YES are probably the most, or at least one of the most, successful progressive/art rock bands ever. They have a long history that started in the 1960's and continues on into the new millennium.

Beyond & Before Yes-Beyond & Before (Purple Pyramid) 1998

1. "Something's Coming" (7:38)
2. "Everydays" (5:13)
3. "Sweetness" (4:14)
4. "Dear Father" (5:34)
5. "Every Little Thing" (5:32)
6. "Looking Around" (3:40)
7. "Sweet Dreams" (3:26)
8. "Then" (4:20)
9. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required" (4:18)
1. "Intro/Astral Traveller" (6:02)
2. "Then" (5:16)
3. "Every Little Thing" (6:50)
4. "Everydays" (6:07)
5. "For Everyone" (4:36)
6. "Intro/Sweetness" (5:17)
7. "Something's Coming" (7:59)
8. "Sweet Dreams" (4:14)
9. "Beyond and Before" (5:27)

This is not Yes' first album as it was released in 1998, but it contains tracks that were all recorded between mid 1969 and early 1970. This gold two CD set contains songs that actually sound better than the studio recordings as these "live on the radio" recordings are played by a band who is young, hungry, and out for blood, so to speak. The BBC recordings are also cool because they were never really meant for commercial release, so the bands were not stiff like a studio recording might be. All the songs are probably first takes as the BBC were known to be strict on the one take rule. The performances all date from the tail end of the psychedelic era, and a time when the Nice were the only fully functioning progressive rock unit in England. The bad part is that the singing is sometimes a bit rough and there is always the missed note or, God forbid, the dropped drum stick. Songs like "Dear Father," for example are a little raw. "Every Little Thing," a track written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, is the most exciting track here. As with all the cover songs, Yes, make them sound as if they had written them themselves. "No Opportunity Necessary..." is a Richie Havens song and "Everydays" is a Stephen Stills song. Interesting liner notes by co-founder and ex-guitarist Peter Banks who seems to be holding a grudge against Steve Howe. All-in-all, a great package that comes wrapped up in a nice slipcase and includes a poster. My mom bought me this for my birthday one year. Mom's rule!

Yes Yes-Yes (Atlantic) 1969

1."Beyond and Before" (4:50)
2."I See You" (6:33)
3."Yesterday and Today" (2:37)
4."Looking Around" (3:49)
5."Harold Land" (5:26)
6."Every Little Thing" (5:24)
7."Sweetness" (4:19)
8."Survival" (6:01)

Well, the first time I heard this I didn't like it as it is not the classically driven music that I had already grew accustomed to. This was more like jazzy 60's pop rock. I have grown to like it over the years, but it is still not one of my favorite Yes albums. "Yesterday & Today" has a cool bass line by the one and only Chris Squire. "Sweetness" is as annoying as the title suggests. "Survival" has hints of the creative genius that would soon come. "Every Little Thing" is a Beatles' cover and "I See You" is a Richie Havens song, I believe.

Time & A Word Yes-Time and a Word (Atlantic) 1970

1. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (4:47)
2. "Then" (5:42)
3. "Everydays" (6:06)
4. "Sweet Dreams" (3:48)
5. "The Prophet" (6:32)
6. "Clear Days" (2:04)
7. "Astral Traveller" (5:50)
8. "Time and a Word" (4:31)

Once again, this album has hints of what is to come, especially in "Astral Traveller," "The Prophet," and "Time & A Word". "No Opportunity. . ." is another Richie Havens song but is far more enjoyable than "I See You" as the Yes version is injected with jazz influences. (That is until the bridge which changes into a bluesy-country folk rock thing.) Not a bad album, but still not as good as what is to come.

