Exposé Online banner

Various Artists — Tales from Yesterday
(Magna Carta MA-9003-2, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Tales from Yesterday Cover art

With the blessing of original artwork by Roger Dean and performances included by three Yes alumni, this one contains a little bit of everything – some of the more 'faithful' covers, some that add their own brand of fire to the old material, and a few that take it into totally new directions. In the latter category, you can include all of the Yes people: Moraz delivers a beautiful and emotional solo piano version of "Soon," Steve Howe's guitars team up with Annie Haslam's vocals for a stunning rendition of "Turn of the Century," and Peter Banks' scorching seven minute instrumental take of "Astral Traveler" gives the old song a complete facelift and sends it soaring skyward. Also in the latter category is Robert Berry's rip-rockin rendition of "Roundabout," so original that it was a minute into the song before I knew what it was! Berry, while maintaining Anderson's vocal style, has given the song's rhythm a completely new life.

Adding fire and punch to the originals are Stanley Snail – essentially Mike Keneally and Kevin Gilbert – with a high powered take of "Siberian Khatru," and Billy Sherwood (AKA World Trade) with a warm and majestic version of "Wonderous Stories." Steve Morse's versions of "The Clap" and "Mood for a Day" are pretty faithful to the originals – I'm sure guitar fanatics will hear some differences, but... Cairo's "South Side of the Sky" adds little to the original, but it's a decent enough performance. Shadow Gallery's "Release Release" is delivered with that trademark Magna Carta heavy prog-metal with gated-drums sound, and Mike Baker's vocals add to its originality, at least when he's not trying to sound like a full chorus of Andersons. Magellan's "Don't Kill the Whale" and Enchant's "Changes" suffer from a poor choice of material – like are those two of the worst songs Yes ever recorded or what? Why not "Sound Chaser" for Enchant (I know their drummer could cut it) and maybe "Yours Is No Disgrace" for Magellan, rather than this watered down post Going for the One junk? These, and the closer – "Starship Trooper" by Geronimo Road – Adam Wakeman's group, are the only things on the album that might even be considered substandard, the latter if only for Damian Wilson's wretched vocal treatment, even the younger Wakeman's brilliant keyboard wizardry can't save it. Nonetheless, the strengths of this album outweigh the weaknesses, and this is probably the best of these various-artist tributes that I've heard so far. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Howe, Yes, Annie Haslam, Mike Keneally, Peter Banks, Kevin Gilbert, Patrick Moraz, Billy Sherwood, Various Artists, Enchant, Magellan, Cairo, Robert Berry, Steve Morse, Nick D'Virgilio (NDV)

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cul de Sac - Ecim – This four-piece from Massachusetts offers a free-wheeling neo-psychedelic sound that finds itself at home somewhere between current bands bands like Porcupine Tree, and the experimental music of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues