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10.11.11

Yes - 'In The Present - Live In Lyon' (frontiers records) 5/5

Classic Prog Rockers Yes have been staging a bit of a revival recently, with a new vocalist on board in the shape of Mystery front man Benoit David, the return of Drama era keys-man Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn back at the production hem, they have already hit us this year with the remarkable and fresh sounding Fly From Here studio opus, and now we have this live set to fan flames of revival.

Ok before you mail in saying as such I will say that the line up here differs a tad from the Fly From Here album in as much as the keys here are played by Oliver Wakeman, (son of Rick) and I will point out that performances on this album date from late 2009, before work on the Fly From Here album started.

Gotta say that from the off I'm liking this lots. First up I'm loving the set on offer; we get stuff from Time And A Word (Astral Traveler), The Yes Album (I've Seen All Good People & Starship Trooper), Fragile (Roundabout & Southside Of the Sky), Close To The Edge (And You And I & Siberian Khatru)... etc, even 90125 is represented by Owner Of A Lonely Heart (natch), but there are some suprises on offer as well in form of Onward from the much maligned Tormato and a brace of cuts (Machine Messiah & Tempus Fugit) from my fave Yes album - Drama.

Benoit Davids vocals are superb, he takes all that Anderson era Aled Jones stuff in his stride, and breathes new life into these old classics. As for the rest of the band - well when your talking about the likes of Steve Howe, one of the three Steve H's (along with Hackett and Hillage), on the guitar, Chris Squire on bass and Alan White on the kit you know your in for a as near as flawless performance as can be expected. Add in Oliver Wakeman who besides being a chip off the old block has previously cut his teeth working along side the likes of Clive Nolan from Arena and played along side the likes of Magnums Bob Catley, and you have a great line up, capable of playing classic tracks with a vibe and energy that makes them sound like brand new material.

This is indeed a band reborn, and coming on the heals of the excellent Fly From Here we can be left in mo doubt Yes are back, they mean business and they are here to stay.

(And finally my take on the whole Anderson vs David debate. Personally I have found the last few albums from the Jon Anderson fronted Yes had been lacking in both life and direction, almost like Yes had become the Jon Anderson band. To be honest I had never really been that much of a Jon Anderson fan anyway, all those 'own backside inspecting' lyrics and that castrati style everything in the top register vocals often did as much to turn me off Yes as Mr's Howe, Wakeman and Squire etc did to attract me. But Mr Davids vocals are to me a real treat, ok he's got the Jon Anderson register, but his voice is more human, it has the hint of Geddy Lee about it and none of the shriek Mr Anderson used to produce when he leant on it, and to all the detractors who are claiming all this 'no Yes without Jon Anderson' crap, all I can say is wash yer ears out, get over yourselves and move on. Jon was good Benoit is better, End of.)

Superb, buy it and love it forever!!

For fans of... King Crimson, Mystery, Opeth, Pallas....

4 comments:

  1. I must admit that I was one of those about to give this a miss but after reading your review, I shall definitely be interested in listening to it. Thanks!

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  2. This is a great review, fantastic to see someone tell it how it REALLY is.
    5/5 to the reviewer!

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  3. I like the way you support this current Yes line-up. I´m also one of those who hate the statement "No Jon, no Yes". However, your last sentence saying that Benoit is better than Jon may be your opinion, but you´re saying it in a strong affirmative manner which sounds quite harsh. I´m cool with David being in the band nowadays, but it´s a fact that the Classic Yes line-up is with Jon and Rick, and if nothing would´ve happened in 2008 and the band remained as they´ve been lately, I wouldn´t have complain a bit.

    You said you´re against that stupid battle, but the whole of the last paragraph of your review prooves that you´re in fact one of them, it´s just that you´re defending the other side, the one that apparently has less supporters.

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  4. @ C...

    Yup, it is my opinion and I'm sticking by it, after all thats what reviews are ,the reviewers opinion, its all they alway ever have been. I penned that after getting a load of very personal abuse from less open minded Yes fans after I dared to voice my opinion that I preferred Mr Davids (and Mr Horn for that mater) as a singer to Mr Anderson, so the result may have a bit of pique in it.

    I like Yes but never have been a fan of Mr Anderson as either a lyricist or a singer, I used to put up with him cos he was fronting a band I liked. I was merely stating my stand point. I can accept that people may differ in their opinion, and will not do anything to say they are wrong, viva the difference as they say.

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