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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


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$11.00
$13.85 (used)
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two (2CD)Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two (2CD)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2015
Audio CD$10.97
$10.96 (used)
Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two (14CD Deluxe Box)Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two (14CD Deluxe Box)
Box set
Atlantic Catalog Group 2015
Audio CD$62.62
$87.38 (used)
Yes AlbumYes Album
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$3.86
$1.24 (used)
FragileFragile
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$4.34
$2.54 (used)
Close to the EdgeClose to the Edge
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$4.83
$3.11 (used)
9012590125
Elektra / Wea 2004
Audio CD$3.93
$0.83 (used)
Heaven & EarthHeaven & Earth
Frontiers Music Srl 2014
Audio CD$3.75
$4.96 (used)
Tales From Topographic OceansTales From Topographic Oceans
Rhino/Elektra 2003
Audio CD$8.75
$5.99 (used)
RelayerRelayer
Remastered · Extra tracks
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$3.86
$3.85 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
YES CLOSE TO THE EDGE JAPAN AUTHENTIC SHM MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT WPCR-13516 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 29m 34s
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 29m 35s
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YES BIG GENERATOR CASSETTE TAPE ALBUM S6 USD $3.10 Buy It Now 35m 18s
Yes Fragile Vinyl LP Record SD 7211 Monarch Pressing George Piros - Roundabout USD $22.99 Buy It Now 37m 16s
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Yes Close To The Edge Vinyl LP Record Piros USD $29.99 Buy It Now 44m 31s
Yes I Am by Melissa Etheridge (CD, Sep-1993, Island (Label)) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 52m 3s
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Yes- Yesterdays LP 1974 Atlantic Prog Rock VG+ USD $7.99 Buy It Now 56m 7s
SEALED YES: 9012 Live The Solos LP ATCO RECORDS 7904741Y US 1985  USD $14.85 Buy It Now 56m 44s
Yes Close To The Edge Vinyl LP Atlantic Records SD 7244 w/Gatefold Cover USD $4.00 [0 bids]
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YES shows & tickets


  • Yes + Toto at Pier Six Concert Pavilion, Baltimore, MD on 12 Aug 2015
  • YES & Toto on 15 Aug 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater on 23 Aug 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands, TX on 25 Aug 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Majestic Theatre San Antonio, San Antonio on 26 Aug 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie on 27 Aug 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, Littleton, CO on 30 Aug 2015
  • Yes + Toto + Patrick Sieben at Greek Theatre, Los Angeles on 6 Sep 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA on 11 Sep 2015
  • Yes + Toto at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, Coquitlam on 12 Sep 2015
  • Yes on 14 Sep 2015
  • Cruise To The Edge 2015 on 15 Nov 2015
  • YES on 2 May 2016
  • Yes at Sheffield City Hall, Sheffield on 3 May 2016
  • Yes at l'Olympia, Paris on 13 May 2016
  • Yes: Fragile & Drama on 14 May 2016
  • Yes: Fragile & Drama on 15 May 2016
  • Yes - playing Fragile & Drama on 21 May 2016
  • Yes at Volkshaus, Zurich on 27 May 2016

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)

3.26 | 995 ratings
Yes
1969
3.28 | 1038 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.29 | 2168 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.43 | 2700 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.65 | 3476 ratings
Close To The Edge
1972
3.88 | 1896 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
1973
4.36 | 2337 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.04 | 1544 ratings
Going for the One
1977
2.95 | 1175 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.76 | 1281 ratings
Drama
1980
2.94 | 1202 ratings
90125
1983
2.48 | 868 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.49 | 806 ratings
Union
1991
3.05 | 725 ratings
Talk
1994
2.04 | 633 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.28 | 757 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.75 | 866 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.41 | 864 ratings
Fly From Here
2011
2.45 | 369 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014

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

4.29 | 748 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.61 | 381 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.24 | 192 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
1985
4.11 | 401 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.95 | 374 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.54 | 116 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
1997
3.59 | 173 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 | 142 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.22 | 239 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
4.52 | 109 ratings
Keys To Ascension (I & II + DVD)
2010
3.35 | 26 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2011
3.57 | 108 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
2011
3.54 | 37 ratings
Union Live
2011
2.87 | 29 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014
4.53 | 27 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
2015
3.93 | 10 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
2015

