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YES

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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YES formed in 1968 with Jon ANDERSON (vocals), Chris SQUIRE (bass, vocals), Peter BANKS (guitar, vocals), Tony KAYE (keyboards), and Bill BRUFORD (drums). Well-known and influential mainstream progressive from the 1970's, and still around in some form ever since, they were highly influential in their heyday, especially notable for the really creative "Relayer", which included at the time Swiss keyboardist Patrick MORAZ who replaced Rick WAKEMAN

During the 1970s, YES pioneered the use of synthesizers and sound effects in modern music. Driven by Jon's artistic vision, they produced such timeless, symphonic-rock masterworks as "Roundabout," "Close To the Edge," and "Awaken". In the 1980s, YES pushed new digital sampling technologies to their limits, selling millions of records and influencing a generation of digital musicians with classics like "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" and "Rhythm Of Love". Moving through the 1990s and into the new millennium, the band keeps expanding its boundaries by using the latest hard-disk recording techniques and, most recently, working with a full orchestra to create their genre-defying music.

YES gained large popularity with their brand of mysticism and grand-scale compositions. "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" are considered their best works as it's symphonic, complex, cerebral, spiritual and moving. These albums featured beautiful harmonies and strong, occasionally heavy playing. Also, "Fragile" contained the popular hit song "Roundabout". This was followed by the controversial "Tales from Topographic Oceans" LP, which was a double album consisting of only four 20-minute length suites centering on religious concepts. Also, "Relayer" was their most experimental, yet grandiose and symphonic. They broke up, until the new jewel "Going For The One" and its incredible "Awaken" was issued in 1977. In later years, YES would go through many transformations. There were other very good YES albums after "Going For The One" ("Drama", "Keys To Ascension" and suprisingly "The Ladder") but this is the last great album.

These albums can be found under Various Artists - Concept albums and themed compilations :
Yes - Solo Family Album (19...
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Like It Is - YES At The Bristol Hippodrome(2CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)Like It Is - YES At The Bristol Hippodrome(2CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)
Frontiers Music Srl 2014
Audio CD$10.99
$5.90 (used)
RelayerRelayer
Import
Imports 2014
Blu-ray Audio$18.71
$19.00 (used)
Heaven & EarthHeaven & Earth
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$7.47
$7.15 (used)
Yes AlbumYes Album
Import
Panegyric 2014
Blu-ray Audio$20.22
$23.54 (used)
Close to the Edge [Blu-ray]Close to the Edge [Blu-ray]
unknown
Blu-ray Audio$20.22
$26.06 (used)
The Studio Albums 1969-1987The Studio Albums 1969-1987
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
Audio CD$45.24
$57.37 (used)
9012590125
Elektra / Wea 2004
Audio CD$3.39
$1.76 (used)
Songs From Tsongas 35th Anniversary ConcertSongs From Tsongas 35th Anniversary Concert
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$16.13
$18.98 (used)
FragileFragile
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$5.80
$3.84 (used)
RelayerRelayer
Remastered · Extra tracks
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$3.91
$2.72 (used)
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YES shows & tickets


  • Krzysztof Krawczyk daje pokaz Boogie Woogie razem z prof. Martinem Tempersem on 14 Feb 2015
  • Cruise To The Edge 2015 on 15 Nov 2015

YES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

YES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 936 ratings
Yes
1969
3.27 | 981 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.29 | 2037 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.42 | 2539 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.65 | 3297 ratings
Close To The Edge
1972
3.88 | 1811 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
1973
4.36 | 2206 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.04 | 1467 ratings
Going for the One
1977
2.93 | 1115 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.75 | 1220 ratings
Drama
1980
2.92 | 1145 ratings
90125
1983
2.46 | 832 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.48 | 766 ratings
Union
1991
3.03 | 692 ratings
Talk
1994
2.04 | 606 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.28 | 716 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.76 | 824 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.43 | 816 ratings
Fly From Here
2011
2.48 | 312 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014

YES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.28 | 713 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.63 | 368 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.24 | 183 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
1985
4.11 | 380 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.95 | 355 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.53 | 111 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
1997
3.59 | 163 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2001
2.81 | 66 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
2.64 | 33 ratings
Extended Versions
2002
2.91 | 29 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
2003
3.23 | 123 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
3.82 | 133 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.21 | 223 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
4.50 | 95 ratings
Keys To Ascension (I & II + DVD)
2010
3.38 | 26 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2011
3.58 | 105 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
2011
3.49 | 32 ratings
Union Live
2011
3.20 | 11 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014

