The Yes Album

The Yes Album
The Yes Album
Studio album by Yes
Released 19 February 1971
Recorded October–November 1970 at Advision Studios in London
Genre Progressive rock
Length 41:44
Label Atlantic
Producer Yes and Eddie Offord
Yes chronology
Time and a Word
The Yes Album
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (8.1/10)[2]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars [3]
Robert Christgau (B-)[4]
George Starostin (overall 12/15)[5]
Piero Scaruffi (7/10)[6]
The Daily Vault (B+)[7]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[8]

The Yes Album is the third studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on Atlantic Records. It is the last record to feature keyboardist Tony Kaye until 1983, and the first to feature guitarist Steve Howe, who replaced Peter Banks in 1970. The album was written and rehearsed at a farmhouse in Devonshire, then home to Langley Studios, which was later bought by Howe who now lives there.

Upon its release in February 1971, The Yes Album peaked at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart[9] and number 40 on the US Billboard 200[10], where it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The Yes Album is seen as the group's breakthrough release, setting the stage for their success with their following albums Fragile (1971) and Close to the Edge (1972).

Jon Anderson is credited as John Anderson on the album. Soon after, he dropped the "h" from his first name.

The album cover shows Tony Kaye with his foot in a cast. He had been in a car accident shortly before the picture was taken.


Background and content

Steve Howe appeared with the band for the first time and played a prominent role throughout. The band explored longer songs with "Yours Is No Disgrace", "Starship Trooper", and "Perpetual Change", foreshadowing the many side-length tracks that followed on Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer.

The spacey, electronic-sounding guitar effect in "Starship Trooper" was achieved via a flanger, a device that was relatively new at the time of the recording.

Tony Kaye preferred Hammond B-3 and piano over the "new" (at the time) Moog synthesizers that Anderson was interested in using. This became a cause of contention within the band and had an influence on the line-up change, bringing in Rick Wakeman and his array of electronic keyboards from Strawbs.

In 2000 Q magazine placed the album at number 86 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.

Howe's solo acoustic tune, "Clap", was heavily influenced by the Davy Graham track 'Fingerbuster'. The piece was written to celebrate the birth of Howe's son Dylan and the baby's attempts to clap in his pram.[citation needed]

According to Alice Cooper on his radio show Nights with Alice Cooper, Anderson claimed to have written the first two movements of "Starship Trooper" alone, though the "Disillusion" movement(which evolved from an earlier song "For Everyone", heard on Something's Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 and The Word Is Live) is credited to Chris Squire.

The Würm part of "Starship Trooper" is a continuous cadenza of chords (G-Eb-C) played by ensemble and repeated adlib: first accompaniment: electric guitar on the right stereo channel, then acoustic guitar, bass pedals, and drums from middle channel, then organ and bass guitar with vibrato and distortion from left channel, then starts the guitar solo, that swaps from side to side. The whole piece lasts about three and a half minutes. "Würm" originally evolved from a song called "Nether Street" by Howe's earlier group, Bodast. While "Wurm" (without the umlaut over the "u") is an Old English word for "dragon" (worm, wurm, wyrm), the Würm is a river in Germany which gave its name to an ice age in geology.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Yours Is No Disgrace" (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye, Bill Bruford) – 9:41
  2. "Clap" (Howe) – 3:17
    • Recorded live at The Lyceum Theatre, London, 17 July 1970
  3. "Starship Trooper" – 9:25
    1. "Life Seeker" (Anderson)
    2. "Disillusion" (Squire)
    3. "Würm" (Howe)

Side two

  1. "I've Seen All Good People" – 6:56
    1. "Your Move" (Anderson)
    2. "All Good People" (Squire)
  2. "A Venture" (Anderson) – 3:18
  3. "Perpetual Change" (Anderson, Squire) – 8:54

2003 remaster bonus tracks

  1. "Your Move" [Single Version] (Anderson) - 3:00
  2. "Starship Trooper: Life Seeker" [Single Version] (Anderson) - 3:28
  3. "Clap" [Studio Version] (Howe) - 4:02



  • 1988 – Atlantic – CD
  • 1994 – Atlantic – CD (Remastered)
  • 2001 – JPN Limited Edition – ???
  • 2003 – Rhino – LP & CD (Remastered with bonus Tracks )
  • 2010 – MFSL – CD (Sourced from the original master tapes)[11]

Rhino reissue

The Yes Album was remastered and reissued in 2003 by Rhino Records with several bonus tracks, including a studio version of "Clap". The original LP and CD version of The Yes Album refer to the song as "The Clap". The Rhino reissue refers to the song as "Clap" on the traycard, as Steve Howe intended.


  • The Yes Album, CD booklet essay, Bill Martin, c.2003
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c.2002
  • Prog Archives: The Yes Album
  • YES: The Authorized Biography, Dan Hedges, 1981.


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce (2011 [last update]). "The Yes Album - Yes | AllMusic". Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Yes: The Yes Album / Fragile / Close to the Edge / Tales from Topographic Oceans / Relayer / Going for the One / Tormato / Drama / 90125". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Yes - The Yes Album (album review) | Sputnikmusic". 2011 [last update]. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011 [last update]). "Robert Christgau: CG: yes". Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Yes". 2006 [last update]. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Scaruffi, Piero (2010 [last update]). "The History of Rock Music. Yes: biography, discography, reviews, links". Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Warburg, Jason (2011 [last update]). "The Daily Vault Music Reviews : The Yes Album". Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Lechner, Ernesto (2011 [last update]). "Yes: The Yes Album : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "UK chart history - Yes The Yes Album". Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  10. ^ Billboard albums chart info - Yes The Yes Album at Allmusic. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Yes - The Yes Album II 24 KT Gold CD". Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Inc.( Retrieved 12 August 2011. 

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