2001 - Symphonic Live

Amsterdam, 22-11-2001
Many thanks to the blog where it was originally posted and whose review was the base for mine.

This is the audio of the magnific DVD Symphonic Live, released in 2002. Nothing more than 2 hours and 50 minutes in 14 songs. Relax and enjoy, this is for dreaming.
Close to the Edge starts mind-boggling, what is Steve Howe in his guitar? No answer, just open mouths. Tom Brislim does all the keyboard parts very similarly to Rick's style, and the orchestra makes this one the only really different arrangement for this song since 1972!
Long Distance Runaround is good but nothing very different. They give it a soft approach, very different than, for example, the faster and more rocking they gave in 1978/9.
In the Presence of is divine, with the orchestra, elegant timbres, vocal harmonies, overall, Yes. One of the few recent Yes songs that are really quintessentially Yes.
The Gates of Delirium is one of the favourites of Yesfans, with the orchestra giving a new colour to the epic, and Jon singing with such a dedication, which can be called love. I must say I don't appreciate this version so much, because Steve Howe seems a little dull to me here, it seems to me as if he's not comfortable playing. But here I'm on the minority, all my Yes-friends love it so much.
Steve Howe shows, in his solo, his versatile guitar style, with reanascentism, lirism, folk and rock'n'roll. Great!
Starship Trooper is good but not essential. Magnification is another of the good songs they released on the most recent album.
And You And I gets very beautiful with the orchestra, here it does most of Rick's parts in the grandious symphonic sections, while Howe is perfect in the steel guitar.
Ritual is impressive. They play it with a lot of excitment (the contrast with "The Gates" is obvious to me) and Chris' solo is the best ever in this song! Only if the percussion solo was shorter...
Owner of a Lonely Heart is the only Yes-West song here, with its well-known riff. I must say in my opinion this arrangement is way much better than the original one, with its weird robot-like voices.
Roundabout is the last one. Steve came up with a new and good introduction, but later on they cut some parts of the song, which I don't like.

Buy the DVD if you can, but this bootleg, FORGOD'SSAKE!

Disc 1
01. Overture (Give Love Each Day) - 2'52
02. Close To The Edge - 20'30
03. Long Distance Runaround - 5'45
04. Don't Go - 5'57
05. In The Presence Of - 11'09

Disc 2
01. Gates Of Delirium - 25'33
02. Steve Howe's Solo - 7'26
a)Concerto In D Minor
b)Mood For A Day
03. Starship Trooper - 13'26
a)Life Seeker
04. Magnification - 7'26

Disc 3
01. And You And I - 14'00
02. Ritual - 30'08
03. I've Seen All Good People - 9'19
a)Your Move
b)All Good People
04. Owner Of A Lonely Heart - 6'04
05. Roundabout - 8'01

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1972 - The White Yes Album

21st January, 1972
This is one of the best bootlegs from Fragile tour. Best in sound quality and performance, because sadly "Heart of the Sunrise" lacks the first verse (but retains most of the introduction), "The Fish" is also truncated and some of the "Yours Is No Disgrace" solo has been cut out. Presumably these edits were made to fit it onto vinyl back in the day, although it's not that long - just under forty minutes in total!
Maybe Jon Anderson, song-writer and singer supreme, is responsible for that, but all YES members are brilliant on their instruments. For instance: Rick Wakeman. When you hear his solo, which is the first track on side 2, you want to buy the record without even hearing the rest of it. He plays piano, moog, organ and mellotron at the same time!
Beside that, you'll find all the best parts of the concert, such as 'I've seen all good people', 'Hearts of the sunrise' on side 1 and the Anderson composition 'Long Distance' and the wonderful 'Yours is no disgrace' on side 2.
The album is a full-music album, no long boaring talks or endless applaus, but very well (on the best equipment there is) recorded hi-fi stereo YES music.
YES made already 4 fantastic albums, this is the first 'absolutely life' album, enjoy it!

