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

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Buy YES Music

Yes 50 Live (2CD)Yes 50 Live (2CD)
Rhino Records 2019
$11.68 (used)
Live At Glastonbury Festival 2003Live At Glastonbury Festival 2003
Store for Music 2019
Yes Album, The (Expanded & Remastered)Yes Album, The (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2003
$3.26 (used)
Fragile (Expanded & Remastered)Fragile (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2003
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Close To The Edge (Expanded & Remastered)Close To The Edge (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2003
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Yes (Expanded & Remastered)Yes (Expanded & Remastered)
Rhino Records / Elektra 2003
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The Studio Albums 1969-1987 (12CD)The Studio Albums 1969-1987 (12CD)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
$60.80 (used)
Extra tracks · Remastered
Rhino 2004
$2.20 (used)
The Steven Wilson Remixes (6LP)The Steven Wilson Remixes (6LP)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2018
$90.75 (used)
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7m 56s

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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 | 1274 ratings
3.29 | 1326 ratings
Time And A Word
4.30 | 2774 ratings
The Yes Album
4.45 | 3421 ratings
4.66 | 4328 ratings
Close To The Edge
3.89 | 2327 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
4.37 | 2952 ratings
4.03 | 1934 ratings
Going For The One
2.98 | 1461 ratings
3.78 | 1622 ratings
2.98 | 1502 ratings
2.53 | 1097 ratings
Big Generator
2.50 | 1012 ratings
3.05 | 922 ratings
2.04 | 806 ratings
Open Your Eyes
3.26 | 946 ratings
The Ladder
3.73 | 1073 ratings
3.41 | 1065 ratings
Fly From Here
2.35 | 586 ratings
Heaven & Earth
3.08 | 86 ratings
Fly From Here - Return Trip

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

4.33 | 926 ratings
3.64 | 477 ratings
2.26 | 244 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
4.08 | 497 ratings
Keys to Ascension
3.96 | 469 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
2.60 | 141 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
3.59 | 207 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2.66 | 39 ratings
Extended Versions
2.88 | 36 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
3.86 | 179 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
4.22 | 289 ratings
Symphonic Live
4.47 | 169 ratings
Keys To Ascension (Full)
3.30 | 37 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
3.54 | 135 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
3.64 | 62 ratings
Union Live
2.76 | 61 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
4.50 | 87 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
3.32 | 68 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
3.47 | 54 ratings
Topographic Drama: Live Across America
4.01 | 43 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2.36 | 14 ratings
Yes 50 Live

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

3.67 | 174 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
3.20 | 104 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
4.12 | 91 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
3.69 | 44 ratings
The Union Tour Live
2.94 | 56 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
4.33 | 9 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
3.61 | 122 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
3.70 | 129 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
4.59 | 319 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
3.07 | 74 ratings
2.39 | 83 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
3.11 | 36 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
3.61 | 94 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
4.29 | 170 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
3.42 | 69 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
3.33 | 63 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
3.63 | 56 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
3.96 | 137 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
3.83 | 46 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
3.83 | 44 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
3.20 | 32 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
3.91 | 65 ratings
Union - Live
3.04 | 6 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971
3.53 | 27 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo

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

3.56 | 13 ratings
2 Originals Of Yes
3.10 | 217 ratings
3.78 | 183 ratings
Classic Yes
3.28 | 114 ratings
3.46 | 76 ratings
2.94 | 80 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
2.56 | 32 ratings
The Best of Yes
3.55 | 471 ratings
2.71 | 22 ratings
4.28 | 123 ratings
In A Word
3.15 | 98 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2.13 | 64 ratings
2.50 | 24 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
3.24 | 143 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
4.08 | 46 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
4.65 | 26 ratings
The Steven Wilson Remixes

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

4.28 | 22 ratings
Something's Coming
3.47 | 15 ratings
Looking Around
2.82 | 27 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
3.34 | 19 ratings
Sweet Dreams
3.41 | 36 ratings
Time and a Word
3.45 | 46 ratings
Your Move
3.17 | 16 ratings
4.65 | 17 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
2.89 | 49 ratings
4.74 | 19 ratings
And You And I
3.24 | 16 ratings
3.25 | 39 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
2.71 | 51 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
3.01 | 37 ratings
Into The Lens
4.23 | 43 ratings
2.36 | 42 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
2.17 | 46 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2.69 | 37 ratings
Leave It
2.85 | 23 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
3.09 | 32 ratings
It Can Happen
2.39 | 9 ratings
Rhythm Of Love
2.81 | 31 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
2.23 | 39 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
2.59 | 21 ratings
Make It Easy
2.60 | 11 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
2.60 | 25 ratings
The Calling
2.33 | 3 ratings
Lightning Strikes (She Ay ... Do Wa Bap)
2.83 | 71 ratings
2.12 | 6 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
3.05 | 64 ratings
We Can Fly

YES Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2327 ratings

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

2 stars 'And now for something completely different '. '

This album is the story of 'the hippie with the iron fist', the cardboard cows in the studio, Rick Wakeman eating chicken currie during a gig, and fans leaving the concert halfway, disappointed and confused, because this 2-LP studio-album (the sixth) is something completely different from the powerful, varied and captivating Yes sound between The Yes Album and Close To The Edge.

