The Yes Album

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The Yes Album
Studio album by Yes
Released 19 February 1971
Recorded October–November 1970 at Advision Studios
(London, England)
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock
Length 41:44
Label Atlantic
Producer Yes, Eddy Offord
Yes chronology
Time and a Word
(1970)
The Yes Album
(1971)
Fragile
(1971)

The Yes Album is the third studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released in February 1971 on Atlantic Records. It is their first album recorded with guitarist Steve Howe who replaced Peter Banks after his departure in 1970. The album was written and rehearsed at a farmhouse in South Molton, Devon, then home to Langley Studios.

The Yes Album was a commercial and critical success and is the band's breakthrough album. It peaked at number 4 in the UK and number 40 in the US. It is certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over one million copies.

Production[edit]

Composition[edit]

Steve Howe appeared with the band for the first time and played a prominent role throughout. The band explored longer songs with "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Starship Trooper", and "Perpetual Change".

Tony Kaye preferred the Hammond organ and piano over the new Moog synthesisers that Anderson was interested in using. This became a cause of contention within the band and had an influence on the line-up change, bringing in Rick Wakeman — and his array of electronic keyboards — from Strawbs in 1971.

Howe's solo acoustic tune, "Clap" (wrongly written as "The Clap" in some editions), was heavily influenced by the Davey Graham track 'Fingerbuster'. The piece was written to celebrate the birth of Howe's son Dylan.[1] "Clap" was recorded live at the Lyceum Theatre in London on 17 July 1970.

The spacey, electronic-sounding guitar effect in "Starship Trooper" was achieved by a flanger, a device that was relatively new at the time of recording. Anderson claimed to have written the first two sections of "Starship Trooper" alone, though the "Disillusion" movement (which evolved from an earlier song "For Everyone", heard on Something's Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 and The Word Is Live) is credited to Chris Squire.

The "Würm" section of "Starship Trooper" is a continuous cadenza of chords (G-Eb-C) played by ensemble and repeated adlib. First there is electric guitar on the right stereo channel; then acoustic guitar, bass pedals and drums from middle channel; then organ and bass guitar, with tremolo and distortion, from left channel. After this the guitar solo papears and swaps from side to side. The whole piece lasts about three and a half minutes. "Würm" originally evolved from a song called "Nether Street" by Howe's earlier group, Bodast.[2] While "Wurm" (without the umlaut over the "u") is an Old English word for "dragon" (worm, wurm, wyrm), the Würm is a river in Germany which gave its name to an ice age in geology.

Sleeve design[edit]

The inside of the album's gatefold sleeve shows Kaye playing a Hammond organ. He is also shown on the front cover with his foot in a plaster cast - he had been in a car accident shortly before the picture was taken. Anderson is credited as "John Anderson" on the album but he soon after dropped the "h" from his first name.

Release[edit]

The Yes Album was released in the UK on 19 February 1971. It was a commercial and critical success and was the band's breakthrough album, peaking at number 4 in the UK[3] and number 40 in the US.[4] It has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling over one million copies.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[5]
Robert Christgau B− [6]
Pitchfork (8.1/10) [7]
Rolling Stone (positive) [8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
The Rolling Stone Record Guide 5/5 stars[10]
Sputnik Music 4/5 stars[11]

Rush singer and bassist Geddy Lee included The Yes Album among his favourite albums in an interview with The Quietus' Mick Middles.[12]

In 1997 Classic Rock magazine placed the album at number 97 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Rock Albums Ever. In 2000 Q magazine placed the album at number 86 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.

Reissues[edit]

  • 1988 – Atlantic – CD
  • 1994 – Atlantic – CD (Remastered)
  • 2003 – Rhino – LP & CD (Remastered with bonus Tracks )
  • 2010 – MFSL – CD (Sourced from the original master tapes)[13]
  • 2014 - Panegyric - CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray combo packs (mixed in original and new stereo mixes, as well as 5.1 surround sound)

The Yes Album was remastered and reissued in 2003 by Rhino Records with several bonus tracks, including a studio version of "Clap". The original LP and CD version of The Yes Album incorrectly refer to the song as "The Clap". The Rhino reissue refers to the song as "Clap" on the traycard, as Steve Howe intended. Steven Wilson formerly of Porcupine Tree has done a new stereo mix and a 5.1 surround sound mix and will be available as CD/DVD & CD/BD. It is due for release on 21 April 2014, with bonus tracks including a studio version of "Clap", an extended version of "A Venture", and an alternate version of the album with live tracks, single edits, and an extended mix. The Blu-ray version will also feature an instrumental version of the album.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Yours Is No Disgrace"   Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye, Bill Bruford 9:41
2. "Clap"   Howe 3:17
3. "Starship Trooper"
  • I. "Life Seeker"
  • II. "Disillusion"
  • III. "Würm"  
Anderson, Howe, Squire 9:25
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I've Seen All Good People"
  • I. "Your Move"
  • II. "All Good People"  
Anderson, Squire 6:56
2. "A Venture"   Anderson 3:18
3. "Perpetual Change"   Anderson, Squire 8:54
2003 remaster bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "I've Seen All Good People: Your Move (Single Version)"   Anderson 3:00
8. "Starship Trooper: Life Seeker (Single Version)"   Anderson 3:28
9. "Clap (Studio Version)"   Howe 4:02

Personnel[edit]

Yes[14]
Additional musicians
Production

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Steve Howe talks The Yes Album track-by-track - Clap". MusicRadar. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Steve Howe talks The Yes Album track-by-track - Starship Trooper". MusicRadar. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "UK chart history - Yes The Yes Album". www.chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Billboard albums chart info - Yes The Yes Album at AllMusic. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  5. ^ Eder, Bruce (2011). "The Yes Album - Yes | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: yes". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Dahlen, Chris; Leone, Dominique; Tangari, Joe (8 February 2004). "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Yes: The Yes Album / Fragile / Close to the Edge / Tales from Topographic Oceans / Relayer / Going for the One / Tormato / Drama / 90125". pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 19 January 2008. 
  8. ^ Koegel, John (22 July 1971). "Yes The Yes Album > Album Review". Rolling Stone (87). Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Lechner, Ernesto (6 February 2003). "Classically Trained!". Rolling Stone (915). p. 64. Archived from the original on 23 March 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2005.  Reviews reissues of Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, and Fragile. Posted 15 January 2003. (Mistakenly posted as 4 stars it was later corrected to its published rating of 3 stars.)
  10. ^ Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (Editors). The Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1st edition, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979, p. 424.
  11. ^ http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/40310/Yes-The-Yes-Album/
  12. ^ "In The Mood: The Favourite Albums Of Rush's Geddy Lee, page 13 (Mick Middles , June 29th, 2012 08:44)". 
  13. ^ "Yes - The Yes Album II 24 KT Gold CD". Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Inc.(www.mofi.com). Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  14. ^ The Yes Album (Media notes). Yes. Atlantic Records. 1971. 2400 101. 
Sources
  • The Yes Album, CD booklet essay, Bill Martin, c.2003
  • AllMusicGuide.com
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c.2002
  • Prog Archives: The Yes Album
  • YES: The Authorized Biography, Dan Hedges, 1981.