The Yes Album Yes-The Yes Album (Atlantic) 1971

1."Yours is No Disgrace" (9:26)
2."The Clap"-instrumental (3:07)
3."Starship Trooper": (9:23)
....a. Life Seeker
....b. Disillusion
....c. Worm
4."I've Seen All Good People": (6:47)
....a. Your Move
....b. All Good People
....5."A Venture" (3:13)
6."Perpetual Change" (8:50)

YES! This was the beginning of a long line of brilliant progressive rock albums by what is now considered the classic Yes line-up.(with the exception of Rick Wakeman who would join soon.) One of the greatest guitarists ever born, Steve Howe, joined the band at this point, replacing Peter Banks. Of course there was also the bass wizardry of Chris Squire, the heavenly voice of Jon Anderson, and the drumming of Bill Bruford. (Who also has played in Genesis, King Crimson, and A.B.W.H.) So with this line-up, Yes creates their first masterpeice. "Yours is No Disgrace" is a classic Yes song and also their first epic (long form) song. "The Clap" is an absolutely brilliant classical guitar piece that remains a concert favorite even now. "Starship Trooper" is a song that could only have been inspired by God himself. "I've Seen All Good People," although still one of my favorite songs, has been ruined a bit by radio overplay. Fortunately I don't listen to the radio any longer. "A Venture" is the weak spot on an otherwise flawless album. It is a vocal solo song?!? "Perpetual Change" rounds out the album.

Fragile Yes-Fragile (Atlantic) 1972

1."Roundabout" (8:29)
2."Cans and Brahms (Extracts from Brahms' 4th Symphony in E Minor Third Movement)" -instrumental (1:35)
3."We Have Heaven" (1:30)
4."South Side of the Sky" (8:04)
5."Five Per Cent of Nothing"-instrumental (0:35)
6."Long Distance Runaround" (3:33)
7."The Fish (shindleria praematurus)"-instrumental (2:35)
8."Mood for a Day"-instrumental (2:57)
9."Heart of the Sunrise" (10:34)

Now the line-up is complete with Rick Wakeman taking over the keys for the very competent Tony Kaye (who will return some ten years later.) This is without a doubt Yes' most popular 70's album. "Roundabout", "Long Distance Runaround", and "Heart of the Sunrise," are all awesome Yes songs. Of course, all three have been given more airplay than I can stand. (Radio sure can wreck a good song with overplay!) Five of the tracks on this album are solo tracks; one for each member of the band. "The Fish," another Steve Howe acoustic number is incredible. "South Side of the Sky," the albums most obscure track is a great song although never given the attention of the others. This was also the first Yes album that Roger Dean, who made Yes' album covers as infamous as their music, painted.

Close to the Edge Yes-Close to the Edge (Atlantic) 1972

1."Close to the Edge" (18:50)
..i. The Solid Time of Change
..ii. Total Mass Retain
..iii. I Get Up I Get Down
..iv. Seasons of Man
2."And You and I" (10:09)
..i. Cord of Life
..ii. Eclipse
..iii. The Preacher The Teacher
..iv. Apocalypse
3."Siberian Khatru" (8:57)

Another Roger Dean cover, but the worst cover he ever painted for them. There just isn't much too it. The music, on the other hand, is inspired. There are only THREE SONGS! Each of them a progressive rock masterpiece! Tempo changes and mood shifts abound! Get out your headphones, turn out the lights, kick back and enjoy!

Yessongs Yes-Yessongs (Atlantic) 1973

1."Opening (Excerpt from "Firebird Suite")" -instrumental (3:47)
2."Siberian Khatru" (9:03)
3."Heart of the Sunrise" (11:33)
4."Perpetual Change" (14:11)
5."And You and I" (9:33)
....a. Cord of Life
....b. Eclipse
....c. The Preacher The Teacher
....d. Apocalypse
6."Mood for a Day"-instrumental (2:53)
7."Excerpts from The Six Wives
... of Henry VIII" -instrumental (6:37)
8."Roundabout" (8:33)

1."I've Seen AllGood People" (7:09)
....a. Your Move
....b. All Good People
2."Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria ....Praematurus)" (13:45)
3."Close to the Edge" (18:41)
....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" (14:21)
5."Starship Trooper" (9:25)
....a. Life Seeker
....c. Worm

When this was released it was a three record set in a gatefold cover that was truly as much the masterpeice as the music it contained. Yes performing live proves that they are as proficient on the stage as they are in the studio. Most of the songs contained are from their three previous masterpieces, making this the King of Masterpieces (corny, I know.) "Excerpts from The Six Wives of Henry VIII" is the only exception, being from Rick Wakeman's solo album of the same name. If I could only own one Yes cd, this would be the one.

