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Yes

America (single) (Vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

Lately I’ve been breaking our old rule at Music Street Journal. For years we refused to review out of print items. That’s because it didn’t really make much sense to tell someone how great something was if they couldn’t get it. Well, with Amazon.com and eBay most things can be found these days, and often at good prices. So, that rule just didn’t make a lot of sense anymore. This single is probably mostly of interest to real Yes fanatics like myself and mostly for the edited section from “Close to the Edge” that serves as Side B. I’ve already reviewed the A Side and I’ll include that review here for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side A
America
Yes' cover of Paul Simon's piece, this one feels more like older Yes in many ways, seeming like it might have felt quite at home on one of the Banks era albums. It is a solid reworking of the song, and the group finds plenty of opportunities to shine here.
Side B
Total Mass Retain
This edit from “Close to the Edge” seems quite different on the introduction. It’s like they tacked the opening part of the song to it. That makes sense, though because coming into this from nowhere would have seemed abrupt without it. How do you turn a nearly 19 minute song into a three-plus minute single? You do it by taking just one section from the piece and presenting it. This is still quite effective this way. Sure, it suffers taken out of context and that odd tack on at the beginning is strange, but otherwise, this is a cool little oddity.
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