THE YES ALBUM

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THE YES ALBUM 2017-02-06T17:28:12+00:00
The Yes Album
The Yes Album is the third studio album by YES, released on 19 February 1971 on Atlantic Records. It is their first album with guitarist Steve Howe , and their last until 1983’s 90125 to feature keyboardist Tony Kaye.

The album was the first by the group comprised solely of original material. The band spent mid-1970 writing and rehearsing new material at a farmhouse in South Molton, Devon, and the new songs were recorded at Advision Studios in the autumn. While the album retained close harmony singing, Kaye’s Hammond organ and Chris Squire’s melodic bass, as heard on earlier releases, the new material also covered further styles including jazz piano, funk and acoustic music, with all band members contributing ideas, and tracks were extended in length to allow music to develop. Howe contributed a variety of guitar styles, including a Portuguese guitar, and recorded a solo acoustic guitar piece, “Clap“, live at the Lyceum Theatre, London.

The album was a critical success and was a major commercial breakthrough for YES, who had been at risk of being dropped by the record label. It reached number 4 in the UK and number 40 in the US, and is certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over one million copies.

Personnel

Jon Anderson
Vocals

Bill Bruford
Percussion

Steve Howe
Guitars, Vocals

Tony Kaye
Keyboards

Chris Squire
Bass, Vocals

Recommended Versions

Steven Wilson 2013 Stereo & 5.1 Remixes for Panegyric

The Yes Album
The Definitive Edition. It doesn’t get better than this. All the mixes are presented in better-than-CD-quality Audiophile 24-96 HD Audio and have been approved by the band. Both editions include a 20 page booklet featuring previously unseen artwork by Roger Dean, an essay by Sid Smith and additional photos and memorabilia. Available at Amazon on BluRay+CD (with more extras) or DVD-A+CD.

This is the only version of The Yes Album to have been completely remixed from the original multitrack tapes since 1971. In keeping with all the other releases in this series, Steven Wilson’s approach for new stereo & 5.1 mixes is to faithfully retain the spirit & sounds of the original album mix, while applying modern mix techniques to bring further clarity to the individual instrument, vocal & overdubs for each track. The songs, instantly familiar to a multitude of Yes fans, remain so, with the new mixes – especially in 5.1 form – providing a greater sense of space for each voice to be heard. Anderson’s voice seems to join the listener in the room, Howe & Wakeman’s solos glisten with clarity and Bruford & Squire remind all that they were unmatched as a rhythm section during that period.

☟See Contents & Extras

Contains:
Brand new ‘Definitive’ Steven Wilson Remixes in 24-96 HD Audio in 5.1 Surround and Stereo.
The original 1972 Eddy Offord mix recorded directly from the original master tape with no additional EQ.

Extras:
Clap (Studio Version), A Venture (Extended)
Alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix

Extras for BluRay Edition only:
5.1 PCM Surround Sound and High Resolution Stereo mixes (24bit/96khz). The original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from the original stereo master tape source (24bit/192khz).
a complete alternate album running order drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix. Exclusive instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz). Exclusive needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.

☝ Hide Contents & Extras

Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music UK/USA

Close To The Edge
The Yes Album Remastered in 2003 from the master tape of the original 1971 Eddy Offord mix.
Available as:
HD 24-192 or 24-96 Downloads at HD Tracks, HiRes Audio
Gatefold CD at Amazon
Vinyl LP as per original release at Amazon
MP3 Downloads at iTunes (Standard Edition, Mastered for iTunes), iTunes (Deluxe Edition), Google Play, 7 Digital, Microsoft Store
Streaming at Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Tidal
This Remaster of The Yes Album is also available as part of the ‘Studio Albums 1969-1987‘ Box Set at Amazon.
The Box Set contains the following remastered albums and their original track listing (ie no bonus tracks): Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator. Each individual album comes in a gatefold sleeve that replicates the original LP packaging.


Isao Kikuchi 2013 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music Japan

The Yes Album is also available as part of the High Vibration SACD Box Set at Amazon.
High Vibration is a 16 x Hybrid SACD Box Set made for the Japanese fans, containing their first 13 albums on 15 discs plus a bonus disc of extra tracks. All Remastered by Isao Kikuchi at 24-96 & 16-44.1 with a 220 page book in Japanese.
Albums: Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator and a Bonus Disc.
Bonus Disc: Something’s Coming, Dear Father, Roundabout (Single Edit), America, Total Mass Retain (Single Version), Soon (Single Edit), Abilene, Run Through The Light (Single Version), Run With The Fox, Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Move Yourself Mix), Leave It (Single Remix), Big Generator (Remix).


