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Yes Yessongs album cover
4.36 | 1082 ratings | 90 reviews | 61% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Live, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (66:04)
1. Opening (excerpt from "Firebird Suite") (3:45)
2. Siberian Khatru (8:50)
3. Heart of the Sunrise (11:26)
4. Perpetual Change (14:08)
5. And You and I (9:55) :
- a) Cord of Life
- b) Eclipse
- c) The Preacher the Teacher
- d) The Apocalypse
6. Mood for a Day (2:52)
7. Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (6:35)
8. Roundabout (8:33)

Disc 2 (63:12)
1. I've Seen All Good People (7:00) :
- a) Your Move
- b) All Good People
2. Long Distance Runaround / The Fish (13:45)
3. Close to the Edge (18:41) :
- a) The Solid Time of Change
- b) Total Mass Retain
- c) I Get Up I Get Down
- d) Seasons of Man
4. Yours Is No Disgrace (14:21)
5. Starship Trooper (9:25) :
- a) Life Seeker
- b) Disillusion
- c) Wurm

Total Time 129:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Bill Bruford / drums (1.4, 2.2)
- Alan White / drums on everything else
- Steve Howe / guitars, vocals

Releases information

Atlantic records (lps 3SA-100)
LP (1973, U.K.): Atlantic K60065
LP (1973, U.S.): Atlantic SD 3 -100
CD (1994, Remastered, Germany): Atlantic 7567-82682-2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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YES Yessongs ratings distribution

(1082 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(61%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (6%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

YES Yessongs reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!

Dreadful sound and ugly dubbings stops this to be the Chef d'Oeuvre it should've been. If you listen well to the sound recording levels, you will have no trouble understanding my reaction, as there are many studio tamperings and noticeable tape splicings - at least on the vinyl, since I've never bought the Cd reissue, where these "bleeps" might have been corrected . The track selection, however, is almost a dream-come-true, with only parts of the tracks played by Alan White and the rest from Master Bruford! (The "a" letter was intentional) If you dreamed of having a Live album featuring Howe, Wakeman and Bruford in the same group, Yessongs is it. The only track I consider essential up to that point in the band's repertoire and missing on this three-disc affair id South Side Of The Sky, but we shall survive.

Great and ambitious (but fragile) cove artwork though, explaining the other artwork of the Fragile and Close To The Edge albums. The booklet was also awesome also and I spent hours plunged into this album, loving every minute of it. Had this album a better sound, this would've gotten a much better rating! So essential but flawed.

Review by loserboy
4 stars Without a question as far a live albums go, YES' "Yessongs" would rank right up there as one of my all time favorite albums. Released back in '73 as a triple vinyl album set devoted to capturing YES live on their 1972 tour. YES here perform songs from "Fragile", "Close To The Edge" and The YES Album which is my personal favourite era for YES. In my opinion this album contains one of the greatest intro's ever recorded live with the except from the "Firebird Suite" cascading into "Siberian Khatru" in epic proportions. ANDERSON's voice is highly angelic throughout this show and I don't think you can get much better than the guitar work of Steve HOWE, WAKEMAN' analog keyboard runs, SQUIRES pattented bass fretting or Alan WHITE's excellent drumming.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This TRIPLE LP is an early 70's live album of the Yes band. The sound is rather good for the year. The chosen tracks are very representative of the most progressive moments of the early Yes: indeed most of the epic tracks from "Close to the Edge", "Fragile" and "The Yes album" are played. The "Opening" track, an excerpt from the "Firebird Suite", is a flamboyant classical piece played by an orchestra, reminding the "Rick Wakeman's "Journey to the center of the Earth" album. Alan White's drums solo on "Perpetual change" is original an impressive. Howe's electric guitar solo on "And you and I" sounds as weird and spacy as on the Relayer album. The crowd is favorably responding. The excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" album are VERY interesting: Yes stopped to play, leaving all the available room to Rick's delightful keyboards. Yes only play the first rhythmic part on "Long distance runaround".

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by daveconn
4 stars "Yessongs" is a feast for fans: three albums originally packaged with an extra helping of ROGER DEAN's artwork that runs through live performances of the band's best material (i.e., "The YES Album" onward). Anyone who's seen YES play live knows that they have the chops to back up their complex studio arrangements, in some cases replicating the majesty of the originals down to the smallest touches. The only knock on "Yessongs" is that it does strip some of the mystery away from the originals; the studio albums somehow transcended mortals playing mere instruments, but the occasionally clumsy nature of human beings reveals itself on some of these arrangements, whether it's the missed vocal harmonies or STEVE HOVE's inspired but ultimately imperfect guitar work. The band isn't merely interested in re-creating their studio albums, however, providing terrific twists on classics like "The Fish" and "Yours Is No Disgrace." RICK WAKEMAN steps out for a solo plug with a crowd-pleasing piece that incorporates snippets of his recent solo album, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", and is brilliant throughout, often replicating his original solos nearly note for note. The wild card here is CHRIS SQUIRE, who strays from the original arrangements for "Heart of the Sunrise" and a few others, sometimes embellishing his parts to a distracting degree. Although BILL BRUFORD appears on some tracks, even finding time for a solo on "Perpetual Change", newcomer ALAN WHITE handles most of the drums, having been thrown into the fire quickly when BRUFORD left. (He does such a fine job on tracks like "The Fish" and "Heart of the Sunrise" that you never feel BRUFORD's absence.) To their credit, the band conjurs the original magic where it counts: "Close to the Edge", "And You and I", "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper." JON ANDERSON is remarkably on key almost all of the time, no small feat considering the epic nature of tracks like "Close to the Edge".

Despite a tendency for most bands to slow down the material for live performances, YES actually speeds things up; "Siberian Khatru" (an inspired choice for the opener) kicks some heinie as a result, although "I've Seen All Good People" suffers for it. "Yessongs" may expend more energy than some listeners are prepared to invest in it, but fans will revel in its artful re-creations and definitive selection.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If somebody asked me for a live album that describes perfectly the progressive spirit of the early 70's, I would answer Yessongs without any hesitation, even when production sucks and audio quality is mediocre due to primitive analog recording techniques existing in 1972 - 1973, but WHO CARES? The music is fantastic.

Few bands sound better on stage (or at least as good) as in studio, with Yessongs you have the chance of listening one of them.

Wakeman is a perfect showman to complement Jon Anderson, Steve Howe is a genius with his magic guitar (even though not in his best moment), Chris Squire is precise as always and Jon is always Jon.

Maybe the weakest link is Alan White but only if you compare him with Bill Bruford otherwise he's a very good drummer.

Is not necessary to describe the album song by song because all the tracks are well known classics, but I have to mention some high points.

Most of the tracks from The Yes Album sound much better in Yessongs, specially Your Move/All good People because they join the two songs with a breathtaking drums section, creating and explosive moment instead of the annoying blank space left in Yes Album between the tracks that separates both songs forcing the band to start all over again.

Having the chance to see or listen Wakeman playing the Excepts from the Six Wives of Henry the VIII (after the beautiful vocal introduction by Jon) is one of those moments that a fan must treasure all his life and Steve playing "Mood for a Day" is always a gratification for the soul.

An excellent album despite the technical problems, no Yes collection is complete without Yessongs.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars Yes, the recording of this album is not very good, but the mixing is better than in "Yesshows". But it is still enjoyable. The original L.P. cover with a booklet of photographs is very good. Alan White is a very good drummer, and as the history says he learned the songs in very few days of rehearsals. So he is very talented to had done what he did in 1972. I even like more the live versions of some songs like "Siberian Khatru", "Close to the Edge", "I`ve seen all good people", "Yours is no disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" than the original studio versions with Bill Bruford. Bruford is also a very good drummer, and he appears in this album in the songs "Perpetual Change" (with drums solo), "Long Distance Runaround" , and "The Fish" (with a bass solo by Squire, which it is "noisy" in some parts for me). I only miss Bruford in "Heart of the sunrise", "And You and I" and "Roundabout", but Alan White added his style to these songs, doing a good job too.Howe and Wakeman performed their respective solo pieces, but I prefer Wakeman`s. Rick Wakeman added his style to the songs from "The Yes Album", and in "Starship Trooper" he played a very good synthesizer solo in the "Würm" section. In "Perpetual change" he added mellotron, which is not present in the original studio version which was played by Tony Kaye.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A live album masterpiece. No other Yes live album comes close to this. As far as quality goes and the criticism it receives, I just don't get it. Sure it is not the best but what an atmosphere, what an assortment of the finest songs. Chris Squire's ' Fish' and Wakeman's ' Six Wives' are simply awesome. The quality of Genesis - Trespass was also poor, did this detract from the fact that it was a classic album? No ways.Anderson's occasional interraction with the crowd is also perfect.The sleeve design on Yessongs is again by Roger Dean, a three LP fold out.By now the Yes/Dean branding well engrained in the subconcious and adding to the conceptual feel of the albums.Do not overlook thnis essential milestone in the Yes history.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Spoilt for choice

In the early 70's, many people's first purchase of an album by Yes album was "Yessongs". The reason: while "Yessongs" consisted of a triple albums set, it sold for little more than the price a single album. As such, it offered an appealing way of obtaining many of the tracks on the bands early albums, albeit performed live.

