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4 stars Pulled this album out of the collection and had to capture a few words about this tasty double album. 100% YES captured live performing some of their best songs including a simply rivetting version of "The Gates Of Delerium" and "Ritual" (split in 2 pieces). This album is really a mix of songs across various shows with WAKEMAN and MORAZ swapping throughout. The end result though is a great double album full of wonderful positive energy and incredible musicianship.
Report this review (#13632)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars A lengthy ritual

"Yesshows" is not my favourite live album by Yes (and there are many to chose from!) by any means. I find the general recording quality, and indeed the performances, to be disappointing when compared to collections such as "Yessongs", and "Keys to ascension". The main reason this album is of interest is the presence of Patrick Moraz on keyboards on some (but not all) of the tracks.

Well over half of the album is taken up by the two feature pieces, namely "The Gates of Delirium", and "Ritual". Both the version of "Gates of Delirium" on "Relayer" and the one which appears here feature Patrick Moraz on keyboards, and the rendition here is pretty faithful to the original version. Rick Wakeman performed on the studio version of "Ritual" so it is interesting to hear the Moraz interpretation which is included here. The track is somewhat longer than the original version due to the extended percussion section. It was split over one and a half sides of the LP version giving a slightly disjointed feel, but has been rejoined on the CD version.

The remaining tracks do not really add anything to their superior studio counterparts, and at times sound significantly inferior.

One for fans looking to complete their collection only.

Report this review (#13634)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I just have heard this album again, and I found it very interesting... Chris Squire's bass has more presence than usual in Yes albums and Steve Howe guitars sounds very clear. White is O.K. as Moraz and Wakeman. In the other hand, is not one of the finest performances of Jon Anderson... Some problems in Going For The One, for example... Anyway, the powerful version of The Gates of Delirium saves the day...
Report this review (#13635)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars Many rock bands through the seventies released classic and ultimate live albums but then when it came to a later live release the same bands fell flat on their faces as the energy subsided and other negative forces took hold. While Yes had musically peaked and carried the massive momentum on the triple Yessongs set, the contractual obligated Yesshows album is a very dull affair. After keyboard player Rick Wakeman and vocalist Jon Anderson exited the band and the release of Drama which featured a couple of Buggles, this album was culled from gigs on the Going For The One tour in 1977 but the album sounds uninspired, tepid and lethargic. A good live album should give the listener the impression and excitement of a show which explodes, builds momentum and finishes with a fitting crescendo as if you were there in the audience soaking up the atmosphere. Yesshows sounds very patched together and inconsistent and fails to to grab the attention of the listener. The songs sound overlong and tired and the production is rather unforgiving and for the Yes completist it may be an essential album but for the passive fan Yesshows is an unnecessary and overindulgent collection of live songs from an era of discontent in the Yes ranks. The eighties had arrived and this was the decade that spelled the death knell for many of the rock bands that dominated the seventies but Yes would recover and reinvent themselves and adapt to the new ways and waves with the very successful 90125 album in 1983.
Report this review (#13636)
Posted Saturday, August 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I saw this album in a record shop in late 1980, and I asked one of the shop`s employees if Anderson and Wakeman were in the album, and he said to me that it was true. Even if the recordings and the mixing of this album are not very good (the keyboards are very much in the background, the bass guitar is higher in the mix, as the drums, the guitar sometimes sounds thin), this live album has very good live versions of "Parallels" (with a great synthesizer solo by Wakeman), "Going for the One" (despite Wakeman`s keyboards are almost inaudible), "The Gates of Delirium" (a heavy performance, with Patrick Moraz almost inaudible in some parts) and "Wonderous Stories" (with a good mixing). "Time and a word" also suffers from bad mixing (again of the keyboards), but it is a good version. "Don`t Kill the Whale" is a better recording (done by the B.B.C., with a better mixing). I don`t like very much the "Topographic Oceans" album, but the live version of "Ritual" included here (divided in two parts in the L.P. version, "Part 1" in Side 3 and "Part 2" in Side 4), with Moraz on keyboards, is good in the "Part 1", but I found some musical excess in the "Part 2", too much "noise" in my opinion, but with a good job by Moraz (again in the background most of the time). It seems that this album was going to be released in 1979, so Chris Squire (credited as mixer in the gatefold cover with two recording engineers) mixed these songs, but the album wasn`t released then. But in late 1980 the record label released these mixes in this live album. I don`t know if the remastered 2 C.D. version sounds better, but I think it should sound better. I only have the 2 L.P. version.
Report this review (#13637)
Posted Friday, September 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Yesshows released in 1980 was a welcome addition to the Yes library. It will never eclipse the epic Yessongs but it is still an excellent album. ' The Gates of Delirium' and ' Ritual' are both great live as is the Squire compostion ' Parallels'. There is even a jamming piece which runs for about 3 minutes where you can hear Anderson having a great time while the other band members fine tune their pieces. Not the best live album but certainly a very enjoyable one.
Report this review (#13638)
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Jim Garten
Retired Admin & Razor Guru
3 stars A interesting album, this - enables the listener to finally come down off the fence in the great Wakeman/Moraz debate, as this is the only live album in Yes's career to feature both men side by side, so to speak (although Moraz's contributions are mainly restricted - if that is the right word in this context - to the huge epics, Gates Of Delerium and Ritual).

The closing section of 'Firebird Suite' opens the album (as usual), and we are then thrown straight into 'Parallels', 'Time And A Word' and Howe's manic slide-guitar driven 'Going For The One', all very well played (although Anderson's vocals are a little weak in 'Time And A Word'), but at times with Squire's bass guitar a little too far forward in the mix to the detriment of Wakeman/Howe.

Notwithstanding the above, however, I, like many people, went straight to side 2 of the album when originally purchased on vinyl, to hear Gates Of Delirium live; this version does not disappoint! For just under 23 minutes, the listener is transported by Yes at their most powerful, enthusiastically driving through this epic, but remaining faithful to the studio original, all leading up to Anderson's stunning vocals on 'soon' and the slow, almost laid back coda to those final half dozen synth chords, closing the piece - pure progressive rock magic.

Following TGOD would always be difficult, so I am at a loss as to why they chose to do so with Don't Kill The Whale..... never my favorite piece, but played well, nonetheless.

Wakeman & Topographic Oceans.....hmmmm, not his favorite album, but still difficult to imagine another person playing his music; refreshing then, when Moraz stamps his mark on Ritual with such authority and almost makes it his own (Wakeman would probably say "and he can keep it"). Clocking in at over 28 minutes, it far outstrips the studio version timewise, and (it has to be said) in terms of self-indulgence, especially in the second half.

After such a workout, Yes can be forgiven for laying back a little and finishing the album with Wondrous Stories, a short, sharp, but perfect little number (like a small glass of '67 port finishing off a banquet...... sort of...).

Overall, then, a fine live album, by one of the few dinosaurs still making and performing good progressive music at the very tail end of the '70s...... in the wings, however, Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn waited to pounce......

