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Various Artists (Tributes) Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute) album cover
3.11 | 49 ratings | 12 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Roundabout - Robert Berry (7:04)
2. Siberian Khatru - Stanley Snail (8:06)
3. Mood for a Day - Steve Morse (2:50)
4. Don't Kill the Whale - Magellan (6:06)
5. Turn of the Century - Steve Howe & Annie Haslam (6:27)
6. Release, Release - Shadow Gallery (6:17)
7. Wonderous Stories - World Trade (3:46)
8. South Side of the Sky - Cairo (7:59)
9. Soon - Patrick Moraz (5:26)
10. Changes - Enchant (6:17)
11. Astral Traveler - Peter Banks (6:59)
12. The Clap - Steve Morse (3:09)
13. Starship Trooper - Jeronimo Road (5:34)

Total Time: 76:27

Line-up / Musicians

Track 1:
- Robert Berry / instrumentation, vocals
- Steve Howe / guitar cadenza

Track 2:
- Nick D'Virgilio / hi vox, drums
- Mike Keneally / mid vox, guitars
- Kevin Gilbert / lo vox, keyboards
- Bryan Beller / bass

Track 3:
- Steve Morse / acoustic guitar

Track 4:
- Trent Gardner / keyboards, vocals [and drum programming]
- Wayne Gardner / guitars, basses

Track 5:
- Annie Haslam / all vocals
- Steve Howe / acoustic guitar
- David A. Biglin / keyboards

Track 6:
- Mike Baker / vocals
- Carl Cadden-James / bass
- Brendt Allman / guitars
- Gary Wehrkamp / guitars, keyboards
- Chris Ingles / keyboards
- Kevin Soffera / drums

Track 7:
- Billy Sherwood / bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Jay Schellen / drums

Track 8:
- Mark Robertson / Hammond organ, Moog, piano
- Jeff Brockman / drums
- Alec Fuhrman / guitars
- Bret Douglas / lead vocals
- Rob Fordyce / bass

Track 9:
- Patrick Moraz / Steinway D concert grand piano

Track 10:
- Ted Leonard / voice
- Douglas A. Ott / guitar, keys
- Paul Craddick / drums, keys
- Ed Platt / bass

Track 11:
- Peter Banks / guitar
- Robert Berry / instrumentation, arrangement

Track 12:
- Steve Morse / acoustic guitar

Track 13:
- Adam Wakeman / keyboards
- Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith / guitars
- Phil Williams / bass guitar
- Damian Wilson / vocals
- Tony Fernandez / drums

Releases information

CD Magna Carta MA-9003-2 (1995)

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute) ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
4 stars Magna Carta began coming out with a series of tribute albums to the great progressive rock bands of the 1970's in 1995. This included a tribute to Genesis, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and this one, a tribute to Yes called Tales from Yesterday featuring the artwork of Roger Dean. Their tribute albums tended to primarily feature bands and artists signed to the Magna Carta label, but they were also able to get some outside contributors. Of all the Magna Carta tribute albums, this is the best one I've heard, although there is a little room for improvement.

Tales from Yesterday starts off with Robert Berry's version of Roundabout. Robert Berry has contributed a lot of work to the Magna Carta projects and usually I've found what he has done to be very good. No exception here. It has a nice intro, is much harder sounding than the original with a stronger guitar presence and sounds a little "machine-like." It's probably the best cover song Berry has ever made.

The second track is a cover of Siberian Khatru done by Stanley Snail, featuring Kevin Gilbert on keys, Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard) on drums, and Mike Keneally on guitars. All three contribute to the vocals. No reinterpretation here. It's almost note for note, except for the first instrumental section which is very different from the original and nicely done. Overall, it's a stellar performance which one would expect from these three talented artists. One of the highlights of this collection.

