YES — The Yes Album

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YES - The Yes Album cover
4.75 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1971

Filed under Jazz Related Rock
By YES

Tracklist

A1 Yours Is No Disgrace
A2 The Clap
Starship Trooper
A3a Life Seeker
A3b Disillusion
A3c Würm
I've Seen All Good People
B1a Your Move
B1b All Good People
-
B2 A Venture
B3 Perpetual Change

Line-up/Musicians

Bass, Vocals – Chris Squire
Drums, Percussion – Bill Bruford
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar [Vachalia], Vocals – Steve Howe
Piano, Organ, Synthesizer [Moog] – Tony Kaye
Vocals, Percussion – John Anderson

About this release

Atlantic ‎– 2400 101

Produced at Advision Studios, London, Autumn 1970.
Track A2 recorded live, Lyceum, London

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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Prog Zone
Review - #3 (Yes - The Yes Album)

The Yes Album is the third studio album released by Yes on February 19th, 1971. This album would mark a turning point for the band in their path towards becoming prog legends. The band's line-up remains the same as their previous album expect with one notably addition. Guitarist Steve Howe who had joined the band during the tour and promotion of Time and a Word, replaced Peter Banks in 1970. This would also be the last album to feature keyboardist Tony Kaye until the release of 1983's 90125. During this album especially, the band begins to take a more "progressive" approach to their music. At the time, Yes was at risk of being dropped by Atlantic due to the commercial failures of their first two albums. However, instead of taking their more music in a more accessible direction to reach a wider audience, they doubled down and made their most progressive album they had released so far. This album is a huge leap forward when compared to their two prior studio releases. Not to mention, there are countless iconic moments found throughout the album that it becomes somewhat difficult to pick out just one. In addition, this was the first album to not feature any cover songs which illustrates the band beginning to mature as songwriters. The Yes Album was a critical success and a major commercial breakthrough for the band. However, is all the praise valid? Is this THE Yes album?

From the first few seconds, you know you are in for something truly special. Yours Is No Disgrace is up first and it is a truly exceptional piece. It originated from some lyrics written by Jon Anderson with his friend David Foster (Who played guitar on the track Time and a Word). This was then combined with other brief sections of music written by the band in rehearsals. Funnily enough, Steve Howe worked out the opening guitar riff on his own while the rest of the band took a day's holiday. Yours is no Disgrace has become somewhat of a classic song for the band that is performed during nearly every tour. It is a superb opening track that contains stunning vocals and a driving rhythm. I still strive to imitate the sound of Bill Bruford's drums on this track when writing music to this very day! Incredible musicianship all around, with Steve Howe particularly shining during the solo section. The next track, The Clap, was recorded live at the Lyceum Theatre in London on 17 July 1970. It is a nice acoustic piece written by Steve Howe that remains to be one of the best acoustic pieces he has written to date. Extremely good flow and never dull! Starship Trooper is the highlight of the album for me, and is yet another masterpiece almost reaching the ten minute mark. It is music perfection with all musicians having their individual highlights throughout. Furthermore, the last section of Würm is incredible although I wish it would have gone on for just a little longer. There is a live version of this track found on their live/studio album Keys To Ascension 1 that has become my go-to version of this track. It mostly remains the same for the first seven minutes or so, but, the Würm section receives the completed extended segment that I always wanted. If you are a fan of this track, I'd highly recommend checking this version out!

I've Seen All Good People is yet another iconic song from this album that receives a lot of play during their live tours. In fact, I believe it works even better in a live setting. It's a solid two-part suite containing two completely different sections that oddly work together pretty well. There are also some terrific vocals from Jon Anderson that incorporate harmonies from the rest of the band. A delightful classic! A Venture is a somewhat unusual choice for the album. Vocalist Jon Anderson wrote the track while in the studio which was then arranged by the rest of the band. In addition, Tony Kaye contributed to the jazzy solo towards the end while Steve Howe's guitar solo on the original recording was left off the final mix, which faded out just as it started. This is a somewhat odd track that seems as if it would belong on Time and a Word rather than The Yes Album. However, it's not too long and remains an overall solid moment on the album. Lastly, we have Perpetual Change which remains as another masterpiece found on the album. It contains numerous interesting moments in addition to featuring a jazzy section found around the four and a half minute mark. It seems to have been somewhat overlooked by the band at the time, but receives more attention nowadays as the band has been playing it live during multiple tours. A great track with an incredibly moving chorus!

Now, after all of that, is this THE Yes album? In my opinion, YES! This was the launching point for their career as they would continue to create many more masterpieces over the next few years that would cement them as being masters of their craft. After this album, Tony Banks would be replaced by Rick Wakeman which begins the bands "classic lineup". It is an album that seems to be frequently dubbed a masterpiece by most of the community. I'll have to agree with that statement.

- 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘨 𝘈𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 (http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=2536198)
siLLy puPPy
In a world rife with heinous harrumphitude and tantrum yoga, the purveyors of positivity released this phenomenal transitional album way back in1971. One of my earliest introductions to progressive rock music was THE YES ALBUM which burst onto the scene in 1971. So powerful is this album that it completely overpowers the first two which often get completely ignored. Many erroneously believe this to be the first YES album because it is the first of the string of masterpieces that grace the early to mid-70s.

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

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

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  • ProgMetaller2112
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