Tales from Tioigraphic Oceans Yes-Tales from Topographic Oceans (Atlantic) 1974

1."The Revealing Science of God - Dance of the Dawn" (20:27)
2."The Remembering - High the Memory" (20:38)

1."The Ancient - Giants Under the Sun" (18:34)
2."Ritual - Nous Sommes du Soliel" (21:35)

This is one of those discs that you will need to be in the right mood for as it is so progressive, complex, and bizarre that it's hard to follow at times. Mood music of the highest order. Great artwork by Roger Dean once again.

Relayer Yes-Relayer (Atlantic) 1974

1."The Gates of Delirium" (21:55)
2."Sound Chaser" (9:25)
3."To Be Over" (9:08)

Uh oh, Rick Wakeman leaves to pursue his solo career leaving Patrick Morazto to fill his hard to fill shoes. (Patrick who?) Anyhow, "Gates of Delirium", is arguably the BEST of Yes's twenty plus minute epic songs, and is one heavy stinkin' song! The rest of the songs I can't tell you much about as they are some of the least listened to songs in my Yes collection. A bit obscure, I'll tell you that. Very cool Roger Dean cover though.

Going for the One Yes-Going for the One (Atlantic) 1976

1. "Going for the One" (5:30)
2. "Turn of the Century" (7:58)
3. "Parallels" (5:52)
4. "Wonderous Stories" (3:45)
5. "Awaken" (15:38)

Rick is back!Ya! Anyhow, this album was the beginning of the shorter more rock-radio oriented songs...well, sort of. "Going for the One" and "Wonderous Stories" are both total commercial rock songs. Still, I like this disc. I suppose had Yes done another album of nothing but long songs people would have grown tired of them. "Awaken" is an AWESOME epic Yes song.

Tormato Yes-Tormato (Atlantic) 1978

1.a."Future Times"
.. b. "Rejoice" (6:46)
2."Don't Kill the Whale" (3:55)
3."Madrigal" (2:21)
4."Release, Release" (5:40)
5."Arriving UFO" (5:35)
6."Circus of Heaven" (4:15)
7."Onward" (4:00)
8."On the Silent Wings of Freedom" (7:45)

For some reason people seem to hate this album but I LOVE IT! Nostalgia? Perhaps, but this really is an enjoyable disc. OK, there are no twenty minute songs. So what!. "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" is one of the most majestic songs Yes has ever written. "Release, Release" is the closest thing to heavy metal that Yes has ever done. It's fast and choatic, yet melodic at the same time. Yes were beginning to fall apart at this time so I would not call this disc a masterpiece, as it does fall short in areas, however, it's still a great disc and one I listen to frequently.

Wembley Yes-Wembley Arena 1978 (cdr bootleg)
Live at Wembley Arena, London 10/28/78

1. "Opening" (1:26)
2. "Siberian Khatru" (9:58)
3. "Heart of Sunrise" (10:50)
4. "The Circus of Heaven" (4:51)
5. "Medley: Time and a Word/Long Distance .....Runaround/The Fish/Soon" (27:17)
6. "Don't Kill the Whale" (4:32)
7. "The Clap" (3:53)
1. "Starship Trooper" (10:09)
2. "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" (9:59)
3. "Awaken" (8:36)
4. "I've Seen All Good People" (17:15)
5. "Roundabout" (7:59)

Phenomenal bootleg show with surprisingly excellent sound quality. There are a couple of dropouts here and there, but nothing to annoying. It's very hear "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" in a live setting. I don't think I have ever heard this song done live before. Tracks 4 and 5 on disc two are actually recorded live in London in 1975, not 1978.

