Monday, 26 March 2018


The "me" of course is Trevor Horn who is along with Geoff Downes the source of two pieces on Yes's 2011 C.D. Well two pieces is a little of an understatement one of them is the side long suite of songs which gives the C.D. its title. 

Whereas the other music has been given a remix and the vocal tracks are offered in three part unison, so Trevor's input has little impact, Trevor moving up from guide vocalist behind Benoit David to sing the two songs himself offers a quite different emotional resonance to the David sung tracks. 

Trevor's vocal performance is much more instinctive than the original, he really owns the emotional narrative of the two pieces indeed some lyrics have been changed. Put simply you can feel his passion, Trevor owns the journey. 

"Life On A Film Set" is now less self consciously metaphorical and more humanist and direct which really suits the material as it is sung in 2011 and not with the self consciousness artiness of 1981. The change of lyrics for the third verse move from allegory to emotionally descriptive. 


The new lyrics are not reflected in the recital in the booklet.

There are other changes the remix gives the music more presence and life but also some of the arrangements have been tidied up particularly the transitions on the suite. Probably most changed is "Sad Night on the Airfield" in some ways it is more emotionally sophisticated with additional instrumental insights and a more complex vocal arrangement but it lacks some of the direct majesty of the original and Steve's slide playing. Like the first song movement it is shorter than the original. However at an organisational level the small changes to the sections of the remaining large scale piece gives it more momentum as it moves through the final four sections. One definite and obvious improvement is to the reprise, Steve's Guitar work is more out there and wired, so that the final section crescendos with more impact rather than simply offering a levelling off and end, it really does summit before concluding.    

"Hour of Need" is the Japanese version and we have an additional track which reminds me of the dilemma of working for two bands. The new piece penned by Steve could easily fit onto Phoenix or Omega (Asia) and as it distracts from the clarity of the original vision of the CD (H/D plus a Steve Solo, a Chris Song, a Steve song and one group effort). I think Trevor was wise to leave it off. Returning to "Hour of Need" I prefer the song version I do not feel giving it a three movement feel makes it more than the sum of its two parts (the intro and outro are connected) or puts it up their with "Children of Light" which with its restored intro is a genuine 3 part Yes "piece' where the sum is greater than the parts.

I think Trevor performance on the two H/D pieces is sufficient cause to have and enjoy the alternative and I would have preferred another re recording of a 1981 H/D piece rather than the other extras. 

To return to the remaining non H/D pieces they benefit from a warmer more engaging mix with subtle changes, a more attacking guitar in "T.M.Y.A.W.M.T.B.", an extra acoustic counterpoint in "Hour of Need" a closer more direct vocal by Chris on "Into the Storm" In the latter piece a definite improvement is Trevor's "Armies of Angels" sung in Trevor's English voice rather than Benoit's Mystery Voice which is at odds with everything else where he sings in a received English pronunciation.  

The remix then is intellectually fascinating, the extra music not a real benefit but Trevor's performances on his two self penned pieces make it indispensable for this listener. 

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