Howdy all y’all. It’s album of the week time again here in An Sibin. It’s sunny, it’s hot, and it’s humid. It must be August. With that in mind, we thought some good old 70s rock to help keep what’s left of the season awesome. For the week of August 17th, 2018 The Public Records presents ‘The Yes Album’ by Yes (Atlantic Records, 1971).

The band Yes (ranked by VH1 as 94 of 100 greatest rock bands) has a long history and even longer catalog consisting of 21 studio albums. Yes has been home to many musicians including Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire, and Jon Anderson. They’ve sold over 13 million albums in America alone and have received a Grammy; and of course we all know the song ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’.

The group was formed in London in 1968 and after a rocky beginning with several changes to their line-up, were finally able to find their sound. They got their big break as an emergency replacement when Sly and the Family Stone failed to show up for a gig in London and they were then able to keep up that momentum when they were included as a supporting act for Cream’s farewell concert at The Royal Albert Hall.

Everything was going swimmingly for this early prog rock outfit until one evening in 1969 when the group saw King Crimson perform. They quickly realized that were not the only game in town, that the fledgling genre of progressive rock was not solely theirs, and that they needed to become a lot more technical very quickly. They began regular rehearsals and with their growing fame were able to sign with Atlantic Records.

Their first album, Yes, failed to make the charts; however, it did attract the attention of the highly regarded Rolling Stone music critic Lester Bangs who complimented the band for their ‘sense of style, taste, and subtlety’. So not too shabby out of the gate. Even though the album failed to chart, Yes was obviously good enough to maintain their contract with Atlantic and continue to make music.

This brings us to our album of the week – The Yes Album – the third studio album for the group being released in 1971. Their previous two albums had failed to make the charts or do well commercially, so Atlantic was considering dropping them. This was a make or break moment for them and the band spent most of the year 1970 writing new material and rehearsing it.

The result was an album full of new and original material (as opposed to their previous works which were often complicated and technical rearrangements of popular covers) and featuring a new guitarist, Steve Howe. These steps were what had needed to be taken. The Yes Album hit number 4 on the UK charts and 40 in the US eventually going Platinum (this means selling over 1,000,000 copies). The album gave us the songs ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’ and ‘I’ve Seen All Good People’ and technically opened the door for another 18 albums.

So why not come on down and beat the heat in An Sibin with Yes and while you’re listening to it see if you can hear the vachalia. And now that we’re talking about it; who knows what a vachalia is? Back to the topic at hand, Sibin, Yes, blah blah blah. Where were we? Oh yeah! Come on down, beat the heat to the album of week and enjoy yourself with a Gunpowder Tom Collins suggested by our very own Nick Pace!