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YES

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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

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

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

These albums can be found under Various Artists - Concept albums and themed compilations :
Yes - Solo Family Album (19...
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Like It Is - YES At The Bristol Hippodrome(2CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)Like It Is - YES At The Bristol Hippodrome(2CD/DVD Deluxe Edition)
Frontiers Music Srl 2014
Audio CD$10.99
$17.98 (used)
Heaven & EarthHeaven & Earth
Frontiers Records (Universal) 2014
Audio CD$7.47
$9.30 (used)
RelayerRelayer
Import
Imports 2014
Blu-ray Audio$22.06
$25.64 (used)
FragileFragile
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$4.47
$1.59 (used)
The Studio Albums 1969-1987The Studio Albums 1969-1987
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
Audio CD$43.66
$38.90 (used)
Close to the EdgeClose to the Edge
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$3.12
$2.03 (used)
Songs From Tsongas 35th Anniversary ConcertSongs From Tsongas 35th Anniversary Concert
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2014
Audio CD$16.49
$18.98 (used)
Yes AlbumYes Album
Elektra / Wea 2003
Audio CD$3.03
$1.56 (used)
RelayerRelayer
Remastered · Extra tracks
Elektra 2003
Audio CD$3.99
$2.38 (used)
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YES shows & tickets


  • Cruise To The Edge 2015 on 15 Nov 2015

YES discography


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

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

3.24 | 916 ratings
Yes
1969
3.26 | 961 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.29 | 1995 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.42 | 2482 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.65 | 3238 ratings
Close To The Edge
1972
3.88 | 1785 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
1973
4.36 | 2167 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.04 | 1442 ratings
Going for the One
1977
2.94 | 1093 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.74 | 1197 ratings
Drama
1980
2.92 | 1129 ratings
90125
1983
2.46 | 821 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.48 | 756 ratings
Union
1991
3.03 | 680 ratings
Talk
1994
2.04 | 598 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.28 | 707 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.76 | 812 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.43 | 801 ratings
Fly From Here
2011
2.48 | 293 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014

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

4.28 | 702 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.62 | 362 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.23 | 181 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
1985
4.11 | 377 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.95 | 352 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.53 | 110 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
1997
3.59 | 160 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2001
2.79 | 65 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
2.64 | 33 ratings
Extended Versions
2002
2.91 | 29 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
2003
3.23 | 123 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
3.82 | 132 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.22 | 221 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
4.50 | 93 ratings
Keys To Ascension (I & II + DVD)
2010
3.38 | 26 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2011
3.57 | 104 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
2011
3.50 | 31 ratings
Union Live
2011
3.20 | 6 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014

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

3.62 | 133 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.14 | 81 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.31 | 69 ratings
Yesyears - A Retrospective
1991
3.67 | 34 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.88 | 43 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
3.58 | 98 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.65 | 103 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.59 | 260 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.15 | 59 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.34 | 70 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.12 | 28 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.60 | 74 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.28 | 136 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.39 | 56 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.28 | 51 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.61 | 51 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.92 | 110 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.82 | 42 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.81 | 35 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.17 | 28 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.88 | 50 ratings
Union - Live
2010

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

3.15 | 176 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.86 | 141 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.25 | 92 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.38 | 60 ratings
Yesstory
1992
3.05 | 64 ratings
The Very Best of Yes
1993
2.58 | 30 ratings
The Best of Yes
2000
3.53 | 437 ratings
Keystudio
2001
2.74 | 21 ratings
Yestoday
2002
4.29 | 96 ratings
In A Word
2002
3.20 | 88 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.14 | 57 ratings
Yes Remixes
2003
2.50 | 22 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
4.10 | 20 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
3.48 | 18 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008

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

4.21 | 24 ratings
Something's Coming
1969
3.34 | 13 ratings
Looking Around
1969
2.79 | 25 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
3.24 | 13 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.76 | 29 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
3.91 | 37 ratings
Your Move
1971
5.00 | 1 ratings
Carrusel (Roundabout)
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
3.21 | 37 ratings
America
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
And You And I
1974
3.48 | 14 ratings
Yes Solos
1976
3.19 | 35 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
1976
3.63 | 37 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
1977
4.00 | 34 ratings
Going For The One 12''
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
2.60 | 42 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
1978
3.21 | 30 ratings
Into The Lens / Does It Really Happen?
1980
4.17 | 35 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.27 | 36 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.19 | 35 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (EP)
1983
3.27 | 29 ratings
Leave It 12''
1984
3.49 | 26 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.81 | 19 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
3.27 | 22 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
1987
2.45 | 31 ratings
Rhythm of Love (EP)
1987
3.29 | 19 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.42 | 36 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1991
2.82 | 19 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.52 | 10 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.82 | 14 ratings
The Calling (single edit)
1994
3.17 | 55 ratings
We Can Fly - Single (Radio Edit)
2011

