Episodes YMP Classic Feed

Episode 138 – Drama live

Drama era Yes
1980 Yes by Jeremy North

The one hundred and thirty-eighth episode of the Yes Music Podcast, featuring some thoughts about a 1980 bootleg recording from Madison Square Garden.

  • Can Trevor Horn hold his own?
  • How does Geoff Downes get on in his first stint with the band?
  • Does the Drama material come over better than the ‘classic’ material?

Listen and see if you agree with me, then let me know via any of the methods below.

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Show links

Heaven and Earth website

The Flaming Lips news

Madison Square Garden bootleg

Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

6 replies on “Episode 138 – Drama live”


Terrific episode, and I really interesting idea. Are you planning on doing more bootleg reviews?

Go Through This, Fly From Here, and Tempus Fugit from this show all ended up on disc 3 of “The Word is Live.” I am guessing that you are probably right–the band may have used this recording to revisit the song three years ago, as it’s now filed in the Rhino/Atlantic archives.

When does your summer vacation begin? Mine starts Thursday.


I haven’t actually listened to the episode yet, but I will, and I’m getting my comment in early!

I saw this line-up at the Rainbow, and very much enjoyed the Drama material. But as for Trevor covering earlier material, it was a bit of a disaster. When he failed to hit the high notes in the quiet part of “And You And I”, the audience was sadly reduced to laughter – which must have been audible to Trevor Horn, and he looked like he really didn’t want to be there.

On my way home I was cycling past the Rainbow car park as Trevor Horn drove out. He really didn’t look at all happy.

I have nothing but admiration for all the things that Mr Horn has done in his career, but attempting to cover for Jon Anderson was definitely a low point!

Interesting and entertaining review Kevin. I had not thought about that show in a very long time.

I remember well the jeering when they played the Buggles extracts during that part of the concert. I know it may seem a little disingenuous in retrospect, but imagine how it felt at the time. Jon and Rick had left and were replaced by a POP duo; then they played their POP music in the middle of a Yes gig. It was a bit of a Shock to the System.
Back then there was a chasm between pop and rock.

I think that Drama has stood the test of time though as decent album. Listening to it now really takes me back to 1980

I must try harder to find the negs from the Newcastle gig to add to your archive.

Thanks Jeremy. Great to hear from someone who was actually there! I agree Drama still sounds great – maybe because it was still before the electronics really took over. There’s a lot of honest playing there.

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