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Yessongs Live, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 1 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Live
  • Label: Warner Music
  • ASIN: B000002J1Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,117 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Opening (Excerpt From 'Firebird Suite')
2. Siberian Khatru
3. Heart Of The Sunrise
4. Perpetual Change
5. And You And I: A. Cord Of Life/B. Eclipse/C. The Preacher The Teacher/D. The Apocalypse
6. Mood For A Day
7. Excerpts From 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII'
8. Roundabout
Disc: 2
1. I've Seen All Good People: A. Your Move/B. All Good People
2. Long Distance Runaround-The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
3. Close To The Edge: A. The Solid Time Of Change/B. Total Mass Retain/C. I Get Up I Get Down/D. Seasons Of Man
4. Yours Is No Disgrace
5. Starship Trooper: A. Life Seeker/B. Dilillusion/C. Wurm

Product Description


Opening with a few bars of Stravinsky to set the adoring crowd on its feet, this once-three-LP set is Yes at their finest. This was, after all, probably the most mainstream act that had even provisional "prog rock" status, and their tunes show it. While "Heart of the Sunrise" may be one of the more modestly titled Yes songs (compare it with "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" or "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" or even "Total Mass Retain"), it also bears marks of the band playing at its most frenetic pace around Jon Anderson's soaring near-falsetto. Rick Wakeman's grand synthesizer flashes are more than textural, finding visual meshes aplenty with Roger Dean's cryptic cover art--most of which is shrunken or absent on this two-CD reissue. When Yessongs was cut, Marshall stacks were in their heyday, and Yes happily engaged in harmonic and melodic excessiveness as well as carefully planned layers of complexity. "Roundabout" was the band's biggest hit to this point. It appears here faithfully reproduced. As for the rest, it's entertaining in a 1970s way--full of light shows, staged visuals, and more. It took a few years for prog rock to dwindle and for punk-coloured art rock to swerve toward songs about buildings and food. On Yessongs, the band was peaking, singing songs with far grander purpose (Siberia, the Apocalypse, etc.). By any account, this is one of the classic live albums of its generation, and as the soundtrack to the hip 1998 film Buffalo 66 hinted, at least one manic Yes song ("Heart of the Sunrise") passed muster for drama in the 1990s. --Andrew Bartlett

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I bought this, my first YES album twice on vinyl - I wore the first one out. I'm listening to it as I write, in order that I might compare it with the gig at Manchester I went to last friday, and the boys have not lost their touch. This live-album gig could've been recorded last week. It has a raw energy typical of the band, and on vinyl at least has that warm tone that CD's seem to lack. I've been enjoying the music of Yes since 1972, and I still think that this is the best album they ever made. "Wurm" as an end-piece to "Starship Trooper" is, was, and always will be my favourite YES track. Some beautiful guitar work, especially on the classical-medieval-Spanish sounding "Mood for a day", leading nicely into Rick Wakemans "Six wives of Henry VIII", which, I have to admit, is not to everyones palate - but don't let that put you off, Rick acquits himself admirably elsewhere on this triple album (or double CD), and demonstrates beyond any doubt why he is considered the greatest rock keyboard player in the world.
Jon's distinctive vocal style never seems to suffer the abuse of the years, belting out the favourites to a loyal and expansive fan base to this day. You wouldn't know that there are two drummers playing different tracks on this album, which is testament to how tight and professional they all are. And I'm an ex-pro drummer, so I know what to look for...
The album opens with a classical piece by Stravinky - an extract from "The Firebird Suite", and it's nice to see they're still using it at live gigs. Kinda sets the mood...
In summary, for those new to YES, and seeking a good introduction, or those wishing to re-acquaint themselves with their youth, this is a damn fine album not to be overlooked, less of a purchase, more of an investment.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is the be-all and end-all of live 70s progressive rock. The almost 3-hr long album, listened from beginning to end is an exhilarating experience. Yessongs turned my life around as a musician, changing me forever after listening one night to the Firebird Opening followed by the fantastic Siberian Khatru, already over 20 years ago. The album is basically the Close To The Edge tour, but it includes "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround / The Fish" from the Fragile tour. The sound is rather raw, but it adds to the performance, in the days when Yes was powerful and at its peak of live improvisations. "Clap" - Steve Howe's solo - appears on the Yessongs video only. "America", "Cans And Brahms", and "South Side Of The Sky" were also played on these tours, but regretfully do not appear in Yessongs... The artwork of the original vinyl album is simply fantastic, depicting the departure and arrival of a new civilization through space. The North American CD packaging does not make enough justice to this jewel. Try to get the Japanese mini-cardboard edition, or even better the vinyl album if possible. Yessongs is indeed another name for the Bible!!
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Format: Audio CD
I haven't a penchance for live CDs, I usually feel that they reflect a tired, worn-out artistry which is more for profiteering than for music. However, "Yessongs" is a clear contradiction to this sentiment. The members of Yes play frantically and energetically, and rather than deviating from the studio recordings, they follow them - but not without their own modifications, making it "live."
The clarity of this compact disc is unsurpassed: There is little to be desired of the sound quality, particularly for a live recording. The remastered edition is spectacular, its clarity is excellent: No pops or fuzziness.
Yes manages to put together some of their most rambunctious works (Note that I am listening to "Siberian Khatru" off of the first disc as I write this), and fuse them to a definitively live style. They play with energy, punctuated with a few artistically-licensed spurts on the keyboard and guitar. Strung together, these two discs are a fantastic testament to Yes' ability as musicians and as performers: They are talanted and not afraid to have fun onstage - two things clearly reflected in Yessongs.
I wholeheartedly recommend this CD set, even if all of the songs on it are owned on studio recordings. The energy within this album literally feels like the listener is there, listening to Steve Howe and the rest jam away. Really a masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
Audiophiles will complain that this recording lacks sonic quality while purists will point out that some of the nuiances of the original studio versions of these songs are missing. No one however can deny the superb muscianship and electrifying performances on this set by one of rock music's greatest ensembles. I witnessed some of Yes's performances back in the seventies and eighties including the Yessongs or (Close to the Edge) tour and this CD captures the magic of that experience. I will say that having bought the 3 record set (about 20 years ago) and later the CD version there are two tracks that stand out above the rest: "Yours is no Disgrace" and "Starship Trooper". The most striking differences between this album and their earlier studio releases are the truly amazing guitar work of Steve Howe, on display throughout, and the addition of Alan White on drums. Bill Bruford's jazzy style was excellent on the studio releases but White's thunderous power provided the extra kick needed to put these intricate melodies into maximum overdrive. In short, this is a great live set that covers their early and most memorable period. If you're already familiar with Yes's classic trilogy but haven't heard this live version you're in for a real treat.
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