Yes / Topographic Drama: Live Across America / new live album

Early last year, prog legends Yes toured the USA and performed their 1980 album Drama in its entirety, together with sides one and four of their 1973 classic Tales from Topographic Oceans. A new live album, Topographic Drama: Live Across America, features recordings from this tour.

This live  release – which also includes some fan favourites like  “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper – has audio taken from 12 dates recorded in February 2017, by the current Yes line-up: Steve Howe (guitars), Alan White (drums), Geoff Downes (keyboards), Billy Sherwood (bass), Jon Davison (vocals), and additional drummer for this tour Jay Schellen.

This set will be available on double CD and as a 3LP vinyl package, with cover and design by – you guessed it – Roger Dean.

Topographic Drama: Live Across America will be issued by Rhino on 24 November 2017.

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Topographic Drama: Live Across America - 3LP vinyl


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Topographic Drama: Live Across America - 2CD set


Topographic Drama: Live Across America / 2CD

Disc One
1. “Machine Messiah”
2. “White Car”
3. “Does It Really Happen?”
4. “Into The Lens”
5. “Run Through The Light”
6. “Tempus Fugit”
7. “And You And I”
8. “Heart Of The Sunrise”

Disc Two
1. “The Revealing Science Of God”
2. “Leaves Of Green”
3. “Ritual”
4. “Roundabout”
5. “Starship Trooper”

Topographic Drama: Live Across America 3LP vinyl

Side One
1. “Machine Messiah”
2. “White Car”
3. “Does It Really Happen?”

Side Two
1. “Into The Lens”
2. “Run Through The Light”
3. “Tempus Fugit”

Side Three
1. “And You And I”
2. “Heart Of The Sunrise”

Side Four
1. “The Revealing Science Of God”
2. “Leaves Of Green”

Side Five
1. “Ritual”

Side Six
1. “Roundabout”
2. “Starship Trooper”

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“Yeah! Steve Howe! Yeah! Steve Howe! Yeah! Steve Howe! Yeah! Steve Howe!”

Does no one listen to these releases before they are released? Only the particularly slow can’t help but notice the above…

Julian H

I enjoyed this live album. Only Roundabout sounded a bit weak (but there are loads of versions of it, so not such a big deal).


50€/3LP what? I bought Progeny for 30€!

Philip Birtwistle

Still feel this is two sides too short myself……

Mitch C.

Where they really dropped the ball was with the “Magnification” tour. They toured with a full orchestra and performed one or two cuts from Topographic Oceans (that I’m aware of anyway). They should have recorded all 4 of the songs over that tour (with the orchestra) and then released a Topographic Live album with Orchestra. I’ve always thought that was the most symphonic of their albums.


How many people played in Yes so far? 30/40 OR more?

Yes is a ever changing band. IT always was and is

I get tired of people wanting to go back to the Old days

IT is 2017 and am happy There still is Yes.

Time is waiting for no one !

Geoff G

I’ve always liked Yes and their ever changing lineup. The fact that there has been 20 members in the band Yes, and they all add different styles to the music is what has made me like the band. Now, yes, the core lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, and White is the best lineup, and they created the most classic Yes albums in their history. But, I like the 80’s era of Yes with Rabin, The Drama album, Open Your Eyes with Sherwood, Moraz, Fly From Here, The Ladder — you name it, I like it. I’m a fan that has enjoyed all incarnations of Yes. In fact, that is what attracts me to this band, as they have such a variety of style in their albums. It’s not all the same. If all the albums sounded the same, I might not have been such a big fan. What ARW and Yes are doing nowadays is what we have left. These guys are old, and it’s not their best work. But, they are still trying, and I like that. I’m sure I’ll pick this up, as I have with every Yes album (Live and Studio) to date. I know I’d like to hear a live version of Drama.

nick M

What about YES ftr Benoît David, Oliver Wakeman and Bill Bruford
Is Yes becoming a franchise….
Stop the delirium
there is only one YES, the one that’s been around for 50 years.
As much I love Jon Anderson, he is not Yes.(I agree he is the voice of Yes)
I saw Roger Hodgson on his solo tour….I wasn’t expecting Supertramp but I had a super good time.
PS: 2nd thought… 2 Yes line up and 2 Wakeman. .. it’s a win-win in a case of divorce