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

3.63 | 143 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.14 | 83 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.10 | 76 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
1991
3.68 | 35 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.89 | 44 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
1999
3.58 | 101 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.66 | 108 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.59 | 272 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.08 | 61 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.34 | 71 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.12 | 32 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.55 | 76 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.28 | 141 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.41 | 59 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.30 | 53 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.62 | 52 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.92 | 115 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.82 | 42 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.83 | 38 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.17 | 27 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.89 | 51 ratings
Union - Live
2010
3.00 | 1 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971
2013

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
2 Originals Of Yes
1973
3.12 | 185 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.80 | 150 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.24 | 100 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.42 | 65 ratings
Yesstory
1992
3.04 | 65 ratings
Highlights: 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
4.26 | 105 ratings
In A Word
2002
3.19 | 88 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.14 | 57 ratings
Remixes
2003
2.49 | 23 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
3.22 | 126 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
4.00 | 23 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
3.48 | 18 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008
4.18 | 15 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
2015

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

4.28 | 22 ratings
Something's Coming
1969
3.45 | 14 ratings
Looking Around
1969
2.81 | 26 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
3.26 | 14 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.38 | 32 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
3.92 | 39 ratings
Your Move
1971
4.00 | 4 ratings
Roundabout
1972
4.57 | 7 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
2.78 | 40 ratings
America
1972
4.57 | 7 ratings
And You And I
1974
2.61 | 8 ratings
Soon
1976
3.21 | 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
4.00 | 6 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
2.61 | 44 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
1978
2.93 | 32 ratings
Into The Lens
1980
4.19 | 36 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.32 | 37 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.08 | 39 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1983
2.66 | 33 ratings
Leave It
1984
2.83 | 20 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
3.07 | 30 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.17 | 4 ratings
Rhythm Of Love
1987
2.91 | 26 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
1987
2.23 | 35 ratings
Rhythm Of Love (2)
1987
3.29 | 19 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.50 | 37 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1991
2.24 | 6 ratings
Lift Me Up
1991
2.67 | 17 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.52 | 10 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.63 | 21 ratings
The Calling
1994
2.81 | 69 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
2005
3.04 | 58 ratings
We Can Fly
2011

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two by YES album cover Live, 2015
4.53 | 27 ratings

BUY
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Fido73

5 stars A must !! If you where ever in doubt about this box set, don't be, this is the best live representation of a band at their peak. But 7 shows with the same setlist? really?!? Yep! 7 shows with the same setlist. But, with not the same atmosphere each night, not the same intensity and playing in each song, also you have all the original banter between each songs. Just for the gasp from the audience when Close To The Edge start, is enough to grant a buy. And also, it sound 100% better than Yessong. If your a true Yes fan, and you don't own it, what are you waiting for?!? If you like Yes, but not enough to spend 90$ on a live box set, you can still buy the 2 disc version, a highlight from the 7 shows on the box set. Finally a box set that truly, is taylor made for the longtime Yes fan that I am. Nothing less that 5 stars, a masterpiece, live box set, of progressive rock music.

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 Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two by YES album cover Live, 2015
4.53 | 27 ratings

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Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by CassandraLeo

5 stars The question looming over everyone's heads when this box set was released was no doubt: Does anyone really need seven additional versions of these ten songs? The answer turns out to be an unequivocal yes. Despite the recent departure of Bill Bruford, Yes were unquestionably on a musical peak when these shows were recorded, with many of the songs exceeding the quality of the studio versions in every version here ("Yours Is No Disgrace" stands out), and the performances actually vary significantly from night to night, and in some cases, radically; for example, Howe's solo set sometimes bookends "Mood for a Day" with excerpts of "Clap", and sometimes plays one before the other. The band also delves into improvisation at times, with "Yours Is No Disgrace" almost doubling in length in the Nassau performance. Rhino also has to be commended for doing a superb job with the packaging; there are liberal doses of Roger Dean artwork and extensive essays from Syd Schwarz and Brian Kehew on the background of the recordings and the technical process behind the remastering of the material, respectively. It should finally be mentioned that the sound quality is superb. There have never been better- sounding live recordings of this material, and Rhino's engineers wisely avoided subjecting the material to any "loudness war" shenanigans. This music sounds as clear as if you were in the audience. This set is strongly recommended, and will undoubtedly be a future classic of prog music.

