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Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom

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

YES formed in London (UK) in 1968 with Jon ANDERSON (vocals), Chris SQUIRE (bass, vocals), Peter BANKS (guitar, vocals), Tony KAYE (keyboards), and Bill BRUFORD (drums). Well-known and influential mainstream progressive from the 1970's, and still around in some form ever since, they were highly influential in their heyday, especially notable for the really creative "Relayer", which included at the time Swiss keyboardist Patrick MORAZ who replaced Rick WAKEMAN

During the 1970s, YES pioneered the use of synthesizers and sound effects in modern music. Driven by Jon's artistic vision, they produced such timeless, symphonic-rock masterworks as "Roundabout," "Close To the Edge," and "Awaken". In the 1980s, YES pushed new digital sampling technologies to their limits, selling millions of records and influencing a generation of digital musicians with classics like "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" and "Rhythm Of Love". Moving through the 1990s and into the new millennium, the band keeps expanding its boundaries by using the latest hard-disk recording techniques and, most recently, working with a full orchestra to create their genre-defying music.

YES gained large popularity with their brand of mysticism and grand-scale compositions. "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" are considered their best works as it's symphonic, complex, cerebral, spiritual and moving. These albums featured beautiful harmonies and strong, occasionally heavy playing. Also, "Fragile" contained the popular hit song "Roundabout". This was followed by the controversial "Tales from Topographic Oceans" LP, which was a double album consisting of only four 20-minute length suites centering on religious concepts. Also, "Relayer" was their most experimental, yet grandiose and symphonic. They broke up, until the new jewel "Going For The One" and its incredible "Awaken" was issued in 1977. In later years, YES would go through many transformations. There were other very good YES albums after "Going For The One" ("Drama", "Keys To Ascension" and suprisingly "The Ladder") but this is the last great album.

