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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Yes, Solo Family Album CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.02 | 6 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Released several years before the "friends and relatives" package, this is a better chance to start exploring solo material from Yes members. This album contains tracks from each solo record that was released in the gap after "Relayer" in the mid seventies. If you don't know those albums you'll find a fine selection of highlights here. There's also tracks included from other era's. At least one track is included from each member or former member of the band. Moreover the tracks have been sorted out carefully and may be considered as one of the finest examples of what these artist have to offer on their solo outings. But there's more. The sound of the tracks is more or less related to the sound of the band.

"Hold out your hand" from Chris Squire is a track no Yes fan should miss. This may well be one of the best compositions he's ever written. With the organ sound on the front and some splendid melodies, this could have been easily included on "Going for the one" even Chris' characteristic vocals are fitting to the Yes sound.

This release includes two tracks of Rick Wakeman. "The six wives of Henry VII" may be a flawless album, "Catherine Howard" is one of the best tracks and Wakeman use to perform this live at Yes gigs. The credits include some other Yes members as well. "Merlin" may be a more controversial choice but I always considered this instrumental as one of the highlights of the King Arthur album. This very melodic theme is interrupted many times by rhythmical passages. Especially the moog solo at the end is stunning.

I was never to keen on the first Anderson record. As always the vocals are magical but the instrumental side is just too less exciting. The opening section that appears here is definitely the highlight of "Olias". In the majestic opening tones from "ocean sounds" Vangelis' presence is obvious. "The meeting" and "Sound out the Galleon" have inspired melodies and an astral atmosphere. In 1979 Anderson had his first chart success with Vangelis and this moving romantic song is also included on this record. "All in a matter of time" is another accessible Anderson song that appeared on Animation ; an album that has never been released on cd till now.

"Wind of Change" from Badger could temp you to explore the albums of this band which consisted of two former Yes men : Tony Kaye and Peter Banks. Sounds like vintage Yes from the first two band albums especially concerning the vocal harmonies.

The two tracks from "Beginnings" that appear here are quite enjoyable instrumental songs and provide a resting point for the listener. This was never my favourite Steve Howe album, he did better things on later efforts but fortunately these songs don't contain any vocals.

"Spring" from Alan White features Jon Anderson on vocals, this would fit in quite nicely on "Relayer" although it never reaches the quality level of that album, still worthwhile of checking out.

"Cachaca" from Patrick Moraz may be the most nervous thing you hear on this album but whoever did compile this album, did a good thing to list "Feels good to me" from Bill Bruford right after that. I don't know the rest of Moraz first solo outing but I'm getting curious after hearing this. You can spot some Refugee influences here. There's also some Japanese elements which give the music a multicultural feel. Surely interesting. The instrumental title track of Bruford's first solo album has a light feel, an accessible tune and most beautiful guitar lines of Allan Holdsworth. This interesting piece of complex music is a promising introduction to his solo works. "Dominating factor" from the first Yes guitarist Peter Banks sounds in the same vein. To my opinion this is the best from his solo album "Instinct" from 1992. On this track you can spot some familiar sounding guitar riffs which are referring to "astral traveller", one of the highlights of "Time and a word".

The tracks from Trevor Rabin are sounding misplaced on this seventies affair. The slick arena sound of "Eyes of love" is offering some decent melodies but especially the mechanical rhythm section suffers from commercial AOR sounds. A compilation of this kind may be very uneven as various recording sessions with different line-ups are combined. Listening to the Yes family album from start to finish works out fine because of the order of the tracks and the balance between accessible songs and complicated compositions, quiet tracks and more vivid ones and of course the Yes influence on the sound is the dominant factor. The problem with this album is that every Yes fan owns at least two of the albums that are appearing here. In 1993 when this compilation was released, a lot of these solo efforts hadn't been released in the cd format but now most of them are available. It's been a while since I spotted this album in any record shop, so it could be unavailable nowadays.

Conclusion This is a must have for fans of Yes who're not familiar to the solo works.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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