Thursday, 6 November 2014

Yes - Relayer 2014 Steven Wilson Remix

This is easy. Relayer has always been my favourite Yes album, ever since getting it for Christmas in 1975! I loved every aspect of the album. The music, lyrics, playing, sleeve design. Apart from the production. It just always sounded a bit of a splurge. So much going on, it just sounded too busy, messy and a mush of sound. I put it down to how it was recorded, using a mobile recording unit at Chris Squires fledgling recording studio. If it was recorded in a proper professional studio, it may have sounded better? However, this new mix by Steven Wilson proves that it was recorded fine. In fact this new mix was a profound experience. I mean that! I have lived with this recording for nearly 40 years and have owned it on vinyl, cassette and all the various CD incarnations. But it has never been a totally satisfying listen. So, I resigned myself to the fact that one of my favourite ever recordings would sound as it always has. But, listening to this new mix! This is how it should have sounded. Everything that should be there is there, but clearer and so better defined. There are layers and layers of instrumentation and vocals, but you can now pinpoint them with precision accuracy! It is like listening to this recording for the first time. Wilson's remixes for the other Yes albums have been interesting and worthwhile, but the difference he has made on Relayer is profound indeed.

Of course, the whole experience is enhanced by the exceptional work in the packaging too. This is the best reproduction of the original sleeve in CD form I have come across and it is nice to see alternative artwork from Roger Dean too. The notes by Sid Smith are as informative as always, with some great live photos showing the stage design in all it's glory. The blu-ray is stuffed with hi-res, 5.1 mixes, instrumental mixes, live tracks, flat transfers and needle-drops. Every possible permutation of the album is here. This is a master class in how to do archival releases.

I cannot wait to see what the team come up with for Topographic Oceans!



  1. High praise indeed - And so, for that reason, I'm in...

  2. I think you will be shocked at what you hear in this new mix, if your feelings about the original mix are similar to mine. But, this is a great package. The people at Panegyric really know how to do these reissues as the recent Starless box testifies to.