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Yessongs: Best and Worst Changes to the Songs

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    Yessongs: Best and Worst Changes to the Songs

    Though the live versions of songs on 1973's Yessongs don't seem dramatically different from the versions on the studio albums that the songs came from, they also weren't slavish note for note recreations.

    What are some of your favorite differences between the studio version(s) and the Yessongs version of a song (or songs), and what makes those differences so interesting to you? What differences did you dislike and feel like they should have "stuck to script" more on?

    Are there any parts that strike you as obvious concessions to the technology they had available in a life setting being less developed or different than the technology used on the studio albums? If so, how would you say they worked out? Worse? The same but different? Better?

    Tony Kaye isn't on the album at all, and Bill Bruford is only on there songs. So, the bulk of the songs feature 3/5th of the original lineup- with White's contributions all coming on sounds he wasn't the original drummer for, and Wakeman's contributions covering songs from one album he wasn't on originally. How did that effect it for you folks?

    Finally, looking back, do you feel this live album has an objective importance based on it's music that is still as large as it's sort of retro appeal is? Originally, it was for many years the only Yes live album and basically plays like a live greatest hits album, an added bonus in an era before MP3 playlists or even cassette mix tapes.

    Today, it is one of zillions of Yes live albums, many of which cover the same songs, sometimes with better more modern production and other technology and/or with various different lineups of the band, or the exact the same lineup of the band. Plus, you can basically create your own best of- life or studio- album as a playlist anytime.

    So, does it have the same appeal as it used to? Or is it just another Yes live album aside from its historical role and the found memories and nostalgia people associate with it?
    Last edited by downbyariver; 04-11-2023, 10:31 PM.
    "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

    #2
    My go to versions of those songs to be honest.

    I got the album before the studio versions and I prefer them. The sound, the energy, the feel.

    And I prefer Alan on drums.

    Comment


      #3
      I like live versions live. I'm too OCD to listen to a recording of a live version, lol. Usually each and every live rendition does something that I like differently and thus kills the experience.
      I've first heard AYAI live on the OYE tour and it literally brought me to tears. But I've listened to it on a recording and only bugged me it differs from the studio version.
      First world problems, I know, lol
      Symphony
      Karmachromatic
      It's only static
      The key defines the scale we climb
      To at last perceive we are
      We are contrast in harmony​

      Comment


        #4
        the live album has fairly poor production IMO, the energy is there but I tend to prefer the studio versions in this case. Yours is no Disgrace and Starship Trooper perhaps excluded.
        The Definitive YES Albums

        -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
        -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Talk-
        -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-Mirror to the Sky-

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          #5
          Yessongs was the Yes album for me, played to death on vinyl and the very first CD I bought back in the day. As poorly recorded as it may be, it has an ambience that Progeny just misses out on, or maybe it's just my own long association with it as a statement.

          Siberian Khatru - definitive
          Heart Of The Sunrise - definitive
          Perpetual Change - definitive
          And You And I - this is the exception, as I might be too in love with the gentle acoustic opening and conclusion, understanding that it wasn't easy/possible to get this on stage in 72.
          Roundabout - definitive, at least until replaced with the ARW version, which brought some fresh life to a vastly overplayed tune.
          Your Move/I've Seen All Good People - perfectly fine
          Long Distance Runaround/The Fish - a 13-minute bass solo can only be the simultaneous high/low point of a live album, no? All of prog's greatness and excesses in one place. Perfect to end an undesired date with.
          Close To The Edge - definitive. I mean, that crescendo? One of the only times Wakeman hasn't ruined it with bad keyboard choices.
          Yours Is No Disgrace - DEFINITIVE. All caps. Not just the intro, but the swing it brings to it in the frenzied conclusion, too.
          Starship Trooper​ - definitive.

          All in all, this is one of those great line albums that really does lay out what the band is and what it's capable of, as clear a statement as you could want for. So all-encompassing, with TYA and CTTE essentially replicated in full, with almost all of Fragile in as well, it is its own greatest hits. And for years essentially replaced those three studio albums, although I've now found myself going full circle, and listening to them as albums yet again.

          Comment


            #6
            I actually prefer Yesshows. As someone else said, the sound quality of Yessongs is pretty weak. Yesshows also showcases a band in their prime. White needed some more seasoning with the band.

            Comment


              #7
              Some of the live renditions on Yessongs are comparable to the originals, just played live to the best of their equipment's ability in 1972/3. Much of the Yessongs versions and the originals are equal or comparable to me, but there are a few wonderful changes or enhancements that bring out a different dimension to this material.

              1) CLOSE TO THE EDGE: the suite, wonderful shimmering ending. How Squire & Howe noodle away tastefully for a little bit more after the track's climax to the sound of the waterfall tapes fx. This fits so well, and might eclipse the original version.

