RhinoYes has just released a new concert album, Topographic Drama — Live Across America, which was recorded during the prog-rock group’s early-2017 U.S. tour. The album recreates the set Yes played during the trek, which included performances of its entire 1979 album Drama; the first and fourth sides of its 1973 double-disc, Tales from Topographic Oceans; and a few classic tunes.

Keyboardist Geoff Downes tells ABC Radio that Drama and Tales from Topographic Oceans were “very good choices” to showcase since they both marked turning points in the band’s history.

Downes describes Tales as “the defining album of what Yes was about in the early days,” with its long, complex pieces.

“[T]hat Topographic album…was put down to be a lot of excess, but…it’s almost like a holy grail for Yes fans,” Geoff notes.

As for Drama, which was the first Yes album Downes played on, he says it took the band in “a more rock-y direction [and] helped propel Yes into the ’80s.”

Downes also points out that Topographic Drama is the first Yes release without founding bassist Chris Squire, who died in June 2015. “[I]t’s rather a telling situation,” Geoff maintains. “And I think we certainly gave due credit to Chris for all the work that he’d done within Yes over the years.”

Another interesting aspect of the album is that it features veteran prog-rock musician Jay Schellen filling in for Yes drummer Alan White on most tracks, since White was sidelined for much of the trek with back issues.

“[Jay’s] a very good, well-respected drummer and he grew up listening to me and he plays like me,” White tells ABC Radio. “So you can’t go much wrong there.”

Here’s the track list of the two-CD versions of Topographic Drama CD:

Disc One
“Machine Messiah”
“White Car”
“Does It Really Happen?”
“Into the Lens”
“Run Through the Light”
“Tempus Fugit”
“And You and I”
“Heart of the Sunrise”

Disc Two
“The Revealing Science of God”
“Leaves of Green”
“Starship Trooper”

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