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Album: Magnification
Artist: Yes
2001 Eagle Records (under licence from Beyond Music/Yes LLC) [Europe]
    Beyond Music [US]
CD: EAGCD189 [Europe]
    398 578 205-2 [US]

Band members:
Jon Anderson: lead vocals, MIDI guitar, acoustic guitar
Steve Howe: acoustic and electric guitars, steel, mandolin, vocals
Chris Squire: bass guitars, vocals
Alan White: drums, percussion, vocals, piano

Conductor: Larry Groupé

Produced by Yes and Tim Weidner
Executive producer: Jordan Berliant

Recorded at Sound Design Studios, Santa Barbara, CA
Engineered by Tim Weidner
Additional engineering by Nick Sevilla, John Elder
Mixed by Tim Weidner and Steve MacMillan
Orchestra recorded by Charlie Bouis and Le Mobile

Mastered by Kris Solem at Future Disc

Artwork, design and CG models: Bob Cesca

Tracks:
1. Magnification (7:15)
2. Spirit of Survival (6:02)
3. Don't Go (4:27)
4. Give Love Each Day (7:44)
5. Can You Imagine (2:58)
6. We Agree (6:30)
7. Soft as a Dove (2:18)
8. Dreamtime (10:45)
9. In the Presence Of (10:24)
    i) Deeper
    ii) Death of Ego
    iii) True Beginner
    iv) Turn Around and Remember
10. Time is Time (2:09)

All songs written by Anderson/Howe/Squire/White
Orchestral music composed and arranged by Larry Groupé
Orchestrations: Larry Groupé, Bruce Donnelly, Frank Macchia
Copyist: Larry Czoka


Alternate versions:

The Japanese release included the orchestral version of "Long Distance Runaround" from the 'YesSymphonic' EP.

In the US, there were three different, limited edition, bonus versions of the album released through three different retailers: each with a bonus disc, the second track of which was, again, the orchestral "Long Distance Runaround". The first bonus track varied, being a live version of "Ritual" (28:05) at Best Buy; "The Gates of Delerium" (22:43) at FYE/Trans World; or "Close to the Edge" (20:26) at Borders. These recordings come from the Masterworks tour (19 Jul 2000 Holmdel, NJ).

In Jun 2002, Eagle released the limited edition Magnification - Limited Edition (EDGLT189) in Europe. Coming in a purple-embossed case, this included a bonus disc:

Band members:
Jon Anderson
Steve Howe
Chris Squire
Alan White
Tom Brislin

Orchestra: European Festival Orchestra
Conductor: Wilhelm Keitel

Tour manager: Paul Silveira
Guitar technician: Ron "Shooze" Matthews
Drum/keyboard technician: Robby Eagle
Bass technician: Tom "TC" Calcaterra
Audio engineer: Dave Wilkerson
Sound company: Clair Brothers Audio—Roy Clair, Greg Hall
Assistant audio engineer: Chris Fulton
Audio remixer: Tim Weidner

Producer: Perry Joseph
Directed by Aubrey Powell

1. Deeper (In the Presence Of) (Live) [Anderson/Howe/Squire/White]
2. Gates of Delirium (Live) [Anderson/Howe/Squire/White/Moraz]
3. Magnification (Live)
4. CDRom Track:
    Jon Anderson video interview
    Don't Go (single video)
    Gates of Delirium (live video)

The live tracks, audio and video, come from the "Symphonic Live" DVD, recorded in Amsterdam towards the end of the YesSymphonic tour. That DVD also contains Bob Cesca's "Don't Go" video, first made available at the YesWorld website.

While first envisioned as a 2CD release, for a while the plan switched to releasing the bonus disc on its own, under the title Communication, before reverting to this format. A similar release in Japan (TECI-19107) was planned, but never went ahead.


Notes: (*****)

The album was made with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Mixing was at least partly at Trevor Horn's Los Angeles studio and was finished at the beginning of Aug 2001. The album was done using Pro Tools. Richard Davis was a guitar tech. The CD has HDCD encoding; a DVD-A release is due in the US later in 2002.

Although only White is credited as playing keyboards on the album, he has said that he and Squire also played organ together on one track. Howe also played some keys during the making of the album, but it is unclear whether any parts played by him made it to the final release. Keyboardist Scott Walton was briefly considered for the role of touring keyboardist, a job that eventually went to Tom Brislin, and there are reports, probably stemming from Walton himself, that he played some of the keys on the album.

The album was largely written by the four band members together, with Groupé in regular contact working on the orchestral arrangements. In Notes from the Edge #283, White describes the writing process:

That album came down to Chris, Jon, Steve and myself. Just the four of us creating something with Larry. He came in every few days and found out what we were doing and came up with orchestral parts. We would leave sections of the songs open with that in mind, so the songwriting process had to encompass that too. It was the four of us together in a room, the first time we’d just done it with the four of us.
"Can You Imagine" was written for the 1981 XYZ sessions (Squire, White and Jimmy Page) and seems to be predominantly by Squire. (White in Notes from the Edge again: "It was more from Chris, I just played the piano part initially. I might have changed a few things, but it was minimal. Most of it was Chris' writing." I think he is referring to the XYZ sessions here, but he might be referring to the Magnification sessions.) "In the Presence of" is principally by White (in a Dec 2003 radio interview, he said "I basically wrote that song", while in Notes from the Edge, he says, "That was my thing. Jon contributed the vocal melody and the lyric" and describes the musical backing as "all mine"), while "Time is Time" is principally by Anderson. In a Jan 2004 radio appearance by the band, White described the reason for the co-credit when asked about "Time is Time": "You're talking to the wrong person. He [Anderson] wrote the song. [...] we all wrote it actually, but it's mostly Jon." Challenged as to why the song was credited to the whole band, he replied, "We were all there together and we just thought that we were all part of what was going on and at that time in our career it was just [...] all got [...] into writing together, so we all give everybody credit."

While working with an orchestra had clearly long fascinated Anderson and the album was generally well received by fans, Howe has been not as positive about it. In a radio interview recorded in Oct 2003, he said, "Magnification didn't excite me," describing it and some earlier albums (including Open Your Eyes) as "overproduced and overarranged". In the same interview, he also says, “There are versions of us playing without the orchestra", although he points out that "a lot of the music was designed" with an orchestra in mind. Howe in a May 05 interview said more:

Magnification could have, should have been the record that grew on me most of all [of Howe's albums with Yes since Keys to Ascension] because there were only four people in that band: we all should have had more of our own way. But I kinda notice that, because I wasn't so demanding, that it was almost three people had more of their own way. But I found it pretty difficult dealing with the guys and the orchestra. Not because of each other, but because some of the tests that each thing brought me... Was that we made a pretty nice recording without the orchestra, which nobody was really that keen on because we'd always planned to put the orchestra on. But then there were going to be other versions were it was kinda half and half. Maybe you had a song without any singing but with the orchestra or maybe you had the orchestra without the band but with the singing. There were all these fantastic permutations we were going to have, but none of them saw the light of the day. And we had to really clamour, I did, to get my guitars to have a place on that Magnification. Once I'd done that, I was happy as I could be. So, it kinda got better in a way because The Ladder wasn't an easy record to deal with because of losing [Fairbairn, The Ladder producer], but Magnification wasn't either because we were a bit head on, because without a Bruce or an Eddie [Offord] or a John Timperley [Going for the One recording engineer], somebody, even if they don't control us, they control the sound. They're in control of the sound, so what our sound is goes through their filters, and if they like it, they take it and if they don't, they work on it.
(HP, 15 Sep 01; updated 30 May 05)
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