Yes, “It Will Be a Good Day (The River)” from ‘The Ladder’ (1999): YESterdays
A mid-tempo rocker, “It Will Be a Good Day (The River)” starts with a tuned percussion intro that serves as the song’s anchor along with Alan White’s ever-tasteful drumming. Igor Khoroshev provides a lush synthesizer backing, as Jon Anderson enters with a self-assured vocal which brings to me visions of a sunrise.
The bass seems a step away from what you normally get from Chris Squire. Perhaps Squire was playing a fretless, but whatever it is, it works – as does Steve Howe’s Steinberger guitar and volume pedal.
Musically, “It Will Be a Good Day (The River) is dense but in no way excessive, as the late producer Bruce Fairbairn was careful to keep the song’s lyrical strengths from being overshadowed by Yes’ musical gravitas. There are acoustic and electric guitar touches, which sound closer to Billy Sherwood’s style.
All these efforts would be for naught if Anderson didn’t bring a great lyric and vocal, and he succeeds on both accounts. Additionally, the Sherwood-enhanced Yes choir sounds better than ever.
This is one deep cut that deserves to be brought back to the stage. There’s a concert update on House of Yes: Live from House of Blues, if you need an immediate live-version fix.