Yes, “Evensong / Take the Water to the Mountain” from Union (1991): YESterdays

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The 52 seconds of Yes’ “Evensong” is a breath of fresh air. The snippet, composed by King Crimson / Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe bassist Tony Levin and drummer Bill Bruford, is a refreshing bass/percussion interlude with touches of stereo bass and tuned electronic percussion. Without vocals, the song had potential for further development.

Both “Evensong” and “Take the Water to the Mountain” were produced by Jonathan Elias, and the final song on 1991’s Union is also ripe with promise. The Jon Anderson composition hints of mysticism and wonder over a layer of studio musician-played percussion and fretless bass (possibly Chapman Stick). Jimmy Haun’s guitar leads are decisive and effective. Haun, who was the sole guitarist on “Take the Water to the Mountain,” also provided modern rhythm guitar touches to propel the song.

As “Take the Water to the Mountain” builds to an empty ending, one can’t help but to think that this song could have been great with different production choices and the actual inclusion of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman in more of the playing and arranging – like a majority of the Elias-helmed tracks on Union. As it stands, this not-quite-reunion project remains a fascinating asterisk in the Yes canon.


YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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