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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.29 | 1605 ratings

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3 stars Strong debut from Yes, but so much better was to come.

This is where it all started, a a young and hungry rock band, being more jazzy than proggy for the time being. In the beginning there was no Wakeman & Howe, but the ever-present Hammond of Kaye and the angular guitar playing of Banks. The powerful, dexterous bass playing of Squire and the angelic vocals of Anderson can already be heard here. Last but not least there's the powerhouse Bruford, playing drums like he's on a jazz record, but ultimately fitting to the overall sound of the album.

Out of the 8 tracks, two are covers (The Byrds & Beatles), but both of them have been transformed to fit the Yes sound of the era. That meaning, breaks, jamming, improvisation thrown in between and the arrangements changed in general. These two covers are among the strongest material on the album, which just goes to show that Yes had still to develop their songwriting skills to the level where they later were. As arrangers they were top notch already. Of the original material, Beyond and Before and Looking Around are strong songs driving the album along, while Sweetness and Yesterday and Today are the ballads, pleasant to hear but nothing very special. Harold Land and Survival are good, a bit disjointed tracks, but nevertheless showing some progginess.

The production is a bit thin and heavily favouring the high end, making the drums sound like tin cans and bass not as thunderous as it should be.

A good debut, 3 stars.

nikow | 3/5 |


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