I agree absolutely with Wurm for I too have a copy of 'In the Round' recorded 'live at the LA Forum' (something which confused me for years!) and the sheer power of Siberian Khatru and Heart of the Sunrise is stunning. I was actually at the Friday show and was 14 at the time. At school me and my mate were the only yesheads and were predictably ridiculed long and often for it in the aftermath of punk. We stood our ground and were rewarded with this amazing life altering show at Wembley known as the Empire Pool Wembley then. Not long after of course Yes were strangely spliced to the Buggles and the ridicule continued...
25 years ago - oh my god... Well, it was my first Yesshow ever, and I was young, much less critical of the band than I am now (getting jaded!). This show wasn't originally scheduled - but they added a matinee on the Saturday afternoon because of the huge demand. And I was only NINE rows back from the great cable-drum-on-its-side stage. Fantastic. "Siberian Khatru" has always been my favourite opener, since Yessongs, and for my mind is the song that put Alan White in the driving seat - powering it all along with that slightly foreshortened 4-bar riff. The medley was a surprising success too, with little bits of "The Ancient" (another favourite of mine) sneaking into the mix. Of the Tormato tracks, "Freedom" stood out, far and away superior to the studio version - why don't they revisit this album more? Take out the over-produced and processed keys and bass, and do it raw.
An absolutely stunning and incredible performance, for my money this show found the band at their absolute pinacle of perfection. We're so lucky that BBC's Tony Wilson made the 24 track recording to preserve this live masterpiece (this was no ordinary board tape!). Listen to the high energy guitar on Siberian Khatru, precision drumming and emotional vocals at the climax of Heart Of The Sunrise, the awesome keyboard/bass interplay on Silent Wings.
I still think of that afternoon as one of the best of my life, the energy from band matching the electric atmosphere from the crowd. Use of the revolving stage helped, bringing the audience much closer and giving the added interest of differing persepctives. On subsequent visits I've found Wembley to be a bit of a barn but back then it actually felt intimate as the intensity of the band filled the hall.
D. A. Payne
A post by "Wurm" regarding 10/28/78's Wembley show makes a very significant point about live "boot" sound quality vs. that of commercially released "live" material.
Boots of course vary enormously in both [recording] format and quality, as do record industry offerings. A comparison of the best of both sources quickly makes obvious how badly record labels render "live" albums, especially it seems in Yes' case. Often enough an audience tape of even lesser quality [poor equipment, multigeneration, etc.] does a far better job.
I was fortunate enough to hear Yes in person in September '78, and a particular audience tape of one of 3 Yes shows from Madison Square Garden in 1979 clearly demonstrates just how much is lost with nearly all commercial live releases. "Power" is as good a choice as any to describe what goes out the window first. I have used "three dimensional" to describe the same thing. A quality audience tape made with quality equipment captures that power and 3-dimensionality. Board tapes do not and cannot, be they bootlegged or released.
Most if not all commercial live releases start as board tapes, with so little audience miking a canned audience track overlay would do about as much. Audience sounds a million miles away, and band sounds like they're in a metal barrel under glass. With rock-related audiences we do get obnoxiousness, even in Yes audiences [especially recently - I had never seen completely sotted, vomiting phillistines at a Yes concert before Masterworks, though these may have simply been injected Kansas element]. Having such in a recording is a small price to pay for hearing that concert as it actually sounded, however, and the swirling mix of sound from audience and musicians is a critical component of any live experience. Record labels begin with sterile board tapes, edit out what spontaneity and power these contain in their raw form, seal everything in a kind of sonic acrylic, and finally present us with what they intended all along to sound like a studio recording. An entire subject of itself is of course the savage editing of whole concert segments and hodge-podge release of several pieces from several different concerts.
Think back dear reader to your favorite [or one] Yes concert. You were there, you KNOW what it sounded and felt like. If it happened to be a tour wherefrom Atlantic or whomever dained to throw us a "live" bone or two, and you have one or more quality audience tapes even of different shows from the tour, the crime becomes screamingly obvious. With both the Tormato and KTA tours we have outstanding comparison opportunities. That '79 audience tape, with all its hiss and other problems, sounded so much more real than anything I have heard commercially available from the same tour I rarely if ever have any desire to sample the latter. It remained the most beautifully captured live Yes moment I had heard until I received an audience tape from San Louis Obispo in '96. The SLO tape did it again, this time with superior '90's recording quality. Then we got KTA. Besides having its continuity horribly destroyed by track shuffling and release on two separate CDs, it was treated to some of the worst sound editing ever inflicted by any producer. Keyboards and percussion - vitally present in the audience tape just as they had been in '79 - had on KTA been mixed down so badly it sounded like someone was actually trying to repeat Going For The One's very sorry production. KTA II was somewhat better than KTA I [to Sherwood's credit], but neither even came close to that audience tape. Some might disagree, but I have always regarded Gates and Ritual from Yesshows the closest any record label has come to releasing live Yes as it actually sounds - and these still fall short.
Some time ago there was discussion of releasing a complete concert from each Yes tour, as limited edition or whatever. The idea was abandoned as most better ideas for the treatment of Yes or Yes-related material are [remember the Animation petition? Twins? Audience tapes from THAT tour held up to one short King Biscuit travesty are another great example of right and wrong approaches to live recordings]. Had this been done, and had it been done entirely with audience tapes and no mixing attempts, we would have had a new standard. I for one would have bought at least all the "Trooper" shows, no matter what their cost. Just one, from MSG in '79 or from Wembley Arena '78, would be a wonder. From the '76 tour it would be a miracle.
This is without a doubt the greatest sounding recording of music by any band in history. I have a recording of the evening show (ON AN ALBUM CALLED "IN THE ROUND" which says L.A. Forum 10/16/78 on the back of the album. Obviously it's wrong. The album is 10/28/78, but whether it's the afternoon or evening it's unsure. One of the links on bootlegs says the FM recording is the afternoon & the album is the evening. The sound is so unbelievable it's scary. Better than the 5/5/79 boot FROM VANCOUVER. The DON'T KILL THE WHALE ON YESSHOWS IS FROM THIS SHOW, BUT IT SURE DOESN'T SOUND AS GOOD AS THE BOOT also the ALL Good People from classic yes is from this show, but doesn't have the power of the boot. THEY MUST HAVE DOCTORED IT UP FOR THE PUBLIC BY TAKING AWAY SOME OF OF THE POWER. The Starship Trooper, On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, Awaken, & ROUNDABOUT versions are second to none. I know that all the shows during this era were unbelivable but this recording and sound are unsurpassed!!!!