Author Topic: The Yes Discography  (Read 54546 times)

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Offline Orbert

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The Yes Discography
« on: May 30, 2012, 12:10:22 PM »
One album per week, or however long discussion seems to be productive.  Live and studio albums, and some compilations.  Chronological, starting with

Yes (1969)



Original cover art on the left, U.S. release on the right.

Jon Anderson - Lead Vocals
Peter Banks - Guitar, Vocals
Bill Bruford - Drums
Tony Kaye - Keyboards
Chris Squire - Bass, Vocals

----------

In 1969, most rock and roll was for parties and dancing, but some bands had started making rock music for actual listening.  The beginnings of what would become "art rock" and later "progressive rock" came about when musicians got tired of playing three-minute, three-chord songs with a catchy beat and nice vocal harmonies.

Yes therefore started making five- or six- or seven-minute songs with several chords, catchy beats, and nice vocal harmonies.  From the opening notes, it is clear that you aren't supposed to dance to this music, you are supposed to listen to it.  That's not to say that it wasn't catchy, or at least easily accessible.  Early Yes was not as indulgent as it would become in the 70's, but many elements of their sound were already in place.  Instrumental intros which had nothing to do with the song proper, extended jams, and of course the classic Yes harmonies.  It is an impressive debut album, especially considering the year of release.

The first album features six originals and two covers (The Byrds and The Beatles).  An early Yes trademark was taking a song by another band and going crazy with it, changing the key and/or time signature, and adding extended instrumental sections.  The two covers are among the longer tracks on this album.

Yes saw themselves as taking The Beatles one step further.  They wanted to have three-part harmonies (the entire opening song is sung in three-part harmony) but wanted to get more adventurous musically.  They succeeded.

----------

I know we have a Yes thread going somewhere, but Yes is my favorite band, and I'd like to get some more in-depth discussion going on each album.  Let's see what happens.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 03:44:02 PM by Orbert »

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 12:13:32 PM »
Great idea! :tup :tup

Honestly, I have never owned this album (I had a CD that was a combo of the first two), but I heard it at a friend's a few times a long time ago.  It was always interesting, but never grabbed me enough to make me want to go out and buy it.  Survival is a helluva tune, however; definitely my favorite from the first album.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 12:32:43 PM »
Raw Yes, their earliest of early days, and definitely a good outing for a debut. It's a shame that "Something's Coming" didn't make the cut because their cover of it is truly one of their best covers (I'd rank it as good as "America" to be honest).

Surprisingly enough, among many classic prog-band debuts, this is probably one of my favorites (next to Kansas perhaps, and of course King Crimson). There were many foundations for what would be key Yes sounds laid here, including Squire's amazing bass work and the signature Squire/Anderson harmonies. We also get a glimpse of a young Bill Bruford, who, even at this age, was a great and unique drummer. He definitely set himself apart from others out there. Then of course there's Tony Kaye's powerful organ sound, which drove much of the music in the band's first three albums.

I think I'll give this album a couple spins sometime tonight or tomorrow. It's a good one, and if you don't have this album yet, definitely seek out the Rhino Re-issue that includes demos/early versions and the B-Side "Something's Coming".

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Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 12:41:49 PM »
Definatly a topic worthy of it's own thread.  I'll be chiming in starting with the next album, and going through the Ladder, haven't given this one a whole lot of listens to be honest.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 01:07:32 PM »
I think I'll give this album a couple spins sometime tonight or tomorrow. It's a good one, and if you don't have this album yet, definitely seek out the Rhino Re-issue that includes demos/early versions and the B-Side "Something's Coming".

That is good.  Everyone should hear their version of "Something's Coming".  I never knew it existed until YesYears, and it blew my mind.  Also, "West Side Story" is one of my favorite musicals, so that probably helped.

I'll be chiming in starting with the next album, and going through the Ladder, haven't given this one a whole lot of listens to be honest.

Spin it once or twice in the next few days, and chime in.  I know these early ones won't get as much traffic, but I'd still like to hear from anyone who has them and/or has heard them.

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2012, 01:26:14 PM »
I'll try to get to it, got quite a listening agenda and I don't own that one.


Edit:fix'd, own it and listening, been a looooong time since I heard this stuff, will chime in with opinions later.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 01:52:44 PM by lonestar »
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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 12:01:42 AM »
A nice debut. It's a little rough around the edges in places, but it has a youthful enthusiasm that's fun. I like it better than Time and a Word. Cool songs: Beyond and Before, Looking Around, Harold Land.
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Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 12:05:54 AM »
The one thing I noticed immediatly and was reminded of was how the base spirituality of their music was all ready taking hold.  It is always one of my favorite aspects of Yes, they are guides to how I want to feel and be, and have been for a long time.  That beauty they want to approach and touch is apparent this early.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 10:28:40 AM »
Anderson has always been a very spiritual person, and yeah, it comes through here and in pretty much everything he does.  It's been said that the very name of the band was chosen to represent their positive attitude about life and music.

I listened to the first album twice prior to my initial post, and have listened to it again since then, and I'm reminded what a great keyboard player Tony Kaye is, and what a great guitarist Peter Banks is.  They both were overshadowed so early and so much by Wakeman and Howe that they're often forgotten, but Kaye's early Hammond work is impressive, and Banks is actually something like a pre-Howe in his style and approach, if that makes any sense.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 12:34:47 PM »
Banks does remind me of Howe in some ways. I guess that's one reason they picked Howe.
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Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 07:08:22 PM »
I love the first two Yes albums. I think Tony Kaye might be my favorite on this. I think the early work was his best work in the band.

Favorite tracks are Beyond and Before, I See You, Harold Land, Sweetness and of course Survival. Aside from the BBC sessions, I don't think much is available live from this period.



I've always thought these first two were largely forgotten, but I listen to them as much as I do the rest of it.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 07:27:53 PM »
I've always thought these first two were largely forgotten, but I listen to them as much as I do the rest of it.

:tup

Back in the cassette and vinyl days, I always found two albums that "went together" in some way and put one on each side of a C-90 cassette tape.  I could take them with me in the car or on my Walkman clone (I don't think I ever owned an actual Walkman, but went through a series of portable tape players).  This also saved the vinyl for "special occassions".

The downside was that I didn't always know the names of all the songs, and didn't always have time to study the liner notes.  It was years before I realized that "Every Little Thing" was a cover, as I was a Yes fan long before I was a Beatles fan.  It was years after that that I learned that "I See You" was also a cover.  I picked up the first two albums one day, at the same time, copied them to tape, and put the vinyl on the shelf.  I may have read the back covers of each once or twice each, in over 30 years.

I love the way Yes cover songs.  They totally own them, make them their own.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 08:26:17 AM by Orbert »

Offline bundy

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2012, 02:57:08 AM »
Outside the run from TYA to Drama this my favourite Yes album, and I prefer it as a whole to both Tormato and Tales.

A very, very impressive debut that was a portent of things to come. Squire's bass is awesome and Bruford's work must have been a revelation at the time. As others have already posted Kaye and Banks have both been overshadowed over the years by Howe and Wakeman, but their contributions here are first class. Anderson's vocals must have dropped a few jaws at the times and the vocal harmonies were also as good as any of their early contemporaries. The trademark intros. are also present on several tracks.

While Survival is a great track, my favourite is Harold Land: one of the most poignant and beautiful tracks about the loss of one man's innocence through war ever.

