After extensively playing the London gig circuit, competing with other artists such as Led Zeppelin and King Crimson, Yes created a memorable and unique sound. Signing with Atlantic, Yes recorded their debut and eponymous album “Yes”, which set the tone for what they were going to stand for. Although the album didn't rate well in the charts, it became admired by several music journalists at the time. This included Tony Wilson from Melody Maker, who rated Yes and Led Zeppelin as the two bands most likely to succeed. He wasn't wrong.
Recorded in London at Advision and Trident Studios, the album was produced and mixed by a team of previous generation technicians. One of these had more experience in working with soundtracks and background music. Never-the-less, the album maintained a decent sound which allowed for a remark worthy delivery of the unique style of Yes.
The opening riff is a simple guitar melody, full of 1960s organic warmth. It is soon joined by vibrant harmonising vocals with story book lyrics and drums, keyboards and bass. A progressive edge gives the music an evolving quality that is apparent within each track and beyond into the next. Expert use of energy in moderated doses allows crescendos and flair which shine brightly. Thanks to the patience and appreciation, the build ups and smoothed out sections of subtle composition make great listening.
The album contains mostly original material, written during the early gig period and in the studio at the time. As the band had never recorded in a professional studio before, their ability to communicate with the crew and use the equipment was limited. This doesn't stop Yes, whose musical ability surpassed any limitations in techno-friendliness. The two cover versions on the album are I See You by The Byrds and Every Little Thing by The Beatles. They're given a similar flavour to the other tracks which contain a definitive energy and playing style unique to the band.
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