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Album By Album: Yes

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Album By Album: Yes

Old 10-08-13, 06:46 PM
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Album By Album: Yes

Let's see how this goes...

The first Yes songs I remember being exposed to were "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and "Love Will Find A Way." As I was to find out later, the version of Yes that produced these songs sounded almost completely different than what had come before.

In subsequent years I have been exposed to much more of Yes' material, including the older stuff. I still lean towards Trevor Rabin Yes, or Yes West, but I've come to appreciate some of the pre-90125 music.

This thread will give me the opportunity to to review and discuss the many albums of Yes' career...and the many different line ups.
Old 10-08-13, 06:47 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Yes - 1969





According the Wikipedia the album cover with the band's picture is from the American release.

Released July 25, 1969

1. Beyond & Before
2. I See You
3. Yesterday and Today
4. Looking Around
5. Harold Land
6. Every Little Thing
7. Sweetness
8. Survival

Personnel

*Jon Anderson - Lead vocals, percussion
*Peter Banks - Guitars, vocals
*Chris Squire - Bass guitar, vocals
*Tony Kaye - Organ, piano
*Bill Bruford - Drums, vibraphone

Producer: Paul Clay

From Wikipedia:


Yes is the 1969 eponymous debut album from British progressive rock band Yes, considered among the first progressive rock albums. The original line-up of vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford remained intact for the album's recording.

Lester Bangs favourably reviewed the album in Rolling Stone, writing that it was "the kind of album that sometimes insinuates itself into your routine with a totally unexpected thrust of musical power."[2]

Average rating on Amazon: 4 stars

Most helpful favorable review from Amazon:

"Yes" is the original debut album from Yes not to be confused with "The Yes Album," which was their third album but the first one with which most people would be familiar. "Yes" is not as strong an album, but it is a lot better than you would expect given the level of performance excellent you expect from the group down the road, especially since at this point you have Peter Banks on guitar and Tony Kaye doing the assorted keyboard work. Most of the songs are written by vocalist Jon Anderson and bass player Chris Squire, along with covers of songs by Lennon & McCartney ("Every Little Thing") and Crosby & McQuinn ("I See You"). It is rather strange to thing of the Beatle and the Byrds being major influences on Yes, but there you go. This is an album for lifelong fans of the group to check out, now that it has been reissued. Knowing where the Yes sound ends up, you can hear it in embryonic form, most notably on "Harold Land," which most anticipates the multi-part suites that would consume an entire record side on the group's best albums. However, when you hear the driving sound of the opening cut, "Beyond and Before," you will wonder who you are listening to. Banks does some interesting guitar work on both of the cover songs, especially the atypical version of the Beatles song.

Most helpful critical review from Amazon:

Note - I am talking the material from the original album - at the end I will mention bonus material. Note 2 - 3 stars because this isn't at the level of their 4 star & 5 star work....

It's all there - Jon Anderson is doing his thing, Chris Squire's bass style, a constant in Yes, is there, Peter Banks has developed a style that Howe would later use as his basis of departure, Tony Kaye's keyboard style is often distinctive Yes and Bill Bruford is beating out early Yes rhythms. Only, it rarely jells into the sound I would call "Yes".

For the most part the music is pretty safe - heavy Beatles influence (like everyone back then) but trying to create a new sounds. I would say this is the only Yes album that I can clearly hear their influences as loudly as their own style. In a way this is closer to late British psychedelic than early progressive rock.

Every so often, though, you can hear the Yes-that-will-be emerging. A lot of bands in 1969 wrote long songs with different segments in different feels yet on a couple of tracks, such as Survival, you get a good taste of where they'll take the extended composition.

Overall this is very enjoyable (even a non-Yes fan will enjoy it) but not great. Well, it can be great if you listen to the potential that you'll hear in later albums because it is there if you listen...
Old 10-08-13, 07:29 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

IMO, Yes isn't Yes until The Yes Album. The first two albums are forgettable.
Old 10-09-13, 08:20 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
IMO, Yes isn't Yes until The Yes Album. The first two albums are forgettable.
Not true...there is much to like in the first two YES albums. Of course, they were not in full-mode prog rock yet, but a lot of the songs on these albums were down right classic. I'll take YES (first album) over anything they put out after DRAMA, and this coming from a HUGE fan of the band.
Old 10-10-13, 06:05 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Having listened to it 3-4 times, I can say it's not one I'd put on for any reason other than to review it. I do like their cover of Every Little Thing, and Survival is okay.