A terrific album that is now often overlooked as a result of what followed only a few years later. :hefdaddy

Great idea for a thread BTW  :tup
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Offline Kwyjibo

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2012, 03:15:39 PM »
Not a bad album as such and hinting at the greatness that was to come. But i seldom listen to it. I discovered yes with the 90125 album and then went backwards in their discography. In comparison to Close to the edge, Fragile, The Yes album etc. this album to me feels like they were not yet sure in which direction they want to go or that they had not fully lived up to their potential. Nonetheless the covers are great because they turned the original songs around and made them completely their songs.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2012, 04:13:16 PM »
I own every Yes studio album from the debut through Big Generator, so I'll be around this discussion for a while. As for this album...it's definitely the foundation of Yes, but to me it really only hints at their future. There are things that are there that become part of Yes, but not quite properly cooked,if you know what I mean. More like broad hints rather than the more direct pointing to the future that you got from the second album. It's a fun album, but I rarely play it-usually when I get in my Yes mode, I start at The Yes Album.
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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2012, 04:15:11 PM »
Getting into Yes in the late 70's I had to back track to their early albums and the Yes album seemed a million years different then the other Yes albums I owned and like Rush's debut, I don't spin them much.
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Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2012, 05:13:26 PM »
I've always thought these first two were largely forgotten, but I listen to them as much as I do the rest of it.

:tup

Back in the cassette and vinyl days, I always found two albums that "went together" in some way and put one on each side of a C-90 cassette tape.  I could take them with me in the car or on my Walkman clone (I don't think I ever owned an actual Walkman, but went through a series of portable tape players).  This also saved the vinyl for "special occassions".

The downside was that I didn't always know the names of all the songs, and didn't always have time to study the liner notes.  It was years before I realized that "Every Little Thing" was a cover, as I was a Yes fan long before I was a Beatles fan.  It was years after that that I learned that "I See You" was also a cover.  I picked up the first two albums one day, at the same time, copied them to tape, and put the vinyl on the shelf.  I may have read the back covers of each once or twice each, in over 30 years.

I love the way Yes cover songs.  They totally own them, make them their own.

I didn't realize those were cover songs either. I'd recorded them from my friend's record collection and really didn't start to listen to them more frequently until i got the CDs myself.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yes (1969)
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2012, 08:37:10 AM »
Time and a Word (1970)



Jon Anderson - Lead Vocals
Peter Banks - Guitar, Vocals
Bill Bruford - Drums
Tony Kaye - Keyboards
Chris Squire - Bass, Vocals

The original cover art is on the left.  There was some issue with having nudity on the cover (it had been done before, but not everyone was okay with it) so the label asked for a new cover with a group picture.  Peter Banks had left the band by then, and all the new promo pictures had Steve Howe in them.  They went ahead and put one of the newer pictures on the cover, so Steve Howe is on the album cover even though he didn't play on the album.  Steve even looks a bit uncertain as to whether or not he should actually be there.

----------

As with the first album, this album consisted of eight tracks, two of which are covers.  The album opens with a Tony Kaye fanfare on the Hammond organ, then an orchestra comes in and we are launched into a completely otherworldly cover of Richie Havens' "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed".  Once again, Yes has taken a song and completely owned it, and this time taken it a few steps further by adding an orchestra and using the results to open their new album.

This is Yes' least successful album in terms of sales, and certainly not one of their most popular, but in its own way, it is one of their most ambitious, and I give them points for that.  As mentioned upthread, the first two albums tend to be overlooked by many Yes fans and prog fans in general because Yes were still finding their feet, Steve Howe hadn't joined the band yet, etc., but the real culprit IMO is that the songs just aren't as strong as on the first album, and the use of an orchestra is very effective in some places but in others (sometimes within the same song) the editing is done poorly and is cringeworthy.

Still, I like this album.  I first bought it back in junior high when anything was still possible, musically, and I thought the use of an orchestra was awesome.  And as mentioned, it is used very well sometimes, adding a dimension to the songs that keyboards or guitars cannot.  After all, singer/songwriters use strings and horns and whatever else they want on their albums, whatever serves the song; why can't bands do the same thing?  The orchestra only appears on about half the songs (I've never actually counted) and sometimes quite sparingly, so it's not like it's all over the place, obliterating the original arrangements a la The Beatles Let It Be.  It is usually there complimenting the music quite well, even echoing parts played by the guitar or doubling Hammond parts and such, to great effect.

