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Thread: Yes - Onion or Union?

  1. #1
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    Yes - Onion or Union?

    In the last week we saw some discussion on Yes-s Union and some people suggesting another playlist to make it
    a better album. So let's call the original "Onion", to quote a famous Yes member. How would you make it to be a solid "Union"?

    Here's my playlist and some comments:

    First, let's start with the outstanding tracks. There are three on this album:

    Shock to the System - Great ABWH Track
    The More We Live/Let Go - Fantastic Billy Sherwood track, the best he ever did
    Angkor Wat - Fantastic ambient Anderson track. Best track on the album, really!!

    And now for the Onions (tracks that make you cry, in a bad way):
    Masquerade - OK, I just don't like Howe solo tracks on a Yes album and certainly not this one
    Saving My Heart / Miracle Of Life / Lift Me up - Some interesting intros, but then really annoying simple tunes
    Evensong - Now what is this?

    This is my "Union" playlist and I rate it 4 solid stars:

    1. I Would have waited forever
    2. Shock to the system
    3. Without hope you can not start the day
    4. Silent Talking

    5. The more we live let go
    6. Angkor Wat
    7. Holding On
    8. Give and take

    As a bonus track "Axis of Love" would be great.

  2. #2
    I think Miracle of Life is a fantastic song.

    I bought a BMG music version a few years back called "Re-Union" that shaves it down to 10 songs. They leave off Dangerous, Ankor Wat, evensong, and, unfortunetly, Take the Water. It gives the album a much better flow. I would have jettisoned Saving My Heart and replaced it with Take the Water.

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    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought of was, "we need another Yes thread".
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  5. #5
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    Onion. A few songs could be saved if they were rearranged and rerecorded. I liked it at the time but haven't played it in years. The new album is miles better

    Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Here is my edited version:



    00:00 I Would Have Waited Forever
    06:45 Shock To The System *
    11:53 Georgia's Theme *
    14:36 Lift Me Up
    18:39 Without Hope You Cannot Start The Day
    23:57 Miracle Of Life
    28:50 Evensong
    30:23 Silent Talking
    35:04 The More We Live - Let Go *
    39:55 Masquerade
    43:03 Give And Take
    47:11 Angkor Wat
    51:27 Holding On
    56:23 To The Stars
    61:45 Dangerous (bonus)

    All tracks edited & remastered, except for tracks with an asterisk (*), which were remastered but not edited.

    Edit notes:

    'I Would Have Waited Forever' is mixed with Steve Howe's 'Sensitive Chaos'.

    'Georgia's Theme' by Steve Howe is included here as it is rumoured to be one of the alternative solo acoustic tracks written for the album.

    'Without Hope You Cannot Start The Day' uses the intro from the Arista promo version of the song which features guitars instead of piano, extra backing vocal layers, and other variances, and also mixes in some sections from Steve Howe's 'backing track' version of the song from Anthology 2.

    'Evensong' is extended using soundboard recordings of the drum & chapman stick duets from the AWBH tour that the song evolved from.

    'Silent Talking' is mixed with Steve Howe's 'The Inner Battle'.

    'Masquerade' is mixed with the full-band version by Asia, taken from Steve Howe's Anthology 2.

    'To The Stars' is made from two AWBH 'Dialogue' demos - 'Instrumental I' and 'To The Stars', merged and accompanied with my own additional keyboard (synth strings & rhodes) and bass guitar parts, along with layering on the drum track to increase its fidelity.

    'Dangerous' is edited and mixed with Steve Howe's 'backing track' version from Anthology 2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought of was, "we need another Yes thread".
    Yes, and one that attempts to apply revisionist engineering for a previous album that stood on it's own at the time, the good, bad and ugly.

    Here's an idea, let's look on the fruity side of things as opposed to the veggies and take the album Tormato from 1978 and rename it Tomato, with reediting, remixing and all that balderdash. For instance, we could take tracks like "Machine Messiah" and "Into The Lens" as well as some of the bonus tracks from the 2004 release of Drama and substitute those for lesser cuts like "Madrigal" and "Arriving UFO" to form a new and exciting Yes album!

    Or, we could just leave it as it was/is and accept the fact that albums like "Union" and "Tormato" just didn't make it to the produce section of your local supermarket before their freshness date expired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    Or, we could just leave it as it was/is and accept the fact that albums like "Union" and "Tormato" just didn't make it to the produce section of your local supermarket before their freshness date expired.
    Yes, we could leave them as is but why? I think my post from a few weeks back was one of those the OP was referring to about making a new, edited version of Union. By simply deleting a few songs and re-sequencing I was able to make a damn enjoyable Yes album from one that I previously hated.

    I find it interesting that the OP has used some different tunes in his edit. I'll try it as a playlist and see how I like it. Here is mine, from my post of a few weeks back:

    "side one"
    Lift Me Up
    Miracle of Life
    Silent Talking
    Masquerade
    Evensong

    "side two"
    I Would Have Waited Forever
    More We Live/Let Go
    Shock to the System
    Take the Water to the Mountain

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    Mod or rocker? Mocker. Frumious B's Avatar
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    What I would really love to have is a pristine transfer of the Arista promo cassette with the early mixes.
    "It was a cruel song, but fair."-Roger Waters

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    Never have the following words been more apt.