But that's another story

Report this review (#13639)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although I like almost everything on this album, the main reason I recommend it is Steve Howe. Listen to the guitar work on The Gates of Delirium. Awesome. From start to finish, he plays blazing stuff at times to intricate lines that are barely audible. The man is a menace. Never settling into a rhythm, just constantly playing something different. Chris Squire plays some wonderful stuff during the "Soon" section as well. Howe's performance on Ritual is nice as well, but not as powerful. Squire gets the forefront on Ritual. The shorter songs are worth a listen as well. I am a big Yes fan so I may be biased. If you are reading this though you must have an interest as well.
Report this review (#13643)
Posted Monday, March 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I found this as a very good double live LP, it's highlights for me being the two epics "The Gates Of Delirium" and "Ritual", which were performed with PATRICK MORAZ. Also the tracks "Parallels" and "Going For The One" are much better here than on the original sterile studio albums. Also the covers by Roger Dean are exceptionally fine!
Report this review (#13644)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's odd how Yes seems to know what the good moments out of their overall bland late '70's era are. Indeed the performances here are interesting and well-done, but it doesn't contain much different than the studio versions. The sound quality is good, but the music quality however isn't, making it not much of a good live album in the sense of the term.
Report this review (#39500)
Posted Friday, July 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you crave to listen to Yes live, go pick up Keys to Ascension 1 and 2. However, if you wish to listen to Yes live, when they were young and truly at their peak, Yessongs is the disc for you. But, if you're STILL not satisfied, and want live performances of songs from the later part of their classic period (Tales, GFTO, Relayer), then buy this. The song's are played just as well as on Yessongs, and the band sounds as inspired as ever. The versions of "The Gates of Delirium" and "Ritual" are fantastic. "Gates" is even better then the studio version, thanks to some very impressive guitar work from Steve Howe, and some very powerful vocals from Jon Anderson.

The other tracks are also performed very well and each one rivals its studio counterpart. But there are problems with the mix. Chris Squire's bass seems to be overpowering everything, and at times the keyboards don't come through well at all. It's not too big a deal though, as you can always adjust the sound to your liking with an equalizer.

Overall, if you're a diehard Yes fan, you'll regret missing this. But if you don't have Yessongs, go get that one first, as it has a much better tracklist. This album is only $12 on amazon though.....for that price, it's worth checking out for anyone.

Report this review (#51917)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yesshows is one of the better live Yes albums out there,(the best being Keys to Ascension 1 IMO) it has a couple of epics and stuff from Tormato and Going for the One what more could you ask for. Yesshows marks the real end of the "classic Yes Symphonic period" and three years after this album the band reforms under Trevor Rabin and created 90125 (what and imaginative album title.)

Yesshows featres both Rick Wakeman and Paterick Moraz, Moraz playes on the two epics and Wakeman is on everything else. Also the quality of The Gates of Delirium is excellent (although many people say otherwise), just listen to Steve Howe on guitar and you will see that he is really proggin'.

This moderatly a good Yes album even if some of the featues are a bit dulled and inaudible, give it a chance any way. If you don't want this live Yes album then try Keys To Ascension which has the extended version of Starship Trooper and everything. By the way this albums is good but not essential as there is better live stuff from Yes out there, so it gets three stars. Other good live albums are Playing the Fool - Gentle Giant and A Live Record - Camel, both of these are miles better than Yesshows.

Report this review (#67210)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After another great live album which is called Yessongs, in 1980 they released this album called Yesshows, performing some songs from Topographic Oceans to Tormato, this is a completely different track list than in Yessongs, and not for that reason this is less good.

One particular characteristic is that was performed in some songs by Patrick Moraz in keyboards, and in the other ones by Rick Wakeman,, both with their particular style, both excellent keyboard players. This concert starts with the opening song from 1977 release "Going for the One ", "Parallels", with that keyboard intro, and then the bass and the unique style of Howe`s guitar, good song to opene the album, I like it, and it sounds as good as the album version. The second song is the only early Yes song, "Time and a Word", it is maybe not the song which people is expecting in a concert, maybe this is the weakest part, anyway I like the song, and the extraordinary voice of Jon Anderson, this song I think is strictly for singing, ( theres a time, and the time is now and its right for me.) Then after that soft song, comes a powerful beginning of "Going for the One" , a great performance of that song, is very complex and guitar sound is really great ( last Yes`visit to Mexico City, they opened with Going for the One, it was really great), this concert is a 1977 sound oriented. But then, the best moment , my favourite epic, a extraordinary song, and a really really great performance, "Gates of Delirium", this song is just amazing, im a huge Wakeman`s fan, but that's ironic, this is my favourite Yes`song, and without Wakeman, but the work of Moraz is awesome and it makes me forget abou The Keyboard Wizard, I don't know if this version of Gates of Delirium is my favourite, because here I find more power at the moment of play it, vocals are so emotional, Jon Anderson has a great voice , I think he made in this live version a great effort to please the audience, musically I don't have nothing more to add, because the music is simply superb, the bass of Squire is always perfect, and I think this is the heart of this album, listen to it, Gates of Delirium, impressive.

I have this album in LP, and that was the first side of it, the second side begins with a "protest" song "Don't Kill the Whale", as the title says, we can imagine the topic of lyrics, in this song we can listen again beautiful and great guitar solos. "Ritual ( Nous Sommes du Solei)", the main track of the controversial 1974 album "Tales from Topographic Oceans", which after that release Wakeman left the band, here this song was played by Moraz instead Wakeman, and was divided in 2 parts, another great epic, with excellent changes and superb musicianship, maybe not for everybody`s ears, but for me this was an amazing performance, ( I remember this song when I saw them, and wow, I was amazed). To finish this album "Wonderous Stories", another track from "Going for the One" album, this is a classic song of Yes, is quite nice, but not my favourite, maybe this is one of the bad things of this album, maybe another song instead this could be better to finish this live album.

After all, I really enjoy it, I think it is great, and we know what Yes is, a monster of progressive rock, and here we can make sure of it. For that reasons I highly recommend it, and this album deserves at least 4 stars.

