First things first and this was the first live album by Yes…
Does that mean anything? Maybe, who knows, but it is a fact and people love facts…
The album documents the band’s Close to the Edge tour, although it includes some songs from the Fragile tour as well. It is, after all, a three record set. “Perpetual Change” and “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” are from Fragile, and in those songs you will hear their original drummer Bill Bruford, while in the others the drummer is Alan White.
This is an amazing band and one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. The solos are incredible, Yes at their best! Here you find the best songs from The Yes Album, and definitely, Yessongs is and should be considered a greatest hits album done live. One part that I definitely enjoy is the one where Rick Wakeman plays a medley of some of his solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Then Chris Squire has his own part in “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)”.
Although many of the songs faithfully reflect the studio versions, you get some like “Perpetual Change” or “Starship Trooper”, whose live versions are superior to the studio version and clearly demonstrate the strength of the band, the mastery of the instruments, the knowledge of orchestration and arrangement and how bloody good these lads can play.
These are the lads that played in Yessongs:
Jon Anderson: Vocals
Steve Howe: Guitar
Chris Squire: Bass
Rick Wakeman: keyboards
Bill Bruford: drums on the 4th song of disc 1 and song 2 of disc 2
Alan White: drums on the rest of the songs
Just to remind you, or to inform you if you are not from the 70’s generation, Yes was formed in London in 1968 and got big, really big in the seventies. Yes joined bands like Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer as the leaders of progressive or symphonic rock. They were heavily influenced by The Beatles, the Moody Blues and others but soon developed their own style. One thing that instantly attracted me to Yes was that they did seem to find the perfect formula to merge jazz and classical music and still make it rock. Not that doing that was out of place or innovative in those days. I find such a merging of styles in many of the rock groups of that era.
Yes was the quintessential progressive rock band of England. I would say heads and shoulders above Genesis, although not as theatrical, and much more consistent and stronger than Jethro Tull. But that is according to my taste, and maybe not yours…
So, since I am not a record or music reviewer or critic, I will leave the judgements to you. All I ask is that you tell me what you think, if you think of anything. And without another word, here is the album: