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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1805 ratings

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4 stars Intelligent listeners will have listened to the Buggles first singles and heard beyond the flawless bugglegum pop through to the prog keyboard layers and inventive recording techniques. Yes + Buggles: surprising, maybe, but not a horrendous prospect (remember that listeners as well as performers were trying to reconcile the zeitgeist of New Wave with the tradition of prog). I'd already bought Buggles excellent (sic!) album The Age of Plastic and felt comfortable with it sitting alongside my 70's prog collection on the shelf - tracks like Clean Clean and Elstree defined an art-rock band hiding behind a sparkling commercial sheen (bet many of you recognize this element in Abba, but are not always comfortable admitting it...). So I guess I was more open-minded than most putting this on the turntable. I'd enjoyed Tormato enough to buy this without hesitation when it came out. Rule one - if the band has changed radically, do something special in the first 3 minutes to reassure diehard fans. Genesis managed it with Dance on a Volcano - Machine Messiah does it with knobs on!!! What a fabulous track - heavy (but not mindless metal), intricate and prog. Definitely back on Fragile territory here. The keyboards sound like GOOD 80's keyboards (no thin, insipid Polymoog, but thick, convincing Fairlights) and organ and mellotron are not eschewed. And the vocals... ok, we heard Fish Out of Water and understood how important Squire's vocal harmony was to the Yes sound - now we know it's VITAL. Anderson - wonderful vocalist for sure, but if he ain't around, choose a half-decent singer (Horn) and stick Squire & Howe either side of him: = next best thing. So the album remains interesting & convincing throughout. Tempus Fugit & Does it Really Happen - Yes classics for sure. Man in a White Car & Into the Lens - nearer Buggles in style but that's no bad thing in my book. Great tracks. Run Through the Light - becomes a little irritating on too many listens, but not the weakest Yes track to date by a long chalk. Can't give it 5 stars really, but a GREAT Yes album. Listen without predjudice.
Moribund | 4/5 |


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