{artist} - House of Yes (Live from House of Blues) - 2000


Here it is. It has already been brought to light: cover of Roger Dean included – this is more simple but more original that his last creations as well-, the new Yes live album. On opening the cd, the first thing that attracts our attention is the list of more than eighty concerts that took our veterans half over the world on tour.


In second place, on listening to the recording, it is surprising to discover the differences, in performance of certain songs is concerned, with regard to their last concert in our country. The reasons seem to be quite clear: the recording of the cd took place on the first days of November, almost at the beginning of the tour, and they didn’t get to Spain until February. This fact is subsequently more difficult to notice in those tracks not included in their last studio recording. The result, in my very point of view, is someway favorable to what we could appreciate in February in relation to that recording. That delighted to me as it shows an urge to improve and an act of responsibility. It doesn’t mean that we are facing neither a bad recording or performance, even the opposite: once again Yes prove to be real specialist in live performances.

What deserves to be highlighted?. It is not easy to answer that question: “Yours Is No Disgrace” (13:03) open the box of surprises, with a quite weak beginning, but soon acquiring a superb dynamics where it is worthy to focus our attention into Steve Howe’s Guitar, always ready to surprise. The key moment of that track comes with the second half of it that starts with a Howe-Squire devilish string duel that makes your hair stand on end and drives to an end in the purest Yes style. In spite of its short duration, I think it was right to include those two pieces of “Time And A Word” (0:58) and “Ritual-Nous Sommes Du Soleil” (0:59) since they mean a rest into the concert development and just the time to enjoy Jon Anderson’s voice power of evocation. “Perpetual Change” (10:48) acquires some completely new sonorities adding a fresher style. Once again it is necessary to pay attention to Jon’s voice, going from intimacy to grandiloquence and also to Alan White in a fantastic end. Those two facts indeed support the Squire, Howe and Koroshev instrumental ravings .

Talking about the tracks of their last album and as there are just slight changes with regard to the studio scheme. I just would say that “Homeworld (The Ladder)” (9:44) has entered in his own right, such as J wrote in the review of the album, to be one more classic song of the band. “Lightning Strikes” (5:07) and “Face To Face” (5:32) are not the kind of Yes we are used to, but with their folk style they perfectly cope on the overall concert scheme. “The Messenger” (6:39) is not out of this world either, but its building cleaning allows to taste the development of each one of the instruments separately. And finally, “It Will Be A Good Day (The River)” on the wave of “Wondrous Stories” is other of the tracks deserving to be mentioned apart

“And You And I” (11:22) develops in a very quiet way, loosing as far as I am concerned somewhat of the energy corresponding to this real jewel of the genre, nevertheless it happily improves on its central phase where we can taste Jon’s voice more calmly. The most interesting of the cd are the two tracks which follows to “Awaken” (17:34) and that sounds compact without cracks; every blank is covered with a textures environment created by an ambitious Koroshev on the keyboards, the sound richness of the strings, the touches of cymbals and White’s drums and of course Jon Anderson (voice, harp,…). It is followed by “Your Move/I’ve Seen All Good People” (7:27), which is one of the delights that deserves more time to get all its juice enjoying its initial harmony, its final force and its happy and positive general dynamics.

Both the two tracks taken from Rabin’s times: “Cinema” (1:57) and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” (6:03) are astonishingly powerful and have been well chosen. They are obviously followed by “Roundabout” (7:40), where they leave heart and soul in a frenetic end and the correspondent tribute to The House of the Blues.


A new live album- how many are there?- from an mythic band that still surprises with new and interesting studio recordings and masterly playing in live concerts songs that seemed forgotten. The election of Igor Khoroshev has been obviously a “shoot on the spot”, and I think that nobody will miss Billy Sherwood’s leaving. And what can I say about the rest of them?. White is like the hardworking aunt who doesn’t urge to be in the limelight but whose job is fundamental for the band career, Squire sets himself as the base of those irregular and complex pieces that define Yes style, Howe is in charge of those continuous and infinite delights and details drawing a restless attention and from which you never get tired to listen to again and again, always surprising while Anderson is nothing and all: the soul.

author - date - rating - label

Eduardo Aragón - November 2000 -   - Eagle Records