1. The Revealing Science Of God - Dance Of The Dawn (20:27) : This track is OK, it sounds like 1971-1973 Yes, very pleasant (good work from Howe and Wakeman) but never on the level of one of those previous studio-albums.

2. The Remembering - High The Memory (20:38) : During this song it starts to become clear that this Yes fails to generate the usual excitement, despite some awesome work from Wakeman on the Minimoog and Mellotron. Howe got lots of room, but he doesn't succeed to impress, too much from the same.

3. The Ancient - Giants Under The Sun (18:34) : Now Yes has lost control, to me it sounds as an experimental studio jam, looking for a musical direction. I am only pleased with Howe his classical guitar work, really wonderful.

4. Ritual - Nous Sommes Du Soleil (21:35) : Too ambitious, too much over the top, too experimental, and Anderson his vocals starts to annoy. The only part that delights me a little bit is the beautiful ending, with warm vocals and piano, and finally howling guitar work, fuelled by a dynamic rhythm-section, and in the end soft Mellotron waves.

This double LP has some strong moments on side 1 and 4, but the rest fails to generate any excitement, it fails to keep my attention, because Yes was too much unbalanced as an unit. And the hippie with the iron fist got too much control. But he learned from this, as you can experience on the successor Relayer (1974), and especially on Going For The One (1977), the album where he reunited with Wakeman, also in musical harmony, fresh and inspired.

 Close To The Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.66 | 4328 ratings

Close To The Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars "The sound of a masterpiece"

Back to early 1976. I am watching the new music movie Yessongs (recorded during the Close To The Edge tour in 1973) with some friends who want to introduce me to Yes. Since a year I have become a sympomaniac, and I am very heavy into Peter Gabriel Genesis. But now I am on the brink of discovering Yes, and indeed, I am blown away. Especially during the Wakeman solo spot (hail to the Minimoog and Mellotron choirs), and the epic Close To The Edge: what a mindblowing combination of images and music, it makes a very deep impression on me, as an adolescent who wants to be flooded by this kind of symphonic rock. Late 1977 I am watching Yes during the Going For The One tour, again I am blown away, especially during Awaken, and, yes, indeed, the epic Close To The Edge: when the band plays the bombastic eruption after I Get Up, I Get Down, standing in the mist of frozen oxygen, magical! Because it is a while ago that I listened to CTTE I decided to listen to it this evening, this is my impression.

1. Close To The Edge (18:50) : After a the sounds of nature-like intro a dynamic part follows with amazing interplay featuring fiery guitar, a powerful bass and tight drum beats, inspired by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, some band members were very impressed by this legendary jazzrock formation. Then a swinging rhythm with the focus on Anderson his distinctive vocals and Squire his mighty Rickenbacker. An instrumental break delivers a churchy Hammond sound, followed by a dreamy interlude with soaring Mellotron violins, experimental sounds and vocal harmonies. Anderson sings I Get Up I Get Down in a dramatic way. This builds up the tension, culminating in a mindblowing part with a majestic church organ sound, then fat Minimoog flights, you cannot beg for a more bombastic symphonic rock sound, goose bumps all over my body! Now a heavy eruption with awesome interplay, and a swirling Hammond organ solo, fuelled by a powerful rhythm-section, soon topped with Anderson his inspired vocals singing 'Close To The Edge, Down By The River' and 'I Get Up I Get Down', and the sounds of nature, emphasizing the band its ideas about this composition as a four part suite.

2. And You And I (10:09) : First an intro with fragile twanging acoustic guitar with flageolets, then a cheerful folky atmosphere with acoustic rhythm guitar, Minimoog runs and dreamy vocals, the mellow side of Yes. Suddenly a bombastic eruption with awesome Mellotron violins, tender steel-guitar, from folk to symphonic rock, simply wonderful, and a strong vocal contribution from Anderson. In the second part a slow rhythm with that pleasant folky atmosphere featuring acoustic rhythm guitar, Minimoog flights, a growling bass and Anderson his inspired vocals, building up to another bombastic eruption with those majestic Mellotron violins, and ending with a dreamy folky part, topped with a slowly fading steel guitar.

3. Siberian Khatru (8:57) : This composition starts with a bombastic sound in a mid-tempo featuring awesome interplay, and a delicate presence of the sitar, harpsichord and steel guitar. Steve Howe shines with fiery work on the electric guitar, along subtle Mellotron drops (violin and flute section). Now the sound gradually becomes more lush and dynamic with inventive drumming, then again that swinging rhythm and awesome interplay. Anderson and Howe lead it to a bombastic finale, Yes in its full splendor, what a captivating blend of symphonic rock and jazzrock!

For me there is no doubt this is a masterpiece in the world of progressive rock: Yes is scouting the borders between folk, classical, symphonic rock and jazzrock, in a very fascinating way, with a very varied instrumentation, from warm folky acoustic guitars to a bombastic Hammond, Mellotron and Moog sound, YES!

 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.37 | 2952 ratings

Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "Reborn, after TFTO!"