The third track is Steve Morse on acoustic guitar performing Howe's Mood for a Day. A fair interpretation, but there is nothing really special about it. This is followed by Magellan's cover of Don't Kill the Whale, a strange song to select from the vast catalog of Yes. It's awkward sounding with the different sections sounding like they were taped together with duct tape with parts of Magellan's Impending Ascension. The vocal part at about the 5:30 mark is absolutely dreadful. Definitely not one of the best Yes songs to cover, with this being the worst Yes cover I've ever heard. Not too good.

Surely, the next track can't be as bad as Magellan's cover, and if you guessed this, then you've won a cookie! The fifth track is a cover of Turn of the Century featuring Annie Haslam and Steve Howe (Gee, how would you like to perform on your own tribute album?). I really like Haslam's voice, and she does a terrific job in her performance here, maybe even better than Jon Anderson did on the original. Steve Howe performs as well as he himself did on the original. The only downside to this song is that it is somewhat boring. Certainly, with such a large number of songs to pick from they could've chosen something more interesting. Oh well, in any case, it's not bad.

Covering a another song from Tormato (two songs from Tormato?!?!) isn't always the brightest idea, but Release, Release is one of the better choices. And to my surprise, Shadow Gallery pulls off a stunning performance. They give it even more energy than the original. I really enjoyed this, especially the slight prog-metal feel they gave to it. The only downside is that Mike Baker's vocals just don't compare to Jon Anderson's, but it's still a great listen.

The seventh track is a cover of Wonderous Stories by World Trade, Billy Sherwood's band before he later joined Yes. I was kind of expecting Sherwood to completely screw this one up as I wasn't really impressed with his later contributions to Yes, but to my surprise, he does a well covered version of this popular Yes song. One thing to note is that Sherwood plays all the instruments on this except for the drums. Apparently World Trade lost two members prior to 1995.

The eighth track is a cover of South Side of the Sky by Cairo. This is a great song to include in the collection and Cairo performs it wonderfully. The middle piano section is exceptionally well performed. Although this is almost note for note, the sound and energy is pleasantly refreshing. A very good performance and the best performed track of this tribute.

I admire what Patrick Moraz did on the Relayer album back in 1974, but the ninth track, a piano-only version of Soon (the last section of Gates of Delirium) feels completely out of place in this collection and all I wanted to do was skip to the next track after listening to the first minute of this. This is great if you want to sleep, but it really ruins the momentum of the previous tracks. Truly a sleeper in the negative sense. Tsk, tsk, tsk, Mr. Moraz.

For the tenth track, you have to wonder if their brains were somewhere between the sofa cushions. Gee whiz, covering a song off of 90125? When Yes has a discography that's a million miles long full of wonderful music, and they dig down to the bottom of the barrel to find this! Admittedly, Changes is the best song off of 90125, if you could think of there being one. Unfortunately, for Enchant, their performance is worse than the original. My goodness. What an eye-roller!

The eleventh track features another member (well, former member) of Yes, the one and only Peter Banks. Having not heard the original, which wasn't an instrumental (and this version is), I can't really make any comparisons. Even so, I enjoyed Banks' performance (with Robert Berry). Nicely done and definitely a major improvement over the preceding two tracks.

Onto the twelfth track, another acoustic guitar cover by Steve Morse. This time it's Howe's The Clap. The performance is done accurately, but it's nothing to get your pants in a tangle. And finally, the last track is a cover of Starship Trooper. When I saw the time of this at 5:34, I had to wonder why they shortened it so much. Presumably it wouldn't fit in the remaining space of the CD if it were longer. Anyway, Jeronimo Road features Adam Wakeman on keys and Damian Wilson on vocals, so I thought this might be interesting anyway. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed. It's mediocre and sorely lacks the power of the original, not to mention the shortness. The solos at the end make me think of spaghetti in a blender. Blah.

In conclusion, even though there are some stinkers (4 out of 13 tracks), there are some really great cover versions on here. I think one of the problems with the CD was its limit to being only one disc. To do a truly great tribute to Yes should involve 2-3 discs with covers of their more important epics (Close to the Edge, And You And I, etc.). But most likely, marketing and the final cost of the disc probably played roles in Magna Carta's decision, plus it wouldn't be fair to the other tribute discs they released which were single-disc issues. Still, I think this would make an excellent addition to someone's prog collection because there are some wonderful, energetic performances done by modern acts performing the classics of one of the greatest progressive rock bands in history. If it weren't for the four stinkers, and maybe a few better selections, I would have given it five stars. Instead, it gets four (I'd prefer 3.85). It's also an essential item in any Yes fan's collection.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Making a tribute album is one of the hardest things, if the artist is too respectful to the original version turns himself into a copyist and if changes too much the song people thinks they can ruin a masterpiece, I believe a balance should be reached, the artist making a tribute has to be respectful to the original version but at the same time add something of himself. Because if he makes a perfect copy, why should we bother to buy it if there's always the original?

"Tales from Yesterday" is a very uneven album, you can find some carbon copies, a few boring tracks, a couple of less than mediocre, a filler and several excellent songs that Yes could take as a genuine tribute, because the artist has managed to keep the spirit of the original work but making an effort to create something innovative, so without any longer intro, let us check the songs.

Roundabout: Well, if there's something Robert Berry should never do is to change the introduction of this track, there's no Roundabout without it, the vocals are not even decent and the arrangements are like an hybrid between Hard Rock, Fusion and nothing. Honestly I don't understand what he was trying to achieve.

Siberian Khatru: Now, this is how a real tribute track should sound, "STANLEY SNAIL" starts the track absolutely close to the original version giving the listener enough chance to really notice what they are listening, the vocal work is very well worked but the central part of the track is outstanding, in a fraction of second they change from a Prog Rock masterpiece to a fusion oriented song. Being that it's too hard to play like Steve Howe, Mike Keneally takes a harder approach, the closing vocal work is IMO even better that the original, great song.

Mood for a Day: We all know Steve Morse is an excellent guitar player and really there's nothing radically different you can add to "Mood for a Day", but he manages to accelerate the speed and of add some extra work that can be easily listened. Excellent work.

Don't Kill the Whale: I was ready for a song as bad as the original, but surprisingly MAGELLAN does an pretty good job, the piano intro is strong and the keyboards blend with the vocals in order to create a similar atmosphere to Jon Anderson's voice without being as annoying as the original. The cover is very well developed but of course the radical change is in the guitar work which is very hard rock oriented, it's odd, nothing anybody could expect but they manage to take a bland and cheesy song just to change it in something special, outstanding work.

Turn of the Century: This song was one of the reasons why I bought this album, supposedly you can't get better than Steve Howe with the amazing voice of Annie Haslam, sadly the best I can say about this track is that Steve is as good as always and Annie's voice remains intact but I fell asleep after two minutes, boring, predictable and unimaginative.

Release Release: The song starts promising but the voice Mike Baker from SHADOW GALLERY trying to sound as Jon Anderson's breaks my nerves and produced me a nasty sensation, the drum solo is mediocre and the guitar is weak, a waste of space that had to cut before the half because it was producing me pain.

WORLD TRADE (Billy Sherwood's band) makes a very decent version of Wonderous Stories, maybe too close to the original, but at the end pleasant song after the disaster SHADOW GALLERY made. The only question I make myself is why two bands choose songs from Tormato?

South Side of the Sky by Cairo is another good and faithful track, excellent work by all the band, it's incredible how much better sounds with a voice that doesn't try to sound like Jon Anderson.

Well, it was about time for something special, Patrick Moraz does a magical piano version of Soon, his style and technique is perfect, he did it perfectly in Relayer with all the band and he does it perfectly alone.

Yes has many albums that reach the status of masterpiece, why should anybody cover a song from 90125? Well Changes is the "lets say best" track from a terrible album and "ENCHANT" manages to do a decent version, much better than the original but still not a good song.

Honestly didn't imagined that Peter Banks with Robert Berry could make such a solid version of Astral Traveler the guitar work is absolutely impressive, strong and extremely coherent, nice work guys another excellent track!

