Yes – Yessongs (1973/2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 2:10:13 minutes | 2,6 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | @ Rhino Atlantic
Yessongs is the first live album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on Atlantic Records. It reached number 7 on the UK Albums Chart and number 12 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. The album was certified gold in 1973 and platinum in 1998 by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album is formed of recordings from their supporting world tours for their studio albums, Fragile and Close to the Edge, between February and December 1972. A concert film of the same name was released in 1975 that documents the band’s performances at London’s Rainbow Theatre on 15 and 16 December 1972.
In many ways, the extravagance of this package equates the profligacy of the prog rock combo themselves. After all, how else but on a triple-LP collection could one hope to re-create (and/or contain) an adequate sampling of Yes’ live presentation? Especially since their tunes typically clocked in in excess of ten minutes. Although they had turned in five studio long-players, the vast majority of Yessongs (1973) is drawn from their three most recent endeavors The Yes Album (1970), Fragile (1971), and Close to the Edge (1972). There are two exceptions, the first being the “Opening (Excerpt from “Firebird Suite”)” — which comes from the 1969 Boston Symphony Orchestra’s recording, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. The other is Rick Wakeman’s keyboard solo “Excerpts from ‘The Six Wives Of Henry VIII’.” Yes had just undergone a personnel change shortly after concluding work on Close to the Edge as Bill Bruford (percussion) left to join King Crimson in July of 1972. Bruford can be heard on “Perpetual Change,” as well as the medley of “Long Distance Runaround” and “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus).” Enthusiasts keen on various and arguably irrelevant minutia should note the spelling of “praimaturus” as credited on Yessongs. It is slightly different from Fragile, which is denoted as “praematurus.” That bit of trivia aside, the new lineup finds Alan White (drums), quite ably filling Bruford’s shoes, alongside Jon Anderson (vocals), Steve Howe (guitars), Chris Squire (bass/vocals), and Rick Wakeman (keyboards).
One of their trademarks has always been an ability to re-create their often densely layered sound in concert. They effortlessly pull off the tricky chord progressions and changes in time signatures of “Siberian Khatru” and a sublime “Heart of the Sunrise,” which unquestionably bests the dexterity of its carefully crafted studio counterpart. Both Howe and Squire’s respective solos during “The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)” are highlights as they give the entire unit an opportunity to show off their capacity for dramatic dynamics. The remainder of Yessongs is similarly strong, particularly the note-perfect “Close to the Edge,” and the inspired concluding instrumental jam during “Starship Trooper.” However, one criticism that can be leveled at the entire Yessongs release is the less than optimal audio quality throughout. The sound is generally muddy with no real fidelity to speak of and an even less precise stereoscape. But until someone goes back to the multi-tracks and remixes them for 21st century ears, this is as good as it gets when documenting Yes during this seminal transition period.
01 – Opening (Excerpt From “Firebird Suite”)
02 – Siberian Khatru
03 – Heart Of The Sunrise
04 – Perpetual Change
05 – And You And I (Cord Of Life / Eclipse / The Preacher The Teacher / The Apocalypse)
06 – Mood For A Day
07 – Excerpts From “The Six Wives Of Henry VIII”
08 – Roundabout
09 – I’ve Seen All Good People (Your Move / All Good People)
10 – Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praemeturus)
11 – Close To The Edge (The Solid Time Of Change / Total Mass Retain / I Get Up I Get Down / Seasons Of Man)
12 – Yours Is No Disgrace
13 – Starship Trooper (Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm)