An Archeological Dig Through the Yesoteric Tapes

Quick Index:
Tape 1 - Rabin-era Remixes Tape 2 - ABWH & Asia rarites Tape 3 - Yes-related Bands
Tape 4 - BBC recordings Tape 5 - Rare Live Tracks Tape 6 - Tormato Era
Tape 7 - Paris sessions & Drama Tape 8 - Cinema and Union demos Tape 9 - ABWH Dialog demos
Tape 10 - Anderson solo Tape 11 - Live solo songs Tape 12 - Anderson & Rabin solo
Tape 13 - Live rarites & Big Remix Tape 14 - Pre-Yes, covers & GTR 2 Tape 15 - Atlantic & Chris Squire Experiment
Tape 16 - Misc, mostly Howe Tape 17 - Anderson solo II Tape 18 - ABWH demos
Tape 19 - Talk tour & Misc Tape 20 - More Rare Live Tracks Tape 21 - Misc
Tape 22 - 71 Live, GFtO demos, BG demos Tape 23 - Live(?), Demos, Singles & Edits Tape 24 - Early Yes & Howe with Dream Theater
Tape 25 - XYZ, Wakeman & Rabin demos Tapes 26 Through 29 Conclusion

Introduction

Ah, the Yesoteric tape series - a tribute to what fanatical followers of a band could do back in the early days of the internet, if they had a lot of blank tape and free time, and little appreciation for copyright laws. Something about Yes inspires their fans to collect everything that the band members ever created, but once you've bought all the solo albums and side projects, where to do you go from there? If you had internet access in the 90s, you probably tried to get ahold of the Yesoteric tapes.

I can hear readers who weren't fanatical Yes followers with internet access during the 1990s asking "What the heck is Yesoteric"? This page will seek to answer that question and provide as much data as I could gather about the series from various obscure spots all over the 'net.

But before anyone asks, yes, I do have a copy of the tapes, at least up to volume 25. No, I won't make you a copy. First of all, the tapes sound, for the most part, like complete crap. They are definitely for hard-core collectors only. And I'm just not willing to do the work involved in copying dozens of tapes or CDRs for people. Sorry. Most of the good parts of the Yesoteric series can be found elsewhere nowadays anyway - as bonus tracks on remastered albums, boxed sets, live releases, etc. Go buy those. The rest of the stuff probably isn't worth hearing, or can be found via torrent sites, etc, if you look long and hard enough.

With that out of the way, the Yesoteric series was a collection of 20-some (it might have even gotten up into the low 30s by the end) cassette tapes of rarities related to the progressive rock band Yes. Sometime in the mid-1990s, I got in contact with a guy from Canada who was willing to make me a copy of the series as it stood at the time (25 "volumes" and still growing). I've seen posts on the alt.music.yes archives which indicate that the series went at least as high as 29 tapes. The tapes were generally 90 minutes long, but some were longer (or maybe the guy who copied them for me just used 100-120 minute tapes because that's all he had available, and he filled in the extra tape with stuff from his own collection). He generally used the cheapest quality tapes available, and the sound quality reflects that.

The audio quality of the series ranges from near-official-release in rare instances to almost unlistenable in other (all too frequent) instances. Most of it falls in between - not all that good, but listenable for curiosity's sake. These aren't recordings you'd want to listen to on a regular basis. The volume level seemed to be a big problem for the guy who compiled the series - no attempt was made to normalize things, so listeners often got something so quiet that it was nearly overwhelmed by hiss, and then the next track would blast your ears off after you had turned the volume way up to hear that quiet track. And, of course, after being copied for several generations, there was a boatload of hiss on the tapes. Many of the selections came from poor sounding bootlegs to begin with. I noticed that it seemed like someone had rolled off a lot of the treble frequencies on a good percentage of the songs in the Yesoteric series - I wonder if, somewhere along the line, someone used the Dolby "noise reduction" feature of their tape deck while copying the tapes. There is also "ghost music" in the background of some quiet parts and at the beginning and ending of some songs, so somewhere along the line someone copied songs over top of tapes that already had music on them.

Complaints about sound quality aside though, there was actually some interesting material buried on the Yesoteric tapes here and there, if you were willing to dig for it. At the beginning, the concept of the series seemed to be to get the rarest of the rare Yes material out of the hands of bootleggers and into the ears of fans. Things like rare b-sides, album outtakes, infrequently played live tracks, etc. But as the series grew, I get the feeling that the guy compiling it was having a good time and enjoying the relative "fame" the series brought him (at least amongst a small internet audience), so he kept cranking out new volumes, filling them with whatever he could find. After a dozen or so tapes, he really seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for "rare" material, although new things would come to light as he collected, so later volumes still have some interesting bits. The series was compiled right at the tail end of Yes' heyday, so new bootlegs and other oddities were still cropping up on a regular basis.

The internet helped gather like-minded fans via newsgroups (especially alt.music.yes - if you look through the archives of that group, you can find a lot of information about Yesoteric) and the fledgling world wide web. This network of fans helped collect material and spread the Yesoteric series across the globe, albeit in a very "underground" manner.

Eventually someone came up with the idea of hosting the Yesoteric material on a Yes fan web site as MP3s. Unfortunately, the site had fairly close ties with the band (I think it eventually became the band's semi-official site), so Yes (or their management) eventually found out about it. Needless to say, they weren't too keen on the idea, especially since a lot of the material had either been officially released or was being considered for bonus material on future releases. So they politely but firmly asked that the MP3s be taken down. I'm not sure about this, but they might have also asked that the tapes stop being traded and all "promotion" of the Yesoteric series cease, because sometime around the year 2000 it became very difficult to find any information about it. Although I did find a couple web pages that seemed to indicate that the MP3s continued to circulate via CDR trading for a while after that.

In 2009, I was digging though some old tapes and found the box of Yesoteric tapes that I had traded for over a decade earlier and had pretty much forgotten about. For some odd reason, I decided to re-listen to them and try to transfer the best of the still unreleased stuff to CDR. That turned into a major project including a lot of research, so I figured while I was going through all that work I should probably write up a web page to document the series and gather all the information into one place.

BIG DISCLAIMER: I was never involved in the creation or distribution of the Yesoteric series, other than getting a copy for myself. So any speculation below about the creation of the series is just guesswork on my part.

Anyway, enough background info - here's what was actually on the tapes (note that all song lengths are approximate):

Tape 1 - Rabin-era Remixes

Oddly, the first tape of the series starts off with material from the "YesWest" version of the band, not with the "classic" line-up of Yes in their progressive rock heyday. In fact, there's not a lot of material from The Yes Album through Close to the Edge in the whole Yesoteric series. But there's sure a lot of stuff from the post-Going For the One era through Union. I guess when the band was going strong they released most everything and didn't generate a lot of "rarities", but when they were struggling artistically they created a lot of "unreleaseable" stuff.

Anyway, this first tape includes the ton of remixes that the band (or their producers) created out of the songs from 90125, Big Generator and Union. Maybe this material was chosen to kick off the series because it has fairly decent sound quality (compared to the rest of the tapes) and the material was still "fresh" (or at least recent) at the time.

There are a couple odds and ends from the 1970s thrown in as filler at the end of side two.

The original "cover" on my copy of tape one had the songs listed in completely the wrong order (or else the tape had them in the wrong order). Anyway, some of the titles of the many, many remixes of the same songs might be mixed up (no pun intended), but I've done my best to figure out what's what.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Give and Take 4:31 This was a bonus track included on the version of the Union CD released in Japan (I think). Sounds OK, although for an official release it should sound better. There's a guitar riff that Howe would recycle on his "Turbulance" album.
Yes Owner of a Lonely Heart, Red & Blue Mix 7:57 Here we go, the first of several Owner remixes, most of which just added various dance beats in an attempt to sell the song to dance clubs. This one has a little R&B influence, thus the title. It's mostly instrumental, other than the phrase "Owner of a Lonely Heart" being repeated occasionally. This comes from a cassette-only release called "12 Inches on Tape". It's listed at the All Music web site, but I had never heard of it (and I was a fairly fanatical Yes collector for a while there, which is how I ended up with the Yesoteric series).
Yes Owner - single version (?) ? This wasn't listed on the tape case at all, which really added to the confusion. It sounds like it's just a slightly shorter version of the album track. The "12 Inches on Tape" listing at All Music says that cassette included a single version of Owner, so I guess that's what this is. It's so similiar (if not identical) to the album version that I didn't bother to digitize it, which is why I don't know the song length.
Yes Owner, Wonderous Mix 5:30 This is another one I didn't digitize, because I already have it on a CD single that was just called "Owner of a Lonely Heart". It contained the original album version of the song and three remixes. This one sounds very little like the original song, it's mostly just a dance rhythm with little keyboard "beeps" on the beat and some of the song's lyrics floated over top.
Yes Owner, 2 Close to the Edge Mix 4:15 Another one from that Owner of a Lonely Heart CD. I think this version mixes in a little of the opening from Close to the Edge at the beginning, which gets your hopes up, but then just turns into yet another generic sounding dance mix.
Yes Owner, Not Fragile Mix 4:51 Another one from the Owner CD. I forget what it sounded like, because by this point all the Owner dance mixes were starting to blur together. Unless you're really, really into dance mixes, no one needs this many.
Yes Leave It, Hello Goodbye Mix 9:23 This is a dance remix of Leave It, with the "hellos" and "goodbyes" from the lyrics repeated over and over, thus the title. For a dance mix, it's not bad, although it doesn't sound anything like the original song. This is also from the "12 Inches on Tape" cassette.
Yes Leave It, remix 3:54 This is just a slight remix of the album version. The keyboards are a little different and the violin is more noticeable, but overall it sounds fairly similar to the album version. This is also from the "12 Inches on Tape" cassette.
Yes Leave It, a capella 3:20 Now this is cool. It's just the vocals, no instruments at all. I usually think of Leave It as an a capella song anyway, forgetting that there is music behind it, so this is neat to hear. Not sure where this came from.
Yes Love Will Find a Way, extended ver. 7:15 Yet another dance mix. The sound quality on this one (like the rest of this tape) is OK since it comes from officially released tracks, but this song has several odd "wobbles" where it sounds like someone bumped the record player while it was recording.
Yes Love Will, Rise and Fall Mix 5:38 Yet another dance mix. Not much more to say at this point.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Rhythm of Love, Move to the Rhythm Mix 6:58 I could easily have the titles of these versions of Rhythm of Love mixed up, but I think they're correct based on the song lengths listed on the tape case. They're all just various dance versions, and all sound pretty similar to my ears.
Yes Rhythm, Dance to the Rhythm Mix 4:26 See above notes. I have no idea where all these dance remixes of this song came from.
Yes Rhythm, Rhythm of Dub mix 7:56 See above notes. This one is a little more muffled than the rest, particularly towards the end.
Yes Lift Me Up, a capella opening 5:24 This is fairly similar to the album version, except that it opens with the chorus sung a capella. No idea where this comes from.
Yes Big Generator remix 3:36 This remix brings the bass more to the front and features some alternate lyrics (that sound like they were improvised by Anderson on the spot) near the end. The recording is very muffled and hissy and it sounds like the tape was damaged at one point. It's also fairy quiet and "distant" sounding. No idea where this remix came from.
Yes It Can Happen, original (demo) ver. 4:11 This sounds like a professionally produced demo from the 90125 sessions, but the sound quality is hissy and bass-heavy. It's not the same demo that later turned up on the YesYears boxed set. This version is noticeably different from the album version, but it's not a revelation or anything.
Yes Owner, Move Yourself Mix 4:23 Just when you thought there couldn't be any more Owner of a Lonely Heart dance remixes, here comes one last one to punch you in the gut. Nothing to get excited about. The version on the tape sounds like it runs really, really slow. I tried speeding it up with some audio editing software and it sounded much better.
Squire & White Return of the Fox 4:01 I'm guessing this was the b-side of the Christmas single called "Run With the Fox" that Chris Squire and Alan White released (which can be found on the YesYears boxed set). This recording is just a mostly instrumental version of that song, with the line "Run with the fox" sung a few times. The music varies a little from the "Run" version - it sounds like a whole different performance rather than just a remix.
Yes Total Mass Retain (single ver.) 3:56 The sound quality on this is pretty crappy for an officially released song. It's basically just a piece of "Close to the Edge" that was edited from the album version so they could have a single to release. I don't think it varies much from the album version - the Yesoteric notes I found on the web say that it has a different keyboard intro.
Yes Lift Me Up, single ver. ? This wasn't listed on the tape case, so I don't think it's "officially" part of Yesoteric. The version of tape one that I received in trade was on a 120 minute tape, so I think the guy who copied it for me threw in a couple extra things of his own. Or I might have added it myself, because I actually have the CD single of Lift Me Up (I bought it because it included the long version of "America", which was otherwise unavailable at the time). Anyway, this version doesn't vary much from the album version, if at all. Sound quality is OK, but since I already had it on CD I didn't bother to digitize it (thus, no song length).
Yes The Calling, atmospheric ver. ? This is one of the gems of the Yesoteric series, IMHO. It also wasn't listed as an "official" part of this tape. I think I downloaded it off the web somewhere and added it to my tape. The sound quality is pretty decent, but sounds like it came from a low-bitrate MP3. The song starts out the same as the album version, but in the middle it goes into this fairly lengthy atmospheric bit and gradually comes back to the album version of the song. This is much cooler than what they did put on the album. I don't know where it came from, but I wish they had used this version on the CD.

Tape 2 - ABWH and Asia rarities

Side one of the second tape picks up where tape one left off, going from the YesWest version of the band to the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe band that followed. I'm not sure if the demos that are included were intended for the second ABWH album (which eventually got merged with the next YesWest album to become Union), or if these are unused demos from the first (and only) ABWH album.

Side two of the tape takes a hard right turn and shoots out of the Yes universe entirely. It follows Steve Howe and Geoff Downes into Asia, and gathers together a bunch of b-sides and rarities from the original band. It then continues into the "John Payne" era of Asia, after Steve Howe and John Wetton had left the band.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
ABWH Vultures (in the City) 6:02 I've seen this song listed as both "Vultures in the City" and just "Vultures". It was apparently included on a "Brother of Mine" CD single, but not all versions of the single included it. The sound quality is very good (by Yesoteric standards), although the bass is really loud. The song itself isn't bad - I wonder why they "hid" it on an obscure CD single (and not even all copies at that) instead of putting it on the album?
ABWH I'm Alive (single edit) 3:12 If this was officially released, I don't understand why the Yesoteric version sounds so bad. It has a high-pitched whistling noise throughout, and the higher frequencies "wobble" all over the place. Makes it very difficult to listen to. The song itself is similar to the album version, pulled out of the overall structure of "Quartet", of which it was just a piece. Towards the end the music and lyrics vary from the album a little, rather than using the ending from Quartet.
ABWH Birthright (live) 7:11 I didn't bother digitizing this because I'm pretty sure it's the exact same performance and recording that ended up on the "Evening of Yes Music Plus" live album. This version came from the CD-single of "I'm Alive"
ABWH Promo medley 2:57 This was actually over 12 minutes long on the tape. I only digitized the first few minutes, which features a compilation of Rick Wakeman "interview" clips (probably staged for this promo) talking about the formation of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe and other Yes-related subjects. It then went into a 9+ minute long medley of music from the ABWH album, including parts of Brother of Mine, Birthright and Order of the Universe. Since it was just the music from the album edited into a medley, I didn't see any point in keeping the music. Sometimes the things that the original Yesoteric compiler decided to waste tape on just baffle me.
ABWH She Walks Away, instrumental ver. 1 5:37 Now we get into the unreleased demos, although as I said above I'm not sure if these were unused songs for the ABWH album that did get released, or if they were intended for the second ABWH album that became part of Union. At any rate, this recording is a little muffled and hissy, and the volume varies a bit (it dips rather sharply about 20 seconds in after a loud start), but overall it sounds pretty good for an unreleased demo on an nth-generation tape. Could have been a decent song if they worked on it some more.
ABWH She Walks Away, with vocals 5:49 This one is even more muffled and hissy than the above instrumental, but it's listenable. The lyrics fit the music to the point that I find myself singing them when listening to the instrumental version.
ABWH It Must Be Love 5:59 This one is really LOUD, and when the drums kick in it becomes a bit distorted. It's listenable, but just barely. The music sounds really familiar, I think it might have gone through some major re-working and became "Without Love You Cannot Start the Day" on Union.
ABWH Shot in the Dark, with lyrics 0:44 This is really odd. It sounds like Anderson took a cheap tape recorder, held it up to his stereo while playing the ABWH demos and sang along with it for a little bit, working out the lyrics. You can even hear him (or someone anyway) physically press the "play" button at the beginning. There's something that sounds like a dog whining in the background at one point. The sound quality is really awful, and the recording cuts off in mid-sentence. The really weird part is that this isn't even listed on the tape case or in the "official" Yesoteric listing. I wonder where it came from?
ABWH Shot in the Dark, instrumental 5:37 Sounds a lot better than the version with lyrics, but it's still a bit muffled and hissy, and the bass is loud. Not a bad song, but I can see why it was never put on an album.
ABWH She Walks Away, instrumental ver. 2 5:24 This sounds like a slightly more "finished" version of the song. I don't know why it was put at the end of the tape instead of with the other versions. It's a little overloud and distorted, and the bass is "boomy".

