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Yes - Symphonic Live CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 296 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars After the remarkable Magnification, which featured a full orchestra, it only made sense to record a concert in the same vein, and it's fascinating to hear many Yes classics accompanied by such an ensemble. While I agree that "The Firebird Suite" is Yes' official entrance theme, I appreciated their use of the stunning introduction to "Give Love Each Day" to begin the concert.

Symphonic Live boasts three epic masterworks. Opening with "Close to the Edge," the band performs this at a pace that doesn't quite suit the energy the piece deserves, although I find Steve Howe's cleaner tone more enjoyable than his tone on the original. "The Gates of Delirium," from that peaceful beginning to that peaceful ending and all the cacophony in between, is always wonderful and welcome. Clocking in at nearly a half an hour, "Ritual" features extended bass soloing and a nod to "The Ancient."

Three traditional Yes songs are rendered better here than on any other live album I have heard. "Long Distance Runaround" is light and dashing, with Alan White brightening the song considerably. "Starship Trooper" is full-bodied and ethereal. Finally, "And You and I," with that phenomenal orchestral backing, transports the listener to another world.

Two songs, however, just don't belong in the set list. Of all the stellar material on Magnification, the band opts to include "Don't Go," which is the second weakest piece from that album (that adjective, of course, belonging to "Soft as a Dove"). I would have preferred to have heard the uplifting and progressive masterpiece "We Agree" instead. And as much as I enjoy "Owner of a Lonely Heart," the song seems inappropriate among everything else on the album. "Hearts" (from the same album, 90125) would have been a stirring penultimate song. Still, the inclusion of these two songs is hardly anything to fuss over.

This is one of Yes' greatest live offerings.

Epignosis | 5/5 |


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