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YES

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 surprisingly "The Ladder") but this is the last great album.

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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)

3.28 | 1514 ratings
Yes
1969
3.35 | 1576 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.31 | 3180 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.46 | 3888 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.68 | 4878 ratings
Close to the Edge
1972
3.91 | 2653 ratings
Tales from Topographic Oceans
1973
4.38 | 3345 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.05 | 2259 ratings
Going for the One
1977
3.01 | 1701 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.77 | 1879 ratings
Drama
1980
3.01 | 1755 ratings
90125
1983
2.56 | 1288 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.52 | 1171 ratings
Union
1991
3.07 | 1073 ratings
Talk
1994
2.04 | 946 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.25 | 1105 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.73 | 1238 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.42 | 1206 ratings
Fly from Here
2011
2.32 | 707 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014
3.13 | 220 ratings
Fly from Here - Return Trip
2018
3.02 | 212 ratings
The Quest
2021

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

4.36 | 1050 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.66 | 564 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.32 | 288 ratings
9012Live: The Solos
1985
4.04 | 583 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.94 | 551 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.64 | 163 ratings
Something's Coming - The BBC Recordings 1969-1970
1997
3.60 | 238 ratings
House of Yes: Live from House of Blues
2000
3.88 | 208 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.23 | 339 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
3.42 | 45 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2010
3.53 | 155 ratings
In the Present - Live from Lyon
2011
3.53 | 86 ratings
Union Live
2011
2.82 | 75 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014
4.14 | 37 ratings
Songs from Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert
2014
4.51 | 114 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
2015
3.08 | 83 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
2015
3.24 | 93 ratings
Topographic Drama: Live Across America
2017
3.97 | 90 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2018
3.13 | 56 ratings
Yes 50 Live
2019
3.57 | 14 ratings
Live at Glastonbury Festival 2003
2019
3.12 | 39 ratings
The Royal Affair Tour: Live in Las Vegas
2020
3.67 | 9 ratings
Live Radio '69 / '70
2021

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

3.72 | 196 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.23 | 119 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.11 | 98 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
1991
3.70 | 53 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.96 | 64 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
4.42 | 12 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
1999
3.62 | 135 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.71 | 144 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.60 | 348 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.10 | 82 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.44 | 92 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.15 | 42 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.62 | 102 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.31 | 192 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.45 | 81 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.38 | 74 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.62 | 62 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.97 | 148 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.86 | 53 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.88 | 50 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.24 | 39 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.92 | 72 ratings
Union - Live
2010
3.22 | 13 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971
2013
3.63 | 45 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2018

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

3.49 | 17 ratings
2 Originals of Yes
1973
3.11 | 245 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.75 | 202 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.30 | 124 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.46 | 81 ratings
Yesstory
1992
2.87 | 89 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
1993
4.49 | 189 ratings
Keys to Ascension (Volumes 1 and 2)
1998
2.61 | 35 ratings
The Best of Yes
2000
3.57 | 497 ratings
Keystudio
2001
2.76 | 27 ratings
Yes-today
2002
4.27 | 130 ratings
In a Word
2002
2.67 | 43 ratings
Extended Versions - The Encore Collection
2002
2.89 | 37 ratings
Roundabout: The Best of Yes - Live
2003
3.17 | 108 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.16 | 73 ratings
Remixes
2003
2.56 | 29 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
3.25 | 153 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
3.75 | 28 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
4.33 | 3 ratings
Rhino Hi-Five: Yes
2006
3.37 | 20 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008
4.50 | 6 ratings
Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes
2011
3.22 | 4 ratings
Original Album Series
2013
4.12 | 58 ratings
Progeny: Highlights from Seventy-Two
2015
4.72 | 52 ratings
The Steven Wilson Remixes
2018
3.30 | 71 ratings
From a Page / In the Present - Live from Lyon
2019

