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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 | 1438 ratings
Yes
1969
3.33 | 1494 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.30 | 3047 ratings
The Yes Album
1971
4.45 | 3736 ratings
Fragile
1971
4.67 | 4697 ratings
Close to the Edge
1972
3.90 | 2544 ratings
Tales from Topographic Oceans
1973
4.37 | 3224 ratings
Relayer
1974
4.05 | 2142 ratings
Going For The One
1977
3.00 | 1613 ratings
Tormato
1978
3.77 | 1782 ratings
Drama
1980
3.00 | 1664 ratings
90125
1983
2.54 | 1215 ratings
Big Generator
1987
2.51 | 1118 ratings
Union
1991
3.07 | 1021 ratings
Talk
1994
2.04 | 896 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
3.26 | 1048 ratings
The Ladder
1999
3.73 | 1182 ratings
Magnification
2001
3.42 | 1152 ratings
Fly From Here
2011
2.34 | 663 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2014
3.11 | 169 ratings
Fly from Here - Return Trip
2018
3.57 | 12 ratings
The Quest
2021

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

4.36 | 1017 ratings
Yessongs
1973
3.65 | 539 ratings
Yesshows
1980
2.30 | 273 ratings
9012 Live: The Solos
1985
4.03 | 557 ratings
Keys to Ascension
1996
3.94 | 522 ratings
Keys to Ascension 2
1997
2.63 | 157 ratings
Something's Coming - The BBC Recordings 1969-1970
1997
3.61 | 230 ratings
House of Yes: Live from House of Blues
2000
4.50 | 14 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert
2004
3.88 | 198 ratings
Live at Montreux 2003
2007
4.23 | 319 ratings
Symphonic Live
2009
3.32 | 41 ratings
Astral Traveller (The BBC Sessions)
2010
3.53 | 150 ratings
In the Present - Live from Lyon
2011
3.55 | 78 ratings
Union Live
2011
2.79 | 71 ratings
Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome
2014
4.51 | 104 ratings
Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
2015
3.35 | 77 ratings
Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre
2015
3.50 | 77 ratings
Topographic Drama: Live Across America
2017
4.02 | 72 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2018
3.05 | 42 ratings
Yes 50 Live
2019
3.50 | 4 ratings
Live at Glastonbury Festival 2003
2019
3.18 | 24 ratings
The Royal Affair Tour: Live in Las Vegas
2020
3.75 | 4 ratings
Live Radio '69 / '70
2021

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

3.71 | 189 ratings
Yessongs (DVD)
1973
3.22 | 112 ratings
9012 LIVE (DVD)
1985
4.13 | 95 ratings
Yesyears (DVD)
1991
3.71 | 51 ratings
The Union Tour Live
1991
2.95 | 62 ratings
Greatest Video Hits
1991
4.36 | 11 ratings
The Best Of MusikLaden Live
1999
3.63 | 131 ratings
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (DVD)
2000
3.71 | 139 ratings
Keys to Ascension (DVD)
2000
4.60 | 338 ratings
Symphonic Live (DVD)
2002
3.11 | 78 ratings
Yesspeak
2003
2.41 | 90 ratings
Live in Philadelphia 1979
2003
3.14 | 38 ratings
Inside Yes 1968-1973
2003
3.62 | 101 ratings
Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss
2004
4.30 | 184 ratings
Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert (DVD)
2005
3.45 | 78 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 1
2005
3.36 | 70 ratings
Live 1975 At Q.P.R. Vol. 2
2005
3.63 | 61 ratings
Yes (Classic Artists)
2006
3.97 | 146 ratings
Montreux 2003 (DVD)
2007
3.85 | 52 ratings
Yes - The New Director's Cut
2008
3.86 | 48 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts
2009
3.29 | 37 ratings
Rock Of The 70's
2009
3.92 | 69 ratings
Union - Live
2010
3.17 | 10 ratings
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavillion October 3rd 1971
2013
3.61 | 38 ratings
Yes ft. ARW: Live At The Apollo
2018

