Yes
Yes


3.0
good

Review

by Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers USER (67 Reviews)
December 20th, 2005 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist


Sure Bryan Adams sings about how great summer of Ď69 was, but it really wasnít that great at all, hence the stereotype that Canadians cannot be trusted. See, in the summer of Ď69 the great genre we know as progressive had still not fully evolved into the beautiful beast it was in the 70s. Genesis were Bee Gees wannabes, Pink Floyd were busy playing quirky post-psychedelic songs, and King Crimson were the only band with enough balls to make a real prog record. And the most pretentious, over the top, mystical and cheesy band we know as Yes had not yet started making 20 minutes epics. Yes shows the band in its embryonic stage, virtuoso guitarist Steve Howe or keyboardist Rick Wakeman still hadnít joined.

The result of Howeís and Wakemanís absence is a considerably less powerful band. Most of the focus, mainly due to the amateur production, is on Bill Brufordís drums. Not a bad thing, any drummer whoís played in King Crimson obviously has some chops, but the crunching, raw sound of Billís drum doesnít go well with the soft sound of the other instruments. The other well known super-human player in Yes is bassist Chris Squire, who did play on this album. Instead of playing his bass like a lead instrument with a crisp sound like in later Yes albums, heís kept low in the mix throughout the album, the bass not very prominent or interesting. All the musicians are clearly inexperienced, but still create some great instrumentals.

The songs range from short poppy songs, to less typically structured songs leading to swirling, fast-paced jams. The jams are pretty simple, keeping to their principle of playing simple blues-based music intertwined with melodic psychedelic pop. I See You however, breaks into a manic jazz jam lead by Peter Banksí guitar while Bruford really shows his talents at drums, showing the bandís capabilities. Unfortunately the songís jam is the only interesting part of it, the rest of I See You being a slow song with Jon Andersonís annoyingly overdubbed vocals driving the musically and melodically dead song.

Harold Land is the only song to show any of that signature lively, crunchy bass playing from Chris Squire. It continues shows more of what we could expect from Yes in the future; beginning with an upbeat organ and bass driven intro that slowly becomes more and more textural before the song turns into a melancholic sounding, piano driven, slow section, still maintaining itís texture. But the art of tempo shifts and Progishness on Yes climaxes at the most adventurous Beatles cover ever, Every Little Thing. Every member flexes their chops in the songs, the song unusually heavy and hectic for the album. One would never guess itís a Beatles cover (letís see that little bitch Ringo drum like this!) until Banks sneaks in the Day Tripper riff in the song. The start-stop tempo and quick music transitions are classic symptoms of Yesitus, the disease of rocking out uncontrollably in progressive fashion (other symptoms may include impotence and dry mouth.)

Despite a few shining moments that hint to prog rockís future, the album is pretty laid back. The songís are mostly stylings of Simon & Garfunkel married with fast paced Blues influenced 60s rock, a bit like early Jethro Tull. The album falls flat on some moments, melodies arenít interesting enough to back up the earnest instrumentation. Itís an overall uninteresting listen for those of us who like the monstrous, complex songs of Close to the Egde and Relayer, teetering way to much between early progressive/early hard rock and melodic 60s pop rock. Yes covered way too many musical bases for their debut, but Yes is a good start for the boys nonetheless.

I in advance do not apologize for any mental/emotional anguish caused to Ringo Starr and/or his management.



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user ratings (261)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Matthijs van der Lee (3.5)
Not only is it underrated in their discography, Yes' debut was essential in eventually giving birth ...

ImTheFloor (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
pulseczar
December 20th 2005


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

My last review until January, see ya Sputnik.

Killtacular
December 20th 2005


1314 Comments


Best instance of calling Ringo a bitch in a review, ever.

Rudd13
December 20th 2005


952 Comments


I'm surprised there only used to be one other review for this.

Nice work, Galapogos.

Zebra
Moderator
December 21st 2005


2647 Comments


Excellent reivew, probably your best yet considering that it wasn't too long and it was very detailed.

I have listened to this about five times and I still can't give it a rating. The first two tracks are simply amazing.

Med57
Moderator
December 21st 2005


1001 Comments


This is quite a good album...not one of Yes's best, but still well worth checking out if you're a prog fan. Very good review too, probably one of your best.

Neoteric
December 21st 2005


3243 Comments


See ya in January sexy.

Jawaharal
December 21st 2005


1832 Comments


I still have yet to hear a Yes song besides Roundabout. :upset:

great review too.

pulseczar
February 17th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can't believe I didn't mention "Sweetness". Very beautiful song, the only time Yes have done a ballad-type song, one of their best.

ubermensch518
April 25th 2009


52 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review, but you don't give this album enough credit. There are some very strong moments (Beyond and Before, Looking Around, Every Little Thing) along with the weaker ballad-like songs. This sounds to me like Yes being a bunch a very talented hippies, a tradition they continue in Yours is No Disgrace and (bleh) We Have Heaven. They still show a nice ability to turn simple songs into beautiful epics: Every Little Thing, obviously, and I See You is a Byrds' cover (off Fifth Dimension, a spectacular album) and I think Jon Anderson does a nice job. It's clearly pittance compared to Close to the Edge and Relayer, but it is still quality for a first album, and those two are too good to try to compare it against.

Ellx
November 18th 2010


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like this album much more than most other yes fans do it seems

pissbore
March 25th 2013


9935 Comments


pretty cool

ViperAces
March 25th 2013


12466 Comments


whats your fav yes?

KILL
March 25th 2013


71957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

pissbore
March 25th 2013


9935 Comments


either ctte or the yes album

ViperAces
March 25th 2013


12466 Comments


sweet, i need to check relayer

Chortles
March 25th 2013


17994 Comments


Relayer is my 2nd fave I think

Digging: Jacaszek - Treny

pissbore
March 25th 2013


9935 Comments


relayer rules hard

deslad
February 23rd 2014


365 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice album, "I See You" is such a great song.

Digging: Rainbow - On Stage

BMDrummer
July 27th 2014


8632 Comments


might check this i guess, could be interesting

KILL
July 27th 2014


71957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

a true rocker



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