Listening and analyzing the Yes albums CTTE (1972), TFTO (1973), Relayer (1974) and GFTO (1977) I notice that within five years Yes delivered four totally different sounding albums, while Seventies Yes is legendary for its distinctive sound featuring the sumptuous Wakeman keyboards, the high pitched Anderson vocals, the virtuosic Howe guitar runs and the powerful Squire Rickenbacker bass sound. That tells a story how adventurous and creative Yes wrote its compositons in those years. During the concert of the previous album tour TFTO lots of people walked away, even before the break, they couldn't get into the music, especially the compositions on side 2 and 3, too much without structure. Rick Wakeman was so frustrated that he left Yes, in order to focus on his epic solo albums, close to megalomania. He was replaced by Patrick Moraz, known for his work in Mainhorse and Refugee. So every Yes fan was very curious how this new Yes line-up would sound, and the venomous music press was eager to nail the forthcoming Yes effort. I remember very well that I had bought the brandnew Yes album Relayer, I was fascinated by the Roger Dean cover art, hosting a snake, a symbol for rebirth. Well, when I listened to Relayer for the first time I concuded that Yes was reborn, after that boring and unstructured TFTO!

1. Gates Of Delirium (22:55) : It starts with captivating interplay between the powerful electric guitar and an almost cheerful keyboard sound, Jon Anderson his distinctive voice joins and gradually the tension builds with an omnipresent fiery guitar, and a growling bass. Then a mellow part with the focus on Jon Anderson his vocals. Again gradually it becomes more heavy and bombastic, Howe shines with his biting guitar sound. Halfway it culminates into a bombastic eruption with blistering guitar leads and sweeping drums, Yes as never before, high adrenaline Heavy Prog, agressive and dynamic, led by Steve Howe his heavy guitar sound, topped with inventive keyboard work by Patrick Moraz, and fuelled by a thunderous rhythm-section. Next a part with exciting steel-guitar and synthesizer flights, slowly turning into spacey, coloured with awesome, very sensitive steel-guitar play, mellow organ and dreamy vocals, finally even some Mellotron drops, wonderful! And what a huge contrast with the heavy and bombastic mid-section, peace after war?

2. Sound Chaser (9:25) : The intro delivers great interplay between the sparkling Fender Rhodes electric piano, a powerful rhythm section, and soaring Mellotron violins, then a bombastic up-tempo with exciting bass runs, catchy heavy guitar runs and soaring synthesizer strings. This culminates into a long and compelling guitar solo, from subtle volume pedal to agressive outbursts, like he is chasing after all kinds of sounds! Then dreamy vocals joins, followed by another heavy and bombastic outburst, featuring awesome steel-guitar, that growling bass and inventive work on keyboards by Patrick Moraz, topped with a mindblowing pitchbend driven Minimoog solo, and fuelled by a dynamic and powerful rhythm-section. The interplay is amazing, this a Yes that seems unleashed (and Steve Howe named this track as one of his favorites)!

3. To Be Over (9:08) : It starts dreamy with volume pedal guitar, the distinctive sitar and all kinds of sounds, a bit experimental. Then a slow rhythm with tender vocals and steel guitar, even a Hawaii guitar sound, a bit too sentimental for me. Halfway Howe starts to rock with his guitar, now it becomes more interesting, with howling and fiery runs. Finally again the sentimental atmosphere with tender vocals, to me it sounds like a leftover from CTTE (in the vein of You And I), apart from a nice Minimoog solo, some heavy guitar riffs and sitar in the end.

I consider Relayer as in interesting and at some moments very exciting Yes album, but not at the level of CTTE or GFTO.

 Yessongs by YES album cover Live, 1973
4.33 | 926 ratings

Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars Is this the ultimate quintessential live symphonic rock album?

In the mid-Seventies I became I Yes fan after watching the movie Yessongs, in a YMCA center in my former hometown The Hague. I was blown away by the virtuosity, the exciting interplay, the jaw dropping solo performances, the vintage instrumentation and, last but not least, the visuals, especially 'caped crusader' Rick Wakeman and his solo spot on the Hammond, Mellotron and Minimoog. For me this is unsurpassed symphonic rock, and I still love this live album, once a mindblowing triple fold out cover, you could be carried away by not only the music but also the magical Roger Dean art. After almost 50 years being a symphomaniac I wonder or Yessongs is the ultimate quintessential symphonic rock album?

Cascades of distinctive elements. The opening Firebird Suite (Stravinsky) is a perfect choice to bring you in the mood for Yes, with its bombastic classical sound, the orchestrated music swells and swells, erupts and then there is Yes, applause! The 6 LP sides are loaded with captivating, varied and dynamic epic compositions, derived from the classical symphonies, the main source for the genre. The extreme example is of course Close To The Edge, culminating in a grand finale featuring legendary work on a churchy sounding Hammond organ and super fat Minimoog synthesizer flights. Another great element is the use of a wide range instruments that colours the music in a way that is so typical for the variety of symphonic rock: majestic Mellotron in Siberian Khatru, steel-guitar in And You And I, Spanish guitar in Mood For A Day, Vintage Keyboard Extravaganza in Rick Wakeman his solo spot Excerpts from The Six Wives of Henry VIII, swirling Hammond organ in Roundabout, the Portuguese 12-string guitar in I've Seen All Good People, Chris Squire his mighty Rickenbacker bass sound in his solo performance The Fish, guitar player Steve Howe goes heavy in Yours Is No Disgrace and the legendary duel between Howe his electric guitar and Wakeman his Minimoog in the final part of Starship Trooper. The final element is an iconic cover, well, just take a look a the Roger Dean front painting: once he was asked by Yes he started to think about the best way to express the Yes music, what a genius!