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

3.42 | 15 ratings
2 Originals of Yes
1973
3.10 | 237 ratings
Yesterdays
1975
3.76 | 198 ratings
Classic Yes
1981
3.29 | 120 ratings
Yesyears
1991
3.45 | 78 ratings
Yesstory
1992
2.87 | 88 ratings
Highlights: The Very Best of Yes
1993
4.48 | 186 ratings
Keys to Ascension (Volumes 1 and 2)
1998
2.59 | 34 ratings
The Best of Yes
2000
3.56 | 487 ratings
Keystudio
2001
2.61 | 26 ratings
Yes-today
2002
4.27 | 126 ratings
In A Word
2002
2.60 | 43 ratings
Extended Versions
2002
2.89 | 37 ratings
Roundabout: The Best of Yes - Live
2003
3.17 | 106 ratings
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection
2003
2.13 | 70 ratings
Remixes
2003
2.51 | 28 ratings
Topography: The Yes Anthology
2004
3.24 | 148 ratings
The Word Is Live
2005
3.78 | 27 ratings
Essentially Yes
2006
2.09 | 2 ratings
Rhino Hi-Five: Yes
2006
3.50 | 19 ratings
Collection 2CD: Yes
2008
4.50 | 4 ratings
Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Original Album Series
2013
4.10 | 52 ratings
Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
2015
4.71 | 41 ratings
The Steven Wilson Remixes
2018
3.24 | 59 ratings
From a Page / In the Present - Live from Lyon
2019

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

2.83 | 36 ratings
Sweetness / Something's Coming
1969
2.18 | 2 ratings
Looking Around / Everydays
1969
2.00 | 2 ratings
Sweetness / Every Little Thing
1970
3.10 | 20 ratings
Looking Around / Every Little Thing
1970
3.33 | 23 ratings
Sweet Dreams
1970
3.41 | 40 ratings
Time and a Word
1970
4.21 | 26 ratings
Something's Coming
1971
5.00 | 2 ratings
Yours Is No Disgrace / The Clap
1971
5.00 | 2 ratings
Yours Is No Disgrace
1971
5.00 | 2 ratings
I've Seen All Good People / The Clap
1971
3.49 | 52 ratings
Your Move
1971
3.36 | 23 ratings
Roundabout
1972
4.65 | 23 ratings
And You And I (Part 1 & 2)
1972
4.00 | 1 ratings
No (Opportunity Necessary)
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
Yours Is No Disgrace / Your Move / Sweet Dreams
1972
2.91 | 53 ratings
America
1972
4.49 | 28 ratings
And You And I
1974
4.50 | 2 ratings
America / Yours Is No Disgrace
1974
3.27 | 21 ratings
Soon
1976
3.26 | 42 ratings
Soon - Sound Chaser - Roundabout
1976
2.44 | 17 ratings
Yes Solos
1976
3.66 | 43 ratings
Wonderous Stories 12''
1977
4.06 | 42 ratings
Going For The One 12''
1977
4.15 | 13 ratings
Turn Of The Century
1977
3.31 | 4 ratings
Release, Release
1978
2.74 | 54 ratings
Don't Kill the Whale
1978
3.70 | 5 ratings
Run Through the Light
1980
3.03 | 41 ratings
Into The Lens
1980
4.22 | 46 ratings
Roundabout
1981
2.40 | 46 ratings
Owner of a Lonely Heart (promo single)
1983
2.21 | 53 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1983
2.71 | 41 ratings
Leave It
1984
2.87 | 24 ratings
Twelve Inches on Tape
1984
2.87 | 38 ratings
It Can Happen
1984
2.75 | 35 ratings
Love Will Find a Way
1987
2.24 | 42 ratings
Rhythm of Love (2)
1987
2.52 | 14 ratings
Rhythm of Love
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Would Have Waited Forever
1991
3.33 | 24 ratings
Saving My Heart
1991
2.58 | 43 ratings
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
1991
2.55 | 24 ratings
Make It Easy
1991
2.65 | 12 ratings
Yesyears - Sampler
1991
2.47 | 15 ratings
Lift Me Up
1991
2.62 | 27 ratings
The Calling
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
State of Play
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Walls
1994
4.00 | 1 ratings
That, That Is
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
America
1996
2.27 | 2 ratings
Open Your Eyes
1997
2.27 | 2 ratings
Open Your Eyes (radio edit)
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Homeworld (The Ladder)
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
If Only You Knew
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Lightning Strikes
1999
3.14 | 7 ratings
Lightning Strikes (She Ay ... Do Wa Bap)
1999
2.83 | 71 ratings
YesSymphonic
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Selections from... In a Word: Yes (1969-)
2002
2.26 | 8 ratings
Selections From The Word Is Live
2005
3.07 | 71 ratings
We Can Fly
2011
4.67 | 3 ratings
To the Moment
2019
3.88 | 8 ratings
From a Page
2019
3.62 | 20 ratings
The Ice Bridge
2021
3.67 | 6 ratings
Dare to Know
2021

