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YES

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Yes biography
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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Buy YES Music


Yes AlbumYes Album
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$3.63
$3.62 (used)
Close to the EdgeClose to the Edge
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$4.47
$4.65 (used)
Fragile: Expanded / RemixedFragile: Expanded / Remixed
Import
Panegyric 2015
Blu-ray Audio$20.60
$25.31 (used)
FragileFragile
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$4.99
$3.50 (used)
9012590125
Elektra / Wea 2004
Audio CD$3.63
$0.78 (used)
Wonderous Stories: Best ofWonderous Stories: Best of
Import
Music Club Deluxe 2014
Audio CD$3.33
$3.68 (used)
RelayerRelayer
Import
Imports 2014
Blu-ray Audio$16.92
$16.91 (used)
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary CollectionUltimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
Elektra / Wea 2004
Audio CD$16.85
$9.70 (used)
Like It Is-Yes Live At The Mesa Arts Center [2 CD/DVD Combo]Like It Is-Yes Live At The Mesa Arts Center [2 CD/DVD Combo]
Frontiers Music Srl 2015
Audio CD$12.99
$8.99 (used)
The Studio Albums 1969-1987The Studio Albums 1969-1987
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
Audio CD$41.89
$57.36 (used)
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YES 7" SPAIN 45 PROMO Dueño de un corazón solitario.1983 WEA ESPAÑA.- USD $15.00 [0 bids]
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YES shows & tickets


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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)

3.24 | 1049 ratings
Yes
1969
3.28 | 1101 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.29 | 2290 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.43 | 2846 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.65 | 3644 ratings
Close To The Edge
1972
3.88 | 1995 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
1973
4.36 | 2450 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.04 | 1621 ratings
Going for the One
1977
2.96 | 1231 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.76 | 1350 ratings
Drama
1980
2.95 | 1265 ratings
90125
1983
2.48 | 919 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.50 | 848 ratings
Union
1991
3.04 | 763 ratings
Talk
1994
2.04 | 665 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.28 | 796 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.76 | 911 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.41 | 907 ratings
Fly From Here
2011
2.40 | 418 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014

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

4.29 | 776 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.61 | 394 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.25 | 197 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
1985
4.11 | 423 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.95 | 394 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.54 | 120 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
1997
3.59 | 181 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2000
2.65 | 35 ratings
Extended Versions
2002
2.89 | 30 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
2003
3.83 | 148 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.21 | 249 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
4.48 | 117 ratings
Keys To Ascension (I & II + DVD)
2010
3.33 | 27 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2011
3.57 | 111 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
2011
3.53 | 41 ratings
Union Live
2011
2.89 | 35 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014
4.44 | 31 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
2015
3.78 | 22 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
2015

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

3.64 | 147 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.14 | 86 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.11 | 77 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
1991
3.67 | 36 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.90 | 45 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
1999
3.59 | 105 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.67 | 112 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.59 | 282 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.08 | 62 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.35 | 72 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.13 | 32 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.55 | 79 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.28 | 147 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.43 | 63 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.33 | 56 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.62 | 52 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.92 | 118 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.82 | 42 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.84 | 39 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.19 | 28 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.88 | 52 ratings
Union - Live
2010
3.00 | 2 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971
2013

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

4.33 | 3 ratings
2 Originals Of Yes
1973
3.10 | 192 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.80 | 151 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.24 | 101 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.42 | 67 ratings
Yesstory
1992
3.04 | 66 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
1993
2.58 | 30 ratings
The Best of Yes
2000
3.54 | 446 ratings
Keystudio
2001
2.74 | 21 ratings
Yestoday
2002
4.27 | 108 ratings
In A Word
2002
3.13 | 89 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.14 | 58 ratings
Remixes
2003
2.52 | 23 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
3.23 | 128 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
3.96 | 24 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
3.52 | 18 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008
4.26 | 16 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
2015

