Reviewed by MJBrady on 05 Aug 2001
This Yes lp, was a bit of an anomaly for the band, many traditionalists shunned the bands selections of ex-Buggles(a pop band)members:Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes. However, for me the band showed some of their strongest compositions in a few years here with Into the lens, Tempus Fugit, Machine Messiah, Does it really happen. These were very solid songs, the vocals of Horn were not quite in the higher range of Jon Anderson, but he didn't take away from the Yes sound too much either. Having Downes in the band meant Howe and Squire were able to do the bulk of the instrumention from a solo standpoint, and both put solid performances on this lp. As a longtime Yes listener, I too was skeptical of replacing anyone in what was argueably one of the top progressive bands ever, considering the importance of chemistry. Well the line-was shortlived, as the band went on to an entirely different era in there overall sound after this one.
Reviewed by Eric on 09 May 2004
I remember all the hoopla concerning the 'new' Yes in 1980, but personally cared very little. Jon
Anderson and Rick Wakeman replaced by two unknowns from the UK new wave scene?
What do ya do? Well, you buy the record and give it a listen, but the fact is I didn’t buy
Drama until a couple years later for whatever reason and listening to this in 2004,
it’s still quite good.
For some deeper background into this album, check out Bruce Woolley & The
Camera Club’s English Garden album from 1979. This is a new wave/ art
pop classic and features the original version I Am A Camera which was re-titled
for Drama as Into The Lens. This band also featured Horn and Downes
prior to this album as well as a fledgling keyboardist named Thomas Dolby who
blinded us with science a few short years later. Of course before, during and after Yes,
Horn and Downes were The Buggles and released two charming albums The
Age Of Plastic and Adventures In Modern Recording. The Age Of
Plastic featured the classic Video Killed The Radio Star and Adventures
In Modern Recording would include yet another version of I am A
Drama itself is a bit more harder edged than previous Yes albums and the band
sound revitalized in many ways. From what I have heard the live shows were quite good
and it’s a shame Horn and Downes were not accepted by die hard Yes fans. While not
Close To The Edge or Relayer by any stretch, this is a pretty good album
and worth your attention.