YES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Close to the Edge by YES album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.67 | 4697 ratings

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Close to the Edge
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Maw The Void

5 stars Yes - Close To The Edge

What are you even supposed to say? This is Close To The F*cking Edge! It's a landmark of symphonic prog and music. It's a phenomenal album with three tracks, all of them classics of rock. The title track is the best Yes song, And You And I is an amazing track with a great build-up. Siberian Khatru is one hell of a rocker and my favorite Yes song ever.

The whole album is essential to the genre and it's undoubtedly an important piece to an prog rock collection. Five stars without even thinking, truly an absolute masterpiece.

 Extended Versions by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
2.60 | 43 ratings

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Extended Versions
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Zone

2 stars Review - #43 (Yes - Extended Versions)

Extended Versions is a compilation album released by Yes in 2002. It consists of every live song from the Keys to Ascension 1 album besides The Revealing Science Of God. Therefore, this album becomes somewhat pointless if you own Keys to Ascension 1. The musicians present on this album consist of Jon Anderson on lead vocals and harp, Steve Howe on guitar, Rick Wakeman on keyboards, Chris Squire on bass and Alan White on drums. The classic lineup is here! Therefore, it surely isn't a question if the musicians have the skills necessary, but its more of a question on why this album even exists?

The album includes several excellent live performances from the band that are nothing less than masterful with Starship Trooper being one of my favorite live renditions I've heard from Yes. However, one of the major perks I see in owning Keys to Ascension is having an excellent live album along with some superb studio material. Extended Versions just takes away the studio material in addition to taking away the great live rendition of The Revealing Science Of God. Therefore, I do not see any real reason to seek out this album unless you are able to get it for cheap or possibly even free. Extended Versions is somewhat of an odd album that I would recommend to avoid despite the superb music on offer. Therefore, I would normally say this is for completionists only, but due to the music present being truly superb I believe it's best intended for fans/collectors.

 Yes-today by YES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2002
2.61 | 26 ratings

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Yes-today
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Zone

2 stars Review - #42 (Yes - Yes-today)

Yes-today is a double CD compilation album from Yes that consists of material from the studio albums Open Your Eyes and The Ladder. In addition, it contains live material from the album House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues. This is a somewhat odd combination of songs, however, I believe they are chosen somewhat tastefully by presenting some of the best songs found in both The Ladder and Open Your Eyes. The musicians present are Jon Anderson on vocals, Billy Sherwood/Steve Howe on guitar, Alan White on drums, Igor Khoroshev on keyboards, and Chris Squire on bass/backing vocals. Let's take a quick peak at some of the material found on this compilation album.

