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Yes - Yesshows CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.61 | 400 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yes: Yesshows [1980]

Rating: 7/10

Yes's second live album consists of performances from two different tours and lineups. The two centerpieces of the album ("The Gates of Delirium" and "Ritual") were recorded in 1976; these tracks are particularly notable because they're some of the few live Yes recordings to feature Patrick Moraz on keys. The rest of the album is taken from 1977/78 shows, with Wakeman on keys. I find all the performances featured here to be excellent, and have never understood why Yesshows receives negative reception.

The recording quality, although not great, is generally decent and is a huge improvement over Yessongs. Nearly every classic track from the band's mid-to-late 70s period is included here (although I would have liked to hear "Sound Chaser"), and every song is performed with the skill and feeling one expects from Yes. The only problem, however, is that most of the songs don't fittingly differentiate themselves from their studio counterparts. The exception is the 28-minute rendition of "Ritual." This is a mind-blowing performance; the extended middle section features sublime bass from Squire and the percussion section becomes even more strangely intense than on the original recording.

For me, both Yessongs and Yesshows are on the same level. Both encapsulate 70s Yes well, but both are limited by the recording technology of the time. Both feature performances of Yes's greatest songs during peaks of their artistic career. However, while Yessongs failed to reach masterpiece level due to recording quality, Yesshows fails to reach it because the songs are not unique enough to provide listeners with the "re-experience" that a live album is supposed to impart. Regardless, this is still an excellent live album recommended to anybody who enjoys Yes's music.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |


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