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome by YES album cover Live, 2014
3.20 | 6 ratings

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Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars A band that didn't make a great album in decades is still popular around the world. So they can't stop touring even if their lead singer Jon Anderson is not there anymore. Jon Davidson has replaced Benoit David and Geoff Downes replaced Rick Wakeman on keyboards. So the machine is still rolling at the same level. The songs are played faithfully with the unique style of playing of Steve Howe on guitar and Chris Squire on bass. Alan White looking much older got enough juice to sustain the rhythm section.This show shot in high definition is only available in stereo, believe it or not. And the make things worst, they decided for whatever reason to exclude the album "Close To The Edge" in this live release. So we have a short hour and thirty minutes of the albums "Going for the One" and "The Yes album" and no extras at all. Also the visuals are inexistent with a amateur light show. It could have been much better for this legend band.

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 Fly From Here by YES album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.43 | 801 ratings

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Fly From Here
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

2 stars With all the upheaval in the band over the last few years, I was surprised to see a new Yes album. Of course 'drama' is nothing new where this outfit is concerned, and it looks like that is exactly what they were after. "Drama" was the only other Yes album without Jon Anderson, so I guess they decided to go back to that plan on "Fly From Here." They stuck with their live replacement vocalist Benoit David, but again the call was made to Trevor Horn (his old Buggles partner Geoff Downes is still a fixture in the band).

I am a fan of this particular Yes collaboration and hoped it would bear some good new ideas. Unfortunately it seems all they wanted was to turn the clock back to 1980. Short of the existence of an actual time machine, that is pretty much what they did. The "Fly From Here" suite was written at that time and the production sounds very similar. Benoit David may be new, but let's face the fact that he has previously been making his living as a Jon Anderson impersonator.

The music isn't bad. It's quite nice actually and may have spawned a good follow up to "Drama." The problem is that the inspiration came over 30 years ago. When these guys were cooking together back then, they may have honed it into something very special. Now it is merely an echo of the past. Once again "Fly From Here" is not a bad album, but it's not remarkable either. I know this will be another in my collection that rarely gets heard.

It's time for Yes fans to get in touch with reality. The band has been out of gas for quite a while now and this latest release proves it. Even with bringing in a new singer and one old friend, they still had to use decades old material. There obviously weren't enough new ideas or good ones. Yes also used to be the type of band that could wow you with instrumentation alone. That has also faded. So here is yet another very listenable, tame, latter day album that only makes us yearn for the past. I think I'll put on "Tales From Topographic Oceans" now.

(This review was originally written in 2011)

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 Heaven & Earth by YES album cover Studio Album, 2014
2.48 | 293 ratings

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Heaven & Earth
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

2 stars Had I taken a Blindfold Test on this work, I would have thought that it was a moderately promising, young Neo-Prog band, somewhat inspired by YES. But for YES, under Squire's dominance, it's yet another disappointing release - as if Squire was aiming at willful mediocricity. Not quite Pop, but barely Prog-Related.

The only highlight here is Davidson's youthful, yet strong and clear voice - as if he was Jon Anderson's younger brother. Engaging Davidson was a minor coup by Squire, but that fine voice alone is not sufficient to make poor compositions sound good.

Squire, Howe, White play well - as usual - but it's the weak tunes that fail to excite. Add Geoff Downes on Pop-ish, skinny keys and one can't even talk about a missed opportunity, akin to an accident scene. "Move along, move along, there is nothing to see here."

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 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.36 | 2167 ratings

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Relayer
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Michael678

5 stars Hmm, well, today marks the day: this is my 3rd ever review on this site. Okay, that may be true but it isn't important. It's Relayer's 40th birthday today!!! Well, if you're American; it was already released in Britain the previous week (the 27th or 28th of November i presume). But, yes (hehe), today marks this album's 40th anniversary in America, a masterpiece of prog in its own right. That's why i'm doing this review in the first place, the first one for my favorite band of all time BAR NONE: Yes. So, anyway, as for the history of this album, Rick Wakeman the keyboard wiz has left after the "pretentious" Tales from Topographic Oceans album & tour in May 1974, mainly based on his dislike of the material and premise of it all (he even ate a sandwich during a live performance as a protest!!) So, the band carried on with new keyboardist Vangelis (*fakingly coughes*), err, i mean, Patrick Moraz, who's one of my favorite keyboardists along with Mr. Wakeman (who would return for Going for the One a couple of years after this, which Moraz actually contributed keyboard parts and some of the writing, especially on Awaken, though it was all cut off in order for Wakeman to contribute his own parts to it; BOTH SHOULD'VE BEEN ON THERE THEN GODDAMNIT!!!!!)

