1971, Music

The Yes Album (1971)

For most of my prog-rock listening life, I have not fully gotten Yes. I don’t know what it is about them, but of the Big 6 they were long my least favourite. This has changed as I got older, as I have come to find ELP extremely inconsistent and Tull to be more than a little repetitive, but I still don’t love Yes. And I still can’t understand why. I should love them, as I love aspects of what they do, but I don’t.

This record is the earliest of theirs I’ve heard so far, but it actually sort of feels more focused than Fragile, if only because there is only one solo piece, and so it almost feels more mature. (I’m not saying it’s better, however.)

Maybe it’s the songs, as the musicianship is unimpeachable.

But anyway, I’m being unfair. Honestly, I know of nothing else from 1971 that really sounds like this. Though I’m not sure they ever achieved their goal of being a 5th Dimension meets prog rock amalgam – and, ugh, what an awful goal… – they certainly created their own brand of prog rock pretty distinct from the other Big 6 bands, as well as the other major prog rock bands.

Maybe I just need more time with this record. After all, I love Close to the Edge (even I don’t love the band on the whole) and that took a while.


  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” (Anderson, Howe, Squire) 9:29
    1. “Life Seeker”
    2. “Disillusion”
    3. “Würm”
  4.  “I’ve Seen All Good People” (Anderson, Squire) 6:56
    1. “Your Move”
    2. “All Good People”
  5. “A Venture” (Anderson) 3:21
  6. “Perpetual Change” (Anderson, Squire) 8:58
  • John Anderson – vocals, percussion
  • Chris Squire – bass guitar, vocals
  • Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, vachalia, vocal
  • Tony Kaye – piano, organ, Moog
  • Bill Bruford – drums, percussion

with: Colin Goldring – recorders on “Your Move”

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