March 18, 1974
Great Western Forum
Download FLAC: Google Drive
Source: Millard Master > VHS > DAT > CDR(x) > EAC/Flac > flac(8)
1) Firebird Suite 1:50
2) Siberian Khatru 9:44
3) And You and I 10:18
4) Close To The Edge 19:34
5) The Revealing Science Of God 22:34
Total Time 64:00
1) The Ancient 23:10
2) Ritual 23:37
Total Time 46:47
Missing encore of:
Jon Anderson – Vocals
Steve Howe – Guitars
Chris Squire – Bass
Rick Wakeman – Keyboards
Alan White – Drums
Tales of a Topographic Tour
ìTonight you’ll see and hear five musicians who have dedicated themselves to involving not only themselves but their audience in a shared experienced in which love is not too strong a word to apply. That is certainly at the basis of much of Jon Anderson’s lyrics, together with a plea for ever growing awareness of self and others.î Chris Welch, Melody Maker
Welchís words are taken from page 19 of the 1974 Yes tour book, available to all who attended the North American ëTales From Topographic Oceansí tour. Jon and the band had written 4 new songs based on the ancient Sanskrit language and this tour was their attempt to share the experience with their fans. After touring Europe, Yes came to North America with the new tour. They began in Gainesville, Florida on February 7th, 1974 and quickly made their way across the continent. After 36 performances the band found themselves at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. This was to be their third time at the Forum, a venue have played seven times during their long career.
The Forum was opened in 1967 and has played host to many concerts and sporting events. At a cost of 16 Million US Dollars it was considered spectacular for the time. The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and a number of other sports teams have called this site home for many years. In 1984 the Forum was even used to host the Olympic Basketball competition. For concert events, the Forum can seat 18,000 people and despite its large size can provide a great musical experience for those who attend.
When Yes arrived at the Forum they were prepared to present material from both of their most recent albums. During the European tour and this American tour, the set would begin with all the material from the ëClose To The Edgeí album. The band would then introduce and perform all four parts of ëTales From Topographic Oceansí. Jon Anderson explains each song separately, trying to draw the audience into why each song was written. This material seemed to be received well during the tour but not all members of the band were enthusiastic about the new pieces. Of note, Rick Wakeman found Tales to be redundant and uninspiring. Was this the reason the setlist was changed? We’re not sure, but after presenting the established setlist in Detroit on February 28th, (PRRP 013 by the way) the band went to Hershey, Pennsylvania where the songs ëThe Rememberingí and ëRevealing Science Of God’ were cut from the setlist. There was an overflow crowd that night which delayed the beginning of the performance. Was this a necessary move given the time constraint or a convenient excuse to cut back on the Tales’ material? The next night, in Louisville, Kentucky ëThe Revealing Science Of Godí was again part of the set but ëThe Rememberingí was dropped, never to be included again. The Detroit audience would be the last to see ëTales From Topographic Oceansí performed in its entirety. The performance at the Inglewood Forum 16 days later would only include three of the four songs from the new album.
So, March 18th 1974 saw Yes perform at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. How was this show received by the audience? We can only present you with the words of someone who was there.
“Yes’ immense popularity is one of the most unlikely in a world dominated by the lascivious likes of Led Zeppelin and brutal thrashers like the Who and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The group’s concerns are the dead opposite of the secular and hedonistic, and the sight of a rock audience paying attention to a good hour of musical interpretation of Sanskrit scriptures (as did Monday’s Forum crowd) approaches the surreal.
Yes is most enjoyable when you take it less seriously than it seems to want you to take it, and the tremendous ovations were surely responses to the music rather than expressions of gratitude for spiritual enlightenment. But Yes projects its role convincingly, with pretense, particularly singer/writer Jon Anderson, a pure, innocent, white-clad eye in the midst of the musical storm.
Although that gap between what Anderson wants to communicate and what the audience is actually getting is a slightly disorienting factor throughout the show, the sheer power and exalted complexity of the music finally shatters any reservations.
Yes’ performance on Monday night was virtually flawless, and though it offered little in the way of surprises, it managed miraculously to avoid dryness and sterility. Abetted by a magnificent sound and lighting setup, Yes played current, middle-period and old (a tantalising gesture that whetted the appetite for more of the earlier, more pop-oriented songs) material.
The new music is a slight refinement of the familiar sound, a gradual, unforced progression. Like all of Yes’ music, it features bold shifts, from angelically ethereal to primevally violent, and it functions on a multitude of levels. Although at odds with traditional rock ‘n’ roll attitudes, Yes has made it work and refreshing, challenging alternative.”
“Yes Offers Unique Material”, AT INGLEWOOD FORUM
Wednesday March 20, 1974, Los Angeles Times
Notes from the Re-Master
For this remaster we were fortunate to begin with a digital copy of the Mike Millard Master tape. For those not familiar with Mike Millard, he was a Los Angeles area resident who devoted much of his time in the 1970ís to creating very high quality audience recordings of rock music concerts. This 1974 Yes concert was one of his earlier recordings but still, outstanding quality and far better than most audience recordings from the era. Sadly, the recording is not complete. We have the full concert up to the song Ritual but the encores of Roundabout and Starship Trooper were not included. We have chosen not to fill in these missing songs with recordings from other performances because we do not think it is philosophically appropriate. However, there were a few brief gaps in the recording that were patched using other sources.
Upon listening to the raw recording it is clear that the music runs too fast. On detailed analysis and comparison of this recording with established references, we confirmed that speed errors did exist. Once identified, they were corrected. The next issue was general noise level. Both the Tales and CTTE material contain soft, quiet sections. These were not heard well in the raw recording because of the general noise floor. Once this was reduced, the subtleties of the music could be appreciated more clearly. Peak crackle was also present and reduced as much as possible. Tonality was adjusted to both smooth out the excesses and boost segments of the frequency range that were deficient. Dynamics and balance also needed to be adjusted to correct errors and emphasise the dramatic nature of the music. A couple of patches were needed to fill in presumed tape flip gaps. Fortunately, the segments that were missing were small. Overall, a very nice result.