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Yes - Yesshows - CD
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On to the actual content of the album. The opener Parallels is great, and surpasses its lackluster studio counterpart. The early Yes classic Time And A Word is well-performed too, and Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, who were not in the band for the studio version, add flair. Steve Howe flubs the opening to Going For The One, but instead of detracting from it, adds an element of charm.
The Gates Of Delirium. Beautiful. Powerful. Passionate. Perfect. That's all I need to say about it. It easily surpasses the studio version (which is still near-perfect).
Don't Kill The Whale is nearly identical to the studio version, but that's not a bad thing, because it's a jam song at heart. The band then gets into a "soul" groove (Jon Anderson's words, not mine) before launching into the daunting Ritual. It may be seven minutes longer than the Tales From Topographic Oceans studio version, but it easily surpasses it. Ritual is divided up into two seperate tracks here to allow for easier digestion. And as a "sound chaser" of sorts (sorry for the pun) to help you catch your breath, the album closes with the pithy and gentle Wonderous Stories.
Yesshows also has a good sound quality throughout, especially on The Gates Of Delirium.
This is an essential live album if you enjoy this era of Yes.
I'd like to comment on that bass solo - I think it's the best live bass solo I've heard. The way Squire plays at an unusual range (most of this solo is played in the same range as a guitar's low E string) has always fascinated me. Another thing about this solo is how the rest of the band just lets go and lets Squire take over - in particular listen to Moraz: he's just tinkling along, playing the same triplet pattern.
Listen closely to "Gates" and you'll hear some apalling mistakes made by Howe - in the beginning of the song he enters too slowly, throwing everyone off track for a moment, and at 13:45 he starts his solo in the wrong octave, and has to add half a measure and cram some notes together to get back on track. But in spite of these errors, the group remains solid, and ends up playing "Gates" better than they did in the studio. Anderson's voice on this track is at its harshest, and in perfect form (as usual).
All of the shorter songs are done very well. In fact, the version of "Going for the One" has Jon Anderson singing at his rawest. It's a MUST listen.
The two epic songs, though, really make this album. "Gates of Delirium" is played with such ferocity and virtuosity that it is almost unbelievable. "Ritual" shines on the instrumental sections, although the odd percussive sound collage is several minutes too long.
I have refrained from giving this live collection 5 stars, due to the placement of the songs. I'm aware that this was originally on vinyl, and trying to work around two 25 minute songs is definitely a task, but I feel that they could have done things differently. The dynamic of the show is thrown off. For example, the final song (following "Ritual") is "Wonderous Stories"!
Also, the single live moment from _Tormato_ is the dull "Don't Kill the Whale". Although performed well, it's just not a good representation of _Tormato_; I think that "Future Times/Rejoice" or "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" would have added a bit more dynamic while, at the same time properly representing _Tormato_ (a very underrated album by Yes fans, in my opinion).
These factors are very minor, and should not keep you from purchasing some of the best live music performed by a rock band: ever!
Most recent customer reviews
Great cd. I was at the concert on some of the tracks.Brings back good memories.Published 8 days ago by Gates
Great Sound, reasonable price. Songs are tight rocking and this comes close to Yessongs. Love the banter with the audience and some of the tweaking of arrangements in certain... Read morePublished on Dec 11 2009 by Donald Francis Sweete
See my other review after I just got the CD- I wasn't really impressed - NOW after repeated listinings I love it all !!! Read morePublished on March 22 2004 by Robert J. Salo
Kind of weak - compiled when YES had broken up and had ceased to exsist.........."Dont kill the Whale" OK ----- "Parallels" BETTER ------"Ritual" Ah... Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by Robert J. Salo
This 2 CD set is a great live album of Yes's mid career!!! A classic!!! A great companion to Yessongs!!! Two thumbs up!!! A+Published on Jan. 1 2004 by Jason P. Pumphrey
Excellent audio quality, especially for 70s performances. Tremendous renditions of two epics: Gates and Ritual, along with terrific Intro->Parallels and Wonderous Stories. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2003 by EJA
The high point of "Yesshows" is by far "The Gates of Delirium". It's far better than the original version, which appears on "Relayer". Read morePublished on Dec 20 2002 by Doc Renrut
Yesshows is the second live album from Yes and it is a solid effort. The album's strongest songs are from the Going For The One album including the title track, a rousing... Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2001 by P Magnum