Author Topic: The Yes Discography  (Read 55762 times)

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Offline Zydar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #70 on: June 15, 2012, 01:49:55 PM »
My favourite Yes album :heart

Offline Jaq

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #71 on: June 15, 2012, 01:55:35 PM »
And here we go with Wakeman arriving. For me, Fragile is a slightly uneven album because of the solo pieces, but keep in mind that uneven is in comparison to the rest of the main sequence Yes albums. Which means that this is still a really, really good album. There's nothing wrong with the solo pieces, but they come across as being more sketches than actual songs. It doesn't detract from the rest of the album, since the full songs are damn good (Heart of the Sunrise in particular is one of my favorite Yes songs) but they're why Fragile ranks behind Close to the Edge and TYA on my Yes lists.

Always loved the cover, though. It's a shame I never owned it on vinyl, the Roger Dean Yes covers are pretty gorgeous.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #72 on: June 15, 2012, 02:15:42 PM »
Thanks to SSotS and HotS, my favorite Yes album.  Mood for a Day was also my favorite of the Steve Howe solo pieces. 

I'm a big fan of musical interludes breaking up an album.  I don't think all of them on this album worked, but it's a great idea and some of them work beautifully.  The best example, and surely influenced by this, is all of Rik Emmett's solo pieces on the various Triumph albums.  Without Mood for a Day I'm not sure we would have gotten Midsummer's Daydream, which would be a real bummer.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #73 on: June 15, 2012, 02:18:35 PM »
They were also something of a necessity.  Yes put this album together in two months and needed the filler tracks.  The Yes Album was released in 1971, Kaye was out, Wakeman was in, and Fragile was released in January of 1972.  They were under pressure to get the next album out, which they already assumed would be a hit (it was) in order to pay for all of Wakeman's new keyboards.  When I said he "brought them with him" I was being figurative.  They bought all that gear, then had to pay for it.

Offline Pols Voice

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2012, 08:35:43 PM »
Fragile's a classic, and deservedly so. While the whole band is in top form, Bruford and Squire especially are just on fire on this album. Although some fans may be tired of Roundabout, it's still one of the band's greatest songs.

The drum fill to start South Side of the Sky is one of my favorites ever.
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Offline Nel

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #75 on: June 15, 2012, 09:32:54 PM »
Never really liked the shorter tracks on the album, but Roundabout, South Side Of The Sky, and Long Distance Runaround are some of my favorite tracks ever, so it evens out. I like Heart Of The Sunrise too, but I don't remember if it was just a bonus track on the remaster so I'm not sure whether to count it.

Offline Implode

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #76 on: June 15, 2012, 09:38:56 PM »
I love reading your writeups!

In the original vinyl LP pressings, "Heart of the Sunrise" would finish -- it ends quite suddenly -- then as one's phonograph needle began its journey into the take-up groove, the sound of a door opening could faintly be heard, followed by a reprise/continuation of "We Have Heaven".  The reprise is very quiet, but if you're hearing it at all, it is because your turnable doesn't have an arm that automatically retracts, so the song would continue forever while the needle plays in the take-up groove.  In later pressings, and most CD reissues, this reprise comes full volume and eventually fades out.  While not quite faithful to the original idea, it's actually a good thing, because we can actually hear one difference in the reprise.  Whenever the word "Yes" is sung, another much louder voice can also be heard singing "Yes!"

And I didn't know that! Awesome.


Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #77 on: June 15, 2012, 09:54:04 PM »
The four full songs on this album are amazing pieces, and the five solo segments show off the band's individual talents, something they needed to do to show the world their new keyboard player and more of Steve Howe.

I really wish "America" had been part of the album proper, so much so that I made a fantasy-vinyl track list of what it would have looked like...


Total - 51:56

Side 1 - 25:59
 1. "Roundabout" 8:36
 2. "Five Per Cent For Nothing" 0:38
 3. "Long Distance Runaround" 3:30
 4. "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" 2:42
 5. "America" 10:33

Side 2 - 25:57
 6. "We Have Heaven" - 1:40
 7. "South Side Of The Sky" 7:58
 8. "Cans And Brahms" 1:43
 9. "Mood For A Day" 3:03
10. "Heart Of The Sunrise" 11:33


Totally realistic in the vinyl side times (Genesis had album sides as long as over 26 minutes). Also, opening Side 2 with "We Have Heaven" and closing with it's reprise after HOTS makes for a cool book-ending effect. I also kept some of the original track list in order, like WHH/SSOTS, MFAD/HOTS, and FPCFN/LDR/The Fish.