With the exception of Wakeman's solo spot from his "Six Wives of henry VIII" album, the tracks are all taken from "The Yes album", "Fragile", and "Close to the edge". The performances are excellent throughout, and while each member is afforded a solo slot (excepting Anderson), these fit in well within the album. There are numerous highlights, "Yours is no disgrace" benefits from an extended guitar solo by Howe, and "Close to the edge" is much sharper and more powerful than the studio version. "Perpetual change" is slightly spoiled for me by the inevitable drum solo, although the remainder of the track is probably superior to the "Yes album" original.

Most of the remaining tracks are reasonably faithful to their studio counterparts, although Squire's bass solo on "The fish" is enhanced and developed into a much longer piece.

When you consider that virtually all the material included here still forms the cornerstone of the band's live set today, you appreciate just how spoilt Yes fans of the early 70's actually were. Every track is an absolute classic.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An excellent live set and probably Yes's most essential live album, featuring all of 'Close to the Edge' as well as the best stuff from 'Fragile' and the 'Yes Album'. As expected, the musicianship is great all the way through apart from a surprisingly dull drumsolo from Bruford in 'Perpetual Change', and the soundquality is very good for it's time, and it even makes for a perfect alternative for a newcomer to Yes with a limited budget, and if you are a vinyl hound then you should track down the original 1973 pressing of this album with the amazing gatefold cover painted by Roger Dean in all it's glory. This should be a great addition to any prog collection.
Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars One of the best live-albums ever made from a band that was so pivotal and included only masters of their instruments. I prefer to listen to live-albums because in general the sound is more powerful and they deliver often a lot of instrumental extra's. Well, this originally triple LP set is almost the ultimate live album: great renditions of 'classic tracks' like "And You And I" (beautiful vocals and pedal-steel guitar), "Roundabout" (excellent guitar and Hammond organ), the epic "Close To The Edge" (splendid build-up and bombastic climax featuring a majestic church organ sound and fat Minimoog runs) and "Starship Trooper" (captivating duel between Howe's guitar and Wakeman's Minimoog). The extended soli are a perfect example of the typical progrock self-indulgence in those days, especially Rick Wakeman ('the caped crusader') with his wide range of keyboards (MELLOTRON!) among mirrors and explosions in "Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" and Chris Squire on his Rickenbacker bass in "The Fish". Steve Howe (using a kind of guitar-museum on tour) creates a warm and pleasant atmosphere with his Spanish guitar in the piece "Mood For A Day". If I want to let myself carry away with superb 24-carat symphonic rock, this is one of my favorite albums.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A wonderful packet delivering us the live recordings of YES from early 70's. The set list is totally awesome, covering the most essential compositions the band ever managed to create. All this is packed up in the most fabulous Roger Dean design yet to be encountered, with big opening gatefolds, several large paintings and a funny booklet. The only aspect that makes me drop of the fifth possible star from my rating is the fact that many of these songs worked a bit more better on the studio releases. As the songs are highly structured, they sound more coherent on the albums, and there isn't much space for improvisation. Also the sound quality isn't the best possible, but that doesn't bother me much. If you like live music, get this! Also all fans of this band should at least listen through this live album.
Review by penguindf12
3 stars A pretty good live album. It perfectly captures Yes at (or near) their creative peak. The only problem is the sound quality, which is only fairly good by today's standards, but in 1973 was phenomenal. There are some subtle edits and dubs here and there, nothing blastphemous, mainly just odd jumps in volume occaisionally. Of course, there is still a little analog hiss, but nothing bad.

The music included is the best part. It starts with an excerpt from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite," but unfortunately is just a recording, and not played by the band. Soon the band enters to play "Siberian Khatru," which is very well done, and doesn't stray much from the studio version except that the electric sitar is absent. "Heart of the Sunrise" is also fairly faithful to the studio version, nothing special but still as great as ever. BRUFORD plays on "Perpetual Change," and does a big drum solo at the end. However, the midsection of the song is the most interesting part, when the band speeds into a section in 14/8 much like the one in the studio album, but played live it is even more amazing. They end it with a huge amount of feedback, tricking you into thinking that something went wrong, then plunges back into the song.

"And You and I" is another great but not exemplary tune included, using electric guitar instead of the 12-string like on the studio version. HOWE's "Mood for a Day" is really the only filler on here, replicated exactly as it was in the studio, and even in the studio it was mainly filler anyway. Rick WAKEMAN's keyboard solo is another highlight, in which he incorporates quotations from his "Six Wives" album and the hymn "Hallelujah." After this is "Roundabout", which has some slightly muddy sound quality but still retains its effect.

Disc two is my personal favorite, however, beginning with "I've Seen All Good People." They keep the song fairly close to the studio version, once again, but it still has that live flavor you can't get in the studio. "Long Distance Runaround" segues into "The Fish," and is by far the most interesting moment on the album. I wondered how they would ever pull it off, but they do. SQUIRE performs superbly, taking individual themes from the studio version and twisting them through a wah pedal, with the rest of the band helping. You have to hear it to believe it.

"Close to the Edge" is as beautiful as ever, with a climax even more climactic than in the studio, with distortion, wah and everything. This version is my personal favorite, and HOWE actually plays his electric sitar the whole time onstage, another plus. BRUFORD plays once more on "Yours is No Disgrace," and they really stretch this one out with a lot more improvisations than their newer numbers. "Starship Trooper" ends with very good sound quality, and the "Wurm" section live is simply majestic.

This album could easily be enjoyed by YES veterans and newcomers alike. It could be a very good album to start with, actually, if you were just starting to get into YES. A must-have for fans.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This live album represented my second journey to the music of Yes after I first listened to the ground breaking "Fragile" album in mid seventies. What truly amazed me at first listen through a cassette lent from my big bro Henky was the live performance of "Perpetual Change" whereby by that time I had never heard of the studio album and I did not know this was taken from what album. But man . it BLEW me away especially when I sensed the high energy of Steve Howe's guitar style combined with chock-full of bass lines by the energetic guy Chris Squire and fantastic drumming by Alan White. This track is really fabulous and for me it's the album's mascot. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to say the other tracks are not good as they are all in fact are excellent. The other thing that hooked me to the album was the beautiful "Opening (Excerpt from "Firebird Suite") " that set the overall live vibe of the show continued dynamically, lively with the track from Close to The Edge album "Siberian Khatru". I think the combination of these two tracks have characterized many live acts of the band in their early history. It was changed with "Parallels" in the "Yesshows" album which featured Patrick Moraz.

Well, it's gonna be boring if I review on track by track basis as by now I assume that you have been familiar with all individual track of this live set. I do like the live atmosphere and the high energy by all members of Yes in this show. If you don't have this album, I recommend you should get one. I also have the laser disc version (with selected tracks only from the CD version) of the show which represents an excellent documentary of the band's live show history, even though the sound quality is really poor. Keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours,


Review by Zitro
4 stars While the sound quality is lacking a bit and some songs are disappointing compared to the original versions, the live feeling is great, and there is so much energy in here!

Intro : the ending of the majestic 'firebird suite' epic.

Siberian Kathru : This is one song that sounds better than the original, because it packs so much energy here.

Heart Of the Sunrise : the sound quality is actually decent in this track, and while I miss bruford in the bass/drum duo, the bass riffing is much better here and the random riffs all around the song sound overall better done and more complex.

Perpetual Change : Another song that sounds better than the original. There are extended solos and of course Wakeman makes keyboards better than in the studio album.

And You and I : very disappointing, because it sounds loud , too electric and sounds more like a rock song. Besides the intro solo is removed.

Mood For a day : a little more virtuosic than the fragile version, but I think it doesnt' mean its better.

Rick Wakeman show-off : it has always been a favourite of mine, and I love keyboard solos ... this is a set of keyboard solos and riffing with some fooling around (hallelujah, or the ending sound effects)

Roundabout : the performance is excellent, but the sound quality really suffers. In addition, the intro played by electric guitar ruins its magic for me.

I've seen all good people : not a great song, and its worse here. I miss the church organ, and the energy it had on the other version (here it's slower), and the sound quality.

Long distance runaround + squire soloing : not good, the sound quality is at its worst here, and the bass soloing while impressive, goes on and off in moments and it is very long.

Close to the edge : very nice version, the performance is very good, and alan white drumming during the church organ (now a keyboard) solos shows that bill brufford should have drummed there.

Yours is no Disgrace : The highlight of the album for me, since it sounds great, and it has an extended solo which for me is my favourite guitar solo of Steve Howe.

Starship Trooper : Disappointing guitar sound, and the wonderful vocal harmonies after the acoustic section (done here in electric guitar) is replaced by a horrible keyboard playing. The saving grace are the solos (keyboard and guitar) at the end of the song.

This great live recording has poor sound that bothers my listening, if you can tolerate it, I highly would recommend this album.

My Grade : B+

Review by Marc Baum

"Yessongs" is perhaps the most famous progressive rock live record ever, that didn't came from out of nowhere though. It acclaimed a legendary status worldwide as a live observation by the pioneers of symphonic prog. It included on three lp-sides all the essential music from their breakthrough "The Yes Album" (with Tony Kaye on keys) and their symphonic masterpieces (thankfully Rick Wakeman in wide parts) "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge", with which the band reached worldwide attention and huge fame. The sound quality of the original recording was in a disappointing analog sound and in comparison with the recording to the three studio albums a bit weak, which reduced the pleasure to listen this fantastic live album in some few sound-technical aspects. The huge Yes fan felt nowhere disturbed by this though.

