Artist – Album: Yes – The Yes Album
Released: 19th February 1971
Sounds Like: A recurring nightmare of mine from back in the day
Released way back in 1971, The Yes Album introduced the world at large to bloody guitar know-it-all Steve Howe. Whether ensconced in the archetypal proggy whig outs that define Yes or left a free reign on the acoustic ragtime of ‘Clap’, the annoyingly brilliant virtuosity of Howe’s fretwork both infuses and engulfs this record. Show off. Oh, I don’t mean to sound bitter. It’s just that Mr Howe pretty much ruined my chances of becoming the greatest guitarist of all time, that’s all...
You see, when I was 12 I was an avid guitar practiser with boundless enthusiasm, an only slightly worse-than-average finger span (barre chords were pretty much out of the question), and the scruffy mop of hair and gormless look that was the fashion with Britpop icons at the time. But then my Uncle challenged me to learn how to play ‘Clap’ and my questionable progress stalled altogether. I devoted hours for weeks on end just to learn the first thirty seconds. I couldn’t sleep without hearing the chipper plucked notes circle round and round in my head. And I just couldn’t get anywhere. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I would never become good enough, and from that day forward I’ve relied on playing Greensleeves or strumming the same four chords and subtly changing the rhythm in the hope that people would think it's something different. It’s no life for a boy of my ambition.
Jealousy aside, this album is worth a listen. ‘Yours is No Disgrace’ and ‘I’ve Seen All Good People’ are real anthems and ‘Starship Trooper’ is one of the best prog rock songs (don’t laugh) out there. If only Steve Howe wasn’t so good.
Albumaday... rating: 7/10
1. Yours Is No Disgrace – 9:41
2. Clap – 3:17
3. Starship Trooper – 9:25
I. Life Seeker
4. I’ve Seen All Good People – 6:56
I. Your Move
II. All Good People
5. A Venture – 3:18
6. Perpetual Change – 8:54
Listen to ‘Starship Trooper’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKftiJS30Cs
Also released on the 19th February:
2003: The Postal Service – Give Up