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£7.99

Progressive Rock - Released February 19, 1971 | Rhino - Elektra

On Yes' first two albums, Yes (1969) and Time and a Word (1970), the quintet was mostly searching for a sound on which they could build, losing one of their original members -- guitarist Peter Banks -- in the process. Their third time out proved the charm -- The Yes Album constituted a de facto second debut, introducing the sound that would carry them forward across the next decade or more. Gone are any covers of outside material, the group now working off of its own music from the ground up. A lot of the new material was actually simpler -- in linear structure, at least -- than some of what had appeared on their previous albums, but the internal dynamics of their playing had also altered radically, and much of the empty space that had been present in their earlier recordings was also filled up here -- suddenly, between new member Steve Howe's odd mix of country- and folk-based progressive guitar and the suddenly liberated bass work and drumming of Chris Squire and Bill Bruford, respectively, the group's music became extremely busy. And lead singer Jon Anderson, supported by Squire and Howe, filled whatever was left almost to overflowing. Anderson's soaring falsetto and the accompanying harmonies, attached to haunting melodies drawn from folk tunes as often as rock, applied to words seemingly derived from science fiction, and all delivered with the bravura of an operatic performance -- by the band as well as the singer -- proved a compelling mix. What's more, despite the busy-ness of their new sound, the group wasn't afraid to prove that less could sometimes be more: three of the high points were the acoustic-driven "Your Move" and "The Clap" (a superb showcase for Howe on solo acoustic guitar), and the relatively low-key "A Venture" (oddly enough, the latter was the one cut here that didn't last in the group's repertory; most of the rest, despite the competition from their subsequent work, remained in their concert set for years to come). The Yes Album did what it had to do, outselling the group's first two long-players and making the group an established presence in America where, for the first time, they began getting regular exposure on FM radio. Sad to say, the only aspect of The Yes Album that didn't last much longer was Tony Kaye on keyboards: his Hammond organ holds its own in the group's newly energized sound, and is augmented by piano and other instruments when needed, but he resisted the idea of adding the Moog synthesizer, that hot instrument of the moment, to his repertory. The band was looking for a bolder sound than the Hammond could generate, and after some initial rehearsals of material that ended up on their next album, he was dropped from the lineup, to be replaced by Rick Wakeman. ~ Bruce Eder
£13.99

Rock - Released January 14, 2003 | Rhino - Elektra

Yes' second (and least successful) album was a transitional effort; the group trying for a more produced and sophisticated sound through the use of an orchestra. Even so, the results weren't conventional, because the group didn't tone down or turn down its sound. Much of Time and a Word relies on bold, highly animated performances by Bill Bruford, Chris Squire, and Tony Kaye. Additionally, by this time the group was developing a much tauter ensemble than was evident on their first LP, so there's no lack of visceral excitement. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" was a bold opening, a highly amplified, frenzied adaptation of the Richie Havens song, melded with Jerome Moross's title music from the movie The Big Country. Somewhat more successful musically is "Then," which keeps the orchestral accompaniment to a minimum and allows Kaye and Banks to stretch out on organ and guitar. "Everydays" is highlighted by Anderson's ethereal vocals and Kaye's dueting with the orchestra. A surprising amount of the material here seems rather tuneless, but the group was solidifying its sound and, in the process, forcing Banks out of the lineup, despite some beautiful moments for him (and Tony Kaye) on the prettiest parts of "The Prophet," a piece that also contains fragments of music that anticipate Yes' work right up through Tales from Topographic Oceans. "Astral Traveller," as a title, anticipates the themes of future group work, though they still don't have the dexterity to pull off the tempo changes they're trying for. By the time the record was completed, Banks was out of the band, which is why Steve Howe, his successor, ended up pictured on the cover of most editions. ~ Bruce Eder
£11.99

Rock - Released January 14, 2003 | Rhino - Elektra

£20.99

Rock - Released May 29, 2005 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

