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Yes - Yessongs CD (album) cover

YESSONGS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.34 | 929 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
5 stars Recorded during both the "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" tours, this triple album consists of highlights from the concerts during this time. This album, even with it's high price tag, would go on to become one of the band's highest selling albums. This is a recording of when Yes was at their very best. It is too bad that the recording of the songs was not of the best caliber. But the stellar performances still shine through. And this was how I experienced Yes for my first time. It is how I grew to love this band.

As I said, it is too bad the recording isn't the best, and that is the biggest criticism of this collection. Eddie Offord was the live sound mixer and was unable to supervise or control the sound of the recording itself, which was done by a separate team. Offord was very upset at the substandard recordings. But when they put the album together, they did the best they could with what they had. Fortunately, they had the most talented group of musicians working together and in spite of the reports of the not-so-great recording, the album still was successful and still was an excellent documentation of the live shows.

Most of the songs on here are the well-known epics that Yes is known for. A good part of the music comes from 3 albums; The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge. The band line-up is the same for the most part through the performances, except for the one major exception of Bill Bruford who left the band to go with King Crimson immediately after the release of the studio ; album "Close to the Edge". Fortunately, we do get 3 tracks featuring Bruford on drums; "Perpetual Change" (which features an amazing drum solo), "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish". The rest of the tracks are performed by Alan White, who was Bruford's replacement.

The middle part of the album features solos by Steve Howe ("Mood for a Day" from "Fragile") and Rick Wakeman ("Excerpts from the Six Wives of Henry VIII" from Wakeman's solo album of the same name). There is, of course, the bass showcase "The Fish" on here too performed by the amazing Chris Squire, who was the only member that was on every studio album up until his death. The rest of the tracks on here, except for the intro piece, consists of the Yes epics familiar to all prog-heads, and you get to hear them live, which even with the recording problems, still is the best way to experience Yes. The amazing thing to see when they are live is how they can play these epics songs and nothing beats the excitement of one of their live shows.

Another thing to make note of here is that this recording of "Starship Trooper" from The Yes Album is the very first time the band had performed this song in a live setting. All in all, everything about this is impressive, too bad about the sound quality, but everything else makes up for it. This album would set the bar for live performances and live albums for progressive artists forever. This is what makes this recording essential. And if it can continue to impress even with lower sound quality, that says a lot for the performers. This is a masterpiece and a document of the best performers in rock music history.

TCat | 5/5 |

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