The cynical music press often nailed this Yes music as too ambitious and too self-indulgent, but for me Yessongs delivers a perfect setlist with excellent songs that incorporate rock, classical, jazz and folky in a very fascinating way. Despite the long tracks and running time of more than an hour the music never bores. Incontrary, so many times the music builds and builds, surprises with interesting breaks, slows down, erupts and culminates in legendary symphonic rock eargasms. Of course you cannot compare Yes with Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Gentle Giant or Jethro Tull, that is the great thing in symphonic rock, all bands have their own identity and own sound. What I only miss in Yessongs is the element emotion (like the way Peter Gabriel puts emotion in Live with his lyrics and vocal outbursts) and the compelling psychedelic element by Pink Floyd on Pompeii. But that is why Yes is Yes, based upon a more 'conservatory symphonic rock' sound, like Gentle Giant and King Crimson, while Genesis and Jethro Tull had more folky elements and Pink Floyd blues and psychedelia.

So my personal conclusion is that indeed Yessongs is The Ultimate Quintessential Live Symphonic Rock Album, made in the magical and unsurpassed Seventies.

 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.37 | 2952 ratings

Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Chaser


If Close to the Edge was Yes' greatest work of pure prog rock perfection, then Relayer was their most ambitious, mind bogglingly complex, utterly dazzling album in the Yes canon, and possibly in the whole canon of progressive rock.

That statement will immediately tell you that I regard this album as one of the greatest albums ever created, and an absolutely essential masterpiece of the genre.

Gates of Delirium is a pure adrenalin fuelled roller coaster ride of emotion, that pushes musicians and instruments to their very limits. It will send you soaring to the stratosphere, whilst leaving your nerves in shreds and your head spinning. The first time I ever played this track I felt so dizzy listening to it that I thought I was going to pass out, and it still has the power to blow me away more than thirty years later.

The soft synths of the "Soon" section bring calm to the piece after the battle is over and provide a beautiful contrast against the raging storm of music that preceded them.

Then we move into one of my favourite tracks of all time, "Sound Chaser". This begins with Moraz playing chromatic scales against Alan White's rolling drum solo, before White hits a steady beat and the rest of the band pile in behind him. A fantastic opening to a track that delivers in every way. Steve Howe shows his amazing guitar virtuosity with incredible guitar scales of his own. A softer section prepares the listener for the full onslaught of the final synth and bass fuelled section that you just don't want to end. The "cha cha cha" section can be a bit jarring on first listening, but after a while it can be appreciated as a necessary and somewhat humorous interlude providing the required punctuation to the track.

"To Be Over" feels like a bit of a come down after the intensity of the previous two tracks, but this is a beautiful piece with lovely vocals from Anderson and some wonderful guitar work from Steve Howe. A strong but calming track after the madness of the first two tracks, but with huge musical depth and intricacy. A fitting end to one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time.

The album is not without flaws, and is not perfect in the way that, in my opinion, Close to the Edge is, but it's power to dazzle and amaze renders it totally compelling and utterly essential.

If you have never listened to this album then you are in for one hell of a ride. Just be ready to scrape the shattered fragments of your brain off the ceiling.

 Big Generator by YES album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.53 | 1097 ratings

Big Generator
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by stevoz

4 stars IGNORE THE PROG SNOBS!! This a great rock album!

Many reviewers have come on here to express their disdain at this supposedly 'sellout' album by prog masters Yes. Get a grip people! This is a wonderful album in it's own right. Are you saying Yes didn't have the right to change or evolve? You indeed have the right to reject this album but you are frankly missing out.

A great rock album performed by masters of their craft....who wouldn't be impressed? Only those who believe they have some 'god given' right to influence a bands creative output. Get over yourselves. Or you can continue to be smugly satisfied with your arrogant rejection of is your loss!

So change they did and this album and it's predecessor '90125' actually made them some decent money off the back of excellently performed and produced 'prog lite' rock music.....and good luck to them.

If the detractors hadn't noticed, pure prog rock was hardly filling bands coffers in the mid 80's. Feel free as a musician to 'stay true to your musical self' and be poor if you don't impress the buying public...or if your musical roots become passe. One couldn't count the amount of musicians who have lived to regret their own stubborn arrogance by refusing to evolve and grow with the times....

Opening with the superb 'Rhythm of Love', a song which rocks along with gorgeous vocal harmonies (a feature of this album) and a driving 'up tempo' beat.

The title track follows with Rabins crunching guitar taking centre stage....and it does rock! There's a lot happening here but it's not muddled....the production values shine through on this fact on every track. The SQ on the whole album is superb!

