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Yes - Yesshows CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.64 | 477 ratings

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3 stars Hmm, I suppose I may be in the minority here, but I have always liked this album.

I suppose it's fair to say that I mostly like the two epic pieces, and while they certainly have their flaws, there is nothing poor or dull about them. Moraz plays on both, and I think does an excellent job. Sure, I'd rather here Rick doing Ritual, but that's how it goes and Moraz does a creditable job to my ears. I happen to like the lengthy percussion section on this performance and think everything works pretty darn well. Gates is certainly not as polished as the studio version, but there are a lot of things about it I like more than the studio version. Particularly Howe's use of more reverb (though that is likely more the halls natural reverb than any effect) and delay. And Squire and White are incredible on this track.

The other songs are not quite as stunning. The two Going for the One tracks are played perfectly, but in that respect don't really add anything to the studio versions (though Howe certainly puts more fire into Parallels than he did on the studio version). Time and a Word is fairly trite and I've never much cared for it as a song in general, though the lyrical sentiment is nice and conveys much of what Yes stood for. Wondrous Stories has grown on me over the years, but still seems like a weak closer that would have been better slotted in before Ritual. Don't Kill the Whale is not a bad song really, but the lyrics hurt it considerably, even if the sentiment is a good one.

So all in all, I'd say about a 3.5 star album, mostly for the two epics. This was something of a contractual obligation that Squire threw together (or so it seems), so it is one of those "what might have been" kind of albums. I can't imagine there were not better songs and performances available, though I still say the epics are excellent and the GFTO songs were very well done, if a little too true to the album versions. So I'll round down to 3 for the archives, but I think this is a must have for Yes fans and worth a listen for others. But if you need a place to start with live Yes, go with Yessongs for sure, and come to this one later.

infandous | 3/5 |


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