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

2.87 | 38 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
4.50 | 4 ratings
Looking Around / Everydays
1969
4.00 | 4 ratings
Sweetness / Every Little Thing
1970
3.46 | 22 ratings
Looking Around / Every Little Thing
1970
3.37 | 26 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.40 | 42 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.27 | 28 ratings
Something's Coming
1971
4.80 | 5 ratings
Yours Is No Disgrace / The Clap
1971
4.67 | 6 ratings
Yours Is No Disgrace
1971
4.00 | 6 ratings
I've Seen All Good People / The Clap
1971
3.53 | 55 ratings
Your Move
1971
3.46 | 29 ratings
Roundabout
1972
4.64 | 25 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
4.60 | 5 ratings
No (Opportunity Necessary)
1972
4.60 | 5 ratings
Yours Is No Disgrace / Your Move / Sweet Dreams
1972
2.97 | 58 ratings
America
1972
4.67 | 30 ratings
And You and I / Roundabout
1974
4.60 | 5 ratings
America / Yours Is No Disgrace
1974
3.32 | 24 ratings
Soon
1976
3.30 | 45 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
1976
2.55 | 19 ratings
Yes Solos
1976
3.68 | 45 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
1977
4.02 | 45 ratings
Going For The One 12''
1977
4.25 | 16 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
4.57 | 7 ratings
Release, Release
1978
2.76 | 57 ratings
Don't Kill the Whale
1978
4.08 | 7 ratings
Run Through the Light
1980
3.07 | 43 ratings
Into The Lens
1980
4.22 | 48 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.39 | 50 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.21 | 57 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1983
2.71 | 44 ratings
Leave It
1984
2.88 | 26 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
2.87 | 41 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.75 | 38 ratings
Love Will Find a Way
1987
2.25 | 44 ratings
Rhythm of Love (2)
1987
2.53 | 17 ratings
Rhythm of Love
1987
3.25 | 4 ratings
I Would Have Waited Forever
1991
3.33 | 27 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.57 | 46 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart
1991
2.57 | 27 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.66 | 13 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.62 | 20 ratings
Lift Me Up
1991
2.65 | 30 ratings
The Calling
1994
2.67 | 3 ratings
State of Play
1994
3.25 | 4 ratings
Walls
1994
4.40 | 5 ratings
That, That Is
1996
4.20 | 5 ratings
America
1996
4.50 | 4 ratings
Be the One
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
New State of Mind
1997
3.60 | 5 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.50 | 4 ratings
Open Your Eyes (radio edit)
1997
3.80 | 5 ratings
Homeworld (The Ladder)
1999
3.33 | 3 ratings
If Only You Knew
1999
3.75 | 4 ratings
Lightning Strikes - Collector's Edition
1999
3.22 | 9 ratings
Lightning Strikes (She Ay ... Do Wa Bap)
1999
2.87 | 73 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
4.33 | 3 ratings
Selections from... In a Word: Yes (1969-)
2002
2.45 | 10 ratings
Selections from The Word Is Live
2005
3.09 | 73 ratings
We Can Fly
2011
4.00 | 9 ratings
To the Moment
2019
3.88 | 25 ratings
From a Page
2019
3.78 | 28 ratings
The Ice Bridge
2021
3.23 | 13 ratings
Dare to Know
2021
3.75 | 8 ratings
Future Memories
2021
3.50 | 8 ratings
A Living Island
2022

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Close to the Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.68 | 4878 ratings

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Close to the Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Lupton

5 stars I have always considered Fragile a slightly flawed Classic but a Classic, nevertheless. Close to the Edge in comparison is a close to perfection as Prog Rock can get.It may lack those hair raisingly exciting flashes of brilliance on the previous album eg the opening few bars of "Heart Of The Sunrise" but the sheer elegance of this album is irresistible. The Epic side long title track is beautifully melodic and complex and memorable."And You And I" is simply gorgeous and has one of the greatest mellotron passages I think ever recorded. It is truly transcendental. I saw Yes perform this at a concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and when Rick Wakeman did that solo at full volume-all I can say is the sheer power and beauty was overwhelming. The closing track "Siberian Khatru" is a great Prog Rocker with suberb rififfing from Steve Howe and beginning to end so full of energy. A great way to end the album.I honestly think Yes perfected this particular style of highly complex yet highly accessible music with this album.It is not my favourite Prog album but I still think it is an absolute masterpiece

