Author Topic: The Yes Discography  (Read 54807 times)

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Online Nekov

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #105 on: June 22, 2012, 04:14:42 AM »
3 perfect songs in this album. It took me a while to really appreciate Siberian Khatru but once it kicked in it rocketed this record way up in my appreciation list.
And You And I has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #106 on: June 22, 2012, 06:25:23 AM »
This is without a doubt my favorite Yes album and, like Fragile, one of the best albums I've ever heard. There aren't a lot of albums where every song is brilliant, but this is one of them. Yeah, there are only three songs here, but they're lengthy ones and it takes real competence to make three amazing epics. The title track is a milestone in progressive rock that perfectly describes what this band is about. Siberian khatru is one of their catchiest tunes with so many hooks, right now I particularly adore the guitar solo in the fourth minute. And then there's my absolute favorite on the album, And you and I. Music rarely gets more beautiful than this. Overall, Close to the edge, to me, has to be what people call a desert island disc.

Offline Metropolaris

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #107 on: June 22, 2012, 08:26:28 AM »
If Close to the Edge were a woman, I would take it home and do unthinkable things to it in bed. It's just fucking perfect.

A friend of mine gave me a copy of it a few years back. I listened to it as background music while I was cleaning my room. I didn't get anything done though because I was mesmerized by the music. I fell in love with the band at that moment.
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Online Kwyjibo

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #108 on: June 22, 2012, 09:02:22 AM »
Argh, late to the party (again) but I try to catch up.

The Yes Album: Now we're talking classic Yes. A quantum leap from the previous two outputs. I don't know if it's the arrival of Steve Howe or because Eddie Offord came on board as producer or something completely different, but they managed to really take off with this album. Now we have one of the great masterpieces of Progressive Rock with instant classics such as Starship Troopers, Yours Is No Disgrace, I've Seen All Good People etc. The only "not that great" song is A Venture. Along with Close To The Edge this is my favourite Yes Album. Tony Kayes piano and hammond work is more down to earth than Wakeman's playing on later albums but it fits really good on this album.

Fragile: Great follow up with three outstanding longtracks. South Side Of The Sky is probably my favourite here. It's a great rocking track with a dark mood. The only factor for not being my number one Yes Album are the short tracks which in my opinion ruin the flow of the music and I like The Clap much more than Mood For A Day.

Close To The Edge: I can't describe how great this thing is. The title track is such a masterpiece. I mean: the slightly tonal intro! The guitar melody! The church organ! and I could go on and on and on. It's funny that if you read about the writing and recording process that this song doesn't feel like it's pieced together. Sure it consists of different movements but they flow so well together. Then we have And You And I and all I can say that this song is simply beautiful beautiful beautiful beautiful and not in a cheesy way. The closer Siberian Khatru is the rocker on this album and again a great track though for me not as great as the other two. I've always wondered if the acapella part "dat dat dadaa dadaa" (you know what I mean) is reminiscient of Led Zeps Whole Lotta Love.

And I have to say this is a great idea for a threat and although I'm a long time Yes fan I didn't know all of the details of the history of the albums so far. Nicely done!

Offline Jaq

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #109 on: June 22, 2012, 09:50:58 AM »
Close To The Edge:

As a youngster, growing interested in music, I used to go to record stores-yes, back then that's what they were called-and looked at album covers that looked interesting, or to find which album had a song that I had heard on the radio, or just to browse. And as I became aware of progressive rock by listening to Genesis-I got into them when Abacab came out-I started looking at albums by other bands that I'd read in magazines, mostly Circus, that were described as progressive. Which is what led me to the Yes section of my local record store. (Ahh, Mother's Records, long closed in a mall demolished four years ago for one of those open air shopping centers, how I miss you.) And I looked at their albums, and was flat out floored by their cover art. And I remember there was this one, with a green color scheme, that I picked up, and my interest in music changed forever.

"Holy crap" my younger self said. "This album only has three songs on it!"

