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used records review:

yes, yes, no.

Chris Auman

Yes Fragile

An Overview

Yes? Ahh, that's gonna be a NO. I've never met a Yes fan in real life, but I don't doubt they used to exist. I've never met a pterodactyl either but since I am not a Young Earth Creationist (or a moron), I don't doubt that they existed too. That's why I am confident that somewhere out there, there is a fossilized Yes fan just chilling in amber.

One thing that all music historians agree on is that the best thing about the Prog Rock band Yes is Roger Dean’s kick-ass cover art. The fact that there are complicated music compositions on those record albums does muck things up a bit, but that’s why I’m here. This is what I do.

What most people don’t realize is that the band Yes actually formed in 1968. That's like, hippie times. Yes didn't quite fit in back then and it would be a few years before they would carve a niche out for themselves by creating unsettling, if not annoying, epic, classic rock music, even if it wasn't so classic yet.

There was a point in time a few years back when I went through a brief Yes phase, and by brief I mean it might have lasted one week, maybe two. This is actually quite a long period considering the brevity of some of my phases. I recently went through a two day Grateful Dead phase and then was promptly over it. At any rate, in this Yes period of time, I searched out as many dusty old Yes LPs as I could find. I found a lot. Quite easily. Out of the millions of people who bought Yes albums throughout the '70s and '80s, most were more than happy to sell them for pennies on the dollar.

Listening to a steady diet of Yes for a period of one, maybe two weeks will absolutely change the chemistry of your brain. I can't say I enjoyed this period but I was feeling a sense of compulsion. When Jon Anderson delivers a vocal line, in his flinty falsetto, like "In and around the lake mountains come out of the sky and they stand there" that gets stuck in your brain and it stands there. Sometimes for days on end. It is an odd sensation.

When Yes came out in the late 1960s, they were just another British psychedelic rock band. The 1970s were devoted to incredible overindulgences of overwrought, overprogressive, overkillness. Surprisingly when the Yes record 90125 came out in 1983 it actually managed to sound like it belonged in the '80s. Is this 90125 as good as its peers in a number-named album genre that includes Rush's 2112 and Van Halen's triple play of 1984, 5150 or OU812? Yes? No? Maybe? The point is, who cares? Like I said, Yes fans have been extinct for over twenty years so there's no sense wasting precious Internet space on the debate.

If, however, there was such a thing as a Yes fan alive in the 21st Century, I should be very much interested in studying this creature. I would be fascinated to follow this Yeshead around for a day or two just to see what sort of bleak existence it leads. This concludes our examination of the Prog Rock band, Yes. Class is dismissed.

BUY: Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection

READ MORE: Used Record Reviews


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