CD Review: YES - Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two

A 14-CD live box set releasd in 2015

Back in 2005, recordings of seven consecutive 1972 concerts performed by the legendary progressive rock band Yes, were discovered by Rhino Records, but deemed “too rough to release.” However, subsequent technology has enabled these recordings to finally be cleaned up and released, creating what may be the definitive live collection of "classic" Yes music to ever be released.

Review by Christopher Bergmann * Photos courtesy of Rhino Records

Aside from a few repairs (Alan White’s snare was lost in the mix on a few recordings, snare parts from another show were put in), this set is sparkling and clear, and the versions are, for the most part, full of energy and show in the truest way, how this band really sounded live in 1972.

Each show has fascinating tidbits, jams, and other peculiarities not before heard on any Yes live album, including plenty of banter from Jon Anderson between songs that was cut from the original Yessongs release. Like any set containing multiple shows, there is a lot to listen for - including snaps, pops, little boo-boos and mics picking up band member chatter - but mostly, it’s a phenomenal document of arguably the most influential progressive rock bands of all-time.

Remarkably, these legendary shows also took place during a time when the band had just lost founding member and drummer, Bill Bruford. Alan White had joined Yes just a few months prior to the recording of these shows.

The CD-packaging is very nice, with each show enclosed in a double-cardboard slipcase and featuring unique, "YesSongs-style" artwork from the legendary artist, and long-time album cover designer for Yes, Roger Dean. The collection also includes a fantastic booklet and is housed in a sturdy, colorful cardboard box.

For those fans wanting to cut costs and purchase the Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two two-CD set, I strongly recommend you don’t and save those pennies. Highlights is fine, but oddly, almost every song is not the best version on the set, which frankly, is a bit baffling. If you are a true Yes fan, the full set is a must-have and ultimately, Yes-Progeny is the next best thing to having actually been there!