Delirium Of Joy (Virtuoso-070/071)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – December 11th, 1974
Disc 1 (64:34): Firebird Suite, Sound Chaser, Close To The Edge, To Be Over, Gates Of Delirium
Disc 2 (49:09): And You And I, Ritual, Roundabout
Delirium Of Joy is the latest silver pressed Yes title on the Virtuoso label and is perhaps one of their greatest efforts. The December 11th, 1974 Boston show is well known due to the King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast, issued countless times and even by this label last year on Electric Freedom (Virtuoso-008/009). But this new release uses a brand new audience tape made by Dan Lampinski. According to the note that accompanies his tapes:
“Dan Lampinski recorded over 100 concerts in the Providence/Boston area, mostly between 1974 and 1978. His earliest recordings were made with an internal microphone deck, and though they are somewhat lo-fi compared to his later work, some very great moments in rock history were captured for posterity. In late 1974 he bought a Sony TC-152SD tape recorder, a Sony ECM-99 stereo microphone, and began using Maxell cassettes. He was also fortunate enough to have a friend who provided excellent taping seats for many shows, resulting in high quality recordings. In 1977, he switched over to a Nakamichi 550 tape recorder, two Nakamichi CM-300 microphones, and continued using Maxell cassettes. Since Dan never traded copies of his recordings, they are all essentially uncirculated. Some copies were made for friends, but these releases are the first time most of these recordings have ever seen the light of day, and are direct from his master cassettes.”
Lampinski’s tape are excellent not only for the sound quality (which is impressive enough). There is a je ne sais quoi to them, an atmosphere which reminds the listener of why they fell in love with this music in the first place. Yes’ Boston show is very good for an early Relayer show even though they are breaking in new material, but is nothing like the fire they would have come the summertime. But this tape is great because it picks up the energy coming from the stage and coming from the audience.
Yes’ winter tour in 1974 lasted about a month and was a quickly arranged way to try out the new material on the road. These shows featured a very short (for Yes) set list that was focused on the new songs. Later Relayer tours would feature the long solo spots and acoustic set, but these are very focused ensemble playing. The opening song “Sound Chaser,” which is unbalanced in the radio broadcast, sounds much better in this recording and captures the depth of the piece.
A perfect Moraz-tinged “Close To The Edge” follows before Jon Anderson says, “It’s nice to be with you again… What we’d like to do is play our new album to you. And some other things later on. Now we’d like to play something called ‘To Be Over.'” What follows is a pristine version of one of their most sublime creations as is the following song “Gates Of Delirium.” The sound engineer for the DIR tape has some problems balancing the instruments, but much like with “Sound Chaser” these problems are not evident in the audience recording.
“Thank you very much. Hope you like the new songs. We’d like to play for you ‘And You And I'” he says before one of Yes’ most popular stage numbers. It was on this tour that Chris Squire began to play the harmonica during “The Preacher The Teacher.” The final song of the set “Ritual” is introduced as the forth side of Topographic Oceans. The piece serves as a medley of sorts with snippets of “The Remembering,” “The Revealing Science Of God” and the drum solo of “The Ancient” making an appearance during the ritual of life section.
I speculated that an audience recording would reveal two encores since both “Roundabout” and “Siberian Khatru” made some appearances that week, but there is only one encore. The packaging is up to Virtuoso’s usual high standard and Delirium Of Joyis an essential Yes title to own. Hopefully, with the pressing of this and the Queen tape by Wardour, the taper isn’t turned off from sharing his tapes online with the idea that the labels are making a lot of money off of them. These labels don’t issue enough copies to earn much of a profit. The CDR labels are the true money makers for them, and these silver releases are meant to be permanent artifacts of significant recordings and concerts.