The album opens with New State of Mind, which is also the opening track from the corresponding studio album, Open Your Eyes. This song is quite pleasant, but never becomes anything too special. Nevertheless, it is one of better songs found on the Open Your Eyes album. There are a few other songs found on this album that initially came from Open Your Eyes which are Universal Garden, Open Your Eyes, From The Balcony, Fortune Seller, and Somehow Someday. The track Open Your Eyes is a nice, pop orientated track that shows the best the Open Your Eyes album has to offer. The other studio songs found on this compilation are from The Ladder. They are Homeworld (The Ladder), The Messenger, It Will Be A Good Day, Face to Face, New Language. These are all nice choices that I believe are somewhat under looked within the Yes discography. Especially with Homeworld (The Ladder) and New Language. However, I believe that listening to The Ladder in this form doesn't do the album justice. I would recommend listening to The Ladder as a studio album before feeling the need to own this compilation. Lastly, the live songs present I do have to admit are pretty amazing. They are Perpetual Change, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, And You And I, and Awaken. However, like I stated with The Ladder, I believe listening to these songs in this form rather then on the live album it was intended to be on somewhat takes away from the entire performance.

If you already own all three of these albums purchasing this seems somewhat pointless. While songs present are not horrible by any means, they feel somewhat random to the point where the album begins to feel disjointed. Furthermore, there isn't any essential material here that cant be found somewhere else. For example, Yes's first compilation album, Yesterdays, is great in my eyes due to it having America and Dear Father on it. Which are two songs basically unavailable anywhere else. While this album contains some good highlights, it is ultimately non-essential for most prog listeners.

 Fragile by YES album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.45 | 3736 ratings

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Fragile
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by ElChanclas

4 stars Disclaimer: I'm a sucker for minstrel medieval guitars, one of the reasons why I love early Jethro Tull so much? with that being said I'll move to my review. I do understand and acknowledge that Close to the Edge (their next studio album to this one) is at the top of most prog heads when YES comes into topic, and I do hear the grandiose everyone claims it has, however I connect more with Fragile. Roundabout opens this gem with a folky medieval-like acoustic guitar that elegantly leads the music into this sublime display of power, Squire's bass rapidly hits your brain like a train but at the same time adding just the little roughness the song needs to drag the listener into an 8 minute journey that magically blends Howe's guitars and Wakeman's various key sounds, and confirms to the audience the unique tandem that Bruford and Squire were, while Anderson itchy but precious vocals give melodies to the musical orgy happening in the back, already enough return to the investment made! A beautiful arrangement of the classical piece by German composer Johannes Brahms named Cans and Brahms delicately exposes the new asset to the band, Rick Wakeman (no offense to Mr. Tony Kaye), maybe too short for such a pristine execution. We have Heaven displays some of Anderson's blueprint lyrical craziness with a repetitive but very catchy melody that feels both out of place and also so much needed, specially for what's to come for the listener. South side of the Sky is unquestionably my favorite song from this album. Squire bass lines are all over the place with a galloping force only paired by Howe's frantic guitar playing, from riffs to licks and licks to riffs? some piano comes in to lower the testosterone levels and give a necessary break before the second half of the song kicks in, with a jazzy feeling and vocal harmonies proper of lead Anderson and backing from Squire and Howe, brilliant. Bruford smartly and patiently leads the band into the unwanted but also rewarding ending of the song.

Five per cent for nothing majestically opens side B as an introduction for Anderson's masterpiece Long Distance Runaround, coincidence or not those two pieces blend together perfectly, its a beautiful, catchy and memorable tune, and depicts a song structure that will be definitely inspired bands such as Supertramp and Styx. No rest for the dying (us), The Fish takes us again into Squire's fantasyland before Howe's sets the medieval mood one more time with the incredible instrumental passage Mood for a Day? I'm not that familiar with Howe's work outside YES, but I do know I would love an entire album sounding like this, it would surely provide me of a Mood for a Year! Finally and without previous annunciation the epic Heart of the Sunrise begins its moody journey. All-Together first, then rhythmic + Wakeman, then Howe on the distance approaching with that tone, man! That tone! All- Together again and so on the edge that it seems that everything is h=going to break with a minimal intervention.. Fragile maybe? Three masters participate in the songwriting, Anderson, Aquire and Bruford? Three beautiful and mysterious verses are subsequently interrupted by the band's signature instrumental moments, where all the members elegantly carve their names into one of the most beloved Rock and Progressive rock lineups of all times! Lyrics: "Love comes to you and then after, dream on onto the Heart of the Sunrise. Sharp distance, how can the wind with its arms all around me. Sharp distance, how can the wind with so many around me I feel lost in the city?" The END

