VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Tales From Yesterday... A View From the South Side of the Sky (Magna Carta)

For nearly 30 years now (and almost as many members), Yes has been a leader in the realm of progressive music - both as a group, and in side projects outside the band. In this age of tribute albums, it seems inevitable that someone would put something together to pay homage to the band. Magna Carta Records has done just that on the recent release, Tales From Yesterday. Peter Morticelli and Mike Varney did an excellent job producing the CD, which features covers of 13 classic tracks. Roger Dean, cover artist for several Yes albums and a host of other progressive rock artists, did the artwork on the booklet.

The best thing about Tales is that it includes performances by some of the band members themselves. Steve Howe contributes the guitar credenza on "Roundabout", and performs "Turn of the Century" with former Renaissance vocalist, Annie Haslam. Patrick Moraz's solo performance of "Soon" was a highlight on his recent solo tour, and is included here on the CD as well. Original Yes guitarist, Peter Banks, gives an instrumental version of "Astral Traveler". Adam Wakeman (Rick's son), shows off his keyboard prowess on Jeronimo Road's version of "Starship Trooper". The song is a bit heavy handed at times, but you can definitely tell Adam had a good teacher.

The majority of the other songs on Tales are excellent. There are a few that don't work, such as Magellan's take on Don't Kill the Whale". Aside from that, this is a great disc. Steve Morse turns in faithful renditions of "Mood For a Day" and "Clap" (commonly mislabeled as 'The' Clap). Stanley Snail dishes up an amazing version of "Siberian Khatru". I heard this version of the song on the radio and swore it was Yes, until the piano solo came in. It's that good. Cairo does an excellent job on the epic "South Side of the Sky" as well. If you're even remotely a Yes fan, you'll love this CD.

© 1996 Steve Marshall