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YES

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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

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

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

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

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YES discography


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

3.25 | 1322 ratings
Yes
1969
3.30 | 1379 ratings
Time And A Word
1970
4.29 | 2867 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.45 | 3533 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.66 | 4450 ratings
Close To The Edge
1972
3.89 | 2391 ratings
Tales From Topographic Oceans
1973
4.37 | 3046 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.04 | 1994 ratings
Going For The One
1977
2.98 | 1504 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.78 | 1664 ratings
Drama
1980
3.00 | 1548 ratings
90125
1983
2.53 | 1131 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.50 | 1039 ratings
Union
1991
3.06 | 955 ratings
Talk
1994
2.05 | 836 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.26 | 982 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.73 | 1109 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.41 | 1095 ratings
Fly From Here
2011
2.35 | 612 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014
3.11 | 111 ratings
Fly From Here - Return Trip
2018
3.27 | 26 ratings
From A Page
2019

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

4.34 | 957 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.63 | 494 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.27 | 250 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
1985
4.05 | 516 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.95 | 485 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.63 | 148 ratings
BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Something's Coming (2 Cds)
1997
3.59 | 214 ratings
House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues
2000
2.66 | 40 ratings
Extended Versions
2002
2.89 | 37 ratings
Roundabout: The Best Of Yes- Live
2003
3.86 | 184 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.22 | 300 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
4.47 | 177 ratings
Keys To Ascension (Full)
2010
3.36 | 39 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2011
3.52 | 144 ratings
In The Present - Live From Lyon
2011
3.55 | 68 ratings
Union Live
2011
2.78 | 64 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014
4.52 | 95 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
2015
3.35 | 71 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
2015
3.46 | 62 ratings
Topographic Drama: Live Across America
2017
3.97 | 55 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2018
3.07 | 30 ratings
Yes 50 Live
2019

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

3.68 | 180 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.21 | 108 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.13 | 94 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
1991
3.71 | 48 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.95 | 59 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
4.36 | 11 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
1999
3.63 | 130 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.70 | 136 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.60 | 332 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.10 | 78 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.41 | 87 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.14 | 38 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.61 | 98 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.30 | 180 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.44 | 75 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.36 | 69 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.64 | 59 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.96 | 143 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.83 | 51 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.85 | 47 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.24 | 35 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.92 | 69 ratings
Union - Live
2010
3.15 | 8 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971
2013
3.58 | 32 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2018

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

3.63 | 16 ratings
2 Originals Of Yes
1973
3.11 | 221 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.76 | 189 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.28 | 117 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.47 | 78 ratings
Yesstory
1992
2.88 | 84 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
1993
2.59 | 34 ratings
The Best of Yes
2000
3.55 | 474 ratings
Keystudio
2001
2.71 | 23 ratings
Yes-today
2002
4.27 | 126 ratings
In A Word
2002
3.16 | 101 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.14 | 68 ratings
Remixes
2003
2.54 | 27 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
3.25 | 146 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
3.78 | 27 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
3.50 | 19 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008
4.67 | 3 ratings
Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes
2011
4.08 | 49 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
2015
4.71 | 31 ratings
The Steven Wilson Remixes
2018

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

4.28 | 25 ratings
Something's Coming
1969
3.51 | 18 ratings
Looking Around
1969
2.85 | 30 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
3.33 | 21 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.43 | 39 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
3.45 | 48 ratings
Your Move
1971
3.31 | 20 ratings
Roundabout
1972
4.62 | 21 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
2.92 | 52 ratings
America
1972
4.73 | 22 ratings
And You And I
1974
3.32 | 19 ratings
Soon
1976
3.27 | 42 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
1976
2.50 | 18 ratings
Yes Solos
1976
3.67 | 42 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
1977
4.04 | 40 ratings
Going For The One 12''
1977
4.15 | 13 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
2.75 | 54 ratings
Don't Kill The Whale
1978
3.02 | 39 ratings
Into The Lens
1980
4.24 | 46 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.39 | 45 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.21 | 50 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1983
2.70 | 38 ratings
Leave It
1984
2.87 | 24 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
2.85 | 35 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.52 | 12 ratings
Rhythm Of Love
1987
2.76 | 33 ratings
Love Will Find A Way
1987
2.24 | 41 ratings
Rhythm Of Love (2)
1987
3.33 | 21 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.61 | 42 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1991
2.58 | 12 ratings
Lift Me Up
1991
2.56 | 24 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.65 | 12 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.62 | 27 ratings
The Calling
1994
3.00 | 5 ratings
Lightning Strikes (She Ay ... Do Wa Bap)
1999
2.84 | 72 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
2.26 | 8 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
2005
3.06 | 66 ratings
We Can Fly
2011