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Buy YES Music

The Steven Wilson Remixes (6LP)The Steven Wilson Remixes (6LP)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2018
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (3CD, Digi-Pak)Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (3CD, Digi-Pak)
Elektra Catalog Group 2004
$8.20 (used)
Tales From Topographic Oceans: Expanded Edition 3 CD+1 Blu-rayTales From Topographic Oceans: Expanded Edition 3 CD+1 Blu-ray
Panegyric 2016
The Yes AlbumThe Yes Album
Panegyric 2014
$16.25 (used)
Close To The Edge (Expanded & Remastered)Close To The Edge (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2003
$5.21 (used)
Fragile: Expanded / RemixedFragile: Expanded / Remixed
Panegyric 2015
$15.91 (used)
Fragile (Expanded & Remastered)Fragile (Expanded & Remastered)
Elektra Catalog Group 2003
$4.75 (used)
Tales from Topographic OceansTales from Topographic Oceans
Rhino/Elektra 2003
$9.41 (used)
The Studio Albums 1969-1987 (12CD)The Studio Albums 1969-1987 (12CD)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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RICK WAKEMAN Country Airs (Piano Solos), orig Coda vinyl LP, 1986, VG+, Yes USD $4.99 Buy It Now
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USD $45.00 Buy It Now
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Yes Wonderous Stories 7" vinyl single record UK K10999 ATLANTIC 1977 USD $17.19 Buy It Now
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Yes - The Yes Album LP - Atlantic USD $10.51 [6 bids]
Yes - Yesshows World Tour 1977 LP - Kornyfone USD $6.00 [1 bids]
Fields of Green '97 by Rick Wakeman (Sealed CD, Jul-2006, Music Fusion) Yes USD $3.50 [0 bids]
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YES - GOING FOR THE ONE ALBUM - 1977 USD $6.57 [0 bids]
The Yes Album (180 Gram Audiophile V Inyl 45rpm 2x Lp Box SetLimited Ann Iversa USD $93.44 Buy It Now
Yes: An Evening of Yes Music Plus (CD, 1994, 2 Discs) USD $8.50 Buy It Now
Willie Clayton, Hello How Have You Been/Say Yes To Love, 5N 3807, 1975 7" 45 RPM USD $16.00 Buy It Now
USD $119.99 Buy It Now
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Fragile [LP] by Yes (Vinyl, May-2016, Atlantic (Label)) The USD $6.00 Buy It Now
Phyllis Diller . Born to Sing . yes she sings! 1969 Columbia LP Sealed USD $9.74 [0 bids]
CD: YES - Classic Yes USD $3.50 Buy It Now
LES FEMMES Yes, You Thrill Me KEE WEE 12" VG+ HEAR USD $8.00 [1 bids]
You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess Yello UK vinyl LP album record SEEZ48 USD $31.78 Buy It Now
Yes Going For The One UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) K11047 ATLANTIC 1977 USD $18.51 Buy It Now
Yes vinyl LP album record Tormato USA SD19202 ATLANTIC 1978 USD $21.17 Buy It Now
Oh Yes Paris Angels UK 7" vinyl single record SHEER005/7 SHEER JOY 1991 USD $13.19 Buy It Now
Yes Yes 35 tour programme UK TOUR PROGRAMME HILL SHORTER 2004 USD $24.48 Buy It Now
Yes vinyl LP album record Tormato UK K50518 ATLANTIC 1978 USD $18.51 Buy It Now
Yes Open Your Eyes Tour 1997-98 UK tour programme TOUR PROGRAMME 1997 USD $24.48 Buy It Now
Full Circle Yes tour programme UK TOUR PROGRAMME HILL SHORTER 2003 USD $24.48 Buy It Now
World Tour 1984 + Insert Yes UK tour programme TOUR PROGRAMME 1984 USD $28.47 Buy It Now
Yes Yesshows 1980 USA tour programme TOUR PROGRAMME CANDID LITHO 1980 USD $31.12 Buy It Now
YES RELAYER P-8530A with OBI Japan VINYL LP USD $19.99 Buy It Now
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YES by Victoria Bond (CD, Jun-2003, Albany Music Distribution) USD $9.99 [0 bids]
Old Grey Whistle Test 1975 U.K. LP BELP 004 Queen The Who Ry Cooder Yes USD $19.99 Buy It Now
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Yes vinyl LP album record The Yes Album - 1st - EX UK 2400101 ATLANTIC 1971 USD $171.13 Buy It Now
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Yes McAlmont & Butler UK CD single (CD5 / 5") HUTDX53 HUT 1995 USD $12.59 Buy It Now
Yes Yes - Plum & Red Label - EX vinyl LP album record UK 588190 ATLANTIC 1969 USD $264.03 Buy It Now
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Yes Relayer - 1st - Ex vinyl LP album record UK K50096 ATLANTIC 1974 USD $104.77 Buy It Now
Bitter Moon Candyland UK 7" vinyl single record YES7 NON FICTION 1991 USD $13.19 Buy It Now

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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 | 1212 ratings
3.29 | 1265 ratings
Time And A Word
4.29 | 2623 ratings
The Yes Album
4.44 | 3242 ratings
4.66 | 4111 ratings
Close To The Edge
3.89 | 2230 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
4.36 | 2800 ratings
4.03 | 1849 ratings
Going For The One
2.98 | 1399 ratings
3.77 | 1545 ratings
2.97 | 1439 ratings
2.50 | 1055 ratings
Big Generator
2.50 | 972 ratings
3.05 | 884 ratings
2.03 | 770 ratings
Open Your Eyes
3.27 | 907 ratings
The Ladder
3.75 | 1034 ratings
3.41 | 1027 ratings
Fly From Here
2.37 | 549 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2.78 | 31 ratings
Fly From Here - Return Trip