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

4.30 | 22 ratings
Something's Coming
1969
3.47 | 15 ratings
Looking Around
1969
2.82 | 26 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
3.28 | 15 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.38 | 32 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
3.94 | 39 ratings
Your Move
1971
4.57 | 7 ratings
Roundabout
1972
4.56 | 9 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
2.78 | 40 ratings
America
1972
4.56 | 9 ratings
And You And I
1974
2.65 | 10 ratings
Soon
1976
3.23 | 36 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
1976
2.40 | 15 ratings
Yes Solos
1976
3.62 | 38 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
1977
4.02 | 35 ratings
Going For The One 12''
1977
3.57 | 7 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
2.61 | 44 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
1978
2.93 | 32 ratings
Into The Lens
1980
4.20 | 37 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.33 | 37 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.11 | 40 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1983
2.68 | 33 ratings
Leave It
1984
2.85 | 20 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
3.09 | 30 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.36 | 6 ratings
Rhythm Of Love
1987
2.95 | 27 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
1987
2.23 | 35 ratings
Rhythm Of Love (2)
1987
3.32 | 19 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.52 | 37 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1991
2.37 | 8 ratings
Lift Me Up
1991
2.69 | 17 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.60 | 11 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.63 | 22 ratings
The Calling
1994
2.84 | 69 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
2.17 | 4 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
2005
3.06 | 59 ratings
We Can Fly
2011

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Yes by YES album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.24 | 1049 ratings

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Yes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars It was 1969 when one of the most iconic, unique and representative bands of progressive rock decided to release their debut album. Back then, the term progressive rock was not actually used, so despite some bands started making music that later would define this genre, people only listened to rock music and that was enough, they didn't worry about labelling bands or songs.

But well, right now we do label bands and songs, and we all know and love progressive rock, which is why we are here in Progarchives debating and reviewing music, because those giants like Yes created something that we will never forget, because that thing named progressive rock has changed our lives. So in 1969 the first Yes lineup gave us Yes, this self-titled debut albums that offers symphonic rock, psychedelic rock and even some pop rock. That mixture would later evolve into more mature sounds, more complex compositions and a true own Yes sound and style.

In this 8-track album we enjoy the first 38 minutes of Yes' magic in the history, with a soft Jon Anderson's voice, smooth Bruford drums, symphonic keyboards from Kaye, that amazing Squire's bass and of course, the nice elaborative guitars by Peter Banks, who would share his talent only in the first two albums and later be replaced by the Yes guitar man we all remember and love: Steve Howe.

This album marks the first steps of Yes, and that's why it is so important, though of course it is far from being one of the best Yes' albums, far, far away. It might also be considered as a proto-prog album, but that's it. In my opinion, it does not has any memorable songs, any unforgettable passages, it was the first attempt that lacked emotion and complexity, but fortunately they attempted it, otherwise, we would not have been blessed with their upcoming 70s albums that changed our life.

My final grade will be two stars, I like it but I've never loved it, and I hardly listen to it, however, it is one of the most important albums in this genre's history.

Enjoy it!

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 Yessongs by YES album cover Live, 1973
4.29 | 776 ratings

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Yessongs
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nº 48

"Yessongs" is the debut live album of Yes and was released in 1973. It especially documents the live tour of their fifth studio album "Close To The Edge". It also features two live tracks "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)", which were recorded during the previous tour of their fourth studio album "Fragile". These two tracks were recorded with Bill Bruford on drums, before he left the group and before he was substituted by Alan White. "Perpetual Change" has an extended drum solo made by Bruford, which was so typical on almost all the live albums performed at the time.

"Yessongs" became a model for the live progressive rock albums. It was recorded on a vinyl three disks format, with over 120 minutes, and became as one of the first triple albums in rock history. The live album includes the band's entire stage repertoire, which included almost all of the best songs from their three preceding studio albums, "The Yes Album", "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge".