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tales From Topographic Oceans by YES album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.89 | 2391 ratings

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Tales From Topographic Oceans
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Agnenrecords

5 stars Tales from Topographic Oceans was released on December 14th 1973 and my brother introduced it into our household the next day. Tales would divide opinion amongst fans and critics alike: overblown and pretentious or symphonic prog masterpiece.

The presentation of the album is quite special. It's less ostentatious than the preceding Yes offering, the triple live set Yessongs in a triple gatefold, but more elaborate than Close to the Edge which, perhaps more than any other album, was responsible for creating a link between the sonic vision of a band and a visual representation of the music. The imagery used on Tales took in some obscure iconography and utilised ideas put forward by the band themselves, such that it could have been a bit of a dog's breakfast. But somehow, it all hangs together. I was more worried that the four words of the album title featured three basic colours. Both the front cover and the open gatefold work as complete images, as the eye finds different focal points for the two potential presentations: the Mayan temple on the front cover; the waterfall for the open gatefold. I used to try to ascribe meaning to the position of the photographs within the song words but I no longer believe there is any association other than they are literal illustrations of Anderson and Howe's use of 'green language' in their lyrics.

This cover is wrapped around roughly 80 minutes of music which, though it can be plotted on a line of general progression between Close to the Edge and Relayer, there has been nothing like it in terms of ambition and scope either before or since. The original release was of course on four sides of vinyl and though I also own a remastered and expanded edition on CD, I retain a vinyl copy and that's how I prefer to refer to and listen to the album.

80 minutes of complex and challenging music makes Tales a fairly difficult listen. With each side acting as a suite in its own right it's quite easy to see why the casual listener might have difficulty understanding why Yes should record such an album. There are a bare minimum of passages where there is a straightforward rhythm defined by bass drum and snare and, with its lofty, philosophical concept, this could be the reason why most critics were so averse to the album as it moved ever further from the narrow confines of rock 'n' roll.

I personally love the album though I believe side 2 (The Remembering/High the Memory) is comparatively weak. Side 1 (The Revealing Science of God/Dance of the Dawn) is relatively accessible because it does seem a natural progression from Close to the Edge but that's not the reason it's my favourite track. There's a good deal of sonic variety and what comes across as shared input. I particularly like that around the same point on Close to the Edge where there's a Wakeman organ solo, there's a synthesizer solo on side 1 of Tales, and I love that particular sound of the Moog. As an atheist, the title of the track did use to cause me some concern with its reference to 'God' and there's also the line 'Young Christians see it from the beginning' but my apprehension was reconciled when I placed the album in the context of a quest for enlightenment that doesn't necessarily require a specific deity.

Side 2 comes across as having most of what Wakeman has described as padding. Though it's necessary to regard this movement as part of the whole, I still find that the relatively slow pace of the piece tends to drag and, whereas Close to the Edge and to a lesser extent The Revealing Science of God are densely packed with sound, The Remembering (forgive the allusion) has space between the notes. What's more, this side contains music with the least contrast.

