61938-2 Symphonic Music of Yes
Produced by Steve Howe & David Palmer
Released on October 26, 1993
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
61938-2 cover  

T his is actually something of a hybrid: a skeletal version of Yes plays live in the studio alongside orchestral accompaniment, so the final product feels like a live Yes album scaled back for a smaller venue and fleshed out with an orchestra. Those who expected a serious musical discussion based on the band’s clever and complex motifs will be disappointed with what amounts to Yes in Pepperland. Granted, most of these songs would sound good played on a kazoo, but extended works like “Close to the Edge” and “Heart of the Sunrise” are ripe for a serious reinterpretation, and the decision to merely add strings to the originals is a missed opportunity. On the quieter tracks, however, David Palmer and the London Philharmonic become equal partners in the musical dialogue, which provides a somewhat fresh perspective to old nuggets like “Mood for a Day,” “Soon” (which is given a Moody Blues treatment here), “Survival” and “Wonderous Stories.” It’s on the latter track especially that you realize Yes has contributed some timeless melodies to the musical canon. On the rock side of the equation, Steve Howe is his usual brilliant self, Tim Harries is impressive replacing the seemingly irreplaceable Chris Squire, and Jon Anderson reprises his role on a handful of songs. The presence of Bill Bruford, which would ordinarily be a cause for celebration, is instead a distraction here, since his original drum parts simply don’t mesh with the orchestra. In fact, despite the presence of a qualified cast on both sides of the boards and a legitimate label (RCA Victor), it’s unclear if the parties involved had a shared final vision for what this would sound like. What remains is an unnecessary exercise that recycles their back catalog yet again.


  1. ROUNDABOUT    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe)    6:09
  2. CLOSE TO THE EDGE    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe)    7:38
    i. Solid Time of Change
    ii. Total Mass Retain
    iii. I Get Up, I Get Down
    iv. Seasons of Man
  3. WONDEROUS STORIES    (Jon Anderson)    3:51
  4. I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE    (Chris Squire)    3:48
  5. MOOD FOR A DAY    (Steve Howe)    3:01
  6. OWNER OF A LONELY HEART    (Trevor Rabin/Jon Anderson/Chris Squire/Trevor Horn)    4:42
  7. SURVIVAL    (Jon Anderson)    4:15
  8. HEART OF THE SUNRISE    (Jon Anderson/Chris Squire/Bill Bruford)    7:47
  9. SOON    (Jon Anderson)    6:15
  10. STARSHIP TROOPER    7:16
    i. Lifeseeker    (Jon Anderson)
    ii. Wurm    (Steve Howe)


STEVE HOWE -- acoustic & electric guitars, dobro, mandolin, steel guitar, backing vocals, mixing
DAVID PALMER -- arranger, conductor, grand piano, synthesizer, vocoder, mixing
Jon Anderson -- vocals
Julian Colbeck -- Hammond organ
The English Chamber Orchestra -- orchestra
The London Community Gospel Choir -- vocals
Keith West -- backing vocals
Ian Anderson -- engineer
Mark Flannery -- engineer, mixing
Stan Lubieres -- additional engineering, mixing
Alan Parsons -- orchestral producer & engineer
Pete Smith -- executive producer
Steve Vining -- executive producer
Judy Teener -- art director
Roger Dean -- cover painting
Michael Smallcombe -- photographs

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US October 26, 1993 RCA Victor CD 61938 picture sleeve


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