The Song Of The Fully Ripened Tomato (Tarantura TCDY-11-1, 2)
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – June 15th, 1979
Disc 1 (65:42): Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Siberian Khatru, Heart Of The Sunrise, Future Times/Rejoice, Circus Of Heaven, The Big Medley: Time And A Word / Long Distance Runaround / Survival / The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus), Perpetual Change / Soon
Disc 2 (65:56): And You And I, Starship Trooper, Wakeman Solo, Awaken, Tour Song, I’ve Seen All Good People, Roundabout
In the middle of the Ten True Summers tour Yes played three shows in New York at Madison Square Garden. The Song Of The Fully Ripened Tomato on Tarantura is an excellent sounding audience recording from the third and final night. It was taped very close to the stage and picks up the music and audience very well. Some conversations are audible but never overpower the music at all. There are two cuts in “Awaken.” The first is at 15:35 at the transition from the instrumental to the final verse and a cut at the very end cutting out the final lines of the song, “Like the time I ran away / I turned around and you were standing close to me.”
Steve Howe normally played “Clap” after the big medley and several websites including Forgotten Yesterdays and Ruud’s include the song in the set list. There is no cut in the source tape, however, and before “And You And I” Anderson points out Chris Squire on the bass. It hardly seems logical for Anderson to praise the bass player after Howe would have just completed “Clap.” The strongest argument is that for whatever reason they dropped Howe’s solo spot that night.
Touring for Tormato in 1978 had three purposes. The first reason was to promote the new album. But they also wanted, after the ego-less Going For The One, to reassert their individual talents by bring back the individual solo spots. Thus Wakeman’s “The Six Wives Of Henry VIII” medley and Squire’s “The Fish” were played for the first time in six years. And finally the big medley was meant to reassess their legacy up to that point. Ten True Summers, by contrast, was not promoting any new product (in fact three Tormato songs, “Don’t Kill The Whale,” “Madrigal” and “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom” were dropped) and the tour can be considered the first of their nostalgia tours (in line with Masterworks in 2001 and 35th Anniversary in 2004).
“Siberian Khatru” is Yes’ most effective opener and served in that position for many years. The track perfectly displays all of their talents and sets the mood for attending a Yes concert. “Heart Of The Sunrise” features a very angry grand piano by Rick Wakeman. The short medley “Future Times/Rejoice” is one of the very few newer songs played. With White’s military snare drum carrying the first half and Squire carrying the second, it is a fun live track and it is a shame it didn’t survive past this tour. They get the new songs out of the way early with “Circus Of Heaven,” introduced as a “story song.” New York cheers the song loudly and become even more enthusiastic when the Damian part comes by the end. Someone throws a loud firecracker at that point to the boos of the audience.
The big medley was an interesting idea. For a half hour play some of the classics beginning with the rarely played “A Time And A Word.” The focus of the set is Squire’s solo “The Fish,” resurrected from the old Fragile tours. The single from Relayer “Soon” is the most recent piece of music in the medley and appropriately closes the set. “And You And I” is “dedicated for all you people here over the last three nights of this very very high city of New York City.” The Close To The Edge track wasn’t played in 1978 so it makes its triumphant return to the set. This is one of the songs which the band feels perfectly captures the essence of their vision and over the course of their career was played in almost all of their tours.
“Starship Trooper” is referred by Anderson as “a song recorded seven years ago I know. Here we zoom on into the eighties, we’ll be there.” Wakeman’s organ dominates the opening melody in this recording, reproducing Tony Kaye’s original Hammond organ melody. They make a small mistake at the very beginning of “Disillusion” and have to start again. Wakeman plays a five minute solo with themes from The Six Wives Of Henry VIII and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth as a prelude to the set closer “Awaken.” There is another very loud explosion during the meditative harp and organ section which is greeted by boos. Thankfully Anderson and Howe don’t lose their concentration.
The New York tour song is the first encore whose lyrics are:
New York City. New York City. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Thank you so much. Thank you so much.
For coming this evening.
We’d like to thank you so much.
Thank you so much for taking the time to come and see us again.
New York City.
New York City.
New York City.
It’s so spacey, yeah!
Like to thank you everybody for coming along this evening.
Thank you so much for taking the time to come and see us just one more time.
New York City. Place we love.
Such beautiful people. High up above.
Thank you so much New York City, please.
Care of Buddy Holly. New York City. Yeah.
“I’ve Seen All Good People” is the first encore and it is a shame they dropped the individual little solos in the latter part as they did the previous year. That was a nice touch. The Song Of The Fully Ripened Tomato is packaged in a cardboard gatefold sleeve and is limited to one hundred numbered copies. The front cover is a reproduction of a painting titled Le Chant de la violette, painted in 1951 by René Magritte. The label thankfully provides this information after being asked about the paintings used for some of their previous releases. There is also a painting of the old Madison Square Garden on the inside along with various tour photographs. This is another really nice production of an excellent recording made available for the first time on a silver pressed title.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)