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Episode 122 – Yes Tracks Through Time Part 7 – Heart of the Sunrise

Heart of the Sunrise
Another Yes track through time

STOP PRESS! Yes, I realise I said Adam Wakeman rather than Oliver Wakeman in this episode! Sorry!

The one hundred and twenty second episode of the Yes Music Podcast, featuring an exploration of the live outings of Heart of the Sunrise, through the years.

  • What differences are there between performances?
  • Do changes in personnel affect the renditions?
  • How has the track aged?

Listen and see if you agree with me, then let me know by contacting me via any of the methods below.

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Show links

YouTube Playlist for this episode

YouTube Howe and Bruford video – who is the bass player?

Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

15 replies on “Episode 122 – Yes Tracks Through Time Part 7 – Heart of the Sunrise”

Hi Kevin–Tony Levin can be heard playing “Heart of the Sunrise” on the “ABWH Live at NEC” album that came out last year. Would love to hear your take on his performance. Also–keep in mind that Jeff Berlin had two days to learn the entire ABWH set, and the “Evening of Yes Music Plus” recording I think was only his fifth performance. So do please cut him some slack. ๐Ÿ™‚

Covering for Squire is not just replicating his notes. Berlin is accomplished enough to be able to do that, and to quickly learn pretty much anything thrown at him. The biggest disappointment for me is that Berlin was not able to capture Squire’s unique sound and tone of his instrument. Not that I blame him – like you say – Berlin was a last second stand-in. Berlin is an exceptional bassist, but with a completely different sound from Squire. To Levin’s credit, he seems to have put extra effort in attempting to sound like Squire while still keeping his own style of playing.

However, I was also very disappointed in Bruford’s efforts with Heart of the Sunrise in ‘Evening of Yes Music Plus’. I remember purchasing the CD when it was released, and rushing home to finally hear a live Bruford treatment to the song. At the time, Bruford was still experimenting with electronic drums, and the trashcan sounds he got out of his kit, plus Berlin’s inauthentic bass tones, left me very bummed out!

Thanks for the comment, Joe. I do indeed appreciate what Berlin managed to do in such a short time – amazing effort and similar to what Alan White had to do when he joined Yes!

I am looking forward to hearing what Tony Levin managed to do – as most commentators agree, he really is the only other top notch bassist who could fill Squire’s shoes properly.

I wonder what Bruford could have done with today’s technology – unfortunately we will never know!

Speaking of the estimable Mr. Levin, here is a recording of him performing ‘Heart of the Sunrise” with Pat Mastelotto and the California Guitar Trio:

I remember reading or seeing an interview with Tony discussing how he uses the “funk fingers” to play Chris’ bass lines because he’s not good with a pick and wanted to reproduce their authenticity whilst doing it in his own style. Maybe Stick Men will play it on “Cruise to the Edge!” Speaking of which, I hope someone was bright enough to schedule a Q&A session with Chris, Tony, John Wetton, and Peter Trawavas. How great would that be?

That’s a good version with the acoustic guitar on vocal duties so thanks for the link. The sound of those funk fingers is very obvious and it does indeed go some way to replicating Squire’s sound. There’s really nothing like the maestro’s personality out there though is there?
Thanks for the comment and link!
P.S. perhaps they should engage you as fixtures manager of Cruise to the Edge? You seem to have the right idea ๐Ÿ˜‰

A live version of Heart of the Sunrise from the Big Generator tour was released on the YesYears box set back in the early 1990s. Sorry – but I am afraid it is a terrible rendition of the song. The largest problem was Kaye. He was simply unable to play Wakeman’s parts. Most of Wakeman’s fast runs were played by Rabin on guitar. Wakeman’s short piano bit was played by Kaye with what sounds like a series of short glissandos. Very disappointing!

That’s a shame. I’ve decided to take another listen to Tony Kaye’s work in his original stint with the band this week. Maybe he just wasn’t the right choice to fill that later role.
YesYears is a missing element of my Yes collection which I must try and get hold of at some point.
Thanks for the comment and information.

I have found two sources that state the bass player on the Bruford/Howe – Symphonic Music of Yes promotional tour to be Kevin Kuhn


It seems Kevin is a guitar player and not specifically a bass player and it appears that he did a lot of work on musicals as he has been on quite a few “original cast recordings” for Broadway shows

scroll down to third person on next website for photo

/Paul Wilson

Thanks Jamie – that’s a really beautiful and powerful version! It sounds like they understand the music deeply. Fascinating that it works so well on classical instruments – something to do with the quality of the music, I imagine!

Hey guys. It’s true. I was the guitar 1 for The Who’s Tommy on Broadway in the 90’s. My brother Dave was the bass player and had just moved back to LA and BMG was in a bit of a pinch so I jumped in on bass for the Regis and Kathie Lee show. I had been Chico Hamilton’s bassist for 3 years at that point ,so it was not a big stretch At 5 am, I helped Bill B put together a drum set from scratch! The next day I loaned Steve Howe my Kohno # 10 to do a radio show in Philadelphia,my home town. I do all kinds of shows and sessions in NYC. Just wanted to say hey!
Kevin Kuhn
NYC 2015

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