With this digitally remastered double cd version, you'll get an superior sound to the original recording, where the pure power and virtuosity of the band to this time is very well presented. The nice booklet contains 4 big stunning beautiful artwork-pictures by Roger Dean (the one and only representative prog-records-artwork-painter of it's time). In comparison with the 23 years later released double live album "Keys To Ascension", the sound is harder and wilder on "Yessongs", but I perfer the more mature and routined sounding versions of "Siberian Khatru", "Heart Of The Sunrise" or "Roundabout" on the also brilliant "Keys To Ascension", but that's more a matter of taste.

Fact is, that all in all this is the most stunning live album of Yes and probably the complete prog history and no prog collection can be considered complete without it. Get your copy now if you don't already got one - But look for the digital remastered edition from Atlantic, because of the superior digital sound quality.

Rating: 9.5/10 points = 97 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5/5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars Yes - this are songs ...

I bought the 3 LP set in the 70s after I got the studio album 'Close to the edge'. Both are a must have for a progressive rock collection. This was a great experience for me and they are some of the mostly played records on my player.

Until today I never have heard such an amazing live record from YES like 'Yessongs' - the essence of the 3 exciting studio albums before. Only the tracks 'Close to the edge' and 'Siberian Khatru' are better in the studio version.

Compared to other live track compilations - for example 'The word is live' - the YES-members are at their peak. Brilliant: 'Long distance runaround/The fish' with an outstanding bass playing by Chris Squire and the absolute dynamic Perpetual change and Yours is no disgrace.

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars This was something of a curiosity when it released in 1973. George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass came out a couple years earlier, but I can’t recall any other triple vinyl albums from those days besides these. Also, the Roger Dean artwork, especially on the inside of the album, was really striking. At the time live albums were not normally considered on par with studio records, primarily because the sound was usually poor, and also because bootleg live albums were pretty easy to pick up cheap or even free, so it made little sense to actually pay for a recording of a concert. Of course Peter Frampton was only three years away from releasing Frampton Comes Alive, which would change many people’s perception of live albums.

In the case of Yes though, Fragile and Close to the Edge were still making waves across the heartland, especially with those of us who were too young to have been hippies, but who in many cases had older siblings or friends who were. In my neighborhood at least, this was definitely considered music for those who walked on the left fringes of society. I didn’t actually buy my own copy until years later when it was released on CD, but my older brother had the album and I certainly remember many summer afternoons listening to it in our basement while pondering the meaning of life and daydreaming about more exotic places than the wheat fields of the midwest (you’ve seen That 70’s Show, right?!).

Anyway, pretty much every progressive music fan knows all about this album and the two hours of stellar performances on it, so most of the songs need no introduction or critique. I will say that my re-mastered CD copy has quite a bit cleaner sound than my brother’s old vinyl, although the drums and bass still seem to be a bit muddled in places, particularly on “Heart of the Sunrise” and “Perpetual Change”.

The Stravinsky opening is just spectacular, and having seen them do this live in later years, I can say that the band definitely knows how to grab an audience’s attention right from the start. The rest of the album has no really bad tracks, with some of them actually coming off as more interesting and animated than the original versions. “I’ve Seen All Good People”, for example is much more familiar to me than the studio version, as the radio stations in my home town used to play it all the time, and it still sounds like the only ‘correct’ version to my ears.

I could have done without the “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” excerpt, an album I also own but rarely listen to. I’ve always found Rick Wakeman to be a bit self-indulgent on his solo albums, and the track just seems out-of-place amid the much more impressive Yes works.

The extended version of “Yours is No Disgrace” also strikes me as a bit cutesy, almost as if the band is grandstanding. This is one of my favorite Yes songs, but the studio version is much more succinct, and the spectacle of Steve Howe and Wakeman’s extended guitar/keyboard work is largely lost without the visual experience to go along with it.

But the band more than makes up for this faux pas with the closing “Starship Trooper”. I’ve actually heard a live version from the 1978 Wembley BBC London show which I think is a bit tighter, particularly White’s drums, but I guess he was still getting his feet with the band here, and between Howe, Anderson, and Chris Squire they more than pick up the slack.

All told this is a pretty darn good live album for the time in which it was released. Having heard both the original vinyl and the re-mastered CD, I prefer the CD version, but frankly it’s not as dramatic a difference as I’ve heard in other re-mastered works from the early 70s. I imagine that’s partly because there were some flaws in the taping to begin with, and the mixing afterwards leaves a bit to be desired in terms of subtlety. But over the years I have grown much more appreciative of live albums, especially those that captured the sound of great band at their peak, and that is certainly the case here. Of the many live albums yes has released over the years, this one has the best track selection and best reflects the sound of the band in its classic lineup. For those reasons (in addition to the great music, of course), four stars seems appropriate.


Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars I already mentioned in my review of "Genesis Live" that I purchased these two albums on the same Wednesday afternoon (school off) in November 1973. What a great day this was. What a revelation ! These were my entries to both bands.

A week before my purchase "Yessongs" was the album of the week on a radio programme I was listening to every night. They used to play one song of it every night and this is how I discovered YesSongs. It was so gorgeous that I decided to buy it almost immediately (this was quite an investment for a fourteen years old kid : a triple album - I remember having paid almost 799 BEF which is now the equivalent of 20 ?).

As a feedback to "Easy Livin" review, about the price, I can tell you that Yessongs was quite expensive in comparison to a standard album (at the time this ranged between 299 or 335 BEF which is 7,5 to 8,4 ?). This comment is valid for Belgium. But for this price, I got over two hours of the best prog I could have dreamed of !

It was quite difficult to choose where to start with that day : Genesis or Yes ? Yes or Genesis ? Fantastic to get this choice, no ? The classic opener (for about 30 years, almost uninterrupetedly) from Stravinski's work "Firebird" will, for generations, tell the audience that the band was arriving on stage. The tracklist of this live album is INCREDIBLE. All the YesClassics of the era are there. Most of the songs will be taken from their supporting tour for "Close" : so, obviously the whole of this album is recorded here. One of the first collapse in the line-up will take place before the tour : Bill will leave the band and Alan will replace him on the drums. That's why Bill is only featured on two songs on YesSongs (taken from the "Fragile" tour : "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround / The Fish". In 2006, Alan was still the drummer of Yes (and this without break since 1973). Their other two previous fantastic studio albums "Fragile "and "The Yes Album" are providing almost the rest of this triple LP. There will be only one exception (on top of the opener of course) : "Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" from Rick. Most of the tracks are rockier than the originals, specially "Siberian", "Heart", Roundabout" and "Perpetual Change"

Since I discovered the live versions before the studio tracks, it took me quite a while to appreciate the studio ones more than the live ones. I must also admit that the sound of the album is not great (to say the least). Almost on par with boot quality. I do not own the CD remastered version but I have read that is is not very superior to my vinyl original. "Heart" and "Perpetual" are truely gorgeous renditions. My highlights of this triple set. If you revert to the original vinyl version of YesSongs, I would say that disc II is, by far, the weakest. But weak compared to one of the most glorious prog moments ever, is it really weak ? I have never really been found of "Your Move / I've Seen", "The Fish" (which is quite extended and boring) and "Mood For A Day". The medley of Rick's album "The Six Wives..." gives a pretty good idea of his album. The greatest song of disc two is of course "Roundabout" but the sound is rather weak.

Should I play the game of comparisons, I would say that both studio & live versions for "And You & I", "Yours" and "Starship Trooper" end on a draw. "Close" is not working very well here. One of the best version for this song (if not the best one available) appears bizarrely on "Friends & Relatives" released in 1998.

Emotionally, I rate it with five stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars A remarkable album in all aspects. It was the first Yes album I ever had and the main reason I fell in love with prog music. I was turning 15 and spent almost all my birthday money on this triple vynil album. I listened so much I wore it out. Next year I had to buy another copy. In 90´s I got a CD version and was apalled by its bad quality. It seems they did no remastering at all to save money or something like that. Fortunatly a few years ago I was able to get a russian edition of the same album. It is much better and have some extra tracks (unfortunatly those are of the 90125 shows, but the sound quality is so superior you´ll forgive this mistake).

Anyway, Yessongs shows the band Yes at their peak.It´s absolute incredible how good those guys are! No wonder they influenced so many people in the 70´s and latter. During those years they had no real rivals, they were the ultimate prog band of the word. And Yessongs is their crowning achievement. Proving that live they were as good as in the studio, no matter how complex and long the songs were. They could do it with a smile on their faces. No highlights here, as all the songs are good and playing is top notch.

The only low point here is the drums. I know that Alan White is an excellent musician, but Bill Bruford is a genious! Just hear the songs he plays on and see the difference! Oh, how I wish he could play the whole album. Other than that, this is as perfect as a live album can be, specially the remastered version I got.

One of my top 10 records of all time!

Anyone who calls himself a prog fan has to have this one.