The album continues Yes' tendency to sing about unusual people ("Astral Traveller", something of a precursor to "Starship Trooper", and "The Prophet") and idealized worlds ("Then", "Time and a Word").  It also shows them further developing their songwriting craft, with instrumentals and odd changes, sometimes not quite getting it right, but again, I have to admire the effort.

Peter Banks left the band shortly after recording was completed.  Whether he quit or was fired seems to depend upon whom you ask, but in interviews, he makes it pretty clear that he's not happy about it, and would preferred to stay with the band.  And as much as Steve Howe is considered a step forward in the band's sound and playing, Banks is a fine guitarist and his contributions to Yes should not be undervalued.  Yes would not have continued without such a strong start, and Banks was certainly a part of that.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 04:35:13 PM by Orbert »

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2012, 09:19:34 AM »
Fantastic write up!!!!  As with the first album, I'm gonna have to give this one a spin too, though I can say the title track is, to me, one of their most beautiful songs, right up there with Turn of the Century and Wondrous Stories.


Are we going to have a week for Yessongs? It certainly deserves one.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2012, 10:53:17 AM »
Thanks.  Yeah, I think so.  I'm already thinking ahead to what I'll say about the various albums, and there's a lot going on with Yessongs.

Yeah, the title track is very nice, a favorite for sure.  The only thing that keeps it from being top tier for me is that one weird chord, behind the word "perspective".  It dips minor when an inverted seventh would've worked better.  It's a Jon Anderson song, and Jon is a gifted songwriter but not a great guitarist or musician in that sense.  There are stories of him presenting songs to the band, and Steve Howe would change some of the chords to things that worked better.  That's part of why so many great Yessongs were written by Anderson/Howe.  Jon mostly wrote the songs, and Steve would "fix them up".  But this of course is before Steve joined the band, so the original chords stand.  It's not like that one chord totally ruins the song, but I'm anal about stuff like that, and I cringe every time I hear it.  The chorus, however, is beautiful.

Offline Pols Voice

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2012, 11:54:35 AM »
Time and a Word is kind of a weird album, but it has some neat stuff. Astral Traveller really hints at things to come in the band's style. The title track is my favorite on the album.

PS, Squire sure does rock on the bass. Such a unique and influential musician. Not many other bands at the time featured bass in such a prominent role.
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Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2012, 03:07:00 PM »
I love how this starts. I really really dig Tony Kaye's work on the first three albums.

I'd agree that it might be slightly weaker overall of the two although "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and "Time and A Word" are top two of those first two albums.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2012, 04:13:15 PM »
This album is a bit unusual to me, but there are a few good tunes on here, although I'm more inclined to spin the first album than I am this one. The highlights definitely are "Astral Traveler", "The Prophet" and the title track. There's also the extremely catchy B-Side "Dear Father", featured on the Rhino Re-Issue, although I can see why it was not included on the album.

This was a good album, and compliments the first one quite well, but better things happen even on the following album.

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Offline Kwyjibo

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2012, 12:01:50 AM »
I have the same feelings towards this album than towards the first one, though in comparison I find Time And A Word a little weaker without being able to tell exactly why. You can hear that they have potential and there are some nice songs but overall it's not yet the classic yes.

Offline bundy

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2012, 02:59:30 AM »
Pretty much agree with everything that's already been said. A very decent album that further hints at what is soon to follow. Underappreciated by many casual Yes fans. As we discussed in the Battle of the Bands thread there is a real parallel here with the formative Genesis albums: The first two by each band give some strong hints of what is to follow, while also representing bands still finding their musical feet so to speak. The albums are also tend to be overlooked and underappreciated by many fans. I rate TaaW on a par with Trespass jsut as I rate the debuts on  a par with each other.