YES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.62 | 135 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.13 | 81 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.32 | 71 ratings
Yesyears - A Retrospective
1991
3.68 | 35 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.89 | 42 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
3.58 | 98 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.65 | 103 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.59 | 261 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.15 | 60 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.34 | 70 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.12 | 28 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.60 | 75 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.28 | 138 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.39 | 56 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.28 | 51 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.62 | 52 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.92 | 113 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.82 | 42 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.81 | 35 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.17 | 28 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.88 | 50 ratings
Union - Live
2010

YES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.15 | 178 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.86 | 143 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.26 | 94 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.40 | 62 ratings
Yesstory
1992
3.05 | 64 ratings
The Very Best of Yes
1993
2.58 | 30 ratings
The Best of Yes
2000
3.53 | 437 ratings
Keystudio
2001
2.74 | 21 ratings
Yestoday
2002
4.29 | 99 ratings
In A Word
2002
3.20 | 88 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.14 | 57 ratings
Yes Remixes
2003
2.50 | 22 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
4.14 | 21 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
3.48 | 18 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008

YES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.21 | 24 ratings
Something's Coming
1969
3.34 | 13 ratings
Looking Around
1969
2.79 | 25 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
3.24 | 13 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.76 | 29 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
3.91 | 37 ratings
Your Move
1971
5.00 | 1 ratings
Carrusel (Roundabout)
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
3.21 | 37 ratings
America
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
And You And I
1974
3.48 | 14 ratings
Yes Solos
1976
3.19 | 35 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
1976
3.63 | 37 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
1977
4.00 | 34 ratings
Going For The One 12''
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
2.60 | 42 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
1978
3.21 | 30 ratings
Into The Lens / Does It Really Happen?
1980
4.17 | 35 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.27 | 36 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.19 | 35 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (EP)
1983
3.27 | 29 ratings
Leave It 12''
1984
3.49 | 26 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.81 | 19 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
3.27 | 22 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
1987
2.45 | 31 ratings
Rhythm of Love (EP)
1987
3.29 | 19 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.42 | 36 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1991
2.82 | 19 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.52 | 10 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.82 | 14 ratings
The Calling (single edit)
1994
3.17 | 55 ratings
We Can Fly - Single (Radio Edit)
2011

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Time and a Word by YES album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.27 | 981 ratings

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Time and a Word
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars Yes- a timeless band. They never really do change, do they? Especially back in their early 70's heyday they were doing the same thing many other prog bands: reveling in the scene that they had intruded on. Yes was equally as fervent to produce their masterworks, but they were perhaps on the top. This, of course, was after 1972 when their hit Fragile slammed the charts and gave new light to it's other brethren. Antecedent to this, Yes was still releasing a few releases to test the waters, notably their self-titled début as well as Time and a Word. Out of the two of them, I like them both. Except, after listening to this album, it's grown on me so much that I absolutely adore it.

The band is of course a symphonic prog band. Thus, they have an obligatory motif of acoustic echoing and orchestral-style instrumentation contained within these couple of guys. I must say that this is excellent. Of course they've done it amazingly especially on later releases, but A Time and a Word gives you a little sample of what they've got going for them and for you, the listener in the future. The album features some beautiful previously stated acoustics as well as amazing vocals. Every instrument is played to it's full extent and is free of public criticism due to this (as stated before), before Yes became extremely popular. Something that's not exactly positive but I wouldn't take away from it is how not as accessible it is compared to their other releases. It features a lot more material from the heart as opposed to fancy time signatures to please time-weathered prog folk as well as the general consensus of the modern music world. It isn't anything displeasing; in fact for me, it's even better because there's less radio-friendliness and more true light-hearted experimentation coupled with occasional ominous overtones.

This album is one for the books. It is most definitely on par with the likes of Close to the Edge and Fragile, and is much better than The Yes Album with followed it up. I suggest you go pick up Time and a Word as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Go give it a listen.

