Yes: 1971-1973 … and today!

Heard Owner of a Lonely Heart today and got a little curious today to see whether Yes had been playing that or anything else from its second period of popularity.

Short answer: No. Take a look …

Yes Concert Setlist at Solnahallen, Stockholm on December 9, 2011 |

At least, they didn’t play it often. This site is a lot of fun … you can get a breakdown of what they played through that tour.

Their newest album, Fly From Here, is overcounted — the site counts the six parts of the title track as six songs. They only played three other songs from it, including Steve Howe’s guitar solo. (They did not play my favorite track from it, Hour of Need.)

They played the heck out of the three essential albums from the early 70s — The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge. Those were released in a remarkably fruitful period from 1971 to 1972. Poor Alan White — he joined immediately after those three, so the only people on stage from the recording of those albums are guitarist Steve Howe and bassist Chris Squire. The Yes Album is particularly strong, with three of the album’s six songs played at every stop and Howe’s guitar solo often added to make four.

Then they make only a couple of quick stops through the next 10 years. One unusual choice is To Be Over from usually overlooked 1974 album Relayer. After that album, they took a break and did some solo albums, regrouping for a strong comeback with 1977’s Going for the One, represented here by Wonderous Stories.

No surprise that nothing’s here from Tormato. Then we have two songs from Drama, the album they made after incorporating the Buggles — Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes — in place of original vocalist Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman, departing for the second time. Downes is currently in the band after a couple of decades away, and Horn produced Fly From Here.

But Horn also was responsible for 90210, which was a commercial breakthrough. Anderson had come back to the fold with original keyboardist Tony Kaye, though Howe had departed to join Downes in Asia. From that, we get Owner of a Lonely Heart at six of the 23 stops.

And then absolutely nothing from 1982 to 2009. In fact, looking back through the years, it seems 1999’s excellent The Ladder pretty much disappeared after within two years.



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