Utterly ludicrous. Yet utterly brilliant. Similar to Bryan Ferry’s marvellous reworking of Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, this take on Simon & Garfunkel’s America seems as far away from the original as it’s possible to get. Yet it retains enough of the original melody to prevent it from simply being a bit of a piss-take.
In its own way, its as much a homage to that great nation as the original. Perhaps more so, as this sounds like how a group of starry-eyed, lovestruck Englishmen would view America – as big, brash, loud, exciting and strange (which would also account for them including within it a little tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s America).
The musicianship is, of course, superb – this is Yes, after all. But unlike a lot of their stuff, it’s light and spacious and rather joyous. They sound like they’re having a great deal of fun. If only more prog was like this.