Listen

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Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters

The Yes Album - by Sid Smith

Commitment is an act, not a word.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

“You can’t do anything unless you’re committed to it,” remarks Jon Anderson. “The first band I was in, I drove them crazy trying to get them to rehearse. I did because I felt that as musicians we were lucky to be doing what we were doing and we owed it to get on with it. We needed to rehearse more and more, and then some more. They told me to eff off and eventually I did. But if you want to know why YES became the band it did, it’s because we were all committed.”

Commitment was one of the engines powering YES infamous “revolving door policy” that was said to be in operation in those early days. With original and co-founder Peter Banks dissatisfied at the musical direction taken during the recording of Time and a Word, there was an inevitability about his enforced departure in April 1970. “Everything was in a state of change. It was so fast and nobody was settled,” explains Bill Bruford. “You gave it your best but it was a fast-moving world and you had to give more than your best; What we were looking for was for people to bring more to the table. So Peter was a guitarist, which is fine, but Steve Howe was Chet Atkins, Jim Hall, Scotty Moore, a folk player, a country picker – he could bring more to the party.”

After being spotted on stage at The Speakeasy by Anderson, Howe was approached to become a member of the group. “I wasn’t looking for any old band to play with. I was turning down offers with various people,” recalls Steve Howe. “I’d just been playing with PP Arnold on the Delaney And Bonnie tour which really upped my game. There was Eric Clapton and George Harrison, Dave Mason, Bramlett – everyone was great. So I wanted a band that was equal to my abil­ity and potential. That’s what I saw when I met Bill, Chris, Jon and Tony. I thought this is the band to join.”

howe
What Howe had little inkling of was the perilous state of the group at the point at which he was recruited. Looking back on the band’s development, it’s tempting to see YES‘ career as a steady and assured procession that would lead to the kind of acclaim and success that was theirs by right. Yet in the Spring of 1970 things didn’t look quite as certain as hindsight might suggest. “People have forgotten just how critical a time it was back then,” says Bill Bruford. “Right up until The Yes Album, there’d been nothing but big promises about how great we were going to be but we were going round and round in ever smaller circles. The gigs weren’t getting much better and we were running out of money. We were being bankrolled by our manager at the time, Roy Flynn, and he came down and told us that it couldn’t continue, that it was all costing him too much and he was pulling the plug. We weren’t costing a lot – the rent of a house and a bit of food and a bit to keep body and soul together but he’d done that for a while, bless him, and we were in deep trouble. I remember we were down to £50. How the band survived till the next day, I don’t know. It was all but over. We were signed at the same time as Led Zeppelin and they were doing pretty well and King Crimson had this astonishing first album: we were just knocked backwards by that and jealous as heck. But there we were in our little damp farmhouse and fifty quid. That was two and half years or something into the band’s life and we’d singly failed to produce a winner, which was a shame.”
By the time YES took to the stage with the new guitarist it coincided with the release of Time And A Word in July that year. However, without any regular money coming in, the band was forced to combine the early writing sessions with live work. “It’s not surprising we went on the road because look at us today, that’s how bands are earning money: by going on the road. At the time we were in desperate straits. We needed to pay rent and so playing live was really the only way to go forwards,” says Howe.

The relative isolation of a Devon farmhouse saw the band devote all its available time to writing and rehearsing, although they still found time for a few turns of the Ouija board late into the night. “We had a spirit in the house – a lady – who liked what we were doing. So we thought that was a good sign,” laughs the singer.

With the group constantly working over new ideas and adventurous arrangements, the sources of inspiration were rather novel. Anderson suggested they employ the same dramatic staccato and pause effect from the vintage TV detective series Fabian of Scotland Yard for what became the introduction to Yours Is No Disgrace. Later in the process as they worked on Perpetual Change, Anderson suggested how the group might incorporate the startling counterpoint after hearing the same device in the climax of Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra.
Steve Howe also made significant contributions which would help shape YES‘ music for decades to come, including the stirring coda to Starship Trooper, originally part of The Ghost Of Nether Street by his previous group, Bodast. “That wasn’t because I was short of ideas but because I wanted to use good ideas with YES. The gradualness and growth of Würm came from the group. They didn’t want to give the game away straight off They wanted it to build up. That kind of interaction went both ways in the group. It was a two-way street where we were trading things.”