'Shoot High, Aim Low' is a brooding prog-lite track that builds and takes you away....

The first side ends with the up tempo 'All About Love' with it's 'Sussudio' style brass section kicking it along. (Rabin apparently didn't approve of the addition of the brass section but I think it's fine). It's a joyous uplifting song that gets the feet tapping.

Side two opens with 'Love Will Find A Way', a beautiful if slightly commercial offering that is a wonderful combination of excellent musicianship and collective vocal prowess.

'Final Eyes' is another excellent prog lite track highlighted by superb vocals by Anderson with superb audio production again shining through.

'I'm Running' is a latin beat inspired prog rocker which strangely is the longest song on the album and with it's really excellent vocal harmonies and at times, propulsive hits the prog spot!

Finishing with 'Holy Lamb', a nice Anderson spiritual ballad that, while probably the weakest song on the album, is still a worthy contribution and a nice reflective conclusion.

This album is a winner....for those who appreciate great rock music from a band of Class A performers.....for those who respect a band for evolving and exploring other possibilities....and who maybe just wanted a decent return for their efforts for a change. Well, they succeeded on all fronts.

I didn't give it 5 stars, only because in the words of the rating system, an album that receives 5 stars is "Essential: a masterpeice of progressive rock music." This album probably doesn't fit that description but it is a "masterpiece of prog inspired rock music" and I give it 4 stars. As a straight rock music album and for it's production values, I would give it 5's a beauty!!

 Fragile by YES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.45 | 3421 ratings

Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First album with Rick Wakeman, "Fragile " is the only competitor of "Close To The Edge" for the palm of Best album of Yes. It is lighter and fragmentary, but also more varied and cheerful.

1. Roundabout (8:29) is a live classic, a long rock and roll song. Excellent classical guitar and rhythm and instrumental parts (organ solo by Wakeman); in the long, the sung part sounds a little didactic.

2. Cans And Brahms (1:35) is an organ solo by Wakeman. Childish and naïve, but pretty, fanciful. Rating 7+. 3. We Have Heaven (1:30) is an obsessive repetition by vocals and rhythm. Pretty but cloying. Rating 7.

4. South Side Of The Sky (8:04) is another long rock and roll song. Excellent the two parts, that hard rock and the melodic part, excellent the instrumental parts (with the guitar) and the melody on the piano; a little redundant the choir "Na-na-na". Rating 8,5. 5. Five Percent For Nothing (0:35): Dissonant and nervous fragment. No rating. End of Side A.

It is a captivating music, which has a cheerful exuberant pop rhythm, a high vocal hue (Jon Anderson) and a good rhythm: perfect heir to the Beatles, it manages to combine easy listening with long songs, elaborate and with high rate of virtuosity.

Side B: 6. Long Distance Runaround (3:33) is a rock and roll piece, not completed. It fades into the next instrumental song: 7. The Fish. Overall Rating: 7+.

8. Mood For A Day (3:57) is a classic guitar solo, played by Steve Howe. Elegant. Rating 7,5. 9. Heart Of The Sunrise (10:34) is a long, epic song, and the absolute masterpiece of the album. Large instrumental progression, with numbers from the rhythm section (Bruford, Squire). Moving voice by Anderson, that reaches a great peak of pathos. Rating 9.

The album is excellent in the three long compositions, which are better than those of the second side of Close To The Edge, but unfortunately it turns out, for the rest, full of fillers. "Heart Of The Sunrise" reaches one of the absolute peaks of quality in the discography of Yes, and if it took the place of "Siberian Khatru", it would have made "CTTE" a true masterpiece. Instead, here it elevates the quality of an album very appealing and pleasant to listen but that, for the rest, does not reach the height of the masterpiece. In my opinion, the value of the album is close to CTTE but slightly lower.

Average quality of the songs: 7,82. Rating album: 8,5. Four Stars.

 Magnification by YES album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.73 | 1073 ratings

Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

2 stars For better or worse, Magnification is period Yes. Even given the fact that the album was recorded with an orchestra, it's not a radical departure from the band's late-1990s work.

At this point Yes was comprised of its founders, vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire; longtime drummer Alan White, who had joined in 1973; and guitarist Steve Howe, who had been with the band from 1970 to 1980, 1991 to 1992, and 1995 to the present. The band did not have a keyboardist at this time.

The orchestra works just fine in place of a keyboardist - - which makes sense; on much of 90125 and Open Your Eyes, for example, the keyboards were used as backing instrumentation. Although some of the arrangements on Magnification are a little contrived, I disagree that the orchestra is a gimmick. Nonetheless, the use of the orchestra here is far from stupendous. It's ornamentation which was almost certainly developed after most of the material was written. In fact, it sounds as though the orchestral parts might have been composed after the album was recorded. (Apparently, though, this wasn't the case.)

Since the Rabin era ended in 1995, most of the band's songwriting, on Keys to Ascension (1996), Keys to Ascension 2, Open Your Eyes (both 1997), and The Ladder (1999), can be classified either as Anderson songs, Anderson/Howe songs, or Billy Sherwood songs. Take away Sherwood, who had left the band after The Ladder tour, and Magnification sounds very much like late-1990s Yes with an orchestra added.

