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Yes - Yesterdays CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.12 | 256 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Cashing in

"Yesterdays" (note the title is plural) was an early Yes compilation, released to capitalise on the band's massive success with albums such as "Fragile" and "Close to the edge". In order to ensure that the album "fitted in" in the racks of the record shops, a fine Roger Dean sleeve was added. It has to be said straight away though, the music here is not of the Dean era Yes but from the bands early days pre Wakeman and Howe.

The sole exception to this is the 10 minute opening track, "America", a superb cover version of the Simon and Garfunkel song. To call the Yes version a cover is however something of a travesty, as their interpretation transforms the song from a pleasant singer-songwriter folk piece, to an out and out prog classic. The song, the only one here on which Wakeman and Howe appear, was originally released on the Atlantic label compilation "The new age of Atlantic", which included other fine rarities such as "Hey hey what can I do" by Led Zeppelin. For these tracks alone, the sampler (as compilations were then known) was an essential purchase.

The rest of the tracks here are gleaned from Yes' first two albums "Yes" and the orchestrated "Time and a word", or date from that period. The band were still finding their feet at that time, the vocals being more rough and ready than the refined sound of "Close to the edge", and the instrumental work is somewhat muddier. There are moments of inspiration though. "Time and a word" (the title track), is a pleasant pop piece, while "Survival" gave the first indication that Yes could create symphonic prog of the highest order.

The tracks which are included on this album have since appeared on numerous compilations and as bonus tracks on expanded remasters, rendering this set largely redundant, except for the more ardent Yes collector.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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