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Yes - Highlights: The Very Best of Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.88 | 87 ratings

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3 stars This is actually a pretty decent collection for novice proggers looking to get a brief taste of the greatness of Yes. Other than “Starship Trooper” and “Roundabout” there are none of the real epic Yes songs here, but it’s a bit surprising how much the record label managed to squeeze onto a single CD.

About half the songs here also appeared on ‘Classic Yes’, which was released the first time the band appeared to be on the breaks. This one came out the second time, in which case they pretty much were on the skids. Who would have thought in 1993 that Yes would go on to release another five studio albums, or that Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman would take part in some of those releases? Not me, that’s for sure.

I bought ‘Classic Yes’ in the early eighties because I wasn’t nearly as serious a fan as I would later become, and because I was among the many folks who figured this was a good way to collect the essentials before all their albums faded into obscurity and fell out-of-print. Turns out there wasn’t anything to worry about on that count, but who could have known at the time?

This time around I figured ABWH was the real future of Yes, and didn’t know at the time that lineup was already a thing of the past. No matter, the record didn’t cost much more then than ‘Classic’ had a decade earlier, and today it can regularly be found in discount bins for no more than a few dollars. In that light I’d say it’s a bargain, especially for anyone who has never heard the band’s first three or four albums and isn’t in a position to invest in them.

I’m not really much of a purist when it comes to compilations, and although I personally prefer the more comprehensive Yesstory collection, which includes everything on this album except “Leave It” (certainly not essential), or even my Ultimate Yes collection that has some interesting previously unreleased acoustic versions; I think this one makes for a decent economy introduction to the band. And it does have the single edit of “Soon”, which should convince anyone who hears it to buy ‘Relayer’ if they don’t already have it (and buy the Tangent’s ‘Not as Good as the Book’ while they’re at it for a really cool modern sci-fi twist on “Gates of Delirium”).

So anyway, a decent collection, but not essential. I’m tempted to give four stars because everything on here except possibly the eighties stuff deserves it, but in keeping with a preference of rating the quality of the collection and not the music I’ll go with three stars and recommend this as an introductory collection for novices only.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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