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DRAMA

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 1170 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fishy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars If you listen to the album without prejudice, you'll have to admit Drama is a very good progressive rock album even without the distinctive voice of Jon Anderson. Jon and Rick Wakeman left in 1979. Chris Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White recruited Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes as a permanent replacement. This duo was formerly known as The Buggles who entered the charts in 1979 with the massive hit "Video killed the radio star". Fans were worried when the message came in this was the new Yes. They proved to be wrong. I consider Drama as one of the better Yes records, I like it a lot more than Tormato, which lacks the power of this album. From the first sounds of album opener " Machine Messiah" it is clear that the music on this album has a lot more rhythm and heavy guitar chords. The whole album is dominated by the excellent melodic guitar parts of Steve Howe, who shines like a star like he never did on any other Yes album. Maybe some bits refer to the Yes album which can't be a coincidence as it was the first album where Howe played on. But it wouldn't be fair to make comparisons to other Yes releases cause the album really is one of a kind. Maybe it's too bad Yes didn't do another album with this line-up. There's also some pop-influence, especially on "run through the light" which reminds me a bit of the sound of the Police (!). One can hear that most of the songs are based on the bass lines of Chris Squire, being the only founding member of Yes in 1980. But this is no bad thing, it works ands gives the album more power. The keyboards of Geoff Downes seems to fit Yes perfectly, he even enriches the Yes sound with a great atmosphere and new sounds which Wakeman wouldn't use. Trevor Horn tries carefully to imitate Jon Anderson, assisted by the voices of Chris and Steve, sometimes it sounds as Jon, sometimes it doesn't but it isn't a problem as it is still quite enjoyable if you consider this as being a different band. The tracklisting doesn't have a weak spot with most of the songs being quite long. Listening to Drama you can hear the signs of the future of some of the members as it refers to Asia, the next band of Downes and Howe and the next (90125) version of Yes.

The remaster version contains a lot of information, photo's and 10 extra tracks. You'll find two single versions of "Into the lens" and "Run through the light". The first, being a shorter version of the original, the second being an interesting accessible version of the original with different sounds and mixing. Then we have some leftovers of 1979 with Anderson and Wakeman still in the band. Songs which I will not play very often as you can hear it's not nearly finished and uninspired. Most interesting is a Yes version of "Some are born", this would end up later on Jon's second solo album "Song of Seven". You'll also find 3 unfinished tracks with only Steve, Chris and Alan in the line-up. This must have been recorded in the period of time before the Buggles showed up. It's just some instrumental jamming, not worthwhile of checking out.

Fishy | 4/5 |

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