FaveAlbumLargeGreg Whelan of New Jersey rockers Aeon Station, as well as the Wrens, told us about his love for a live Yes classic.

Greg Whelan: My favorite album? Hmm…is it a Bowie record? Thin Lizzy? The Smiths? Such a hard choice to make. But if I were stranded on a desert island, it would have to be the 1973 live album Yessongs. Back in the ’70s, live albums were the rage. Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! introduced a whole new experience to music lovers, and Yessongs to this day remains my all-time favorite. 

My good friend’s older brother turned me on to Yes with the Fragile album when I was in sixth grade, and that was it. Yes became my favorite band. I immediately went to our local record store called Rock Garden and bought the Yes Album and Close to the Edge. Yessongs takes the best tracks from these three records and captures their greatest live performances when Yes was in their prime — with the band members just in their mid-twenties. If you want to have your mind blown, pull up the concert on YouTube.

yessongs

(Atlantic)

I can’t say as a kid I really understood what Jon Anderson was singing about, but the power and uniqueness of his voice compelled me to sing along at full volume. Though to this day I still can’t hit Jon’s top notes. I could never imagine being in a band with players like Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford, and Alan White. Any musician would be on their knees like Wayne & Garth proclaiming “I’m not worthy!” The power of their music just reaches inside and grabs your mind and soul.

What makes Yessongs even more of a perfect experience is the album’s cover art created by Roger Dean. Since it’s a three-record set, Dean was able to use multiple album panels to create images of a world that captures the spirit and depth of the music. Looking at the album cover, even now it immediately transforms me into that kid first holding the album in his sixth-grade hands, staring at it for hours. They also included a poster of the band that quickly went up on my bedroom wall.

Yessongs allows me to escape the realities of this world for 126 minutes, taking a musical trip with Yes and the world Roger Dean created. No better way to spend my time, at home or stranded on an island.  ❖

Aeon Station headlines DromFest in Catskill, NY on Sunday, September 1. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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