Steve Wilson remixes of Yes “big five” LPs

I’m sure this has been discussed before, but as ever, I’m late to the party.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve come across SW’s remixes.and been wondering whether they bring anything to the party. I confess to being an inveterate Yes fan right back to the days of listening to TheYes Album on Radio Luxembourg (Kid Jenson album show, Sunday nights?) using a mini Russian radio and earpiece - as advertised, I think, in “Practically Electronics” magazine.

Needless to say, I have the original LPs, the CDs, the 2003(?) remastered CDs, a multitude of live sets, yadda. yadda, yadda…….

I’m disinclined to fork out the several hundred quid for the “vinyl” set, but I see that HD Tracks are selling the lot as 24/96 downloads for about thirty quid (actually $36). So I’m debating whether to take a punt.

Thoughts? Worth a punt at thirty quid? Or am I in danger of becoming one of those obsessive types who have a dozen different copies of “Kind Of Blue”** :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:
** (I’ve only got three!)


The Steve Wilson remixes are excellent. I have all the Jethro Tull ones and they are superb. I think I have one or two of the Yes ones and they’re also great Steven has great ears and a subtle touch. Buy them you’ll won’t be disappointed


Oh Lawd, he’s done Tull as well has he?

There goes the kid’s inheritance!


Well, I bought them - not bad, I thought, for £26.86.

Not impressed with the HDTracks downloader app - so sloooow, Uninstalled it after completing the download.

Much listening and comparing in prospect.

And King Crimson


I tried his TAAB and thought it not nearly as good as my first press ‘fat-boy’ cd…If it ‘aint broke don’t fix it was my thought.


And some Marillion :sunglasses:


I rather like some of SW’s solo albums, especially The Raven and Hand Cannot Erase. However, I’ve not been impressed with his remaster efforts of other albums, particularly those that I’ve grown up with. Close to the Edge by Yes, which is a desert island disc for me, is one such example where the balance between instruments has been changed, which comes as quite a shock - it feels as though he’s messing with my DNA!

I purchased a copy of his remaster of ITCOTCK by King Crimson (and subsequently sent it back). I raised a thread on here to discuss it, but my conclusion was that although he seems to focus on micro details, bringing these to the fore in the mix, this is often at the expense of the whole, which becomes congested and bloated.

You’ve purchased the Yes set. The music is excellent of course. I hope you can enjoy the SW remastered versions.


Clive, your second comment sounds like the results of those hyper detailed speakers that show every little detail but rip the music apart.

I’ve bought a few remasters of albums I particularly like, but they have been done with the artist playing a major role. I can see why Wilson, who was unable to make albums that weren’t a pale pastiche of prog classics, finds it easier to make money playing with classic albums that were perfectly fine in the first place. Tweaking others’ work is so much easier than doing it for yourself. Close to the Edge and Fragile were two of my favourites back in the day and to have the balance altered by someone with infinitely less talent than the original performers is rather horrifying.


His Jethro Tull remixes are superb and the extra materials are mostly worth having. His Yes remix catalogue is patchy. But they are still worth the outlay. The good remixes are very good indeed but the flat transfers are superb and contain not one duffer. Every SW Yes release contains flat transfers and alternative versions. Some include stylus drops. They are my go to Yes albums now. I don’t listen to any other versions.

Sidebar: Jakko Jakszyk’s remix of Fish Out Of Water isn’t shabby either, if you’re a fan of the best album Yes never recorded.

Warrior On The Edge Of Time and In The Land Of Grey And Pink are (according to my ears and taste) two more exceptional efforts. He’s also done some Steve Hackett remix work and so far the results have been top quality. Unfortunately, the original masters of Voyage Of The Acolyte (the best album Genesis never recorded) were not available.

There just isn’t enough of his talent to go around. A candidate for cloning if ever there was.


Two particularly good albums with superb recording quality, reference quality for system checks and comparisons.

Both aided by the uber-talented Guthrie Govan, of course.

1 Like

SW’s remix of “Fragile” added much needed oomph to the bass IMHO.

1 Like

OK, first impressions…highly detailed, wider soundstage, yadda yadda, but really demonstrates just how important was Chris Squires bass playing to the overall “Yes sound” - wonderful “gravelly” sound, if perhaps a shade overdone by SW?