Anyways, Fragile seems like a logical step for the band, the longer pieces got a bit longer and a bit more complex/experimental, while the short pieces on the album made for great showcases. It wasn't until the next album that they could meld all those ideas together - extended pieces with even more showcases for the individual players. Oddly enough, it's such a different album than this one, not just in terms of music and lyrics, but also arrangement and lay-out, but it was still YES music.

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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #78 on: June 15, 2012, 11:14:43 PM »
I just realized something that I never thought about before.  On The Yes Album, "Clap" is second, and features the new guitarist.  On Fragile, "Cans and Brahms" is second, and features the new keyboard player.  In each case, they were about as prominent as they could be, since you never open an album with such a track.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #79 on: June 15, 2012, 11:25:12 PM »
I just realized something that I never thought about before.  On The Yes Album, "Clap" is second, and features the new guitarist.  On Fragile, "Cans and Brahms" is second, and features the new keyboard player.  In each case, they were about as prominent as they could be, since you never open an album with such a track.

True, and coming after the first track almost guaranteed the song to be listened to. It was pretty smart placement on their part although one has to wonder if it was done on purpose or if it's a coincidence.

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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #80 on: June 16, 2012, 09:42:45 AM »
For me, Fragile is a slightly uneven album because of the solo pieces, but keep in mind that uneven is in comparison to the rest of the main sequence Yes albums. Which means that this is still a really, really good album. There's nothing wrong with the solo pieces, but they come across as being more sketches than actual songs. It doesn't detract from the rest of the album, since the full songs are damn good (Heart of the Sunrise in particular is one of my favorite Yes songs) but they're why Fragile ranks behind Close to the Edge and TYA on my Yes lists.

Same here.  Granted, the three solo pieces that I can do without (the first three) only total about four minutes out of the 38 the album is, but like you said, it breaks up the flow a bit. 

But this is still a dynamite album, regardless.  I always say that if you had to list the rock albums that featured the best bass playing, you could put Fragile at number 1 and it would be hard to argue otherwise.

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #81 on: June 16, 2012, 10:03:15 AM »
When I was seven, my four older brothers and I used to do air rock band to Roundabout. I really don't think I need to say more than that about what this album means to me, it has been a centerpiece of my musical life for 35 years, and has seen me through ups and downs only a few can even imagine. Yes is my favorite band for many reasons,the first though was that song.
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Offline DebraKadabra

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #82 on: June 16, 2012, 02:09:54 PM »
Definitely following this thread and LOVING the bits and pieces of Yes history that I never knew up until now.

I do have to say that Fragile is in my Top 3 favorite Yes albums - other two being CttE and TYA.  I also remember, growing up, hearing the hits AND the deeper cuts on AOR.  Yes was part of a group of bands that were my gateway to being the prog chick I am today (Peter Gabriel's Genesis being another).

As for the solo pieces, I have a special place in my heart for We Have Heaven - my best friend is a FANTASTIC artist and she drew this really cool picture which was a 2d diagram of how she saw the song in her mind's eye.  I was flabbergasted - it's one of the best things she's ever done.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #83 on: June 16, 2012, 04:35:14 PM »
I love reading your writeups!

Thanks!  They're a lot of fun to do, and I'm glad people are enjoying them.

In the original vinyl LP pressings, "Heart of the Sunrise" would finish -- it ends quite suddenly -- then as one's phonograph needle began its journey into the take-up groove, the sound of a door opening could faintly be heard, followed by a reprise/continuation of "We Have Heaven".  The reprise is very quiet, but if you're hearing it at all, it is because your turnable doesn't have an arm that automatically retracts, so the song would continue forever while the needle plays in the take-up groove.  In later pressings, and most CD reissues, this reprise comes full volume and eventually fades out.  While not quite faithful to the original idea, it's actually a good thing, because we can actually hear one difference in the reprise.  Whenever the word "Yes" is sung, another much louder voice can also be heard singing "Yes!"

