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83 of 89 found the following review helpful:
Excellent Remastering of Essential Yes Album Jan 27, 2003
By J. E FELL
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!
27 of 30 found the following review helpful:
THE Yes Album Jan 03, 2009
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.
32 of 39 found the following review helpful:
Perpetual change brings us to the first great Yes album Sep 06, 2003
By Lawrance M. Bernabo
"The Yes Album" was actually the third album from the group spearheaded by singer John Anderson, but represented enough significant differences from its two predecessors to constitute a new and bigger beginning for the progressive rock group. Guitarist Steve Howe had replaced Peter Banks (who had gone off to join Blodwyn Pig), the album featured only original material, and the songs now tended to be much longer tracks. The four longer tracks--"Yours Is No Disgrace," "Starship Trooper," "I've Seen All Good People," and "Perpetual Change"--are structured similarly, although each allows for considerable instrumental freedom. Usually a melodic theme is introduced by one member of the band and then echoed by the others. Science fiction concepts are combined with folk melodies and transformed into soaring showpieces for vocal and musical instruments alike. On this particular album the stand out musician is, rather surprisingly, bassist Chris Squire. Sometimes I think they made a mistake on the mix and pumped up the volume on the bass, but then it becomes clear this is by design. Howe's guitar work as well as the organ played by Tony Kaye are given their moments to shine while Bill Bruford's drumming just stays out of the way. However, the defining element of Yes is probably the vocal harmonies, with Howe and Squire blending with Anderson in the falsetto range, highlighted on "All Good People." It was this that made Yes unique from their most obvious British progressive rock counterpart Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
"All Good People" was also the group's second American single to crack the Top 40 and really became the song that introduced them to a larger listening audience. However, the best is yet to come, with the additional of Rick Wakeman as the keyboard player and Anderson's continued exploration of oblique lyrics. This is the second remastered CD version of the album and offers annotations by Yes scholar Bill Martin and a trio of bonus tracks: single edits of both "Your Move" and the "Life Seeker" segment of "Starship Trooper," and the studio version of the Steve Howe acoustic guitar solo "Clap." These are minor but welcome additions to what was already a five star album.
9 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Mobile Fidelity Gold of The Yes Album is a winner! Nov 17, 2010
By Johnnie Neptune
There is an excellent review by "Bob" from L.A. that discusses different audio versions of this disc. I don't have the HDCD or SHM-CD versions of this disc to compare to. That would be the ideal, no doubt. So with that limitation, I will say that this new MFSL gold is an excellent audiophile release of my favorite Yes disc. The Yes Album really was the first presentation of Classic Yes and the songs remain my favorites by a long shot. Steve Howe makes a stunning debut with the band on guitar. Like Steve Hackett of Genesis, he was the key guitar addition to an existing band that elevated them immediately. I really like Tony Kaye's effective keyboards and while not the virtuoso that Rick Wakeman was, this Yes Album lineup really gels. Once Wakeman joined, Yes became big with 'Fragile' and then progressively more complex with each release, in some ways too much so for their own good. They imploded after 'Tales' and the revolving door of members became commonplace. But on The Yes Album, they were focused and wrote true classics such as "Yours Is No Disgrace", "I've Seen All Good People/Your Move", "Perpetual Change" and "Starship Trooper". But as this was my first Yes album, I am biased and much of that is emotional. I am sure people who bought 'Close To The Edge' as their first Yes album would feel the same.
I am not a big fan of the newest batch of Mobile Fidelity discs. Some are excellent, incorporating SACD as well as gold quality (eg. "Everybody's In Showbiz" by the Kinks). Others, such as the new release of Abraxas by Santana and Yes' Fragile leave me wanting more sonically. So it is a mixed bag now where I used to hear consistently higher quality from Mobile Fidelity. I am happy to write that this MFSL release of The Yes Album is the best that I have heard of the newbies. Not boxy, not too bright. Nor did they impose a loudness boost that can ruin some remastering.
When I listen to a new release of an album that I know well but new things are heard, I know something special has happened. Such is the case with the new Mobile Fidelity gold of The Yes Album. Unless you go vinyl, this is as good as I can imagine hearing digitally. I have a number of different formats of cd's - SACD, SHM-CD, HDCD, HQ, Blu-Spec and gold discs such as Mobile Fidelity and DCC/Audio Fidelity. The most consistent for me are the older MFSL gold discs and SACD. I am happy to add this gold cd to one of my better sounding ones. As Bob also said, it is too bad that reviews of different cd releases get lumped in together sometimes on Amazon. So I will be specific once more and say that this new MFSL gold release of The Yes Album is highly recommended.
9 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Steve Howe joins Yes and the band leaps into Hyperspace Jan 08, 2007
By Jeffrey J.Park
After working with an orchestra on Time and Word (1970) and parting company with former guitarist Peter Banks, Yes joined forces with staggering virtuoso guitarist Steve Howe and took a massive leap forward into the world of full blown prog. Although I do not wish to offend Peter Banks fans, I just really appreciate Steve's playing more and feel that he brought a great deal to Yes. The Yes Album (1971) shows the classic Yes group sound starting to take shape, which would come to full and glorious fruition one year later with Close to the Edge (1972). The Yes Album however stands as their first creative (and yes, commercial) success.
The musicians on this album include Jon Anderson (vocals; percussion); Chris Squire (Rickenbacker bass; vocals); Steve Howe (acoustic and electric guitars; vachalia; vocals); Bill Bruford (drums; percussion); and Tony Kaye (Hammond organ; piano; and mini-moog). This would be Tony Kaye's last album with Yes and would be replaced by none other than the keyboard wizard himself Rick Wakeman on the follow-up album Fragile (1972). With most of the classic lineup in place, the level of the musicianship on The Yes Album went up as did the quality of the pieces themselves. In spite of this, The Yes Album is still just a very sophisticated rock album, without necessarily being progressive in the sense that Close to the Edge and Relayer (1974) were progressive.
The six tracks on the album range in length from 3'03" (Steve's acoustic solo piece Clap) to 9'23" (Starship Trooper). Starship Trooper really is a fantastic piece and as I recall, brought the record into the after school jazz band rehearsal to share my love of Starship Trooper with everybody else. One of things that I like about this track is the level of emotion that it imparts. In fact that is what a lot of Yes music was about - sweeping emotion - a property that is featured to varying degrees on all Yes albums right up until 1977 or so. Steve's acoustic solo piece "Clap" is also excellent and was recorded live (the bonus tracks include the studio version which is just as good). I guess it's worth noting that somebody added a "The" onto "Clap" and Steve has had to deal with that embarrassing title to this day. Fortunately Rhino had the good sense to correct this. Perpetual Change is a great piece along with the underrated A Venture, which features some excellent playing by Chris. In fact, his solo consists of simply adjusting the pickup switch to shift from the warmer sound of both the "treble" and "bass" pickups (I am not going to go into detail about string length and frequency) to a sharp and trebly sound using just the treble pickups. Although simple, it is incredibly effective.
This remastered and expanded album by Rhino is simply excellent. It features well-written and insightful liner notes by Dr. Bill Martin (Philosophy/DePaul University)(his book Music of Yes: Structure and Vision in Progressive rock is superb) and loads of band photos. The bonus tracks are OK and include a few single versions along with the studio version of Steve's acoustic guitar solo piece Clap.
All in all, this album marks the beginning of a creative peak for Yes that would last until 1977. Very highly recommended along with Fragile; Close to the Edge; the live Yessongs (1973); Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973); Relayer (1974); Going for the One (1977); and the live Yesshows (1980). Long live Yes!
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