When I was younger, I didn't really have much money, and what money I did have went to books, comic books, and large drinks to drink at the local 7-11 while I shoveled quarters into Qbert and Ms. Pac man machines. Albums weren't expensive back then by modern terms, but when you're a teen with a limited allowance and you're too young to get a job, five dollars could vanish in a hurry. So I didn't own very many albums, and the ones I owned were largely hand me downs from my sister, none of them very progressive. The lion's share of the music I could play over and over again were 45s, singles given to my sister by my paternal grandmother, who worked at a restaurant and when the management swept the old songs out of the jukebox, my grandmother snatched them up and gave them to my sister*. (Yes, this story is a grand tour of formats that we don't have anymore.) The most progressive album I owned was Moving Pictures. To me, then, seeing an album with only three songs on it gave me a sense of "Can you DO that? Is that even possible?" It opened my eyes to the notion that rock music could be more expanse, more open, go further, than I ever dreamed possible listening to my sister's old 45s with single edits of songs, even further than the copy of Sgt Pepper I checked out of the local library and wound up keeping because I moved out of town three weeks later.**

That album, of course, was Close to the Edge.

I'd love to tell you I took my allowance the next week and bought it and listened to it and loved it, but life is a funny thing. I didn't buy it. I don't even remember what the next album I bought was. Probably something by Iron Maiden. I'd like to tell you that Close to the Edge was the first side long song I ever heard, but I can't. That was the Seconds Out version of Supper's Ready. I didn't hear the three songs that were on Close to the Edge for several more years, when with the first paycheck I ever received as a laborer on a construction site I bought Marillion's Misplaced Childhood, Pink Floyd's The Wall, and Yessongs. I didn't actually own Close To The Edge until 2007, when I went on a massive Yes binge and bought seventeen Yes CDs over a period of five weeks.

And yet...

Just seeing the album cover, that otherworldly green, and reading the three song titles on it, did as much for my listening to music and my interests as any song I heard on the radio, any video I saw on MTV, and any of my sister's 45s I spun at random, wondering what this song would sound like. Without hearing it, it taught me that music could go as far as you wanted it to.

And thankfully, after not actually listening to the damn thing for over two decades, it turns out that it's a masterpiece. Easily the best album Yes ever made, one of the best albums the progressive rock movement ever made, and one of my ten favorite albums ever. It's remarkable, though, the amount of influence its mere existence had on me.



*My sister got the 45s. My grandmother also worked at the drug store owned by the same person who owned the restaurant next door, once upon a time they'd been an old time drug store with restaurant like you had back in the 50s, and when they cleared out the comics that hadn't sold to make room for the new ones, she would grab a few for me. I think it turned out well.

**When you're a kid, you don't quite realize, or even pay attention, to the fact that your parents are in the other room planning to move to another state to look for better job prospects. Also inadvertently taken with me on that move, checked out the same day I checked out Sgt. Pepper; the three books of The Lord of the Rings. Again, I think it turned out well.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #110 on: June 22, 2012, 11:14:01 AM »
The title epic seems to divide a lot of people, even prog fans.  Some embrace it immediately, but most need some time to digest it all.  With "Close to the Edge" I would hazard a guess that even more time is needed than with most epics, because the song itself starts very strangely and is very complex.  The intro alone goes through several changes before the vocals come in.

Things to notice:

At about 1:20, the organ is playing the same notes as the bass, several octaves higher and at double the tempo.

For all its insanity, the song actually has a very basic, very common structure.  You just have to "zoom out" a bit to see it.  There is an intro, two verses ("The Solid Time of Change" and "Total Mass Retain"), a B section ("I Get Up, I Get Down"), a solo (Wakeman's amazing Hammond solo), then the last verse ("Seasons of Man").

Each of the verses, however, has a different time signature.  "A seasoned witch..." is in 12/8.  "My eyes, convinced..." is the same melody, but in 4/4 (some might argue that the 4/4 triplets are effectively the same as 12/8, but there's no question that the rhythm is half-tempo).  The last verse "The time between the notes..." uses a 6/4 variation of the second verse rhythm, then changes to the 12/8 of the first verse.

Offline crazyaga

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #111 on: June 22, 2012, 11:14:49 AM »
Close To The Edge = my fav prog rock album.
I love beautiful things.