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 Tormato by YES album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.93 | 1115 ratings

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Tormato
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ster

2 stars The late 70's. When a lot of our heroes went broke, got fat, couldn't keep up with the times and still had an album or two left on their contracts. While groups like ELP were making "Love Beach, Genesis were starting their conversion to pop and Gentle Giant were defecating "Giant For A Day" on their fans. Yes were no different at this time, they were reaping the painful realities of the excessive lifestyles they were enjoying just a couple of years prior. Selling off their expensive cars and houses and going on tax exile to Switzerland. Prog rock in 1978 was now no longer in style as the bands were already considered dinosaurs. Rock fans were feeling more and more alienated by the huge, behemoth bands and getting more anamored with the accessibility of punk, new wave and especially disco. These set of circumstances ripped right through most of these bands leaving many casualties in its wake. Yes, at this point were still a concert draw and decided to wring out the last bit of creativity they could muster. Trying to scale back the complex song structures and longer pieces and write tighter more concise songs while keeping the fans happy will prove to be too big of an undertaking. While there are good and bad tracks on this album, the bad ones really do a number on this album and the good ones aren't good enough to elevate it. Also there is the squashed compressed sound of this album with everyone fighting for space thus creating a musical mess. There are too many instances of lyrics and being forced to fit, too many moments of serious corn, terrible synth sounds and above all, they were not able to not fit in with prog or the new wave. There was also the terrible album cover. Roger Dean again was not available and the job once again went to Hypnosis, who have done nice covers before but can't seem to do a good one with Yes.

The great: None. Nothing great here. Some great parts but no great songs.

The good: Future Times/Rejoice, Don't kill The Whale, and On The Silent wings of Freedom. I have always liked the way the album kicks off. The compressed sound is annoying but these songs aren't bad. Except for the overly corny synthesized whale sounds on DKTW. On The Silent wings of Freedom is probably the best tune on the album and its most prog-like.

The pretty good: Onward, Madrigal. Onward being a sappy ballad but done nicely with Howe playing a pattern while Squire plays a simple melody line. Thankfully no power chords! Madrigal is a nice but ultimately forgettable Jon Anderson ditty about celestial travelers sailing the seventh age living and growing inside of us(!)... Interesting contrast between a Spanish guitar and a harpsichord but it sounds as if they weren't sure which one would back Jon Anderson so they just used both. No interplay really but noodling by both as if they are not listening to each other.

The bad: Release Release. Here they try to sound spiky or new wave. Corny moment of fake crowd noise with an uninspired drum solo. The TV commercial sounding ending doesn't help either. Arriving UFO is truly awful. Bad lyrics revealing Jon Anderson's dream of getting beamed up or something?your guess is as good as mine. Goofy sounds and a directionless song that just peters out after 6 minutes of your life go by. Circus Of Heaven. This is probably the most reviled Yes song of all time. Jon Anderson going on about the myths of the constellations and his young song voicing his displeasure of it not being a real circus. Cute moment with the kid? absolutely. But on a rock album?

So there you have it. It's not total garbage after all it is almost the best lineup of Yes and there is some good melodies and playing on the album-even on the bad tunes. But the corny moments, the horrible compression, the fighting for space and the lack of good songs, doom it.

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 Drama by YES album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.75 | 1220 ratings

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Drama
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet.

Okay, so all the Yes fans know that this is Yes without Jon Anderson. Is that even possible? Damn right it is. I am a huge Yes fan and love and appreciate all of their masterpieces. Yet it astounds me that most people don't consider this a masterpiece, even without Jon Anderson. Honestly, I hardly miss him in this album (though I do miss him now, big time, on the last two albums that were released....ugh!). Drama, however, is amazing and to me it always will be. The band was just as tight as ever, the music is still very progressive and inventive. It's true that a harder edge exists in various places, but that is okay because this album does not demean or insult anything about Yes that had been released earlier. That could not be said about "Tormato" and that was when Jon was still singing with the band. "Drama" was a return to excellence.

"Machine Messiah" is a hard track, with surprisingly loud guitar passages, but with enough inventiveness to let you know that this line-up meant business and they knew what they were doing. The other spotlighted track is "Into the Lens" which even despite it's repeated "I am a camera" lyrics is progressiveness at it's finest. All the tracks on this album are reminiscent of the Yes of the past, maybe slightly more accessible than "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer", but definitely more progressive than anything else in existence at the time.

I have heard this album millions of times and it never wears out for me. All of the best elements of Yes are still there, dynamics, excellent orchestration, challenging music, sound engineering, the best musicianship with driving and innovative bass, amazing percussion and keyboards, timeless music that doesn't sound dated in the least. If the band had decided on a different name, it wouldn't surprise me if this album would have received better reviews. But I listen to it and consider it 100% Yes and still consider it one of their best. I can accept the changes here because the music did not suffer from it, same thing with King Crimson with all of their changes. They progressed with the band line-up changes.

I can preach to you all day about why I love this incarnation of Yes just as much as previous line- ups, but everyone has their own taste in music, I understand that. But I can't deny that this is a masterpiece of progressive music and that I love it. If you are staying away from this album because of what others have said about the change in the band, I invite you to listen and try to forget about any prejudices you might have formed from other opinions. If it helps, try to think of it as another band. Either way, give it a fair shake. Listen to the many textures, the themes, the progressive elements and see if you agree. If not, then at least you tried. If you do like it, then we are both happy.

