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Yes - House of Yes: Live From the House of Blues  CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 218 ratings

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With all the live material which has been made available from Yes over the years in various formats the obvious choice remains 1973`s unquantifiable Yessongs. If one wants to know how the band had matured over roughly 18 year period since it`s release then House Of Yes is arguably the obvious choice. Immaculately produced from one of performances at the The House of Blues in Las Vegas during the 1999 Ladder tour it contains a suprisingly well selected set-list which encompasses their entire career up to that point. It even includes a rendition of the Owner Of A Lonely Heart from the Rabin era which makes it even more attractive for fans of Yes` 1980s pop phase, although long-time afficiados might wince at a couple of cut-down oldies which are nothing more than teases, shaking their heads wondering why they bothered to include them in the first place. Nonetheless, relatively complete versions of the other tracks more than adequately atone for this minor atrocity.

What really gives this album sustenance & colour are newcomer Igor Koroshev`s well tempered keyboards. His stylings, although attempting to capture the essence of predecessor Rick Wakeman, are more lush and fluid unlike Wakeman`s harsher right hand attacks which were much more in tune with the pomp & circumstance of the Yes of the early seventies. As a result a more liquefied flow is attained by the band as a whole here and breaths of new life are fluxed into older tracks such as I`ve Seen All Good People and Yours Is No Disgrace which give the band more unity than on previous live recordings. Chris Squire`s usually loud bass fits better into the equation here which is toned down a notch while Howe just breezes through the entire set as if he just stepped out of a time machine from 1973. A couple of thouroughly enjoyable highlights are the refreshing Lightning Strikes and The Messenger where the band steps slightly out of character rocking it out with samba and reggae rhythms adding a new dimension and radiance to this version of Yes. The extended 17 minute epic Awaken in all it`s splendour recalls the glory days of art rock concerts in the seventies. In addition to being a worthy successor to Close To The Edge it also serves as a testament to the fact that Yes were one of the few bands, if not the only one, who could pull off a marvel like this on the eve of the 21st century in a venue such as the House Of Blues. Naturally the almost compulsory Roundabout appears as the last encore but is given a soecial House Of The Blues treatment!

Adorned with Roger Dean artwork which has about as little to do with the recording as Yes has to do with the blues, the performances on House Of Yes are very mature, animated and refined and represent Yes in top form as they enter their third decade.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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