Yes: Rick Wakeman (keyboards); Chris Squire (bass instrument, background vocals); Steve Howe (background vocals); Jon Anderson , Alan White , Bill Bruford.
Personnel: Steve Howe (vocals, guitar); Chris Squire , Jon Anderson (vocals); Alan White , Bill Bruford (drums).
Illustrators: Martyn Dean; Roger Dean .
Photographers: Martyn Dean; David Gahr.
In 1972, Yes's brand of classically influenced, larger-than-life progressive rock had not yet been supplanted by the vitriol of punk, and concert-going kids would still greet 20-minute songs performed in their entirety with shrieks of delight and up-raised lighters. YESSONGS captures the group at the height of both its musical power and popularity. Perhaps surprisingly for such a progressive band, Yes uses the live setting to its advantage, finding musical space to explore even within its complicated arrangements. In some cases, these versions make the album versions sound a bit subdued.
Especially compelling is "And You and I" from CLOSE TO THE EDGE, and a smoking rendition of "Roundabout", which one imagines the band wasn't totally sick of playing yet. YESSONGS serves as a compelling showcase for the guitar heroics of Steve Howe, from his intimate solo-acoustic "Mood for a Day" to his scintillating solo on "Yours is No Disgrace," which seems to float in the air and uncoil like a snake. The playing of the rest of the group is equally impressive, particularly the classically inclined keyboard excursions of Rick Wakeman. YESSONGS contains many of the band's finest compositions, and is one of the definitive live documents of the progressive rock genre.