1. The Gates of Delirium - this is considered one of their best IF NOT their best, and i can see why! this 22 minute epic pretty much shows what exactly the album cover shows; a prelude to a battle, the battle itself, and its lamenting aftermath. It is partially based on the novel "War and Peace" written by Leo Tolstoy. It makes sense if you think about it, since i don't know much about the novel (i'm a teenage American that's why lol). We start off with the prelude, with the lyrics giving out a speech-like cry to the army getting ready to fight their enemies on the battlefields. The music sets up the getting ready and setting up part of the battle with some sort of march-type drumming from that there Alan White (this is only his 2nd album out of 14, and yes i counted) i feel like, with all the other parts coming about as well. This goes on for a third of the song as each part does more or less. And then, the centerpiece of the epic ensues, the battle itself. And oh my god, it is nothing but fricking masterful. A lot of time signatures, crazy drumming and percussion battering from White and Jon Anderson (who also sings well on here, especially in a bit), great bass lines and playing from Mr. Chris Squire, and some rocking out guitar from Steve Howe. Oh, and Moraz's playing. AAAMMMAAAZZZIIINNNGGG!!!! and there's also the sounds heard in the background as the song goes on made by automobile parts crashed and pounded together among other pieces of junkyard metal made mainly by Jon and Chris, including one huge crash that im having a hard time pinpointing where exactly it is in the song. And then, everything slows down and softer with some keyboards washes as the battle ends and the lament comes in, under the title known as Soon. it is given this title as it was released as a single in '75 for radio airplay, and i loved this excerpt before i knew this whole album, on first listen i believe. and, for the record, this is one of Anderson's best vocal performances PERIOD, i can tell you that much. it's also Howe's best lap steel guitar playing i feel like; VERY satisfying conclusion to the song and the first side of this record.

2. Sound Chaser - here's the first of two tracks on the 2nd side, who are polar opposites of one another; this the crazy son of a gun of the two. their most jazzy track, it is more of virtuoso playing that the band's showing off for the next 9 and a half minutes, nothing but jazz bonkers that i can definitely get behind; in other words, i LOVE this song, as well as the whole album (ADER!!!) lyrics pretty much define what the music shows, just to look in your eyes (from the band's/lyric-writer's point of view i presume?? if so, ohhhhkkkaaaayyy......) The best parts are Howe's guitar playing (definitely some of his best by far) and the very end of the song, when the reprise of the beginning theme plays much faster and faster until the song ends with Cha, Cha, Cha; CHA, CHA!!! a youtube video on another Yes album review best pictures what image this music paints out; put in search bar "yes album reviews" and find the video with 90125 in its title. there you go, and if you watch the whole video, by all means, go ahead. okay, next song!

3. To Be Over - i was torn to which song on here is my favorite, and by earlier today, i think this song is the winner here. running over 9 minutes, this definitely goes down a calming stream with Howe's guitar work and the harmonizing that i got one day while listening to it on Spotify and fell in love with it and still am to this very day!! music's amazing, vocal's amazing, especially Jon's, and awesome lyrics that you just got to hear (except maybe the gibberish-like language they're singing at the end of the song that i didn't notice until a few months ago on this site, but who gives a damn!), it is one of my all time favorite Yes songs, PERIOD, NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER!!!! i can also see the southern rock aspect in Steve's lap steel playing in the first third of the song that i didn't really notice until a few months ago from the other reviews i've seen on here, but i don't seem to mind it.

in all, this is indeed "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music," but it may be one of the more harder ones to get into like The Lamb, Animals (more or less), Lizard and Larks' Tongues, Foxtrot, Pawn Hearts, Brain Salad Surgery, etc. but, once you listened to it a couple of time, (i hope) you will be HUGELY rewarded with one of your favorites ever like i had. 10/10 for the rating man, a.k.a. 5 starts for this system. So, until then, keep progressing and once again happy (belated?) birthday to Yes' Relayer album!! WWWWWOOOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