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Asia Ride Easy (b-side) 4:27 This non-album track was the b-side of the "Heat of the Moment" single. The version on the Yesoteric tape was fairly muffled and hissy and just generally sounded pretty crappy for something that was officially released. Fortunately, my wife was a big 45 collector in the 1980s and happened to have the "Heat of the Moment" single, so I recorded the b-side of that.
Asia Lying to Yourself (b-side) 4:12 This was the b-side of the "Smile Has Left Your Eyes" single. My wife didn't have that one, so I was stuck with the Yesoteric tape's really muffled, bass-heavy and slightly distorted version. They couldn't track down a better copy of this? It was officially released, for crying out loud.
Asia Go (extended version) 8:31 This is the only song from the band's much-maligned third album that I really like, so I was psyched to hear this extended version that was released as a 7-inch single. Unfortunately it sounds just as bad as "Lying to Yourself" - very muffled, bass-heavy and distorted. Who transferred these things from vinyl? It doesn't really matter though, as the extended version isn't that great. It certainly doesn't add anything to the album version.
Asia Gypsy Soul (b-side) 3:34 This was Asia's contribution to the soundtrack of a movie called "Over the Top" (wasn't that the Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling movie?) It's only a so-so song, and the sound quality is just as bad as the rest of the tape - muffled, bassy and distorted. Reports are that this isn't really an Asia song, it's a John Wetton solo song that was billed as Asia because that's the band he was in at the time.
Asia Heat of the Moment (live) 2:11 Not one to maintain any kind of chronological order, the tape compiler now jumps back to the band's first album for a live rendition of the big hit song. This is just a brief, in-the-studio performance on a show called Rockline. It's just as bass-heavy and distorted as the rest of the tape. Sigh.
Asia Someday (demo) 6:24 This demo is, for a change, not bass heavy and distorted. Instead it's drenched in hiss and has upper frequencies that "wobble". This demo features the questionable talents of Max Bacon on vocals. I don't know when it was recorded - I'd guess after John Wetton left the band following the third album. Eventually the song would be officially released with John Payne on vocals. What is it with Max Bacon showing up on all these Yes-releated projects? Is there anyone in the world (other than the members of Yes) who doesn't think he's a horrible, horrible singer?
Asia Heart of Gold (demo) 4:44 This is a demo from the John Payne era. I don't think this song ever made it onto an official album, but it might have been released on one of the band's "Archiva" discs. I couldn't find any other information about it on the web. It's nothing exciting and the sound quality is only so-so.
Asia Obsession 4:57 Another song from the John Payne era (am I the only one who thinks Payne is easily as bad a vocalist as Max Bacon?). I originally had this listed as a demo because it has fairly poor sound quality, but apparently it was officially released on the CD-single of the song "Who Will Stop the Rain?"
Asia Here Comes the Feeling (alternate ver.) 4:44 I'm not sure what this is. From this point on, none of the songs were listed on the tape case. This was another 120 minute tape, and I think the person who copied it for me threw in some "extra" stuff from his own collection. This sounds like a demo from the original band. It's a little muffled and hissy, but sounds good compared to the rest of the tape.
Asia No Reply (demo) 4:14 Again, no idea what this is. It's not listed on the case. I'm not even sure what the title is - I'm just guessing based on the song's chorus. It sounds like a demo by the original band. The sound quality is about the same as the previous track.
Asia Don't Tell Me (demo) 5:32 Yet another unlisted, unknown song. Title is a guess. Sounds like the original line-up. Same sound quality as the previous two songs.
Asia The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (live acoustic) 1:16 I think this might also be from the Rockline show that the live "Heat of the Moment" snippet came from, but it's not listed on the tape case so who knows? It's very brief and just sounds like John Wetton strumming an acoustic guitar and singing a verse and the chorus. It might not be a radio broadcast because the sound quality is pretty bad - sounds like a hand-held tape recorder that was too close and got distorted.
Asia Daylight (b-side) 3:31 This actually isn't part of the Yesoteric series. For some reason the guy who put the tapes together overlooked this b-side of the "Don't Cry" single. My wife had the 45, so I got it from there. I've read that the song was included on the cassette release of the band's second album, but (bafflingly) someone decided that it shouldn't be on the CD version.

Tape 3 - Related Bands

This volume was dedicated to groups that various members of Yes were in outside of Yes, usually either before joining the band or after getting booted from Yes. It covers Steve Howe's early bands Bodast and Tomorrow, Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn's work as the Buggles, Jon Anderson's projects with Vangelis, Trevor Rabin with Rabbit, Chris Squire and Peter Banks with the Syn, some Wakeman solo stuff and other bits and pieces.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Bodast Nether Street 3:01 I didn't digitize this one because I already have the Bodast album on an officially released CD. This was included in Yesoteric because it starts off with the guitar riff that became the "Wurm" section of Starship Trooper. Odd to hear it at the beginning of a song. Sound quality is poor, but listenable. There was another Bodast song on my CD that also featured a guitar line that would be recycled for Yes, but I forget the title. Wonder why that one wasn't put on this tape?
Bill Bruford Paiste Soundpage Expose 3:39 This apparently came from a "flexidisc", one of those plastic sheets with grooves that sometimes came with magazines, kids cereal boxes, etc, and could be played on a record player with generally horrible sound quality. This one features Bill Bruford shilling for Paiste drum equipment and playing a fairly forgettable drum solo. Unfortunately the volume level is so low that you can barely hear anything until the end when Bill really starts bashing things.
Buggles I Am a Camera 4:56 This was taken from the Buggles second album, "Adventures in Modern Recording", which is completely impossible to find in any format nowadays, unless you're willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a scratchy, used vinyl copy on an auction site. I found it amusing that the tape's original compiler stated on the Yes newsgroup that he included this song, despite it being commercially available at the time, for those who "want to hear the song without buying the whole album". And they wondered why the band wanted the MP3s taken down. Anyway, this recording is a little muffled and bass-heavy, and for some reason the high frequencies "wobble" a lot. You'd think an officially released song would sound better. The song itself is the same track as "Into the Lens" that appeared on Drama, but this version is a lot more stripped-down and uses a drum machine.
Buggles Blue Nylon (bonus track) 2:32 Not only is this song from the impossible to find second album, but it was only included as a bonus track on the Japanese version of the CD release. So it's super rare. This actually sounds even worse than "I am a Camera". Was it really that hard to transfer music from CD to cassette in the 1990s? Jeeze.
Buggles Fade Away (bonus track) 2:39 This was another Japanese bonus track on the CD of the second album. It's a techno-pop cover of the old rock standard "Not Fade Away". Sound quality is par for the course (listenable but should be much better). The song is interesting but not great.
Buggles Johnny on the Monorail (alternate ver.) 3:58 Even though "Johnny" was on the Age of Plastic album, the band decided to include an alternate version of the song as the b-side of the "Elstree" single. The sound quality here is muffled, bassy and slightly distorted, but the song sounds interesting. Maybe a little better than the album version. More recently, this song was officially released as a bonus track on the remastered "Age of Plastic" CD.
Buggles Island (b-side) 3:41 This near-instrumental (the only lyrics are the word "Island" repeated every now and then) was the b-side of the "Plastic Age" single. It's a little repetitive and was clearly thrown together quickly, but I kind of like it. Very relaxing. Shame the sound quality is muffled and fairly low volume. This song was also a bonus track on the remastered "Age of Plastic" CD.
Geoff Downes Video Star 2:22 This was done as a promotion for Korg keyboards, sometime in the early 1990s. It's just Downes playing the main riffs from "Video Kill the Radio Star" on a Korg keyboard. Nice, but not essential. Sound quality is pretty good but hissy.
Johnny Harris All to Bring You Morning 14:00 The tape listed this artist as "John Harris", but everything I found on-line called him Johnny. He was apparently a jazz musician who also did movie soundtrack work. One of his soundtracks became popular in England in the early 70s, promting him (or his record label) to take a shot at pop. This proggy, epic-length piece, replete with full orchestration, was included on Yesoteric because somehow Jon Anderson and Alan White got involved. It's clearly Jon singing the lead vocals, but White's drumming isn't distinctive enough to say for sure that it's him. Some internet rumors also claim that Steve Howe plays on this track, but there aren't any guitar parts that stand out as sounding like him. One story was that Harris and Yes were recording in the same studio and the guest-musician spots just evolved from there. At any rate, it's a fairly neat song with multiple sections and a definite 1970s prog feel to it, it's just a shame that the heavy use of orchestral instruments make it sound a little like elevator music. The sound quality on Yesoteric is OK but not great - fairly low volume and muffled.
Steve Howe Sharp on Attack 3:07 This song came from an album of various guitarists called "Guitar Speak", which was recorded for charity. Howe later included another recording of the song on one of his "Homebrew" releases.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Jon and Vangelis Be a Good Friend of Mine 4:14 From the info I found online, this is a track from the fourth album (Page of Life) to come out of Jon Anderson's partnership with Greek keyboardist Vangelis, best known for his soundtrack to the movie "Chariots of Fire". Why this was included on Yesoteric, I have no idea. Maybe this is an alternate version or an early demo or something? Who knows. The track is listenable, but like everything else on this tape (and, to large degree, the Yesoteric series as a whole), it's muffled and hissy.
Jon and Vangelis Song Is 6:14 This one actually is a rarity - it was the b-side of a Jon & Vangelis single called "He is Sailing". It was also later included on an album called "Short Stories". It's a very mellow song - it would have fit right in on Olias of Sunhillow.
King Crimson Medley 1:21 This is probably the most pointless inclusion of the entire Yesoteric series. It's just quick sound bites from a bunch of King Crimson album tracks that were edited together into a "medley" as a promotion for the "Frame by Frame" boxed set (although the Yesoteric notes say it came from something called "Heartbeat"). It might be slightly interesting just to hear how the edits work and to play name-that-tune, if it weren't for the fact that the sound quality is completely unlistenable. It's super-loud, bass heavy and really distorted. Makes me wonder if the guy who put the tapes together even bothered to listen to them before sending duplicates out to the distributors. Not worth saving.
Rabbit Something's Gone Wrong 3:53 This was Trevor Rabin's first band, before he went solo and later joined Yes. This song is the first track from their first album, "Boys Will Be Boys". It has a weird mix of surf and heavy metal vibes to it, like the Beach Boys on steroids. The sound is a little "wobbly" and muffled, but very listenable.
Rabbit Locomotive Breath 3:46 This cover of a Jethro Tull song is another track from the "Boys Will Be Boys" album. Same sound quality as the previous track. Lord help me, I actually kind of like this brain-dead, hard-rock version of the song.
The Syn Grounded 2:20 Chris Squire and Peter Banks were in the Syn together before they became founding members of Yes. The music doesn't really give any hints of the prog-rock sound that Yes would later perfect - this is pretty much straight late-60s British pop. This song is actually the b-side of "Created by Clive", so I'm not sure why it was included on the tape first. The sound quality is really bad - all treble (not good if you're trying to hear Squire's bass) with lots of vinyl pops, clicks and scratches. Just barely listenable.
The Syn Created By Clive 2:31 This was the Syn's first single, from 1967. It also sounds like it came from a tinny, scratched-up 45.
The Syn Flowerman 2:38 The a-side of the band's next single, this one sounds just as bad as the previous two songs. This track has one of those cloyingly catchy choruses that gets stuck in your head for hours. I haven't listened to the tape for over a week, and I can still hear "flow-ow-ow-ow-owerman!"
The Syn 14 Hour Technicolor Dream 3:00 This was the b-side of "Flowerman", with lyrics that describe a famous "hippy" event that occurred in London in the 60s, the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream. Sort of the British equivalent of Woodstock, only more psychedelic. I know Pink Floyd played it, but I don't know what other bands were involved or if The Syn were there. Unfortunately the sound quality here is just as bad as the other Syn tracks. One interesting bit comes near the very end, when the vocalist sings something about how Suzy Creamcheese is going to be there. Shows that the founders of British progressive rock were well aware of Frank Zappa even back in 1967. Frank doesn't get the credit (or blame) he deserves for helping launch prog.
Tomorrow My White Bicycle 3:15 This was another of Steve Howe's pre-Yes bands, probably the most psychedelic one he was ever in. This song was their big hit. I was lucky enough to find a copy of Tomorrow's album on CD several years ago - it sounds heavily influenced by Pink Floyd's Piper at the Gates of Dawn, only not quite as good.
Tomorrow Strawberry Fields Forever 3:56 This is from the Tomorrow album - I guess it was included in Yesoteric just because it's a famous song. Howe plays an impressive solo on this Beatles cover.
Rick Wakeman And Now For a Word From Our Sponsor 3:20 The official Yesoteric notes list this as being a b-side, but don't mention what it's the b-side of. I have a fairly rare (at least on this side of the pond) Wakeman album called "Private Collection" that includes this song. It's basically a parody of music from commercials.
Rick Wakeman Catherine of Aragon 4:35 This is a remake of the song from Six Wives of Henry VII, done for that Korg keyboard sampler. Sounds very 1980s. Very digital, with a drum machine. The original was much better.

Tape 4 - BBC Sessions plus filler

The majority of volume 4 was given over to pre-Yes Album material recorded live at the BBC for radio broadcast. All of this BBC material was eventually released on the "Something's Coming" 2-CD set (at least that was the title in the U.S. - I believe it was called something else overseas). But here's the kicker - even though the Yesoteric versions have the occasional "tape flutter" and a few dropouts, they sound much better than the versions on the official album. They're clearer and louder and it's easier to make out the individual instruments. So even though I have the "Something's Coming" album, I still transferred this Yesoteric volume to CDR. Makes one wonder why the record company (or Peter Banks, who I believe put the album's together) couldn't have put a little more effort into tracking down better recordings.

The BBC material was only enough to fill about half the tape (not all the songs from Something's Coming are included), so volume four was padded out with other rare recordings of early songs (although a couple of them were recorded in 1997) with bad sound quality.

Oddly, there seems to have been some substitution of material from the time the original compiler put the tape together and the time I got my copy. Someone replaced the BBC version of "America" with a performance of the same song from the "Keys to Ascension" tour, and a version of "Revealing Science of God" from the original Tales From Topographic Oceans tour with another "Keys" performance. According to the original Yesoteric notes that I found online, a couple of the BBC songs with Peter Banks are actually supposed to be from a German broadcast featuring Steve Howe. I guess whoever changed these things had their reasons, but I would have rather heard the original tape.

