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Yes Tracks Through Time – Part 11 – Ritual – 221

Which Ritual is your favourite?
Which Ritual is your favourite?

The ‘other’ track Yes will be playing live from Tales From Topographic Oceans this year – Ritual. Also, Mark reviews a rather different album, Big Generator.

  • Is the Yesshows version the best?
  • How does a Symphonic version sound?
  • When the classic line-up return, what’s the outcome?

Listen to the episode and then let me know what you think!

My son’s directorial debut is here! William Mulryne shot and directed the first single video from November Plot. You can see some more of his band photography here.

Show notes and links

Alan White interview

Steve Howe interview

Undiscovered music video for Lift Me Up

Yes at the Marquee Club

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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

15 replies on “Yes Tracks Through Time – Part 11 – Ritual – 221”

I’ve been listening to Tales for weeks, but I just don’t get it. It’s my least favorite Yes album. Then again I’ve learned to like Tormoto when I didn’t before. I’m looking forward to the USA tour.

Hello Preston..very interesting. .when I first heard didn’t jive with me either…mainly because I found I couldn’t sit through the whole thing. This was solved by listening to it on Vinyl. When I listened to it on CD the songs run together and I found I checked out easier and the music became background noise..when listening to the vinyl you have to commit to flipping the sides and I found i payed more attention to the music. I still feel that side 2 (The Remembering) can be removed from this album. Oh and Tormato was another album. That took time…still not there yet…but getting better. Tormato is in major need of remixing…attention Steven Wilson!!

Hello and again great show.
I would like to say that Big Generator was a much different album live than it was studio recording.
I would agree with Mark that you could tell Jon wanted more of the classic type Yes and that Trevor who I believe to be a musical genius had for the most part what he wanted on that album. However Live the show was fantastic of course I’m kinda of bias however the album just popped Live for me.
On to Ritual of course again having been at the show in 76 at Cobo Hall and that being my first time seeing Yes live well its my favorite by far, however having seen the symphonic version live as well as recorded well that was just amazing as well. I believe that Ritual to me was and is Yes theme song for them ” We love when we play ” is what I believe to be what drives this band to this day and to going forward because they really do love to play anybody who has ever seen a live Yes show would know that is true.


Paul Tomei

I wish I had seen Big Generator Live and could have made up my own mind. One day (maybe soon) I’d love to see Rabin live for the first time! Thanks for the comment, Paul.

Hello Paul…thanks again for your excellent comments and views. I agree the songs translated really well to live performance. But I have to admit to being jealous that you saw them in 1976…which is one of my favorite periods of the band. Almost all the bootleg shows I’ve heard with Patrick on keys have been excellent. That most have been a great concert.

Of the various versions of “Ritual” available, I always have to default to the original. Some of the most strikingly bizarre music I know of. If you know someone who thinks YES is just an eighties prog/pop band, play them this track!

One good thing about having Yesshows on iTunes is that, even though the nearly half-hour long version of “Ritual” is still cut into two parts, as it was on the LP and CD versions, when you play it back through your computer or iPod or AppleTV it transitions seamlessly between the two parts as one looong track, much the same way as ELP’s “KarnEvil 9” iTunes version.

Of the live versions I have to pick the “Symphonic” performance as my favorite. It sounds GREAT (I, too, was disappointed at the sound quality of the “Tsongas” show – especially from a band that has always prided themselves on exquisite sound, both live and studio) and Chris is having so much fun, and then when they reach the “melee of musical violence” (love that, Kevin!) you get to see everyone in the band who isn’t Tom Breslin pounding away on one sort of drum or another. Tom, BTW, even though not an official band member at the time, is in the “alumni” section of the Yesworld website, as an official former member.

And so, it looks as though I will be making the Pilgrimage to Las Vegas this summer as I do not want to miss this show. As for what sort of performance Billy Sherwood gives this, I think they will most likely be attempting to stick as closely to the original version as possible, as they’ve been doing with most of their recent shows.

Interesting how many people are saying that the Symphonic version is great – I love it and it’s even more special as I got to speak to Tom Brislin about it. He definitely deserves his place in the alumni section of Yesworld and if there’s ever a keyboard vacancy…

Hi Kevin–Great episode, as usual. I think my favorite is the Symphonic Live–I saw the tour in 2001, and it was phenomenal. I am also very fond of the Yesshows version, but you have mistakenly given the keyboard credit to Rick Wakeman. It was actually Patrick Moraz in the Cobo Hall performance. So each version features a different keyboard player!

Oops – thanks for spotting that – silly mistake. I should go back and listen again – I bet it will be really obvious that it’s Patrick. ๐Ÿ™

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