Upon its release, in February 1971, the album rapidly ascended the charts. While there’s no doubting the musical merit of the record there was another factor working in YES‘ favour. The acquisition of a new manager in the formidable shape of Brian Lane provided another shot of commitment and a significant amount of strategic savvy. An ex-record plugger, he knew how to take the band to the next level. Between January and March 1971 there was a national postal strike in the UK which meant the music charts had to be suspended as they were unable to get sales information back from the shops in order to compile a chart. “Who should step into the breach but a young Richard Branson who had a chart and so the newspapers of the day started printing Richard Branson’s Virgin chart,” explains Bruford. “The guy who owns the charts puts in what he wants. People talk, a couple of hundred quid changes hands and before you know it, you’re in the charts. That’s what got YES going.”

Eddy Offord
The bond of mutual trust and respect between YES and Eddie Offord that had begun with Time And A Word was further strengthened during the making of The Yes Album as the traditional boundaries between engineer and group disappeared. The depth of that relationship would extend through several more studio albums and, crucially, into YES‘ live work. There’s little doubt that Offord’s interventions helped refine the material during the recording of the album. “He was like another member of the band and was really committed to what we were doing,” offers Anderson. “You could only manage takes but when you edit them together it all works. That approach really came from The Beatles’ Abbey Road and all those two-minute vignettes that created that one side of an album – that’s where YES‘ idea of structuring came from, I think.”

Howe agrees: “Eddie found a way of allowing us all to play intricate parts, all at the same time, and then blow me down when you play the thing back you could hear them all. Not every engineer could conceive of how to do that.Eddie contoured the sound in such a luxurious way he allowed everyone to be heard equally.”

“I think we came up with that title because it felt like the first real YES album,” says Anderson. “There wasn’t anybody else involved but the group. Up until then it was other people trying to make us into a commercial success and when you try to do something like that, it can destroy a band. It was a question of hanging together, not worry about if it was commercial or not and just make it work. I got stronger as we got more into the music because I realised it was damned good. I didn’t care who didn’t like it. It was great music and it would be fantastic to take it on tour and that really was the focus at the time.”
Whereas Time And A Word showcased a process whose focus was about working within a studio environment and the embellishments it afforded, the material developed for The Yes Album, although constructed in the confines of Advision, was always designed and intended to be heard live. The writing was bolder and wholeheartedly embraced the more nuanced sound made possible by Howe’s arrival. That sense of change is reflected, sometimes obliquely, in Anderson’s lyrics. Whether about his father’s personal battles in A Venture or the interactions of individuals and the wider world in Perpetual Change, the words and music possess a depth and reach the band hadn’t quite achieved before.
YESALBUM 5
The band was always keen to add colour and shade to the material. Mellotron flutes were initially tried on Your Move but rejected when the results were deemed as sounding too Beatles-like, resulting in Gnidrolog‘s Colin Goldring’s being asked to play recorder instead.
The addition of discrete lines of synthesiser on the album came courtesy of Keith Emerson’s modular Moog system, housed at Advision following the recording of ELP’s debut album earlier in the year. “Keith was downstairs tinkering with his Moog, which was as big as a room,” remembers Anderson. “Listening to him experimenting was so cool… to have sounds that have never been heard before.”
With his impressive command of the Hammond organ, Tony Kaye created a substantial foundation which Howe’s guitar could not only mesh with and but play against. Yet Kaye’s perceived reluctance to extend his sound fostered a feeling that he was at odds with the rest of the band’s desire to change direction. “That’s really part and parcel of working with your keyboard player to try and expand the sounds available to the band,” says Anderson. “I’d been feeling that he wasn’t really committed to what we were trying to do. It was the same thing with Peter. You sense it when you’re rehearsing – they’re just not involved so much. So it begins to feel like a bit of a dead weight if the guys in the band aren’t pushing one hundred percent.” Kaye would be asked to leave at the end of July following the band’s debut American tour and a critically well-received appearance at London’s Crystal Palace II event.
yesalbum 6
Though the recording and release of The Yes Album is bookended by the departures of two founding members, the arrival of new personnel enabled YES to create and further define a distinctive identity on this and subsequent albums. Bruford recalls the palpable sense of renewal, optimism and commitment that the album represented. “The band’s morale had been going down but we were saved just in the nick of time. This was both a last chance and a new start for the band. That’s what The Yes Album was about.”

Sid Smith
February 2014, Whitley Bay

Sid Smith is a freelance music writer and author of numerous sleeve notes. A regular contributor to Prog magazine, BBC Music and other publications, he is also the author of In The Court of King Crimson and Northstars. You can find out more at sidsmith.blogspot.co.uk

Lyrics

Click on the song title to view the lyrics.