Side 3 (The Ancients/Giants under the Sun) comes across as almost pagan. From the different languages used to name the Sun to the percussive sections and the 'leaves of green' denouement which, though by no means folk music, does call to mind a plainer, less advanced or mechanised way of life. It's no surprise that the band should use The Firebird Suite as opening music for their live shows. I think that stretching the possibilities of rock music by incorporating some of the ideas of Stravinsky was brave but also something that perhaps only Yes could have done and, if you'll let me draw another parallel, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring not also caused something of a stir when it was first performed in Paris in May 1913, dividing critics and the ballet audience with its deviation from the accepted form. I think that The Ancients and Ritual are the best illustrations of the influence of Stravinsky on Yes music.

Side 4 (Ritual/Nous Sommes du Soleil) is something of a cross between the more straightforward prog of The Revealing Science of God and the percussion movement on The Ancients. It may be that Wakeman also thought that this was an unnecessary inclusion but again, in the context of what Anderson and Howe had envisaged, it's actually stunningly dynamic, especially when performed live. The resolution of the track into the Nous Sommes du Soleil is a powerful piece of musical drama, drawing threads from the other three sides together into what always feels to me like a very satisfactory conclusion; you have to have listened to the other three sides before this to get it to work. It's uplifting and very positive and ultimately very satisfying. When I first used to listen to the album I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more overt keyboard work but I've since realised that the subtle Mellotron that pervades the entire album is a vital part of the overall orchestration. I believe it's important to see the work as 'orchestrated' because of what Anderson and Howe had originally conceived. Equally, the percussion (and Alan White was something of an unknown to me) should not be regarded as rock drumming because it's often used as musical colour around guitar lines, rather than the other way round.

As a fourteen year old, listening to the album and poring over the lyrics (and I used to be able to recite all of them) this was a natural successor to Close to the Edge. It's only since then that I've read how it divided fans in a manner similar to the schism caused by the release of 90125, but I do understand why. I accepted Tales because I believed that Yes music had the power to transform; the music and the concept of Tales may be challenging but they are ultimately rewarding, so it's hardly surprising that the further they deviated from the idea that rock 'n' roll is an expression of simple rebellion, the more chance there was of losing fans.

It's a symphonic prog masterpiece. Five stars

 Tormato by YES album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.98 | 1504 ratings

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Tormato
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Spacegod87

3 stars Throughout this album, it feels like a whirlwind of confusion. Sometimes a bad thing, sometimes a good thing. They definitely saw fit to slingshot themselves back and forth from unique sounds to commercial-like songs. I found the bass to be underwhelming throughout the album, unfortunately. And the drumming is nothing to write home about either. In saying that, Jon, Rick and Steve definitely have their moments.

'Future Times/Rejoice' is a strong opener. Upbeat and feverish, with some beautiful guitar work from Howe which accompanies the vocals well. It then takes a sharp turn into 'Don't kill the whale' which presents an emotional performance by Jon. The lyrics are definitely cringeworthy though, so if you can get past that, the song itself is great. Then comes the short but sweet, 'Madrigal' which flows beautifully. The harpsichord accompanying the vocals is stunning, and the song is well structured. Definitely a shining moment for Wakeman. Overall Jon's vocals are majestic and soaring, but in certain songs (Release Release) it sounds a bit out of place. Also, the 'cheering' sound effect is bizarre, and the lackluster drum solo is nothing to admire. The middle of 'Release Release' also drags on too long, and to me, is not needed.

'Arriving UFO' probably has the most unique sound of all the tracks. Howe making his guitar sound like a chattering alien will always impress me, and Wakeman's brilliance shines on this song as well. Once again though, Jon's lyrics are not up to their usual standard. His voice not as heavenly as usual, and speaking of heaven.. 'Circus of Heaven' is one of the weaker tracks, sounding quite messy. It doesn't go anywhere and feels all over the place.

And onward to 'Onward'. Which to me, is not only one of their weaker tracks, but the worst. Both boring and melodramatic, it really flatlines and drags on without adding anything interesting at any point. The guitar sound is needling and uninspired.Sleep inducing.

To end the album, 'On the silent wings of freedom' is some of Jon's best vocal work. I have no idea what Howe thinks he's doing on the guitar for most of it, and once again, it sounds messy in parts but finishes strong. Overall I don't mind it, but prefer others on the album (Arriving UFO, Future Times/Rejoice, Madrigal)

This album is hit or miss, absolutely, but the hits hit very high, and the lows aren't unforgivable, just bland.