The Clap: Again Steve Morse does a faster version, but that's the whole difference, one Steve Howe solo was ok but two in the same album and by the same artist sounds like they needed three minutes to fill the album, correct copy but nothing else.

What the album needed was a solid closer and they got it JERONIMO ROAD does an outstanding cover of Starship Trooper, Adam Wakeman has learned some tricks from dad and adds some new interesting things, Damian Wilson has a very good voice and of course the always excellent drumming of Tony Fernandez make an excellent tribute song.

Now the hard part, how should I rate such an uneven album? There are really bad tracks but the good ones don't deserve to be taken down, so will be conservative, not essential but still get it if you are a Yes fan, some memorable and some forgettable moments, three stars.

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another of the seemingly endless Magna Carta series of tributes to legendary prog bands, this album is quite an agreeable listen, though far from being the near-masterpiece the ELP tribute, "Encores, Legends and Paradox", was. Some of the songs are so close to the original as to be virtually undistinguishable, others offer interesting reinterpretations, others still are somewhat superfluous. Anyway, at least to my mind, it is always worth hearing covers of the great classics of prog done by musically proficient artists (no, I wouldn't really like to hear The Sex Pistols cover Yes...), even though one may not always agree with the end result.

All the usual Magna Carta mainstays are featured there, as it is to be expected - starting with the ubiquitous Robert Berry, who opens the proceedings with his own version of "Roundabout". This is a much harder version than the original, with Berry's more than adequate, though distinctly prog-metalish, vocals sounding extremely different from Anderson's angelic tones. He plays all the instruments here, with a little help from Yes man Steve Howe himself. One of my all-time favourite Yes tracks follows, the powerful "Siberian Khatru", performed by Stanley Snail (a band featuring the talents of the late Kevin Gilbert and Spock's Beard drummer and vocalist Nick D'Virgilio). The intro is uncannily similar to the original, but then some variation kicks in in the instrumental section. The vocal harmonies, so vital to the song, are spot on - this is definitely one of the standouts of the collection. The two best-known Howe acoustic showcases, "Mood for a Day" and "The Clap", are performed by guitar virtuoso Steve Morse - excellent performances as usual from the man who stepped into the shoes of the Man in Black, though almost identical to the original versions.

There are two songs from the generally poorly-regarded "Tormato" album here, though I don't find their covers are so bad as others instead do. Magellan's take on "Don't Kill the Whale" is quite rousing, though uneven in parts; while Shadow Gallery's metalised version of "Release Release" may even be seen as an improvement on the original. However, I'm not overly keen on Mike Baker's vocals, being in general no great fan of the LaBrie and friends school of prog-metal singing. Cairo's and World Trade's versions of, respectively, "South Side of the Sky" and "Wonderous Stories" are pretty good too, and faithful to the originals without trying to hard to imitate them.

In my opinion (though others differ in that respect), one of the real highlights of this album is the cover of "Turn of the Century" (a song I've always had a soft spot for), performed by Steve Howe on acoustic guitar and the incomparable Annie Haslam on vocals. This song was probably born to be sung by a female voice rather than a male one (though of course Anderson was the only one who could pull it off). If there is a flaw to be found in this particular instance, it could be said that the song goes on a bit, and that can make it boring for listeners - and of course the magnificent, melancholy Wakeman piano solo is missing. But you can't have it all ... And, for piano fans, the real treat is provided by a version of "Soon" performed by Patrick Moraz himself. The man sure can play!

The least successful tracks of the album (bar the excellent instrumental version of "Astral Traveller", performed by Peter Banks with the help of Robert Berry) are tucked away at the end. Enchant's cover of "Changes" (easily the best song on the controversial "90125" album) does the original no favours, with Ted Leonard's LaBrie-ish vocals not a patch on Trevor Rabin's much more restrained tones; while Jeronimo Road's "Starship Trooper" (featuring Rick's son Adam Wakeman on keys) is a much-compressed version of the glorious original. Not awful, but nothing so brilliant either.

