Definitive Tourmato (Virtuoso 042/043)
Wembley Arena, London, England – October 28th, 1978
Disc 1 (55:45): Introduction by Tommy Vance, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Siberian Khatru, Heart Of The Sunrise, Circus Of Heaven, Time And A Word, Long Distance Runaround, The Fish incl. Survival, Perpetual Change, Gates Of Delirium incl. Soon
Disc 2 (62:33): Don’t Kill The Whale, Clap, Starship Trooper, On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, Awaken, I’ve Seen All Good People, Roundabout
DVD (approx. 50 minutes): Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Siberian Khatru, Heart Of The Sunrise, Future Times / Rejoice, Circus Of Heaven, Time And A Word, Long Distance Runaround, The Fish incl. Survival, Perpetual Change, Soon, Don’t Kill The Whale, Clap, Starship Trooper, On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, Rick Wakeman solo, Awaken, I’ve Seen All Good People, Roundabout
Audience shot 8mm film compilations taken at the following venues: International Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL. USA September 1978, Wembley Arena, London, UK October 1978, Winnipeg Arena, Manitoba, Canada April 1979, Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY USA June 1979
Yes’ October 28th, 1978 evening show is the last from that year and, because of the BBC broadcast, remains one of their most popular. Titles sourced from the radio broadcast surfaced almost immediately on vinyl. “Awaken” appears on The Affirmative (T01), “I’ve Seen All Good People” on Re-Evolution (Flashback 08.90.0124-33) and File Under: Yes (YE-ISAGP-74/R-74) one LP with “I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Roundabout” and The Twelve Towers At Dawn (AFF 3). More complete vinyl titles include In The Round (YS1600) on 2LPs and Periphet (Impossible Recordworks 2-17) with much of this show but missing the long medley and “Awaken.” “Don’t Kill The Whale” from this show was used for Yesshows in 1980 and “I’ve Seen All Good People” was used for the bonus 7″ single with Classic Yes released in 1981.
On compact disc songs from this show can be found on Outside The Window (Sugarcane Records SC 52003), Roundabout (Living Legend LLRCD 082), Siberian Khatru (Live Line LL15486), Siberian Khatru (Lobster CD 021), Live In LA Forum 1974 & 1987 (Best Of Live Series BOLS 004), Close To The Edge (Alegra CD9018) (with “I’ve Seen All Good People”), First Steps (ABAXAS A.114) (“Time And A Word,” “Starship Trooper,” and “Roundabout”) and Madgrial Mystery Tour (Highland HL046/47#Y9) had “Madrigal” and “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom” all contain material from this tape. Survivors Of The Future (Off The Record OTR 65509/10) is a two disc set with the tape plus material from the April 19th, 1979 Quebec radio broadcast. Rocking The Orchestra (Sound Carrier System SCS847011/12), Wembley Arena 1978 (Electric Monkey EM05/06) and Anniversary Of Decade (Highland HL210/211) are more complete editions.
Definitive Tourmato comes from a rebroadcast of the tape from the Friday Rock Showon BBC 1 dating from the early nineties. The label retains the introduction by the late Tommy Vance at the very beginning saying this is the first broadcast of this tape since 1979 and how much this tape was requested and to enjoy the next two hours. The tape is still incomplete, missing “Future Times/Rejoice,” “Madgrial” (played before “Clap” and “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom”) and Rick Wakeman’s solo. However, compared to previous releases, the sound quality is superior. It is much more defined in the instruments with a more brighter and crisper timbre. It is a shame that the missing pieces were never broadcast and makes one wonder if they even survived the past thirty years.
After the Vance introduction the tape picks up with the “Close Encounters” tape leading into a much tighter reading of “Siberian Khatru.” It sounds as if the band are pouring all of their remaining energy into what is the final show in London and of the year. Anderson’s introduction afterwards is similar to the afternoon show, saying, “Thank you very much, welcome to Wembley. Anybody from outside of London? Welcome to London.” “Heart Of The Sunrise” is played with no mistakes and Alan White thrashes the hell out of the piece. “Circus Of Heaven” is a song that “leaves a little bit of room for the imagination.” There is a cut after the song that eliminates some of Anderson’s introduction to the big medley.The half hour medley was a great move on the band’s part. Over a half hour play many songs that couldn’t be done otherwise. “Time And A Word” is assumed to have been played in 1970 but no tapes of it live exist before this tour. For all intents and purposes this would be the first time it was played live after their success. “The Fish” makes a return to the set since being dropped after the Fragile tours in 1972 and Squires quotes of “Survival” (never played live complete before and quoted once since) and “Ritual” are clever. Squire’s arrangement will be developed further on the Drama tour and Whitefish much later. “Soon,” the final part of “Gates Of Delirium” is played according to the single edit and is a gorgeous way to end the long segment of the show. Many people claim this piece is Jon Anderson’s greatest vocal performance.
“Thank you very much, thank you. We’re going to move for a little bit now. One of those songs started off as a kind of poem. It’s a song about the factory ships that seem to get rid of too many whales. The song is called ‘Don’t Kill The Whale’.” The eco-hippy theme and stupid Wakeman keyboard solo (imitating a whale being harpooned) really can’t detract from the performance of what is a very good country flavored rock song. This would be dropped the following year along with “On The Silent Wings Of Freedom” in an obvious attempt to move on from the derided Tormato album. “Awaken,” which sounded a bit weak in the afternoon is much more powerful in the evening. “I’ve Seen All Good People” includes the band introduction which is a nice touch but dropped the following year.
The DVD contains about an hour’s worth of amateur 8mm films from the various tours including some shots from Wembley. Most of the footage is clear and steady with nice shots of the “in the round” stage set up from those tours. The action is impressively synced with audio from this tape and the 1979 Quebec recording. It is video that probably won’t see too many plays, but none of this have been pressed on silver before and is a nice edition. As nice as the DVD is, Virtuoso could have truly released the definitive Tourmato if they dropped the DVD and made this a four disc set with the rare audience recording. The audience tape contains the complete show in excellent quality yet has not been issued before. It would have been a good addition to fill in the missing gaps from the radio broadcast. However this is still and excellent release and a tremendous upgrade in sound quality compared to earlier releases.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)