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Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom

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Yes biography
Active since 1968 with varying formations - Two major hiatus between 1981-1983 and 2004-2008

YES formed in London (UK) 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.

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Buy YES Music

90125 (Expanded & Remastered)90125 (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2004
$1.39 (used)
Atlantic 2011
$3.95 (used)
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (3CD, Digi-Pak)Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (3CD, Digi-Pak)
Elektra Catalog Group 2004
$6.82 (used)
Close To The Edge (Expanded & Remastered)Close To The Edge (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2003
$4.09 (used)
The Yes AlbumThe Yes Album
Panegyric 2014
$19.29 (used)
Fragile: Expanded / RemixedFragile: Expanded / Remixed
Panegyric 2015
$18.64 (used)
Going For The One (Expanded & Remastered)Going For The One (Expanded & Remastered)
Atlantic 2003
$3.92 (used)
Topographic Drama - Live Across America (2CD)Topographic Drama - Live Across America (2CD)
Rhino Records 2017
$17.00 (used)
Tales from Topographic OceansTales from Topographic Oceans
Rhino/Elektra 2003
$7.42 (used)
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YES discography

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

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

3.25 | 1208 ratings
3.29 | 1261 ratings
Time And A Word
4.29 | 2612 ratings
The Yes Album
4.44 | 3229 ratings
4.66 | 4088 ratings
Close To The Edge
3.89 | 2221 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
4.36 | 2788 ratings
4.03 | 1842 ratings
Going For The One
2.98 | 1393 ratings
3.77 | 1538 ratings
2.96 | 1435 ratings
2.50 | 1049 ratings
Big Generator
2.50 | 968 ratings
3.05 | 880 ratings
2.03 | 766 ratings
Open Your Eyes
3.27 | 902 ratings
The Ladder
3.75 | 1030 ratings
3.41 | 1022 ratings
Fly From Here
2.37 | 544 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2.55 | 20 ratings
Fly From Here - Return Trip

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

4.32 | 882 ratings
3.64 | 461 ratings
2.27 | 234 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
4.11 | 478 ratings
Keys to Ascension
3.96 | 447 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
2.58 | 134 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
3.59 | 202 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2.67 | 37 ratings
Extended Versions
2.91 | 34 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
3.85 | 169 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
4.22 | 280 ratings
Symphonic Live
4.48 | 152 ratings
Keys To Ascension (Full)
3.26 | 35 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
3.54 | 128 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
3.64 | 56 ratings
Union Live
2.78 | 53 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
4.21 | 68 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
3.35 | 57 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
3.60 | 28 ratings
Topographic Drama: Live Across America

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

3.66 | 165 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
3.18 | 97 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
4.12 | 85 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
3.67 | 39 ratings
The Union Tour Live
2.93 | 53 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
4.80 | 5 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
3.62 | 115 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
3.69 | 125 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
4.60 | 306 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
3.07 | 71 ratings
2.38 | 79 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
3.12 | 34 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
3.57 | 90 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
4.29 | 163 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
3.42 | 67 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
3.33 | 61 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
3.63 | 54 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
3.94 | 129 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
3.83 | 44 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
3.84 | 41 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
3.19 | 28 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
3.90 | 58 ratings
Union - Live
3.04 | 5 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971

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

3.48 | 10 ratings
2 Originals Of Yes
3.10 | 211 ratings
3.79 | 174 ratings
Classic Yes
3.27 | 111 ratings
3.46 | 74 ratings
3.02 | 73 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
2.56 | 32 ratings
The Best of Yes
3.55 | 462 ratings
2.71 | 22 ratings
4.29 | 119 ratings
In A Word
3.13 | 95 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2.13 | 63 ratings
2.52 | 23 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
3.24 | 139 ratings
The Word Is Live
3.88 | 24 ratings
Essentially Yes
3.52 | 18 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
5.00 | 2 ratings
Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes
4.06 | 42 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two

