Ranking the Discography: Yes Part X: Drama (1980)

Drama marks the beginning of a change in Yes’s sound. Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of The Buggles replaced Anderson and Wakeman. After this album, Horn would continue to be a part of Yes, but as a producer. (Downes also became a part of the supergroup Asia). This is the only album where Horn is a vocalist. Wakeman and Anderson both left the band after attempts to record in Paris and London failed. Two singles were released, “Into the Lens” and “Run Through the Light”. The album reached #2 in the UK and #18 in the US.


Trevor Horn: vocals, fretless bass on “Run Through the Light”

Steve Howe: guitar, mandolin on “Run Through the Light”

Chris Squire: bass, piano on “Run Through the Light”, backing vocals

Geoff Downes:Keyboards, Fairlight CMI, vocoder

Alan White: drums, percussion, backing vocals

The Tracks:

  1. “Machine Messiah”: I like the edge of Howe’s guitar. It has a great rhythm on the bass and guitar. Downes’ keyboards are uniquely different from Wakeman’s playing, but I like his style.
  2. “White Car”: I wish this song wasn’t so short. It felt more like an interlude.
  3. “Does It Really Happen”: White has some good drumming on this.
  4. “Into the Lens”: This is a good mesh of the styles of Horn, Downes, and the remaining Yes members. They almost sound like a different band.
  5. “Run Through the Light”: Of the two singles, this feels the most radio-friendly, but that’s not a bad thing. The addition of bass and piano work very well. It’s probably my favorite song on the album.
  6. “Does It Really Happen”: This is really the only song where the mix of sounds doesn’t really gel for me.

Final Verdict: This is an interesting evolution for Yes, as they integrate the New Wave movement into their progressive sound. I do like Horn’s vocals, but I think he’s better suited behind the scenes. Downes does a great job at modernizing the band, but some of the mixing doesn’t work on the whole. I feel this album is underrated. Overall, I liked what I heard.

Review: B


Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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