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YEZDA URFA

Eclectic Prog • United States


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Yezda Urfa biography
YEZDA URFA blends influences from YES and GENTLE GIANT into wonderful, fast-paced, great symphonic prog. Another band that springs to mind when listening to their "Sacred Baboon" album is ECHOLYN. Although they played and recorded between 1973 and 1981 they didn't release any albums, aside from a demo album in 1975 called Boris.

Their first demo didn't atract any interest from the record labels, so they financed and recorded an album by themselves, hoping it would help them in getting a record deal. They were only offered a bad deal by a small record company, so they declined (they kept the T-Shirts, they were handed out though). They finished "Sacred Baboon" as the album was called in 1976, but due to lack of funds they shelved it, and in 1981 they called it a day, and the band split up to pursue other interests, mostly out of the music scene.

In 1985 a guy called Peter Stoller got his hands on their debut demo album, and brought it to the attention of Greg Walker from Syn-Phonic records, and thus YEZDA URFA were finally discovered, which resulted in the release of their hidden gem "Sacred Baboon" in 1989.

A higly recommended band, especially for fans of YES, GENTLE GIANT and ECHOLYN.

: : : Gerald (aka tuxon), The Netherlands : : :


Discography:
Boris (1975 demo album, CD version 2004)
Sacred Baboon (1976, released 1989)

Also of interest.
Past, Presence, Future (1990 Syn-Phonic compilation, Yezda Urfa appears with one song)

Yezda Urfa official website

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Yezda Urfa LiveYezda Urfa Live
CD Baby 2010
Audio CD$10.68
$19.41 (used)
Sacred BaboonSacred Baboon
Syn-Phonic
Audio CD$19.99
$10.98 (used)
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YEZDA URFA discography


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

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

4.24 | 256 ratings
Boris
1975
3.90 | 146 ratings
Sacred Baboon
1989

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

3.95 | 10 ratings
Live NEARfest 2004
2010

YEZDA URFA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

YEZDA URFA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Although the music of YEZDA URFA is often cited as a mixture of Yes and Gentle Giant, it is in fact unique and sounds like nothing else. Yes, it has the complexity of Yes complete with classically driven riffs here and there and the amazingly eclectic diversity that Gentle Giant took on, but YEZDA URFA proves on this debut demo BORIS that they absolutely had it all together as they can take you on the most frenetic progressive journey at breakneck speeds with amazing crazy time signatures and interplay and then in a flash turn the song into a melodic folk rock song that is catchier than any 70s pop rock and then back again to the amazing musicianship of a prog freak out.

This is simply a horribly underrated and unknown band that more than deserves to finally have its music basking in the sun for more than a fleeting moment. I can understand why this may have been a little over-ambitious in 1975 as prog was waning around then and although complex albums had been more popular a few years before this was complex even by those standards. The keyboard runs are so fast that it is hard to even follow them at times. The drumming and guitars always have a strange tension like they're ready to fall into complete dissonance but they always resolve themselves at the oddest of times and then the band itself will come together and make it seem like you just had a very strange dream. The best analogy I can think of is if you were in an airplane and suddenly went into freefall for a while and then at once everything was normal leaving you with a heightened sense of awareness and dismay of what you have just encountered.

Not only is YEZDA URFA talented beyond belief but they added a further distinction to their identity by incorporating the strangely-out-of-place-yet-still-works-somehow bluegrass track "Texas Armadillo." I am hooked on this stuff and can only imagine the music they could have churned out if they had been given the opportunity to display in full regalia all their musical tricks up their sleeves throughout the course of several albums. It wasn't meant to be but at least this and the one other album SACRED BABOON are still around for us to enjoy.

I have the newer remastered version which has a bonus track titled "The Basis of Dubenglazy While Dirk Does the Dance" which at 9:51 not only adds an extra 10 minutes to the listening pleasure but feels like it was meant to be part of the original album. This particular bonus track does have a lot more Gentle Giant influence but it is done so very, very well that I don't care! It is just that good. I simply cannot praise this album enough for it delivers all the goods throughout its entire run and leaves me wanting MORE!!!

