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Yes

Like It Is - Yes At the Bristol Hippodrome

Review by Gary Hill

This new live album from Yes is quite good. There are some comments to be made that aren’t necessarily complaints, though, but literally more just comments. First, this was recorded on the three album tour they recently did. That tour featured Going for the One, The Yes Album and Close to the Edge performed in their entirety. This album only includes the first two. Since they more recently did a tour focusing on Fragile and Close to the Edge, it seems a likely assumption that there will be another live album from that tour that will include CTTE, thus explaining the omission.

Next up, it should be mentioned that while they play the songs in order, this isn’t exactly a run through precisely like the albums. For one thing, Yes always sounds a little different live than they do on album. Having seen the band numerous times over the years, I can say that I really enjoy what I consider to be different flavors of the music. Such is the case here. Additionally, while new singer Jon Davison is quite good, he isn’t Jon Anderson. I don’t mean that as a complaint, but rather just a comment. His voice doesn’t have the same depth or ability to have a rock strength that Jon Anderson’s does. That, in itself, lends a different flavor at times. That’s not a bad flavor, just a different one. Much of the time, though, he sounds very close to the original.

This package not only includes the two CDs of music, but it also has a DVD of the concert. The audio quality of both the CDs and video are great. The DVD looks excellent, too. This is really a class act. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who saw the tour. Personally, I’m a Yes completist, so it’s a must have for me.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc: 1
Going for the One
This is a very faithful rendition of the song for the most part.
Turn of the Century
In many ways this is pretty similar to the studio version of the song. That said, Jon Davison’s vocals seem to have a little different cadence and pronunciation at times from Jon Anderson’s performance.
Parallels
The instrumental section in the middle of this feels a bit different both in terms of the keyboard sounds and some of the drumming. In some ways that section almost feels more like something from Tormato in terms of the general tone. Still, this is a solid rendition.
Wondrous Stories
The opening section here feels very different from the studio version. The bass sound on this makes me think of Tormato a bit. As the piece develops it gets closer to the original rendition, but the mix is still a bit different.
Awaken
This epic at times feels a bit different than the original, but overall, it’s pretty faithful. A lot of the changes are just in terms of mix or tones. It’s still an awesome piece of music, either way.
Disc: 2
Yours Is No Disgrace
I love this rendition. It’s pretty close in tone to the studio one. There are some more modern tones, though.
Clap
Steve Howe’s classic guitar solo gets visited here. What can you say about this one that hasn't been said before, really?
Starship Trooper
Another Yes classic, this gets a pretty faithful live telling here.
I’ve Seen All Good People

This Yes classic is arguably the most faithful rendition on display here. It still works well all these years later. Having seen Yes live so many times (and having heard so many live versions of this), I kind of miss the soloing sections that are usually present when they do this one live.

A Venture
If there’s such a thing as a “throw away” Yes song, this is it. What I mean by that is, it’s the shortest track on The Yes Album and for many sort of a forgettable little piece. The thing is, it’s always been one of my favorites. There is a lot of magic in it to my ears. This was the first tour that I know of where they played this song live. I like it a lot, and I’m enamored with the idea of having a live version of this. They do stretch it out a bit from the studio version for sure. Howe gets some great soloing in the midst of it.  
Perpetual Change
This feels a bit slower than the studio version. That almost gives it a jam band vibe at times. There is some great piano on the introduction.This really seems to gain some groove.They seem to take it almost into a jazz sound for a short time. Again, it's not from a reworking, but rather just the kind of groove that is going here. I love the retro keyboard sounds on the fast paced jam late in the song. Chris Squire's bass really stands out at times there, too. Of course, Steve Howe's soloing is magical.
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