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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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Symphonic Team
3 stars Paying tribute to ... themselves!

In the mid-1990's, the record label Magna Carta initiated a series of tributes to major progressive Rock acts of the classic era. Starting in 1995 with tribute albums dedicated to Genesis (Supper's Ready), Pink Floyd (The Moon Revisited), and the present tribute to Yes entitled Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky. (The series then continued with tributes to Jethro Tull and Rush in the following year, and, finally, to Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1999.)

The typical tribute album has a bunch of younger generation bands and artists paying tribute to their childhood heroes, but these tribute releases from Magna Carta are special in that they also involve contemporaries and peers, a case in point being Annie Haslam of Renaissance who does a Yes number on this album, and, in the case of the present album, even several Yes members themselves! Some of the tracks are therefore even better described as re-makes rather than as covers in virtue of involving the original performer. This is, for example, true of the version of Astral Traveler which features the original Yes guitarist Peter Banks and also of Soon which is performed by Patrick Moraz. Both of these are instrumental versions of pieces that originally contained vocals. Astral Traveler is particularly compelling in this new version.

Other Yes members present here include Steve Howe and Billy Sherwood, the latter as part of World Trade. Howe contributes to Roundabout with Robert Berry and to Turn Of The Century with the aforementioned Annie Haslam, whilst World Trade do a version of Wondrous Stories. (This was just before Billy became a full member of Yes, but he had already worked with the band for several years both live and in the studio). Other people involved who are part of the extended Yes family are Rick Wakeman's son Adam and visual artist extraordinaire Roger Dean who created the appealing art work for this album (like he did for so many real Yes albums). Adam Wakeman performs here as part of Jeronimo Road which also include long-time Rick Wakeman collaborator Tony Fernandez on drums as well as the wonderful Damian Wilson, who also was part of Rick's band for some years, on vocals. Even though Rick himself is absent, their version of Starship Trooper here sounds very much like the version that Rick performs live with his band.

The great Steve Morse shows his admiration for Steve Howe by contributing versions of Mood For A Day and Clap. Among the younger generation bands we find (in addition to the aforementioned World Trade) Shadow Gallery, Cairo, Magellan, and others, acts signed to Magna Carta at the time.

The song selection reflects mainly the classic period between 1971's The Yes Album and 1978's Tormato, but it also reaches back to the Peter Banks-era with the aforementioned Astral Traveler and forward to the Trevor Rabin-era with Changes.

I'm not big on tribute albums - in fact, this is the first one that I have ever reviewed, having actively ignored them up till now - but as far as tribute albums go, it probably doesn't get much better than this! Tales From Yesterday is actually a worthy tribute to my favourite band.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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