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Live rarities and oddities – 304

An essential collection of Live offerings

Produced by Michel Arsenault, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier and Bill Govier.

Another week another challenge! It’s been another difficult week but here we are with a look at some of the strange and unusual things Yes have played live over the years. What’s your favourite?

  • Do you like Yes playing bits and pieces of other people’s music?
  • Does it always fit?
  • Which era of the band integrated your favourite items?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

4 replies on “Live rarities and oddities – 304”

My favorite cover or rarity would have to be The Beatles’ “I’m Down” because I saw them do it at my first Yes show ever, in 1976. After what seems to be a deceptively short set list which actually contains both ‘Gates’ and ‘Ritual,’ and the obligatory ‘Roundabout’ encore and second standing ovation (we actually sat in our seats for the shows back then), the house lights came up and… nobody left. And we kept applauding, for about fifteen minutes or so. Eventually the band strolled back out on stage. Patrick sat down at Alan’s kit and started banging out a simple 4:4 beat, then Alan came out and gave him a look which said he was NOT amused in the least. Jon said a few thank you’s and then strapped on his electric guitar (not uncommon in 1976, as he played a great deal of rhythm guitar work on ‘Gates’), and there was a brief pause of anticipation where 8,000 of us collectively thought “what are they going to play?” Chris barked out “One, two, three, four..” there was the abrupt first note and Jon starts singing “You tell lies thinking I can’t see, you don’t cry ’cause you’re laughing at me…” No intricate Yes rearrangement of a classic, no stage lighting or effects, just the house lights and a straightforward rock and roll cover. It was, in a word, brilliant.

After reading that I felt like I was there. Great cover that I can’t see happening again. Jon’s Yes have added bits of Cream though eh.

Oh I did see Jon do colours of the rainbow in 77…the crowd liked it, if not a little confused. ..just thinking oh that’s Jon doing his thing

Hey Joseph,
Excellent choice…that is one if their better covers they did. And for the very reason you fancy rearrangement. ..just straight ahead rock and roll. Love it.

My first Yes concert was in NYC in ’77, but I had forgotten about Colours of the Rainbow and Flight Jam! The latter seemed like just a noodley intro to Awaken, not a separate tune. Colours was OK if a little out-of-place: did I miss that album? Ha!

I have thought that Yes should release a CD of covers that they played live or in studio. Also, I recall they used to play these short songs the composed about the city they were playing. King Biscuit (I think) had a Long Beach, CA show with one: “Making our way here/Down the road a piece/Going to Long Beach/Where the Queen Mary lies…..”

Another idea along the covers CD is on called Yessoul where they cover classic soul music. Think of their cover of In the Midnight Hour. More like that. Can you dig it? 🙂

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