 Time And A Word by YES album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.30 | 1379 ratings

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Time And A Word
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by tobb6694

4 stars I believe that Time and a Word is often underrated and does need recognition as one of Yes' better albums. The album is more progressive than their first, and in my opinion a good improvement. Yes are about to enter into their trilogy of brilliant albums, while Time and a Word is not on the same level as those, they do a great job with numerous good tracks such as Time and a Word, Sweet Dreams, No opportunity necessary, No experience needed, Astral traveller, Then. It is important to remember that Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman are yet to join the band.

All in all I think this is a much overlooked album that deserves recognition.

 Going For The One by YES album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.04 | 1994 ratings

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Going For The One
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Summit.

They reached a summit, and how. Yes is about illumination, epiphany, divinity, ecstasy, awekening, glory and lots of pretty things shining in kaleidoscopic dances. They want to blow your mind, to expand it. They want to bring you to space and navigate through giant nebulas and quasars, showing you the colours of an universe so big.

Everything here falls into place, making the same recipe even more effective, if a thing is possible. It's big, it's glorious, it's millions of dopamine particles slowly landing on your cortex, bringing tears in my eyes on a few occasions.

It's the same as Close to the Edge but with even more galactic grandeur, more gazing from the tallest mountain on Earth, more of cryptical concepts of ultimate Awekening. If I may add, they injected more finger-snapping moments as I may categorize this album as the most accessible (read 'girl-friendly') album of the first phase.

If you can tell your woman how much you love her in a Jon-Anderson-style (Turn of the Century), she'll be yours forever....or think you're joking. It's that impressive.

It's enough 'Divine' for me, my brain needs a flippin' break.

 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.37 | 3046 ratings

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Relayer
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Relayer, the album that follows the long-winded, threadbare "Tales", and which has the lesser-known Patrick Moraz in place of Rick Wakeman, returns to the "Close to the Edge" scheme: a suite on the first side and two mini-suites on the second.

"The Gates of the Deliverium" suite begins with two atmospheric but syncopated introductory minutes guided by Howe's guitar, then comes the singing of Jon Anderson, who proceeds for two verses and a bridge (not a real chorus) then an instrumental detachment then a another verse and another bridge, and again an instrumental part led by Howe with Squire's bass screaming ... then the volume goes down and follows a whispered verse, then another, we have now reached the part where Anderson asks to help the brothers in battle, but the pathos remains only superficial, then we leave this swamp with Howe's guitar which embroiders the usual guiding phrase, and finally the third bridge arrives followed by the long instrumental digression in which Howe and Moraz alternate run. White's effort is great, but he doesn't have Bruford's finesse. The musical theme is very rhythmic but not very melodic, this is the main difference with "Close to the Edge", where there was a suite that alternated melodic and catchy verses and refrains. Here the piece is much more rock, syncopated, sustained, even noisy, sometimes dissonant and there is practically no very melodic part. Yes seem almost to improvise, in fact the noises simulate those of the war and around 12'45 '' they reach a real cacophony, after insisting a lot on the same riff. Alan White with a very long, prolonged snare beat (which Bruford would never have done) marks the end of the moment of cacophony and the beginning of a Moraz solo, but what is striking is the sound of the whole, the ability to bring out all the instruments, and Squire impresses with its bass lines. Around 15 minutes the music stops, there is a carpet of keyboards that stretches a bit too long, then outlines a melody going up in intensity and begins the celestial piece "Soon" by Jon Anderson, the peace after the war. We do not reach the majestic climax of the Close to the Edge suite with Wakeman's organ, here we have a rarefied, pastoral music with acoustic guitars, then electric guitars intervene but the atmosphere remains of heavenly peace. Suite practically divided into only two parts, more aggressive than Close to the Edge, melodically inferior but more creative in terms of composition. Overall slightly lower but almost on the same level.

Rating 8,5.

B-side.

