illustrator: Peter De Smet
From Dutch Magazine PEP, 1972
These days loud is less important than melodious in pop music. The English group Yes follows that trend. Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Bill Bruford (drums and percussion), Steve Howe (electric and acoustic guitar) and Rick Wakeman (organ, mellotron, synthesizer) bring orchestral-rock. The dramatic-appearing Yes-sound is reminiscent of what Soft Machine, Frank Zappa and The Beatles produced in their early days.
On stage, the songs the band released on their four records are performed perfectly. Everything that happens breathes an atmosphere of professionalism without everything turning into speeding through unthinkingly. And yet the group isn’t big in the scene. Little is being written about the formation. On the other hand, Yes is being listened to a lot. That much the two concerts they played in the chock full Concertgebouw in the past year proved.
Fragile, the fourth and most recent album by Yes, turned out to be a record containing little to no weak spots. Especially the chilling Heart of The Sunrise and the piercing Roundabout are beautiful. Solos are common on Fragile. Maybe too common. Chris Squire: “That much we are being blamed for. But, we had to get an album out quick after all, because we were in financial difficulties. Because of that, we couldn’t focus enough attention on the recordings. Our next album will let the whole band be heard again. It will likely be a double LP with live recordings.”
Yes is especially popular in America. The five currently hold the fourth spot in the record Top Hundred with Fragile. Christ: “You can easily get a hit in America. The public there is nowhere near as critical as in Europe. Especially the arrival of Rick Wakeman, a classically trained organ-player from The Strawbs was a not-weak reinforcement during our last tour through The States. The boy totally made it in America.”
After the tour that lasted 42 days, Rick had to stay in bed according to doctor’s orders. Wakeman: “In those 42 days, we gave 47 concerts. Afterwards, I collapsed. Still, the tour was an incredible experience. You know who listened to us? Among others the boys from the Three Dog Night and the Iron Butterfly and musicians from Little Richard’s and Stevie Wonder’s bands.” What more can we expect from Yes? Wakeman: “Do you know heavy groups like The Cream and The Who? Well, we’ll go one step further. Our music will be classically-oriented, but electrically-played, of course. We’ll continue to search for new ways.”
Thanks for the translation !!