Note: All dates and shows listed for the BBC material come from the liner notes to "Something's Coming", after doing an A/B comparison to make sure they were the same performances.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Jon Anderson (Yes?) Coke commercial 1:00 There seems to be much debate about this bit of history - whether it's really Yes performing the track, or Jon Anderson solo, or just some guy who sounds like Jon Anderson, and whether it's a real commercial or something that was staged (ala the Who's "Sell Out" album). Some people insist that it was a real commercial, and that pop stars singing radio commercials was a common thing in the 60s in England. To me, it sounds like Jon Anderson, but there's no way to tell if anyone else was involved because the music doesn't sound anything like Yes (it's elevator music). The lyrics are pretty bizarre for a commercial. The sound quality of this recording is really, really bad, so it's hard to tell anything from it. From what I've read, Anderson denies any involvement.
Yes Everydays, ver. 1 (BBC) 5:19 From a Jan 12th, 1969 Top Gear performance. As mentioned above, the sound quality is amazingly good for a multi-decade old radio broadcast. Better than the official release. Another version of this song pops up on side 2 of the tape.
Yes Sweetness (BBC) 4:20 From the same Top Gear show as the previous song. Sound quality is still good, but this song suffers from tape "wobbles" and dropouts.
Yes Something's Coming (BBC) 7:47 That Top Gear performance continues with this cover song that was never officially released until the "Something's Coming" CDs. Same sound quality as the previous song, complete with wobbles and dropouts.
Yes Sweet Dreams (BBC) 3:31 We now switch to the Jan 19th, 1970 Dave Lee Travis Show. Sound is still really good.
Yes Looking Around (BBC) 3:43 This is from the Aug 4th, 1969 Dave Symonds Show. Still good sound.
Yes America 11:53 Suddenly we switch to a version of "America" from a poor audience recording. The Yesoteric notes state that this was supposed to be another BBC song, but another source I found on the web named it as being from the "Keys to Ascension" tour, recorded in Philadelphia, October 25, 1997. It's obviously not part of the BBC material, so the Philly show is probably correct. Maybe the original notes were wrong and this was never from the BBC?
Yes Astral Traveler (BBC) 7:31 Now we go right back into the radio material, from the Mar 17, 1970 Sunday Show. Sound quality is good. According to the "official" Yesoteric notes, this is supposed to be from a German radio show, not the BBC, with Steve Howe on guitar, not Peter Banks. This must be another replacement, because this is clearly the same version that's on Something's Coming. I doubt Banks would have put a Howe performance on that album, considering that the two apparently hate each other (read Bank's liner notes in that album). It doesn't sound like Steve Howe to my ears, and the Yesoteric notes specifically point out how noticable Howe's style is when compared to Banks. So I guess this isn't the German recording.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Everydays, ver. 2 (BBC) 6:14 Continues the Sunday Show performance that ended Side 1 with a second version of Everydays. Good sound. At the end of the song, the band segues directly into the next song. If this were the German performance listed in the orignial notes, it was supposed to end here. "For Everyone" was supposed to be a demo, not a live track. Obviously, something was changed by somewhere along the line.
Yes For Everyone (BBC) 4:40 Continues directly from the previous song. Nice recording of this song that went unreleased until the Something's Coming album, and which includes a section that would later be recycled into Starship Trooper. Clearly a live performance and not a demo.
Yes It's Love 10:43 This is a cover song (originally by The Rascals) that Yes apparently played with some regularity in their early days. This performance is from New York City, Nov 24, 1971. Unfortunately this recording is just awful. Muffled, bass heavy and distant. It sounds like the taper had his recorder inside a coat pocket and was standing about a mile from the stage. Anderson introduces the song with some very salty language that is just shocking, coming from him. Squire does some rockin' bass soloing and Jon sings some scat (or that might be Squire as the Yesoteric notes claim). It's a shame this sounds so bad, as the performance is very interesting.
Yes The Revealing Science of God 22:22 More proof that someone tampered with this Yesoteric volume after the original compiler sent it out. The original notes stated that this was from Madison Square Garden, Dec 18, 1974. But another source I found on the web listed it as the same 1997 Philadelphia show as "America" on side one. The sound quality is about the same as "America", and before the song starts the crowd sings happy birthday to Jon, who was born on Oct 25th (according to one web site I found). So that pretty much confirms that this is the 10/25/97 Philadelphia performance. I'm thinking that someone was so jazzed up about the then-recent "Keys" performances that they decided to replace the more historic recordings with the latest versions. At any rate, this track is pretty clearly filler that was thrown in because there was half a tape side left over that had to be filled.

Tape 5 - Rare Live Tracks

The idea behind this volume was to document songs that the band played infrequently and which had never shown up on an official live album. Unfortunately, that means the tape comes mostly from bad audience recordings.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes The Remembering 22:16 Just about everything that can be wrong, sound-quality-wise, is wrong with this audience recording from Madison Square Garden in 1974 - it's muffled, it's boomy, the upper frequencies "wobble" and there's a lot of hiss. It's listenable, but just barely. The date for this performance is in question - one site that I saw listed it as Feb 18, 1974, while the "official" Yesoteric notes posted to alt.music.yes list it as Dec 18, 1974. Not that it matters a whole heck of a lot. As long as this recording is, the song is still cut off a little bit before the end.
Yes The Ancient 19:03 Probably from the same audience recording as the previous song. It has the same bad sound quality, and both the web sources list it as being from the same show, although they still disagree about the date. At the beginning of this recording, Jon Anderson explains the title and what the song is about. The keyboardist must be Rick Wakeman, because he sneaks a little something from "Six Wives of Henry VII" into the song around the 13 minute mark. That argues for the Feb 18, 1974 date because I think Moraz had replaced Rick as the keyboardist by December of that year.
Yes Your Move and Mood For a Day 4:59 This fades in at the beginning, and clearly comes from a vinyl bootleg because of all the pops and clicks. It was recorded on the Relayer tour (Yale Bowl, Jun 21 1975) and is a unique arrangement of the acoustic part of I've Seen All Good People leading into a Steve Howe solo performance of Mood For a Day. Interesting, but nothing to write home about. Sound quality is better than the previous two tracks, but still not very good.
Yes Long Distance Runaround -> keyboard solo 5:19 This is also from the same Yale Bowl bootleg as the previous track. It's Patrick Moraz who plays the solo, and it sounds like material he would later use on his Story of I album. The very beginning of Long Distance Runaround is cut off.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Soundchaser 11:59 Same band line-up as the end of side one, but we've moved to Boston, MA on Dec 11, 1974. This also sounds like it comes from a vinyl boot. It might have been sourced from a radio broadcast, because despite being a bit wobbly it is actually pretty listenable. It starts with a lengthy "Firebird" intro, and ends with a full minute of applause before an obvious edit goes straight into...
Yes To Be Over 9:38 From the same bootleg as Soundchaser so same date and location. Has the same sound quality, including "wobbly" high end and vinyl pops and clicks. Still pretty good for a boot.
Yes Long Distance Runaround (acoustic) 2:38 This is from a bootleg called "The Story of Relayer". I know because I have a copy. The sound quality is pretty bad - muffled, boomy and hissy. The date and location are listed as Jun 17, 1976 at Jersey City, NJ. The performance is mostly just Jon strumming an acoustic guitar as he sings the song, with Howe adding some noodly solos. It goes into a Moraz keyboard solo, but then cuts off abruptly. This recording seems kind of pointless.
Yes Colours of the Rainbow 1:14 This is from Long Beach, CA Sep 26, 1977. The sound quality is pretty bad - very hissy, not much bass or treble and distant sounding. For those hoping for a great rare track, prepare to be disappointed - it's just Anderson singing about colors and occasionally playing a triangle. It goes straight into...
Yes Turn of the Century 8:06 Same date, location and sound quality as the previous song. Segues directly from that song. I'm pretty sure this is an audience recording, and not a very good one at that.
Yes Tour Song 1977 3:01 From the same bad audience recording, this is just the band noodling around and improvising while Jon makes up lyrics about how wonderful Long Beach is, and how wonderful getting high is. I guess you could get away with that sort of thing in the late 70s. The band starts playing And You And I at the end, but it's quickly cut off.
Yes Awaken intro 4:50 Also from the same Long Beach audience recording. It's a shame the sound quality is so bad, because this is actually kind of neat. It's the band jamming along to some sort of tuned percussion instrument (presumably played by Anderson). Howe sneaks a Rite of Spring quote in on guitar. Just as the aimless jam resolves itself into the opening of "Awaken", the recording cuts off.

Tape 6 - Tormato Era

This volume collected together a bunch of demos and other rarities from the period before, during and after the recording of the Tormato album. Yes really seemed to be floundering here - they recorded a ton of material, some of it better than what ended up on Tormato, yet they couldn't put together a decent album.

Side one (and the very beginning of side two) document what has come to be known as the "Digital Reels" sessions. These happened before the recording of Tormato, and some of the material created there did eventually get used, but a lot of it was dropped. Yes would eventually abandon these sessions without creating an album. The sound quality of these recordings is clearly demo-level rather than polished final products, and there's the usual Yesoteric problems with tape hiss, muffled sound, etc, but they actually aren't too bad.

Side two features live performances of Tormato material, and the beginning of the "Paris Sessions", which will be continued on the next tape. The Paris sessions came after the release of Tormato, while the band was trying to come up with material for their next album. Creativity was at a low ebb and friction was forming between the band members which would eventually cause Anderson and Wakeman to leave and the others to ask the Buggles to join the band for the Drama album (which ended up using some of the Paris material). The sound quality of the live tracks varies (but is never very good) while the Paris sessions on this tape are overly loud and somewhat distorted.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Picasso 4:01 This is the beginning of the "Digital Reels" material. Sounds like an Anderson song that the rest of the band fleshed out a bit. Not bad, but not overly memorable. They screw up the beginning and have to start over. Sound is a bit slurry, wobbly and muffled, but listenable.
Yes Amazing Grace, take 1 1:57 This is really a Squire solo piece, not a full band number. A finished version would later appear on the YesYears boxed set. On this take, Squire gets most of the way through the song but stops early. There's a bit of hiss, but otherwise this sounds pretty good.
Yes Amazing Grace, take 2 2:37 On this take, Squire plays the whole song and it sounds a little more "finished", with a second bass line (or are those pedals?) providing backing for the first, but this still doesn't quite sound like the completely finished version that appeared on YesYears.
Yes Money, take 1 3:17 This song was also finished up for inclusion on YesYears. This take is interesting because it doesn't include the Wakeman voice-over, so you can hear the song itself better. Sound quality is a lttle muffled and hissy, but not bad.
Yes Money, take 2 3:57 On this take they had come up with the idea of having Wakeman give a humorous spoken-word monologue over top of the music, but it's still not the finished version that's on YesYears. Howe pratices the guitar riff while the rest of the band screws around for a while before they start playing the song. The volume level shifts a bit, and the bass is overly loud, but otherwise it sounds pretty good. Someone coughs right at the end.
Yes On the Silent Wings of Freedom, early ver. 7:50 More studio chatter before the song begins. They had this song pretty well worked out, and it's obviously a winner, so it's no surprise that it was carried over onto Tormato. This version is a little different from the final album version, especially the ending which didn't sound like it was quite worked out yet. Sound quality is bassy and muffled but listenable.
Yes Richard, take 1 4:15 This sounds like another Anderson song that the rest of the band attempted to flesh out. There seems to be some debate about the identity of the "Richard" that Jon is singing about. The prevailing theory is that it's Richard the Lion-hearted, but others think that it's just an imaginary Richard. This is listed as two takes, but it's hard to tell where the first take ends and the second one begins - they just seem to keep muddling through.
Yes Richard, take 2 2:33 Another version of the same song. I don't know why this wasn't used on Tormato - it seems like it fits the "feel" of that album perfectly. On this take, the band stops suddenly in mid-song, and then we hear what sounds like a tape being fast-forwarded. Odd.
Yes Days, take 1 1:21 The official Yesoteric notes list this as "Untitled", but it would eventually become the song "Days" on Anderson's Song of Seven solo album. This recording suffers more than most from "bleed through" - in the background you cann faintly hear an earlier copy of this song that was recorded over.
Yes Days, take 2 1:33 Another stab at it. Anderson does both takes a capella, and they actually sound pretty good that way. On this one, he screws up the beginning and has to count it in again. He makes some odd "woo-woo" sounds near the end, like he hadn't quite worked out all the lyrics.
Yes Some Are Born, take 1 5:07 Another Anderson song that ended up on Song of Seven. This version is a bit muffled but very listenable, and is interesting because the rest of the band adds a little upbeat, instrumental jam in the middle of the song.
Yes Rail 14 7:38 I have no idea where the title "Rail 14" came from, but this is basically just a lengthy jam based around the keyboard part that became the beginning of "Arriving UFO" on Tormato. If you like hearing bands spontaneously jam, this is pretty neat except that the bass line is really repetitive. The recording sounds pretty good although it's a bit muffled and bass heavy, and it cuts off suddenly.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Some are Born, take 2 5:07 This was probably moved to side 2 to fit all of Rail 14 on side one. It's another try at the Anderson song, with about the same sound quality but lower volume. This track ends the Digital Reels sesesion.
Yes Future Times / Rejoice 7:27 Live in Chicago, Aug 9, 1979. I believe it's an audience recording, although it might be from a radio broadcast. Either way, the sound quality is pretty bad. It's really LOUD and harsh sounding, with lots of treble and not much bass.
Yes Circus of Heaven 5:24 From the same Chicago recording as the previous song. Does anyone, anywhere in the world, really need another version of this song? Sound quality is harsh here too - hurts the ear.
Yes Madrigal -> On the Silent Wings of Freedom 10:46 From an audience recording of the Wembley arena show in London, Oct 28, 1978. Listenable but not great sound quality. Madgrigal is played as a short intro and then the song goes straight into Silent Wings with no break. The recording is from vinyl (pops and clicks audible) and has wobbly high frequencies.
Yes Tour Song 1979 2:16 Now it's back to the Chicago 1979 recording. I have no idea why the original compiler stuck the Madrigal track in the middle. Like the 1977 "Tour Song" on a previous volume, this is basically just the band doing a semi-improvised little jam based on the city they were in.
Yes Everybody Loves You 4:04 This starts off the Paris Sessions. The rest of the band might not have liked this song, but Jon thought it was good enough to put on his Song of Seven album. This recording is muffled and bassy, and the volume level starts out low but climbs to the point where the recording becomes distorted.
Yes Flower Girl 3:30 This song was quickly and wisely forgotten by all involved. The recording continues the loud, slightly distorted sound. What in the world is Anderson doing at the end of the song? Sounds like he's "singing in tongues".
Yes Dancing Through the Light 3:15 An early version of what ended up being Run Through the Light on Drama. Same overdriven, loud, slightly distorted sound.
Yes In the Tower 2:51 Another song that was never heard from again. It's a mostly (entirely?) instrumental piece that features lots of keyboards and sounds kind of morbid, like something played at a funeral. Still overloud and distorted.