Nothing to really dislike so far, if maybe the occasional “oh?”.


The story goes that on their first album, the bass was over boosted in the mix. But it made such a contribution to the drive and overall sound balance that it was retained as a feature. Squire continued to develop it, and took it higher up the range, nudging into the realms of rhythm guitar in some pieces. This versatility and the ability to do it dirty and growling on demand, made him, IMO unique. I love and respect plenty of bass players and rhythm sections, but for me, Squire stands alone. Billy Sherwood and Lee Pomeroy have both done superb jobs covering Squire’s parts in live performances, but like Page, Plant and Paul Jones without Bonham Senior, you can run through it on stage but you will never make it the same again.

For a convincing example of how integral and powerful it was, listen no further than The Yes Album, and in particular Starship Trooper. But not the SW remix of the Yes Album which has the bass rolled off. The SW flat transfer of The Yes Album is the one to try. At first it’s the power and attack that grabs the attention, but the differences in how he plays the bass in different sections of the piece gives an insight into what a virtuoso player he was, even in his 20s. And he just got better, as Fragile testifies.

Chris Squire contributed more than a remarkable bass component into the yes “sound”. He had a good singing voice and his harmonies with Jon Anderson are often attributed only to the voice of Jon Anderson. You now have the opportunity to hear just how much Squire’s voice often propped up the vocals.


Yes, SW has certainly done a good job on Starship Trooper - got TYA running now :smiley:

I confess I am beginning to like these remixes, while at the same time understanding the disquiet expounded above by other Yes afficianados like Nigel (HH).

And my jury is “still out” on SW’s Warrior on the Edge of Time.

Edit: That’s The Yes Album done - verdict: I like it. the original sounds very “muddy” in comparison.

Edit 2: Fragile completed. Nothing that I dislike, and nothing that surprised me. I do like the separations of instruments, and of vocals, that SW has achieved. I really liked Roundabout - but then who wouldn’t :slight_smile:
So far, so good.

1 Like

Of all the SW Yes Remixes I think Fragile is the most complete album.

His remixes of Close To The Edge (track, not album) and The Gates Of Delirium are for me the high points to come. I don’t know if he will do Going For The One. It may be logistically/contractually impossible. I hope he can.

I think the best thing about his remasters of CTTE and Relayer is that he included 24bit, 96kHz transfers of the original mix of each.

These are of superb quality and overall the albums I would go to. The remixed tracks which are my favourites (which will be different for everyone) are welcome bonuses and in a few cases are now my preferred versions.

Having only quite recently started to download music I was convinced by this thread to download the Wilson remix Yes tracks from HD Tracks.

A bit of a mistake as it turned out. I should have listened to my now nearly 50-year-old copies of these 5 albums first & paid more attention to my, often fulsome, praise of my LP12 on numerous posts throughout these forums.

From the off, Yours is No Disgrace was lacking Tony Kaye’s keyboards coming in over the top of the intro guitar riff & was instead relegated to a polite & recessed sound in the background. This effect was noticeable on several other tracks.

The overall mix was clear, detailed & acceptable but not as I remembered parts of it to be. Maybe it was my rather more than 50-year-old memory playing tricks?

Only one way to find out. Play my ancient copy of The Yes Album to confirm it is a muffled, thin sounding, badly mixed analogue relic of the past that I should never have wasted money, that I didn’t have at the time, on.

From the first moment two things were apparent. Firstly the volume on the download was far too quiet compared with the LP, which sounded pretty normal to me. Listening at 20 (LP) needed to be turned up to 30 for the download. Most of my other downloads are about the same volume as their LP/CD equivalents.

Secondly, the LP sounded superb. Crystal clear, full-bodied , each instrument clearly heard in the mix & Kaye’s keyboards coming in powerfully, as I am sure was originally intended.

I have only compared the one track so far & will try a couple more over the next few days to see if my view of a single track is repeated.

Turning up the volume, the HD download sounded OK but, so far, definitely no better than my vintage album copy &, on the basis of the first track, undoubtedly second to it.

Next time I am temped to download modern versions of albums I already have, I will play my copy first before deciding whether to purchase or not!

In conclusion, not a bad download if you don’t have the original albums but I think it could have been rather better & I can’t help wondering if Steve Wilson actually listened to the originals first?

1 Like