"Yessongs" was a very ambitious project and a huge risk for the group and for their record label, the Atlantic Records. It was presented in one of the most luxurious album packages until then. The package features artworks by Roger Dean and inside of it there are four individual panels. The artwork of Dean, which has begun with their two previous studio albums, was spread across a triple gatefold cover that continued the same concept design motifs of their two previous works. "Yessongs" was really a huge commercial success.

"Yessongs" has thirteen tracks all recorded in 1972. The "Opening (Excerpt from Firebird Suite)" is an excerpt from the classical piece "Firebird Suite" of Igor Stravinsky and was recorded at Uniondale, New York. It has been a standard opening for the majority of the Yes concerts since 1971. "Perpetual Change", "I've Seen All Good People", "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" are all tracks originally recorded on their studio album "The Yes Album" released in 1971. These live performances were recorded at New York City, New York; Athens, Georgia and London, UK, respectively with the exception of "I've Seen All Good People" where its recording place is unknown. "Heart Of The Sunrise", "Mood For A Day", "Roundabout" and "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" are all tracks originally recorded on their studio album "Fragile" released in 1971. These live performances were recorded at Greensboro, North Carolina; Uniondale, New York; Ottawa, ON and New York City, New York, respectively. "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" were performed live together as only a single track. "Siberian Khatru", "And You And I" and "Close To The Edge" are all tracks originally recorded on their studio album "Close To The Edge" released in 1972. These live performances were recorded at Knoxville, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina and London, UK, respectively. The "Excerpts from The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" is a medley from "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII", the debut album of Rick Wakeman released in 1973 and was recorded at Athens, Georgia.

The performances are extremely tight and energetic, and that's really impressive when you think about the complexity of the material. The versions of "Close To The Edge", "Roundabout", "Perpetual Change" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" bursts with power and energy and proved beyond any doubt that Yes was one of the strongest live acts among the progressive rock bands. The addition of Wakeman's mellotron on the tracks from "The Yes Album" is also a very pleasant feature. However, White's drumming on "Heart Of The Sunrise" proved that he was absolutely no rival to Bruford, but I guess you couldn't expect him to be that either. The medley of themes from Wakeman's solo debut "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" mixed in with some excerpts from Handel's "Messiah" and played on mellotron is also great.

Conclusion: "Yessongs" is an extraordinary live album. What is most impressive is that after Yes just have released three studio albums containing songs very intricate, complex and long, they could make a live album with musical changes that turn it even more complex, intricate and longer. If you think Yes had a penchant of writing long and intricate epic songs only on the studio albums, you're wrong. They extended everything on "Yessongs". This is an amazing thing. "Yessongs" is a festival of progressive music that turns the Yes epic pieces, even more epic. It's true that longer and more intricate songs aren't always a sign of equal or even better songs. However, in this case, the extension of the songs really enhances the original studio versions and every song here trumps its studio counterpart. "Yessongs" is one of the best live albums ever, actually. For me, "Yessongs" is one of the two best live albums of the 70's. The other is "Playing The Fool" of Gentle Giant, which is also one of the best progressive live albums ever made.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 Big Generator by YES album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.48 | 919 ratings

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Big Generator
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ster

2 stars Ok so I gave 90125 four stars. I liked the freshness of the material and the way they mixed in some prog sensibilities with the pop hooks. So what in the hell happened here? Well we all knew sooner or later there would be a power struggle due to the fact that they had two alphas in the band. When this new Yes started, Chris Squire and Alan White gladly handed the artistic reigns over to the new young guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Trevor Rabin. On 90125, Jon Anderson entered the project in the final hours and really didn't have a lot of time to force his ideas into the fold. By the time they got around to creating Big Generator the two silverbacks went head to head. Jon Anderson wanted to go back to being non-commercial and Trevor Rabin wanted the opposite. But that wasn't the only problem. They had trouble recording in Italy and had to move on to LA to finish the album after Trevor Horn left and finish producing the record themselves.