Report this review (#76143)
Posted Monday, April 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I just got this album and my Yes collection is soon finished, since I'am not going to buy 80's or 90's Yes stuff since they can't be compared with real Yes. Yesshows is sequel to Yessongs which might be the best live album ever. Yesshows has two cd's like its predecessor but only 7 tracks. Some songs are very short and some extremely long! Here's the review:

Parallels : At the beginning of the song you can hear "Firebird Suite", the classic starter of Yes concerts. I've never really liked Parallels and I think its the weakest song in this album. In live version Parallels sounds actually even more weak than studio version. Jon's voice sounds way too high in my opinion. Not a good starter but could still be worst. 3.5/5

Time And A Word : Very old Yes song released on their second album. Yes plays only a few songs from their two first albums for obvious reason; they are all 60's pop music. Time And A Word is nice and easy song but it doesn't offer much. 3.7/5

Going For The One : Steve Howe's slide guitar mainly dominates this song along with exellent bass playing from Chris Squire. There's not much to say really. Nice but doesn't change the your world. 3.8/5

The Gates Of Delirium : At this point the concert really starts! Massive masterpiece from Relayer album played live. Being twenty three minutes long song Gates offers very much if you are able to receive it. I actually like the studio version more but live version also rocks (or should I say progs). Soon part sounds exellent. 4.5/5

Don't Kill The Whale : Released on their not-so-good Tormato album, the protest song Don't Kill The Whale became another hit song for Yes. If you like studio version you like this also. I enjoy it quite much actually. The song works very well as live version. After the song theres some nice improvised jamming too. 4/5

Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) : My god what a song. Being nearly half an hour long this is the song that gets you going. I was so amazed when I first heard it. Ritual is actually in two parts due to its lenght. It sounds very much like the studio version, but far more energetic. This is the song that measures how much you are into progressive rock. I consider this to be the best song in the album and definedly one of the best Yes songs played live ever. You can nearly fall into hypnosis when listening to this. You could easily write an essay of this song actually so I cant review it well. You just have to hear it. Especially the drum "battle" part is amazing. Not everyone will enjoy it but for me this song itself is worth of the whole price actually. 5/5

Wonderous Stories : To be honest after song like Ritual Wonderous Stories is actually a lame end for live album like this. Its nice pop song (actually another top 10 hit by Yes) but doesn't work as the enclosure song. Would have been far better to be in the middle. 3.8/5

Yesshows is an exellent live album but unfortunately doesnt reach the same level as Yessongs. I wouldn't suggest this to be the first Yes album to be bought. Exellent addition to any pro music collection and a must-have for Yes fans!

Report this review (#76729)
Posted Sunday, April 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars When I saw the tracklist of this album, I was quite surprised. So many numbers belonging to such different period of their career : "Time & A Word" (1970) and "Wonderous Stories" (1977) for instance. But you understand why when you read the CD booklet information (I have the CD version). It was recorded from different concerts, with different line-ups. The two epics "The Gates of Delirium" and "Ritual" were recorded in Detroit (17th August 76) with Moraz on the keys. "Parallels" & "Wonderous Stories" come from Rotterdam (24th November 77). Another two from the Empire Pool at Wembley (different dates : 27th & 28th October 78); and finally "Going for the One" from Frankfurt (18th November 78).

This combination might be a bizzarre choice and I would probably prefer each period to fill out one CD on a remastered issue (which could have been expanded like Yes did for almost each of their earlier releases). The double CD version being just a copy of the original double album. It is a pity because during this tour, "CTTE" was in the tracklist and would have been a marvelous bonus track. There is also little information on the Cd booklet (they consist mostly of the lyrics). The only track totally out of time being ... "Time & A Word".

It is indeed a very short double CD : seventy five minutes !. There is almost no interaction with the audience which is a pain. Some tracks are cut abruptly after their rendition (almost no aplause) as if we were short of space ! The "Going For The One" tour is well represented here (three tracks - but I miss "Awaken" of course - out of seven in this live album). I saw this tour actually in Antwerp on Saturday, November 26 1977 and I can tell you that it was a good one).

The opening "Firebird" turns beautifully into the rythmy "Parallels" after 1'28". The comparison with "Firebird" and "Siberian" in YesSongs is amazing. This version of "Parallels" is at times accelerated quite a bit (too much IMO). I like an awful lot this live version of "Time & A Word" : Jon really puts again a HUGE lot of emotion in here; a great, great moment. The intro words (one of the very few ones on this live album) for the ecological "Don't Kill the Whale" is hardly audible ("This is a song about the factory ship industry that seem to get rid of too many whales" ... says Jon). At the end of the song there is a little jam session during which Jon thanks the crew. It is one of the (too) few moments during which you can actually notice that this is a live album. "Gates of Delirium" sounds more rocky / heavy than the studio version. The rythmics are GORGEOUS : Alan and Chris being really great. At times as well, I have the same feeling as in "Parallels" : too fast (again : are we running short of space) ? The "Soon" moment being as always very, very emotional. The audience seems to appreciate a lot.

Moraz's interpretation of "Ritual" is good but I really don't like the lenghtly percussion section. It lasted for 2'45" on the studio version and here it is extended to five boring really noisy and pointless minutes : I mention this already in my review for TFTO. My comparison was that this section is quite similar to "The Waiting Room" from "The Lamb". The difference in the live performances is that in "The Lamb" live (I was attending this show in Brussels, 1975) Genesis raised the (poor) level of this song to an acceptable one. Here we have the reverse : from a poor studio section, we get an even poorer live rendition. Really, it is the (only) bad part of this live album. But don't get me wrong : Alan is absolutely brilliant on the other parts of the song, hitting his drum kit like if his life was depending on his play. The last track "Wonderous Stories" is just as wonderful as the studio version. The sound quality, although not perfect, is waaaaaaaaaay ahead the "YesSongs" one. Four stars for this YesLive.

Report this review (#106051)
Posted Friday, January 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars There are many good reasons for putting out a live album. One would be that the band/artist is at times better on stage than they are in the studio and they want to give the fan/listener a truer rendition of their creation as Genesis did with "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" on "Archives I." Another rationale is that they generate a high level of energy in concert that can't be conveyed from inside a closed environment like Deep Purple did with "Made In Japan" and Yes themselves did with their earlier "Yessongs." Yet another is to give their supporters new material in a novel way as The Mahavishnu Orchestra did on "Between Nothingness & Eternity." However there are some less-than-admirable reasons, as well. Foremost of which is to fulfill the terms of a recording contract with their label and I tend to believe that may have been the case with "Yesshows" because none of the aforementioned good reasons apply.