Offline TVC 15

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #112 on: June 22, 2012, 12:16:11 PM »
Simply the best out of the lot, IMO.

I still have chills hearing that fantastic intro in the title track.  The first time I heard this and appreciated it, I compared it to those unison movements that DT did on I&W (considering that my very first full-on fan phase for prog-metal or prog in general started with DT).

I also like that part toward the end of the third movement of side one when Anderson holds that note on "I get uuuuuuuuuuuup..."  It always grabs me.

What I most remember though about CTTE was that I played it a lot in my dinky little Dodge hooptie driving the streets of downtown Oklahoma City to Edmond on the weekend to catch indie films like Pi and Boogie Nights.  Those were great times.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 02:12:09 PM by TVC 15 »

Offline MasterShakezula

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #113 on: June 22, 2012, 12:38:56 PM »
Close To The Edge, both the song and the album, are Yes's friggin pinnacle right there.  (Awaken may contend for that title, but that's about it).  I shouldn't relate to it, being sober and not even around around when it was modern and new, but it just fits me.  I've never heard anything quite like it; I generally get imagery from listening to tunes, but this stuff, it provides me high-definition, cinema-quality pictures. 

That title track is just one of those songs that is a true adventure.  And in spite of its being a grand spectacle, it's damn catchy as well.  The other two songs, they're up there, as well.  And You and I is a wondrous peace-out song.  I love taking long walks through my over-developed, pedestrian-unfriendly city to it.  It'd be even better to hike in actual wilderness to, I figure.  It certainly made a van ride through rural Ohio fun.  Siberian Khatru, that one's just plain groovy.  It's one of my jams.  Probably fantastic love-making music (assuming no one knows it's Yes  :blush )

On another note, that landscape on the inside of the album looks way Sonic-y. 

Funny thing with Yes, I practically look over everything else they did, because of this green-clad monster.  I really like the 2 albums before this, though.  Not nearly as much as CttE, but they have some really fantastic momements (think Starship Trooper, I've Seen All Good People, Heart of the Sunrise, ect.).  Then again, they don't have the 'introductory appeal' that CttE has with me.  I don't remember much about the first album (barely heard it), but Time and a Word's pretty neat.  I really like Astral Traveler (it's another one of my jams.) and some other tunes off it are good and funky.

Orbert, I thank you for starting up this thread and sharing your words on Yes.  I can see that you're way passionate about these guys and it's really cool to hear from someone who dug these guys back when it was just coming out and was a brand new thing.

Offline Mladen

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #114 on: June 22, 2012, 01:09:04 PM »
For all its insanity, the song actually has a very basic, very common structure.  You just have to "zoom out" a bit to see it.  There is an intro, two verses ("The Solid Time of Change" and "Total Mass Retain"), a B section ("I Get Up, I Get Down"), a solo (Wakeman's amazing Hammond solo), then the last verse ("Seasons of Man").
That's a great thing about prog. It takes a structure of a three minute long hit song, and makes a groundbreaking epic.  :hefdaddy

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #115 on: June 23, 2012, 09:42:33 AM »
Close to the Edge = musical perfection

I remember the day I bought this CD - I think it was 1993 - and popping it in for the first time.  When I heard that buildup of the keyboards, I thought, "Okay, this is gonna be good."  And was it ever. :coolio

And You and I still might be my favorite Yes song (there are three or four that usually fight it out for the top spot).

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #116 on: June 25, 2012, 05:58:31 PM »
So, not much more to say about Close to the Edge.  It's awesome and amazing.  I did stumble across one interesting comment that I thought I'd share.  Then I have to start putting some thoughts together on the first live album.

Someone on the Yesfans forums was talking about Close to the Edge, and how it's almost a perfect album.  He loves all three songs, the production is amazing, all that, but somehow something didn't seem quite right, and he couldn't figure out what it was for a long time.  Then it finally hit him.  The songs are in the wrong order.  They're backwards!

