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Yes - Yesshows CD (album) cover




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3.68 | 593 ratings

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3 stars After the greatness of the first 3 record live set "Yessongs" back in 1973, Chris Squire was asked to put together another live album in 1980. The tracks on this new collection came from several shows recorded earlier and the tracks were all different from the "Yessongs" album, there were no repeats between this new collection and the previous live collection, so it was basically a continuation. This new live collection was entitled "Yesshows" and would be a 2 record set this time.

This collection featured two very long tracks, "Gates of Delirium" from "Relayer" and "Ritual" from "Tales from Topographical Oceans". These two songs take up most of the time on the album leaving room for only 5 more shorter tracks. Patrick Moraz plays keyboards for the two longer tracks. He was the original studio musician for "Gates of Delirium" but was taking on the "Ritual" track which was originally done by the master Rick Wakeman. Moraz does a very impressive job on both tracks and proves himself very well here. However, Moraz left the band just before the release of "Going for the One" and the other tracks on this album are played by Rick Wakeman, who returned to the band. Other than those two tracks, you have one of the classic Yes lineups with Alan White on the drums (who is considered a classic lineup, but so is Bill Buford, they were both awesome and interchanged with each other in their comings and goings to and from the band).

Unfortunately, the sound on this collection suffers mainly because of the mix. The good thing about the mix is you hear Steve Howe and Chris Squire quite well. But overall it is unbalanced because the keyboards are mixed too deeply into the mix and get buried in the sound. Every instrument in Yes after the first inclusion of Rick Wakeman was important, and having the keyboards buried really makes the overall sound suffer greatly.

Jon's vocals do stand out in the mix okay, and his singing is on target. However, the studio versions of these songs are so much better because of the overall sound. The sound was a little weak also in "Yessongs" but not this bad. That album still turned out to be an amazing live document. This one however, pales compared to the original. As other reviewers have said, you are better off getting the previous live album or "Keys to Ascension Vol. 1 and 2" over this one. The only problem with that though, is "Gates of Delirium" is not performed live on either of those, so that makes this collection still of value and not completely obsolete. If you really need that song in a live setting, then this is the best album to get that song on.

It is always great to hear how Yes can still perform these songs so well in a live setting and it is a testament to their musicianship in the playing of these complex masterpieces. I only wish the sound and the mix was better on this. As it is, I can only rate this with 3 stars. Good, but not essential unless you need to have a live recording of "Gates of Delirium".

TCat | 3/5 |


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