Karaoke Mate & Yes Lyrics

Someone said that the music of Yes was “pretty embarrassing lyrically these days.” I beg to differ. This is supposed to be some recent realization? I always knew that “dreamer easy in the chair that really fits you” made absolutely no sense. Yes regards the voice as just another instrument, so the lyrics aren’t usually all that important (unless you’re listening to the songs written by the non-Anderson faction on the Union album).

This point was underlined when D—- bought a Karaoke Mate from Radio Shack. This is a device that removes the lead vocals as you play recorded music so that you can sing along with the instruments and backups. It works for stereo recordings that are mixed conventionally, with the lead vocals in the center and the accompaniments to one side or the other. It compares the left and right channels and subtracts out anything that is the same on both sides.

We tried it on a Rod Stewart CD and got the lead vocals removed almost completely, except for some hissing on S sounds now and then. It was unnecessary on a Beatles album–in the 1960s they just put the vocals on one channel and the instruments on the other, so you can dispense with the Karaoke Mate and just turn your stereo’s balance control all the way over.

When we tried playing Yes music through the Karaoke Mate, it showed us again what they thought of the vocals–just another instrument that was usually mixed off center. They are just as likely to put the bass guitar in the center as anything else.

But if you’re really interested in singing along with recorded music, and you can’t afford a Karaoke Mate, there are other options. You can buy CDs that are recorded with no lead vocals. We saw a series of these at Musicland, with songs made famous by various singers: Sing Like Whitney Houston, Sing Like Mariah Carey, and so on. There was one artist whose name they couldn’t get permission to use, but it didn’t stop them from letting you know who they meant: Sing Like A Purple Dinosaur.


Comments are closed.