Some of the Amazon reviews say that you can hear the seeds of the kinds of music they would eventually produce, but I'm not so sure about that.

Originally Posted by Falc04 View Post
Not true...there is much to like in the first two YES albums. Of course, they were not in full-mode prog rock yet, but a lot of the songs on these albums were down right classic. I'll take YES (first album) over anything they put out after DRAMA, and this coming from a HUGE fan of the band.
I love Yes West.

Talk is one of my favorite albums by them. But I can understand the Rabin line up not being to some people's taste, especially if they first started listening to Yes before 90125.
Old 10-10-13, 06:45 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Time and Word - 1970



Original Cover



US cover, has less boobies.

Released July 24, 1970

1. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed"
2. "Then"
3. "Everydays"
4. "Sweet Dreams"
5. "The Prophet"
6. "Clear Days"
7. "Astral Traveller"
8. "Time and a Word"

Personnel

*Jon Anderson - vocals, percussion
*Peter Banks - electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
*Chris Squire - bass guitar, vocals
*Tony Kaye - piano, organ
*Bill Bruford - drums, percussion

Producer: Tony Colton

From Wikipedia:

Time and a Word is the second album by progressive rock band Yes, released in mid-1970 in the UK and November 1970 in the US. This was the last Yes album to feature the group's original line-up, as Peter Banks was fired before the album's release.

Time and a Word (Atlantic 2400 006) reached No. 45 in the UK.[5] The North American release of the album (Atlantic SD 8273) did not chart.

Jon Anderson's decision to use a live orchestra on most of the album's songs (as he reported in the YesYears video) put him very much at odds with Peter Banks. Tensions within the band increased, and just after the album's recording was completed in early 1970, Banks was asked to leave. Steve Howe would join the line-up that March, replacing Banks. The album includes two songs Anderson wrote with David Foster, a former bandmate in The Warriors.

Time and a Word's use of a studio orchestra seemed intrusive to some critics, and the album was received in a lukewarm fashion (UK No. 45, Yes' first chart entry at home). The opening track contains an orchestral intro to Richie Havens' song "No Opportunity Needed, No Experience Necessary", featuring a main theme from the 1958 film The Big Country by Jerome Moross. Also, the track "The Prophet" borrows from Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" from the Planets Suite.

The US and UK releases had different album artwork; the UK version used a black-and-white Dada-esque photo-montage of a nude woman with a butterfly, but this was deemed inappropriate in the US, so the cover there showed a picture of the band. Despite appearing on the US cover, Howe does not play on the album. The back cover of both versions features photographs of Anderson, Squire, Kaye, Bruford, and Banks.

Most helpful favorable review from Amazon:

"Time And A Word" (released in 1970) was The Yes' second album and in my opinion was a better album then their debut. It clearly shows the group experimenting with different sounds. Just listen to "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and "Clear Days" which utilize an orchestra. There are some great songs on this cd beginning with the above mentioned song "No Opportunity Needed...", "Then", "Sweet Dreams", and "Astral Traveller". Granted this album isn't as great as "Fragile" or "Close To The Edge", but then again they didn't have Steve Howe or Rick Wakeman. Interestingly, Howe appears on the cover of the U.S. release of "Time And A Word" but doesn't play on it. It wasn't until the next album "The Yes Album" (released in 1971) , that Howe replaced Peter Banks as guitarist. And Tony Kaye was later replaced by keyboard wizard extroardinaire, Wakeman. There are four bonus tracks included in this newly remastered cd. 1) Dear Father, 2) No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Original Mix), 3) Sweet Dreams (Original Mix), 4) The Prophet (Single Version), all of which are a nice addition to the regular album song listing. The sound quality of this cd is much better than the previous Joe Gastwirt remasters which had no punch. This version has more bottom end, increased midrange and pumped up output level. There's also an eight page booklet included that has some colorful pictures of the group and lyrics to the songs. This is a must for all Yes fans or those who enjoy listening to seventies progressive rock such as Emerson, Lake & palmer, King Crimson, or Genesis.

