Yes
The Yes Album


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
November 18th, 2010 | 18 replies | 3,247 views


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where Yes really starts.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

While Yes had shown early potential with their first two records, The Yes Album became their breakthrough. Guitarist Steve Howe joined as a replacement for Peter Banks, who was fired prior to the release of Time and a Word, his arrival bringing the group one step closer to their classic sound. Keyboardist Tony Kaye remained with the band for now, but would eventually also be replaced, by of course no other than the silver cape-wielding Rick Wakeman, though he would play with the band more than a decade later again.

Understandably, The Yes album is often seen as the group's real starting point. The six-track record is centred around its three epics, an idea later repeated similarly with its follow-ups. These epics, Yours is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and Perpetual Change, have become classic Yes in every sense: the musicianship is the longest and most technical up to this point, and full of tempo –and mood changes. Most importantly though, the band’s musicians have found their niche: Anderson his unmistakable voice , Squire his dominating bass sound, Bruford his signature drum technique, and the organ-driven sound that has characterised the band really comes forward here, a feature that Wakeman would of course improve on the following albums. These guys knew to make one hell of a jam at this point.

Filling out the rest of the album are the lovely bit of guitar playing Clap, a live recording that more than well shows how integral Howe became for the group, a three-minute 'interlude' in A Venture, and I’ve Seen All Good People. The latter is of course the only Yes song that ever made it into a real classic rock staple. The chorus hook is catchy although repetitive, and Howe is throwing out fantastic guitar licks that are unusually traditional (as in bluesy) for him.

Even though their debut was already self-titled, The Yes Album was a fitting name for the record that established the actual basis of the sound that would make the group into one of the Big Four of progressive rock. Yes’ compositions would get more ambitious, overblown to a fault eventually, but it’s ultimately what they’re remembered for. This is where the group’s golden age started.

The Yes Album’s Yes was:

- John Roy Anderson ~ Lead Vocals
- Stephen James Howe ~ Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Christopher Russell Squire ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Anthony John Selvidge ~ Organ, Piano, Moog Synthesizer
- William Scott Bruford ~ Drums, Percussion

TO BE CONTINUED...




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user ratings (668)
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4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
November 18th 2010



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Returning to the Yes. What's up with these review gaps?

theacademy
November 18th 2010



27669 Comments


I INVENTED THIS SHIT

BigHans
November 18th 2010



26455 Comments


Ive Seen All Good People is a great song.

KILL
November 18th 2010



67023 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yes

Digging: Picchio dal Pozzo - Picchio dal Pozzo

Nagrarok
November 18th 2010



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I knew you'd comment exactly that Hans.

starry
November 18th 2010



552 Comments


I wonder who decided who "the Big Four of progressive rock" were, the public or the record companies.....

While I can like part of the music of Yes, I haven't really liked a full album.

Nagrarok
November 18th 2010



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's not really a well-known title as in the Big Four of Thrash, but it's generally accepted that the biggest (as in most popular and influential) prog bands were King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis.

starry
November 18th 2010



552 Comments


Of those I like Pink Floyd the most. But I'm sure progressive has to be about more than just influence (which I don't care about) or even most popular (as not all good music is popular simply because most don't hear that much music). Maybe for the media there's only room for a few groups to dominate in a period and for people to get used to. Foreign language records of course are normally just dismissed by most lol.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
November 18th 2010



16125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album rules pretty hard, and the review certainly does it justice making some good points. Nice work again Nag.

instantradical
November 18th 2010



188 Comments


I know this is supposed to be the first good Yes album, but I find it rather unmemorable. Fragile, Close to the Edge, and Relayer, on the other hand... sheer brilliance.

Jethro42
November 18th 2010



12028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

YESSSSS Steve Howe was more than welcome here! Unfortunately, Wakeman was still busy with Strawbs at that time. Yours is no Disgrace rules, as do your review/discog, super Nag.
I agree about the big four being King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes and Genesis.
I go with Supertramp, Camel, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, ELP, PFM and Rush for a big ten.

Nagrarok
November 18th 2010



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fragile, Close to the Edge, and Relayer, on the other hand... sheer brilliance.


yesss Relayer. Nearly as good as Fragile.

Thanks Angel and Jethro. I think ProgJect should be doing a Strawbs review sometime, hm?

Jethro42
November 18th 2010



12028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think ProgJect should be doing a Strawbs review sometime, hm?

I often think about covering some Strawbs. Band is on my priority list.


starry
November 18th 2010



552 Comments


"I go with Supertramp, Camel, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, ELP, PFM and Rush for a big ten."

erm...that would make it 11 lol. PFM I find most interesting from those 7 and yet they are possibly the least known.

Jethro42
November 18th 2010



12028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha someone has counted it. Nice! And yes, Premiata Forneria Marconi is a great band. Take a look if you want:
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/39104/Premiata-Forneria-Marconi-Photos-of-Ghosts/
'The least known'...on Sputnik yes, no doubt. Band needs so much more recognition on here.

Nagrarok
February 20th 2011



7946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There's still a few bits and parts here that irk me, which is why this is not as good as their later albums. Luckily they really edged out their sound when Wakeman joined.

Jethro42
February 20th 2011



12028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album could have been more consistent. Most of the songs don't fit together well, and it's lacking of a natural flow. Album is more or less saved by two of my fav Yes songs in both epic 'Yours is no Disgrace' and 'Starship Trooper'. In the same vein of Nag's statement, the presence of Wakeman would have been more than useful.

dannyboy89
March 6th 2013



7376 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Once I hear this I'll be done with all the Yes essentials.

Assuming, of course, that those are The Yes Album through 90125.

Digging: Radiohead - Amnesiac



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