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 Drama by YES album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.76 | 1281 ratings

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Drama
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Yes is one of my favorite bands. At their best the group is incomparable. At their worst, well, they're also incomparable. With that in mind, I held off exploring Drama for years because of two reasons: first, it came out in the '80's, at the tail end of what I consider to be band's weakest albums (Tormato), and second, it doesn't feature Anderson on vocals.

I am very very happy I finally decided listen to Drama. Not only are my assumptions wrong - it's actually one of the band's best albums. It is short, high-energy, precise, creative, and very artistic. There is more feeling and excitement on these all- too-brief 36 minutes of music that can be heard on the band's entire 90's catalog. Every song is a winner and probably belong on the Yes highlight reel. Considering it was made more than 30 years ago, it sounds very polished and modern. It's a great example of Yes blending melodic pop with their ambitious song structures and instrumentals. A lot of this is thanks to the keyboards of Downes, who fills the album with sound and yet somehow manages to feel understated and classy. This is a big change to most albums with Wakeman, whose overwhelming sound came across as comical and contrived.

Trevor Horn's vocals are outstanding. He sings in the same register as Anderson but with a somewhat more mellow feel. I love Anderson but feel that his presence isn't missed on this album. The lyrics may not be as wonderfully cryptic as the band's peak output, but they are still memorable.

Drama is probably one of the best prog albums of the '80's, at least by a "classic" prog-rock group, and definitely belongs in every Yes fans' library.

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

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 Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre by YES album cover Live, 2015
3.93 | 10 ratings

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Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars This is the suite of the Yes live at the Bristol Hippodrome of last year, recorded this time in Arizona, August 2014. It represents something special, because it's the last Chris Squire presence on a DVD release. They could have put those two shows on 1 Blu-Ray since it's only 1 hour and a half each show, or at least gives us a complete concert with the encore. The visuals have more importance on this one than on the previous DVD that had a poor light show. The camera angles gives us a better view of the whole stage. In the first minutes of "Close to the Edge", the video and the audio are not synced up correctly for a few seconds. But the stereo mix is fine with each instruments clearly heard. I can't help myself to have a closer look at Chris Squire who was looking like at any other shows with his finger and leg in the air, and thinking that there's no justice when someone is hit by a disease that led him to the inevitable in only one month. I surprised myself enjoying again the song "Roundabout" again after so many years with the unique Steve Howe guitar sound that i always enjoy. In the song "Cans and Brahms", Downes has to put his glasses on to read the notes.After the two shorts songs, "South Side of the Sky" that the band brought back about ten years ago is that nice little epic song that display some piano lines that could be perceive like a metaphor for someone climbing a mountain. I forgot about that little instrumental piece "5% for Nothing" that doesn't sound like Yes. It is in fact a Billl Bruford contribution and a joke on the music business. And how appropriate to see near the end of the show the song "Fish" with the unique solo and huge bass sound of Squire. I could not imagine Billy Sherwood replicate this in the future. For me this is a more enjoyable release than the Bristol show, and i am sure that many Yes fans will want this to complete their collection

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 Big Generator by YES album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.48 | 868 ratings

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Big Generator
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars BIG GENERATOR is definitely the point where YES jumped the shark. I can honestly say i love 90125 as much as many of YES' catalogue beginning with the first album to that very one, but on this one it is clear that the great decline has begun. Not saying there weren't some good albums after this but it was never quite the same. Having said all that, i actually like BIG GENERATOR and despite it being a substandard album for one of the best bands ever to grace the planet, it is nevertheless a decent listen.

Part of the decline stems from the fact that the progressive pop era of YES which was supposed to be a new supergroup called Cinema had dropped some of the progressiveness that 90125 had. The sound went a little bit more towards the new wave and pop sound and despite the huge hit they had with 90125 they decided it was a good idea to distance themselves from it. Were they convinced at this point that ANYTHING progressive was lethal? Who knows but it probably is more a result of a group of talented individuals just going through the motions having displayed their utmost chemistry together and now just having to fulfill a contract.

Still though this is YES and even though this is not in the top ranking of their output they are quite talented in crafting clever, catchy and interesting pop songs. Upon my first experience i found a few tracks on here very good such as the total pop sellouts "Love Will Find Away" and "Rhythm Of Love" as well as the title track and the excellent "Shoot High Aim Low" which takes a political stance regarding the horrific illegal wars of the US in Nicaragua. It is a fairly lengthy song for this phase of YES and it has a very subdued melancholic sound.