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 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Once a hidden gem, almost prog cult this Boris release right now up there with the better, if not the best albums prog has to offer. And quite rightly so I feel. Yezda Urfa has all the ingredients true prog fans are looking for. Like complex compositions, original sound and some experimental music here and there.

But when I say complex I don't believe it's pushing the boundaries really. Boris is not a hard album to get into. It's symphonic prog with folky and jazzy influences so eclectic prog is the right category indeed. In the end Boris is an upgraded demo album and I feel we have to be thankful to the initiators who decided to release a CD ultimately because otherwise this special album would have stayed unnoticed to a larger audience. It's not really surprising they couldn't find an enthusiastic label back then because this is pretty alternative stuff of course.

On a personal level my appreciation goes to Three, almost 4 , 6 yeah and mainly the start of this track is captivating. After some 100 seconds the organ and distorted guitar deliver in superb style followed by great flute and everything else. Magnificent stuff this. Also Boris and his three verses is very interesting but in a very different way. And this is another strength of the album: all songs are very different and original. So hardly any complaints from my part which could even mean the highest score but then I have to come clean and admit that it's not enough according to my personal taste. It's on the same level as Bubu's Anabelas, superior prog rock and highly recommended to all die hard proggers. 4,25 stars.

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 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars With an interesting twin-vocalist lineup, complexities worthy of Gentle Giant, and a sense of drama and majesty reminiscent of Yes at their best, Yezda Urfa have a true classic on their hands with their demo debut album Boris. You've got to love an album which intersperses its extended prog epic with the super-brief Texas Armadillo, which somehow manages to combine bluegrass with prog and make the resultant mixture intensely listenable. With the more epic tracks showing an incredible technical mastery, with amazingly complex pieces played at frenzied, breakneck paces, it's a genuine shame this album didn't get more exposure back in the day, but at least now it can take its place in the sun thanks to the efforts of the internet prog community.

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 Sacred Baboon by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.90 | 146 ratings

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Sacred Baboon
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Sacred Baboon" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US progressive rock act Yezda Urfa. That´s if you count the demo album "Boris (1975)" as the group´s debut album. "Sacred Baboon" was recorded in 1976 and the recording of the album was funded by the band themselves. However they were not able to get a record deal and the album was shelved until 1989 when the Syn-Phonic label released it.

The music on the album is technically well played and very eclectic progressive rock. We´re talking fast played runs, loads of tempo- and time signature changes and complex song structures. Lead vocalist Rick Rodenbaugh has a voice and vocal style that often reminds me of Jon Anderson (Yes) and Yes is definitely a reference here, but it´s Gentle Giant that comes to mind most often while listening to "Sacred Baboon". While the tracks are generally very complex, they feature enough hooks and memorable moments to stand out from each other and melody is not a stranger to these guys.

The production is professional, powerful and suits the music well.

Fans of energetic and complex progressive rock should be able to find great interest and enjoyment in "Sacred Baboon". I guess Yezda Urfa wear their influences a bit too much on their sleeves to be called original or innovative but less is sometimes enough. "Sacred Baboon" is a good example of this. A very nice album this one and a 3.5 - 4 star rating is deserved.

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 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars I am reviewing this album having just purchased it and hearing it for the first times in my life, so please excuse my usual comparisons to other bands' musics--much of which unfairly post-dates the recording and publication of Boris.

At times folky, bluegrass, jazz fusion, Boris is most often presenting an ELP, FOCUS, or YES feel in the structures and sounds.

"Boris . . . " (9/10) sounds to me like 60's San Francisco scene blues rock singing (reminiscent of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE and THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS), CARL PALMER drumming, KEITH EMERSON keyboard stylings, guitar playing between JAN AKKERMAN and STEVE HOWE, all within a kind of epic FOCUS song. Awesome and often very moving song.

"Texas Armadillo" (6/10) is a definite bluegrass song with the CARL PALMER drums being the only thing anchoring this into the rock'n'roll scene.