Consider:  The album starts off with the rocker, "Siberian Khatru".  Fans from Fragile and perhaps before that all go "Yeah, baby!" as it grabs you right from the start, goes through the changes, and fades out, leaving you wanting more.  Then comes the glorious "And You And I".  The mellower piece before the mind-blowing title track.  Instead of starting with the mind-blower and possibly putting people off (which, let's face it, does happen), you build up to it.  In the LP days, you even had that little breather while you turned the record over.  You're thinking "Wow, two long songs, now what?"  Then the title track blows you away.

Also, how many times have people asked you what your favorite Yes album is, or which is the best, and you tell them Close to the Edge, but usually you tell them not to start with that one?  You do have to work up to it.  Would it work better if the song order was reversed?  After "Siberian Khatru" -- probably the most accessible song of the three -- then "And You And I", they'd probably be ready for "Close to the Edge".  But for someone who only knows their radio hits, it's not the place to start.

Anyway, I found myself agreeing.  There's nothing wrong with how the album turned out, but it might have possibly worked just a little bit better with the song order reversed.

----------

Final thought: I'm not huge on buying the latest reissues and remasters and all that.  I consider myself an audiophile, but not the snooty kind.  I don't have to have the latest version, the one where the sound quality is 3% better than the last remaster, which itself was a 4% improvement over the original CD.  I do, however, have two CDs of Close to the Edge.

When I got my very first CD player back in the 80's, they were still relatively new, and the CD player was a birthday present.  My girlfriend (now wife) got it for me, along with The Dark Side of the Moon.  Of course.  I had to have something to play, and remember, only certain albums were even available on CD for quite a while.  I got a gift certificate from my parents, so I picked up Duke by Genesis.

The first CD I bought for myself, with my own actual money, was Close to the Edge.  And it is the only CD I've ever gotten a second copy of.  Supposedly the sound quality of the remaster is so much better.  I don't know if it is; I don't even know if it's better at all.  I grew up with LPs, and to me CDs sound amazingly clear, and it's nice to not hear and "wow and flutter" (remember those?) but I've never done a comparison between the two versions of the CD.  They both sound great, and that's good enough for me.  I figured that if I don't notice any difference with an album I've heard literally hundreds of times, it's not worth it.  I'd rather spend my money checking out new tunes, not "upgrading" old ones.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #117 on: June 25, 2012, 09:49:46 PM »
Hmmm, I've never thought of listening to the album in reverse order, although I suppose that could work.  But the album starting with that intro is just soooo perfect!

Offline theseoafs

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #118 on: June 25, 2012, 09:54:01 PM »
Close to the Edge  Close to the Edge  Fragile   Close to the Edge  Close to the Edge  The Dark Side of the Moon  Duke   Close to the Edge

Close to the Edge: the only album title that deserves to be bolded :lol

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #119 on: June 25, 2012, 10:45:44 PM »
I generally italicize the names of albums, but within posts discussing a particular album in the discography, that album title is bolded.  It was a stylistic choice I had to make for consistency, as I knew the title of the album would be bolded at the beginning of each section for that album, and it didn't make sense to italicize it elsewhere.

Offline theseoafs

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #120 on: June 26, 2012, 12:13:04 AM »
Yeah, I recognized the pattern from earlier posts in the thread, but I thought my analysis was at least partially amusing.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #121 on: June 26, 2012, 06:42:42 AM »
Oh, it was.  At the very least, I was wondering if anyone would notice, as it started looking kinda weird even to me, but I figured I'd started the pattern and had to keep to it.  Then I was curious if anyone would figure it out.  But who would be brave enough to mention it, even make a joke about it?

Offline LieLowTheWantedMan

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #122 on: June 26, 2012, 04:52:37 PM »
CttE is great. I find And You And I too long though.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #123 on: June 26, 2012, 10:16:03 PM »
Yessongs (1973)



Jon Anderson - Vocals
Bill Bruford - Drums
Steve Howe - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Squire - Bass, Vocals
Rick Wakeman - Keyboards
Alan White - Drums

Before I get into the contents of the album itself, I have to take some time to discuss the packaging.  This album was originally released as three vinyl LPs in a quadruple gatefold, one of the most elaborate and beautiful LP packages of its time.  Three sleeves of the double jacket each contained one record, and the fourth contained an elaborate picture book with concert photos and photos of the crew.  The entire package, including the picture book, was designed by Roger Dean, who was becoming inextricably associated with Yes and their music.  His surreal style and creative use of imagery and color was a perfect match for their ethereal music.  The front and back covers featured paintings by him, as well as the six interior panels, with one of his surrealistic landscapes spread across each pair of panels.