Yesshows Yes-Yesshows (Atlantic) 1980

1."Parallels" (6:57)
2."Time and a Word" (4:05)
3."Going for the One" (5:13)
4."The Gates of Delirium" (22:58)
1."Don't Kill the Whale" (4:12)
2."Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soliel)" (28:22)
3."Wonderous Stories" (3:55)

Another killer live album/compilation. This one focuses on the "Topographic Oceans" through "Tormato" period. There is only one pre-Yes Album track, "Time and a Word". The songs were recorded over a period of years, with Patrick Moraz performing on a couple. Anyhow, excellent performances. The only thing that could have made it better were if they had included a live version of "On the Silent Wings of Freedom." Can't believe it took me so many years to get this one on cd. Have to admit though, that the record covers were so much nicer than the cd cover. Somehow something gets lost in the smaller size.

Drama Yes-Drama (Atlantic) 1980

1."Machine Messiah" (10:27)
2."White Car" (1:21)
3."Does it Really Happen?" (6:34)
4."Into the Lens" (8:31)
5."Run Through the Light" (4:39)
6."Tempus Fugit" (5:14)

Gone are Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. Steve, Chris & Alan, the remaining members add some guys from the Buggles and put out what is really a Buggles album with a Yes logo on the cover. "Tempus Fugit" is really the only song that even sounds like a Yes song. but "Into the Lens" is just plain STUPID! Yes without Jon Anderson is like a hamburger without the meat. Thankfully, Steve Howe realized this and split with fellow Buggle, Geoff Downs, to form Asia. Chris & Alan hooked back up with Jon to create another new Yes with Trevor Rabin.

90125 Yes-90125 (Atco) 1983

1."Owner of a Lonely Heart" (4:27)
2."Hold On" (5:15)
3."It Can Happen" (5:39)
4."Changes" (6:16)
5."Cinema"-instrumental (2:09)
6."Leave It" (4:10)
7."Our Song" (4:16)
8."City of Love" (4:48)
9."Hearts" (7:34)

Actually, this version of Yes began as a band called Cinema, with Chris & Alan, long departed keyboardist Tony Kaye and new ringleader, songwriter Trevor Rabin. Jon came along later and joined Cinema, but the record label insisted that they call themselves Yes. Why not, it was 4/5 Yes members anyhow. The result was the top ten hit for "Owner of a Lonely Heart." Just about every other song (except "Hearts") being continually played on the radio! 90215 didn't really sound like the art rock Yes of the past, but it is still a good album.

On a side note: Tevor Rabin also wrote the theme and the score to the blockbuster movie Armageddon.

9021LIVE:The Solos Yes-9021Live-The Solos (Atco) 1985

1. "Hold On" (6:44)
2. "Si"-instrumental (2:31)
3. "Solly's Beard" -instrumental (4:45)
4. "Soon" (2:08)
5. "Changes" (6:58)
6. "Amazing Grace" -instrumental (2:14)
7. "Whitefish" -instrumental (8:33)

YES! I have tried so many times to acquire this cd from various places only to be told it was already sold or to be outbid by another Yes fan. Well, thanks to my good friend James, I now have the gap in my Yes collection filled with this lovely Japanese cd. As for the music, man talk about a bizarre release. There are only two complete songs, while the rest of the disc is made up of individual solos as performed on the 90125 live tour. You'd think they would have at least included the hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart." Ahh, but it sounds like I am complaining. This couldn't be further from the truth, for it's Yes' infatuation with solos that is part of the reason I enjoy their music so much. "Si" is a Tony Kaye keyboard solo, "Solly's Beard" is a Trevor Rabin acoustic guitar jam; "Soon" is Jon Anderson singing the last part of "Gates of Delirium" and "Amazing Grace" is fingers flying Chris Squire making his bass sing. "Whitefish" is an extended jam version of the classic "The Fish," with bits and pieces of "Tempus Fugit" and "Sound Chaser" thrown in. Only thing missing is an extended drum solo, which I am sure they did but obviously did not feel the need to include it on this disc. Alan White is given a chance to shine a bit on 'Whitefish' but I was hoping for a complete drum solo. Hmm, there I go complaining again. Thanks again James