As I said at the beginning, a pleasant listen indeed, and an interesting one - but far too uneven to be awarded more than three stars.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The pretty Roger Dean covers which wrap this Magna Charta company's YES tribute stuck out to my eyes from the CD discount shelf, and I purchased the record. I'm not a huge fan of tribute projects, so I didn't expect very much from this record. The greatest track here is in my opinion STEVE HOWE's and ANNIE HASLAM's duo "Turn of The Century", which has only subtle synthesizers in addition of the guitar and the voice. I like this new version much more than the original one on the "Going for The One" album, so getting this album home wasn't a total mistake. STEVE MORSE's versions of STEVE HOWE's solos are also decent guitar numbers too, but they are not very essential as they don't differ any from the originals. PATRIC MORAZ also plays here a nice easy listening jazz version of "Soon". This is a strange tribute album, as there are these original band members fooling around here too! The song selections are from around their 70's career, with few more recent songs along with them.

From the performances of ROBERT BERRY, MAGELLAN, SHADOW GALLERY, WORLD TRADE, CAIRO and JERONIMO ROAD I must say, that I'm not a fan of the style of the music they do. So it's difficult for me to say anything objective or analytical about them, as they just aren't my piece of cake. But if you like these artists and the music of YES, this CD could be a nice addition to your music collection, so give it a listen in that case!

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This Yes tribute CD has contributions from a number of very well known prog artists but some of them seem to have had a problem with making this sort of album- should we reproduce the original or try to create something new and put our own stamp on a Yes classic?

Enchant have gone for the former and made a virtual carbon copy of "Changes", Steve Morse reproduces two Howe solo pieces, "Mood for a Day" and "Clap" and World Trade are pretty close to the original of "Wonderous Stories" and you have to wonder - what is the point? You're always going to come off worse in comparison to the original so you may as well changes things around a bit. Magellan have done this well with "Don't Kill the Whale" and Robert Berry does an interesting version of "Roundabout". Shadow Gallery metal up the already rocky "Release Release" but singer Mike Baker sounds too falsetto and so the track loses some of its power. Stanley Snail's version of "Siberian Khatru" starts off faithful to the original but at least vary things around in the instrumental section. Patrick Moraz throws in a solo piano version of "Soon" which starts off sounding like the beginning of "Awaken" before settling down into the familiar melody line. Very nice. Cairo's "South Side of the Sky" is again close to the original, even down to the wind and the drum intro but do a very good job of the vocal harmonies in the middle section. Jeronimo Road's version of "Starship Trooper" features Adam Wakeman, but the I find the lead vocal very off-putting. Ex-Yes man Pete Banks adds an interesting instrumental version of "Astral Traveller". One of the highlights is Annie Haslam's version of "Turn of the Century" (although is Steve Howe allowed to appear on a tribute to his own band?). Her voice is as clear as ever, the only downside is the omission of the instrumental section and an apparent fumbling of the lyrics at one point.

In summary, this is not a bad effort, I just feel that musicians of this calibre could have gone out on a limb a bit more and not just reproduced the original as some of them have done.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Wonderous songs. . .in another way

The temptation with tribute albums is to dismiss them as second rate facsimiles, and in general terms such an approach is well advised. This collection however gains credibility through a) the Roger dean cover, b) The presence of Steve Howe and Patrick Moraz, c) Sleeve notes by the editors of the Yes fanzine "Notes from the edge" and d) The top names in the line up.

There is no house band here, this is a collection of interpretations by a diverse range of bands and artists. The tracks are from Yes's early days, starting from "Time and a word" and going up to the "Tormato" album. The common denominator between the artists is that they are signed to the Magna Carta label. This is one of a number of projects by that label which uses tributes to well know bands to promote their own artists.

Robert Berry kicks things off with a transformed version of "Roundabout". Berry is probably best known for his brief time with Emerson and Palmer in the band "3". Here he boldly removes the familiar intro altogether slowing things down slightly and giving the song a more powerful atmosphere. Steve Howe adds a guitar "cadenza" but everything else you hear is performed by Berry.

