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Discussion in 'Music Discussion' started by Stardust, Dec 16, 2015.


What is your favourite Yes album?

  1. Yes (the album)

  2. Time And A Word

  3. The Yes Album

  4. Fragile

  5. Close To The Edge

  6. Tales From Topographic Oceans

  7. Relayer

  8. Going For The One

  9. Tormato

  10. Drama

  11. 90125

  12. Big Generator

  13. Union

  14. Talk

  15. Open Your Eyes

  16. The Ladder

  17. Magnification

  18. Fly From Here

  19. Heaven & Earth

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Never seen that BBC recording before. Can't help much with live albums in general, the only one I've listened to is Yessongs. But I've heard all the studio albums multiple times. Going chronological is the best way to do it IMO. The thing with Yes is that they constantly evolved, even in the later years. No two albums sound the same (except for maybe 90125 and Big Generator, but even those had some differences). When you listen to the albums in order you can get a better idea of where they're coming back. It also makes the albums more accessible. Something like Tales From Topographic Oceans is going to be very dense no matter how you approach it, but if you've already gotten familiar with Close To the Edge you might be better prepared for it.

    First three albums have a special charm to them. I think of the debut as a more technical version of the Beatles. The three part vocal harmonies scream Beatles, but the songs are longer and there's more emphasis on the instrumental work. There's even a Beatles cover on the first album: Every Little Thing, which is awesome. The other cover on the album is I See You, which was originally by the Byrds. It's probably my favorite song on the album. The guitar work is incredible. The original guitarist, Peter Banks, is totally unlike Howe. He has a much jazzier style and smoother tone. Steve Howe was necessary for them to find their signature sound, but I really like Peter Banks' playing on these early albums. The two ballads are also very good. Yesterday & Today and Sweetness. Yes don't have a lot of mellower material. Later on, even their ballads are very meticulously composed and have a lot going on. The two ballads on this album are much more stripped down and really show off Yes' skill at writing a good melody. Debut overall is a very good album. It's easily forgotten but I liken it to the first two Opeth albums. When you forget about what came after and just listen to it for what it is, it's really good and still head and shoulders above what a lot of other bands were doing.

    Time and a Word is an interesting one. It includes an orchestra which I always found very ambitious for a band's second album. It is pretty much the same style as the debut, lots of jazzy rock jams and reimagined versions of other artists' music. No Opportunity Necessary is the best song imo. Love the orchestral work in that and I like the vocal work. I agree that Everydays is another great track. It's not as good as the debut for me but it is still pretty good.

    The Yes Album could be called the true beginning of Yes. Steve Howe is now in the band and they've fully embraced progressive rock. No more covers and there are 3 "epic" tracks. Yours Is No Disgrace has become a staple for them in a similar way as Hallowed Be Thy Name by Maiden, in that it gets played at every concert. That tune really showcases what Steve Howe brings to the band. His guitar playing is much more aggressive. Almost punk rock like. But he also plays with sense of accuracy that punk rock didn't have. No doubt Steve Harris was listening to this. But this album also predates punk rock, so Howe was ahead of his time in that way. But then you have The Clap which showcases Howe's playing on the other side of the spectrum. His fingerstyle acoustic pieces would become a staple of Yes. The classic one is Mood For a Day on the next album, but I actually prefer The Clap. Very fun ragtime feel to it. Starship Trooper is without a doubt the best song on the album for me. The first true Yes epic IMO. Three distinct parts and it really takes you on a journey. Yours Is No Disgrace is long too, but it feels more like a jam. Starship Trooper also combines the two aspects of Howe's guitar playing shown in the previous two songs. It also has one of the best outros in a classic Rock song. Side 2 is a bit more uneven, but there's some good stuff there too. Perpetual Change is a great song. Lots of nice rhythmic stuff happening for sure. Love that opening Hammond riff too. You can't listen to that and not be intrigued. Also worth noting Tony Kaye as a keyboard player. He was staunchly opposed to synthesizers during that time, so you rarely heard him play one. In fact, I don't think he ever played synth on the first three albums. Any synth sound you hear on The Yes Album is Jon Anderson I believe. Anyway, this is a stark contrast to Rick Wakeman, who joined the band for the next album and was a master at the synthesizer. Tony Kaye was a great player though and his hammond sound defines early Yes, along with Squire's bass playing and Anderson's vocals.