The entire package, partially opened.



The front and back covers, and one of the interior paintings, which is an embellishment of the cover painting.



The first interior painting. Titled "Pathway", it is the same as the cover painting (inside the border), but with the addition of a person sitting on the tower in the foreground, and the flying ship from the cover of Fragile.  The flying ship also makes an appearance on the back cover of Close to the Edge (in the lower right-hand corner).





The other two interior paintings, "Arrival" and "Awakening".


According to the artist Roger Dean, the paintings tell a story.  It starts with the planet from the cover of Fragile, which has exploded.  It was, after all, fragile.

The fragments of the planet, or "spores", travel through space (accompanied by the flying ship).  Back cover -- "Spores"

The spores land on a new planet.  Interior painting -- "Arrival"

The arrival is witnessed by the person sitting on the tower in the embellished picture above.  Here is a larger version of the original painting.

After much time has passed, life begins anew.  Interior painting -- "Awakening"

----------

Opening (Excerpt from "Firebird Suite")
Siberian Khatru
Heart of the Sunrise
Perpetual Change
And You And I
Mood for a Day
Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"
Roundabout
I've Seen All Good People
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish
Close to the Edge
Yours is No Disgrace
Starship Trooper

The material on Yessongs comes from the Fragile and Close to the Edge tours, though the bulk of it is from the latter.  The only tracks on which Bill Bruford appears are "Perpetual Change" and the medley of "Long Distance Runaround" and "The Fish".  The remaining tracks came from the Close to the Edge tour, after Bill had left the band and been replaced by Alan White. 



Alan was a friend of producer Eddie Offord, who suggested him as a replacement, and at the time he was best known for playing with John Lennon's Plastic Ono band, but had also played with George Harrison, Gary Wright, and others, and had quite an impressive resumé for someone his age (he was 23 when he joined Yes).  Alan had just two weeks to learn the material for the upcoming tour, which included all of the Close to the Edge, and most of the main songs from both The Yes Album and Fragile.

Given the short time he had to prepare, Alan's performances on this album are remarkable.  His style is quite different from Bill Bruford's.  Where Bill is very measured and calculated ("disciplined" one might say), Alan prefers to let loose.  He rides the cymbals and pounds the toms and generally adds a lot of dynamics and excitement to the Yes sound -- which is exactly what they needed on this, their first live album.

Perhaps it was out of respect for Bill Bruford, or simply an editing choice, but the drum solo on the album belongs to Bill, and occurs during "Perpetual Change".  An extended version of Chris Squire's "The Fish" serves as his feature, and Steve Howe performs a slightly augmented version of "Mood for a Day".  Rick Wakeman's solo section is a medley of excerpts from his first solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII, which he somehow managed to record in between recording sessions for Close to the Edge.



Overall, Yessongs is a very good album, an excellent document of what many consider the prime of Yes.  Yes demonstrates their ability to recreate their complex studio arrangements live, sometimes note-for-note, and sometimes seamlessly incorporating new parts and variations.  Playing is tight and precise, yet still has the spontaneity of a good live performance.

Generally, the only negative criticism one will hear about this album is of the sound quality.  It is tolerable, but not very clear; muddy overall.  Fans and critics alike tend to agree that the fire in the performances more than makes up for this shortcoming.