Always a masterpiece for me. 5 stars because it is deserving of it.

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 Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome by YES album cover Live, 2014
3.20 | 11 ratings

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Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars A band that didn't make a great album in decades is still popular around the world. So they can't stop touring even if their lead singer Jon Anderson is not there anymore. Jon Davidson has replaced Benoit David and Geoff Downes replaced Rick Wakeman on keyboards. So the machine is still rolling at the same level. The songs are played faithfully with the unique style of playing of Steve Howe on guitar and Chris Squire on bass. Alan White looking much older got enough juice to sustain the rhythm section.This show shot in high definition is only available in stereo, believe it or not. And the make things worst, they decided for whatever reason to exclude the album "Close To The Edge" in this live release. So we have a short hour and thirty minutes of the albums "Going for the One" and "The Yes album" and no extras at all. Also the visuals are nonexistent with a amateur light show. It could have been much better for this legendary band.

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 Fly From Here by YES album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.43 | 816 ratings

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Fly From Here
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

2 stars With all the upheaval in the band over the last few years, I was surprised to see a new Yes album. Of course 'drama' is nothing new where this outfit is concerned, and it looks like that is exactly what they were after. "Drama" was the only other Yes album without Jon Anderson, so I guess they decided to go back to that plan on "Fly From Here." They stuck with their live replacement vocalist Benoit David, but again the call was made to Trevor Horn (his old Buggles partner Geoff Downes is still a fixture in the band).

I am a fan of this particular Yes collaboration and hoped it would bear some good new ideas. Unfortunately it seems all they wanted was to turn the clock back to 1980. Short of the existence of an actual time machine, that is pretty much what they did. The "Fly From Here" suite was written at that time and the production sounds very similar. Benoit David may be new, but let's face the fact that he has previously been making his living as a Jon Anderson impersonator.

The music isn't bad. It's quite nice actually and may have spawned a good follow up to "Drama." The problem is that the inspiration came over 30 years ago. When these guys were cooking together back then, they may have honed it into something very special. Now it is merely an echo of the past. Once again "Fly From Here" is not a bad album, but it's not remarkable either. I know this will be another in my collection that rarely gets heard.

It's time for Yes fans to get in touch with reality. The band has been out of gas for quite a while now and this latest release proves it. Even with bringing in a new singer and one old friend, they still had to use decades old material. There obviously weren't enough new ideas or good ones. Yes also used to be the type of band that could wow you with instrumentation alone. That has also faded. So here is yet another very listenable, tame, latter day album that only makes us yearn for the past. I think I'll put on "Tales From Topographic Oceans" now.

(This review was originally written in 2011)

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 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.48 | 312 ratings

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Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

2 stars Had I taken a Blindfold Test on this work, I would have thought that it was a moderately promising, young Neo-Prog band, somewhat inspired by YES. But for YES, under Squire's dominance, it's yet another disappointing release - as if Squire was aiming at willful mediocricity. Not quite Pop, but barely Prog-Related.

The only highlight here is Davidson's youthful, yet strong and clear voice - as if he was Jon Anderson's younger brother. Engaging Davidson was a minor coup by Squire, but that fine voice alone is not sufficient to make poor compositions sound good.

Squire, Howe, White play well - as usual - but it's the weak tunes that fail to excite. Add Geoff Downes on Pop-ish, skinny keys and one can't even talk about a missed opportunity, akin to an accident scene. "Move along, move along, there is nothing to see here."

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 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 2206 ratings

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Relayer
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Michael678

5 stars Hmm, well, today marks the day: this is my 3rd ever review on this site. Okay, that may be true but it isn't important. It's Relayer's 40th birthday today!!! Well, if you're American; it was already released in Britain the previous week (the 27th or 28th of November i presume). But, yes (hehe), today marks this album's 40th anniversary in America, a masterpiece of prog in its own right. That's why i'm doing this review in the first place, the first one for my favorite band of all time BAR NONE: Yes. So, anyway, as for the history of this album, Rick Wakeman the keyboard wiz has left after the "pretentious" Tales from Topographic Oceans album & tour in May 1974, mainly based on his dislike of the material and premise of it all (he even ate a sandwich during a live performance as a protest!!) So, the band carried on with new keyboardist Vangelis (*fakingly coughes*), err, i mean, Patrick Moraz, who's one of my favorite keyboardists along with Mr. Wakeman (who would return for Going for the One a couple of years after this, which Moraz actually contributed keyboard parts and some of the writing, especially on Awaken, though it was all cut off in order for Wakeman to contribute his own parts to it; BOTH SHOULD'VE BEEN ON THERE THEN GODDAMNIT!!!!!)