Review by NJprogfan
4 stars A truly awesome first live album by the boys. It has my favorite live rendition of most of their classics. The oft-played "Roundabout" sounds fresh and lively, "Heart Of The Sunrise", (my 2nd fav of the band after "Close To The Edge") is powerful, but it's "Long Distance Runaround" followed by "The Fish" that for me is the highlight. Chris Squire's thundering bass and Howe's overpowering guitar just sounds so grungy, it's mindblowing! Especially when the band kicks in at the tail end of 'The Fish" Stunning! The album has some very good versions also, like "Close To The Edge" with Wakeman's wonderful keys and a super and rare version of "Perpetual Change", (not a fav of mine, btw). My only gripe is towards the end of disc 2, it's definately a different concert. "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" have an almost bootleg sound, sort of echoey and distant especially Wakeman's keys, Howe though shines. Overall, I think this album is stellar and a must have, especially for YES fans for a rendition of the band at their peak. 4.5 stars!
Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

This was my introduction to YES back then in 1973. It was my first album and is still my favourite of them! why?? Beacuse not only it contains all the classic tracks of the YES ALBUM, FRAGILE and the toatality of CLOSE TO THE EDGE, but ALL the versions played live on this album are performed way better than the original ones, with more energy and freshness , less restraint . Just listen to this live rendition of CTTE and you will hear the intense sheer energy coming out of the musicians.

What helps also to the artistic success of this album is the addition of the opening track, a classical piece of Stravinsky , the FIREBIRD SUITE which is a wonderful way to start a YESconcert, a perfect entrance to the msical world of YES. Also another highlight is RICK WAKEMAN'S exceprts of ''THE 6 WIVES OF HENRY VIII'' that mix well with the YES material and add a more grandiose touch to the experience when listening to this wonderful album.

Every musician is top notch on these recordings; there is no flaw whatsoever; 5 musicians at their peak creatively. Bill BRUFORD left during this tour and was subsequently replaced by ALAN WHITE........coming out of the ...ONO PLASTIC BAND from John Lennon, hardly a prog outfit. But he will find his niche nicely and YES will keep going untouched by the departure of BRUFORD. Alan white is still going strong with YES some 35 years later.

What also make thsi album quite noticeable was the packaging and cover art of the great ROGER DEAN. I don't think of any more grandiose cover-art than the one on YESSONGS! The drawings are so beautiful , full of mystery, an opening to another lost world and we don't want to forget about the original 33LP different folders. Yes the CD revolution doesn't let us appreciate the ROGER DEAN art-work as much as the old timer vinyl presentation.

Try to find the 3 original LPs album in all its splendor!! I still have my original one from 1973( very used) i bought a new edition LP ( to have it proper) I have the 2 CD jewel case ( not great) I bought also the Japanese mini-LP look alike CDS (not bad)

As you can see, i love YESSONGS; goes with me on my desert island. One of the prog mountain. 6 STARS, but can only give 5.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
5 stars Yessongs is probably one of the greatest progressive rock live albums ever released. Originally released as a 3-LP set, then later re-released as a 2-CD set, Yessongs contained every one of the best tracks from The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge (all three albums being masterpieces themselves). The sound production for this is remarkable for the time period it was released in and the performance of the band is incredible.

Although Bill Bruford only appears on two of the songs, Alan White does a more than credible job as his replacement. Rick Wakeman breathes new life into the material from The Yes Album, clearly showing why he is a keyboard wizard and how much of an improvement his addition to the band was. In all my years, I don't believe I've ever heard another live album that comes close to Yessongs, past or present. All this and some cool Roger Dean cover artwork to boot. A masterpiece well deserving of five stars.

Review by Dim
5 stars A True masterpiece of progressive music! Although I was an avid listener of Pink Floyd, I had no idea what prog rock was, then one day my dad lets me listen to this wonderful live album, telling me this was one of his favirotes for years. That was the day I was opened up to prog rock. In my opinion, this is the single best piece of music I own (and thats A LOT of music).

Everything is perfect, even the recording, which was not known for good live music back in the day. The musicianship is absolutely superb, it's almost everything in the yes album through Close to the edge, but with a very assertive and passionate edge. Steve Howe is not known to be extremely flashy or pretensious, not even on this, but his talent just explodes all over the place, when I listen to his solo on yours is no discrace and siberian khatru, I hear a monster tearing away at the most amazing musical notes I have ever heard. Mr. Squire is right up there with him, it blows my mind that all he needs is a pick a rickenbacker bass, and a wah peddle, to make some of the most intricate and masterful basslines ever created, and when he breaks down the 2 minuete long bass solo the fish, into an 11 minuete masquerade, I cant help but think about Geddy Lee crying in hopelessness.

Jon Anderson and Rik Wakeman are at the top of their game, but then again, I havent heard anythng recorded where they arent. Now, as many of you know Bill Bruford left after Close to the edge, and that this was Alan Whites first recorded record with Yes, and although his performance will never live up to Bill Brufords legacy, he made some pretty good beats on siberian khatru, And you and I, and Starship trooper. Bill does get his chance to shine on perpetual change though... in a four minuete long solo that leaves you completely breathless from start to finish.

The tracks that really stand out to me are Siberian khatru, And you and I, and Perpetual change. Siberian Khatru because it's just intense from the intro, to the greatly improved solo where Steve hits notes to speeds where Eddie van Halen would be jealous. And You and I because it's just a beautiful song, with or without the acoustic guitar, and with the more aggressive last section, everything works perfectly. Perpetual change is a no brainer to anyone who has heard it, but the most glorious moment is when the bass and guitar switch and Squire starts playing a very fast and mean guitar line!

Props to Starship trooper for the excellent closing section, and Heart of the sunrise for being so beautiful.

If you like Yes or progressive music in general, get this, it is possibly the greatest piece of music ever!

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Even though I don't listen to Yessongs very often anymore, it has no other place to go but on top. It was the defining album of my childhood, the reason I became a musician. It is often knocked for the poor recording quality, but IMHO, that's one of the things that truly makes it great. Yes writes oustanding music, but on early studio albums where they wrote there best music, much of the sound is overly compressed. The dynamics are subdued to the point that the majesty of the composition is hiden. Especially when compared to Genesis and ELP who didn't seem to have a problem transposing their energy to the studio. Really interesting when you consider Eddie Offord's involvement in both yes and ELP. The rawness and power of the live performance almost made them a completely different band. The addition of Alan White for the majority of the album played a part in this as well. It seems that the less technical, yet more powerful and wide open playing style of AW infused a new energy into the other musicians over the highly technical, yet dynamically conservative chops of Bill Bruford. Another element that left a feeling of emptiness to some of their studio was the obligatory 70's fade out. The staccato end of Siberian Khatru, down to the last "AH!" was a symbol of the gratifying completeness of this album. The foldout Roger Dean art also left a lasting impression.
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Music that transports the mind.

"Fragile" was the first prog album I ever owned if memory serves but Yessongs is the album which addicted me to the music of Yes for so many years. It was nothing short of a revelation. I believe I played this album more than any other non-Zeppelin album in my formative years. Why so special? It's quite simple. More than any other album I recall Yessongs is a complete package capable of transporting the listening to another place. Really. This is a tour-de-force that takes the listener to the place represented visually so perfectly by the artistic eye of Roger Dean. Never has a partnership between musicians and cover artists been so spectacularly successful in enhancing the listening experience. Panel after panel of Dean's work is so magical and breathtaking, so adept at non-verbal communication.

And then there's the music! With selections pulled from only three studio albums (Yes album/Fragile/CTTE) the band wisely avoided using material from the first two. These three albums provided a focused and well integrated selection of songs. It begins with the most exciting prog opening ever, Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" which thereafter would raise the endorphin level of the Yes fan at first note. While the sound quality is poor by today's standards as mentioned by many, I have noticed that the sort of "fuzzy glow" inherent in this album's sound actually seems to enhance the mood of the material. Perhaps that's just a personal thing but the sound has never detracted from my enjoyment here. To this day the only song I will skip is "All Good People" which I've always felt was a very subpar Yes track. My favorite track is probably "Heart of the Sunrise" which just takes on otherworldly qualities in this live treatment.

After three good albums and this triumphant live package, Yes would release their two finest masterworks in "Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer" before ending their peak years with the fabulous QPR live show. They would hit rock bottom in the Rabin years and never reach such heights again. But from CTTE through QPR it was a moment of symphonic prog heaven equaled by very few.

Recommended to anyone building a serious symphonic collection. 4 ½ stars.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I owned this triple live set and had listened to it more than once, for sure. But for some reason I was never too much attracted to it. Yes, I know, the performance is brilliant, musicianship is at their peak, wonderful although kitschy art cover by R. Dean is awe- inspiring as ever... but.. It's all too much to digest and I never felt enough reason to have this album in my collection. I guess the visual experience of being there would make this recording more fullfilled... And, I miss the drumming of Bill Bruford! Studio versions of most of these compositions are still better for my taste. I would say, this 3LP record set is recommended only if you are a devoted fan of YES.
Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Easily one of the most enjoyable live albums in my collection for all the right reasons. This will remind Yes fans why they love this band!

This release shows Yes playing what are-- in my opinion-- some of the finest songs of this era in progressive rock (certainly in their own catalogue), with TREMENDOUS skill and energy; in some cases they surpass the dynamics and power of their studio counterparts!

There are tons of surprises and live gems here, like the symphonic introduction, new or extended solos, and slight alterations to the music which will leave Yes fans smiling. Howe's guitar will never sound finer, while Squire's savage, genre defining bass is an absolute joy. Everything sounds fresh and powerful, transporting the listener to the utmost realms of musical excellence with the best songs in the band's classic library.

The recording quality is admittedly poor, but it only rarely gets in the way from the force of nature that is Yes-- not to be missed!