At over two hours total time, Yessongs is clearly meant to represent an entire concert.  The entire opening track is included, and you can hear the audience respond as the band take the stage.  All songs are uncut, and the applause between tracks is blended together so as to provide a cohesive concert experience.  Actually, with each CD containing the original contents of three LP sides, each CD is a "mini-concert" of its own.  You can hear Jon Anderson saying Good-night to the crowd at the end of "Starship Trooper" which closes the second disc, but also at the end of "Roundabout" which ends the first disc.  "Roundabout" was their regular encore piece, which is why you hear him saying Good-night, but the track order is preserved from the original vinyl release; it is just a happy coincidence that things turned out this way due to editing decisions that went into the original release.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 05:06:12 PM by Orbert »

Offline Jaq

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #124 on: June 26, 2012, 10:53:24 PM »
As I mentioned in my post on Close to the Edge, Yessongs was one of three albums purchased with my very first paycheck ever, all on vinyl, and just as a reminder, the other two were The Wall and Misplaced Childhood. That summer was something of a prog rock summer for me, with massive purchases of Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, and all the available Marillion albums. Oddly, while my plans were to buy Yessongs, Seconds Out by Genesis, and Welcome Back My Friends...by ELP that summer and have a massive multi-album live album festival, I never got around to buying the ELP one on vinyl. I have it on CD now, thank you very much. Yessongs holds a very special place in my heart...or, well, okay, let's be precise here. The last side of the album does. I enjoyed the entire thing, yes, but I adored those versions of Yours Is No Disgrace and Starship Trooper, and I would play them a LOT. There were quite a few nights that summer where I would put that side on and listen to it as I fell asleep. And would manage to wake up for the end solos of Starship Trooper every time.

It also had, as Orbert mentions, the most fantastic packaging for an album I've ever owned. The multi-gatefold of Yessongs was stunning to look at, and while I eventually sold my vinyls at a tidy profit a few years ago, that was one of the albums I regretted letting go. I love the hell out of this album, even if I have the aggravating habit of confusing it with Yesshows  :lol
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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #125 on: June 26, 2012, 11:20:47 PM »
This album was where my love of Yes was born, the one that my brothers spun incessantly from when I was age seven. Though I have since fallen for all the studio albums, this was the one that I listened to as a child, and through my teen years. Imagine my surprise when I found out that all the songs didn't sound like they did on Yessongs, my first clue as to how talented they really were(probably around age twelve). A premiere live album, easily in my top five of all time live albums. I owe about 90% of my love of music to Yessongs.
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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #126 on: June 28, 2012, 06:29:09 AM »
Yessongs is a great album, one of my favorite live albums ever.

It is a good document of their live playing in the classic era. Minus South Side Of The Sky and the little ditties from Fragile all the great songs from the previous three classic albums are present. They prove that they are able to recreate their music live and do it justice. Sometimes very close to the studio versions, sometimes a little more varied.

I find it interesting that there are no songs of their first two albums. Either they weren't played on the particular tours or they didn't make the final cut, I don't know.

Although after reading your description of the packaging I feel a little bit cheated. I bought this album first on vinyl and it came in a nice packaging containing the three records, but i didn't get the picture book and the picture on the inner sleeve called "arrival" is missing. In fact up until now I didn't know that there were versions with an additional picture book. My album looked like this:


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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #127 on: June 28, 2012, 07:36:52 AM »
I never really cared for live albums. The only exception I make is Led Zeppelin because they sounded way better live than they did in studio.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #128 on: June 28, 2012, 08:04:38 AM »
Kwyjibo, you must have gotten a later pressing.  I've never seen that edition, but it must have come later, after someone made the decision that the original packaging was too elaborate (and costly) so they come up with that version.  They still had to hold three records, but the quad-gatefold was out.

It's still a nice package, and a bummer that "Arrival" was omitted, though I suppose that if you had to cut one of them, that would be the one.  And somebody else must have come to the same conclusion.  The book of concert pics is pretty cool, though, and that's just a shame.  That's why I always tried to get first-run editions.  It wasn't just because I wanted the album as soon as it came out; I remember being aware even then that original packaging was often more elaborate and had extras goodies with it.  I was always bummed when I found a copy of an album but the jacket didn't "open up" if I knew that there were versions out there that did, yet here's a cheapo version that doesn't.  Therefore all the liner notes, or pictures or whatever, are missing.  I wanted the whole deal.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #129 on: June 28, 2012, 08:45:20 AM »
I bought Yessongs in the mid 80s, so definitely a later pressing. When Yessongs was published in 1973 I was three years old and my taste for progressive rock wasn't fully developed.