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

4.32 | 891 ratings
3.64 | 464 ratings
2.26 | 235 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
4.11 | 481 ratings
Keys to Ascension
3.97 | 450 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
2.58 | 134 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
3.59 | 203 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2.67 | 37 ratings
Extended Versions
2.89 | 35 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
3.85 | 172 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
4.22 | 281 ratings
Symphonic Live
4.48 | 154 ratings
Keys To Ascension (Full)
3.31 | 36 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
3.54 | 128 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
3.64 | 57 ratings
Union Live
2.77 | 54 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
4.22 | 73 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
3.36 | 59 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
3.59 | 35 ratings
Topographic Drama: Live Across America

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

3.66 | 165 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
3.18 | 98 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
4.12 | 85 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
3.67 | 39 ratings
The Union Tour Live
2.93 | 53 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
4.83 | 6 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
3.62 | 115 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
3.70 | 125 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
4.60 | 307 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
3.07 | 71 ratings
2.38 | 79 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
3.12 | 34 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
3.60 | 91 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
4.29 | 163 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
3.42 | 67 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
3.33 | 61 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
3.63 | 54 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
3.95 | 130 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
3.83 | 45 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
3.84 | 41 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
3.19 | 28 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
3.91 | 60 ratings
Union - Live
3.04 | 5 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971

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

3.53 | 11 ratings
2 Originals Of Yes
3.10 | 211 ratings
3.79 | 174 ratings
Classic Yes
3.27 | 111 ratings
3.46 | 74 ratings
3.02 | 73 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
2.56 | 32 ratings
The Best of Yes
3.55 | 462 ratings
2.71 | 22 ratings
4.29 | 119 ratings
In A Word
3.13 | 95 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2.13 | 63 ratings
2.52 | 23 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
3.24 | 139 ratings
The Word Is Live
3.88 | 24 ratings
Essentially Yes
3.52 | 18 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
5.00 | 2 ratings
Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes
4.06 | 42 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two

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

4.28 | 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
3.12 | 15 ratings
4.63 | 16 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
2.87 | 48 ratings
4.72 | 18 ratings
And You And I
2.83 | 15 ratings
3.24 | 38 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
2.40 | 15 ratings
Yes Solos
3.66 | 39 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
4.04 | 38 ratings
Going For The One 12''
4.20 | 11 ratings
Turn Of The Century
2.66 | 49 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
3.01 | 35 ratings
Into The Lens
4.23 | 43 ratings
2.35 | 41 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
2.15 | 44 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2.70 | 36 ratings
Leave It
2.82 | 21 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
3.09 | 32 ratings
It Can Happen
2.39 | 9 ratings
Rhythm Of Love
2.93 | 30 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
2.25 | 38 ratings
Rhythm Of Love (2)
3.33 | 20 ratings
Saving My Heart
2.56 | 40 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2.48 | 10 ratings
Lift Me Up
2.76 | 18 ratings
Make It Easy
2.60 | 11 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
2.58 | 24 ratings
The Calling
3.00 | 2 ratings
Lightning Strikes (She Ay ... Do Wa Bap)
2.82 | 71 ratings
2.08 | 5 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
3.04 | 62 ratings
We Can Fly

YES Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss by YES album cover DVD/Video, 2004
3.60 | 91 ratings

Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Everyone seems to have to do an acoustic album/concert nowadays. Some are good, but most fall flat. It's especially hard to do a progressive acoustic album because usually the progressive elements get washed out in trying to perform the music in acoustic form. There are two bands that seem to have excelled in doing this however: Porcupine Tree and Yes. This review is for Yes' Acoustic album.

This album has in concert acoustic performances of some classic Yes songs that we are all used to hearing done with a full band. It is an intriguing curiosity, it nothing else, to wonder how Yes' songs would sound stripped down to the acoustics. How will the progressive elements fare when all the bells and whistles are taken away? Well I have to say, this is a pleasant surprise. I was not expecting to like this album. The line up is amazing, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Alan White, Chris Squire and Jon Anderson are all there. And they pull this off beautifully. Wakeman and Howe stand out the most, playing their respective acoustic instruments substituting all of their electronics for the wooden sound of the piano and acoustic guitar.