Unfortunately, although Anderson was the writer of classics like "Astral Traveler" and "Long Distance Runaround," and while Anderson and Howe jointly wrote "Roundabout," "Close to the Edge," and "Awaken," late-1990s Yes music was not of the same quality as these masterpieces. It almost seems like the band submitted bare-bones sketches of the songs to Larry Groupé, the orchestral arranger and conductor, in hopes that Groupé would add some meat. But it also seems like Groupé was never considered a co-writer, and thus, his contributions are embellishments on and restatements of those relatively stark demos.

Other than the songwriting, my only real complaint with Magnification relates to the use of pitch-correcting software (probably Antares Autotune). This allows the real-time or post-production correction of off-key notes, and is usually used to fix problems with vocals. Its use caused indignation among some fans and a lot of posturing among some artists in the late 2000s. Personally, I think Autotune is a completely natural development in music. The problem on Magnification is overuse, particularly on Chris Squire's solo parts and especially on Anderson's layered harmonies. Whereas Autotune can be used to move a melodic line closer to being on key, on Magnification it seems to have been used to make many vocal tracks sound perfectly on key - - so perfect that you can tell that Autotune has been used.

There are two nice tracks here. "Can You Imagine," sung by Squire, is a good example of a simple idea which still suffers from an emptiness, even with the orchestral ornamentation. But it has a nice melody and fits nicely within its three-minute runtime.

"In the Presence Of," especially "Deeper," the first section, is also based around a strong melody, initially played on piano by White. As he has so many times, Anderson demonstrates an incredible talent for creating vocal melodies from chord sequences and countermelodies from melodies. Whereas classically trained Yes keyboardists like Geoff Downes and Rick Wakeman are masters of arrangement, Anderson's talent seems to be intrinsic.

Magnification is far from unlistenable. Other than the immodest use of pitch-correction, the production is good, and the performances are as well. My primary complaint is that the songs themselves are generally uninspired.

In terms of overall quality, Magnification is in the same league as Tormato, Union, and The Ladder. In other words, this is one for collectors or fans of the band. By my reckoning, Yes has produced 21 studio albums (in my book, both Keys to Ascension albums count). Fourteen of these are three-, four-, or five-star albums. I have two suggestions for those who have heard some of Yes's classics (The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, and Relayer are each rated above 4.25/5 stars on Prog Archives), and want to dig deeper. If you like the idea of the band playing with an orchestra, start with Time and a Word. Or, if you want to hear more of Anderson, Squire, Howe, and White, go with Going for the One.

 Into The Lens by YES album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.01 | 37 ratings

Into The Lens
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars An interesting, but definitely not essential, single edit of the Drama track.

The 8:32 album track is cut down to a 3:48 single edit with about four splices. It eliminates the first three minutes of the album version by fading in right before the first bridge ("there by the waterside / here where the lens is wide"). The modified "I am a camera" chorus and the "taken, taken so easily" section follow as on the album version. Two quick edits later, we're at the finale; the last two minutes of the single edit are almost identical to the last to minutes of the album version (five seconds are cut during the "I am, I am a camera part").

It's a pretty chopped-up single, but it does accomplish the task of cutting "Into the Lens" down by more than half without entirely losing the feel of the original. The weirdest part is definitely the fade-in, which drops the listener into the middle of the song.

Yes had a total of 11 singles make the Billboard pop charts from "Your Move" In 1970 to "Lift Me Up" In 1991. Released as "Into the Lens (I Am a Camera)," this was the only one not to make the top 100. It debuted on September 25, 1980 and spent two weeks on the "Bubbling Under the Hot 100" chart, peaking at #104.

An interesting curio for fans, and, on its own merits, a good early-1980s art-pop song.

 Close To The Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.66 | 4328 ratings

Close To The Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Close To The Edge" is the number ONE in the ranking of Progarchives. Is it the best progressive rock album of all time? My personal answer is no.

The Lp includes three songs: "Close To The Edge" (side A), "And You And I", and "Siberian Khatru" (side B).

"Close To The Edge", the song: Everybody here knows this suite very well... But is it a real suite? How is his structure? After having heard this suite for many years, here's to you my evaluation.

