Thursday, 1 May 2014

Yes - The Yes Album Steven Wilson Remix

Here we go again! Another Wilson remix and the second in his series covering the classic albums by Yes. Of course the main reason for Wilson doing these albums is to produce high resolution surround sound mixes. I don't have that capability yet, so I have concentrated solely on the stereo mixes.

Here, the remix is more radical than the one he did on Close to the Edge. The most startling thing is the amount of synthesiser on this. On the original mix, synth was there but it wasn't so in your face as it is on this mix. It is well known that Tony Kaye wasn't a big synth man, he was happy with his trusty old Hammond. But this new mix shows there was more there than originally presented. Actually, the clarity on this new mix is quite breathtaking. The separation of instruments is so clear and so well defined. For instance you can really pinpoint Squires punchy bass and there is so much more of Howe here, guitar parts that were never there before. It's all a bit of a revelation really!

Of course it's all here on the blu-ray. The original mix, new mixes, suround mixes, live versions, instrumental versions. You do get your moneys worth! The notes in the booklet by Sid Smith are up to the usual, informative and well written standard. I didn't know the synth used on the recording was Keith Emersons!

So is this, as the sticker states the "definitive edition". Well, in terms of stuffing every conceivable version of the album tracks on to the blu-ray disc and for sheer clarity and quality of sound, it certainly is. However, there will be some who prefer the original mix, warts and all. I can kind of sympathise with that viewpoint. Although I love the new mix, in terms of something sounding different and fresh, I do also like the comforting familiarity of the old version. Well, it's what I grew up with!

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