    You cannot polish a turd.

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    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought of was, "we need another Yes thread".
    No. That said...


    Union
    Side 1
    1. I Would Have Waited Forever
    2. Holding On
    3. Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day
    4. Take the Water to the Mountain
    5. Lift Me Up

    Side 2
    1. Shock to the System
    2. Dangerous
    3. The More We Live - Let Go
    4. Miracle of Life

    Onion
    1. Masquerade (not a bad piece, just out of place on the album)
    2. Saving My Heart (ugh)
    3. Angkor Wat (Might have worked better as a 2 minute track)
    4. Evensong (Like Angkor and Masquerade, might have worked better on a different themed album)
    5. Silent Talking (Feels like a blend of ideas that didn't quite meld)
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  12. #12
    I agree with the prevailing wind here.
    With some careful editing and perhaps different mixing, this album could have easily stood up against Tormato or Drama.
    I find I enjoy listening to it, but somehow never make it to the end.

    I think he biggest regret of this period is not doing more with Keys to Ascension. Mind Drive is a phenomenal track but it is lost somewhat among more average material and the live cuts.

    Tormato is another example of a shit running order and one god-awful track ruining an album.
    Last edited by rael74; 1 Week Ago at 01:33 PM.
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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    I think it's improved over the years. At least they were somewhat youthful and energetic on it. Some of what came later makes Union seem much better in comparison.

  14. #14
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I think it's improved over the years. At least they were somewhat youthful and energetic on it. Some of what came later makes Union seem much better in comparison.
    Succinctly well put.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

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    compared to the new one Union is a masterpiece that will be remembered in a thousand years....

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    Shallot.

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    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    No. That said...


    Union
    Side 1
    1. I Would Have Waited Forever
    2. Holding On
    3. Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day
    4. Take the Water to the Mountain
    5. Lift Me Up

    Side 2
    1. Shock to the System
    2. Dangerous
    3. The More We Live - Let Go
    4. Miracle of Life

    Onion
    1. Masquerade (not a bad piece, just out of place on the album)
    2. Saving My Heart (ugh)
    3. Angkor Wat (Might have worked better as a 2 minute track)
    4. Evensong (Like Angkor and Masquerade, might have worked better on a different themed album)
    5. Silent Talking (Feels like a blend of ideas that didn't quite meld)
    I thought my sarcasm was well veiled behind a laughing emoticon said the laughing frog to the fish.
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post
    What I would really love to have is a pristine transfer of the Arista promo cassette with the early mixes.
    What is supposed to be different about these?

  19. #19
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I thought my sarcasm was well veiled behind a laughing emoticon said the laughing frog to the fish.
    Some things you just don't joke about.

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    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Some things you just don't joke about.
    I know...sacred ground and all that..even this guy knows better!goober.jpg
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post
    What I would really love to have is a pristine transfer of the Arista promo cassette with the early mixes.


    Just a remaster of the existing version but a lot clearer IMO.

  22. #22
    Mod or rocker? Mocker. Frumious B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    What is supposed to be different about these?
    Some of the tracks are about the same, but some have some very striking differences. For example “Take The Water To The Mountain” is about two minutes longer from the Arista promo with an instrumental section that was cut from the finished album. Generally speaking if you are into Bruford and Levin then I would say they are more present on the promo mixes. The two main bootlegs where you can hear this stuff are The Perfect Union and Master Of Dream. There’s also the SARM demos which are early versions of the ABWH tracks which actually have Howe and Wakeman on them. Here’s the SARM demo of “Silent Talking”.

    "It was a cruel song, but fair."-Roger Waters

  23. #23
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I think it's improved over the years. At least they were somewhat youthful and energetic on it. Some of what came later makes Union seem much better in comparison.
    I concur with this as well. I'll never fully understand the cricism it gets. Sure, it was a hodgepodge and put together in a sloppy way but most of the individual songs work well in accordance with what Yes was doing at the time despite the lack of cohesiveness. I would have waited forever, miracle of life, the more we live, shock to the system, silent talking, take the water to the mountain and a few others are good songs.
    When you list all the qualities that you despise and you realize you're describing yourself.

  24. #24
    One thing I would have done is I would have put the acapella intro from the single mix of Lift Me Up on the album version. OK, you know how the intro on the album fades in, with the drum machine and Rabin's little cadenza thing there, before the live drums (at least I think it's live drums) and bass come in? OK, I'd ditch that intro, I'd have it start with the acapella intro then cut to the full band part of the intro, without the fade in or the cadenza. In fact, I actually did that myself, splicing the two tracks together in Audacity. Sounded great.

  25. #25
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post
    Here’s the SARM demo of “Silent Talking”.
    That is really interesting. I hear a lot more Yes on that than on anything from the finished album.

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