As a result of all of this and some questionable decisions, the music itself suffered. At the time of BG's release I will admit that I was somewhat satisfied with it as a fan but I was such a fanboy in those days and time really did a number on it.

1. Rhythm Of Love. 3/10 An above average pop song for the 80's. That is saying little though. In the Yes canon it's close to being a total disgrace. After the promising vocal intro we get that ugly 80's arena rock sound. The lyrics? Yes were now doing sexual innuendo.

2. Big Generator. 3/10 It's like a twisted up Owner of a Lonely Heart. I actually liked this when it came out but I laughed my face off while listening to it recently. I kind of like the lyrics though. It seems in some way based Jon Anderson's criticism of big record companies.

3. Shoot High Aim Low. 7/10 Here we get Alan White playing the same pattern as the bassline from Mr. Mister's Broken Wings. (Am I the only one who notices this?) But I actually like this one. Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin trading lines in the verses and the tune has a nice dreamy feel to it.

4. Almost Like Love. 1/10 A nice drum intro that leads us into a bad song. It also has latter day Genesis-like horns. Execrable.

5. Love Will Find a Way. 3/10 A very bland song. A Rabin penned mid-tempoed song about love finding a way.

6. Final Eyes. 5/10 A Rabin era Yes attempt at a new "And You And I." Not even close. No terrible but did not age well.

7. I'm Running 1/10 I don't even know what to say here. The longest song on the album is also the worst. The musicianship is there but it has terrible Caribbean feel to it. Yikes!!

8. Holy Lamb. 5/10 Here Jon Anderson sounds like he is in his element...vocally. Singing about the harmonic convergence. I have always felt that the song wasn't finished and it probably wasn't.

So unfortunately, Big Generator was pretty much an artistic failure. As it turn out it was commercially as well. Consequently all of this led to Anderson leaving and forming ABWH (Be gone you ever piercing power play machine, cutting our musical solidarity...I am out of thee with a vengeance!)

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 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 1995 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Quinino

5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #22
How can I do justice to the favorite album of my favorite band?
How can one describe music with words?
How come art and beauty are so elusive?

Global Appraisal

The dinossauric dimension of this record is undeniable and I think that was/can be frightful for those less corageous in their musical adventures. Fortunately that wasn't my case and since the day I ventured at this trip I have for years and years re-listened to the album always with unfailing pleasure.

Progressive rock at its utmost creative and inventive form coming from a gathering of exceptional musicians which attain individually and collectively their respective Opus Magnum - really, what else do you want?

Goodies

R. Wakeman expansive but at the same time contained keyboard playing, an apparent contradiction to translate my sense that he for once manages to reach (with flying colors) that difficult equilibrium between vigorous expression and good taste (so often lost on his solo works).

The singing, the singing...
J. Anderson in top form, period.

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 Keystudio by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.54 | 446 ratings

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Keystudio
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After their "Talk" album and tour from 1994, both Tony Kaye and Trevor Rabin left the band in mid 1995. Billy Sherwood also have been working with the band in the 1994 tour as an additional guitarist, keyboard player and backing singer (and also playing a bit of bass guitar along with Chris Squire in the "Talk" title track in concert), and also in previous years in the recording studio without him still being an official member of the band. But it seems that by mid 1995 with the lack of enough success from the "Talk" album and tour, the band was planning to do other things, and both Kaye and Rabin left the band. It also seems that by mid 1995 they had an offer from a record label to reform the "classic" line-up of the band from the seventies, as , if I remember well, Chris Squire said in one interview. So, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Alan White were joined in the band again by Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. It also seems that Wakeman due to his solo career commitments was not available to work with the band full time. Anyway, the band started in late 1995 to write new songs, to rehearse them and to record them with the aim to release a new studio album. Wakeman's absences are more clear to me in some songs, with his keyboards sounding more like being overdubbed in the finished songs (in "Be the One" and "That Is, That Is"), but his work with the band maybe started to be more frequent in the rest of the songs (in some of which he also had some songwriting credits).

