Light Of Images (Highland HL143/144)
Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA – August 3rd, 1977
Disc 1: Firebird Suite, Parallels, I’ve Seen All Good People, Close To The Edge, Wondrous Stories, Colours Of The Rainbow, Turn Of The Century, And You And I
Disc 2: Going For The One, “Awaken” A Prelude, Awaken, Starship Trooper, Roundabout
Light Of Images documents the fifth show on the Going For The Onetour in 1977 and the second show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Since the Philly metropolitan area is one of the strongest areas of Yes fanaticism, any tape from this region is worth having. The enthusiasm of the audience would usually raise the level of performance, but since this is so early in the show and they were adjusting to the new set list and to playing with Rick Wakeman again, there is apparent rust. The tape for this show is fair to good. There is noticeable amounts of distortion and some of the instruments get lost in the mush of sound. It sounds as if the taper were relatively close to the stage though and despite its limitations it is listenable. None of the songs are cut but there are cuts after “Close To The Edge,” “Wondrous Stories,” “Going For The One,” a small cut between the prelude and “Awaken” and one before the encores.
The piped in recording of “Firebird Suite” gets the Philly audience whipped into a frenzy before they hit the stage with “Parallels” from the new album. It takes almost half of the song for the soundman to find the proper balance for the PA. “Good to be with you again” Jon Anderson says afterwards, “Here’s a song I’d like you all to sing along with.” Rick Wakeman’s organ is very loud during “Your Move” but there is good balance in “All Good People.” Immediately afterwards the mirrored ball is lowered and people by the taper are already shouting “Close To The Edge.” This version is interesting because Alan White shows unusual restraint during “I Get Up, I Get Down” and doesnt play until the very end of the movement. This is followed by the hit single off of the album which Anderson introduces by saying, “Here’s a song that we recorded on our new album Going For The One. Hope you enjoying listening to it because we really enjoyed making it. This is a song titled ‘Wondrous Stories.'”
After a glorious version of “And You And I” they play the title track off of the new LP. Although it was included in the first five shows, after this performance it would be inexplicably dropped for three week only to emerge again later in the month in Detroit. They begin the song with a short funky jam which is an particular mark of this tour. They eschewed the solo spots to emphasize ensemble playing and this show features three such group jams as introductions to songs. They will jam again before “Awaken” where Wakeman leads the band in an oriental sounding melody, and again before “Starship Trooper.” The fifteen minute “Awaken” closes the set and at 10:44 Anderson’s microphone cuts out after singing “Master of light…” He waits for the melody to come back again before singing the verse again and they complete the song without incident.
There is a huge explosion before the first encore “Starship Trooper.” They play a little funk melody as Anderson says, “thank you again, Philadelphia.” A review of this show says that a woman ran on stage during this song and was escorted off by the road crew. “Roundabout” is the second and final encore of the evening before the band leave the stage. Light Of Images was released in 1998 by Highland when they were still the premier silver label for progressive rock. The tape isn’t the best quality but they are to be commended for releasing this since this is, to date, the only silver release of this show. It is packaged in a double slimline jewel case and features a stylized photo on the front which Highland used back then. For the Yes collector this is a good look at the early days of a new era back then and is recommended.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)