YOURS IS NO DISGRACE

Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face
Caesar’s palace, morning glory, silly human race
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place
If the summer changed to winter, yours is no disgrace

Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are
Shining, flying, purple wolfhound, show me where you are
Lost in summer, born in winter, travel very far
Lost in losing circumstances, that’s just where you are

Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face
Caesar’s palace, morning glory, silly human race
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place
If the summer changed to winter, yours is no

Yours is no disgrace
Yours is no disgrace
Yours is no disgrace

Death defying, mutilated armies scatter the earth
Crawling out of dirty holes, their morals, their morals disappear

Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face
Caesar’s palace, morning glory, silly human, silly human race
On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place
If the summer changed to winter, yours is no

Yours is no disgrace
Yours is no disgrace
Yours is no disgrace


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye & Bill Bruford


PERFORMED BY

Jon Anderson – vocals, percussion
Chris Squire – bass guitars, vocals
Steve Howe – guitars, vocals
Tony Kaye – piano, organ, moog
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion


CLAP

(Instrumental)


WRITTEN BY

Steve Howe


PERFORMED BY

Steve Howe – guitar


FURTHER INFO

Recorded live at The Lyceum Theatre, London, 17 July 1970.


STARSHIP TROOPER

I – LIFE SEEKER

Sister Bluebird flying high above
Shine your wings forward to the sun
Hide the myst’ries of life on your way
Though you’ve seen them, please don’t say a word
What you don’t know, I have never heard

Starship Trooper, go sailing on by
Catch my soul, catch the very light
Hide the moment from my eager eye
Though you’ve seen them, please don’t tell a soul
What you can’t see, can’t be very whole

Speak to me of summer, long winters longer than time can remember
The setting up of other roads, to travel on in old accustomed ways
I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughter that
Knew the knowledge of the land, that spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways

Mother life, hold firmly on to me
Catch my knowledge higher than the day
Lose as much as only you can show

Though you’ve seen them, please don’t say a word
What I don’t know, I have never shared

II – DISILLUSION

Loneliness is a power that we posses to give or take away forever
All I know can be shown by your acceptance of the facts there shown before you
Take what I say in a diff’rent way and it’s easy to say that this is all confusion
As I see a new day in me, I can also show it you and you may follow

Speak to me of summer, long winters longer than time can remember
The setting up of other roads, to travel on in old accustomed ways
I still remember the talks by the water, the proud sons and daughter that
Knew the knowledge of the Land, spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways

III – WÜRM

(Instrumental)


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson, Steve Howe & Chris Squire


PERFORMED BY

Jon Anderson – vocals, percussion
Chris Squire – bass guitars, vocals
Steve Howe – guitars, vocals
Tony Kaye – piano, organ, moog
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion


I’VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE

I – YOUR MOVE

I’ve seen all good people
Turn their heads each day
So satisfied
I’m on my way.

Take a straight and stronger course
To the corner of your life
Make the white queen run so fast
She hasn’t got time to make you a wife.

‘Cause it’s time
It’s time in time with your time
And its news is captured
For the queen to use.

Move me on to any black square
Use me any time you want
Just remember that the goal
Is for us all to capture all we want

Don’t surround yourself with yourself
Move on back two squares
Send an Instant Karma to me
Initial it with loving care

Don’t surround yourself.
‘Cause it’s time
It’s time in time with your time
And its news is captured.

II – ALL GOOD PEOPLE

I’ve seen all good people
Turn their heads each day
So satisfied
I’m on my way.


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson & Chris Squire


PERFORMED BY

Jon Anderson – vocals, percussion
Chris Squire – bass guitars, vocals
Steve Howe – guitars, laúd, vocals
Tony Kaye – piano, organ, moog
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Colin Goldring – recorders


A VENTURE

Once a peaceful man laid his old head down by a river
Thought about his childhood life, his father and forgiver
Who couldn’t hide away, hide away.

He controlled the horses with a handclap or a whisper
Drink he couldn’t combat but in all he was no sinner
Couldn’t hide away, hide away.

He told all his sons of all the antics of a venture
Then he told another one who drove himself to drink
Not to hide away, hide away.

Better men have realized alone is not a venture
A peaceful man would realize alone is no adventure
Just to hide away, hide away.

He told all his sons of all the antics of adventure
Then he told another one who drove himself to drink
Not to hide away, hide away.


