Legendary progressive rock band, Yes, create and cover a musical landscape in their version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”. With Jon Anderson leading the vocals, this rock cover “showcases the talent of this band and notably the bass of Chris Squire, the guitar of Steve Howe, and the keyboards of Rick Wakeman”. Originally released in 1972, “America” was a non-album single clocking in at 10 minutes, 32 seconds. This post features the single edit, which finally appeared on the 2003 remastering of Close To The Edge.
Also in 1972, Simon & Garfunkel released their Greatest Hits album, with “America” spun as a promoting radio single. The song did not chart as well but remains a fan favorite years later. In comparison to Yes’s versions, the original song describes a changing America (at that time) in just under 4 minutes.
""Kathy, I’m lost," I said, thought I knew she was sleeping.
“I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.”
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America!”
What are your thoughts of Yes’s cover? Which version do you prefer?
About the Uncovering Covers series.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, such that this music series aims to spotlight musical gems as well as new and familiar artists. Cover songs will draw from the grand discographies of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, including both the duo’s and their solo works.
This year’s series will focus on the Simon & Garfunkel catalogue.