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

4.30 | 22 ratings
Something's Coming
3.45 | 15 ratings
Looking Around
2.82 | 27 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
3.33 | 18 ratings
Sweet Dreams
3.40 | 35 ratings
Time and a Word
3.44 | 45 ratings
Your Move
3.09 | 14 ratings
4.67 | 15 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
2.86 | 47 ratings
4.76 | 17 ratings
And You And I
2.83 | 15 ratings
3.24 | 38 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
2.40 | 15 ratings
Yes Solos
3.66 | 39 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
4.04 | 38 ratings
Going For The One 12''
4.20 | 11 ratings
Turn Of The Century
2.65 | 48 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
3.01 | 35 ratings
Into The Lens
4.23 | 43 ratings
2.35 | 41 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
2.15 | 44 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2.70 | 36 ratings
Leave It
2.82 | 21 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
3.09 | 32 ratings
It Can Happen
2.39 | 9 ratings
Rhythm Of Love
2.93 | 30 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
2.25 | 38 ratings
Rhythm Of Love (2)
3.33 | 20 ratings
Saving My Heart
2.56 | 40 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2.48 | 10 ratings
Lift Me Up
2.76 | 18 ratings
Make It Easy
2.60 | 11 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
2.58 | 24 ratings
The Calling
3.00 | 2 ratings
Lightning Strikes (She Ay ... Do Wa Bap)
2.82 | 71 ratings
2.08 | 5 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
3.04 | 61 ratings
We Can Fly

YES Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Topographic Drama: Live Across America by YES album cover Live, 2017
3.60 | 28 ratings

Topographic Drama: Live Across America
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by judahbenkenobi

2 stars I have never seen Yes live, being as I am on the wrong side of the planet. So I have to make do with live albums and DVD's. I truly enjoy the Yesshows and Symphonic Live performances, the first one for its fine selection of tracks and the latter for the fun the band and the orchestra seem to be having during most of the show.

That said, I was eager to listen to this recording: the first time I would listen to the complete TFTO album performed live AND the controversial but enjoyable Drama.

I must say I was overly disappointed, and much more than I was when I heard the Heaven and Earth CD! That album lacked power and meaningful melodies, but at least I felt like it could be forced and strained into the band's catalogue. Unlike it, I cannot feel Yes performing on this live album. Simply put, this concert lacks soul. And the soul of the band was Chris Squire. I endured most lineup changes, but losing Chris Squire meant the death of Yes for me. Although all of its current members have been involved in at least one Yes album, this sounds more like "A tribute to Yes featuring Yes members", a bland, boring, dull and unenergetic performance. And the death blow was when I found out TFTO wasn't even complete. A half of something will never be the whole thing.

I cannot say for sure if it's a completionists-only album or a fans-only, since I AM a fan and don't feel satisfied by it. But being one of my favorite bands, and having Roger Dean's artwork will make it earn its second star.

 Classic Yes by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1981
3.79 | 174 ratings

Classic Yes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 174

'Classic Yes' is a compilation of Yes and was released in 1981. Originally it was released as a single LP with a bonus 7 inch 33 1/3 RPM disc featuring live versions of 'Roundabout' and 'I've Seen All Good People' from 1978. However, this version was taken out of circulation in 2003. The Atlantic Records cassette tape has bonus tracks 'Roundabout' as the last selection on side one and 'I've Seen All Good People' as the last selection on side two. On the remastered CD version of 2004 everything has been compiled onto to the main disc, as on the original cassette version.