"4, Almost 4, 6 Yea" (9/10) merges the ELP-YES vibes into one very interesting song--at least until the 2:30 mark when a country-folk JETHRO TULL sound takes over. Then 3:40 sees switch to a kind of classical JAN AKKERMAN/FOCUS style and sound. Add a electric harpsichord and you feel like you're in France. At 5:30 we return to an ELP section. 6:10 switch back to the FOCUS sound. 6:50 ELP with BEATLES Abbey Road. 7:40 begins a very cool outro seeming to combine all styles against the courtly French keyboard sounds.

"To-ta in the Moya" (9/10) is a gorgeous weave of acoustic mandolin, electric guitars, rolling bass playing, CARL PALMER drumming, synthesizer keys, and beautiful harmonized vocals, all performing at virtuosic speeds and skill levels and yet conveying very pleasant and controlled melodies. Brilliant song. Probably my favorite on the album because it presents Yezda Urfa in all its own sound and glory.

"Three Tons of Fresh Thyroid Glands" (8/10) reminds me so much of FROGG CAFÉ. Of course, the TULL, CSN&Y, ELP and YES familiarities are all very strongly present. An excellent tune truly representative of the progressive rock sounds just preceeding it?especially the symphonic bands/songs.

"The Basis of Dubenglazy . . . " (8/10) has such a familiar YES sound, feel to it--though more from the Yes Album period than Fragile or CttE. Guitar, bass, even JON ANDERSON-like vocals all fit well with the "Yours Is No Disgrace" era and feel. Even some GENTLE GIANT vocal/musical stylings later on. Well met, lads!

A wonderful progressive rock album--from Americans!! Masterful performances throughout. I would call this an undisputable masterpiece; I hesitate to do so because there are so many sounds, stylings and structures herein that are clearly imitative. Still, I like this one far more than the much lauded Hybris from ANGLAGARDE. This is without a doubt great music. So, 5 stars! Why not?!

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 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars One of the hidden gems in the scene....

Well, perhaps not that hidden. The Syn-Phonic label has done an admiringly excellent job by digging out this album and give it an official release.

What hits me first is the parallells to the other hidden gem from the US scene; Cathedral's Stained Glass Stories. And the similarities music wise is there too. Much of the same sound, no less. But Boris is much more varied and drags in influences from a wide area.

Besides of the Cathedral similarities, Boris takes a lot from bands like Jefferson Airplane/ Starship, Gentle Giant and Yes. Add some folk rock influences too and we are approaching the end result. The sound is rich. The same goes for the vocals and the huge organ sound.

The music is very varied with both pastoral passages and huge symphonic passages. Yes, it sounds like a 1970s album and that in a positive meaning. The opening track Boris And His 3 Verses, including Flow Guides Aren't My Bag is a good example where it ebbs and flows. A truly great track. The rest of the album is great too. The only thing missing is that killer track who would blow all doors from their hinges. But this is a great album and one I suspect I will enjoy more and more in the remaining decades of my life.

4 stars

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 Sacred Baboon by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.90 | 146 ratings

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Sacred Baboon
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by darkprinceofjazz

5 stars I really enjoyed this album, first thing i noticed was, Did Chris Squire play bass in this band, that first tune sure sounded like a Yes cover Band. the singer sound Anderson like, but not to distraction. I felt as if, this band could have really developed into something given the proper backing, and good luck of course. To-Ta-in the Moya , and 3,Almost,4.6,yeah are very original and do not sound like Yes or Gentle Giant. One wonders where this sound could have taken them, I will surely listen again. 4.5 stars easily. the cd cover is cool too. The Baboon is in charge. check him out. just sittin there waiting for some poor dude to roll through in his Daktari SUV, and beat the hell out of it with his Baboon minions.

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 Live NEARfest 2004 by YEZDA URFA album cover Live, 2010
3.95 | 10 ratings

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Live NEARfest 2004
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by Slaughternalia

4 stars This album was recorded in the 2000s, and with a new lineup. The band did a one-off reunion show in 2004, and it probably wasn't because of high demand from their millions of fans. These guys really put their heart into this show, and all things considered, it was quite successful. Many of the songs have been slowed down to suit the band members ages, and the vocalist can be a little shaky at times, but all that is to be expected. The musicianship is still quite tight, the songs are still amazing, and it sounds like this labor of love payed off for them in the end. I recommend this to any fans of their two studio albums.