Big Generator Yes-Big Generator (Atco) 1987

1."Rhythm of Love" (4:49)
2."Big Generator" (4:31)
3."Shoot High Aim Low" (6:59)
4."Almost Like Love" (4:58)
5."Love Will Find a Way" (4:48)
6."Final Eyes" (6:20)
7."I'm Running" (7:34)
8."Holy Lamb (Song for Harmonic Convergence)" (3:15)

I never listen to this one, so I won't comment on it, except for the fact that it still doesn't sound like the Yes I love. Still too pop-rock sounding. Not bad for what it is, but I sort of wish it did have a Cinema logo on it, instead of a Yes logo. ...

Well what happens here is Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe get together to record a project that is oddly titled- Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe. A.B.W.H released one studio album and one live album before getting together with other former Yesmen Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, Chris Squire and Alan White to record:

Union Yes-Union (Arista)

1."I Would Have Waited Forever" (6:33)
2."Shock to the System" (5:08)
3."Masquerade"-instrumental (2:17)
4."Lift Me Up" (6:30)
5."Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day" (5:18)
6."Saving my Heart" (4:41)
7."Miracle of Life" (7:30)
8."Silent Talking" (4:00)
9."The More We Live - Let Go" (4:54)
10."Angkor Wat" (5:23)
11."Dangerous (Look in the Light of What You're Searching For)" (3:38)
12."Holding On" (5:24)
13."Evensong" (0:51)
14."Take the Water to the Mountain" (3:12)
15."Give & Take" (4:29)

Uh, well. . . this album is a collaboration of 8 members of Yes. Some of these songs were to be on the next ABWH album while others were intended to be on Trevor Rabin's new project. I guess there was a battle over who was entitled to use the Yes name, so instead of fighting they decided to collectively release an album by the two camps with the only thing tying the two together being Jon Anderson. If this sounds like a good idea, well, it could have been as all these men are veteran rock personas. What transpired however was the worst record in Yes' long history. There are a few highlights like Steve Howe's song "Masquerade," but otherwise this album is just there to complete a collection. Nice cover art though!

Yesyears Yes-Yesyears (Atlantic) -four disc box set 1991

1."Something's Coming" (stereo mix) (7:06)
2."Survival" (6:18)
3."Every Little Thing" (5:41)
4."Then"-(BBC session) (4:18)
5."Everydays"(BBC session) (4:08)
6."Sweet Dreams" (3:49)
7."No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (4:48)
8."Time and a Word" (4:31)
9."Starship Trooper" (9:26)
10."Yours is No Disgrace" (9:40)
11."I've Seen All Good People" (6:53)
12."Long Distance Runaround" (3:33)
13."The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)"-instrumental (2:35)
1."Soon"(single edit) (4:06)
2."Amazing Grace"-instrumental (2:31)
3."Vevey, Part One"-instrumental (1:07)
4."Wonderous Stories" (3:45)
5."Awaken" (15:34)
6."Montreaux's Theme"-instrumental (2:26)
7."Vevey, Part Two"-instrumental (0:57)
8."Going for the One" (5:32)
9."Money" (3:12)
10."Abilene" (3:55)
11."Don't Kill the Whale" (3:55)
12."On the Silent Wings of Freedom" (7:45)
13."Does it Really Happen?" (6:34)
14."Tempus Fugit" (5:14)
15."Run with the Fox" (4:09)
16."I'm Down" (live) (2:31)
1."Roundabout" (8:31)
2."Heart of the Sunrise" (10:31)
3."America" (single edit) (4:08)
4."Close to the Edge" (18:34)
5."Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soliel)" (21:33)
6."Sound Chaser" (9:23)
1."Make it Easy" (6:08)
2."It Can Happen" (alternate version) (6:01)
3."Owner of a Lonely Heart" (4:27)
4."Hold On" (5:15)
5."Shoot High Aim Low" (7:00)
6."Rhythm of Love" (4:46)
7."Love Will Find a Way" (4:49)
8."Changes"--live (7:34)
9."And You and I" (live) (10:49)
10."Heart of the Sunrise"(live) (10:50)
11."Love Conquers All" (4:57)