 Keys to Ascension 2 by YES album cover Live, 1997
3.94 | 522 ratings

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Keys to Ascension 2
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The year before in 1996 they released "Keys To Ascension 1" with studio tracks from 1995 to 1996 along with live material from a concert in California they did in 1996. This release "Keys To Ascension 2" also takes it's music from the same two sources and they took the best live ones for the first Keys To Ascension while the studio tracks are better on this second release which just shows you how much commercial sounding music was their thing here. I'd say since 1980's "Drama" this band has been poor at best. The live tracks that stood out for me are "I've Seen All Good People" and "Close To The Edge" while that opening studio track still has me scratching my head, I mean it's really good. It's called "Mind Drive" and it's close to 19 minutes in length. And it's old school. So I rate both releases the same at 3 stars. Both are far from essential.
 The Quest by YES album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.57 | 12 ratings

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The Quest
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Soul2Create

4 stars So, I was invited to listen to a promo copy of the new Yes album, and I should say that it is very good! Okay, it's not Keystudio or Drama, but it's not really that far from there, and in my opinion is the best album that Yes has composed in the past 25 years. Yes, better than H&E, FFE, The Ladder, 80's Yes, ABWH, Tormato, and I like it more than Magnification because it is more rock-oriented.

So, what do we have here?

1. The ice bridge (8.5/10) - one of the best songs of the album, even if the core was composed some 40 years ago.

2. Dare to Know (7/10) - The first newly composed piece sets the bar a bit low. I like the orchestra, which reminds me of Magnification, but the keyboards and some vocals drag the song down a bit. Only the lovely guitar work by Howe saves it.

3. Minus the Man (5.25/10) - Well, this is your typical average Glass Hammer song with Howe on guitar...don't like it especially although the harmonizing vocals are cool.

4. Leave Well Alone (9/10) - My favourite of the album. It starts with some 80's flavour but it soon changes and takes us into full acoustic-symphonic Yes territory. The second part is pure bliss, it reminds me of some GFTO/Keystudio moments...

5. The Western Edge (6/10) - this is a good song by Sherwood and Davison, but it sounds too much like a Circa/Sherwood solo piece. Could be in any The Prog collective album.

6. Future Memories (6.5/10) - I like the voice of Davison and the guitar here, (reminds me of Steve Hackett). If this song had served as the introduction of a longer piece it would have been perfect, because it sets the mood so well.

7. Music to My Ears (7.5/10) - a piece elevated by the vocals and keyboards. I get the feeling that the band really enjoys playing together here.

8. A Living Island (5.75/10) - sadly the third longest piece in the album is a miss... Too simple and undeveloped.

CD 2 1. Sister Sleeping Soul (4/10) - A Davison-led pop song that feels like a filler.

2. Mystery Tour (5.5/10) - A playful Beatelesque song that would have better suited for Howe's recent solo album Love is.

3. Damaged World 8/10) - a very good song with Howe on vocals, this one also feels more like a band effort. The ending is so good!

Overall, a better album than I expected and a truly valuable effort coming from this great band.

I feel that the rating should be anywhere from 3.5 to 3.8 stars, so I'm rounding up to four.

Highly recommended!

 Fly from Here - Return Trip by YES album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.11 | 169 ratings

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Fly from Here - Return Trip
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars Everyone surely knows the story about the original album by now. Chris Squire re-discovered the song "Fly From Here" from the 'Drama' sessions, and was talking to Trevor Horn about it. They agreed to record the song with the current line- up, with Horn producing, but when they commenced doing a full album, a decision was made to replace keyboard player Oliver Wakeman and bring back Geoffrey Downes as he was closer to the original material. In other words, it was the 'Drama' line-up except with Benoît David on vocals. For some fans, such as myself, this was the best album the band had released in many years, and actually became the first I spent a lot of time listening to since 'Drama' itself, which I always felt was a massively overlooked and castigated release. In many ways it is no surprise that we now have this new version, and there must have been conversations at the time of having Horn sing lead vocals and fully resurrecting the 'Drama' line-up, but given this would have been toured, something which Horn could not commit to, then this would be why they struck with David. I have been a fan of Mystery since before David joined that band, so had followed his career with the Canadians, and always felt he was a great fit with Yes and certainly much better than Jon Davidson.

Anyway, apart from Horn's vocals taking over from David's, we have some slightly remixed tracks, the addition of an unreleased Steve Howe vocal track "Don't Take No For An Answer", and an extended version of "Hour Of Need". The question must be "why bother?", as there is only the need for one of the albums, and Squire signed off on the original mixes and he is not around now to make suggestions or alterations. Being a cynic at heart, possibly someone suggested it might be an idea to come out with a different version of their most well-received album in years given the glowing (NOT!) reaction to 'Heaven and Earth'. I cannot be the only Yes fan who is not actually looking forward to hearing 'The Quest'. If you are a fan of Yes then you will already have the original, and many will get this for completeness (guilty), but of the two I will return to the original and I am sure many will play this once and then do the same.

 Relayer by YES album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.37 | 3224 ratings

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Relayer
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Ian McGregor

5 stars Perfect! Relayer is sort of a Close To The Edge for the more hardcore Yes fans, it's very inaccessible but just as rewarding. The opener and epic "Gates Of Delirium" is progressive rock wankery at its finest! The instrumental section that lasts ~8 minutes is enjoyable and entertaining from beginning to end, and each musician has a moment to shine in it. The ending is one of the most sweet things Yes has done. Sound Chaser is a jazzy and experimental track with a pretty lengthy guitar solo around the middle that works well. To Be Over is a ballad similar to And You And I and works as the closer for this masterpiece.

Perfect work!

 Keys to Ascension by YES album cover Live, 1996
4.03 | 557 ratings

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Keys to Ascension
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There's a lot of 3 star reviews for this one not so surprisingly. The last time the lineup of Wakeman, Anderson, Howe, White and Squire were together they created "Tormato" so forgive the pessimism going into this one. If they had stuck to just live music it's worth the 4 stars but they add two new studio tracks that are poor at best and we're talking a half hour of music right there. Thankfully they tacked them on the end of disc two so they are easily skipped. The track "The Revealing Science Of God" from "Tales Of Topographic Oceans" is disappointing and surprising given Wakeman is here but money is great isn't it? Highlights for me are four tracks starting with the opener "Siberian Khatru" but also I'm so impressed with "Awaken" for being better than the studio version in my opinion. The atmosphere early is like the Earth is waking up but how about later after a long instrumental section Wakeman comes in followed by Anderson's more passionate vocals. "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper" are fantastic! So a mixed bag for sure and I'll stick with "Yessongs" when it comes to live YES.
 The Ladder by YES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.26 | 1048 ratings

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The Ladder
Yes Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog Zone

3 stars Review - #42 (Yes - The Ladder)

