Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Symphonic Live CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 296 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Yes doesn't get old

Despite of how old they look (specially Howe) 33 years after their 1969 debut they still are as dynamic and talented as always.

The early 2000s was a very good era for Yes and a rebirth of their prog style that we all love. After almost 20 years of pop incursions (most of which are very enjoyable) the "classic" Yes prog lineup of such (monumental) albums as Tales From Topographic Oceans and Going For the One reappeared after the return of Rick Wakeman in 1996 with the live Keys To Ascension which included brand new studio material in the vein of their 70s masterpieces, showing how they are still in shape and creative. Wakeman left the band again (studio-wise) but the renewed symphonic prog spirit wasn't lost and with the help of Igor Khoroshev (keyboards and vocals) and Billy Sherwood (guitars, keyboards and vocals) they recorded the amazing The Ladder. Two years latter the band returned to the studio with Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White and a SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA!!!! to record Magnification (now that's symphonic prog), which, as the title announces, is really magnificent. And not only that.... they also toured with the orchestra!!! This is the recorded statement of such a tour.

It was about time! Yes finally decided to join the tradition of original monsters of symphonic prog such as The Moody Blues, Renaissance, ELP, etc. of playing with a symphonic orchestra. And that's not all, the set-list is the kind of thing that put a smile in the face of any "classic" Yes fan, including concert classics such as: Starship Trooper, I've Seen All Good People and Roundabout and monumental masterpieces from Close to the Edge, Relayer and Tales from Topographic Oceans (my personal favorite), many of which they haven't played for years. This without counting the lovely and magnificent pieces from Magnification.

This album is one of the proofs that Wakeman isn't indispensable for Yes to play masterful symphonic prog, even though if Patrick Moraz isn't available. The only thing you need to replace the Cape Crusader is a more than competent pianist such as Tom Brislin and an orchestra!. Here you can experience the best from the Yes prog catalog in a new dimension and as powerful as during the 70's.

Other than that we have Howe's usual outstanding and breathtaking solo, a great rendition of radio hit Owner of a Lonely Heart (only representative of the pop era) as a very appropriate closer to the concert and Jon's narrations between piece and piece indispensable on every Yesshow. Everything presented with an almost perfect sound quality.

At the end this is a masterpiece of a live album, with absolute masterpieces renewed and presented as never before. Every single track in the album is performed with such quality (including Owner of a Lonely Heart) that it is difficult to find live albums like this one.

The highlights, for me, are: Close to the Edge, Ritual, The Gates of Delirium, Starship Trooper, In the Presence of and Howe's solo.

ProgressiveAttic | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this YES review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives