I love the complex, trippy songs that YES has produced since they first formed in 1968. The voice of the progressive rock band YES is Jon Anderson, not Benoit David, in my humble opinion. I was disheartened when I first heard of the life threatening acute respiratory failure incident that pulled Anderson out of the Chris Squire, Steve Howe, and Alan White lineup. But even more disheartened to hear that YES was continuing to tour without Jon even when he had recovered. David is a decent enough singer, but he's no Jon Anderson.
Jon Anderson will be 66 years old on October 25th. Despite his departure from YES he continues to write and perform. But I think his best work is within the confines of YES. There is just no other music like it. It doesn't follow any kind of formula, the songs are long allowing the listener to lose herself in the layers, and often without any kind of typical hit-making hook. All reasons why I enjoy it so much.
Close to the Edge was my first exposure to the group in 1972. It was the fifth album for the group, but I hadn't really listened to them until this point. I remember putting the album on my stereo in my bedroom, laying on the bed, and closing my eyes as I took it all in. I almost couldn't handle any visual stimulation on those first few listens. I needed to let it sink in and process it. And I'd pick up the stylus at the end and listen all over again. It was the most unique and complex thing I'd ever heard.
The beginning of this next part gives me chills every time I hear it and usually makes me feel like crying. What is that? How can a song I've heard dozens of times invoke that feeling I had the very first time I heard it?
And You & I