The Ladder is the eighteenth studio album by Yes that was released in September of 1999. Interestingly, it is their only studio album recorded with six full-time members, following the addition of guitarist Billy Sherwood and keyboardist Igor Khoroshev. The rest of the band comprised of Jon Anderson on vocals, Steve Howe on guitar, Chris Squire on bass, and Alan White on drums. After the Open Your Eyes tour concluded in 1998, the band agreed to begin writing a new studio album with Canadian producer and musician Bruce Fairbairn. With the addition of an outside producer, the band was able to receive a new set of objective ears and receive aid in the album's direction. This was in stark contrast to their previous album, Open Your Eyes, which was self-produced and is unquestionably the band's weakest studio album to date. During rehearsals for the album, Fairbairn would regularly check in on the band to hear the music they were writing. Steve Howe later remarked that he had never worked with any other producer who took such time to work with the band such as Fairbairn. After the band produced numerous demo tracks, Fairbairn picked eight of the strongest for the band to work on. On the 17th of May 1999, during the final recording and mixing sessions, tragedy struck when Fairbairn passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack at age 49. After finishing up the album, the band subsequently dedicated it to Fairbairn. The Ladder received mostly positive reviews from critics who saw the album as a return to form for the band. Yes also supported the album with a world tour in 1999 and 2000, which remains to be one of their best tours to date. Even if the tour following the album was excellent, and the album was a clear improvement from Open Your Eyes, was the band able to grasp at their success found throughout the seventies?

The first track on the album titled Homeworld (The Ladder) displays the band starting in a spectacular fashion. Interestingly, it was initially dubbed Climbing The Ladder but was ultimately changed to Homeworld (The Ladder) due to the band's discussions with the video game developer Relic Entertainment and publisher Sierra Games, who expressed an interest for Yes to license a track for their 1999 real-time strategy game Homeworld. This is certainly the most complex piece of music on the album containing contrasting but interrelated sections. Igor Khoroshev incorporates superb keyboards at just the right moments while Steve Howe adds touches of both acoustic and electric guitar. Chris Squire also provides incredibly solid bass throughout while Alan White holds his own to certify this remarkable rhythm section. Overall, this is one of the best songs the band has written since the 70s which manages to keep the listener hooked from start to finish. It Will Be a Good Day (The River) keeps the album moving with yet another quality track that exhibits Jon Anderson's terrific vocals. This is definitely one of the best ballads by the band, incorporating various sections with each band member not over-performing on their instrument. As it builds, its grandeur only increases till a chorus of vocals accompanies the band in a truly gorgeous fashion. Lightning Strikes is somewhat of any oddity for the band due to extremely prevalent dance loop which continues through most of the track. Some people absolutely hate this track, and some people love it while I am somewhat in the middle. It is certainly unique for the band, but is this something anyone ever asked for? There is a multitude of instruments used throughout which bring along a world music feel. Chris Squire's bass is also just as active as ever with multiple transitions being accomplished through his impressive bass lines. I also enjoy Igor Khoroshev's keyboards all through this track as he plays in a tasteful yet meaningful manner. If I ever had to choose a Yes song at a dance club this would certainly be my choice (unless I wanted to be cruel and choose Close to the Edge to see what chaos unfolds). The track then seamlessly transitions into the next titled Can I? which calls back to We Have Heaven off the Fragile album. It's quite short, clocking in at just one minute and thirty-two seconds. There is solid percussion in addition to low lying keyboards which establishes a great atmosphere. At the end of the day, it's a solid interlude that works surprisingly well within the flow of the album. If anyone can write a transcript of Jon Anderson's lyrics throughout this song I'd be thoroughly impressed. Once again, the track transitions into the next piece titled Face to Face. It begins with a repeating keyboard line from Igor Khoroshev before the rest of the instruments burst in with Alan White's drums. Not too long after, Jon Anderson's vocals come in with the lyrics being reminiscent of seventies Yes as they appear to be made for the way they sound rather than their lyrical meaning. There is great momentum supported by the terrific rhythm section of both Alan White and Chris Squire. One part I always found comedic was when Jon Anderson introduces Steve Howe when saying "Come on Steve!" for him to only perform one of the worst guitar solos of his career. If anything, Jon should have said that after hearing the guitar solo not before it. Besides the unimpressive guitar solo, this is a rather solid track which can be seen as an improved version of Lightning Strikes due to its similar danceable nature. In fact Lightning Strikes, Can I?, and Face to Face all transition into each other making it a mini-epic of sorts with certain lyrics being shared between the three.

