Seasons Will Pass You (Virtuoso 040/041)
Dillion Stadium, Hartford, Connecticut – September 25, 1972
Disc 1: Firebird Suite, Siberian Khatru, I’ve Seen All Good People, Close To The Edge, Mood For A Day, Clap
Disc 2: Heart Of The Sunrise, And You And I, Wakeman Solo, Roundabout, Yours Is No Disgrace
Yes’ original show in Hartford scheduled for 8/14/72 got rained out and prior commitments in the UK pushed the make-up date to a month later during the Fall North American tour. Also on the bill with Yes were The Eagles and Edgar Winter. The only other silver release to feature this recording is Down At The Edge on Highland which wrongly attributes this to the original 8/14/72. Highland’s release also contains three bonus tracks from Berlin on 3/27/71 that are mislabeled Stuttgart, Germany 4/16/71.
The taper must have been positioned close to the stage or speakers as the instruments and vocals come through remarkably clear. The recording is very dry and up front sounding for an audience tape and bass guitar is very prominent in the recording, something that is usually lacking in older audience tapes. The microphone picks up some minor comments in places and there are also a few instances of muffled sound but nothing gets ruined by this. What’s also nice is that the show is virtually complete.
Alan White had replaced Bill Bruford two months prior and is settled in by now and seems very comfortable with all the material. “Siberian Khatru” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” are very tight and set the pace for an all out great performance. Up to this point “Close To The Edge” had been featured in the second half of the show after “Heart Of The Sunrise” so this documents the first performance where it had been moved to earlier in the set. There is a cut at 13:34 during Wakeman’s pipe organ segment probably due to a tape flip but is otherwise fully intact. “Mood For A Day” is played beautifully but Steve Howe has some problems with his acoustic feeding back in the transition into “Clap” where he adds “I wish it would stop howling”.
“And You And I” starts with the “Apocalypse” section and Squire adds bass riffs in place of the harmonica and is now placed after “Heart Of The Sunrise” in the set. A truly amazing “Wakeman Solo” is preceded by Jon Anderson’s introduction “and after a bottle of Tequila here is our resident keyboard player Mr. Rick Wakeman”. (Hard to imagine anybody playing this good after a few Tequilas). At the very end of Wakeman’s solo you can hear the taper ask “where’s that other tape?” which is followed by a cut that chops the first few notes of “Roundabout”. What follows is a nice aggressive version with everyone on their toes. “Yours Is No Disgrace” is 13 minutes and includes a great jam and is one of the few times in the evening that improvisation is allowed.
When I compared this to the older Highland release, I was surprised to find that Virtuoso cut the highs so much. They did get rid of the hiss that plagued Down At The Edge but also squashed some of the detail in the upper register of the tape in doing so. The low end is much nicer and Virtuoso is a bit of an improvement here but I can’t really consider this as big of an upgrade as I was hoping for. I am usually a big fan of Virtuoso’s mastering techniques but feel they should have left more of the high end present in this case. Seasons Will Pass You has a few extra seconds at the start of the tape before “Firebird Suite” but is otherwise the same in content. In any event, this is a show that belongs in every Yes collection.