Setlist 5 Instrumental Performances 5 Stage Energy 3 Live Experience 4

Review by russellk
4 stars Go stick on 'Close to the Edge' and slap your hands over your ears - that's what listening to 'Yessongs' sounds like. In one of the greatest music crimes of the twentieth century, what ought to have been the greatest live album of all time is, at best, a muted triumph.

That's all I'll say about the dreadful sound, I promise. 'Yessongs' is a collection of songs performed live, culled from the three greatest albums YES ever recorded. The general consensus is that the live versions are generally more powerful than their studio counterparts, but I'm afraid I don't agree. There are brilliant renditions, to be sure, considering they are live, but that last is the essential caveat. In my view, apart from the odd moment (the extensions of Perpetual Change, The Fish and Yours is No Disgrace), these live versions add little to the originals.

Still, that's not how a great live record should be assessed. It's the overall experience, the degree to which it invites you to share the live experience, and the album more than passes muster in this regard. The running order is a treat, and the crowd is always voluble. With anything like reasonable fidelity this would be rated as a masterpiece, but how can one award five stars to a record that constantly reminds you of its single shortcoming?

Drat, I promised, too. Sorry.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The reason Yessongs is not a five-star affair is that it suffers from one prominent flaw: It sounds horrible from a technical standpoint. Even for a 1973 recording, the quality is downright muddy. With that my only gripe, this is a phenomenal live set, and features some fantastic performances. Fragile is here almost in its entirety (from the group works, only "South Side of the Sky" is absent), and the masterwork Close to the Edge is here altogether. And other than "A Venture" and "Clap," The Yes Album is also represented in full. "And You and I" is subpar, mainly because Steve Howe uses an electric guitar throughout rather than a twelve-string acoustic. On more positive notes, the sound notwithstanding, I find the version of "Close to the Edge" better than the original: There is more power, and Squire's added notes make a subtle, but enormous difference for me. Rick Wakeman's solo spot is as spectacular as the cape he was wearing. He blends several excerpts from his greatest solo work as well as the main theme from Handel's Messiah and some quirky Western music. Speaking of Wakeman, the keyboard sounds on "Roundabout" are the best. As my very first Yes album, it was the one that acquainted me so many amazing songs, and for that, I will be indebted to it. I would not recommend it for someone unaccustomed to Yes unless that person could overlook technical imperfections; that said, there is no reason for a Yes fan to pass this one by.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars.This was released as a triple album back in 1973. Mostly taken from their "Close To The Edge" tour from 1972 with the exception of "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround / The Fish" which were taken from the "Fragile" tour of earlier that same year. I don't know if they did that so Bruford would be on here or not. He had left of course right after "Close To the Edge" was recorded and joined KING CRIMSON. So Alan White does the drumming on all the other tracks. I should mention as well that the mellotron is all over this recording. Rick Wakeman uses it on all but 3 tracks. So on this recording we get all of the songs from "Close To The Edge" as well as songs from "Fragile" and "The Yes Album". The exception is the opening track and the song where Wakeman plays some excerpts off of his solo album.

It's actually quicker to tell you what i'm not that impressed with then giving the highlights.This is a stunning release.The opening track doesn't do a lot for me as we get an excerpt from "Firebird Suite" a classical instrumental. "Mood For A Day" is filled with acoustic guitar melodies and is ok. "Close To The Edge" seems to my ears to suffer the most form the sound quality.That's it for the negatives.

This is for me is one of those classic live albums that everyone should own. Everyone is in top form and there are too many highlights to mention. Interesting that on "Perpetual Change" we get a drum solo from Bruford, I think the only one recorded from him. Wakeman offers up a jaw dropping performance on his "Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VIII". He even plays Handel's "Messiah" on his mellotron. Squire really shines on "The Fish" where he offers up a huge and long growly bass solo. He's all over this recording though.

Howe lights it up on "Yours Is No Disgrace" at 7 & 9 1/2 minutes in, getting a big applause when he finishes. Like Squire though he has many, many moments where he shines. I think Anderson's best vocal performance might be 6 1/2 & 10 minutes into "Heart Of the Sunrise" both emotional passages. The mellotron at the start of this song is incredible. How about 4 1/2 minutes into "And You And I", it's so moving. "Starship Trooper" is the perfect way to end it. So uplifting 2 minutes in. Amazing sound 6 minutes in as the crowd claps along.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is that you should own this recording.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
5 stars A resounding Yes!

After three masterpiece studio albums in a row with The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge, it was the perfect timing for a live album. The result is simply amazing, the masterpiece songs from these three studio albums are brought to the stage and what performances! Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, Perpetual Change, Roundabout, Heart Of The Sunrise, And You And I and Close To The Edge are all timeless classics. And not just Yes classics or Prog classics, but classics of music full stop. That one and the same band could create such otherworldly music in such a short time frame and then pull off a live showcase of these brilliant pieces of this magnitude is nothing short of breathtaking.

The Close To The Edge album, which is commonly (and rightly) regarded as one of the very, very best albums of progressive Rock of all time, is performed here in its entirety (though not in the same running order and interspersed with other songs) and the epic title is actually improved upon! 'How can you improve perfection?' you might ask. Well, you can't, but Yes could!

Steve Howe performs his wonderful classical guitar piece Mood For a Day and Rick Wakeman performs some excerpts from his then recent solo album The Six Wives of Henry VII. Roger Dean once again provides the lovely art work for the sleeve. What else could anyone reasonably ask for? This is the ultimate Yes live album.

Yessongs is an all time classic of live Prog albums, it doesn't get more essential than this!

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is a marvellous collection of songs. If this was a 'best off', it would deserve no less then 5 stars. But I'm not blown away by the performance. I do enjoy the rocking edge and rough sound but that is not enough for me to make it into an excellent live album.

The music stays largely true to the original versions, which will probably satisfy most listeners. But with musicians such as Bruford, Squire and Howe in action, I had expected more. There are only a couple of exceptions where they try out some soloing/improvisation, such as the extended version of Long Distance Runaround/The Fish. But judging from that one, my conclusion is that improvisation wasn't Yes strongest asset. I like the bass noise Squire produces here, but as an improv, this doesn't hold together at all.

The jamming during Yours Is No Disgrace seems to suit them better. Another good moment comes from Wakeman on his Six Wives suite. He avoids the more cheesy parts of the original and his over the top classical music on synth theatrics in the middle are quite funny actually. I hope it was meant like that. The second half contains some nice vintage keyboards interplay.

But my biggest disappointment stems from the vocals. Jon Anderson's vocals and harmonies were always one of Yes's main attractions, but in this live setting these harmonies fail. I don't know who gave Chris Squire the idea he should sing. Not only is his voice unpleasant and grating, it's often out of tune. Close To The Edge is a track that particularly suffers from that issue. On the other hand, tracks such as Roundabout and Siberian Kathru are performed really well.

I have always had mixed feelings about this album, even in the years when Yes ruled my rock. Some tracks are excellent, some of the harmony vocals make me cringe. To comfort sceptics like me, the original triple vinyl packaging with Roger Dean's amazing artwork on the inside is really irresistible. Overall, nice to have, but not recommended to non-Yes fans. Hence 2 stars.

Review by thehallway
4 stars Nice performance. Shame about the sound.

'Yessongs' would be as energetically perfect as ELP's live triple LP if it wasn't for the sub-par recording quality. The set list is a dream, and we have the ultimate classic line-up (with both drummers, just in case you prefered one to the other). The chops are as brilliant as they were in the studio, with added "wazow"(!), and pretty much the whole of 'Close to the Edge', 'Fragile', and 'The Yes Album' are represented. But whilst the sound quality isn't BAD bad, it's still kind of bad. Yes, I do need a thesaurus.

Stravinsky's magical finale from the 'Firebird Suite' opens, an Anderson favourite, and then we have two fairly studio-loyal versions of the 'Fragile' and 'CTTE' closers. Although 'Siberian Khatru' and 'Heart of the Sunrise' are great songs that have a lot of energy here, these renditions aren't really that essential when they are almost note-for-note copies of their original versions (with worse sound). 'Perpetual Change' on the other hand, is the most explosive and dyanmic reworking of a song that was only "good" on 'The Yes Album'. It's extended to include more interesting Wakeman parts than Kaye's half-hearted studio attempts, plus a guitar-led happy jam, PLUS a wonderful Bruford drum solo that, unlike Carl Palmer, doesn't go on for twenty years... This song is easily the highlight of Yessongs. In fact, the other two 'Yes Album' epics come second and third for similar reasons. 'Yours is no Disgrace' features an uncharacteristically crazy Steve Howe deliver a series of mind-boggling guitar freak-outs, and 'Starship Trooper' has some new lyrics and a brief synth solo. 'The Yes Album' is my least favourite of the three albums that are represented here, but its songs really come to life on stage.

Unfortunately 'And You And I' and 'Roundabout' are mediocre at best, suffering from the lack of an acoustic guitar which is essential in these two songs, especially the former. 'Roundabout' always sounds rushed on stage anyway. 'I've Seen All Good People' picks up in the second half, as it should, and 'Long Distance Runaround' is another non- essential studio copy. But Squire's extended 'Fish' is a Rickenbacker-tinged delight; I don't know why it isn't included as a separate track. Finally, 'Close to the Edge' which is potentially the best Yes song, is performed with no less than 100% effort. Again though, we might as well listen to the album version because of the sound issues.

All in all, I was slightly dissapointed by this mega package; I really liked it but I thought I would love it. Being in the audience would probably garuntee a 5 star experience, but the transfer from air to vinyl seems to have taken away some of the magic. However, even with countless live albums from future eras offering much better sound quality, I think Yessongs makes up for it by being perfect in almost every other way.

