The song that returned the concept of the Wall of Sound to pop music in Britain in the mid-90s, McAlmont and Butler’s “Yes” was a glorious rejection of the jangly-guitar, Smiths and Beatles-obsessed aesthetic at the core of Britpop right as the country was at the peak of its Oasis adoration. Unlike the Gallagher Bros’ output, this is a wonderfully camp, layered song that updates “I Will Survive” for a generation that wished that Phil Spector had produced Gloria Gaynor’s classic.
Bernard Butler’s over-the-top production aesthetic, honed on Suede’s Dog Man Star, went into overdrive with this song; listen to how his traditionally dominant guitar gets lost amongst the strings and the drums, and David McAlmont’s luscious voice, milking the song for everything that it’s worth (The outro, with repeated “I feel well enough to tell ya/What you can/Do/With what you got”s is just epic, an exhausting, rapturous thing to listen to as it keeps building and building). It’s a breathless song that sounded out of time upon its first appearance, more ornate and intentional and grandiose than what we’d become used to, but all the more magical for that. Even seventeen years later, it still has a spectacular majesty to it.