I still liked the packaging as it was still different and more elaborate than most of the other records out there. Sadly I sold all my records when my record player broke and I decided to go all for CD. I sometimes miss some of those records, not so much for the sound but for the packaging. If I had the edition of Yessongs with a picture book I think I would have kept it.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #130 on: June 28, 2012, 10:53:05 AM »
Yeah, everything was cheaper back then, and record companies were a lot more willing to do things like come up with elaborate packaging for special albums and stuff.  They try to do stuff like that today, but with CD jackets at half the dimensions of record jackets, it's just not the same.

Offline TVC 15

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #131 on: June 28, 2012, 02:47:15 PM »
I love this live album.  Pretty much everything on it is at least a bpm faster than the studio versions.  The 'set list' is impressive, and I think the ripped copy of the album is in my portable hard drive right now.  Maybe I'll give it a spin this instant.

I have a co-worker who plays music with Alan White in a band during his down time.  Hopefully there will be a time that I could indeed meet him and shake his hand.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 03:37:22 PM by TVC 15 »

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #132 on: June 28, 2012, 03:33:26 PM »
I have to give Alan White a lot of credit for what he's done with Yes.  He jumped right in and played the tour, extremely well, cementing his position as regular Yes drummer, but after 40 freakin' years, some people still think of him as the "new" drummer.  Bill Bruford of course went on to do a lot of different things, but because he's a more well-known name, and was the original drummer, it's like Alan will never completely shake that.

Honestly, I have trouble deciding between them sometimes.  I generally love Alan's energy and the way he just goes for it, but sometimes Bill's more refined approach works better.  Bill was great on those first five studio albums, and they wouldn't have been the same with Alan on the kit, but Bill himself said that Yes kept "trading up" and getting better and better.  I don't know if he meant to include himself in that statement, but many people prefer Alan over Bill.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #133 on: June 28, 2012, 05:47:34 PM »
I bought Yessongs in the mid 80s, so definitely a later pressing. When Yessongs was published in 1973 I was three years old and my taste for progressive rock wasn't fully developed.

I still liked the packaging as it was still different and more elaborate than most of the other records out there. Sadly I sold all my records when my record player broke and I decided to go all for CD. I sometimes miss some of those records, not so much for the sound but for the packaging. If I had the edition of Yessongs with a picture book I think I would have kept it.

Strangely that's when I bought my copy, and it was like Orbert's. And yes, in hindsight, I wish I had kept that one when I sold my vinyls.
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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #134 on: June 29, 2012, 03:15:43 AM »
I have to give Alan White a lot of credit for what he's done with Yes.  He jumped right in and played the tour, extremely well, cementing his position as regular Yes drummer, but after 40 freakin' years, some people still think of him as the "new" drummer.  Bill Bruford of course went on to do a lot of different things, but because he's a more well-known name, and was the original drummer, it's like Alan will never completely shake that.

Honestly, I have trouble deciding between them sometimes.  I generally love Alan's energy and the way he just goes for it, but sometimes Bill's more refined approach works better.  Bill was great on those first five studio albums, and they wouldn't have been the same with Alan on the kit, but Bill himself said that Yes kept "trading up" and getting better and better.  I don't know if he meant to include himself in that statement, but many people prefer Alan over Bill.

I was about 22 years old when AW came in, and I was greatly disappointed. To me, he was the wrong drummer for the band, and to a certain extent, I still think the same. BB had that jazz feel, which AW had not. IMO, BB was also clearly the better technical drummer. AW was never anything else than an average drummer you could find in any club. He has no distinct qualities that make you recognize him amongst 1000s of drummers, like the great ones. Think about that, even the rather 'untechnical' Keith Moon was fairly recognizable. As was Ginger Baker, Jon Hiseman, Phil Collins to mention some.