Roberto Pastor

Why some people call this band -a tribute band?So,ARW is a tribute band too.I think they are two versions of YES.Steve howe is more important than Jon Anderson,although is the voice of YES,of course.Both bands are superb and perhaps in the future they will release another-union- album……


A few years ago in Toronto (c. 2004), YES (with Anderson, Wakeman, etc.) did a signing at a local record store (Sam the Record Man) before that night’s concert. It was the height of the cd era, so the only vinyl I was able to find for signing purposes was Drama. Wakeman, of course, didn’t play on Drama, but he said nothing about it and signed the album. When I looked more closely at it later, I saw that he had written “Not invited” below his signature!


Travelled to Brussels twice, once to see a lackluster and polished performance by this version of Yes that dares to call itself ‘Official’, then later to see ARW, who that evening announced they would change their name to ‘Yes ft. ARW’. Drama is a good album and TFTO contains some of the finest material Yes has ever recorded, so I hope these recordings are better than the concert I witnessed. Despite the nice cover it merely looks like a non-essential though. As for Yes ft. ARW, now that was fantastic! Can’t wait for them to record some new music.


I Have seen Both Bands Steve Howe’s Yes Tribute not very good it was all rather sad really and Chris Squires was still with us then playing in the band. ARW the real YES saw them this Year Superb. Wont be buying I’m afraid.

Julian H

One thing I’ve read is that Billy Sherwood kept telling Chris they were playing the songs too slow, and that they adjusted that now Billy is part of the team.

adam shaw

Im a big Yes and Anderson fan . Drama was a good album so this live set isnt really by a tribute band as Steve , Alan and Geoff were on the original . I saw the Drama version Yes at the Rainbow in London and Trevor didnt have an easy time singing it live .
Re Steve Wilson mix , surely we would like Going For The One to be done next ?

John D

I think I read somewhere that the tapes aren’t around and so it’s not going to happen. Pity, because Turn of the Century and Awaken would be pretty fine in SW 5.1

John D

I would like another volume of the Progeny set – maybe taking in complete shows from the Tales or Relayer tours.
Far more interesting at this stage than this, I’m afraid.


Another pointless live album. Like we need it. To beat the bootlegs? Who want a bootleg of this touring tribute band? The reasoning for Drama not being remixed is the album is basically a Trevor Horn production, and he is likely the main one opposed to someone else than him doing any tweaks to his work. It is one of the best sounding (but below-average songwriting and deficient lyrics) Yes record of their catalog. Alan White looks very tired and cant pull a rock show anymore. It s time to stop this touring non-sense. Instead try to dig soundboard recordings from the Fragile, TOPOGRAPHIC (!) and Going for the One Tours. Complete gigs and not just a song from here and a song from there in patchwork live album (aka The Word is Live).

Phideaux Xavier

Wouldn’t that be so awesome? A full Wakeman era Topographic live album, or a full Moraz show with tracks from the Solo Albums??? You would have thought, considering that Yessongs was huge album for them, that they would have ensured at least one or two shows of each tour were recorded multi track!


What a shame they didn’t do the complete Topo. I for one would have been more interested if that was the case. Two complete albums.

While obviously not the Yes of old, I quite enjoy hearing this line up’s interpretations.


Lovely Roger Dean cover.

No Anderson – no buy.

Charles Christopher

To me, this sounds like a fun listen, but if not essential……… but speaking as a fan of both Yes and the SDE website…….. um, does this really seem like a deluxe edition, ‘super’ or otherwise?
Maybe I”m just spoiled, but this sounds like a pretty standard style release, but in this day and age I’m glad to get anything physical with a half-decent set of cover art.


> From quotes I’ve seen it was Downes who wasn’t happy about a Drama remix.

Ah… good to know. Thanks. It is quite the variety of answers.

I hope if it ever becomes a realistic option and he has to sign off on it, they’ll catch him on a “I would like to hear Drama in 5.1…” day.