Tape 7 - Paris leftovers & Drama Era

This tape wraps up the last few tracks from the Paris Sessions, then continues after Anderson and Wakeman had left the band. Squire, White and Howe bang out demo material (recorded in Atlanta, according to the original Yesoteric notes), some of which would end up being used on Drama. That's followed by some live recordings from the Drama tour. Side two of the tape continues the live Drama tour recordings.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Golden Age 6:05 This is another Paris sessions track, but doesn't sound as overdriven and distorted. It is still muffled and hissy though. Some vinyl pops and clicks are audible. Something about this song makes me think Anderson recycled part of it for one of his solo albums, but I can't put my finger on it.
Yes Tango 7:15 Sound quality remains the same (muffled, hissy). This sounds like a cross between the Drama material to come and parts of Rick Wakeman's "King Arthur" album.
Yes Friend of a Friend 3:46 We finally come to the end of the Paris sessions with this forgettable little number. Sound quality is the same as the previous two tracks.
Yes Tempus Fugit (demo) 5:07 This kicks off the Drama demos. The sound quality is muffled and and bass-heavy with some hiss, but listenable. I'm pretty sure this is just Squire, White and Howe, before the Buggles joined the party. No vocals - this is just an instrumental run-through.
Yes Untitled Instrumental I (demo) 5:41 This wasn't used on the Drama album. It's slow paced, with the bass very out-front. The sound quality remains the same, although the hiss level seems to increase.
Yes Does It Really Happen? (demo) 6:40 The hiss level goes back down a bit, but otherwise the sound quality remains the same. Another instrumental run-through, with Howe's guitar parts really standing out.
Yes Does It Really Happen? (ending) 1:33 This is so separate from the main song that it almost sounds like a different track. Another Squire/White/Howe demo.
Yes Does It Really Happen? (alternate ending) 1:33 Another version of the ending, slightly different from the previous one. Sound quality is pretty good for this. The original Yestoeric notes don't refer to all these alternate endings at all, so I wonder if the person who put my tapes together included them from another source? Or maybe the original notes just figured they were all part of the same song and just listed them all as just "Does It Really Happen?"
Yes Untitled Instrumental II (demo) 7:58 Similar to the other untitled piece, but a little more plodding. Sound quality is the same as the previous tracks (apart from the alternate DIRH ending).
Yes Run Through the Light (demo) 4:34 Another instrumental run-through, which ends the Drama demos portion of Yesoteric. Same sound quality as the other demos.
Yes Does it Really Happen? (live) 7:11 This kicks off the live material from the Drama tour. The original Yesoteric notes list this song as being in the middle of side two, but my duplicator might have moved it here to fill out a longer tape. This was probably recorded in Toronto on Aug 29th, 1980. It's an audience recording, and the sound quality is just awful - really muffled and distant sounding, as if the taper had his recorder in an inside coat pocket and was standing at the back of the arena. After this song, my tape started into "We Can Fly", but it was quickly cut off by the end of the tape side.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes We Can Fly From Here (live) 7:20 One of the two infamous songs that the Drama line-up played live but never recorded (or at least never released) studio versions of. This is the full song, but the introduction is cut off (it was at the end of side one on my tape). This is from a performance at Madison Square Garden, Sep 6th, 1980. I'm pretty sure it was broadcast on the radio, but this is just an abysmal sounding recording for having come from an official broadcast. From what I've read, no good copies exist, leading some fans to think the band might have intentionally sabotaged the radio broadcast to thwart bootleggers. Odd idea.
Yes Go Through This (live) 4:47 The other infamously unreleased Drama song. Comes from the same show (and source) as the previous track. The sound quality is muffled, bass-heavy, and wobbly, with vinyl pops and clicks. Why, oh why, can't better copies of these songs be found?
Yes Machine Messiah (live) 11:45 From the same performance and source as the previous two tracks. Unfortunately I can't say "same sound quality", because this song sounds even more muffled and bassy.
Yes Into the Lens (live) 8:57 This is where "Does it Really Happen?" was listed on the tape case, but it had been moved to the end of side one for some reason - maybe the person who made my copy wanted to keep all the MSG recordings together. This performance of "Into the Lens" is also sourced from that Madison Square Garden radio broadcast, and has the same muffled, bassy, wobbly, distant, crappy sound.
Yes Tempus Fugit (live) 6:07 Also from the MSG radio broadcast, same sound quality. It also sounds like it might run a bit slow. This was the last song listed on my tape case, but the guy who made the tape for me threw in a couple more songs.
Yes And You And I (live) 10:42 This wasn't officially part of Yesoteric - I think the guy who copied it for me used a longer tape and had some space to fill, so he threw in this track and the next one from his own collection. It sounds like Trevor Horn on vocals, so it must be the Drama tour. Source and location weren't listed. Might be from the same MSG broadcast, because the sound quality is very similar (i.e. awful).
Yes Roundabout (live) 8:27 Another filler track. Still sounds like Horn singing, so must be the Drama tour. Sound quality is still bad, but in a different way from the previous tracks (really "boomy" and hard on the ear), so it's probably from a different show.

Tape 8 - The Cinema Sessions and Union Demos

The first half of this tape belongs to the 90125 band. It starts with "live in the studio" recordings (i.e. someone had a tape recorder going in the rehearsal space) of the "Cinema" band. That's Chris Squire, Alan White, Tony Kaye and Trevor Rabin, before Jon Anderson re-joined and the band took up the Yes name again. Following the rehearsals, the rest of side one is padded out with some audience recordings from the 90125 and Big Generator tours.

The second half of the tape contains demos recorded for the Union album (or for the second Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe album and the third YesWest album, depending on your point of view). Most of the demos sounded like they ran a little slow.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Cinema warm up / tune up 4:12 All the Cinema session recordings are very low-volume, and when you crank them up to hear them you get a ton of hiss. The hiss here is particular bad, and seems to swell and recede as the tape plays. This part of the session is basically just the band screwing around, tuning up and getting ready to play.
Cinema You Know Something I Don't Know 6:54 The recording continues without a break into the first song. I'm guessing this was one of Rabin's songs (he plays a version of it during a solo show captured on one of the later Yesoteric volumes). It's a very average AOR song, which is probably why the band never used it on any Yes albums. The sound is still very hissy but not quite as bad, and the volume level goes up a bit once they start playing, which actually causes a bit of distortion.
Cinema Take It Easy 7:23 This is the song at the beginning of its long history. It would later get a minor tweak to the lyrics and be re-titled "Make It Easy", but still wouldn't make the 90125 album. Its main riff would frequently be used as an intro for Owner of a Lonely Heart, but the finished song didn't appear until the YesYears boxed set. The sound quality here is the same as the previous track - a bit muffled, very hissy and a bit distorted.
Cinema warm up/Take It Easy 1:56 The band must have taken a break after the last song, because there's an audible break in the tape, and when it resumes the sound quality has gotten a little better. Still hissy, but the instruments sound a little clearer and there's no distortion. This part of the tape is just the band warming up again and playing the Take/Make it Easy riff at a slower pace.
Cinema Open the Door 4:55 This song sounds very un-Yes-like. A little way into it, a drum machine kicks in and is very loud, which causes the distortion to return. There's a gap in the recording where a couple seconds of music are missing about two and a half minutes into the song. At the end of the song there's another "break" where the band stopped recording for a while.
Cinema Hearts riff 1:02 When the recording resumes, the band is just screwing around playing a couple riffs from the song Hearts, with the same sound quality as before, and then the Cinema sessions part of the tape ends.
Yes Hearts (live) 7:55 The source and location of this recording are unknown. I guess this was included because there are no official live releases that include Hearts, but this recording isn't very good. It's mostly treble, and ranges from fairly muffled sounding to very muffled sounding. It also "crackles" a little, like a bad radio broadcast or possibly vinyl surface noise.
Yes Big Generator (live) 5:49 According to the online Yesoteric notes, this song was recorded at the Hollywood Sportatium (what a name) in Hollywood FL in 1988. It sounds like an audience recording. It's also mostly in the treble range (could use a bass boost), but otherwise is pretty listenable.
Yes Holy Lamb (live) 4:02 This one also comes from that Hollywood Sportatium show. It has similar sound quality, but might be a bit more muffled. Jon gives a lengthy spoken-word intro to the song, but it unfortunately fades out and back in.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes I Would Have Waited Forever (demo) 5:09 This song starts the section of demos that ended up as songs on the Union album. The demos have listenable sound quality - they're a bit muffled and hissy and low volume, but not too bad. This particular demo has a nasty blank spot a couple minutes in that lasts for around half a second. The song itself is fairly similar to the album version, with a little more Howe guitar noodling at the end.
Yes Dangerous (dance mix) 4:59 Until I heard the Yesoteric series with its plethora of dance remixes of songs from 90125, Big Generator and Union, I had no idea that someone was determined to make Yes into a dance band. But apparently that was the case. This one is just way over the top, with weird overdubbed vocals and some woman moaning sexually in the background. What the heck were they thinking?
Yes Holding On (demo) 2:10 This one isn't very different from the album version, and continues the muffled and hissy sound quality. The song cuts off abruptly about half-way through.
Yes Dangerous (demo) 5:44 Sound quality is still muffled and hissy. This version sounds much closer to the album version than the dance remix did.
Yes Take the Water to the Mountain (demo) 6:04 Sound quality remains the same. This is a really nice version of the song, with guitar solo and bridge section in the middle. Another surprise of the Yesoteric series was how many different versions this song went though, and all of them were better than what ended up on Union. No wonder the band disowned that album.
Yes Lift Me Up (demo) 6:58 The sound is still muffled, but maybe not as hissy as the previous songs. To make up for the lack of hiss, the song gets distorted a bit during the loudest parts.
Yes The More We Live - Let Go 4:46 Sound quality is about the same as Lift Me Up. Similar to the album version.
Yes Say Goodbye (demo) 5:41 The beginning and ending of this song are both cut off. This was a Billy Sherwood song, or at least he plays on it. The original Yesoteric compiler said he thought this was "one of the best songs" to come out of the Union era, but I don't agree with that at all. There's a reason they didn't put it on the album.

Tape 9 - The ABWH II / Dialog Demos

Before the record company talked Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe into merging with Squire, Rabin, White and Kaye to form the "super Yes" of Union, the plan was for ABWH to record a second album to be tentatively titled "Dialog". Some of that material eventually got used on Union, but some of it never got past the demo stage. Somehow those demos got out into the hands of fans, and were eventually collected on volume 9 of Yesoteric.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
ABWH II Instrumental intro 1:48 This is mostly just a little keyboard solo piece to introduce the "album". There's also a little percussion (mostly gong) in the background. The sound quality is pretty good, although the high frequencies "wobble" a bit and the louder parts are just slightly distorted.
ABWH II Hold You in My Arms 7:43 The sound quality is a little muffled but very listenable. Anderson runs through a lot of lyrics here, reminiscent of that one track on Song of Seven where he just goes and goes.
ABWH II Watching the Flags That Fly 6:12 Sound quality remains a little muffled but decent. This is actually a nice little song - I find myself humming/singing it for a while after listening to it. They probably should have used this on Union.
ABWH II Make Believe 4:57 Still a little muffled and bass-heavy. This is a fairly crappy dance song that sounds suspiciously like "The Macarena".
ABWH II Is It Love 6:04 Sounds about the same as the previous tracks. I can't remember anything about this song.
ABWH II Untitled instrumental I 2:32 Still a little muffled, and somewhat low volume. This is another mostly keyboards song with a bit of percussion. I'm guessing these instrumental pieces were Wakeman's contribution.
ABWH II Untitled with vocals 5:41 Same sound quality, but with drums that are a little distorted. The lyrics sound really "loose", like Jon had just started coming up with them. Half the time they sound like a made-up language.
ABWH II Take the Water to the Mountain 4:46 Another demo of the song that would end up on Union, this is a different version from the demo on tape 8. It's not quite as good, but still better than the version on the album.
ABWH II To the Stars 4:08 Still a bit muffled, plus it has a long gap (around six seconds of silence) about half a minute into it. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. The music is much closer to an avant-jazz sound than Yes usually went.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
ABWH II Santa Barbara 5:35 There's an annoying high-pitched whine through the first half-minute or so, and the whole song is muffled. It starts out as a kind of sappy Anderson ballad and turns into more of a rocker later on, but is never very good. The ending goes on for a long time, seeming like it's about to fade out several times before it finally does.
ABWH II Touch Me Heaven 3:35 A little muffled and hissy, and low volume. Oddly, the volume level climbs to almost painfully loud right before the song fades out for good. I can't remember anything else about this one, so the song must not be too memorable.
ABWH II Axis of Love 4:42 Continues with the slightly muffled and hissy sound, and volume level fluctuations (quite at first then loud). There's a nasty second-long gap about a minute from the end. Another forgettable song - I can see why the ABWH II album never came together.
ABWH II Untitled Instrumental II 2:39 Another mostly Wakeman piece, lots of keyboards. The sound quality is still hissy and very bass-heavy.
ABWH II After the Storm 4:10 This song is very mellow, but nice. The high frequencies are a little wobbly, and the overall sound is muffled.
ABWH II Prelude 0:21 This short instrumental piece acts as a intro to the next song, which was probably going to be the big finale to the ABWH II album...
ABWH II Tall Buildings 5:35 This one is a little muffled but fairly loud and upbeat. They use a drum machine that sounds a lot like the rhythm from that A-ha song that was popular in the 80s. Anderson belts out the lyrics, which are a surprisingly scathing look at big business in the 1980s. This could have been a fairly good song, I think.
Steve Howe God with a Southern Accent 4:11 I don't know if the last three songs on the tape were meant for the ABWH II album or not, but they're pretty clearly solo works by Steve Howe (unfortunately including his vocals). They're louder than the rest of the music on the tape, but still muffled. This first one was later issued as "Southern Accent" on Howe's solo album "Quantum Guitar".
Steve Howe Without a Doubt 3:53 This one's a little bass-heavy. Sounds OK though. I don't know if this song ever came out officially.
Steve Howe Big Love 4:35 This track was eventually officially released on volume three of Howe's "Homebrew" series, which might have been inspired by the Yesoteric series.

Tape 10 - AnderSonic Boom

Don't blame me for the horrible pun in the tape title, that's what the person who compiled Yesoteric called it. As you can guess from that name, this volume was dedicated entirely to rarities from Jon Anderson as a solo artist. It includes singles, work outside Yes, and the demos for Song of Seven and Animation. Whatever else you can say about Jon's work, he certainly generated a lot of material, both official and unoffical.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
"Hans Christian" Anderson Never My Love 2:25 This was Jon's attempt at a solo pop career, well before he became a founder of Yes. You can see the roots of the cheesy ballads on the first two Yes albums here. This recording sound surprisingly good, given its age, but it still wobbles a bit in the high frequencies and sounds a bit muffled and "slurry", like it might have been in MP3 format at some point.
"Hans Christian" Anderson All of the Time 2:10 I'm guessing this was the b-side of the Never My Love single. Approximately the same sound quality, maybe a little more bass-heavy. Jon sounds really odd singing low notes, almost growling and making these weird "ho-now" noises.
"Hans Christian" Anderson (Autobiography of a) Mississippi Hobo 2:36 About the same sound quality as the previous song, with a lot of vinyl clicks and pops, especially at the beginning of the song.
"Hans Christian" Anderson Sonata of Love 2:57 Maybe the b-side of "Hobo"? About the same sound quality. The lyrics are just as bad as you'd guess from the title.
The Warriors You Came Along 2:07 This was one of Anderson's pre-Yes bands. This recording also sounds surprisingly good, other than being a bit bass-heavy.
The Warriors Don't Make Me Blue 2:13 Probably the b-side of "You". A little more vinyl surface noise than the previous song, but listenable. Doesn't sound like Jon singing, so I'm not sure if he's actually on this song.
Jon Anderson Spider 2:57 This was the b-side of the 1982 single "Surrender" from Anderson's "Animation" album. It's a little hissy and the right channel has low volume for the first half minute or so, and the overall volume level is fairly low, but it's listenable. Decent song with some good musical complexity to it.
Jon Anderson Cage of Freedom 4:08 This song was mis-identified in the Yesoteric notes as being from the movie "Legend" (I think the compilier was thinking of the song "Loved by the Sun", which he oddly didn't include). This song was actually written for the soundtrack of a 1980s reissue of the classic silent film "Metropolis". I read on the web that it was used over the closing credits. I can't picture this music going along with the actual movie. The sound quality is a little muffled and has some vinyl pops and clicks, and sounds like it might run just a tad slow.
Jon Anderson Silver Train 4:00 The Yesoteric notes mis-identify this song (and the next) as coming from the "Metropolis" reissue, but they actually come from the soundtrack to a 1984 movie called "Scream For Help", which was apparently a (bad) psychological thriller about a girl who discovers that her father is trying to kill her and her mother. Somehow I can't picture Jon Anderson writing music for such a movie, but I guess he did. Sound quality is about the same as "Cage".
Jon Anderson Christie 3:14 A slower-paced, ballad sort of a song that was also from the soundtrack of "Scream For Help". Similar sound quality.
Jon Anderson This Time it was Really Right 4:45 This was written for the movie "St. Elmo's Fire", but from what I've read it's one of those "blink and you miss it" sort of soundtrack songs. The recording is a little muffled and hissy but listenable. The song itself is pretty lame.
Jon Anderson Save All Your Love 3:15 The single version of a song from the "Three Ships" album. It sounds fairly different from the album version. Taken from vinyl with lots of pops and crackles, and very little bass. Tinny sounding. Very loud.
Jon Anderson Untitled instrumental 1:52 This track kicks off the section of tape with the demos from Jon's 1980 album "Song of Seven". This piece is actually not entirely instrumental - Jon says "Recording! Well...basically..." at the beginning. The volume level is fairly low and the music doesn't have much bass or treble.
Jon Anderson Hear It 2:04 Continues the Song of Seven demos. Still muffled and mostly mid-range (not much bass or treble).
Jon Anderson All God's Children 1:31 Man, these demos are short. This one has about the same sound quality as the previous two, but is a little louder (with more hiss).
Jon Anderson Flower Child 2:28 Starts to add some bass, but still muffled sounding. A little louder. This is a revamped version of "Flower Girl" from the Paris sessions after Tormato. None of these tracks are particularly essential.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Jon Anderson Feel Your Love Flow 2:02 Continues the Song of Seven demos. Same poor sound quality, although the treble starts to go up (and down) a little in waves. There's a stray noise at the end that sounds like someone accidentally strumming a guitar.
Jon Anderson Inside Your Eyes 2:43 Another Song of Seven. I can see why most of these songs didn't get used. This one sounds even worse than the previous tracks, becoming very muffled and hissy with no high or low end.
Jon Anderson Secrets of the Past 3:23 Around the same sound quality as the previous track, maybe with a little more treble but the high frequencies are very wobbly.
Jon Anderson Golden Age 4:08 This is another song left over from the Paris sessions. Really muffled, no high end, hissy. This song finally concludes the fairly forgettable and bad sounding Song of Seven demos.
Jon Anderson Child of the Lord 4:03 Now we switch to demos for Jon's 1982 album Animation. Unfortunately the sound quality doesn't get any better - still muffled, bassy and hissy. There's a little more high end, but it sounds wobbly. The recording is oddly "distant", like it was recorded from across the studio. This song has a couple dropouts around 3 minutes in. The tape also sounds like it runs way, way too fast - even Jon doesn't sing that high. He sounds like a chipmunk.
Jon Anderson Two Old Ladies 8:12 This song continued directly from the previous one, which made finding the point to break it into two tracks rather difficult. The sound quality is about the same, including running way too fast. The lyrics sound like they might be interesting, what I could make out of them. I think it's about two old women reminiscing about their lives. There's something in there about war, and I think organized crime or something? It's a pretty bizarre song, even by Jon Anderson standards.
Jon Anderson Carnival 5:34 Ah, so this is where Teakbois came from. Same bad sound quality, including running fast (although not as fast as the previous two). There's a second-long gap around a minute from the end.
Jon Anderson Your Message 2:03 Same sound quality, same too-fast, too-high-pitched sound, same wobbly high frequencies. These recordings are just a mess. This one was really low volume on top of it all, and amplifying it just makes the hiss stand out more.
Jon Anderson Inside Your Eyes 2:55 This is listed as an "alternate version from the Song of Seven demos", but I'm not sure if that means that it was recorded at the same time as those demos or with the Animation demos. I've never heard Animation because it was impossible to find a copy for years, and now from what I've read about the CD reissue, it was so poorly done that it's not worth hearing. Sound quality of this demo is just as bad as everything on this tape side. This concludes the Animation demo section of the tape.
Jon Anderson ABWH tour solo spot 7:04 It's the same thing that eventually came out on the "Evening of Yes Music Plus" album, just Jon working through a medley of Time and a Word, Owner of a Lonely Heart and Teakbois. I'm guessing this comes from a King Biscuit broadcast. Listed as being from Mountainview, CA on Sep 9, 1989.
Jon Anderson Leaves of Green 3:52 This snippet of the Tales From Topographic Oceans album must have been played in some shows of the ABWH tour. Howe accompanies Anderson on acoustic guitar. It's an audience recording that doesn't sound too good (muffled and distant) but is listenable. The treble seems to swell and recede. At the end of the song, the applause cuts off abruptly, then comes back and then ends again. The editing on some of these tapes is pretty bad.

