In the Summer of 2016, Yes embarked upon an ambitious tour. At each show, the band performed its 1980 album Drama in its entirety – for the first time ever – plus sides one and four from Yes' 1973 double-album Tales From Topographic Oceans (their first No. 1 album), together with fan favorites like "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper." Rhino salutes the influential progressive rockers – who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 – with the new 3LP live album, Topographic Drama: Live Across America featuring detailed cover art designed by the band's longtime collaborator Roger Dean.
The new collection features live performances from 12 dates recorded on the tour 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. Topographic Drama: Live Across America highlights the best performances from the 2017 leg of the 28-show tour and mirrors the set list from those concerts. Each night, Yes opened with all six songs from Drama (1980), the band's tenth studio album, which peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. album chart. Standouts include "Machine Messiah," "Tempus Fugit" and the album's only single "Into The Lens."
After Drama, the band shifted gears for songs from two of its best-selling albums: "And You And I" from 1972's Close To The Edge (RIAA platinum) and "Heart Of The Sunrise" from 1971's Fragile (RIAA double-platinum). Next, the group played the opening and closing tracks of its concept album, Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973). Howe's exceptional guitar work on "The Revealing Science Of God" and White's propulsive drumming on "Ritual" have always been regarded as ground-breaking. The album concludes with two live staples: "Roundabout" from Fragile (1971) and "Starship Trooper" from The Yes Album (1971).