"Sound Chaser". First song with a great solo on the drums and bass, Anderson's singing and then a very aggressive phrase on the guitar (Howe is the leader in this album), an atmospheric piece, but always Howe's guitar in evidence (it seems a solo of the guitarist), then comes back the Anderson's celestial voice. Then another dissonant piece, Arrives the "Tcha Tcha Tcha, Tcha Tcha!" piece, then a Moraz's solo on the keyboards. This one is a masterpiece, thaks to Howe's ability on the guitar. This is hard rock played like free jazz. Masterpiece. Rating 9.

"To Be Over". Slow beginning with nice arpeggio to Howe's sitar (Howe always leader on this record), then comes the sung melody that is strangely not arranged well, there are holes, the sound is not full (the sound of White's drums is evident and bad): Yes lose the completeness of the sound, it seems like a demo!!! How is possible a similar error in the arrangement? The vocals are far, in the background, not in evidence... Then things come better when Howe's electric guitar returns to lead the dances. When comes the Anderson's vocals but this time in the foreground, the arrangement is complete (more keyboards, more electric guitar) and the song proceeds very well until the epic grand finale, It's a pity that initial fault on the arrangement, very strange for a band like Yes. This song is not at the same high of the rest of the Lp. Rating 7,5/8

Yes, after the classic "Close to the Edge", catchy prog form of pop songs, and after a double album consisting of 4 suites, monumental, excessive ("Tales"), with this album they let themselves go, led by Howe, and lose some of their brakes , control, and churn out a very rock and aggressive album, capable of going from hard rock and dissonant moments to slow celestial moments. The sound is not as balanced as in the past, and Bruford's absence is heard, but on the other hand we have never heard Yes so casual and able to find the cacophony, the dissonant sound. Then, unfortunately, they lose shots: they record a song, the last one (To Be Over), which in the first part is not entirely arranged, and this does not allow the album to be the true masterpiece that could have been, but this time they churn out a small masterpiece, imperfect but strangely bridle, almost resemble King Crimson and so this album hangs 9, small masterpiece. A little better than "Close to the Edge".

Five stars.

 Yes by YES album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.25 | 1322 ratings

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Yes
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The debut album of Yes sounds now very pretty and sixties.

1. Beyond and Before (4:50) is a good ballad folk-rock. Guitar wah-wah, vocals in CSNY' style. Squire's bass immediately jumps. Rating 7,5/8.

2. I See You (6:33). Song written by the Byrds. It is much longer than the original, and the Byrds psychedelia is not present. The song is jazzed up. Anderson's female voice is dubbed but begins to peep alone, creating a strange sensation. Banks and Bruford solo all jazz. A lot of creativity but also a lot of confusion. Rating 8.

3. Yesterday and Today (2:37). Short melodic, acoustic song, where the celestial Anderson's contralto voice emerges for the first time, but the tone is not as high as it will be in the future. Good atmosphere but the pathos is missing. Rating 7+.

4. Looking Around (3:49). Conventional rock ballad with the organ in foreground. Good sound, but nothing more - The listener now begins to understand that the singer has just that voice. Rating 6,5/7.

End of A-Side.

5. Harold Land (5:26) opens B- side. Intro a minute and a half long, rambling, then a melodic ballad starts that alternates good moments with bad ones. Rating 6,5/7.

6. Every Little Thing (5:24). A new jazzy intro thanks to Bruford and Banks, then the music changes, and the Beatles' song is recognized, a song with a vague and insignificant melody that is covered here by rhythm and arrangement. It seems to witness a transformation, like distorting a beat, melodic song into a jazz-rock song. As always with Yes, you lose in feeling and pathos but you gain in musical emphasis, in visionarity. The cover is well centered, and since the original is a poor song, this cover gains us. The best song on the album. Rating 8+.

