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Yes The Yes Album album cover
4.31 | 3268 ratings | 253 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:36)
2. Clap (live) (3:07) *
3. Starship Trooper (9:23) :
- a. Life Seeker
- b. Disillusion
- c. Würm
4. I've Seen All Good People (6:47) :
- a. Your Move
- b. All Good People
5. A Venture (3:13)
6. Perpetual Change (8:50)

Total Time 40:56

* Recorded Live at the Lyceum, London

Bonus tracks on 2003 Elektra remaster:
7. Your Move (single version) (2:59)
8. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker (single version) (3:27)
9. Clap (studio version) (4:01)

Bonus tracks on 2014 Panegyric DVD:
1. Yours Is No Disgrace (live, London 1971) (11:28)
2. Clap (studio version) (4:04)
3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker (single edit) (3:28)
4. I've Seen All Good People (live, London 1971) (7:47)
5. A Venture (extended mix) (4:45)
6. Perpetual Change (live, New Haven 1971) (14:41)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / lead vocals, percussion
- Steve Howe / acoustic & electric guitars, Portuguese 12-string guitar (4), vocals
- Tony Kaye / Hammond organ, piano, Moog synthesizer
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Bill Bruford / drums & percussion

- Colin Goldring / recorders (4,7)
- Eddie Offord / co-production & engineering

Releases information

Artwork: Jon Goodchild with Barry Wentzell & Phil Franks (photo)

LP Atlantic ‎- 2400 101 (1971, UK)

CD Atlantic ‎- 240 106 (1987, Europe)
CD Atlantic ‎- 7567-82665-2 (1994, Europe) Remastered by Joe Gastwirt
CD Elektra ‎- 8122-73788-2 (2003, Europe) Remastered by Bill Inglot & Dan Hersch w/ 3 bonus tracks

CD+DVDa Panegyric ‎- GYRSP40106 (2014, UK) Stereo (CD & DVD) & Surround (DVD) mixes by Steven Wilson w/ 6 bonus tracks - "Alternate Album" - on the DVD (Hi Res Audio).
CD+BD Panegyric ‎- GYRBD40106 (2014, UK) The same as in the DVD edition w/ additional bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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YES The Yes Album ratings distribution

(3268 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

YES The Yes Album reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the first truly essential Yes album, wherein all the masterful elements that would later typify the Yes sound were magnificently present.

Every tune (except possibly "A Venture") is excellent, and many later concert favourites are here. Proof of this great disc's staying power can be found in the fact that the stellar "Starship Trooper" and "All Good People" still get regular radio play.

While not quite as fully-realized or polished as subsequent masterworks Fragile and Close To The Edge, THE YES ALBUM is an ambitious and mature work by a band that had become one of the leading lights of the progressive rock pantheon. There is much fantastic music to be found -- and enjoyed again and again -- herein. All confirmed Yes fans, and all fans of classic prog rock in general, should own a copy of THE YES ALBUM.

Review by corbet
4 stars As others have said, this is the first "full-power" Yes album, where the Anderson/Squire core acquire their primary gun who is of course guitarist Steve Howe. Not barely a minute into the first track, Howe's impeccable style and glorious tone boldly announce the arrival of arguably the greatest progressive guitar player; and at the same time, the full arrival of the now unstoppable musical force which is Yes. Although the band would certainly evolve throughout their career and tackle increasingly ambitious projects, the music on this album is not diminished the slightest bit in the shadow of their later, more far-reaching masterworks -- in fact, "Starship Trooper" contains one of my favorite musical moments of all time: a little over 4 minutes into the song (4:14) begins one of the most transcendent and beautiful vocal harmony arrangements one could ever hope to hear. The opening track, "Yours Is No Disgrace," is one of those timeless classic songs that for me has the feeling of heralding in the heart of the progressive era; especially check out the thumping bass and organ fireworks beginning around 5:00. Bottom line, this album is a masterpiece by one of the greatest bands and no lover of music should be without it.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars The Yesssssssssss Album

As Yes grew in stature, they became more ambitious and went on to change their line-up (the first of many) to fit their ambitions. Thinking that their guitarist Peter Banks was a little "short" on guitar and fired him to allow the ex-Tomorrow (shorter) guitarist Steve Howe. As unfair as it may sound for Banks, this move proved providential for Yes as Howe would soon become a gifted songwriter, although in here, he's just adapting. We are now entering the classic Yes phase, even if the album's artwork isn't a Roger Dean painting, but by Hygnosis' less-inspired ideas.

Opening on the almost 10-mins Yours is No Disgrace, a track that will become the first Yes epic that is loved by fans and still played nowadays, as is most of this album. Right from the first guitar notes, Howe shows the why of his hiring, and the show goes on with the amazing acoustic guitar solo piece of The Clap, a Django Reinhardt live-extravaganza. Another uber-Yes classic the 9-mins+ three-part Starship Trooper fills the rest of this first flawless side of vinyl, where Tony Kaye's organ flies forward because of Howe's more versatile nature.

All Good People is another timeless Yes classic with 7-mins divided in two movements, and what a way to open up an album's flipside. This track transpires positivism and is still often used as their first encore live. Probably the only track that's not well-known, A Venture is just as superb as the rest of the album and still remains under-rated today, despite Kaye's graet piano solo and plenty of tricky time sigs. The closing 9-mins Perpetual Change is another classic track that made this album a legend and actually much more consistent than the following Fragile album to come.

This is my soft spot on Yes as I think of it as the real genesis of Yes. Sure the cover is no Dean cover and sure Wakeman is not yet in, but then again Tony Kaye was a fine player that got a rough deal getting bumped out for the KB Wizzard. I think the rest of the group was a little ashamed and this is why they asked him by in the 80's. Tons of classics here still played in concert nowadays but the real gift here is the Howe guitars battling the organs of Kaye and unfortunately this is the only place you will hear that in Yes.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Bonanza!

This is in reality where it all began for Yes.

The previous two albums were good, but they were made by a band finding their feet. When it came to making the Yes album, Steve Howe came on board, and the band had suddenly discovered their direction. Thus they confidently set about recording what was to be one of their finest albums.

"Yours is no disgrace" is a superb opener, dynamic guitar, beautiful vocals, and a driving rhythm. According to Bill Bruford (speaking on the "YesYears" video), the main theme was inspired by the TV programme "Bonanza"! The following track, Clap" is often unfortunately named "The clap", even on the original sleeve. It is a brief acoustic interlude by Steve Howe which still features in the live set from time to time.

"Perpetual change" is one of the many under-rated Yes tracks. It has a classic prog structure, and a strong melody. While the song was perhaps slightly overshadowed by other tracks on this album, it became one of the highlights on the "Yessongs" live collection.

A venture" is the only average track, being pretty much dispensable. The remaining two tracks, "I've seen all good people" and "Starship trooper" are well known, and remain standards to this day. "All good people" is a two part number the opening section "Your move" being an acoustic section with Anderson singing chess related lyrics. If you listen carefully during the transition to the second part, you can hear the strains of "All we are saying is give peace a chance" (the John Lennon song) which the band simply felt "sounded good" there. "Starship Trooper" has three fairly distinct sections, cumulating in the closing repetitive instrumental refrain. The track has been developed in live performances over the years but the original retains its vitality.

In all, a great album, and one of the milestones in the development of prog rock. If you have the first remastered version of the CD, there's little on the expanded remaster to justify another purchase.

Review by loserboy
5 stars "The Yes Album" is another classic and contains some of YES' most popular material. This was really the start of the classic YES line-up and has some of the greatest pieces of work YES ever put together. As with all of Yes' works, this contains some incredible musicianship and tasty song writing throughout. This is yet another essential recording and deserves the title as a classic.
Review by lor68
4 stars A bit ingenuous in a few circumstances, as for the lack of Rick WAKEMAN, the keyboards' wizard, but the impact is quite strong and the style by Steve HOWE becomes an important imprinting. A special mention for the stunning vocal harmonization within the mini-suite "Starship Trooper" and the excellent guitar excursion as well. Recommended!
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Yes Album" just comes before "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge". The album is much more a conventional catchy prog/rock/hard rock of the early 70's. Tony Kaye, on keyboards, is VERY efficient, although less refined than Wakeman. Compared to the previous records, the arrival of Steve Howe on guitars here give some depth to the melodies, and we feel the good direction taken to the magnificent 2 next albums. Howe plays excellent rythmic acoustic guitars, and he shows his unbelievable talent on the acoustic "Clap" track. The musicians often play on the border of the hard rock style. The record is very original because of the omnipresent prog flavour, as revealed by the numerous rythm changes. The lead & backing vocals are, as always, unforgettable and impressive. Squire's bass is very bottom and elaborated. Bruford's drums are very good too.

My rating: 4.5/5

Review by daveconn
4 stars If their last album was something of a misstep, "The YES Album" is in all ways a quantum leap. Some have pointed to the addition of guitarist STEVE HOVE as the band's turning point, and their decision to reclaim production is another positive step, but it's a newfound musical "elasticity" and unbound musical imagery that distinguish this record from their earlier work. The album opens with the nine-plus minute "Yours Is No Disgrace", a forceful and vibrant epic musical journey that plumbs the limits of progressive rock like little else before it. ANDERSON's lyrics are mystical in nature, suggesting images rather than pushing along a plot line, while the band's arrangements scale imaginary walls in a sonic conflict that comes to a peaceful resolution. As if to allow the listener to recharge, STEVE HOVE's acoustic instrumental "The Clap" follows, a lighthearted but technically impressive showcase from the one member perhaps most responsible for the band's deliverance. Another epic follows, "Starship Trooper", the first example of YES' multipart works and a classic in the band's canon. Even if its relation to the HEINLEIN novel of the same name is incidental at best, "Starship Trooper" transports the listener into a science fiction/fantasy realm that few could imagine. "I've Seen All Good People" is a study in contrast between the band's founders and principal songwriters, JON ANDERSON and CHRIS SQUIRE. The first part, "Your Move" (which served as the album's obligatory single), is acoustic and spiritually informed, trademarks of ANDERSON's style. The second part, "All Good People", is much more physical in nature, with Squire's bass achieving a tangible quality that listeners could feel as well as hear. TONY KAYE's piano steps into the limelight for the off-kilter acoustic storytelling of "A Venture", offering only brief respite before the explosive finale, "Perpetual Change", which walks between the airy and material worlds of Anderson and Squire with stunning results. However, the contributions of individual songwriters are incidental to "The YES Album"'s achievements; it's the dynamic expansion of their instruments - from BRUFORD's intricate rhythms to HOWE's acrobatic guitar solos - that represents the real breakthrough. And the scary part is, the band was about to get better.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This was for many years my favourite YES album, probably because it was the first I heard of them. "Disgrace", "Starship Trooper" and "I ve Seen All Good People" are now classics, with the latter having their customary tribute to the BEATLES (stemming from their early days and debut LP rendition of "Every Little Thing") in the form of harmonies "all we are saying is give peace a chance" in the background! Very effective, innovative and great music, especially by Howe's wild guitar soli and Squire's thumping bass lines. "Venture" and "Clap" although seeming just like fillers, are actually very effective "breaks" between more demanding compositions. And why not Howe to show off some classical guitar technique?

"The Yes Album" is highly recommended even for casual prog listeners and can serve as an excellent starting point for serious YES researchers.

Review by chessman
1 stars A strange band, Yes. I was a big fan round the time of Close To The Edge. (Still their best, although Fragile, Relayer and Going For the One run it close.) Out of their first 5 albums, they produced 4 classics....and this. I can't believe so many fans rate this. It really is the most awful, tuneless and unmemorable album they were to do until Tormato. All the songs are mundane and laboured. The recording sounds rough, like it is all done in a box. The lyrics are schoolboyish and silly and the whole thing is only worth turning into an ashtray. They were, and are, the most unpredictable of bands. At their best, they are tremendous, at their worst...well, this is a good example of that.
Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Before I criticize, let me say that this is a timeless album by an incredible band- I have loved it for years and discover new things every time I listen. It places second in my favorite YES releases, right after "Close to the Edge", but has a more immediate and accessible sound, more comparable to "Fragile". I would not hesitate to give it the full five stars except for a few nagging thoughts that have developed after years of repeated listenings...for one thing, despite my respect for Steve Howe and the Leo Kottke- inspired "The Clap", I feel it sounds out of place here; although I can appreciate the song on its own terms, I find myself skipping it from time to time..."A Venture" also seems stylistically out-of-phase and strangely truncated; I have a feeling that with a different structure and arrangement it could have been a brooding "Heart of the Sunrise"- type classic but unfortunately sounds more than a little like a throwaway track between the incomparable "All Good People" and the grand, uplifting "Perpetual Change". Despite those flaws, this album remains one of my favorites and I would not hesitate recommending it to anyone- progressive rock fans or not.
Review by Dick Heath
5 stars An album that has stood the test of time for me, and I bought the LP a few weeks after the original UK release date. But I waited until after I had seen, what turned out to be a great set by Yes at Kingston Poly (was Queen the support band - I can't remember??), before buying it. I had previously bought and particularly enjoyed large sections of 'Yes' and 'Time and Word' albums , which demonstrated rock virtuosity, without suggesting anything as powerful and original of what was to come as the third Yes album. Nevertheless, with other exciting new bands doing new things out there, I was having serious doubts as to whether to spend my hard earned and limited cash, on this unheard or rather go for some other band's album. That Kingston Poly show, more than hinted that there was something different awaiting on "The Yes Album" and Steve Howe was something else. As a reminder, this was the period when technoflash guitarists were greatly admired (e.g. 10 Years After's Alvin Lee), but clearly Howe had a very large bag of riffs with the occasional trick, and so didn't have to hide behind showmanship to entertain.

With hindsight, this is a recording of a band in transition, moving through a quantrum jump. And again with hindsight, now with access to Steve Howe's back catalogue, I've discovered some of the best riffs here were honed when Howe was part of the band Bodast* - but sounding so much better in Yes compositions/arrangements and played by Yes. And with Tony Kaye's R'n'B roots, he seems to prefer to play the minimum number of keys, there being some reluctance to play synths, so Howe doesn't have to compete that hard for the lead. (Check out the later released Kaye-lead 'One Live Badger' to hear an R'n'B based prog album and clearly what Kaye preferred to play). With the move of Kaye to Badger via Flash, and the arrival of music college-trained Wakeman from the Strawbs, to provide the rococo and virtuosity on keys, you get Yes broadening and deepening as musicians and composers - emerging more fully from the chrysalis as one of a handful of the major progressive rock bands.

And again hindsight: I'm left wondering what Yes would have sounded like if Robert Fripp had been persuaded to join them, instead of Howe.........

*Check out the info at

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Starship Trooper, Yours is no Disgrace.....need I say more. The classic Yes sound really kicked in on this album and fortunately lasted for at least a decade. You can see why looking back at an album of this quality why the modern era is so lacking with high premium music. Sure there is plenty outthere but not consistently reproduced like it was back in the 70's. And to think also that albums were released every year. This album just shows what a bunch of geniuses these guys were and still are to produce such quality at such a young age. Highly recommended.
Review by frenchie
5 stars Brilliant, brilliant album. Yes make me proud to have grown up near them! "The Yes Album" saw Yes evolving from their rather patchy previous albums and setlling down to their unique progressive sound. This album is a real wonder as it follows its own concept. The albums from "Fragile" up to "Relayer" had similar concepts and progressive suites and sidelength tracks but "The Yes Album" is more original and spellbounding.

This album perhaps doesn't have as much vast exploration in sound and progression as the albums that would follow it but the songs here are gold. Perhaps the lyrics and musicianship are still evolving as they sound a bit toned down and simplistic compared to the epic "Close to the Edge".

"Yours Is No Disgrace" is a brilliant opening track. It is one of the easiest prog rock tracks to get into because the song isn't too overly produced. The lyrics are pretty simplistic (not their best lyrical work) and the cool bass and keyboards are pretty simplistic but they really manage to pull in the listener. This album doesn't seem 9 minutes as it moves pretty swiftly. I love the progressing guitar parts and the way Jon's voice seems to get better and better as it goes along.

"The Clap" is a dinky little tag along song. Even tho its a nice little acoustic piece it is the worst track on the album. However, its is silly, funny and entertaining! Why not add this song onto the album.

"Starship Trooper" is the first suite by yes and it is bloody amazing. This one is just as captivating as some of their 20 minute long songs but its probably good for beginners because it isn't as lengthy. Includes a great intro section which leads into impressive acoustic work. I love the outro with the trademark guitar solo's that weave in and out of the rest of the bands musical inputs.

"I've Seen All Good People" is another great effort from the lads. The vocal intro is very over the top but you shouldn't let it put you off because what lies after is pure gold. Includes a great acoustic background and it's nice to hear the recorder seeping through. This sound was definetly unique to this album as afterwards they explored much vaster musical paths. When the song progresses into a more rocking reprise of the intro the song shows a great balance from the mellow and emotional first part of the song that leads into the uplifting second half. Brilliant!

Apart from "The Clap", the shortest song on the album is "A Venture". This song is an excellent bouncy feast of vocal and piano work. This song has the most simplistic structure on the album as they are no vast progressive adventures. The "choruses" show brilliant vocal work and this couldn't be pulled off by anyone other than Jon Anderson.

The album closes with another 9 minute journey. "Perpetual Change" starts off with the perculiar keyboard and guitar jam that leads into a smooth and relaxing guitar solo. The song starts off quietly and gradually goes up and down to create suspense as the song builds up. Jon's "inside out, outside in" is just beautiful to hear. All the yes players do so well on this album and they succeed in making the album easy to get into before they went of exploring vast progressive songs on the following albums. This song progresses marvellously as Jon pours his heart out as he sings "whos sees perpetual change?".

The Yes Album is probably the most relaxed album and although the albums that followed this one are produced better and show much more experimentation and epic musicianship, the toned down, simplistic songs here are solid gold. This is one of the best Yes albums of all time, probably the first masterpiece they created which serves as a great starting point for newcomers. This was my first yes album i listened to and i have never put it down since. Another great thing to note is how the album starts off simply yet by the end of the record you are listening to much more complicated and directional music. A great way to lead into "Fragile". Yes never stopped progressing, which is why they are probably the best band in the field. Top stuff.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars YES`s first full Progressive album. I prefer this album more than "Fragile". Steve Howe`s guitars are very good in this album, but I also find some similarities in his style with Peter Banks`s style. So, the change of guitarist wasn`t too "drastic" for the sound of YES as a band. Howe maybe has more "speed" in his fingers to play solos and complicated chords, but his style fits with the previous sound of the band. But Howe was also a composer, or at least his musical ideas were more appreciated than Banks`s musical contributions (Banks in the notes in the booklet for the album of YES`s BBC recordings called "Something`s coming", said that he never had a songwriting credit in YES despite he contributed to some songs). Howe`s sound is more "dynamic", and in this album YES gained a lot with him. "Yours is no disgrace" is a clear example of Howe`s "dynamic" guitars, with also the first appearance of a moog synthesizer in a YES album, played very good and simply by Tony Kaye, who have said in interviews that he wasn`t very interested in these new instruments, so he didn`t stay with YES for more time than the tour for this album. Rick Wakeman appeared, and as Wakeman was more interested in mellotrons and synthesizers, which was what YES wanted, Kaye had to left YES. "Clap" is an energetic acoustic guitar piece recorded live at the Lyceum in London. It seems that YES wanted to say to their fans "listen to our new guitarist!". "Starship Trooper" is one of my favourite songs from YES. Howe shows his mastery of several styles of playing, with a very "country & western" style for the "Disillusion" part of this song ("Disillusion" was previously a part of a song called "For Everyone", played live with Peter Banks and available in the "Something`s Coming" C.D.; both guitarists played this part in a very different way). Kaye plays his usual organ and a bit of moog. Squire plays an almost bass solo in "Würm", until Howe`s guitars play several solo parts until the end of the song. "I`ve seen all good people" includes a vachalia played by Howe, and recorders played by Colin Goldring (which were played in concerts using a mellotron or other keyboards), with very good vocals by Anderson, Squire and Howe, and effective piano and organ by Kaye, plus percussion and drums by Bruford (with maybe Anderson on percussion too, as he is credited in the back cover). "A venture" shows one of the few times that Tony Kaye used the piano as the main keyboard in YES, and he shows in this song that he is a very good piano player too. "Perpetual Change" has some experiments made with musical time signatures, and the use of recording the band twice playing two different sections at the same time. Kaye also used the moog in this song. YES also had fun with the mixing of this album in Stereo, with constant changes of the instruments in the channels. "The YES album" is a very good album, with a lot of experiments and creativity, and very good arrangements.
Review by penguindf12
4 stars This album has definitely grown on me with time.

Initially I thought it was too raw and too lacking in Wakeman keyboard theatrics. These factors, now, seem to be advantages. The "raw" feel makes the songs seem more honest; Kaye's organ simply GRINDS, proving that many times "less" is more.

"Yours is No Disgrace" is something of an anthem to me. The bass guitar riff seems to speak of such affirmation, well, just look at the band's name. The song isn't as classically-inflected as later Wakeman works, but the jazzy feel that pervades is a wonderful alternative.

"Clap" is a wonderful Howe guitar-picking instrumental, taken from a live tape. Impressive, to say the least, and good fun.

"Starship Trooper" is another 5-star work and personal anthem. I get chills at the final instrumental buildup - simply transcendental, as are all great Yes songs.

"I've Seen All Good People" achieves similar heights, but with more modest means and a more folk/pop-rooted construction. I've yelled this one at the top of my lungs while driving, a self-conscious anthem for the redemption of everyone, or something similar. In any case, it gets rockin' at the end.

I like "A Venture," but it is, sadly, rather lackluster. I hate to admit this.

"Perpetual Change" doesn't quite make it for me - it has very cool parts, like the hard-panned 7/4 instrumental midsection, but it comes out to be somehow less that the sum of said parts.

Review by el böthy
5 stars My introduction to the wonderful world that is Yes, and it couldn't have been a better one. It's always good to start off with a band with one of their best album, but not their absolute best (Close to the edge in this case) as it happens some times that after having listen to THE GREATEST album of a band the rest seems like a bit of a step down. Luckily Yes made so many excellent albums between 1971 and 1977 that this is not likely to happen, even if you start off with Close to the edge, yet it's nice to know that there is something even "better" waiting for you in a bands catalog.

"The Yes album" may not be as colossal as "Close to the edge", "Tales..." or "Relayer" and yes, Tony Kaye obviously is not Rick Wakeman, but I still like it , and a lot. And why is that? First of all, this record really shacked me the first time I heard it, more than any other Yes album. Second, songs like "Yours is no disgrace", "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual change" would be the foundations of what Yes would be later on, so there is a certain "historic" feel to it that makes it extra good for the fans, and third.Steve Howe. I mean, this guy always plays some awesome stuff, but he really owns this album, rarely has a band improved that much with the arrival of a new member. very rarely. A classic!!!