1. The Gates of Delirium - this is considered one of their best IF NOT their best, and i can see why! this 22 minute epic pretty much shows what exactly the album cover shows; a prelude to a battle, the battle itself, and its lamenting aftermath. It is partially based on the novel "War and Peace" written by Leo Tolstoy. It makes sense if you think about it, since i don't know much about the novel (i'm a teenage American that's why lol). We start off with the prelude, with the lyrics giving out a speech-like cry to the army getting ready to fight their enemies on the battlefields. The music sets up the getting ready and setting up part of the battle with some sort of march-type drumming from that there Alan White (this is only his 2nd album out of 14, and yes i counted) i feel like, with all the other parts coming about as well. This goes on for a third of the song as each part does more or less. And then, the centerpiece of the epic ensues, the battle itself. And oh my god, it is nothing but fricking masterful. A lot of time signatures, crazy drumming and percussion battering from White and Jon Anderson (who also sings well on here, especially in a bit), great bass lines and playing from Mr. Chris Squire, and some rocking out guitar from Steve Howe. Oh, and Moraz's playing. AAAMMMAAAZZZIIINNNGGG!!!! and there's also the sounds heard in the background as the song goes on made by automobile parts crashed and pounded together among other pieces of junkyard metal made mainly by Jon and Chris, including one huge crash that im having a hard time pinpointing where exactly it is in the song. And then, everything slows down and softer with some keyboards washes as the battle ends and the lament comes in, under the title known as Soon. it is given this title as it was released as a single in '75 for radio airplay, and i loved this excerpt before i knew this whole album, on first listen i believe. and, for the record, this is one of Anderson's best vocal performances PERIOD, i can tell you that much. it's also Howe's best lap steel guitar playing i feel like; VERY satisfying conclusion to the song and the first side of this record.

2. Sound Chaser - here's the first of two tracks on the 2nd side, who are polar opposites of one another; this the crazy son of a gun of the two. their most jazzy track, it is more of virtuoso playing that the band's showing off for the next 9 and a half minutes, nothing but jazz bonkers that i can definitely get behind; in other words, i LOVE this song, as well as the whole album (ADER!!!) lyrics pretty much define what the music shows, just to look in your eyes (from the band's/lyric-writer's point of view i presume?? if so, ohhhhkkkaaaayyy......) The best parts are Howe's guitar playing (definitely some of his best by far) and the very end of the song, when the reprise of the beginning theme plays much faster and faster until the song ends with Cha, Cha, Cha; CHA, CHA!!! a youtube video on another Yes album review best pictures what image this music paints out; put in search bar "yes album reviews" and find the video with 90125 in its title. there you go, and if you watch the whole video, by all means, go ahead. okay, next song!

3. To Be Over - i was torn to which song on here is my favorite, and by earlier today, i think this song is the winner here. running over 9 minutes, this definitely goes down a calming stream with Howe's guitar work and the harmonizing that i got one day while listening to it on Spotify and fell in love with it and still am to this very day!! music's amazing, vocal's amazing, especially Jon's, and awesome lyrics that you just got to hear (except maybe the gibberish-like language they're singing at the end of the song that i didn't notice until a few months ago on this site, but who gives a damn!), it is one of my all time favorite Yes songs, PERIOD, NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER!!!! i can also see the southern rock aspect in Steve's lap steel playing in the first third of the song that i didn't really notice until a few months ago from the other reviews i've seen on here, but i don't seem to mind it.

in all, this is indeed "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music," but it may be one of the more harder ones to get into like The Lamb, Animals (more or less), Lizard and Larks' Tongues, Foxtrot, Pawn Hearts, Brain Salad Surgery, etc. but, once you listened to it a couple of time, (i hope) you will be HUGELY rewarded with one of your favorites ever like i had. 10/10 for the rating man, a.k.a. 5 starts for this system. So, until then, keep progressing and once again happy (belated?) birthday to Yes' Relayer album!! WWWWWOOOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 1811 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Glimpse

