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Yes - Yesshows CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.64 | 471 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Parallels

Yesshows was Yes' second live album following the amazing Yessongs. While Yessongs was recorded at the very peak of the band's career following right on the heels of the incredible trio of studio masterpieces The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To The Edge, Yesshows was recorded over the years 1976 to 1978 and focuses on material from the subsequent studio albums Tales From Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going For The One, and Tormato. Also included is a version of Time And A Word from the band's second album from 1970. There is no overlap at all between this album and Yessongs.

The fact that this album was recorded in various venues over several years also means that more than one line-up is involved. Rick Wakeman had left the band after the recording of Tales From Topographic Oceans and was replaced by Patrick Moraz for Relayer. The Yesshows versions of The Gates Of Delirium and Ritual feature Moraz while the rest of the tracks feature Wakeman (who returned to the band again for the recording Going For The One and subsequent tours). As such Yesshows does not run as a complete concert, but rather as a compilation of live tracks. If one bears this in mind while listening to it, I believe that one will enjoy the separate tracks on their own merits, at least I do.

The centrepiece here is the fantastic The Gates Of Delirium. The other epic track is Ritual which in this version runs for very nearly half an hour and therefore had to be split into two parts on the vinyl LP version of Yesshows. While The Gates Of Delirium is, for me at least, clearly the best track of Yesshows, Ritual is more interesting due to the fact that it is more different from its studio counterpart. For one thing, we get to hear Moraz playing on it here, while it was Wakeman that played on the studio version. Among the shorter tracks Parallels and Don't Kill The Whale are the highlights (even though the spoken word section at the end of the latter is annoying). Wondrous Stories, Going For The One, and Time And A Word are very good too, but somewhat less exciting.

Overall, Yesshows does not hold up to the quality of Yessongs. But it does remain an interesting compilation of mostly excellent live tracks that makes a nice companion to Yessongs.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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