A new Yes box is like a new Star Trek film. The same core group will buy it/see it whether it's crap or not, resulting in an endless cycle of repackaging that exploits the fans who made the franchises so popular in the first place. Yes have always seemed more of an industry than a band, so it comes as no surprise that their deeply rooted PR machine has dug up another collection of "previously unreleased gems," wrapped it in one of Roger Dean's hippie/sci-fi landscapes, and slapped on an exhaustive booklet of play-by-play anecdotes from fans and fellow musicians. Anyone who has followed the group's prolific history knows that its members have splintered and regrouped so many times that their side projects alone demand the box treatment. The Word Is Live collects performances caught between 1970-1988 -- the years 1972-1975, despite boasting the group's most lauded roster, seem to have never existed here. The band's 2003 reunion tour is also skipped over, focusing instead on the fragmented Big Generator lineup of the late '80s. Rabid fans will no doubt empty their wallets for this admittedly attractive box, but the jury's out on whether or not they'll play it more than once. ~ James Christopher Monger
£10.99
Yes

Progressive Rock - Released January 14, 2003 | Rhino Atlantic

On Yes' first two albums, Yes (1969) and Time and a Word (1970), the quintet was mostly searching for a sound on which they could build, losing one of their original members -- guitarist Peter Banks -- in the process. Their third time out proved the charm -- The Yes Album constituted a de facto second debut, introducing the sound that would carry them forward across the next decade or more. Gone are any covers of outside material, the group now working off of its own music from the ground up. A lot of the new material was actually simpler -- in linear structure, at least -- than some of what had appeared on their previous albums, but the internal dynamics of their playing had also altered radically, and much of the empty space that had been present in their earlier recordings was also filled up here -- suddenly, between new member Steve Howe's odd mix of country- and folk-based progressive guitar and the suddenly liberated bass work and drumming of Chris Squire and Bill Bruford, respectively, the group's music became extremely busy. And lead singer Jon Anderson, supported by Squire and Howe, filled whatever was left almost to overflowing. Anderson's soaring falsetto and the accompanying harmonies, attached to haunting melodies drawn from folk tunes as often as rock, applied to words seemingly derived from science fiction, and all delivered with the bravura of an operatic performance -- by the band as well as the singer -- proved a compelling mix. What's more, despite the busy-ness of their new sound, the group wasn't afraid to prove that less could sometimes be more: three of the high points were the acoustic-driven "Your Move" and "The Clap" (a superb showcase for Howe on solo acoustic guitar), and the relatively low-key "A Venture" (oddly enough, the latter was the one cut here that didn't last in the group's repertory; most of the rest, despite the competition from their subsequent work, remained in their concert set for years to come). The Yes Album did what it had to do, outselling the group's first two long-players and making the group an established presence in America where, for the first time, they began getting regular exposure on FM radio. Sad to say, the only aspect of The Yes Album that didn't last much longer was Tony Kaye on keyboards: his Hammond organ holds its own in the group's newly energized sound, and is augmented by piano and other instruments when needed, but he resisted the idea of adding the Moog synthesizer, that hot instrument of the moment, to his repertory. The band was looking for a bolder sound than the Hammond could generate, and after some initial rehearsals of material that ended up on their next album, he was dropped from the lineup, to be replaced by Rick Wakeman. ~ Bruce Eder
£13.99

Rock - Released June 1, 1983 | Rhino Atlantic

£18.49

Rock - Released July 28, 2003 | Rhino - Elektra

All of the hits are here, just as they are on every Yes compilation. There are numerous edited versions for either radio or for singles, such as on "America," "It Can Happen," "The Calling," and "Homeworld." In addition, there is a remixed version of "Big Generator" that adds nothing to the original. Disc three offers three acoustic tracks in versions of "Roundabout" and "South Side of the Sky," with a solo Steve Howe six-string read of "Australia." ~ Thom Jurek
£10.99

