SD 3-100 Yessongs
Produced by Yes & Eddie Offord
Released on May 4, 1973
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #12
Find it at GEMM
SD 3-100 cover  

Y essongs is a feast for fans: three albums originally packaged with an extra helping of Roger Dean’s artwork that runs through live performances of the band’s best material (i.e., The Yes Album onward). Anyone who’s seen Yes play live knows that they have the chops to back up their complex studio arrangements, in some cases replicating the majesty of the originals down to the smallest touches. The only knock on Yessongs is that it does strip some of the mystery away from the originals; the studio albums somehow transcended mortals playing mere instruments, but the occasionally clumsy nature of human beings reveals itself on some of these arrangements, whether it’s the missed vocal harmonies or Steve Howe’s inspired but ultimately imperfect guitar work. The band isn’t merely interested in re-creating their studio albums, however, providing terrific twists on classics like “The Fish” and “Yours Is No Disgrace.” Rick Wakeman steps out for a solo plug with a crowd-pleasing piece that incorporates snippets of his recent solo album, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and is brilliant throughout, often replicating his original solos nearly note for note. The wild card here is Chris Squire, who strays from the original arrangements for “Heart of the Sunrise” and a few others, sometimes embellishing his parts to a distracting degree. Although Bill Bruford appears on some tracks, even finding time for a solo on “Perpetual Change,” newcomer Alan White handles most of the drums, having been thrown into the fire quickly when Bruford left. (He does such a fine job on tracks like “The Fish” and “Heart of the Sunrise” that you never feel Bruford’s absence.) To their credit, the band conjurs the original magic where it counts: “Close to the Edge,” “And You and I,” “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper.” Jon Anderson is remarkably on key almost all of the time, no small feat considering the epic nature of tracks like “Close to the Edge.” Despite a tendency for most bands to slow down the material for live performances, Yes actually speeds things up; “Siberian Khatru” (an inspired choice for the opener) kicks some heinie as a result, although “I’ve Seen All Good People” suffers for it. Yessongs may expend more energy than some listeners are prepared to invest in it, but fans will revel in its artful re-creations and definitive selection.

SD 3-100 inner left gatefold SD 3-100 inner right gatefold
SD 3-100 inner left gatefold SD 3-100 inner right gatefold

TRACK LISTING

    record one
  1. OPENING (EXCERPT FROM "FIREBIRD SUITE")    (Igor Stravinsky)    3:45
  2. SIBERIAN KHATRU    (Jon Anderson)    8:50
  3. HEART OF THE SUNRISE    (Jon Anderson/Chris Squire/Bill Bruford)    11:26
  4. PERPETUAL CHANGE*    (Jon Anderson/Chris Squire)    14:08
  5. AND YOU AND I:    9:55
    a. Cord of Life (Jon Anderson/Bill Bruford/Steve Howe/Chris Squire)
    b. Eclipse    (Bill Bruford/Chris Squire/Jon Anderson)
    c. The Preacher The Teacher    (Jon Anderson/Bill Bruford/Steve Howe/Chris Squire)
    d. The Apocalypse    (Jon Anderson/Bill Bruford/Steve Howe/Chris Squire)

    record two
  6. MOOD FOR A DAY    (Steve Howe)    2:52
  7. EXCERPTS FROM "THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII"    (Rick Wakeman)    6:35
  8. ROUNDABOUT    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe)    8:33
  9. YOUR MOVE    (Jon Anderson)    /    ALL GOOD PEOPLE    (Chris Squire)    7:00
  10. LONG DISTANCE RUNAROUND*    (Jon Anderson)    /    THE FISH (SCHINDLERIA PRAIMATURUS)*    (Chris Squire)    13:45

    record three
  11. CLOSE TO THE EDGE    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe)    18:41
    a. The Solid Time of Change
    b. Total Mass Retain
    c. I Get Up I Get Down
    d. Seasons of Man
  12. YOURS IS NO DISGRACE    (Yes)    14:21
  13. STARSHIP TROOPER:    9:25
    a. Life Seeker    (Jon Anderson)
    b. Disillusion    (Chris Squire)
    c. Wurm    (Steve Howe)

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- vocals
STEVE HOWE -- guitar & vocals
CHRIS SQUIRE -- bass & vocals
RICK WAKEMAN -- keyboards
ALAN WHITE -- drums
BILL BRUFORD* -- drums
Geoff Haslam -- recording engineer
Roger Dean -- cover design & illustration
Martin Dean -- photographs and layout
David "Groucho" Gahr -- additional photographs

return to YES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK May 4, 1973 Atlantic 3LP K60045 trifold cover, booklet
US May 4, 1973 Atlantic 3LP/2-8T SD/TP3-100 trifold cover, poster
FRA/GER/NET May 1973 Atlantic 3LP ATL 60045 trifold cover
JPN   Atlantic 3LP P5087/9A trifold cover, booklet, lyric insert
JPN   Atlantic 3LP P5503/5A trifold cover
  February 1987 Atlantic 2CD SD3-100  
JPN   Atlantic 2CD AMCY-365/6  
JPN   Atlantic 2CD AMCY-4030/1 digital remaster
US Sep/Oct 1994 Atlantic 2CD/2CS 82682 digital remaster
JPN 2001 Atlantic 3CD AMCY-6293/5 HDCD remaster

 

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