Live At The Academy (Tarantura TCDY-1)
Academy Of Music, New York, NY – November 24th, 1971
Firebird Suite, Roundabout, I’ve Seen All Good People, Clap, Wakeman Solo, Long Distance Runaround, The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus), Perpetual Change, Yours Is No Disgrace
Yes toured the United States twice in support of Fragile. The first was between November to December 1971 and the second February to March 1972 (the final with Bill Bruford). Only four audience tapes exist for the first tour: November 10th at the Forum in Los Angeles, November 14th in Chicago, November 22nd in Atlanta and this New York tape. CD titles from this era are also very scarce with the most well known being The White Album from the January 21st, 1972 Concertgebouw performance.
Highland released the October 11th Wolverhampton show twice (Out The Valley (HL169/70) and A Venture Seeker (HL341/342)) and the March 10th, 1972 San Francisco show (Not Fragile (HL076/77#Y14)). The tape Tarantura use for Live At The Academy Of Music is distant but very clear and enjoyable and one of the best from Yes’ early years. The only negatives regarding the tape are Jon Anderson’s between songs talking is hard to hear and there is the occasional audience chatter around the microphone.
The tape runs just over an hour and captures the complete show. This was the first of two consecutive concerts at the Academy Of Music and they had to shorten their set to fit the bill. They were the support for King Crimson and the headliner Procol Harum (a tape of the Crimson set circulates). With such a short time on stage they drop two songs from the as-yet-unreleased in the States Fragile, “Mood For A Day” and “Heart Of The Sunrise”. The former was segued with “Clap” on this tour (and a rehearsal in the studio is included as a bonus track on the 2003 The Yes Album on Rhino).
“Heart Of The Sunrise” usually followed Howe’s solo followed by Rick Wakeman’s solo. Instead Wakeman plays briefly on the piano as a prelude to “Long Distance Runaround”. Chris Squire’s solo “The Fish” sounds devastating in this recording and the audience follows attentively. Before “Perpetual Change”, Anderson says, “It’s a song about forces of nature, forces of man battling against each other and the forces of General Motors. And General Motors are doing very well… a song called ‘Perpetual Change'”.
Bruford plays an intense solo in that song and the band end the set with a short version of “Yours Is No Disgrace”. Live At Academy Of Music is the second Yes release from the Tarantura people following the massive The Word Is Love box set earlier this year. It comes packaged in a single glossy cardboard sleeve and is limited to one hundred copies with reports of it being sold out already. The information on the back is copied directly from the entry for this show from Pete Whipple’s Forgotten Yesterdays website with the venue’s capacity info and listing the two tracks that were dropped from the set list.
The cartoon on the back is a bit goofy but Tarantura like to include such artwork on their Zeppelin releases. Also included is a mini poster of the same artwork on the front cover and fascinating concert pictures from the tour including two from their November 17th show in a high school gymnasium in Elyria, Ohio. It is nice to see Yes given the deluxe label treatment by Tarantura. These old tapes are great to hear and deserve wider circulation.