YES — Yes (review)

YES — Yes album cover Album · 1969 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
I'm not sure what happened to me with this one. I used to own this and although I listened to it a few times I never really got into it and the first two YES albums always took a major backseat to the outstanding masterpieces that began with “The Yes Album” which is often cited as YES' first album. I used to believe that myself but incorrect it is. This is their debut album and is simply called YES. It's true I have never been a fan of their band name and even the band meant it to be temporary but that matters not when the music they have released is some of the best the world has ever heard. I recently got the remastered edition of this album and thought i'd revisit it simply because other than “Every Little Thing” I couldn't recall any of the songs. I was expecting this to be the 3 star album that I remembered it to be but something happens to me with YES albums. I swear that the tunes lay eggs in my brain and incubate there and when they hatch they burrow themselves into my DNA and change it to like the songs that I once didn't!

On this debut album I was immediately struck how good this band already sounds from the very first song. Not only is Jon Anderson and Chris Squire already fully developed in their trademark sounds but Peter Banks' guitar work has already established that guitar sound of expanding beyond the bluesy rock riffing and adding the nuances that Steve Howe would adopt when he joined the band. Bill Bruford displays his jazz-influenced drumming and while Tony Kaye is no Wakeman, for these sweet, melodic and unusual (for the day) songs he is more than adequate for the job. I wouldn't say this is a bad place to start with YES' music. It is the beginning and if you listen to all the later masterpieces first it may take you a long time to appreciate this debut. YES, i'm surprised i'm giving this 4 stars but there is not a bad song on here. Despite this not being as progressive and pompous as future releases there is some interesting variations on melodic songwriting going on here.
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