Master Degree (Virtuoso 095/096)
Duke University, Durham, NC – November 11th, 1972
Disc 1 (46:04): Firebird Suite, Siberian Khatru, I’ve Seen All Good People, Heart Of The Sunrise, Clap/Mood For A Day/Clap, And You And I
Disc 2 (47:44): Close To The Edge, Rick Wakeman solo, Roundabout, Yours Is No Disgrace
Master Degree documents Yes’ Duke University show from November 11th. Past titles such as Alternate Yessongs on Highland (HL003/4#Y2) and Solid Time Of Change (Siréne-104) used one tape, but the new Virtuoso utiilzes a newly discovered audience recording. While the quality is not nearly as good as the old tape, it is balanced nicely and is a worthy listen. There is a cut forty seconds in “Firbird Suite,” a tape flip 6:11 in “And You And I,” and unfortunately, the tape cuts out six minutes into “Yours Is No Disgrace” in addition to small cuts between the songs.
Virtuoso copies the same trick used on the fan produced Moongate Climber (30th Anniversary Edition)and copied by Siréne. Several different versions of the songs from different eras are edited together, from a Trevor Rabin era show, to a Drama era concert till finally a 1971 show.
Yes professionally taped the concerts from this era for Yessongs including Duke. Nothing from this show has ever been used by the band or has surfaced on bootleg. The show three nights later in Athens, Georgia is the source for “Yours Is No Disgrace” on the live LP.
The style of symphonic, creative and progressive music Yes were expounding hit a peak in 1972 and 1973. The opening numbers “Siberian Khatru,” “I’ve Seen All Good People” and especially “Heart Of The Sunrise” are close to magic.
Steve Howe plays “Clap” with “Mood For A Day” inserted in the middle. This is the only tour where these two numbers are played together. Several years ago Rhino gained some controversy with Yes fans with their The Yes Album (Expanded and Remastered). They included Howe working on this arrangement with no documentation on the liner notes and Howe himself commented that it really didn’t belong there since it has nothing to do with the sessions in 1970 that produced that LP.
The numbers from Close To The Edge are the new songs they were breaking in their set list and Jon Anderson gives a long introduction to “And You And I”: “Thank you, thank you. Um..tuning up now to the next one. Which is a song, we’re gonna do a song from the new album and..uh the song, we used to call this song in the studio while we were recording it, we used to call it ‘The Protest Song’ and.. uh I though, I though, I got to thinking about all the protest songs that’ve been written. All the incredible ones from Bob Dylan and the folk singers alike and The Beatles nobody listens, you know, the people in charge. There’s really sort it all out. It’s all there for them to listen to and to sort out and to make it great for our children. Because we’re all going to have children. Everybody here, you know? Anyway, this song relates to a few things. In the middle and at the end. It relates to dreaming about all the good things in life. And if, if enough people dream about it, maybe it’ll come true for us all, and for our children.”
“Close To The Edge” had just been introduced into the set list in September as is still played live very close to the studio arrangement. Rick Wakeman’s solo contains themes from Six Wives Of Henry VIII and Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus from the Messiah. An eight minute “Roundabout” with a funky groove as an introduction closes the show and “Yours Is No Disgrace” is the encore.
Master Degree is a good release. It’s not as good as the older tape source, however. And it doesn’t succeed where it could have been an improvement by having the same large gap in the encore. This appeals to the Yes completist, but otherwise isn’t an important silver pressing.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)