J. E FELL | Carterville, Illinois United States | 01/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes is arguably the best of not most well-known progessive rock band. Audiophiles and progressive rock fans especially appreciate the best sound possible on this complex music. This newly remastered (by Bill Inglot and Rhino) version of "The Yes Album" greatly improves upon the the original cd release of this set which I already owned. The biggest difference for me is the greater clarity of Bill Bruford's drumming and Steve Howe's adept guitar work. The harmony vocals are also more noticeable. The album itself one of the group's best is almost a greatest hits collection. I think every song except "A Venture" has remained in the group's concert set even to this day. This proved to be Tony Kaye's last album with the band for a long time but his organ playing is good on this set. He apparently left or was forced out because he resisted using some of the newer synthesizer technology which was becoming available at this time. With this set the band finally achieved their goal of playing complex arrangements but utilizing catchy and memorable harmonies which remain in your head long after the song is finished. Songs such as "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Starship Trooper" and "I've Seen All Good People" prove this point and the latter two were issued in edited form as single versions included here as bonus tracks. The other main reason for puchasing the set is the inclusion of the unissued studio version of "Clap" which is Steve Howe's acoustic guitar picking tour de force. The song appears of the album in an energetic live version but the studio version is not only longer but also clearer in sound. If you do not already have this album pick it up immediately especially considering the improvement in sound quality and the addition of three bonus tracks. Another plus is the detailed booklet included with great pictures, song lyrics and details about the album sessions. Great job Rhino! I can't wait for the next batch of remasters!"
THE Yes Album
PeeF | PA | 01/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Yes Album was the breakthrough third recording that established the band. The Yes album marks the introduction of the extended works that characterized the Yes sound through the seventies and eighties and also highlights the coming and going of key band members who contributed to that sound. The Yes Album marked the arrival of guitarist Steve Howe and the departure of keyboardist Tony Kaye (to be replaced by the more synthesiser oriented Rick Wakeman during their most successful period).
"Yours Is No Disgrace" kicks off the set with a classic chopping riff from Steve Howe and a stirring organ from Kaye, reminiscent of western movie soundtracks. Bass player Chris Squire and drummer Bill Bruford (later of King Crimson and others) add energy and pace to keep the piece moving through its interesting twists and turns allowing keyboards and guitar to interplay with vocals.
The lyric, sung by Jon Anderson, is most definitely a hang over from the sixties ("Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face. Caesars Palace, morning glory, silly human race. On a sailing ship to nowhere leaving any place. If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace."). 40 years later, I still love that imagery, although to be honest, I have little idea what it is all about. You love or hate the ethereal, sometimes choirboy, quality of Jon Andersons voice, and if you love it, he could be singing a shopping list for all that matters.
A live version of "Clap" is a fun interlude. It is a ragtime like piece - popular in the UK folk circuit at the time - allowing Steve Howe to demonstrate his guitar virtuosity. Although this may seem to be a filler, it sets up the next track beautifully with a similar acoustic guitar section to bridge "Life seeker" and "Disillusion".
"Starship Trooper" is composed of three pieces. Andersons "Life Seeker" again features Kayes stirring organ, Squires "Disillusion", with aforementioned guitar, and Howes "Wurm" which is basically a riff building up to a crescendo which works wonderfully at full volume. Budding guitarists can work the "Wurm" riff out by sliding a C chord up and down the fretboard - you are on your own as far as the stratospheric guitar solo goes.
"I've Seen All Good People" opens up what was originally side two of the vinyl recording. Made up of separate parts by Anderson and Squire, the second part "All good People" works as an introduction to "Your Move". This will be my last dig at Yes lyrics, but "Your Move" appears to be a treatise on love and chess ... "don't surround your self with yourself, move on back two squares. Send an instant karma to me, initial it with loving care, yourself..." opines Anderson. A beautiful song nonetheless - with a recorder and organ adding depth to what would have otherwise been just pleasant. "All Good People" crashes in with the powerful rhythm section, augmented by the organ, driving the vocal and guitar lines.
"A Venture" once again provides an interlude between the longer tracks, this time allowing the bass and guitar to work together in what would become a signature sound of Yes - Chris Squires percussive bass snap and Steve Howes squealing guitar. A jazzy piano solo ends the track.