'Classic Yes' has nine tracks. The first track 'Heart Of The Sunrise' was released on 'Fragile'. It was written by Anderson, Squire and Bruford. It became as one of the best and most popular tracks played live by them. It's the best track on that album and it binds together the gentle and bombastic atmosphere and the fiery technicality that are portrayed on 'Fragile'. It also shows several aspects of Anderson's great vocal abilities. The second track 'Wonderous Stories' was released on 'Going For The One'. It was written by Anderson and is a typical Anderson's song. It's a beautiful ballad with great vocals and beautiful instrumental parts. It's the smallest song on 'Going For The One' and is fascinating how a band can be able to introduce so much complexity into a so short song. The third track 'Yours Is No Disgrace' was released on 'The Yes Album'. It was written by Anderson, Squire, Howe, Kaye and Bruford and is the first long track made by them. The lyrics are simple but musically we can see the progressivity on their music, especially due to the guitar and keyboard workings. The fourth track 'Starship Trooper' is a song divided into three parts, 'Life Seeker', 'Disillusion' and 'Wurm', and was released on 'The Yes Album'. It was written by Howe. It's another long composition and is another great song of the band, which became a classic of Yes. This is the first musical suite composed by them, absolutely fantastic, with great individual musical performances by all band's members. The fifth track 'Long Distance Runaround' was released on 'Fragile'. It was written by Anderson and is the smallest track on 'Fragile'. It's perhaps, the most charming of all 'Fragile' songs, with Anderson singing, while Howe's guitar and Wakeman's keyboards, marry beautifully together in the mix. The sixth track 'The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)' was released on 'Fragile'. It's the Squire experience on 'Fragile', where he uses the different sounds on his bass guitar. Who read my review of 'Fragile' knows that I don't like very much of the individual tracks of the band, on that album. The seventh track 'And You And I' is a song divided into four parts 'Cord Of Life', 'Eclipse', 'The Preacher The Teacher' and 'The Apocalypse' and was released on 'Close To The Edge'. It was written by Anderson, Howe, Squire and Bruford. It's a melodious track and is probably the most commercial song on 'Close To The Edge'. It's shorter than the title track of that album, but it still has 10 minutes. It's a different piece on 'Close To The Edge' and serves an excellent position as a middle piece, relying less in virtuosity and more on musical atmosphere. The eighth track 'Roundabout' was released on 'Fragile'. But, the version on this compilation is a live version recorded at Oakland's Coliseum, San Francisco, California, USA, in 1978. It was written by Anderson and Howe and became as one of the best known tracks of Yes. This is one of the most played live pieces of Yes, 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 new, collective and more inventive sound of the group, never heard before, and shows the musical power of Yes. The ninth track 'I've Seen All Good People' is a song divided into two parts 'Your Move' and 'All Good People' and was released on 'The Yes Album'. But, the version on this compilation is also a live version, but this time, it was recorded at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, UK, in 1978. It was written by Anderson and Squire. This is also a classic composition of Yes, very well known, and it remains a standard of those days. It's another brilliant song that explores a vast musical world with great progressivity. It has two distinct musical parts, one more calm and acoustic and the other more rock and aggressive. However, the song shows a perfect balance between both parts of the track.

Conclusion: 'Classic Yes' is a very different compilation of 'Yesterdays', their debut compilation. While 'Yesterdays' has only songs from their first two albums, 'Yes' and 'Time And A Word', 'Classic Yes' has songs from 'Fragile', 'Going For The One', 'The Yes Album' and 'Close To The Edge'. So, while 'Yesterdays' represents the sound of a band giving their first steps, 'Classic Yes' represents the sound of a mature band, with tracks from their four best albums at that time. It has some of the best tracks ever composed by them with the exception of 'The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)'. So, as I rated 'Yesterdays' with 3 stars, it would be fair that I rated 'Classic Yes' with four stars. However, this is a compilation album and despite 'Classic Yes' be an excellent compilation, perfectly representative of the music of Yes in those times, a compilation never can substitute the original albums. So, it's good but non essential.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2015
4.06 | 42 ratings

Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by 10string

5 stars Yes.. why five stars? Well, I was reluctant to get this box and spend my hard earned money at first, especially since Yes in not known for being an "improvisation" band, but, since I had a one hour daily commute and had installed a big subwoofer which rattled all of the car whole playing Prog (try that to surprise people!), I decided to take the plunge.. And.. whaddayaknow??? This was worth it.. yes, Yes used to improvise quite a lot...mind you , for the normal listener it might not sound like it, but for the decades old fan, this is a treat!!!!! They had to improvise sometimes because of the faulty equipment, but , all of these performances were different from each other, some way more than others...especially the grand "Yours is no disgrace" the Yessongs' version is included in here , albeit in its unedited and remixed (it IS a new/different mix!) form.. I won't tell you on which disc it is, but prepare yourself.... I like the clean sound which was achieves in spite of the technical differences between the different tapes, so yes, it is essential listening to all Yes fans so they can see how great they were in their prime...
 Topographic Drama: Live Across America by YES album cover Live, 2017
3.60 | 28 ratings

Topographic Drama: Live Across America
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Dramatic tales

Topographic Drama is the latest live offering from Yes, and the first one recorded after the tragic loss of Chris Squire. Like the title implies, the set focuses on material from Tales From Topographic Oceans and Drama. In the case of Drama, the entire album is performed, and is for me the highlight of this double CD/triple LP. Drama is one of my favourite Yes albums, and songs from this album have rarely been played live or featured on live records. Given that Geoff Downes is now back in the band, Drama was an obvious choice among albums to be performed in its entirety, much more so than the older albums that were featured on the two Like It Is releases. Also, vocalist Jon Davison's voice compares better to Trevor Horn's than to that of Jon Anderson, adding further weight to Drama being the perfect choice to get the full live treatment. The result is strong, with Billy Sherwood doing a fantasic job, nailing Squire's parts and backing vocals.

When it comes to Tales From Topographic Oceans, not the whole album is included, but more than half of it is, with The Revealing Science Of God and Ritual in full, with Leaves Of Green from The Ancient in between. These versions are strong, and it is especially interesting to hear Downes' take on Wakeman's parts.

The rest of the songs have been done a vast number of times, but the band is a well-oiled machine and these versions sound great. Overall, Topographic Drama is a better live album than either of the Like It Is albums, and also better than In the Present, making this the best Yes live album in some time. Also from a visual perspective it is a nice one, with a lovely Roger Dean art work.

 Fly From Here - Return Trip by YES album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.55 | 20 ratings

Fly From Here - Return Trip
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

2 stars The Yes band released a re-recorded album called "Fly From Here - Return Trip" this year, reprinting "Fly From Here" in 2011. Although there are some classic pre-rock bands performing re-records of previous works, such as Camel re-recording the classic snow geese, it is good to choose a good one! But I really can't figure out why I chose this general work. Even though the later works in the middle of yes are popular after the popularity, Fly From Here is already very audible as their penultimate studio album. In particular, the Fly From Here suite can also be considered a return to the light, but overall it is only a half-medium Samsung. There was no major change in this re-recording, just adding an unreleased song called Don't Take No for an Answer, which was very popular. Although the feeling of symphony was still there, it was only 4 minutes in length. It also means that repeating the melody is really uninteresting. If you want to score this song, you can only give it to Samsung, and the entire Return Trip can give Samsung half, but I feel that I need to resist this kind of perfunctory. Samsung is not recommended.
 Going For The One by YES album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.03 | 1842 ratings

Going For The One
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars What a glorious return of the 'glitter-caped-vintage-keyboard-wizard' Rick Wakeman! No more jokes about chicken- curry snacks, no more cardboard cows in the studio, no, only happy faces, room for everybody. So wonderful Swiss city Montreux welcomed an inspired Yes that went into the studio and made a masterpiece named Going For The One. And how ironical, in 1977 no punk band reached the #1 position, but Yes did!

1. Going For The One (5:30) : Pure prog 'n' roll, fueled by exciting work on the steel guitar by Steve Howe, powerful vocals by a very happy Jon Anderson and sparkling Grand piano and Polymoog runs by Rick Wakeman, what a sensational start!

2. Turn Of The Century (8:58) : First a dreamy climate with tender acoustic guitar, warm vocals and soaring keyboards, then gradually the atmosphere turns into compelling. Enjoy the sparkling Grand piano, sensitive electric guitar and the sumptuous eruption with howling electric guitar and dazzling Grand piano runs, wow!