As on their initial live offering, the piped in final strains of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" are heard first except this time the group teases the audience by playing along with the taped music. Once the fanfare subsides Rick Wakeman cranks up the introductory cathedral organ sounds of "Parallels" and off you go. It's a faithful rendering of the song with guitarist Steve Howe playing some dazzling runs toward the end. The vocals are strong with frontman Jon Anderson coming through clear as a bell. (All that being said, I still prefer "Siberian Khatru" as a more powerful, unbeatable start from the gate.) Next you get a welcome blast from the past as they perform a tasteful update of "Time and a Word." Jon's uncharacteristic emotion-filled voice lifts the song and gives it new relevance. It's one of the few highlights. Without a pause Howe tears right into the rocking "Going for the One." Evidently the privilege of mixing this project fell to bassist Chris Squire so it's understandable that his Rickenbacker guitar is out front throughout the proceedings, especially on this song. It's another near note-for- note run through but the tune suffers greatly from the fact that you can hardly hear Wakeman's keyboards at all. The duly respected "Gates of Delirium" follows and it has both great and not-so-great qualities as a concert piece here. It starts off well with Anderson emoting some rare grit through his vocals and the band projecting some tight energy. Chris and drummer Alan White are a solid, powerful rhythm section and Howe is at peak form but poor Patrick Moraz is woefully out of his league as he tries to keep pace with them. I'll admit that he turned in the performance of a lifetime when he laid down his intricate parts on this song in the studio but he lags a step behind on stage. After the tumultuous battle segment they lead you to the climax but the payoff just doesn't achieve liftoff for me. I adore this part when it arrives in the "Relayer" version but here Steve loses control of his steel guitar echo effect and the triumphant melody runs amok, ruining the moment. The beautiful "Soon" ascends gracefully from the transitional "fog machine" section and doesn't disappoint but Howe's playing continues to suffer from overindulgence in the echo department. (Enough already, Steve!) "Don't Kill the Whale" is next and all I can say is that they can put all the lipstick they want on this pig but it's still a sow. (Unsightly tunes should be left at home, not taken on the road.) The song's embarrassingly out of date phrase "dig it" is only apt if it refers to the grave this tune belongs in. Once you get past that pothole you are treated to a loose improvisational snippet wherein Jon takes the time to thank the road crew while the rest of the group farts around. (If this isn't desperate filler I don't know what is.) Anderson tries to be hip as he pleads for the "funk" to be removed from his face and actually says that it's "getting to be a soul show now." No, Jon, it isn't. I know that Rick has said that he never liked "Tales From Topographical Oceans" but when you compare what he contributed to what Moraz does on "Ritual" you'd think it was Wakeman's all-time masterpiece. Patrick timidly hangs far back from start to finish and when he gets his moments to shine he disappears in Rick's giant shadow. There's some neat things going on during "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" and when Squire dishes out some furious bass guitar shredding things get heated but the magnificent "At All" section that is so effective on the studio version fails to thrill. And the extended drum/percussion passage is a bust mainly because White gets drowned out by too much excessive noise. This complex song just never gels. At least the last tune, the gorgeous "Wonderous Stories," is worth the wait because Wakeman is back (Hooray!) and he shows you why he was pretty much irreplaceable. It's an exquisite song performed impeccably.

When you consider that this is supposedly the best of their stage recordings from over two years of touring it connects a lot of the dots as to why Anderson and Wakeman had already said "adios" when this came out. It's not a total waste of time but I can't recommend that it top any progger's must have list. It is what it is. The tape doesn't lie. This is what one of the best groups in the world sounded like during those difficult years when they were trying to hang on to their worldwide popularity and not abandon their legion of followers but it's obvious they had lost their center and their utopian spirit. On a more positive note I have to acknowledge Roger Dean's eye-popping, out- of-this-world artwork and the colorful action photographs inside the double LP cover. Gotta give it an extra half star just for that.

Report this review (#116765)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hmm, I suppose I may be in the minority here, but I have always liked this album.

I suppose it's fair to say that I mostly like the two epic pieces, and while they certainly have their flaws, there is nothing poor or dull about them. Moraz plays on both, and I think does an excellent job. Sure, I'd rather here Rick doing Ritual, but that's how it goes and Moraz does a creditable job to my ears. I happen to like the lengthy percussion section on this performance and think everything works pretty darn well. Gates is certainly not as polished as the studio version, but there are a lot of things about it I like more than the studio version. Particularly Howe's use of more reverb (though that is likely more the halls natural reverb than any effect) and delay. And Squire and White are incredible on this track.

The other songs are not quite as stunning. The two Going for the One tracks are played perfectly, but in that respect don't really add anything to the studio versions (though Howe certainly puts more fire into Parallels than he did on the studio version). Time and a Word is fairly trite and I've never much cared for it as a song in general, though the lyrical sentiment is nice and conveys much of what Yes stood for. Wondrous Stories has grown on me over the years, but still seems like a weak closer that would have been better slotted in before Ritual. Don't Kill the Whale is not a bad song really, but the lyrics hurt it considerably, even if the sentiment is a good one.

So all in all, I'd say about a 3.5 star album, mostly for the two epics. This was something of a contractual obligation that Squire threw together (or so it seems), so it is one of those "what might have been" kind of albums. I can't imagine there were not better songs and performances available, though I still say the epics are excellent and the GFTO songs were very well done, if a little too true to the album versions. So I'll round down to 3 for the archives, but I think this is a must have for Yes fans and worth a listen for others. But if you need a place to start with live Yes, go with Yessongs for sure, and come to this one later.

Report this review (#116865)
Posted Friday, March 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

Well back then, YES was in disarray after the release of DRAMA in 1980. The band disbanded, we thought for good, and CHRIS SQUIRE holder of the key name YES, was asked to put out a YES live album for contractual reasons, so at the end of 1980, YESSHOWS was released just in time for these Christmas gifts.

We have once again a great artwork designed by Roger DEAN, though not as mesmerizing as the one produced for YESSONGS or TFTO. And guess what? the same goes for the music content!! not that's bad, no there is good YESmusic here. The main problem, i think this album will always have to be compared to its live predecessor YESSONGS!!

YESSONGS was the pantheon of a live prog album; everything in it from the cover art to the quattro-fold pack and most important , has some of the most beautiful music ever recorded by a young band bringing more life and energy to already fabulous studio- recorded epics. That's was imposiible to surpass, even to equal. Listening to YESSONGS is an magical experience to live, it's a wonderful dreamy journey to some magnificent world: a 6star album!! YESSHOWS is live album recorded by an amazing band that showcases the talent of the band, is a pleasant listening but in no way is a journey! I am sure some of YESfans understand what i mean!

One of the drawback of YESSHOWS is the somewhat inferior quality of some tracks; Nothing against GOING FOR THE ONE or PARALLELS, but they are for me the 2 weakest of the GFTO album. As for DON'T KILL THE WHALE, though pleasant, this has never been a highlight of YESmusic.

WONDEROUS STORIES and (surprise) TIME AND A WORD are nice additions, but the meat of the album are of course the 2 long epics : THE GATES OF DELIRIUM and RITUAL. The GATES is played somehow very similar to the studio version which is great, but that doesn't give me a reason to play this album more tha RELAYER and the same goes for RITUAL which is a little bit too long here; The 20mn studio version is well sufficient as it is.

The main interest is that you have PATRICK MORAZ playing the parts of WAKEMAN on RITUAL. So if you have free time on your hands, you still can compare the 2 of them . But i don't have that much time!1

So this is a good album, not great, not a masterpiece; nothing bad either, but i don't play it anymore. 3 stars i guess!!

Report this review (#127181)
Posted Saturday, June 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yesshows is Yes' second live album. The selection is mostly of material from where Yessongs left off, from Relayer through Tormato. They key reason to get this is the astounding performance on Gates of Delirium and Ritual, both played in their entirety and both featuring Patrick Moraz instead of Wakeman on the keys.

