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Yes - Yesyears CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.30 | 125 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Released in advance of the Union tour, this compilation began a long and uncomfortable decline into the world of over proliferation of compilations, live recordings, remixes, b-sides, videos, re-masters and just about any other method of amassing royalties the band and labels could come up with. The amount of money someone would have to spend to acquire every non-studio release of this type following Yesyears is staggering. I recall Yesyears costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 U.S. at its release.

The 4 disk set is not without interesting tidbits, but fails to offer anything to the seasoned Yes fan. Not even an introduction to Yes is merited with this compilation. The band is well known for their lengthy compositions. Thus most studio albums are viewed as complete works rather than a series of songs. When listening to a compilation that includes all of the album Close to the Edge, except for 1 of the 3 songs on the album, Siberian Khatru, much of the value of the album as a flowing piece is destroyed. The discs do tend to flow in chronological order. Various live performances, cover tunes and heretofore unreleased materials are inserted in between songs from different albums at their appropriate time periods. The highlight of these is perhaps the promising opener, a cover of Leonard Bernstein's West Side story classic, Something's Coming. But, alas, so many of the other's are poorly recorded, or just flat painful songs to listen to. The Beatles are even butchered with I'm Down. But the most obnoxious moment is the Trevor Horn era horror Run with the Fox. It would take a much stronger man than me to get beyond Awaken, which appears early on disc 3, in one sitting. One profound saving grace is the enclosed booklet which contains old photos, stories and a family tree.

I cannot in good conscience recommend Yesyears to anybody but the completist. The cost of classic rock discs/mp3's these days makes it far more valuable to buy the studio albums in their entirety. Perhaps the completionists would require this compilation, amongst all the others. As stated before, that's a lot of mullah. 2 stars, not as an indictment of Yes' music - as a matter of fact, the appearance of Yes classics keeps its head above water - but a warning against spending more time and money than necessary on something that can be obtained in more complete fashion.

Tapfret | 2/5 |


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