3. Parallels (6:52) : Glorious church organ, angelic vocals, powerful bass, fiery electric guitar and flashy Polymoog runs, in this song Yes delivers great dynamics, excellent ideas and virtuosic musicianship. It was written by Chris Squire and that's obvious, what a stunning bass play.

4. Wonderous Stories (3:45) : The Yes single that reached #7 in the UK charts, including a nice videoclip. What a wonderful contrast between Wakeman his electronic Polymoog flights and Howe his acoustic Portuguese 12-string guitar (the vachalia, also used in Your Move) in this dreamy gem, so tastefully arranged.

5. Awaken (15:38) : One of the best epic compositions, so varied, compelling and loaded with virtuosic play and great musical ideas, from the Grand piano intro and fiery electric guitar (evoking Roundabout) to the mindblowing break with church organ (some Close To The Edge drops) and bombastic eruption featuring a female choir (no Mellotron!), church organ and powerful electric guitar, goose bumps.

Bonus tracks on my 2003 remaster edition : tracks 6-8 from YesYears (2001) and tracks 9-12 previously unreleased.

6. Montreux's Theme (2:38) : A mellow track with jazzy guitar.

7. Vevey (Revisited) (4:46) : Nice work on harp by Anderson and church organ by Wakeman, it epitomizes the renewed friendship between them.

8. Amazing Grace (2:36) : The USA anthem on distorted bass guitar, I wish this will be played during a Major League Baseball game!

9. Going For The One (Rehearsal) (5:10) : Very embryonal, the fiery electric guitar (instead of steel guitar) is in the vein of Howe his Relayer sound.

10. Parallels (Rehearsal) (6:21) : No sparkling version, no church organ, only a strong steel guitar solo and a short bass solo, pure melodic rock.

11. Turn Of The Century (Rehearsal) (6:58) : Another very embryonal version, without the wonderful acoustic guitar and piano, what a great final result on the album!

12. Eastern Numbers (Early version of "Awaken") (12:16) : In this version the focus is on Howe his electric guitar, how amazing that this led to one of Yes their most acclaimed epics.

Late 1977 I witnessed the GFTO tour, what a pleasant pompous progrock party: Steve Howe with his 'guitar museum', Chris Squire with his huge triple-neck bass and Rick Wakeman with his array of keyboards put on three different levels, the perfect celebration of a masterpiece!

 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2221 ratings

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I was a Yes fan at an early age, cherishing my Fragile, The Yes Album and Close to the Edge LPs. I was even down with 90215. It was time to add Tales from Topographic Oceans to my collection, but as it turned out, it was a tougher nut to crack concerning my youthful self. In fact, the only reason I'm writing this review is because now that I'm much older, I'm getting it. I'm busting that nut.

I had little trouble getting into the first epic. "The Revealing Science of God" had a cool atmospheric opening, adding layers of tension, and it wasn't long until Jon started dropping that prose. Hell, it inspired my 13-year-old self to emulate his style.

"Dawn of the propane buttercup rising from the sea on the wings of the truth; it contorts with PERSISTEEENCE!"

Granted, I was no Jon Anderson, and I never will be, but I tried man. I even showed friends the garbage I wrote, and they would look at me like I had seven heads. I was trying to be deep and mysterious without really saying squat about anything. But Jon cared about the message. On paper it could look like a whole lot of wishy-washy bunk, but the words themselves, the flow, and the music, as a whole package, removed my clothes and sent me frolicking naked through sun-showers by the river. These weren't just songs, but sonic journeys!

This was a bit of a different journey than "Close to the Edge", in which I was roaming around the inner gatefold sleeve for the most part. The pace is fairly languid for a fair spell, but it does get funky and spices up the tempo at times. The vocal melodies are rich, and of course, the instrumentation is no joke. Yeah, there's a few spots, heavy on the mellotron, that felt like slow-going (I was able to find my pants by then), but in the end, that just made that crazed synth solo over that fast groovin' tempo all that more of a major rush. I was discovering "freedom" and "reasons" and stuff while gettin' down to that madness.