Tape 11 - Live solo material

This volume was dedicated to live performances of material from the various members of Yes' solo albums, both performances from solo tours and performances at Yes concerts.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Rick Wakeman Sir Lancelot & the Black Knight 5:16 This performance originally came from a bootleg called "Resurrecting Dragons". Location and date are unknown, but the original compiler noted that it's probably from a King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast. If so, the sound quality is surprisingly bad. If it's an audience recording, it's about average quality.
Rick Wakeman Gone But Not Forgotten 3:27 Recorded from a performance on the Rockline radio show. Sound quality is decent, but should be better for a radio broadcast.
Steve Howe Clap & Wurm 10:18 These two songs were taken from an album called "Night of the Guitar", which apparently documented a concert of all-star guitarists. The info I found about the album on the web made it sound like it was a well-known thing, but I had never heard of it.
Steve Howe Medley including Turn of the Century, Ram, Hint Hint and Sketches in the Sun 12:18 Back in the early 90s, Yes performed at a couple fan-sponsored conventions called "YesFests", often playing rare fan favorite songs. This is an audience recording from YesFest '91. The sound quality is pretty bad, but it's listenable.
Jon Anderson Harp Solo (Olias) 3:38 This was listed on the tape as an Anderson harp solo from Yes' 1976 tour (specifically Jun 17, 1976 at a Roosevelt Stadium in New Jersey). But it's clearly not a solo piece - there are some keyboards that sound like Moraz and even a bit of drums from White. I've seen this listed elsewhere as an excerpt from Olias of Sunhillow, and that would fit in with the other solo material played in '76. The recording sounds like it might be from a radio broadcast, but the sound quality is surprisingly bad. Listenable, but not great.
Bill Bruford & Tony Levin Drum & Bass Duet 4:00 This is the standard drum and bass duet that Bruford and Levin played on the Anderson, Bruford Wakeman and Howe tour. Exact date and location unknown. Sound quality is only so-so. I forget whether this is on the "Evening of Yes Music Plus" live album, but if so, it makes this superfluous.
Bill Bruford ABWH Tour Drum Solo 5:16 I'm pretty sure this is on the official live ABWH album, so this is completely unnecessary. Guess this tape was put together before the live album came out (there was a long gap between the tour and the resulting album). This is the solo that was worked into the song "Heart of the Sunrise". This performance is from Mountainview, CA on Sep 9, 1989. I think that might be the same show that the live album came from, and I think the live album came from a King Biscuit broadcast, so this is probably from that radio show.
Bruford and Alan White Drum Duet 4:47 This is an audience recording from the Union tour, specifically a show at Wembley arena in 1991. Sound quality is listenable but, as usual, not great. The basic drum pattern from this solo would be recycled into "Mind Drive" from the Keys to Ascension albums.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Steve Howe Ram 1:55 This song kicks off a series of audience recordings from a concert in Roanoke, VA in 1976. Following Relayer, each band member recorded his own solo album. So on the following tour, the plan was to play a little something from each of those albums to help promote them. The idea only lasted a few shows, and apparently no good recordings of those few performances exist. So instead, we have this really, really awful sounding Roanoke tape. Just barely listenable. Tons of hiss, and it sounds like the taper was standing all the way at the back of the arena with cloth wrapped around his microphone. Anyway, Howe kicked things off with his acoustic guitar piece "Ram".
Chris Squire (Yes) Hold Out Your Hand & You By My Side 9:19 Continuing directly from Howe's piece, the full band launches into two tracks from Squire's excellent "Fish Out of Water" album. It's a shame the sound quality is so bad here, because the performance is pretty good. I'd love to have a decent recording of this.
Steve Howe Break Away From It All and Beginnings 9:30 This was incorrectly listed on my tape - the song orders were reversed - so I was really confused listening to these. Plus I thought "Beginnings" was really "Australia" because Howe throws in a section of that song right in the middle of the other song. But eventually I got it all sorted out...and realized that it wasn't really worth the effort. The performance is OK, nothing to get overly excited about, but the sound quality is abysmal. Oddly, Howe sings the beginning of the first song, but it sounds like Jon Anderson takes over part-way through and handles the rest of the lead vocals.
Alan White (Yes) One Way Rag and Drum Solo 8:30 The first part is a full-band rendition of "One Way Rag" from White's solo album "Ramshackled" (which I've never heard because I've never been able to find a copy) with Anderson on vocals. It basically sounds like a loose jam with lyrics. It goes into an Alan White drum solo. Nothing to write home about and terrible sound quality.
Patrick Moraz (Yes) Cachaca (Baiao) 7:00 This is the last of the Roanoke "group solo" material. The full band plays this track from Moraz's "Story of I" album. This is another one that I'd love to hear with better sound quality, but unfortunately this recording stinks.
Geoff Downes Man in a White Car Suite 6:43 I think this comes from the Madison Square Garden (Sep 6, 1980) concert on the Drama tour that was broadcast on the radio, but it sounds pretty bad for a radio broadcast. Really loud and a little distorted.
Trevor Rabin Union tour guitar soundcheck 5:01 Someone got into the Seattle concert on the Union tour a little early and taped parts of the soundcheck. A later volume includes Howe's soundcheck (with terrible sound quality). This one is listenable and actually sounds fairly clear, but it's just Rabin noodling around and playing the main guitar riffs from various Yes songs. Nothing very thrilling. Sounds distant - maybe it was recorded from the parking lot or something.

Tape 12 - Anderson and Rabin solo tours

Side one of this tape came from a 45 minute bootleg pressing of part of a King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast from Anderson's "Animation" tour, recorded at a show in California in 1982. As of this writing (April, 2009), the entire King Biscuit show is available as streaming audio on the Wolfgang's Vault site, but you have to register (i.e. give them your email address so they can spam you) to listen. I passed.

Side two of the tape is a 45 minute audience recording of part of a Trevor Rabin solo show at the Diamond Club in Los Angeles in 1989 to support his "Can't Look Away" solo album. The keyboardist is Mark Mancina, who later produced ELP's Black Moon. The sound quality is really bad - all treble with a nasty whine through it. If you turn the treble all the way down and the bass all the way up, it's almost listenable.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Jon Anderson's Animation Medley: Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper & Awaken 11:00 Although Jon was the only Yes member in the band, they played a lot of Yes music, which I guess was to be expected. This performance is decent but unexceptional, although they did play part of "Awaken" which I don't think Yes had ever played live at that point.
Jon Anderson's Animation All In A Matter Of Time 3:25 A fairly typical Anderson solo song - sweet, friendly and forgettable. To me it sounds like the recording runs a little fast - even Jon doesn't sing that high. The speed gradually corrects itself and by the end of the tape side everything sounded normal.
Jon Anderson's Animation Animation 10:08 This was the big "prog epic" from the Animation album. I've never actually heard the album, since it was out of print pretty much from a few months after it was released until just recently, and I've read that the recent CD reissue is horrible, taken from vinyl with sub-bootleg sound quality. If I have to listen to bootleg quality sound, I might as well do it for free with the Yesoteric tape. At any rate, it's nice to hear some of this rare Anderson material, although it's not as fantastic as many Yes fans claim - I think its rarity helped inflate its reputation.
Jon Anderson's Animation Medley: And You And I, Long Distance Runaround, Heart Of the Sunrise & Close To the Edge 5:00 Another medley of Yes music, and as you can tell from the short running time they basically just scratch the surface of each song. Nothing essential.
Jon Anderson's Animation Olympia 5:25 Another prototypical, forgettable Anderson solo song. In fact, I just listened to it a couple days ago and I can't remember anything about it.
Jon Anderson's Animation Friends Of Mr. Cairo 4:35 This song was pretty neat - upbeat music with lyrics about...well, who knows, but it sounded like some sort of saga about organized crime or something. Not typical fare for Anderson, but it worked.
Jon Anderson's Animation Roundabout 4:35 And, of course, what Yes-related show would be complete without the closing "Roundabout"?

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Trevor Rabin You Know Something I Don't Know 4:00 As mentioned above, the sound quality on this tape side was really bad, but if you boosted the bass and cut the high frequencies it was listenable. This song was an instrumental version of something that first turned up in the Cinema demos on an earlier Yesoteric tape. I guess Rabin liked the song, but could never find a spot for it on an album. Or maybe it's on one of his early solo albums, I've only heard a couple of those. Anyway, this version starts with him introducing the keyboard player, who then noodles around for a while before they play the main riff of the song, then it's a quick transition into...
Trevor Rabin Promises 5:55 A tune from Rabin's "Can't Look Away" solo album. Not bad, if you like the pop side of Rabin.
Trevor Rabin Sludge, drum solo 7:50 Sludge was an instrumental on the "Can't Look Away" album, and one of the proggier sounding things on the disc. This is a nice performance, with a drum solo sandwiched in the middle.
Trevor Rabin Can't Look Away 10:22 And extended version of the album's title track. Nicely done. I've always liked "Can't Look Away" (the song and the album), but then I have no problem with the "YesWest" version of the band. I do have a problem with the idiot in the audience who sounds like he's talking directly into the taper's microphone, trying to impress his friends by naming which song is going to be played next.
Trevor Rabin Owner Of A Lonely Heart 6:05 Wow, I just listened to this tape a couple days ago and I had forgotten this song was on it. I guess I've gotten to the point where I've heard "Owner" so many times it just slips by unnoticed now.
Trevor Rabin Love Will Find A Way 4:44 Never one of my favorite Yes songs, and this performance didn't change that opinion.
Trevor Rabin Changes 6:35 This, however, is one of my favorite Yes songs, but this performance didn't really add anything to the song. By this time the band was on their third encore, so maybe they just wanted to wrap up and go home.

Tape 13 - Various Live Rarities and "The Big Remix"

Side 1 of this tape just collected together some live bits and pieces that weren't part of Yes' regular set lists. There are also a couple short cover song excerpts by a band that has absolutely nothing to do with Yes, so I mark this tape as the start of the "scraping the bottom of the barrel" phase of Yesoteric.

Side 2 has an interesting story behind it. The original compiler got his hands on a bootleg called "The Big Remix", which claimed to be a remixed version of the Big Generator album. Without checking the thing out, he quickly slapped it onto the next Yesoteric volume and sent the tapes out. It turns out that the band had absolutely nothing to do with these "remixes". Some bootlegger just took the original album versions of the songs (plus a dance remix of "Love Will Find a Way") and ran them through some audio editing software. He chopped up some bits, moved some bits around, repeated some bits, added fade-ins, etc, and claimed they were "remixes". The end result is slightly interesting to listen to, but it's not really a Yes rarity.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Ritual excerpt 1:52 This is an audience recording from the Big Generator tour, recorded in Hollywood, FL (at a place called the "Sportatium", according to the notes) in 1988. I think it's just Anderson and Howe performing a small piece of Ritual. Sound quality is muffled but listenable. Interesting and rare track.
Yes Shoot High, Aim Low 9:23 Another song from the same Hollywood, FL audience recording. Still muffled but listenable. I guess they didn't perform this track very often, or at least they had never released a live version, which is surprising given the song's popularity amongst fans. They stretch this performance out a bit compared to the studio version. It opens with Anderson giving some nearly incoherent explanation of how the song is about war. OK, if you say so.
Yes Almost Like Love 6:33 An audience recording from the Big Generator tour, recorded in Philadelphia Nov 30, 1987. I guess this was another rarely played live song. Unfortunately the sound quality of this recording is absolutely the pits. Probably the worst sounding thing in the Yesoteric series so far. It's so muffled, distant and hissy that for the first couple minutes all you can make out is a drum beat. It clears up a tiny bit, to the point where you can tell what song it is, but this recording is just unlistenable.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe Quartet 9:39 An audience recording from Memphis, TN Jul 7, 1989, which captures this rarely-performed song. I think this might have been early in the tour, and they quickly decided to drop this tune for some reason. The recording is listenable, but very very quiet and mostly treble until the bass suddenly kicks in and is super-loud and slightly distorted. The recording also sounds like it might have been converted to MP3 at some point because it has some "digital distortion" on it.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe Let's Pretend 3:02 Another rarity from the Memphis audience recording. About the same sound quality as Quartet. Guess the band decided to drop this one too.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe Live "medley" 1:15 Totally pointless. The compiler must have been desperate to for filler to pad out the tape side, so he threw in this King Biscuit Flower Hour promotional "medley", which is just clips of a bunch of ABWH live songs jammed together with quick edits. Decent sound quality, but unnecessary.
Skyrvania Ritual excerpt 0:58 This is where the Yesoteric series officially jumped the shark. So we're down to bonus tracks from the CD reissue of an obscure 70s French prog rock band, just because they covered a snippet of a Yes song? Sure, they did a decent job of it, but who cares? I've got an audience recording of the band French TV playing a couple minutes worth of "Ritual", can I get that included in the next Yesoteric volume?
Skyrvania Close to the Edge excerpt 1:18 See above comments.
Steve Howe Union tour soundcheck 2:16 As mentioned in the notes for tape 11's Rabin soundcheck from this show, some taper somehow recorded a part of the soundcheck a the Seattle stop on the Union tour in 1991. Unlike the Rabin recording, this one is nearly unlistenable. The volume level is so low that you have to crank the volume up to max just to hear it, and then it gets buried in hiss. To make matters worse, the taper starts shifting around about half way through the track, and his rustles and bumps are 100 times louder than the guitar playing, effectively drowning it out. And when it comes right down to it, this is just Howe noodling around and not even playing anything interesting. This easily could have been skipped.
GTR Roundabout 8:30 This is listed as a performance from Los Angeles, CA Jul 19, 1986, which I'm pretty sure means that it's from the King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast that was later officially released. Which makes this recording unnecessary. Actually, Max Bacon's awful singing makes this recording unnecessary.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes I'm Running 7:45 This song kicks off the "Big Remix", which as mentioned above, turned out to be a bootlegger's hoax. Apparently the band Yes had nothing to do with these "remixes", although the person who put them together was fairly clever and really made the songs sound different enough from the released versions that they fooled a lot of people, myself included.
Yes Love Will Find a Way 8:30 This was "remixed" from an extended dance version of the song that was officially released, which really helped to lend a lot of credence to the idea that these were official remixes.
Yes Rhythm of Love 4:23 Fairly similar to the "real" song. I should mention that the sound quality of all these "remixes" is surprisingly poor. Fairly muffled and bassy. If they really were created from the official releases, why don't they sound better? Definitely demo quality. Many generations of tape copying could account for some of the reduction in sound, but these should sound better. Maybe they're really demos? Maybe I'm just fooling myself?
Yes Big Generator 4:13 Also very similar to the real release.
Yes Shoot High Aim Low 6:41 Not many differences here either.
Yes Holy Lamb 3:50 I'm not sure what the bootlegger did to this version, other than repeating bits of the opening acoustic guitar to stretch it out, but I actually like this version better than the "real" one.
Yes Almost Like Love 5:13 Not much done here either, but the bootlegger did add one neat touch - he "doubled up" the opening drum fill. Sounds better that way, IMHO.
Yes Final Eyes 4:13 Ew, a good bit of this song was cut out which ruins it. Oh well, at least we're at the end of what is easily the least essential volume of Yesoteric so far.