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars By early 1973, Yes had firmly established themselves as one of, if not the, greatest studio bands on earth. Great songs, great playing, great production. Apparently, though, there was an unspoken question in the minds of their critics and maybe even in the minds of their fans; could these guys actually play like this? Or did they just splice a bunch of parts together in the production booth to provide the impression that they could play these parts? Well, Yes didn't really like having their chops questioned (I guess), and they wanted to settle the question once and for all. And so, they did the logical thing; they released a live album.

Now, the main disadvantage of the album, let's face it, is the length. As far as I know, they included every single song from their stage set on this album, and as a result this sucker is a triple album well over two hours in length (though this hugeness is muted nowadays given that it fits comfortably into two CDs). Also, the emphasis is clearly on the epics, and even the songs that were originally 'short' (i.e. less than ten minutes) are often expanded greatly. There's also the issue of sound quality; it doesn't bother me as much as it once did, but there's little question that it's on par with that of a typical bootleg.

BUT, let's face it, there is simply no getting around how good these songs are. The playing is FEROCIOUS and tight, and possibly even better than in the originals. Plus, there are enough changes in the songs to keep them fresh (although the structure basically remains the same). In addition, each of the band-members gets a solo-section, which might be considered slightly tacky (if you're cynical) but are all well performed. Rick Wakeman throws in excerpts from his then-new solo career, Bruford gets a decent (though not exceptional) drum solo, Squire extends "The Fish" into ten-minutes of monstrous bass-riffage, and Howe graces us with a runthrough of "Mood For A Day" (not to mention his excellent solo in "Yours is No Disgrace").

As for the songs, there's not really any point in going through all of them one at a time, since for the most part they are done fairly similarly to the originals. Well, sort of - structurally and in essence, they're mostly the same as before, but there are enough changes to keep the songs sounding fresh this time around. "And You And I" receives the most noticable change - the quiet acoustic opening is replaced with an immediate display of the gargantuan "Eclipse" section, and while I'm not thrilled with that development, the track doesn't sound worse for it. But there are other subtlties - for instance, the opening section of "CTTE" is significantly reworked, with Howe playing faster and more aggressively than ever before.

The main reason to get this album, though, is for the last two tracks. "Yours is No Disgrace" is simply a Howe extravaganza, as he plays at break-neck speed while also hardening up his guitar tone in a way not found elsewhere on the album. And of course, there's "Starship Trooper," which simply defies all description in its incredible energy and entertainment value. "Würm" boasts power and blazing solos from both Howe and Wakeman, to the extent that one could easily call this the DEFINITIVE live Yes performance. Yessongs, excessive as it may be, is necessary if only for this.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If I had to make a list of bands that really got it right with their first live albums, Yes would be in the top three position! What's usually good about an early live release is that it captures the rising act with all of their raw energy and creativity in the right place, something that transforms into stale professionalism with time. Unfortunately, these early releases generally leaves out a few major classics and the sound production is much to be desired of. In this particular case, Yes managed not only to show their most energetic performance but also mix it up with what could easily be considered their essential classic material!

This band truly oozes energy out of each of these performances and even less interesting tracks like the overrated Siberian Khatru sound amazing here! I love how Yes expands some of their already quite lengthy pieces like Heart Of The Sunrise and Long Distance Runaround/The Fish with solo spots without making it straining on the ears. Most of these live renditions are actually superior to the studio material and it's mind-boggling how a five-piece was able to create all this organic music without relying on sampling and other neat tricks that are available to artists today.

If I had to pick my favorite moment then I wouldn't hesitate for a second in mentioning Close To The Edge since it's actually an even better version of the already great masterpiece! The live setting gives this lengthy piece more nuance and Rick Wakeman clearly gives a career-worthy performance here. Starship Trooper would be my runner-up candidate for the crown, while Perpetual Change and Wakeman's solo spot, Excerpts From "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII", share the third position.

This album has pretty much everything that a Yes fan can ever dream of and even though I do miss South Side Of The Sky, the loss of that track is of minor concern seeing that the pros certainly outnumber and even devour any nods!

***** star songs: Heart Of The Sunrise (11:34) Perpetual Change (8:44) Mood For A Day (2:53) Excerpts From "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" (6:38) Close To The Edge (18:14) Starship Trooper (10:18)

**** star songs: Siberian Khatru (9:04) And You And I (9:34) Roundabout (8:33) I've Seen All Good People (7:09) Long Distance Runaround / The Fish (13:37) Yours Is No Disgrace (14:24)

*** star songs: Opening (Excerpt From "Firebird Suite") (3:48)

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Originally released as a 3-LP set for a special price, this was some people's introduction to Yes in the 1970s. The artwork Roger Dean did for this set is some of his best, but the sound quality of the music itself is not too great; even for a recording from this time period. This is the first release to feature new drummer Alan White. He only had days to learn Bruford's parts for this tour. Bruford himself appears on two tracks. In general, I find the vocals here to be inferior to the studio versions.

Yessongs opens, as their concerts did at the time, with a recording of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" being played. "Perpetual Change" has Bruford on it and he does a drum solo at the end. I don't like what Wakeman does with this song. The dissonant part with two different sections playing against each other...that part does not come off well in concert. "And You And I" is not as good as the album version. "Mood For A Day" is better than the album version. Even though I'm not much of a Wakeman fan, I still think "Excerpts from 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII'" is one of the highlights of Yessongs. Rick included Handel's "Messiah" done on Mellotron.

Wakeman's contributions to "I've Seen All Good People" are good. "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish" also features Bruford and is probably the best track on the whole set. "The Fish" is longer and better than the Fragile version. Squire improvises a lot here. This features the whole band except Jon until the end. "Close To The Edge" is not as good as the album version. I like the jazzy beginning of "Yours Is No Disgrace". Both Wakeman and White do a good job on what I've always considered one of Yes' best songs. Howe gets lots of space to solo. I don't really like Wakeman's synth solo during the 'Wurm' part of "Starship Trooper", but the Mellotron choir was a nice addition.

So, some songs are better than the originals, others not. It would have been cool if they added "America" to this. It also would have been nice to hear this line-up(s) do some of the songs from the first two albums. The performances are great but the sound is lacking. This might be a good introduction to the group, but I still think the studio albums are the way to go. 4 stars.

Review by friso
2 stars Yes - Yessongs (1973) * live

This is Yes' celebrated triple live lp from '73 with an almost perfect track-listing. The artwork is well done by Roger Dean. Now, the fact that the track-listing of a live album is this good is rare, but that doesn't make ths a great live album at all.

From the first moments I'm listening to the sound of the recording is very annoying an what's worse; Yes plays even less controlled then on their studio albums. Somehow it sounds like the band has intense haste and all members seem to have trouble keeping up with the others. The result is a chatoic performance that doesn't improve the studio-versions of each song at all. Some moments of relaxing music and concentration on playing tight would have done a lot of good here. The vocal performances are good, but the multi-vocals don't impress me to much. Sometimes they are really problematic.

Conclusion. A live album that I wouldn't recommend at all to any-one who is not a hard-core Yes-fan and has sensitive musical hearing. I myself get a headache every-time I try to listen to Yessongs. Two stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars An excellent value triple live set from Yes, covering the best of their material from The Yes Album to Close to the Edge. The sound quality is alright for an early 70s live album, the performances have a bit of a rawer edge than the clean and polished studio renditions, Alan White takes Bruford's place so easily that you'd be hard-pressed to guess which tracks have White and which have Bruford playing on them, and the song choice is sublime. It's not completely flawless - in particular, the extended version of The Fish drags on for very slightly too long - but it's a very good document of live Yes from what is arguably their most important and influential period.

I wouldn't prioritise getting this over the three studio albums it draws its material from, but if you have got 'em, and you find yourself hankering for live versions, this collection is as good a way to get them as any and I would actually say this has a mild edge over the shows collected in the Progeny set - extracts from some of which ended up on here - since Yessongs offers a mildly more diverse spread of songs.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Every song a classic, every performance legendary.

The best line up of Yes and a live recording with all their greatest songs. In short, a Masterpiece! This is one of those albums that I return to often and that is not the case for many live albums but this works as a kind of greatest hits album for classic Yes lineup, with many of these songs actually better than the original. The quality is excellent. The tracks here are absolutely essential for Yes addicts like me. Siberian Khatru, Heart of the Sunrise, Perpetual Change, And You and I and Roundabout are as good as it gets and all are jammed onto the first CD. Rick Wakeman shows his classical prowess with solo effort Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII".

The second disc begins brilliantly with I've Seen All Good People, followed by the wonderful Long Distance Runaround / The Fish clocking in at 13:45. Close to the Edge follows, an epic at 18:41. It is one of the all time greatest performances of this. Howe and Squire are amazing and Anderson is in fine voice throughout. Yours is No Disgrace follows, a lengthy 14 minute version and then my all time favourite and one of the best live versions of Starship Trooper.

I say it again, Masterpiece.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars I was wishing to listen to a bit of YES but I didn't know which album choosing. Well, this YESSONGS contains the best of the best YES lineups in their best period, so why spending time in deciding between The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge? This triple live vinyl has all of them.