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 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.88 | 1785 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Glimpse

4 stars By far the most ambitious of the albums in Yes's discography is Tales From Topographic Oceans, so it'd be no surprise to many that it's also one of the most controversial albums among Yes fans. After all, TfTO was the the peak of the band's trend that went towards and away from a focus on longer songwriting, and boy were the songs on TfTO long. The album itself harbors four lengthy "songs", (It would be more accurate to refer to them as suites), three of which surpass 20 minutes; a duration rivaled only by "The Gates Of Delirium", off of the 1974 release, "Relayer", and "The Solution", off of the 1997 release, "Open Your Eyes". The length of these tracks alone is intimidating enough to dissuade many a person from giving the album a listen, but for those brave enough to venture into this album you are likely to walk away thinking one of two things: 1) TfTO was a spectacular journey through the world that is the music of yes, or 2) TfTO was a load of bullcrap, why did I waste my time listening to an hour and 20 minutes of filler? Personally, I believe both to have valid points on the album, yet neither do justice when describing the album as a whole. So, in order to fully illustrate my point of view we must take a look at each individual track.

The Revealing Science of God / Dance of the Dawn is one of the three 20 minute tracks I mentioned earlier, clocking in at 22 minutes and 23 seconds. However, on most releases the track is only 20 minutes and 25 seconds long, as the version I own restores the original opening for the track. The "restored" opening is nothing spectacular, it consists simply of soft keyboard part providing a mystical feel to the beginning of the track. Now we get to the part where things get interesting. After the two minute "restored intro", we get to the original intro which features an interesting vocal arrangement by Anderson accompanied by Howe and Squire. Without a doubt, this is my favorite part of the track. Once we've passed by the intro we enter into the body of the song, which isn't terribly interesting instrumentally early on. It is, however, a very pretty sounding track which for me makes up for some of the duller moments, but not enough to increase my over-all favor of this track. Which is rather odd, considering that I normally have high favor for pretty, melodic tracks but when the same melodic idea is essentially being repeated with the occasional minor variant from the four minute mark to the 12 minute mark, it begins to feel very tired. Which is a shame really, the early melody is rather beautiful, but because of the sheer length I usually just end up skipping over the majority of it. Luckily around the 13 minute mark we actually move on to something new. In contrast to the softer, more melodic section discussed earlier, this section features a more intricate instrumental section that really feel more like a series of solos split by another soft vocal oriented section. This is followed by yet another softer vocal section with a clear focus on the vocals, though this section quickly turns more interesting as it is the finale of the track. For the most part the finale is more akin to the vocal intro, as it features Anderson alone at the start of the end and progressively increacing focus on more of a vocal ensemble by bringing Howe and Squire's vocals into the foreground along with Anderson's, over-all making for a pretty satisfying finale.

When I complained about the repetition in "The Revealing Science of God", it's nothing compared to the repetition in The Remembering / High the Memory. Which, Clocking in at 20 minutes and 39 seconds, is the 3rd longest track on the album, (2nd longest on the original version of the release). The track starts simple enough, with a happy sounding keyboard part introducing to into "The Remembering". Sadly, the keyboard is short lived, as the track soon goes back to the putting the vocals in the foreground and forcing the instruments to play second fiddle to the vocals. Don't get me wrong, the vocal part is very pretty, (however, not as pretty as those featured in "The Revealing Science of God"), but personally I'd like it if they actually did something a bit different, something that doesn't make it sound like it's attempting to copy the same formula as the track before it. Thankfully, you don't have to wait to long for that, because at about six minutes in we finally reach some variation. The next part is a beautiful little section that does an excellent job of balancing vocals and instruments with neither really overpowering the other, and instead working together to create a beautiful tune. It always reminds me of the fun children have when they're running around playing without a single care in their minds. The section is rather short, (thank god, It would be awful if I would come to hate that section), and quickly moves on to a quiet keyboard feature. Then before you know it we're back to vocals, similar to before, yet different. This time the melody is still rather up-beat, however this time the tempo has been upped and features a guitar instead of keyboards. Once again, this section is rather short lived and we're back to another keyboard solo, and as you may have noticed, this will become a thing for the rest of the track. While I prefer the repeating the same basic melody in different ways over the repetition I talked about in the last track, it does get tiring to have to keyboards being featured all the time, at least in the last track they gave the guitars some moments to shine, but throughout this track they mostly just provide support for the vocals and keyboards as opposed to bringing in musical ideas of their own, and while that is not always a bad thing, when you're writing a song as long as the ones featured in this album that sort of songwriting just leaves so much to be desired. But enough of my whining, and back to the track. Upon reaching the 15 minute mark, we're pretty much back to what it sounded like back when we were six minutes into the song. And then after being "treated" to yet another keyboard solo after that, we get another vocal part. Though this time you're in for a surprise, because the vocal part from the start of the track has come back to pay us a visit, and this time with passion! After that we get to the outro, a keyboard part similar to the one around four to five minutes into the track. Which really didn't strike me as an ending, as I said, It was pretty much an exact copy of the keyboard part from earlier in the track, which just made me think that we were going to start back up from the 6 minute mark.

