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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1701 ratings

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4 stars After 1978's disappointing Tormato, Yes convened once again to record a new album. After a failed attempt at recording the demos with new producer Roy Thomas Baker of Queen fame, Yes pulled the plug. Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson, allies at this point, were feeling very dejected from the other members lack of enthusiasm for their new material. They both left the band leaving Steve Howe, Alan White and Chris Squire to find replacements. Really? A replacement for Jon Anderson? And for the beloved, charismatic Rick Wakeman?


In a strange turn of events and due to Yes's unabashed attempt at relevancy into the new decade, they recruited Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of the Buggles fresh off a successful album and a major international hit: "Video Killed The Radio Star."

As it turned out not too many fans were keen on Yes having a new singer and the album didn't have the hit the band or record company were looking for. The record wasn't a huge seller and the concerts had their ups and mostly downs. Enough of the semantics, how was the record?

Well since Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn were big Yes fans they went more into a progressive direction which suits this listener just fine and they produced a hell of a record. A record that possesses great progressive rock with immaculate production.

Machine Messiah - (10/10) Man I love this tune. What a way to start this new era. Starts with a heavy guitar that gives way to Downes modern (for the time but held up well) synths and Howe's guitar leads that never sounded so good. Alan Whites drums sound better than ever as does Squire's bass. But the vocals are what we've been waiting for. Not quite Anderson but similar and ultimately agreeable. Machine Messiah is an unheralded Yes classic.

Man In A White Car - (6/10) Not Much of a song here. Very Short. Great synth work though.

Does It Really Happen - (7/10) Very good tune. Not on the same level as Machine Messiah but continues the album in a positive way. Squire even has a little bass solo here at the end.

Into The Lens. - (8/10) Another great song here even if it is a little quirky and goofy with Trevor horn singing " I am a camera." The second half of this song really takes off and Howe's guitar is just incredible.

Run Through The Light - (7/10) Good tune. Trevor Horn on fretless bass and here we get the gated drum sound ala Peter Gabriel and latter day Genesis. Again Howe really augments this tune with his leads.

Tempus Fugit (9/10) The album ends with bang. A tremendous Squire bass line leads this one and here we get the "yes, yes" vocal line which will be heard during Squire's bass solos for years after this. Tempus Fugit is the best representation of the fusion of New Wave and Prog on the album and probably anywhere for that matter.

Drama is an anomaly in the Yes catalog being the first and only album in a long time to not feature Jon Anderson. The great production and the quality of the songs make it a Yes classic. Unfortunately the band breaks up after the Drama tour.

Chris Squire, Alan White and Trevor Horn would leave Yes soon after leaving Steve Howe and Geoff Downes as the remaining members. They would go on to recruit Carl Palmer and John Wetton. Instead of keeping the Yes name they would change it to Asia.

ster | 4/5 |


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