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Old 01-03-2023, 06:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
Speaking of psychedelia, you folks ever heard Howe's previous band's big hit?




Pretty cool how Howe's unique style is already easily discernible in 67.
I had that album not even knowing Howe had been in the band. Great paisley pop.
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Old 01-03-2023, 08:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I like your thread title, Trollheart, and your ambition in going for the discography of a band that you have mixed feelings about. I'll be following your thread with interest - which is either a gesture of encouragement or a veiled threat, I haven't quite decided which.

Regarding the first album you've reviewed, may I make plea on behalf of this track?:-

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“Every Little Thing”
Sadly, a second cover version, and by a rather obvious band to cover in 1969, the Beatles. I don’t know the song, but that kind of doesn’t matter, because where there are cover versions I’m just going to gloss over them. Musicianship is undeniable and I suppose how you cover a song is important in one way, but not to my appreciation of Yes, or the lack of it.
What I like about this: Nothing
What I don’t like about this: It’s another cover, too guitar-driven, too frenetic, too long and I’m no fan of the Beatles
Having listened to a bunch of blues music, I'm probably more used to tolerating cover versions than you seem to be, TH. I judge a cover version by what it brings musically to the original table, and this track by Yes, scores in spades.
It could be said that Yes didn't explore very far by doing a Beatles song, but I think they chose well; an often overlooked song with a delicate melody. And this is no slavish copy of the type that many bands were offering their fans at the time. In fact, for the first 1 min 45 seconds, there's no hint of the original song, then in quick succession, Yes plays about 9 secs of Every Little Thing, then 9 secs of Ticket to Ride which morphs straight back into Every Little Thing. And so it continues, with the band stamping the song with various bits of their own, like tempo changes that were not in the original, as well as constantly tweaking the original melody. They fleshed out the song with sounds that would soon to became Yes trademarks.
To me, Yes have done a great job of revitalising a song from 1964, freshening it up for a new audience, and at the same time buiding a neat bridge from the older pop of The Beatles to their own particular style of more modern prog. In that sense, it's like a bold statement of intent from Yes, and a stellar choice for their debut album.
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Old 01-04-2023, 03:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I really enjoy the covers on the first album, they took two songs from the Beatles and Byrds that usually get forgotten and breathed new life into them. I also love their completely bonkers cover of Simon and Garfunkel's America, they take it in so many crazy directions it just barely resembles the original song, those are the kinda covers I like, faithful covers are boring, get sacrilegious.
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Old 01-04-2023, 06:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I take your point. You can have it back when you start behaving.
Thing is, I don't know much of the Beatles' music outside of their singles, so whether it was a good or bad cover would not make itself apparent to me, and so I wouldn't/couldn't give them points for it. I did mention in my previous review of the album in the Prog History thread about the "Daytripper" thing, but here, to me, it doesn't matter. I'm looking for original material from a new band, and covers, for me, don't cut it.

i want to see what the band can write, not what they can cleverly copy or amend or interpret. Overall, I'm not a fan of covers, but definitely not on the first album. Just me. I mean, they probably did a great version of the Byrds' song too, but how do I know, not being a Byrds fan? (They're for the... no, I won't say it) All I can go on is that it IS a cover, and therefore, to me, on a debut album, wasted space, where the band could have instead written another song. It may not be a popular opinion, but that's mine. Don't give me covers on your first album, and ideally not too many at all unless they're like bonus tracks or you're marking some anniversary maybe.
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Old 01-04-2023, 06:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Fair enough, Trollheart! And thanks for discreetly putting me right, from Ticket To Ride to Daytripper.

It's an interesting point you raise about cover songs on debut albums. Are the artists saying "We don't have enough of our own ideas for even one album" or are they saying "Give us a minute to honour our influences and find our feet, please." I tend to the second interpretation, in part because of how common it is for artists to have a cover or two on their debut albums. That's artists in general; perhaps in prog the expectations are a little different.
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Old 01-04-2023, 08:35 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I tend to the second interpretation,
Agreed. Thing to keep in mind is that the label 'prog' wasn't even around when Yes's debut hit. They weren't aware of any sort of 'prog' rules to follow cause there weren't any.
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Old 01-04-2023, 08:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Don't give me covers on your first album, and ideally not too many at all unless they're like bonus tracks or you're marking some anniversary maybe.
It was a really common practice back then for unknown new bands. Often under pressure (or orders) from their record labels.

Your personal preferences aside, it should not be considered a negative in hindsight IMO.
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Old 01-04-2023, 10:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I'm not necessarily calling it a negative, but if you're trying to evaluate a band on the basis of their debut album I feel it's better to have new material, their material. Would I, for instance, have considered Rory Gallagher's debut great if it had been an album of mostly blues covers? What? It is? Ah now stop messin' with me, it isn't. But if it had been, I might not have been so enthusiastic about him, not that I came to his music from the debut anyway.
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Old 01-04-2023, 10:25 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Some artists do a lot of covers but they always make them their own, Grace Jones is my favorite example.
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Old 01-04-2023, 10:30 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Doing covers was mostly a hallmark of the times. The Beatles and Stones both started off doing a lot of them, and even into the late 60s there were heavy psychedelic bands like Vanilla Fudge and Blue Cheer that got a lot of success reinterpreting older songs. So it made sense for an unknown band like Yes to include something familiar for the audience of the times.
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