Here is my take on the album:
I was pleasantly surprised- as a long time YES fan and a keyboard player I was not too sure I would like this album. When I first played it all the way through I just didn't get a good feeling about the music. It just wasn't an album that gave me the "ebb and flow" I look foward to with YES albums.
When I remixed my favorite songs (FOR PERSONAL USE SO DON'T CALL THE LAWYERS
) I had an incredible album on my hands. In these days of CD's- instead of having to fill 40 -45 minutes on a tape or LP like days of old, I think the band had to include "filler songs" that were, in my opinion, very weak and not up to the usual Yes standards.
My problem with tracks 3,,7 and 10 (Don't Go, Soft As A Dove, Time is Time) was that they just didn't fit into the whole. They really were not songs suitable for a symphonic Yes album.
They seem like leftovers from previous efforts...Don't Go and parts of the title track seem like old catalogue stuff Squire had laying around from the 80's when Yes was infected with Rabinitis (sorry I just didn't care for the "pop star" Yes line-up and music).
Played individually the songs are ok but I think that it took away from the other tracks- just as the listener is being carried away into a musical journey they are sidetracked with tracks that have Anderson singing without the passion you hear in the other, more powerful tracks.
While I didn't include track 5 in my mix, a lead vocal song by Squire called Can You Imagine, it is still (again played individually) a good track that proves that Chris can do more then sing back up vocals.
So my mix included:
Side One- Magnification
Spirit of Survival
Give Love Each Day
(I mixed this so it is like one complete song- the same as Close To The Edge or Gates of Delirium is) Dreamtime
In the Presence Of
(I skipped the droning first section) ii-death of ego
iii- true beginner
iv- turn around and remember
Were there no such thing as CD's and albums still ran 40-45 minutes this line up of songs...especially my side two mix would have been hailed as the 21st century's classic Yes album.
Without this ebb and flow- where one song naturally progresses into the next without a curve ball being thrown in, this album didn't get as much recognition as I think it should have- nestled in between the crapola are some real Yes jewels for sure.