1981: YES ‘THE AFFIRMERY’ :Beacon Island

Source: FM broadcast from Boston Garden, Boston, MA – December 11, 1974

Side 1: Sound Chaser (9:36) / Roundabout (8:13)                                                                                          Side 2: The Gates of Delirium (22:10)

From collectorsmusicreviews.com:

Set List:  Radio intro., Firebird Suite, Sound Chaser, Close To The Edge, To Be Over,  Gates Of Delirium, And You And I, Roundabout, Radio outro

This tape comes from the DIR archives and was broadcast over the King Biscuit Flower Hour back in the seventies and has unfortunately never seen official release, but is one of the most popular recordings of Yes in circulation.

The two LP set Affirmery (Beacon Island Records 2S710) and its clone The Affirmery (TAKRL 1981) [it was in fact the other way around as TAKRL releases preceded Beacon Island ones] has “Firebird Suite,” “Sound Chaser,” “Gates Of Delirium,” and “Roundabout.” 

The above paragraph fails to mention that LP 2 of the Beacon Island title is from a different show altogether: Rainbow, London, December 1972.

Yes The Affirmery 2LP

The Affirmery 2 LP set on Beacon Island Records (2S710)

“Stellar Attraction (Beacon Island Records 2S719) is a 2LP set that has all but “To Be Over,” but Stellar Attraction (Singer’s Original Double Disc SODD 008) is the only vinyl title to have the complete broadcast [Stellar Attraction on Beacon Islands is simply a re-release of the SODD title, so this statement makes no sense.].”

Yes Stellar Attraction

Stellar Attraction on Beacon Island Records (2S719)
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.  There are many documents on tape including the recently excavated Baton Rouge tape, but Boston remains the only professionally recorded tape in circulation.

Unfortunately it is not complete, missing the final song of the set “Ritual” and quiet possibly another encore since “Siberian Khatru” pops up in some of the gigs.  This release begins with the announcer speaking about the special two part Yes and Gryphon special before the “Firebird Yes SA bSuite” and the new song “Sound Chaser.”  The song was so unusual in dynamics that even the radio engineers don’t know how to handle it and the backing vocals sound a bit out of tune.

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.

The DIR announcer has a few words afterwards before Anderson introduces the first side of the new album “Gates Of Delirium.”  Much like “Sound Chaser,” the sound engineer plays around with the mix and sometimes Moraz’ backing organ sounds are louder than Howe’s stratocaster.

Having such a clean recording strips the number of some of its excitement since the audience’s reaction is hardly visible.  However, some of the Boston faithful do get some of their whistles in during the song and thankfully the engineers figure the song out enough to capture a great version of “Soon,” the closing peaceful section of the new epic.

“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.”  Anderson encourages the audience to dance along for the final song of the night “Roundabout.”

From a collector report: “…an entire audience recording of this show has surfaced from ‘DLampinski’ that sounds incredible. There’s quick tape splices in ‘gates’ & ‘ritual’, but the difference between this audience tape & the KBFH version is like the difference between the specific Detroit show in August 76 & the butchered versions from that show which eventually ended up on “Yesshows” 2LP…”

As with many KBFH recordings, their new owner wolfgangsvault has this one as well in complete form:



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