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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1544 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars In mid 1980 I bought a Rock magazine, and among other things, it had a review of The Buggles` "The Age of Plastic" album. In the Radio I have listened to this song, and I liked it a bit. In the magazine I read that The Buggles were Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn. By late 1980, one friend told me that he had listened to the new Yes`s album called "Drama" and that Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman were not in the line-up. I saw the album in a record shop, I bought it and when I read the credits in the gatefold cover I was surprised that The Buggles were the new members of Yes. "Machine Messiah" is the best song of this album, with an inspired Steve Howe, one of the heaviest songs of the band. The band sounds very solid in all the songs, but for me the White/Howe/Squire trio is in very good shape, and they shine on this album. Geoff Downes`keyboards are simpler and more "modern" than Wakeman`s in those years, but Downes did a good job. Horn`s vocals are good, and in 1980 for me it wasn`t very important that Jon Anderson had left. It is a shame that Horn couldn`t reach in the following tour the high notes in songs sung by Anderson. He forced his voice in that tour, and by the end of that tour he was hoarse (as some concert reviews from that tour said, in the website "Forgotten Yesterdays"). It was until the year 2000 that I have listened to some live recordings from that tour, and it was clear for me that Horn couldn`t survive as Yes`lead singer. But in 1980 I considered him a good replacement. All the songs in this album are good, and Yes did a good job.

Update (11-June-2009): The new version of this album on CD released by Elektra / Rhino in 2004 has 10 Bonus Tracks, 8 of which were previously unissued. The 1994 remastered version sounds good, but this 2004 version sounds much better, with only one change in the song "Does It Really Happen?": there is a section of this song were the keyboards originally had a fade-in. In this 2004 version the fade in wasn`t included. The keyboards don`t start with a fade-in.

In the Bonus Tracks, they included the single versions of "Into the Lens (I am a Camera)" and "Run Through the Light". Both versions are a bit different from the original versions, not only in lenght. Also, there are some instrumental Demos recorded only by Squire, White and Howe which I think demonstrate how the band was trying to find a new style after Wakeman and Anderson left them. Both instrumental songs are simple and tending to a New Wave style. There are two "Tracking Session" versions of "Tempus Fugit" and "White Car", both a bit different than the released versions on the original album. And finally, the 2004 CD version includes songs recorded during the Paris Sessions done in late 1979 with Roy Thomas Baker as producer. Most of this songs are unfinished recordings, lacking in most cases the full line-up`s input, with Wakeman, Anderson and White being the only members full-time present. These songs really show why the "Tormato" line-up finally split after the Paris sessions. While the songs in "Drama" are heavier and more "modern Pop" in style, the songs from the Paris Sessions were more influenced by Anderson and Wakeman, tending more to a New Age / Prog / Pop style than to the New Wave style that the rest of the members of the band were searching as a more updated commercial sound for the eighties. The only exception is "Dancing Through the Light" which sounds like an earlier version of "Run Through the Light" but with a different structure and with a Dance / Pop style and with Anderson`s vocals sounding like sung using a vocoder.

Guillermo | 3/5 |


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