Many tracks on BIG GENERATOR sound rather new wave but nothing on this one sounds as original and unique as 90125. Despite the pop sounds reigning on this one, there are some moments of past glory. "Final Eyes" has some hippy dippy "And You And I" acoustic guitars going and "I'm Running" has some cool proggy time sigs and instrumental prowess despite its calypso type of island feel at the beginning.

This is a decent album despite being a major step down from anything YES had previously done. I actually don't mind listening to this on occasion. Yeah, i know. This is not what anybody wanted to hear from their favorite supergroup in prog history but this isn't really a YES album. Maybe there should be a human rights law at the UN that mandates anytime a band loses a certain percentage of its members it should be required by law to change its name. Couldn't they have called this era of their career MAYBE? Ugh. It is what it is. Not their best but certainly not their worst.

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 Keys to Ascension  by YES album cover Live, 1996
4.11 | 401 ratings

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Keys to Ascension
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In Memory of Chris Squire....You will be missed

The dream line-up of Yes was back once again (minus Bruford, but White is a great drummer, so we can easily overlook that). They came together to do a 3 night series of concerts in San Luis Obispo, California to demonstrate the miracle of performing some of their most challenging and epic songs in a live setting. However, there was a lot of overdubbing involved from the studio to make things more consistent, especially with Jon's vocals. The thing though, is that there is some extension to some of the songs, especially with "Starship Trooper" that make purchasing this set worthwhile. Of course, the entire set is not on these two discs, some other tracks were saved for a second volume. Yes includes 7 live tracks and 2 new studio tracks on this album. So you get some excellent live versions and 2 new songs with this amazing lineup.

"Siberian Khatru" is from the "Close to the Edge" album and it is a pretty faithful rendition with a few additions. "The Revealing Science of God" is from "Tales of Topographic Oceans" and is amazing to hear both of these extensive tracks in a live setting, it's so amazing to hear this music or even imagine the band being able to perform these tracks live so well. Plus, there is the fact that the sound is soooo much better on here than it was on "Yessongs" or "Yesshows" and so it is a much better document of a live performance, even as wonderful as "Yessongs" is.

"America" is so much better that the studio version recorded in the 70s. This cover song of a Simon and Garfunkel classic was never released on any studio album, so to hear it performed live like this is quite amazing. But it is done so much better. I always considered the original cover a little weak and unsure, but this live performance gives the Yes version the sound and execution it deserves. If that isn't enough to convince you to get this album, then the versions of "Onward" from "Tormato" and "Awaken" from "Going for the One" should be. "Onward" is done so beautifully here. I never noticed it much before, probably because of the fact that it was on one of Yes' worst albums, but here it is paired with a lovely number written by Howe, and it turns the so-so song into something quite beautiful. And then "Awaken" will send chills up your spine because it is performed so well here, especially Wakeman's organ solo.

On Disc 2, "Roundabout" of course shows up and it is a decent enough version, at least it is the full version and not a cut up version which was the practice for a lot of Yes live albums (Including "The House of Blues" concert which frustrates me to no end that they would do a shortened version of that in a live setting). But "Starship Trooper" is the best version of this song altogether. I love the original studio version, don't get me wrong, but, this version extends the "Wurm" segment much longer, where on the studio version it fades just as what sounds like an amazing guitar solo starts up. In this version, after the build up that occurs with Howe's strumming, the song continues without fading. However, you expect Howe to perform that great guitar solo at the same place as in the studio version, but instead you get a great solo from Wakeman first, then the pay off is that guitar solo is finally fully realized. After that, Wakeman and Howe trade off back and forth with continued soloing. It is a Yes fans dream come true. This is worth the price of the album.

There are two long new tracks following this. They are both pretty good, "Be The One" is a nine minute 3 part song which is decent, but nothing real exciting. However, "That, That Is" is a 19+ minute epic that is excellent, very reminiscent of "Topographic Oceans" but more modern sounding.

Overall, this is an excellent album with only a few weaknesses, those being the first 2 tracks not really offering anything new and the 1st of the studio tracks being a little weak. The thing that make is worthwhile are the tracks "America", "Onward", "Starship Trooper" and "That, That Is" This still ends up being an excellent addition to any prog or Yes collection. 4 bright stars.

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 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 1896 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by LearsFool

2 stars In prog's classic era it was actually pretty hard to truly jump the shark, and actual pretention was few and far between. As such, there we have the first of the two great accomplishments of "Tales From Topographic Oceans".

