Yes remasters/ HDCD

A number of times on here people have asked about the best sound quality of various Yes albums available on CD.

I have previously reviewed the complete Rhino remasters set on Lugs

Last week I at last tracked down a copy of a Japanese import HDCD version of Close To The Edge.
I have to say I was very impressed by the sound quality,it is louder and clearer than the Rhino version-of course I can't state if this is true for every release but I have to say the HDCD versions (remastered by a Japanese gent whose name I don't have at hand) seem the way to go.
These versions unlike the Rhino ones only contain the original track listing.
Thanks Ben. I have always been on the lookout for the best possible pressings of CTTE. It has remained my favorite Yes work. I have the Rhino CD, the original Atlantic vinyl (late pressing).

are you aware of any reissues, or available HQ vinyl reissues?
Slipknot I agree CTTE is probably the definitive Yes album.

I'm not up on the vinyl to be frank perhaps others can help here,I've certainly seen pressings from various countries that go for high prices but I suspect that is more down to collectability than sound quality.

FWIW, I'd suggest consulting the archives at (usenet group). The Japanese HDCDs have been discussed there extensively, and I seem to recall some of them had flaws.

Also, I believe most of the HDCDs are still available at a website called CDJapan. Sorry, don't have a link handy.

As for myself, I also agree that CTTE is their finest hour. I still have the original Atlantic cd, so I'm 2 remasterings behind (3 if you count the Japanese HDCD). Been thinking it may be about time to upgrade. . .
I must disagree with you Ben campbell and slipknot1; the definitive Yes album is Yessongs. If there is a better live rock/fusion album ever recorded, I want to hear it, IMHO. It is the one I've listened to again and again over the years and am still in awe. I've owned it on album, cassette, and CD. Anderson, Howe, Wakeman and Squire at their best! To accomplish what they did playing Live! is remarkable. If you don't fully appreciate it as quintessential Yes you may want to listen again. Yours Is No Disgrace, Siberian Khatru, Perpetual Change, Close to the Edge, Starship Trooper.... IMO the tracks on this album are far and away better than the studio versions. (which is almost unheard of for most bands) I don't have an SACD player nor does my player have HDCD; I do have Yessongs CD remaster. I would love to hear it at a higher level of sound quality. The real test of any band is how they perform live as opposed to the studio where the music can be tailored and tweaked. The recordings chosen from the Yessongs tour and put on the album were that rarity when everything came together for the group to produce mastered artistry and magic. Their other live albums don't even come close. IMHO this is their shining star.
Foster9 I think the last time I heard Yessongs was easily over 25 years ago!
I don't have an HDCD decoder on my CD player either (Ayre CX-7)but the HDCD version of CTTE does sound better than the Rhino.

Yessongs is available on the HDCD release but the Rhino remasters missed it out.
Curbach I'll need to check out that newsgroup for info.

Point well taken. Yessongs is a glorious work! I have the original Atlantic vinyl version (2 copies) that both include the booklet of stage shots from the shows at which the album was recorded. I never tire of looking through it, nor do I tire listening to the versions of the songs on that album. It reminds me of seeing them at the Montreal Forum in 1973 or 1974 (I must be getting old). I also remember watching them do "And You And I" in the Boston Garden in 1977, at which time they shot neon green lasers up from the stage in front at an angled mirror that reflected them fractured, back down onto the stage so that it looked like a curtain of rain falling in front of the band. Truely transcendant! I mentioned CTTE as their best work from a compositional perspective, but I will admit that Yessongs performances rival or surpass the studio work of some if not all of the songs represented. Good call!
I know that this does not address Ben's question but, as a 30+ year fan of Yes, I cannot let a Yes thread pass without urging folks to spring for the Fragile LP - UK red/plum Atlantic pressing 2401019. It is absolutely stunning if you can find a mint copy (I'm HOARDING four without shame). I personally find all UK pressings far superior up through Yessongs. If find the UK Yessongs a slightly better mix with respect to the stick work. Bruford on Long Distance Runaround is AMAZING. Alan White is on nearly all other tracks, but still excellent. Advice is to buy the UK or even the US version, but do not waste the extra on the Japanese version. Quiet, maybe, but b r i g h t. I saw more than one show on that 1972 tour - and many before and since.....

For anyone interested in a remarkable YES discography, check out this link and download the PDF file!

Speaking of CTTE -

How old will I be before I come of age for you?!
Thanks for the post and the link. As a Yes fan since 1972, I have infrequently looked for new media over the years. I have a few of their remastered cd's. I think I visisted the discography site years ago, but this is a reminder for me to get back to it. By the way, in my previous post I failed to mention Yes' masterful drummer Alan White.
I just got the Rhino 'Fragile' remaster and it sounds very detailed,smooth and focused.Very wide and deep soundstage also.
The best 'Yes' CD I have heard.
Whats the point of buying HDCD's if you dont have a decoder?
I have a few HDCD's and they all sound very good,but I wonder how they would sound in a CD player with a HDCD decoder?
HDCD never really took off,did it?
David HDCD recordings tend to sound good anyway-having previously had a DAC with the decoder and now living without it.

The point is as my thread states-Close To The Edge HDCD remastered by Isao Kikuchi sounds better than the Bill Inglot Rhino remaster and my Ayre CX-7 has no decoder.
Ben-Thanks for the clarification.
I see many titles,especially ROCK recordings being remastered HDCD.
I thought this was a forgotton technology.
Plus,how many people have HDCD decoders now days?
I also see some Chinese HDCD players coming out but I always thought 'who cares'
Whats up with HDCD Ben?
Nothing wrong with it David indeed I don't think I ever heard a bad HDCD recording.
I would guess it is popular in Asia hence the Yes remasters only appearing there.