"The Remembering" followed, initiating with a gorgeous, relaxed psychedelic guitar melody. This was quaint jive, and I was peacefully walking through the pasture, my hands brushing against the 'flowers of hope' and the 'tall grass of understanding'. Thing is, it turned out there's a lot of walking before things start really moving. There are some clunky sections too, particularly when the band is "walking around the story". It's a silly lilt of a melody about being in the city and whatever, and by then I wanted this whole languid trip to shift badly. The jauntier, folksy second half that segues into an actual rock riff saves the day, but it took some listens before I realized that, especially since the first half used to put me to sleep. And that's how I became such a fan of this song back in my youth; I loved dozing off to this epic. Eventually, I found myself staying awake for longer periods each night I played this thing with the lights out, getting quite familiar with the early parts of the piece in the process. Before I knew it, I was enjoying the entire song, even the clunky bits, to the last fade.

Once mastering "The Remembering", I really just wanted to sit on my bed with the lyrics, featuring those cool little pictures in the inner gatefold, and play the whole shebang. But my youthful self was just not ready for "The Awakening". I tried so hard to get into it, to let it carry me away to ancient civilizations where Egyptians built Mayan pyramid temples to Goddess Athena, but it wasn't working. The first two-thirds of that song sounded like a bunch of noxious slag at the time, too much jazzy fusion. It didn't help that Steve Howe's guitar tone sounded like a perpetually meowing cat, complemented by Chris Squire's bass in which effects rendered it somewhere between a bullfrog and a duck quacking in slow motion. Jon wasn't around much to bring on the consonance, so my young melody-loving tendencies would shut me down and I'd give up before the beautiful folk music swirled in. It was months until I realized that the song did eventually get all sweet and filled with the hearts of the truth of love and guidance through seasons of wonder. I barely even played "The Ritual" back then since I really wanted to focus on the album as one whole experience, and couldn't pull it off. When I did skip to that final beast on rare occasions, again I was treated with stretches of leisurely pacing after a pretty cool but long intro, with Jon's repetition of "nous sommes du soufflé" echoing in my head.

But now I've changed. Years of listening experience, delving into stuff ranging from The Soft Machine's Third to some of the most abrasive tech-death insanity out there, I decided to give this album, and particularly "The Ancient", another go-round, and it clicked instantly. That barrage of cat meows and stoned quacks aren't all that pretty, but there's plenty of melodies there, and it's not too complex. There's an adventure buried in that song that just needs a little extra archeological digging to uncover. And I can dig it, ya dig?

"The Ritual". How could I not have remembered much of this? Playing this album for the first time in decades, this was the one that sounded like I was hearing it for the first time. I'm not even sure I made it to that first climactic moment halfway through this 'movement' back in the day. I'm talking about the repetition of "That's all!" Utterly glorious, majestic, and carrying me beyond the barricades of deception and across the spiral pancake to the mystical Shrine of Eternal Contemplation. The instrumental workout that follows is such a gas, and drummer Alan White really puts on a showcase. Then it gets all mellow yet again, but with a slow- build tenseness creeping up to the final release. The denouement fades off in such a way that actually works as a forbearer to "The Revealing Science of God". It's like the circle of life (and love, hope and understanding). It's kind of an epiphany; I'm a fan of all four songs now! Granted, there are still some moments that could've used shaving, and as a whole, it lacks some of that total rock attitude gracing their prior three albums, especially concerning opening tracks. I can appreciate what the intentions were for this album, but some throat-grabbing from the get-go would've made this more inviting. I suppose getting cannon-balled head-first into the "pastures of wonder" doesn't bring about the desired message like a slowly opening golden gate would, but that's just how I roll.

