Sunday, June 28, 2015

June 28th, 2015 - Some Random Drama For You

Good afternoon!  In learning the very sad news today of Chris Squire's untimely passing from leukemia, I'm jamming to one of my favorite Yes albums, "Drama" (the Original and the Expanded & Remastered 2004 Edition) and pairing it with a wonderful Random IPA from 2 Row Brewing.  This pairing is of course dedicated to the memory of the late, great Chris Squire... rest in peace sir!!  Thank you for the gift of your music!!
Album Info:
  • Artist: Yes
  • Title: "Drama" (the Original and the Expanded & Remastered 2004 Edition)
  • Recorded: April through June 1980
  • Release date: August 18th, 1980 (10th studio album by Yes)
  • Record company: Atlantic Records (2004 reissue through Elektra / Rhino)
  • Production: Trevor Horn, Eddie Offord, and Yes
  • Album cover art: Roger Dean
  • Personnel: Geoff Downes (keyboards, vocoder, and backing vocals), Trevor Horn (lead vocals and fretless bass on "Run Through the Light"), Steve Howe (guitars, mandolin, and backing vocals), Chris Squire (bass, vocals, and piano on "Run Through the Light"), and Alan White (drums, percussion, and backing vocals)
  • Additional musicians: Jon Anderson (lead vocals on the Paris sessions - bonus tracks 13, 14, 15, and 16) and Rick Wakeman (keyboards  on the Paris sessions - bonus tracks 13, 14, 15, and 16)
  • Musical style: Progressive rock, hard rock, and even some subtle elements of metal
  • Sound: "Drama" is a very interesting Yes album in that it acts as a bridge between their '70s progressive sound and their '80s more radio friendly pop sound.  It is both classic and modern (at the time).  As with all Yes albums, the stellar musicianship is unparalleled and utterly breathtaking.  I think some of Howe's greatest guitar riffs are on "Drama" and Squire and White tear it up on every song!  There are also some of Yes' heaviest moments on this album... especially the opening of "Machine Messiah".
  • Major themes: The lyrics on "Drama" are rather cryptic and abstract, but themes of self-awareness, the pursuit of knowledge, love, memories, and perpetual change pervade.
  • Notes: "Drama" is the first Yes album without vocalist Jon Anderson, who along with keyboardist Rick Wakeman left the band over creative and financial differences in early 1980.
  • Tracks (7-16 are bonus tracks from the 2004 edition): 
  1. "Machine Messiah"
  2. "White Car"
  3. "Does It Really Happen?"
  4. "Into The Lens"
  5. "Run Through The Light"
  6. "Tempus Fugit"
  7. "Into The Lens (I Am A Camera)" (Single Version)
  8. "Run Through The Light" (Single Version)
  9. "Have We Really Got To Go Through This"
  10. "Song No. 4 (Satellite)"
  11. "Tempus Fugit" (Tracking Session)
  12. "White Car" (Tracking Session)
  13. "Dancing Through The Light" (Paris Session)
  14. "Golden Age" (Paris Session)
  15. "In The Tower" (Paris Session)
  16. "Friend Of A Friend" (Paris Session)
    Brew Info:
  • Brewery: 2 Row Brewing (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Random IPA
  • Style: Double India Pale Ale (DIPA)
  • Serving: 12 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 8.5%
  • Pour: A clover honey amber with a head that half-finger, white head that sticky and layered lacing throughout.
  • Nose: The nose of the Random IPA is a lovely blend of citrus, tropical fruit, pine resin, and floral hops with a malty backbone.  There are aromas of mango, melon, grapefruit, tangerine, pine, cedar, and sweet toffee.
  • Taste: The taste is a punchy citrus and pine with sweet malts and herbal spices.  There are notes of pink grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, mango, big pine and black tea, and sweet caramel/toffee along with a peppery finish.  
  • Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated, the Random IPA's mouthfeel is juicy and smooth with a bitter finish.
Overall pairing:  As you probably know, I usually go with Belgian-style ales with prog rock albums.  However, I think the heavier hard rock bass and drumming of "Drama" lend themselves well for a flavorful, bold, and complex DIPA... and the Random IPA from 2 Row definitely fits that bill!  The bitter notes of the Random work well with some of the darker elements of the album, while the brighter citrus and tropical fruit flavors work well with the wonderful melodies and harmonies. 

Join me in raising a pint to the late Mr. Squire... cheers!!

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