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"Yes" fans- album recommendations?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by PaulKTF, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member Thread Starter

    I want to get some "Yes" albums but I don't know what to get.

    What studio albums should I get? Also, what live albums? I see there's some kind of album of remixed tracks available- is that worth getting?

    And if any of the studio albums you recommend are available on CD in "Deluxe" editions (with bonus material) please let me know.

    Thanks! :)
  2. Mark B.

    Mark B. Forum Resident

    Concord, NC
    As my avatar suggests, I’m a fan. The early’70s run of The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To The Edge is hard to beat. After that, your mileage may vary. I like Tales From Topographic Oceans, but not everyone does. Most folks like the early, non-remastered versions of these.

    As far as live albums, go with Yessongs (which contains much of those three albums mentioned above). Sound quality isn’t that great, but it’s prime Yes.

    The remix album isn’t that great. I bought it because I like stuff like that. There are some interesting remixes for bonus tracks on some of the remasters (90215 mainly).

    I’ve seen “Deluxe” editions shown while listening to Pandora, but never any physical ones.

    Best of luck with your venture. Keep us posted as you go.
    Saint Johnny, lucan_g, Mark J and 3 others like this.
  3. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Ontario Canada
    Fragile is a pretty complete album.
    mr.datsun likes this.
  4. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Buy all of them.......then give me the ones you don't like, thanks buddy! :D
  5. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Central NY
    Yes Album
    Close To The Edge
    Going For The One

    Those are their best, imo
  6. rancher

    rancher Unmade Bed

    What kind of music are you into? Lots of suggestions. The Yes Album is the best starter regardless. Stay away from Open Your Eyes and Heaven and Earth. Otherwise, let us know your interests, there are lots of good ones and varied
    altaeria likes this.
  7. Timjosephuk

    Timjosephuk Forum Resident

    Hull, UK
    My first Yes album was "Going For The One", still one of my favourite albums today, a good "way in", IMO. Otherwise the Big 3 mentioned above, then onto Relayer for the awesome Gates Of Delirium.

    I always enjoyed their second live album, Yesshows, myself, though it works better on CD than the odd sequencing of the LP.

    But the best live album(s) in terms of material would perhaps be the two Keys To Ascension albums. Recorded much later, but with the "correct" line-up.
    Ignominious and DME1061 like this.
  8. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Central NY
    If you buy Fragile, look for the edition that includes America as a bonus track. It's an awesome tune!
  9. rancher

    rancher Unmade Bed

    That is for sure. If you decide you really like the classic Yes, then of course there is the triple live Yessongs
    ponkine likes this.
  10. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al

    This, exactly. I'd add 90125 if you want to hear a more pop-oriented sound; a lot of older fans don't like it but I think it's excellent.
  11. rancher

    rancher Unmade Bed

    right, that’s why we’re asking what your musical tastes are!
  12. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Just start with The Yes Album and go chronologically from there and stop before Tormato. If you like what you heard, you can check out other albums (earlier and later), but you won't find anything that comes close to these six albums. Quite possibly the best six album run in all of rock (imo). You may want to check out the superb Steve Wilson stereo and 5.1 remixes. Oh! And don't forget Yessongs. the HDtracks actually sound quite good. And I know, many people don't like Tales, but I do. Over the years, this album has continuously grown on me to the extent that it is now my favorite Yes album.
    SirMarc, BillM, uzn007 and 3 others like this.
  13. CoachD

    CoachD Forum Resident

    I recently completed this journey (that I began in junior high back in 1988).


    Start with The Yes Album (It has a terrific hit and the other pieces aren't "overwhelming". It is pretty much perfect from start to finish.)

    Once you love it (and you will), get Fragile for "Roundabout". It's overplayed but still timeless because it's just pretty much the perfect prog song. Besides the other hit medley, it may take a few listens to see why Yes fans love the other big pieces on the record.

    Don't back down now. Give yourself the gift of Close to the Edge. It's the best prog rock album of all time. You didn't know until you heard it, but "And You and I" will immerse you in sonic glory.

    At this point you should be saying, "Where has this amazing music been my whole life?" Enjoy a pop-prog detour with 90125.

    If you want more at the point, I would go Tales then s/t.

    If you're still in the game at this point you've come to the conclusion that you the best first purchase would have been the 12 CD Box Set for all of their albums from 1969-1987. I was able to get it for under $50 at some point last year (after I'd already acquired 4 CDs and 3 LPs in process...)

    There are tons of bonus tracks in the box set (from the more recent deluxe editions). Some of the them are incredible (both versions of "America", "Dear Father"). Some of them are rough sketches that are really only for hardcore collectors/fans.

    Enjoy the ride.

    PS. I will have to pick up Yessongs someday.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  14. goat65cars

    goat65cars Jerry A Great Dog We Miss You RIP 2002 To 2020

    One Of My Favorite Bands. Like All That Were Mentioned Above.
    Also Recommend The First Two Yes Albums
    Yes S/T
    Time And A Word
    I Like Both.
  15. Al Gator

    Al Gator You can call me Al

    If you go deep into the rabbit-hole you'll end up with Progeny, seven complete shows from 1972 - it's one of my favorite releases but really only for insane fans...
    misteranderson and hi_watt like this.
  16. Loup

    Loup Ancient Wool Unraveller

    Here are my favorites:

    Time And A Word
    Close To The Edge
    Going For The One
    Big Generator
    Rufus rag and Algo_Rhythm like this.
  17. hi_watt

    hi_watt The Road Warrior

    San Diego, CA
    Their compilation Classic Yes is also a nice compact sampler of their music.
  18. Algo_Rhythm

    Algo_Rhythm Well-Known Member

    Start with the very best of Yes, classic Yes or Close to the Edge.
    anduandi and hi_watt like this.
  19. SurrealCereal

    SurrealCereal Forum Resident

    The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge are the absolute essentials. The Yes Album and Fragile make great introductory albums to Yes and progressive rock in general because of their consistent quality and relative accessibility. Close to the Edge takes things up a notch in terms of ambition and scope, with tracks varying from 9 to 18 minutes in length. I consider it to be both Yes's magnum opus and THE crown jewel of the whole progressive rock movement.