I would NEVER have bought this at full price as it really doesn't contain that many new or rare jems. I bought it because a friend of mine, who owns a cd store, offered it to me for $20. I'm not sure who Atlantic Records were targeting with this pricey box set. As a greatest hits collection, it is way to expensive for the casual Yes fan. The serious fan already owns 95% of the stuff on these four discs. Not too smart in my estimation. Seems to me Atlantic would have sold more copies had they included more rare material, live tracks and outtakes. Of the rare and unreleased stuff, "Make it Easy," a 90125 outtake sung by Trevor Rabin, is really the only song worth owning . "Run with the Fox" is a "Drama" outtake, which is hardly even a Yes album. (see "Drama" review above.) "Something's Coming" has seen release numerous times. There is an "alternate" version of "It Can Happen" that is OK. "I'm Down" is a Beatles cover that was done way better by Aerosmith. There are also a few live tracks that are cool, but there could have been more. Also many of the live tracks feature Trevor Rabin on guitar as opposed to Steve Howe, who in my opinion, has much more personality to his guitar playing. The set also includes a very nice full color booklet and a nice cover painting by Roger Dean.

Talk Yes-Talk (Victory)

1. "The Calling" (6:52)
2. "I Am Waiting" (7:22)
3. "Real Love" (8:42)
4. "State of Play" (4:58)
5. "Walls" (4:52)
6. "Where Will You Be" (6:03)
7. "Endless Dream" (15:41)
... a. Silent Spring -instrumental
... b. Talk Endless
... c. Dream

Hard for me to say much about this one. I bought it in a frenzy of buying up Yes cds. I found this one very cheap (.99) Of the memorable songs, "The Calling" the album's opener is my favorite. Also, "Real Love" is an OK Trevor Rabin-era song. The rest is not terrible, just sort of forgettable. "Talk" had a lower chart peak than any new Yes album since 1972 and a shorter chart run than any new Yes album in their history up to this point. I am told that this album is out of print and very hard to find now so I am glad I held onto it.

Keys to Ascension Yes-Keys to Ascension (CMC International)

1."Siberian Khatru" (10:16)
2."The Revealing Science of God" (20:32)
3."America" (10:28)
4."Onward" (5:48)
5."Awaken" (18:33)
1."Roundabout" (8:30)
2."Starship Trooper" (13:05)
3."Be the One" (9:50)
...a. The One
...b. Humankind
...c. Skates
4."That, That Is" (19:14)
...a. Togetherness
...b. Crossfire
...c. The Giving Things
...d. That Is
...e. All in All
...f. How Did Heaven Begin
...g. Agree to Agree

I love YES live, so it was a no brainer that I would fork over the cash for this two cd, gold disc set. What I got for my hard earned cash was worth every penny even though some of this stuff was also on the live ABWH album. Hey, it's still a new recording and besides Chris Squire didn't play on the ABWH disc, so. . .well, enough justifying. There are also two brand new songs here too. "Be the One" is an annoying Jon Anderson track that takes all the worst aspects of Yes and shoves them in your face. (Can you tell I didn't like this song much?) The other song, the epic "That, That Is" is a cool Yes progressive number that does touch on the Yes of old. The whole package is wrapped up in a cool Roger Dean illustrated sleeve and included a poster. Supposedly a limited edition disc.