7. Sweetness (4:19). Sweet and melodic ballad where Anderson still sings on the low notes. The listener has become accustomed to his asexual voice, and does not yet know that in the future he will almost use falsetto. More engaging than the ballad of the first side. Rating 7.5

8. Survival (6:01). Blues-rock guitar, organ, then drums and bass, then acoustic piece and finally Anderson's voice. Personally, I regret this still neutral voice and on the low notes, almost warm, compared to the high note that will come. This is perhaps the song that projects Yes into the future, the less epigonic, more personal song. Bruford plays jazz-style drums again, and the melody is good this time. It is a bridge between the beat, the melodic song and the prog. Almost epic ending but then a short instrumental digression arrives. Rating 8.

Total Time: 38:59

Yes was still a long way from what King Crimson did in 1969, and also Van Der Graaf Generator. The listener hears a band that brings together beat, rock, jazz arrangements, which has great musical potential, especially the rhythm section (Bruford and Squire), and a singer with an asexual voice, which gives a whole sense of estrangement, even if still moderate, compared to the future. A group that does well when it expands the beat songs by 2-3 minutes, when it creates a jazz atmosphere, and when it has a singer who remains on low notes. A music that has yet to grow to become personal, but already has a quality: to make commercial a song format different from the catchy verse of a 2-3 minute refrain. Still naive but pleasant album.

Rating 7+. Yes reach three stars.

 Close To The Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.66 | 4450 ratings

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Close To The Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by FunKiller555

5 stars At the time of writing, this is my favorite album of all time. Each song starts and ends on its own terms, so I feel it's fair to review it in segments. Close to the Edge immediately works to build an atmosphere. Its detailed layering hooks you, and keeps you there for the full ride. Followed by another one because, even though you just heard an incredible album with a killer outro, you hear something new underneath the noise. The sounds interact differently, maybe you didn't hear the pulsing keyboard part, not because you weren't listening, just because the music pulled you into a very purposeful, approachable, and grand masterwork on its own right that it made you want to experience on its own terms. What it adds in detail it does not sacrifice in clarity. After a multifaceted introduction the music does not let up, with tasteful performances from Yes' best lineup that all add to a wonderful atmosphere that is just fun to listen to. The catchy grooves, melodies, and fun harmonies all give each other space to breathe while they blur the transition between phases of the song, allowing time to disappear while you appreciate the artistry, all without feeling forced. By the time the Keyboard solo happens not a second is wasted in setting up the finale in the most pleasant way possible. The keyboard solo takes what you've been invested in and enjoying and puts a knife in you adding an unsolvable tension to constantly renew interest. By the time its over you'll beg for it to happen again as the most cathartic release of that tension comes with a reintroduction of elements from the first half. This song will meet you wherever you are and take you on a new journey on each listen perfectly setting up And You And I.

Tightly written towards the same cathartic release, And You And I makes you feel sincerely what would otherwise be deflected by post ironic shields. It opens you up to feel anything and expresses some of the most powerful and complex emotions possible. Siberian Khartu ends the album with a haunting, spacey, rock driven epic. There's plenty to intellectualize here, but so much more to feel, which is this album's main draw for me.

 Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo by YES album cover Live, 2018
3.97 | 55 ratings

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Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by steelyhead

4 stars How many live albums do I have of Yes? Too many and some of them essential to the experience since I haven't, and I will never, see them play on stage.

This is not my favourite of all but It is...different in so many ways because the set goes from the Yes Album to Big Generator so there's a lot of songs and different styles.

Jon Anderson voice is still in good shape here, Rick Wakeman tries different arrangements for the keyboard on the songs and most of the time is spot on and Trevor Rabin has grown on me but, I still miss the old man. Subdued bass, but, to be fair who could replace Chris Squire? who? and the drums are too loud for my taste here sometimes. All in all is a good addition to my collection because I like my breakfast on weekends with a side of Yes.

Search for this, You will not be dissapointed at all.

 Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo by YES album cover Live, 2018
3.97 | 55 ratings

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Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
Yes Symphonic Prog

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

4 stars I'll have to admit, that although Yes has been one of my favorite bands for about half a century, I haven't been too interested in seeing the recent incarnations of the band in concert. The band that has been touring consistently since (it seems) the beginning of time, has been, since the great Chris Squire's passing, without any original members. Even with Squire, their last studio albums were somewhat tired sounding and disappointing, if you wanted the majesty of the classic, or even a few of the later albums.