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 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by Slaughternalia

5 stars The album begins with a beautiful high pitched hippie folk song, Boris and his Three verses. Without warning, the song ends and shifts in an awesome transition into very progressive territory. By the first ten seconds of "Flow Guides aren't my Bag", you'll realize what this band is really about. From this point forward, the music is fast, the musicianship is astounding, and you'll be blown away by the complexity. Despite this, you can still hang on to the tunes, and they remain quite memorable after listening.

Following the epic intensity of "Flow Guides Aren't My Bag", there is a short bluegrass song, "Texas Armadillo". About half way through this song, all the instruments speed up to crazy speeds, enough to get anyone caught up in the Americana intensity.

The next song, "3, Almost 4, 6 Yea", Is another venture into complex speedy awesomeness, and brings the first side to a very sudden end, in the best way possible.

The Second side consists of two ten minute tracks. Just as strong as the first side, but a harder of a listen. Basically more American progressive rock to make your ears explode with joy.

By the end of this album, you might need a minute to process what you've just listened to. In the end, this unappreciated gem should be ranked among the more popular prog rock bands, such as Genesis, Gentle Giant, and Jethro Tull.

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 Boris by YEZDA URFA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.24 | 256 ratings

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Boris
Yezda Urfa Eclectic Prog

Review by 40footwolf

1 stars I've been considering whether to give this album one or two stars for a bit. I think I'll know by the time I finish writing this review. That said, either way I must give you a warning: If you're like me and you wanted to check out this obscure album based on the overwhelmingly positive praise it's been getting on this site, stay far, far away. This is an album of demos for a reason, and that reason is that these musicians, while clearly talented, simply had no idea what in the blue Hell they were doing.

The first song opens with an embarrassingly dated onslaught of hippiedom, from the tambourine to the high-pitched vocals(more on those later) and the generic, throwaway psychedelic lyrics("I see a sun ship setting into port"). It almost would've been better if the song stayed this laughable, because most of the next ten minutes are a dull instrumental that sounds like it's trying to ape The Cinema Show and failing hideously. This applies to the whole album, as the whole thing reminds me of Selling England By The Pound as preformed by amateurs, but on this song it's particularly egregious. "Texas Armadillo" is filler, pure and simple, and the instrumental, while no great shakes, is perfectly tolerable.

Folks, settle in, because "tolerable" is the best this album is going to get, and it's all downhill as of Side 2.

"To-Ta In The Moya" starts out sort of promising, with interesting percussion and the singer's vocals clicking for the first time, but it devolves into yet another unremarkable solo, dominated by keyboards that would make an NES sound chip blush with embarrassment. Still, it isn't offensively terrible, it's mostly just boring. That "offensively terrible" thing is reserved for the final song, "Three Tons Of Fresh Thyroid Glands", which is every terrible progressive rock cliche lumped into one smörgåsbord of unmitigated catastrophe. The keyboards become even more grating, buzzing in the listeners ear like mosquitoes, the lyrics are half-assed Wild West tropes sung by someone who doesn't have a cowboy bone in his body, and the vocals can only be described as a crime against humanity-high, sharp and goofy, it's impossible to process whether to grimace or burst out laughing the first time you hear them.

It's not like there aren't a couple good things about this album-the drums are spectacular throughout and the bassist gets a really nice groove going for some of the songs. But the songs themselves are far too long, wandering aimlessly from whizzing, squeaking keyboard passages to impromptu flute solos without ever giving the listener a reason to care. When you add in the grating vocals, the most dated keyboard effects I have ever heard in my life, and then top it with the fact that the songs are too indulgent to be exciting and too spastic to relax to, you have an album that is completely impossible to recommend to even the most stalwart prog aficionado.

You know how people outside of prog circles will often call King Crimson "tasteful" prog? Well, this is what they're comparing it against. "Boris" is everything you think of when you consider bad progressive rock-it's indulgent, aimless, corny and dull, and it's concrete proof that good musicianship doesn't always mean good music. One star, and it pains me to give it, but this album deserves no better.

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