Yes – Yesterdays

A compilation focuses on the first period of Yes, one of the first two albums can be something interesting. It is. Even if I can not understand how it can be today a compilation of Yes essential if you know the life, death and miracles. Also I do not know, Yes in that way I can not see beyond the music contained therein. Yes that were among the undisputed masters of Prog is well known and true. Yes but were the best Prog Rock bands in history? It was the Prog Yes the band with the best musicians in the history of Prog Rock? All questions that still looking for an answer. And, for some reason I can not give. Of course, if we look good, bad were better and more technical but history has wanted them to be, Yes the great among the greats.

“Yesterdays” is a compilation, in my view, interesting because it presents Yes when seeking their own identity. Unfortunately, “Yesterdays” is an excuse to have in a Yes album “America” ​​written by Paul Simon and included on the compilation album “The Age Of Atlantic”. This is the only song with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman throughout this compilation. The pseudo symphonic arrangement that Yes we propose expands the song to over 10 minutes but does not add anything really interesting to “America.” Rather takes a little magic to this beautiful song. “Looking Around” (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire) is a good Rock, although aged badly. “Time And A Word” (Jon Anderson, David Foster) is a beautiful ballad, with a good dose of romance. And here I am reminded that Jon Anderson is a great singer, great for the music of Yes. Unfortunately I agree with him when he says that his voice, natural falsetto limits the range of styles and where to move. Although keep in Anderson define myself in one of the icons of the 70′s in music I find his voice after many plays sound uninvolving in my mind. As a singer I find Jon Andreson a bit edges. “Sweet Dreams” (Anderson, Foster) is a great Rock with a line of bass very bastard and an organ, played by Tony kaye, which is typical of the post-psychedelic Prog music. Although “Sweet Dreams” is a good song has an ending too psychedelic for the standard of the song heard today makes it a bit too tied to time and ruin a bit the atmospheres. “Then” (Jon Anderson) is a first attempt to YesSound and it still sounds good. The base is a Beat distorted due to too many baroque elements but remaining very POP and Rock. Interesting duel between Pete Banks (guitar), brass and organ by Tony Kaye in the solos. Today it sounds like “heard” but in 1970 had to be innovative, as a style. Unfortunately, “Then” lacks the grandeur that characterize the rest of his 70′s career of Yes, although it is not aged badly. “Survival” (Jon Anderson) is typical song of “early Prog”, although it is perhaps one of the best examples of YesSound in the embryonic stage. Basically “Survival” is still a mix of Jazz and Blues with the insertion of “classical music”, in an amalgam not entirely successful. Today it sounds really good but I wonder how he could play in 1969. Definitely a masterpiece. “Astral Traveller” (Jon Anderson) is dominated by the hard and stifiling atmosphere of the arrangement but remain a good example of post POP Beat with psychedelic influences, such that “Astral Traveller” an excellent example of “Space Rock”. However, many elements of this song are unrelated to each other, as if Anderson had wanted to write a mini suite. This thing will be typical of Yes but without Wakeman and Howe the game does not work as it should and now can not self-justifying if not with the desire to be different at all costs. Unfortunately, today plays beautifully ridiculous. Nevertheless, “Astral Traveller” has an excellent riff of organ and excellent patiture of drums, especially in the chorus that transform “Astral Traveller” in a Hard Rock, powerful and evil. Closes “Yesterdays” “Dear Father” (Anderson, Squire), probably the best song of “Yesterdays”. Due to the compositional style “Dear Father” sounds like a symphonic POP Beat with the use of bows that transform this song in an interesting “chamber Rock”. Some moments of the song have not aged well, but the chorus is one of the best choruses in Prog music began with the figure from the chorus and finished by a solo singer.

If we were now going to judge “Yesterdays” we could say that is an interesting retrospective on the first two albums of Yes with the addition of “America.” We can, however, read it as a compilation of pure “Proto Prog” and as a document of the first course Yes, it should be noted and said, not representative of Yes and certainly not complete.

Tracklist:

1. America (10:31)
2. Looking Around (3:59)
3. Time and a Word (4:31)
4. Sweet Dreams (3:47)
5. Then (5:46)
6. Survival (6:20)
7. Astral Traveller (5:53)
8. Dear Father (4:18)

Line-up:

* Jon Anderson – vocals
* Chris Squire – bass and vocals
* Rick Wakeman – keyboards on 1
* Tony Kaye – keyboards on all others
* Bill Bruford – drums on everything else
* Steve Howe – guitars on 1
* Peter Banks – guitars on all others

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