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Yes - Yesterdays CD (album) cover

YESTERDAYS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.09 | 207 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Then

Yesterdays is a very fitting name for this compilation which gathers together tracks from the early days of Yes' career with Peter Banks as the band's guitarist. The sole exception to this is the Simon & Garfunkel cover America which opens this collection. The latter was recorded in 1972 and features Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. Even though it was recorded later than the rest, it fits in very well on Yesterdays because it really sounds as if it came out of an earlier age when Yes used to record covers of other people's songs. By the time of The Yes Album in 1971, however, Yes had moved beyond this embryonic phase of their career and now were focusing exclusively on their own material. In this context, the recording of another cover song at this point constituted a bit of a throwback to the band's earlier days that this compilation primarily celebrates. Hence, America fits in here among the older songs much better than you would expect.

Yes' version of America was first released on a multi-artist, label sampler compilation album called The New Age Of Atlantic in 1972. An edited version of the song was also released as a single in the same year. While the single edit runs for just over four minutes, the full version of the song has a running time of ten and a half minutes. It is the latter, full version that appears on Yesterdays and this is clearly the more interesting version as it develops the song to a much greater extent from the Simon & Garfunkel original. While it doesn't measure up to the band's own songs from this period, it is definitely a song that Yes fans need to hear and the Yesterdays compilation was for a long time the best way to get hold of it. However, it has since been included as a bonus track on the 2003 remastered CD resissue of Fragile.

The bulk of this compilation holds tracks that originally appeared on the band's self-titled 1969 debut album and the 1970 follow-up Time And A Word. If you have those albums there is not much here of interest. The exception is Dear Father, a non-album b-side, only available previously on the Sweet Dreams single. This one too has since been included as a bonus track on the remastered CD version of Time And A Word which makes Yesterdays obsolete.

The cover art of Yesterdays is of course by the amazing Roger Dean who started making the covers for Yes with Fragile and has created many album covers for the band since then. This particular picture is somewhat uncharacteristic of his style in that it has a naked woman floating in the air in an otherwise recognisable Dean background. The art work makes this a valuable collectors item.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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