Yessongs was the first live album by progressive rock group Yes in 1972 and it was a triple promoting the Fragile and Close To The Edge studio albums. It is now a double CD.
This album challenges the idea that progressive rock live albums aren’t exciting. I’ve even wondered myself whether some groups are better in the studio than live but Yes show they are terrific.
My Rating – 28 out of 30 (10 + 9 + 9)
Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars
A great set list pulling from the progressive rock classic albums The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Fragile.
- Excerpt from Firebird Suite – 3:47 (traditional Yes concert opening by Igor Stravinsky)
- Siberian Khatru – 9:03 (from Close To The Edge)
- Heart of the Sunrise – 11:33 (Fragile)
- Perpetual Change – 14:11 (The Yes Album)
- And You and I – 9:33 (Close To The Edge)
- Mood for a Day – 2:53 (Fragile)
- Excerpts from The Six Wives of Henry VIII – 6:37 (from the Rick Wakeman solo album The Six Wives of Henry VIII)
- Roundabout – 8:33 (Fragile)
- I’ve Seen All Good People – 7:09 (The Yes Album)
- Long Distance Runaround/The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) – 13:37 (both were originally on Fragile)
- Close to the Edge – 18:13 (Close To The Edge)
- Yours Is No Disgrace – 14:23 (The Yes Album)
- Starship Trooper – 10:08 (The Yes Album)
The Yes Album is probably my favourite Yes studio album and, when I was revising for my final accountancy exams, I had a double cassette of Close To the Edge and Fragile which I played virtually all the time. This set list has to be worthy of 10 out of 10 to any prog rock fan as I can’t imagine many putting up an argument for including anything else in the 130 minute masterclass if it meant losing anything already on the album.
Here are a few videos of Yes performing live in 1972 or 1973 to show you what a great album Yessongs really is. Just as you’d hope, the performance sounds more aggressive and fiery than the studio albums. It’s amazing that they can perform this complicated music live in concert but my only niggle is that I wish they’d strayed away from the studio songs a little more. 9 out of 10 for performance.
And You And I
Yours Is No Disgrace
Are those fantastic? You need to get this double CD of Yessongs don’t you?
As for atmosphere and authenticity then we have what is arguably the definitive version of yes with Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Squires and White. Others may argue for Brufford as the better drummer but I’m happy with the man who appears on the Close To the Edge studio album.
It would be nice to hear the band show more personality and the sound is a little muddy compared to modern recordings. Another 9 out of 10 from me.
That gives the album a total rating score of 28 out of 30, just one short of the maximum I’ve ever given to any album. This is a genuine progressive rock classic live album.
What Others Say About Yessongs
Yessongs is recognised a great live album and has featured a number of times on the greatest live album ever lists.
Planet Rock – 12th
Classic Rock – 18th
DigitalDreamDoor.com – 93rd
Over at Amazon, there are plenty of great reviews.
To help you to find the album quickly and easily, I’ve given you the following links::
There is also a Yessongs DVD which is where I believe the YouTube videos come from. This doesn’t have the full set list that the Yessongs CDs have.
What Do You Think About Yessongs?
Do you think that Yessongs is as a good as its reputation?
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
I’m running a poll to find the best live albums
Because there are so many great progressive rock live albums I have split the poll into two and you may find some of your favourites in the second division. Albums will be promoted when they get enough votes.