Yes review by Yes

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1969
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (7 votes)
Yes: Yes
4

Sound — 9
People often overlook this band's early albums in favor of the more mainstream ones such as "The Yes Album" and "Fragile". Yes has a lot to offer musically, even in their infancy. The line-up started out a bit different. Instead of the guitar god Steve Howe, you have Pete Banks. He takes less chances in his playing. The same could be said about Tony Kaye, the bands original keyboardist. While the music may not be as dynamic or as progressive as their later outings, it's still a delight to listen to. Jon Anderson's voice resonates through every verse and chorus he sings. I truly believe he is one of the best singers in rock. Tony Kaye's raw and heartfelt keyboarding sends chills down my spines every chord he slams. Bill Bruford and Chris Squire both show their technical prowess and make this album explosive. The album features two covers, both that are executed greatly and surpass the originals. Every single track on this album is killer. It opens with an enthusiastic and moving song called "Beyond And Before". Yes continues to get more interesting as the tracks play on. "Looking Around" has been known to get caught in my head at the most random times possible. As I said earlier, the two covers are phenomenal. The second one is a Beatles cover. They transform "Every Little Thing" from a simple pop rock song to a prog masterpiece. The album closes with a stellar track called "Survival". The wah-filled bassy riff is one of Yes' best.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics aren't as mature as future Yes albums. Topics range from war to love. "Beyond And Before" has some of the best lyrics on the album. A lot of the other songs are about love. Love has always been a neglected topic in progressive rock. It is a bit awkward that all this intricate music is being paired up with this subject matter. But you have to realize that Yes probably did this to break into the mainstream. I don't blame them one bit. Jon Anderson could be singing names from a phone book and I would still be astonished. This man is a gentle man who can deliver vocally with his angelically tenor voice.

Overall Impression — 8
You would be doing yourself a big disservice by not checking this album out. This is one of the greatest debut albums I have ever listened to. All of the elements of classic Yes are featured, albeit not to the epic proportions in later albums. There is not much bad to say about this album. The album art (on both the European and US versions) is bit boring. Yes is known for their fantastical artwork. Still a quality album nonetheless. You'll be giving this album more than just a few spins. It's grand.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    IBuriedPaul
    I don't think it's possible to be a Yes fan and hate their debut album. It's just blasphemous.
    Flibo
    A lot of Yes fans seem to dislike their debut album. It's a great album despite Steve Howe not appearing on this one.
    loinmute
    Just the fact of hearing bassist Chris Squire is enough for me to have bought this album. I am a lover of progressive rock/metal, and this band is a forefather.
    RiffYourFaceOff
    I'll have to check this out, I've heard "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" a lot of course, but never listened to them much besides those.
    bokma
    RiffYourFaceOff wrote: I'll have to check this out, I've heard "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" a lot of course, but never listened to them much besides those.
    Listen to the Close to the Edge album!! It's the best thing they've ever released!
    IBuriedPaul
    bokma wrote: RiffYourFaceOff wrote: I'll have to check this out, I've heard "Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" a lot of course, but never listened to them much besides those. Listen to the Close to the Edge album!! It's the best thing they've ever released!
    This is true. Close to the Edge was their best album. Every album released after Close to the Edge lived in it's shadow. It was a behemoth.
    FloyDZeD
    bokma wrote:Listen to the Close to the Edge album!! It's the best thing they've ever released!
    It is a great album, but I almost prefer The Yes Album.
    Jamma
    CttE is really amazing, but I have days where I prefer relayer, that album is amazing too, and quite underlooked. The middle section of the gates of delerium has aggression that you just can't hear in any other yes album and yet it finishes with one of the most beautiful outros I have ever heard. I almost never listen to fragile now, CttE and relayer are pretty much perfect albums.
    ZA58
    I don't think it's possible to be a Yes fan and hate their debut album. It's just blasphemous. NO a fan can dislike a album or two besides I guest mostly like them for "Roundabout"
    IBuriedPaul
    ZA58 wrote: I don't think it's possible to be a Yes fan and hate their debut album. It's just blasphemous. NO a fan can dislike a album or two besides I guest mostly like them for "Roundabout"
    That may be true, but there are so many worse albums by Yes to hate. 90125? Big Generator? Tormato? TALK??? I think most sensible people would agree with me that "Yes" is definitely one of their better albums.
    Mincer
    Talk is a very underrated album- lots of great guitar playing, great lyrics, and great arrangements. My favorite is 'Relayer' if you like your prog more on the dynamic and chaotic side.
    Daysleeper_05
    Close to the Edge and the Yes Album are my faves, hands down. The track 'And You And I' is what defines the band for me. It's got everything. Even in the word of Jon Anderson, "I think this song is really what Yes is all about"