In 2016 & 2017, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman got together to bring their version of Yes music back to us. It was heaven. It only could have been better if the two simultaneously touring Yesses would have resolved their differences and gotten together for a Yes-off, to prove who were the kings of symphonic prog.

I suspect this group, who originally were going to use the moniker ARW as their group name (WAR was already taken) would have won that contest easily.

Anderson's voice is as clear and steady as ever. Wakeman, the "grumpy old rock star", still proves that he is the greatest living multi-keyboardist, and Rabin is spectacular on guitar, even when covering the unique Steve Howe riffs.

They do not play anything outside of the Yes catalog, so I won't go into too much detail of each track, but a few things stand out.

The band plays everything with joy and energy, with a power that goes beyond what the other Yes seems to be able to create.

Wakeman seems especially elevated. Adding depth and substance to the arrangements of the 80's Rabin era tracks, and more. His elevated performance in "Long Distance Runaround" is especially enjoyable.

The absolute highlight is a 22 minute rendition of "Awaken". Everyone in the group, including bassist Lee Pomeroy (who is previously known for covering Yes classics in a group with Adam Wakeman) and drummer Louis Molino III. With Wakeman & Rabin's soaring performance, and Molino's thundering drums, this has become my favorite rendition of this piece.

I know, we already have far too many live versions of many of these songs, but this album has enough new elements to make it a worthy purchase.

 Talk by YES album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 955 ratings

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Talk
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ken_scrbrgh

4 stars To the members, contributors, and readers of Prog Archives.com: Happy Mardi Gras from the Greater New Orleans Area! To quote one of our favorites, 'Today is a day to celebrate; the foe has met its fate.' Earlier today, over my morning coffee, I read stevoz' review of 90125. Because 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,' I take stevoz' lead and submit a few words about Yes' 1994 album, Talk. It will become clear who the 'foes' might just be.

Stevoz intimates that, 'the only thing that is permanent is change. 'As a freshman and sophomore in high school from 1973-74, I distinctly recall the acrimony engendered upon the release of Tales from Topographic Oceans. On one level, it was not really a non sequitur to move from Close to the Edge to Topographic Oceans Primarily Anderson and Howe, through their lyrics, tell this great tale from the 'mind's eye.' And following the lead of the Paramahansa Yogananda, it remains a formidable 'tale to tell.' Rick Wakeman was a participant on and frequent critic of this album- - Fair enough, from his perspective. However, what else is 'Awaken' but what Wakeman would have liked each of the four sides of Topographic Oceans to have been?

So, now, we ponder Talk. I ask your forgiveness if I leave no comments on the history of Yes from 1974-1994 (I did write 'a few words' above). In lyrics and execution, 'The Calling' certainly advances extra-musical, thematic elements, not just exemplified by 'Classic' Yes, but also displays a true 'tightness' and energy ,expected of Yes. Here and on 'Real Love' and on the 'Silent Spring' opening to 'Endless Dream,' Tony Kaye demonstrates why his name may be synonymous with the Hammond Organ. Throughout this album, Chris Squire and Alan White elucidate, yet again, why in the early eighties Trevor Rabin found them to be such a compelling rhythm section.

Of course, in collaboration, Rabin and Anderson are the architects of Talk. I have always appreciated their comment on the Human Condition in 'Real Love,' 'Far away in the depths of Hawking's mind to the animal, the primalistic grind . . . .' Yes, the Killer Angels. I'd also like to take this opportunity to correct a serious error of omission I committed in my August of 2019 review of Distance over Time: how could I have left Robert Fripp from my list of the 'masters?'

And, who is the 'foe?' The foe is not so much a person or entity, but a way of thinking. Why must we insist on 'all or nothing'''either/or?' Happy Mardi Gras again from the Crescent City where we demonstrate the 'both/ and' as we move through the profane of today to the sacred of Ash Wednesday, tomorrow.

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

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