5 stars

 Fragile by YES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.46 | 3888 ratings

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Fragile
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Lupton

5 stars For some reason I used to consider The Yes Album and Fragile as being stylistically and almost interchangeable but in retrospect the later album showed a huge development. Rick Wakeman must surely take a lot of the credit for this. Not only did he introduce new sounds to the group's music but he was having a considerable contribution to the arrangements as well. "Roundabout" is arguably the first truly great Yes track and boasts one of Progressive Rock's great Hammond organ solos. The sheer bravura on display with the epic closing track "Heart Of The Sunrise" is such that it is hard to believe this is the same group who had only recently produced the comparatively clunky "Perpetual Motion" on their previous album. Of course it is not exactly the same group hence my earlier comment about a certain Mr W Wakeman. The album boasts a third brilliant epic-"Southside of The Sky" which I always feel is one of their overlooked classics and the relatively straightforward though by no means technically inferior rocker "Long Distance Runaround". The album is not perfect mainly because it seems a little padded out by those fairly short solo tracks which apart from Steve Howes beautiuful acoustic "Mood For A Day". Nevertheless on the strength of the main tracks this album is an absolute Classic.

5 stars

 The Yes Album by YES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.31 | 3180 ratings

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The Yes Album
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Lupton

4 stars The Yes Album is generally considered their first truly essential album and I certainly would agree with that. I still remember being excited by the opening few bars of the opening track "Yours is no Disgrace" with those stabbing chords and that wonderfully bombastic base riff. An absolute classic slice of Progressive rock even though I still feel the lyrics are a bit well odd. Side One of the album is also home to the multi part "Starship Trooper" another stone cold Classic.My favourite part is the descending guitar pattern slowly building in tension to the almost explosive ending.Side two starts well with one of their most famous songs-the two part-"Seen all Good People" although in hindsight it is quite simple compositionally and instrumentally. The one track I have always struggled with is the closing epic "Perpetual Change".It starts of so well with more stabbing chords and has quite an engaing melody but there is actually not a great deal of musical development especially as it goes on for nearly nine minutes. Overall this album is a minor Classic.Better was to come

4 stars

 Big Generator by YES album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.56 | 1288 ratings

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Big Generator
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Big Generator" is the sound of a disintegrating band that has completely lost its identity.

It's normal for Jon Anderson to jump ship after this album, since he delves into the wrong style and mistakes of the previous "90125" to offer us an unfunny AOR pastiche that doesn't even have the value of offering us a single by the size of Owner of a lonely heart.

Only noteworthy is the skill in Trevor Rabin's guitar solos, and the good bass lines of the always faithful (until his death) Chris Squire (the beginning of I'm Running is a good example)

What could you expect from an album with three songs with the word Love in their titles?

Best Tracks: Rhythm of Love (nice guitar solo) and Final Eyes (the only song that managed to replicate some of the magic that Yes had in the 70s, with nice vocal melodies from Anderson)

My rating: **

 Yesspeak by YES album cover DVD/Video, 2003
3.10 | 82 ratings

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Yesspeak
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by AFlowerKingCrimson

3 stars In early 2004 I drove down to Philadelphia to see a special premier of this film in a theater. I believe a local rock station was sponsoring it (at least partly) and there was even a little trvia station where I won a t shirt (which I eventually gave to my sister-in- law). The film was hosted by the late legendary Philadelphia dj Ed Sciaky ( a big champion of Yes and one of the reasons they broke big when they did- I chatted with him briefly after the film but unfortunately he passed away three days later). Anyway, for whatever reason they didn't show the entire film since it is about 3 1/2 hours long but they showed most of it. Some guy sitting near me was making loud whooping sounds every so often so I eventually changed my seat (too bad the guy wasn't thrown out since it was so disruptive). This was my first experience with this film. I even picked up a bunch of free posters too. There was a really big deal made about it there maybe because it was used as a promotional device for Yes's upcoming tour (I saw them twice in 2004). About a year ago I was able to buy this online for a good price and finally see this again.

