Roosevelt Stadium 1976 (Siréne-061)
Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ – June 17th, 1976
Disc 1: WNEW/WMMR DJ chatter, Apocalypse intro, Siberian Khatru, Sound Chaser, I’ve Seen All Good People, The Gates Of Delirium
Disc 2: Long Distance Runaround, Patrick Moraz solo, Steve How solo – Clap, Jon Anderson solo – Olias, Heart Of The Sunrise, Ritual, DJ chatter, Roundabout, DJ chatter, I’m Down, DJ closing
The criterion for the very best releases are, to be very axiomatic, subjective. In my mind the best ones are those that have complete shows in great sound quality. But what makes others rise above even that are those that capture the whole “event” surrounding a specific performance. Radio broadcasts, festivals and the like are more likely to have that atmosphere. Yes’ concert at Roosevelt Stadium in the summer of ’76 is just such an event.
The band were at the very height of their progressive rock popularity and played to some of their biggest audiences. WNEW, the main New York metropolitan area AOR station and its sister station WMMR in Philadelphia were on hand to broadcast the event. This tape has circulated since the 70s. It first surfaced on vinyl as Mark’s LP (Dancin’ Discs DD1002). In the cd era it surfaced on the Australian produced Live Vol. 1 (Joker Productions JOK-026-A) and the Italian Quasi-Mystical Vision (Turtle Records TR-235). Both of these titles contained only a part of the show recorded straight from the radio.
Highland released the complete show twice, the first time as The Story Of Relayer (Highland HL034/35#Y8) in 1996. The issue with this release was that the label got the set list wrong, placing “The Gates Of Delirium” on disc 2. In 1998 they tried it again as Song Of Relayer (Highland HL348/349). Their second attempt has much better sound quality and is one of the most beautiful releases in their entire catalogue.
Unfortunately they again failed to place the songs in their proper order. Sirene utlizes the excellent sounding tape and worked with it to make it much more full sounding. The label also placed the songs in their proper order and edited in the dj commentary. We can hear Richard Neer, Pat Dawson and, at the end, Alison Steele describing the excitment surrounding the entire event. They mention the thousands of lighters and the lasers hitting the Manhattan buildings across the river.
There were problems with the recording that Sirene couldn’t fix like Patrick Moraz’ keyboard solo disappearing in “Siberian Khatru”. But in general everything is very audible and the tape is a joy to hear. Because the quality is so good this is the best document from one of Yes’ greatest tours.
The “solo” tour definitely had one of their most interesting set lists with most of Relayer being played, a generous selection of solo material, older classics like “Heart Of The Sunrise”, and surpising interpretations of older material like the acoustic version of “Long Distance Runaround”. “Ritual” from Topgraphic Oceans is a climatic closer to the set. The band often played The Beatles’ “I’m Down” as a second encore and the version from this broadcast was relased officially in the Yesyears boxset from 1991. Sirene have released the definitive version of this important tape.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)