4 stars By far the most ambitious of the albums in Yes's discography is Tales From Topographic Oceans, so it'd be no surprise to many that it's also one of the most controversial albums among Yes fans. After all, TfTO was the the peak of the band's trend that went towards and away from a focus on longer songwriting, and boy were the songs on TfTO long. The album itself harbors four lengthy "songs", (It would be more accurate to refer to them as suites), three of which surpass 20 minutes; a duration rivaled only by "The Gates Of Delirium", off of the 1974 release, "Relayer", and "The Solution", off of the 1997 release, "Open Your Eyes". The length of these tracks alone is intimidating enough to dissuade many a person from giving the album a listen, but for those brave enough to venture into this album you are likely to walk away thinking one of two things: 1) TfTO was a spectacular journey through the world that is the music of yes, or 2) TfTO was a load of bullcrap, why did I waste my time listening to an hour and 20 minutes of filler? Personally, I believe both to have valid points on the album, yet neither do justice when describing the album as a whole. So, in order to fully illustrate my point of view we must take a look at each individual track.

The Revealing Science of God / Dance of the Dawn is one of the three 20 minute tracks I mentioned earlier, clocking in at 22 minutes and 23 seconds. However, on most releases the track is only 20 minutes and 25 seconds long, as the version I own restores the original opening for the track. The "restored" opening is nothing spectacular, it consists simply of soft keyboard part providing a mystical feel to the beginning of the track. Now we get to the part where things get interesting. After the two minute "restored intro", we get to the original intro which features an interesting vocal arrangement by Anderson accompanied by Howe and Squire. Without a doubt, this is my favorite part of the track. Once we've passed by the intro we enter into the body of the song, which isn't terribly interesting instrumentally early on. It is, however, a very pretty sounding track which for me makes up for some of the duller moments, but not enough to increase my over-all favor of this track. Which is rather odd, considering that I normally have high favor for pretty, melodic tracks but when the same melodic idea is essentially being repeated with the occasional minor variant from the four minute mark to the 12 minute mark, it begins to feel very tired. Which is a shame really, the early melody is rather beautiful, but because of the sheer length I usually just end up skipping over the majority of it. Luckily around the 13 minute mark we actually move on to something new. In contrast to the softer, more melodic section discussed earlier, this section features a more intricate instrumental section that really feel more like a series of solos split by another soft vocal oriented section. This is followed by yet another softer vocal section with a clear focus on the vocals, though this section quickly turns more interesting as it is the finale of the track. For the most part the finale is more akin to the vocal intro, as it features Anderson alone at the start of the end and progressively increacing focus on more of a vocal ensemble by bringing Howe and Squire's vocals into the foreground along with Anderson's, over-all making for a pretty satisfying finale.

When I complained about the repetition in "The Revealing Science of God", it's nothing compared to the repetition in The Remembering / High the Memory. Which, Clocking in at 20 minutes and 39 seconds, is the 3rd longest track on the album, (2nd longest on the original version of the release). The track starts simple enough, with a happy sounding keyboard part introducing to into "The Remembering". Sadly, the keyboard is short lived, as the track soon goes back to the putting the vocals in the foreground and forcing the instruments to play second fiddle to the vocals. Don't get me wrong, the vocal part is very pretty, (however, not as pretty as those featured in "The Revealing Science of God"), but personally I'd like it if they actually did something a bit different, something that doesn't make it sound like it's attempting to copy the same formula as the track before it. Thankfully, you don't have to wait to long for that, because at about six minutes in we finally reach some variation. The next part is a beautiful little section that does an excellent job of balancing vocals and instruments with neither really overpowering the other, and instead working together to create a beautiful tune. It always reminds me of the fun children have when they're running around playing without a single care in their minds. The section is rather short, (thank god, It would be awful if I would come to hate that section), and quickly moves on to a quiet keyboard feature. Then before you know it we're back to vocals, similar to before, yet different. This time the melody is still rather up-beat, however this time the tempo has been upped and features a guitar instead of keyboards. Once again, this section is rather short lived and we're back to another keyboard solo, and as you may have noticed, this will become a thing for the rest of the track. While I prefer the repeating the same basic melody in different ways over the repetition I talked about in the last track, it does get tiring to have to keyboards being featured all the time, at least in the last track they gave the guitars some moments to shine, but throughout this track they mostly just provide support for the vocals and keyboards as opposed to bringing in musical ideas of their own, and while that is not always a bad thing, when you're writing a song as long as the ones featured in this album that sort of songwriting just leaves so much to be desired. But enough of my whining, and back to the track. Upon reaching the 15 minute mark, we're pretty much back to what it sounded like back when we were six minutes into the song. And then after being "treated" to yet another keyboard solo after that, we get another vocal part. Though this time you're in for a surprise, because the vocal part from the start of the track has come back to pay us a visit, and this time with passion! After that we get to the outro, a keyboard part similar to the one around four to five minutes into the track. Which really didn't strike me as an ending, as I said, It was pretty much an exact copy of the keyboard part from earlier in the track, which just made me think that we were going to start back up from the 6 minute mark.