Yesspeak is basically a behind the scenes kind of documentary and as such I think it's really geared towards those who are already big fans of the band. Those who are brand new or who are only casual fans would probably be better off with something like Yesyears or one of their other dvds (concert or otherwise). This film is narrated by legendary singer for the Who, Roger Daltrey. If you ask me he is sort of an odd choice for narrator and I couldn't help but wonder half the time if he actually believes most of what he is saying on here. He tends to go on and on about how huge Yes were (or are) and while I do think Yes were a major band at one point, these days most younger folks probably have no clue who they are. Many older music fans have probably forgotten about them too. It's really only those who stuck with the band or progressive rock fans who know them now which you could say qualifies them as a cult band. I don't deny that in the 70s they were probably well beyond cult status but to be honest I can't remember the last time I saw someone wearing a Yes t shirt.

Other than Roger kind of acting like a cheerleader for the band he doesn't do a half bad job as narrator as odd as it is hearing his voice on this. The main focus of course is on the band themselves. However, for the purposes of this film, they focus almost exclusively on Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe and Alan White and each of them gets their own little segment. I suppose that's understandable since this was released to coincide with their 35th anniversary tour which featured that lineup. However, I do think they made a mistake by not mentioning other members a bit more. I don't remember Trevor Rabing being mentioned and I think Jon only mentioned Pete Banks because he came up with the Yes name. Bill Bruford was only mentioned once also (I think just to say that Alan White replaced him though). Because of all of this this doesn't represent a very good history of the band (other Yes documentaries are better for that especially the aforementioned Yesyears).

Another thing that I find annoying is that much of the time when one of the band members is speaking, the music in the background is usually too loud and I can barely hear what Jon or Rick, or whoever, is saying; at least it's Yes music but I still find this to be rather distracting. Also, most of them are often talking about things that are mostly inconsequential to all but the most ardent Yes fan. I found Steve's discussion about his guitars to be especially boring but there were other moments where I sort of lost interest as well and I'm someone who considers himself to be a pretty big Yes fan. I guess I just don't need to know that Steve slept with his guitar or some of the other trivial stuff on here that sometimes comes across as rambling (at least to me).

Overall, this was still a pretty good film/dvd and there are plenty of clips of the band playing their classics. Most of it centers on the material that Alan White didn't even originally play on but being that it makes up a good portion of what they played live at this point in time it's understandable it would be represented here in such large quantities. A good addition to your prog dvd collection if you are already a big Yes fan. Otherwise, start with Yesyears.

 90125 by YES album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.01 | 1755 ratings

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90125
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "90125" was one of the most important albums in Yes's career that began a completely new stage, marking the return of Jon Anderson to the band after years of absence, as well as the replacement of Steve Howe by Trevor Rabin.

Production from Trevor Horn (who handled vocals on "Drama") is pristine, and still sounds current today, but the songs don't hold up by any means. The progressive has been practically left aside to give way to an AOR-pop pastiche without any interest beyond the megahit Owner of a Lonely Heart.

So therefore, this "90125" is an album to forget that spoils the legacy of a band that made absolutely legendary records in the 70's, and that in the 80's seemed lost and aimless.

Best Tracks: Owner of a Lonely Heart (infectious and catchy), Hold On (good guitar work, especially towards the end) and Cinema (a fine but sadly too short instrumental track, with great work from Squire on bass)

My Rating: **

 Drama by YES album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.77 | 1879 ratings

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Drama
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by WJA-K

3 stars I agree with almost everyone that Yes with Jon Anderson is the superior band. And Wakeman makes it even better. But there's still enough to latch onto here. This is a great effort from this band when they enter the 80's. It trumps 90125 and what followed by a lot.

Machine Messiah - This track has so many elements that make a great Yes epic. Squire, Howe and White are all on top of their game. The contributions from Downe and Horne are absolutely great too. This song is a journey and is one of the highlights of this album 9/10

Man in a White Care - Very short and rather forgettable 6/10

Does it Really Happen? - Quite catchy. Commercial almost. But the musical twists and turns are interesting and the playing is awesome 7.5/10

Into the Lens - "I am a camera" is a line that will not leave my mind anymore. Another catchy song with interesting elements and layers and a nice build-up and payoff. 8/10

Run Through the Light - It is a clear theme. This is another catchy song with brilliant instrumentation. 7.5/10

Tempus Fugit - This one reminds me of Rush and The Police. Who was first? The song is elevated by the playing. 7/10

I like this album. I hesitated between 3 and 4 stars. Between GOOD and EXCELLENT. In the end, I think 3 stars fit the bill for me. Good, it is.

