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Rock - Released November 24, 1997 | Eagle Rock

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Progressive Rock - Released September 15, 1992 | Rhino - Elektra

Despite the seeming overabundance of Yes compilations and live recordings, this two-CD release does fill an important niche -- it's the definitive Yes set for fans who demand more than a single disc (The Very Best of Yes), but don't want to spring for the bulky box set. Essentially a distillation of the Yesyears box set, it benefits from the fine remastering job, while at the same time trimming away less vital tracks like the Tormato B-sides and the tepid '80s live performances. Still, it's shocking that the fine album, Drama, was left out entirely, or that Relayer was whittled down to the unsatisfying excerpt of "Soon." And only picking the two hit singles from 90125 and Big Generator won't fool many true fans of their later work -- both could have been passed over for better cuts that didn't pull in the teenyboppers. Still, despite its post-1980 lapses, fans of early Yes may find this an entirely satisfactory compilation. ~ Paul Collins
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Rock - Released December 19, 1980 | Rhino - Elektra

The second official concert package from Yes contains tunes recorded over a span of two years (1976-1978) and two different incarnations of the band. Like its live predecessor Yessongs (1973), Yesshows finds the combo during one of their states of perpetual change. Jon Anderson (vocals), Steve Howe (guitar), Chris Squire (bass/vocals), and Alan White (drums) are joined by Rick Wakeman (keyboards) on a majority of the selections. The exceptions being "Gates of Delirium" from Relayer (1974) and the Tales from Topographic Oceans' (1973) epic "Ritual" -- which is presented in two parts -- and has Patrick Moraz (keyboards) in Wakeman's stead. The original concept contained a few features that would have been akin to Yessongs. They debated as to whether they should make it another triple-LP and feature Tales from Topographic Oceans in its entirety, like Close to the Edge had been done on Yessongs. Undecided, they made a rough mix of a two-album incarnation, but then shelved it in order to focus their attentions on creating new music. Purportedly, that unapproved (by Yes, anyway) version was cleaned up by the record company and released for the holiday shopping frenzy of 1980. As issued, the seven tracks hang well together and provide enthusiasts an opportunity to hear a mixture of older and newer material. Best of all, Yes retain their enviable ability to ably re-create the complex and challenging passages with a soul that is occasionally lacking from the studio counterparts. Reaching back nearly a decade is an excellent update of the optimistic "Aquarian Age" anthem and the title composition of their second platter, "Time and a Word." It is enveloped by a pair of equally well-executed sides from Going for the One (1977). Here, both the opener "Parallels" and the song "Going for the One" exceed the comparatively sterile non-live readings. Particularly endearing and inspired is Anderson's off-key voice crack during the high-octane chorus of the latter. The more involved works -- especially the Moraz performances on "The Gates of Delirium" and the nearly half-hour "Ritual" -- are fuelled by a continuous energy. They build on the structure established from the respective long-players, yet even the most intricate elements and dynamics are amplified in their decisiveness and command. Anderson's intimacy and passion fuse on the closer "Wondrous Stories," almost as if releasing the audience from one last embrace. ~ Lindsay Planer
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Rock - Released February 28, 1975 | Rhino - Elektra

Yesterdays is a pleasant but minor compilation of early Yes cuts. Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman put in an appearance on an up-tempo art-rock reworking of Paul Simon's "America"; listen for Bill Bruford's wah-wah bongos. The rest of this record is largely a showcase for the shunned talents of Tony Kaye and Peter Banks, although the song selections pass over the edgier material in favor of hazy tunes like "Survival." The previously unreleased "Dear Father" is a wonderful, if heavily orchestrated, evocation of youthful angst. ~ Paul Collins
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Progressive Rock - Released September 13, 1972 | Rhino Atlantic

With 1971's Fragile having left Yes poised quivering on the brink of what friend and foe acknowledged was the peak of the band's achievement, Close to the Edge was never going to be an easy album to make. Drummer Bill Bruford was already shifting restlessly against Jon Anderson's increasingly mystic/mystifying lyricism, while contemporary reports of the recording sessions depicted bandmate Rick Wakeman, too, as little more than an observer to the vast tapestry that Anderson, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire were creating. For it was vast. Close to the Edge comprised just three tracks, the epic "And You and I" and "Siberian Khatru," plus a side-long title track that represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years. Close to the Edge would make the Top Five on both sides of the Atlantic, dispatch Yes on the longest tour of its career so far and, if hindsight be the guide, launch the band on a downward swing that only disintegration, rebuilding, and a savage change of direction would cure. The latter, however, was still to come. In 1972, Close to the Edge was a flawless masterpiece. ~ Dave Thompson