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Yes (Expanded and Remastered)

Review by Gary Hill

One of the releases in the series of discs that showcase remastered Yes albums with additional material added, this one focuses on the first album. I’ve reviewed the original version of that disc previously (and the track by tracks for those songs here are taken from that review for consistency). The sound of this re-release is, of course, great – as is the expanded booklet. The real proof in the pudding comes in the form of the bonus tracks – we essentially get three of them, with alternate versions of all of them. All are good, but other than “Something’s Coming” my hunch is they are more in keeping with Time and A Word than this disc. Personally I would have loved to have had a couple live versions on this. Still, any Yes is good and more Yes is better – so this is a great release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Beyond and Before
This is a fast paced, quirky number that has a great psychedelic texture and show signs of the Yes that is to come. Anderson's vocal here seems to be matched with those of Peter Banks. Squire can also be heard to sing on this one. Banks' guitar work is all over this song, even during the vocal segments. I personally like this technique, rather than compartmentalizing instrumental solos and vocal segments. A mellow interlude lends a nice contrast and leads to a weird psychedelic break that serves as the outro.
I See You
This is the first of two covers on the disc, the original artist here being The Byrds. Yes' take on this is a great jazzy excursion that is laced throughout with Banks' guitar explorations. Once again Anderson's vocals are far from the central ones on the piece. This features a high-energy jam that showcases the band's creative fury that would explode out later in their writing. There is a nearly unaccompanied free form jazz guitar solo here.
Yesterday and Today
"Yesterday and Today" is a mellow and quite pretty, but rather forgettable ballad.
Looking Around
This one comes in quite frantic and the pace holds throughout most of the cut, mellower segments occasionally provide a nice contrast. Banks; guitar work is quite inspired at points on this number.
Harold Land
Arguably "Harold Land" is the first number that really feels much like what the band was later to become. The anti-war piece alternates mellower and faster hard-edged segments to create a great sonic contrast. It features several distinct themes, and all members of the band find chances to shine within the song structure. They break into a rather Beatlesesque section to end. This is one of the highlights of the disc.
Every Little Thing
A Beatles cover, Yes starts this with a free form jam that at times is quite frantic and hard edged. They eventually drop to the main melody line, throwing in the familiar "Day Tripper" riff for good measure. Yes' take on this one is both reverent and experimental, showing that a true pop classic can be taken to new experimental heights. It gets a bit weird at times.
Another mellow balladic cut, this one is definitely stronger than "Yesterday and Today". It is a bit more rock and roll and run of the mill than most older Yes, but still holds up remarkably well. Chris Squire's bass work adds a lot of character to this one.
The other highlight of the album, this begins with some almost funky guitar that gives way to another free form jam that the band seems so fond of in those days. This eventually works through, then gives way to a balladic segment that serves as the bulk of the piece. During the lyrics Anderson sing, "the beginning of things to come", and these words seem truly prophetic on this cut. This is a definite strong point, and has weathered they years quite well.
Everydays (Single Version)
While this is not precisely the same as the cut that appears on the next Yes album, Time and A Word, it’s close enough that I have used my review of that version here. It still basically applies. While much of this cut is a rather forgettable jazzy ballad, the center piece frantic jam that makes up the mid-section is awesome and certainly brings the power of the entire piece up. This one is all over the place, and Banks really shines here.
Dear Father (Early Version #2)
While the version of this cut appears on Yesterdays, this version is an earlier version. It lacks the string section that was all over that and has a bit of a different arrangement – feeling a bit mellower. That said, it’s still a great cut that combines prog rock with psychedelia and strong pop music. This is by no means any kind of demo version, feeling very complete and produced. 
Something's Coming -
Previously found only on the Yesyears Box Set (at least I think this is the same version), this song is a wonderfully psychedelic/progressive take on this piece from the musical West Side Story, and contains some fine percussion and guitar work. “Something`s Coming” is an excellent example of what early Yes was all about.
Everydays (Early Version#1)
This is an alternate take of the track we got just before “Something’s Coming.” It’s actually a bit shorter. Somehow, though,  it feels longer. In many ways it’s not that different, but still I seem to like it better.
Dear Father (Early Version #1)
Another recording of “Dear Father” this has a few things that seem a bit different, but again it’s close to the original and the version found on Yesterdays. In some ways the vocal performance on this feels like it stands out more – it’s more distinctive.
Something's Coming (Early Version)
The set is closed with an alternate take of “Something’s Coming.” This is a longer version than the one we got earlier in the set. There are some difference and I particularly like the little vocal interlude put in the midst of this.
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