 Close to the Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.68 | 4878 ratings

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Close to the Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by AFlowerKingCrimson

5 stars This month marks the 50th anniversary of Close To The Edge. This was the fifth studio release by Yes, their third to feature guitarist Steve Howe, their second to feature keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and their last to feature original drummer Bill Bruford (who soon left to join Robert Fripp in a new version of King Crimson). Rounding out the lineup are Chris Squire on bass and Jon Anderson taking lead vocal duties. At this point the band had achieved major critical and commercial success with the release of the album Fragile which was their first to feature cover art by renowned artist Roger Dean. The song, Roundabout, which has since become a classic rock staple was released as a single and helped the album to become a big seller (eventually selling two million copies in the US alone). Close To The Edge would also become a big selling album(although without a top forty single like Fragile) and would be the second album to feature the Squire, Anderson, Howe, Wakeman and Bruford lineup. This same lineup minus Chris Squire would form the band ABWH (Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe) way later on but that's a whole other story.

The album Close To The Edge starts with the title track which begins with the sounds of a river complete with water sounds and birds. Apparently Jon Anderson found a tape with nature sounds and wanted to incorporate it into the band's work. The nature sounds soon give way to a blast of sound with the band, propelled by Squire's loud thumping bass and Steve Howe's fluid guitar work. Until the album relayer which came out two years later this section would probably be the bands most fusion sounding section in any of their music. After a few minutes of intense instrumental fireworks the piece settles down a bit and the vocals kick in (not counting the wordless vocals that appear during the instrumental part). Now we hear the main theme of the track. At some point after the vocal section this track gets really quiet and dreamy as if the band not only went close to the edge but over it and we are now floating dreamily in the river. We can hear what sounds like water drops and synth sounds. Vocals eventually kick in and then after that we are back to the main theme again but this time with a funky groove followed by a dexterous Rick Wakeman organ solo (which along with the one in Roundabout is one of his best). Eventually, the vocals kick in again and we are back to the original them again with the "seasons will pass you by.." lyric which eventually takes us back to the river sounds again which close out the title track. This is one of the most sublime side long epics in all of progressive rock.

Next up is "And You And I" which makes up half of side two. This one starts with acoustic guitar (with Steve Howe saying "OK"). Before too long we hear Chris Squire's thumping bass and then the vocals kick in. This track is one of the most orchestral sounding Yes songs that was done without an orchestra. The song is highlighted by a big mellotron crescendo but the whole song is arguably the best track on the album (and of their career). If this song doesn't move you then no progressive rock song ever will.

The third and final track on the album is "Siberian Khatru." This one starts out with electric guitar before kicking into high gear. At around one minute and five seconds the vocals kick in and then at around three minutes and five seconds an electric sitar can be heard and then a harpsichord solo and then a soaring guitar solo and then another guitar solo before the vocals kick in again. Towards the end we hear what sounds like wordless vocals that might be one of the strangest moments in Yes music up to that point in their career. It could be a bit jarring for those who aren't used to such a thing but it also gives the song an other worldy element that shows how adventurous and outlandish sounding the band could be (of course the relayer album would be even more wild). At the end we hear another Steve Howe guitar solo that gives his playing an almost 3-D kind of effect (that is if 3-D could be applied to music). This concludes the album.

While Close To The Edge is probably not my personal favorite album by Yes (that would be Relayer) it is their most iconic and widely considered (and rightly so) to be one of the quintessential albums in the history of progressive rock. All you need to do is go to the wikipedia page for this album to see all the accolades it has received over the years. Of course there really is no "best" prog rock album because everyone has their own personal taste but this one is an album that will possibly only become more legendary as time goes on.