Close To The Edge (18:42) begins with country noises and a carpet of keyboards that gradually increases the volume, then comes an instrumental intro guided by Howe's guitar, which works on two lines: one does the solo, the other an underlying phrasing at great speed, which in fact marks a faster pace than that of Bruford's drums, which he prefers, with his creative jazzy style, not to beat too much on the snare drum, but works the rhythm at the hips. Meanwhile, Squire throws slashes with his mixed bass very high. The impression is therefore of listening to a polyrhythmic piece, without true melody, very well chiselled, refined, sophisticated, produced by the virtuosity of the musicians, which lasts about two and a half minutes, when Anderson's singing arrives to signal that it is time to start with the serious part, the storytelling. It is always Howe's guitar that leads, this time painting the melody, flanked by Squire's bass. The melody continues for a minute (up to about 3:50), then the rhythm stops and, punctuated by Bruford's drums, begins the hyperspeed rhythm that characterizes the verses of this long song. This time the keyboards of Wakeman arrive to support Howe's guitar, and together with Bruford's drums they beat the rhythm, while Squire produces some turns of bass to make it more lively. Anderson's singing begins, with its glacial timbre, and the very high, contralto tone, which somehow transcends the rock music in the background, turns off the heat like covering it with a white, pure, celestial liquid, and this it is the contradiction of Yes, well-marked by the critic Scaruffi: the romantic, warm, sentimental rock base is accompanied by the vocals of Anderson, cold, celestial, like icy water that extinguishes the fire. Therefore, a discrepancy is created, a conjunction of opposites, which produces a conflicting result, because Anderson's voice would be more suitable for slower, fluid, rarefied atmospheres of air or water, such as some kraut rock music (Hosianna Mantra) or some Canterbury (Wyatt's Rock Bottom) or the more recent post-rock. Instead this voice is associated with a melodic rock music, with a good rhythm, which tends to act more on a corporal than an astral level. All this produces conflict but also fascination, leaving in the music of Yes something that clashes, conflicts, but that makes it at the same time more fascinating, more stratified, less univocal, less simple, because it moves simultaneously in two opposite directions.

It is clear that Anderson's voice really characterizes the music of Yes and not everyone likes it. The fact that it goes on another level with respect to the music, combined with its super-high tone, almost falsetto, it could irritate or tire many listeners. Personally it took me several years to get used to Anderson's vocals, since I come from the classic (heartland) rock. I know that many lovers of classic rock don't tolerate Yes more for the voice of Anderson than for their songs, convoluted and full of virtuosic instrumental pieces.

But ... Let's go back to the song! The singing arrives: verse, second verse and immediately the chorus that then fades into a short solo by Howe that connects it to the bridge, at a more relaxed pace, then again comes the refrain, which in the final salt of tone touch a solemn epic climax ("I Get Up, I Get Down").

This structure, in fact an easy-listening melodic pop (beat style) song, represents the backbone of everything in Close To The Edge.

A piece of connection follows where Squire's bass is in evidence, then the keyboards report to the main melody: verse, second verse, chorus. All played with a different rhythm by Bruford and with greater use of the bass. In the refrain, more Wakeman's keyboards begins to be heard. Then bridge (where Howe's guitar feels good and there is an intermittent super high-pitched sound, I don't know if it's still produced by Howe or by Wakeman), then new chorus, which ends when we're at 8 minutes.

Following is a piece centered on low tones that introduce us to the instrumental break dominated by Wakeman. The music slows down, the rhythm section disappears, the song is deconstructed, leaving only abstract landscapes dominated by keyboards. It seems to be in a cold cave and in fact you can hear the sound of drops falling. Wakeman combines the sound of the synthesizer with that of organ and mellotron, and comes the singing of Anderson, in a doubled voice, at ease in this ethereal atmosphere. He starts again from the bridge, sung with slow rhythm, alternating with choirs of the chorus. This time Anderson's singing is intimate, confidential, and alternate to the choirs: my opinion is in this context that gives the best of himself, when his singing is confidential, and does not stand on the high notes ... or alternatively, when it grows on the high notes, if it is flanked by a melodic musical crescendo, and it's just happening now: the vocals "I Get Up, I Get Down, I Get Up" push the music to its peak, a marvelous epic, majestic, solemn climax after the long bridge / chorus; the voice rises in tone, and then the Wakeman church organ follow the vocals, and it sounds perfect for this musical juncture. We are a little longer than 12 minutes, and finally the song touches one of the highest peak of quality in the entire Yes's discography. Still Anderson, singing: "I Get Up, I Get Down", he leads the organ to lower notes, and after just over 14 minutes, the rhythm of the melody returns, with Bruford distinguishing it again from jazz preciousness.

The keyboards come back, and finally the singing starts again, on the hyperspeed rhythm with which it started the song: verse, second verse, bridge this time before the chorus, and finally again: "I Get Up, I Get Down", which closes in fading returning to the initial country noises.

Close To The Edge, in my opinion, is not a real suite. It is a song verse-chorus dilated to no end, which repeats the chorus (refrain) 6 times in total. Yes have created a new song format, they take a commercial easy-listening pop song with a verse-chorus (refrain)-bridge-chorus (refrain) structure and then they dilate it, speed it up, slow it down, accompany it with changes of rhythm and arrangement, support it with instrumental digressions and get to almost 20 minutes: and here's to you a beat song disguised as a classical suite. The (high-class) operation unites a simple substance: an easily accessible music, to a complex form: its clothing with a high quotient of virtuosity, refined arrangement, polyrhythmic instrumental pieces.

Rating high: 8,5/9. Successful song.

Now side B. Will side B be able to maintain the same level of quality?

