Image: Roger Dean
Yessongs was the first album I bought by Yes. Originally a triple LP, it was reissued as a double CD in the mid ’90s. For some reason, it was never remastered when Rhino polished up all the band’s studio releases a few years ago. But it’s still one of my favorites. Prog rock gets slagged off as an endless series of wanky solos, but Yes’s music was never about that. Despite the length of their songs, their music had an intense discipline and focus, but it still rocked. A lot of this was due to bassist Chris Squire, who’s got an unmistakable tone and one of the most attack-oriented styles in rock. The album was recorded during tours in support of Fragile and Close to the Edge, and also documents the departure of drummer Bill Bruford and his replacement by Alan White.
Anyway, there was also a filmed version of Yessongs, which features two of the same performances as the album (“Close to the Edge” and the “Würm” section of “Starship Trooper”) but is otherwise different. It was released on DVD in 1997, and it’s below in its entirety. Enjoy!