Endless Road (Highland HL488/489/490)
Orlando Arena, Orlando, FL – August 11th, 1994
Disc 1 (70:25): Intro/Perpetual Change, The Calling, I Am Waiting, Rhythm Of Love, Hearts, Real Love, Changes, Heart Of The Sunrise
Disc 2 (73:02): Make It Easy, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, And You And I, Where Will You Be, I’ve Seen All Good People, Walls, Endless Dream, Roundabout
Disc 3 (70:31): Cinema, City Of Love (Riverport Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, Missouri – June 29th, 1994). The Calling (alternate version #1), The Calling (alternate version #2), I Am Waiting (demo), State Of Play (demo), Real Love (demo), Walls (single version), Walls (radio promo version), Walls (radio promo long version), Endless Dream (Silent Spring edit), The Calling (promo edit version), The Calling (radio edit)
The Talk album and tour is a period in Yes’ history that receives very little love and almost no respect from the boot labels. Very little of the tour can be found on silver discs even though the tour was during the protection gap days. Endless Dream is the only title in the Highland catalogue and it is obvious by looking at it that it is the only one. They present one out of many very good to excellent tapes made off of the Concertsonics system. The third disc is devoted to everything else they can find about the era: extra live rarities, demos and radio edits.
The first two discs have the August 11th Orlando show. The concert occurs right in the middle of the tour and comes from the Concertsonics system broadcast. The mix in the music is perfect, the audience is pushed back, and there are some (very) minor instances of static scattered throughout the show. It isn’t distracting and nothing that would persuade one from investigating this release, but it is present. In some ways the new songs come off better in this recording than their studio counterparts because the different instruments are louder. It’s interesting to hear, for example, the intricate basslines Squire is playing in “I Am Waiting.”
Orlando starts with the long six minute instrumental prologue. Gone were the classical recordings of past tours such as the Firebird suite or Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra. The piece of music sounds like an original composition which sounds very classical, probably inspired by the prologue to Franz Joseph Hayden’s Die Schöpfung. It creates an ambiance until the recognizable riff to “Perpetual Change” can be heard in the haze (a sly commentary on the perpetually shifting Yes lineups). When Yes come on stage they play the first two songs off of the new album, “The Calling” and “I Am Waiting.”
Afterwards Anderson greets the audience and introduces the next song, saying: “Here we are working, searching, thinking, we’re looking for the rhythm, looking for the ‘Rhythm of Love’, of love, the ‘Rhythm of Love.'” Rabin throws in “The James Bond Theme” in the guitar solo around the five minute mark.
“Real Love” is one of the more interesting tunes from the album. Anderson describes the songs as being “about the Earth music, is about the music of the wind and the sky and the fire within, and the energy that surrounds us, we know as ‘Real Love’, L’amour Real, ‘Real Love’, L’amour Real, ‘Real Love.'” The tape is very good for having Squire’s strange bass lines being audible in the beginning of the piece. Rabin and Anderson share vocals on “Changes” but Anderson forget them in the middle.
Before “Heart Of The Sunrise” Anderson says, “I remember writing this song with my good friend probably about a zillion years ago. It just seems like a couple of years ago really, but it was about a zillion years ago, and we wrote this song, on the planet Zongo. You all remember, of course, that we are Zongoni.” The Fragile tune is followed by their biggest hit “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” with the “Make It Easy” introduction.
“Where Will You Be” has perhaps the prettiest melody of the all of the new songs. Anderson gets into a long story regarding its composition, saying, “this next song was developed last year when we put the album together. I would go up to Trevor’s house and work on the songs, and as we would do, he would play some music and I would write a lyric and sing the song. Very simple. And then a couple of months later, I heard the song in final production and listened to the lyrics that I was writing about, what was I saying. And, what seemed to come through to me, because I have the lyrics here with me, written down, simply because I can never remember them. They’re very simple but they reflect an idea, and a deep feeling in the back of my consciousness, the idea of living many lives, and I’ve lived many lives before. There’s no, if we are living many lives, we won’t fear this one too much, because you understand the learning process. So, the other thing is that we will never lose our loved ones, because we will see and speak and understand each other again.” It is a trippy song on a bizarre album. But Anderson writes a McCartney-like hook and it is one of the highlights of the set. It also was dropped two weeks later never to return.
The third disc contains rarities from the era. The first two songs “Cinema” and “City Of Love” where played in a handful of shows at the beginning of the tour but dropped. These two tracks are taken from the June 29th show in Missouri. The entire concert was released several years ago on Maryland Heights (Siréne-054). The rest of the tracks hold varying degrees of importance depending upon your interest. The most revelatory track is “The Calling (alternate version #2).” This is the penultimate mix of the song before it went onto the Talk. It is two minutes longer than the official version and contains a soothing instrumental interlude in the middle that was edited out. Although it sounds pretty, it does slow down the song significantly and was removed for the song’s benefit. The rest of the tracks on the disc are demos and radio edits. Endless Dream makes good use of the album’s artwork and themes on the inserts with tour photos and is overall a solid effort by Highland.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)