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Should Yes Play Whole Albums Live? 222

I recorded this episode early in the week shortly before the news of Prince’s death was announced. Another musical genius is gone. It’s turning into a terrible year for our heroes.

On the show, I have a chat with Mark Anthony K about Yes current obsession with playing whole albums live and we come to some conclusions…or maybe not…take a listen and then let us know what you think.

  • Are all albums great in their entirety live?
  • Should Yes persist with this approach?
  • Should they also play a variety of other tracks?

Show notes and links

Uncle Preston reviews And You And 

Union Tour video

Trevor Rabin track with that iconic Stratocaster

Miguel Falcao’s Chris Squire 8-String Bass tutorial

Article on bands who have gone through multiple front men

Led Zep v. Taurus analysis

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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

20 replies on “Should Yes Play Whole Albums Live? 222”

You’ve started a cascading overload in my brain! I think they probably reached 2.0 when Trevor Horn took over the Front Man position, so we must already be at 3.1 with Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood… possibly 4.1? That’s a great lineup, only I have to take exception to Mike Portnoy. I think he’s just too much drummer and too big a personality (OK – massive ego) to work well with Yes. I love Dream Theater’s entire catalog, but they have become a better band since Portnoy left. The thought of what he might do to “Awaken” terrifies me.

. . .yeah, 3.0 was the 90125 etc band; then they were back to the 1.3 lineup, then 1.4 – with with Igor… no – 1.4 was Patrick, so Igor must be 1.5… and of course I forgot all about Benoit, so THAT was the 4.0 lineup, so now we must be at 5.1. . . sorry, all, I’m obsessing on this… I may have to chart it all out on paper…

A good obsession – have you seen the wall chart in Prog magazine – it’s quite good…

I find it interesting that as soon as a progressive band needs a drummer Mike Portnoy is always brought up. There are other drummers…how about Marco Minniman?

I think it’s because Portnoy is kind of seen as not having a permanent gig at the moment. Marco is really good (right – he’s amazing!) – he auditioned for Dream Theater – but again, he’s awfully busy when he’s drumming, like Mike. I think he’d wind up doing an Alan White imitation instead of being himself; conversely, if he tried his own style he’d just have to put the brakes on too hard.

Great show interesting take on who would or could be the perfect fit to replace members.
I think there would be a huge hole if Steve Howe could no longer perform,to me this would really cause a major issue with the band.Trevor Rabin was and is outstanding however he is the only one that I know that could even come close to Steve’s playing.
Having seen Drama the fist time when it was released was great however to be honest I would have preferred Jon Anderson sing. Trevor Horn is a musical genius however singing was and is not his strong point.
Relayer would be a show to see having seen that with the exception of To be over that album was breath taking to hear and see live.


Trevor Horn sounded much as he did in 1980 to my ears in the YouTube video I have seen. I’m still in awe of those who saw Relayer live…one day…

So, as to the main question here, I am a bit of a fan of bands who do the “entire album” thing. It worked perfectly well when Pink Floyd started the trend with “Dark Side of the Moon” on the “Pulse” tour. Rush did it with “Moving Pictures,” and, of course, my most recent Yes concert was all of “The Yes Album” and “Going For The One.” I’m not sure that “Fragile” lent itself particularly well to this concept, however, although pulling off “We Have Heaven” live is quite an accomplishment. Almost every track from the “main sequence” of albums has been done live at one point or another, after all, so doing entire albums seems like a logical step… although I don’t imagine there’s much demand for complete performances of “Magnification” or “Open Your Eyes.” I could sit through all of “The Ladder” if they wanted to try it.

Doing entire albums does prevent them from playing a bunch of stuff you might want to hear at a Yes concert, though – shows like “Tsongas” and especially “Symphonic” (Close To The Edge, Gates, and Ritual all in one show!) There’s just SO MUCH music – and I really don’t think Steve or Alan is quite up to doing any more three-hours-plus performances.

Saw GFTO & The Yes Album last year and Awaken was magical. Going to Oxford on May 9th and Albert Hall on the 10th to see Fragile and Drama. Saw Drama when it originally came out and met Trevor and Geoff. Looking forward to it immensely and love this format. Would love to go to America to see Tales but can’t afford it ATM. On a side note it would be great if Jon did Olias again as I missed it first time round

Oddly, Awaken was definitely ‘missing’ from Brum – if they had stuck that in it could have been even better! (Maybe that’s not possible…)

Wow. ..great comments everyone…it’s quite a interesting thing to think about. The next stage of Yes.

Yes indeed! The feeling amongst everyone I have spoken to recently is that the band should go on as long as anyone is interested in joining…onward!

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