It's true that the sound is not perfect, that some adjustments have been added in studio, but it sounds "live". Putting it on at high volume can give you the impression of watching 5 young longhaired artists on stage while islands are floating in the sky and planets are exploding.

Opening the stage with a recorded piece of classical music (Stravinskij's Firebird) and tie it together with Siberian Khatru is a winning idea, so that many years after Marillion has done the same with Rossini's "La Gazza Ladra" and "Slàinte Mhath".

The tracklist speaks on its own: Starship Trooper, And You And I, Close To The Edge, a touch of Wakeman's Six Wives...Tales was still to be released actually.

If you have never listened to the classic YES this is the final anthology of their classic period. One may argue that the studio versions are better than those on this live, but they are not "SO" different.

An album full of masterpieces whose vinyl edition is enriched by one of the best Roger Dean's inside pictures, surely better than the anonymous album cover of CTTE.

And if an album is full of masterpieces it can't not deserve the status of masterpiece as well.

Even the differences between Bruford and White don't look so big or so bad. For both YES fans and newbies.

Review by stefro
3 stars Designed to showcase Yes' prowess in the live arena, no expense has seemingly been spared for this luxurious, triple-gatefold, three disc beast of a live album. Constructed from the group's successful North American tour of 1972 and featuring material spanning the British outfit's true golden period between 1971's 'The Yes Album' and the following year's 'Close To The Edge', 'Yessongs' proves both a highly-indulgent treat for Yes fans and a cleverly-assembled live compilation of the group's key material up until that point. The mammoth running time means that you get all of 'Close To The Edge', though appearing here in reverse order, lots of 'The Yes Abum' and the very best of 'Fragile' thanks to a stellar version of the FM radio classic 'Roundabout'. As a bonus offering, also included amongst the captivating full-length renditions of 'And You And I' and 'Roundabout' is a six-minute excerpt of Rick Wakeman's own 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII', taken from the keyboardist's solo album of the same name. It all adds up to one epic listen, making for the same kind of feeling one gets after eating too much rich food. However, despite its inordinate length and size, 'Yessongs' actually reached a highly-impressive no.7 on the UK Albums Chart during it's initial 1973 release, at a time when the group could seemingly do no wrong. Nowadays, all three discs of the many original LP copies of 'Yessongs' still lying about can be acquired for virtually nothing, but don't let that put you off. Although by no means essential, this is still an impressive live document from some of the genre's truest exponents. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Yessongs' - Yes (90/100)

I'll start this off by admitting that, for the longest time, I've had my doubts surrounding the worth of live albums. There's a dimension of immediacy and spontaneity in experiencing a band live that a pre-recorded product could never emulate; to me, it often seems like a live recording in rock music becomes limited. Though little of this criticism has anything to do with Yessongs, it does feel like most live rock albums sound like garbled facsimiles of a band's studio work, with three-word introductions and a static howl from a crowd that sounds the same no matter which album you're hearing their applause on. I think the way Yessongs has wowed me in spite of these doubts only goes to show what an amazing album it is. Consider me convinced that a live album can offer something fresh and exciting to a band's discography. If a band's studio performance suggests a default manner in which a song should be performed, it is the live album's duty to play with those conventions in the hopes of creating a fresh experience. Though it's still a bit rough around the edges, I cannot think of another live album in rock music- perhaps save for Led Zeppelin's How the West Was Won- that encapsulates the essence of a band so successfully.

There are plenty of things you can peg a live album's quality on, but the most determinant factor usually is (as evidenced here) the choice of songs themselves. Prime cuts have been drawn from The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge, with the latter of the three enjoying a complete representation. All three studio efforts have earned a spot as generally acknowledged classics in the progressive rock canon, and while I've never been entirely sold on the 'give peace a chance' cheer of The Yes Album, there's no doubt that the album's uplifting tone translates well in the live arena. "Southside of the Sky" would have made for a better choice than "Perpetual Change" or "Yours Is No Disgrace", and it would have been pretty cool to hear Yes attempt "We Have Heaven" live, but I don't think the selection of music can be faulted without delving into obsessive nitpickery.

Praise of the music itself should come as no surprise to anyone with experience in any of the three albums represented here. "Close to the Edge" is a perennial masterpiece of a composition which alone would be deserving of a paragraph's analysis (the likes of which I've given in the studio review). "Siberian Khatru" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" are heinously energetic rockers, with more than enough sophistication to keep the mind engaged as much as the body. On the other end stylistically, the slower pieces "Mood for a Day" and "And You And I" demonstrate Yes' rare ability as a prog band in tune with feeling and emotion. It might seem undercut to offer a live album as a perfect place to introduce oneself to yes, but Yessongs is an all-encompassing document of what made the band's golden era so awesome.

A short detour from Yes' flagship material comes in the form of "Excerpts from the Six Wives of Henry VIII", a medley comprised of sections from Rick Wakeman's then-recently released solo album. Besides taking a break from the longer-form epics and giving fans a taste of Yes music they may have never heard before, this inferno of synthesizers pretty much embodies the Yes keyboardist's style and approach. Grand piano tones are traded in for Moog synths, all under the context of Classical pomp and bombast. The mellotron interpretation of Handel's "Hallelujah" in particular is shockingly good. I've never been too inclined towards Wakeman's contributions to Yes' studio material, but here and throughout the rest of Yessongs, he does well to convince me he's deserving of the lavish praise people have aimed his way. The live setting offers more liberty for solos and extended instrumentation, and Wakeman has capitalized on the opportunity wonderfully. The same goes for Steve Howe, whose lead guitar playing has only benefited from these live renditions in the form of added flourishes, improvising and conscious deviations from the studio versions. "Siberian Khatru" and the instrumental passages of "Close to the Edge" are plenty fertile landscapes for this sort of creative license, and it's no surprise they've ended up becoming my two favourites on the album.

Fans of Bill Bruford's drumming should find "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround / The Fish" to their liking (they are, I believe, the last published recordings of Bruford in his original stretch with the band) but Yessongs is an incredible introduction to Alan White, then a newbie to Yes but destined to become one of the band's longest-lasting members. Listening to the aggressively packed fills on "Siberian Khatru", I get the strong impression White was clearly set on impressing and staking his claim in the band. For my money, I've usually preferred White's work in Yes to that of Mister Bruford's, but there are clearly those within the band's fanbase that disagree. If you're one such listener, give Yessongs another spin and see what you think afterwards. Alan White nails it.

Of the criticisms I've seen regarding Yessongs, almost all are directed towards the quality of the recording itself. Re-issues appear to have solved some of the more overt flaws, but the sonic clarity is still a far cry from the studio material. To be honest, it doesn't affect an appreciation of the music at all. Yessongs isn't trying to compete with the studio versions, it's operating on a different wavelength. The fact alone that Yes can stay true to the original wonder of these songs while simultaneously refreshing them seems to achieve exactly what a live album should set out to do.

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 48

"Yessongs" is the debut live album of Yes and was released in 1973. It especially documents the live tour of their fifth studio album "Close To The Edge". It also features two live tracks "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)", which were recorded during the previous tour of their fourth studio album "Fragile". These two tracks were recorded with Bill Bruford on drums, before he left the group and before he was substituted by Alan White. "Perpetual Change" has an extended drum solo made by Bruford, which was so typical on almost all the live albums performed at the time.

"Yessongs" became a model for the live progressive rock albums. It was recorded on a vinyl three disks format, with over 120 minutes, and became as one of the first triple albums in rock history. The live album includes the band's entire stage repertoire, which included almost all of the best songs from their three preceding studio albums, "The Yes Album", "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge".

"Yessongs" was a very ambitious project and a huge risk for the group and for their record label, the Atlantic Records. It was presented in one of the most luxurious album packages until then. The package features artworks by Roger Dean and inside of it there are four individual panels. The artwork of Dean, which has begun with their two previous studio albums, was spread across a triple gatefold cover that continued the same concept design motifs of their two previous works. "Yessongs" was really a huge commercial success.

"Yessongs" has thirteen tracks all recorded in 1972. The "Opening (Excerpt from Firebird Suite)" is an excerpt from the classical piece "Firebird Suite" of Igor Stravinsky and was recorded at Uniondale, New York. It has been a standard opening for the majority of the Yes concerts since 1971. "Perpetual Change", "I've Seen All Good People", "Yours Is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" are all tracks originally recorded on their studio album "The Yes Album" released in 1971. These live performances were recorded at New York City, New York; Athens, Georgia and London, UK, respectively with the exception of "I've Seen All Good People" where its recording place is unknown. "Heart Of The Sunrise", "Mood For A Day", "Roundabout" and "Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" are all tracks originally recorded on their studio album "Fragile" released in 1971. These live performances were recorded at Greensboro, North Carolina; Uniondale, New York; Ottawa, ON and New York City, New York, respectively. "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" were performed live together as only a single track. "Siberian Khatru", "And You And I" and "Close To The Edge" are all tracks originally recorded on their studio album "Close To The Edge" released in 1972. These live performances were recorded at Knoxville, Tennessee; Greensboro, North Carolina and London, UK, respectively. The "Excerpts from The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" is a medley from "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII", the debut album of Rick Wakeman released in 1973 and was recorded at Athens, Georgia.

