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Tags: "YES"

08 Dec 2014 

YES - Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (2014)

YES - Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (2014) full

YES are currently preparing to release next December 8 on Frontiers Records their first live effort to feature current lead vocalist Jon Davison, "Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome" comprising selections from the group’s celebrated studio releases from the seventies.
Available on two-CD, DVD and Blu-ray, this new live package features Davison interpreting both ‘The Yes Album’ and ‘Going for the One’ with a veteran lineup including Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Geoff Downes. 

Working a setlist of classic Yes, "Like It Is" is a great collection of songs played to perfection. The energy is high, no 40-year band going through the motions here. 
Starting with a surprisingly rockin’ version of "Going for the One", the set runs through such greats as "Yours is no Disgrace", Steve Howe’s "The Clap", "Starship Trooper" and "I’ve Seen All Good People", before finishing up on the rocking abandon of "Perpetual Change".

All this classic stuff is performed with the trademark Yes shifting rhythms, virtuoso musicianship, sheer power and soaring over it all the high clear harmonies and sweeping melodies that make Yes... Yes.
One thing particularly good is the fact the band sounds like they did in the seventies, not as some 'tired' performances heard lately.

American Jon Davison (also lead singer in Glass Hammer) sounds scarily like Jon Anderson... if no one tells you, he'll pass as a young Anderson without problem.
Howe can still play lightning fast and pure, delivering faithfully favourite old solos but also bringing new embellishments and invention. And Squire showed just how important a part his melodic driving basslines have always been to the distinctive Yes sound. 
And when the band are playing as one they can still deliver moments that can take your breath away.

Surprisingly good, "Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome" is much, much better than I expected. Yes sounds vital, energised here, all recorded with great precision and a transparent sound.
It’s more than 40 years since Yes were first a huge name - able to release a triple-disc live album and have a top 10 hit with it. They and their audience may have aged a lot - but Yes still sound as good as ever when they hit those dizzyingly exuberant moments of wonder. 
And their present audience is not entirely grey-haired and wallowingin nostalgia - my 15-year-old nephew loves Yes and liked "Like It Is; Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome" a lot.
Very Recommended.


Disc 1:
1. Going For The One
2. Turn Of The Century
3. Parallels
4. Wonderous Stories
5. Awaken

Disc 2:
1. Yours Is No Disgrace
2. Clap
3. Starship Trooper
4. Ive Seen All Good People
5. A Venture
6. Perpetual Change 

Jon Davison: Vocals, percussion
Steve Howe: Guitars, vocals
Chris Squire: Bass, vocals
Geoff Downes: Keyboards
Alan White: Drums
.
Admin · 335 views · 0 comments
02 Jul 2014 

YES - Heaven & Earth (2014)

YES - Heaven & Earth (2014) full

"Heaven & Earth", due in July 18, 2014 from Frontiers Records, marks another iteration of the long-standing prog outfit YES, after the addition of new frontman Jon Davison, previously of Glass Hammer.
Chris Squire and Co, also made an innovation in the producers chair: the legenday Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Journey, Foreigner) was hired to provide a classy and at the same time punchy sound.

Over the years, Yes has garnered a sound that reflects soaring vocals, huge symphonic work, and spiraling guitars. "Heaven &amp; Earth" reflects all of this but on a softer level than in their heyday, much more melodic and not 'so' progressive.
Of course there's Geoff Downes moog solos, Steve Howe's characteristic guitar legato triplets and long compositions with varios passages - just like the good old times, but this Yes 2014 is much more accesible.
On many places, "Heaven & Earth" sounds like Asia.

When the first track "Believe Again" was presented as advance two weeks ago, I read horrible things about this new Yes album. Uninspired, boring, too much commercial were the words... I don't understand these people.
What were they expecting? Another 'Roundabout'? Have you have listened the Yes of the last 30 years?
Besides, you can't judge an album just by a song.
"Heaven &amp; Earth" is commercial and melodious, but still retains Yes' trademark prog signatures.

Yeah, maybe opener "Believe Again" is too much simple and easy to the years, but it's nice and with very fine harmonic vocals and carefully crafted lyrics. Talking about the vocals, new singer Jon Davison sound a lot like Jon Anderson, but you can't fault him, as already sounded like Anderson on Glass Hammer. And he is good at the mic, and also writing lyrics.
Second song "The Game" is reminiscent of early Supertramp in its structure, but sonically is quite neo-prog and modern if you ask me. I like the subtle guitar work in the background, and the spacey solo.
Standout track "To Ascend" includes the exquisite guitar finger picking of Steve Howe. The lyrics are very deep and transpire memories of early Yes.
The album ends with the solid "Subway Walls", which reflects the precision musicianship that has surrounded Yes throughout their entire career.

I'm sorry for radical Progsters if you don't like "Heaven &amp; Earth". But this is has been the Yes of the last decades; neo progressive, melodic, with accessible arrangements and lots of sweet keyboards and harmony vocals.
New singer Jon Davison will please everybody, and he has really been involved in the craft of this new record as co-writes most of the songs. Roy Thomas Baker's sleek production provide the necessary air for every instrument to breathe, and the result is warm and classy.
One of greatest - at this point classic rock - bands of our time, Yes continues releasing good material after almost 50 years of existence.


1. Believe Again
2. The Game
3. Step Beyond
4. To Ascend
5. In A World Of Our Own
6. Light Of The Ages
7. It Was All We Knew
8. Subway Walls

Jon Davison Lead &amp; Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Steve Howe Electric, Acoustic &amp; Steel Guitars, Backing Vocals
Geoff Downes Keyboards, Programming
Chris Squire Bass, Backing Vocals
Alan White Drums & Percussion
.
Admin · 425 views · 0 comments