Monday, March 29, 2021

TCCDM Pulls One Out..."YES" - YES (1969)

"YES" - YES (1969)

Part of the fun of collecting vinyl is spinning the egg from whence a legendary band has hatched.  In 1969, YES released their eponymous debut album sans guitarist Steve Howe...sans keyboardist Rick Wakeman...hell, even artist Roger Dean was missing.  On this enjoyable debut, Peter Banks was wielding the ax.  Tony Kaye was commandeering the keys.  And David Gahr was responsible for the album cover.

And still, the band was cooking with electric gas even then.  However, the album was more prog-pop than we were used to.  Elements of jazz snaked into the mix.  And, oh yeah, the band added a few psychedelic flourishes here and there.  In fact, if you are someone not especially fond of YES, check out this biscuit.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

"YES" (back)

Favorites include the wickedly clever cover of The Beatles, "Every Little Thing."  Beatle covers are pretty much a snore for me, but with a few exceptions.  (Spooky Tooth quickly comes to mind for their great take on "...Walrus.")   YES takes an average Beatle song and makes it their own.  They also turn The Byrds, "I See You" into a jazzy 7-minute jam feed with everyone having a go.  "Looking Around" rocks balls with Kaye, Banks, Squire, and Bruford bouncing off each other.  Harmonies, led by Jon Anderson, are a joy.  "Survival" closes out the album with rushes of gorgeous chord changes so nice for the head.    

My copy is a 1975 US Presswell repress that I found at a Hutchinson Swap Meet once upon a time.  I actually like this US album cover better than the cartoon bubble found on the UK version.  Both albums included a double-sided lyric sheet when issued.  Unfortunately, I am the owner of a lonely missing lyrics sheet.  Whaddyagonnado?

Atlantic sleeve

Atlantic label

Cat #
SD 8243
SIDE A  MATRIX
ST-A-691679B BB-1  AT/GP  PR  
SIDE B  MATRIX
ST-A-6916 8C-BBB-1  AT/GP  PR

"Looking Around" - YES (1969)

TRACKS:
A1  "Beyond and Before" 4:50
A2  "I See You" 6:33
A3  "Yesterday and Today" 2:37
A4  "Looking Around" 3:49
B1  "Harold Land" 5:26
B2  "Every Little Thing" 5:24
B3  "Sweetness" 4:19
B4  "Survival" 6:01

PERSONNEL:
Jon Anderson – vocals, incidental percussion
Tony Kaye – organ, piano
Peter Banks – guitars, b-vocals
Chris Squire – bass, b-vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, vibraphone

Good stuff.

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