Yessongs Double CD, Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Yes - Yessongs - Cd
Opening with a few bars of Stravinsky to set the adoring crowd on its feet, this once-three-LP set is Yes at their finest. This was, after all, probably the most mainstream act that had even provisional "prog rock" status, and their tunes show it. While "Heart of the Sunrise" may be one of the more modestly titled Yes songs (compare it with "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" or "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" or even "Total Mass Retain"), it also bears marks of the band playing at its most frenetic pace around Jon Anderson's soaring near-falsetto. Rick Wakeman's grand synthesizer flashes are more than textural, finding visual meshes aplenty with Roger Dean's cryptic cover art--most of which is shrunken or absent on this two-CD reissue. When Yessongs was cut, Marshall stacks were in their heyday, and Yes happily engaged in harmonic and melodic excessiveness as well as carefully planned layers of complexity. "Roundabout" was the band's biggest hit to this point. It appears here faithfully reproduced. As for the rest, it's entertaining in a 1970s way--full of light shows, staged visuals, and more. It took a few years for prog rock to dwindle and for punk-coloured art rock to swerve toward songs about buildings and food. On Yessongs, the band was peaking, singing songs with far grander purpose (Siberia, the Apocalypse, etc.). By any account, this is one of the classic live albums of its generation, and as the soundtrack to the hip 1998 film Buffalo 66 hinted, at least one manic Yes song ("Heart of the Sunrise") passed muster for drama in the 1990s. --Andrew Bartlett
Top Customer Reviews
The main difference between these live versions and the originals is that this is the first time we hear Alan White on drums, and he drives the songs along with a kick (literally) that brings them right into the rock genre. You can't fault former drummer Bill Bruford's skill - he appears in this recording on "Perpetual Change", with a typically paradiddling top-kit solo - but it's White that lifts the rest of the material.Read more ›
The original album was utterly stunning; I loved it from the first play. I only bought the MP3 download because my vinyl is too badly worn to digitize.
If you are replacing your vinyl, beware.
Very happy to report the sound quality is a bit better, clearer and with a touch more body/punch. I was relieved because even though the album is a classic the sound was originally terrible (Especially after many plays on your record player) so it's great to hear it cleaned up. I had no trouble with disc 2 as some reviewers have stated...
All Yes fans will have there favorite parts from this recording. For me it is tracks like "Perpetual Change" "Long Distance Runaround" "Yours is No Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper" because the raw energy and sometimes savage power of the bands performance is simply breathtaking; plus the extended solos in theses tracks are wonderful and I feel in a way have never been bettered. Sometimes the power is a little too much for example "And You and I" is a little spoilt by the lack of subtlety, but it's only a small detail and indeed a matter of individual taste.
Incidentally I found it interesting that both Wakemans solo offering and Howe's "Mood For A day" although listened to with pleasure on the first run through, I find now that I tend to skip theses tracks as older and wiser ears find them a wee bit more trivial and flowery. Contrary to this is Chris Squires bass solo on "Fish" Which I now find more impressive than ever: this powerful and stunning exhibition of virtuoso playing surely goes down in history as one of the most exciting bass solos ever. Chris for me was always the heart of "Yes".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I give this 5 stars despite the bootleg standard sound quality. Theses guys are all on the top of their game with Steve Howe absolutely inspiring. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ken jones
There's no need to do track to track review, because the one who happens to read these words certainly knows these songs. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bona
Yes yes yes !!. You should get what I' m hearing !
Yes at their zenith.
What a band !
Just discovered their Drama album recently - wowissimo !!!! Read more
Beware! This once great album has suffered the fate of some other classics in that the digital remastering, whilst crystal clear, seems to involve turning the treble up to 11 and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Pete25
Bought this for Hubby and he likes it. There are some songs on there that I'm familar with which are really good. The only problem is that disc2 is a . Read morePublished 18 months ago by Soosie Wales