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Yes - Like It Is - Yes at the Mesa Arts Centre CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.07 | 87 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Tell the moon dog, tell the march hare"

The present album is the second of two Like It Is live albums. The idea was to take some of the band's classic albums and perform each album in its entirety "like it is" in its original album running order. On the first Like It Is release it was Going For The One and The Yes Album that got the full treatment and this time it is Close To The Edge and Fragile - two of the absolute masterpieces of progressive Rock. While the first Like It Is album lacked excitement, this second entry in the series is clearly an improvement.

The most interesting tracks here are definitely Cans And Brahms, Five Per Cent For Nothing, and We Have Heaven, which have not been included on a live album before. The original idea for the Fragile studio album was to represent individually the members of the band at the time by having each member do a solo number on the album. Cans And Brahms was Rick Wakeman's individual selection and here we get to hear Geoff Downes perform it. Bill Bruford's Five Per Cent For Nothing is played by Alan White, and Jon Davison sings Jon Anderson's We Have Heaven. I do not think anybody ever expected to hear this! Mood For A Day and The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) are played by their originators Steve Howe and Chris Squire respectively, the only two members who played on the original Fragile album.

The rest of the tracks from these albums have been included on a multitude of excellent live albums released over the years going back to the otherwordly Yessongs. Even though it is interesting for a fan like me to hear Geoff Downes replicate Rick Wakeman's parts, it is hard to motivate why one should listen to these particular renditions of these classic tracks given how many versions are already available on other live records. The weakest link in the line-up is again Jon Davison who fails to bring anything new and exciting to the songs.

Overall, a good but rather unnecessary live album.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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