    Overall, I'd say the first album is underrated while the next two are probably appreciated an appropriate amount. Tony Kaye would leave the band after The Yes Album and be replaced by Rick Wakeman, completing the definitive Yes lineup.
  2. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    That's a very nice post, though I strongly disagree with the following:

    I have learnt to more or less accept Tales (though I still don't know whether I really like it or not), but listening to it after the masterpiece that was CTTE was pretty disappointing. In fact, up to this day I have to purge myself of any thoughts of CTTE to enjoy Tales.
  3. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    The problem with Tales is that it's so obtuse that the listener's enjoyment of it is almost entirely dependent on their frame of mind going into it. Add the 80 minute length to that and it's a tough listen. For most people it's probably overly pompous and not worth the effort to get into it, but I think it can be a really rewarding album if you give it enough time. I listen to it once a year and I find something new to appreciate each time. The first 2 or 3 attempts were painful though, I'll admit.

    But when I said it's good to listen to it after hearing Close to the Edge, I meant that as a new listener you're going to be familiar with Yes' more extravagant side and at least that won't be a problem. None of the music on Tales is like CTE, but as I said no two Yes albums are alike. In fact CTTE is almost a polar opposite to the Tales material. Despite its length, Close To the Edge is a pretty conventionally written song. It has an intro, a verse, a chorus, another verse and chorus, a bridge, and then back to the verse and chorus. Tales is much more stream-of-consciousness with no apparent structure.

    I recommend approaching Tales like you would a symphony. Each side is a movement and the whole album is a single work. It might be easier to have it on as background music too. And you don't necessarily have to listen to the whole thing at once.
    terrell39 and JudasMyGuide like this.
  4. terrell39

    terrell39 Ancient Mariner

    This is the tour I saw, but a different date. Check out the part that starts about 7:45:

  5. terrell39

    terrell39 Ancient Mariner

  6. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Tupac lol what a joke
  7. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    Fucking hell, Buckethead misses out again. What a joke!
  8. Night Prowler

    Night Prowler ɹǝlʍoɹԀ ʇɥƃᴉN Staff Member

    Buckethead would be more fitting than Tupac tbh.
    CriedWhenBrucieLeft likes this.
  9. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    That's not really a compliment. Pat Boone would be more fitting than Tupac, based on his "metal mood" album only.
  10. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    A call from the HoF isn't really a compliment.
  11. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    The only reason Yes got in is because they have a shot of getting the classic lineup (sans Chris) together for a reunion. Same with Journey.
  12. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    Rush are in too, aren't they?
  13. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    Yea theirs was a pretty big event a few years ago. Not sure what happened that they finally got in.
  14. terrell39

    terrell39 Ancient Mariner

    It was a glitch. Rush was not supposed to get in until after 1 of them died. Got in too early on accident.
  15. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    Jann Wenner died?

    Anyway, it's good news. HoF might be a farce, but it's really good Yes are to be in.
  16. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I find the politics behind the hall of fame really fascinating. Also funny how worked up some people get over it.
  17. Deus_Adrian

    Deus_Adrian Prince of the Final Frontier

    Cliff Burnstein.
  18. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    BA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Bunch of muthafuckas.
  19. JudasMyGuide

    JudasMyGuide Domini canis

    Yo... hey yeah... yo... All Eyz on Me (or some other silly spelling thereof) was one of the most needlessly overlong shite I'd heard in a long time.

    And what's hip hop doing in RNR hall of fame anyway?
    (I admit that Wu Tang are actually good and on Flash's recommendation I listened to Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and it was really good ... but then again you could probably speculate whether that's even hip hop anymore)
  20. Mosh

    Mosh The years just pass like trains Staff Member

    I can understand certain hip hop groups being in there, but before major rock ones and the rule to have one every year is ridiculous. How about a metal band every year?
    Forostar and terrell39 like this.

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