Finally, we get to the 2nd half of the album, we've endured 2 repetitive, overly saturated tracks and now we're here, The Ancient / Giants Under the Sun. Now, the end half of the album has always been the most enjoyable on my part, as it seemed clear to me that they saved the best for last. Clocking in at 18 minutes and 36 seconds, The Ancient is the shortest track found on the TfTO album, and as you might expect, more to the point than any of the others. This track is also the most mystical sounding of all the tracks, especially with Alan White leading the way into the track. To me that percussion intro really puts the ancient into "The Ancient". But the percussion doesn't stop there, Mr. White is predominantly featured throughout the track, possibly making "The Ancient" one of the most percussion heavy tracks in Yes's repertoire. In fact the track is a very instrumental oriented one, featuring minimal vocals throughout the first half. Also featured alongside the percussion is are dominant guitar parts throughout, and Mellotron, an instrument rarely found in any Yes albums, But nowhere would it be more fitting than this track, as it only helps to further build up the mystic sound of this song. When I first went into this song, I had been expecting more filler, but this track was a welcome surprise. The instrumental work featured throughout the track is seldom repetitive and instead makes for quite an interesting listen. The percussion has a very primitive or tribal feel to it, and the guitars are wild and free, never repeating the same ideas more than once. Then once we're done with our tribal fantasies, we move on to something completely different 12 minutes in. While it may seem odd at first, the transition from the eccentric instrumentation of the past 12 minutes to a calm acoustic guitar feature actually feels rather natural. Once we get comfortable with the acoustic arrangement, Anderson decides to join in with some deep, philosophical thoughts. With the entry of the vocals a contrast between the primal first 12 minutes and the calm and intellectual final six minutes is clearly established. "The Ancient" made for a refreshing listen after drying up in the desert of the first half, and just in time for our last track too.

As we near the end of our journey through TfTO, we reach Ritual / Nous Sommes Du Soleil, a track that blends many of the ideas featured in the first three tracks into one final musical effort. Clocking in at 21 minutes and 33 seconds, it is the longest track on the original release, (the second longest on the version I own). As for a finale to our long journey, Ritual rises up to the challenge and excels past expectations. If you do not know why out of all the songs from TfTO that were to be a part of Yes's live repertoire, they'd pick Ritual, it becomes clear when you listen to the album. We start things off with an intro reminiscent to that of the beginning of "Roundabout" except with accompaniment from Howe. The following instrumental section is a stunning blend of guitar and keyboards mixing together to create true beauty in the form of sound. Unlike earlier tracks, Ritual wastes no time lingering on the same melody for minutes on end, and before you know it you're onto Anderson's traditional practice of doing a more choral style vocal technique, (as far as performing a vocal part without saying any actual words), to create an upbeat instrumental-ish section. Then before you know it, we're into the vocals, the emotion in the vocals is evident and rivals the emotion felt in the guitar solo at the start of the track. The vocals do a great job of blending in with the instrumentals, neither overpowering the other but rather providing a nice compliment to each-other. Another positive I have about this section is how varying the vocal performance is in this section, never stretching out a particular idea to long, and instead Anderson, Howe and Squire's vocals blending together, shifting around to several different ideas each being more emotional and of greater magnitude than the last is what makes the vocal performance a step above the other tracks. Then as the Vocals reach their peak, it all gets quiet, as if to let something through, and come through it will. Soon after the vocals cease the second instrumental section begins, and it comes in hard with White, Howe and Squire playing with such great power, yet still managing to create a sense of beauty in the music, making it, In my opinion, one of the greatest Yes solos throughout any of their albums. Then as Howe's guitar reaches it's wild conclusion, White takes charge. Moving into a percussion solo akin to his performance in "The Ancient", and before long Wakeman joins in as well, backing up White with his Minimoog and Mellotron to further the similarities to the previous track. Then as the chaos subsides, the emotional "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" emerges. This section, consists of soft and emotional vocals by Anderson, as well as beautifu guitar and piano accompaniment, (with some subtle use of acoustic guitar). You couldn't ask for a much better conclusion to an emotional of a song as Ritual, the elegance of the music and the soothing qualities fill me with a sensation of love. Though after that section ends there is still another minute of instrumental work, (mostly featuring guitar), to close out the track which I felt to be rather unnecessary, as "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" would make a satisfying enough ending, but hey, it's fine like that I guess...

