Monday, 1 June 2015

Yes - Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two


The prospect of seven shows from the same tour, with the same set list by Yes may on the face of it appear madness! Yes music is tightly constructed and there is very little room for improvisation. So the question is are we not hearing exactly the same thing night after night? This box set emphatically shows that is not the case. These live recordings are a revelation compared to Yessongs, before this box the only other live document of the band from this period. The sound is clear, detailed with great separation between each band member. It's Steve Howe who keeps things interesting from performance to performance. He adds so much different tonal colouring to his playing which constantly keeps things interesting. Alan White moves everything along at a cracking pace. The relentless energy he displays throughout every performance is breathtaking. Together with Chris Squires fast twangy bass lines this is a hot rhythm section. Rick Wakeman is placed on the right channel so all his intricate keyboard dexterity is now clearly defined. Over all this Jon Anderson's vocals soar and hold everything together. This is a band relishing playing this music. They are young and at the peak of their abilities and passion.

For any Yes fan, they must have thought that Yessongs was it. Great performances, but sonically wanting. So to be presented with these discs is manna from heaven. These recordings sound wonderful and the packaging of the box is a beauty. New artwork by Roger Dean of course and excellent notes in the booklet about the renovation of the tapes which are insightful and fascinating. All round this is a triumph and we must hope there is more to come.


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