Collecting Live Yes

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by BillyMacQ, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Disclaimer - I'm not trying to rile up diehard Yes fans (I'm one of you). I do think this is a valid point, but happy to be proven wrong.

    Since Yes, for the most part, played the same show, same set from night to night during a tour, is it really necessary to collect their live recordings obsessively? Based on what I've heard, there was very little happening in terms of improvisation, rarely played songs popping up along the way, songs being performed in different arrangements, etc., etc. With that in mind, wouldn't one really terrific performance/show captured in a great recording suffice for each tour?

    I can see how jam band fans like to collect every show, and there are bands out there who do a different set every night, but Yes wasn't one of them. At least they weren't to the best of my knowledge.

    So if you are an obsessive collector of Yes' live material, my question is "why?" For example, the Progeny box set that was released a few years ago. Seven shows from the 1972 tour. If you bought the complete set, was it worth it to you?

    Love,
    Billy
     
  2. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To pretend to be happy could only be idiocy

    Hello Billy.

    Maybe depends if you're up there phonically. I'm easily pleased sound-wise. Yessongs has all I need, Probably.

    Love back,
    Oliver.
     
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  3. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA
    I bought it because it was cheap, and because each recording has a bit of a dfferent ambiance. Agreed that there is no real reason to have more than one recording from each tour. The main reason to have a live Yes collection is to hear how different songs change when performed by each lineup.
     
  4. ytserush

    ytserush Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast US

    To answer your specific question -- yes, it was worth it to me.

    I'm far from an obsessive collector of Live Yes (bootlegs), but I have a much more favorable opinion than I used to have because of that box. Even The Word Is Live didn't have the effect that Progeny did.

    That box was a gateway to live Yes that Yesssongs and Yesshows never really were for me in terms of classic Yes.
     
  5. Homework: Go listen to all the versions of Yours Is No Disgrace on Progeny and get back to us.
     
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  6. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'd be happy to if all seven versions were available for free online somewhere.

    What brought this on is I recently acquired a copy of the show Yes did at Wembley in 1978. The sound quality is incredible and the band was on great form.
    Terrific performance, nifty set list. I'm told this is a fairly common bootleg in Yes fan circles.
    10/28/1978 Wembley, London, United Kingdom

    Sadly, my recording doesn't have all of the songs from Tormato - Future Times/Rejoice and Don't Kill the Whale aren't on what I have, which is availabe on YouTube here:
    Yes - 1978/10/28 (Late) - Live at the Wembley Arena, London {Full Soundboard}

    Love,
    Billy
     
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  7. You should seek out Quebec 4/18/79. If you like the Wembley show, it’s a similar Tormato-era set list but great sound quality and Howe is shredding right out of the gate.

    Sorry, my snarky original reply was a way of saying yes, I think it’s worth seeking out multiple shows from the same tour, particularly earlier in the classic era when things are more fluid and arrangements hadn’t fully been set in stone. This is coming from someone who revels in minor variances, so YMMV. To me the Progeny set was totally worth it. I mean, you’re right it’s not the Grateful Dead Or King Crimson, but it’s also true there’s not nearly as many circulating high-quality live recordings of classic Yes as there are of those bands, so it’s hard to be too obsessive. Enjoy the ride and do try to check out those Progeny shows if you can!
     
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  8. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Fair enough. There's a "best of" the Progeny set, too, correct?

    I think I had the Quebec show in my collection at one point, but may have lost it in a "divorce" about eight years ago. Will double check. Thanks for the reminder.

    Love,
    Billy
     
  9. Thoughtships

    Thoughtships Forum Resident

    Location:
    Devon, UK
    I was that obsessive collector of Live Yes. I've slowed down a lot.
    I've got quite a few shows from each tour and tons of boots, etc...

    I think their subtle ability to play the same songs with such variety is one of the big attractions. They substitute chords, alter arrangements, and timings, a lot more than you'd think. Either way, I love live Yes. Well worth exploring.
     
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  10. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've collected a fair amount of live Yes over the years. From all the different eras, lineups, etc. I've just never heard anything that made me feel like I "need" more than one great show per tour.
    There just isn't enough variation for me to want more. In fact - I'll take this a step further. I think that statement is true for just about every prog-rock band. For bands of that genre, it seems the biggest priority was always to replicate the studio performance as closely as possible. That's not a criticism. I'm sure it's super challenging to play those songs on stage night after night.
    Seriously, does anyone really need more than one great Rush show per tour? It's the same show every night. (Yes, I know during some of their tours they alternated songs in the set list - fine, two, three shows, done).

    Love,
    Billy
     
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  11. Sydster

    Sydster Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    Very obsessive collector for years here. There’s no one answer to this.
    I agree that 10/28/78 is an exceptional show (see avatar) and is deserving of a place in a Yes collection, even moderate fans who already have Yessongs/Shows and never thought to obtain a bootleg. Don’t know if it was just one of those nights or if this had some pre-broadcast sweetening, but it’s a knockout performance.
    Sure, shows like Quebec 79 boast good sound based on the source (soundboard) but the band by then was really starting to play “at” each other rather than “with” each other...that’s my sense of things in trying to describe what I hear in the Fall 78 Tourmato tour vs the Spring 79 Ten True Summers tour. Whether those nuances are discernible or even interesting to other listeners probably speaks to your question.
    I spent a lot of years in the 80s scouring tiny print in Goldmine magazine, local Yes fanzines like Cinema and overseas fanzines like Close to Yes looking for tape traders. I remember feeling jealous of my Grateful Dead pals who seemed to get manilla envelopes in their mailboxes all the time while I’d get one every blue moon, usually with a 5th gen crappy audience tape of Yes in somewhere like Ypsilanti, MI recorded from the middle of the audience. And I ****ing **LOVED** every second of each of those shows and treasured them, knowing every nuance (the guy yelling for Sound Chaser over and over again during 6/30/79 became a folk hero...the awkward attempt at “In the Midnight Hour” in Memphis on 9/17/78 was HILARIOUSLY bad..etc). Some shows were better than others. Some shows Squire was on fire. May 76 shows had Squire solo album tunes during a few shows. And sometimes you’d get a gem...I remember when the FM of Cleveland 9/19/78 showed up. That was a memorable listening party.
    So depends what you’re looking for. Times are certainly a lot more favorable to finding the best of any given tour relatively quickly if you’re willing to do a bit of homework and expend a little bandwidth. But I’d say having New Haven 71, Boston 74, Roosevelt Stadium 76, Paris 77, the aforementioned Wembley & Cleveland 78 and Quebec 79 would give you a really solid Yes collection.
    And yeah...Progeny is awesome sauce.
     
