Yes – Drama (1980)

LPFrontCover1Drama is the tenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes, released on 18 August 1980 by Atlantic Records. It was their first album to feature Trevor Horn as lead vocalist, as well as keyboardist Geoff Downes. This followed the departures of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman after numerous attempts to record a new album in Paris and London had failed. Drama was recorded hurriedly, because a tour had already been booked before the change in personnel. The album marked a departure in the band’s musical direction with more accessible and aggressive songs, and featuring the use of modern keyboards, overdriven guitar, and a vocoder.

Drama was released to a mostly positive critical reception, with most welcoming the band’s new sound. It peaked at No. 2 in the UK and No. 18 in the US, though it became their first album since 1971 not to reach gold certification by the RIAA. “Into the Lens” was released as the album’s sole single. Yes toured the album with a 1980 tour of North America and the UK, and were met with some negative reactions during the UK leg over the new line-up change. At its conclusion, Yes disbanded. The album was remastered in 2004 with previously unreleased bonus tracks, and it was performed live in its entirety for the first time in 2016. (by wikipedia)

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For this one album, ex-Buggles Geoffrey Downes and Trevor Horn were drafted in to replace Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman. It rocks harder than other Yes albums, and for classically inclined fans, it was a jarring departure; but it was a harbinger of Yes and Asia albums to come. A newly emboldened Chris Squire lays down aggressive rhythms with Alan White, and Steve Howe eschews his usual acoustic rags and flamenco licks for a more metallic approach, opting for sheets of electric sound. Prime cuts include the doom-laden “Machine Messiah” and the manic ska inflections of “Tempus Fugit.” Despite the promise of this new material, the band soon fell apart; Horn went into production, Howe and Downes joined Asia, and Squire and White toyed and then gave up on a pair-up with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, which was to be titled XYZ (i.e., Ex-Yes and Zeppelin). (by Paul Collins)

Chris Squire

Personnel:
Geoff Downes (keyboards, vocoder)
Trevor Horn (vocals, fretless bass on 05.)
Steve Howe (guitar, mandolin, background vocals)
Chris Squire (bass, background vocals, piano on05.)
Alan White (drums, percussion, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Machine Messiah” 10:22
02. White Car 1:21
03. Does It Really Happen? 6:27
04. Into The Lens 8:30
05. Run Through the Light 4:41
06. Tempus Fugit” 5:11

All songs by Geoff Downes, Trevor Horn, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White

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