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Revolution: The Music Roots Of Yes (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This gets placed under progressive rock strictly because of the Yes connections. Along with the CD that I reviewed in this issue, this record collects a number of pre-Yes pieces from various members of the band. It's certainly worth having for the historical point of view. The record itself seems to be quality. It plays well, and I actually rather like the flow of the songs in this order. The thing is, the packaging is pretty shoddy. From a misspelled album title to the fact that they don't even list who the real artists are on the songs, they could have done a better job with this. At least on the CD set that included the artist names for the tracks. Still, I'm glad to add this to my collection, but it seems pretty obvious that it's un-official and un-authorized release. I should note that I've modified the track reviews from that CD review for use here for the sake of consistency, and I added the artists in.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2023  Volume 4 More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Side A
The In Crowd (W/ Steve Howe)
Why Must They Criticize

A bit like The Byrds, this is a classy 1960s rock and roller. It should be noted that I've spelled the title on this correctly, but it's listed on the cover as "Why Must They Critize."

I Don't Mind
This is a slow grind with a lot of character. The vocal performance is very much in keeping with something from the Animals, but this has such a powerful texture that it works better than most. Howe gets in some extremely tasty (if not overly trademark) guitar soloing.
Happy Magazine (w. Alan White)
Keep On Dancin’ With Me

Bouncy and playful, this is very much typical 1960s pop rock. It has some definite jazz elements in the mix.

The Climb
Another 1960s pop rocker, this rocks out pretty well for the time. I'm not enthused about the vocals, but the retro instrumental groove is classy.
Twilight Time
Here we get a 1950s groove. The horn arrangement adds something to it, but overall this is just what I would call competent. That said, there are some weird timing changes.
Here we get more of a retro ballad. The drumming on the tune really does stand out, as does the organ. The vocals sound a bit like Elvis Presley.
Tomorrow (W/ Steve Howe)

The opening on this is pretty weird, but the chorus is quite catchy and the track definitely has its moments. There’s some trademark Howe guitar work on this.

Side B
Keith West (W/ Steve Howe)
Shy Boy

Playful, most of the lyrics on this one are in German. This has a great shuffling groove. It's a tasty 1960s jam.

The Warriors (W/ Jon Anderson)
You Came Along

I dig this rock and roller quite a bit. Don't expect Jon Anderson to be doing the lead vocals. I can hear him in the background, though.

Happy Magazine (w. Alan White)

This is more of a 50s rock and roller. I dig the jazz parts of it quite a bit, but it's mostly a by-the-numbers kind of thing.

Hans Christian (Jon Anderson)
Mississippi Hobo

This is a trippy sounding piece. It has a lot of psychedelia in the mix. Anderson sounds lower than what I expect from him. This is solid and intriguing in its arrangement.

Happy Magazine (w. Alan White)
Lost And Alone

This is more of a doo wop 50s tune. It's nothing Earth shattering, but this balladic piece works pretty well.

Bucketful Of Love
A bouncy retro rocker, this is a lot of fun. It is a standout tune.
Syndicats (W/ Steve Howe

This is a classic 1960s sounding interpretation of a Chuck Berry standard. The harmonica lends a cool texture to this. There is nothing Earth-shattering about this, but it's a fun rocker.

True To Me
A mellower old school rock and roll song, this one doesn’t do a lot for me. It’s never really been my kind of music and there’s no guitar solo or anything like that to save it.


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