This is good stuff, potentially silly, but I don't want to hear any of these critics vomiting forth the same tired rants about soulless proficiency and whatever. Jon certainly sounds like he means every word he says; I can feel the pure conviction. Whether his range can go toe-to-toe with a seagull doesn't matter. He sees the love in the hearts of the people in the city by the river even now; his lyrics for that Roine Stolt collaboration prove he's not done searching for the Truth. So is all of this just the philosophical ramblings of Yogi Bear, ancient bards and spiritual advisers put to prog rock excess? Maybe, but I can enjoy the full ride now, so call me "enlightened".

 Topographic Drama: Live Across America by YES album cover Live, 2017
3.60 | 28 ratings

Topographic Drama: Live Across America
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Matt-T

3 stars I'm not going to indulge in the sheep like, fan boy dribbling that seems to accompany anything from the YES camp. I am not overwhelmed by this recording by any means.

There's nothing major wrong here ..... hence the 3* rating ... it just ..... doesn't quite do it for me.

1. Its so SLOW! ... if they play this stuff any slower they'll never reach the end of a piece without needing a break to take a leak.

2. I'm not going to knock the singer for not being Jon Anderson ... I actually think the earlier live releases he's sung on were really rather good ... but not this time. I can't put my finger on it .... it just doesn't work for me.

3. Crowd noise a little too high in the mix

4. The elephant in the room ..... or should i say the elephant is not in the room? Anyway ... No Chris Squire. One doesn't necessarily appreciate how integral his backing vocals are .... until they're not there anymore.

5. unlike many of the Jon Anderson worshipers ... I love the Drama album ..... but this performance feels inferior.

6. I much prefer the older available performances of the 'oceans' tracks .... although they give it a shot, it just feels ... lacking.

7. Finally, do we really need any more renditions of the other classic YES trax on here? I'd say ... NO .... as a gain these feel weaker than other performances of them, including the recent ones on the last 3 contemporary live albums the band have put out in recent years.

I always want to love a YES release .... this time, I couldn't get there.

with the utmost respect, I think it's time for the guys to recognise, with No Chris AND No John ..... with Alan struggling with health issues ..... maybe this 50th anniversary year is the time to call it a day. They've done enough.

 2 Originals Of Yes by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1973
3.48 | 10 ratings

2 Originals Of Yes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 162

"2 Originals Of Yes" is a very special compilation of Yes. It's an economic package that includes Yes' debut eponymous studio album, released in 1969 and their second studio album "Time And A Word", released in 1970. This is a very interesting compilation because it includes the first two studio albums of Yes' catalogue at a very cheap price, what would be a very worth purchase at the time, when it was released. It's also very interesting because it shows the group giving their first steps before the beginning of their most creative phase, the period of their great masterpieces, which would turn them in one of the best, most important and most influential progressive rock groups ever. This is also very interesting because this compilation reunites together the only two albums with the original line up of Yes. These are also the only studio albums from the group that include songs which weren't written by Yes. So, and all in all, despite both albums can't be properly considered as two fundamental works from Yes, and two indispensable purchases, both have its merits and deserve to be checked and appreciated by all Yes' fans and all progressive rock lovers.

The line up on both albums is Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Peter Banks (vocals and guitars), Tony Kaye (keyboards), Chris Squire (vocals and bass) and Bill Bruford (drums).

As I've already reviewed these two albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my both reviews. However, in here I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of both albums.

"Yes": Although Yes' eponymous debut album be not exactly what they're remembered most for, it's still a decent piece of proto-prog. From quite obvious reasons this is also their most 60's influenced album. Two of the tracks, "Beyond And Before" and "Sweetness" dates back from the time when Anderson and Squire were in a band called Mabel Greer's Toyshop. Some of the Yes' trademarks can already been heard here, like the falsetto vocal-harmonies and the powerful and distinctive bass playing of Squire. But it's of course a much more basic and rougher album than their symphonic progressive rock classics from the 70's. "Survival" remains the classic track from this album, and it's also the track with most glimpses of what Yes later would made. They also covered The Byrds' "I See You" and The Beatles' "Every Little Thing" in a very refreshing and convincing way. "Yesterday And Today" is a beautiful and atmospheric little tune, but the other ballad on the album "Sweetness" is all too sweet and fluffy. "Looking Around" and "Beyond And Before" is a kind of a late 60's progressive power pop driven song by the excellent Hammond work of Kaye and the gutsy guitar playing of Banks. "Harold Land" is another pretty tune with progressive tendencies and good melodies. In short, "Yes" marked a decent starting point for a band that would become one of the greatest progressive rock bands ever.