While Tales From Topographic Oceans has it's ups and downs, over-all it is definitely worth checking out for any Yes fan. Though, due to all the issues that I had with the first two tracks you might think that I would have rated it lower than four stars. Well, normally you'd be correct, but while there is a lot of filler there are still many excellent melodic concepts worth checking out on the first two tracks that honestly makes them that makes the whole album worth rating at least four stars. However, The first three tracks personally would have worked much better shortened and/or chopped up into shorter tracks, but that idea is nothing new really. But don't just take the word of a biased fanboy like me, all I can do is give suggestions. Your opinion could be completely different from mine, but if I influenced you to give it a listen, then I know my review was a success.

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 Close To The Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.65 | 3238 ratings

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Close To The Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat

5 stars I don't know how many years had to go by before I finally considered this the best Yes album let alone one of the best progressive rock albums ever. It has attained that status here at Prog Archives and deservedly so. I am a huge fan of Yes and even that took time to admit, the entry for me being "90125" and "Drama". Those two albums enticed me to really research the band. Now they are one of my favorites even before I started coming to Prog Archives. It does my heart good to know that there is a group of people that know excellent music.

What more can be said of this album that hasn't already been said? I'm not going to write a long review here, but I will tell you that if you are like most people in this world, you will not appreciate this album until you have heard it several times and you suddenly come to the realization that it is in your head, your heart and your soul and you listen and can actually become part of the music. This might take some time, but this is attainable for anyone. This album is perfect and has become the standard for symphonic prog and the pinnacle of progressive rock. The sections in these long compositions are never too long and this album always goes by way too fast. You don't even realize that all the time has passed and you only want to immerse yourself more when it's done. The amazing thing about the tracks on here is that two of them are divided into sections. In most multi-sectional compositions in prog rock, usually the point where each sub-section ends and another begins is quite clear cut. Not so on this album. Each sub-section is not necessarily finished when another one begins, there is a lot of overlap among the sections. In other words, you hear pieces of sections in other sections and so on. This is truly innovation and maybe not exactly the first time it has happened in rock music, but it was never really explored as well as it is here. I know King Crimson had done this before and so had Frank Zappa and others. But never has it had such a nice flow as it does here.

At this point in Yes' career, we have come to the point where the music becomes paintings for the ears to enjoy and for the eyes to imagine instead of the other way around as it is in what we normally consider a painting. The lyrics in the album "Close to the Edge" are not something separate from the instrumentals as they are in most songs. They are all part of the painting or the composition. The instrumentals are not written to support the lyrics or the other way around. Instead, they all work together. In most pop music, you can easily substitute the instrumentals for one song for the lyrics of another, but you can't do that in this music. It all works together. And the result is amazing. This is why it's hard to appreciate this (and always in the best progressive rock) at the first listen. The best progressive rock is not casual listening. You have to invest time and yourself into the music to appreciate it fully.

Anyway, if you haven't heard this, or if you haven't invested the time required to appreciate it yet, then you have some work to do. There is a reason this one stands as the best of the best on Prog Archives. I can't tell you what that is because if I tell you, then I am talking and talking is not music. You have to discover for yourself by listening to the music and not to me rattling on about what makes it so wonderful. So I'll shut up now and leave it up to you to do your own discovery. I didn't get it at first. You probably won't either. I do now. I think you will too. Get to work!

No doubt about it whatsoever. 5 enormous stars.

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 Close To The Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.65 | 3238 ratings

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Close To The Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ster

5 stars CTTE to me was created during a perfect storm. The lineup of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford and let us not forget Eddy Offord was now fully comprised of virtuosos at the most creative time of their careers at the most creative period in rock music history. This line up had just produced two amazing albums in The Yes Album and Fragile. The latter always felt more like an EP or a set up to CTTE with its emphasis on solo material showing off the talents of each member separately. Both of those records hinted that something great was coming and Yes delivered on that promise.