    I would also highly recommend Relayer but can't place it with the other three because it's a more controversial album within the fanbase. It features a more jagged, discordant sound in some places and borrows lightly from jazz fusion, which alienated some fans of their previous albums. Personally, I think "Gates of Delirium" and "To Be Over" rank among Yes's best songs and would definitely place Relayer in my top 3 Yes albums.
    Ingenieur, SirMarc, yesstiles and 6 others like this.
  20. slipkid

    slipkid Forum Resident

    The YES album (1971) - my personal favorite, with fab songs Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, I've Seen All Good People, and Perpetual change - just amazing musical achievements that also are melodic-stick-in-your mind songs

    Close to the Edge - another stellar achievement, with only 3 songs on it !!

    Fragile (1971) - has some radio hits that sent them into superstardom at the time - Long Distance Runaround & Roundabout, but also ends with another stunner that would fit on C-to-the-E in Heart of the Sunrise. In between there are a couple other songs I like and others I am just meh on.

    Yessongs - a great live album at their peak featuring many songs from the above 3 albums

    I can't stand followup the Tales From Topgraphic Boredoms err I mean Oceans, nor am I much of a fan of next album Relayer. The melodies on most of the songs on both of those are either non-existent or just not pleasing to my ears so I would say stay clear of those until after you get into them more & want to explore some way-out/weird albums.

    I would then recommend you checkout Drama to hear the huge shakeup with Jon Anderson leaving. I happen to like the songs on that one a lot.

    Then detour into an even huger shake-up with the departure of Steve Howe and the arrival of Trevor Rabin with their super-commerical radically different sounding 90125 which was a huge success although hated by some of the fans of the earlier albums. I love harder rock, good melodies, etc and that album succeeds on those fronts.

    I also recommend the last Trevor Yes studio album Talk which some fans apparently hate. I thought that tour was one of their best ever.

    After that there are many other Yes albums and offshoot Yes bands to explore but the ones above are my faves. Many of the reissues (and there are several of some albums) do have bonus tracks but I can't recall them all. And there are different opinions on which sound best etc - for example IIRC I have 3 different versions of The Yes Album on CD/etc, 3 of Fragile (the latest I have not even had time to listen to yet), 4 of Close to the Edge....

    There are also boxsets to explore like YesYears or In A Word that I think are pretty great along with some live set like The Word is Live or Progeny: 7 shows from '72.

    Sorry but I can't comment on the bonus tracks on various reissues, think that is summed up well on wikipedia, I just don't have the time.
  21. Algo_Rhythm

    Algo_Rhythm Well-Known Member

    Tales from topographic Oceans is even more controversial than relayer.

    Anyway, while I agree that those two(and three if you count CTTE)are good places to start why not just get classic yes if you are brand new because tracks from all those are on there. It makes a good sampler and you don't get any of the poppier later stuff(wonderous stories is on it but that's a pleasant enough song that really sounds nothing like the later stuff. Also, the op should be aware that there was the progressive side to Yes(mostly their seventies material)and their later pop rock influenced material. They are similar to Genesis that way but Yes usually didn't steer as close to mor pure pop as Genesis did. Good choice with wanting to dive into Yes music since they are one of the most underrated of the older rock bands these days.
  22. scoutbb

    scoutbb Forum Resident

    You’ve got to start with The Yes Album. First Yes album I ever heard was Fragile and was hooked. I then got Close to the Edge and Yessongs. After I heard the awesome live songs from The Yes Album (songs that I had never heard before), I immediately picked it up. So I would recommend that album to purchase first.
    My favorite Yes albums in no particular order:
    The Yes Album
    Close to the Edge
    Good luck on this fantastic journey. One of my favorite groups of all time.
  23. Javier Santivanez

    Javier Santivanez Forum Resident

    New York
    This is a great question. For me, Yes have been my Beatles, and cannot go wrong with any of the previous recommendations. However, if you want to get a set of albums across several eras, I would pick these:

    Time and a Word. The last album with Peter Banks and gives you a good idea of what early Yes sounded like.
    Close to the Edge. No introduction needed for this one.
    Relayer. An excellent jazzy mid-period album and the only one they recorded with Patrick Moraz.
    Drama. I was torn between this one and "90125" but this is an interesting album due to many reasons (one of them being that Jon Anderson is not the lead singer).
    Talk. A good representation of what Yes sounded like in the 90s, and probably their last true masterpiece.

    BTW, I am in no way implying these are their "best" albums. This is just a set that gives you an idea of how different they could sound and how they evolved.
  24. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Senior Member Thread Starter

    Thank you to everyone who's replied with input in this thread so far. I appreciate it very much. :)
    Trixmay 988 and peskypesky like this.
  25. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    Start with
    The Yes album
    Close to the Edge
    peskypesky and Sedwards like this.

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