Progeny: Highlights From Seventy-Two
by David Chiu

Until this year, the only documentation of Yes’ 1972 tour was 1973’s triple-live record Yessongs. Now comes a treasure trove of previously unreleased full concert recordings from that tour – featuring the classic lineup of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White – that make up a recent 14-CD box set Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two. Of course, if that seems like a mammoth undertaking for the more casual Yes fan, there’s a 2-CD abbreviated version of that box. The music from the tour represents the apex of Yes’ popularity and artistry as this Highlights set features the band’s beloved songs from the triad of their best albums The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge— among them “Heart of the Sunrise,” “And You and I,” “Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Siberian Khatru,” and “Close to the Edge.” Progeny has been advertised as not a duplicate of Yessongs as there are sonic variations in the performances. Some of the high points from this new collection is a blistering extended version of “Yours Is No Disgrace” where the band really rocks out; the Howe acoustic guitar medley of “Clap” and “Mood for a Day”; and the dazzling Wakeman showcase “Excerpts from ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII.’” In hindsight, it’s amazing that Alan White at the time had just replaced Bill Bruford, and he certainly rose to the occasion. Progeny is also a very sobering listen in the wake of Chris Squire’s recent death last month, so it makes one appreciate the great music from this set even more. You would have to be a die-hard fan to want to listen to all seven concerts from this tour, but Highlights is just as satisfying. Either way, it’s a remarkable find four decades later.


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