  12. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    All 7 shows are available on streaming services as individual titles. I've only ever listened to the compilation, but they're all there if you want them.

    I'm a big fan of live Yes (and live Rush and Genesis for that matter) but there's really no need to have more than one show from every tour. I will say Progeny and Yessongs are quite a bit different, both in performance and sound quality, so that's justified, and I have a couple of Union bootlegs because the 'official' Mountain View show is so bad, and a few from the Talk tour, because none of them really scratch my itch for an official Rabin live album, and I just love Talk in general. Basically aside from 1972, no pre-Keys To Ascension Yes tour is adequately covered via official audio releases, however there's not really much reason to have more than one from each tour, but it's worth collecting stuff like the Relayer Boston and Roosevelt Stadium gigs, and one or two of the '78-'79 soundboards that are floating around. Those eras were partially covered on compiled live albums, but I'd rather hear complete shows.
     
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  13. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA

    I'd add that after a certain point, you only need to add in the unique songs from every tour. Really, Limelight was pretty much Limelight whenever it was played.
     
  14. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    Location:
    MI
    Are you a King Crimson fan? More than any of their peers in the 70s, KC mixed it up from night to night, improvising and reworking the material in surprising ways. They're like the Grateful Dead of prog in this regard. I enjoy live Yes, but I don't feel compelled to collect show after show like I do with King Crimson.
     
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  15. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yes - big Krim fan here. I caught a few shows in the early 80s on The Pier in NYC - next to the Intrepid. Beat tour and TOAPP tour. Fantastic.
    Also saw them when John Paul Jones was their opening act at The Beacon Theater. Also incredible albeit very dark and menacing. Loved it.
    Have not seen the recent incarnation but hope to if they ever come around again. Love everything I've heard from them. A beast.

    Love,
    Billy
     
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  16. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Exactly. It's also why I never understood folks who traveled around the country/world seeing multiple Rush shows. Don't get me wrong - I've loved every Rush show I've ever been to, but twice in one tour has been enough for me.

    Love,
    Billy
     
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  17. dude

    dude Forum Resident

    Location:
    milwaukee wi usa
    I guess it depends on why you would collect live recordings obsessively at all in the first place. For me, the 70's version of Yes is at the top of the list for being obsessive because of the quality of the music and performances. With the exception of the setlist for any given tour, arrangements and especially improvisation were quite liberal. Every solo was improvised, even signature riffs were not sacred. Individual embellishments were everywhere with a band like Yes.
     
  18. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Were they? I've never heard an arrangement of Siberian Khatru, And You and I, Starship Trooper, Heart of the Sunrise and so on that sounded anything other than like the original.
    Can you cite some examples? I'm challenging you a bit here because what you're claiming contradicts everything I've heard. Maybe I'm missing something.

    Love,
    Billy
     
  19. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Cool, yeah, great stuff. I think at one point in time or another, I've had all or most of the shows you've pointed out. Great stuff.
    To this day it amazes me that they were able to keep it together on stage during some of those super complex numbers without sheet music or a teleprompter in sight.
    Pretty incredible.

    Love,
    Billy
     
  20. chewy

    chewy Forum Resident

    Location:
    West Coast USA
    Well you see Yes wasn't always recorded w/ the same consistency as dead shows so the quality of the tapes varies more.
     
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  21. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Why collect - Big Zeppelin fan here, for example, so the obsessive in me loved how different the band sounded from tour to tour and loved hearing how they would improvise within three or four songs per night. It was almost like they were four or five different bands within the course of their 12-year career. With some of those bands being phenomenal and some frankly god awful if not downright embarrassing to me as a fan. This whole nonsense of "On a good night we were great, and on a bad night we still wiped the floor with most of them" was ridiculous. Sorry, JPJ. On their bad nights, Zep should have handed out refunds at the door, but that's for another thread.

    I'm super jealous of fans who's favorite bands changed sets night to night. I'm sure it made/makes collecting live recordings a lot of fun. Jam bands just aren't my bag. Fair play to anyone who loves them - just not my thing personally, baby.

    Love,
    Billy
     
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  22. One improvisation I can recall is the Wakeman and Howe dueling leads in both Starship Trooper and South Side Of the Sky. They were not the same each night.
     
  23. BillyMacQ

    BillyMacQ Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    But the classic lineup didn't play South Side of the Sky all that often back in the day, did they?

    Love,
    Billy
     
  24. walrus

    walrus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I would absolutely love a Rush release containing all the songs they played for one tour and then permanently retired. I don't need any more versions of "Tom Sawyer" but I'd really like professional/official-quality live versions of "War Paint," "Double Agent," "Virtuality," etc. all compiled into one set.
     
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  25. 2004 tour
    Edit: and 2002.

    I caught both tours and thought they were excellent.
     
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