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Yes Tracks Through Time Part 12 – I’ve Seen All Good People – 259

3 Ships by Jon Anderson
3 Ships by Jon Anderson

Produced by Preston Frazier, David Gordon, Bill Govier, Wayne Hall and Michel Arsenault.

This week we return to the Yes Tracks Through Time series and listen to 6 versions of I’ve Seen All Good People from across the years. We also have a review of ARW’s last concert from Guy DeRome and Mark reviews a seasonal favourite, 3 Ships from Jon Anderson.

  • Which version of Yes does this track best?
  • What are the differences in approach?
  • What is the best Yes choir?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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3 Ships photos:

ARW’s last concert in the tour from Guy DeRome:

ARW's final concert

Show notes and links

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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 “Yes Tracks Through Time Part 12 – I’ve Seen All Good People – 259”

My favourite version has always been from 9012 Live – maybe because it was the first one I ever heard. Tony Kaye’s organ tone and (original) chord inversions work best for me, especially in the final chords of Your Move!

Greetings Miguel,

Wow..that’s great to hear. I’m also a big fan of the 90125 era…it gave those classic songs a boost that they needed at the time.
Thanks for your support my friend.

Mark Anthony K

Mark, your hating on Steve Howe’s singing is bordering on obsessive… 😉

Yes, I would rather hear Steve on ANY recording over Trevor, singing or not… (I suppose my Troopering is bordering on obsessive… )

I agree that Mark’s comments about Steve’s vocals are boring repetitive and predictable. Give it up Mr K. Listen to the Yes choir on CTTE etc and tell me Steve’s voice doesn’t work.Perhaps decades of playing thrash guitar has dulled your hearing.

Hello Jamie,

Haha..well like I said…I don’t mean to sound harsh but I feel it important to speak my mind. I do love Steve’s guitar playing…it’s just the singing.

Great ISAGP comparison. I’ve always loved the 9012Live version for it’s energy but the classic howe solo is pretty definitive.

However I going to propose a version you didn’t look at as the VERY best … the Union tour version has the power of the 9012Live but has Steve Howe who also defers in places to Rabin. Most Union videos have Howe and Rabin not even making eye contact apart from this song and they even share the platform in the centre with Rabin adding some high guitar harmonies. And of course you also have his vocals in the mix. Check this one

BTW Steve Howe has since said that he has discovered his Your Move / Nine Voices/ Wonderous Stories guitar is not a Vachalia as credited in the Yes Album but it’s actually a Portuguese 12 string guitar.

Hey Geoff,

Thanks for the comment. ..that’s interesting as I’ve heard Steve refer to it as a Vachalia several times. .even in that radio clip we played a few episodes ago…but it is possible that he has recently discovered that it is in fact a Portuguese 12 string.

Mark Anthony K

Per the sleeve notes of the Pangeric reissue of The Yes Album

“Although long credited as a vachalia, around three decades later Howe discovered that the instrument concerned was not a vachalia at all, but a Portuguese guitar. “

Enjoyable episode. Mark thank you for informing me of a Jon Anderson record of which I was unaware. However from your description, I’d not want to look it out.
The All Good People section seemed to take a very long time to state the obvious ( Mark, please take a leaf from Kevin’s book and get to the point) but ignored the studio version which is better than all the others. Also, why not include the 1978 version on the Tormato tour on the BBC recording. That was pretty good. I don’t suppose most Yes fans are bothered much about a ditty such as this though.
I agree with both of you that the Bristol performance lacks any sparkle. That whole concert looks like a run through of material, totally lacking in atmosphere or joy.

Like Jeremy said – it seemed rather odd for you to ignore the original version from The Yes Album. I always have to return to Yessongs, however – the album version, not the one in the film – which is another of Eddie Offord’s editing masterpieces , being spliced together from two different performances, much the same as he did with Rick’s keyboard solo. There is just so much energy to that performance it’s impossible to ignore.

Guy’s review of ARW seems to agree pretty much with mine (and lots of others) – I think the proper term for the version of “Awaken” they’ve been doing is “cinematic.” Very dramatic (perhaps melodramatic) and dynamic – the intro sounds like it could be dropped into the score for Lord Of The Rings at a number of places. Little wonder that Trevor has had such a successful career scoring films.

“3 Ships” is another of those oddball albums that I only ever owned on commercial cassette tape. I remember parts of it being quite good, and other parts just being generic Jon Andersonie-sounding. When and where that cassette and I parted ways I have no idea, but I never considered it important enough to replace…

Looking forward to tomorrow’s show!

3 Ships is a favorite; I listen to it and Bruce Cockburn’s Christmas CD (which has his version of “I Saw Three Ships”!) on my way back from Thanksgiving at my sister’s house to get Christmas music started for the season. 3 ships is a brilliant mix of traditional carols and JA’s original songs. I usually don’t like much synth if overdone, but it works here for me. It is a joyous recording as Christmas music should be (although I do love minor key carols which can be joyous. I wonder what a Anderson version of In the Bleak Mid-Winter would sound like?) I think it’s an 8.5 of 10. If you consider it along with all of Jon’s oevuer, I think it’s somewhere between #3 and #5.


i have listened to a version of ive seen all good people but it isnt the original old one. It is a bit more rocky and up to date but i cant find it anywhere!! Can someone help? it isnt a love album either.

Kind regards

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