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Yes - America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.89 | 49 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars In their early days, Yes used to do mainly covers of songs, by adding more and more to the song until it was barely recognisable. A great example of this is their take of 'Every Little Thing' by The Beatles, released on their eponymous debut album. In my mind, Simon & Garfunkel's 'America' is the last cover they ever did.

The song, which was originally three and half minutes long, was stretched to a whopping ten and a half minutes by Yes. It is this version that I shall review first.

Besides the lyrics, this version is completely unrecognisable from the original. There is a 2:30 intro instrumental, a 3:30 jam in the centre, and a 1:00 instrumental outro for starters. The jam ITSELF is as long as the original song. Amazingly, with it's ten minute length, Yes's version does not include all the lyrics from the original (it misses out the verse 'Toss me a cigarette...'). Yes's version is however, a prog rock masterpiece. All of the arrangements are fantastic, the instrumentals are awesome. The jam is so much fun, just listening to the band let themselves go for 3 minutes. A truly 5 star song, and much better than the original.

The first version I heard of this song, was the single version, which was released on the remastered 'Close to the Edge'. The song is cut down to just over 4 minutes by getting rid of the intro instrumental and the lengthy jam. Without these instrumentals, it's hard to see what Yes were trying to do, and the song is rather confusing and clumsy, and doesn't feel like a prog rock masterpiece at all.

The B-sides to this single: Total Mass Retain is a brief snippet from Close to the Edge. Much like you get short demos of video games, this very much feels like a demo for the song. It does however sport some of the most progressive music ever recorded in 3 minutes and is notable for that. Whilst not really working as a standalone song, this would definitely tempt me into buying the record. Your Move is the first half of I've Seen All Good People from The Yes Album. I love this track for it's fantastic lyrics, and brilliant melody, although you feel a bit empty when you realise that the 'All Good People' section is missing.

If I ever saw this single for a decent price, I'd probably buy it as a collectible, but the music contained on it is nothing to shout about when compared with the originals. The full length America, is a standalone masterpiece though.

baz91 | 3/5 |


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