 Close to the Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.68 | 4878 ratings

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Close to the Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

5 stars So in a Google doc, I have written 99 reviews so far. 99 is the number of albums I have rated and reviewed. I have reviewed albums in the past, many albums in fact, but I never got seriously dedicated to the craft until I decided to review Neroli by Brian Eno. That was when I found a big passion for myself, and so I started this passion project to share my opinion out there with the world. I cannot believe it has gotten this big in almost a year, and it seems to never be stopping any time soon. Likewise, this reflects a bit of my musical journey. I got into music during my Freshman year of high school and honestly, it all changed my life. I know it sounds silly but I got really into music and bands through the Japanese manga known as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. That manga did things for me, and the author, Hirohiko Araki managed to introduce me to a world of music that I never thought imaginable. However, one music genre stood out for me, and that was Progressive Rock.

You see, I was not always a big Prog head as I am now. I pretty much had no real musical knowledge outside of video game music and the occasional Imagine Dragons songs that I would listen to sparingly in my middle school years. However something clicked in me when I first heard a song that every Prog head in the world knows by heart, and that was The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson, specifically The Condensed 21st Century Guide compilation album version. It was different for me, and probably so many others. It was music that I never even knew could've been made. It was weird, almost inconceivable. I could never fully grasp what it was that I loved about it, but because of that first listening experience, everything shifted. It felt like a door opened in my mind that allowed me to be adventurous in my musical landscape. Those mellotrons, Greg Lake's vocals, Robert Fripp's guitar, all of it made me realize what I truly love in life, and that was music. Progressive Rock, at that point in my life, was practically unknown to me, but everything changed thanks to King Crimson. I decided to listen to the full album that song was on and it all blew me away. At first, I didn't get it, but over time I realized how amazing this style of music was. I became instantly hooked. I decided to binge all of King Crimson's discography, and get attached to the new lineups and sounds the band introduced. It was new yet I still felt like I was in Crimson territory. After listening to those albums, I was still left hungry. I wanted more of those rich symphonic, that awesome jazz flavors, and highly advanced levels of experimentation. I wanted it all and then some.

Therefore I decided to check out some bands, for example, Gentle Giant and Pink Floyd. Gentle Giant has and always will be a bit of an enigma for me, even after hearing their first album and their subsequent releases throughout my life somehow they never worked up to me that King Crimson did, even though I like the commonality between those two bands' first albums being a dude's ugly mug. However, Pink Floyd did work their way into my heart with Meddle. I heard of Dark Side and Piper before, but Meddle was when I realized that Prog is more than just classically enriched rock music, it could be more space-like, atmospheric, and a lot more psychedelic. Everything felt so right, I started to check out artists like Rush, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, Emerson Lake, and Palmer. I loved it all, the entire scope of progressive rock, the longer stretches of music, the experimentation, to everything around it. It all became my bread and butter, so safe to say that I would fall into an attachment to Yes pretty early on right? Well sort of.

Yes, and I have had an interesting relationship. In my early years of music, I knew who they were, and I knew about Roundabout and Owner Of A Lonely Heart, but nothing much beyond that. However, that would all change during the Spring break of last year. I and my dad went on a road trip, and one of the stops was a record store. I was at the time into collecting records, and I still am now, so going into one always gave me excitement. I was like a kid going to the toy store all over again. I was browsing through the shelves, finding and seeing what caught my interest. Anything to pique the interest of the mind of an intermediate Prog head. I was looking for In The Court of the Crimson King since I was in a King Crimson phase in which I would listen to nothing but King Crimson, minus the occasional Pink Floyd and Gentle Giant songs in the mix. I was looking for the album, but when luck failed, I decided to look elsewhere. I wanted something good, something nice to listen to, and while at the used section, I shifted through the alphabet, from A to Y. I saw some neat albums, cannot remember them though, but I know they looked interesting, but not interesting enough to pick up in physical format, maybe stream. That was until I found something that caught my attention. It was weird. I picked it up, and the cover immediately struck me. It was a black and green cover, with the words "Close To The Edge" and "Yes" on it. I could only know it was a Yes album by the title alone, but something felt different from this album. Something about it made me want to get it. I don't know if it was hope driving me, or intrigue, but I got the album, plus a copy of Red by King Crimson they had.