The main factor in this is the half-baked concept Jon Anderson cooked up. The story goes that at Bill Bruford's wedding reception, the Yes and King Crimson line-ups of the time both attended in good terms - by this point Bruford had already joined Crimson. Jon started talking with Jamie Muir, who was already planning on running off to that monastery, and Muir introduced Jon to Paramahansa Yogananda's classic "Autobiography of a Yogi". While touring Japan, he immersed himself in the tome, focusing on a footnote about the classes of Hindu scriptures. Suddenly, he wanted to make an album inspired by this. It apparently didn't matter to him that he'd never read a word of the holy writings. His ignorance should be obvious due to the fact that this concept of his is only reflected in the track titles; as usual, he based his lyricism on making his voice an instrument, not a storyteller. Already a strike when you're making a blasted concept album, but furthermore, whereas it worked so well before, often coming up with unique lines (remember the closing portion of "Close To The Edge"?) , it is just gibberish here, not even good enough to be glossolalia like the Cocteau Twins vocals. All in all, it's inadvertently about as offensive as any slanderous Chick Tract.

I think it's also important to note a few other things about the composing and recording process. Originally, Jon wanted to name the album "Tales From Tobographic Oceans" - yup, you read that right, Tobographic - inspired by Frank Hoyle's by then already widely discredited theories. He met over dinner with Phil Carson, then CEO of Atlantic, who noted that that word sounds similar to Topographic, and so Jon suddenly decided to change it. The band fought over where to record, with Jon wanting to record in the countryside, and Chris Squire and Steve Howe wanting to record in London. When they slunk into London's Morgan Studios, in search of their Ampex, Jon demanded pastoral trappings. White picket fences, keys resting on stacks of hay... and a model cow with electronic udders by a barn replica. Ozzy Osbourne could hardly believe his eyes when he peeked in during a break in the "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" sessions! Rick Wakeman, who originally went along with Jon's ideas and wish to record in a rural setting, became disenchanted, and, having exiled himself from most of the proceedings, helped Sabbath cut "Sabbra Cadabra", demanding payment only in beer. You can put two and two together there.

But, in spite of all this, in spite of the album being made up of sub-par playing that is mostly by turns boring, tedious, out of place, stuck in a rut, any number of bad words, there are highlights on two of the tracks. "The Revealing" had a wonderful run up, and Wakeman's synth theme is pretty. They drop the ball from there, but it's all in all a decent track. And "The Ancient", the crazy part of the record, you just have to respect. That's the truly forward thinking part of this double LP, and in an album where most of the themes are, again, out of place in relation to each other, the progressions here are insane enough to work. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Heck, rather than cut any part of any track, Yes could've gotten away with a single LP of just "The Revealing" and "The Ancient", and it would've been pretty good, excepting the atrocious, abortive concept.

Having said all that, instrumentally this is probably a three star record, with good, bad, ugly, and nutty, that some can enjoy a lot. But really, that concept just drags this down further. 2.5 stars, rounded down. The last thing I want to say is that, even with "The Ancient", there really is nothing here to "get". Really. The emperor has neither clothes, nor even a corporeal form.

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 90125 by YES album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.94 | 1202 ratings

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90125
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars After the experiment of "Drama," the first YES album that replaced Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman with members of The Buggles, the band did a whole tour but unfortunately Trevor Horn was unable to perform to the band's likings as far as sustaining the passable vocal abilities in the vein of Jon Anderson as heard on the album. The band decided perhaps the 70s meets 80s experiment had run out of steam and reluctantly called it day. The band known as YES officially ceased to exist after the end of the "Drama" tour. The plans of the members were to create new supergroups that would take elements of the YES era and incorporate them into the contemporary sounds of the early 80s. For progressive rocks lovers this was a tragedy. Commercially speaking, the then former members of YES would soon see some of their most economically beneficial music surpassing anything they had ever experienced.