Tape 14 - Pre-Yes, Covers and GTR 2

After the very sub-par tape 13, the series comes back strong with an actual interesting rarity - the demos for the second GTR album. There are also some songs that various band members recorded before their time with Yes or outside of Yes thrown in as filler.

What's that you say? There wasn't any second GTR album? Right you are, and aren't we all thankful for that. But after Steve Hackett left the band, Steve Howe tried to push on by replacing him with a then-unknown named Robert Berry on guitar and vocals. Berry would later go on to replace Greg Lake in the pseudo-ELP band "Three" and then hang around the fringes of the prog-rock world throughout the 1990s. This Hackett-less version of GTR recorded a bunch of demos, intended for a second album that was tentatively entitled "Neurotrend". It never got finished, and Howe eventually disbanded this version of GTR so he could go join Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. Many of the demos didn't have official titles, so the person compiling this Yesoteric volume just gave them names based on the lyrics.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Mabel Greer's Toyshop Beyond and Before 4:04 This was sort of a proto-Yes band with Chris Squire, Peter Banks and Jon Anderson. This song sounds a lot like the version Yes would later record. There's a DJ announcing the song title right at the beginning, so I'm wondering if this was a BBC live session. Sounds live. The version on my tape was really low-volume and hissy, and sounds slightly digitally distorted, like it came from an MP3.
The Syndicats Howlin' With My Baby 2:52 This was one of the (apparently many) bands that Steve Howe was in before joining Yes. Not to be confused with Squire's pre-Yes band The Syn. The Syndicats sounds like a bad rock-a-billy band. This recording must come from a 45 because it has some vinyl pops and clicks. It's also fairly muffled and bassy sounding.
The Syndicats What to Do 2:39 Same sound quality and music style as the previous Syndicats track. Possibly the b-side of the same 45.
The Syndicats On the Horizon 2:49 Same sound quality as previous two tracks, except this one has a lot of pops and clicks and vinyl noise. The lyrics have a nautical theme. I wonder why there's no b-side for this one?
The In Crowd Why Must They Criticize? 2:28 Another Steve Howe pre-Yes band, and another song that probably came from a 45 (some vinyl pops and clicks). The version on my tape was a little muffled, but listenable. Very typical 60s British pop.
The In Crowd I Don't Mind 3:16 Same band, same sound quality, same style of music. Probably the b-side of the same single.
Night of the Guitar All Along the Watchtower 6:53 This was probably the big finale of the "Night of the Guitar" performance and album. Steve Howe takes a solo on this live rendition of the Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix classic, but he's just one soloist amongst many (Sammy Hagar, Robby Krieger, etc). Decent sound quality, but not an essential recording in any sense of the term.
Rock Aid Armenia Smoke on the Water (single version) 4:19 A few years after Live Aid made rock benefit concerts fashionable, a bunch of 70s and 80s bands (Asia, Yes, ELP, Rush, Deep Purple, Led Zep, Foreigner, Floyd, Queen, etc) donated tracks to a benefit album for earthquake victims in Armenia. Then many of the band members (Geoff Downes and Chris Squire were involved) got together to record this cover of "Smoke on the Water". The version on my tape sounds like it's only a couple generations old.
Rock Aid Armenia Smoke on the Water (extended version) 6:06 Apparently the album version was longer than the single, adding more soloing to pad it out. Why both versions were included on Yesoteric, I don't know - seems like they could have just gone with the long one.
GTR 2 Young Hearts 5:34 This is the beginning of the material for the abandoned second GTR album, "Neurotrend". Half the songs were sung by Robert Berry and half by original GTR vocalist Max Bacon. This particular song was done twice - one version with each vocalist. Just a personal opinion: if Robert Berry had been the original vocalist for GTR, I think the album would have been much more warmly received by fans. He's a much better singer than Bacon.
GTR 2 These Eyes 3:59 Another song with Berry on vocals. This track has the same sound quality as all the GTR 2 material - a little muffled, the bass is a little too loud and there's a bit of hiss, but overall it's very listenable.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
GTR 2 Loneliness 3:47 Another song with Berry on vocals. Although this material is much more "pop" than "prog", it's actually not that bad if you go for that sort of thing. The second GTR album, if it had come out, probably would have been better than the first.
GTR 2 Youngblood 4:18 Continues with Berry on vocals. Awful lyrics. I wonder if this was inspired by the movie of the same title.
GTR 2 You Can't Do That 3:56 More Berry. This song seems like a shameless attempt to cash in on the "new wave" sound - very peppy and upbeat, with lots of digital keyboards. Annoyingly catchy, but more annoying than catchy. Louder than the other tracks.
GTR 2 Endless Nights 4:10 The last song with Berry on vocals. Still loud, to the point where the bass gets a bit distorted in places. Musically, this sounds very similar to parts of the song "Desde La Vida" from the Three album - I had always assumed that Emerson wrote that since it's the proggiest thing on that album, but I guess Berry had a big hand in it.
GTR 2 Away (aka No One Else To Blame) 4:54 This song starts the Max Bacon part of the tape, and his vocals are just as strident, off-key and awful as you remember from the first GTR album. The sound quality remains the same - slightly muffled (which thankfully takes a bit of the edge off Bacon's vocals) and bassy but listenable. The title "Away" is the best guess of the compiler, but according to info I found online, Robert Berry would later use a version of this song on a solo album, calling it "No One Else to Blame", so I guess that's the official title. Wonder why Berry didn't sing it here.
GTR 2 Sharp on the Attack 3:24 This is yet another version of the Howe song that seemed to have floated around from project to project until he finally released it on one of his solo albums. I'm pretty sure this was an instrumental (I don't remember Bacon singing on it).
GTR 2 Listen to the People 3:56 Another Bacon track.
GTR 2 Running in the Human Race 4:43 Another track with Bacon on vocals. Howe would later release an instrumental version of this (I think it was on the Turbulence album), and then yet another one with his own vocals on one of his "Homebrew" CDs.
GTR 2 The World is Big Enough For Us All 3:49 Another one with Bacon vocals. Howe would later take this track to the ABWH sessions and after much revamping and a re-write of the lyrics, it became the song "Birthright" on the ABWH CD.
GTR 2 Young Hearts 4:35 Same song as the Robert Berry version, but this time with Max Bacon on vocals.
GTR 2 Hungry Warrior 4:09 Another Bacon track. I read online that Bacon actually released a solo album (oh, the horror) at some point in the 90s which featured the other members of GTR as his backing band (I wonder if he had incriminating photos of them or something) and which included a finished version of this song, as well as some live tracks recorded during GTR's one tour.

Tape 15 - Atlantic's 40th & the Chris Squire Experiment

This volume of Yesoteric was devoted mostly to two "historic" concerts. The first was Yes' performance at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary party. They only performed four songs (or at least that's all the person who recorded it caught on tape), but it lasts for over 25 minutes. It's a continuous recording, apart from a couple bad edits to remove applause between songs. I'm pretty sure it was taped from the audience. A review of the recording that I read on-line said that Yes sounded really "tired", since they were coming off the end of a long tour. I think part of that impression might come from the fact that this recording sounds like it runs slow (Anderson and Squire's vocals sound too low pitched).

After a quick side trip into Asia demo territory, the tape then shifts to a performance by the short-lived "Chris Squire Experiment" band. In addition to Squire, I believe the band also included Alan White on drums and short-lived Yes member Billy Sherwood on guitar. I'm not sure who the other band members were. This is another audience recording with listenable but not great sound quality. Interestingly, only one song from this band's repertoire got recycled onto the "Open Your Eyes" album.

The guy who copied the Yesoteric series for me used a 120 minute tape for this volume. There was supposed to be a break between two songs in the Chris Squire performance, but it continues on with no break on side one, until the tape runs out. That makes me think that he used a different source tape, possibly lower generation (there's not much hiss).

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes (Atlantic 40th) I've Seen All Good People 7:40 The recording starts out really, really muffled but gets better as the music gets going. There's a nasty "thump" and a dropout around four minutes into the song, as if the taper accidentally dropped his microphone. Overall sound quality is a tad distorted and "boomy", but listenable.
Yes (Atlantic 40th) Hold On 7:08 Starts with a short drum solo by Alan White. The sound is still a bit boomy and still sounds like it's running a bit slow. After the song the applause suddenly cuts off with a really bad edit.
Yes (Atlantic 40th) Make it Easy riff / Owner of a Lonely Heart 6:40 Pretty much the same sound quality as the previous songs, with the distortion starting to lessen. Trevor Rabin really screws up the opening of "Owner", playing the wrong guitar chord and then trying to bend it towards the right pitch.
Yes (Atlantic 40th) Roundabout 5:42 The sound quality continues to improve a tad, although it's still not great. There's a bad edit between songs to remove some applause. The band throws a weird "sample" of someone talking into the song around the three minute mark, but I can't make out what it says. The recording ends abruptly in mid-applause when the song ends. All in all, this performance probably didn't need to be immortalized for the ages.
Asia (with Max Bacon) Who Will Stop the Rain? 4:45 Another post-Wetton era demo with Max Bacon on vocals. I guess the original compiler had a few minutes of tape left over and threw this in as filler. The recording is incredibly hissy - the hiss almost overwhelms the music. It's also a tad distorted, the music "wobbles" a bit in places and there are some vinyl pops and clicks. Plus - Max Bacon. Fairly unlistenable.
The Chris Squire Experiment Open Your Eyes 6:40 This starts the Chris Squire Experiment portion of the tape. And they kick it off with a winner - the title track of the universally hated "Open Your Eyes" album. This is an earlier version of the song, and is actually a little better than the Yes version, although it's still not a great song. The sound quality of all the Chris Squire recordings is OK - a little distorted during the loud parts, could use less treble and more bass, but very listenable.
The Chris Squire Experiment The Lonesome Trail 7:47 This song takes almost eight minutes to say nothing. It's a rocker with lyrics that compare life to being a cowboy or something like that. Nothing to write home about.
The Chris Squire Experiment You're the Reason 6:43 Another completely forgettable song, this time a ballad. Between this song and the previous one, there was a nasty blast of feedback that someone removed by just cutting that section of tape out.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
The Chris Squire Experiment One World Going Round 13:47 Since my copy was on a 120 minute tape, the guy who recorded it tried to squeeze this song onto the end of side one (this is the spot where the original tape switched sides but my tape keeps going, leading me to beleive that the guy who made the tape copied the Chris Squire Experiment stuff from a different source). Unforunately the song cut off after 10 minutes, so my duplicator just repeated the entire 13+ minute song at the beginning of side two. This is actually one of the better pieces on Yesoteric - it starts out as yet another forgettable AOR track, but a few minutes in the song shifts to an atmospheric instrumental with tasteful bass riffage from Squire. That goes on for around ten minutes, then he finally ends the song with some bass chords similar to the end of the "Fish Out of Water" album. Very nice.
The Chris Squire Experiment Days of Wonder 6:19 This song seemed pretty good as it was playing, but as soon as it ended I couldn't remember anything about it. I can see why most of the CSE material faded away.
The Chris Squire Experiment Keyboard solo 3:21 This wasn't marked on the tape case as a seperate track, but while it does work as an introduction to the next song, it also stands on its own fairly well. Plus there are several seconds of applause between the solo and the song.
The Chris Squire Experiment Follow Our Dreams 7:22 Squire's voice sounds strained on this one, like he's trying to sing too high for his range. Another ballad-paced, forgettable song. Contains one of the most annoying guitar solos I've ever heard.
The Chris Squire Experiment Say Goodbye 7:50 This is the same song that was included as a demo from the Union sessions on tape 8 of Yestoeric. I guess Squire didn't want to give up on the song, although he probably should have. Oddly, the tape side ends here after just over 38 minutes of music. Usually the original compiler would have found some "filler" to round out the final six or seven minutes of the tape. According to his notes, he had originally considered ending the Yesoteric series after 15 tapes, and thought this would be a good song to end with due to the title.

Tape 16 - Misc, with Lots of Howe

According to the original notes, the guy who put the series together was starting to scrape the bottom of his personal Yes rarities collection by the end of tape 15, so he created this one "final" volume to gather the last scraps he had left over, and that was going to be that. But then other Yes collectors started sending him stuff, and soon there was a volume 17, then 18, etc.

This tape contains some hard-to-find live songs by Yes, some bits and pieces by related bands, some appearances by Yes members on other musicians' albums and finally a healthy dose of Steve Howe performances.

