Similar artists

Albums

£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
£9.49

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
£11.99

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
£10.99

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
£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
£8.99

Progressive Rock - Released August 22, 1980 | Rhino - Elektra

For this one album, ex-Buggles Geoffrey Downes and Trevor Horn were drafted in to replace Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. It rocks harder than other Yes albums, and for classically inclined fans, it was a jarring departure; but it was a harbinger of Yes and Asia albums to come. A newly emboldened Chris Squire lays down aggressive rhythms with Alan White, and Steve Howe eschews his usual acoustic rags and flamenco licks for a more metallic approach, opting for sheets of electric sound. Prime cuts include the doom-laden "Machine Messiah" and the manic ska inflections of "Tempus Fugit." Despite the promise of this new material, the band soon fell apart; Horn went into production, Howe and Downes joined Asia, and Squire and White toyed and then gave up on a pair-up with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, which was to be titled XYZ (i.e., Ex-Yes and Zeppelin). ~ Paul Collins
£9.49

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
£10.99

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 June 1, 1983 | Rhino Atlantic

£11.99

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
£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 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
£11.99

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
£11.99

Progressive Rock - Released August 2, 1994 | Rhino - Elektra

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Fragile was Yes' breakthrough album, propelling them in a matter of weeks from a cult act to an international phenomenon; not coincidentally, it also marked the point where all of the elements of the music (and more) that would define their success for more than a decade fell into place fully formed. The science-fiction and fantasy elements that had driven the more successful songs on their preceding record, The Yes Album, were pushed much harder here, and not just in the music but in the packaging of the album: the Roger Dean-designed cover was itself a fascinating creation that seemed to relate to the music and drew the purchaser's attention in a manner that few records since the heyday of the psychedelic era could match. Having thrown original keyboard player Tony Kaye overboard early in the sessions -- principally over his refusal to accept the need for the Moog synthesizer in lieu of his preferred Hammond organ -- the band welcomed Rick Wakeman into its ranks. His use of the Moog, among other instruments, coupled with an overall bolder and more aggressive style of playing, opened the way for a harder, hotter sound by the group as a whole; bassist Chris Squire sounds like he's got his amp turned up to "12," and Steve Howe's electric guitars are not far behind, although the group also displayed subtlety where it was needed. The opening minute of "Roundabout," the album opener -- and the basis for the edited single that would reach number 13 on the Billboard charts and get the group onto AM radio in a way that most other prog rock outfits could only look upon with envy -- was dominated by Howe's acoustic guitar and Bill Bruford‘s drums, and only in the middle section did the band show some of what they could do with serious amperage. Elsewhere on the record, as on "South Side of the Sky," they would sound as though they were ready to leave the ground (and the planet), between the volume and intensity of their playing. "Long Distance Runaround," which also served as the B-side of the single, was probably the most accessible track here apart from "Roundabout," but they were both ambitious enough to carry most listeners on to the heavier sides at the core of this long player. The solo tracks by the members were actually a necessity: they needed to get Fragile out in a hurry to cover the cost of the keyboards that Wakeman had added to the group's sonic arsenal. But they ended up being more than filler. Each member, in effect, took a "bow" in mostly fairly serious settings, and Squire's "The Fish" and Howe's "Mood For a Day" pointed directly to future, more substantial projects as well as taking on a life of their own on-stage. If not exactly their peak, Fragile was as perfect a record as the group would ever make, and just as flawless in its timing as its content. ~ Bruce Eder
£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