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Various Artists (Tributes) - Symphonic Music of Yes CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

2.50 | 36 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I am very reluctant to this mix of genre. When rock meets classic. Really not my cup of tea. I have suffered already with such albums : Tull, Purple, Camel and now Yes. While I can cope when a rock band is playing with a classic orchestra as a background partner, I can hardly listen to an album in which the orchestra is taking over the command. In this YesSymphonic, we get a bit of both. Some words beforehand : it is not really a combined YesEffort. The whole stuff is produced by Steve Howe and David Palmer (from the London Philarmonic Orchestra). Chris Squire does noy play in here. There is also no trace of Wakeman nor Kaye. The keys are hold by Julian Colbeck. Another surprise : Bill Bruford (a founding member of Yes) is back on the drums ! Jon Anderson is only featured on three tracks (the vocal ones).

There are quite good tracks here : some pure intrumentals, some with vocals.

The opener "Roundabout" is slighty shorter than the original (this will be most of the times always the case on this album) and is one of the best track of the album. Quite rocking version, the orchestra is there but discreet. That's how I like it. Very good debut.

The next track is a complete disaster. "Close To The Edge" which could have been great (like in "Symphonic Live") is totally massacred. The orchestra has the lead and sounds rather pompous and boring. When you hear this, it is quite difficult to go on with this record. But since it is so weak, things can only get better, right ?

In their immense repertoire "Wonderous Stories" is probably a song that can be associated with this excercise. It has, by essence, already a classic symphonic mood. A good track (although it is fully orchestra oriented). Another track with vocals is "I've Seen" : it is also very pleasant to listen to; the orchestra being a partner only.

"Mood For A Day" is one of the track that works best here : the subtle guitar play from Steve is marvelous and the orchestra surrounds him quite beautifully. Very good (although this number has never been a favourite of mine) and also one of my preferred one on this album. I would say that this is the best version I know of this song (original included).

With the next one "Owner" one of the bottoms of this CD is reached. This FM oriented original does not work at all in this format. Just awful. "Survival" is the worse vocal track of the whole (probably the worst of all here). Mellow orchestral intro and, bizarrely very weak vocals. It is rather strange because it was one of my fave on their first album (back to 1969); vocals being a strong part of it !

I was quite sceptic before I heard "Heart Of The Sunrise" : this violent track should not survive such an experiment. Quite frankly it is one of the number I prefer here (it is also one of my all time fave) even if it is shortened by almost four minutes. Great acoustic guitar work from Steve and good job from the orchestra.

As "Wonderous Stories", "Soon" was also meant for this type of experience. It is another very good moment of this album. There is a short narrated part in the intro and then both the band (extremely emotional keys) and the orchestra come into a fantastic symbiosis. A highlight.

It is one of very few (if not the only one) track to be extended in comparison with the original (by two minutes or so). The closing number "Starship Trooper" is not so well rendered and leaves the listener a bit unsatisfied. If you're not into classic music (like I am) I would recommend to stay away from this record (even if there are some good numbers). Two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |


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