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Does anyone know exactly when "America" was recorded?

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    Does anyone know exactly when "America" was recorded?

    I'm referring to the Yes version of course. I see that it originally appeared on an Atlantic records sampler in 1972 and subsequently on Yesterdays but I read something online that said it was recorded and left "in the vaults" for a few years. I'm not sure if they mean before or after the Atlantic records sampler though. Does anyone have any idea for sure? My guess would be maybe during the end of the Tony Kaye era or maybe in between Tony and Rick since Bruford plays mellotron on it and not Rick (so maybe mid 71).

    #2
    I think it could be even earlier, but that's mere speculation. That being based on the fact that in approach it's very similar to what the Banks iteration of Yes did in covering others' material. I'd always thought it was part of a first batch of recordings with Howe before it was decided the band would no longer feature cover versions on their albums. That could be entirely wrong, but it makes sense. At least to me!

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      #3
      Originally posted by Chris2210 View Post
      I think it could be even earlier, but that's mere speculation. That being based on the fact that in approach it's very similar to what the Banks iteration of Yes did in covering others' material. I'd always thought it was part of a first batch of recordings with Howe before it was decided the band would no longer feature cover versions on their albums. That could be entirely wrong, but it makes sense. At least to me!
      I think it was during the Fragile sessions.
      Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
      Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

        I think it was during the Fragile sessions.
        Might well be, but wouldn't that put Wakeman on keys?

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          #5
          Originally posted by Chris2210 View Post

          Might well be, but wouldn't that put Wakeman on keys?
          I think it is Wakeman, isn't it?
          Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
          Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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            #6
            I believe it was recorded on a Tuesday at 7.45pm.

            Yeah, I always thought it was Wakeman on keys.

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              #7
               
              Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
              Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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                #8
                Fragile sessions.

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                  #9
                  Beat me to it by 8 minutes!😂

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                    #10
                    So great to have the footage!
                    "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                      I think it is Wakeman, isn't it?
                      According to the wikipedia page for Yesterdays it's Wakeman on keyboards. Apparently Bill Bruford played the mellotron on it though which is why I thought maybe it was recorded before Wakeman joined. Maybe he added his keyboard parts later though. Who knows.

                      Ok, my official guess is right before sessions for Fragile started (or maybe even during).
                      Last edited by Soundchaser413; 03-09-2022, 10:59 AM.

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                        #12
                        It was recorded around the time of Fragile or at least between Fragile & CTTE and Wakeman was on keys. It had been kicking around live when Tony Kaye was still there. Did they start doing it at the end of Peter Banks' tenure? I'm not sure.

                        I did hear Bruford played mellotron on it, possibly because Wakeman wasn't in the studio that day maybe? Come to think of it, America is kinda light on keyboards. I mean, keyboards are there, but used sparingly, and it's more of a guitar showcase and one of Steve Howe's best Yes guitar solo moments.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                          It was recorded around the time of Fragile or at least between Fragile & CTTE and Wakeman was on keys. It had been kicking around live when Tony Kaye was still there. Did they start doing it at the end of Peter Banks' tenure? I'm not sure.

                          I did hear Bruford played mellotron on it, possibly because Wakeman wasn't in the studio that day maybe? Come to think of it, America is kinda light on keyboards. I mean, keyboards are there, but used sparingly, and it's more of a guitar showcase and one of Steve Howe's best Yes guitar solo moments.
                          Forgotten Yesterdays lists its first appearance as 7/17/1970, Steve’s first show with the band, but it could’ve been going around earlier and the setlist was just lost.

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                            #14
                            Yep, Steve is tearing it up throughout most of the track so I agree one of his best moments along with Gates of Delirium, Yours is no disgrace, Southside of the Sky and Siberian Khatru.

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                              #15
                              Thought I read in a past interview with Chris that America was recorded just as Rick was joining the band. Rick had some record company business to work out, so was a bit nervous about playing mellotron on the track until all that could be worked out, I guess since Rick was well-known as master-of-the-mellotron by that point in time (Space Oddity, etc).

                              Yes, the band had been playing it for a good while live by the time they recorded it for "The Age of Atlantic". "The Word Is Live" has a great live recording with Tony Kaye on organ and a slightly different arrangement, including a riff that was later used in the solo section of Roundabout!

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