I'd like to start out with a complaint. For reasons beyond my understanding, Yesshows is presented here on *2* CDs (disregard what Amazon says about this- you get a two-disc set) despite the fact that they both add up to less than 80 minutes of music, thus being able to fit on one disc. A real waste of space and CDs. At least it's not reflected in the price.
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.