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Yes – Extra Tracks (Highland HL633)

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Extra Tracks (Highland HL633)

(46:35):  Close To The Edge (studio run through), High The Memory:  The Remembering (studio run through), Roundabout (backing track)

To coincide with the release of Rhino’s “expanded and remastered” edition of Yes’ catalogue, Highland released this disc of outtakes that were not included on the offiical releases.  The Yes discussion boards have much discussion about the merits of the run-through outtakes.  Obviously some are more interesting than others but no matter what one’s opinion the general consensus is that it is great to hear outtakes from Yes’ long career. 

The first track, “Close To The Edge”, is the most interesting of the three included on Extra Tracks.  It comes from the Close To The Edge sessions between April and June, 1972 at Advision Studios, London.  The opening sound effects and lead guitar are missing, and t he bass, drums, rhythm and keyboards are the ones used for the final take.  Jon Anderson is singing above the backing tracks with an occassional minor alteration in the lyrics.   During the “I Get Up, I Get Down” part Steve Howe’s part is much louder than the final version creating a duet between him and Anderson.

The second track, “The Remembering”, dates from the Tales From Topographic Oceans sessions from Morgan Studios in late 1973.  The drums, bass, keyboards, and both rhythm and lead guitars are identical to the official release.  This outtake has an earlier run through of the lead vocal by Anderson with no variation in the lyrics and omitts the backing vocals althogether.  There are occasional variations in the acoustic guitar accompaniment. 

The most significant difference is found in the keyboard solo by the end which has a much different beginning than the final version.  However this really isn’t very interesting and it is easy to understand why Rhino chose the studio rehearsals for “The Revealing Science Of God” and “The Ancient” for the expanded edition.  Those two are much more interesting but it is still great to finally have this.

An outtake of “Roundabout” was included on Rhino’s release but differed so slightly from the well known recording of the song that one wondered why it was even included.  Highland includes an outtake that is  far more interesting and probably should have been included on the official release instead of the other. This dates from the sessions at Advision studios in September, 1971 right when Rick Wakeman first joined the band. 

Wakeman has said on numerous occasions that “Roundabout” was recorded on his first rehearsal with the band.  It would have been great if this is a tape of that important day but isn’t.  It sounds like Bruford and Anderson in the same room working on the rhythms and lead vocals.  The lead guitar, bass and keyboard sections had already been recorded and fade in and out of the song as needed to help guide the drums along.  The sound quality on all three is excellent and Extra Tracks is definitely recommended.

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