My first YES show! Anyone know where to get a copy of this on CD? I've looked but can't find anywhere.
D. A. Payne
One correction needed to post below.
It was a Sunday. I could have sworn I heard Anderson say Saturday.
D. A. Payne
Here I go again, offering a review of a concert I didn't attend based on a factory boot CD. Like the other two - one from August '78 and one from Detroit '76 - an epiphany had with said CD makes it so.
Having attended 9/14/78's concert just 3 nights earlier I do know something of the overall tour's power and amazement. Since no one seems to have taped 14 September I decided to locate two audience CDs from dates either side of it, including this one. Not only was it a better recording than the one from August, it captured an EVEN better performance.
Yes were unquestionably on fire that 1978 Saturday night in Memphis, just as they had been 3 nights before in not too distant Greensboro. Tormato wasn't out yet, making its introduction more exciting for band and audience alike [no Internet spoilers either]. I've stated repeatedly my belief Tormato was a much better album than it usually gets credit for being because its studio production was poor and because it was recorded hastily. Every live performance of Tormato material I've heard bears it out - particularly this one.
Silent Wings, like Future Times and others, was evocative but obviously short of its potential in studio. Here it's absolutely stunning and majestic. Seventies Yes at their best. Future Times, Madrigal and DKTW were equally "filled out" and far more mindbending than their studio renditions. In fact I hadn't heard a version of DKTW I much liked at all, even live, until this one. Here, it became a real Yeswork. Sadly the phenomenal Release Release live had been dropped from setlist as too exhausting. Understandable, though, and acceptable to have a rendering of Silent Wings comparable to Jodie Foster's journey across the universe in "Contact" instead.
The famous medley had evolved greatly from just a few weeks earlier, with a Fish and Gates of Delirium as awe inspiring as ever. All material was delivered with more energy and imaginative, structured improvisational ideas than we even would expect. Three times previously I thought I'd heard the ultimate Awaken, and this one blew at least two of them away.
Then we have the added treat of a rousing Midnight Hour, giving some legitimacy to the idea of Yes in R&R Hall of Fame though overall I think it too narrow a definition for a band of their achievements and abilities.
By far the best quality audience recording from 1978 I've come across, too. I've heard only one better for overall sound capture, from '79, but it was compromised by more tape noise and by slightly low pitch.
Many thanks to whoever had guts enough way back then in Memphis to risk what must have been an expensive tape recorder, and give us in the 21st century a superior record of one of Yes' best moments in any century.
Next up: QPR 1975, from the Singaporan DVD. Meantime I urge any FY visitors disappointed with all other Yes videos available, as I am, to get their hands on it. For sound and video quality, together with capture of Yes' true concert aura, it is the absolute best. I was told this for some years and didn't really believe it, partly since fragments on Yesyears were of such poor quality. I finally ordered it last month and was floored. Apparently DVD was made from the true original master 2" tape, and for once we have an entire heyday Yes concert filmed as Yes concerts should be. It appears to be a legitimate release, but only in Asia. Go figure.