Finally, we get to the 2nd half of the album, we've endured 2 repetitive, overly saturated tracks and now we're here, The Ancient / Giants Under the Sun. Now, the end half of the album has always been the most enjoyable on my part, as it seemed clear to me that they saved the best for last. Clocking in at 18 minutes and 36 seconds, The Ancient is the shortest track found on the TfTO album, and as you might expect, more to the point than any of the others. This track is also the most mystical sounding of all the tracks, especially with Alan White leading the way into the track. To me that percussion intro really puts the ancient into "The Ancient". But the percussion doesn't stop there, Mr. White is predominantly featured throughout the track, possibly making "The Ancient" one of the most percussion heavy tracks in Yes's repertoire. In fact the track is a very instrumental oriented one, featuring minimal vocals throughout the first half. Also featured alongside the percussion is are dominant guitar parts throughout, and Mellotron, an instrument rarely found in any Yes albums, But nowhere would it be more fitting than this track, as it only helps to further build up the mystic sound of this song. When I first went into this song, I had been expecting more filler, but this track was a welcome surprise. The instrumental work featured throughout the track is seldom repetitive and instead makes for quite an interesting listen. The percussion has a very primitive or tribal feel to it, and the guitars are wild and free, never repeating the same ideas more than once. Then once we're done with our tribal fantasies, we move on to something completely different 12 minutes in. While it may seem odd at first, the transition from the eccentric instrumentation of the past 12 minutes to a calm acoustic guitar feature actually feels rather natural. Once we get comfortable with the acoustic arrangement, Anderson decides to join in with some deep, philosophical thoughts. With the entry of the vocals a contrast between the primal first 12 minutes and the calm and intellectual final six minutes is clearly established. "The Ancient" made for a refreshing listen after drying up in the desert of the first half, and just in time for our last track too.

As we near the end of our journey through TfTO, we reach Ritual / Nous Sommes Du Soleil, a track that blends many of the ideas featured in the first three tracks into one final musical effort. Clocking in at 21 minutes and 33 seconds, it is the longest track on the original release, (the second longest on the version I own). As for a finale to our long journey, Ritual rises up to the challenge and excels past expectations. If you do not know why out of all the songs from TfTO that were to be a part of Yes's live repertoire, they'd pick Ritual, it becomes clear when you listen to the album. We start things off with an intro reminiscent to that of the beginning of "Roundabout" except with accompaniment from Howe. The following instrumental section is a stunning blend of guitar and keyboards mixing together to create true beauty in the form of sound. Unlike earlier tracks, Ritual wastes no time lingering on the same melody for minutes on end, and before you know it you're onto Anderson's traditional practice of doing a more choral style vocal technique, (as far as performing a vocal part without saying any actual words), to create an upbeat instrumental-ish section. Then before you know it, we're into the vocals, the emotion in the vocals is evident and rivals the emotion felt in the guitar solo at the start of the track. The vocals do a great job of blending in with the instrumentals, neither overpowering the other but rather providing a nice compliment to each-other. Another positive I have about this section is how varying the vocal performance is in this section, never stretching out a particular idea to long, and instead Anderson, Howe and Squire's vocals blending together, shifting around to several different ideas each being more emotional and of greater magnitude than the last is what makes the vocal performance a step above the other tracks. Then as the Vocals reach their peak, it all gets quiet, as if to let something through, and come through it will. Soon after the vocals cease the second instrumental section begins, and it comes in hard with White, Howe and Squire playing with such great power, yet still managing to create a sense of beauty in the music, making it, In my opinion, one of the greatest Yes solos throughout any of their albums. Then as Howe's guitar reaches it's wild conclusion, White takes charge. Moving into a percussion solo akin to his performance in "The Ancient", and before long Wakeman joins in as well, backing up White with his Minimoog and Mellotron to further the similarities to the previous track. Then as the chaos subsides, the emotional "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" emerges. This section, consists of soft and emotional vocals by Anderson, as well as beautifu guitar and piano accompaniment, (with some subtle use of acoustic guitar). You couldn't ask for a much better conclusion to an emotional of a song as Ritual, the elegance of the music and the soothing qualities fill me with a sensation of love. Though after that section ends there is still another minute of instrumental work, (mostly featuring guitar), to close out the track which I felt to be rather unnecessary, as "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" would make a satisfying enough ending, but hey, it's fine like that I guess...

