Tales From Yesterday
Album: Tales from Yesterday
Artist: Various artists
1995 Magna Carta
CD: MA-9003-2 [US]; RR 8914-2 [UK]

Robert Berry: instrumentation (1, 11), vocals (1)
Steve Howe: guitar (1 cadenza), acoustic guitar (5)
Nick D'Virgilio: high vocals (2), drums (2)
Mike Keneally: mid vocals (2), guitars (2)
Kevin Gilbert: low vocals (2), keys (2)
Bryan Beller: bass (2)
Steve Morse: guitar (3, 12)
Trent Gardner: keys (4), vocals (4)
Wayne Gardner: guitars (4), bass (4)
Annie Haslam: vocals (5)
David A Biglin: keys (5)
Mike Baker: vocals (6)
Carl Cadden-James: bass (6)
Brendt Allman: guitars (6)
Carl Wehrkamp: guitars (6), keys (6)
Chris Ingles: keys (6)
Kevin Soffera: drums (6)
Billy Sherwood: bass (7), guitar (7), keys (7), vocals (7)
Jay Schellen: drums (7)
Mark Robertson: Hammond organ (8), Moog (8), piano (8)
Jeff Brockman: drums (8)
Alex Fuhrman: guitars (8)
Bret Douglas: lead vocals (8)
Rob Fordyce: bass (8)
Patrick Moraz: Steinway D Concert Grand Piano (9)
Ted Leonard: vocals (10)
Douglas A Ott: guitars (10), keys (10)
Paul Craddick: drums (10), keys (10)
Ed Platt: bass (10)
Peter Banks: Ibanez Jem 777 guitar (11), Zoom 9002 effects processor (11)
Adam Wakeman: keys (13)
Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith: guitars (13)
Phil Williams: bass (13)
Damian Wilson: vocals (13)
Tony Fernandez: drums (13)

Executive producers: Peter Morticelli/Mike Varney
Produced by Berry (1), Gilbert (2), Magellan (4), Howe (5), Cadden-James (6), Sherwood (7), Brockman/Fuhrman/Robertson (8), Ott/Bob Madsen (10), Banks/Berry (11), Wakeman/Thorneycroft-Smith (13)
Recorded by Sherwood (7), Doug Knowlton (9)
Engineered by Gilbert (2), T Gardner (4), Denny Bridges (5), Brockman/Fuhrman (8), Madsen (10), Koz/Richard Burton (11 lead guitar)
Second engineer: Dennis Hill (2). Additional engineering Cadden-James (5). Assistant engineer: Neil/Bob Wainwright (11 lead guitar)
Mixed by Brockman/Fuhrman (8), Ott/Madsen (10)
Piano tech: Roger Pierce (9). Production coordination: Phyllis Weitzel (9)

Cover painting/logo by Roger Dean
CD design by Roger Dean/Gottlieb Bros./Yes Magazine
Liner notes: Mike Tiano/Jeff Hunnicutt

1. Robert Berry: Roundabout [Anderson/Squire] (7:06)
2. Stanley Snail feat. Kevin Gilbert and Mike Keneally: Siberian Khatru [Anderson/Howe/Wakeman] (8:08)
3. Steve Morse: Mood for a Day [Howe] (2:52)
4. Magellan: Don't Kill the Whale [Anderson/Squire] (6:09)
5. Steve Howe and Annie Haslam: Turn of the Century [Anderson/White/Howe] (6:29)
6. Shadow Gallery: Release, Release [Anderson/White/Squire] (6:19)
7. World Trade: Wonderous Stories [Anderson] (3:48)
8. Cairo: South Side of the Sky [Anderson/Squire] (8:01)
9. Patrick Moraz: Soon [Anderson; arranged by Moraz] (5:25)
10. Enchant: Changes [Rabin/Anderson/White] (6:17)
11. Peter Banks: Astral Traveller [Anderson; arranged by Berry] (7:00)
12. Steve Morse: Clap [Howe] (3:10)
13. Jeronimo Road: Starship Trooper [Anderson/Squire/Howe] (5:35)

Notes: (*****) The first in a series of Magna Carta tribute albums (cf. Supper's Ready for Genesis, The Moon Revisited for Pink Floyd, To Cry You a Song for Jethro Tull, Working Man for Rush, Encores, Legends and Paradox for ELP, Subdivisions also for Rush et al.) and one of the more successful, Tales from Yesterday was an interesting experiment and, I think, a very successful one. It combined bands signed to Magna Carta (Magellan, Shadow Gallery, Cairo, Enchant, World Trade) with appearances by individuals connected to Yes (Billy Sherwood before he joined the band, Rick Wakeman's son Adam) and even members of the band itself (Howe, Moraz, Banks).

Stanley Snail was a made-up band named after a mishearing of the lyrics to "Siberian Khatru" (Gold stainless nail being heard as Go Stanley snail) featuring frequent collaborators and Yes fans Gilbert, Keneally, D'Virgilio and Beller. Steve Howe and Annie Haslam have long been trying to work together, but this recording remains their only readily-available release. Although credited to Peter Banks, "Astral Traveller" was a distance collaboration with Robert Berry, a stalwart of Magna Carta's tribute albums. Berry arranged and recorded the track, leaving Banks free reign to record his part over the top. Berry also got Steve Howe, who he had worked with in an abortive GTR line-up, to guest on his version of "Roundabout".

Some tracks follow the original material closely. We have a somewhat pointless pair of Howe solo pieces performed by Steve Morse. More successful is the wonderful version of "Turn of the Century" by Howe/Haslam. "Siberian Khatru" is also a treat, which a surprise middle section taken from Bruford's "The Sahara of Snow" (from One of a Kind). Other pieces are more radical re-workings. Moraz' "Soon" is an instrumental piano piece based on the "Soon" theme. Banks and Berry do interesting things with "Astral Traveller". Some of the less promising material is the most interesting, with unusual renditions of "Release, Release" and a punk "Don't Kill the Whale". I like the whole album save the final track, an abysmal version of "Starship Trooper". Said final track was by Adam Wakeman's then new band Jeronimo Road, their first studio recording. The band had wanted to do "Roundabout", but the track had already been taken. Their version of "Starship Trooper" was re-released on their Live at the Orange album. (HP, 11 Apr 2006)

Alternate review: An album of highs and lows. This Yes tribute album really makes you appreciate the original versions of these songs. Don't even bother listening to Adam Wakeman's band Jeronimo Road's "Starship Trooper" unless you want to lose your lunch. It is that bad! Steve Morse falls very short in imitating Howe on his classics, "Clap" and "Mood for a Day." Magellan's "Don't Kill the Whale" is real bad. However, there are some real excellent renditions here. Robert Berry's "Roundabout" is a refreshing change. Stanley Snail's "Siberian Khatru" sounds very close to the original. Billy Sherwood does an excellent job on "Wonderous Stories". Peter Banks' "Astral Traveller" is a different look which is very  interesting. The real gem here is Steve Howe and Annie Haslam's "Turn of the Century", which is very beautiful, even if the middle section was cut out. Clearly a mixed bag on this one. (**) (MP, 1996)

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