Yes
The Yes Album


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (124 Reviews)
January 3rd, 2018 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the first essential album of Yes. represents the real starting point of one of the most important and influential prog bands ever.)

“The Yes Album” is the third studio album of Yes and was released in 1971. The line up on the album is Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye, Chris Squire and Bill Bruford. The album had also the participation of Colin Goldring.


Yes began performing original songs and rearranged covers of rock, pop, blues and jazz songs. A change of direction in 1970 led to a series of successful prog rock albums with songs made by them. “The Yes Album” was their first album featuring the new guitarist of the band Steve Howe, after the dismissal of their founder guitarist Peter Banks and it was also the last album featuring the presence of the founder keyboardist Tony Kaye. After friction between Howe and Kaye, due to his reluctance to play electronic keyboards such as the mellotron and the minimoog synthesizer, it was asked to him to leave Yes. He would be replaced by Rick Wakeman, which would leave Strawbs, in their next album, “Fragile”.

Despite “The Yes Album” be the third studio album of Yes, it sounds more like their first album. And in a certain way it was, because this release represents a new beginning for the group, a new vision of something rather different from their two previous embryonic releases where they were finding their feet. “The Yes Album” is still stands up today as one of their best works and a classic album of 70’s progressive rock. If there’s one album that united the opinion of Yes fans and critics alike, it’s this album. It clearly shows the starting point of the musical process which would culminate with “Close To The Edge” and that, somehow, would come to an end with “Going For The One”.

“The Yes Album” was the first work by the group to feature Steve Howe, who became critical to Yes’ line up in terms of both, his distinctive playing and his songwritting. The Howe’s guitar style of playing is very different from the style of his predecessor, Peter Banks. Howe’s style is much more measured and less wigged out, with a great variety of styles. In a sense, we can say this is a Howe’s album because his presence is felt by everywhere on this album.

In reality, Yes took a major step forward when Banks was replaced by Howe in 1971. Their first album with Howe was also their first classic one, so the title “The Yes Album” was no coincidence. Yes had found most of their trademark sound and style here and 2/3 of the material on the album would make an important part in their future live set.

The album opens with the superb “Yours Is No Disgrace” and this track really proved that Yes now had become one of the greatest progressive rock bands ever. It featured powerful riffs, complex instrumental parts, excellent organ and synthesizer work from Kaye and Howe’s playing varies from tasteful and atmospheric to raw and energetic. Howe’s acoustic instrumental “Clap” (wrongly titled as “The Clap” on the cover of the album) also allowed him to demonstrate his unique guitar style of playing. Probably Yes decided allowing a Howe solo acoustic guitar piece on this album, because it breaks up two nine minute composition. “Starship Trooper” was the first Yes’ track divided into several parts and included the legendary riff of the closing part “Wurm”. It’s a fantastic track with great melody which has been developed in live performances over the years. “I've Seen All Good People” combined the lovely and atmospheric acoustic part called “Your Move” with the rocking energy of “All Good People” and demonstrated Yes’ phenomenal dynamics very well. The track might seem a bit monotonous at first, but it’s another great effort from the band, which sound was definitely unique on the album and explores vaster musical paths. “A Venture” is a simple and enjoyable track with good lyrics, nice vocals and great piano work. This is a good and pleasant song but isn’t as impressive as the others. “Perpetual Change” was yet another very strong and complex track. It’s a song full of melody, with lengthy instrumentation, good lyrics and a progressive classic structure. While the song was perhaps slightly overshadowed by some other tracks on this album, it became as one of the highlight tracks of Yes. This is really another amazing track.


Conclusion: As happened with “Trespass” of Genesis, “The Yes Album” marked the real turning point in the career of Yes. 1971 was with no doubt a pivotal moment in progressive rock music, because it gave birth to the classic Yes sound. Indeed this album is the seeds to “Fragile” and “Close To Edge”. It also serves as a portal of sorts between “Fragile” and their previous two albums “Yes” and “Time And A Word”. It was their first release to feature Howe, what would be a real cornerstone in the group and it was the last Yes album for more than twelve years to feature Kaye until his return in 1983 with “90125”. It was also important because it was the band’s first album to feature writing credits to the whole group, a tradition that would be employed partially in years to come. So, “The Yes Album” is a great work and is one of the milestones in the development of progressive rock. This is one of the best Yes albums of all time and in my opinion is at the same quality level of “Fragile”. It serves perfectly well as a starting point for the newcomers.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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4.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
January 3rd 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

New year, new proposals. It's time to embarque inside the wonderful music world of Yes, one of the best and most influential bands of prog. Few bands can boast of have been so important to prog world like Yes were. We can even say that without them the prog world would be very different and poorer. By the other hand, there aren't many bands that could boast to have had so vast and tallented artists as they had.