While Tales From Topographic Oceans has it's ups and downs, over-all it is definitely worth checking out for any Yes fan. Though, due to all the issues that I had with the first two tracks you might think that I would have rated it lower than four stars. Well, normally you'd be correct, but while there is a lot of filler there are still many excellent melodic concepts worth checking out on the first two tracks that honestly makes them that makes the whole album worth rating at least four stars. However, The first three tracks personally would have worked much better shortened and/or chopped up into shorter tracks, but that idea is nothing new really. But don't just take the word of a biased fanboy like me, all I can do is give suggestions. Your opinion could be completely different from mine, but if I influenced you to give it a listen, then I know my review was a success.

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 Close To The Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.65 | 3297 ratings

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Close To The Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars I don't know how many years had to go by before I finally considered this the best Yes album let alone one of the best progressive rock albums ever. It has attained that status here at Prog Archives and deservedly so. I am a huge fan of Yes and even that took time to admit, the entry for me being "90125" and "Drama". Those two albums enticed me to really research the band. Now they are one of my favorites even before I started coming to Prog Archives. It does my heart good to know that there is a group of people that know excellent music.

What more can be said of this album that hasn't already been said? I'm not going to write a long review here, but I will tell you that if you are like most people in this world, you will not appreciate this album until you have heard it several times and you suddenly come to the realization that it is in your head, your heart and your soul and you listen and can actually become part of the music. This might take some time, but this is attainable for anyone. This album is perfect and has become the standard for symphonic prog and the pinnacle of progressive rock. The sections in these long compositions are never too long and this album always goes by way too fast. You don't even realize that all the time has passed and you only want to immerse yourself more when it's done. The amazing thing about the tracks on here is that two of them are divided into sections. In most multi-sectional compositions in prog rock, usually the point where each sub-section ends and another begins is quite clear cut. Not so on this album. Each sub-section is not necessarily finished when another one begins, there is a lot of overlap among the sections. In other words, you hear pieces of sections in other sections and so on. This is truly innovation and maybe not exactly the first time it has happened in rock music, but it was never really explored as well as it is here. I know King Crimson had done this before and so had Frank Zappa and others. But never has it had such a nice flow as it does here.

At this point in Yes' career, we have come to the point where the music becomes paintings for the ears to enjoy and for the eyes to imagine instead of the other way around as it is in what we normally consider a painting. The lyrics in the album "Close to the Edge" are not something separate from the instrumentals as they are in most songs. They are all part of the painting or the composition. The instrumentals are not written to support the lyrics or the other way around. Instead, they all work together. In most pop music, you can easily substitute the instrumentals for one song for the lyrics of another, but you can't do that in this music. It all works together. And the result is amazing. This is why it's hard to appreciate this (and always in the best progressive rock) at the first listen. The best progressive rock is not casual listening. You have to invest time and yourself into the music to appreciate it fully.

Anyway, if you haven't heard this, or if you haven't invested the time required to appreciate it yet, then you have some work to do. There is a reason this one stands as the best of the best on Prog Archives. I can't tell you what that is because if I tell you, then I am talking and talking is not music. You have to discover for yourself by listening to the music and not to me rattling on about what makes it so wonderful. So I'll shut up now and leave it up to you to do your own discovery. I didn't get it at first. You probably won't either. I do now. I think you will too. Get to work!

No doubt about it whatsoever. 5 enormous stars.

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 Going for the One by YES album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.04 | 1467 ratings

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Going for the One
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ster

4 stars The return of Rick Wakeman, and the three year hiatus was over. After two far out albums, Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer, Yes come back scaling back the ambitions a notch or two with Going For The One. GFTO is a mixed bag and it seems to be a the last of the great Yes albums of the classic era. I say mixed bag because 2 of the tracks hint at a more rock flavor (Going For The One and Parallels) while 2 others are more classical influenced (Wondrous Stories and Awaken). Even though the flow of the album is somewhat disjointed by the contrast of the styles, the material is strong throughout and at times comes close to the heights of The Yes Album - Close To the Edge era Yes. The production is a little unclear and sloppy, but pretty good overall. So Yes ends their classic era with a great album, not quite as great as their best but their are moments that are among the best. The 15 minute "Awaken" is worth the price alone and at times, I think it could stand side by side with Close To The Edge, well maybe not but close!

A Strong 4 stars. Yes will release some good stuff after this but this is where their essential works end.

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