And this time... "The Yes Album" - the third studio album of "Yes", released on February 19, 1971.
If the word "progressive" in terms of music stresses you out you, can skip this review.
If you're still reading these lines, then you're probably a fan of the genre or curious to learn a bit about it. Well, you've come to the right place because here's a classic Progressive Rock album.
This is Yes' third album and the band came to its recording in a problematic situation. Their previous two albums were a commercial failure and they feared the record company would not continue the relationship with them. The band members come to this album with their backs to the wall. If they do not prove themselves on this album, they will probably cease to exist as a band.
Despite all that, the band decides to go all the way in and did not include cover versions of familiar songs in the album, designed to make it more accessible, as they did in the previous two albums. What’s more, the band stretches their boundaries, with even more complex compositions, expanding the range of styles and length of songs with three epic tracks around 9 minutes in time. All this probably happened with the thought that if this is going to be their last album, then it's better to be a one that reflects the creative desires of all the members.
In this album, the band is joined by a significant reinforcement player, in the form of the acclaimed guitarist Steve Howe, whose addition undoubtedly influenced the sound and style of the band.
This album eventually saved the band. It was a great success both in England and even in the USA.
Indeed, this band will later release more perfect musical pieces, but there are still some wonderful tracks and great musical quality on this album. "Yours Is No Disgrace" written by all the band members shows us for the first time Steve Howe's amazing playing abilities and the wonderful vocal harmonies of Chris Squire and Jon Anderson and Steve Howe.
"Starship Trooper", which is divided into three completely different parts, was written by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and Steve Howe separately and put together. It is based on Robert Heinlein's 1959 science fiction book. The spacey, electronic-sounding effect in the song was achieved by running the guitar backing track through a flanger effect.
The anti-war song "I've Seen All Good People", is divided into two parts. The first was written by Jon Anderson and the second by Chris Squire. Anderson wanted the piece to start quietly and develop, leading into a large church organ sound, before moving into the funky second. How beautiful is the combination of the acoustics and the harmonic singing in the first part of the song - just magic.
The amazing closing track "Perpetual Change" is one of the best on this album. As its name implies - this track shows "the change" that has taken place in the band and is expected to bring it to other heights. Anderson was inspired to write the lyrics by the view of the countryside. The middle of the track features a polyrhythmic structure, where two pieces of music in different time signatures are playing simultaneously.