinced that somehow 'Yesterdays' is a little bit different. If by one hand this is an historical document of the group, by other hand it has two songs that never were released on any studio album of them. In the third place, and most important of all, this compilation is very good representative of the first musical period of the group, a kind of a pre- musical period, a period where Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman weren't yet present in the group. So, 'Yesterdays' will be a fine alternative if you want to get a glimpse of Yes in their earliest phase without having to buy both their two first albums. The only thing I can't understand is the absence of 'Harold Land', one of the two best tracks on 'Yes'. Despite 'Looking Around' be a good song, it hasn't the progressivity and quality of 'Harold Land' and it should have been replaced by it. But 'America' makes it also worth having for others. And Roger Dean's cover art should also be counted as a bonus.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by patrickq
2 stars I don't like record-company money-grabs any more than the average record buyer, but I never perceived Yesterdays that way. Of course the decisionmakers at Atlantic Records released Yesterdays to maximize profits, but it seems like Atlantic was likely to make more money with this one record in print than rereleasing both Yes and Time and a Word, the albums from which most of Yesterdays is drawn.

By 1975, Yes had been selling albums like proverbial hotcakes for four years, but was entering a period in which there would be no new Yes product for a while. Their first two albums had not been big sellers, so, it would seem that many newer fans didn't own them. But the Yes of 1969 and 1970 didn't sound like the Yes of 1975, so Atlantic created a compilation of four songs from Time and a Word, two from Yes, a single b-side from 1970, and a recording of Paul Simon's "America" which the band had recorded in 1972 for a label sampler. The ten-minute "America" was the draw here; Atlantic had released an abbreviated version in 1972 which became the group's third charting single in the US (it peaked at #46 on the Billboard Hot 100), but this was the first time it had appeared on a Yes album, and here it was in its entirety.

The selections from Yes and Time and a Word make sense, although of course my choices would've differed. At a minimum, the best two songs from Time and a Word are here - - "Sweet Dreams" and "Astral Traveller." In what might be considered a self-fulfilling prophecy, three of the songs included on this compilation, "Time and a Word," "Survival," and "Then," have become the staples of Yes "best-of" collections - - not because they were the best from their early years, but, I suspect, because they had been included on Yesterdays.

And then there's "Dear Father," a b-side recorded during the Time and a Word sessions. It seems unlikely most Yes fans were familiar with this one before 1975; it had been on the flip side of the "Sweet Dreams" single, which apparently was only released in a few countries. "Dear Father" is a groovy song, though not exactly progressive, which was as good as the material on the album from which it was excluded.

It's entirely fair to say that Yesterdays is redundant. The remastered 2003 Rhino series of Yes albums contains all of these songs, including alternate versions of "Sweet Dreams" and "Dear Father," and the single edit of "America," and they all sound better than the last widely-available CD of Yesterdays. Annoyingly, Yesterdays is available to download from itunes for ten bucks! That definitely sounds like a money grab.

In short, this compilation is made up of pretty good material that's available elsewhere.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review - #9 (Yes - Yesterdays) The band's first compilation, Yesterdays, was released on February of 1975 on Atlantic Records. It consists of material previously recorded from the band's first two studio albums, Yes (1969) and Time and a Word (1970). In addition, it contains a B-side single calle ... (read more)

Report this review (#2537080) | Posted by Prog Zone | Wednesday, April 21, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The first compilation of Yes was released in 1975, in a moment in which the various members of the band wanted to make themselves known as soloists. "Yesterdays" opens with Simon & Garfynkel's "America" originally contained in the 1972 compilation / sampler "The New Age of Atlantic" and is the o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2413896) | Posted by OLD PROG | Thursday, June 18, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I don't know about you, folks, but for me this compilation album resolved a small, but annoying problem: to wit, I had never been able to fully enjoy the 3 first albums of Yes. Guess they didn't quite measure up to Fragile, when taken as a whole? The Yesterdays seems to have taken the 3 pre- ... (read more)

Report this review (#957000) | Posted by Argonaught | Friday, May 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars now it's difficult for me to judge a compilation as "Yesterdays". Because? Hmmm, because the music please me but it's clear that these aren't Yes in Yessound or Yesmagic but only a good band in the transition between Beat, POP and Prog, with good Prog moments and nothing more. Not because the ... (read more)

Report this review (#347886) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Thursday, December 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This compilation was my introduction to progressive music. Obviously, it got me hooked. The song that reeled me in was America. I was mezmerised by Jon's voice, and by the guitar and keyboard interplay in the beginning, the speed, skill and emotion of Steve's solo, and the overall tightness of ... (read more)

Report this review (#153982) | Posted by Nucleus | Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars YESTERDAYS SOUND BETTER TODAYS It is hard to evaluate compilations because they are always in competition with the original releases and sometimes people evaluate the mixing of the compilation rather than the musical content which I think should be the criteria. I was following Yes since Fragil ... (read more)

Report this review (#146804) | Posted by Yes I am | Wednesday, October 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I can see how this would have been a smart release back in the day. Most of the Yesfans then would not have been exposed to the first two albums, and here the best selections from them plus the full version of the "America" cover makes for a nice package. Now however, you can get the first two ... (read more)

Report this review (#109261) | Posted by OGTL | Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is a compilation of very early Yes material. It's mostly a nice treat for those who care for the Tony Kaye and Peter Banks era of the band. There's not much here, but there is some previously unreleased material, and an interesting cover of Paul Simon's "America". "Dear Father" is a Time ... (read more)

Report this review (#44057) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars It's very funny to see how this album is OVERrated, but the YES previous albums, like their debut and second work are very UNDERrated, YESTERDAYS is a compilation that mainly includes material from their first works and America's S&G song and the flipside of Sweet Dreams, Dear Father, so why is thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#13388) | Posted by Carlos | Friday, April 9, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Don't you hate it when one of your favorite bands puts out a "best of" compilation that includes one or two previously unreleased tracks? You already own all the previous albums/cds that make up this particular compilation. So then you fork out your hard earned dough for two songs! And then you disc ... (read more)

Report this review (#13391) | Posted by | Monday, March 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The name of this album tells you enough: it contains old songs from 1969 and 1970, the period before Yes became a big band.The music sounds good, but isn't very special. 'America' is really nice, even better than the original S/G-version (which I like too). ... (read more)

Report this review (#13381) | Posted by Eb.Eb. | Saturday, February 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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