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "The Yes Album" was released in March 1971. It was a major leap from Yes' two first albums as it featured Steve Howe, replacing original guitarist Peter Banks. The songs here are generally longer and more epic. Notably "Starship Trooper" is a standout as well as Yes' first "suite" divided in three parts and clocking in at more than 9 minutes. The guitar solo at the end is a classic Progressive Rock moment if you ask me. The shorter tracks, "Clap" and "A Venture" is both good and pretty underrated. While not really up to pair with the rest of the album, they surely are both very intersting tracks.

The mood on this album is kinda dark, In my opinion. Maybe it's the green and creepy band-picture cover that affect the music for me, but it doesn't make the album weaker. This is a very good Yes album, their first "real" Yes album too. While I like "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" better, this one is not to be missed in any prog fans collection. Highly recommended! 4/5

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I don't usually review Yes releases because as much as I love their early albums I dislike Jon Anderson's voice but even then I must admit that without him Yes wouldn't be the same. Drama for example is a great album but I can't get used to Trevor Horn's vocals even when I believe has a much better voice

But the problem with Yes Album is double, because I believe this release contains the best songs ever recorded by the band, but the sound absolutely lacks of energy and strength, as if this tracks were created to be listened in live albums.

I'm not going to talk about all songs because there are all well known and with more than 30 reviews there's not too much more to talk about, except for two which are specially important for me.

The opener Yours is no Disgrace is my all time favorite Yes song I almost when crazy in 1999 when had the chance to listen this track in my country, absolutely perfect changes with an outstanding guitar work by master Steve Howe and incredibly Jon's voice sounds better than ever, still I like more the Yessongs version.

The other track I'm talking about is I've Seen all Good People, which is also an excellent song that combines the calm mood of Your Move with the energy and power of All Good people, but the question I will always ask is why did they recorded this song with that annoying blank space in the middle?

In my opinion the beauty of this song relies in the contrast between the two parts of the song and in Yessongs this abrupt change is perfectly managed with a short drum section that joins the two parts and gives an starting impulse to All Good People, in Yes Album this track doesn't have that dramatic and looses that blank space always leaves me thinking something important is missing.

All the other songs are also essential to any Yes fan, so there's nothing bad I can say about the musical quality and the only reason why I don't rate it with 5 stars is because the terrible production and the weak sound.

Review by Muzikman
5 stars If there is one album that clearly defined Yes as band that could become an all around progressive rock/pop band between albums, The Yes Album is the one that history points to as their crossover breakthrough. The most important factor that made this change happen was the exit of Peter Banks (not to say that Banks was not a fine guitarist) and the entry of Steve Howe as the band's lead guitarist, Howe being a versatile, do-it-all kind of player that could change direction at the drop of a hat. This kind of flexibility is what the band needed to move on to a more mainstream level. Although their music was not intent on becoming top-forty oriented, it happened regardless. The reach to their audience was now moving to the next level and garnering a lot of attention with a string of charting singles, regardless of their status and unique approach to rock music.

"Yours Is No Disgrace," "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" found a wider audience because of the catchy rhythms and the choruses of Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, backed by the oomph of pinpoint guitar chords from Howe and the sweeping and driving keyboard passages of Tony Kaye. All of those songs have stood the test of time and receive regular airplay to this day. With a newly packaged set as this, the remastered sound brings new sparkle and life to classic prog-rock-pop diamonds that shine ever so brightly all over again, awaiting another generation of audiences to unearth.

This was the first commercially successful album for Yes and there would be many more. For their sake, it was a good thing the changes were set in motion. As history shows, now with their massively successful catalog of recordings, it would turn their career around forever. Three solid bonus tracks are included with informative liner notes to make the package a complete treasure.

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An album that absolutely stands the test of time, more so than several Progressive Rock classics of the 1970s in my opinion. I liked this album then and find that I like it even more now. It's something that I can easily listen to at any time.

The cheap cover art (I know, let's get a polystyrene window-dummy head, suspend it from the ceiling using a nylon line and take a photo of the band standing behind it looking po-faced like zombies) belies the music, which is top quality progressive rock without sounding too pretentious, at least to my ears. By the way, Tony Kaye does a great job on keyboards.

I'm a sucker for melody and a good tune, and this album supplies these in abundance, but without sounding at all lightweight or twee. Unlike on later albums, not all the lyrics are totally abstract. Again Jon Anderson's voice and the lyrics themselves add another, pleasant, hue to the picture.

I enjoy all the tracks and I can't pick a favourite. I do think 'Your Move', the first part of 'I've Seen All Good People', is clever: the music really is evocative of the mathematic precision of a chess game. Great stuff.

I'll settle for four stars (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection) as I think the band had even better to come. This is a real classic, though, and a worthwhile investment for any Progressive Rock fan. Highly recommended.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album introduced first real progressive elements to the band's music, and mini epics "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" are real gems in their repertoire. STEVE HOWE has also now joined the band, and his solo live number demonstrates his playing abilities (which are wonderful). "I've Seen All Good People" is then almost a gospel song, with imaginative grooves. Recommendable album!
Review by Tony Fisher
5 stars Yes at their very best. There are several classics here (Starship Trooper, Perpetual Change, Yours Is No Disgrace) and the songs are far less complicated and pretentious as some later offerings. There are no fillers or duff tracks at all; every one is worthy. Tony Kaye was a fine KB player - not as technical or (over?)adventurous as Wakeman but he gels better with the band and his interplays with Howe are superb. The lyrics are a bit meaningless (or absurd) in parts ("Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are" - what?) but Anderson's superb voice often acts more like another instrument and profound lyrics are often not a feature of prog! Chris Squire gives a lesson in how to drive a band along in melodic style and Bruford's drumming is always excellent. They were a bit "heavier" in those days and it benefits the music. A must have album!
Review by Philo
2 stars It's conclusive. Yes are a band that I can never fully warm to or accept completely without prejudice. Prejudice toward singer Jon Anderson or simply annoyed that the rest of the band leave him far too much space for Anderson to exploit. After going through a handful of Yes albums covering their different eras from Fragile, which I find to be a stunning effort, to their eighties sounding but for me failing Big Generator I finally picked up The Yes Album in a hope that it might offer some respite. But again the music to me is standoffish and more or less completely inaccessible, no, that might well be the wrong word but I'm unsure what word would suffice to be honest. I find it hard to get into Yes without be offended by or again simply annoyed by the mundane pseudo intellectual nature of some of the pieces. Were they trying too hard? I cannot say. I was simply a spectator while this was going on and could not see a time when I could interact with the music on The Yes Album. It is never that this is a bad album, nor equally the case a good album but as I listened it stayed stagnant and static as I lacked any emotion, yet I was not having an off day, it simply failed to make any impact or grab me with an urgency. At times there were gaping holes in the songs which I found terribly frustrating, this album has been well written about and all I can say is that if The Yes Album is a prog fans delight then I for one will never be fully accepted as a prog music fan though I do like progressive music, but hopefully not so much as to pigeon hole myself. But hey, I'm completely happy with this so its not all bad.
Review by Yanns
4 stars Rewritten review number 5.

I had originally given this album 5 stars. I got to thinking from this. I recognize that Close to the Edge is a 5-star masterpiece album. And I didn't know if I could consider this album a masterpiece. It's a tough word. The Yes Album is one of the most fantastic recordings for a band as young and as changing as Yes. This was Steve Howe's debut with Yes, and the first album before Rick Wakeman showed up. Whereas Fragile and CTTE are masterpieces, The Yes Album, methinks, doesn't fully reach that status. It kills me. It really does. I felt the same was about King Crimson's Lizard and Lark's Tongues, but this one hurts more. It's probably a 4.5 star album. But I don't round up. If it isn't five stars, it isn't five stars.


Yours Is No Disgrace: Yes discovers who they are. Right from the opening, it pulls you in, and then Kaye's keyboards layer over it. It builds and builds, with Jon's voice laying it on top. It, like all 8+ minute Yes songs, changes a great deal. This song, as well as three other songs on this album, could also be considered an epic. The second best song on the album.

Clap: This is a fun little Howe song, recorded live. While nice and fun, I much prefer Mood For A Day. Clap is simply a happy little ditty, but it can't compare to the atmosphere of Mood For A Day. Nonetheless, it's a fine little song, it makes me happy when I hear it.

Starship Trooper: The best song on the album. Fom the opening "Life Seeker" section to "Wurm", it's perfection in music form. Actually, "Wurm" is my favorite closing section to a song. Howe proves his songwriting skills here. The simple guitar riff is great enough, but Bruford's drums join in, and it goes and goes and goes. It is a song that's impossible to describe. Disillusionment, in the middle, picks up the pace acoustically, also.

I've Seen All Good People: As some call it, it's the mini-epic. Short (compared to some other songs), but doesn't let down. It's one of the only songs by Yes that you'll hear on the radio, but don't let that phase you. It's still a prog song. It isn't just some commercial song.

A Venture: Nice little song. However, it doesn't match up to Long Distance Runaround/The Fish. The bass here is especially nice, though, and Jon's voice, as always, is almost Heavenly. I wonder, a lot of the time, if his voice was the best in prog. I tend to think that it was.

Perpetual Change: The third best song here. Also very good live... Anywho, it does show the band playing in top form. The crazy 7/8 riff throughout the song helps it along, and the climax when it fades back into the beginning verse is fantastic. Good close to the album.

If you're a Yes fan, then you already have this. If you do not, I can't tell you to go get it, I can only say "What's wrong with you?" If you want to get into Yes, I think you should start with the main lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, and Bruford before you go into pre-Wakeman and post-Yessongs/Bruford. But, it's a classic, classic album and deserves its spot among your collection. Highly recommended. 4.5/5.

Review by FishyMonkey
4 stars I like Fragile and CTTE more.

While CTTE managed to create three long songs that aren't boring, the htree long songs on The YES Album aren't quite up to par. For example, the first three minutes of Starship Trooper is nothing but the same melody. It picks up considerably after that and is a rather great song, but the beginning is dull. Yours Is No Disgrace suffers from the same thing as Starship Trooper -- boring parts, then awesome parts randomly scattered throughout. For example, Yours Is No Disgrace has an awesome guitar feature about halfway through the song, but the beginning is a little dull, and the melody gets a little repetative.

The shorter songs are actual quite good, though. I've Seen All Good People is a great song, catchy, musical, technical, and fun to listen to, comparable to Siberian Khatru. Clap is probably the greatest acoustic solo ever written, no doubt. The musicianship is amazing, and the whole song is highly entertaining. However, A Venture is just average and Perpetual Change is about on the same level as Starship Trooper and Yours Is No Disgrace: some amazing moments, some...pretty damn awful ones. Overall the album is good, but not awesome. Sorry. Get Fragile, CTTE and Relayer instead.


Review by Philrod
4 stars The first classical Yes. It helped build the sound for the next albums. From the first note of ''Yours is no Disgrace'', you know you now deal with a new Yes. The arrival of Steve Howe in the band marked a change in the artistical point of view and in the turning of the music, as the previous guitarist war more jazzy and less technical. The musicianship is absolutely incerdible all around, from Squire's basslines to Tony kaye's great work. The themes of sci-fi arrived, the first charting success, ''Your move'', brought attention to the group. Not a band song on the album, and the are almost all highlights. As there is not much that has not been said earlier, let the music speaks for itself. A strong 4.5/5.
Review by NetsNJFan
5 stars Rating: 5 / 5

Coming in 1971, THE YES ALBUM was the first truly progressive work from the archetypal Prog band, Yes. This is also one of their most creative albums, and one of their most fun to listen to. At this time, Yes was comprised of founders Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (Bass), Bill Bruford (Drums), and Tony Kaye (keyboards). Steve Howe had just joined the group, replacing Peter Banks on guitar. THE YES ALBUM is a huge progression over the pop-rock of Yes's previous albums, and is their first release featuring their famous extended tracks. This is also the album when vocalist Jon Anderson abandoned writing real lyrics, and began writing spacey, spiritual, indecipherable lyrics.

THE YES ALBUM opens with one of Yes's strongest works ever. Your's is No Disgrace has all of the characteristics of the Yes Sound. It begins with Steve Howe laying down a basic melody, along with Bill Bruford's superb drum work. Chris Squire's distinctive picked bass comes in, weaving itself perfectly into the song. Then Tony Kaye's trademark organ comes in, giving the song incredible richness. Overall, this is an incredible track. Its only flaw is the pointless, repetitive lyrics. One can overlook this, as they are sung beautifully by soprano Jon Anderson. His vocals are the touch needed to send Yes's music into orbit. The next track, The Clap, is a very simple, and enjoyable Steve Howe acoustic guitar solo, recorded live. This song allows Yes to showcase it's new prodigal guitarist. Side one closes with another Yes classic, Starship Trooper. it is named after a Heinlein science-fiction novel, and asserts Yes's place in the new 'space rock' genre. This piece closes (the third section, Wurm), with an amazing guitar workout by Steve Howe.

Side Two begins with Yes's first trans-Atlantic hit, I've Seen All Good People. This song reached the top 40 on the US charts, and gave Yes the foothold they needed for their breakout album, FRAGILE, in 1972. This is a great track. The first part describes a chess game, and is the gentlest piece on the album. It is greatly improved with the recorder accompaniment. The second part of this track, I've Seen All Good People, is an abrupt rock change over the Your Move, and is good, but goes on just a little to long. A Venture is a simplistic track, and would easily fit on one of Yes's previous albums. It is a good song though, and gives nice balance to the album when juxtaposed with the longer, more epic track. THE YES ALBUM closes with Perpetual Change, a strong piece with excellent performances with all involved. It can be found live on YESSONGS (1973), where it is given even greater ferocity.

THE YES ALBUM is the first album where we hear the traditional Yes sound, and paves the way for their masterpieces, like CLOSE TO THE EDGE (1972). One reviewer says Yes does not write songs, they paint sonic murals. This album is the beginning of this, as Yes abandons conventional song formats. Steve Howe's guitar is the dominant instrument here. This trend would change with the arrival of keyboardist Rick Wakeman in 1972, after the departure of Tony Kaye. A very solid album - the first Yes essential: Five Stars

Review by Zitro
5 stars 4.6 Stars

This is my first yes album I heard, and it stands as my 3rd favorite of the yes discography. And it is definitely a masterpiece for sounding so great, so progressive, so complex, and yet ... so accessible!

Yours is no Disgrace 9.5/10 : This is an amazing opener, that should attract any curious listener. It has great hard rock riffs, good bass riffing accompanied with a beautiful melody (with terrible nonsensical lyrics), and a middle section that contains some of the best guitar solos of Steve Howe, and a great ascending organ riff. This song may feel a little long, but it is too good that it doesn't decrease the value of the song.

The Clap 7/10 : just a great acoustic guitar short piece but it feels very out of place here.

Starship Trooper 10/10 (masterpiece) : This is my favorite track from the album and one of my favorite tracks from Yes. IT has a great electric 'spacey' guitar sound in it, great melodies, an acoustic great jam, a harmony of voices after it containing also a great descending guitar riff .. until it hits the coda of a repetitive guitar riff with a great pedal used which starts growing until it explodes in a guitar solo duet.

I've seen all Good people : 7/10 : the weakest song of the album. It starts promising with a brilliant pop melody, and if the second section had ben cut, it would have gotten a 9/10. But while it draws me in after the diiddit diddit amazing chorus with a church organ riff, I think the best is yet to come .. but no ... I hear a repetetitive rock&roll jam that seems to never stop!

The venture 8/10 : it is a very enjoyable short track in which tony kate shines with the piano. the lyrics are good this time, the guitar is simple yet effective and jazzy. This song sounds like a song that was rejected from the first album.

Perpetual Change 8.5/10 : What a great finale! ... while the first minutes are not very interesting, it later contains a jazz guitar solo, and a completely original section in which all instruments play the same riff until a second guitar comes and plays a strange solo.

This should be the perfect album to show anyone who is interested in progressive rock. It is accessible yet very proggy.

My Grade : A-

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With this third album, the band really took their music off!!! Yeah .. It was a major and significant progress by Yes as this album embarked to the new music direction of Yes music by putting their arrangements into more rocking and more complex sounds. You bet! It's probably attributable to the fact that the band had new guitar player Steve Howe. The opening track "Yours is No Disgrace" has been a legendary track that has always been played by the band in most of their concerts. "The Clap" gave a full chance of the new brilliant guitarist Steve Howe to perform his virtuosity with the acoustic guitar. "Starship Trooper" is another favorite track. Not even with the band, Rick Wakeman - the band's next keyboard player - has also liked this track especially when he performed his solo concert. He was not here yet at the time of this album. "I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All... ", as you know, it's a legendary track that has been very often played live. "A Venture" is another great happy track. I really love the beats. "Perpetual Change" was my favorite track which I knew at the first time from Yessongs double live set album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Review by The Crow
3 stars This is the first Yes's album that is really good in my humble opinion, very much better that the two previous LP's. And the most important fact that made this improvement possible was the Steve Howe's imcorporation, who is one of the best progressive guitarist of the 70's, along with Steve Hackett and Robert Fripp in my opinion.

Here we can find songs in the purest Yes's style, like Yours Is No Disgrace and the classic Starship Trooper. Another songs like I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change showed a transition between the old poppy tracks and the future symphonic compositions.

But there are two songs that I don't like from this record: The Clap, strange theme where Steve Howe plays in a very american style; and A Venture, a little boring and weak effort in my opinion. For that (along with the fact that this was a transition album...) I think that this album deserves only 3 stars.

Review by Progbear
4 stars A conscious step in the right direction. The band are clearly grasping for bigger, more expansive sounds and really are a lot closer to attaining their goal. The weak link in the chain, curiously, is Tony Kaye. His lively organ work, which made the earlier albums seem so colourful, now seems more of a liability. His dogged determination not to update his keyboard sound restrains the band a bit. There's a bit of tentative Moog synthesizer on the album, but it feels added on as an afterthought.

On the other hand, new member Steve Howe on guitar makes this album a true delight to listen to. Basically possessing the same influences, and a similar bag of licks, as his predecessor, he nonetheless seems to operate on a whole new level from the more workmanlike Banks. His frenetic and relentless playing fills up the empty space, creating a virtual guitar-orchestra on "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper". He also adds a lot more classically-styled acoustic guitar playing, which is an important development for the band's future activities.

The dated psychedelic feel of earlier albums is long gone. The whole album feels fresh and vibrant. The songs have grown to become grand multi-part suites, offering much variety in feel. "Yours Is No Disgrace" offers variations on a theme, bristling with tension and release. "Starship Trooper" is cosmic and exciting. "I've Seen All Good People" captivated the public's interest most, starting with a gradually building, enchanting folk motif before exploding into a jazzy, swinging coda. And "Perpetual Change", with it's demi-orchestral fanfares, pointed the way towards the future.

In short: this is the album where Yes found their voice.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The beginning of Yes's progressive period can be seen in this album. Although they wouldn't hit their zenith until Fragile, this album is a good precursor. As Steve Howe's debut studio album with Yes, he certainly gets a lot of the spotlight with solos on top of solos on top of solos, this could be one of Howe's most noodly albums with Yes. Chris Squire now takes a powerful forefront with his jagged bass sound that pierces through the Peter Banks drenched atmospheres. Bill Bruford is adequate on this album, nothing terribly spectacular or noteworthy. This album could be seen as the beginning of Jon Anderson's wall of poetry lyrics frenzy that can be seen on the next few albums.

Noteworthy tracks are Yours is No Disgrace, Clap, and Starship Trooper. All of these tracks are Steve Howe dominated, but they are enjoyable to listen to. Yours is no Disgrace is a bluesy rocker that has sprawling work from Howe, and some great bass and drum interplay from Squire and Bruford. Clap is the precursor to Mood for a Day. Steve Howe goes with a bit of a rockabilly, country feeling to this one, and it is a fan favorite still today. Starship Trooper is probably the definitive Yes track along with Roundabout and Close to the Edge, split up into three parts, the most noteworthy is Wurm. This section features phased chord work from Howe and one of his best solos on top of this epic riff. The second side of the album is good, but not really noteworthy and otherwise drags down this album.

Overall, this is a great precursor to the things that were to come. Yes would eventually get better, and their next album would arguably be their best.3.5/5.

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This album - the third released by Yes, was my first contact with the band and truly it was a great one! Compared with the previous works the band are much more mature and experienced also displaying a new guitarist, the ingenious Steve Howe; perhaps this addition provided Yes an extra confidence and determination to produce a splendid album.

"Yes Album" together with next 2 albums form a classy trilogy of the entire musical scene, not merely for the progressive. Now, musicianship of band members are almost at their peaks, as heard along the tracks; even Anderson's voice sometimes annoying - although very tuned, provides good points and helps with overall harmonic atmosphere.

'Yours is no disgrace', the opening track, is an awesome introduction card for the rest of the work; keyboards do a good job (and the keyboardist is Tony Kaye not yet Rick Wakeman), guitar and bass brings remembrances of Beatles' 'Day tripper' - Yes never forgot their roots and influences; fair vocals and drumming background; the softer parts of the song are amazing, with good breaks and changes in time.

'Starship trooper' is the best track in the album, the way the song flows is highly pleasant, all instruments play splendidly and vocals are awesome; also there are always some agreeable surprises as when the acoustic guitar breaks the keyboard and singing part thus conveying the music to another marvelous section; one of the best songs of the entire Yes repertoire.

'The clap' and 'A venture', the weakest tracks, sound like fillers but this sour impression is compensated by 'I've seen all good people', a soft song with a lovable pop touch and by the ending track, 'Perpetual change', which has the clear Yes brand with vocals and instruments joining in a way never to forget.

"Yes Album" is a great work, indeed, in spite of being slightly spoiled by filler tracks; but the final rating takes in account the excellence of singing and playing across the album. Total: 4.

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Another one of the fabulous 5 prog albums that I encountered as a young impressionable youth through the good musical tastes of my parents hahhaah. To be honest I'd like to stick to review albums that aren't reviewed as much to try to add something to to the whole reviews section. However this album has been such a musical landmark for me that I can't pass up a chance to say a few words about it.

I have often said and believe with all my musical heart that this is the album for a person just gettting into Yes to get. No Rick Wakeman on this album but that really is not important, if Yes has proven anything in it's 35+ years of musical existence. The keyboardist is just another piece, and a replaceable one at that, to the puzzle. See Relayer and Drama for proof of that. The Yes sound is composed of two parts.. without either it really isn't Yes. Both are on display here. One is rather apparent and mentioned quite often. The distinction Rickenbacker bass of Chris Squire. His style may have come from the god-fathers of the English rock bass school McCartney, Bruce, and Entwistle but that tone was distinctive then and still is instantly recognizeable today. The other defining aspect of the Yessound is their vocal harmonies. Not mentioned as much, but one look at an album like Drama and you can see how it is so much of the yessound. This of course was the first album with Steve Howe on it and was a quantum leap into the prog arena over their previous two releases.