During this year, is my intention to bring to Sputnik reviews about the Yes albums that belong to their golden era, reviews of many albums of Yes' members as solo artists and reviews of albums that somehow are linked to the band due to the many and several participations of their band's members, before or after of be members of Yes.

And as a starting point, nothing better than begin with the beggining. We can say that there's a band before and after "The Yes Album". Despite "The Yes Album" be their third album, it as nothing to do with the first two. "The Yes Album" was a huge step forward for them and for prog in general. So, somehow, all begun for Yes with this album.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 3rd 2018


2620 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed that this is the beginning of Yes' musical peak, most of the songs on here are very quirky and uplifting but not to a point where it's cringeworthy. Instead, it's the mark of a musical collective whereby each musician is putting in 100%. Nice review too, you reflected exactly why this album has worked in the band's favour and legacy over the years.

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e210013
January 3rd 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks linguist2011. I always enjoyed to talk with you.

Divaman
January 3rd 2018


4418 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good job, e. I look forward to the following reviews in this series.

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e210013
January 3rd 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, Diva. I'm glad I can count with you on my next serie of reviews about Yes.

Jethro42
January 3rd 2018


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is their first classic one, but Time and a Word already had great songs that announced the good things to come with ''Then'', ''Astral Travellers'' and the t/t. Here, the inclusion of Steve Howe refined their sound and style with his classical touch.

I found The Yes Album to be peaceful and warm, and like most of their music, it's a good summer album for me.

My favorite songs are ''Yours is no Disgrace'' and ''Starship Trooper'' which are around my top 5 Yes songs.

Nice review, mate. Keep them coming.



e210013
January 3rd 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can agree with you in a certain way, Jethro. It's true that "Time And A Word" is better than their eponymous debut. But, it was really "The Yes Album" that turned decisively the band's music.

My favorite songs are ''Yours Is No Disgrace'', ''Starship Trooper'' and "I've Seen All Good People". But "Perpetual Change" is very close to them.

Thanks, dude.

TheIntruder
January 3rd 2018


433 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Nice to see another review of this album. I also look forward to the following reviews in this series. Keep them coming.

I am going to read the review later.

conesmoke
January 3rd 2018


6076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yours is no disgrace bah sah dah da la da da nananananana naa daa

someguest
January 4th 2018


29931 Comments


This is my favorite Yes album.

e210013
January 4th 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Intruder. I'd like to have your opinion later, if you want.

e210013
January 4th 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, great track. Thanks for your participation on my review, conesmoke.

e210013
January 4th 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's not my favourite, but is one of them. Thanks someguest.

Donchivo
January 4th 2018


859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice and interesting read. I just ordered an old vinyl version of this gem and can't wait to play it analogue

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Jethro42
January 4th 2018


15964 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

''Clap'' is great, but it seems out of place as the second song. But after all, where to put it instead..? I actually prefer ''Mood For A Day'' from Fragile. I wish they developed more ''A Venture'', and ''Perpetual Change'' would be great instrumentally. Its vocal lines are good but not great, and they sound like a kind of Christmas song at places ;)

I still give it a 4.5/5, because there are no really flaws. Just couple of adjustments needed.

wham49
January 5th 2018


4889 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

e21 justice done to the best Yes album, side one is perfect. My intro to non Rush prog, blew my 15 year old mind, the vocals on Starship are perfect

e210013
January 5th 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Donchivo. I've a vinyl version too. But mine is an old version bought in the 70's. It's nice to see the old vinyl returning in great force.

e210013
January 5th 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with you, Jethro. This is an album almost perfect.

About the two songs of Howe, actually I like both of them in the same way. The guy always was a great composer on classical guitar.

e210013
January 5th 2018


2590 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I think the album deserve a review with a 4.5. This is an album with some of my favourite songs of Yes.

Thanks Wham.

wham49
January 5th 2018


4889 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"I can agree with you in a certain way, Jethro. It's true that "Time And A Word" is better than their eponymous debut."



have to diagree, I think their debut is very good: survival, HArold LAnd, the covers all awesome



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