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Live album by
Released24 November 1980
Recorded1976–1978 at various locations in the US and Europe
GenreProgressive rock
ProducerChris Squire
Yes chronology
Classic Yes

Yesshows is the second live album by the English progressive rock band Yes. It was released in November 1980 on Atlantic Records as the final album before the group disbanded in early 1981. Their first live album in seven years, it is compiled of recordings from their 1976, 1977, and 1978 tours from dates in North America and Europe with its mixing supervised by bassist Chris Squire.

Yesshows was remastered and expanded in 2009 by Isao Kikuchi, and published by Warner Music Japan as part of their "Yes SHM-CD Papersleeve" series.

Background and production[edit]

In June 1979, the Yes line-up of singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and drummer Alan White, finished their 1978–1979 tour in support of the band's eighth studio album, Tormato (1978). Their label Atlantic Records had approached the group about the possibility of putting out a live album as a follow-up to their first, Yessongs (1973), and Squire had the task of sifting through hours of tapes of concerts recorded since then and select the best cuts.[1] He also undertook mixing duties, and prepared a selection of tracks from the 1976, 1977, and 1978 tours across five dates from his studio, Sun Park Studios.[2][3][1]

The band commissioned longtime cover artist Roger Dean was commissioned to produce artwork for the album,[1][4] which was completed using acrylic paints and collage.[5] A release date of Christmas 1979 was set, but it was shelved following disagreements from other band members regarding Squire's choice of performances and the quality of his mixes.[6][7] Howe was glad that production had halted and "strongly objected" to some of the production edits that Squire had done. He expressed the rest of the band's wish to refine the recordings further and to add more tracks to expand the set from a double to a triple album.[1]

By mid-1980, Yes had a change in personnel following the departures of Anderson and Wakeman,[8] and the remaining members recruited Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of The Buggles as replacements on vocals and keyboards, respectively. The five recorded Drama (1980), and toured the album from August to December 1980.[9] Towards the end of that year, Atlantic Records wished to release a live album and used the cuts and mixes that Squire had prepared as the final release.[10] Mastering was completed at Strawberry Mastering.[3]


Yesshows comprises seven songs taken from five concerts. "The Gates of Delirium" and "Ritual" are from 17 August 1976 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan, during the band's 1976 North American tour.[2] "Parallels", "Going for the One", and "Wonderous Stories" were recorded on 24 November 1977 at Ahoy-Hal in Rotterdam during the 1977 tour in support of Going for the One (1977).[2] "Time and a Word" and "Don't Kill the Whale" are from the Wembley Arena in Wembley, London from the Tormato tour. The latter was recorded by the BBC using the Manor Mobile studio for a live radio broadcast of the 28 October 1978 concert.[2][3]


Yesshows was released in November 1980; it was released in the US on 24 November 1980.[3] It did not enter the UK Albums Chart until the 10 January 1981 when it reached No. 29. In its third week, it reached its peak at No. 22, and remained on the chart for five more weeks.[11] In the US, the album peaked at No. 43 on the Billboard 200 on 31 January 1981, during a 12-week stay on the chart.[12]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[10]

Band opinion of this second live album by Yes was divided, at least up to the 1990s. As reported by author David Watkinson, the label did not inform everyone of events. Wakeman, who was not in the group at the time of release, said that Squire's mixes were "good but nothing exciting. The next thing I know was that somebody gave me a copy". While he, Anderson, and Howe did not care for the final release, Moraz, White, and Squire gave it more approval.[13][1][14]

Writing for Sounds magazine in late 1980, John Gill recommended, “For Delirium and Ritual alone, I'd buy it.”[15] The UCLA Bruin perhaps spoke for many fans of the time when it stated, “The inclusion of 'Gates of Delirium' and 'Ritual' are enough to justify the existence of Yesshows” but the review also noted that with Anderson and Wakeman recently exiting the group (and the Buggles merging in), an opportunity was missed to include old high-rated classics. It called the inclusion of “Don't Kill The Whale” a “worthy message, but not a particularly good Yes song.”[16]


Year Label Format Notes
1989 Atlantic CD Japanese release
1994 Atlantic CD Digital remaster with a 12-page booklet.[3]
2009 Warner Music Japan CD Digital remaster by Isao Kikuchi.[17]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and locationLength
1."Parallels"Chris Squire24 November 1977 at Ahoy-Hal, Rotterdam7:07
2."Time and a Word"Jon Anderson, David Foster27 October 1978 at Empire Pool, London4:06
3."Going for the One"Anderson18 November 1977 and Festhalle, Frankfurt5:22
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and locationLength
1."The Gates of Delirium"Anderson, Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White, Patrick Moraz17 August 1976 at Cobo Hall, Detroit22:40
Side three
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and locationLength
1."Don't Kill the Whale"Anderson, Squire28 October 1978 at Empire Pool, London4:12
2."Ritual (Part 1)"Anderson, Squire, Howe, Rick Wakeman, White17 August 197614:48
Side four
No.TitleWriter(s)Recording date and locationLength
1."Ritual (Part 2)"Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman, White17 August 197617:07
2."Wonderous Stories"Anderson24 November 19773:54

2009 CD[edit]


Credits are taken from the 1980 and 1994 liner notes.[2][3]



  • Chris Squire – production, mixing
  • Mike Dunne – live recording
  • Nigel Luby – live recording engineer
  • Geoff Young – engineer
  • Sean Davis – engineer on "Time and a Word"
  • Barry Ainsworth – engineer on "Time and a Word"
  • Tony Wilson – production on "Don't Kill the Whale"
  • Bill Aitken – engineer on "Don't Kill the Whale"
  • Neil Burn – engineer on "Don't Kill the Whale"
  • Roger Dean – cover painting
  • Magnetic Storm Ltd. – cover design
  • Sean Davis – lacquer cut
  • Lisa Tanner – photography


  1. ^ a b c d e Morse 1996, p. 73.
  2. ^ a b c d e Yesshows (Media notes). Yes. Atlantic Records. 1980. K 60142.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Yesshows [1994 Remaster] (Media notes). Yes. Atlantic Records. 1994. 82686-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ Watkinson 2001, p. 47.
  5. ^ "63: Roger Dean Original YesShows Artwork". Live Auctioneers. 1 June 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ Popoff 2016, p. 88
  7. ^ Watkinson 2001, p. 54.
  8. ^ Welch, chris (1999). close to the edge: the story of yes. london: omnibus press. pp. 178–79, 186. OCLC 474484672.
  9. ^ Welch 2008, p. 190.
  10. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay (2011). "Yesshows - Yes | AllMusic". Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  11. ^ "Yesshows – Yes". Official Charts. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Yes – Chart History – Yesshows". Billboard. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  13. ^ Watkinson 2001, p. 59, and Morse 1996, p. 73-74.
  14. ^ Morse 1996, p. 74.
  15. ^ Gill, John ( 24 December 1980). Sounds magazine. Review of Yesshows.
  16. ^ Hoard, Chris (1 December 1980). “Yes: Yesshows. Atlantic.” UCLA Daily Bruin. Retrieved 20 Feb 2019 via, a former website archived at
  17. ^ Yesshows [2009 Remaster] (Media notes). Yes. Atlantic Records. 2009. WPCR-13525/6.CS1 maint: others (link)