While Steve Howe and Geoff Downes would go on to form Asia, Trevor Horn would go on to be a successful producer (starting with this one), Chris Squire and Alan White decided to create something new altogether. Originally they hooked up with Jimmy Page which didn't work out but the fruits of which ended up on Page's band The Firm's albums. Despite a lofty idea it was a no go and they had to recruit some new blood to the mix. They settled on Trevor Rabin who was somewhat successful in his native South Africa with a band called Rabbit and after a chance meeting with YES' original keyboardist Tony Kaye, Chris Squire rekindled musical ideas and invited him to play keyboards on the new project. This new super group was supposed to be called Cinema and was never intended to be a YES project at all. The final ingredient in the new group was unfilled: the vocalist. The disbanding of YES was totally amicable so when Squire played some of the new material to Jon Anderson, he really liked it and decided to sing on the new album. Someone thought it was a great idea to be under the YES moniker and thus the 11th YES album was born. Like it or not, YES released their most successful album with 90125 and even had a #1 single in "Owner Of A Lonely Heart." The title simply comes from the original Atco Records serial number of the original LP: 7-90215-1.

I would say that the success of this album is due to a mix of circumstances. First of all, the progressive pop tracks are all extremely catchy and well written as well as impeccably performed, but as we all know there is no reason any brilliant album should catch on to a larger audience without some sort of delivery to the larger public. Like many 70s bands of the day, YES was prescient enough to see the power of the video and when "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" caught on with a new generation of fans totally oblivious to the previous incarnations of YES, the video became a HUGE hit propelling the album to sell mass quantities to the chagrin of progressive rock snobs who only found the war of complexities to scratch their itch.

I absolutely adore this album. Not only was this the very first YES album i encountered, but it is one that stays with me over time. It was indeed my gateway drug to the affirmative one's unique style but was so well crafted and beautifully delivered that it holds a strong place in my musical world. While some early albums in my world are respected for their introductions to a band's discography, 90125 remains high on my personal list of albums simply because i enjoy the hell out of it. Not progressive enough? Gimme a break! This album may not take you to Saturn's rings like "Relayer" or "Tales From Topographic Oceans" but it is not meant to. This is an Earthly concoction of extremely well played progressively constructed ideas that find a more accessible rhythmic structure that fits nicely into the day and time but still sounds totally unique and is really unlike anything else not only released under the YES moniker but stands out from any other album ever released as well.

Personally i find the biggest hit "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" to be the weakest track on here and even so i still don't dislike it. This album is just filled to the brim with catchy progressive new wave and pop tracks. "Hold On," "It Can Happen," "Changes," "Leave It" and "Our Song" are simply just beautifully well crafted pop songs stuffed with progressiveness that doesn't feel forced or over contrived. The odd time signatures of "Changes" are particularly noteworthy of showing just how well this incarnation of the YES lineup could easily meld two seemingly opposite spectrums of the musical world together so brilliantly. I just cannot understand any negativity behind this one. Only the last couple of songs keep me from giving this a full five star rating. The difference between this and the most progressive of YES' albums is that like the previous couple albums, the melodies are the focus with the progressiveness being the icing instead of the cake, but on 90215 they really succeed in balancing these elements like a fifty foot stack of rocks on a river bed. Great music doesn't have to be based on a "complexer- than-thou" principle and 90125 is a wonderful example of just how satisfying well constructed songs that have recurring melodic themes can be.

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 Drama by YES album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.76 | 1281 ratings

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Drama
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars After the ho-hum response that divided YES fans on "Tormato," the pressures of being one of the biggest prog bands of the 70s had clearly taken its toll. The music was becoming more of a chore in keeping up with the current trends instead of making the music that inspired the band in the early 70s, so exit stage left both Jon Anderson AND Rick Wakeman (again). Ironically it was Anderson and Wakeman who were the most enthusiastic about making a new album after "Tormato" but when the creative juices failed to gel they split leaving the continuation of the band in question. I mean really. YES without Jon Anderson? Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White were having none of the band breaking up business and set out to figure out a way to keep it going. The ushering in of the 80s couldn't have been more different than a mere ten years earlier when progressive rock was just beginning to blossom. By this time heavy metal, disco and pop were in and even country was having a comeback.

As the YES destiny would have it, the remaining YES members serendipitously were recording in an adjacent studio of The Buggles members Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. The Buggles had become the cutting edge band in the new world of music of new wave and MTV and their famous track "Video Killed The Radio Star" was not only the very first video to ever appear on MTV but also hit #1 in the UK. Chris Squire happened to own their album, they all hit it off and the next thing everyone knew was a totally unforeseen new incarnation of YES. Ironically after two albums that eschewed the artistic album cover talents of Roger Dean, the new wave YES actually solicited his return to create an album cover for DRAMA, their 10th studio album. So Trevor Horn took up duties on vocals, a tall order indeed but despite not reaching the heights of the mighty Jon Anderson does a veritable mimicry that keeps the vocal ties to the past while allowing the music to go places no YES fan had ever anticipated.