Progressive Rock - Released August 12, 1994 | Rhino

The '70s model of Yes runs out of gas. Recorded in a morale slump and an impending haze of drink, Tormato's decent tunes are sabotaged by Rick Wakeman's increasing penchant for cheesy textures and the band's thin overall sound. "Don't Kill the Whale" was their last successful single for years; the soaring "Onward" almost but not quite redeems the twee silliness of "Arriving UFO" and "Circus of Heaven." Of special interest is the pounding "On the Silent Wings of Freedom," which pushes Chris Squire and Alan White to the front of the mix, establishing the kind of aggressive and straightforward rhythms that would propel the band through the '80s. Bass freaks, take note: this tune also marks one of the few appearances of the Dipthong pedal, accounting for Squire's distinctive "bow bow bow" sound. ~ Paul Collins
£11.99

Rock - Released January 28, 2008 | Rhino - Elektra

Yes' debut album is surprisingly strong, given the inexperience of all those involved at the time. In an era when psychedelic meanderings were the order of the day, Yes delivered a surprisingly focused and exciting record that covered lots of bases (perhaps too many) in presenting their sound. The album opens boldly, with the fervor of a metal band of the era playing full tilt on "Beyond and Before," but it is with the second number, a cover of the Byrds' "I See You," that they show some of their real range. The song is highlighted by an extraordinary jazz workout from lead guitarist Peter Banks and drummer Bill Bruford that runs circles around the original by Roger McGuinn and company. "Harold Land" was the first song on which Chris Squire's bass playing could be heard in anything resembling the prominence it would eventually assume in their sound and anticipates in its structure the multi-part suites the group would later record, with its extended introduction and its myriad shifts in texture, timbre, and volume. And then there is "Every Little Thing," the most daring Beatles cover ever to appear on an English record, with an apocalyptic introduction and extraordinary shifts in tempo and dynamics, Banks' guitar and Bruford's drums so animated that they seem to be playing several songs at once. This song also hosts an astonishingly charismatic performance by Jon Anderson. There were numerous problems in recording this album, owing to the inexperience of the group, the producer, and the engineer, in addition to the unusual nature of their sound. Many of the numbers give unusual prominence to the guitar and drums, thus making it the most uncharacteristic of all the group's albums. [Its first decent-sounding edition anywhere came with the 1997 remastering by Atlantic.] ~ Bruce Eder
£9.49

Progressive Rock - Released September 15, 1987 | Rhino

The four-years-in-the-making follow-up to Yes' comeback album, 90125, Big Generator was also a million-selling hit, although not as successful as its predecessor, probably because the singles "Love Will Find a Way" (number 30) and "Rhythm of Love" (number 40) couldn't match "Owner of a Lonely Heart" from the previous LP, even if they were favorites on AOR radio at the time. Actually, it was the title track that was a carbon copy of "Owner," so maybe that was the problem. More likely, though, "Owner" was a one-shot (courtesy of producer Trevor Horn), and as Yes asserted itself more here, the band reverted more to its old style, making for some confusion. Nevertheless, this album was Yes' last major hit. ~ William Ruhlmann
£11.99

Progressive Rock - Released July 22, 1977 | Rhino - Elektra

Going for the One is perhaps the most overlooked item in the Yes catalog. It marked Rick Wakeman's return to the band after a three-year absence, and also a return to shorter song forms after the experimentalism of Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, and Relayer. In many ways, this disc could be seen as the follow-up to Fragile. Its five tracks still retain mystical, abstract lyrical images, and the music is grand and melodic, the vocal harmonies perfectly balanced by the stinging guitar work of Steve Howe, Wakeman's keyboards, and the solid rhythms of Alan White and Chris Squire. The title track features Howe on steel guitar (he's the only prog rocker who bothers with the instrument). "Turn of the Century" and the album's single, "Wonderous Stories," are lovely ballads the way only Yes can do them. "Parallels" is the album's big, pompous song, so well done that in later years the band opened concerts with it. Wakeman's stately church organ, recorded at St. Martin's Church, Vevey, Switzerland, sets the tone for this "Roundabout"-ish track. The concluding "Awaken" is the album's nod to the extended suite. Again, the lyrics are spacy in the extreme, but Jon Anderson and Squire are dead-on vocally, and the addition of Anderson's harp and White's tuned percussion round out this evocative track. ~ Ross Boissoneau
£7.99