And I didn't know that! Awesome.

Argh, I fucked up!  I got this album and the original vinyl LP of King Crimson's U.S.A. mixed up.  U.S.A. is a live album, and at the end, if your tone arm doesn't pick up, the applause continues forever because it's cut into the takeup groove.  This happened with my old turntable when it started dying and didn't automatically pick up anymore.  I remember sitting in my dorm room listening to it, and after the last song, it seemed like the applause went on and on, and I finally looked over and realized what was happening.

With Fragile, the reprise is very quiet, but it's there as a "hidden track" on the regular part of the record.  It fades out normally.  Also, the extra "Yes!" which I'd never noticed before is there in "We Have Heaven".  It's the last overdub added during the chaos at the end.  I just listened to Fragile again today on my iPod and realized that it's there.  I've corrected the original Fragile post.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #84 on: June 16, 2012, 04:38:06 PM »
I just realized something that I never thought about before.  On The Yes Album, "Clap" is second, and features the new guitarist.  On Fragile, "Cans and Brahms" is second, and features the new keyboard player.  In each case, they were about as prominent as they could be, since you never open an album with such a track.

True, and coming after the first track almost guaranteed the song to be listened to. It was pretty smart placement on their part although one has to wonder if it was done on purpose or if it's a coincidence.

Yeah, it may just be a coincidence.  Or maybe since "Clap" was placed second on The Yes Album and they had solo spots for all five of them on Fragile anyway, it made a certain amount of sense to place "Cans and Brahms" second.  There's definitely a flow and logic to the track order on Fragile.  Opening and closing with full-band songs is no coincidence, ending Side One with a band track also makes sense, and placing the very short "Five Per Cent for Nothing" first on Side Two makes it feel almost like an into to "Long Distance Runaround" and since that song segues into the next track, there is a certain flow to Side Two as well.  Anyway, they had five solo pieces to place, so why not put Wakeman's bit second.  It may not have occurred to them, but if it did, sure, why not?

Offline Gadough

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #85 on: June 16, 2012, 04:47:08 PM »
I like Fragile.

I'm afraid I have nothing else to say. I'm not the biggest Yes fan, but I've listened to Fragile a few times. It's a cool album.
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Offline LieLowTheWantedMan

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #86 on: June 16, 2012, 09:04:34 PM »
Perfect album. Just amazing. Second favourite Yes album.

Offline Mladen

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #87 on: June 17, 2012, 10:33:34 AM »
Fragile is my second favorite Yes album as well and one of my favorite albums of all time. The three epics are obvious highlights, I love them all, but Roundabout might be the one I enjoy the most. Even the shorter songs on here are a lot of fun, and every member absolutely shines on there. Mood for the day is one of the most gorgeous acoustic pieces I've ever heard.

Offline Nekov

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #88 on: June 17, 2012, 07:48:35 PM »
Such a great album full of great songs.
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Offline pain of occupation

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #89 on: June 17, 2012, 09:22:16 PM »
include America, and i dont see how i can place Fragile any lower than number 2 on my list of favorite Yes albums. great album, and also, fairly accessible - for sure the album i'll shove down the throat of anyone looking to check them out.

Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #90 on: June 17, 2012, 09:31:40 PM »
Fragile is third on my least favorite Yes studio albums of the '70s behind Tormato and Going For The One.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #91 on: June 17, 2012, 09:37:55 PM »
Why?

Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #92 on: June 17, 2012, 09:59:11 PM »
It's more that I really love Time And A Word, The Yes Album, Close To The Edge, Tales and Relayer more.
The albums before it sound more organic to me while the ones after are more frantic, but yet very melodic.

It's less dislike for me, it's just that I like the other albums more, though I admit that Fragile might be very close to a sonic masterpiece moreso that most of the other albums I've mentioned.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #93 on: June 17, 2012, 11:33:31 PM »
That's fair.  I was just wondering because you said it was your third least favorite but not why.  I'm always interested in the "why".

Offline Priest of Syrinx

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #94 on: June 18, 2012, 01:55:10 PM »
When I was seven, my four older brothers and I used to do air rock band to Roundabout. I really don't think I need to say more than that about what this album means to me, it has been a centerpiece of my musical life for 35 years, and has seen me through ups and downs only a few can even imagine. Yes is my favorite band for many reasons,the first though was that song.

