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Yes - Symphonic Live CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 296 ratings

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3 stars Yes' contribution to progressive rock in 2009 is a CD version of a concert that they recorded in 2001 and that has been available for some time on DVD. Probably intended to cash in on all the listeners who didn't get the limited edition of the DVD that came with CDs as well, this album seems somewhat uninspired in its timing.

Every track on this album has been released on a previous Yes live album, with the exception of Overture (the introduction they used during their symphonic tour) and Don't Go, which is not the best song Yes has done in recent years, although mildly fun. It does benefit from the inclusion of many of Yes' better epics, including complete versions of Close To The Edge, The Gates of Delirium, and Ritual. Close to the Edge has been done at least twice before (Yessongs, Keys to Ascension 2), and Gates of Delirium and Ritual were both released on Yesshows.

What makes this album worth purchasing, however, is the existence of an orchestra backing Yes up. The fact that they chose to play three of their most cherished epics, despite being previously released, only adds to the value of this collection. The orchestra makes these songs new and fresh again, even in 2009 (unless you owned the DVD). And the song collection is pretty holistic, gathering most of their biggest tracks from throughout the years while also giving ample time to their new (at the time of recording) release.

Yes fans own enough copies of them that hearing I've Seen All Good People, Roundabout, and Owner of a Lonely Heart at the end of this collection is actually more of a detriment than anything, even with the orchestra. But for listeners who haven't heard the band before, this album gives a great overview of what they have done and at the same time does it in a somewhat new way. That gives this album a bit of value beyond the hardcore audience. Although it is not their most essential live album, it will still provide value to any prog listener. Three stars.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |


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