The songs off of this album have been analyzied forwards and backwards so I really don't have much to add other than my tertiary reason for reviewing this album. This album is much more accesible is less dense than many of their upcomming albums would be so I would recommend to anyone wanting to check out Yes (I assume there are people out there that is hahhahah that haven't) to start with this album. As I have said, and have been rarely proven wrong. You may like this album and not like Yes's future works... but if you don't like this album... you won't like Yes. A positive either way hahahha. My rating on it. Personally 4.5 (a half a point deductionfor A Venture). For the forum at large the college equivalent to YES 101. An essential album from an essential prog group. 5 stars. An album that should be in every prog fans album collection... and that should be worth 5 stars in anyone's book.

Review by fuxi
5 stars This superb album put Yes on the map, and when I first heard it, it came as an incredibly fresh breath of air. Until then, I didn't have a clue that rock bands could sound so visionary.

Nowadays, I don't play THE YES ALBUM all that much - particularly since I've heard Bill Bruford explain that "Yours is no Disgrace" was based on the "Bonanza" theme tune... The main exception to my rule is "Starship Trooper", probably the best thing Yes ever created. I would happily go to my grave without hearing "All Good People" ever again, but "Starship Trooper" is one of those tracks that LIFT ME UP (just like Bach's B Minor Mass, or Beethoven's 6th symphony) whenever I give it a spin. But oh - Mr Howe's extended guitar solo on "Yours is no Disgrace" isn't half bad either...

Review by Chicapah
5 stars The general feeling in 1971 was "Now that the earth-shaking sixties are officially over, where are we going to take rock music now?" This album provided a lot of answers. Some of us were familiar with Yes from their first two LPs and considered them somewhat of an odd little group that did interesting versions of deep album cuts from American artists and experimental original songs like "Astral Traveller" and we were eager to see what was next. Little did we know that the addition of Steve Howe would elevate the band into prominence the way he did. From the first staccato chords of "Yours is no Disgrace" we realized that something big was happening. It was time for everyone to reassess Yes and move them into the "major player" category.I recently got the Rhino remaster and, like their reconstruction job performed on TFTO, it is incredibly well-done and made me feel like I was hearing it for the first time. This album, despite it's depressingly dreary cover (thank God Roger Dean showed up in time for "Fragile"), spread across college campuses like wildfire in the early 70s and helped to propel "I've seen all good people" onto the heavy-rotation lists of FM radio stations all across the USA. The song gave the band and its genre the exposure that it sorely needed. The album sizzles with incredible energy and invention and was greatly responsible for unlocking more doors leading to the progressive rock explosion that characterized the best musical advances of the seventies. No collection of Yes recordings is complete without this pivotal and well- produced album.
Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Five stars of historic merit, though not just that.. "The Yes Album", as others have suggested before me, is probably Yes's most accessible album, yet its compositions have remained concert classics throughout the years and, in some instances, have never really been bettered. A very optimistic, mellow-sounding record, it is not as adventurous as its follow-up, "Fragile", nor majestic as the mighty CTTE, but definitely a joy to listen to.

As everybody knows, there's no Rick Wakeman here - but the understated, more rock'n'roll-styled Tony Kaye does indeed quite a good job. And let's not forget that this album marks the debut wth Yes of legendary guitarist Steve Howe - one of the key elements of the band's sound thoughout the years. Just listen to "The Clap" (apart from the rather unfortunate title...) to get a taste of his dazzling acoustic skills. Obviously, the real cornerstone of Yes' sound is, here just like everywhere, Chris Squire's powerful basswork, which meshes effortlessly with the other instruments without swamping them, as it sometimes happens in later recordings (not that I mind, bass freak that I am...). Drummer extraordinaire Bill Bruford complements him quite perfectly, his playing here deceptively less complex than in the following two albums of the band, yet as crisp and fluid as it can be.

Album opener "Yours Is No Disgrace" is doubtlessly one of Yes's most unforgettable efforts, showcasing from the word go some Jon Anderson-led, celestial vocal harmonies and Squire's pounding, intricate bass lines. The four-movement "Starship Trooper", often used as a concert closer by the band, blends energy and dynamics with more reflective, acoustic-flavoured passages; while "I've Seen All Good People", with its accapella opening, it's one of the ultimate feel-good songs, proving most effectively that prog is not all doom'n'gloom as some people seem to think - possibly one of the best-ever Yes vocal tracks. "A Venture" may be the weakest song on the album, but it's very pleasant and upfliting in its own way, though it feels sometimes squashed between the monumental epics that comprise most of the record. Things end with a bang with the long, guitar-heavy "Perpetual Change", whose riff is certainly one of the most recognisable in the history of prog.

The only negative note in this review is for the drab, green-tinged cover, as the band had not yet begun their collaboration with artist Roger Dean, which was to produce some of the most impressive examples of album cover art ever. As you should never judge a book by its cover, though, don't let the less-than-impressive external appearance fool you - this is definitely a must-listen for any serious prog fan, particularly of the symphonic variety.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars What a difference a guitar makes! Peter Banks is out and Steve Howe is in. The switch was actually made even before Time and a Word released, but this is the first time we hear Howe in the studio. Kaye is still on keyboards but delivers an admirable performance. Wakeman would come along a year later and complete the transformation of the band to a progressive rock legend.

"Yours is no Disgrace" seems to pick up where "Time and a Word" leaves off, a lengthy, wandering work full of intricate interplay between guitar and keyboards, with Anderson's vocals soaring above it all. The difference on guitar is immediately noticeable, with Howe providing a much more dynamic presence than the capable but unspectacular Banks.

"Clap", unfortunately and mistakenly labeled "The clap" on the original cover, is the live acoustic interlude piece from Howe that was the start of a long tradition of solo showcases by band members throughout the group's recorded and concert history.

But just when the listener has their expectations set for another technically sound but seemingly haphazard arrangement of tunes, along comes "Starship Trooper", the first truly epic progressive work by the band. This one has it all - intensely delivered and frantic bass by the unequaled Chris Squire; an incredible array of guitar riffs by Howe; Anderson's celestial but strong vocals; and Kaye's keyboards providing the catalyst for a range of tempo shifts with rising and falling moods. To this day I don't know or care what the vocals are all about - this is just a wonder to behold in every respect.

As if this weren't enough, Anderson launches immediately into the brilliant "I've Seen all Good People", a celebration of life and living that starts with a bit of chess doublespeak and works its way into a treatise on human relationships. Howe is much more subdued at first, satisfied to lead with an understated supporting performances, while Kaye dominates with his heavy organ before both Howe and Squire kick things up a notch for a rocking second movement with Kaye switching to piano chords until things wind around to a close. Both of these songs would grace many a compilation in the band's later years.

"A Venture" is much more subdued, and a largely forgettable short character sketch featuring piano overdubbed with organ and much more emphasis on the lyrics than the music.

The closing "Perpetual Change" would be the last studio track to feature Kaye for a dozen years, and opens with strong keyboards and an almost bluesy guitar riff from Howe before lapsing into a rather dull bit of poetic lyrical noodling from Anderson. The vocal harmonies and Howe's guitar are pleasant enough, but this song has a very 'summer of love' dated feel to it that doesn't stand the test of time like some of the band's stronger works do.

By the time The Yes Album released it was obvious this was no ordinary 60s holdover band. The best was yet to come, but this is a very solid work overall, and definitely has a place in any progressive music collection. A no-brainer for four stars.


Review by sleeper
3 stars This was the first Yes album that I bought, not knowing that it was Yes's first truly progressive album. Fitting this as I find it better to start at the beginning rather than get hooked on a bands middle releases that may or may not be better. But anyway, what a start, the album that introduced the world to the guitar genius that is Steve Howe.

This is a good album with a band that has found its muse and the type of music that it wishes to pursue. Most of the songs on here are very good, with the bluesy Starship Trooper and Yours Is No Disgrace being particular highlights. What really stands out is the way that the band works together on this album, especially since this was Steve Howe's first album with the band.

All the guitar lines are perfectly in place and very tasteful giving the album a very powerful edge to its sound. This is evident best in Starship Trooper as he closes the song with a controlled build up that ends with short bursts of extravagance from his guitar. The short acoustic song Clap also serves perfectly to illustrate that Howe is definitely not short of talent.

The keyboard lines of Tony Kay I have found are the best that Yes produced until Patrick Moraz joined for Relayer. Throughout this album you get a perfect blend of atmospheric playing, that plays off the strength's of Bruford, Howe and Squire, and technical solo's that highlights his ability. I always felt that his departure was a big loss for Yes.

Chris Squire is technically a very talented bass player that could really let the instrument find its own niche in the rock band, moving between rhythm and melody excellently without ever being overly noodely or unlistenable. However I can here the start of the tone that he would go on to use in future albums that really annoys me, plus on occasion I think he misses opportunities for his bass lines to interact with what the others are doing that could have really lifted the overall quality of the album.

Bill Bruford's drumming is very good here but I feel that it lacks both the creative edge and the control that he displays after he joins King Crimson. Lastly Jon Anderson's performance here is very good, he's a decent singer, though not one of my favourites but his lyrics continue to annoy me greatly as being pointless nonsense, words that are only there because they rhyme and make a nice sound when he sings them.

Overall it's a good album but has a few downsides to it. Mostly, the band don't seem to gel perfectly, there's something cold in the way they play together that puts me of Yes, though its not so bad here on The Yes Album. I also find that some of the songs on here have aged poorly against some of the others. I do like this album and find it to be one of their best so I'll give it 3 stars.

Review by OpethGuitarist
2 stars No.

For as much as I respect Yes and the undoubtedly large legion of fans they have gained over the years, I have a hard time contemplating what people get out of this album, other than perhaps nostalgia. It's average at best, and admitted by fans of the band as a 4th or 5th ranking album behind the other "classics".

For me personally, it's much too common sounding. I get bored easily from the album and find little in terms of the music connecting with me. Starship Trooper has a nice and pleasant closing to it, and is the highlight of the record for me. Other than that, not much really is here that makes me go "wow, this is incredible stuff". It's some average prog playing at best, and not nearly up to par when I compare it to CTTE or Fragile.

Hard-line Yes fans will certainly enjoy this, but for those with a very broad progressive base, I would suggest looking elsewhere for Yes's best material.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars A major line-up change (more to come) with this album : Steve Howe as a guitarist will propulse Yes to yet unknown frontiers. From the very first seconds of the opening track "Yours Is No Disgrace" one understands that something fundamentally changed within Yes. Vocal arrangments are great and Jon's cristal voice is fanstastic here. The whole band comes to a symbiosis for the very first time (this complicity is still lasting more than 35 years later, even if the line-up will change several time Chris being the sole member to have stayed with Yes throughout their entire career). "Clap" is nothing fancy to remember (it shows though the skills of Steve Howe) but with the next track, one really enters into the new YesWorld. "Starship Trooper" is really a true gem of the prog history and will remain a YesClassic up to now. They still play it regularly during their live sets. It is quite remarkable that the three "movements" of this number were written by three different people ("Life Seeker" by Anderson, "Disillusion" by Squire and the last Instrumental part "Wurm" by Howe. Still the number shows a wonderful unity. I have a more mixed felling about "Your Move" (by Anderson) - "All Good People" (by Squire). IMO, it is one of the weakest track here. "A Venture" is a short but nice tune with some jazzy moments at the end. "Perpetual Change" is one of my favorite ever from Yes. A bit jazzy (again) but melodious with a very good backing band (Bruford / Squire). I first discovered the live version with YesSongs (in November 73 while I was 14), and although the studio version is very good, I prefer the live rendition. There are some bonus tracks on the expanded version (Your Move - Starship Trooper - Clap) which are single / excerpts versions from longer tracks and are not really interesting. Four stars.
Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars The Yes Album marks the entrance of prog guitar hero Steve Howe, who wasted no time climbing to the tops of wannabe guitarists' lists of influences. A professed fan of country musicians like Chet Atkins, Howe pioneered the use of fingerpicking in rock music. This album is the first real success of Yes. Jon Anderson steps up his lyrics, and the rest of the band give great performances, though not as masterful as later performances on CttE and Fragile.

"Yours Is No Disgrace" opens the album with its thinly veiled anti-war statement. Great passages, strong vocals and stronger lyrics make this Yes' first classic. "The Clap" is where Howe gets to first demonstrate his prowess. His solo here is one of his best. "Starship Trooper" is the best song on the album. The riff is fantastic, and the ending passage is a bit repetitive but it's so good that I don't mind at all. Chris shines on this track, as he both complements Steve's rythm and forges his own path.

"I've Seen All Good People" opens the second half splendidly with Howe's best use of fingerpicking on the album. The lyrics seem a bit abstract, but they come together after a few listens. The problem here is that Tony Kaye's contributions are dull. He's no slouch keyboardist, but he always seems to stop just short of exploding into the plateau that Wakeman lives on. "A Venture" is a silly number that contrasts the fairly depressing subject matter of the rest of the album. The band has a Rush moment, where they have a nearly-flawless album then they add a pointless song that ruins the flow and cohesiveness. "Perpetual Change" ends the album on a high note with Howe's excellent steel guitar. Bruford and Squire work very well together on this track. Jon's vocals aren't as good as they normally are, but they aren't awful.

The Yes Album is a must own for any Yes and symphonic prog fans. Steve's fingerpicking is a revelation. If you want to hear where Steve Morse picked up his tricks, look no further than this disc. Steve's mastery of the steel guitar and fingerpicking suggests that he could easily appear on any country album and fit right in. A Venture kills the album, and some repition in Starship Trooper are annoying, but this is still a prime slice of Yes.

Grade: B

Review by Chris H
5 stars Mind-blowing. Epic. Masterful!

From the first notes to the closing fade, you are sucked into this album, you can picture everything, feel everything and it just takes you away to some fantasy-scape of awesome music! "Yours Is No Disgrace" opens this album up with a barrage of music, featuring some excellent synth work while Jon's vocals are at their crystal-clear high point. "The Clap" is Steve Howe's first introduction into the world of making a solo song. It seemed a bit filler- ish to me at my first listen, but now I have grown to enjoy and respect the amazing talent of Steve on this piece. "Starship Trooper" is the song many non-Yes fans know. They still play it live to this day, and it always receieves a standing ovation from me, especially for the amazing musicianship in the song. Did you know each of the three parts was written by a different member of Yes? Neither did I, because they flow so great together nobody could sense a gap of style. "I've Seen All Good People" is that one song off the album that receives all the attention, but hey I'm not complaining about it! One of the most radio-aired Yes songs around, it is certainly worth it. I prefer the rockier second part over the slowed down "Your Move", but they both blow my mind away! "A Venture" is a nice, short little number that does happen to against the grain of the album by being rather upbeat and happy, but it's still a good listen none-the-less. "Perpetual Change" is not one of my favorite Yes tunes, but I respect it immensely. That folks, is how you play steel guitar. Plus Jon's vocals are absolutely beautiful again.

So, what happens when you get excellent musicians, excellent songs, and excellent production? A five-star masterpiece of an album!

Review by Modrigue
2 stars YES searches itself

As the first YES album with Steve Howe, "The Yes Album" marks the band's entrance into the progressive music sphere, by alternating mini-epics and short songs.

The first track "Yours is no Disgrace" has some swinging interesting passages but tends to be cheesy. "The Clap" features a good joyful blues acoustic live solo from Steve Howe showing his technical skills. Then arrives a classic from YES, "Starship Trooper", one of their first song taking you to magic places. The introduction and ending themes are particularly original.

However, the second part of the disc is a bit weak and comes as a deception. "I've Seen All Good People" is rather lazy and boring, "A Venture" fails to take off and "Perpetual Change" is hardly empty...

The remastered version features "Your Move", which is an alternative version of "I've Seen All Good People", the single version of "Starship Trooper" and the studio version of "The Clap".

An important album in the band's history, but unfortunately not that essential...

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the first album with Howe on board and he really helped to define their sound.

"Yours Is No Disgrace" has so many highlights, from Squire's outfront bass playing, to Howe's guitar melodies, to Anderson's great vocals. "The Clap" is all about Mr.Howe and his amazing acoustic guitar work done live. "Starship Trooper" is my favourite song on the record. The melody 2 minutes in is really good, and the harmonies and acoustic melodies are beautiful.The instrumental 6 minutes in is great ! And the guitar from Howe is incredible after 8 1/2 minutes.

"I've Seen All Good People" seems to look at life as a game and you move ahead or backwards in life depending on the choices you make. Fantastic vocals in this one as well as some good organ and bass lines. "A Venture" is all about the piano. "Perpetual Change" is a complex track where Anderson really shines.

For me this is a step down from what would come in the future in "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" but this still is a stunning record that should be in everyone's collection.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars This may sound irrelevant, but I really can´t write about this album without rating 5 stars. This is simply not only an all time classic, but a ground breaking record that was absolute news in 1971. I think most reviewrs who not gave higher ratings forget its historical importance, for this is really one of the most important single releases in prog music. Yes, up to them was a promising band, but not much more than that. With The Yes Album they were skyrocket to the major league. It´s hard to find a single fault in the whole album. Even simple songs like A Venture fit here well. And the classics started a kind of symphonic rock that were a style on its own. No wonder Yes is one of the most influential/imitated bands of progressive music.

Thsi CD is a complete joy from beginning to end, with great compositions, a good production for its time and a brilliant, inpired perfomance by the whole group. Steve Howe is, maybe, the catalyst of this incredible chemistry, his playing is unbelieveble! You don´t even miss Rick Wakeman on this LP! This is a must have for any, I mean ANY, prog fan. In the first half of the decade Yes was considered the best band in the world. At 14, I agreed at the time, I still do. No other band contribuited more for the love I have for progressive music. Hail!

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars

Welcome Steve Howe aka mr. Guitar Museum!

If you compare this album (1971) with their two previous efforts Yes (1969) and Time And A Word (1970), you can conclude that the coming of Steve Howe was a huge boost, Yes turned from progressive pop into progressive rock because of his eclectic guitarwork and adventurous mind. In his early childhood Steve Howe suffered from severe nightmares, playing guitar was his way to sublimate the negative emotions and feelings. He was very determined to become a professional guitarplayer and soon his virtuosity was acknowledged by many musicians, the fans and the press. After his arrival in Yes he start to blossom, on this album he embellishes almost every song with ecellent and varied guitarplay, from the agressive wha- wah sound in Yours Is No Disgrace and the exciting and cheerful acoustic piece Clap (not The Clap!) to the Portuguese 12-string guitar (a present from his sister) and the powerful riffs and jazzy solo in Perpetual Change. Tony Kaye delivers some fine sounds (including the Moog) but when he left, Rick Wakeman prooved that Yes could make masterpieces (to start with Close To The Edge), The Yes album is a solid four star rating for me, no more or less.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With Steve now on board YES was ready to make things happen-and this was a good start. Howe's playing would become a necessary component of the YES sound from here on out. (don't even mention Trevor in this writer's presence!)

Half of this album is very good and half is still pretty unremarkable. The good half here is Starship, Perpetual Change, and Yours Is No Disgrace. The Clap and Venture are nice little filler pieces, and I'm no longer able to be objective about All Good People because FM radio has killed the song for me. I honestly can't tell you if it's a good song or not because my ears shut down when they hear that one ;-)

Your is No Disgrace and Starship in particular really embody the new spirit and direction YES would begin to take and would become fan favorites forever. At the encore of the show I saw in 84, Starship Trooper just brought down the house. It was the definite favorite of the audience on that night. (Of course, anything from the 70s sounded like Heaven after enduring countless numbers from 90125.)

The Yes Album is not their finest hour but it puts everyone on notice that this was a band to be reckoned with. 3.5 stars. Too bad the cover doesn't reflect the majesty of the music, it's really pretty poor.

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

The YES ALBUM is where the carreer of YES starts really cooking! By ditching PETER BANKS in favor of STEVE HOWE, YES will reach the upper level and become one of the main forces of not only the progressive music scene of course , but also of the whole rock world. STEVE HOWE is not only one of the most original guitar player, he can actually play every style from picking country to Jazz to classical like a virtuoso. All those influences will create a formula that makes StEVE HOWE sound uniquely recognizable, thus bringing YES in uncharted territories....we can describe as YESmusic!!

Also the arrival of STEVE HOWE will help to enhance the creative process as he will share the writing duties with JON ANDERSON and CHRIS SQUIRE. Out of the 6 tracks of this album, 4 of them will become instant YES classics and are still playing live when YES is on a tour.

I am not here to describe the album song by song as we all know them and most of us love them to death. YOURS IS NO DISGRACE, I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE, PERPETUAL CHANGE and the magnificent STARSHIP TROOPER are all part of the gotha of prog music EDDIE OFFORD is the new producer and will be considered as the sixth YES member as he is also responsible for the classic YES sound.

With 4 masterpieces on one album, we have also 2 subpar songs, i won't say filler as THE CLAP is an excellent guitar showmanship from STEVE HOWE, but A VENTURE is the weakest. Thanks god, there are also the shortest ones (3 minutes each). Let say they are a nice interlude sandwiched between the heavy weights!

Overall an almost perfect album, between 4 and 5 stars. But i can't give the full 5 stars because of the 2 aforementioned songs and the fact the the 4 great ones will even sound better live on YESSONGS.

So 4.5 stars reduced on 4 stars PA scale!

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
5 stars The Yes Album was the first in a series of masterpieces released by the almost-classic Yes lineup. On their previous two albums, the group were just trying to find themselves showing some potential of what was to come. This is also the album on which the amazing guitarist Steve Howe joined the group.

When you compare this work to their previous work, you can really hear a major leap in all of the members' performances, from Squire's intricate powerful bass lines, to Anderson's soaring vocals, and Bruford's complex drumming, and even Tony Kaye's soaring organ. Prior to this release, no other group had produced such an interesting overall sound and it was this new sound that would influence many future prog bands. Everything you could want in a prog album is here: complex time signatures, multi-part extended songs with many superbly constructed instrumental sections, beautiful harmonies, excellent and complex guitar riffs, skilled drumming, beautifully crafted, yet oddly obscure lyrics, and even the obligatory acoustic piece.

The Yes Album is a highly recommended masterpiece and the perfect place for those unfamiliar with Yes to start with. Easily five stars, for both the music and its historical importance to the genre.

