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The Yes Album: Super Deluxe Edition from Rhino

01-23-2024 | By Tom Gibbs | Issue 131

Rhino Entertainment has released The Yes Album: Super Deluxe Edition (SDE) in a stunning new multi disc package that includes media choices to suit all listeners. The really unique package features an LP-sized gatefold that opens to reveal the same photograph of keyboardist Tony Kaye that's spread across both inner panels of the original album release. A pocket on the left panel holds a 180 gram LP and a cool, full-sized multi page booklet; die-cut slits in the middle of the pocket are for a separate, mini-LP sleeve that holds a BluRay disc. The right side panel features four indented disc holders that house four CDs, each with a picture of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Bill Bruford, respectively; so when you open the gatefold, you're greeted by all the members of the band. All the photos are sourced from the original album sessions, so for Yes completists, the absolute beauty of this new SDE release makes it a must-have!

Yes, The Yes Album: Super Deluxe Edition, (1)180 Gram LP, (4) Compact Discs, (1) BluRay Disc, $99.98 MSRP

The Yes Album (1971) was the first release by the band to feature new guitarist Steve Howe; original guitarist and founding member of the band Peter Banks was asked to leave, but he was already unhappy with the group's direction, and his parting was fairly amicable. Steve Howe stepped in and basically supercharged the band's direction; his ability to shift modes and styles on the fly fit well with Anderson and Squire's compositional styles. Atlantic Records had been contemplating dropping the band because of their lackluster album sales, but The Yes Album sold impressively in the US and the UK, reaching the No. 4 position on the Billboard album charts in the UK, as well as No. 40 on the US charts. The album instantly became a classic in Yes' canon of albums, introducing the band to new legions of fans, and eventually reaching multi-platinum sales levels worldwide. The new SDE release is the ultimate fan package.

The all-analog, 180 gram LP was AAA remastered with lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman at BG Mastering; since the entire package was manufactured in Germany, I'm guessing that the LP was pressed at either Pallas or Optimal. The four CDs break down as follows: disc one features the 2023 remaster of the original album; disc two features the 2014 Steven Wilson remixes of the original album, along with his instrumental remixes of all tracks; and disc three features rarities, alternate takes, and alternate mixes. Disc four features tracks from two live concerts sourced from around the time of the album's release, including a January 21, 1971 date at Konserthuset, Gothenburg, Sweden, as well as a July 24, 1971 concert at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. The BluRay disc features 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution digital files for the 2023 remaster, the 2023 Steven Wilson Dolby Atmos mix, and 2023 Steven Wilson 5.1 DTS-HD MA and LPCM mixes. This release is about as comprehensive as it gets; The Yes Album: Super Deluxe Edition is available for purchase HERE

Listening Results

Click on my name in the header, and you can see the equipment I used to evaluate this classic LP set. My analog setup has recently changed, and now incorporates an excellent PS Audio Stellar phono preamp that has available inputs for two turntables, which greatly facilitates my playback of classic stereo as well as mono LPs. The unit is now thoroughly run-in, and I've finely tuned the custom settings for moving coil and moving magnet cartridges; along with the ease of use, I'm also enjoying a significant uptick in sound quality. I played the LP from The Yes Album: Super Deluxe Edition on my ProJect Classic EVO turntable that's fitted with an Ortofon Quintet Bronze MC cartridge. That signal was fed to my PrimaLuna EVO 300 tube integrated amplifier, which in turn powered the KLH Model Five loudspeakers. It's a system with a very vintage vibe, especially with vinyl playback, but it produces a seriously modern high-end sound aesthetic. 

First up, I listened to the 180-gram, Bernie Grundman remastered LP; it's perhaps the finest incarnation of The Yes Album I've ever heard, bar none. Rhino's new remaster easily blows away my original LP, as well as a mid-2000's Rhino reissue I'd also collected along the way. The pressing was perfectly flat and centered, featured really glossy surfaces, and exhibited zero surface or groove noise—it was way closer to perfection than I rightly should have expected! Also important to me, the LP arrived encased in a rice paper-lined inner sleeve, which helps protect from paper dust and static buildup, which is a very nice touch! The LP has been in heavy rotation since its arrival.

The digital disc content from the set was ripped to my Euphony music server/player/streamer, then streamed for playback to my Gustard X26 Pro DAC and Gustard C18 oven-controlled clock unit. The resulting analog signal was sent to my PS Audio preamplifier, then to the Naiu Labs Ella amplifier that powers my Magneplanar loudspeakers. First off, I really love the new 2023 remaster, almost as much as I love the 2012 Steven Wilson remix—Rhino did a really great job with this, giving it the kind of attention it deserved but didn't get when the Yes catalog of albums was remastered in the 1990s and 2000s. The high res tracks show the kind of clarity and dynamics that previous remasters have totally lacked. There's an absolute wealth of bonus materials that should satisfy all but the most die hard collectors, and while the live recordings show their age and are a bit rough around the edges, the one thing they do show in spades is what a dynamic live act Yes was back in the early-to-mid Seventies. 

Steven Wilson made comments on the Super Deluxe Edition website along the lines that his remixing of surround content has gotten significantly better in the time since he originally mixed The Yes Album in 2012, and I couldn't agree more. His new 5.1 mixes are more discrete, much more seamless, and entirely more enjoyable than the 2012 mixes. I'm not currently set up for playback of Dolby Atmos, so that content wasn't evaluated here; that said, I'm told by those with Atmos compatibility that the new remixes are definitive and miles beyond the current 5.1 and original Steven Wilson surround remixes from 2012. 


For Yes fans, this set is literally a dream come true, and it ticks every possible box by compiling an excellent new, audiophile quality LP remaster along with multiple CDs that feature remastered album tracks, rarities, and alternate takes. And for those into high-resolution digital stereo and surround content, the BluRay disc's 24/192 high resolution PCM tracks, as well as multiple Dolby Atmos and 5.1 surround options makes for a very compelling package! Well done, Rhino—The Yes Album: Super Deluxe Edition comes very highly recommended!

Rhino Entertainment


All images courtesy of Rhino Entertainment and the author