The rest of Yesshows is made up of performances of their shorter songs, Parallels, Time and a Word (from their 2nd album of the same name), Going for the One, Don't Kill the Whale, and Wonderous Stories. Not a bad selection overall, but not the masterpiece that Yessongs is. The performance and sound quality is well done.

I would rate this in four-star territory, but if you want a good taste of Yes live, try getting Yessongs or the two Keys to Ascension live albums. An excellent addition to a prog rock collection and a required purchase for Yes fans.

Report this review (#129499)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An unfortunate misfire.

Yes was due for another live album I suppose but this should not have been it. The excellent Yessongs covers the great material up through Close to the Edge. So the assumption is that they wanted something to cover Relayer through Tormato.

The problem with Yesshows is the song selection. I'll be brief. Drop the weaker cuts completely which are Parallels, Time and a Word, Going for the One, Don't Kill the Whale, and Wonderous Stories. You're left with the great versions of Ritual and Gates of Delirium. To those two songs, you now have 24 open minutes for which you could take your pick from Sound Chaser, To Be Over, Awaken, Turn of the Century, a better Tormato song, or more from Topographic if you wanted to add a third disc.

Laugh at me if you wish but I'd bet hard core Yes fans would rather have my mix of Yesshows than the one sitting on their shelves! As it exists, 3 stars. The two long songs are of course much better than that but I'm rating the job of presenting the overall middle period Yes material and they don't cut it in my opinion. The album artwork is some of Dean's finest and belongs in the prog art museum once we start one!

Report this review (#131595)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The non-choice of leaving off all the songs that appeared on Yes' first live album Yessongs hindered the impact of Yesshows. It was further affected by the band's decline in the late-70's, and subsequent breakup in the early-80's. While still displaying a good array of songs from their post-Close to the Edge work (excluding "Time and a Word"), The album is far noisier than Yessongs, and seems to be a bit rough in parts, which was something Yes had seemingly done away with some years back. It's a little curious that Yes would see fit to omit some of their more popular songs in "Awaken" and "The Revealing Science of God", but in the end that's what this album boils down to; a curiosity.
Report this review (#135016)
Posted Monday, August 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Yesshows is a far less thrilling album than Yessongs (1973), but like his earlier live companion, it closes a chapter in Yes history. While Yessongs was their crowning achieviment, Yesshows catches them fading away. But it was a worth release, even thought I would prefer it was the recording of one show, or at least the recording of a period of time. Here it mixes Yes of the Patrick Moraz era with the time Rick Wakeman came back. Fortunatly you´ll hardly notice the differences. Their live excellence was notorious and here is the proof they had lost none of it.

Going for The One and Parallels are quite superior to their studio versions and the other tracks are also very well done. I used to hate the vynil double LP because it divided Ritual in two parts. Fortunatly I got a hold of a russian remastered copy that correted that (all the tracks are here, but it is a single CD. Much of the talking and clapping is edited, but I don´t really mind). The sound quality is very good.

Although obviously not par to Yessongs, it is however an essential live album, and documents the best songs from a rather confusing period for Yes (and prog music in general). But, performing live, they were prog masters anyway.

Report this review (#137797)
Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a good live release from Yes, but not their greatest by far. The performance here is good, nothing special, kind of sounds like they are going through the motions, so I don't get as excited to play this one. Another thing to consider is the sound quality. Though it is much better than Yessongs, the 1973 release, it still has glarring problems that you cannot avoid while listening. First and foremost, where are the keyboards? No one can hear them, becuase the guitar, bass, and drums really block them out. The vocals sounds very nice on this record though, I will admit that Jon had some good nights. These songs where taken from the Relayer tour and the Going for the One tour, which means that you not only get Rick Wakeman on some of the songs, but you also get Patrick Moraz. It's kind of cool to compare and contrast their playing styles and different equipment, but they both are amazing and influential rock keyboardists, too bad you can't hear them. Anyways, I think it's good but you really don't need to get it. Only a 3 stars from me.
Report this review (#253905)
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have always been in awe of Yes.......... so it is strange that this is only my second review of a Yes album. Both of them live albums. I need to rectify the lack of Yes reviews soon.

In my view, Yesssongs is one of the best ever prog/rock/pop/jazz live albums, period. So it is pretty impossible to compare Yesshows with Yessongs. Yesshows falls way short. But this is still a superb live album in it's own right.

The two long epics The Gates Of Delirium and Ritual dominates this album and pretty much gives sets it apart from Yessongs. In particular The Gates Of Delirium is fantastic and I tend to only play this track from this album. The other shorter songs is merely superb songs. Wonderous Stories and Going For The One is the best of the shorter songs.

Unfortunate, the bass is mixed to the front of the sound and Moraz/Wakeman's keyboards somewhere in the background. Not good at all. That is my major gripe with this album.

I am one of those who really love live albums from Yes because I think this is a superb band. But the mix of this album is no good at all and halfway ruins it. It is therefore only 3.75 stars from me.

3.75 stars

Report this review (#258930)
Posted Saturday, January 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The "other" Yes live album

One of the most powerful live albums of rock music was 1973's Yessongs triple LP embelished with the magnificent canvasses of Roger Dean along with a colour booklet it pushed the envelope and brought porgrock beyond mystic proportions. The highest of the high. In 1979 the idea was tossed around to reprise it's granduer but was eventually shelved because individual members could not reach a collective agreement as to which live performances should be included. By this time it was evident that their live performances could be far more adventurous when compared to their more clinical studio templates and often acquired new identities when brought to life on the live stage. Eventually tracks were selected by bassist Chris Squire, mixed down and released as a two record set adorned with Roger Dean artwork on the outside cover along with kodachrome shots of the band playing "in the round" on the inside gatefold .

As could be expected the results were questionable and while the band kicked up a fuss and bickered amonst themselves fans lapped it up. But such was the nature of the beast with Yes and as Bill Bruford would reflect years later, communication within Yes had always been "chaotic". Rick Wakeman even claimed that he had no idea about Yesshows until after it's release and referred to it as "disgraceful". But for the fans who lived through the seventies this was a long awaited event. The big expectation, especially among Yes purists, was to hear earlier live material from Tales From Topographic Oceans and Relayer in the wake of the drastic lineup changes that had been effected on the most recent Yes studio LP, Drama, which preceded it by roughly four months. Fortunately Yeshows delivered in this respect and Chris Squire cannot be faulted for taking matters into his own hands and killing two birds with one stone ; fulfilling a contractual obligation and giving the fans what they wanted regardless of what the others thought.