I remember laying on the floor in the living room, my brother in the basement playing bass along to this album.  I listened to the music and felt the vibrations of bass shaking the floor.  It was awesome.

Fragile is my favorite Yesalbum.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #95 on: June 19, 2012, 07:36:45 AM »
The questions "what is prog?" and "what defines prog?" have been around as long as the label has existed, and let's face it, it's really a label more than a genre if people can't agree on who it applies to but are quick to use it anyway.  But I was thinking about it, and how this was my first prog album, and why it seemed so different.

"Roundabout" was the first Yessong I remember hearing.  I remember hearing the quiet section in the middle, where the acoustic guitar returns and Jon slowly sings "In and around the lake..." with the Mellotron flutes behind him.  It was the first time I'd ever heard a song on the radio that actually had different "movements" to it.  A fast section, a slow section, then the fast part comes back.  Like a mini-sonata all in one song.

But later, I'd hear the song, and it seemed shorter.  It didn't go into the slow part in the middle.  This was before I was aware of the "album version" of a song versus the "single version".  Take out the quiet section in the middle, keep all the upbeat stuff, and you have a Top 40 hit.  The full-length version, with its acoustic breakdown and complete change of mood, is undeniably prog.

"South Side of the Sky" is similar.  You would never, ever hear a song with a breakdown in the middle featuring an impressionistic grand piano solo and voices singing "La la la la la la, la la la la la la la la" on the radio.  But if you could somehow take that part out, what remains is just a "regular" song in 4/4.  A weird one, but a regular song.

So maybe prog isn't just unusual time signatures, or the use of acoustic instruments alongside electric, or long songs.  Those are just things that prog songs happen to have because the guys playing them tend to not feel the same limits as some others.  All of these things show up in music that most people agree is not prog.  But if you have a song that has fast and slow movements, actual changes in mood within the song, you've probably got prog.

Anyway, just something I was thinking about.


Final thought: I really hate it when I hear "Long Distance Runaround" on the radio and they don't also play "The Fish".

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #96 on: June 19, 2012, 08:46:52 AM »

Final thought: I really hate it when I hear "Long Distance Runaround" on the radio and they don't also play "The Fish".

Yup, drives me nuts.
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Offline Jaq

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Re: The Yes Discography: Fragile (1972)
« Reply #97 on: June 19, 2012, 09:03:43 AM »
It's kind of funny; my local classic rock station is godawful. Once for a month and a half they played War Pigs by Black Sabbath every morning at 11:53 am. You could tell how corporately programmed they were. And yet they NEVER play Long Distance Runaround without The Fish. You'd figure playing both tracks would mess up some playlist or something.  :lol
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Offline Orbert

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The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #98 on: June 21, 2012, 09:38:30 PM »
Close to the Edge (1972)



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

I'm not sure how I did it, but I managed to delete the original writeup for this album.  No backup, either.  Everything's typed up right here on DTF.  So what follows is a recreation of the original post.  Or, more accurately, what I decided to write instead.

----------

The jacket for Close to the Edge was designed by Roger Dean, who had also done the cover for Fragile, but the front cover (shown above) had only the band name and name of the album.  The "real" artwork was reserved for the inside gatefold:



Yes' sound continued to improve, thanks to the efforts of Eddie Offord, who was in some ways a sixth member of the band.  The final arrangements of the songs ultimately came down to him and his editing decisions.  He cut and spliced miles of two-inch master tape by hand in order to create what we hear as the finished product.  The band literally learned what was on the albums so that they could go out and play the songs in the final arrangements.

To honor and reward Eddie, there are six individual photos on the back cover: Yes and Eddie Offord, the co-producers.



