Tales From Great Western (Virtuoso – 038/039)
Great Western Forum, Inglewood, CA – March 18, 1974
Disc 1: Firebird Suite, Siberian Khatru, And You And I, Close To The Edge, The Revealing Science Of God
Disc 2: The Ancient, Ritual
This recording on March 18, 1974 from The Forum captures Yes during their Tales From Topographic Oceans tour and was taped by Mike Millard. The date comes near the end of the first leg of the North American tour so the band is really fine tuned. The set list during this tour contained both the entire Close To The Edge and Tales From Topographic Oceans albums with a regular encore of “Roundabout”. However, early in the tour, side two of Topographic Oceans, “The Remembering”, would be dropped. The sound quality is very good from a mono audience recording and the tape picks up everything well, especially the guitar and keyboards.
The recording cuts in during the taped “Firebird Suite” before the opening number “Siberian Khatru”. Howe does some burning solos at the close of “Siberian Khatru” and sounds unstoppable. All the intricacies of “Close To The Edge” are captured well in the recording and Steve Howe, once again stands out in the track and is having an outstanding night. Even the Tales From Topographic Oceans tracks are inspired versions and are played with enthusiasm despite some of the members growing tired of the material.
The “Leaves Of Green” section of “The Ancient” is greeted with applause from an appreciative audience. The recording does cut out at the end of “The Ancient” but includes all 25 minutes of “Ritual” which features a two and a half minute intro before Anderson properly introduces the track. Unfortunately the tape does not contain the encores “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper” listed on the Forgotten Yesterdays website.
The only previous silver version of this tape comes from the 10CD Tarantura box set The Word Is Love. This was an extremely limited edition set and sold out rather quickly so this new title from Virtuoso is a much welcomed release. In comparison, the sound quality is almost identical and the disc times are the same. The only difference I noticed was during “Ritual”. Tarantura tends to favor the left channel where Virtuoso has an overall better balance.
Tales From Great Western is another excellent Virtuoso title and is recommended for those who were not lucky enough to get your hands on the large Tarantura box set. It is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with some great photos and offers collectors another chance at this very good sounding Millard recording.