Fast forward to the last day of Spring break and I have listened to my copy of Red a couple of times, and I haven't given that mysterious green album a go, so I figured it was a good time to see what it was all about. When the first track started to play, I felt weird. I did not know what I was expecting but it struck me as extremely odd. I did not know if I could process or even want to process what the rest had in store, so I turned off the record player and put the album back on the shelf. Tomorrow at school, I couldn't shake that first few seconds out of my head. It felt like the album was beckoning me, like some spiritual thing calling towards me. After school, I decided to give it a full listen-through, and at first, I still didn't know what to think. My mind did not know what to make of it, but I did know I liked it, and so throughout I would occasionally listen to it. The more I heard it the more I got out of it, but it still never clicked for me. That was until after another listening section, something snapped into place in my mind, and it felt like a third eye was opened. I never realized it then, but looking back on it now that was when I truly became the progressive rock lover I am today. That feeling of realization of how godly this album was euphoric, and even today, a little remnant of that feeling lingers whenever I hear this album.

It all starts with the title track, first and foremost. I have heard this numerous, heck even countless times. Can you blame me though? This 18-minute ensemble of 4 brilliantly executed pieces has gone on to become the best song I have heard in my life. The first movement of The Solid Time Of Change is where we get the first movements of greatness. It starts with this slowly rising field recording of birds chirping as it all bellows out into these strange and wobbly guitars, bass, and drums. That soon goes through these beautiful crescendos that dip into obscurity, only to be reborn anew. The rebirth of these instruments goes into a strange mix of surf rock, reggae, and progressive rock that is mixed perfectly with how well each member's playing styles are. Steve Howe on guitar plays the magic, having a distinct and recognizable style. The late Chris Squire on bass, creating rhythm in the void and subsequently establishing himself into the sound to become one with it. Bill Bruford, is delicate, but precise, and has the most complex yet incredibly provocative drumming. Rick Wakeman on keyboards sets the atmosphere and is symphonic, showing off that classical charm Yes is known for. Lastly is the start of the show, Jon Anderson, with his beautiful vocals setting the entire mood going forward with amazing harmonies, and a unique singing voice that resonates through me. This part revolves around these big choruses that the listener will have to get used to through the album, and they are the best parts here, being necessary viewing points in every retrospect.

The second part of this suite comes in as Total Mass Retain, where it continues what the last part did, but in a way where it is noticeable to the listener that something new will happen. Chris Squire's bass is chunky and full, and Jon's voice is a lot more echoey. It all feels a bit more sinister, but still very much like Yes. When you expect a normal chorus, you get hit with a rhythmic array of randomly mishmashed versions of "Close to the edge, round/down by the corner/river" until it all goes back around to The Solid Time of Change where it goes back to normal, or as normal as it can be. It feels so new yet still feeling as though it is a part of one song, one stream of music as a whole. No matter what, Yes is a band that knows what they are doing, and when they do not you can tell, but when they do they create some of the greatest music to ever come out of a record. They are consistent in their changing tides, but consistent in their sound as well, straying slightly from the path to reach new ones.

However the most strikingly profound part is I Get Up, I Get Down. It all goes quiet, with a few atmospheric guitars and keyboard playing from Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe. Everything is now purely space-like, with no drums, no rock elements, just pure bliss throughout. Jon's vocals here drive us forward, having this dream-like charm to them until interrupted by soul-piercingly sharp organs. When I heard this part, I thought it was kind of weird, and sort of dumb, but I was an idiot then, and now I see what this part means. It is a beautiful piece of art, one where at first you might think of it as annoying, or pretentious. While those claims may be true in some regard, especially towards Rick Wakeman, I feel like people often get the wrong view of what this type of music is. It isn't trying to show off, but rather it tries to shove you in and let you embrace what it truly is, and that is art. You might not fully get a painting, but if you see it numerous times, it will bind to you like permanent ink. This part is beautiful as the piece of art it truly is.