Review by NJprogfan
5 stars My, oh my! My second 5 star review in a row. I should feel ashamed. I had mentioned once that there are not many albums that should garner 5 stars. I was naive. For me, this is the beginning of one of the most fertile collection of music to grace our ears. YES started out with a couple of decent albums, not major, not great, just decent. Then BAM! Kick out one guitar player and bring in another. Who would have thought that doing such a thing would cause such an explosion of creativity. Right from the start, from "Yours Is No Disgrace" to "Perpetual Change" each and every song is a hands down classic. Okay, I'll admit "A Venture" sounds like a "Time And a Word" leftover, but it still has Howe's finger picking to boost it up beyond the former guitar player's range, (and hey, I do like Banks's just not as adventurous to me). I'm not going to ramble on and on about each song. Suffice it to say, this should be your starting point with YES all the way to 1980. Each and every one should be in your collection, for they all have something of merit be it a few songs to the whole freaking album. This is the first boys and girls, the start of something miraculous. The first YES masterpiece!
Review by Hercules
4 stars After the first 2 albums, which I listened to but decided not to buy (I never have!), I did not really expect too much when this came out in 1971. However, a friend at university made me a tape and it blew my mind. Whether it was the substitution of Steve Howe for Pete Banks, or simply growing maturity, or a combination of both, is uncertain, but whatever, this is a giant leap forward from its mediocre predecessor.

All 4 of the longer tracks are excellent, particularly, Starship Trooper and Yours is no Disgrace. I love the bass playing in Wurm, which is one of the first times a bass moved out of the shadows into the lead. A Venture is fine but unexceptional and my only real criticism is for that old concert favourite, The Clap, which I feel is pointless and doesn't fit the rest of the album at all, even though Howe plays it well.

This was to be Tony Kaye's final album with the band before he was kicked out for the caped crusader, Mr Wakeman (my lookalike). This was exceptionally harsh, as he contributes excellent work throughout, albeit in a slightly more undestated way than his successor. Howe plays some fine guitar; I've never quite rated him up there with Hackett or Latimer, but his solo at the end of Wurm is very fine indeed. The rhythm section is truly awesome, being tight and inventive throughout. Anderson sings as only Anderson can; his voice is an acquired taste and on this album he really starts to blossom.

In my view, this is the best Yes album overall and comes close to masterpiece standard. Remove The Clap and put on one more good long track and it would have been the perfect prog album. As it is, it falls a little short of that, but is highly recommended and an essential album for any prog collection.

Review by jammun
4 stars There are certain albums that are so unique that one remembers (more or less) the exact circumstances of when they were acquired. The Yes Album is one of those, for me.

I was a senior in high school, and for some reason we had been let loose early, so a friend and I went out music hunting, and ran across an album by Yes, with an atmospheric green-hued photo of the band on cover and the same, purplish-hued, on the back. I remember buying this, based on the cover and perhaps some vague knowledge that there was a band called Yes that might be good. Back in the day a good cover was all it took to make the sale. So I went home, ripped off the cellophane, and popped the sucker on the turntable.

Give Yes credit, what an opening shot is "Yours Is No Disgrace"! The growling Hammond will get you from the start, from which point you're led into a new and unique musical world. This was (is) great stuff, and they just don't let up (save for the what I consider filler (The Clap, The Venture)) for the next 40 minutes or so. Starship Trooper is decent, but approaches greatness with the stunning Wurm section. The other two classics here are Perpetual Change and I've Seen All Good People, which show Yes expanding their musical vision and which were included in their live shows during the time.

As far as the recording goes, my only complaints with the album are that Bruford is not more prominent in the mix, and that Howe's guitar just never has enough bite when needed.

The Yes Album is not essential, but it's one of Yes' finest. Yours is No Disgrace is about as close to perfection as any piece of music we call prog is likely to get.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Enter the guitar God.

While not yet up to the par of their later work this was definately a turning point for the young band. The addition of guitar virtuso Steven Howe also seems to have helped, as he immediately brings forth a lot of great material. Here is an album that shows the band leaving this phychadellic/pop era of the late 60s and departing into the progressive genre. Gone as well is the symphony that accompanied them on their previous work "Time and a Word", leaving us with pure Yes, and though the great Wakeman is not yet around, on this offering you hardly seem to miss him.

Starting with the excellent YOURS IS NO DISGRACE, Squire proves himself, yet again, as an increadible bass player that can whip up a catchy riff equil to that of his guitar counterparts. The rest of the song moves nicely until it seems to just fly away and replaces itself with Howe's solo endeavor CLAP (unfortunately sometimes called The Clap), which is a nice, short guitar workout recorded live, a studio version is also availible on the cd remaster of the album, but honestly, the live is much better and more energenic. STARSHIP TROOPER is a true Yes classic, starting again with that great bass player, this song progesses through it's parts until it comes to it's instumental outro, which is amazing, I must say. SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE is definately the most poppy song on the album, but it definately has it's charm, and A VENTURE is a bit slower, with some mellowed out story telling, but is also quite good. The next big standout, however, lies in the coda PERPETUAL CHANGE, which really forecasts where the band would be heading, and sometimes sounds like the first steps towards their later masterpiece "Close to the Edge". Again, this is a band in evolution, so the sounds to this album are quite unique and interesting.

It may not be Close to the Edge, but this is definately one of this genre's best band's best albums. All throughout it does not dissapoint or let down. 4 stars, excellent addition to any prog collection.

Review by progrules
4 stars Close to the Edge and Relayer are generally considered the most symphonic albums by Yes and I agree with that. But I can say I also have a very soft spot for this release. The two famous ones on this album, Yours is no disgrace and Starship trooper are classics forever and I will never be bored by these two. Yours is no disgrace is a song I still hear a lot on the radio and then they often play a shorter version. When I hear the full one again I enjoy it even more. Starship trooper is of course the song with the great build up: a sort of song I like a lot, going to a climax.

The third very nice track is I've seen all good people, also a famous one with a nice epical structure. The clap was always a funny track to me, more of a joke. The last two songs are less significant in my opinion but that doesn't spoil the overall opinion for me. This is an obvious 4 star case.

Review by Sinusoid
4 stars (Re-edit on 5/12/2009) It looks like I finally say ''yes'' to THE YES ALBUM. Took me too long...

THE YES ALBUM, if anything, sounds more akin to hard rock with extended instrumental passages than the unique prog rock sound Yes is more known. Don't get me wrong, it's still a bona fide progressive rock album, but Yes's better days are still ahead of them at this point.

Steve Howe as a new member really makes his presence known here, especially on ''Yours Is No Disgrace'' and his solo bit ''Clap''. Compared to his predecessor, Peter Banks, Howe seems to have more versatility and better command of the guitar best evidenced on ''Yours Is No Disgrace''. I remember when I first reviewed the album and panned that track, but since then, the song has taken on a new life even if some of the solo bits get a bit tedious.

This might be one of the more problematic albums for those who don't like Jon Anderson's voice. I don't find it as welcoming or as confident as it is on future releases, ''Perpetual Change'' excluded. As for Kaye, Squire and Bruford, I don't think any of them have any true standout performances, but all three are very solid throughout the album, particularly Squire. One other note is that many of the songs can get old easily. I once enjoyed ''Starship Trooper'' a lot, but it seems to have lost luster over repeated listens. I now find the piece to be a bit dragging barring the ''Disillusion'' section.

One of the most overlooked tracks in Yes's library is ''A Venture''. It's only a little over three minutes long, not that complex, but very beautiful and moving with a nice little jam-y finish. The piano bit deserves bonus points.

Get this if you're remotely interested in Yes as many of their classics (''Starship Trooper'', ''Perpetual Change'', ''I've Seen All Good People'', ''Yours Is No Disgrace'') are present here. It could take time to get used to if you've heard CLOSE TO THE EDGE era Yes before this, but those with a strong rock background ought to go for this one first as the album harkens closest to that type of sound. A reserved four stars.

Review by Prog Leviathan
5 stars This is where all the pieces come together-- from the songwriting to the instrumental virtuosity-- to create the first truly essential album, and one of their most energetic and exciting.

Howe's immense contribution to the band's sound aside, The Yes Album is a stellar showcase of the band's focused progressive sound, featuring some fantastically deep and memorable songs with outstanding performances from all members. The rise in quality (across the board) is very evident from their 2 previous albums, and although Howe's debut may steal the show I can guarantee that listeners will find themselves grooving to Squire's awesome bass just as much.

The opener blows away most of their contemporaries work with its shows of lightning dexterity, and the album itself generates undeniable likeability-- while retaining its ambitiousness-- which is something I never felt that the other prog-fathers could manage. There is powerful music here, true to its rock roots while embracing and striving for something more.

The Yes Album is the perfect place to begin listening to the outstanding classical period of this group's work, and is a milestone in the genre for its stellar songs and memorable performances.

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Right from the first Bonanza-like chords of Yours Is No Disgrace to the fading guitar of Perpetual Change I sit back with some sort of forced enjoyment. Out of the two biggies in symphonic prog, Yes is my favourite, but neither them or Genesis have ever managed to pluck my stings with an entire album. There's always the parts or songs that have the same effect as a sore thumb: it's annoying and painful, gets even more annoying and painful the more it's exposed and it's extremely potent when it comes to deteriorating the mood as a whole.

Two, no three, things make up this 'sore thumb' on The Yes Album. First it's Jon Andersons gigantic role in the mix, second it's Jon Andersons' voice, which I shouldn't have a problem with. Rush is one of my favourite bands, and Geddy's high-pitched voice needed no time to grow. Jon's have been given that time and it showed no sign of improving. Third is Steve Howe's guitar. No, don't rush to conclusions here. It's merely the sound that I'm not to keen of - sometimes fuzzy, crunchy, but ultimately powerless chords, sometimes it's the electric 'banjo'. And as he is quite a big part of the soundscape, these few things turn quite ugly after a while. Yes have always been bubbly, first in a '60s way and later naturally in a '70s way, with hippie-Beatle-esque esthetics all over the early albums. And that's another thing that takes this record down a notch. Even with great musicianship, some of the potential is lost for me due to this flimsy, light-weight approach to the music, sometimes even in a twisted jazzed up rockabilly form - it fails to move me. It's playful, no doubt, but not the way I like it.

Bashing aside, there are of course things speaking in favour of The Yes Album. Steve Howes melodic mini-solos and background noodling, or his shorter classical interludes speaks of better things to come, and Chris Squire is always classy with his sharp, punctual and melodic bass. Almost every song contains interesting, edgy parts but they all seem to fade away before they get chance to build up steam.

Two songs contain more of these parts than the others: Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change. Starship Trooper was probably the first song I heard by the band, perhaps beaten by Roundabout. Since it's built of different parts I also have a favourite among those. It starts with a slightly lazy, but still interesting theme, with the organ very far back in the mix and Steve Howe's guitar together with the trusty Rickenbacker of Squire carries it in to a part entirely dominated by some acoustic, pseudo-classical guitar work and Jon Anderson. It then wanders around aimlessly for a while with ethereal vocals to enhance the cosmic theme. But it's only when an impromptu stop grows into the phased guitar of Howe that things really build up some steam and pressure. Suggestive, dramatic and the best thing on the album, it then gradually builds up with more instruments, more complexity and finally, a triumphant fake solo duel from Howe. This is the stuff of which stars are made.

Thus ending on a positive note, this is an effort that means so much too many, and so little to me. It was my gateway to Yes, and as Micky says 'You may like this album and not like Yes's future works... but if you don't like this album... you won't like Yes'. Not entirely true for me, but at least to a great extent. I'll gladly recommend other albums, but not this.

2 stars.


Review by TGM: Orb
3 stars Review 40, The Yes Album, Yes, 1971


No disgrace.

The Yes Album is where my current Yes collection begins (never really had the inclination to try the debut), and was one of the two Yes albums I started with (along with Close To The Edge). There are plenty of people who consider it a masterpiece, and I'm not among them. We can see some of the superb musicianship and composition that we will see in later Yes, even if Wakeman really completes the set for me and Bruford really comes into his own on Fragile. There is a lot of energy on the album, and that's certainly good for it. However, the problem is the arrangement, which sometimes falls down into a bombastic and bouncy section that has basically no relation to the song it's in, and the vocal repetition is often rather excessive. This is certainly a good album, and a nice, relatively accessible introduction to Yes, but they've yet to reach the stellar heights of things like South Side Of The Sky or Siberian Khatru.

The cheerful chords of Yours Is No Disgrace (even if repeated for rather longer than I think is necessary) introduce us to the style of the album, with Tony Kaye's blocky organ. A whirl of guitar from Howe leads us impressively to the initial heavily harmonised vocals with an organ background, and we move on through a few mostly un-necessary instrumental sections with repeats abounding to a vocal-bass section to a great biting Howe solo (and a couple of additions from Kaye and Bruford). From then on, the song is a little more satisfying: Howe's melodic acoustic and electric guitars over some superb organ from Kaye and a typically excellent Squire-Bruford duo delights every time, while all the vocals feel well-placed and the pompous 'bam-babam-bam' theme does seem appropriate. Howe and Squire both throw in some soloing. On the plus side, some very nicely done lyrics and essentially good playing throughout, but the flow is lacking in the first half.

The Clap is an acoustic delight from Howe, with a cheerful feel, superb moments, extremely good flow and never dull. A very mobile, original and enjoyable piece.

Starship Trooper is probably going to be the highlight for most progressive-ly interested people, being around ten minutes long and featuring an expanding theme. On Anderson's Life Seeker, Bruford provides some superb style, Squire provides strong bass and the swelling organ is appropriate for the song. Jon Anderson's vocal is relaxed, yet assertive and strong enough to handle the stripped back spots rather well. There are a couple of places where I think the bombast inserted compromises the piece's flow. Squire's section, Disillusion, features some unsurprisingly excellent bass playing, even if the vocals on 'loneliness is a pow'r that we possess' don't do much for me. The flow up to Howe's excellent entrance to the final instrumental section (Wurm, written by Howe) is perfectly handled, and that section is certainly worthy of Yes's efforts, with an excellent build-up, careful additions from Kaye and Bruford, and Howe gets to handle an electric guitar solo, which is suitably awesome. It is very well concluded, but the first two parts of Starship Trooper don't really satisfy me.

The following 'I've Seen All Good People' is a mixed piece, with an annoying opening, some beautiful vocals from Anderson, but some terrible harmonies. Howe provides an acoustic background to the vocals, with an occasional thump in the background from Bruford. A flutey sound, probably from Kaye's direction is present throughout until the large organ bursts in. The more cheerful All Good People proper features a more bouncy rhythm created by Squire and Howe, while Kaye and Bruford add in a little bounce with some piano and excellent drumming. Unfortunately, the repeats from Anderson don't really help the song a lot, and the massively blocky organ doesn't really do the end much. One of those ones I don't really like, even if I admire the components.

I actually like the maligned and folky 'A Venture', which contains a delicious piano opening, followed by a rather consistent bass part, Anderson contributes to some great moments as everyone else drops out, and everyone gets to do a bit of jumping out of the piece's mould. Again, the problem is flow, with a couple of 'just to hide away' sections feeling awkward, but the ending is actually very good, with a bizarrely chosen guitar solo when the piece has already basically faded.

Perpetual Change, the albums third longer piece, begins with the bombast that the other two have already seen, and the Howe guitar and Squire bass feels a little powerless on the opening. Again, we have the flow not complimented by feeble bridging efforts. A brief Squire bass solo features before another repeat of the chorus and the bombast. The verse proper, however, is wonderful, with Anderson's high vocal contrasting with the harmonies, and we get some more rocking moment from the band with Anderson's powerful 'You'll see perpetual change' blasting out from the speakers with a couple of taps on piano not too dissimilar to something on Aqualung. The piece takes off into an excellent instrumental section which bridges properly, instead opting to move into a repeated riff. A moog hum brings us onto the final vocal section with a very satisfying conclusion created by the vocals and the wordless harmony, and the bombastic throbs of the earlier song being repeated, but feeling appropriate. Everyone takes a brief solo and the piece comes down to a calm end.

The bonus material isn't great. A single version of I've Seen All Good People and Life Seeker is pretty unnecessary. The start of Your Move is very jarring after the album proper's conclusion. However, the studio version of The Clap, which does vary enough from the one included to be of interest, is worthy of inclusion on the remaster.

All in all, lots of potential, and some great sections scattered about the place. However, the overall flow of lots of the pieces is lacking, and Kaye's rather simplistic organ as well as the arrangement-shaped hole and bombastic (I'm sorry for horribly overusing this word. Allegorical in the extreme) guitar-chords become quite annoying at times. A nice album. One I like. There are some bits of this that every Yes fan must hear, and everyone else will certainly like, but only with Wakeman do Yes become an essential band.

Rating: Three Stars (but a good three stars) Favourite Track: Perpetual Change or Starship Trooper, but I don't particularly prefer any of the individual tracks to the others.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well,this is a must have,it's the album where YES finally developed their own sound and made a school for all the prog rock students!...It's not as good as their later masterpieces but it's an album where the progressive term finds its meaning!...Influences by THE BEATLES are very obvious filtrated under the label of symphonic prog with complex arrangements in most of the tracks...Very good work by Tony Kaye and his organ, trademark vocals by Jon Anderson...and maybe it sounds strange but the guitar sounds to me like early RUSH or if you want YES might have been a great influence for Alex Lifeson of RUSH...

Compared to masterpieces like ''Close to the edge'',''Fragile'' or even ''Tales from topographic oceans'', this one loses the battle and should be rated with 3 or 3.5 I guess a 3 star rating would be more fair...Recommended.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Yes Album is the third album from symphonic prog rock legends Yes. This is the album that made the big change for them as a band. With their two first albums they had been struggling for recognition and didn´t get enough according to Atlantic Records who would have fired them if The Yes Album proved not to be succesful. Bearing this in mind it´s very strange that Yes did all the opposite things of what other bands in the same situation might have done. They didn´t change their music so it would be more commercial. On the contrary The Yes Album is more complex and challenging than any of their previous two albums which shows exactly how bold and innovative a force Yes was in those days. That´s what I call a true progressive spirit.

The Yes Album consists of six songs and four of them are pretty long. Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change are all great progressive rock songs with lots of mood and harmony changes, exciting intrumental parts and great vocals from Jon Anderson and Chris Squire. I´ve Seen All Good People is a song it took some time for me to appreciate, but today I enjoy the elaborate vocal arrangement and the feel good spirit of the song. Listen to those harmonies and tell me that The Flower Kings haven´t listened here. The Clap is a short bluegrass guitar piece played by new guitarist Steve How who replaced Peter Banks prior to writing The Yes Album. A Venture which is the shortest of the band songs here is not that memorable and quite frankly the least exciting song here. It´s allright but nothing more.

The musicianship is outstanding. Notice how each musician is beginning to find his playing style. Bill Bruford´s drumming is becoming more and more fusion influenced and dare I call The Yes Album Steve Howe´s album ? He meant so much for Yes at this time. His playing lifted there music to a higher plain IMO. It´s funny about The Clap being a Bluegrass song, because you can hear lots of influences from that genre in Steve Howe´s playing.

The production is really good and just helps emphasise the excellent music.

This is an excellent prog rock album and allthough Yes have made better albums later on in their career this one was the album that started it all. It´s essential in that respect but it´s not worth the full 5 stars IMO so I´ll rate it 4 well deserved stars. This is a highly recommendable album.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
5 stars Yes, indeed!

This is Yes' first masterpiece and an absolute Prog classic. Apart from A Venture, every song on this album has become a true Yes classic and probably every single Yes concert until this very day has included at least one or two songs from this album in the set list. Yours Is No Disgrace is a personal favourite of mine (but this studio version is not the best version, I particularly like the live version from the excellent House Of Yes DVD).

Steve Howe is heard here for the first time on a Yes album and, as we all know, Howe's unique guitar style instantly became one of the most (I would say the most) important features of the Yes sound. Those few albums without Steve Howe (the two first ones as well as a couple of albums in the 80's and one in the 90's) are simply not as good as the ones with him.

Rick Wakeman was yet to join the band and while he too became an important part of the band's distinctive sound, there are many great Yes albums without Rick (and the one under review here is a perfect example of that). In the live environment Rick would later put his very own stamp on several songs from this album, particularly Starship Trooper which was given an incredible Moog solo that can be heard on the Yessongs double live album. Rick also often ends his solo shows with a rendition of Starship Trooper (despite the fact that he didn't appear on this original version of it).

Another lifelong association with the band had yet to be born. I'm thinking, of course, of Roger Dean who would paint his first Yes cover art for their next album, Fragile.

The Yes Album might not be the Yes album, but this album was where it all really begun for them. With this album they proved for the first time that they are a really, really special band. The Yes Album is a milestone in the progressive rock genre and one of the most important albums of all time.

Need I say more?

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is generally heralded as YES first masterpiece. As much as I hear some very interesting things going on here, I don't agree with that statement.

For me there are two big problems with "The Yes Album" that stops me from judging it as highly as I would its successors. The first has to do with the music itself. Even though some tracks are definitely captivating (especially the excellent "Yours is no Disgrace"), some are weak and, in general, they lack that symphonic feel and treatment that their later albums would have. Many songs here are pretty simple in essence, with strong familiarities with plain rock n' roll. And some are actually disappointing.

The second issue that somewhat reduces my enjoyment of this record is Jon Anderson's increasingly annoying vocals. Curiously, that problem is not so evident in future releases like "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer", maybe because those albums feature more instrumental sections, or perhaps because his voice was actually treated in a different way. But here in "The Yes Album" his high pitch really sounds awkward, and, mixed with the sometimes-uninspired music, helps give the record a deranged- psychedelia flavor. The music is slightly psychedelic, and Anderson's voice adds to the feeling of weirdness, of a bad "trip" so to speak.

Your is no Disgrace (9/10) opens the album with brilliance. Squire's bass is the driving force in this very interesting song with great textures and a fantastic performance by Howe, one of his best ever.

Clap (7.5/10) A live acoustic-guitar jam by Howe, it's attractive once or twice. It loses interest after a few listens. His playing is very good, though.

Starship Trooper (8/10) The longest song in the record is good but nowhere near their future masterpieces. It tends to drag a little in the later sections.

I've Seen All Good People (6/10) An OK song that is ruined by Anderson's voice. If his vocals were ever annoying, nowhere were they more so than in this song. The poor melody and the mediocre hard- rock sections are brought down even more by the continuous annoyance of Anderson's high-pitched vocal harmonies.

A Venture (8/10) this one starts pretty well, mostly thanks to Howe, Kaye and Squire creating excellent textures. The song is rather short and simple, but it's enjoyable.

Perpetual Change (7.5/10) After a brilliant start the verse just can't maintain the same level, with terrible clichéd lyrics sung by Anderson. The song seems to gain stem again, mainly propelled by Kaye's energetic keyboard, but it ultimately fails. The second half is much better, with an excellent instrumental section, until Anderson's "inside out outside in" vocals return. A decent closer.