Al that said, evaluating an album almost 30 years after it's first pressing invites criticism from different perspectives. Because I was a young Yes freak in 1980 who skipped school to wait in front of the record store in order to get my paws on it before anyone else, I tend to take a more nostalgic attitude towards the album rather than comparing it to the massive amount of live Yes material that has become available through the advent of CD and DVD formats as well as the internet. Those who exploit that advantage are most definitely going to see Yeshows in a different light and from that perspective it may pale and seem a bit dated. Even when considering the globs "new" live Yes material that is at our fingertips I still tend to consider Yesshows as a companion to the afore-mentioned Yessongs and for me it will always be the "other" live Yes album. Not because it is inferior but just because it was the "other" one for quite a while so I consider it to be a continuation if anything. I guess it's hard to explain life with just two live Yes albums to someone not even born in 1980! Of course if one wants to get technical it was generally brighter from that standpoint. Despite all the flak Squire put up with from the other members at the time he is to be commended. When Yesshows was released in November 1980 it was perhaps the only album of it's day that was recognizable as a full blown progressive rock record that was in tune with the glory years of the early seventies that so many diehards such as myself were so attached to.

The most welcome material on the two record set were the two elongated suite-like pieces Ritual and Gates Of Delirium taken from 1974's Tales From Topographic Oceans and 1975's Relayer respectively. While the shorter pieces ( two each from Going For The One and Tormato and one from the much earlier Time & A Word ) were relative clones of their studio versions , these two epics cultivated new character when played in the live environments. One must remember that when they were created in the studio both were assemblages of sections of music surgically fashioned together. Like Dr. Fankenstein's monster they really came alive when infused with the excitment of the live stage. Ritual had the added dimension of hearing a different keyboard player ( Patrick Moraz ) interpreting an earlier, rather complex piece even though it was chopped up over two sides due to the restrictions of vinyl. This wasn't as simple as hearing say, the Kingsmen palying Louie Louie with a new guitar player playing the main riff. This was intense stuff man! So it was exciting at the time even for those of us who had seen the band play live at one time or another during the 2 year period between August 1976 and November 1978 from which these tracks were harvested. Although many fans ( and guitarist Steve Howe ) would have liked to have seen a another 3 LP blowout like Yessongs the industry just wasn't warm to this sort of high flying self-indilgence anymore.

Although Yesshows was by no means the end of the band, it definitely signalled the end of an era and was unquestionably a fitting salute to the seventies as the band moved forward with it's transitional Drama lineup that would aid in the band's redefinition through their " pop" phase of the eighties on 90125, Big Generator and Talk. Eventually the band would revisit the earlier days but this could not be foreseen in 1980. Even then it was not the same Yes. Yes started to become the perpetual reunion band ( with the possible exception of The Ladder from 1999) and more recently even moving towards becoming a tribute band of it's former self.

Yeshows is a brilliant showcase of Yes during the waning years of the "classic" lineups that were still firing on 4 cylinders in full-blown progrock mode. Although it might be overshadowed by other more recent renditions of 70s classics it is indispensible for those who followed the band during these glory years and those who are interrested in genuine recordings from that era.

Unfortunately I haven't had the occasion to hear the more recent 2009 Japanese CD release which includes two superflorous tracks, I've Seen All Good People and yet another version of Roundabout.

Report this review (#267495)
Posted Monday, February 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars This live compilation album was released only 5 month after Drama and felt like an obvious cash-in on the newly reunited band. Unfortunately, anyone expecting a testament to the new lineup would be disappointed since this release is only concerns itself with the band's past.

Yesshows consists of live recordings from their 1976-78 incarnations, featuring Patrick Moraz on 2 tracks (3 if you count the original LP-version) that take up more than 60% of the album and Rick Wakeman on the rest of the material. It's clear that this record doesn't want to be a rehash of Yessongs, meaning that it's completely void of material from The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge. What we get instead is one track off Tales From Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Tormato and even the title track from Time And A Word combined with three tunes off Going For The One.

This is, in my opinion, a very lethal combination of material since there is nothing to hold these tracks together. Instead, it comes off like a collection of odds and sods that was released as a cheap cash in from both the band and the label. The playing on Yesshows is great, although I lack the magic of the original studio takes. This becomes especially apparent when listening to the over the top performance of Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil). I mean, the original 22 minute version felt way too long for its own good, but this live jam just pushes those boundaries even further into obscurity.

The only track that really makes me want to revisit this album is The Gates Of Delirium and that great performance only makes me want to hear more of of that 1976-tour, even though I'll also have to revisit the 30 minute version of Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil). The general mood of this live album is non-existent thanks to the constant back and forth jumps in time, but I'm sure that Yes fans will forgive Yesshows for its shortcomings since the material itself can be quite pleasant at times. Overall, a good but non-essential part of your Symphonic Prog collection.

***** star songs: The Gates Of Delirium (22:41)

**** star songs: Time And A Word (4:06) Don't Kill The Whale (6:50) Wonderous Stories (3:54)

*** star songs: Parallels (7:07) Going For The One (5:22) Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) (28:55)

Report this review (#328875)
Posted Sunday, November 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yesshows is a victim of Yessongs' success. The preceding live album had been so incredibly lavish, and presented so many songs, that the pre-Tales from Topographic Ocean material was more or less exhausted. (Chris Squire, who compiled this set, even stoops to including a performance of Time and a Word - a rendition which only proves how much of a step down that song is compared to the subsequent Yes repertoire).

The album also seems to have been compiled with an agenda - despite coming out after Drama, not a single song from the accompanying tour is included. And yet a tepid rendition of Don't Kill the Whale makes the grade? Oh, spare me; the material on Drama was too good to be excised from Yes history in this way. The album is further marred by the sound quality being - to my ears at least - a step below Yessongs, when considering the advancements in live recording technology over the subsequent years really shouldn't be the case.

It's not a disaster, mind. The band do the good job they usually do, and some will find the performance of Ritual featuring Patrick Moraz to be intriguing. Nonetheless, unlike Yessongs the performances here do not approach the standard of the studio renditions. One to skip unless you're addicted to live Yes, I'd say.

Report this review (#559922)
Posted Sunday, October 30, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars One of the earlier Yes live records this was a double album released in 1980 and was the RELAYER, TALES, GOING FOR THE ONE, TORMATO era live recording. Only "Time and a Word" is an old tune. Patrick Moraz appears on 2 of the tracks, the rest have Rick Wakeman on keyboards and organ. The sound here could be much better, I feel and that is disappointing, but overall a pretty good record of the "middle years" of the band. Not a great live album, but a pretty average to good one, and very good in places. "Don't Kill the Whale" sounds great.
Report this review (#733607)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Respect to Yessongs there's a Bruford less and Moraz replaces Wakeman on a couple of tracks, the opener is again, as I suspect in all the concerts of that era, the Firebird's Suite by Stravinskij, but this time it's Parallels the first YES song of this double's double, not triple. This is another difference.

As in the previous live the sound quality is not the best, but again, this is how a live should sound. A perfect sound quality is always pleasant, but you risk to make the live atmosphere evaporate. However Ihave to admit that the sound quality of this live album is effectively a bit below the average.

It's "only" a double. I have a triple bootleg from the same tour and that tracklist would have been really amazing, but this official bootleg is a very good complement to Yessongs as it contains trakcs from Tales From Topographic Oceans and Going For The One plus something from Tormato and also "Time and a Word" on which Wakeman adds asomething respect to the original version.

