While they may not have made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it was still a very big year for progressive rock icons Yes. The band hit the road with singer Jon Davison for their critically acclaimed and commercially successful Three Album Tour, playing classics The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Going For The One in their entirety. You know your humble Editor-In-Chief loves the band, and it seems that lots of Biff Bam Poppers do as well. So this gift guide entry is for the prog rock fan in your life, since there were three very cool Yes products released recently that will make any Yeshead happy.
The first comes from the fine folks at Panegyric Recordings. Working with remix/surround sound master, Steven Wilson, the label has reissued Yes’ genre-defining Close To The Edge in a definitive edition, with a remixed cd and either DVD or Blu-ray Surround Sound version, each with multiple versions of the album. As someone who has owned multiple copies of CTTE over the years, I feel totally comfortable in telling you that this is indeed the DEFINITIVE edition. The surround sound mix offers so many treats to discerning ears; but you don’t have to a longtime fan to appreciate the recording. I played the title track for fellow BBP writer JP Fallavollita, who hadn’t heard the song before, and he was literally blown away by what was coming out of the speakers. The packaging is also definitive, approximating a vinyl replica, complete with Roger Dean album art. Whether you’re buying this for someone who hasn’t listening to Yes before, or you’re giving it to the completist in your life, they will not be disappointed.
Second on our list is Time And A Word: The Yes Interviews from publishers Rufus StoneLimited Editions and written and compiled by noted British DJ Jon Kirkman. Kirkman is the proverbial Yesexpert, and he’s been working on this gorgeous coffee table book of interviews for the better part of two years, tracking down photos and interviews to create the essential Yes reading experience. Jon and I have become friends the last few years and he’s told be about his ambitions and hopes for the books, but having read through it and looked at the amazing photos contained within, I can honestly tell you he superseded even my expectations. I’m a pretty diehard Yes fan, and I learned so much from reading Time And A Word; it’s full of revelations from virtually ever musician who has passed throughout the ranks of the band. There are two versions of Time And A Word available – both are expensive and are for the most devoted of fans. If you put this under your prog rock fans tree, their mind will undoubtedly be blown, as this is the Yes book to end all Yes books. Nothing else compares.
Finally, if you’re looking to introduce a loved one to the band, you can do so with Yes: The Studio Albums 1969-1987, which compiles all of the band’s classic Atlantic Records releases in a nice, Roger Dean designed box. While it lacks the liner notes from when these albums were originally reissued back in 2003 and 2004, the price is more than right for all of these great releases – there’s not a dud amongst them (apart from Tormato).
You’ve got a ton of choices that will either make someone into a Yes fan, or help reignite their love for the band.
You order Close To The Edge in Surrond Sound here.
You can order Time And A Word: The Yes Interview here.
You can order Yes: The Studio Albums 1969-1987 here.