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Various Artists (Tributes) - Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute) CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.11 | 48 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars There's too much reverence on Tales from Yesterday for my taste. Steve Morse duplicates "The Clap" and "Mood for a Day" perfectly - - but why? One-off supergroup Stanley Snail and the talented Cairo turn in note-perfect renditions of "Siberian Khatru" and "South Side of the Sky," although each includes a little Easter egg. "Changes" (Enchant) and "Release, Release" (Shadow Gallery) are offered with a slightly metallic tinge, but add little to the originals - - and those were songs which could stand some improvement!

Along those same lines, Billy Sherwood (as World Trade) does "Wonderous Stories" and Annie Haslam performs "Turn of the Century" (with Steve Howe), but neither makes the song their own. At least the solos during the "Wrm" section of "Starship Trooper," by Adam Wakeman's band Jeronimo Road, differ from the original.

There are, however, four enjoyable tracks here. In my opinion, Magellan never really distinguished themselves as a band, but "Don't Kill the Whale" shows that they had promise. They ignore much of the original production and present the song as a medley of styles, from electronic to a cappella ( la "Leave It") to double-kick-drum prog metal. Given the obvious fakeness of the drums and the overall lack of fidelity to the original, I have the feeling that a few reviewers have greeted this track with scorn. But would a faithful duplication of the original really be a fitting tribute to Yes?

Patrick Moraz turns in a refreshing reimagining of "Soon," the last movement of "Gates of Delirium." Unlike the Magellan track, this one's just one instrument (piano) and one style all the way through.

The best two songs here are "Roundabout" and "Astral Traveller," both helmed by Robert Berry, with former Yes guitarist Peter Banks as the featured artist on the latter. "Astral Traveller" is presented as an instrumental, and Banks is on fire. Did he have something to prove? He sure plays like it. This song would've fit well on Banks's Self-Contained - - it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it was recorded during the sessions for that album. It's too bad that Moraz and Banks, each of whom has a claim to having been dumped unfairly by Yes, both perform songs from which they can't earn royalties. (Both "Soon" and "Astral Traveller" are credited solely to Jon Anderson.)

And then there's Berry's "Roundabout," on which Howe guests. It's probably the single best cover of a Yes song ever. Berry reinterprets this classic in his own 1980s/1990s style, programming and playing all of the instruments, except for the guitar solo from about 4:00 to 5:00, and providing all of the vocals. Given the esteem in which the original is held, Berry's "Roundabout" is almost as gutsy as Magellan's take on "Don't Kill the Whale." The main difference is Howe's implied imprimatur.

Since "Roundabout," "Soon," and "Astral Traveller" are available for 99 each on the US Amazon store, Tales from Yesterday: A View From the South Side of the Sky is far from essential. I'd suggest that any fan of symphonic rock with a few dollars to spare pick up these three .mp3s, as well as "Don't Kill the Whale." But I'd skip the rest.

patrickq | 2/5 |


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