The songs are shortened somewhat, which is to be expected, because some of the long passages just would not have translated well. "South Side of the Sky" of course didn't have to have the piano interlude altered too much because it is acoustic in the original. But now the rest of the song fits the acoustic-ness of that solo and it works nicely. "Roundabout" is amazing in it's acoustic version, though shortened leaving out some part I would have liked to hear, but it is still quite satisfying and takes on an interesting rhythm in it's acoustic version. "Your Move" is about what you expect because it was mostly acoustic in the original, but what really works is when they break into "Seen All Good People". This really works out well. Everything else works very well here too and when everything is said and done, you are only left wanting so much more. Yes did not wear out their welcome on this acoustic album, and that is the biggest flaw here. The audio portion is only 37 minutes, and I can think of so many more songs I would have loved to hear with this treatment, especially considering the quality and enjoy-ability of the songs that are included here.

Because of the brevity of the of the audio portion of this album (it comes with a 30 minute documentary narrated by Rick Wakeman) it makes what could have been a 5 star album (if it continued to be as good as this was) down to a 4 star album. It only leaves you wanting so much more. Amazing sound and performances make this a worthwhile album and it also should be a standard for other progressive bands that want to do the same thing.

 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2230 ratings

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by SonomaComa1999

4 stars REVIEW #5 - "Tales from Topographic Oceans" by Yes (1973), 5/30/2018

I had to eventually review this album. Ever since I was introduced to Yes at my local record store, where I was gifted a beat-up copy of "Close to the Edge", I always felt wary to give this album a try. It is perhaps the biggest target for critics of the genre, men such as Robert Christgau or Lester Bangs who lambasted every single album that they could get their hands on. It was the biggest justification for the punk rockers to revolt and depose of progressive rock in favor of more accessible and commercially-friendly music. This album of course, is Yes's 1973 epic "Tales from Topographic Oceans", which I consider the most interesting album to review given how the entire prog community has split feelings on whether it was a masterpiece, or a dud.

"Close to the Edge" is the greatest progressive rock album of all time. Yes had already cemented their legacy with their previous three studio albums, and it would have taken a godly masterpiece to top it. The band was experiencing internal tensions, as drummer Bill Bruford was recruited by Robert Fripp to join the new King Crimson, and promptly left the band, being replaced by Alan White of the Plastic Ono Band. Bruford and Yes remained close, and at the drummer's wedding, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson had a conversation with King Crimson percussionist and Buddhist Jamie Muir. Anderson, who already experienced with spiritual themes in Yes's music, was introduced to the works of the guru Paramahansa Yogananda by Muir; giving Anderson an idea for what would be the theme for "Tales." After briefly reading Yogananda's 1946 book "Autobiography of a Yogi" the vocalist was dead set on what would become the next Yes album. Although he was able to get guitarist Steve Howe on board, the rest of the band was indifferent or flat out skeptical of the concept. It would be a very rough and tedious ride; Anderson's ideas were grandiose as he centered the album's theme around the Hindu scriptures known as the "shastras". Throughout the recording process, the band was further strained; namely keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who resorted to getting drunk in the studio - most notably he would play keyboards for heavy metal icons Black Sabbath on the song "Sabbra Cadabra" since the two bands were recording albums at the same time.

All signs point to this album being controlled by Jon Anderson in its entirety; the singer had great aspirations for his album, and even in retrospect he still holds it in high regard. Initially wanting to record in the country, he had the studio outfitted with robotic cows and fake barns to simulate a farm, and even tried unsuccessfully to record on linoleum tiles to get a "bathroom sound." Anderson's antics only exacerbated trouble, especially as the album was laid out. "Tales from Topographic Oceans" at first glance looks like one of the most ambitious albums in prog; a double LP consisting of four twenty-minute epics, all of which are intertwined into a deeply philosophical concept. By the time the album was finished, the studio decorations were ruined, and the band was mentally and physically exhausted. While the product was complete, it became evident that the album was in reality incomplete. Nevertheless, the band's popularity at the time ensured the album reached the top of the charts in the UK. It is rather hilarious to realize that in 1973 an album with four twenty-minute songs (the antithesis of commercially- friendly) was able to top an album chart. It nearly cracked the top five in America as well.

