Yes – Swirling Wind (Virtuoso 023)


Swirling Wind (Virtuoso 023)

Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD – August 13th, 1972

Firebird Suite, Siberian Khatru, I’ve Seen All Good People, Mood For A Day, Clap, Heart Of The Sunrise, And You And I, Wakeman solo, Roundabout, Yours Is No Disgrace

Yes toured the US twice in 1972 after they finished recording the seminal Close To The Edge.  One the summer tour they were supported by The Eagles and is notable for not including the title track in the set list.  It wouldn’t make its stage debut until September.  Yes’ concert at the Merriweather Post Pavillion is very popular with two prior releases. 

It first came out on Suite Distance (Music Nation MN 001).  The second release is on The Wizard Of Yes (Highland HL507/508) which is a weird edit of this show and with “Clap” and “Close To The Edge” edited in from the April 21st, 1973 Tampa tape.  The sound quality is very good to almost excellent mono.  It captures the atmosphere of the event perfectly.  There are a couple of cuts between songs but no music is lost.

The hour long performance is captured on the tape beginning with the opening Firebird Suite introduction.  An afternoon show, it sounds like the band is trying to beat the forecast which called for thunderstorms and almost succeeding. 

Wakeman misses a cue at six and a half minutes in “Siberian Khatru” and afterwards Anderson says, “Thank you, thank you. We’d like to say, it’s really nice to be here. Beautiful afternoon. If it rains, uh..everybody from the back come and sit on everybody’s knee and we’ll have a good time.  That was a song from the new album we finished about a few weeks ago. It will be out in about three weeks. It’s called ‘Siberian Khatru’. This is a song from The Yes Album.”

Steve Howe has a two song solo spot right in the middle of the set.  Anderson seems to struggle with the introduction and Howe says, “Take it easy.”  Anderson then sings The Eagles’ song “Take it easy…  we’d like to listen to Steve play.”  “Heart Of The Sunrise” is extremely intense in this show about about nine and a half minutes in loud peals of thunder can be heard. 

The thunder continues throughout the rest of the show but thankfully no rain falls.  But the display by mother nature enhances the romance and drama of the show.  During the final song “Roundabout” Wakeman throws in a bit of “Yankee Doodle” during the organ solo.  The encore is a fifteen minute version of “Yours Is No Disgrace.” 

Swirling Wind is an excellently produced and recorded show and one of the best from the early Close To The Edge era that is worth having.  

Great Western (bonus CDR)

Great Western Forum, Inglewood, CA – March 15th, 1972 

Firebird Suite, Roundabout, Heart Of The Sunrise, Perpetual Change, I’ve Seen All Good People, Yours Is No Disgrace

Great Westernis a free bonus cdr title that comes with Swirling Wind.  This is a brand new tape for a show that has never circulated before.  Yes were supporting Black Sabbath and necessarily played a very short set and this tape has most of it.  It is a very good and clear recording that is marred only by some talking around the recorder.  This surfaced when the taper Steve Quinn mentioned on Forgotten Yesterdays that he recorded the show and believed it still existed.  When it was posted online it was accompanied by the following:

“Description Ok Yes heads, here is a brand new show from the taper’s master tape! This is pretty much an uncirculated Fragile show from the US winter/spring tour. The taper, Steve Quinn, was kind enough to offer his recording for distribution and apparently I was an early responder so I was sent the raw show on CD. I made a few tweaks such as a minor speed correction, added a little bottom-end, and removed 2-second track gaps & retracked. Here are the taper’s comments on the show and lineage:

“You’re the first to get a copy. I’m really not terribly concerned about it becoming widely available. As for the method of transfer, I used an Ion USB turntable with an input for cassette decks. As for the original recording, it was a little Sony portable deck with built in mike. We were seated pretty high up but facing the stage straight on. That’s all I remember. The thing has been gathering dust for a lot of years till I got this turntable and decided to transfer it. I made copies of it for friends decades ago but doubt if any of those are in circulation….

The order on the tape is the order on the disc. It was a short set as they weren’t top-billed at that show. The set list looks similar to that at San Bernardino but with YIND as an encore (I guess). I’m almost certain that nothing was played between Perpetual Change (when the tape ran out) and Your Move when I got it flipped over. The set went like this:
Intro: Firebird
Heart of the Sunrise
Perpetual Change (incomplete)
Your Move (lost a cappella intro)
Yours Is No Disgrace

The only possible deviation would be between Perpetual Change and Your Move. I’m pretty certain we would have remembered if Howe had played a solo in there. I would have been kicking myself all these years for missing it.
Pretty sure this is the whole set.”
— Steve Quinn

“Roundabout” was their biggest hit at the time and opens the show.  Anderson’s first words to the audience are:  “Thank you very much.  It’s really nice to play in Los Angeles again.  We’re gonna carry on with a song from Fragile, it relates to big cities like this, called ‘Heart Of The Sunrise.'”  Their epic carries all the power inherent in the track.  “Perpetual Change” is introduced as “A song related to nature, mother earth and what we’re doing to her.”  It is a shame the drum solo is missing.  The final song of the set is a great version of “Yours Is No Disgrace.”  It is very rushed probably since Black Sabbath were waiting to hit the stage.  For a bonus this is nice although it could have stood on its one given the rarities of tapes from the Fragile tour.  This is a nice surprise and is worth having.   

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