The band also planned to rehearse old songs for three concerts to be played at the Fremont Thearte in San Luis Obispo, California, in early March 1996. The concerts also were recorded and filmed. But the plans for the studio recordings changed, because they were combined with the live recordings from San Luis Obispo to be released in two double CD albums: "Keys to Ascension" and "Keys to Ascension 2", which were released in late 1996 and late 1997, respectively, with also the release of a DVD titled "Keys to Ascension" . In both albums and the DVD the band released all the songs they played at the concerts (with the best versions of the songs being chosen to be released). In the "Keys to Ascension" album they included the "Be The One" and "That Is, That Is" studio recordings, and in the "Keys to Ascension 2" they included the rest of the studio recordings ("Foot Prints", "Mind Drive", "Bring Me To The Power", "Sign Language" and "Children Of Light"). But it seems that the band started having some problems with the management by mid 1997, with a tour being planned, and with Wakeman not very happy with the way the new studio recordings were treated, being released more as "bonus studio tracks" to the live recordings. Also, the new tour dates were planned without consulting him, and this caused some problems between him and the band and the management, with him finally leaving the band again. So, the band canceled the proposed tour dates, and Billy Sherwood mixed the rest of the studio recordings to be released in the "Keys of Ascension 2" album in late 1997. Also the band changed management and record label and found themselves without a keyboard player and with the new management and record label wanting another new studio album from them in a very short time. So, Sherwood (who have been working with Squire writing some songs for a planned duet album) was finally asked to join the band as a full time member, and this led to the recording of the "Open Your Eyes" album (but that is another history!).

I don't know who had the idea to release the 1995-1996 studio recordings together in an album. But this finally happened in 2001, with this "Keystudio" album. I have to say that because I previously have bought both "Keys to Ascension" albums I never bought this "Keystudio" album. But the only difference that exist in these studio recordings is the inclusion of a previously cut keyboards introduction to "Children of Light", of an almost one minute in lenght, being composed and played by Wakeman. This keyboards introduction sounds well, almost in a "spectacular" way and maybe sounding a bit similar to Vangelis's music. So, with this keyboard introduction the title of the song was changed for the "Keystudio" album from "Children of Light" to "Children of the Light". This song also has other minor changes in editing, but it is almost the same song.

I think that it was a good idea to finally release all these studio recordings together in one CD, as it was originally planned. All the songs are very good, very Progressive, with the band sounding very well. For me the best songs are "Be The One", "Mind Drive", "Sign Language" and "Children of the Light". "That Is, That Is" sounds to me like being influenced a bit by New Age music and it also sounds a bit fragmented.

It seems that this album is now out of print.

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 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 1995 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by MyDarling95

3 stars This will be hard. Yes really wanted to create something big now, but it didn't go as good as Yes could go. Some of the parts of the album sound like badly improvised. Like they wanted to do just long pieces and ran out of ideas. They clearly tried to handle more than they could, and having said this, yes, I agree that this is excesive. But not everything is wrong, well, half way. While I think two of the songs of this album are two of the best Yes' songs, I feel that the other two are two of their worst songs (and you know exactly the songs I'm refering to). The Revealing Science Of God is one of the better tracks. It simply has all the spirit of Yes, you know, nice vocals, nice guitars, nice keys, and hey we got Alan White now! Ritual is the other better track. This one resembles a lot of things from the past songs, and once again we got a powerful composition of pure symph prog, and that middle part with the experimental drums just bangs my head. But there is a reason of why this album is not as highly regarded as the others. Well, there are two reasons actually. The Remembering is absolutley dreadful! I'm sorry, but this song just doesn't fit on Yes' excellence. There are a LOT of repeated sections, the atmosphere they intended to create ("a much lighter, folky sound of Yes", as told by Steve Howe) sounds more like a dull and boring side of Yes. The only remarkable thing from this song is that from the lyrics they took the name for their next album (Relayer!). But The Ancient is still worse in my opinion. It is the less creative song in here, and it doesn't flow nice for me. They intended to make this one as a kind of fusion of electronic with symphonic, but my, this one is awful really! If this record only consisted of side A and B, it would have easily been another 5 star album (but not better than CTTE). But man I really can't stand side B and C as I wish I could. But hey, life is hard, everybody makes mistakes. I'm giving this one 2.5 stars rounded to 3 because the band really mended this one with Relayer, that would be a gargantuan improvement, and also my all-time favorite Yes album.