Stanley Snail may not be a familiar band name, but when you notice that the line up includes Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard), Mike Keneally and Kevin Gilbert, it takes on a super-group connotation. Their rendition of "Siberian Khatru" is reasonably faithful but with a Flower Kings like instrumental middle section.

Steve Morse performs a fine, if unadventurous version of Howe's "Mood for a day". Magellan offer a decent take on "Don't kill the whale", while bringing out the heavy side of that song to the full. Trent Gardner adds a Wakeman like synth solo to the track. Steve Howe returns to pay tribute to himself further on "Turn of the century". The vocals here are provided by Annie Haslam of Renaissance, her fine tones being perfect for this gentle number.

Shadow Gallery's chosen track "Release release" is the second here from "Tormato". The pitch of singer Mike Baker's voice is similar to that of Jon Anderson this version as a whole being rather superfluous. Billy Sherwood's band World Trade on the other hand present a tasteful cover of "Wonderous stories". While the vocals are once again Anderson like, the arrangement here is thoughtful and emotional.

Cairo, a band known for their Yes influences, take on "South side of the sky" from Fragile. It a decent enough version but, as might be expected, sticks reasonably close to the script. Patrick Moraz pays tribute to his own involvement with the band by performing the "Soon" section of "Gates of delerium" on solo piano. The rendition is highly effective, Moraz resisting any urge to jazz up the piece.

Enchant's delivery of "Changes" is best described as "safe". It is not one of my favourite Yes songs anyway, and this rendition does nothing to change that. Former Yes guitarist Peter Banks transforms "Astral Traveller" into a virtuoso guitar solo, perhaps in order to demonstrate that his replacement by Steve Howe was not the necessity it was deemed to be. It is certainly an entertaining piece, and possibly the best track on this album. Robert Berry (see the first track) provides all the instrumental support.

Steve Morse returns for a second solo slot with "Clap", unfortunately still misnamed as "The clap" on the sleeve. This effectively acts as an introduction to the closing "Starship trooper" performed by Adam Wakeman's band Jeronimo Road. Damian Wilson (of Threshold, who also appears on the "Wonderous stories" tribute album) provides the vocals here, with Rick Wakeman getting a name check in the credits for no explained reason. The version here is based on the live Yes version on "Keys to ascension" which includes the speeded up conclusion.

In all, as tribute albums go, this one has an element of class usually missing from such affairs. I could not describe it as essential by any means, although Peter Banks' reworking of "Astral Traveller" does come close to that accolade.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I am actually not too keen to purchase a tribute CD because I'd rather listen to the original song by the band. When this tribute, Tales From Yesterday : A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes) was released I bought the cassette version and I was impressed with Don't Kill The Whale performed by Magellan. This Magellan's version of song which I like the most from Yes Tormato is really different from the original version as it has changed significantly from its original form in its arrangement and style. I could never imagine that the song was set in techno disco style with industrial vocal line and drumming. Wanted to get a better sound, I then purchased the CD sometime in 1996.

This tribute CD opens with Roundabout where Robert Berry plays all instrumentation and vocals augmented by Steve Howe (guitar cadenza). For Yes aficionados, might feel that this version is quite disappointing with the fact that it had a great ambience created through inverted piano sound followed brilliantly by Howe's acoustic guitar. This portion has been replaced by Robert Berry with all electric instruments which kill the soul of the song.

Track 2 Siberian Khatru does not change significantly from its origibal version. Only at the ending part there is a deliberate insertion of Bill Bruford's solo album that made some "clicks" for me to think about the passages in relation to bil Bruford's work. I think it would be better if this band, Stanley Snail, adds their own arrangement at the ending part. It's quite strange knowing Kevin Gilbert was involved in the band as I knew that he made a great work for Genesis song compiled in Supper's Ready CD.

It's quite relieving to enjoy Mood for A Day with Steve Morse replacing Steve Howe. Morse plays guitar in different style than Howe even though in general you cannot find something substantially different during this song is played. However, if you enjoy the subtleties of is guitar style, you would find the difference between the two.