The good points about this album are, without question, Howe's excellent performance and some great textures by Kaye and Squire. But the average songs hurt the experience, and make me give this album a 3-star rating.

Review by russellk
5 stars Early in 1971 aliens came and replaced the members of YES with the most talented and visionary musicians from the planet Progadoccia. That or something like it must have happened, surely: how else does one explain the remarkable transformation in sound between this, an absolute prog classic, and the two mediocre and rather derivative YES albums that went before?

Some say it was the addition of STEVE HOWE to the lineup. I don't think so. HOWE doesn't deliver those incredible pulsing bass lines with the shattering intensity of controlled detonations. Six seconds into the album comes the first of them, a glorious slide that introduces the new CHRIS SQUIRE, unfettered at last. Yes, HOWE has the talent to match this peerless rhythm section, but even without him that rhythm section comes into its own. Suddenly ANDERSON is really singing rather than annoying us with that over-breathy whispering that masqueraded for vocalisation on the first two albums.

I say it's confidence, allied with a new spirit of adventure. Apparently Atlantic were about to ditch them: unlike other bands in that situation, who try to manufacture a commercial success, YES opted to make their last album a great one. With this album YES took the mantle of leader of the prog rock movement away from KING CRIMSON and, apart from a few moments when they shared it with fellow prophets GENESIS, wore it for the next few years. With this album they showed us where prog rock could take us. They extended their compositions past all sense and into a new place, combining jazz sensibilities with the power of rock and an increasing appreciation of the 'feel' a symphonic arrangement can bring to a song, and simply let loose.

It's no easy thing, this letting loose, this voluntary removal of restraint. Unless you are very confident, you can end up looking foolish. But these arrangements work spectacularly well. 'Yours is No Disgrace' starts us off: liberal borrowing from 'Bonanza' is disguised by the outrageous arrangement. The intro is in itself a masterpiece, with a minute and a half of deliciously tight interplay between rhythm section, HOWE's characteristic guitar and that sumptuous Hammond. When KAYE parks the Hammond to herald the vocal line, we've already had more than YES have heretofore offered us. The song works its way through a collection of meaningless lyrical phrases, selected for their sound, not their meaning, another sign that the band had abandoned any attempt to copy anyone else and gone looking for their own sound. And ah, the results. A growing understanding of symphonic patterns means lovely motifs, such as SQUIRE's bass at 3:30, can be played, stored and repeated with stunning variations later on. In between, the song's middle section showcases great guitar chops and a quite unique sound, in all its stereophonic glory. All this leads to one of prog's finest melting moments: SQUIRE's bass from the seven minute mark, its interaction with ANDERSON's vocals, and finally BRUFORD's re-enty into the song is quite the classiest, funkiest thing you're likely to hear. Gloriously simple, profoundly effective, totally dependent on the platform they've just spent seven minutes assembling, impossible to achieve without the breadth of vision these men demonstrate, and utterly compelling.

At this moment in 1971 YES are balanced at the very peak of the musical world. This song, I believe, is perfect. Not a moment wasted, not a moment too short or too long. It takes me three minutes to recover, which is exactly why 'The Clap' works so well at this point.

The thunderous opening to 'Starship Trooper' notches the album even higher. This is not the concrete slab of LED ZEPPELIN or the chainsaw of BLACK SABBATH, nor is it the melodic beauty of GENESIS: it is, somehow, something of them all. Listen to that bass sound, that vibrating Rickenbacker, melting your spine with its power. Anderson's had a voice transplant, seemingly: he shows precision and range not even hinted at earlier. BRUFORD slaps out complex fills without breaking a sweat, and KAYE underscores it all with that mouthwatering Hammond. Oh, listen as SQUIRE gets to work, those bass runs all desperately compelling. Rightly, the uncluttered arrangements are centered around his stunning sound. We get a short acoustic/vocal break (Disillusion) and return to the main theme in true symphonic style, a lead-in to the justly famous 'Wurm'. Each transition gives the band a chance to show off their stuff. While other albums, even the excellent 'Thick as a Brick' struggle with segues, YES make it a feature of their work, with their very best sounds occurring in the transitions between parts.

Wurm, now, Wurm. Three ominous, flanger-soaked chords given the STEVE HOWE treatment in a gradual build into orgasmic glory, enough to depilate the scalp of the most churlish music-lover. The guitar solo at the end comes as a sweet release of the incredible pressure the prolonged build-up brings to bear on the listener. This is so far past mere mastery it enters into realms beyond compare. My only regret is that it fades out far too soon: that sound could march on in my mind forever.

'All Good People' continues the intensity. An oddly constructed song, the first part is beautifully melodic, with ANDERSON at his best, as SQUIRE and the crew work manfully to provide vocal harmony. The instruments take a back seat, with GOLDRING's guest flute combining with a gentle acoustic and the regular thump of the bass drum to reinforce the reflective pace of the song. KAYE's keyboard highlights the end of this first part. All changes as the instruments come to the fore, dwarfing the repetitive main theme. Another daring experiment; another success. Just listen to the confidence these musicians are now demonstrating.

'A Venture' gives us another moment to rest, a gentle song fragment lowering the intensity somewhat at the right time. Notable for KAYE's excellent piano.

One last monster, the surprisingly underrated 'Perpetual Change'. Winner of the most absurd lyric of 1971 ('And move the movement on the lawn' - didn't they put their 'No Dogs' sign up?), this is the fourth slab of symphonic greatness on this indispensable album. 'You'll see perpetual change!' ANDERSON roars. And we did, we did, for album after stunning album. Again, the interplay of the rhythm section is astonishing - what about that amazing piece at the five minute mark? how on earth did they think of that? - and the song is drawn to an exciting climax. 'Inside out/Outside in/All of the way.'

Though a WAKEMAN short of the classic YES lineup, this album contains stellar examples of everything essential about this magnificent band. For myself - if you haven't already worked it out - I can't think of music more representative of everything I love about this wonderful thing we call Prog Rock. Take a pair of fresh ears out of the drawer and give this old chestnut another listen.

Review by CCVP
5 stars My personal favorite Yes album (at least at the time i am writing my review . . .)

This album is a big turning point for Yes and probably the most important point in their careers (in the 70's): they drop the pop rock that characterized their previous albums (Yes, from 1969, and Time and a Word, from 1970) and start to make music much more complex and aggressive than before (yes, Yes's music is in this period more aggressive than other symphonic bands alike, such as Genesis), they got their first line-up change, something that probably influenced the change in their music (Steve Howe was tackling the guitar duties in Peter Banks's place), this was the album that made Yes blossom commercially and also was the last album of the keyboardist Tony Kayne with Yes in the 70's. This album also set the model of the next album (Fragile), whose structures are very alike on each side (side 1: epic - short song - epic / side 2: songs - epic).

About the songs, musicianship and other features, there are somethings i would like to state:

Pressured by the record company (Atlantic) to make success, the band spent two months in a farmhouse near Ilfracombe trying to create something completely original and new, trying to change their music, and they did. This album represent a giant leap forward towards progressive rock for Yes: the album contains many tempo changes, virtuosi performances by the musicians (specially Howe's playing style that is somehow aggressive and delicate at the same time) and has a democratic composition style, something new for the band since Jon Anderson composed almost everything in their previous albums.

All songs are great, but there are some that are better (duh!). In my opinion, Yours is no Disgrace is the best song of this album and a killer introduction for the album (seriously, the choice for the first song of the album could not have been better); Starship Trooper comes in second and as the third best song comes Perpetual Change. Although at first i thought that The Clap and A Venture were fillers, now i see they fit well in the album flow and are actually very good songs (The Clap is even kind of copied by Yezda Urfa, because Texas Armadillo have some similarities with it).

Grade and Final Thoughts

I don't think that there is something else to say here, besides that this album is an absolute rock classic. 5 stars and end of story.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
3 stars 3.5 stars really!The Yes Album is not my kind of music.It is not my philosophy about progressive rock.I acknowledge it is better than the first two albums,but I cannot give it more than the same.Here is the first masterpiece Yes' song - I've Seen All Good People!This song is incredible song,but I want my conscience to be clear and if I give 4 stars to this album it will not be so!The other songs (except I've Seen All Good People) are not completed enough and their structure is chaotic.Of course,this is first album where the traditional Yes sound is!Earlier,I gave 4 stars to such a great album like Genesis' Duke and I don't think this one deserves the same mark.I've never listen to it except I've Seen All Good People.Because of that incredible song 3.5 stars,but not 4!
Review by ProgBagel
4 stars Yes - 'The Yes Album' 4.5 stars

Enter, Steve Howe.

-Steve Howe rant, you can skip this. I personally find Steve Howe to be the greatest progressive rock guitarist of all time. He is able to match his skills and not substitute them for compositional skills either. Steve Howe has mastered various styles of music like jazz, classical and blues. The mastery of these styles made Steve has many useful tools in his disposal, being able to apply any of these styles in Yes's varied song structures. Another presence he brought to the music is his use of other guitars that the former didn't really use, which is the acoustic guitar and pedal steel guitar, just to name a few. Steve Howe didn't change Yes per say, but he did climb right onto the ship Yes was moving in and made it to the helm right away. The best prog guitarist of all time, in my opinion.

Every song on this album is a good one, and the weak moments are all too few. This album is not a five star for me because it never had that ever-lasting appeal or the ability to make me feel like this is the most epic thing I have ever heard. None the less, I feel like this is almost as good as an album can get.

'Yours is no Disgrace' is a near 10 minute opener. The pop sensibilities in Jon Anderson's vocals just sticks with the music and for good reason, it fits. The piece keeps a simple form but the instrumentation is noticeable as being more prompt and just at the forefront.

'Clap' is a classical guitar piece by Steve Howe. I thought it was pretty nice, but just a flashy classical guitar solo, not really my thing personally.

'Starship Trooper' is a Yes classic, possible the first was a complex piece that still was able to reach a large crowd of new fans in the mainstream music scene. It features three different parts each having their own unique taste.

'I've Seen All Good People' was another great hit, but its true potential was brought out live and acoustic. The vocal harmonies that would truly be at the top if its game on later albums was started with this song.

'A Venture' seemed to be an ode to the style of early Yes, but with its new look that was brought about on the first few tracks. I little bit of blues and pop mix with some truly identifiable leads by Bill Bruford.

'Perpetual Change' was a great closer to choose. Perhaps a statement of what Yes wanted to do. This song is similar in style to 'Yours is no Disgrace' and features a classic Howe solo that presents many more to come from the man. A great Yes song, but fails in comparison to the next few gems.

This album isn't as good as the next few, but it should not be overlooked. There are quite a few really exciting tracks can pull any fan of progressive rock in. I highly recommend this album.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Yes put out two very good records before this one, but this one begins a lengthy string of essential albums that will establish the band's prominence in progressive rock music. It is certainly not the strongest Yes album available, but it represents a shift in direction and contains several absolutely magnificent pieces of music. The lineup changed before this album; Peter Banks is out, and master guitarist Steve Howe is in, which is unquestionably for the better. All the other members are tight in their respective roles.

"Yours is No Disgrace" A bouncy guitar and some organ get things rolling. Howe's lead guitar work throughout the song is extremely well-constructed and downright creative, and almost instantly, I see that Banks's replacement was a good thing. Jon Anderson's lyrics are becoming more obscure than ever, and his voice has finally reached it's prime. Chris Squire's bass is more pronounced. All in all, this is one of my absolute favorite Yes songs.

"Clap" This Steve Howe solo acoustic guitar piece changed the way I approached the instrument as a musician once I learned to play it. It's a flatpicking sound, and several dominant 7th chords give it a real country / bluegrass flavor. Howe wrote it to celebrate the birth of one of his sons, not as a happy-go-lucky tribute to gonorrhea, as the incorrect title might lead one to believe.

"Starship Trooper" One of the best two songs on the album, this one has pleased progressive rock fans for quite a long time. It was one of the songs responsible for getting me into Yes. Squire's tremolo-laden bass drives this song, and Howe plays an original riff with a clean guitar. The chord progression is simplistic but phenomenal under the soaring melody. The song has three distinct parts, the first of which returns to bridge the second and third. The first part is the best, and showcases the whole band the most. The second part highlights Yes's vocal ability and Howe's flatpicking. The final section is a lengthy and repetitive segment that builds and builds until Howe treats us to a guitar solo.

"Your Move / I've Seen All Good People" Personally, I like "Your Move" more than "I've Seen All Good People." Even though the latter is more energetic, and Steve Howe goes absolutely insane, I enjoy the counterpoint vocals and the easygoing instrumentation, as well as the chess-inspired lyrics, of the former. The second song of the track just gets a tad too repetitive, since the guys simply sing the same line over and over. Because these are two distinct songs, I've always felt they should have been divided onto two separate tracks, even if they will always be played together live.

"A Venture" This short song is similar to much of the music put out on the first two albums, but that in no way makes it an inferior track. I enjoy the simplicity of it, and the lyrics are entertaining. Here, Tony Kaye's piano work is at its strongest.

"Perpetual Change" The final song is a solid one, but not exactly one of my personal favorites. The main riff is overused, and I do not care a whole lot for the bland chord progression. "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual Change" should have been swapped, since the former has such a stronger ending. I've always found the part five minutes in rather goofy, and the way the main chords come in over the top of it silly. Even Howe's distorted guitar playing is a bit pedestrian. All that said, I do like this song. The vocal melody is strong (and I especially like the backup singing). Howe's clean guitar interlude is some of the best playing he has ever done. Kaye has one of his only synthesizer performances with Yes (even though it's brief). And even though I said the ending was weaker than that of "Starship Trooper," I honestly do like the way it goes.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
5 stars In 1967, The Moody Blues invented symphonic progressive rock.

In 1969, King Crimson refined and popularized the sound.

In 1971, Yes took KC's blueprint and twisted it into what would become the template for symphonic prog ever after. And they did that on The Yes Album.

So when you pick up The Yes Album, you pick up a piece of history. Few LP's have had more of an impact upon the development of prog. Keyboards have become much more than background atmosphere. Squire's growling bass influences bands far and wide. Howe's virtuosity overshadows that of Fripp. Anderson introduces an entirely different approach to lyrics. The ten minute mini-epic becomes a hallmark of prog. So much for the historicity of it.

This album holds up really well. What was good back in 1971 still sounds just as good today. So if you've not heard this landmark of prog, you need to listen to it. And if you've heard it, you probably will enjoy spinning it again.

5 stars all the way. Both enjoyable and historically important.

Review by lazland
4 stars I'm going to start going through Yes albums in the same way I did with Genesis & Marillion, starting with this, the first essential Yes album purchase, and the moment when they began the transformation from being interesting to legends.

Of course, this transformation was wholly owing to the recruitment of Steve Howe on guitars, a maestro who brought a fresh and cutting edge sound to the band lacking both previously with Peter Banks. Although many people regard the commencement of the band to becoming prog legends as being Fragile with Wakeman's recruitment, I have to say that Tony Kaye is very good on this album.

Yours is no Disgrace starts the album off very strongly, and already you hear the interplay between Howe's chords and Squire's thundering basslines - Squire, of course, is such a virtuoso that he might be playing lead guitar some times! I also love the Kaye organ part on this. I regard this as being the band's first true prog song.

The Clap is the Howe acoustic classic, the one we have heard so many times now live that some might be wishing for a bit of a change. It's good, of course, but I regard it as being a bit of a filler on the studio LP.

Starship Trooper is, of course, an all time classic, right from the first intro bars to the pounding finale. I never tire of hearing this, and I especially adore Jon Anderson as a vocalist. The notes the man hits are incredible. This song, of course, marked the beginning of the cosmic tag that carried the band, but would also drag them down somewhat with Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Your Move/I've Seen All Good People is a track I personally can take or leave. I find it rather repetitive, although on this original version less so than later live versions. Again, Howe shines with his intricate guitar lines taking the band to previously unthought of heights. I would have preferred them leaving it at the end of Your Move

A Venture is pleasant, but a filler I think was a hangover from the previous lineup, although I might be wrong in this.

The album closes with Perpetual Change, which is utterly fantastic. Kaye's opening keyboard blast is superb, strong, and sets the tone for the rest of the song. All band members play tightly, and Anderson rocks on this one. A fine end to a fine album.

Although I have the first two albums, I regard this as being the first proper Yes album, and it is well worth the four stars I have awarded. Highly recommended (if, of course, there is anyone reading this who hasn't got it already!).

Review by b_olariu
4 stars One of my fav Yes albums, in my top 3 ever by this band. While here is not Wakeman, Tony Kaye is a great musician who knew how to manage to keep the Yes atmosphere in a briliant album. Every single tune from this realse is outstanding, keeping in mind that the album is from 1971, the musicianship is top notch and the sound way ahead of it's time. Most of the bands from that era were at the begginings, Yes achived with this album big apluses and gained the notoriety of creme de la creme in progressive music. The opening track must be one of my fav pieces of prog music ever written, Yours Is No Disgrace - is full of catchy arrangements, excellent guitar chops made by the young (then ) Steve Howe and a spectacular drming from mr. Buford. The rest of the pieces are great, not a weak one here. Not very much to add, but if you want to discover some Ys albums without the classic line up, try this one, you won't be deseppointed at all. Great arelease by one of the most important bands in prog music ever. Still very freash after almost 40 years. 4 stars, recommended.
Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The Yes Album, by the great YES, well, what can I say? Really?! This was the first YES album I bought and listened ten years ago or so, and till this very day still one of the great pieces of music ever written in music history and, of course, on Progressive Rock history!

Here we've got everything YES will be known till today.

- In Yours Is No Disgrace, track 1, that syncopated beginning and that Hammon organ make our ears pay attention in every single note. - The Clap comes in and, well, simply make your mouth open all the way, specially if you play guitar. - Starship Trooper and his 3 parts is something magic, just love the vocals and the melody. - I've Seen All Good People and the vocals, I was impressed back on tha day I first listen to it, and still today. Lovely melody. - A Venture; Couldn't hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide away, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide away. - Perpetual Change Maybe the best, can't say, the whole album is great, but Chris Squire's Rickenbacker here shine more and more.

I do think this is one of THE great prog rock albuns ever, the time passes away and still think the same as I first listen to it. Amazing!

Review by TheGazzardian
4 stars Enter Steve Howe.

Anyone who has listened to Yes with any seriousness, from that sentence, understands that this is the album where the band became a force to be reckoned with. To be sure, there was nothing wrong with Peter Banks guitar playing; he proved himself quite able in the first two albums, in songs such as Survival and Astral Traveller. But Yes was striving to be more than able, and Steve Howe was the ticket to that.

Yes continues the formula of starting each album on a high note, on this one with Yours is No Disgrace. The up-beat guitars immediately let the listener know that the guitar has been upped a notch, and the spacey lyrics now resemble the lyrics that would become a Jon Anderson trademark:

"Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face. Caesars palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race. On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place. If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace."

The album then moves onto 'Clap', where Steve Howe's presence is once again made abundantly clear, this time in terms of his prowess on the guitar. It is a short piece consisting completely of Steve playing on the acoustic guitar, and is essentially a Steve Howe solo (making him the only member of Yes, so far, to have a 'solo' piece on a Yes album). The song is upbeat and catchy, and leads nicely into the next song.

Starship Trooper is one of Yes' best known songs and remained a concert mainstay for decades to come. It is split into multiple movements, the first Yes song to be split such, hinting at the many times they would do so in the future. Following this song is another multi-part Yes classic, I've Seen All Good People, which is also split into two parts: An acoustic bit making references to chess, and then an upbeat section where the band sings the same line on repeat for a while. Ultimately a catchy tune.

The album ends with two underlooked gems: A Venture, which starts with a nice piano intro by Tony Kaye, lead into the main piece; and Perpetual Change, once again containing some high class playing from all members of the band.

The only question is; does that make this album a 5 star album, or a 4 star album? Starting with this album, Yes released 6 albums that are each hugely successful and could be argued as essential, but some are better than the rest. This one comes close to five stars, but it does not quite reach the lofty heights yes would at the peak of their career. A very reluctant 4 stars is granted.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Yes Album is more or less my favourite Yes album. There are multiple reasons for that. First of all it's an excellent set of prog tracks. The shorter tracks may be a bit flawed but the 3 long suites are absolute standouts.

But the main reason for my soft spot for it might be the man on the keyboards: Tony Kaye. His keyboard work is so much more fulfilling than the ego-tripping of Wakeman. Where Wakeman would squeeze in a 34-keystrokes-a-second solo just to show off, Kaye will work for texture and use keyboard parts that actually enhance the song instead of smothering it. The frequent use of the Hammond organ gives the sound also more body then future Yes albums. Next to Kaye, the album features another favourite Yes member: Bill Bruford. His groove and sound are so unique that they bring all albums he plays on to a higher level.

I'm sure true Yes fans will rate Fragile and Close to the Edge higher but though I like them a lot, I would have liked Yes a lot more if they made more albums like this one. 4.5 stars

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'The Yes Album' - Yes (71/100)

Greatness has to start somewhere, and though Yes have long since earned a place in the pantheon of prog rock legend, there was in fact a time when Yes found themselves in troubled waters. Before "Roundabout", before Fragile or Relayer or any of the band's notable achievements, Yes were a psychedelic prog act with a pair of commercially unsuccessful albums. Yes and Time and a Word were solid records to be certain, but they weren't enough to keep Atlantic records happy. Thus was delivered an ultimatum; Yes would have to notch up their act and attract some attention, or the record label would be forced to drop them. As it so appears, diamonds aren't the only gems to be forged from pressure. There's no knowing whether The Yes Album would have come together the way it did had the band not had that weight of expectation on their shoulders, but it marks the first memorable and style-defining classic of their illustrious career. It has not aged as well as the masterpieces to come, but Yes' fusion of pop-infused cheer with prog rock sophistication set a strong foundation for the band's golden era.

Some will point the finger at Fragile or even "Close to the Edge", but I've always felt The Yes Album was the perfect point of entry for someone looking to see what Yes were all about. Although undeniably rooted within prog rock territory, The Yes Album is an incredibly accessible album. Even in their unabridged forms, "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" have the potential to instantly stick in a casual listener's mind. Yes would almost always have an optimistic tinge in their atmosphere, but The Yes Album is outright cheerful. The mid-paced softer track "A Venture" is a bit of a baroque, mysterious-sounding exception, but the majority of the album evokes vivid imagery of summer and bright-eyed wonder. "I've Seen All Good People" even echoes the chorus to "Give Peace A Chance" at a point! I would say that there is a resounding sense of hope here, but that would suggest the potential for a darker outcome. The Yes Album negates darkness entirely with its atmosphere. Sure, the lyrics at times might be interpreted as less-than-cheery (I've heard "Yours Is No Disgrace" commonly interpreted as being about the Vietnam War, I've sometimes seen the lyrics even regarding the fallout of nuclear war) but even then, the only possible outcome for the subject matter is one where all is resolved and humanity flourishes with the power of love. I mean, I don't think I've ever heard a song that's so unrepentantly rose-tinted about human nature as "I've Seen All Good People". As optimistic as they may sound compared to prog rock both then and now, the rest of Yes' albums didn't even sound as cheerful as this.