Going For The One is a little accelerated but I like too much this song, which first conquered me to YES, so it doesn't matter, also because it has Howe in a very good shape.

Moraz plays on only two songs, but they occupy about 51 minutes of the album

It's a pity that Ritual(Nous Sommes DU Soleil) had to be split in two parts because of vinyl limits, but it's more a pity that Wonderous Stories is cut to an excerpt only. One of my favorite YES songs is shortenet to 1/5 of its original length.

In any case, "songs and shows" together are the ultimate anthology of the YES classic period. Before the rating, let me add a word for one artist who is not on those two live albums. So long Peter Banks.

Report this review (#930284)
Posted Friday, March 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Parallels

Yesshows was Yes' second live album following the amazing Yessongs. While Yessongs was recorded at the very peak of the band's career following right on the heels of the incredible trio of studio masterpieces The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close To The Edge, Yesshows was recorded over the years 1976 to 1978 and focuses on material from the subsequent studio albums Tales From Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going For The One, and Tormato. Also included is a version of Time And A Word from the band's second album from 1970. There is no overlap at all between this album and Yessongs.

The fact that this album was recorded in various venues over several years also means that more than one line-up is involved. Rick Wakeman had left the band after the recording of Tales From Topographic Oceans and was replaced by Patrick Moraz for Relayer. The Yesshows versions of The Gates Of Delirium and Ritual feature Moraz while the rest of the tracks feature Wakeman (who returned to the band again for the recording Going For The One and subsequent tours). As such Yesshows does not run as a complete concert, but rather as a compilation of live tracks. If one bears this in mind while listening to it, I believe that one will enjoy the separate tracks on their own merits, at least I do.

The centrepiece here is the fantastic The Gates Of Delirium. The other epic track is Ritual which in this version runs for very nearly half an hour and therefore had to be split into two parts on the vinyl LP version of Yesshows. While The Gates Of Delirium is, for me at least, clearly the best track of Yesshows, Ritual is more interesting due to the fact that it is more different from its studio counterpart. For one thing, we get to hear Moraz playing on it here, while it was Wakeman that played on the studio version. Among the shorter tracks Parallels and Don't Kill The Whale are the highlights (even though the spoken word section at the end of the latter is annoying). Wondrous Stories, Going For The One, and Time And A Word are very good too, but somewhat less exciting.

Overall, Yesshows does not hold up to the quality of Yessongs. But it does remain an interesting compilation of mostly excellent live tracks that makes a nice companion to Yessongs.

Report this review (#1084002)
Posted Sunday, December 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Of all the songs over the years from this album the only one I return to is Ritual. What a grand event this thing is. I even like the idea that this tune was so important it had to be split into two to fit on vinyl! The song is so great I even over look the fact it's a little on the tinny side. The percussion section has me from beginning to end. I've always wanted to corner someone from the band and ask how the screaming/drumming portion was accomplished. Who is doing it? Who is doing the low vocal droning that happens before each scream? How are they able to achieve the effects while doing so? The timing and blaring noise. I get a real sense that something serious is happening.

It reminds me of the time I was in France in the early 80's. I was there for a folk festival representing the Americans and countries from around the world were there putting performances showcasing their cultures. During a stage performance the Africans reenacted a tribal exorcism. They launched into it without announcing what it was. There was heavy drumming, people dancing around a guy sitting on the ground out of his mind and body, a witch doctor was shaking him, and dousing him with gallons of milk. It was quite a noisy and visual spectacle. I had a feeling people in the audience didn't know what to make of it because of the nervous laughter. But something told me these guys weren't playing around.

While not sounding exactly like Ritual it seemed to me to encompass a like ideal - in a matter of speaking. A battle of good vs evil. Chaos. Urgency. Driving. Let the devil show his face. Then conquer him. And, in the end, peace. Going home.

Love it. Thanks, guys.

Report this review (#1184796)
Posted Wednesday, June 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars THIS is a masterpiece 9/10 (because of the not too top notch production)

I'm sure thet it has been said before but ,this is how it went... Chris Squire did a "rough mix" of a live album and a couple of months later found out that Atlantic had released it! Now, mind you, the mix is NOT bad , but it doesn't have the usual Eddie Offord "sheen" (which was later corrected in the "Classic Yes" little 7 inch where Eddie mixed the remains of the LP)

Bought this when it came out TWICE, once in a USA pressing, and then a Japanese pressing, through the mail from a shop that was called "The Essentals" (which some of you may remember)-guess which one I STILL have and sounds like Heaven????

Anyway...the mix is a bit rough but it works real well to give you an insight to how they REALLY sounded onstage, WHY?, cause there are NO OVERDUBS!!!! (Jon's voice breaking up in GFTO is proof of this...)

Great versions of ALL the songs ("Time and a word" still catches me off guard) AND we get to hear Pat playing a SMOKIN' version of GoD!!! Also does a SPLENDID Job on Ritual, (which I edited as on the CD from my Japanese pressing! to make it into one song)

You can actually hear when Chris "mixes in between songs" because of the crowds. Sometimes the keys are lower on th emix , but he had the good sense to avoid what most players who mix their group's LPs syndrome -having his instrument louder than everyone else- I find this way more accessible than Yessongs...which sounds like crap.

Report this review (#1224949)
Posted Sunday, July 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Yesshows' - Yes (55/100)

There seems to be a general consensus that Yes' first live album Yessongs is something of a masterpiece. At two hours and six sides long, it takes the scope of the band's vision to its natural zenith, offering a cross-section of the band's best work over the span of their three most classic records. It seems fitting, then, that Yes' second live album would attempt to follow in the ambitious footsteps of Yessongs, this time largely representing the period between 1973's Tales from Topographic Oceans and Tormato, the tumultuous swansong to the band's classic era. While Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer are actually my two favourite Yes albums, Yesshows still seems to fall short of Yessongs in virtually every way. Besides feeling like a half-hearted addendum to their first live LP, Yesshows doesn't quite come together the way it could have. There's nothing dreadfully wrong it, but there's very little of that same refreshing magic that made Yessongs such a gem.

I don't think there could have been any way Yes could make a truly weak live album using material from their 1973-78 period. Although a live album should be judged for the way it presents material rather than the material itself, having a library of brilliant music to work with certainly makes the matter of making a good live album that much easier. In the case of Yesshows, I'm surprised it didn't work out better than it did. Tormato and Going for the One had choice cuts readily available for the energetic short-form songwriting, whilst Relayer and Tales from Topographic Oceans offered a taste of Yes at their boldest. Not to mention, there were still plenty of songs from their earlier catalogue they could submit without dubbing over the selections on Yessongs. While Yessongs had a nigh-impeccable choice of material, Yesshows is more of a mixed bag. "Going for the One" is a suitably amazing choice for the album, with an infectious chaos that translates perfectly live, and while I've never been a fan of the organ-heavy "Parallels", it's a solid way to open the performance following their signature Stravinsky's "Firebird" intro.