Close to the Edge
  I. The Solid Time of Change
  II. Total Mass Retain
  III. I Get Up, I Get Down
  IV. Seasons of Man
And You And I
  I. Cord of Life
  II. Eclipse
  III. The Preacher The Teacher
  IV. Apocalypse
Siberian Khatru

The album consisted of only three songs, one on Side A and two on Side B, which was unheard-of at the time, at least in the rock world.  The "side-long epic" (its length determined by the 20-to-25-minute physical limitation of an LP record) became something which most prog bands seemed obliged to attempt at least once in their careers.  Yes did it eight times.  Even if you somehow take into account that four of them appear one album (Tales from Topographic Oceans) and are considered by the band to be separate movements of an even greater work, that still has to be some kind of record.  "Close to the Edge" was their first, and is considered by many to be their best, although "The Gates of Delerium" from Relayer is probably a close second.

After writing and recording Fragile in mere months, then embarking upon a tour to support the album, Yes turned around and did the same thing with Close to the Edge.  The recording sessions went late into the night and into the early morning hours.  The band occassionally played gigs, so the equipment had to be packed up and moved, then set back up in the studio again for the next session.  By the time they finished recording, drummer Bill Bruford had had enough, and announced that he was leaving the band.  After four and a half years with Yes, he felt that they had gone about as far as they could go, and he had been offerred -- and had accepted -- a job with King Crimson.

When it was pointed out to him that they had already booked a tour to support the album, and that his unexpected departure left them in a quandry, Bill offerred to stay on and do the tour, but it was clear that his heart was no longer with the band.  Alan White, Eddie Offord's roommate and an experienced session drummer, was brought in to play drums on the tour, and he has been with Yes ever since.

With the earlier departures of guitarist Peter Banks and keyboardist Tony Kaye, there are differing opinions on whether they were fired or it was a mutual decision, and how amicable the split was.  Bill Bruford's departure was voluntary, and after five studio albums, Yes had still not gone more than two consecutive albums with the same lineup.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 04:48:30 PM by Orbert »

Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #99 on: June 21, 2012, 09:48:34 PM »
I'll probably be raked over the coals again for this, but I like side two a lot more than side one.

But I really like side one too, it's just that I really think and You and I is one of the best tunes they've ever written....and Siberian Khatru is pretty awesome in its own right.

Offline Implode

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #100 on: June 21, 2012, 10:01:55 PM »
I agree with you. Though I should give Close to the Edge more listens.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #101 on: June 21, 2012, 10:06:20 PM »
And You And I is a beautiful, wonderful song, but it's still third of three to me.  The title track and Awaken (from Going for the One) constantly fight it out for favorite Yessong and my favorite song of all time.  OF ALL TIME!  Siberian Khatru just kicks all kinds of ass, and that leaves the love song in last place.  But all three songs are masterpieces.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #102 on: June 21, 2012, 10:08:32 PM »
When I first got into Yes, this was a hard one for me to digest, especially the title track. Side two was a bit easier, there's a type of majestic, emotionally-moving feel of "And You And I", and the awesome rocking riffs of "Siberian Khatru" recall some of their earlier work on The Yes Album. Side one was a bit tougher and it took me a couple years to really "get it", but now the whole album is a great masterpiece in my eyes/ears. I would change nothing about it (unlike TFTO, which I could stand to shave off a few minutes here and there), and it's one of the great stepping stones of 70's Prog.

Up to this point, their albums have evolved greatly, and their evolution would continue further and make a u-turn at TFTO, where they could go back to the 3-song-format (with an opening side-long epic), then some shorter pieces and more songs on an album, but to me, CTTE is where things got REALLY interesting for the band, and produced some music that had no similarities to what came before. That's truly progressing right there.

-Marc.
ATTENTION - I am currently taking a hiatus from running any Survivors at the moment,
 but feel free to check out others' that are running in the Polls/Survivors Forum!!! Maybe in the coming months, I'll start up again with a different band if there is interest...

Offline lonestar

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #103 on: June 21, 2012, 10:20:49 PM »
It is near impossible for me to apply any type of ranking for any song in this four album stretch that began with TYA. I feel that CTTE is an incredible work, and probably my favorite to see live(maybe four or five times I've seen it).  Siberian Khatru is an incredible opener.  And You And I still leaves me speechless after 30 years of listening to it, and is very high on my list of most beautiful songs ever written.  I will now prepare my long, gushy post for the next album...
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: The Yes Discography: Close to the Edge (1972)
« Reply #104 on: June 21, 2012, 10:22:39 PM »
It's almost hard to believe how good Close to the Edge is. It is befuddling.