Anderson refers to the four epics of this album as "movements." The first is "The Revealing Science of God/Dance of the Dawn" at just over twenty-two minutes. Originally intended to be twenty-eight, it was cut down to meet the physical constraints of vinyl. Rife with massive guitar solos, Howe claimed that he embarked on these massive passages thanks to the popularity of American guitarist Frank Zappa, who at the time explored very progressive music across the pond. However, unlike "Hot Rats", the work on this album gets extremely tiring quick, and therein lies the biggest problem with "Tales". At just over eighty minutes, your casual listener will get bored quickly. I had a musically-curious friend of mine who is a fan of the much more popular hip-hop genre listen to this album, and I challenged him to see how far he could get before turning it off. He made it just over ten minutes into this song before giving up. Now while it may be a bit inaccurate to throw something as difficult and inaccessible as "Tales" to your average pop music listener, I feel that it is indicative of the underlying problem with this album. That being said, "The Revealing" is perhaps the best song on the album, featuring traditional Yes melodies and arrangements which can allure a fan of the band's more successful work. A lot of the themes presented early on are reprised to death, something which I personally was unimpressed with, and ultimately the listener will wish that these songs were cut in half in size. Fortunately, we get a strong closing movement with this one similar to "Close to the Edge" which wraps things up well enough.

The band goes off the beaten path with "The Remembering/High the Memory". Rather than pursuing another traditional symphonic Yes epic, the band moves into the sub-genre of progressive folk. Anderson modeled this movement to mimic the ebbing tide of the ocean, something which a listener can pick up on if they focus closely on the music. Since I am a rather blunt listener, I did not notice it at first, and it was a rather cool revelation when I read that the song had this kind of dynamic element to it. Unfortunately, there is even more filler here than on the previous song; save for a Wakeman keyboard solo presented in the latter half of the epic. Keep in mind it will take in excess of fifteen minutes for the listener to reach this moment. One difference between the epics on this album and that of "Close to the Edge's" title track is that these ones are not broken up into individual movements which paint a clearer picture of the tendencies of the epic. Rather Yes throws at us a huge brick of music which we have to break into little pieces to truly absorb. "The Remembering" moves at a very brisk pace, yet represents a very progressive piece of music as the spiritual themes of the album are present. Interestingly Anderson took the Indian epic poem "Mahabharata" as inspiration for this piece, or the "smriti" Hindu scriptures in general. The Mahabharata is one of the longest written works of literature in human history, ten times longer than Homer's Iliad and Odyssey COMBINED. Therefore it is quite fitting that a song about it is in excess of twenty-minutes; it's a shame that it wasn't thirty so that even devout prog listeners would get put to sleep trying to traverse through its experimental and cooling tide.

On the second LP, we move on to "The Ancient/Giants under the Sun", which is by far the most experimental of the four movements. It is also a more clear cut piece with two separate parts - the first is a very progressive guitar showcase by Howe, backed up by White's drums. To me this was the hardest part of the album to truly take in and appreciate, the inaccessibility here will turn off most listeners as Howe explores guitar scales and moves into an infinitesimal space of various sounds and motifs. However the second part is much more clear cut, and very musically appealing - Anderson and Howe combine as the latter puts on an acoustic showcase. In reality, this is the most beautiful moment of the album; this second part is referred to as "Leaves of Grass" and features some deeply philosophical lyrics about the human condition. It is often played on its own in Yes live concerts, fortunately without its much more abstract counterpart. Both Anderson and Howe look upon this song favorably for its technicality and musical diversity, and while I can appreciate the progressive nature of the first part, I feel that the real takeaway from this movement lies in "Leaves of Grass." It also seems that the bulk of the positive reviews of this album from critics praise this passage, while they tend to slam its predecessor.