1) I'VE SEEN ALL GOOD PEOPLE - Anderson/Squire - 7.46
2) HEART OF THE SUNRISE - Anderson/Squire/Bruford - 9.50
3) RICK WAKEMAN SOLO - Wakeman - 7.38
4) LONG DISTANCE RUNAROUND - Anderson - 3.17
6) YOURS IS NO DISGRACE - Anderson/Squire/Bruford/Kaye/Howe - 8.05

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1978 - Live at Cleveland (Richfield)

1978-09-19 Cleveland (Richfield) Ohio USA
(Radio Soundboard)

Hearing this bootleg and the one from Wembley, I'm convinced that the Tormato tour was the best one in Yes history... set list is perfect (perhaps just too many Tormato songs, but they're short), and the Medley is unbeliavable! Long Distance faster, Fish with all the band playing awesome, quoting Survival and The Ancient, Perpetual Change very dynamic and Soon giving a beautiful end...
In this particular show, the best ones are On the Silent Wings of Freedom, in a slightly shorter and better version, and Starship Trooper, with a great job by Rick, with some new and good solos in the Disillusion part. Wurm is not as long as it was in 1977.
Take a look at the beutiful way how Madrigal moves into Clap. This is one of the very few times Madrigal was played live.

Disc 1
1 Close Encounters / Siberian Khatru
2 Heart Of The Sunrise
3 Future Times / Rejoice
4 Circus Of Heaven
5 Time And A Word / Long Distance Runaround / The Fish / The Ancient / Survival / Perpetual Change / Soon
6 Don't Kill The Whale
7 Madrigal / The Clap

Disc 2
1 Starship Trooper
2 On The Silent Wings Of Freedom
3 The Six Wives Of Henry The 8th
4 Awaken
5 I've Seen All Good People
6 Roundabout

Ps: Geoff Dunn, on Forgotten Yesterdays, says: In the Medley, as "The Gates of Delirium" goes into "Soon", Jon Anderson misses his cue! The rest of the band cover the faux pas extremely professionally and Jon comes in on the next bar. Most in the audience probably didn't even notice the mistake!

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1988 - Live in Houston

Houston, Texas, USA
February 19, 1988

This is one of the best bootlegs from Rabin era. The show must have been great, and the acoustics of the place too, because some songs were used in the box The Word is Love and the bootleg was pressed many times, under different names (
Live USA, Yesshows'88, etc). The one here is called Big Generator Show & Rare Tracks and has a cover I'm not putting here as it's horribly ugly.
The show was good, with good renditions of songs from 90125 and Big Generator, but also good playing on old songs, such as And You And I and Heart of the Sunrise. I think Rabin was much
better playing Howe songs here than in 90125 tour.
My personal favourites are Rabin solo, Solly's Beard, here simply called "Instrumental" and Yours is no Disgrace, with a good rock'n'roll energy from the whole band.

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Steve Howe solo carreer

Today I'm posting some recent albums from Steve Howe solo career. Most of his compositions are instrumental and guitar-based. That's wise, as his voice as a solo singer is not good...
My focus is on Yes material and not on released albums, but as all of these albums are pretty hard to find on stores or on the internet (I had to upload Skylines, and the other links were not easy to get) I'll put them here. Hope you like.

Skyline (2002)

- Steve Howe / guitars, bass, keyboards
- Paul Sutin / keyboards, percussion

Steve Howe is a world-renowned guitar virtuoso with the great progressive rock group Yes. Probably only the most devoted fans realize that there is much more to him than just being a guitar player for that band. He is a venerated solo artist as well. On his latest effort "Skyline", HOWE proves to be an adept six-string maestro by combining jazz, rock, and strong Latin influences into intricate and dazzling instrumental compositions.
If you want to relax in front of the open fireplace (or the central heating for the less wealthy), this CD is yours: sensitive guitarplay (electric and acoustic, often with a jazzy feel) and soaring keyboards, sometimes evoking Mike Oldfield.
(taken from progarchives)

Natural Timbre (2001)
- Steve Howe / guitar (acoustic), banjo, bass, dobro, guitar, mandolin, percussion, autoharp, guitar (bass), guitar (12 String), koto, mandola, mandocello, Hawaiian Lap Steel guitar
- Andrew Jackman / piano, Glockenspiel
- Anna Palm / violin
- Dylan Howe / drums

Here's probably the best Howe album... All the songs are acoustic, but he can make them very different one from another, using Mandolin, Banjo, several acoustic guitars, violin(played by Anna Palm). The whole album is very calm, perfect for reading, and he makes blues (Intersection Blues, to me the best track), Jazz (Dream River), and ambient music ( Distant Seas)... The disc has songs for all my moods. The Yes songs, in my opinion are all excelent: Your Move's extremely beautiful melody is made better, and the recorders are so calm and soft; Disillusin (from Starship Trooper) is outstanding, very emotive; To Be Over is a masterpiece, with amazing Glockenspiel, and a totally different atmosphere from the original. They are all as good as the originals.