"And You and I" (10:08) begins acoustically with a pastoral guitar phrasing, then comes the singing of Anderson, who sings two verses with a folk background, marked however by Wakeman's synths. The melody is pretty, but nothing more. Bruford's drums come together for a nice bridge "in crescendo", where Squire's bass performs numbers on the bass. The verse returns, which ends by raising the tone, and introducing a multi-level Wakeman solo, which brings the song from pastoral-folk to almost psychedelic-space rock, until the singing of Anderson returns, on the notes of the bridge, to making this orchestral crescendo celestial which, in effect, tends to rise towards the sky. In this way a nice climax is reached, which ends around 6 minutes. The music stops, the acoustic guitar phrasing returns, quite similar at the beginning, it comes to support it the rhythm section, then again a solo of keyboards / synths, this time a digression on the theme, above which the voice of Anderson returns, accompanied by the choirs, for the third bridge. The music rises for the "great finale", but again it stops, and Anderson's voice returns for the last 40 seconds. They should have avoided closing by repeating the verse, as the song has already repeated itself too much.

The song was virtually finished after 6 minutes, after reaching the climax. The remaining 4 minutes do not add much in terms of musical material, and would at least be cut by a minute. In this case, in expanding the song to get a mini suite, Yes don't get the same remarkable result achieved in Close To The Edge. As a quality, the song would have been better if it ended after 6 minutes. But even if they wanted to repeat the initial folk melody, they would have to end the song in an instrumental way without extending it so much. Rating: 8.

"Siberian Khatru" (9:00) brings the atmosphere back to the initial guitar rock, with more emphasis on keyboards. From the beginning the song appears quite repetitive and less inspired than Close To The Edge. Also in this case, the melody is pretty but not excellent. Anderson prefers to be accompanied by choirs, but it is above all the instrumental work that is more repetitive and less inspired than the first two pieces. After two verse-chorus pieces, the instrumental solo arrives, left first at Wakeman's celesta and then at Howe's guitar. The piece, however, does not sound with the same conviction as the other two. After 4 and a half minutes, Anderson's crystalline voice comes as fresh air to invigorate the piece, then starts the refrain, with Bruford beating drums and cymbals like a madman and Squire making the numbers. Again a slowdown, the singing of choirs, Bruford to make the numbers, and finally an instrumental queue that is too long, two and a half minutes, since it doesn't add anything particularly new compared to the repeated rhythm as a possessed from beginning to end. The Yes add a syncopated piece of percussion and vocals to break the rhythm. But on the whole, like "And You And I", the musical material is too little to justify the 9 minutes of the song, and Yes can't always do miracles, as in "Close To The Edge", to make original simple music that could be compressed in three minutes. Here, in fact, they try, and they are to praise, not to make the song dull, between percussion and the slashes of bass by Squire, which characterizes the ending of the piece, but overall the result is not compelling, and in short the song seems in effect, compared to the other two, a filler pulled too long. Rating: 7,5.

Side A: Rating 8,5/9. Side B: Rating 8. Rating album: 8,5 for the quality, 8,5/9 for his unity and coherence. Four and a half Stars.

Is "Close To The Edge" the masterpiece of progressive rock? Not in my opinion. It is an almost masterpiece, in terms of quality. The first part is a masterpiece, the second is not. In my personal ranking the rating is 8.5 / 9 that is four and a half stars. Even if it were 5-star, it would be a small masterpiece, which remains a bit far from the peaks of King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. Close To The Edge has the characteristic of being the emblem of the canons of progressive rock that in 1972 had its greatest flowering. It has one side filled with just one suite, and the other with two mini-suites or long songs: the maximum (for prog) would be one suite per side, as Yes will do in the next, double album "Tales From Topographic Oceans". Here the songs are not real suites, but very dilated melodic pop-rock songs (while on Tales and Relayer Yes will compose real suites). Then Yes provide a great rate of virtuosity, rhythm changes (or polyrhythmic rhythms), instrumental variations on the main melodic theme; they add baroque arrangements (the church organ and the celesta played by Wakeman) to the songs that have a simple rock or folk structure; in short: in this album Yes exemplify with the maximum coherence the canons, the schemes, the patterns of progressive rock. And they put, in the first side, and partly in And You And I, excellent sound content, musical progressions coupled with singing that reach climax, a high rate of pathos.

But all this is affected by the excessive expansion of duration of the songs, especially in the second side. As often happens, the main representatives of an artistic movement, those who shape the patterns, have more historical importance than a universal recognition for the quality of their works. That is, it is often those who are inside an artistic movement without respecting all the canons to be those who, subjected to the scrutiny of the historical judgment, come out better. Yes are the quintessence of the progressive rock of the golden age. Certainly they weren't just gifted musicians, they created an imaginary, they have always been visionaries, both musically and narratively. However, the quality peaks achieved in their albums, in my opinion, are not the highest achieved within the progressive rock movement. This Lp got high, but not very high quality, in my opinion. This record, in fact, represents the artistic peak of Yes discography ("Fragile" and certain parts of "Tales" are close to its) and, as my critical judgment, while praising the first side, which gives me great pleasure in listening, the pleasure ends up arriving at sixth minute of And You and I. The rest is not ugly, on the contrary, it is of good level, but not of great level. And this justifies my rating of four and a half stars. If "Heart of the Sunrise" had been here instead of Siberian Khatru, "Close To The Edge" would have been a real masterpiece that could be close to the top results of Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson.

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

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