Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Progeny - Seven Shows from Seventy-Two CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.52 | 124 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Man With Hat
4 stars Tales From Nineteen-Seventy-Two.

An absolute treasure for fans of 70s Progressive Rock, Progeny has all the hallmarks as a classic boxset that will go down as a must own for fans, in the not too distant future. Progeny chronicles a time when Yes were special...musically adventurous, technically showy, and physically and mentally inclined to push to the heights of the rock music scene of the time. Even though Sir Bruford had recently left, Yes were still a well oiled machine, which this box set illustrates quite well. This box set is an archive of seven complete shows of Yes' North American tour in 1972, with no studio overdubs or other postmortem procedures. It is Yes, live and raw.

For me, the highlights are unequivocally Yours Is No Disgrace, Siberian Khatru, and Heart Of The Sunrise. Each of the seven versions brims with life and vitally, and usually culminates with a stellar solo spot, that shows just how fierce and talented the band are. Howe, in particular, stands out to my ears. His deft hand and keen musical mind are fully at play when it is his turn in the spotlight. Of all the songs, Yours Is No Disgrace is probably the most exciting, as before the song proper begins, there is a little improvised 'jam' as an intro. Most are rather short (under a minute) but the Nassau Coliseum show has a nearly 5 minute excursion. This is a side of Yes that is certainly under represented and it's nice to have it shown, even if briefly.

Most of the rest of the show is quite enjoyable as well. And You And I seems the most spirited, when compared to it's studio counterpart. Roundabout also manages to feel fresh (even today when it is most definitely played to death) with a subtle fire and feel good atmosphere. For me, the only dip in quality is the Steve Howe solo spot, which while technically proficient and skillful, is a bit of a drag in the overall flow of the show, and frankly reproduced seven times is quite overkill, even for a boxset like this one. But there is easily enough excellence overall to counterbalance this hiccup.

But that does lead to the obvious drawback to this set, which is the fact that Yes did not vary their song selection from show to show. While it is nice to have seven new and wonderful versions of Yours Is No Disgrace and Heart Of The Sunrise, having seven Howe/Wakeman solo spots and seven I've Seen All Good People is a bit unnecessary and slightly disappointing, considering what else they had in their (admittedly smallish) catalog. But this is what Yes was back in those fateful days of the early 70s. So, the question must be the full boxset worth it, or will the highlights package satisfy? For me, the answer is clear: The boxset is the only way to own Progeny. Admittedly, getting a general consensus for best versions for each song would be a difficult exercise. However, for me, the highlights package misses some fairly essential stuff...the aforementioned Nassau Coliseum Yours Is No Disgrace, the Maple Leaf Garden's Close To The Edge & Excerpts From The Six Wives Of Henry VII (where Wakeman tunes into a local radio station), and absolutely anything from the University Of Georgia show, which is one of the best ones overall, for me. And perhaps I'm just picky and would like to create my own highlights package, but part of me will always be happy to have the full shows at my disposal.

All in all, this is a superb document of one of the premier Progressive Rock bands, in their prime, and striking with full force. This is absolutely essential for anyone who is a fan of this period of the band's history. The sound quality is good throughout, and definitely an improvement to Yessongs (which this, specially the highlights package, will inevitably be compared to). But like the recent release of Miles Davis' full shows the the Filmore East, I find this to be an excellent compliment to Yessongs, and I wouldn't like to have my collection missing either. On a grander scale, I can see a massive box set like this (although reasonably priced for what it is) can be a bit of excess in the overall view of things. I'll rate it a extremely strong 4.5 stars, with a corollary: If you are on the fence over the boxset or the highlights package, you want the full set. Strongly recommended.

Man With Hat | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this YES review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.