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 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 2450 ratings

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Relayer
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nº 32

"Relayer" is my fourth review of a Yes' album. When I reviewed their sixth studio album "Tales From Topographic Oceans" of 1973, I wrote that when it was released, the reactions were divided between fans, critics, and even inside the band members. The band member that most criticised the album was Rick Wakeman. That even forced him to leave the group. On the other hand, Bill Bruford was invited to join King Crimson, to replace Ian Wallace on drums. He accepted. In reality, King Crimson makes a type of music much closer to what he always wanted to do.

So, the line up on "Relayer" is a bit different of the line up on "Tales From Topographic Oceans". The line up on "Relayer" is Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Steve Howe (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars), Chris Squire (vocals and bass guitar), Patrick Moraz (keyboards) and Alan White (drums and percussion). The new keyboardist of the band, Moraz, left Refugee, a progressive band which was formed by him in 1973 with Lee Jackson and Brian Davidson. Both, Jackson and Davidson, had previously worked with Keith Emerson on The Nice, before he have left the group to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. White was a drummer who had worked before with John Lennon and George Harrison, and when he was touring with Joe Cocker, he was invited to join Yes, which he accepted immediately.

"Relayer" is their seventh studio album and was recorded at Squire's home, mixed and released at the Advision Studios in London, in Autumn of 1974, and was produced by Yes and Eddie Offord. The album has three tracks, and all the tracks were written by the group. The first track "The Gates Of Delirium" is the lengthiest track on the album and it's also one of the biggest tracks ever made by the group. It was inspired by the Leo Tolstoy's famous romance, "War And Peace". We can divide this theme into two parts. In the first part, the song begins with a kind of a prelude of a battle, which leads us into a musical section that represents the different stages of the battle. However, Anderson described it as a war song with a battle scene, but he doesn't explain or denounce particularly what was the battle. The second part entitled "Soon", was released as a single in 1975, and represents the aftermath of the battle. The lyrics are about the futility of war, and this is one of the most aggressive musics of the group, musically and lyrically. This is a perfect epic theme, made by the band. In my humble opinion, "The Gates Of Delirium" is with "Close To The Edge" the two greatest masterpieces composed by the band. The second track "Sound Chaser" is a more experimental track, with great influence of jazz, probably due to Moraz's influence. He is a pianist with a classical musical education, but he suffers from a major jazz influence, than Wakeman suffers. This theme contains some diverse improvisations by the individual band members, and all play an individual musical part on the track, which makes to the music a more difficult implementation. This is clearly and undoubtedly, the most frenetic and aggressive track ever made by Yes. The third track "To Be Over" is the most calm and melodic song of the album. It seems that the peace arrived after the storm. This theme has soft keyboard arrangements, accompanied with a pedal steel guitar, also used on the first track, and an electric sitar. Both instruments are played by Howe. It's a beautiful ballad, very soft and emotional, and represents another masterwork by Howe. It represents the perfect end to an excellent and perfect album.

The art cover on "Relayer" was, once more, featured by Roger Dean, the artist responsible for the most of the album's covers of the group. This is probably my favourite album's cover of him, ever.

The critic's reactions to this musical work were divided. Some said that the band was lost, and they were without inspiration and creativity. But others said that this was a truly masterpiece, and that probably this was the best album ever made by the group. Anyway, being or not their best work, commercially speaking, the album was a great success, reaching gold, and entering in the British and American charts.