Keys to Ascension 2 Yes-Keys to Ascension 2 (Purple Pyramid)

Recorded Live in San Luis Obispo
1."I've Seen All Good People" (7:16)
...a. Your Move
...b. All Good People
2. "Going For the One" (4:58)
3. "Time and a Word" (6:23)
4."Close to the Edge" (19:40)
...a. The Solid Time of Change
...b. Total Mass Retain
...c. I Get Up I Get Down
...d. Seasons of Man
5. "Turn of the Century" (7:55)
6. "And You and I" (10:48)
...a. Cord of Life
...b. Eclipse
...c. The Preacher The Teacher
...d. Apocalypse
New Studio tracks
1. "Mind Drive" (18:37)
2. "Foot Prints" (9:09)
3. "Bring Me to the Power" (7:25)
4. "Children of Light" (6:02)
...a. Children of Light"
...b. Lifeline
5. "Sign Language" (3:29)

Keys 2, well, now why couldn't they put these two double disc sets (Keys 1 & 2) together and release this as the box set. Now that would have been worth paying the big bucks. Actually if I add up the price I paid for these two special, limited edition 2 gold disc sets, I probably spent more than I would have on a box set. "Hi Kids, this is Mr. Record Executive. Today's word is SUCKER! Can you say SUCKER?"

Anyhow, on to the music. Disc 1 is great. These guys may be getting old, but they still play their instruments with the same passion, energy, and spirit as a young band. The classic songs sound as good as ever. It was really nice to hear "Going for the One." Now if they had only done a song from "Tormato" Ah, I'm just dreaming. Disc 2 is actually pretty good. The 18+ minute epic "Mind Drive" is a smoking Steve Howe-guitar driven progressive art rock song that really does touch on the greatness of their 70's material. And why not as the classic line-up of Howe, Anderson, Wakeman, Squire & White are back again. The rest of the material is good as well, but for some reason "Mind Drive" really just stands out in my mind. I guess after the exceptional Disc 1, Disc 2 just didn't have a chance. The whole package is wrapped up nicely in another Roger Dean sleeve and has a nice booklet and a poster.

Open Your Eyes Yes-Open Your Eyes (Beyond )

1."New State of Mind" (6:00)
2."Open Your Eyes" (5:14)
3."Universal Garden" (6:16)
4."No Way We Can Lose" (4:56)
5."Fortune Seller" (5:00)
6."Man in the Moon" (4:41)
7."Wonderlove" (6:06)
8."From the Balcony" (2:43)
9."Love Shine" (4:37)
10."Somehow, Someday" (4:47)
11."The Solution" (5:25)
HIDDEN TRACK (untitled)

"Man from the Moon" and "New State of Mind" are good Yes songs, the former featuring some nice lead work from resident guitar hero Steve Howe. "Wonderlove" also features some nice leads, but to me, when you have one of the greatest guitarists ever in your band, as well as one of the best bassists, you ought to feature them. "Love Shine" sounds like it could have been on "Big Generator." OK, this disc is no where near the crap that "Union" was but it still sounds a bit more like an Asia album than a Yes album to me. That said, however, I played this over and over when I first bought it in an attempt to see if it was one of those albums that has to grow on you. Fortunately, it was, but don't expect the classic Yes sound as it's just not.

The Ladder Yes-The Ladders (Beyond)

1. "Homeworld" (9:33)
2. "It Will Be A Good Day" (4:53)
3. "Lightning Strikes" (4:34)
4. "Can I?" (1:32)
5. "Face To Face" (5:03)
6. "If Only You Knew" (5:42)
7. "To Be Alive" (5:07)
8. "Finally" (6:01)
9. "The Messenger" (5:13)
10. "New Language" (9:19)
11. "Nine Voices" (3:20)