The band closes out this leviathan of an album with yet another movement, "Ritual/Nous Sommes du Soleil" which is a return to the traditional Yes sound which many are fans of. While the inner two movements feature a lot of experimental passages which lack uniformity, "The Revealing" and "Ritual" seem to contain much more alluring melodies and grandiose passages which will garner the attention of the listener, granted he wants to endure the massive piles of noises which will bombard you in the process towards reaching those mountainous peaks. That being said, this is another solid offering by the band. While I am much less optimistic on the previous two movements, "Ritual" reinvigorates my spirit and will to complete this album. I always am fooled into thinking that the album completely ends halfway through, as the band carries through what I believe to be the ultimate climax. Even though Yes carries on for another twelve minutes, I feel like if things had been cut off here, I would have been satisfied - maybe the band didn't know where to stop, or more likely, had to come up with material to fill up a second LP, granted they had too much material for just a single vinyl. Ultimately I feel the band did a proper job finalizing the album with this suite, but even by the time "Ritual" begins, your average listener will be truly and unequivocally exhausted.

Steve Howe referred to the four movements of this album in a very concise manner. "The Revealing" is ironically considered to be "the commercial or easy-listening" side of the album, where the band unveiled the sounds and textures which had achieved much success in "Close to the Edge." There is one major problem however, as there seems to be something missing in the music which the previous album hand, and midway through my review I realized it; the absence of Bill Bruford and the addition of a mediocre Alan White takes away the heavy edge which the previous three albums had to hammer down the rhythm. Meanwhile, Howe acknowledges the folk influences on "The Remembering", claiming it to be a lighter and folky side of the band - in my opinion this movement is too light, taking away a lot of what made the band so pleasurable to listen to on previous albums. In the midst of trying to be progressive in their approach, the band abandoned the best traits of their music, leaving behind a rather empty and uninspiring piece. "The Ancient" is quite literally described by Howe as transcending from "electronic mayhem turning into acoustic simplicity." At face value this is a true statement, but I feel that mayhem is just too dissonant to actually translate into good music. It isn't like King Crimson where the dissonance is channeled into the music to create extremely diverse and brilliant instrumentals, but rather it is mayhem for the sake of being progressive. I have absolutely no complaints about the "Leaves of Grass" portion of this movement, for I consider it to be one of the positive takeaways of the album. Finally, "Ritual" is the grandiose closing piece which the band wraps up "Tales" with, and really it is just as good as "The Revealing" but should have ended a bit earlier to truly hammer down the point with the listener.

"Tales from Topographic Oceans" is a very hard album to judge given that it is rich in music and talent yet lacking in design. Many people absolutely adore it, while some detest its mere existence. I fall somewhere leaning towards masterpiece, but more of an "above average work" which deserves a little bit more respect from the rest of the community. It is by no means essential in the sense that it is listenable, but rather essential in the sense that it was a milestone for the genre; you could argue that "Tales" killed prog and gave rise to punk. That is enough to make it essential but it still is not a masterpiece. Had the songs been appropriately shortened, I feel like there were enough good moments here to flirt with a five-star review, but the abjectly long songs hamper it enough to nearly give it three stars. Looking back upon the album, Anderson admitted that it was too long, and hinted towards a potential updated version which is much more succinct without the vinyl constraints which were the folly of the band back in 1973. Every prog fan should at least attempt to listen to this album in its entirely, but it is not required that he actually explore the entire thing, or even explore parts of it more than once. The layout of "Tales" will always attract critics, but there will always be prospective fans who will consider it a gem. I am neither of those people.

I give "Tales" a respectable (80%, B-) with four stars. Very interesting, yet exhausting listen.

