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Yessongs


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Audio CD, September 27, 1994
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Biography

Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets. No fewer than 18 musicians have been a part of the band's line-up, with its current form comprising singer Jon ... Read more in Amazon's Yes Store

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for 235 albums, 3 photos, videos, and 11 full streaming songs.


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Yessongs + Close to the Edge + Fragile
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Atlantic Records
  • ASIN: B000002J1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,109 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Opening (Excerpt From 'Firebird Suite')
2. Siberian Khatru
3. Heart Of The Sunrise
4. Perpetual Change
5. And You And I: A. Cord Of Life/B. Eclipse/C. The Preacher The Teacher/D. The Apocalypse
6. Mood For A Day
7. Excerpts From 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII'
8. Roundabout
Disc: 2
1. I've Seen All Good People: A. Your Move/B. All Good People
2. Long Distance Runaround-The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
3. Close To The Edge: A. The Solid Time Of Change/B. Total Mass Retain/C. I Get Up I Get Down/D. Seasons Of Man
4. Yours Is No Disgrace
5. Starship Trooper: A. Life Seeker/B. Dilillusion/C. Wurm

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Opening with a few bars of Stravinsky to set the adoring crowd on its feet, this once-three-LP set is Yes at their finest. This was, after all, probably the most mainstream act that had even provisional "prog rock" status, and their tunes show it. While "Heart of the Sunrise" may be one of the more modestly titled Yes songs (compare it with "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" or "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" or even "Total Mass Retain"), it also bears marks of the band playing at its most frenetic pace around Jon Anderson's soaring near-falsetto. Rick Wakeman's grand synthesizer flashes are more than textural, finding visual meshes aplenty with Roger Dean's cryptic cover art--most of which is shrunken or absent on this two-CD reissue. When Yessongs was cut, Marshall stacks were in their heyday, and Yes happily engaged in harmonic and melodic excessiveness as well as carefully planned layers of complexity. "Roundabout" was the band's biggest hit to this point. It appears here faithfully reproduced. As for the rest, it's entertaining in a 1970s way--full of light shows, staged visuals, and more. It took a few years for prog rock to dwindle and for punk-colored art rock to swerve toward songs about buildings and food. On Yessongs, the band was peaking, singing songs with far grander purpose (Siberia, the Apocalypse, etc.). By any account, this is one of the classic live albums of its generation, and as the soundtrack to the hip 1998 film Buffalo 66 hinted, at least one manic Yes song ("Heart of the Sunrise") passed muster for drama in the 1990s. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

The sound on this song is generally good and enjoyable to hear.
Lonnie E. Holder
The live version of Heart Of The Sunrise on Yessongs sounds even better than the also great studio version found on Fragile.
ol' nuff n' den sum
I recommend this as a must have for all classic YES fans, and I plan to get this on DVD in the future.
TIM LUCERO

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on June 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
As far as I am concerned, this live album from the Fragile and Close to the Edge tours is by far the most incredible display of virtuosity displayed on a live prog album. Period. In fact, the virtuosity and the sheer ferocity with which they all play is both overwhelming and yet completely and utterly exhilarating. As a huge prog fan I have listened to a lot of live prog albums, but none seem to top the raw beauty of Yessongs.

Another property of this album that makes it a personal favorite is that the guys do not simply reproduce the studio works note for note or throw in gratuitous solos. New sections are added to the original pieces and the solos are incredible works unto themselves. In fact, listen to Chris Squire's awe-inspiring bass tour de force on The Fish - this piece alone inspired me to take up the bass guitar in the first place. Rick Wakeman also presents a nice 6'35" synopsis of his then recently released solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Bill Bruford had left Yes to join King Crimson and was replaced by Alan White on the Close to the Edge tour who had come from a strictly rock background. Based on what I have read, Alan had a rough time with the material straight off (who wouldn't), but gradually got better with subsequent concerts. I feel that his performances on Yessongs are quite solid - he plays on every track except for Perpetual Change and Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Bill plays on these tracks).

I should note that the sound quality of this album is not great (it is thin, trebly, and harsh), although it does not bother me in the least. This is Yes after all and I would probably listen to the most poorly recorded bootleg over and over again without flinching.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on July 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I didn't think that Yes' supra-complex, textured studio recordings preceding this live set would be translated effectively to the live setting. It's not perfect, but the inadequacies created by the limitations of playing live are part of Yessongs' charm. And while the songs are occasionally missing small ingredients that flesh them out so well on the studio versions, the band's heaving energy more than makes up for it. You can especially hear it in Jon Anderson's singing. His voice is often delicate on studio albums, but here he's surprisingly powerful, singing full-force over his equally lively buddies, who jam with fervor exploding from their instruments. And man, there are lots of jams! Songs are often extended by five minutes or so for soloing, and although many would find it tiring, I think the intensity makes it totally exciting.
The songs cover three of the band's best albums: The Yes Album, Fragile, and the progressive monster Close to the Edge. This is the best lineup the band had (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Squire, Bruford/White), all of whom clearly feel the deeply spiritual, stirring nature of their music. Their most recent studio album, Close to the Edge, is especially well-represented, which is a marvel given the complexity of the music. The 19-minute title track is as beautiful and moving as the studio rendition. "Siberian Khatru" has tenfold the zeal. Disappointingly, "And You and I" is notably weaker than the studio version because Howe uses an electric guitar throughout, not the acoustic, which [...takes] away some of the original's subtle textures and simple charm.
Perhaps the most exciting songs come from The Yes Album. "Perpetual Change" blasts off after a lengthy jam interlude in the middle, returning to the exciting verses and impelling on Squire's rumbling bass lines.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By art lewis on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you only know the one or two songs by Yes that made it to the top ten and got on the radio way back when, or if you only know one of their studio albums or their later work after the classic period, you don't know a lot about Yes. Comparing one of those top ten bits to some of the live Yes classics on this CD set, is like comparing a little Shakespeare sonnet to one of Shakespeare's great plays. Also, the live concert work that fills this album is far superior to Yes' studio work. This CD set captures Yes at their peak, when for a few years they reached pure genius.

With Yes, however, it is good to be advised: they are not for everyone. But if you have the patience to listen two or three times to a piece, there is a good chance you will find yourself falling very deeply in love.

This is especially true of the gorgeous, wild and sometimes extensive instrumental stretches that go on between the often lovely vocal parts of the songs. At first you might not hear anything much in all this instrumental work. But once your ear is caught, there is nothing else like Yes. If you like the guitar work of classic Creme's Eric Clapton, or of Jimi Hendrix, you ain't heard nothing yet. Yes's Steve Howe, as a guitarist, once you really listen, is arguably a full quantum leap or two above anyone you've heard before. It's not just that he's capable of playing a lightning fast series of notes. It's not just that he can play more intricate rhythms and textures at that incredible speed than other great guitarists can play at one-quarter of that speed; it's that with technical virtuosity the equal and superior of anyone out there, Howe combined imaginative genius and the most beautiful, furiously driving, guitar lines.
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