Yes… YES! This week we are going to delve into the mythical prog wonderland that is Yes.. Their third studio album to be precise.. But before we get started I would like to dedicate this edition of Tori’s Turntable to founding member and legendary bassist Chris Squire who sadly left us this year. He was the glue for this incredible band and brought so much enthusiasm and gumption to Yes’s performance. He will be dearly missed.
The Yes Album, released in 1971 was the bands breakthrough record and can be recognized by its top 40 hit “Seen All Good People.” Although a wonderful song, there is far more to this album than just one hit, it’s a pictorial record that should be listened to in its entirety, every song builds upon the next, slowly slipping you into a dreamlike landscape reminiscent of a Roger Dean painting (A trippy artist who would best be known for designing Yes’s future album covers.) At the time that The Yes Album was being recorded Yes was in fear of getting dropped by their label having little success with their two previous records. This is the album where they found their “proggy” sound. A big influence was the addition of guitar GOD Steve Howe. A classically trained mad man who plays with more quickness and soul than the best of them. This is one of those records that makes you sit and re-evaluate the meaning of life (Or maybe that’s just the pot) it’s deep.. it’s technical, but all so freeing at the same time. All of the musicians are so incredibly talented, they know how to interplay and compliment each other with challenging solos and soulful riffs, there really are no “weak parts” to The Yes Album. The line up includes Chris Squire (Bass), Steve Howe (Guitar), John Anderson (Vocals), Bill Bruford (Drums) and Tony Kaye (Keyboards) The Yes Album is really something you’ll have to hear for yourself to appreciate its otherworldly intricacies.. I hope it resonates with you in some unique way.
Now I may be biased… But Starship Trooper is one of the greatest songs ever written!! Ok.. so it’s an incredible tune, a world all its own. For Yes fans this is the song that shoots you right in the heart with Howe’s simple but moving guitar riff at the end only to make its way into the death rattle titled “Wurm”. Here is a live version from 1973… Notice legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman and his EPIC cape!
Another little tune which is a great example of Steve Howe’s incredible guitar playing is “The Clap” Although a peculiar name, this piece will leave you mesmerized. A cheerful tune in which he dedicates to his son Dylan.
Lastly, here is a picture of Yes with me at the Tulalip Casino. The morning show had the honor of introducing them before their concert last year. It was one of the greatest nights of my life. So honored to have stood by THE man… Chris Squire.