Lastly is the fourth part Seasons of Man, as if reprises the first two parts we get a repeat of sorts from the birth, death, and rebirth of the very same intro the song had in the beginning, however things feel different, it feels more developed, more nuanced. It was almost like the last part was the band reflecting and understanding what to do next, and that was to have a similar, yet different instrumentation compared to their first parts. This all comes to the forefront for the best closure a song could ever ask for. How they start to play the chorus, but things feel different. I felt like you went on a journey, and your reward is in spades of glory. How it builds into this beautiful finale where Jon just belts out into this beautiful harmony as the band plays at their maximum efficiency. It all feels so right, so perfect, so godly. It is just euphoria in song form, it is more than just that, my words could never describe how profoundly provocative this is to hear, no matter if you hear it through a streaming service, a vinyl record, or a CD. It all still feels amazing to hear, even more than amazing, it makes you feel like you are floating because it is that good. It is a song that alone would make this album an all-time masterpiece, however, the band did not stop there.

Side 2's first song, And You And I are on the same level of godly power that Close To The Edge holds, but in a different aspect. The song is a lot more folk-like, and while it does still retain some symphonic qualities, it does harken back to the band's first three albums, being a lot more psychedelic and baroque. It is a mixture of something like The Clap, Time and a Word, and even a tiny bit of Survival, mixed into one 10-minute song. You can feel the band's energy in this song and it is glorious. The more Celtic feel makes this song almost nostalgic in a way. The song reminds me of the fall season, orange leaves falling to the ground, colder winds, and drinking delicious pumpkin-flavored beverages. This song encapsulates all that for me, and it allows itself to be different but stands on its own two feet as another immaculate song from this album.

We round things off with Siberian Khatru, and this song is definitely the most different track from the bunch, but it still lands a soft place in my heart. This song is just a good ol' time. It is a lot more rock-focused, but you can still hear that Yes sound dripping through it. This is where I think Steve Howe and Chris Squire are at their best. You can hear the care and think put into each strum of their guitars as you are pushed into a whirlwind of an awesome jam. Those two have become an essential part of Yes' sound, and for good reason, because they are godly on their respective instruments. Everyone else on here is still on their highest common denominator, all of them are at a 10 even after making 2 big songs. It seems like they cannot be stopped, but time doesn't last forever. My only gripe with this album has to be that it doesn't last an eternity, but everything else is so divine that I am left satisfied either way.

This album has been in my heart for a good 2 years now, and I do not think it'll get out of there anytime soon. It is an album that'll live on in the next centuries, long after I am gone, but I know it'll live on in some shape or way because music like this is eternal even if it is merely 37 minutes long. If anything the power this album holds on me is greater than none, and I would not have it any other way. Coincidentally enough I am writing this review on the album's 50th anniversary, and I am as surprised as you are to hear that this album is now 50 years old. That is insane, and people still talk about it today. It shows that good music lasts with you, but truly great music lasts forever. No matter how many times I put that record needle on my vinyl copy, I am always swept off my feet.

 Keys to Ascension 2 by YES album cover Live, 1997
3.94 | 551 ratings

BUY
Keys to Ascension 2
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Progmin23

4 stars KTA2 showcases the band playing live like the first Ascension album, and much like the aforementioned predecessor, KTA2 contains new studio tracks.

Disc one is live tracks of some of Yes's classic cuts. They are strong, and although they can't ever seem to capture "And You And I"'s studio energy, it's overall good stuff. Now for disc two... it's some of Yes's strongest *progressive* material since 1980 and gives the cold, clean, and controlled 83-94 Yes content a run for its money with warm, dirty, and wild sound heralding back to the '70s.

Unlike the two studio cuts from KTA1, we are treated to a full albums-worth of content from the lads. If you're familiar with ABWH, you'll instantly recognize the modern feel of the tracks. I think the most noticeable features are Rick Wakeman's use of new synthesizers which includes the use of new strings and even trumpet sounds. Despite this, however, he also seems to use some older sounds like some pretty wacky mono synth leads (think TFTO). The singing is superb and every song has a fresh new surprise for the listener. The live performances aren't essential, but the studio tracks make this worth buying

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

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