Anniversary Of Decade (Highland HL210/11)
Wembley Arena, London, England – October 28th, 1978 (late show)
Disc 1 (72:52): Opening, Siberian Khatru, Heart Of The Sunrise, Circus Of Heaven, Time And A Word, Long Distance Runaround, The Fish incl. Survival & Ritual, Perpetual Change, Soon, Don’t Kill The Whale, Clap, Starship Trooper
Disc 2 (75:36): On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, Awaken, I’ve Seen All Good People, Roundabout. Bonus tracks, University Of Illinois, Champaign, IL – April 23rd, 1979: Opening, Siberian Khatru, Future Times/ Rejoice, Circus Of Heaven, Birthday song, Time And A Word, Long Distance Runaround
Highland first pressed songs from the October 28th late show on Madrigal Mystery Tour (Highland HL046/47#Y9) which contained “Madrigal” and “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom” as bonus tracks along with the Cleveland 1979 radio broadcast. Anniversary Of Decade was released several years later with the entire radio broadcast. The recording is clear with an emphasis upon the lower end frequencies offering an interesting percussive quality. It isn’t as bright sounding as the latest editions from the Friday Rock Show radio broadcast however.
As a bonus Highland include the forty-five minute soundboard fragment from the April 23rd, 1979 University Of Illinois soundboard. There is slight hiss in the quieter moments and the audience sound very far away but there is good balance in the instruments and the music is very clear. Anderson’s vocals hover in the middle of the stereo separation while Squire is in the right channel and Howe in the left. The tape is focused upon the first half of the show beginning with the “Close Encounters” opening and cutting out after “Long Distance Runaround” in the big medley. “Heart Of The Sunrise” was normally played after “Siberian Khatru” but there is no cut in the tape. (Or if there is it’s quite subtle). Given that Anderson greets the audience before “Future Times / Rejoice” instead of after “Siberian Khatru” lends more weight to the argument that “Heart Of The Sunrise” was dropped from the set that night.
The only cut within the music is a strange cut 5:07 in “Future Times / Rejoice” which sounds as if someone leaned on the pause button. It is a shame the tape is so incomplete because there is no audience recording and the performance is very good. It comes in the first couple weeks of the Ten True Summers tour where they were fresh and delivered energetic sets. “Thank you, thank you, thank you very much Illinois. Are we in the state of Illinois? Are you sure? Champaign-Urbana. We’re going to play one or two songs we recorded last year” Anderson says before “Future Times / Rejoice.” The recording is good in emphasizing the different bass tones Squire uses during the first half of the piece, ranging from bouncy to biting. Wakeman’s keyboards become dominant during “Rejoice” with more fascinating colors in the piece.
After “Circus Of Heaven” Anderson says, “Thank you very much. As you probably know, this is our tenth anniversary folks. Woo! Yo! Alright. Thank you. Thank you” and while he is saying this Wakeman plays “Happy Birthday” on the piano. Highland tracked this separately and it clocks in at a minute long. “Time And A Word” and “Long Distance Runaround” are the first two songs of the big medley and the tape fades out right before they get into “The Fish.” Champaign is one of the few legitimate Yes soundboards to surface and it’s shame the rest of the show hasn’t surfaced in the intervening years. The inclusion of this on Anniversary Of Decade make this an interesting title that is good to have although hardly essential. There are many excellent complete recordings from these great Yes tours, but for the obsessive Tormato fan the fragment is an interesting glimpse into the early days of the tour.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)