On 25th of July 1969, Yes, who was by then just a group of young but daring musicians, entered the music scene with their self-titled debut album. It was released by Atlantic Records. The songs, just as daring as the name of the album itself, would go on to become a basis for the group to evolve upon and improve the new and promising prog sound.
Their influences were clear, ranging from the evolutionary progress of the Beatles to the innovative concepts of Pink Floyd and Procol Harum, Yes absorbed these sounds and went on to create their own musical treasures. The band, which at the time was consisting of Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Peter Banks (guitar), was very open to ideas. Though this sometimes caused disputes between the band members, it also allowed them to create 8 songs that helped unfold a new era in music history.
“Sweetness” was put out as the album’s lead single, though Banks objected as he thought that it didn’t represent the band’s style accurately. The album, overall, left a positive impression on papers. Lester Bangs reviewed the album in Rolling Stone Magazine, writing that it is "the kind of album that sometimes insinuates itself into your routine with a totally unexpected thrust of musical power.”
We celebrate the album’s anniversary with great joy and hope that it will be remembered by prog musicians as an album that did its share of work in establishing prog-rock as a genre of its own.