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Progressive Rock - Released January 14, 2003 | Rhino - Elektra

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Progressive Rock - Released May 28, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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Progressive Rock - Released June 24, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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Progressive Rock - Released May 7, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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Rock - Released January 28, 2008 | Rhino - Elektra

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
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Rock - Released January 28, 2008 | Rhino - Elektra

Four decades after its release, this is still the most controversial record in Yes' output. Tales from Topographic Oceans was the place where Yes either fulfilled all of the promise shown on their previous five albums or slid off the rails in a fit of artistic hubris, especially on the part of lead singer Jon Anderson and guitarist Steve Howe, who dominated the composition credits here. Actually, the group probably did a bit of both here across 80 minutes of music on a fully packed double-LP set; the group's musical ambitions were obvious on its face, as it consisted of four long songs (really suites) each taking up a side of an album, and each longer than the previous album's side-long "Close to the Edge." And Tales had a jumping-off point that was as far advanced in complexity and density as Close to the Edge had been out in front of its predecessor, Fragile, -- and all of it made The Yes Album seem like basic rock & roll. Anderson, by virtue of his voice and lyrics, is the dominant personality on Tales, and his fascination with Eastern religion is fully manifest, as never before (or since). Confronted by song titles such as "The Revealing Science of God," and a concept derived from the Buddhist Shastric scriptures, the casual listener might have felt in need of both a running start and a sheet of footnotes: Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman clearly felt something along those lines, as it was while making this record that he decided to exit the group. And, yet, Tales contains some of the most sublimely beautiful musical passages ever to come from the group, and develops a major chunk of that music in depth and degrees in ways that one can only marvel at, though there's a big leap from marvel to enjoy. If one can grab onto it, Tales is a long, sometimes glorious musical ride across landscapes strange and wonderful, thick with enticing musical textures; it offers the Yes fan the chance to be a true "astral traveler." Apart from one percussion break by Alan White that doesn't come off (if there had to be a Yes album with a percussion solo, why couldn't it have come along when Bill Bruford was in the band?), the music never falls flat, and it's a pity that Wakeman couldn't appreciate the richness and vitality he brought to the album. And Anderson and Howe get to work in an extraordinarily wide range of musical voices. In another reality, perhaps the gorgeous, folk-like passages on Tales would have spawned songs of four or five minutes, but here they are, woven into these long-form pieces, and if one can take the plunge into these particular sonic oceans, and comfortably stay under long enough, it's a journey that will reward. But it's not a trip for everyone -- or even every Yes fan -- to take, especially not too soon after discovering the album. ~ Bruce Eder
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Yes

Progressive Rock - Released September 17, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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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
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Rock - Released January 28, 2008 | 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
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Rock - Released January 29, 2008 | Rhino - Elektra

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Yes had fallen out of critical favor with Tales from Topographic Oceans, a two-record set of four songs that reviewers found indulgent. But they had not fallen out of the Top Ten, and so they had little incentive to curb their musical ambitiousness. Relayer, released 11 months after Tales, was a single-disc, three-song album, its music organized into suites that alternated abrasive, rhythmically dense instrumental sections featuring solos for the various instruments with delicate vocal and choral sections featuring poetic lyrics devoted to spiritual imagery. Such compositions seemed intended to provide an interesting musical landscape over which the listener might travel, and enough Yes fans did that to make Relayer a Top Ten, gold-selling hit, though critics continued to complain about the lack of concise, coherent song structures. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Progressive Rock - Released September 13, 1972 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Yes had fallen out of critical favor with Tales from Topographic Oceans, a two-record set of four songs that reviewers found indulgent. But they had not fallen out of the Top Ten, and so they had little incentive to curb their musical ambitiousness. Relayer, released 11 months after Tales, was a single-disc, three-song album, its music organized into suites that alternated abrasive, rhythmically dense instrumental sections featuring solos for the various instruments with delicate vocal and choral sections featuring poetic lyrics devoted to spiritual imagery. Such compositions seemed intended to provide an interesting musical landscape over which the listener might travel, and enough Yes fans did that to make Relayer a Top Ten, gold-selling hit, though critics continued to complain about the lack of concise, coherent song structures. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Rock - Released January 14, 2003 | Rhino - Elektra

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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
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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
£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
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Progressive Rock - Released August 31, 1993 | EastWest America

As any longtime fan of Yes will tell you, the group has been through quite a few lineups over their years. But through it all, they have been able to retain their diehard fan base, even when they were at their most indulgent (mid-'70s) and most pop-minded (mid-'80s). The 2000 collection, Best of Yes, covers 1970-1987, but since it's a single disc, far too many classics are left out for it to be considered definitive. True, you do get such expected Yes faves as "And You And I" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart," and it's a pleasant surprise that such oft-overlooked tunes as "Siberian Khatru," "Sound Chaser" and "Into the Lens" (the latter which featured the extremely short-lived Buggles-Yes union) are included. But you simply can't call it a Yes 'best of' and leave off such selections as "Starship Trooper," "Yours Is No Disgrace," "Roundabout" (No kidding, it's not here!), and "I've Seen All Good People," among others. You'd be better off paying the extra clams for a better-rounded double-disc set (Yesstory, The Ultimate Yes, etc.) -- too many classics are omitted here. ~ Greg Prato