Conclusion: For me, "Relayer" is the second best studio musical work of Yes, soon after their fifth studio album "Close To The Edge" released in 1972. The "Relayer's" sound, is without any doubt quite different from what the band had already produced before, creating new atmospheres, with instrumentation and musical performances extremely complexes, dramatics and realistic lyrics. And it's definitely more influenced by jazz. Sincerely, I think on "Relayer" we can clearly see the new musical influences in the group, essentially brought by the new band's keyboardist. We can say that "Relayer" is a product of Yes, in a transition musical phase. The final result was a tour- de-force album, by this legendary group. They moved into a different direction from their epic, "Tales From Topographic Oceans". Definitely, if you don't have it yet, you must buy it soon. This masterpiece must should be part of your musical collection.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 Yes by YES album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.24 | 1049 ratings

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Yes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Replayer

3 stars Yes' eponymous debut album is a competent one and already lays the foundation of the band's future progressive sound. The music is strongly influenced by the Beatles and psychedelic rock. Aside from Bill Bruford's co-writing credit on Harold Land, Jon Anderson and Chris Squire are the only band members who write original songs. Though Peter Banks and Tony Kaye would be overshadowed by their future replacements, they both do a fine job on guitar and keys, respectively.

Beyond and Before is a strong opener and my favorite song on the album. It is one of the album's most uptempo numbers and the entire band is in excellent form, with outstanding performances by Squire and Banks. Its rather abstract and psychedelic-tingedlyrics are a taste of things to come on future Yes albums.

Clocking at almost seven minutes, the second song is the album's longest track, a jazzy cover of the Byrds' I See You, which I prefer to the original. I really enjoy Bruford's drumming here and Peter Banks also has competent, but restrained, jazzy solo passages. The band expands on the song, making it more than twice as long, and leaves its mark on it. The album contains an additional cover, the Beatles' Every Little Thing. This song is also reworked and expanded, with two minute-long progressive introduction, with fantastic playing by Squire, Banks and Bruford.

Yesterday and Today has a pastoral mood. The song features a different instrumentation than the rest of the album: Tony Kaye plays piano, Bruford plays vibraphone, and Banks mainly plays acoustic guitar. The wistful mood and title remind me of The Beatles' Yesterday.

Looking Around gives Kaye a chance to shine, as this is an up-tempo organ-driven song. Harold Land features good progressive introduction and excellent vocal harmonies. Sweetness is another laid back number. I like Squire's wah-wah effect and Bank's cello-like guitar tone. They both also provide good harmony vocals. Survival is another mini-epic, with wah-wah bass and cello-guitar. It also starts the band's tradition of Anderson singing harmony with himself.

I wouldn't call the album strictly necessary but I think it's very worthwhile for those interested in how the band's sound evolved over the course of just a couple of years. There are no weak songs here and musicianship is very good throughout.

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 Fragile by YES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.43 | 2846 ratings

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Fragile
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 30

"Fragile" is the fourth studio album of Yes and was released in 1971. However, it was only released in US, two months later, due to the chart momentum of their previous third studio album, "The Yes Album" released in the same year. It was the first album from the band, to feature the art cover of Roger Dean, which would become an emblematic artist in the progressive rock music. The album reached number 7 in England and number 4 in America.

The line up on "Fragile" is Jon Anderson (lead and backing vocals), Steve Howe (backing vocals, electric and acoustic guitars), Rick Wakeman (Hammond organ, grand piano, RMI 368 Electra piano and harpsichord, mellotron and Moog synthesizer), Chris Squire (backing vocals, bass guitars and electric guitar) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). It's the first Yes album with Wakeman, who left Strawbs after their third studio album "From The Witchwood". The previous Yes former keyboardist was Tony Kaye who left the band in 1971. He joined to the ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks, on the group Flash. Probably, this is the best line up of Yes, which is connected to some of their best albums.