For reasons unknown, the volume level of everything on side one of this tape was really low, and the volume levels on side two range from low to distortingly high.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Gimme Some Lovin' (live) 4:57 Listening to it, I thought for sure this was a bad audience recording because it's really bass-heavy and boomy and a bit distorted - barely listenable. It also sounds like one big wall of sound, making it difficult to hear the individual instruments. Much to my surprise, just before the recording ends you can hear a DJ start talking, so this must have been a radio broadcast. Why does it sound so bad? The performance isn't really anything to write home about either.
Yes Final Eyes (live) 9:07 Recorded in Detroit, MI on Nov 21, 1987 on the Big Generator tour. This is possibly the frustrating track of the entire Yesoteric series, because I've always wanted to hear a live performance of this song, but this audience recording SUCKS. As if the Red Wings weren't enough reason to hate Detroit, now I have some moron on an audience tape screaming his idiot head off the whole way through this song, like he was a teenage girl seeing the Beatles. Man, is that guy annoying. But even if he weren't there, the recording is very "tinny" sounding, with almost no bass. At the beginning of the track, Jon describes the song as being about "love found, lost and won again".
Yes I'm Running (live) 9:34 The bad news is that this is from that same Detroit audience recording, so the sound quality is still pretty bad. The good news is that, after "singing" along with the opening bass line and giving a few final hoots and hollers, the moron standing near the taper finally shuts up for most of the song. Right at the very end, as the audience starts to applaud, he lets out a scream like someone just pulled his liver out through his nose, causing the recording to cut off abruptly. If I ever find that guy...
Asia The Smile Has Left Your Eyes (Unplugged) 2:31 This acoustic performance is from the radio show "Rockline". It's a different performance from the one on tape 2 of the Yesoteric series. This one has a full band. Wetton dominates it with his vocals and acoustic guitar, but there's also a good bit of keyboards in the background. Unfortunately the recording runs a bit fast (everything sounds too high pitched and the tempo is way too fast), and there are nasty dropouts and noises like the microphone is being bumped all over the recording. What's with all the Asia stuff on Yesoteric, anyway? I mean, come on, I know Howe and Downes were in the band, but it's Asia for cripe's sake. We don't need this much of it.
Buggles Technopop 3:47 This is the b-side of the "Clean Clean" single. This recording is clearly from vinyl, because there are a lot of pops and clicks. The sound quality is a little bass-heavy, but otherwise good. This song was officially released as a bonus track on the remastered "Age of Plastic" CD.
Eddie Harris I Waited For You 5:58 Harris was a jazz saxophone player. In 1973, Atlantic records brought him to England for sessions with some of their big rock stars, including Chris Squire, Tony Kaye and Alan White who all appear on this track. The result was an album called "Eddie Harris in the U.K.", which featured this song. The song itself is very forgettable - it sounds like bad lounge jazz. Squire and White are practically invisible, while Kaye plays the lead melody on a Moog synth that sounds like a horrible imitation of a saxophone. Harris plays a real sax, but it's almost buried in the background. According to the Yesoteric notes, there was also a 15 minute song on the album that featured the guys from Yes, but it sounded very similar so he figured the six minute track was more than enough for Yesoteric. Wise decision. The sound quality here is pretty good, although there's lots of vinyl noise.
Lou Reed Ride into the Sun 3:23 The original Yesoteric compiler had this listed as "Rise into the Sun", but Reed is clearly singing "Ride", as a quick web search confirmed. This is from Reed's first solo album after leaving the Velvet Underground, which was just called "Lou Reed". This particular song was actually written by the whole band before he left. It's included on Yesoteric because Reed employed a bunch of famous musicians on the album, and this song features Steve Howe's very distinctive guitar playing. Reed himself doesn't seem to contribute much beyond trite lyrics and his horrible, horrible singing. He almost should have let Howe sing it, that's how bad his voice is. The overall sound quality is good, but this comes from vinyl and the record was really scratchy.
Lou Reed Ocean 5:11 "Ride" was the second to last song on Reed's album, and this was the last track, so it's appropriate that it closes out side one of the tape. It features Rick Wakeman on piano, but other than a section of arpeggios a couple minutes into the song, the keyboards don't really stand out as sounding like Wakeman. Reed's vocals are still terrible. The track continues with the vinyl pops and clicks, but is very listenable.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
The Strawbs Temperment of Mind (live) 4:31 This is listed in the Yesoteric notes as "live, Jul 17, 1970", as if it came from a bootleg recording. It's actually a track from the officially released Strawbs live album "Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios". Unfortunately it was taken from a really scratchy old record and sounds really "wobbly". I have the official album on CD, so I didn't bother to digitize this.
Yes Wakeman's Union tour solo 4:31 This is what sounds to be a pretty good audience recording of Wakeman's standard collection of solo excerpts that he played as his keyboard solo spot on the Union tour. It might run a little fast, or that could just be Rick playing fast. It ends rather abruptly - just after the last note sounds, the audience starts cheering and the recording is immediately cut off.
GTR The Hunter (remix) 5:02 I don't know what the source was on this one (if it was an official release, and if so in what format), but whoever recorded it for Yesoteric had the recording level set WAY too high, leading to the low end getting really distorted throughout. The high end is also very "wobbly", making the guitar solos sound awful. This thing is just painful to listen to. It's not really all that different from the album version - add a bit of drum machine here, a slightly different guitar riff there...that's about it. Not worth keeping.
Steve Howe Sharp on the Attack (live) 3:14 Whoever put this volume together certainly didn't want to waste any tape. This song starts the nanosecond the previous one ended, in mid-applause just as Howe introduces the song as his contribution to "Guitar Speak". The sound quality is decent, although it also sounds a little over-loud. According to the notes, this was yet another song taken from the legendary "Night of the Guitar" album (I wonder if there were any tracks on that album that didn't end up on Yestoeric).
Steve Howe Surface Tension (live) 3:13 This song kicks off an audience recording from the GTR tour stop in New Orleans in 1986. Each guitarist got to do a short solo set, and this is Howe's. The sound quality is listenable, but it's a little "tinny" (not much bass) and sounds like it was recorded in an echo chamber. There's also a good bit of hiss. The recording is continuous - there are no breaks between songs (apart from some applause and Howe introducing the next song). Most, if not all, of these songs would eventually appear with much better sound quality on Howe's live "Not Necessarily Acoustic" album, although that was recorded on a Howe solo tour in the 90s and not on the GTR tour.
Steve Howe Mood For a Day (live) 3:20 See notes for Surface Tension
Steve Howe Ram (live) 2:34 See notes for Surface Tension
Steve Howe Second Initial (live) 3:14 See notes for Surface Tension
Steve Howe Country Medley (live) 4:48 See notes for Surface Tension
Steve Howe Clap (live) 3:28 See notes for Surface Tension
Steve Howe From a Place Where Time Runs Slow (live) 4:07 This is the last song from the New Orleans audience tape. The rest of the band (except for vocalist Max Bacon) join Howe to perform this instrumental song that would end up, with major alterations, on Howe's solo studio album "Turbulence".
GTR Pennants (live) 4:44 From a GTR performance in Los Angeles, Jul 19, 1986. The sound is a bit muffled and distant, but pretty good. This might be from the King Biscuit broadcast that was later released as an official CD. The recording ends abruptly during the applause after the song.

Tape 17 - AnderSonic Boom II

Again, the pun in the title was the original compiler's idea, not mine. Anyway, this is another all-Jon-Anderson tape, made up of two long demos Jon had put together for possible albums, and a shorter live performance with Japanese keyboardist Kitaro and a drummer named Tojiki. I'm very curious about how these recordings got into the hands of collectors, but I couldn't find any information on the web or elsewhere.

As mentioned in the notes for the previous tape, the original Yesoteric compiler had run out of material by this point, so this tape (and the next couple) were put together by another fanatical Yes collector for the "official" Yesoteric series.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Jon Anderson Indian Summer 30:00 This is basically just a collection of instrumental sketches that Anderson put together for possible future use. It's around a half hour long, although it's hard to tell where it starts because it fades in so gradually that it seems like the tape has been playing for quite a while before you hear anything. It's also hard to tell when it ends, because there's no big "climactic" ending - Jon just ran out of ideas and the tape goes into the very similar sounding beginning of "Reach Out". I've read some negative comments about "Indian Summer" on the web, but come on - what did you expect from a series of Anderson noodles on some keyboards that was never intended to be heard by the masses? It makes for nice background music if nothing else. And if you listen carefully, you can hear some melodic ideas that would crop up in the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe project. For example, around 22 minutes in, I hear some keyboard melodies that sound vaguely reminiscent of parts of "Brother of Mine". There was no recording date listed for this, but given the equipment used and the hints of ABWH, I'd guess it's from sometime in the mid to late 1980s.
Jon with Kitaro and Tojiki Reach Out (live) 9:56 There was no recording date or location listed for this one either, but I'd guess it's also from the late 80s. I didn't think it was a live recording at first, because it sounds a bit too good and there's no audience noise. But the drums do sound a bit echoey like they were recorded in a large space, and just as the music ends you can hear a few scattered claps before the recording abruptly cuts off. This one isn't an instrumental - Jon sings a bit (I'm not sure if he was also playing keyboards), but the lyrics seem pretty unsubstantial. A nice enough track, but nothing to get too worked up over. I'd like to know where this came from - I did a web search for "Kitaro" and "Reach Out" and it didn't turn up anything.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Jon Anderson The Sky and His Shadow 38:45 The sound quality is a little rougher for this one. It sounds like it was recorded with a cheaper set-up. There's a lot more hiss, and occasional "rumbling" noises like someone moving a microphone around. One bootleg listing I found on the web says this piece was recorded in 1975, and that sounds about right from the recording quality and instrumentation. Another source said it was from 1998, but that's clearly wrong because I'm pretty sure it was already on Yesoteric before that (maybe 1998 was when a bootleg CD pressing came out).

The song is mostly all one long piece, although after the first 24 minutes or so it starts to have breaks between musical "ideas". The music is comprised mostly of synthesizer drones and bells, chimes, harp and drifting keyboard melodies. Some have compared it to "Olias of Sunhillow", but to me it sounds like an early blueprint for Jon's full-out new-age album "Angel's Embrace". There are occasional sound clips in the background (children playing, drum machines, birds chirping, etc) and towards the end there's a deep male voice saying things in what sounds like French, similar to the way the Native American speaker did rambling voice-overs on "Toltec". Some rumors I found on the internet say that Vangelis might have been involved in recording this, but others deny it. The balance seems like it might be off - the left channel sounds louder than the right, at least at the beginning.

Tape 18 - ABWH Album Demos

The ever-growing Yesoteric series had already covered some demos of unreleased Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe songs (see tape 2) and the demos they were working on for a second album (see tape 9) which got incorporated into the Union album. But the demos on this tape are the actual working versions of songs from the released ABWH album. In fact, these must be from near the end of the creation process, because they sound very similar to the final album with just minor differences. The instrumentation is a little rougher (drum machines here and there, keyboard filling in bass lines, etc), the arrangements are slightly different in places and the production isn't as glossy. But if you put this tape on in the background and weren't paying close attention, you might not notice that it wasn't the official album.

This is probably the shortest volume in the Yesoteric series - it just barely filled out a 60 minute tape. If I had to make one complaint about these very good demos, it's that they sound a bit "tinny", with too much treble - but I think the final album sounds the same way, so I guess that's appropriate.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
ABWH Intro Theme (demo) 1:08 The "Themes" are listed as three separate songs on the tape case, rather than one integrated track as on the final album, but they sound very similar and there are no breaks between them. The very beginning of this first track has some very wobbly high frequencies, but that straightens out quickly and the sound quality throughout the demos is very good.
ABWH Second Attention (demo) 3:14 There's absolutely no break between "Intro Theme" and this, so I actually missed the change at first and had to go back and listen again to figure out the track lengths. This version has a slightly different instrumental break in the middle from the final album version.
ABWH Third Theme (demo) 1:50 Again continues seamlessly from the previous track. Sound quality remains very good for a demo.
ABWH Fist of Fire (demo) 3:35 There's a very short break between songs this time, as we launch into a separate song. Sound quality remains good, music remains similar to the released album.
ABWH Brother of Mine (demo) 10:36 I'm running out of ways to say "it sounds good and very similar to the album".
ABWH Birthright (demo) 6:11 The keyboard solo in the middle uses a different voice and the song overall doesn't sound as "dramatic", but it's still similar to the album version. Sounds a little more "native", with more digeridoo, etc.
ABWH Distant Thunder 5:04 Finally, a major change from the released album. Instead of the song "The Meeting", we get the unreleased track "Distant Thunder". I think this is the same song that went by the name "Children of Light" on earlier demos, as that phrase features heavily in the chorus. Anderson belts out some very political sounding lyrics at the beginning, and the song maintains a "protest song" vibe throughout. Maybe that's why it was dropped from the album - coming right on top of "Birthright" and "Fist of Fire", it makes the album seem way too political for a Yes-related project.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
ABWH Quartet (demo) 9:31 The opening couple notes are cut off and the first second or two "wobbles", but the sound quality remains very good after that. Somewhere along the line, someone copying these tapes must have messed up the beginning of each side. This song continues to sound similar to the final album, although this version seems a little more laid-back and mellow. Anderson starts singing in something other than English during the "I'm Alive" section, but I'm not sure if it's a real language or if he's just making up stuff that "sounds good".
ABWH Theme (again) (demo) 1:06 This sounds like the "Opening Theme" was just cut and pasted here again. I don't know if whoever originally bootlegged the demos put this here, or if the band intended it as a reprise. Seems kind of odd and out of place, however it got here. The very end fades out quickly before launching into the next song.
ABWH Teakbois (demo) 8:18 The music sounds pretty much identical to the album version, but the lyrics might be a little different. To be honest, I never listened to the album version all that much. There's a sound clip of crickets chirping at the end that I don't remember from the album. Probably the sound of the concert audiences after they played this song.
ABWH Order of the Universe (demo) 8:46 The beginning of the song is slightly distorted during the deep bass parts, but it quickly recovers. The music is basically the same as the album, but it seems like the keyboards and guitar are playing slightly flashier parts in the background. The transition from the opening instrumental section to the first lyrics is a little different. The end of the song goes straight into the next song.
ABWH Let's Pretend (demo) 3:27 Segues directly from "Order", just like on the final album. The opening blasts on the gong are a bit distorted, but otherwise this sounds very good. In fact, I could swear that the guitar parts are even a little clearer than the album, and Anderson's voice sounds a bit more "intimate".

Tape 19 - Talk Tour and Misc

This tape is comprised mainly of recordings from the 1994 tour in support of the "Talk" album, which sadly seems to have slipped into oblivion shortly after its release. Whoever put this tape together set the recording levels really low - I had to boost the wav files over 300% while converting this to CDR just to get it up to a listenable level. I don't know why that was such a problem for the Yesoteric series - most tape decks in the 1990s had recording level indicators, unless they were using a really cheap boom box or something. On the plus side, this material was still relatively "new" when the Yesoteric series was compiled, so there aren't as many generations of tape hiss on the recordings.

All of side 1 and the lengthy first song on side 2 come from a live performance in Las Vegas. Unfortunately the exact date and venue weren't listed, just "1994". It sounds like two different sources were used. Most of the songs are muffled and a little distant sounding, but the instrument balance is good and there's some clear stereo separation, so I'm guessing it either came from a radio broadcast or the soundboard. It's a shame that that recording is so muffled, because it sounds good otherwise. I'll call that recording "A". The second source, recording "B" is only used for one song. It's clearly an audience recording, with lots of noise from nearby audience members, a little bit of distortion here and there and a mix that makes it hard to hear some instruments. Oddly though, it actually sounds clearer than recording A, as if some filter was taken away between the band and the microphone. Both recordings sound like they might run just a tad slow, and all the songs have bad "edits" after them where someone used a low-budget cassette recorder to cut out whatever was between the songs.

The remainder of side 2 contains various odds and ends used as filler. There are two Jon Anderson solo performances, a couple singles by other artists that feature Yes members and a completely unnecessary extended version of GTR's big hit song.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes The Calling (Live) 6:49 This comes from Las Vegas recording "A" (see notes above).
Yes I am Waiting (Live) 7:58 This comes from Las Vegas recording "A" (see notes above). The sound "wobbles" a little bit right at the end.
Yes Real Love (Live) 9:58 Another song from the Las Vegas show, but here we switch to recording "B" (see notes above). A little over six minutes into the song, there's a really bad "edit", or maybe the tape got chewed up in someone's player at some point. Sounds nasty either way. The sound also "wobbles" a little bit right at the end.
Yes Where Will You Be? (Live) 7:53 Continuing the Las Vegas show, it sounds like we switch back to recording "A". Jon Anderson gives a fairly long introduction which is mostly about reincarnation and how he can never remember the lyrics to this song.
Yes Walls (Live) 6:13 Continuing on with recording "A". The song and tape side end abruptly in mid-applause as soon as the music ends.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Endless Dream (Live) 21:16 This comes from Las Vegas recording "A" (see notes above). Anderson introduces it as "real Yes music". Has some hiss at the beginning that swells and recedes, and there's something that sounds like radio static that pops up a few times here and there. But overall it's a listenable recording and it's nice to hear a live version of one of Yes' later "epic" songs. This concludes the section of tape from the Las Vegas performance.
Yes Walls (Live) 3:51 While promoting the Talk album, the Rabin line-up of the band appeared on Late Night with David Letterman (or was it already the "Late Show" by then? I forget) on June 20th, 1994. After Letterman introduced them (which is included on the tape), the band only had a few minutes to perform, so they hurried through this shortened version of Walls. This recording sounds surprisingly bad for something that was broadcast on network TV in 1994. Maybe it's just by comparison with the muffled recording that preceded it, but this song sounds really "tinny" - all treble and no bass. It sounds overly loud and harsh too, possibly due to broadcast compression. With another live version of Walls already on this same tape, I don't see why this was included.
Jon Anderson Everyday (Live) 3:58 The Yesoteric notes just list this as "Sheffield, 1980". I have no idea of the exact date, location or other circumstances of this performance. The recording is probably from a radio broadcast or the soundboard, as it sounds "clean" but very muffled and oddly distant. There are traces of pops and clicks, so this probably came from a vinyl bootleg. The Yesoteric notes that I found online call this track and the next one "2 Jon songs" and question why he didn't include them on his solo albums. I guess the compiler (who I get the distinct impression was probably fairly young in the 1990s) wasn't aware that this was a cover of a hit song from the 50s.
Jon Anderson I Hear You Now (Live) (cut off) 3:45 Again the Yesoteric notes are very sketchy about the source of this recording. It's listed on the tape case as "with the SFX band from the MENCAP benefit LP". A web search revealed that MENCAP is a group that helps people with learning disabilities, and the SFX band is something that helps children's development through music. But I couldn't find anything about this particular recording. Based on the style of music (vaguely discoish), I'd guess this is from the late 70s or early 80s. The sound quality is fairly good, with some pops and clicks. Since it's from an official release, it's very odd that it cuts off abruptly in the middle of the song, just as it's turning into an instrumental jam. I guess the guy who put this tape together figured we wouldn't want to hear the rest of the song once Jon stopped singing.
David Bowie (w/Wakeman) Space Oddity (single) 3:22 Taken from a vinyl single, this sounds pretty much like what I remember the song sounding like on the radio (plus pops and clicks). I'm no Bowie expert though, so maybe there's some subtle differences. Anyway, the online Yesoteric notes say Wakeman "isn't doing much that can be heard", which makes me wonder if the compiler had ever heard of a mellotron. Wakeman is all over this thing, using all sorts of different mellotron tapes.
The Moody Blues (w/Moraz) Al Fin Voy a Encontrarte 6:21 This is the Spanish language version of the band's hit song "I Know You're Out There Somewhere". It was probably taken from a single, because there's some vinyl noise. Other than that it sounds good, but what's the point of including this? Moraz plays keyboards - he didn't have anything to do with the vocals or lyrics, and that's the only thing that makes this "rare". The music is exactly the same as the English version.
GTR When the Heart Rules the Mind (long ver.) 4:19 This is listed on the tape as the "long version", but it's only four minutes long and doesn't sound any different that the regular version (apart from vinyl pops and clicks) to me. The online notes were no help at all as they just mentioned that the song existed and then completely dismissed it. The recording is loud compared to the rest of the tape and is mostly treble (not much bass).

