lördag 10 januari 2015

Yes - Selftitled (1st Rare Album UK 1969)

310:- (SHM-CD Limited Remaster Edition. Albumet släpptes 2009 och är nu en utgången utgåva. Original utvik Konvolut.)

Yes is the 1969 debut album from British progressive rock band Yes, considered among the first progressive rock albums. With the original Yes line-up of vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford, Yes was the quintet's original musical statement, one that merged harmonic beauty with heavy instrumental backing.

While many music critics regarded it as a strong initial effort, the album was not a large commercial success, due in part to the inexperience of the band and the producers. The album was also overshadowed by Led Zeppelin's debut album, released earlier that year.

Two of the eight songs on the album are covers, which the band use to demonstrate their penchant for massively reworking others' songs; The Beatles' "Every Little Thing" is turned into a grungy wall of sound with several tempo and key changes with an extended jam opening, and The Byrds' "I See You" becomes a jazzy psychedelic workout for Banks and Bruford to display their instrumental virtuosity.

Lester Bangs favourably reviewed the album in Rolling Stone, writing that it was "the kind of album that sometimes insinuates itself into your routine with a totally unexpected thrust of musical power.

Yes' debut album is surprisingly strong, given the inexperience of all those involved at the time. In an era when psychedelic meanderings were the order of the day, Yes delivered a surprisingly focused and exciting record that covered lots of bases (perhaps too many) in presenting their sound. The album opens boldly, with the fervor of a metal band of the era playing full tilt on "Beyond and Before," but it is with the second number, a cover of the Byrds' "I See You," that they show some of their real range. The song is highlighted by an extraordinary jazz workout from lead guitarist Peter Banks and drummer Bill Bruford that runs circles around the original by Roger McGuinn and company. 

"Harold Land" was the first song on which Chris Squire's bass playing could be heard in anything resembling the prominence it would eventually assume in their sound and anticipates in its structure the multi-part suites the group would later record, with its extended introduction and its myriad shifts in texture, timbre, and volume. 

And then there is "Every Little Thing," the most daring Beatles cover ever to appear on an English record, with an apocalyptic introduction and extraordinary shifts in tempo and dynamics, Banks' guitar and Bruford's drums so animated that they seem to be playing several songs at once.

This song also hosts an astonishingly charismatic performance by Jon Anderson. There were numerous problems in recording this album, owing to the inexperience of the group, the producer, and the engineer, in addition to the unusual nature of their sound. Many of the numbers give unusual prominence to the guitar and drums, thus making it the most uncharacteristic of all the group's albums.

♫♪♪ John Anderson: lead vocals, percussion
♫♪♪ Peter Banks: guitars, vocals
♫♪♪ Chris Squire: bass guitar, vocals
♫♪♪ Tony Kaye: organ, piano
♫♪♪ Bill Bruford: drums, vibraphone

01."Beyond and Before" (Squire/Clive Bailey) – 4:58
02."I See You" (Jim McGuinn/David Crosby) – 6:54
03."Yesterday and Today" (Anderson) – 2:53
04."Looking Around" (Anderson/Squire) – 4:05
05."Harold Land" (Anderson/Bruford/Squire) – 5:45
06."Every Little Thing" (Lennon/McCartney) – 5:46
07."Sweetness" (Anderson/Clive Bailey/Squire) – 4:35
08."Survival" (Anderson) – 6:23

Bonus tracks
09."Everydays (Single Version)" (Stephen Stills) – 6:23
10."Dear Father (Early Version #2)" (Anderson/Squire) – 5:51
11."Something's Coming" (Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim) – 7:09
12."Everydays (Early Version)" (Stephen Stills) – 5:18
13."Dear Father (Early Version #1)" (Anderson/Squire) – 5:31
14."Something's Coming (Early Version)" (Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim) – 8:02