Close to The Edge is when it all came together. The sound, playing, songwriting, production, creativity and the intangibles that make the whole much more than the sum of its parts. Brash and subtle. Loud and dissonant. Soft and tuneful. The ensemble playing is perfect here. Nobody fighting for space like on subsequent albums. The songs themselves are served rather than being a vehicle for show-offness. Yes would never achieve the perfect balance of CTTE again.

The best prog album of all time? It gets my vote.

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 Keystudio by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
3.53 | 437 ratings

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Keystudio
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Keystudio' - Yes (54/100)

Keystudio is one of the best-intentioned failures in progressive rock history.

Is it simply a compilation, or an overlooked Yes studio album? The record should state its the former, as it technically offers nothing past the fresh studio cuts on the Keys to Ascension albums. Even so, putting an hour of freshly written material together begs to be judged as a full-length. While Keys to Ascension (and Keystudio, by extension) would salvage the band's waning quality and get them out of the AOR rut, Yes' return to progressive rock isn't as propitious as I would have hoped. The bold attempt at multiple epics and instrumental fireworks would thankfully pave the way for The Ladder and Magnification, but for the sake of Keystudio, it sounds like Yes were still getting back on their feet.

Rick Wakeman originally wanted Keystudio to be released as a proper full-length; while I had initially wondered why he didn't get his wish, I'm sort of glad the band decided to veto him. While Yes made the right move to return to progressive rock after the tragically dull Open Your Eyes, the classic quality is nowhere to be seen. Nothing on Keystudio is outwardly bad- some parts are even truly impressive- but the proggy edge seems contrived. The structures are mechanical, the longer song structures often feel like pop tunes that were forcibly drawn out. The hooks are none too effective, and every moment of brilliance on a track is offset by an idea equally as dull or complacent. I'm really happy Yes got their head out of the dirt and tried to reclaim what they were best at, but the magic wasn't so quick to return. Seriously; Jon Anderson- a middle-aged British progger- chanting on about being 'strung out on crack time' in the ghetto is utterly ridiculous, and not in the way that would endear them to me at all.

If there's an issue with the material, it's consistency. "That, That Is" and "Mind Drive" are two of the longest, most conventionally 'epic' works Yes have ever crafted. Both are endowed with incredible ideas; "Mind Drive" in particular is seen by a few fans as one of the band's best works, and a few of the most fiery instrumental passages might suggest I should agree with them. As start-to-finish compositions however, there isn't a track on Keystudio that doesn't escape problems of flow and consistency. The two epics are the worst contenders for this- so many of the ideas feel dull and uninvolved; in contrast, "Close to the Edge" was utterly captivating even during its least involving passages. It's a case of a band trying to replicate their former glory, and not quite replicating the formula.

If something portrays Keystudio in a positive light, it's everything that came before it. Union and Open Your Eyes made it evident Yes had no idea where to go with their sound, and half of Talk was equally as terrible. With their one-time leader Trevor Rabin out of the picture, it wasn't looking likely that Yes would find their way again. The Keys to Ascension duology was a blessing for Yes fans, and while they were far more impressive on the merits of their live showcase of classic material, the studio material at least showed that Yes weren't going to rest on the laurels of their 70s material. Even if Keystudio is a mixed success at best, the Keys to Ascension series would beckon in a brief renaissance for Yes, continuing with the far-more engaging The Ladder and culminating in their latter-era masterpiece, Magnification.

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 Yes Remixes by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
2.14 | 57 ratings

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Yes Remixes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'Remixes' - Yes (33/100)

What were Yes thinking when they accepted, and subsequently released these remixes by Steve Howe's son Virgil? I don't think it's simply for nepotism's sake, trying to get another Howe family member into the spotlight either. By his own merit, Virgil Howe is a capable electronic producer, but it still doesn't explain this. Remixes is possibly more singularly detested in Yes' career even than Union, and given that we all know progressive fans are a bunch of old fogies with a deep resentment for anything new and trendy, none of this reception comes as a surprise. Again, what were Yes thinking? What demographic was this album aimed at?

Beyond the shattered principle of bastardizing something as classic as Yes 70s material, I'm not opposed to the material's infusion with electronic. I'm a fan of many types of electronic music both old and new, and based on some of the more inspired chops and cuts Virgil Howe offers here, I think Remixes could (and should) have been more compelling than it is. Although every track here can be traced back to its origins easily enough, Virgil has stripped most of the songs of their initial structure, rewiring and repeating samples, often alongside programmed beats.