When Yes recorded the Keys to Ascension sessions, AW had grown to sound almost BBish though. He did a fairly acceptable job there, but then fell down again. On one of their anniversery DVDs (40 years?), he was a joke in the band. The man sounded like he stopped playing and only pulled out the drumkit for this occasion. I know it sounds pretty harsh, but Yes could have been so much better if they had chosen the right man at that time. It's only my opinion of course.

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #135 on: June 29, 2012, 07:25:55 AM »
I hear what you're saying, though I think you're being a bit harsh on Alan.  He may not have a really distinctive style, but the fact that he was able to learn two hours of mostly long, very complex songs in very short order speaks a lot to his musical ability.

And while I agree with you that they could have done better, had they chosen someone else at the time, they simply didn't have that luxury.  The album was done, the tour was booked, and Bill quit.  Alan was Eddie Offord's roommate at the time and had literally just finished a tour with Joe Cocker.  Eddie called Alan before Alan had even come home yet and told him that Bill had quit and Yes needed a drummer... and oh yeah, he'd sortuv suggested Alan for the job.

Bill did have a lighter, jazzier approach.  He's more of a top kit drummer, as they say, while Alan has more of a traditional approach.  But there are indications that the Yes sound was changing direction anyway.  When you have longer pieces of music, dynamics and contrast become more important, and Bill really didn't have a heavy side at all.  Alan brought that, and was also willing to sit quietly for several minutes during a section where there's no percussion at all.  Sure, other drummers could do that, but how many would?

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #136 on: June 30, 2012, 10:54:02 PM »
Short answer:

I love the tracklist and most of the performances, but I don't like the production at all. Never have.


I think we may have had this conversation before, but Yes is one of the few bands that I prefer the studio albums rather than the live versions.

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #137 on: June 30, 2012, 11:13:01 PM »
I agree with you, but I'm actually that way about most bands.  I do love seeing live music, and there's nothing like the energy of a live performance.  But if I'm just going to listen to an album, I'd rather listen to the studio versions most of the time.  There are some bands which really gain something in a live setting, but most of the time I find myself wishing it were mixed better or performed more cleanly.  Yes music can be very intricate and subtle, and while they do a great job of playing their very complex music live, I still prefer the studio versions.  Their studio albums are just perfect.

Yessongs was recorded by Eddie Offord, who is an absolute wizard in the studio, bringing out the best of bands like Yes, ELP, and others, and they thought he would be the man to capture them live.  But he had no experience recording live, and honestly, I've tried for years to figure out how in the hell it could sound so bad.  The mix is fine, but the sound quality is crap.  It's like it's underwater, or the microphones have blankets over them, or something.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #138 on: July 01, 2012, 10:20:31 AM »
Sound quality aside, the performances are just stellar. And we're treated to extended solos and jams from songs that were under 10 minutes and have now reached over (and for some, well past) the 10 minute park. They really took the songs from The Yes Album and really energized them on the stage.

The solo spots are all fantastic, as well, and each definitively showcase their talents. This is probably one of my favorite live albums of all time, especially since we get the 4 longer songs from TYA and all 3 tracks from CTTE, as well as 3 of the 4 band-songs from Fragile. I wonder, would the album have been better if we had gotten "South Side Of The Sky" and/or "America" in place of some/all of the solo spots?

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Yessongs (1973)
« Reply #139 on: July 01, 2012, 11:07:07 AM »
Man, that would've been astounding.  But I wouldn't want to lose the solo spots.  That was always a big part of their live show, and a big part of Yes.  Maybe they could've made it a four-record set, as Chicago did with their first live album.

I grew up with a portable record player, the kind that looks like a little suitcase and the turntable folded down from between two crummy little speakers, but it was actual stereo and I loved it.  It lasted me until well into junior high, when I bought my first actual stereo with my paper-route money.  I could never go back to it, but to this day, I'm just not that picky about sound quality.  Sure, I would prefer it if Yessongs sounded better, and it is much more apparent now that I have decent audio gear, but I never noticed it back then.  It's probably because of those humble beginnings that I appreciate the performances on a live album more than I worry about the sound quality.