Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#39: Yes - The Yes Album

Release Year: 1971

I can describe why I like this album in two words: Steve Howe.

This was Howe's first record with the band, and his contribution is noticeable, to say the least.  While this album doesn't enjoy the popularity of Yes's two following albums, Fragile and Close To The Edge (both very good albums), this is the album that began their run of excellent records, and my favorite.

It's hard to find a better song than "Starship Trooper," and I have to say the last movement of the song, entitled "Würm," is one of the best instrumental stretches in any rock song, and one of the best endings ever.  I know that sounds like somewhat of a hyperbole, but it's really tough to deny (incidentally, "Würm" was composed by Howe).

The other reason I really like this album is because of another Howe contribution, "Clap."  This is one of my favorite guitar pieces, for its melody and technical creativity alike.  It is this song that makes me wish I were a more accomplished guitarist, because I would love to be able to just pull out an acoustic guitar and rip this one out.  If you play guitar, and you haven't heard this song... What are you waiting for?

This is a very solid album for Yes.  It came after they had achieved incredible musical aptitude, but before they started writing songs that require your full concentration to enjoy.

Standout tracks:
  • Starship Trooper
  • I've Seen All Good People
  • Clap 

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