Don't Kill The Whale is really the most attractive track from this tribute compilation. It starts ambient with a sound of keyboard followed nicely with electric piano that indicates a dynamic opening for the song in modern sound recording and remixes through programmed drumming. The song flows very nicely with Trent Gardner vocal, backed with his brother Wayne Gardner who plays guitars and bass. The guitar solo has been made different and there is a passage where the vocal is performed in choir during musical break. It's so nice ...

Turn of The Century from Going For The One album is basically performed by the original member: Steve Howe but this time the vocal is performed by Renaissance lead vocalist Annie Haslam. Annie Haslam voice does really fit with this song - it blends beautifully and in a way, it's really great composition. The song flows nicely with Howe's great acoustic guitar work backed with David A Biglin's keyboards.

It's quite odd knowing a progressive metal band like Shadow Gallery plays the music of Yes. But that's OK as the song,Release, Release, is basically having a relatively fast tempo and energetic in nature and style. It's nothing truly different than the original arrangement, only that the drum solo part is a bit different. You might recall the original version is better.

World Trade whom the album was heavily influenced by Yes performs Wonderous Stories with Billy Sherwood plays most of instruments plus singing. Unfortunately it does no better than the original, you'd better skip it.

Cairo has been known with their albums that were heavily influenced by ELP and now at this compilation they play Southside of The Sky with the same arrangement as its original version. It does no better than the original. The other cover version that I consider worth enjoying is the Glass Hammer one.

Wow . now Mr Moraz plays Soon with his Steinway D concert grand piano which does sound really good!!! Oh yes .. this is really cool. It's basically the part of Gates of Delirium where Jon sings at the slow part at the end of the epic which talks about war. It's really cool, Mr. Moraz!

Enchant plays Changes in almost the same fashion as the original version, so.. nothing is special for this and you'd probably prefer the Yes version. Robert Berry join forces with Peter Banks plays Astral Traveler in instrumental version with practically no significant difference from the original version but the instrumental style using guitar. Steve Morse plays The Clap excellently. The last track Starship Trooper is not something good to enjoy because it suffers major deficiency with Damian Wilson voice quality which does not seem to fit with the song. It involves good musicians like Tony Fernandez (Rick Wakeman's British Rock Ensemble, altogether with Damian Wilson) and Adam Wakeman.

