Yes – Rays Of Light (Virtuoso 065/066)

Rays Of Light (Virtuoso 065/066)

Boston Gardens, Boston, MA – August 12th, 1977

Disc 1 (61:20):  Firebird Suite, Parallels, I’ve Seen All Good People, Close To the Edge, Wondrous Stories, Colours Of The Rainbow, Turn Of The Century, And You And I

Disc 2 (62:44):  Flight Jam, Awaken, Starship Trooper, Roundabout, Yours Is No Disgrace

Rays Of Light is the third silver release of Yes’ Boston show on August 12th, 1977.  Like the previous two, Prelude To Awaken (HL212/13) and The Sound Of The Rainbow (Scorpio YES-12877), Virtuoso use the same excellent sounding audience recording.  Compared to the Scorpio, Virtuoso boost the volume making it sound much louder.  Otherwise there is no significant difference.   

This show on August 12th is the first of two shows in Boston coming about two weeks after the tour began. They play the new album except for the title track “Going For The One”. It was played on the first four dates, the second show as an encore and the others after “And You And I”.

The song was dropped after the August 3rd show in Philadelphia and was reintroduced on August 22nd in Detroit. “Yours Is No Disgrace” is played in its place as an encore. The concert is played before a typical wild Boston audience. As one witness says, “Yes came on and were the most motivated I had ever seen them. Squire kicking beach balls back into the crowd, Anderson running behind the curtains stage left and right. M80’s blowing up on the floor of the old building and lasers running across the crowd before that type of thing was banned.”

It has a shaky beginning with Rick Wakeman sounding out of tune during “Parallels”. “I’ve Seen All Good People,” sounds much better as does “Close To The Edge”. The ballad section of the show follows and sounds magnificent in this recording. Jon Anderson introduces “Wondrous Stories” by saying, ” What we’d like to do is to carry on with a song which we recorded on our new album Going For The One. This is a little song that came on a very, very beautiful morning. It’s called ‘Wondrous Stories’.” Afterwards he gives a dedication to “Colours Of The Rainbow” explaining, “When I think about the seven days in a week and the multiplications of seven, this is a song which is for a little girl called Deborah. The song, it a very difficult song to hear. Actually its got very beautiful lyrics here if you listen.”

During the early heavy part of the song (“Awaken gentle mass touch”) Steve Howe’s guitar disappears from what might be a malfunction of some sort. Chris Squire plays the lead on the bass until Howe returns. (Squire would have serious equipment problems of his own the following night resulting in his decking one of the roadies on stage). During the meditative harp section Wakeman produces some strange noises (about 14:03 into the track) to which the audience loudly reacts.

“Starship Trooper”, which will stray all around the set list during the US and European tours, serves as the set closer on this evening and has a funky mini “tour song” as an introduction. A long version of “Yours Is No Disgrace” is the second and final encore on a very successful first night in Boston.  Virtuoso’s packaging is as usual excellent with tasteful use of the tour’s themes and motifs.  The concert is tremendously exciting and one of the best from the era. 

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