From an Audiophile point of view it's been surpassed by SACD and DVDA-these are the direct competition and HDCD is now seen as yesterday's news.
Thanks Ben- Good to chat with you again.It's been a while.And thanks again for the Floyd info.

I guess if it just sounds good,who cares if its CD,HDCD,SACD,DVD-A,vinyl (first love) or singing in the shower! rock live guitar in history...Yours is No disgrace and Perpetual Change/end of Starship Trooper in my opinion have the most awesomely complete guitar solo's ever...Howe simply connglomerated rock, Chet Atkins, Wes Montgomery and others...all while he followed the logic and smelodic structure/rythm of the songs...he never goes off into LA-LA guitar solo land...
I am right on board with what you say about Yessongs. Steve Howe was tremendous. I have always thought he was the greatest rock guitarist ever. I've always said that this groups's version of Yes is the only true Yes and they were all masters of their insturments. And, Jon Anderson was a master of rock vocals in his truly unique way. But your're right, Yours is No Digrace, the end ofStarship Trooper and Perpetual Change in my mind were the greatest rock guitar work of all time. What gets me is that I've never really heard that point of view expressed by anyone else. I have always been in awe of all the work on that album. I started out as a soul ryhthm and blues fan, then came rock and I am now a jazz fan. But I'm always loyal to Yes. I occasionally pull out my remastered Yessongs. Unfortunately, as great as they were, they were never again to record work that equaled what they did on Yessongs. Very good work was recorded, but greatness in my mind was only acheived by them on Yessongs. For me as a new audiophile still building a system, I want to get to the point where I can put on Yessongs and have the sound be so awesome that I am transported back to 1972 and the arenas where they performed the music. If there are better formats out there other than the remastered disc I have then I am going to get them. I've got a Simaudio Nova on the way too! Yessongs is not particularly strong in the low end and that's something I've always wanted to hear.
Foster,,I started with Rock, then classical and then Jazz guitar.

The first rock LP I ever owned was Relayer, which overall I think has the most innovative guitar work and sound. The solo in To Be Over is just tremendous,,and the contrapunctual work would male Bach proud.

I always shy'd away from Jazz because in the 70's the jazz axmen were pretty predictable and very scale oriented...For example, just now from the 90's on, I am enjoying tremendously Al Dimeola's and John Mclaughlin's work, as they are showing tremendous breadth of musical styles. I couldnt stand them in the 70/80's.

You might give Turbulence and Quantum Guitars (Steve Howe's solo CD's a listen).

Also, ABSOLUTELY no one overdubbs as well as Howe in the studio,,The guy is just amazing how he lets the music talk and not the chops.
Foster 9, I sense a bit of past tense in your post and I am hoping it relates only to the Yessongs LP! Ha! :-)

Anderson, Howe, Squires, Wakeman, and White have been touring together as YES for the last couple of years and I have been lucky enough to see five of these concerts. At four of the five, they were every bit as good, or better, than they were back in the day. At the fifth, Anderson was not in particularly good voice due to a cold. These guys are still tight, still expertly skilled, and still flat out awesome - if you liked them in the first place, that is. So, if one might hesitate to plunk down the dough for what might be perceived as yet another aging rock band unsuccessfully trying to hang on to old glory - think again! :-)
I have been seeing them live for ever, and although they are tight, its a different band...some songs are slowed down, Howe isnt as explosive (well, he is older), and the mix even isnt the same...Howe is not at the front of the mix anymore as he used to the live recordings.
I love how Anderson sounds nowadays.

But Howe is putting much more creative and playing energy on his solo work.
I saw them in 74 in Cleveland at Cleveland Municipal Stadium and then on a recent tour in Columbus Ohio. While the concert had some enjoyable moments that reminded me of the glory days of the 70's I was left disappointed. Jsugo you said it best; it is a different band. Wow, did Steve Howe look frail! But, his playing was masterful. The group lacked the magic of the past, but it was worth it. I would go to see them if they came to Columbus again.
Some of the early posts to this thread mention Close to the Edge; for those of you still playing LPs, the trick is to somehow find the original British press, K50012 on Atlantic. The label has the green and red colors similar to the American press (*not* the orange color found on the later UK pressings). Its really hard to find!!

Plan B is the Mobile Fidelity which is slightly easier to find... In both cases, the pipe organ on side one plays out OK, whereas on every other pressing I have heard the organ is distorted, probably due to tape saturation.
maybe after I get the plum label Fragile, i will look for one,,,thanks for the tip!
this is a little off topic but, 2weeks ago I found a new HDCD by Yes; "Magnification" on a Beyond label. Though not my favorite Yes album, there are some tremendous tracks and the sound quality was/is phenomenal. I love these guys spirit and ability. They are a wonderful creative inspiration.
oh yeah...the Orchestra has some strong moments, but it boggles down sometimes, but I still listen to it.
Of the Jaqpanese HDCD remasters, I've found Topographic Oceans and Relayer to be the most worthwhile; good instrument/vocal separation and an ability to "hear/look into the music" more than on lp or atlantic remasters. I have to disagree about the CTTE HDCD— mine has that oversaturation on the organ that Atmasphere refers to; I prefer the Rhino versions of CTTE and Fragile.

If anyone likes Yes but has been out of the loop for a while, there is some excellent "new" material on 'Keystudio,' which appeared originally of 'Keys to Ascension' I and II. I've seen Yes live seven times from 1974 - 1980, and 12 times from 1997 to 2004. I'd like to see one more new album and tour.
Honestly, The Ladder, I am finding to be the best produced/sounding YES LP since Fragile...