Yes – Tales From The Edge (Highland HL141/142#Y30)

Tales From The Edge (Highland HL141/142#Y30)

Friedrich Ebert Halle, Ludwigshafen, Germany – April 14th, 1974

Disc 1 (62:00):  Opening (excerpt from “Firebird Suite”), Siberian Khatru, And You And I, Close To The Edge, The Revealing Science Of God

Disc 2 (55:49):  The Ancient, Ritual, Roundabout, Starship Trooper

In the closing days of the the Tales From Topographic Ocean tour Yes played six shows in Germany.  The date at the Friedrich Ebert Halle in Ludwigshafen is the fourth German show.  Tales From The Edge is an early Highland release when they were the cutting edge label for progressive rock silver releases.  Sound quality and an appeal to mass consumption weren’t the primary concern but instead making available historically interesting performances for the die hard collector. 

That needs to be said regarding this one because the sound quality of the tape is atrocious.  It is thin, distant and hard to really enjoy.  The music is audible enough to make it useful in investigating Yes’ live history at a point where they were undergoing some turmoil (something which describes every era of Yes when you think about it).  There is a cut at the very beginning of “The Revealing Science Of God,” and at 19:24 cutting out a minute.  There is also severe tape deterioration after the cut.  Also the first ten minutes of “Ritual” are missing. 

However, what is audible is fascinating to hear.  The performance and the overall attitude of the band comes through.  The first half of the program, when the band play the Close To The Edge LP, is full of enthusiasm and the audience really get into it.  “Siberian Khatru” is one of the more furious versions on tape, and “And You And I” sounds majestic in this recording.  The audience are animated throughout “Close To The Edge” and even clap along loudly during the “I Get Up I Get Down” section. 

But there is a strange coolness in the air as the show progresses.  Jon Anderson, normally very chatty as he serves as mc, is very quiet and simply delivers the song titles and says “thank you.”  In the second half of the show, when they play the new album, Anderson doesn’t bother to give his long introductions about the pieces to the audience except to announce the song titles.

Before “Revealing Science Of God” he says, “Side one is titled ‘The Revealing Science Of God’.  Hope you like it.”  There are what sound like cat calls and polite applause before they begin the epic.  The audience does sound more enthusiastic during the “Leaves Of Green” section of “The Ancient” and “Ritual” receives a tremendous ovation at the end.  The encores “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper” are also well received.  Tales From The Edge is an appropriate title given how strange the show is.  The sound quality is an impediment to the general collector and is for die hards only, but it is worth having for the historic import. 

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