Close To The East (Ayanami-255)
Shibuya Kokaido, Tokyo, Japan – March 9th, 1973
Disc 1 (48:10): Excerpt from ‘Firebird Suite,’ Siberian Khatru, I’ve Seen All Good People, Heart Of The Sunrise, Mood For A Day, Clap, Colours Of The Rainbow, And You And I
Disc 2 (38:10): mc, Close To The Edge, Rick Wakeman solo, Roundabout
Close To The East is a new tape source for Yes’ second show in Tokyo on their first visit to Japan. This show surfaced previously as Hallelujah (Dirty 13 Volume 1 D13-01 A/B) and Heart Of Yes (Platinum & Gold PG730309) as a good and listenable audience recording.
This new release by Ayanami uses a new and previously uncirculated tape source that sounds closer to the stage and is much better sounding. All the instruments are clear and enjoyable although there is noticeable distortion in the upper end. It isn’t too distracting but it is present. Unfortunately the tape is missing the encores “Yours Is No Disgrace” and “Starship Trooper”. The label could and should have edited the encores from the older tape source but unfortunately chosen not to.
That is unfortunate because this is arguably the best of the three Tokyo shows. The first one on March 8th sounds like they were too nervous and the following evening they were too loose (maybe too much sake??), but this one is just phenomenal.
“Close To The Edge” is dedicated to the Tokyo’s anti-pollution because, as Anderson explains, “When we flew into Tokyo airport we can’t see Tokyo. Better get rid of it. Come tomorrow and sweep it up.” He even throws in a version of “Colours Of The Rainbow”. This ditty is the first verse of “The Beautiful Land” from a musical called The Roar Of The Greasepaint – The Smell Of The Crowd and Anderson sang it regularly on the Going For The One tour in 1977.
Rick Wakeman’s solo spot has the usual nods to The Six Wives of Henry VIII but also includes an boogie interlude and an electronic sounding motif that is unique to this performance which segues into a motif from “Siberian Khatru” which in turn segues into “Roundabout”. It’s very interesting and a surprising way to end the show.
Close To The East is individually numbered and is one of the very few actual silver titles manufactured by Ayanami in their run before they turned into Sirene. For those who don’t collect professional cdrs it was a shame they used this format since they released many great titles. As it is this is a very good release that could have been better with a nice editing job for the encores. But the new tape source is very good and close to excellent and is worth owning