"Perpetual Change" again features the characteristic guitar bass sound in this Anderson/Squire composition, that partnership also to become a central feature of future recordings. As a single piece rather than an amalgam of separately composed tunes, "Perpetual Change" flows more smoothly and is a more satisfying piece - presaging the longer works of future recordings, not least "Tales From Topographic Oceans".
Clocking in at about 45 minutes, this was the standard length of a recording made for vinyl. There are other re-issues and remasters that include two singles ("Life Seeker" and "Your Move") excerpted from extended tracks and a studio version of "(The) Clap" but you are really not getting much more than this original. "
The (First Great )YES Album
Wil | AL | 02/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"YES proved with The Yes Album that third time is truly the charm. They had already released two modest efforts prior to this disc, but those were missing the guitar prowess of Steve Howe. With the key contributors to YES in place now -- vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and Howe -- the band were set to lay down some great prog rock. Even if you don't like prog, you will find something to dig about this disc. YES manage to create music that is complex yet accessible, quirky yet listenable, unified yet versatile. It has a warmth and melodious quality that is sometimes absent from prog rock.
The album kicks off with Yours Is No Disgrace, an anti-war song without all the hippy psychedelics. Other highlights are Starship Trooper, Howe's first guitar classic called Clap (not THE Clap, as some album liner notes have mistakenly listed it in the past), the hit I've Seen All Good People, with its great jam, and the fan fave Perpetual Change.
The band also try and balance strong music with strong vocals. Here, Jon Anderson provides most of the vocals (including backing vocal overdubs) as Howe and Squire provide some backing of their own.
YES infuse elements of folk, rock, jazz, country, and classical structures into an album that would go on to be the first in a set of albums the band would be best known for (Fragile and Close To the Edge being the other two). This is the first in the Holy Trinity of classic YES discs, and is excellent listening.
As for the bonus tracks, if you don't own this disc, its a nice addition, but if you already have this disc, I don't know if it's worth buying again."
Enter Steve Howe
R. Gorham | 08/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE BAND: Jon Anderson (vocals & percussion), Steve Howe (guitars), Chris Squire (bass), Tony Kaye (piano/organ/moog), Bill Bruford (drums & percussion).
THE DISC: (1971) Originally 6 songs clocking in at approximately 42 minutes, this digitally remastered (2003) edition adds 3 bonus tracks and lasts just over 52 minutes. Included with the disc is a 14-page booklet containing song credits/titles, song lyrics, band photos, and singles released. This is the band's 3rd album. Recorded at Advision Studios, London. Originally released on Atlantic's label, this reissue released on Elektra by Rhino.
COMMENTS: Indicated in the liner notes - this album needed to attract a much larger audience, or their label (Atlantic) was going to drop them. I'd say YES responded to the challenge. Original guitarist Peter Banks was out. Enter the new - Steve Howe. What a difference one player can make. Where the first two YES albums took on a very experimental psychedelic feel, Howe's playing and writing led them into the progressive rock arena. Listen to Howe's solo on "Yours Is No Disgrace" and perhaps you'll see what I mean ("Can a song really rock and yet also be beautiful?"). I also have to note Kaye's Hammond B3 organ - a solid backbone in many of the songs here. Bruford's drumming, as always, is complex and varied, and proving in some spots that less IS more. Classic YES songs include the 9 minute opener "Yours Is No Disgrace", the 3-part "Starship Trooper" (the best song on the album and one of their finest in their entire catalog), and the 2-part "I've Seen All Good People"... all 3 of these songs featured on many of their compilation discs. The remaining 3 songs are deep album gems - including Steve Howe's acoustic live recording "Clap", "A Venture", and the heavily underrated 8 minute album closer "Perpetual Change" (this song never got its due). The bonus tracks are adequate fare - single version sections of longer songs here "Your Move" (from "I've Seen All Good People"), "Life Seeker" (from "Starship Trooper"), and the studio version of Howe's "Clap". The remastered sound is crisp. YES has many a classic album - and I rank "The Yes Album" 2nd - closely behind 1972's "Fragile" (and slightly ahead of "Close To The Edge"). Classic disc (5 stars). "