"Fragile" has nine tracks. I'm going to divide the album's tracks into two distinct parts. The four tracks composed, arranged and performed by the band and the five tracks which are individual ideas, composed, arranged and organized by all five members of the group, individually. I'm going to appreciate them with a different attention.

The Yes' tracks are: The first track "Roundabout" written by Anderson and Howe became one of the best known tracks of Yes and one of the most played live by the band, with several versions, on diverse live albums. An edited version was released as the A side on a single, with "Long Distance Runaround" as the B side. It represents the result of the new, collective and more inventive sound of the group, never heard before, and shows the musical power of Yes. The fourth track "South Side Of The Sky" written by Anderson and Squire is another great composition with superb harmonies. This and "Roundabout" are two of the most powerful songs on the album. I want to draw your attention, for those who don't know yet, that there is a new version of the song released by Glass Hammer, which opens their ninth studio album "Culture Of Ascent" released in 2007. This album has also the participation of Anderson on vocals. In my humble opinion, Glass Hammer is a very interesting band, and this new version and the album itself, are really very good. The sixth track "Long Distance Runaround" written by Anderson is the smallest track of the band's songs. It's perhaps, the most charming of all "Fragile's" songs, with Anderson singing, while Howe's guitar and Wakeman's keyboards, noodle beautifully together in the mix. The ninth track "Heart Of The Sunrise" written by Anderson, Squire and Bruford, is the last band's song. It became as also one of the best and most popular songs to be played live by the group. This is the best track on the album and it binds together the gentle and bombastic musical atmosphere and the fiery technicality that are portrayed on the album. It also shows several aspects of Anderson's great vocal abilities.

The remaining five tracks are the individual songs of all band's members. The second track "Cans And Brahams" is an adaptation by Wakeman, containing extracts of the Brahams' 4th Symphony. The third track "We Have Heaven" is a personal idea of Anderson. The fifth track "Five Per Cent For Nothing" is the Bruford's track written on his usual percussive line. The seventh track "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" is the Squire experience, where he uses the different sounds on his bass guitar. Finally, the eighth track "Mood For A Day" is a classical piece of music, played on an acoustic guitar, and represents the Howe's personal moment on the album.

Conclusion: "Fragile" isn't clearly a uniform musical effort made by the group. The band's tracks "Roundabout", "South Side Of The Sky" and "Heart Of The Sunrise" are all excellent and deserve to be rated as three masterpieces. The band's track "Long Distance Runaround" is also an excellent track, but without quality enough to be comparable with the other three tracks. About the individual five tracks, sincerely I think they're in general uninteresting. With the exception of "Cans And Brahms", which is an interesting piece of classical music and "Mood For A Day", which is a good piece of acoustic guitar music, all the others three tracks are disconnected and don't deserve make part of this album. "Fragile" was completed in less than two months, especially because they needed a new album to pay all the new Wakeman's equipment. Probably, this was the main reason, why the group created individual songs to release the album as soon as possible. In my humble opinion, "Fragile" is an unbalanced album, and is far away from the quality level of "Close To Edge". Sincerely, I even think that "The Yes Album" has better and timeless compositions. But "Fragile", only because the band's songs, is a more adventurous album which defined their sound, for years to come.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 Time and a Word by YES album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.28 | 1101 ratings

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Time and a Word
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by martindavey87

1 stars I'm a big fan of Yes, and over the years they have released some incredible music which has placed them, rightfully so, on the throne of progressive rock. So it's with sadness that I have to confess to not liking their earlier material at all. The primitive, dated-sounding production doesn't help much, but overall I just find the songs to be dull and boring, the complete opposite of Yes' later material which is vibrant and exciting.

Though there are one or two decent moments on this album, there really is nothing here for me to go back to. In fact, just saying "decent moments" really means "trying to find at least something memorable". I doubt I'll listen to them again.

A lot of diehard prog fans will likely find this to be blasphemous, but this album can only get one star from me. I'll never get rid of it because it's Yes and it belongs in my collection, but I can honestly say I don't think I'll ever listen to this album again.

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