The slow, unassuming closer "Perpetual Change" has never struck me as a particularly memorable piece, and "A Venture", in spite of its clever songwriting, tends to get lost in the woodwork of the album, dwarfed by the two epics that precede it. Barring that last third, The Yes Album contains some of the most memorable songs Yes ever wrote. As I've said, "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" are instantly gratifying epics. Even if the musicianship is kept to an expectedly high standard (Bill Bruford's lively drumwork stands out in particular), the passages that focus on technical skill are few and far between. It's all about accessible, breezy songwriting here. Hell, "I've Seen All Good People" would have made a perfect radio single even in its unabridged seven minute form. "Yours Is No Disgrace" offers some pretty stark dynamic changes throughout its ten minute course, but it always feels direct and focused in its approach.

Yes' more instantly gratifying approach to progressive rock was likely what saved them from the cutting block, and the songwriting should only need one or two spins to get really stuck in a listener's head. Therein lies some of the problem I've had with The Yes Album, really; it offers up its eggs so readily, and without any challenge to the listener. Especially with an album that's widely considered to be one of progressive rock's finest, I would have hoped and expected to hear an album that grows on me with time and age. Instead, the wilful optimism and ubiquitous cheer only tend to wear on the nerves, given too much exposure. Compared to Fragile and especially Close to the Edge, The Yes Album sounds downright primitive. Like I said, it's a gateway album.

With The Yes Album, there's no denying that Yes owed a large part of their stronger style and success to Steve Howe, replacing Peter Banks as the band's new guitarist. In retrospect, it's difficult to think of Yes without the rich, twangy and lively fingerstyle Howe brought to the table. "Yours Is No Disgrace" introduces Howe's style wonderfully; a lead played overtop the intro marries a clean electric rock tone with a brand of rapidfire fingerpicking you would sooner find in bluegrass of all things. "The Clap" (retitled in a few painfully politically correct reissues merely as "Clap") is a total showcase of his brilliance as an acoustic player as well. Howe's classical guitar influence isn't as evident here as it would be on future albums, but he made a bold and adventurous introduction with the band here. It's not often a recently added musician goes to such lengths to influence a band's sound, but Howe's addition only ever worked to the band's favour.

Even upon first hearing it in its instantly gratifying glory, The Yes Album has never struck me as the masterpiece others attest it is, and of the three notable mini-epics here, only "Starship Trooper" gets regular attention from me. It isn't as brushed up or thoughtfully arranged as the rest of the albums from Yes' golden period, but that can easily be forgiven when you take the album in the context of their career. The Yes Album marked a strong transition from just being another psych rock band to a burgeoning legend of prog. If The Yes Album, in all of its poppy, pep-rally glory can be held to thank for making everything from Fragile to Going for the One possible, then I can only be thankful for its existence. It's a great place for a newcomer to start with Yes, but make no mistake, there are far greater things to experience from them.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Because of two songs, this album is exceptional masterpiece. Cruel truth, but it's like that. Of course talking 'bout (Round 'bout ?) Yours Is No Disgrace and Starship Trooper suite. So if we assume that these two songs can drag the rest half of this album, as exemplary example (huh?) of masterpiece, it would be unfair to just drag it down by others. No, talking about these two is meaningless (by the way Starship Trooper was first song by Yes that I heard, quite late - after 17 years of life, because my father don't like vocals here, this music wasn't played at home), because their (not only) progness is clear, but also the fact that they're cool, good, the best, extraordinary, perfectly mastered, played and performed (and other positive words you can imagine). But others, like Clap (is not crap, not at all) can be taken from prog point of view too. It's not just folky training song, but can be example of master's crafting skills. OK, maybe this "intro" to I've Seen All Good People can be quite annoying, as with its uplift, annoying style (OK, he has high pitched voice, but that's not reason why to destroy it in something like these seconds in beginning of this song). But later on, it gets better, much better (his tone is returning to normal boundaries).

I can't do anything else than 5(+), because there's switching between perfect and "not-so- perfect, but still-very-good-songs", so there's no other option. Very recommended album for everyone new in Yes matter.

Review by friso
3 stars 'The Yes Album' is only album by the famous English progressive rock outfit Yes that I still own. The combination of early and creative symphonic progressive rock with Crosby/Stills/Nash-like folk (and vocal harmonies) really works for me. The opening track 'Yours Is No Disgrace' is elevated by its classic rock appeal, though it has many great symphonic sections and influences of jazz and folk. 'Starship Trooper' is an equally strong and diverse song in which the Yes formula works fine; which practically means the band still knows where to stop exploring, noodling and drift away musically. On the 'All Good People' the band does get lost; after a beautiful opening section the band suddenly introduces a fierce progged' up rock'n roll section that totally ruïnes the song for me. 'Perpetual Change' suffers from much of the same problem. I will never be much of Yes fan, but that doesn't mean I can see way people love them so much and its nice to have at least one Lp side in which it works for me as well.
Review by The Sleepwalker
4 stars 1971 saw Yes releasing their first album to feaure a guitarist that would be of huge importance to Yes's classic sound, Steve Howe. Steve Howe's striking guitar playing would have a big role in the formula to Yes's success as a progressive rock band. The Yes Album features some pieces that are close to 10 minutes, of which two even are suites. The band's sound would clearly become more progressive and unique on this album and several later releases.

The album opens with the smooth and memorable guitar chords of "Yours Is No Disgrace", a piece that takes the best out of several of the band members. I personally find this piece very interesting thanks to Steve Howe's distinctive guitar playing and Chris Squire taking the bass to the foreground. The song is catchy, diverse, musically very interesting and really is a great way to open the album. The second piece is "The Clap", a guitar piece of Steve Howe which is performed live on this recording. I personally find this one a bit misplaced, which might be because it's a live recording on a studio album. The absolute highlight of the album (and perhaps more than only this album) comes next. "Starship Trooper" is a three part suite, and it's absolutely stunning. The sound of the piece is very warm and pretty thick. Chris Squire plays some very fine bass, and Jon Anderson's vocals are as pleasant as usual on this track. The middle piece features some groovy guitar playing by Steve Howe, but after a short while reprises the first part of the piece. The final 4 minutes slowly build up towards an epic climax, featuring Steve Howe's somewhat psychedelic sounding guitar playing and Tony Kaye's warm sounding organ.

Next is "I've Seen All Good People", a catchy two part suite. The first part features gentle acoustic guitar playing with some pounding drums and soothing recorder playing. The second part is much rougher though, featuring Chris Squire's amazing and razor-sharp bass sound and bluesy guitar playing by Howe. Jon Anderson sings the same very catchy line over this several times, though it doesn't get repetative at all. "A Venture" is a 3 minute song. Though not being a great piece, it still is a very fine song and has a distinctive sound thanks to the combination of Tony Kaye's grand piano playing and Chris Squire's groovy bass playing. The final song on the album is another piece close to 10 minutes. "Perpetual Change" is not as great as the other two epics on the album though. The song opens with some powerful chords, but soon moves to a very delighting melodic verse. The choruses sound pretty unexpected though, and really are among the best moments of this song. After the 5 minute mark an up-tempo part will come in, featuring some groovy bass and organ playing, and being quite dissonant for Yes's standarts. The song ends with a lovely melodic vocal section over some nice instrumentation.

The Yes Album is a great album I think, and some of the songs are definitely among Yes's best. The album isn't a masterpiece like Fragile though, but there's definitely not a very big difference in quality between them. Also, this album would show the first signs of Yes's disinctive sound. Because of the these things, I give it a 4 star rating. An excellent album.

Review by thehallway
4 stars This album has a certain warmth to it. The package as a whole, seems almost intentionally ambiguous: a simple, unrevealing title, and a picture of the band for it's cover. This was very debut-like, especially for American onlookers, who were just discovering Yes at the time of TYA's release. But of course the band had had two [relative] flops in the UK and were more experienced now. They also had a significant new member; the faultless guitarist Steve Howe, who saved them from orchestra-land and took Yes to new heights (and song-lengths).

The wonderful charm of this album, comes from the sheer enjoyment of creation that shines through in the playing. Perhaps unlike later efforts, listening to 'Yours is no Disgrace' or 'Perpetual Change', is like listening to five people having fun, yet being creative at the same time. There is certainly a more mature compositional approach (which may be down to Steve), but it is well balanced with the rocking vehicle of the rhythm section and the ever harmonious vocals of Jon and Chris, whose voices become more and more suited to each other with every album. Obviously no record as casually created as this one can be perfect though. Kaye's involvement was diminishing (a result of his own refusal to utilise anything other than his precious hammond and piano), limited now to quiet background chords and only one breif moment of creative freedom on the coda of 'A Venture'. He would be fired accordingly, just as Peter Banks was less than a year prior. But when he's barely audible in the mix, it is easy to forget his minimal contributions and share the guitar-led warmth that embodies The Yes Album. 'Starship Trooper' is wonderfully climactic, lending itself well to live performances. 'All Good People' is overrated but pleasant nonetheless. 'YIND' explains through music how it is easy to mistake this band for a new one, as opposed to the creators of those mediocre predeccessors. And 'Perpetual Change' has all the ingredients of an extended prog work, with a busy, colourful middle-section that still appears to be impossible to carry off live (yet was successfully replicated on every live performance after).

This album isn't mindblowing or in any way thematic. It is a perfectly captured 40 minutes of a band, simply displaying where they were at the time and why Yes is so special.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Chup-a-chup chup, chup-a-chup chup, chup-a-chup chup chup cha, brrrrrr! My apologies for the lame onomatopoeia, which makes me think of lollipops, but I hope that anyone who is familiar with The Yes Album (1971) will appreciate my attempt at imitating the intro to YOURS IS NO DISGRACE. For those who don't understand, then you may not have heard this song. This is arguably one of the top progressive songs ever, regardless of era or genre. What is not open to debate is that it is most definitely classic Yes, one of several such pieces on this album. The Yes Album was the band's most democratic to date, with all members being involved in the compositions. Steve Howe makes a strong impression on this his first recording with the band, although I find his live solo THE CLAP to be tedious and out of step with the remainder of the material on the album. Apparently this was written in tribute to his baby son; I always thought it referred to a sexually transmitted disease! Whatever the correct title of this piece, it is introduced by one of the band as 'The Clap' on this recording. STARSHIP TROOPER and I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE are among the band's finest songs and are noteworthy for being their first experiments with multi-part suites. The album's other long track, PERPETUAL CHANGE, is another cracker and A VENTURE is more than mere filler. Detailed description of these songs is needless. What you need, if you don't already own a copy, is to get this album.
Review by tarkus1980
5 stars Peter Banks was a great guitarist, don't get me wrong, but the fact remained that his style of guitar playing, as thick and as satisfying as it was, just wasn't compatible with the direction the band was about to take. So Yes did the smart thing, and brought in one Steve Howe, who proved from the get-go that he was the perfect choice for the group, both in artistic vision and in sheer talent. Take Exhibit A: "Clap." This is a live track (which, by the way, explains why this album will sometimes be mislabeled as a live album in some professional review guides) with Howe playing this silly, but thoroughly impressive acoustic melody while the rest of the band get beers and drain their lizards. But it's not just this lone track, not by a long shot. All throughout the album, he adds a touch of color here, a solo here, a riff there, all sorts of little things (in all sorts of little ways) that Banks never really tried. More than anything, though, even when he's relatively subdued, he is still able to successfully serve as a guide and conductor through the, as is mentioned in a second, increasingly complex material.

Indeed, the addition of Howe, as important as that was, is not the biggest change from the previous two albums. At last, the songwriting of the band has reached a point where Anderson and Squire's ambitions could be justified. For the first time, they stretch out and begin writing "epics," with 3 of the songs going over 9 minutes and another going almost 7. And they're catchy too! "I've Seen All Good Peopl"e might seem a bit monotonous at first, but then you realize that the mantra they keep repeating is one of the coolest lines of gibberish ever written. "I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way." Yay! And how about the bassline on "Yours is No Disgrace?" Or, for that matter, the guitar in that song (in particular, the introduction, though the middle jam with the wah- wah's jarring from speaker to speaker is really cool too)? To me, the intro of that song just reeks of fantasy, science fiction, whatever. It calls up adventure, bravery, and all of that rot that belongs in good fiction. And that is really the key to this album. The tracks are legitimate songs, to be sure, with hooks everywhere, but more than that, they are essentially aural paintings to be interpreted by the listener however he wants.

Plus, just as important as the purely musical hooks, are the 'epic hooks.' Stuff like the opening jam of "Yours is No Disgrace," for instance, or the ending harmonies of "Perpetual Change." You hear them, and you have no idea what they mean, but somehow you feel inspired, even if you don't know for what. And that is key - just as there are "hooks" within a melodic context, an aspect that is able to grab and hold your attention from a musical perspective, so are there hooks from an imagery standpoint. Lots of tracks attempt to set up a bombastic and epic feel, but not all pull it off - the same way plenty of bands try to create catchy melodies but fail because they lack the necessary hooks. Hopefully the concept is clear, then.

Oh, and yeah, the lyrics are becoming obscure, but there is still enough substance in them where you can grab hold and ride them to lands and times and other places in your mind. If you want to escape reality for a while, this is a good album to turn to. Of course, one may argue that such abstraction of thought is merely a product of individual fantastic tendencies, and one would indeed have a point - on the other hand, I fully believe that virtually all people have the capability within them to let go of their "grip on tangible reality" for lack of a better term, and if Yes is able to so easily entice the listener into that inherent state, why should we hold it against them?

Either way, there's far more to this album than the trippy mental landscapes that it can create. For the first time, it becomes obvious just how smart this band is musically. This is best demonstrated, in my opinion, by the centerpiece of the album, good ol' "Starship Trooper." There are just so many good ideas in this song! The opening chords, for instance, are a fantastic showcase for their understanding of hard-soft dynamics, with that quiet guitar part following those "buh-DUM buh-DUM" and then starting again. And later, when Anderson hits the "speak to me of summer..." part, I'm absolutely enraptured. Throw in the silly clap-along "Dillusion" ditty in the middle and the closing "Würm" jam, with Steve playing the same chord sequence over and over again while the rest of the band builds the tension before jamming, and you've got yourself one heck of an epic.

Oh yeah, and the playing is mind-blowing. Besides Squire and Howe doing their stuff as well as they ever would, Bruford finally begins to truly come into his own, and even Tony Kaye gets into the act, stretching his sorta-dull playing style as far as it could go and maybe even further. "YIND" is wonderfully performed (which successfully masks the fact that the song structure is a bit too stretched out), but you also have to remember the 'boogie-jam' at the end of "All Good People," and ESPECIALLY that part near the end of "Perpetual Change" where everybody is playing this ridiculously difficult part at the same time so tightly that you could never believe that it wasn't just done by a computer - but sure enough, they actually could (as evidenced by live performances on the Yes Album, Fragile and later Ladder and Yessymphonic tours). All in all, simply delectable.

The album does have a flaw, however, one which keeps me from considering it my favorite Yes album (and also helps explain why it's hard to give too long of a description of the pieces). The musical themes found within the various extended pieces of this album are exquisite, to be sure ... but they are repeated again and again and again until it's possible your brain will get annoyed and sick of them. That's part of the point, of course - on the one hand, this is the first instance of the band taking the idea of a pop song (a single musical motive repeated several times) and stretching it into an almost satirical take on the concept, and on the other hand, the way they are repeated in different combinations from different channels serves to almost hypnotize the listener. Basically, the band takes what could be a weakness and turns it into a strength, but like it or not it's still a weakness, and as such hurts the album a smidge.

Still, a great album. Fortunately, although The Yes Album was by almost all accounts a success, what with its great playing and phenomenal songwriting, the band still wanted to get better. And so, alas, they cut what they perceived to be a weak link; Tony Kaye. Which does make some sense; although he had played really well on the album, he knew and the band knew that he could not play any better, and this did not gel with Anderson's wish to continually improve in every way. So in his place, they brought in somebody who would allow them to continue to improve ...

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Third from the beginning and first really progressive Yes album. I like that sound - still raw, but without bombastic over orchestrated keyboards, with still live rock soul from that time. I like to hear every movement and every sound in still quite atmospheric mix.

For sure, this album is first band's step on what later will be their empire, one can easily hear there how they're searching on their own sound and way in music. I like young Anderson's voice there, and Howe guitar's wah-wah accessories. Keyboards are simple and flat, but very natural, without useless bombastic.

Some songs are strange ( as blue-grass "The Clap"), and possibly they destroy album's concept. But could you imagine such things on Yes albums in their top-period? And there, still far from stardom, musicians play music they enjoy. Without counting how album's buyers will react.

Bigger part of album's song show what is their sound coming soon though. Melodic, keyboards-led energetic symphonic prog with still raw rocking roots. Yes, I must to agree, they do it best. No strange, they will concentrate on this direction in their future.

Far not their most professional album, it save some fresh air and unpredictability, which Yes loosed very soon on their most matured works.

My rating - 4+.

Review by stefro
4 stars After two solid but pretty unspectacular albums the Yes formula finally clicked with the group delivering one of the early classic albums of the progressive rock genre. Gone was lead- guitarist Peter Banks, to be replaced by 23-year old former Tomorrow and Bodast axeman Steve Howe, and the new boy set about freshening up Yes' sound with his wildly inventive guitar style. Released in 1971, 'The Yes Album' would become the group's first big-seller and would also yield much critical acclaim, finally placing Yes amongst the big boys of British rock. The album even enjoyed minor success in the USA. Yes had, in effect, thrown of the shackles of mediocrity that had so far hindered their evolutionary arc and constructed an eclectic mixture of styles featuring expert craftmanship and superior musical ability. There is not a dud track on the album, with the sublime 'Yours Is No Disgrace' kicking things off nicely and setting a sonic trend that would fully develop over the course of the next decade. Anderson's soaring vocals and the multi-tracked harmonies compliment Howe's electric playing and Squire's throbbing bass effectively, and the group's instrumental verve is explored to the full on the epic 'Starship Trooper', a song featuring some more blazing guitar work from Howe. The album would also feature five individually-concocted pieces from each member of the band, with the pick of the bunch being Squire's hugely-impressive 'The Fish', a track constructed completely out of bass guitar sounds that has to be heard to be (dis)believed. A testament to not only their abilities as musicians but also their resolve and foresight, 'The Yes Album' was so good it stopped Atlantic Records from dropping the group and set Yes on their way to stardom. To this day it ranks as one of the band's best and also one of the high watermarks of the entire progressive rock genre. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars After the first two albums, the YES have finally found their sound. This album is essential to understand the whole YES production, it's where it all began.

"Yours is No Disgrace" is probably the best opener on a YES album. With Starship Trropers, I've Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change we have four of the most classic YES songs played tons of times in all their gigs regardless the changes in the lineup. What else? Some people dislikes Jon Anderson's voice, but without him the YES wouldn't have been the same. His voice is an additional instrument perfectly tuned with Howe's guitar and Squire's Bass, and Squire's background vocals.

Close to The Edge and Fragile are probably the most celebrated YES albums, but the YES Album still has that freshness that they lost when their music became more pretentious. Given their skills they CAN be pretentious, of course.

Also the two short tracks are more than fillers. The Clap has the same role that Mood for a Day has on Fragile and A Venture, even if not a masterpiece is a typical Yes song with a remarkable effort of Chris Squire.

This is an essential album, at least for the Yes history.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I never saw The Yes Album as more than a collection of great compositions. Some might say that it's all that you'll ever need in an album but I'm more into thematic albums, which might explain why I generally dislike compilation releases.

There is no doubt in my mind about the great quality of this release but it's entirely based upon the two great compositions Yours Is No Disgrace and especially Starship Trooper. The rest of the album is great but too unstructured for me, with fun but ultimately pointless fillers like The Clap and A Venture. I've Seen All Good People is a nice track that actually gets even better in the live setting, but the weird contrast between a folk-like style here and lengthy Symphonic Prog masterpieces does ruin it a bit for me. Perpetual Change is a close descendant of the two lengthy tracks on side one, except I never enjoyed this tune as much as those other two. There is a certain lacking here that I honestly can't explain, so I'll leave it at that.

I've always enjoyed the very revealing album cover of this release for showing me exactly how things were in the Yes camp at the time. The main bulk of the band were Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Jon Anderson, all standing up, while the empty chair next to Kaye and Bruford symbolized, to me, the fact there were "adjustments" needed to be made and those guys were not in a favorable position. In other words, a completely hilarious picture! Overall, The Yes Album is the first Yes-release that is worthy of the legacy that this band has accumulated over the years. It might not be among my top three favorites but a step in the right direction is always appreciated!

***** star songs: Yours Is No Disgrace (9:36) Starship Trooper (9:23)

**** star songs: I've Seen All Good People (6:47) Perpetual Change (8:50)

*** star songs: The Clap (3:07) A Venture (3:13)

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars After listening to Relayer everyday for months and hearing Fragile at a friend's house, I decided to start backtracking into Yes's previous releases. This one came to me sometime in 1976 and received a lot of airplay for a while. I loved the vocals of "Your Is No Disgrace" and "I've See All Good People" and the guitar soli in "Starship Trooper" and "Perpetual Change"--and "The Clap" wowed me for a long time. Eventually I got tired of what felt/sounded to me like Steve Howe's "country-tinged" guitar stylings. Listening to the album as I write this I realize what extraordinary work Chris Squire did throughout this album. It feels to me as if he was far ahead of the rest of the band in terms of his stylistic and technical development. Bruford is still up and coming (and mixed a little into the back) and Tony Kaye's keyboards are just a part of the background to Squire and Howe's genius and Anderson's voice. Still, I do enjoy these songs, especially the "Würm" part of "Starship Trooper" when Howe is dueling with himself, the opening staccato strumming and establishment of "Perpetual Change" and the unusual song structure and medieval sounds of one of my all-time favorite Yes songs, "I've See All Good People" (10/10). Still, this album does not stand up well next to the amazing creative heights of their next few albums.
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars When Yes jettisoned Peter Banks (a fine guitarist in his own right) and replaced him with Steve Howe, they miraculously came up with their signature sound (and that was without Rick Wakeman).

"The Yes Album" was every bit as groundbreaking as the first albums of Yes' peers, King Crimson and Emerson Lake & Palmer. And all but one of the songs, the underrated A Venture are still concert favorites four dacades later - and most still get radio airplay.

