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Yes - Yessongs

On May, 4 1973 "Yes" Released "Yessongs", Their first live album.


"Yessongs" is a triple live album by the British progressive rock band "Yes". The album features recordings from various concerts during the band's 1972-73 tours in North America and the UK, and includes many of the band's classic songs, as well as several longer, more complex pieces.


One of the standout aspects of "Yessongs" is the musicianship on display. Steve Howe, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and the two drumers Bill Bruford (who plays on three songs) and Alan White, are at their peak. The band's intricate arrangements and virtuosic playing are captured in stunning detail, with each member given ample opportunity to shine.


The interplay between guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman is particularly impressive, with their solos on "Roundabout" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" serving as highlights of the album. The two also get to play uniqe instrumental pieces. Rick Wakeman with a piece from his first solo album (The Six Wives of Henry VIII), which at the time of recording (1972) had not yet been published and became a world bestseller, and Steve Howe with his "Mood For A Day" classic instrumental taken from the album "Fregile".


The song selection is also noteworthy, with the band choosing to showcase some of their longer, more ambitious pieces. "Close to the Edge", the album's centerpiece, is a 20-minute epic that seamlessly weaves together multiple sections and showcases the band's ability to create complex, dynamic music. The album also features the 15-minute "The Gates of Delirium", which similarly blends multiple sections into a cohesive whole.


Of course, it's not all epic-length pieces on "Yessongs". The album also includes some of the band's shorter, more accessible songs, such as "I've Seen All Good People" and "Long Distance Runaround". These tracks provide a nice contrast to the more challenging material and show that "Yes" could create memorable, hook-filled songs even when not stretching out into longer pieces.


All in all, "Yessongs" is a fantastic live album that captures the band at the peak of their powers. The musicianship is top-notch, the song selection is strong, but the production is lacking something. This is probably the reason it is still the bands highest selling live album. Whether you're a die-hard Yes fan or just someone looking to explore the world of progressive rock, this album is well worth checking out.


For Listening: Spotify, Apple Music


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