              2) PERPETUAL CHANGE - one of my top 10 Yessongs ever, especially this version. Love the jam at the end, and love the Bruford solo, though it's a bit short. I'm used to these 8 minute Palmer/Peart/Bonham rock solos sometimes, and well maybe it's a little short. But hey, it's Bill Bruford, and good Fragile Tour material doesn't grow on trees. But this may be the definitive P. Change. Wonderful summer song too. Love this version.

              3) THE FISH - absolutely love this bass solo performance from Mr. Squire. He doesn't drag a 3 minute short bass interlude to ten minutes and make a tour de force out of it without a solid musical reason to do so. Every note feels right. One thing I always wondered though - there's one moment well into the track where he's wailin' away, and it sounds like he's playing a clip of Led Zeppelin's 'Friends' (from Led Zeppelin III). Did he sneak in a Zeppelin bit? Did anyone else notice this?

              4) EXCERPT FROM 6 WIVES - I remember first hearing this, the first time I heard any Wakeman solo material and oblivious to solo albums. The classical piano, the synth fanfare. It dawned on me at that moment that he was exceptionally good, like "Holy cow! He's like a Keith Emerson. I didn't know he was a Keith Emerson!". I mean, I knew he was good from hearing the studio Yes albums with him on it, I just didn't know he was a Keith Emerson with similar classical chops and all. So it was good to know there were other Emersons out there doing cool keyboard work.

              Yessongs was a 3-record set, comprised of all material from Yes Album/Fragile/CTTE. I always wondered why with 3 albums, they didn't have any tracks from the first two albums represented. I mean, three albums. Surely there was room for one or two cuts from the first two albums to make it more retrospective at that stage, but they possibly didn't play anything from them anyway - they were on the up with the newest material only, and I suppose they didn't need anything earlier.

              Comment


                #8
                I know Yessongs is the holy grail for a lot of fans. I don't care for the sound. But I do love the wild version of The Fish. I play it at the bar sometimes and freak people out. LOL

                And I agree Jay, Yesshows versions of Gates of Delirium and Ritual are epic, and maybe better than the versions on the albums they came from, in my opinion.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Somis Sound View Post
                  I know Yessongs is the holy grail for a lot of fans. I don't care for the sound. But I do love the wild version of The Fish. I play it at the bar sometimes and freak people out. LOL

                  And I agree Jay, Yesshows versions of Gates of Delirium and Ritual are epic, and maybe better than the versions on the albums they came from, in my opinion.
                  Yesshows also has one of my favorite Dean covers, love it.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is, without a doubt, or any hesitation, is my Desert Island LP.

                    Same as Relayer1 posted above, I had this record first, before the studio records. And for me, these are my preferred versions.

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                      #11
                      I just loved and loved it as a physical object: a triple album with so much art and the bookllet as well. I never had a problem with the sound, loved the film (which I have a VHS of) and still love listening to it.
                      Last edited by madbear; 05-01-2023, 05:27 PM.

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                        #12
                        Yessongs is the one Yes record I would select if I could only pick one to bring to the desert island, as they say.
                        To address the question/ topic of this thread - I think I would say my favourite change from the studio version would be this version of And You and I. The common view/story is that the use of the EDS 1275 was due to inadequate amplification technology for the acoustic guitar parts to be presented on stage - but regardless of the reason, I thought that change in the guitar sound was brilliant in a live setting and it is my preferred version of that song.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by True View Post
                          Yessongs is the one Yes record I would select if I could only pick one to bring to the desert island, as they say.
                          To address the question/ topic of this thread - I think I would say my favourite change from the studio version would be this version of And You and I. The common view/story is that the use of the EDS 1275 was due to inadequate amplification technology for the acoustic guitar parts to be presented on stage - but regardless of the reason, I thought that change in the guitar sound was brilliant in a live setting and it is my preferred version of that song.
                          Amen. I will second that (oh, I did , above, 😆😆😆).

                          I always wonder - how are we all gonna get power on our desert island? I assume a turntable and a generator are included in all desert island jaunts. And a night light, for our desert island book, and tv/dvd/vcr for our movie choice 😉😉.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Gtkgasman View Post

                            I always wonder - how are we all gonna get power on our desert island? I assume a turntable and a generator are included in all desert island jaunts. And a night light, for our desert island book, and tv/dvd/vcr for our movie choice 😉😉.
                            Yes. It's solar-powered. You get a solar panel and a big battery, so you can play Yessongs sublimely all day long (as well as into the dark, starry night).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Susanne View Post

                              Yes. It's solar-powered. You get a solar panel and a big battery, so you can play Yessongs sublimely all day long (as well as into the dark, starry night).
                              ha - perfect!!!! 👍👍👍

                              (hmmm, generator vs solar power. Showing my age. Hahaha)

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