"Time And A Word": Yes' second album, the last with the original guitarist Banks, was the first where the band began to move into a more symphonic direction. They even hired a small orchestra to prove the point. Although, their sound was still under development, there was already plenty of excellent progressive rock to enjoy here. "Then", "Astral Traveller" and "Sweet Dreams" were all among the best tracks from very early Yes. The sound on the album is dominated a lot by the tasty Hammond work from Kaye and the orchestral arrangements works, fine nicely in my ears. The beautiful title track was the only track from the first two albums that would remain in their live sets for years to come, while "The Prophet" has a delightful fairytale atmosphere. And as just happened with their first album, "Time And A Word" also included two cover versions of songs. First there was a very tight and "yesified" version of Richie Haven's "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and an atmospheric version of Stephen Still's "Everydays" with an incredible instrumental part in the middle. Yes still had some more steps to go before they would reach their creative highlights and definitive masterpieces, but "Time And A Word" is a good piece of early 70's progressive rock, anyway.

Conclusion: If you have already the two individual studio albums of Yes, you don't need this compilation because it hasn't anything new to offer, like bonus tracks, for instance. Unless you are a collector and you have the chance to discover this, as a forgotten vinyl record, in any record store. In this case, this would be a great purchase and a good complement for you, to add a new item to your record collection. Anyway, if you don't have these two albums yet, on vinyl or CD format, I think you must buy them. But, as I wrote above, these two albums aren't properly two fundamental works of Yes. However, they represent a different side of Yes. Still, they witness the first moments as a band starts to develop and watch them progress, is one of the most rewarding things a music enthusiast can take part in. However, two years later the scaffold will be removed and the building work will be complete, and as strong as it would ever be.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Topographic Drama: Live Across America by YES album cover Live, 2017
3.60 | 28 ratings

Topographic Drama: Live Across America
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars With all that's happened to Yes, it's amazing that they are still a touring band. It's been a few years since Jon Anderson was pushed out of the band, and with Chris Squire's passing, the group now has none of their founding members. Yet this year (2018 if you are reading this review some time in the future) marks a half century since the group was first formed.

I'll admit that I've not been to a Yes concert in many years, as I have been fearful of watching these pioneers of prog rock succumb to the ravages of time. But as the members of the band have proclaimed publicly, Yes is an evolving entity that may survive past all of its members of the seventies.

I was intrigued to hear what the band would sound like without the signature Squire bass sound, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Billy Sherwood does a masterful job of recreating the power and the glory of the old bass lines. In fact, he's so good that I have to say that his playing is, to me, the highlight of the two complete songs from Tales From Topographic Oceans on this disk.

The first disk is mostly comprised of a performance of the entire Drama album. They are performed very well, but it reminds me (as I am reminded by the original Drama album each time I revisit it), that it is a step below the classic Yes albums. The songs are good, but mostly lacking something. I especially never liked the way Alan White was limited (probably a record company executive's decision) to pedestrian drum beats, except for parts of Machine Messiah and Tempus Fugit (by far the best song on Drama).

And the TFTO renditions here just might be the best versions I've ever heard. This Yes seems to do the most with the dynamics of these compositions, sounding equally as comfortable with the pastoral passages as they are with the bombastic. I only wish they had performed the entire album.

The remaining tracks, And You And I, Heart Of The Sunrise, Roundabout and Starship Trooper are all well played.

I have been listening to this album repeatedly since purchasing it last fall, and my enjoyment of it is still not receding.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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