What makes this song great? Rick Beato on “Roundabout” by Yes

Music producer and multi-instrumentalist Rick Beato has a great series on YouTube where he picks apart — from a music theory as well as a studio techniques viewpoint — iconic rock and pop tracks. He uses either the original master tapes or artificial separates so he can illustrate individual vocal and instrumental parts and how they fit together. For illustration, he will demonstrate individual guitar and keyboard parts himself.

The series is very well worth watching, even if you don’t care for each and every song.

This time it’s the turn of one of my all-time favorites, Yes’s “Roundabout”.  Enjoy!

Saturday music video: Yes, “Looking Around”

It’s hard to believe hearing this song that this was: (a) 1969; (b) on Yes’s first album. To me, this song still sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it 30 years ago. No Rick Wakeman on keys yet: the chunky Hammond organ playing is by Tony Kaye, who in an interview confessed he always wanted to be the Rolling Stones’ backup keyboardist. But other Yes ingredients — Chris Squire’s bright Roto-Sound bass, the high-pitched close-harmony vocals, and “progressive” song structure (what straight rock band would have a song wander through the keys of D (minor & major), Eb (major), Ab (minor), and A (major) in the space of a few minutes? And have the musical chops to have the result make sense?

For the longest time, there was no YouTube video available due to copyright blocks. Now here is one. Enjoy!


PS: here is a rare live video.