Most helpful critical review from Amazon:

Yes hit their stride with the album that would follow "Time and a Word," and I suspect I'm not alone in that this album did not find its way onto my turntable, or today into my CD player, as much as "The Yes Album" and those that followed. However, if you like Yes, this their second offering is worth having. Without Steve Howe, this band had not quite attained excellence, but there are fine songs here. "Then" sounds the most like a classic Yes song and features some excellent bass playing by Chris Squire. "Astral Traveller" and "Time and a Word" are nice songs. None of the songs drag, they are fine efforts, they just don't attain the greatness of the following albums.

The Rhino re-release is excellent. As usual, the Rhino liner notes and improved sound quality make it worthwhile rebuying this album. I recommend this CD for prog rock fans.
Old 10-10-13, 01:12 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I'll be honest with you, I like Yes casually but have never really explored their catalog. So I'll be following this thread as a learning experience. I might even bring cake. For me.
Old 10-10-13, 06:46 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Love this album, just as much as their debut. Such a great 2-album combo to listen to. Yes, I know this is not the sound that would catapult them into super-stardom that "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" would do, but "Time And A Word" and their 1st album are so good in their own right.
Old 10-14-13, 09:07 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I consider myself a big Yes fan, but I've never gotten into the S/T or Time and a Word.

Oh, and I am another who likes YesWest as much as the original Yes. They're basically two different bands to me. And I loved Union.
Old 10-14-13, 11:05 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I'm also a Yes fan but honestly don't think I ever listened to anything before The Yes Album. Yes, I'm somewhat embarrassed by this revelation. I also haven't given anything after Tormato a serious listen. Don't plan on it either.
Old 10-14-13, 11:39 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
I'm also a Yes fan but honestly don't think I ever listened to anything before The Yes Album. Yes, I'm somewhat embarrassed by this revelation. I also haven't given anything after Tormato a serious listen. Don't plan on it either.
This is my impression.
Old 10-14-13, 12:32 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Even if you don't like YesWest, there is some pretty good stuff on Drama. But let's not get ahead of ourselves!
Old 10-14-13, 01:44 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I recall Tempus Fugit back when it came out but the absence of Jon Anderson leaves me meh.
Old 10-14-13, 02:20 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
I'm also a Yes fan but honestly don't think I ever listened to anything before The Yes Album. Yes, I'm somewhat embarrassed by this revelation. I also haven't given anything after Tormato a serious listen. Don't plan on it either.
I lasted as long as Going For the One.
Old 10-14-13, 02:21 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Drama is one of my favorite Yes albums. Seriously.
Old 10-14-13, 02:40 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Drama is one of my favorite Yes albums. Seriously.
Mine as well.
Old 10-14-13, 04:38 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I like this album somewhat better than the debut. Once again, not one of my favorites, but I think it does flow a little better than the debut. However, I absolutely adore the title song. It might be one of my favorite Yes songs.
Old 10-14-13, 10:50 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Drama is one of my favorite Yes albums. Seriously.
Originally Posted by cdollaz View Post
Mine as well.
Make that three!
Old 10-15-13, 06:23 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Originally Posted by Rocketdog2000 View Post
Make that three!
Up to 4 now!
Old 10-15-13, 08:43 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Drama over Close to the Edge, an epic masterpiece?
Old 10-15-13, 09:20 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I think they are agreeing it's one of their favorites, based on 'Mallet's post. Don't worry, everyone knows Yes attained perfection in 1972 - it's a scientific fact.
Old 10-15-13, 09:47 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

Right. My mistake.
Old 10-15-13, 10:25 AM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

For the record, I would never say Drama is better than CttE. CttE is their pinnacle, with Fragile an impossibly close 2nd. If Fragile had more "songs" in place of some of the solo pieces, it would probably be my favorite. CttE is the best album, but the songs on Fragile are just as good. "Heart of the Sunrise" to me is their all time best song.
Old 10-15-13, 12:23 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I prefer Fragile over Close To The Edge.

I think that Roundabout, Heart Of The Sunrise, Long Distance Runaround and We Have Heaven/South Side Of The Sky are collectively a better set of songs than Close To The Edge, And You And I and Siberian Khatru.
Old 10-15-13, 01:10 PM
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Re: Album By Album: Yes

I probably would have agreed 30 years ago. Fragile was played to death on radio when I was growing up.

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