Well, it’s time again for our irregular truth-in-advertising disclaimer. Here in the Way Back Studios, most of our sets are all vinyl; some of our sets are mostly vinyl, and none of our sets are vinyl free. And today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl is no exception to one of those clauses. Don’t get me wrong, if I had three or four turntables tied into the system I could do it all vinyl, but I don’t. So if you’ll concede my point that if things were different they wouldn’t be the way they are, we can get back to where we once belonged.
The set revolves around a prog rock classic from The Yes Album. “Perpetual Change.” Eight-minutes and fifty seconds of shifting time signatures, instrumental interludes, and false endings – in other words, an ideal environment for hand mixing. In the course of the set we carefully carve “Perpetual Change” into six parts, two of which are fake by the way because there are really only four parts in the song. See if you can tell which ones are replicants. The reason I can’t do this with just two turntables is that there’s a moment in the set where I’d have to get a record off the turntable, put another one, needle in the right place, and cued — in eleven seconds. And that happens three times. It’s a regular high-wire act. Somebody could get hurt, maybe put an eye out, so it’s not the sort of thing you want to try at home. A third turntable and a second copy of The Yes Album would make it easier, but instead, we’ll be playing some of the Yes and the Peter Gabriel off CD. I’m sure you understand.
The rest is pure vinyl. And mostly songs you know. The deepest track in the set comes from Captain Beyond’s Sufficiently Breathless album, a great song called “Drifting in Space.” We also snatch a bit from Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s adaptation of Alberto Ginastera’s first piano concerto from Brain Salad Surgery. Otherwise it’s Leon Russell, Led Zeppelin, and post-Genesis Peter Gabriel. Big time.
|Yes||Perpetual Change (part 1)|
|Leon Russell||Will o’ the Wisp / Little Hideaway|
|Emerson, Lake and Palmer||Tocata (excerpt)|
|Yes||Perpetual Change (part 2)|
|Captain Beyond||Drifting in Space|
|Yes||Perpetual Change (part 3)|
|Led Zeppelin||Dancin’ Days|
|Yes||Perpetual Change (part 4)|
|Peter Gabriel||Big Time|
|Yes||Perpetual Change (part 5)|
|Elton John||Theme From a Non-existent TV Series|
|Yes||Perpetual Change (part 6)|
There you go again, saying we’ve got the moon and the stars, when all you really see is near disaster gazing down on you and me. Yes that was released in February 1971, The Yes Album, the first one with Steve Howe on guitar instead of Peter Banks. We took “Perpetual Change” and broke it into six parts even though there are really only four. In fact we could have done it all day long just by repeating that drum part near the end and inserting a different song every time you expect Bill Bruford’s drums to kick back in. But to keep it under thirty minutes, this time we inserted Peter Gabriel’s ode to conspicuous consumption “Big Time” from his 1986 album of mass appeal, So? Before that, Elton John’s brief “Theme From an Non-existent TV Series,” which was preceded by a lion standing alone with a tadpole in a jar, in other words, “Dancin’ Days” are here again. And in the middle of the set, a nice bit of progressive jazz rock from Captain Beyond, a song called “Drifting in Space.”
In the first half of the set, about four minutes into “Perpetual Change” Steve Howe slips into a decidedly jazz guitar moment that segues nicely into Leon Russell’s instrumental “Will o’ the Wisp” which then segues on it’s own into “Little Hideaway.” At the end of that, when someone starts knocking on the door, we answered with a small serving of Brain Salad Surgery, specifically an excerpt from “Tocatta” – Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s adaptation of the fourth movement of Alberto Ginastera’s first piano concerto. The story goes that Ginastera’s manager hated their rendition and wasn’t going to give permission to use it, but the Argentinean composer himself said he thought Keith Emerson had captured the essence of his composition and that sealed the deal. Well we love a happy ending here in The Way Back Studios and we’ve reached one. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for tuning in. I’ll be back next time with a fresh batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl right here in the Deep Tracks.