South Side of the Sky

At one point in my life — 1989 or thereabouts — I would have argued until blue in the face that Yes was the greatest rock band of all time. Not “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes; I’m talking about “20-minute Hammond organ solo, Jon Anderson falsetto-singing, Roger Dean album cover” Yes. It was one of my dorkier obsessions. Like, I still know most of the words to “Close to the Edge.” Thanks to iTunes and my dilligent digitizing of my CD collection, I heard “South Side of the Sky” the other day for the first time in probably ten years. My wife’s comments sum it up for me: “This is Yes? Huh. It doesn’t suck.” Actually, it’s a damn cool song. It’s certainly aged better than much of the early-70s prog rock.

As an aside: when I was 19 I played piano in a big band. One night, during a break, I started playing part of “South Side of the Sky” and within a minute the rest of the rhythm section joined in. It was really sloppy, but we made it from the end of the piano solo (the 3 minute mark) through most of the “la la la la la la la la” part.