Yes: The Yes Album

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Založba: Atlantic Records
Datum izida: 19. 2. 1971
Produkcija: Eddie Offord
Dolžina albuma: 40.56 min
Zvrst: Progressive Rock
Ocena: 9.0/10


(for an English version, scroll down the bar)
Aaaaaaa! Odpustite mi, a tale recenzija bo zvenela bolj v slogu “Kratka zgodba o Steveu Howeu”. Po dveh studijskih albumih, so Yes nič hudega sluteč viseli na robu. Atlantic Records je nameravala prekiniti pogodbo z njimi, če bodo še naprej izdajali še tako komercialno neproduktivne albume. Z “The Yes Albumom” so vstali kot ptič Feniks iz pepela (čeprav jim na videz in na uho s Petrom Banksom na kitari pravzaprav ni nič manjkalo) in doživeli popoln preporod. Banks je skupino zapustil, nadomestil pa ga je fantastični Steve Howe. Integracija Stevea v bend je glavni krivec za metamorfozo, po kateri ne svet ne Yes niso ostali nikdar več takšni kot prej. Steve je takoj dokazal, da z lahkoto igra vso zapuščino svojega predhodnika. Navadno imajo skupine pri menjavah in polnjenju vrzeli v postavah probleme z nadomestitvijo manjkajočega člena v upanju in z namenom, da bo novi prišlek čimbolj uspešno kopiral predhodnika, ki je zapustil bend.

A v primeru Yes je smešno dovolj, da je to dejstvo bilo za njih še najmanjšega pomena. Kar je bilo prelomne teže je dejstvo, da je bil Steve Howe iniciator te popolne prenove, saj je vnesel celo kopico novosti in Yes so naredili enormen kvalitativni preskok v svojem glasbenem izrazu. Ne le da je bil Steve bolj vsestranski kot Banks pred njim, pač pa so sveže ideje iz njega kar letele druga za drugo. Slogovno raznovrstni kitarist je obvladoval vsega po malo od boogie country izletov (The Clap, ali del pesmi Starship Trooper imenovan Disillusion) do jazzističnih eksperimentov v solažah znotraj pesmi. Jasna pa je bila tudi njegova posebnost, da ga predolgo vztrajanje dribljanja akordov sila dolgočasi in zato skuša v vsakem prehodu najti prostor, ki ga nato solistično prevetri in prevrne na glavo. Zato s pridom izkorišča linije klaviatur, ki drže melodično ozadje, za vpletanje raznovrstnih specialitet v pesmih. V osnovi izhaja Steveov slog iz jazza. Vključen v rock skupino je njegov slog pomenil pravo revolucijo. Pred njim ni nihče zvenel kot on in (na srečo) nikdar ne bo. Z eno besedo preprosto “howeovsko”! In Yours Is No Disgrace je neposreden dokaz Steveove svojskosti in raznovrstnosti s katero je kitarist oborožen. V mini hitu Your Move se poigrava s portugalsko vachalio (vrsta kitare), skupina pa v njej kot celota seva izredno mehkobo in sofisticiranost. Tudi band ni nikdar več zvenel kot prej. Steve je potegnil vse za seboj na višjo kvalitetno raven. T. Kaye na Hammond B3 orglah je skrbel s svojimi težkimi linijami za to, da pesmi niso razpadale v motivih in tako ohranjale svojo kompaktnost. Prvič v zgodovini skupine lahko izraz “biti progresiven” zveni zares adekvatno. Polna mera Steveovega improviziranja je perfektno prizemljena skozi Hammond linije, medtem, ko je ritem linija dobila s Steveom še več maneverskega prostora in vnesla v celoten Yes izraz še več melodike in s tem v glasbo Yes še dodaten kontrast.

