Yes/America

 

Yes onstage '78 tour? Looks to be post Bruford.

Yes onstage early '70's. Looks to be post Bruford.

This is a fantastic piece of music. I’ve managed to avoid the original, by Simon & Garfunkel, so far. The song itself is a little dated, no one has to look for America anymore. It’s the same strip malls full of chain restaurants and stores everywhere.

I have the compilation, “New Age Of Atlantic”, on which this originally appeared .  It’s another Malibu house fire survivor. This particular file is a bonus track on the latest edition of “Fragile”.
I lifted the following from Sakalli music blogspot, and it is obviously the same source as wiki, it’s word for word in places, except there it’s stated this came from a session between “Fragile” and “Close to the Edge”. The liner notes on the cd do nothing to clear this up. I’m going with the version included here. Nothing like a little controversy. Keep the comments flowing.

Tony Kaye was replaced by the classically-trained Rick Wakeman, who had just left Strawbs, and proved to be the last piece in the puzzle of the ultimately best line-up of the band. As a soloist, Wakeman proved to be a good foil for Steve Howe. He also brought two vital additions to the group’s instrumentation: the Mellotron (which Kaye had been unwilling to employ) and the Minimoog synthesizer. Surrounded by banks of keyboards, Wakeman’s flowing blond hair and sequened cape provided a strong visual focus on stage.

The first recording by this lineup (Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire and Wakeman) was a dynamic ten-minute interpretation of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”, which originally appeared on a compilation album (“New Age Of Atlantic” 1972). The mellotron work (end of track) was actually played by Bruford. It was both the end of one era (their last non-original track) and the beginning of another, showcasing all the elements of the new Yes sound in place.

America

5 thoughts on “Yes/America

  1. Buzz Baby Jesus,
    I didn’t know you were such a Prog Junkie! I still need to hear this kind of stuff a couple times a year. A lot of my LP’s are in storage and when I saw a CD copy of Tales From Topographic Oceans in the store recently, I scooped it up and sheepishly took it up to the cashier, afraid of the scrutiny I would endure.
    I saw these guys about five times in the 70′s …one time we almost got killed coming back from San Diego after seeing them play the “Tales” show. There was a high speed chase on the freeway. This big blue pickup truck that was being chased by the cops went out of control just after it went speeding super fucking fast past my car. It hit another car and they both bounced off the center divider and spread wreckage back across the road. There was a fiery pile-up of about ten cars happening all around us. Tires bouncing around…sparks everywhere. I was driving and couldn’t see shit through the windshield because it was covered in glass and rusty radiator fluid from some other vehicle but I kept going faster trying to dodge all the shit and cars flipping over. My car was the only one that made it through the four-lane wide pile-up. My two passengers and I got out after parking on the shoulder and stood there in silence and watched a car that was burning. I’m sure there were fatalities…it was a real mess. There were about 15 Cherry-Tops whirling there on the freeway in about two minutes. No one could have dreamed up such an encore to the great show we had just been to an hour earlier.
    Don’t be afraid of the original version of America. It’s beautiful.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAoArleLZEk
    Drive safe!

  2. Prog was the shit back in the day. You had guys who could really play, making what they thought was quality music. As much fun as punk was, on retrospect it was really the beginning of the end.

  3. I just listened to the original and it’s beautiful. Any song with leslied guitar works for me.

  4. Yeah I believe this photo (Chris Squire in zebra suit!) is from the 77 tour with Donovan opening. One of my first concerts, Pavillon de Paris December 1977.

  5. “New Age of Atlantic” was a great sampler. Only place you could find this cut AND the killer acoustic Led Zep b-side “Hey Hey What Can I Say”. Also “Motel Blues” by Loudon Wainright III (my introduction to his music)

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