Favourite tracks: Astral Traveller and The Prophet.

For what it's worth I have the vinyl album with the original cover art. Still in near perfect condition. Not bad considering I bought it new back in about 1980 and have played it many times since then. Interesting point is I bought it new at that time so Atlantic were still using the original cover art in Australia, 10 years after the albums release.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2012, 11:26:00 AM »
I was gonna say that maybe it was only the U.S. that the cover art had to be changed, but that doesn't make sense either, because the first two albums were only originally released in the U.K.  Maybe when the finally did release it in the U.S., they went with the new cover.

Offline bundy

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2012, 02:53:30 AM »
Could be the latter possibility Orbert is the most likely explanation as there several other examples of US releases having completely different covers to the rest of the world.

Gentle Giant's Octopus, ACDCs Dirty Deeds... and Camel's mirage are some examples that immediately spring to mind. Mirage was all down to copyright issues with the design very closely resembling Camel cigarettes. In fact I don't know how Decca mangaged to get away with that anywhere. Not sure of the reasons for the other two.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2012, 05:35:16 PM »
Ha ha, speaking of Gentle Giant's Octopus, the original "red octopus" art is by Roger Dean, who would later become best known for doing album art for Yes.



----------

While we're on the subject of alternate album covers, I blew it.  I completely forgot that both of the first two Yes albums had different covers in the U.K. versus the U.S., not just the second album.  I've updated the initial post in this thread to include both covers, and included them here as well for purposes of discussion.

Both of the first two albums were originally only released in the U.K., and even though times were different and bands generally were given more latitude in what they could do, record labels still ultimately would prefer to sell albums and make money, so for the U.S. release, a different cover was created.  Album covers with the pictures of the band were and still are very common, even cliché, but there's a good reason for that.  A lot of people like to know what the band looks like.  Bands that have been around for a while can afford to put some nice artwork on the front, maybe put pictures of the band on the back, but when you're first starting out, it's generally a good idea to give people a visual to work with.



The original Yes album just had a speech bubble saying "Yes" on both the front and back covers.  The album did not sell particularly well, and while that is at least partly because it was different, ambitious music that didn't fit neatly into any genre, it's also at least partly because no one had idea any who or what "Yes" was.  But put a picture of the band on the front, and at the very least, some people might buy it because they look cool or whatever.  Yes was very different, and wanted to be different in their approach, and while it's great to want the music to speak for itself, you still have to sell albums for that to happen (at least you did in 1969).  In this case, I think it was a good move to go with the U.S. cover.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 04:37:50 PM by Orbert »

Offline Pols Voice

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2012, 05:45:38 PM »
But put a picture of the band on the front, and at the very least, some people might buy it because they look cool or whatever.

And man, do they look cool on that cover! ;)
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2012, 09:26:15 PM »
The wink seems to be implying sarcasm, but in 1969, that was a cool group picture.

Offline bundy

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2012, 04:26:55 AM »
That gatefold vinyl of Octopus is one of my most desired albums to get. (Caravan's In the Land of Grey and Pink is another) I only have the cd version of Octopus with the alternate US cover (Octopus in the jar). The Roger Dean cover is way cooler IMO. Speaking of RD,  he came out to Australia when Yes toured in 2003 (Full Circle Tour) and waas at the Yesfanz function in Sydney. As I had flown over from Perth (like flying from LA to NY for a show I suppose) I didn't take any vinyl covers with me, only some CD books and a Full Circle Tour poster. I got CTTE, the poster and Uriah Heep's Demons and Wizardsd sigend by the man himself. The poster, ticket stub and a couple of Yes postcards I had framed. One day I'll get around to posting a pic. Looking back I wish I had taken a few vinyl covers with me as well as Greenslade's Bedside manners are extra. I would love to have gotten Drama and Asia's Alpha signed. Two of my favourite RD covers. Relayer and Tales are right up there as well. Roger Dean was really patient at the signing and signed pretty much everything people had brought along. Foolish me though only had taken three items thinking it would be limited to about that. :facepalm: Still you never know hat to expect at these sort of things and the signing was just before the concert, so there's the question of what to do with the stuff while the show's on.