Yes fans and progressive lovers would probably balk at that last line. Surprisingly enough, parts of it work really well. The rhythmically reworked intro to "Starship Trooper" is particularly inspired, and Virgil takes advantage of "Awaken"'s celestial atmosphere to his own benefit; the moments here that stick to me go as far as to vindicate the idea of remixing Yes' material. I get the impression that Virgil Howe wasn't the person to take it all the way however. Whether the project was rushed or undercooked altogether, for every clever idea here, there's three or four others that are almost intolerably annoying. "Heart of the Sunrise" is a muddled mess here, without any of the gorgeous build-up that made the original so impressive. The unnecessary sample-repetition is usually taken too far; the weird first seconds of "Sound Chaser" are repeated ad nauseam, to the point where the magic and effect are lost entirely.

Remixes are far from my first choice musically, but even when they're set on dissecting classic material, there's the potential to create a new and satisfying experience. Max Graham's reworking of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was really interesting, and some of Virgil Howe's cuts here lend credibility to something proggers would reject outright. Remixes has too many interesting moments to be horrible, but too many worthless cuts and chops to be recommended to anyone, be they fans of Yes or electronic music in general. It's an interesting novelty, but there's no substance here to keep the interest going. Check out Virgil's recuts of "Starship Trooper" and "Awaken", and leave the rest to the dogs.

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 Live at Montreux 2003 by YES album cover Live, 2007
3.82 | 132 ratings

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Live at Montreux 2003
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Live at Montreux 2003' - Yes (70/100)

Live albums have fallen out of favour in the past generation, and I think it's for the reason that a recording of a live performance is accepted as never being able to capture the scope and spontaneity as if it were happening in real time. Just as importantly, most bands fail to add something fresh to the music in a live album; as a result, it ends up sounding like their studio work with the added strain of weaker mixing and hazy crowd ambiance.

I do wonder whether Yes really needed another live album. Nonetheless, it's something of a checkpoint for longstanding rock bands to record a performance at the legendary Montreux jazz festival. While Yes made a habit of looking outlandish in their classic live shows, Montreux was known for its stripped down, no-frills stage set. While Live at Montreux 2003 offers little visual indication as to whether Yes toned down their image accordingly, the album largely unfolds almost exactly as you would imagine for a Yes live album. Therein lies the problem of it; whereas Symphonic Live at least had the orchestral angle to differentiate it from albums past, Live at Montreux 2003 has come too late to the party to offer much worthy of excitement or surprise. It's a two hour-plus (!) performance of most of their best- loved songs. A lot of the set mirrors Yessongs and Yesshows too much to feel fresh at this point, but in this case, the music- as well as a hardy performance from Yes themselves- hold their own.

Although Live at Montreux is probably most notable for its twenty minute rendition of the immortal "Awaken", the spotlight is often fixed on their Fragile material. Barring a few of its solo pieces, Fragile is scattered throughout the set. Even the rare Jon Anderson song "Show Me" (written during the Fragile sessions) is included. "Heart of the Sunrise" and "Roundabout" are given straight-laced treatments here, not unlike the manner they were approached on Yessongs. Although Yes had been using "The Fish" as a way to sneak a bit of "Tempus Fugit" into their set since the '80s (Jon Anderson wouldn't sing anything from Drama), the only other live album of theirs that shows this gem is 9012 Live. Suffice to say, you're far better off hearing it here.

After "And You and I" (which benefits from some surprising harmonica during "The Preacher and the Teacher") the floor is given to Steve Howe, who delivers a gorgeous acoustic renditions of "To Be Over" and "The Clap". While "The Clap" stays true to form (it's a bloody classic of fingerpicking in any case), "To Be Over" is one of the coolest parts of this album; it shows Yes reinventing their music in a new and inviting way. Most of the other songs in Live at Montreux's favour are largely so because they weren't included on live albums past. "Awaken" is the real gem here (sounding as strong live as it does in the studio), and "In The Presence Of" off the latter-era masterpiece Magnification stands as being one of the best epics they've ever done.

There are surprises and fresh encounters on Live at Montreux; the setlist and performances are great, and the re-appearance of Rick Wakeman makes it special for Yes. Did we need another live album with "Siberian Khatru", "And You And I", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Long Distance Runaround", "Roundabout" or "I've Seen All Good People" on it? Probably not. As it stands, Live at Montreux is a fine live album, but I can't see any reason to recommend it over Yessongs. If you've already heard Yessongs however, and want more of the same, Live at Montreux stands as the second best among their live releases.

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