Wow. What a trippy album this is. No, not trippy like whoa! this is so lysergic man! but trippy like whoa! this sounds like YES but it also sounds like lots of other things. This is one of those YES albums that really divides the fans. Some love it and some hate it. I happen to love it however i wholeheartedly concede that this does not come close to their streak of early 70s masterpieces which progressively rocked the world and changed the very fabric of space-time. This is different in every way. This is a one-shot exploration into a monstrous hybrid of old YES and contemporary influences with a healthy dose of 70s kickbacks as well. YES was humble in that it realized it needed to evolve into some new beast to be relevant. I totally admire this about them. For better or for worse, they were having none of the stuck-in-the-early-70s syndrome and found a new way to let their talents stand out.

The first track "Machine Messiah" actually reminds me of a slightly new wave version of Pink Floyd's "Welcome To The Machine." It has acoustic guitars and lyrics that totally bring that classic to mind, however Geoff Downes keyboards take it to a new level. A great way to start the album. After a 10:27 intro track the contrast slaps you in the face with the 1:21 "White Car," which is a strange little interlude of synth and vocals. "Does It Really Happen" has some classic Squire bass lines going on with some new wave guitar of Steve Howe. While Steve does his best to be modern on the guitar duties, it's actually his excellent lead guitar fills that keep this grounded to the classic YES sound since they are ever so unique and unequivocally YES sounding. This track has a "Blue Collar Man" feel from Styx on the keyboards. "Into The Lens" is another lengthy track that could rightfully qualify as progressive new wave. Nice bass line and staccato backups. For the longest time i only remembered this song under my own invented titled "I Am A Camera." Great instrumentation here and one of my favorite tracks on the album. "Run Through The Light" sounds to me like a Yes meets The Police track. Doesn't quite sound like Sting and company but very much drifts into their territory of the day. "Tempus Fugit" is a Latin phrase that means "time flies." My next favorite track. I love the bass line, the guitar and the lyrics which includes the band's name as an integral part of the chorus.

Another testament to the brilliant members of YES comes alive on DRAMA. While the album cover is a little weak compared to their others, i really dig the music on this one. I get an excellent musical enjoyment experience out of it but because of the fact that they are trying so hard to copy other sounds rather than creating them, it does not deserve the highest of honors that their earlier material does. DRAMA displays a band which was searching for new avenues in musical exploration and despite not taking the lead in coming up with new musical ideas, YES does an EXCELLENT interpretation of current trends while adding just enough classic touches to please the open-minded fan of their glory days. This may not be better than the output from 1970-74 but this is actually better than "Tormato" and almost anything that came out from the 90s on. In short, DRAMA is a delight that will please anyone who loves both YES at its progressive rock heyday and the better prog pop phase of the band.

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 90125 by YES album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.94 | 1202 ratings

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90125
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ComfortablyNumb

5 stars My first ever, and maybe only, written review comes after the death of the great Chris Squire. This album was the one that took me into Yes fandom. My late Uncle, who was heavily into prog, tried getting me into them with some of the earlier stuff, i.e., roundabout, starship trooper, etc.. I thought those songs were ok but they didn't make me a believer, or fan for that matter. I was more into heavier, more popular (gasp) music at the time. AC/DC, Van Halen, Zeppelin, Rush, so on, so on. This album tired out my turntable getting played many o' time. I loved it's heaviness, melodicness, lyrics, and the tightness of the band. For me this is a classic and a 5 star gem. I realize to the true diehard prog fan that it isn't "progressive" and is thought of more as a piece of sh*t. I tend to not look at music as "prog" or "not prog". To me if the music is enjoyable, has a wow factor, and is well performed then I'm in. I saw a video on rollingstone.com that pushed me to write this review. The band were playing "Owner of A Lonely Heart" live in concert. There was energy, cohesiveness, a rejuvenation it seemed. Most importantly though, there were smiles, and an overall feeling that they were happy and having fun with what they were doing. For me that's classic in itself, seeing those pro's letting go and having a great time playing for their fans, prog or not. I saw them on tour for 90125, one of the best shows I've ever seen. So, I ignore the rating guidelines for what should be deemed a masterpiece of progressive rock music and give, what my heart feels, 5 hardy stars for the album and the meaning it had for me and the band members who created it.

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