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DRAMA

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 1192 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars What a drama ! Jon is gone (but hopefully will come back). Rick is gone (but hopefully will come back). Howe / Squire / White ensure that the YesFoundation is still defended. It was quite a challenge for the Buggles (specially in the live sets) to enter the YesWorld. Incidently, I was quite a fan of the Buggles in the late seventies (their first album "The Age Of Plastic" being a great electro-pop album), but I only discovered they were part of Yes ages after the release of "Drama" (in 1999 to be precise). I was quite curious to discover the mix of styles. I have to recognize that this is not such a bad effort as one could have expected. The opener "Machine Messiah" is a very good YesSong (like they will not produce for a very long time). Great guitar and bass playing. The highlight of the album and a true YesGem. I am not sure about the 1'21" of "White Car" : Yes has always been effective on long tracks, so really they could have skipped this one. "Does It Really Happen" shows where Yes is going to head to : FM rock oriented music. Although this one is not as bad as what they will release later on. Still, a very average YesMoment. The influence of the Buggles is obvious with "Into The Lens" : an extended rendition for "I Am A Camera" from the second Buggles album "Adventures In Modern Recording". It is not as poppy as the original, but still quite outside the YesRepertoire. This "cover" is quite good and is my second best here (after "Messiah"). In the next track "Run Through the Light" Horn sounds at times as Jon : it is absolutely stunning ! This song has a catchy chorus, good rythm and great guitar. Another good song. "Tempus Fugit" is another Buggles orientated song : a good rocking tune with, again, a great guitar work from Steve (he will definitely raise the level of this work).

The original album is quite short, but the remastered CD edition will almost double that lenght. None of the tracks though sound as they are achieved and should only be considered for what they are : essays for most of them.

Four of these bonus tracks were recorded in 1979 with the tradtional lineup (including Anderson and Wakeman). Bizarrely enough "Dancing Through The Light" sounds quite poppy and electronic as if the Buggles were waiting around the corner...The sound is quite poor. "Have We Really Got To Go Through This" being the poorest one (an uninspired rocking instrumental) together with "Song No 4" (another instrumental, quite jamming track - where are you Jon) ? An interesting bonus is "Golden Age" : although FM oriented and poppy at times, some orphans can discover what Yes should have been with Jon during that period (actually nothing better than what we can get on "Drama"). The very Wakemanesque "In The Tower" is my favorite bonus here : Jon is (as usual) great and very emotional, keys are superb. A great melody. Definitely, if extended to a normal YesLenght it could have been a great track. "Friend Of A Friend" has a good rocking chorus and is not bad at all.

The other bonus tracks consist of the single versions for "Into The Lens - I Am A Camera", and "Run Through The Light", one unreleased track from the "Drama" sessions : "Have We Really Got To Go Through This" (as usual, you will understand why it remained unreleased when you will listen to it). Alternate versions for "Tempus Fugit" and "White Car " won't enrich your YesCollection either. As some reviewers have mentioned, the core of the future Asia sound is there. Still, this YesAlbum (not The YesAlbum), is a quite decent one. Try and get hold of the remastered version for ""Golden Age" and "In The Tower". Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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