Legendary producer Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith, Kiss, AC/DC) completed this project shortly before his death. What he managed to do was bring out the best in Yes. "The Ladder" is actually the best studio record they have done since 90215. As a matter of fact "The Ladder" takes the best of the 1970's yes and mixes in a bit of the more pop oriented "90125/Big Generator"-era. Steve Howe's guitar is brought to the front of the music again, as it belongs and John Anderson, Chris Squire and Alan White all sound top notch. "Homeworld (The Ladder)" is a tight song with a perfect mix of vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano. Steve Howe's acoustic guitar drives "Lightning Strikes" but the addition of a horn section also adds to the experience. "Face to Face" is one of the discs strongest track, and Squire lets loose with a great bass line. Chris is still one of the best bassists around. "If Only You Knew" is a love song Jon Anderson wrote for his wife. "Finally" is a good track with some angelic vocals. "The Messenger" has a nice funk feel. "New Language" is another strong track that allows all six members an opportunity to show off their extraordinary musical abilities. All in all a great Yes cd. Cover art is once again by Roger Dean. Of course, once again, the Japanese version has bonus tracks. Geez, what is it with that? Why do they always get the extra tracks?

YesSymphonic Yes-YesSymphonic (Beyond) 2001

1. "In The Presence of" (10:24)
...i. deeper
...ii. death of ego
...iii. true beginner
...iv. turn around and remember
3. "Don't Go" (3:40)
3. "Long Distance Runaround" (3:50)

A pre-release EP for "Magnification" that also includes a version of "Long Distance Runaround" with the symphony orchestra. Of course they also released this on a limited edition verison of 'Magnification." Talk about a mess, if you buy Magnification at Best Buy, you get a bonus cd with "Close to the Edge" & "Long Distance Runaround". If you buy it at FYE (a parent company of Camelot, Record Town, Tape World, and the Musiclands that were allowed to run independent of Sam Goody), you get a bonus disc that features "Gates of Delirium" & "Long Distance Runaround". If you buy it at Borders Books & Music you get a bonus disc with "Ritual" and "Long Distance Runaround." Why the heck did they do that? Why not just release a double cd set with ALL the tracks. New tracks on disc one, old tracks on disc two. Argh!

Magnificaiton Yes-Magnification (Beyond) 2001

1. "Magnification" (7:16)
2. "Spirit Of Survival" (6:02)
3. "Don't Go" (4:27)
4. "Give Love Each Day" (7:44)
5. "Can You Imagine" (2:58)
6. "We Agree" (6:30)
7. "Soft as a Dove" (2:18)
8. "Dreamtime" (10:46)
9. "In The Presence Of" (10:24)
.....i. deeper
.....ii. death of ego
.....iii. true beginner
.....iv. turn around and remember
10. "Time is Time" (2:09)

Since Yes has been a revolving door of musicians, I must admit that one of the first things I did before even placing this disc into my cd player was to see who was playing and writing on this disc. I was pumped to see that Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, and Alan White were all still present and accounted for. Unfortunately my first time listening to this cd was while lying in bed with a bad stomach virus, which I suppose was a bad idea. A few days later I put the disc in again and was pleasantly surprised by the sounds coming from my stereo. I guess it was only a matter of time before Yes would add a symphony to their already symphonic and artistic progressive rock platter. Unlike some other recent 'symphony' releases, however, the orchestra is not simply thrown over top of old Yes songs, but rather these songs were all written with the orchestra in mind. In my estimation, this is certainly one of the most intriguing Yes albums to come out in years. Certainly, I think 'The Ladder' is one of their finest as well, but this album is different, yet still completely and totally Yes. Not sure if that makes sense or not. I guess what I am trying to say is that I can't imagine an existing Yes fan being disappointed with this disc. It's just so YES!

Yes-Magnification Extras (cdr compilation)

1. "Gates of Delirium" (22:48)
2. "Close to the Edge" (20:26)
....i. The Solid Time of Change
....ii. Total Mass Retain
....iii. I Get Up I Get Down
....iv. Seasons of Man
3. Ritual-Nous Sommes Du Soleil (28:05)

As I mentioned in the review of the 'YesSymphonic' EP several versions of 'Magnification' exist. A friend of mine, who is as anal a cd collector as I, bought all the versions and put together this CDR compilation of the extra tracks for me. Although there are only three songs, the total time of this disc is over 70 minutes long.

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