By Dave Thompson
It is now 12 years since Jon Anderson last made a studio album with Yes, the band that (for many of us, anyway) his vocals came to exemplify.
“Magnification” was the album in question, and it has a few other peculiar claims to fame, too. It was Yes’ first album as a quartet, and the band’s first (and only) without a keyboard player; an orchestra was used instead.
A classic lineup remains, regardless: Anderson joined by fellow vets Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White. They turned in a disc that might not rank up there with the early ’70s gems as one of their bona-fide best, but certainly rises above a lot of their ’80s and ’90s output, and is easier on the ear than some of the late ’70s stuff, as well.
This makes it a major cause for celebration that it has now appeared on vinyl. The label is Sireena, it’s a domestic release, and it’s a beautifully packaged, double-disc set (albeit with just three sides of music). That might make listeners bemoan the loss of the seamless sequencing that the CD boasted, but it more than makes up for that with a beautifully balanced sound, bassier than its (to these ears) thin-sounding predecessor, and a lovely quiet pressing as well.