Man I'm enjoying this thread Orbert - bringing back some really cool memories. :tup

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2012, 11:23:24 AM »
Thanks, that's what it's all about.

I don't think I've mentioned yet how totally smokin' Bill Bruford is on this album.  When you've got a guitarist, keyboardist, and a bassist wailing away, it takes some serious discipline* at the drumkit to keep things from getting completely out of hand and just sounding like noise.  Not only does Bill hold everything together, and quite well at that, but he's also adding all those little fills and frills that he's known for now, and this was his first band.

I can't emphasize this enough for you fans of later Yes.  Give the first two albums a good, honest listen.  Yes was out of the chute firing on all eight cylinders.  Or if it helps, put your mindset firmly in the late 60's (The Turtles, The Beach Boys, Donovan) and imagine what kind of impact this band must have made on unsuspecting teenagers.


*heh heh

Offline pain of occupation

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2012, 12:36:43 PM »
i pretty much dont know it at all, save for the opening track, but i was checking out time and a word last night.
i think i always just assumed the band took off with steve howe joining and never bothered to get into checking out the first two albums. not only was i pleasantly surprised last night, but i realized the band didnt sound that much different than on the couple of big time albums that followed.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2012, 12:57:02 PM »
True.  Steve Howe joined on the third album, and Rick Wakeman on the fourth, but in many ways, the die was already set with these first two albums.

Chris Squire was already a beast on the bass, doing things that literally no one else was doing as far as bass playing is concerned.  Bill Bruford was a master of the drumkit, Jon Anderson's voice was unique, and the three-part harmonies were sweet.  Howe doesn't have the greatest voice, but it blends nicely with Anderson and Squire and in the same way as Peter Banks' voice did.  And they had already showed a penchant for instrumental excursions featuring both guitar and keyboards.  So The Yes Album is a natural progression from the first two, and the difference is not as extreme as some might think.

For an interesting experiment, check out the first album by Flash (which I was going to talk a little about in the next installment, but here is as good a place as any).  Flash was the band that Peter Banks put together after leaving Yes, and Tony Kaye was the keyboard player on the first album.  The sound is quite similar to the first two Yes albums, for obvious reasons, although I'd say that the vocals and overall songwriting aren't as strong.

Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Time And A Word (1970)
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2012, 03:26:45 PM »
True.  Steve Howe joined on the third album, and Rick Wakeman on the fourth, but in many ways, the die was already set with these first two albums.

Chris Squire was already a beast on the bass, doing things that literally no one else was doing as far as bass playing is concerned.  Bill Bruford was a master of the drumkit, Jon Anderson's voice was unique, and the three-part harmonies were sweet.  Howe doesn't have the greatest voice, but it blends nicely with Anderson and Squire and in the same way as Peter Banks' voice did.  And they had already showed a penchant for instrumental excursions featuring both guitar and keyboards.  So The Yes Album is a natural progression from the first two, and the difference is not as extreme as some might think.

For an interesting experiment, check out the first album by Flash (which I was going to talk a little about in the next installment, but here is as good a place as any).  Flash was the band that Peter Banks put together after leaving Yes, and Tony Kaye was the keyboard player on the first album.  The sound is quite similar to the first two Yes albums, for obvious reasons, although I'd say that the vocals and overall songwriting aren't as strong.

Never picked up Flash. I've got a few Peter Banks solo albums, but not that one.

The other thing about those first two albums...they remind me a bit of early Pink Floyd, maybe a little more grounded, but that was the thing back then. Even The Nice had a touch or two of that at times.