“I think we came up with that title because it felt like the first real Yes album”
Jon Anderson (interviewed for the sleeve-notes to this release.)

THE YES ALBUM Personnel: Jon Anderson: Vocals, Bill Bruford: Percussion, Steve Howe: Guitars, Vocals, Chris Squire: Bass & Vocals, Tony Kaye: Keyboards.

With a series of songs now regarded as band classics & frequently performed in concert, it takes some imagination to think of The Yes Album as a ‘difficult third album’. Yet, as the interviews conducted for the sleeve-notes for this edition make clear, the recording took place against a backdrop that was far from ideal. Despite a fine live reputation & two well-received albums, Yes had not made the commercial breakthrough to a wider audience that some of the band’s British label mates on Atlantic had achieved.

However, with the arrival of Steve Howe as guitarist, a better concept of what the band was trying to achieve in the studio with engineer/co-producer Eddie Offord & a focus on material that could be played live with the same punch as the studio recordings, The Yes Album proved to be that vital step to a much wider audience in Europe & America.

From the opening notes of “Yours is No Disgrace” to the final fade of “Perpetual Change”, the sound is of a band that is brimming with musical confidence. As Bill Bruford recalls “You gave it your best but it was a fast-moving world and you had to give more than your best.” The band may have been down to its last few pounds, the management may have been changing, the record label concerned, but there was no compromise in the studio as Yes produced the band’s first classic album, in a year where there was plenty of healthy competition for that much over-used term.

A full forty-three years on from the album’s UK chart debut, YES will be back in Europe – starting in the UK – performing a show that includes the album performed in its entirety.

This edition coincides with that tour. As with last year’s release of Close to the Edge, the CD features a completely new stereo mix, while the DVD-A features new stereo & 5.1 surround sound mixes all by Steven Wilson, a flat transfer of the original album master & a complete alternate album with tracks drawn from a mixture of singles edits, live tracks & an extended mix.

With expanded artwork & new sleeve-notes this is the definitive edition of The Yes Album and the second in a series of remixed and expanded Yes albums.

YES – THE YES ALBUM – CD/BluRay Version

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Presented in a mini vinyl replica gatefold card sleeve (with protective inner sleeves) with booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.

The CD features a new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson, the studio version of Clap and an extended version of A Venture.

The blu-ray features:

  • 5.1 PCM Surround Sound and High Resolution Stereo mixes (24bit 96khz).
  • the original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from the original stereo master tape source (24bit/192khz).
  • a complete alternate album running order drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix.
  • exclusive instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).
  • exclusive needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.

Pre-order for 14th April release.

CD – New Stereo Mixes:

1. Yours Is No Disgrace
2. Clap
3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm
4. I’ve Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People
5. A Venture
6. Perpetual Change

Additional Tracks:

7. Clap (Studio Version)
8. A Venture (Extended)

Blu-Ray (Region 0, NTSC):

Presented in DTS-HD Master Audio

  • Album mixed in 5.1 Surround
  • New Album mix
  • Original Album mix (flat transfer)
  • New Album mix (instrumental version)
  • Alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix

Plus further audio extras some exclusive to the Blu-Ray edition.

NTSC, all regions, LPCM playable in all Blu-Ray players & Blu-Ray drives


YES – THE YES ALBUM – CD/DVD-A Version

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USA  Canada UK Italy France Germany SpainJapan

Preorder NOW from Amazon

USACanadaUKItalyFranceGermanySpainJapan.

Also available at Burning Shed.

Presented as a double digi-pack format in a slipcase with a booklet featuring new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, along with rare photos and archive material, the album has been mixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson and is fully approved by Yes.

The CD features a new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson, the studio version of Clap and an extended version of A Venture.

The DVD-A features:

  • a 5.1 DTS Mix and High Resolution Stereo mixes.
  • DVD-A players can, additionally, access a 5.1 Lossless audio mix (24bit 96khz).
  • the new album mix in high resolution stereo
  • the original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from the original stereo master tape source.
  • alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix

Pre-order for 14th April release.