Pulling Strings (1999) (Live)
- Steve Howe / acoustic guitars (1,7,13,15,16), electric guitars (13,16), string pad (7), hi hat (7), lute (9), keyboards (9,13,15), bass (9,13,16), tambourine (9), drum machine
- Phil Spalding / bass on track 1
- Stuart Elliott / drums on track 1

(...)One of those Beginnings tunes, "Pleasure stole the night", appears on PULLING STRINGS, unplugged (like most of the material here), and although its lyrics still don't make sense, it's heartwarming, it really makes you feel as if you just got to know Steve a little better.
Same with the Yes tunes. Once again, you'll have to forgive Steve his well-known limitations, but even so, I feel he makes a decent job of "Soon", "Turn of the Century" and the slow bit from "Close to the Edge". It certainly casts a totally new light on the pieces to hear them performed by someone who was intimately involved in their conception. If Steve played them the way he does here in MY local bar, I'd weep - and not even with frustration.
Steve's instrumental bits, I trust, won't cause anyone any trouble; they're fun as usual. But then, at the end of the programme, Steve suddenly grabs an electric guitar and lets rip with "My white bicycle", a Tomorrow classic I'd never heard before. Judging from its performance here, people, it's a TREMENDOUS tune!

(taken from progarchives)

Spectrum (2005)
- Steve Howe / guitars
- Tony Levin / bass
- Dylan Howe / drums
- Oliver Wakeman / keyboards
- Virgil Howe / keyboards

Steve Howe is the master of diversity on the six-string. With his new CD he covers the entire musical "Spectrum" and beyond. The entire album is instrumental and he certainly makes an immense statement without any vocals added to each track. There is no need for his YES band mates Anderson and Squire to add any vocals to this mix; it is a complete masterpiece without that element present. Rick Wakeman’s son Oliver and his own two talented offspring, Dylan and Virgil, join Howe, which is a stunning combination of the old guard and the new blood emerging from the YES family. Howe is one smart cookie, he has bass player supreme Tony Levin is in the studio for the sessions to round out his resonating guitar oriented compositions. God knows how Levin finds the time to play on all of the projects he does. He is simply incredible.
(...) Songs like “Tigers Den” and “Realm Thirteen” have irresistible hooks and rhythms that are as unique as they are inviting. (...)
Howe is equally adept with the acoustic or electric guitar, hence his ability to rock and play softer more jazz Latin inflected numbers to enhance your listening experience and make it an all around instrumental voyage through several different styles. I have a fondness for prog-rock and jazz fusion, whether it is acoustic or electric it does not really matter to me, I simply love it all. You hear will jazz, rock, country, blues, or combinations of them all in electric and acoustic settings during the course of Howe’s brilliant compositions. This is guitar 101. If you are an avid listener of the Howe repertoire o
r wish to study one of the more diverse and incredible guitar players on the face of the earth today, check out "Spectrum" now.
(from progarchives)

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1998 - Live in Santiago

You like Chris Squire? So this show is for you. Similar to the Budapest show recently posted here, this one has a mix that privileges the bass. It is very loud, and Chris's performance is astonishing.

So this show has my favourite ever live version of Heart of the Sunrise. I just can't explain the sound of the bass in this song here. It has to be heard to be believed.

Other good moments are Rhythm of Love, which, amazingly, became a very good song in this tour, and Roundabout, with Chris's classic bass lines played very loud.

Audio is good, though Steve and Igor are sometimes not very audible for the bass's loudness. The only recording flaw is in Steve's acoustic solo, some seconds are missing. A pity, for he was doing a great solo.

