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The turning point for Yes,
This review is from: The Yes Album [Expanded & Remastered] (Audio CD)
'The Yes Album' is the first Yes album to feature a certain Steve Howe, and what a huge difference his addition to the band makes. Already a well-honed rock band, Yes still had plenty of potential to move forward, and that they most certainly did with this album. Still minus keyboard vituoso Rick Wakeman, the full 'classic' line-up was as yet incomplete, but the band were still on their way to greatest by this point.
The songs on this album are much more like the sort of stuff that you would come to expect from the band in later years. Jon Anderson had already started to fly off on major lyrical tangents by this stage, and his unique brand of quasi-sci-fi ramblings is quite evident, especially on 'Yours In No Disgrace' and 'Starship Trooper'. Not to be confused with the dodgy disco title of the same name, 'Starship Trooper' is a classic, and introduced the 'three-stage' song concept into their music. Starting with a fairly standard section, it proceeds into an impressive acoustic section that would not have been possible if not for the amazing guitar skills of Steve Howe. As the song reaches it's climax, the 'space-rock' concept takes over, and Howe comes into his own with a tour-de-force performance.
'The Clap' is a live solo piece by Howe which is truly stunning. On first listen, it sounds like atleast two guitarists are playing simultaneously, but having seen Howe perform this self-same track in the flesh, I can assure you it is not. This track above any other demonstrated that Yes had acquired a truly formidable talent. Amusingly, Howe originally titled the song simply 'Clap', but when released on vinyl it was accidentally renamed 'The Clap', and to this day it remains the only progressive rock song perceived to be about venereal disease. Luckily, it is an instrumental piece!
'I've Seen All Good People/Your Move' is probably the best known track on the album, and is a showcase for Jon Anderson's vocal ability. Starting off pretty ordinarily, the song transforms into a lively 'jam' that would be a crowdpleaser for years to come.
'A Venture' is a distinct (but welcome) oddity within the Yes back-catalogue, and is one of Jon Anderson's least perplexing lyrics. Centred around a plodding rhythm and Tony Kaye's piano, it is certainly unlike anything Yes did ever again, but is an enjoyable track nonetheless. Finally, 'Perpetual Change' is another favourite of the Yes live set (a live version appears on 'Yessongs') and is a curious mish-mash of styles, but sees each musician (especially Bill Bruford on drums) excel themselves to produce a genuine Yes classic.
The additional tracks are recent additions that you can live without, and I haven't been tempted to replace my original copy of the CD yet, but they certainly don't detract from the album in any way. A must-have for any prog rock collection.
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Initial post: 27 Jan 2011 23:03:15 GMT
R. Pievaitis says:
re the classic full line up i assume you mean howe,anderson,squire,wakemand and bruford,wierd that this line up only made 2 full albums and fragile only as a handful of proper band compositions,if you take away the short solo pieces,i have never reckoned upon fragile as a fully realised yes album.
so that leaves only close to the edge,which i agree is a classic line up of excellent musicians and is my fave album of all time.but to call this version the classic is to undermine the excellent and hardworking contributions by alan white.
sure, i reckon the drumming work by bruford on ctte is second to none on any album,but on yes songs alan white soon picked up the baton and ran with it to this day !
why bruford ever left i still cannot fathom,despite reading his interviews about this period i can only judge that he must have kicked himself when his future band of choice became such a millstone with the ever erratic behaviour of mr fripp and his inability to hold a band together.one seriously bad choice i think mr bruford.
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