Rock - Released December 2, 2011 | Frontiers Records

Following Fly from Here, the first new Yes studio album in a decade, but recorded before it, In the Present: Live from Lyon chronicles a December 1, 2009 concert performance by a configuration that, initially in 2008, was being billed as "Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White of Yes," joined by Oliver Wakeman on keyboards and Canadian singer Benoît David of the Yes tribute band Close to the Edge. By the time of this show, however, Squire (who apparently controls the rights to the name) was calling the band simply Yes. The inclusion of David, with his sound-alike vocals copying those of original lead singer Jon Anderson, completes the conversion of this long-lived outfit into what many acts of a similar vintage have become: a tribute band to itself. That is confirmed by the repertoire here, which draws heavily on the early ‘70s LPs The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge. There are a couple of tracks from Drama (another album on which Anderson was absent) and one from Tormato, plus, inevitably, "Owner of a Lonely Heart," the most recent song in the set, at a mere 26 years old. Otherwise, the players re-create Yes music of four decades ago. Of course, there are numerous other live renditions of this material, starting with Yessongs, and these performances, while competent, are not on a par with either the studio originals or earlier recorded concerts. While ersatz bands like this are perfectly capable of pleasing nostalgic concert fans, they may not be well advised to issue recordings of their efforts that, like this one, suffer in comparison to previous efforts. [The album is also available with an accompanying DVD of video excerpts from the concert.] ~ William Ruhlmann
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Progressive Rock - Released November 8, 1983 | Atlantic Records

A stunning self-reinvention by a band that many had given up for dead, 90125 is the album that introduced a whole new generation of listeners to Yes. Begun as Cinema, a new band by Chris Squire and Alan White, the project grew to include the slick production of Trevor Horn, the new blood (and distinctly '80s guitar sound) of Trevor Rabin, and eventually the trademark vocals of returning founder Jon Anderson. His late entry insured that Rabin and Horn had a heavy influence on the sound. The album also marked the return of prodigal keyboardist Tony Kaye, whose crisp synth work on "Changes" marked the band's definitive break with its art rock roots. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was a huge crossover hit, and its orchestral break has been relentlessly sampled by rappers ever since. The vocal harmonies of "Leave It" and the beautifully sprawling "Hearts" are additional high points, but there's nary a duff track on the album. ~ Paul Collins
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Progressive Rock - Released November 30, 1981 | EastWest

Compiled by Chris Squire (in case you're wondering how "The Fish" made it this far upstream), Classic Yes was Atlantic's initial attempt to distill the band's best music. The key to this collection is in the title: this is the band's "classic" music. Anything prior to The Yes Album is cut out, no attempt is made to salvage snippets from Relayer or Tales from Topographic Oceans; Drama and Tormato are dispensed with. What remains is what made this band great: the science fiction and fantasy-laced epics, the tangible wizardry of their arrangements, moments that crystallized the magical power of music, and two unreleased live tracks from 1978 that find the band tethered to the realm of mortals." The logic behind the live tracks is pretty simple: "Roundabout" and "I've Seen All Good People" are two tracks that missed the original LP cut, so live versions of them were included with the LP as a bonus 45 rpm single. This is only a minor complaint, though, and one easily overlooked in lieu of the music that made the first cut. Squire's picks are undoubtedly the right ones: "Heart of the Sunrise" to start things off, "And You and I" in all its ten-minute glory, "Starship Trooper" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" from their third album, and "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish." Classic Yes remains the place to start if you're interested in the band or just want to hear their best music in one sitting. ~ Dave Connolly
£13.99

Rock - Released March 22, 2005 | Rhino