Jon Anderson: Vocals Bill Bruford: Percussion Steve Howe: Guitars, Vocals
Chris Squire: Bass, Vocals Tony Kaye: Keyboards
“I think we came up with that title because it felt like the first real Yes album” – Jon Anderson (interviewed for the sleeve-notes to this release.)
With a series of songs now regarded as band classics & frequently performed in concert, it takes some imagination to think of The Yes Album as a ‘difficult third album’. Yet, as the interviews conducted for the sleeve-notes for this edition make clear, the recording took place against a backdrop that was far from ideal. Despite a fine live reputation & two well-received albums, Yes had not made the commercial breakthrough to a wider audience that some of the band’s British label mates on Atlantic had achieved. However, with the arrival of Steve Howe as guitarist, a better concept of what the band was trying to achieve in the studio with engineer/co-producer Eddie Offord & a focus on material that could be played live with the same punch as the studio recordings, The Yes Album proved to be that vital step to a much wider audience in Europe & America.
From the opening notes of “Yours is no Disgrace” to the final fade of “Perpetual Change”, the sound is of a band that is brimming with musical confidence. As Bill Bruford recalls “You gave it your best but it was a
fast-moving world and you had to give more than your best.” The band may have been down to its last few pounds, the management may have been changing, the record label concerned, but there was no compromise in the studio as Yes produced the band’s first classic album, in a year where there was plenty of healthy competition for that much over-used term.
A full forty-three years on from the album’s UK chart debut, the band will be back in Europe – starting in the UK - performing a show that includes the album performed in its entirety.
This edition coincides with that tour. As with last year’s release of Close to the Edge, the CD features a completely new stereo mix, while the Blu-Ray features new stereo & 5.1 surround sound mixes all by Steven Wilson, a flat transfer of the original album master & a complete alternate album with tracks drawn from a mixture of singles edits, live tracks & an extended mix.
Blu-Ray exclusives include instrumental mixes, album needle-drops, additional singles edits & live material.
With expanded artwork & new sleeve-notes this is the definitive edition of The Yes Album.