The performances are extremely tight and energetic, and that's really impressive when you think about the complexity of the material. The versions of "Close To The Edge", "Roundabout", "Perpetual Change" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" bursts with power and energy and proved beyond any doubt that Yes was one of the strongest live acts among the progressive rock bands. The addition of Wakeman's mellotron on the tracks from "The Yes Album" is also a very pleasant feature. However, White's drumming on "Heart Of The Sunrise" proved that he was absolutely no rival to Bruford, but I guess you couldn't expect him to be that either. The medley of themes from Wakeman's solo debut "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" mixed in with some excerpts from Handel's "Messiah" and played on mellotron is also great.

Conclusion: "Yessongs" is an extraordinary live album. What is most impressive is that after Yes just have released three studio albums containing songs very intricate, complex and long, they could make a live album with musical changes that turn it even more complex, intricate and longer. If you think Yes had a penchant of writing long and intricate epic songs only on the studio albums, you're wrong. They extended everything on "Yessongs". This is an amazing thing. "Yessongs" is a festival of progressive music that turns the Yes epic pieces, even more epic. It's true that longer and more intricate songs aren't always a sign of equal or even better songs. However, in this case, the extension of the songs really enhances the original studio versions and every song here trumps its studio counterpart. "Yessongs" is one of the best live albums ever, actually. For me, "Yessongs" is one of the two best live albums of the 70's. The other is "Playing The Fool" of Gentle Giant, which is also one of the best progressive live albums ever made.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by patrickq
5 stars In 1989 I bought my first CD player, and this was one of the first CDs I purchased. I had all of the other Yes albums on cassette (except, maybe, for Yesshows), and had avoided Yessongs because I thought it was a greatest-hits album; I figured I already had all of the songs.

Overall, taking recording fidelity, performance, and song selection into account, Yessongs is the best live album, by any band in any genre, that I own.

Most of The Yes Album and Fragile are here, as is all of Close to the Edge. And with the exception of keyboardist Rick Wakeman's "Excerpts from The Six Wives of Henry VIII", that's it. So in terms of song selection, that's three of the band's best albums. The playing is great; new drummer Alan White fits right in (Bill Bruford appears on two tracks). The singing is also strong throughout. Lead vocalist Jon Anderson is in great form, and while the backing vocals (by bassist Chris Squire and guitarist Steve Howe) sound weaker than they do on the studio versions of these songs, they don't detract from the proceedings.

Wakeman is on fire, so to speak, throughout the album (the songs were actually recorded at about six different concerts throughout 1972). He's especially effective when he's playing a lead or "solo." Most notably, his solo on the "Würm" section of "Starship Trooper" is one of his best ever. He's also incredible on "Close to the Edge" and "Siberian Khatru."

The studio version of "Perpetual Change" is one of my least favorite songs from this era of Yes, but the Yessongs version is very well done, and one of the few cases where I prefer a live version of a Yes song to the original studio recording. The Yessongs renditions of "Siberian," "The Fish," and "Starship Trooper" also rival their respective originals - - but really, in terms of performance, the whole album is great.

But how about in terms of sound quality? It wasn't until the internet that I discovered that Yessongs was widely considered to be a relatively low-quality recording. Frankly, I'd never noticed. Given that this is a compilation of concert recordings from 1972, I thought the sound was acceptable on the original CD (Atlantic, 1987), and even better on the 1994 Gastwirt remaster, which sounds fine to me. There have been additional reissues since then which I haven't heard, including at least one Japanese remaster.

There are a number of edits and splices on Yessongs, although none gets in the way of my enjoyment. Other than the angelic three-part harmonies in "Starship Trooper," there don't seem to be egregious studio overdubs.

When I submit this review, a few seconds from now, I'll get a warning: don't hand out too many five-star ratings! But that's really the only rating I can fairly give Yessongs. A masterpiece, essential, et cetera.

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

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

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

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

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

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Report this review (#2605532) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Monday, October 18, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review - #14 (Yes - Yessongs) Yessongs is widely considered to be one of the best live albums to ever be released. It features tracks from both the Fragile and Close to the Edge tours. The musicians that perform here are Steve Howe on guitar, Rick Wakeman on keyboards, Jon Anderson on vocals, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2538205) | Posted by Prog Zone | Tuesday, April 27, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #56 The energy that Yes had in these performances is amazing. "Yessongs" was the first live album of Yes and it was both recorded and published in 1973 when Alan White had just joined the band after the departure of Bill Bruford; it was originally released as a 3 LP set and later as a 2 ... (read more)

Report this review (#2482413) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Friday, December 4, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yessongs was the introduction I had to the progressive world more than 30 years ago, and it remains one of the best live albums in my opinion in the history of progressive music and rock in general. The execution of the songs are masterful and show us a band in a state of grace, where live ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#2263636) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Thursday, September 26, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Is this the ultimate quintessential live symphonic rock album? In the mid-Seventies I became I Yes fan after watching the movie Yessongs, in a YMCA center in my former hometown The Hague. I was blown away by the virtuosity, the exciting interplay, the ja ... (read more)

Report this review (#2201681) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Friday, May 10, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Some Great Performances. Sound Quality OK. This was recorded largely on the post-Close to the Edge tour (in which Alan White took over the drums, after Bruford quit right before the tour), although some tracks were recorded earlier with Bruford. On the whole, Yes didn't play too many of their so ... (read more)

Report this review (#1696020) | Posted by Walkscore | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Perhaps my all time favorite progressive rock album. When I was in high school, I rode my bicycle 3 miles in the pouring rain to buy this LP. It was worth it. If you can find it, I recommend getting the old vinyl verson for all of the Roger Dean artwork and the picture booklet inside. An amazin ... (read more)

Report this review (#921294) | Posted by ster | Friday, March 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For me, this was Yes at their very best. The ability to improve on one's song during a live concert has always impressed me and Yes do not let me down. Not only are their best songs on here (Relayer withheld), but Roger Dean gives us a plethora of his imaginative paintings. I first heard this album ... (read more)

Report this review (#885578) | Posted by ebil0505 | Tuesday, January 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yes, in a massive live release from 1973 at the peak of their skills and power. Too bad about the less than great sound quality, or this would have been a classic. There is a lot of music here, almost too much I feel. I was never a huge fan of Yes live as much as when they are in the studio. Of cour ... (read more)

Report this review (#746934) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, April 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Since my favorite Yes album is actually a 5-way tie between The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Yessongs, and Going For the One, I can't say this is my favorite Yes album either, but I do lean towards calling it a default favorite pretty often, since it contains many of the big tracks f ... (read more)

Report this review (#585845) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Saturday, December 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Easily one of Yes' finest live hour, though the sound quality is lacking utterly in most songs. Yessongs is a great collection of some stuff that was recorded on The Yes Album (1971), Fragile (1971) and Close to the Edge (1972) all of which are excellent. The only thing, and I have mentioned ... (read more)

Report this review (#253895) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The best prog rock live album ever......... ? In my view, it is. It contains everything that makes prog rock so great ............ and so bad. The bad thing is the solo stuff. The drum solo and Rick Wakeman's solo stuff which is pretty uninteresting. The group stuff is excellent and standard ... (read more)

Report this review (#243929) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, October 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If you have a powerfull stereo system,somewhere where high volumes won't be a problem and a lot of free time,Yessongs may come as one of the most rewarding albums in progressive rock.Those three requirements are hard to ignore,though,as the only significant flaw in the album is the very poor reco ... (read more)

Report this review (#215405) | Posted by Gustavo Froes | Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars !Yes Greatest Live Record At The Heat Of The Band's Glory! This two-disc live album is the great performance dated 1972 soon after their epic Close To The Edge came out. Every track is a thing, without doubt! Great opening as a part of Stravinsky's , than Siberian Khantru, grea ... (read more)

Report this review (#177050) | Posted by Resurrected | Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This live album was my introduction to the music of Yes. What can I say? It didn't leave the turntable for weeks. A gigantic effort from the band, but not from the sound engineer. The wonderful versions you will find here are severly hampered by the sound - even the digital remastering really c ... (read more)

Report this review (#165750) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Saturday, April 5, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Too long ? Yes. Cheap sound ? Yes (and the only reason I do not gave it a 5 stars rate). But, be honest, Yessongs is probably the most incredible live album in all the prog-rock history (yes, you could also quote Seconds Out by Genesis). All of the Yes anthems are here : Starship Trooper, Roun ... (read more)

Report this review (#162853) | Posted by Zardoz | Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Super great Live album one of the best prog live albums i have heard so far, all thiere classic songs up to that point played beter rawer and with more power then tiere studio versions and with lots of changes and joyfull playing around and new intros to familar songs and stuff. The band plays a ... (read more)

Report this review (#161825) | Posted by Zargus | Friday, February 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This live album is a great assortment of classic Yes songs, and because its live it has more character and atmosphere than a studio album. As far as the songs, Heart of the Sunrise is a favourite for so many reasons. Like all good prog songs, it's a long jam and collaboration of the talent withi ... (read more)

Report this review (#154732) | Posted by YesGoblin | Saturday, December 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5 stars: A masterpiece and an essential live album. I usually don't like to rate live albums or compilations so high, but this one deserves it. Some of the songs on this Live doubledisc are just mindblowing, improving on the already omnipotent studio versions. When I first listened to this, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#153984) | Posted by Nucleus | Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of most spectacular lives performance that i´ve ever listened. The music in studio albums (YES ALBUM, FRAGILE; CLOSE TOTHE EDGE) is transformed in musical energy since the firt song. Anderson & company show us why the symphonic prog had many fans in that 70´s. I think the special Wakeman p ... (read more)

Report this review (#140458) | Posted by Anema | Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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