Overall, the tribute CD is not something interesting to buy, actually. The only chief reason for me to buy was the fact that Don't Kill The Whale is really good, plus Turn of The Century and The Clap. The rest is not that compelling. So I leave it up to you to decide. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Having nabbed this out of the bargain bin of a used bookstore, I cannot say I was altogether sure what I was in for, but I have to say that the various covers contained on this disc are generally fair to middling, with a few pleasant surprises in store. Naysayers can cringe all they want, but Robert Berry's stab at "Roundabout" is one of the best covers of a classic progressive rock song I've ever heard. It is boasts a monstrous sound, retaining the overall composition but changing the flavor altogether, using a thick contemporary sound and a decidedly pop vocal. While Steve Howe was not used for the very different, heavy introduction, he ends the piece with a more complex acoustic cadenza. Nothing much has changed for "Siberian Khatru" in terms of sound or arrangement, except for the middle section, which involves out-of-place but interesting jazzy piano fare. That's a shame really, because the instrumental passage of that song is one of Yes's crowning achievements, and instead of unceremoniously cutting it out, they should have at least made a decent attempt to butcher it. The vocals do not sound natural, but instead are strange and stretched, like audio elastic Mike Keneally does an exceptional job handling lead guitar at the end, and transitions right into "Heart of the Sunrise" for the conclusion. Steve Morse appears twice on this album, offering rather superfluous versions of "Mood for a Day" and "Clap." Magellan opens "Don't Kill the Whale" with synthesizer, piano, and other keyboards, and the singer handles the first verse in this lighter manner. The plastic 1990s sounds, including orchestral hits and electronic percussion, sound their worst in the interlude between lyrical sections. The a cappella section is a fanciful touch. "Turn of the Century" is a fairly faithful version with the magnificent Annie Haslam singing- simply lovely, although not as powerful as the original. Shadow Gallery's romp with yet another Tormato track, "Release, Release," is clumsy, ludicrous, and right for all the wrong reasons. I guess it's like somebody on Saturday Night Live parodying it, especially with those cartoon vocals. Billy Sherwood renders "Wonderous Stories" predictably and competently enough, except to say that the swampy bass tone is really out of place on this airy song. Part of the allure of Jon Anderson's vocals is that he brings out high notes with ease and peace, but so many of the vocalists here strain and belt them out with absolutely no finesse. Nowhere is this truer than in Cairo's rendition of "South Side of the Sky," which is somewhat painful to listen to even though it effectively adds nothing new in terms of sound or arrangement (except for a bit of piano foolishness). It is appropriate for Patrick Moraz to handle "Soon," translating it as a solo piano piece, but like many keyboardists who render music in this fashion, he burdens the beginning of it with numerous gauche runs. He even uses tacky flatted fifth notes in certain places as grace notes. "Changes" by Enchant is an exciting facelift for the 90125 number- these amazing gentlemen do not disappoint here, even if the vocals are a bit campy. Peter Banks's appearance on this tribute was surprising to me, given his feeling regarding Yes (and his treatment with respect to the Union tour). Here, he delivers a sizzling version of "Astral Traveler," and it almost has a Stevie Ray Vaughn flavor to it, backed by a shuffling rhythm and a bluesy organ. Finally, I like the heavy and fresh (and later jazzy) arrangement of "Starship Trooper," but the vocal performance is one of the worst on this disc- it's like a bad American Idol audition.
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is actually one of the better tribute albums of the many that Magna Carta has put out over the years. The lineups are diverse (although I have to say that there are a few too many appearances by actual members of Yes - a tribute should come from the fans, not the band itself), and most of the performances aren't too close to the originals.

Robert Berry, a staple of these tributes, begins the album with a pretty good rendition of Roundabout, although he turns the break section into pure arena rock, and completely misses the musical point.

Mike Kennealy, Kevin Gilbert, Nick D'Virgilio and Bryan Bellar, performing under the group name Stanley Snail (Get it? "Gold Stanley Snail, torn through the distance of man..."?), play Siberian Khatru fairly straight, until they add a cool Zappa-like jam section in the middle.

Steve Morse plays the two famous Steve Howe solos, Mood For A Day and Clap. The first isw quite good, as Morse has much smoother classical guitar chops than Howe.

Magellan does some interesting work in Don't Kill The Whale. It's disjointed at times, but I like it.

Steve Howe (who also makes a brief appearance in Roundabout) plays Turn Of The Century, which has the added bonus of Annie Haslam's beautiful voice.

Shadow Gallery plays Release Release good enough to outshine the original. But Billy Sherwood joins up with his World Trade drummer to make Wonderous Stories more boring than the Yes version. And Cairo plays South Side Of The Sky way too close to the original arrangement. That's too bad, as one of the things I was anticipating was how Mark Robertson could take over this track.

Patrick Moraz wastes his time on the album with a piano solo version of Soon. Enchant does a fair job on Changes, but would have added more by selecting a more complex piece. Peter Banks plays the best version of Astral Traveller you will probably hear.

Adam Wakeman and his band Jeronimo Road close the album with a truncated Starship Trooper. The musical performance on this is excellent, but the vocals are not up to par.

In all, this is an extremely good tribute album, and a worthwhile addition to a Yes collection.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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.

Review by patrickq
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.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This YES TRIBUTE album was the first try for the American label MAGNA CARTA A to do something new at the time,something that will become later a little musical trend, tribute albums!Both bosses from the label had the initiative to get out from the hat a bunch of monster musicians from the lab ... (read more)

Report this review (#259770) | Posted by Ovidiu | Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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