 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2230 ratings

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Eric_T

4 stars A couple of months ago MOJO magazine published an article on "critically-loathed albums which people love" and invited the readers to write in with their choices. I chose this album.

One of the most annoying "truisms" in rock journalism is that Prog was bloated and self-indulgent and needed to be blown away by the "refreshing" simplicity of Punk. This album is often cited as a major reason why Punk needed to exist. However many of the better Punk/New Wave musicians disagreed with this type of thinking and were big Yes fans. One such was Keith Levene of PIL, who were as adventurous in their sphere as Yes were in theirs. Prog and Punk share a spirit of experimentation and ambition.

This is Yes at their most extreme, pushing all the boundaries. In particular it is an excellent showpiece for Steve Howe's guitar playing, especially on Side Three. Wakeman does not have so many solo slots as on previous Yes albums, taking more of a background textural role (maybe that's why he's never been fond of the album). Chris Squire sounds great throughout and provides a lot of the muscle. The musical themes are strong and memorable, and each side maintains its momentum throughout.

Flaws ? Some of the passages are extended that minute or so too long. The lyrics are hardly Elvis Costello (but are appropriate in context). And there isn't any music here which quite reaches the peaks of "Starship Trooper", "Roundabout", or side one of "Close To The Edge".

In summary this is a highly-adventurous album full of marvellous themes and playing. If it does occasionally over- reach itself then that's far better than the sort of mediocre two-chord thrashes which the majority of Punk acts churned out.

 Topographic Drama: Live Across America by YES album cover Live, 2017
3.59 | 35 ratings

Topographic Drama: Live Across America
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by judahbenkenobi

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

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

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

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

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

Classic Yes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 174

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

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

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

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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

Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by 10string

5 stars Yes.. why five stars? Well, I was reluctant to get this box and spend my hard earned money at first, especially since Yes in not known for being an "improvisation" band, but, since I had a one hour daily commute and had installed a big subwoofer which rattled all of the car whole playing Prog (try that to surprise people!), I decided to take the plunge.. And.. whaddayaknow??? This was worth it.. yes, Yes used to improvise quite a lot...mind you , for the normal listener it might not sound like it, but for the decades old fan, this is a treat!!!!! They had to improvise sometimes because of the faulty equipment, but , all of these performances were different from each other, some way more than others...especially the grand "Yours is no disgrace" the Yessongs' version is included in here , albeit in its unedited and remixed (it IS a new/different mix!) form.. I won't tell you on which disc it is, but prepare yourself.... I like the clean sound which was achieves in spite of the technical differences between the different tapes, so yes, it is essential listening to all Yes fans so they can see how great they were in their prime...
 Topographic Drama: Live Across America by YES album cover Live, 2017
3.59 | 35 ratings

Topographic Drama: Live Across America
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Dramatic tales

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

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

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

 Fly From Here - Return Trip by YES album cover Studio Album, 2018
2.78 | 31 ratings

Fly From Here - Return Trip
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

2 stars The Yes band released a re-recorded album called "Fly From Here - Return Trip" this year, reprinting "Fly From Here" in 2011. Although there are some classic pre-rock bands performing re-records of previous works, such as Camel re-recording the classic snow geese, it is good to choose a good one! But I really can't figure out why I chose this general work. Even though the later works in the middle of yes are popular after the popularity, Fly From Here is already very audible as their penultimate studio album. In particular, the Fly From Here suite can also be considered a return to the light, but overall it is only a half-medium Samsung. There was no major change in this re-recording, just adding an unreleased song called Don't Take No for an Answer, which was very popular. Although the feeling of symphony was still there, it was only 4 minutes in length. It also means that repeating the melody is really uninteresting. If you want to score this song, you can only give it to Samsung, and the entire Return Trip can give Samsung half, but I feel that I need to resist this kind of perfunctory. Samsung is not recommended.
 Going For The One by YES album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.03 | 1849 ratings

Going For The One
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2230 ratings

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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