Album review: YES – From A Page/In The Present Live From Lyon (box set)

YES - From A Page/In The Present Live From Lyon

Yes [Release date 27.10.19]

This boxed set is perhaps best considered as a “stop-gap” for fans in the absence of any new product following this summer’s Yes 50 Live release, and ahead of the band’s 2020 UK tour.

One-time Yes keyboard player Oliver Wakeman has put together ‘From A Page’, featuring four studio recordings from 2010.  This was the line-up with Benoit David on vocals and they are essentially outtakes from the album that became ‘Fly From Here’.  David left the band in early-2012.  Bear in mind Wakeman only contributed to three tracks on that album so this collection is understandably a labour of love.

A live recording from Lyon in 2009 is then spread across two discs.  Unfortunately, for fans, the live set was originally released in 2010 and – perhaps as irritating -  this release restores the Japanese-only bonus acoustic solo ‘Second Initial’.

The live album is especially of interest to reiterate Chris Squire’s greatness, anchoring everything with his characteristic bass pomp and not long before his passing in 2012.  It also highlights Wakeman’s own fine contributions stepping out of his Dad’s shadow and putting his own stamp on proceedings.

The setlist is again pretty much  a “greatest hits”, if not as frenetic as previous outings, and ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’ certainly lacks the heft of the original especially in the more jazzy hands of Steve Howe.

The DVD of this gig, part of the original package in 2010, could have also been included for completeness although when originally released only show highlights were included along with the usual interviews.  If the full filmed gig exists, where is it?

Two booklets, including Oliver Wakeman’s extensive sleeve notes, and new Roger Dean illustration adds further credibility to a worthwhile collection, if perhaps not for the real diehards who will already have the live part  and no doubt even the acoustic bonus.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 2 August 2020.

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