Philip Birtwistle

From quotes I’ve seen it was Downes who wasn’t happy about a Drama remix. As the passage below shows, he went from positive to negative to can’t be done over a three years period………

“The one band member opposed to Wilson doing Drama could be Downes judging by this Sep 2015 tweet: asked if Wilson would be doing a Drama remix, Downes replied, “I bloody well hope not!” Although in a Jul 2014 interview, Downes said, “I would like to hear Drama in 5.1, the album was heavily overdubbed at the time, and so it would reveal a lot of detail”. But, in an Aug 2016 interview, he said the multitracks for Drama couldn’t be found, also saying, “I know Steven Wilson does a very good job” of the 5.1 mixes.”

Quote from Yes – Where Are they Now site :



Maybe Downes was confused. :-)
I think most people tend to like the SW mixes. why else would he be busy with Marillion, XTC, Jethro Tull and others?


Happy to see this and to hear those two albums documented with a release like the other “album” tours have been. And a +1 for a BluRay release.

Always enjoyed Drama and it’s about the only positive of Anderson not being in Yes as I can’t imagine he would want to sing that whole album since he wasn’t on the original.

Speaking of Drama, I’m wondering if anyone can clarify something. I thought I had read that Drama wasn’t part of the Steven Wilson re-issue campaign, not because the necessary tapes didn’t exist, but because someone in the band wouldn’t sign off on the project. Considering the other albums that have been released, that would probably mean either Downes or Horn being that person, and likely Horn.

But does anyone know if I’m mistaken on that?

Philip Birtwistle

So, this is Like It Is 3, but without the DVD option, with the full concert and on a new label then……………….


My sympathies go out to Steve Howe and family for their recent loss.
This group of musicians need to stop touring as “Yes”. They have been laughable after the 35th Anniversary Tour. Unfortunately, I suspect Alan White won’t be with us much longer.

Iain Mac

That sounds a tad overstated/final re Alan White, his touring problems are reported as related to back pain, nothing more serious aren’t they?

Philip Cohen

White had back surgery, and subsequently has only been able to drum for 3 or 4 songs per show. His presence on stage is symbolic, much like Graeme Edge with The Moody Blues.


Way, way, way back, as part of promotional material for a new album, the label came out with a poster for the Yes family tree. It is a big tree with all the changes that went through. At any time, your comment could of implied for any of the eras. But at what point are they required to change the band’s name? At the time of this recording, they still had 4 guys who were in Yes for lengthy periods.
Is The Who not the who without Keith and John? Could the Beatles continue to be called the Beatles after John left [and would of been replaced]? Rogers after leaving Pink Floyd?

Phideaux Xavier

Wow, I didn’t realize Virgil had died. I just saw the Yestival Show with him playing a month or so ago. So very sad. I feel for Steve, what a horrible thing to have to go through.


Drama is my favorite Yes album.
Glad it got the full live treatment!


It’s really sad because this just isn’t “Yes” – they are a fantastic tribute act but they aren’t the real deal.

I am waiting for the ARW album who really carry the Yes spirit forwards – and the voice!


Why are they not Yes?

Phideaux Xavier

I’m not sure I quite agree that ARW carry the Yes spirit forward. I honestly wish their set list would be a bit more adventurous as they avoided anything from Talk in their first tour. At least Steve and Alan (arguably two of the major members of Yes) present deep cuts and unusual material. Jon and Rick (arguably two of the major members of Yes) seem to play the hits and other well worn material…

I am looking forward to this Yes tribute act’s release of Drama – which after all didn’t have Jon on it to begin with so a concert of this album is as “authentic” as Trevor playing the pedal steel from And You And I on his electric guitar.


To say that this is a “tribute act” is equivalent to saying that the band that recorded and released _Drama_ is a tribute act.

Rob Deighton

This is probably because, Rabin in 1980’s guitar star – a whole different technique to Howe who has a more “classical” edge to his playing – similar to Steve Hackett.

I can imagine Rabin re-creating ‘Close To The Edge’ somehow.


Agree PS when will there be a new Phideaux lp/cd?


I couldn’t agree more Paul. Very well put!

Waiting for the new ARW too!


Any news on a separate DVD/blu ray release? The last 3 live albums that Yes issued came with a DVD.

curtis j. newell

would really be more interested in a dvd or blue ray!!