Yes - Starship Trooper

Wembley Arena (London, England), 10/28/1978

Music Audio Yes
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This is one of the shows in the last tour of the classic "Roundabout"-era of Yes until they reunited after 2000. The band had always been fueled by many internal conflicts, as were many other classic prog-rock bands such as ELP, King Crimson and The Moody Blues. By the time this show was taped for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, there were clearly two camps within the band: the one for more commercial and conventional radio songs, and the camp who pushed for more intense and musically intricate progressive concept pieces.

This show is exemplary of what was going on in music around 1978 when progressive rock was beginning to wane. Punk and disco had taken over, and bands like Yes were certainly in an odd place, as far as musical tastes were concerned. This show has all the big hits and crowd pleasers such as "Starship Trooper," "I've Seen All Good People," "Roundabout" and "Heart Of The Sunrise." To get to those more accessible and popular songs, you also have to listen to the more ethereal or abstract Anderson-driven pieces such as "On The Silent Wings Of Freedom" and "Circus Of Heaven."

As far as pure musicianship goes, this recording shows that Yes was still proving that they "had it" more than a decade after forming. Steve Howe's brilliant acoustic solo on "The Clap;" Rick Wakeman's extensive keyboard solo on "Siberian Khatru;" and bassist Chris Squire's throbbing solo on "Fish (Schindleria Praemataurus)" are all done with amazing musical skill.

Shortly after this tour, the band fell apart, with Anderson and Wakeman departing to do their own projects. That left Howe, Squire and drummer Alan White carrying on the Yes banner with the same line-up that was featured on the Drama album, including Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn.

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