Morda se sliši ironično, a Yes so postali trši in lažji. Trši zvokovno, lažji pa z aranžmaji. Lažji zlasti v smislu, da so našli formulo skladne kombinatorike izbire motivov, ki skozi pesmi ležijo v “prima” ravnovesju in tečejo fluidno. Trši so postali predvsem zaradi zvoka Chrisovega basa, ki je postajal vse bolj poudarjen in Tonyjevega omenjenega načina orglarjenja. Če k temu dodamo doprinos nepogrešljivi hripavi soprano vokal Jona Andersona, so se tako prerojeni Yes podali pogumno svojemu najbolj produktivnemu obdobju naproti.

Avtor: Aleš Podbrežnik (recenzija je bila prvič objavljena leta 2003 za spletni glabeni portal Firegoat)

English version:
AAA!!! Forgive me, but this review is more like “A Story of Steve Howe”. This is where a real take off for the band starts. It changed band’s musical expressions forever. Peter Banks leaves the band, Steve Howe joins in. As a band’s new recruit Steve was already very familiar with Peter’s guitar playing style and that was more than obvious, ’cause he has integrated very easily into the band’s musical directions.

Funnily enough, perhaps even ironically this seemed to be the less important fact for the band. When comes to splits of original line ups it is usual problem for the band to find appropriate replacement and to find a guy who would be successful in copying his predecessor’s playing style. But the point where Peter and Yes parted their ways was, looking back now over thirty years, not only of extreme importance for the band’s further musical directions, but also for the entire rock scene. Highly talented and gifted newcomer served not only as Peter’s replacement, he was also the income of fresh ideas that were new to the band. Steve developed his own guitar style that influences even now days on many young guitarists. Guy brought a good portion of jazz inside the music. And specialty which was translated into new Yes language sounded as nothing else ever sounded or will ever sound. It can be described as strictly “howeish”. Term “progressive” in Yes music, becomes more appropriate for the first time.

Whole sound becomes cleaner and structures are figured now on much tighter and compact way and beside that assembled together on a way that leaves motives to run smoothly and more fluidly as on first two records. Generally speaking the whole sound becomes heavier thankfully to the chunky Hammond B3 organ dashes (Perpetual Change, Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper) and of course Chris’s heavy bass drives, that began to sound more and more thunderous. On the other hand it seems as if band learned to compose in a much sophisticated and subtle way (Your Move). At those days no one even think about that challenging Steve’s integration into Yesworld would be of such great importance. Steve’s advantages were not only that he was more diverse skilled than Banks (don’t get me wrong Peter, I respect all you’ve ever done for Yes), but also cause his uniqueness and the way how he freely and spontaneously delivered the whole Yes sound a new qualities. So “The Yes Album” (1971) is somehow band’s new beginning, a rebirth if you wish. Listen Yours Is No Disgrace. Howe’s involvement of putting all those unmistakable diverse touches surely outstands in that song. Other guys just followed him. Rhythm line also becomes more melodic then ever before. Accompanied with Anderson’s soaring irreplaceable vocals and Kaye’s keyboard lines that helped in keeping all songs not to fall apart, renewed and stronger Yes moved now bravely forward into their most productive period.

Seznam skladb:
1. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:36)
2. Clap (Recorded Live at the Lyceum, London) (3:07)
3. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker / Disillusion / Wurm (9:23)
4. I’ve Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People (6:47)
5. A Venture (3:13)
6. Perpetual Change (8:50)
dodatne skladbe na ponatisu iz leta 2003:
7. Your Move (single version) (2:59)
8. Starship Trooper: Life Seeker (single version) (3:27)
9. Clap (studio version) (4:01)

Zasedba:
Jon Anderson – vokal, tolkala
Steve Howe – akustične, električne kitare, portugalska 12-strunska kitara na skladbi št. 4, spremljevalni vokal
Tony Kaye – Hammond orgle, klavir, Moog sintetizator
Chris Squire – bas kitara, spremljevalni vokal
Bill Bruford – bobni, tolkala


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