CD – New Stereo Mixes:
1. Yours Is No Disgrace
2. Clap
3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm
4. I’ve Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People
5. A Venture
6. Perpetual Change
Additional Tracks:
7. Clap (Studio Version)
8. A Venture (Extended)

DVD-A (Region 0, NTSC):

  • Album mixed in 5.1 Surround from original multi-track sources.
  • New Album mix in High Resolution Stereo
  • Original Album mix (flat transfer) in High Resolution Stereo
  • Alternate version of The Yes Album drawn from live tracks, singles edits & an extended mix

NTSC Region 0 hybrid DVD-A, compatible with all DVD players & DVD-rom drives.

 

 


YES – The Yes Album – Definitive Edition, PANEGYRIC

Another Yes diamond is given the Steven Wilson treatment with sparkling extras.

Review by Chris Roberts, PROG Magazine

The Yes Album started a new plane for Yes,” Steve Howe said last year, “where we were completely original. Not doing other people’s songs, but creating our own music. When I joined, I said: ‘Isn’t it time Yes did the whole thing?’ They all felt the same.” First released in February 1971, Yes’ third fulllengther “felt like the first real Yes album” according to Jon Anderson. With Peter Banks having left, Howe came in with a dazzling scope of guitar sonics and styles while the band, skint and fed up of watching other bands they knew break big, jettisoned the stabilisers. Co-producer and engineer Eddy Offord too played a vital role in their invention of a new postpsychedelia landscape. Like radical sculptors, they curved and warped the structure of their material until it offered resonant revelations in sound. The trippy trinity of Yours Is No Disgrace, I’ve Seen All Good People and Starsh/p Trooper stand as evergreen Yes masterworks. Your ears enter them through fresh windows and doorways every time, even over four decades later.

Steven Wilson has upped the ante on those windows and doorways. After last year’s expanded re-master of Close To The Edge, this second in an ongoing series offers – a wealth of reinvigoration.

The CD includes a new stereo mix, with two bonus tracks: a longer A Venture (now nudging five minutes) and the studio version of Howe’s Clap. Thank goodness the new sleeve has dropped the unfortunate, erroneously-allocated definite article at last. The former allows the band to ad lib spectacularly, with the guitars and Tony Kaye’s keyboards duelling in the mode of relaxed flames. Howe’s acoustic guitar piece (written to celebrate the birth of his son Dylan, who now plays drums with Wilko Johnson) was never on multi-track tape, but Wilson has up-mixed it with modern software.

A hybrid DVD-A features his 5.1 surround mix and high-res stereo mixes, plus a version of the album compiled from alternate live and studio renditions. Then there’s a Blu-ray with all of the above, instrumentals, single edits and a needle-drop of an original vinyl pressing.

If this is all getting a bit like taking in a maths lecture, here’s what matters: it sounds stunning. The 5.1 brings out the nuances of every colour, like a restored Michelangelo. The Wurm section of Starship Trooper, for example, makes that chord cadenza ride the channels more gracefully and emotively than ever. It remains the flanger’s finest hour. Anderson’s fluency on Your Move and his visionary-nonsense generally, the shivery rhythms of Squire and Bruford on Yours Is No Disgrace, the swoops of Perpetual Change: all these stand strong under the lights. The musicianship is, to state the obvious, incredible. Nobody recognises that more than Wilson, who appreciates the then young players’ giant act of affirmation and frames their gusto lovingly.

Prior to recording in the late 70′s the band — getting to know Howe — “got away from it all” in Devon, renting a farmhouse in which they wrote, rehearsed and realised they could break the time-honoured rules of popular music. In the London studio, they then put down the tracks in sections and listened back to Offord’s ingenious assemblages. The artful eclecticism surprised even its creators.

Even though Kaye’s subsequent departure (a Hammond aficionado, he wasn’t keen on emerging technology) and Rick Wakeman’s arrival marked what most believe to be the definitive Yes line-up, it’s a pity this quintet crafted only this one diamond, unique in its sparkle and flow. It was and is funkier, looser, than their later jewels, while always knowing where it’s going. It’s exploratory, but concise: so much happens, but every second counts. The Yes Album gave the band their first number one (albeit thanks at first to a dubious chart, taken hurriedly from the Oxford Street Virgin store because of a postal strike), and sold a million. Yes were doing “the whole thing”, and this voracious music — still on its own plane — will not brook a no.