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson


PERFORMED BY

Jon Anderson – vocals, percussion
Chris Squire – bass guitars, vocals
Steve Howe – guitars, vocals
Tony Kaye – piano, organ, moog
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion


PERPETUAL CHANGE

I see the cold mist in the night
And watch the hills roll out of sight
I watch in ev’ry single way
Inside out, outside in, ev’ry day

The sun can warm the coldest dawn
And move the movement on the lawn
I learn in ev’ry single day
Inside out, outside in, ev’ry way

And there you are
Making it out but you’re sure that it is a star
And all you see
Is an illusion shining out in front of me
And then you’ll say
Even in time we shall control the day
When what you’ll see
Deep inside base controlling you and me

And one peculiar point I see
As one of many ones of me.
As truth is gathered, I rearrange
Inside out, outside in, inside out, outside in

Perpetual change

And there you are
Saying we have the moon, so now the stars
When all you see
ls near disaster gazing down on you and me
And there you’re standing
Saying we have the whole world in our hands
When all you’ll see
Deep inside the world’s controlling you and me.

You’ll see perpetual change
You’ll see perpetual change

And there you are
Making it out but you’re sure that it is a star
And all you see
It’s an illusion shining out in front of me
And then you’ll say
Even in time we shall control the day
When all you see
Deep inside base controlling you and me

As mist and sun are both the same
We look on as pawns of their game
They move to testify the day
Inside out, outside in, inside out, outside in

All of the way
Ah, Ah.


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson & Chris Squire


PERFORMED BY

Jon Anderson – vocals, percussion
Chris Squire – bass guitars, vocals
Steve Howe – guitars, vocals
Tony Kaye – piano, organ, moog
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion



A note from Steven Wilson about his 'Definitive Edition' YES Album Remixes

SW500
Understanding the difference between remastering and remixing is fundamental to understanding why these new ‘Definitive Editions’ of classic YES albums sound so different to previous ones.

Since the advent of CD in the early 80’s, all the 60’s and 70’s YES albums have been remastered for the different editions by various mastering engineers. Each time this remastering process broadly involved taking the mix from the same original Eddy Offord stereo master tape and applying different amounts of EQ and compression to it. This means that if the mastering engineer decided that the bass guitar needed more bottom end then he/she had to add bass across the whole track, therefore affecting other elements in the mixes too. Additionally many of these reissues have been subjected to mastering compression to make them sound louder and in theory more “exciting”, but at the expense of the natural dynamics of the recording. For a band like YES where there is so much subtlety and dynamics in the music this “ear-fatiguing” approach would seem to be wrong to me.

Remixing, on the other hand, entails a more sophisticated and time consuming process – going back to the original 16 or 24 track multitrack session tapes, and then recreating the mix from the drums up. Applying EQ to each individual instrument (rather than across a whole mix), rebalancing, recreating echo, reverberation, phasing and other effects, making volume moves, positioning elements in the stereo spectrum, and more. In doing this, since we now have the ability to work with the latest high resolution audio tools, it allows for greater clarity between instruments to be achieved. No additional compression has been added at all. The remixes may seem quieter, and you may have to turn up your stereo, but that is because all of the natural dynamics have been retained.

That’s not to say that this means these new mixes are “better”, because particularly the original mixes of albums such as The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge are brilliant. So if you are intimately familiar with them the new versions may sit uncomfortably with you, no matter how faithfully I tried to stay close to the originals. But if you treat the new mixes as an alternate perspective, you may notice additional details you hadn’t before, and more importantly the new stereo mixes are a step along the way to creating the 5.1 surround sound mixes. (Note that if you just can’t get on with the remixes, then the original mixes are also included in these reissues for the first time as high resolution flat transfers, so none of that added mastering EQ or compression, exactly as they left the studio after Eddy had mixed them).

Additionally returning to the archives gave me a chance to mix unreleased material from the multitrack session tapes for the very first time – either things that the band had originally recorded but abandoned prior to mixing, alternate takes, or different perspectives of the album takes (such as the instrumental mixes, or the a cappella mix of We Have Heaven from Fragile).

I hope you enjoy the definition and clarity of these new mixes in high resolution 96/24 audio, and of course especially in 5.1 surround sound where these classic albums really open out and shine!

Steven Wilson

YES albums available in Steven Wilson Definitive Editions

Get the Definitive versions of 5 Classic YES Albums on Amazon: The Yes Album, Fragile, Close To The Edge, Relayer and Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Remixed & Remastered by Steven Wilson in HD24-96 5.1 & Stereo, and also including the original YES/Eddy Offord mix, with a host of extra tracks.

The Yes Album
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Fragile
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Close To The Edge
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Relayer
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get DVD-A/CD

Tales From Topographic Oceans
Get BluRay/CD (more extras)
Get BluRay/CD

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