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Yes - Yesshows CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 595 ratings

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Jim Garten
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin & Razor Guru
3 stars A interesting album, this - enables the listener to finally come down off the fence in the great Wakeman/Moraz debate, as this is the only live album in Yes's career to feature both men side by side, so to speak (although Moraz's contributions are mainly restricted - if that is the right word in this context - to the huge epics, Gates Of Delerium and Ritual).

The closing section of 'Firebird Suite' opens the album (as usual), and we are then thrown straight into 'Parallels', 'Time And A Word' and Howe's manic slide-guitar driven 'Going For The One', all very well played (although Anderson's vocals are a little weak in 'Time And A Word'), but at times with Squire's bass guitar a little too far forward in the mix to the detriment of Wakeman/Howe.

Notwithstanding the above, however, I, like many people, went straight to side 2 of the album when originally purchased on vinyl, to hear Gates Of Delirium live; this version does not disappoint! For just under 23 minutes, the listener is transported by Yes at their most powerful, enthusiastically driving through this epic, but remaining faithful to the studio original, all leading up to Anderson's stunning vocals on 'soon' and the slow, almost laid back coda to those final half dozen synth chords, closing the piece - pure progressive rock magic.

Following TGOD would always be difficult, so I am at a loss as to why they chose to do so with Don't Kill The Whale..... never my favorite piece, but played well, nonetheless.

Wakeman & Topographic Oceans.....hmmmm, not his favorite album, but still difficult to imagine another person playing his music; refreshing then, when Moraz stamps his mark on Ritual with such authority and almost makes it his own (Wakeman would probably say "and he can keep it"). Clocking in at over 28 minutes, it far outstrips the studio version timewise, and (it has to be said) in terms of self-indulgence, especially in the second half.

After such a workout, Yes can be forgiven for laying back a little and finishing the album with Wondrous Stories, a short, sharp, but perfect little number (like a small glass of '67 port finishing off a banquet...... sort of...).

Overall, then, a fine live album, by one of the few dinosaurs still making and performing good progressive music at the very tail end of the '70s...... in the wings, however, Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn waited to pounce......

But that's another story

Jim Garten | 3/5 |


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