Happy 40th: Yes, YESSHOWS
40 years ago this month, Yes released the second live album of their career, a 2-LP set featuring tracks from the band’s 1976, 1977, and 1978 tours.
Produced by Chris Squire, YESSHOWS emerged seven years after Yes’s first live album, YESSONGS, and given that record’s success, it’s a little surprising that it took Atlantic Records so long to suggest that the band deliver a follow-up. Squire had a decidedly daunting task in front of him when he sat down to sift through all of the band’s shows from three years of touring, but he eventually narrowed it down to eight tracks taken from five shows.
Say, let’s look at the specifics in chronological order, shall we?
- “The Gates of Delirium” (August 17, 1976 – Cobo Hall, Detroit)
- “Ritual (Part 1)” (August 17, 1976 – Cobo Hall, Detroit)
- “Ritual (Part 2)” (August 17, 1976 – Cobo Hall, Detroit)
- “Going for the One” (November 18, 1977 – Festhalle, Frankfurt)
- “Parallels” (November 24, 1977 – Ahoy-Hal, Rotterdam)
- “Wonderous Stories” (November 24, 1977 – Ahoy-Hal, Rotterdam)
- “Time and a Word” (October 27, 1978 – Empire Pool, London)
- “Don’t Kill the Whale” (October 28, 1978 – Empire Pool, London)
In addition, the 2009 reissue of the album added two tracks: a version of “I’ve Seen All Good People” recorded on October 28, 1978 at Empire Pool, London, and a version of “Roundabout” recorded on October 7, 1978 at Oakland Coliseum, Oakland.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the lineup of the band was, for the most part, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, and Alan White, although Patrick Moraz does play keyboards on “The Gates of Delirium” and “Ritual” rather than Wakeman.
YESSONGS wasn’t as successful as its predecessor, but it still did solid business, climbing to #43 on the Billboard 200 and hitting #22 in the UK. Not so bad for a live album, really, but you can attribute that to the always-diehard Yes fanbase. They do love a good live album, you know...
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