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Tales from Yesterday: A Tribute to Yes Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Aug. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Magna Carta
  • ASIN: B000003ZB2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,889 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Format: Audio CD
I'm not much for cover versions as a rule. Whether this is the result of a diet of cheesey "Hot Hits" albums all those years ago, or a natural reaction to the exponentially increasing amount of recycled dross in the charts these days, I don't know, but generally I prefer music that adds something to the gene pool. I want new tunes, if you please.
There are exceptions, though, and "Tales From Yesterday" on the Magna Carta label is one of them - 13 spirited renditions of Yes classics by a variety of very talented artists, including various band-members themselves. It even has a Roger Dean cover - what more could you want? I loved this album from the first time I heard it, and to be honest I've probably played it more than any individual Yes album since then. Not that there's anything wrong with the originals, of course, (perish the thought!) it's just that this collection brings a new lease of life to many personal favourites. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A "Tribute" to Yes?

Some of these renditions serve to show us how good Yes could be, while some show us how some songs could have been even better!

Steve Howe and Annie Haslam's rendition of "Turn of The Century" is more delicate even than it's wonderful original, and while I would hate to denigrate the Accrington warbler (Yes, I do go that far back), I actually think Annie does a better job on this than t' lad himself. (But, bear in mind that Annie originated not far away to t' South).

Some of this album sets my teeth on edge, but some is absolutely brilliant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd Collection of Tributes and Rethinks 22 Sept. 2014
By Stephen Mann - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The material on this album varies between almost straight covers to radical rethinks. How this will strike you is of course a matter of personal preference, but I think that no-one will be five stars happy - some want faithful renditions and the radical material will grate with them, while other want experimental approaches and will find the pure covers problematical.

I fall between those two extremes, a bit more toward the experimental (I can hear the originals or live variations on them from my extensive Yes collection and feel that pure covers are a waste of time in that light) but experimental covers run the risk of venturing from the sublime (eg Joe Cocker's takes on "First We Take Manhattan" and "Love Made A Promise") to the extreme (Bono's version of "Halleluiah") . A long-loved favorite can be quite badly mauled in the quest for Art.

Others have listed the material in depth, I'll cover it with ridiculous brevity.

Roundabout (Robert Berry) is what I'd call a radical rethink.
Siberian Khatru (Stanley Snail) is faithful until the middle when the artist gets busy reinventing.
"Mood for a Day" (Steve Morse) is a faithful rendition.
"Don't Kill The Whale" (Magellan) experimental, (didn't care for this one myself - too disco).
"Turn of the Century" (Howe and Haslam) absolutely faithful but sounds wonderful with the new vocalist and minimalist accompaniment. Probably the Album Cost Worth Barometer for most people.
"Release, Release" (Shadow Gallery) is experimental, but not radically so.
"Wondrous Stories" (World Trade) faithful. A tribute track.
"South Side of the Sky" (Cairo) is another faithful tribute.
"Soon" (Patrick Moraz) is a highly elaborated mostly-piano rethink but for all the ornamentation you will recognize the track.
"Changes" (Enchant) is a mild variation on the original in feel, but essentially faithful to the original.
"Astral Traveller" (Peter Banks) is an instrumental, highly ornamented from the original theme. Personally I thought this worth the cost of the album alone, the sort of pleasant surprise that waits inside an album bought on the strength of one or two tracks and which boosts the payoff manyfold.
"The Clap" (Steve Morse) is faithful down to the original mistake in the title. A note-for-note copy.
"Starship Trooper" (Jeremiah Road) sounds like the sort of performance I'd expect Judas Priest to do as an encore - professional but lacking the special qualities of the original.

Let me be clear - overall I think the artists do a bang-up job. They just didn't have the same mission in mind when they stepped into the studio is all.

The recording seems clean but I have old ears and I mostly listen on headphones these days.

The artwork is probably great but being a CD everything is four times too small to actually be able to enjoy it. You need a square foot or two to properly do album art and sleeve notes that can be examined and dissected while listening to the music. This is particularly the case for Roger Dean art. Hell the hours I must've burned looking at the inside cover of Close to the Edge and that is a sparse composition to be sure. I can still remember the crossings-out on the dust sleeve's lyric sheet too.

Gettin' old, I guess, but I miss the days when you could find poster shops selling inexpensive wall versions of the album art almost everywhere. Today's kids get to buy expensive prints or they live without and they are missing a big part of the album experience (and walking away from the format as a result). But that's a rant for a different venue.

If you don't mind your tributes taking a trot on the wild side this album should appeal. The ethereally beautiful Turn of the Century really does have to be heard by all, but I find myself for some reason feeling that that track doesn't belong on this album but on another Howe and Haslam only album. I'd buy that in a New York Minute.
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, some I don't like quite as much 30 Mar. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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There's a mix of some really good covers and there's some where the vocals are grating because they are closer to something you'd hear from Deep Purple or Guns'n'Roses. The actual musicianship overall is excellent, with some interesting variations and some that sound very close to the original songs. If it wasn't for some of the singing on some of the songs, I would rate this much higher. As it is I regret buying this music because I'm not sure how much I'll actually listen to it.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 22 Jan. 2015
By Edwin L. Eselby - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great tribute disc. I especially like the cover of Roundabout that kicks it off.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tribute worthy of the music of Yes 3 Nov. 2005
By Allegra - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When I first found this album, I thought it was interesting but just okay. Now that I've had this in my cd player for the last few days straight, I realize it is a much better album than I was giving it credit for. And it has given me a greater appreciation for the strength of the music that Yes has penned over the years, in that other artists can take these familiar old gems and reimagine them with a new freshness and power (something Yes themselves did on the Keys to Ascension album). No wonder so many current bands count Yes among their musical influences.

A few of the songs are exact copies of the originals - Enchant's "Changes", for example, or Steve Morse's covers of Howe's solo pieces. This is not a bad thing! Why mess with perfection? Also, Billy Sherwood's delicate but confident performance on World Trade's "Wonderous Stories" reflects his long association with Yes, both on and off stage.

But the album really shines when the artists take the original song and infuse it with their own style. As other reviewers have noted, Annie Haslam's and Steve Howe's "Turn of the Century" is just sublime. Robert Berry's "Roundabout" riffs remind me of the some of the best songs on Yes' Open Your Eyes album. Magellan's "Don't Kill the Whale" takes a song that sounds rather dated on the Tormato album (admit it, it does) and infuses it with new enegy. But the biggest suprise for me was Patrick Moraz' solo piano "Soon". It is one of the times I wish the song were much longer so I could hear what else he might have done with it. "Soon" was never one of my favorite Yes songs, but this version is one of my favorites off of this album.

Perhaps, as one reviewer noted, this was a blatent attempt by Magna Carta to push their stable of artists. But I think the artists featured rose to the challenge and created a tribute worthy of the music of Yes.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic tribute album. 5 Dec. 1998
By ralph williams - Published on
Format: Audio CD
How many reviews have you read which say "such and such a song is worth the price of admission alone". But this time it's true and there are two of them: "Roundabout" by Robert Berry and "Startship Trooper" by Jeronimo Road. These are what cover versions should be all about - not just recreating the original note for note but breathing new life and energy into a song which, as in the case of these two, have probably been played to death by most Yes fans. Sometimes this doesn't work, e.g. Magellan's "Don't Kill The Whale" but it is very refreshing that bands are still progressive enough to give it ago. Most of the other tracks are good as well but special mention should be made to the version of "Turn Of The Century" by Steve Howe and Annie Haslam - it's wonderful and worth the price of admission by itself.
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