After Face to Face concludes, another ballad is introduced which is a love song Jon Anderson wrote for his wife Jane titled If Only You Knew. There are a multitude of impressive harmonies from the entire band in addition to Steve Howe providing powerful slide guitar during the chorus. At three minutes and fifty-two seconds things switch up with Igor Khoroshev incorporating orchestral-like sounds as Jon Anderson sings above them. It's a nice break which works well within the flow of the track. Overall, If Only You Knew is a pleasant ballad with a powerful chorus that has grown on me. To Be Alive (Hep Yadda) is up next and is one of the weaker moments found on the album. It begins nicely enough with a lovely instrumental section which is interrupted by a rather cheesy transition into Jon Anderson's vocal melody at the forty second mark. Not too long after, the main chorus is introduced which I have always found to be somewhat annoying. The chorus repeats frequently throughout which only increases the initial annoyance. Fortunately, Jon Anderson integrates an interesting vocal melody at the three minute and thirty-five second mark with Igor Khoroshev imitating the vocals Jon is singing with his keyboards. While it is short, it certainly helps lessen the repetitive nature of the chorus. The next song, Finally, begins in a rather unremarkable fashion but drastically improves around the three minute and twenty second mark. The lush synths on top of Jon Anderson's gorgeous vocals repeating the lyrics found earlier in the track manage to convey an impeccable amount of emotion. Steve Howe also includes breathtaking guitar throughout which is reminiscent of the same feeling you get when listening to Soon off their 1974 album Relayer. This is a track that starts off somewhat rough but is saved by the unmatched beauty found at the halfway point. During the writing phase of the album, Fairbairn suggested that the band record a songabout someone who meant something to them, which made Jon Anderson think about one of his favorite musicians, Bob Marley. The Messenger manages to express Jon's appreciation of this music icon with the lyrics subtly referencing him. This is quite a catchy reggae-influenced piece with a terrific bass line coming from Chris Squire. Furthermore, when the entire band harmonizes "That my children sang to me" it gives me chills to this day which is due in part to the excellent production found on this track. There is also an acoustic guitar switch made near the end which is done quite superbly. The Messenger is definitely a highlight in terms of the shorter songs found on the album with the entire band playing brilliantly throughout.

New Language is yet another nine minute plus piece that begins with the band performing an excellent instrumental section wrapped with keyboards and Hammond organ. This is a track that will certainly captivate most seventies Yes fans. A vocal melody accompanied by keyboards introduced at the two minute and twenty-two second mark is simple, yet extremely catchy and captivating. The music continues to build with tremendous grandeur until the main chorus is introduced at the three minute and fifty second mark. If the main chorus is introduced almost four minutes in, you know you're off to a good start. Jon Anderson's vocals are immensely powerful with the addition of the entire band harmonizing behind him. There is then a reprise of the vocal melody originally found at the two minute and twenty-two second mark before it continues to build as it did before. When reaching its peak, it transitions into an instrumental section led by Steve Howe on acoustic guitar. This instrumental section actually incorporates the bass line found on Roundabout which is extremely fascinating to hear used in a different context. As it continues, there is a section introduced in which Chris Squire performs an interesting bass line with guitar incorporated on top of it. The track then reprises its main chorus before concluding in a truly epic fashion. This is a brilliant piece of music that manages to reach similar brilliance as the first song on the album, Homeworld (The Ladder). The album concludes with a softer acoustic led track inspired by the spiritual-led walk across the United States in 1978 organized by the American Indian Movement to support tribal sovereignty. Jon Anderson befriended one of the walk's participants named Long Walker and decided to write a song about nine tribe members and the song they sing to "bring forgiveness into the world". Steve Howe's guitar playing is wonderful with Jon Anderson singing great from beginning to end. This ending is somewhat reminiscent of the one found on Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe's first and only album as they similarly decided to end off with a softer ballad. Nevertheless, the album as a whole contains a special charm about it that can probably be attributed to the snippets of world-music inspired sections found multiple times during the course of the album. Despite the album encompassing instances of brilliance, the overall quality remains to be good, but non-essential. One voice, one world, one touch, one life... truly, truly say it.

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

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