On the other hand, "Time and a Word" and "Wonderous Stories" do very little with the potential allotted to them by the live setting. Neither of them are particularly marvelous in studio, and there's nothing here that changes my mind any. "Don't Kill the Whale" fares a little better, but lacks the kick and punch of "Going for the One". I think the most pronounced element that defines Yesshows is actually the wasted potential for the more ambitious cuts. I've made no secret about my love towards Relayer's "The Gates of Delirium", and any track from "Tales from Topographic Oceans" would (and should) have made for an excellent cornerstone to the album. Sadly, these live renditions don't do nearly as much as I would have hoped for. Perhaps I'm comparing it too much to the vivace of Yessongs' most proggy material, but Yes' performance feels dull compared to their studio versions. With a live album, I expect to hear the music performed with more intensity and urgency than the studio. While Relayer's version of "The Gates of Delirium" sets a heavy precedent with its chaotic faux-musique concrete noise and production, Yesshows' version is dull and streamlined. Undoubtedly for the sake of vinyl limitations, the originally twenty minute "Ritual" has been split into two parts. If there's any part of the album where Yes have clearly tried to reinnovate themselves, it's with this epic, but even then I don't find myself entirely convinced. Whereas "Ritual" was originally a sleepy epic with some beautiful restraint and otherworldly atmosphere, the two halves are packed up with a noddy intro from Jon Anderson and added percussion passage towards the end. The Alan White drum showcase is a nice touch, but the introduction to "Ritual" here feels pretty undesired. Having some banter and dawdling helps to create a live impression, but here Anderson is only giving thanks to the road and laser/light people. It's good to give credit to people who have helped make a show a success, but it's entirely puzzling to hear this credit given for the part of the performance we're not seeing.

Yesshows doesn't match Yessongs in any way, nor does it offer any improvement on the muddy mixing that album had. What we have is an inferior live album that seems to acknowledge the fact it is lesser in inspiration and ambition to Yes' first bout. Released following Drama and the breakdown of Yes' classic lineup, Yesshows was compiled with the knowledge that the days of glory were now over. Maybe that sense has translated somehow into the album. It's a functional live album in most respects, but there's nothing here that would make the songs favourable over their in-studio counterparts.

Report this review (#1275120)
Posted Friday, September 12, 2014 | Review Permalink
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".

Report this review (#1354913)
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review Nş 156

'Yessongs', was the first Yes' live album that was bound to be a classic. That 1973 triple LP was emblazoned with a hypnotic Roger Dean cover and comprised of material from double-header progressive rock behemoths 'Fragile' and 'Close To The Edge'. In any superficial comparison, 'Yesshows' couldn't possibly stack up. With its awkward snow scene cover, also made by Dean, and the track list spanning critically panned albums like 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' and 'Tormato', it hardly screams an essential purchase. But 'Yesshows', released in November 1980, is just as essential as any of the band's late 70's albums, with songs that often improve upon their studio counterparts.

Yes broke up for the first time in 1978 after 'Tormato', and in the attempt at replacing Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman by Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, it was then they released their tenth studio album 'Drama'. 'Yesshows' is the second live album of Yes and was released in 1980, shortly after the release of 'Drama'. Issued as Yes were about to disband, soon after this live album, 'Yesshows' is a very important live document of their late 70's era. 'Drama' is an album with a different line up because Anderson and Wakeman left the band. To the remaining members of the group Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White joined two other musicians Horn and Downes, two ex-The Buggles members.

So, the band members involved on 'Yesshows' are Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (vocals and bass guitar), Steve Howe (vocals and guitars), Rick Wakeman (keyboards), Patrick Moraz (keyboards) and Alan White (vocals and drums).

'Yesshows' is a double live album consisting of recordings from 1976 and 1978. 'Yesshows' comprises live performances ranging from the summer of 1976 to the supporting tour for their last studio album 'Tormato', in 1978, in several locations. Like the band previous debut live album 'Yessongs', 'Yesshows' begins with a classical music recording of Igor Stravinsky's the 'Firebird Suite'. Although, Rick Wakeman is the main keyboardist on the most tracks, the 1976 performances are featured by Patrick Moraz, the keyboardist of Yes in that time, after Wakeman have left the band after the release of 'Tales From Topographic Oceans'. After the release of 'Relayer' and just before the recording of 'Going For The One', Patrick Moraz left also the band and Wakeman returned to recording and release this album.

'Yesshows' has seven tracks. The first track 'Parallels' was recorded at Ahoy'-Hal, Rotterdam, Holland, in 1977 and was released on 'Going For The One', the second track 'Time And A Word' was recorded at Empire Pool, Wembley, London, in 1978 and was released on 'Time And A Word', the third track 'Going For The One' was recorded at Festhalle, Frankfurt, Germany, in 1977 and was released on 'Going For The One', the fourth track 'The Gates Of Delirium' was recorded at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, USA, in 1976 and was released on 'Relayer', the fifth track 'Don't Kill The Whale' was recorded at Empire Pool, Wembley, London, in 1978 and was released on 'Tormato', the sixth track 'Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil)' was recorded at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, USA, in 1976 and was released on 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' and the seventh track 'Wonderous Stories' was recorded at Ahoy'- Hal, Rotterdam, Holland, in 1977 and was released on 'Going For The One'.

So, the material on the album is from the post 'Close To The Edge' period, with the exception of 'Time And A Word', and the album serves as a superb supplement to the live classic 'Yessongs'. The band is in top shape and delivers great performances of the material. 'Parallels' sounds in my opinion better here than it did on 'Going For The One' and the same goes for 'Time And A Word' that works better without the orchestra on the studio version. 'The Gates Of Delirium' is another demonstration of the fact that Yes was one of progressive rock's best live bands ever. Most of the second album is taken up of what I consider to be the ultimate version of 'Ritual'. The track is spread over both sides of the album and it kicks the ass off the studio version on every level, despite the great quality of the studio version.

Conclusion: 'Yesshows' comprises different recordings from different live performances between 1976 and 1978, including two different line ups. 'Yesshows' has negative points and positive points. The negative points are the inclusion of 'Time And A Word' and 'Don't Kill The Whale' that despite are two good songs hadn't quality enough to be chosen, and the non-inclusion of any song from 'Close To The Edge' is unjustifiable. The positive points are the presence of Moraz which is very rare on Yes' live albums and the fantastic performance of the band on 'The Gates Of Delirium' and 'Ritual'. This is more evident on 'Ritual', because is a longer version due to the extended percussion section. It seems even a new song. It's interesting to see the different interpretations of Moraz and Wakeman of the same track. 'Yesshows' isn't as good as 'Yessongs' is, but is undoubtedly one of the best live albums ever made. However, 'Yesshows' remains as a great live album and an essential music piece of the all musical catalogue of Yes.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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Posted Friday, January 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

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