70’s prog-rock band Yes are really hit and miss for me. I enjoy a lot of their earlier work but they shifted gears later on and started making the sort of music we now mock when lamenting the cultural shortcomings of that polarizing age known as The 80’s. That aside, they have contributed some amazing work over the years; their eponymous first album is largely considered to be the first Progressive Rock album and it’s certainly a classic. One of my all time favorite songs is the track Survival from that very same album. The production and musicianship on these earlier songs is, to me, perfection. It’s these sort of songs that really make me miss the hot summers of my home. It’s funny how the context of your first experience with a song colors your perception of it from that point forward. Although it is an incredibly beautiful song, hearing Survival usually gets me a little down, I start missing home and getting all nostalgic. The first minute is something altogether transcendent. Being an electronic musician who doesn’t use traditional vocals, the instrumental parts of songs like this are great reference points for building emotion into a song without the need for vocals.
Yes – Survival[audio:survival.mp3]
Yes was also a visually interesting band. The top five images are paintings by Roger Dean, some of which were used as Yes album covers. The second image is some random shot I found on Flickr while searching for Yes covers. This guy came prepared for whatever he’s about to get into: Portable tape recorder, box of tapes, joint, football, paper towels and of course, a Yes T-Shirt. The final image is from a series of Yes logos also by Dean.