YES – The Yes Album, Panegyric

A new high-resolution remix by Steven Wilson polishes this early 70s prog-rock gem nicely.

Review: Paul Lester, Classic Rock Magazine

Working backwards somewhat, The Yes Album (1971) is the second in a series of expanded Yes reissues, following on from Panegyric’s comprehensive work on 1972′s Close To The Edge. It comes in CD/DVD-A and Blu-Ray forms, and once again prog major-domo Steven Wilson has been on hand, providing a new stereo version in high resolution, as well as a new mix in 5.1 surround for that full immersive experience. Wilson is at pains to point out that this is a remix, not a remastering job. “On the surface, it should sound the way it always did, only clearer,” he told Classic Rock. “It might be like cleaning the Sistine Chapel – you haven’t altered the art in anyway; you just scraped off a layer of ageing.”

Then again, thanks to the band, co-producer Eddy Offord and the facilities at Advision, The Yes Album always did sound great, a pristine example of what could be achieved in the studio. The songs were also punchy enough to be performed live, the six tracks on the original album (there are various extended cuts and live versions here) showcasing the members’ individual skills – notably new boy Steve Howe – as well as their ability to mesh superbly. Good tunes, too, or rather micro-melodies: The Yes Album features four lengthy, multipartite suites. Each of these contain sections that could, notwithstanding Jon Anderson’s fanciful peregrinations, and in an alternate, more tolerant universe, have been hits (one of them, I’ve Seen All Good People, was actually released as a single in truncated form).

Yours Is No Disgrace is a powerful opener, Chris Squire’s bassline representing sonically the attacking space vessels in the lyrics, although what Anderson meant by the ‘shining, flying purple wolfhound’ is anyone’s guess. Clap is three minutes of acoustic finger-picking that appears to have wandered in from a bluegrass album. It also demonstrated Howe’s versatility because by the next track, Starship Trooper, he’s using a flanger to cosmic effect.

Four minutes in and there’s a celestial chorale that sounds like the Beach Boys in space, while the closing part (aka Wurm) creates images of battleships aggregating on the event horizon in your mind’s eye. I’ve Seen All Good People has a reference to ‘instant karma’, as well as a rhythmic guitar passage that’s very Abbey Road, while A Venture is Beatles-esque. But these nods aside, The Yes Album effected a total break with rock tradition. The title of the final track? Perpetual Change. Next stop: Fragile.


The Yes Album CD DVD Bluray

Review by bargepole, The Afterword

What does it sound like?:
The next in the series of remixes by Steven Wilson has arrived. Jon Anderson mentions in the sleeve notes that this 1971 work felt like the first real Yes album, hence its title. For the uninitiated, this is the first Yes album to feature Steve Howe on guitar, and was keyboard player Tony Kaye’s swansong with the band (until the 90125 era at least). What you get is the original album remixed on the CD, with two additional tracks – a studio take of ‘Clap’ and an extended version of the largely forgotten ‘A Venture’. The DVD adds a 5.1 surround mix of the album, together with high resolution stereo mixes of both the original and the remixed album. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an ‘alternate’ version of the album produced from a combination of live tracks from ’71, the two bonus tracks already mentioned and the single version of ‘Starship Trooper’. The bluray adds an instrumental version of the album, live takes of ‘America’ and ‘It’s Love’ and a couple of single edits.

What does it all *mean*?:
This is the first classic Yes album – Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper, I’ve Seen All Good People and Perpetual Change all make their first appearance here. The remix by Steven Wilson has superbly recaptured the original clarity of the sound.

Goes well with …:
If you like Yes, you’ll love the magnificence of the 5.1 surround mix – Squire’s bass, Howe’s guitar, Anderson’s voice, Bruford’s drums and Kaye’s keyboards (check the organ on ‘All Good People’) are all pristinely restored to their former glories.

Might suit people who like …:
If you liked Wilson’s efforts with Close To The Edge, then this is a must have – this is the sound as it was in the studio back in ’71, and it is glorious. In their pomp, Yes were untouchable, and there was still plenty left to come! (thanks to Dec)