Other than the very first “Yes” album and “Time and a Word”, the identifiable Yes torrents of instrumental passages of time and angelic vocals have remained strong if not prominent. The first two were still at a loss for identity. Still good efforts, but somewhere I believe in search mode for where they wanted to land musically. Covers of Beatles and CSNY weren’t outside of their realm at the time. And yet upon discovering their niche they took off like a retro rocket in the outer regions of the empires of eternal void.
The classic “Yes Album”, “Fragile”, and “Close to the Edge” are forever embedded in the sedimentary rock in which they were fashioned. “Tales from Topographic Oceans” may have been a turning point in Yesdom but the but the massive overtones still rang clearly and Anderson’s vocals remained as delicate as ever, still ravaged by Roger Dean’s mountainous aviations.
“Relayer” has always been one of my favorites with the endearing “Gates of Delirium”. Some personnel changes brought the band close to the edge a few times but always managed to stand upright in the music world.
Some wonderful extras as far as songs are added to enhance the albums in this delightfully adorned box set with the prevalent artwork flaunted about the perimeter.
“Going for the One” has some great outtakes or rehearsal material and the difference in instrumental breaks are evident and satisfying, especially Steve Howe’s masterful guitar work gliding in every direction.
When “The Buggles” Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes entered the Yes domain, many listeners were concerned over losing their signature vocal sound, but I must say, Trevor Horn’s vocalization comes right up to the mount and stands tall, not to mention Geoff Downes keyboard wizardry prevailing as well, making the “Drama” album one of their most interesting.
The “Relayer” album featured Patrick Moraz on keyboards who splendidly filled the Yes sound having originally played with “Refugee” and his brief stint with the Moody Blues.
An amazing package for Yes lovers who not only want all of their classic material but that dainty little box as well. Don’t live on the edge…just close to it.