TITLE: The Yes Album
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: #40 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Your Move (#40), Yours Is No Disgrace
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Starship Trooper, I’ve Seen All Good People (Your Move is part of this suite)
LINEUP: Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye. Colin Goldring played the recorder
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The breakthrough album, helped by a focus on musical suites and new guitarist Steve Howe.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Two changes to Yes improved their lot a great deal since their 1970 album. First, the band focused on long prog-rock suites that showcased their chops and abilities. Second, the band replaced departed Peter Banks with Steve Howe, who had been in Tomorrow and other groups.
Howe’s guitar style and versatility with acoustic and electric guitars helped the band build up the suites and allowed for excellent transitions, as showcased in “Yours Is No Disgrace” and “Starship Trooper”. The latter cut is probably the pinnacle of Yes’ early prog rock days. He also added another vocal element along with Anderson and bassist Chris Squire, which richened the vocal sound.
Even with a couple of lesser cuts on the second side, this is really where to start with Yes for the curious.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: On the cover, Tony Kaye is seen in a cast, as he broke his foot in a car accident the night before.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a studio version of Howe’s guitar solo “The Clap” and single edits.
GRADE: A-: Three classic Yes suites, and the filler’s not bad, really.