Who can deny the majesty of Yours Is No Disgrace (I just love those harmonics Howe throws in), Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change? And I've Seen All Good People, although relatively simple in structure, is still fun to sing along with.

Even (The) Clap is great. It served as an introduction to the acoustic skills of Yes' newest member.

The only drawback is Tony Kaye's fairly weak performance. On this album, he is pushed into the background, playing mostly repetitious chord washes. But it doesn't diminish the value of this great work.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a Yes album(ha!) that deserves 5 stars. Light years ahead of the first two albums in terms of sound and composition. This was the last album to feature Tony Kaye for a long time. His organ work here is fantastic and is the glue that holds everything together. He also plays a little bit of piano and Moog as well. According to legend, Kaye was fired from the band because he didn't want to use synths and Mellotrons. However, he was using both as well as an electric piano on the One Live Badger album, recorded within two years of this album.

I think the rest of the band wanted a keyboardist who could be the equal of the new guitarist, Steve Howe. He added so much to Yes' sound when he joined. He even gets his own solo spot on the album in the form of "The Clap." Recorded live, it features Howe doing some great Chet Atkins style guitar playing. It's the closest thing to filler on here but I never feel like skipping it. Bruford is in fine form on this album. Jon Anderson, as usual, sounds like an old woman. Apart from maybe "The Fish", I don't think Chris Squire ever had a better bass sound than here. At times his bass is run through a Leslie cabinet, other times he uses some sort of tremolo effect.

The album begins with one of my favourite Yes songs, "Yours Is No Disgrace." The Moog in this song is subltle but effective. Howe really shines on this song. Great harmony vocals. Love Squire's bass. The part with Howe's guitar going back and forth is terrific and is only topped by the part that immediately follows. Love the sped-up ending, a nice touch. "Starship Trooper" is another classic. I like how the bass is mixed slightly left of center, making it stand out more. Bruford does some excellent drumming on this song which adds so much. A little bit of Moog at the end of the 'Lifeseeker' section. Love the sound of Howe's guitar during 'Wurm', this is one of the best moments of any Yes song. Great double-tracked guitar solos and organ at the end.

"I've Seen All Good People" is the most famous song from the album. Also the most mainstream sounding song here. Along with "The Clap" this was always my least favourite song on the album, but it's still really good. Like the recorders(?) which you don't get on live versions. The organ here is fantastic. Always thought the 'give peace a chance' line was pointless and slightly dates the song. The 'All Good People' part shows Yes doing some straight up rock'n'roll. "A Venture" is often ignored but is a great song. Like the piano getting faded in. The slow polka-type rhythm is interesting. More great harmony vocals in this song. I like how the instruments get a bit looser near the end. One of my biggest complaints about this album is that Howe's solo at the end gets faded out.

That leaves us with yet another classic, "Perpetual Change." Cool call and response type vocals. At 5:09 starts one of the best and most experimental parts of any Yes song: a dissonant jazzy section in the left channel while the main theme is played slowed-down in the right channel. Some guitar and Moog gets added in the center. Simply brilliant, too bad they couldn't pull this section off live (see: Yessongs). Love the ending with the harmony vocals going "ahhh".

This whole album is could have been recorded yesterday (pun intended). Such a great, unique sound which the band never recaptured again. Although I can understand the love for the next two albums, this one is far more consistent. Yes were never the same without Bruford, but they weren't the same without Kaye either. Wakeman may be a better keyboardist technically, but the Hammond sounds Kaye comes up with here are just fantastic. He's one of my favourite Hammond players, along with Keith Emerson, Jon Lord and Dave Stewart. Although the cover is just a band shot (rare for Yes), it has it's own uniqueness. A great early triumph for this band. 5 stars.

Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars The Yes Album is the first true classic album by Yes, and marks the point when Steve Howe joins the band.

Even upon hearing the first track, "Yours Is No Disgrace", it becomes obvious that all the members of the band have grown in musicianship quality and songwriting ability, and the instrumentation is far more elaborate and exuberant. Most of the tracks on this album are longer and feature more passages. The Yes Album includes some extremely popular songs in the Yes repertoire such as "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Starship Trooper", "I've Seen All Good People" and "Perpetual Change".

Unfortunately, I don't enjoy this album very much at all even though it shows an evolution into the sound of classic Yes that I love so much. The compositions are longer and more elaborate, but a lot of the changes from passage to passage sound slightly random, and some passages even completely unnecessary. The flow from track to track, passage to passage, just isn't done as well as on their debut or on the next few classic albums. I think I'm in the minority by thinking that at this point in their career, Yes still has a stronger edge for writing the shorter and more to the point songs - "A Venture" is probably my favorite track on the album because it's a great song and is to the point but manages to get the point across that this band is indeed progressive and intelligent. "The Clap" is a fantastic jiggy guitar solo track displaying how well versed Steve Howe is on his instrument. It's short, but supremely enjoyable. "I've Seen All Good People" is another one of the better tracks on the album because the band doesn't try to write outside of their own comfort zone, and it flows fantastically between the two sections while also being quite a happy jam.

Most people really enjoy this album, but I don't. Of course that is only my personal verdict on this album, anyone would probably find much to like about this first classic album by Yes and is still highly recommended.

Review by baz91
5 stars 'The Yes Album' is when Yes started to develop their signature prog-rock style. As a result, no less than three songs on this record have become Yes classics, and their first two albums were to become mainly overlooked. However, on this record, there is something quite beautiful, and different to the other classic Yes albums. Whilst 'Close To The Edge', 'Tales...', 'Relayer' etc, take themselves extremely seriously, this album has a lighter, more charming feel to it. Songs like I've Seen All Good People make this album sound like it wants to be your friend.

Yours Is No Disgrace is the first classic from this record. In addition to extremely silly (but still fantastic) lyrics, this song has an amazing instrumental that feels a little improvised. The lyrics are repeated in several different moods, adding to the experimental nature of this wonderful track. The main riff is a killer too.

The Clap is a guitar solo recorded live in London, 1970. This piece is a lot of fun, and the live aspect feels much more appropriate than if this had been a studio track. HOWEver, it's still a solo track, and feels a little bit out of place on this record.

Next is one of my all-time favourite Yes tracks: Starship Trooper. This the first track they ever split into sections. The first and second sections contain amazing lyrics and wonderful melodies, but the third and final section, Würm, is by far the most memorable part of this song, and indeed this album. It is four minutes long, entirely instrumental, and only consists of three chords being played one after the other. In four minutes, Yes do the most amazing job of building up to the spotlight guitar solo finish to this track. This song is simply marvelous. The amount of times I've had to get up from whatever I was doing to perform an improptu air guitar solo is innumerable. This is a prog rock song that will never be forgotten.

The third and final 'classic' from this record is I've Seen All Good People. This is split into two sections, which are wholly seperate from each other. In fact the only way you'd know they are linked is that the lyric 'I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way.', which is repeated endlessly in the second part, is used twice at the beginning of the first part. The first half, Your Move, is a wonderful acoustic piece, with some of Jon's best lyrics seemingly to concern chess. The second half, All Good People, is more of a rock and roll instrumental with the lyrics repeated over it. A wonderful classic.

On the other hand A Venture is a real obscurity! The writing and the musicianship of this song is very clever, but sadly this song is just nowhere near as memorable as it's counterparts on the record. Listen to hear the wonderful instrumental talents off Messrs Squire, Howe, Kaye and Bruford in the outro to this track!

Perpetual Change has also been relatively overlooked through time, but this piece is very underrated. This song is progressive in every single way (look, I'm even using mannerisms from the song). The instrumental that begins at 4:00 is very experimental, and the most remarkable part of the track is when there are seemingly two Yes's playing at once, one in the left channel, one in the right! The musical future of Bill Bruford is prophesied when he plays the exact drum fill from 21st Century Schizoid Man at 0:38. Great prog track.

This is one of those classic albums that you just need to have if you're a prog fan. I know that there is hardly any need for me to say this, since so many people have done so before me, but it's absolutely true that this is a wonderful record.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Damn, this is a good album! Peter Banks is out and Steve Howe is securely in place, but what makes the real difference this time around is confidence. The band have at this point clearly established their own sound and have sufficient faith in it to make a complete album without resorting to cover versions and without having to bring in a string section - the band by itself is powerful enough to carry the music without orchestral boosts.

Actually, this is rather a unique album in the Yes catalogue, being the only one of their "mature" albums to feature Tony Kaye on keyboards - Kaye strongly favours traditional keyboards like the organ, which at the time was the cause of tension in the band because of his reluctance to use the Moog (compared with Rick Wakeman, who never met a synthesiser he didn't like), but this subtle difference in the keyboard sound sets The Yes Album apart from all the band's other classic-period albums. Still, a masterful album and once which I am happy to join most of the other reviewers in heartily recommending.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars To say bands don't make albums like this anymore would be facetious. I don't think they ever made 'em like this, and the reason Yes' third is considered their 'breakthrough' has to do with a lot more than just its #4 stats in the UK. The material and performances broke through as well, right off the vinyl and into your soul for the rest of your life-- and I'm not quite sure why. A perfect middle-ground between their simpler past and turgid future? Maybe, but that's too easy. There was something happening between these five young players that supercharged the writing and rehearsals at the old Langley Studios in Devon with a fresh energy. Perhaps the rural atmosphere and agreeable climate of southwestern England, new member Steve Howe and his contagious spirit, or the building tensions of a dynamic group of people each with their own vision of what the future held.

The 1971 release is of such an undeniably high caliber that many of the cuts are still played on FM radio in the states. Pretty good for a bunch of geriatric vegan longhairs. But then, in 1971 they were young and eating meat. More importantly, they were hungry, and the first two albums didn't seem to do the trick. In fact the band's appetite was just getting bigger and this entrée showed the ravenous ambitions of Squire, Anderson, Kaye, Bruford and Howe. Still rock to be sure, but something else, something more than what Zeppelin and Tull and Sabbath and CSN&Y and Traffic and everyone else with important things to say was offering. It was as if with one stroke the band had unknowingly thrown down a challenge to be more than the best you can be, and still remain loyal to your rock 'n roll roots. And the promise held in the release, the implication of what these guys were capable of next time and in years to come, was electrifying. In just a few months the whole musical landscape would change but in 1970/'71, briefly, The Yes Album was probably the single most important rock LP of its era, particularly to musicians. Though no one really knew that just yet.

It also boasts membership in the small club of Prog gateway records and is held warmly in many listeners' hearts (not just proggies) as one of their intros to the larger world of rock as art. The beautiful purity of Howe's chords complimented by Kaye's bottomless Hammond B-3 is 'Yours is No Disgrace', Jon Anderson's sympathetic lyric, and the unexpectedly sublime vocal harmonies that had now become a Yes staple. Childlike details inserted, answered by sheer power and an uncanny knack for planned spontaneity. Steve Howe's acoustic solo remains one of the finest instrumental performances ever captured and caused every pimply 16 year-old with dreams of guitar godhood to stand in silent awe, tears swelling with the knowledge they'd probably never be that good. And suite 'Starship Trooper' is a popular favorite filled with more rich, glistening vocal chorals, Howe's country-time ground, all capped by 'Wurm' with its droning vamp and hypnotic, nearly orgasmic crescendo. And that was just the first half.

Of course this was when the two sides of an LP were relevant to how the music was laid down and heard, and 'I've Seen All Good People' was an ideal side-2 starter; a soft respite with Anderson's sweet voice in command, the band on support and accentuation. Near-perfect 'A Venture' shows the CS&N impact on many bands, a lovely and clean track, and 'Perpetual Change' is strongly layered with everything the quintet had, thrown at us including a clashing Charles Ives-style cacophony. Wonderful.

Indispensable and uniquely crucial not just to Prog but to all popular music of the time, and still to this day. One of the greatest statements put to record by anyone anywhere in the history of rock, and should be gratefully consumed often by all.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Starship Troopers make their presence felt.

The Yes Album is a bonafide Symphonic Prog classic. It was the first time I had heard Yes and this was a long time before I began to truly appreciate them as essential to my collection. The first time I really took notice of them was after hearing Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm which quickly became jammed in my brain. It was due to the incredible guitar sweeps and picking of Steve Howe and Jon Anderson's phenomenal vocal technique. The lyrics never made sense but it was something about a bluebird flying, a theme they continue to return to even today with Fly From Here. The lengthy instrumental passage is brilliantly executed, Squire's pulsating bass and Bruford's percussion generate a formidable rhythm machine. They were unsurpassed virtuosos in any guise, but with Yes the magic was nothing short of miraculous. To top this off was the keyboard work of Kaye who perhaps was overshadowed in later years by the wizardry of Wakeman.

There were four key points of the album that every Yes addict would treasure for years to come. The opener is quintessential to the Yes inventory; the ingenuity of Yours Is No Disgrace is sheer genius. The structures of diverse time signatures layered with polyphonic meters and 4/4 rock styles could not be bettered in its day.

Starship Trooper is my all time favourite Yes track and it will never be bettered as it had such an impact on me and eventually turned me into a Yesaholic. The melodies, the odd time sig, the surreal lyrics, Anderson's stirring performance, Kaye's inventive keyboarding, the sporadic drumming of Bruford, Squire's complex bassline, and Howe's blazing guitar pieces absolutely define the prog rock genre.

The third key track is I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People that features on every compilation and every concert virtually and for good reason. The track has a killer melodic hook, soaring lead breaks and detours into several sections, all equally brilliant and well known. The chorus was cemented into brainwaves worldwide "I've seen all good people turn their heads each day so satisfied I'm on my way..."

The album also concludes with a fourth classic which is also a mini epic, the enchanting Perpetual Change, with wonderful atmospherics and Anderson's soothing high falsetto vocals.

Sandwiched in between these four gems were some lesser known tracks that may even be classed as filler material though with some endearing moments, The Clap which is merely a live showpiece for Howe's dextrous guitar playing and sometimes finds its way into concerts in an expurgated form works as a transition between the masterpieces. A Venture, which is more forgettable and more or less exists solely on this album, is a curio on this album but Kaye does get a chance to shine on this track, though it really is the low point of the album.

So to conclude the album was really a high peak for Yes, who were heading to the stratosphere with their next few albums. Their status as super musos really began here and this is an essential listen that has stood the test of time. The four big songs are easy to find on compilations but it is still wonderful to hear this album in its entirety. A recommended masterful 5 star piece of Yesstory that is impossible to ignore for the serious prog freak.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 8/10

Cheerful, spacey, pondering, "The Yes Album" is an essential chapter in Yes' discography.

Yes' third studio album finally is a contributor in Prog Rock's evolution, but even more importantly it will have an impact on the band itself. This album is one of the culminating peaks of the band, however they will be still many others that top this one.But this is the first album that defines the band's sound as we known it, so a listen to this one is absolutely essential for any Prog Rock fan.

A massive improvement is found here compared to the previous two albums: first of all, the musicianship is even more refined, especially Jon Anderson, who gives great performances in each one of these songs. Here, the concept of Progressive, as it is it's definition, expands compared to the modest experimentations of the debut and sophomore and debut LPs: the songs are much more stretched out, leading almost to the nine minute mark on two thirds of the album. The songwriting is still very melodic, as Yes will always be, but here it is almost always top-notch: all of the melodies are great, the structure of these songs is always epic regardless of their lengths. The wonderful alternation between the strong bass-lines, the soaring keyboard solos, and the spacey guitars, is always present, except for some Folk Rock parenthesis that pop up in many moments.

A science fiction theme is present on this album, like it is frequent for Progressive albums, not only in the lyrics of "Starship Trooper" but also in the music itself: at times, the sound is very wide and spacey, yet still very earthly. By listening to this LP you feel like you're about to take off in space, and you're in the spaceship already, waiting, . The lyrics however are more abstract than how they were on the first two albums, and without having necessarily a Sci-fi feeling to them: "Perpetual Change" has possibly the most interesting words, as they seem to play on the pessimistic points of view of nature compared to mankind. "Yours Is No Disgrace" also has interesting theme, once again focusing on mankind, the "Silly human race".

This six song LP is well structured, ranging from calm, Folkish moments to cheerful, yet complex ones. "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Perpetual Change" and "Starship Troopers" have similar flows one another, starting with a strong set of melodies, then toning down the mood a bit with a quiet piece, and then finishing once again strong. "Clap" and the huge hit "I've Seen All Good People" are more acoustic driven, especially the first one, which is a short instrumental recorded live with an acoustic guitar. "A Venture" is interesting and, despite its short length it has a good structure and a wonderful melody that makes it a really good song in par with all the other ones.

"The Yes Album" is an essential album in Yes' discography, for it was the first one to give to the band their sound. Enjoyable all the way through, if you haven't listened to it yet, fix that.

Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars From the first minute you feel you stepped into something special , and here is a band that has something to say. the start of 'yours is no disgrace' all instruments fuse together in a perfect way to create the main riff and kick the song forward with squire's heavy sound and howe's eclectic guitar. this is truely progressive as the songs move forward and even when returning to sing another verse , it returns on a different platform behind. there is no doubt this is one of the greatest albums to come out of england in 1971 , yes manages to be very intricate and complex but also being very accessible and loveable. featuring an all star musicians , you might as wel call them a supergroup. bruford's drumming is waving through the lines like a stroll in the park. the band is fusing between slow and fast between hard and soft and between complex and simple. melodies are very memorable and gives the music a very fun vibe. the album is the first great record yes produced and represents a promising start and just indicates of what to come. all songs enjoy perfect arrangements and carried out beautifuly . one can look at this as a prog rock school teacher.

With this yes started on a great journey making some of the best prog rock albums ever , it's a very good place to start with , just like i did. 5 stars.

Review by rogerthat
4 stars This is where the starship trooper called Yes really take off. Steve Howe's presence makes a significant impact, to say the least, and Bill Bruford and Chris Squire lay down a punishing rhythm section. But, upon closer investigation, the starship still seems to run into some air turbulence intermittently. This may be one of the albums that is not quite as good as it plays the first time.

The level at which the band perform their music here is truly awesome. It seems almost as if Howe has become a rallying point for the rest of the band and they rock very hard. The aforementioned rhythm section give the band some serious propulsion while Howe provides the leads, keeping the proceedings engaging. It may be a cliched thing to say, but Howe's coda in Starship Trooper especially makes a huge impression and lingers in my mind for a long time.

As for Jon Anderson, I have never really liked his singing but I can live with that because he is just sort of wailing in the high register without calling too much attention to himself. Tony Kaye is another weak link in the band at this point. His contributions cannot be particularly faulted, but they are also rather generic and don't make much of an impression. It clearly took the arrival of Rick Wakeman to take the band to another level. Overall, the band play their songs so well it forgives a lot and makes the experience enjoyable as long as you are listening 'at the surface', so to speak, and don't analyze it too much.

Compositionally, though, there are a few minor problems. First of all, the long pieces, namely Yours is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change lack a bit of organisation. This is an aspect they would improve upon in their subsequent album Fragile. For instance, on Starship Trooper, there is a break in the middle where Howe goes acoustic. Neither does the track develop seamlessly into that moment nor does it resolve particularly well back into the vocal melody. It sort of works on intuition and doesn't jar or annoy the ears, but it could stand to be more convincing. The impression I get is the band are still only putting together sections of music that fit reasonably well. It is not cohesive enough for the coveted masterpiece status, at this point.

Another aspect that takes away a little bit is the emotional side, or relative lack thereof, of the album. The music feels like a very happy, sunny (and, er, epic) version of Led Zeppelin and/or Deep Purple. This could plausibly be said for some tracks from subsequent albums of Yes as well. But there's no Wakeman yet and without his touch of brilliance (see South Side of Sky), the proceedings start to get a bit bland after a while. It doesn't help, of course, that Anderson's voice doesn't transport me to those astral places he dreams of; that might have made a difference.

To be sure, I am not complaining too much about all that. That's obviously why I still feel it deserves 4 stars, 4.5 thereabouts in fact. While there are some flaws that I feel must be highlighted in a review of an album that is often held up as one of the masterpieces of symph prog, these are not serious flaws either and don't take away too much from the enjoyment of the music. The Yes Album falls short of the hype by a bit but is still a solid release worthy of a place in your prog collection.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars In a world rife with heinous harrumphitude and tantrum yoga, the purveyors of positivity released this phenomenal transitional album way back in1971. One of my earliest introductions to progressive rock music was THE YES ALBUM which burst onto the scene in 1971. So powerful is this album that it completely overpowers the first two which often get completely ignored. Many erroneously believe this to be the first YES album because it is the first of the string of masterpieces that grace the early to mid-70s.

What we have here is a band who had already developed their sound quite successfully and ratcheted it up to the next several levels and deliver it with a sense of bravado not quite developed on the first two albums. Exit Peter Banks who contributed his signature progressive guitar runs over the basic blues licks of the 60s and in is alien extraordinare Steve Howe who took that sound and jazzed it up with gusto. In still is Tony Kaye on keyboards who just couldn't let that 60s moog sound go. Ultimately he exited stage right because of his unwillingness to progress with the band but on this sole album the crossroads are fertile creating a little musical goldmine in the process. Also gone are the covers and this is the debut of all original YES material which signifies that this band is now ready for prime time.

The magic of this album is how accessible and complex it is at the same time. Just listen to this next to say, "Tales Of Topographic Oceans" or "Relayer" and it's obvious how easy it is to love instantly. That matters not because it is so brilliantly executed. The melodies are contagious but the band is on fire!!!! The passion pit is sweltering with the coals of long lost musical tidbits resurrected to create a renaissance of musical magnificence. Steve Howe's solo piece "The Clap" is a perfect example of how he brings a sorta homey feel to the complexities that arise. The acoustic guitar virtuoso displays a good old countrified bluegrass ragtime blitzkrieg that only replicates itself amongst the more spacey and progressive tracks on this album thus keeping the tunes from spiraling into the stratosphere and reining them in to the accessisphere. A classic of classics that is the perfect place to dive into the wonderful world of YES where even the most hardened progger can entertain melodic magnificence with melodramatic progginess seeping into every nook and note. Hippy dippy and WTF lyrics rule here but that is what makes it so cute and charismatic at the same time. YES! I love this album! YES! Oh God YES!

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars It is Yes' third album, and first major band change. Atlantic was considering dropping the band because their last two albums were not commercially successful. Because of this, Peter Banks was replaced by someone who would prove to be an amazing and prolific artist, Steve Howe. This proved to be a very wise choice by the band and would be their first great move towards being the legendary band, the second great move being the addition of Rick Wakeman after the release of this album.

Steve Howe was chosen because of his ability to play any style he wanted to with ease, being able to switch from electric guitar to acoustic, from rock to country music, with hardly a blink of the eye. It was also Howe's professionalism and expertise that caused Tony Kaye to leave because he thought his playing didn't live up to Howe's. As can be heard on the song "A Venture" on this album, Kaye's playing was fairly one-sided and not dynamic and technical enough to keep up with Howe and even to match up to Squire's amazing bass. That is the one song that is lacking on this album because it was supposed to feature Kaye's keyboards, and it failed.

Other than that, this album shines and is such an immense improvement over the last two albums. It opens with the staccato/percussive guitar hook that immediately introduces Howe as a major force to be reckoned with. Suddenly, Yes meant business. All of the music and the production improved greatly for this album including the compositions. There is a sudden shift to concentrating on progressive techniques and longer songs. Now the songs could be developed the way they needed to be and an entire world of artistry and imagination were being incorporated in the band's work. This album is carried more by Howe and Squire and probably has more variation and spotlight on the guitars than any other Yes album up until Drama.

There is a lot more dynamic change in this album than previously. Jon's vocals had improved, even though he always had a degree of vulnerability to his vocals, they were much better and stronger than before. Lyrics were also improving.

To prove my point as to the importance of this album and the proof that things had improved so much to the point of 5 star excellence, we have 4 of the 6 tracks still being considered classic and essential Yes compositions: the very exciting and enticing "Yours is No Disgrace" with it's signature and powerful hook that can't be denied as being one of the best in rock music, the very progressive, dynamic and varying "Starship Trooper" with it's surprise acoustic interlude and with one of the most tense and exciting coda's ever that ends with the explosive guitar solo that unfortunately gets faded out too early, "Your Move/Seen All Good People" which is the popular rock standard with two movements and a driving beat on the 2nd half after such a lovely acoustic 1st half and some of Jon's best vocals and harmonies that would become signature Yes sound, and the hard driving stop/start progressive classic "Perpetual Change". "The Clap" is also an amazing guitar solo from Howe early on in the track list put there so that if you doubted Howe's expertise from the previous song (and I don't know how anyone could doubt it) then he had his chance to establish himself as one of the very best guitarists ever, there couldn't be any doubt after that. The only weak track is "A Venture" but it was short and it doesn't really distract from the greatness of the rest of the album.

The most amazing thing here, is that after this masterpiece, Yes had realized they had a reputation that they wanted to hold on to, so their expectations rose even more. Since Kaye had doubt in his own musicianship after Howe was brought on, the rest of the band knew that the insecurity wouldn't make their music better and the only way to keep progressing was to find a keyboardist that would match up to the level they were expecting. They found him and, believe it or not, things got better. Most bands would have been happy with an amazing album as this, but Yes knew they could do even better. Still, this album is still awesome and deserves a 5 star rating too. Amazing music by an amazing band---The Yes Album!

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With "Fragile" as the training montage and "Close To The Edge" as the triumphant final fight, "The Yes Album" begins my classic Yes/Rocky Balboa analogy by acting as the trailer, offering a glimpse of what listeners had to look forward to in the next couple of years.

"The Yes Album" is really an extraordinary album, featuring 4 excellent tracks, "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Starship Trooper", "I've Seen All Good People" and "Perpetual Change". As for the other two songs, "The Clap" is a folk guitar Steve Howe instrumental that's a bit of a fan favourite but feels out of place on the album and "A Venture" is too short to really develop into anything memorable. Those aside, the rest of the album is amazing.

When "The Yes Album" was released, Yes had finally added on Steve Howe to their line-up and was just a keyboardist short of their classic incarnation, with Tony Kaye playing keyboards as opposed to the Rick Wakeman we know and love. Steve Howe's addition to the band was a pivotal moment for Yes and it definitely shows with the album's sound. By this point Yes had completely abandoned the jazz and psychedelic influence of their debut and were now into progressive territory. The album is unique, though, in that it retains a mix of rock, blues and folk they wouldn't touch on again later in their career. The result is a special transitional sort of album that captures Yes in a special incubation period and it sounds quite fantastic.

The album's four strong tracks are all masterpieces or close to it and each offers its own special flare. "Yours Is No Disgrace" features great keyboard lines and a political relevancy that Yes would never touch on again, with anti-war lyrics contrasting Vietnam and America. "I've Seen All Good People" is a great mix between accessible and progressive, with a catchy vocal melody, cryptic lyrics and blues rock soloing from Steve Howe. "Perpetual Change" brings nostalgic, feel-good guitar parts and a rhythmic middle section. "Starship Trooper" is the best of all, though. The most symphonic song on the album, this 3-part suite features beautiful fantasy lyrics, perfectly balanced instrumental arrangements, folk moments and "Wurm", one of music's greatest build-ups. This is really one to stand with Tarkus, Close To The Edge and Supper's Ready, a true early symphonic gem.

Honestly, as much as I love Yes's other albums, I would be completely happy if this Yes line-up had released a couple more albums like this one and then just called it quits. A masterpiece in the realm of "Close To The Edge" - 5 stars.

Review by ALotOfBottle
4 stars Yes took off... In A Starship!

The Yes Album is Yes' first full-on progressive rock album. I don't share negative and unenthusiastic opinions as to A Time And A Word (which indeed was not very consistent, but featured some great tracks), but it wasn't really the "classic" Yes sound. With the new guitarist, Steve Howe onboard, Yes were ready to conquer the unknown!

The music that Yes created at the time laid foundation for works to come. With their highly distinct sound that fuses symphonic classical, funk, soul, jazz and builds on psychedelia, the band came up with some of their most highly acclaimed pieces of all time. "Starship Trooper" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" have soon become audience's favorites. Steve Howe's guitar virtuosity really seems to add a certain jazzy uniquity to the group's sound. That combined with Bill Bruford's funky grooves, Chris Squire's thumpy, metalic bass tone, Tony Kaye's majestic, symphonic organ playing and Jon Anderson's unmistakable voice creates a powerful substance.

Overall, this is a highly accomplished from growing and quickly developing young men, who would grow to be prog's giants. Although I feel like some of the pieces, namely "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Perpertual Change" are quite dated and sound cheesy, I can't imagine how this album could get less than four stars. So, 3.6 that rounds up to four. A must-have, even if (like me) you are not a particular fan of Yes.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 123

"The Yes Album" is the third studio album of Yes and was released in 1971. It was their first album featuring the new guitarist of the band Steve Howe, after the dismissal of their founder guitarist Peter Banks and it was also the last album featuring the presence of the founder keyboardist Tony Kaye. After friction between Steve Howe and Tony Kaye, due to his reluctance to play electronic keyboards such as the mellotron and the minimoog synthesizer, it was asked to him to leave Yes. He was replaced by Rick Wakeman, another classical trained keyboard player, who left Strawbs.

The line up on the album is Jon Anderson (lead vocals and percussion), Steve Howe (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars and vachalia), Tony Kaye (piano, organ and Moog), Chris Squire (vocals and bass guitar) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). The album had also the participation of Colin Goldring (recorders) on "Your Move".

"The Yes Album" has six tracks and was the first studio album of Yes to solely featuring original compositions by them. The first track "Yours Is No Disgrace" written by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye and Bill Bruford is the first long song of the band and is a brilliant opening track for the album. The lyrics are very simple but musically we can see clearly the progressivity on their music especially due to the guitar and keyboard workings, despite the producer of the song aren't at the same level of their following albums. The second track "Clap" written by Steve Howe is an instrumental and nice short acoustic piece of music. Curiously, it's a live track which was recorded at the Lyceum Theatre, London, 17 July 1970. My remastered edition has also a studio version previously unissued. The two versions are slightly different but are both very pleasant to hear. It's a typical song of Steve Howe, in the same vein of "Mood For A Day", a song written by him for the next studio album of Yes, "Fragile". Despite be a good and nice song it's the weakest point on the album. The third track "Starship Trooper" is divided into three parts: "Life Seeker" written by Jon Anderson, "Disillusion" written by Chris Squire and "Wurm" written by Steve Howe. This is another long musical composition of the group and is also at the same time a great song of the band, which became a classic Yes' theme. This is the first musical suite composed by them, absolutely fantastic, with great individual musical performances by all members of the band. The fourth track "I've Seen All Good People" is also divided but only into two parts: "Your Move" written by Jon Anderson and "All Good People" written by Chris Squire. As with "Starship Trooper" this is also a classic composition of Yes, very well known, and it remains a standard of those days. It's another brilliant song that explores a vast musical world with great progressivity. It has two distinct musical parts, one more calm and acoustic and the other more rock and aggressive. However, the song shows a perfect balance between both parts. The fifth track "A Venture" written by Jon Anderson is the other short song on the album and is, with "The Clap", the other less good track on it. It's the song with the most simplistic musical structure on the album without great adventures of progressivity and with no great ambitious too. However, this is a good and nice song with great vocal work in the usual style of Jon Anderson. The sixth and last track "Perpetual Change" written by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire is another great song of Yes and it has the same quality level of the other great songs on this album. It's also a lengthy musical composition with a typical classic progressive structure of the songs of the group and it has also a nice and strong melody. Probably, it was left to a second place mainly due to "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People", but this is very unfair indeed. All in all, I think this is a great song that closes the album in a great way.

Conclusion: "The Yes Album" is one of the most important studio albums of Yes for several reasons. It was their first commercial success, it was their first album to solely feature original compositions of the band, it was the first democratic album of the band with each member making his own significant contribution, it was the first time the band explored lengthy compositions, it was their first release to feature their new guitarist Steve Howe, which became to be a cornerstone in the band, it was the last Yes' album for more than twelve years to feature keyboardist Tony Kaye, until his return in 1983's on their eleventh studio album "90125", and finally, it was their first great musical studio work. "The Yes Album" isn't, in my humble opinion, an inferior album to "Fragile". As I wrote before when I reviewed it, "Fragile" isn't a uniform and cohesive collective effort of Yes because it has only four band's tracks. The other five are individual tracks and some of them are really of little interest. Because of that, "Fragile" is, in my humble opinion, somehow an unbalanced album. On the contrary, "The Yes Album" is a collective effort and its best tracks are practically at the same level of the best songs on "Fragile". On "The Yes Album" we can feel, for the first time, what the band will want to do and we can also hear, for the first time, the foundations of what will be the personal mark of their future music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by patrickq
4 stars I have a soft spot for The Yes Album. It was the first Yes album I really got into, and the first time I really listened to an album from the 1970s (this was in 1988). Even after I had listened carefully to every Yes album, and had decided that Close to the Edge was my favorite, I still thought of The Yes Album as a close second. But over time I slowly came to realize that albums like Fragile, Relayer, and Drama were better. But it's still tough to declare The Yes Album "only" a four-star album.

The Yes Album opens with "Yours is No Disgrace," which along with "Heart of the Sunrise," "Close to the Edge," and "The Gates of Delirium" is one of the absolute best Yes songs ever - - actually, one of the best progressive rock songs ever. No song is perfect, but I'm really at a loss as to how "Yours is No Disgrace" could be improved. It's a clear statement that as wonderful as Yes's first two albums were, the band is now operating on an entirely new plane.

In fact, of the six songs on The Yes Album, only "A Venture" would've fit on their prior album, Time and a Word. Conversely, "Astral Traveller" is the only song on either Yes or Time and a Word that hints at the sound of The Yes Album. One of the big differences is the use of the acoustic guitar on The Yes Album. Although only one section of the 9:40 "Yours is No Disgrace" has an acoustic guitar, the next song, "Clap," is an acoustic guitar solo, and the middle song of the "Starship Trooper" suite features only acoustic guitar and vocals. The same is true of "Your Move," The band's first US hit, which is the first half of the medley which opens the album's second side. (Although technically it's not just an acoustic guitar, but a "Portuguese twelve-string," according to Wikipedia.)

If Yes could've maintained the quality of side one throughout the whole album, The Yes Album would be a five-star album. "Clap" is the first in a series of occasional solo acoustic pieces Steve Howe would contribute to Yes albums over his time in the band, and it's one of his best, topped only by "Masquerade" (from Union, twenty years later). And "Starship Trooper," which is little more than a medley of three songs, one written by singer Jon Anderson, one by bassist Chris Squire, and one by Howe, is another strong offering. The transition from "Your is No Disgrace," which ends with what I would describe as a musically ascending sweep, to "Clap" is abrupt, but the sweep-like effect that opens "Starship Trooper" is a unifying element that lends a cohesion to the entire side. Finally, the long fade of "Starship Trooper" reinforces the sense that something long and substantial (i.e., the suite of songs comprising the first side) is over.

Alas, side two is weaker. The plodding, pedestrian "Your Move" is followed immediately by "All Good People," a near-instrumental based on an unexciting, repeated riff. The nine-minute, album-closing "Perpetual Change" suffers from similar problems; even if it were a four- or five-minute song, it would hardly be as exciting as "Starship Trooper" and "Your is No Disgrace," nor as artistic as "Clap." I recognize that quite a few Yes fans consider "Perpetual Change" to be an underappreciated classic, and I do respect the polyrhythmic instrumental section which begins around 5:10.

The middle of side two is occupied by "A Venture," which is an odd little song (and I mean that in the best possible way). Its story-with-a-moral stance is a throwback to earlier Yes; in fact it reminds me quite a bit of "Harold Land" from the group's debut album. "Harold Land" is a cautionary tale about the impact of war on the soul of the soldier, which is perhaps the main takeaway from "Yours is No Disgrace." But a comparison of the lyrics of those two songs provides good insight as to the differences between the "old Yes" of 1969 and 1970 and the Yes which produced The Yes Album.

As good as the 1994 (Joe Gastwirt) and 2003 (Rhino) remasters of The Yes Album are, the 2014 Steven Wilson remix is the definitive edition in my opinion. Some fans were unhappy with the liberties Wilson took on the title track of his remix of Close to the Edge, but as is the case with nearly all of his Yes remixes, he is reverential to a fault with his stereo mixes on The Yes Album. In addition to the usual goodies, Wilson also includes an extended version of "A Venture," which turns out to have gone on for well more than a minute after it fades out on the album version.

The Yes Album is not a masterpiece; Yes would produce those soon enough. Rather, it's a very good album whose mixture of symphonic prog and progressive folk make it an excellent starting point for those interested in 1970s Yes.


*now I think Relayer is even better.

Review by jamesbaldwin
3 stars And Howe came! Finally Yes became a prog-rock band.

1. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:36) Almost ten minutes for this rock ballad, which is characterized by a high-pitched sound due to Anderson's singing and the newcomer's guitar, Steve Howe. It is the contradiction of Yes: wanting to be rock, and therefore warm, rhythmic, passionate, and at the same time have a crystalline sound, which insists on the high notes of Howe's guitar, and on the singing of Anderson who, with his register, more contralto than tenor, and its hieratic intonation, he gives a celestial, cold atmosphere to the whole. The song is appreciated, as heard today, it seems quite naive, if not childish. Yes succeed as few to combine prog with pop, they could be considered the Beatles of prog. Rated 7.5 / 8.

2. Clap (Live) (3:07) * Howe's guitar is the protagonist of this live, virtuosic, acrobatic, cheerful, I would say pop-folk solo, extremely easy to listen to. Rated 7.5 / 8.

3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm (9:23) Second song of similar duration to the first, but more direct, without the instrumental frills of the first. Then Howe's classical guitar intervenes, Anderson follows it and then comes a very repetitive piece played on a Howe riff that soon becomes monotonous. The song gets jammed, the other players try to accumulate sound to make a progression, but it's too forced. Even the second long piece of the album is good but does not take off. Rated 7.5 / 8.

End of side A

4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People (6:47) Finally comes a song where Anderson, so far in the shade, becomes the protagonist. It is a very catchy folk-rock, worthy of the Beatles. Tony Kaye simulates the flutes, and we are close to a pastoral atmosphere that will then lead to And You And I. Around three and a half minutes the song suddenly becomes a rock almost boogie that continues the same until the end. Minor piece. Rated 7,5.

5. A Venture (3:13) Piece of song based on Kaye's piano and Squire's bass, another very rhythmic but not very inventive boogie. The quality of the album has dropped. Rated 6.5 / 7.

6. Perpetual Change (8:50). The final song is clearly the best on the album. Anderson's voice is finally in line with the ascending atmosphere of the song, and here Yes anticipate that masterpiece that will be Heart of the Sunrise. The song is more adult than the others, more serious. Continuing, a rather specious instrumental digression arrives, but then finally Anderson's voice returns, and the final upbeat. Rated 8+.

This is a naive album, with catchy prog-pop-folk music, easy to listen, light, friendly. There are no high peaks, and there is only one masterpiece, Perpetual Change.

Rating: 7,5. Three Stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars No question that this is my favorite Yes album, hands down. It contains their very best songs. Sensational from beginning to end. Many others point to Close to the Edge or Fragile as their best, but no, this is the one. For me, that side one combo of Yours is No Disgrace, Clap, and Starship Trooper ... (read more)

Report this review (#2925418) | Posted by BBKron | Wednesday, May 17, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a remarkable album from a remarkable band. Yours is no disgrace is one of the perfect songs from Yes 10/10 The Clap is nice but no more than filler for me 6.5/10 Starship Trooper is the second masterpiece of the album 10/10 I've seen all good people is great but not up to par wi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2879341) | Posted by WJA-K | Monday, January 30, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Yes Album is generally considered their first truly essential album and I certainly would agree with that. I still remember being excited by the opening few bars of the opening track "Yours is no Disgrace" with those stabbing chords and that wonderfully bombastic base riff. An absolute class ... (read more)

Report this review (#2855312) | Posted by Lupton | Tuesday, November 29, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yours Is No Disgrace Very much one of the "classics" in my opinion. This song is lyrically terrific and very witty, and composed excellently. Its insanely catchy and Andersons vocals are as great as always. A very high 9/10 The Clap A nice interlude before the next song in my opinion. Nothing ... (read more)

Report this review (#2713262) | Posted by DorKnor | Friday, March 25, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review - #3 (Yes - The Yes Album) The Yes Album is the third studio album released by Yes on February 19th, 1971. This album would mark a turning point for the band as this is considered to be their first "classic" album by most fans. The band's line-up remains the same as their previous albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2638464) | Posted by Prog Eden | Tuesday, November 30, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review - #3 (Yes - The Yes Album) The Yes Album is the third studio album released by Yes on February 19th, 1971. This album would mark a turning point for the band as this is considered to be their first "classic" album by most fans. The band's line-up remains the same as their previous albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2536198) | Posted by Prog Zone | Saturday, April 17, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Yes Album is Yes' first true classic. The first album to include guitarist Steve Howe, his addition to the band was the one thing that completed Yes, in my opinion he is the one that made this album great. Absolute perfection in every track, It is no surprise that this album has received alm ... (read more)

Report this review (#2529435) | Posted by Cboi Sandlin | Monday, March 29, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Yes Album is the third studio album by the English band Yes which was released in February of 1971, which came out a few months before there classic album Fragile. The instrumentation on this album is excellent, Chris Squire always puts on a stellar performance, and Steve Howe did a really g ... (read more)

Report this review (#2508902) | Posted by Lieutenant_Lan | Thursday, February 25, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yes, an album by Yes, who created an album, The Yes Album. Yes, a great album. I'm sorry if you had a hard time reading that. I did too. The Yes Album is an album by Yes, a celebrated progressive rock band, and for good reason. Yes had talented and creative people playing the instruments, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2496544) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Saturday, January 23, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #45 What a great record!! YES third album "The Yes Album" was published in February 1971; it was the first album of the band to feature guitar player Steve HOWE as a replacement of Peter BANKS and the last one to feature Tony KAYE in keyboards before Rick WAKEMAN replaced him. This albu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2481341) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Monday, November 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is YES first album with Steve Howe in the line-up replacing Peter Banks. Steve Howe brings a profound influence in the YES music. There are at least three tracks in this album that should be listed in YES finest compositions, all marked the beginning of symphonic-progressive era of the band ... (read more)

Report this review (#2475526) | Posted by Mark-P | Saturday, November 14, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The incorporation of Steve Howe in the replacement of Peter Banks in the guitars implied a substantial change in the musical proposal of Yes. It came later the consolidation with the incorporation of Rick Wakeman in the following work, Fragile. Howe gives the Yes Album a new world of sounds a ... (read more)

Report this review (#2418091) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Wednesday, July 8, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "The Yes Album" is the third album of Yes. The last album with Tony Kaye (keyboards) and the first with Steve Howe (guitar). With Steve Howe the arrangements will become complex and all those elements of classical music that will be typical of the Yes style will arrive. Of course, here and the " ... (read more)

Report this review (#2414549) | Posted by OLD PROG | Sunday, June 21, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When Yes recorded this album in July 1970 it was make, or break for them. Their first two albums failed to achieve any commercial success. Not helping, the second album, 'Time and a Word' was recorded using an orchestra, alienating Tony Kaye and Peter Banks, who felt they were being shunted out ... (read more)

Report this review (#2412098) | Posted by iluvmarillion | Wednesday, June 10, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A question: is Steve Howe the secret ingredient to YES's success? Short answer: no. Longer answer (by three letters): kinda. This album is the first to feature him, and, no surprise, it's considered the first album of their core catalogue. Sure, the fact that all the material is original helps, an ... (read more)

Report this review (#2134519) | Posted by KarnEvil2000 | Wednesday, February 6, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars REVIEW #9 - "The Yes Album" by Yes (1971). 07/07/2018 Its been a while since I've done a review, and over the last few weeks I was able to witness my first Yes concert. While the group today is radically different than it was in the seventies, with Steve Howe being the only remaining permanen ... (read more)

Report this review (#1945960) | Posted by SonomaComa1999 | Saturday, July 7, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This and my first review on the forum, sorry for my bad English. This album and a masterpiece from beginning to the end, starting with yours is no disgrace, one of the best-known titles of Yes with sensational arrangements, then the weakest track for Min of the album, recorded by Steve Howe Live but ... (read more)

Report this review (#1819196) | Posted by marcosbodziak | Saturday, November 4, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After their previous two albums failed to impress me (sacrilege, I know!), it's with their third release, aptly titled 'The Yes Album', that Yes produced a record I feel is worthy of their name, with the fresh and vibrant sound that we've come to know and love finally starting to shine through. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1739520) | Posted by martindavey87 | Thursday, June 29, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars So Musical. This is the album that introduced North America to Yes, with many thinking it was the first Yes album (probably largely due to the title). Their first album with Steve Howe, the album shows that while Peter Banks was good and did not deserve to be treated so poorly, Yes with Steve How ... (read more)

Report this review (#1696008) | Posted by Walkscore | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is Yes' breakthrough album. This is where everything came together for the band. This album contains some of the groups best compositions. This is basically when Yes, became Yes. There's significantly less songs this time around, but that's because most of the songs on here are longer and c ... (read more)

Report this review (#1542351) | Posted by mutantenemy1701 | Monday, March 21, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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