Ritual (Bolskine House Records BHRCD-7)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – December 11th, 1974
Disc 1 (64:15): Firebird Suite, Sound Chaser, Close To The Edge, To Be Over, Gates Of Delirium
Disc 2 (49:13): mc, And You And I, Ritual, Roundabout
Since Dan Lampinski’s previously uncirculated tape collection began surfacing last year, it has provided a startling series of concert recordings from the biggest bands at their peak. One of the best early tape was for Yes’ December 11th, 1974 Boston gig. Well known for being broadcast by on King Biscuit Flower Hour, the new audience recording rivaled the professional recoding in quality and overall enjoyment.
Delirium Of Joy (Virtuoso-070/071) was the first silver pressing of the tape. Ritual on Bolskine Records utilizes the same recording. It has been remasted to tone down the treble slighly and give the bass more weight and liveliness. It still captures the atmosphere of the gig perfectly and is a phenemonal all around release.
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.
Yes played an second encore of “Siberian Khatru” at some shows, but play only “Roundabout” in Boston. Ritual is packaged in a single pocket sleeve with a photograph from the era on the front and back and is limited to three hundred numbered copies. This, along with the Bad Company released recently, is the beginning of Tarantura’s project to reissue on silver the best of the Lampinski recordings.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)