Set list:

Firebird Suite
Siberian Khatru
Rhythm Of Love
Open Your Eyes
And You And I
Heart Of The Sunrise
Mood For A Day/Winter/Guitar Boogie/Clap
From The Balcony
Wonderous Stories
Khoroshev Solo
Long Distance Runaround/Whitefish/Alan White Solo/Sound Chaser
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Santiago Jam
I've Seen All Good People
Starship Trooper

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2003 - Special Requests Night

Live At The International Forum, Tokyo, Japan
September 15, 2003

This bootleg is very similar to Live at Montreux. Rick Wakeman shows us what he would have done if he had recorded Magnification, and they really make In the Presence Of become a new classic song. But the second half of the show is better, with the band more excited and playing with more emotion. On the Silent Wings of Freedom shows a perfect groove and combination between Chris Squire and Alan White. Awaken is really uplifting, and after that, they played Owner of a Lonely Heart, for the first time in the tour, as a respected Japanese promoter requested that song. They play really tight in this one, with very good keyboard solos from Rick.

set list:
Disc 1:
01 - Opening (Firebird Suite)
02 - Siberian Khatru
03 - Magnification
04 - Don't Kill The Whale
05 - In The Presence Of
06 - We Have Heaven
07 - South Side Of The Sky
08 - And You And I
09 - To Be Over
10 - Clap

Disc 2:
01 - Second Half Opening
02 - Tulip
03 - Show Me
04 - Wakeman Solo
05 - Heart Of The Sunrise
06 - Long Distance Runaround
07 - Whitefish
08 - On The Silent Wings Of Freedom
09 - Awaken
10 - Owner Of A Lonely Heart
11 - Roundabout

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Close to the Edge and The Gates of Delirium - Studio Run-throughs

In the last years, many re-releases of Yes albums have featured as bonus tracks studio run-throughs, former versions of the songs that would still be modified before being released. Today I'll put here two studio run-throughs, of Close to the Edge and The Gates of Delirium.
Close to the Edge is generally the same, but there are many missing points. Since the beginning, for the first introduction, with the sounds of nature and birds, is inexistant! later, there are a few changes in lyrics and instrumentation, but the song is mostly the one we're accustomed with.
The version of The Gates of Delirium is much more distant from the final arrangement. Jon was still writing the lyrics, so he sung some "la-na-nas" and there's an amusing part where he improvises: "instant call that soils the sandwich (...) and we fight all to the devil, in regardness of the cats". If some critics say Jon often has no idea what he's singing about, I imagine what they'll say of that!
The song is overall very different, with louder drums(!) and less keyboards. The last part, Soon, is absolutely another one, with drums, electric rhythm guitar and almost no steel guitar. It lacks the calm and beauty of the one we know so well.
Listening these two studio run-throughs is very interesting, first to give us an idea of the band's process of composition, and also to remind us how both songs were so well and carefully produced, and sometimes a slight detail missing can spoil its greatness.

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1998 - Live in Budapest

March 31, 1998
Soundboard bootleg (there was a television broadcast, but I could never find it)
The keyboards are very loud on the mix, so here we can hear well the work of Igor Koroshev, and man, he rocks! His playing in songs such as The Revealing Science of God and America is much better than everything he did on studio with Yes.
My personal favourites here are Heart of the Sunrise and America. Both had, in my opinion, their best ever live renditions on this tour. Heart of the Sunrise with Chris at his absolute best, doing and awesome and more improvised bass "solo" and also Alan playing fantastically, doing the odd and variating drum beats as well as Bill on the original from Fragile. America is my second favourite, with Koroshev shining in the organ and occasional piano and mellotron. The whole band plays very tightly here.
Also keep an eye open for Long Distance Runaround, with good piano, and Whitefish, with Chris and Alan playing The Fish, Tempus Fugit and Sound Chaser (these two are better here than on th Montreux DVD)

Set list
Part 1
Firebird Suite
Siberian Khatru
Rhythm Of Love
Open Your Eyes
And You And I
Heart Of The Sunrise

Part 2
Mood For A Day
Diary Of A Man Who Vanished
From The Balcony
Wonderous Stories
Khoroshev Solo
Long Distance Runaround

Part 3
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
The Revealing Science Of God
I've Seen All Good People

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Update on July 2009: I found out the whole show is at Youtube!
The first video below (brought to me by an anonymous visitor of the blog) has a good image, while the second has worse image but links to the whole show)