Tape 20 - More Rare Live Tracks

The guy who compiled the Yesoteric series apparently developed a reputation, and he was eventually contacted by a fantatical Yes collector in England who sent him a copy of some of his "rarest of the rare" Yes live recordings. From that volume 20 of Yesoteric was born.

Unfortunately, as you can imagine, since this material is so rare it was mostly only captured on audience recordings that range from poor to very poor, and was copied from tape to tape for dozens of generations before it found its way into the Yesoteric series. This tape is a challenge to listen to, even for the most ardent Yes fan. If you could suffer through the atrocious sound though, there were a few interesting revelations on this one.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Arriving UFO (Live) 8:03 Recorded on June 18th, 1979 in Springfield, MA. The recording is very hissy; like most everything on this tape it's probably dozens of generations old. Before the song Jon Anderson tells some story about someone seeing a UFO, but unfortunately audience members near the taper were yelling at each other about something, so you can't really hear Jon's story. Once the music starts the recording gets a bit distorted, which is a shame because otherwise it sounds pretty good (full bass, nice mix, etc). At the end of the song, the band goes into a jam that's mostly drums and sci-fi sounding keyboards for a couple minutes. As that fades out, a high-pitched whine becomes noticeable which continues into the next song.
Yes Love Will Find a Way (acoustic) (Live) 4:30 No source or location were listed - possibly the same audience recording as the next song, but unfortunately only a year is listed for that one. They both probably come from the Big Generator tour. The recording isn't too bad, although there's some hiss and a lot of crowd noise, and the loudest parts are a bit distorted. The performance is OK - it's just "Love Will Find a Way" played "unplugged" style.
Yes Holy Lamb/Wurm medley (Live) 12:25 The tape case says this one was recorded in 1987, but doesn't say where. Sound quality is the same as the previous track - hissy, mostly treble and mid-range, a bit distorted in the loud parts. This, to me, was one of the more interesting "discoveries" of this tape - on some dates of the Big Generator tour, the band apparently not only played Holy Lamb but also mixed a healthy dose of the Wurm section of Starship Trooper into the middle of it. There's a loud, nasty "THUMP" noise at the end.
Yes Wait 'til the Midnight Hour (Live) 1:33 This, to my way of thinking, was a completely unnecessary addition to the tape. It from a performance in Memphis, TN, on September 17, 1978. It's just the band screwing around and playing a snippet of a cover song. The sound quality is just terrible - really, really muffled, and it sounds like the taper was standing a mile from the stage. The recording sounds like it runs slow too - Jon's voice is really low. The "cover" concludes with what is probably the worst guitar solo Steve Howe ever played, and then the recording abruptly cuts off.
Yes Ritual (excerpt) (Live) 2:07 This is just another quick little excerpt rather than a full performance. The tape case and the online Yesoteric notes disagree on the performance date (case says 5/12/77, online notes say 12/5/77), but both agree it was in Paris (which is "confirmed" by some audience chatter in French at the end). I'm guessing someone was confused by the European date format and the recording is really from December 5th, 1977. At any rate, the recording is muffled and very hissy, and not particularly essential in any way.
Yes Song of Innocence (Live) 7:11 Here's another ultra-rarity, Yes performing one of the songs from Alan White's solo album "Ramshackled". I'm guessing this is from the post-Relayer tour when they played everyone's solo stuff on a few dates. The tape case lists this as June 5th, 1976 in Jackson, MS. The online notes agree about the date but say the location is Jackson, MI. Your guess is as good as mine. Unfortunately the recording is so incredibly hissy that the hiss almost drowns out the music. It also sounds like it runs more than a bit slow - Jon's voice is really low and the whole thing seems to drag. It's almost unlistenable. Before the music starts, Jon tries to do some crowd control, asking the people in the back to back up so the people in the front don't get crushed.
Yes High Vibration (Live) 1:28 Don't get your hopes up, this isn't a rare, unreleased Yes song. It's just a snippet of "Awaken", played mostly by Howe and sung by Anderson. At the end of it, Jon announces that the next song will be "Gates of Delirium" (just before the recording cuts off), so he and Steve might have been playing this to kill time while the rest of the band prepared for the epic. The audience recording is from Philadelphia, PA on July 27, 1975. It has almost no bass and is all treble and mid-range. Like everything else it's really hissy and a bit distorted, and sounds "distant".
Yes To Be Over (3D remix) 10:46 The Yesoteric compiler seemed to be pretty excited about this recording, judging by his notes, and even said that the band should have officially released this. He doesn't seem to notice that, despite being listed as a performance from Boston in 1974, only Anderson's introduction to the song is live, and the rest is a terrible "remix" of the studio version of the song. I guess there's an outside chance that it's from a soundboard recording of a live performance, because the guitar tone does sound fairly different from the album. But there's no way this is from an audience recording, and my bet would be someone took the album track and messed around with it using audio editing equipment. They added lots of reverb and "delayed" the right channel so that it "echoes" the left (very noticable during the introduction, less so during the song). The recording has a surprising amount of hiss on it, is slightly distorted, and sounds like it runs too slow (it really drags, and Jon's voice sounds low). I think I can hear some vinyl pops and clicks in there too, so it probably came from a bootleg record. As far as I'm concerned, this falls into the same camp as the "Big Remix" of the Big Generator album which turned out to be a bootlegger's hoax.
Yes All's a Chord (Live) 2:38 This is a Steve Howe solo performance, introduced by Anderson, probably from the Union tour. The tape case listed it as 1991, Japan, but the online notes say it's from March, 1992 and specifies the city (Nagoya). You'd think that a recording from the 90s would sound a lot better than the rare stuff from the 70s, but this one also has some hiss and is mostly high-end (not much bass). It's a little more listenable though.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Release, Release (Live) 6:49 On my tape this is at the end of side one, but whoever copied it for me used a 120 minute tape and most of side 2 is blank, and the tape case lists this as the first song on side two. The recording is from September 1st, 1978 in Providence, RI. It, like everything else, is really hissy and is also fairly muffled and distant sounding. There's a high-pitched whine through it, but it's not too bad and only noticeable during quiet parts. The bass is super loud and a bit distorted, especially at the beginning of the song. Before the song starts, Jon recites some of the lyrics like a poem. The track ends with a really ugly sounding edit into the next song.
Yes America (Live) 18:12 The first five minutes of the song are at the end of side one of my tape, but then the tape runs out. Fortunately, the guy who copied it for me repeated the entire song at the beginning of side two. The tape case lists this as being a 1971 performance in Berlin. The online notes agree on Berlin, but say it's from June 5th, 1970. I'd go with the 1970 date, because it sounds like Tony Kaye on keyboards and the arrangement is fairly different from the better known, later arrangement with Wakeman (although this version already sounds nothing like the original Simon and Garfunkel song). The recording is (I know this sounds like a broken record) muffled, hissy and slightly distorted with a bit of high-pitched whine. But it's still surprisingly listenable for a rarity from 1970. While it doesn't sound great, it still sounds better than an audience recording, so I guess it's either from the soundboard or a radio broadcast. You can hear an audience applaud at the end, so it wasn't a "live in the studio" sort of thing like the BBC tracks. This one song makes the tape worth having, despite all the filler junk at end of this side.
Yes Our Song (Live) 4:53 The exact date isn't listed, just 1983 in Millersville, PA. This comes from a fairly decent audience recording, although it seems to run a bit fast, could use some more bass and is a little distorted. It seems like a lot of stuff on this tape is more distorted than it should be, I wonder if somewhere along the line someone copied it with their recording levels set way too high. At the end of the song there's a bad edit into the next song. It sounds like maybe this was recorded over top of something else on the tape, and a little of the old recording bled through at the end.
Yes White Car (a capella) (Live) 1:09 This is fairly neat. It sounds like Horn and Squire and maybe Howe, with possibly just a touch of keyboard backup, singing the lyrics a capella on the Drama tour. The tape case lists this as being from Newcastle, England on April 12th, 1980. The online notes agree that it's 1980 but don't give an exact date and say that it's from Sheffield, UK. The sound quality is listenable, but a bit muffled and distant. The track ends with another bad edit into the next song.
Yes Flight of the Moorglade (Live) 5:00 This is just painful to listen to. It's really LOUD, almost all treble and very, very distorted. Which is a shame, because the performance sounds good and I'd love to hear the band play some material from Olias with better sound quality. The first minute of the "performance" is just the band screwing around and warming up, but then they launch into a fairly faithful rendition of the song. This is listed as being from the rehearsals for the 1976 tour, but at the end of the song you can hear people applauding. Not a huge crowd, but more than a handful of people - why was there an audience for a rehearsal? The location is listed as Millersville, PA, but being from the area I've heard that the band's rehearsals were actually held in Lititz, PA because that's where the company who ran their sound equipment was based. Guess it doesn't really matter much.
Yes Topographic Tour Song (Live) 2:06 Recorded on February 14th, 1974 in Detroit, MI. From here on out on side two of the tape, most of what is listed as "songs" or "jams" are really just very, very minor bits of messing around on stage by the band. Most of this stuff is completely forgettable and not worth keeping. In this case, the "Topographic Tour Song" is just a very light, very loose, very mellow bit of improvisation, mostly Anderson humming along to some new-agey keyboard improv. The recording is distorted and mostly treble. It ends with a bad edit into the next song.
Yes Awaken (excerpt) (Live) 2:37 This was recorded on April 11th, 1984 at Alpine Valley, CA. The clip starts with the music already playing, so who knows how much of the song they actually played? It's from a fairly listenable audience recording, although it's a bit "tinny" (no bass) and hissy. It's just the ending of the song, mostly Anderson singing with Kaye accompanying him on a nasty digital synthesizer, and sounds like it was a spontaneous thing, but it's still surprising to hear on the 90125 tour.
Yes Jam (Live) 1:06 Calling this a "jam" is kind of insulting to jams. The crowd starts a chant like you would hear at a soccer match, and the band picks up on it and plays the melody for a minute or so. Recorded February 9th, 1985 in Buenos Aries. Sound quality is decent, but the track is kind of pointless.
ABWH Gimme Some Lovin' (Live) 3:55 I'm curious about what the circumstances of this recording were. It's in front of what sounds like a fairly sizable audience, but it begins with a DJ talking to Jon Anderson. No location is given, but Anderson mentions Atlantic City and Philadelphia during some improvised lyrics in the song. The song is listed as an August 3rd, 1989 broadcast on WMMR in Philadelphia, but I don't know if it was pre-recorded or broadcast live. The recording sounds like it runs a little slow and is surprisingly distorted and "tinny" for a radio broadcast. There's also a lot of hiss. The performance of this cover song is OK, but nothing to write home about.
Yes Ritual (excerpt) (Live) 1:40 This is another case of the 90125 era band, mostly Anderson with Kaye adding some digital synth backing, launching into a spontaneous "cover" of a bit of music from their past. The only recording information is that it's from the UK in 1984. The audience recording is mostly treble and is fairly distorted, but for a change doesn't have that much hiss on it.
Yes (Steve Howe) (Live) On Wings of Gold 0:35 Come on, were the compilers really this desperate for material? We're down to giving a song name to Howe strumming a few chords before playing "Clap"? This very brief recording, from Milwaukee in 1976, sounds fairly decent, but how did this get elevated to the status of a "song"? Completely unnecessary.
Yes Delirium Jam (Live) 2:26 This is another completely pointless addition to the Yesoteric series. It's just the band "improvising" a little lead-in to Gates of Delirium, and it's almost exactly the same as what's on the YesShows album, which was readily available when the Yesoteric series was being put together. Besides which, the sound quality of this clip is almost unlistenable - really muffled, muddy, hissy and distant. From the same Milwaukee 1976 recording as the previous "song".
Yes (Chris Squire) On the Silent Wings of Freedom (excerpt) (Live) 1:07 And the tape ends with yet another pointless clip. This is an audience recording from the Big Generator tour in 1987 (no location or exact date given), in which Chris Squire plays a tiny bit of the melody of "Silent Wings" before launching into what sounds like the beginning of his Amazing Grace solo piece. The sound quality is really muffled, distant and distorted. Besides which, wasn't this officially released on the 9012Live album?

Tape 21 - Misc

The official title of this tape is "Yescellaneous VII", but that's just too embarrassing to even contemplate. It's another tape of leftovers and scraps that didn't fit on other volumes or had just recently been unearthed. The title should probably have been "A collection of tape hiss". Most of this tape is just overwhelmed with hiss.

This is another volume where the guy who copied the series for me decided to use an ultra-cheap, 120 minute tape and try to cram as much onto side one as possible (most of side two is blank). Maybe this would have sounded better if he had used better tape.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Dear Father (BBC) 5:48 There's just a ton of hiss on this, and hardly any bass or treble. At some point someone tried to do a fade-in, and the result is that volume gradually creeps up in stages during the first 30 seconds or so. The tape speed and pitch fluctuate a bit too. This is just a terrible recording of a song that wasn't all that great to begin with.
Yes Sakura Sakura 1:48 There's some really nasty digital noise at the beginning, like maybe this came from a really screwed up MP3 or something. Then Jon introduces the song as something a friend from Tokyo taught the band. I guess it's a common/popular song in Japan, or was during the 70s. The crowd certainly seems to recognize it. This was recorded in Osaka, Japan on March 12th, 1973, and the sound quality is surprisingly good.
Yes Colours of the Rainbow 1:14 After a nasty sounding edit, the recording jumps to the Anderson ditty "Colours", which was already included on an earlier Yesoteric volume. This is supposedly from the same Osaka recording as the previous song, but the sound quality here is much worse - really boomy sounding, all bass and midrange. Hard to hear what Jon is singing.
Yes Take the Water to the Mountain 4:26 The hiss level goes way up again on this one, and there's not much bass. The high treble level makes this very harsh to listen to. It's an audience recording that sounds fairly distant from the stage, recorded in Pensacola, FL on April 9th, 1991 (Union tour). The track begins with a typical rambling intro from Anderson, and ends by segueing directly into the next song with no break.
Yes Soon 4:17 From the same Pensacola recording as the previous track, and flows from it as a continuous song. Sound quality is the same, still really, really hissy and all treble. There doesn't seem to be much point in including this, except that it's hard to separate it from the previous song.
Yes Jam with Iron Butterfly 2:08 I'm really curious about the source of this. It sounds live, because you can faintly hear some crowd noise and clapping along at a couple spots. But there's nothing that identifies it as either Yes or Iron Butterfly. No date or location are given. There's a lot of hiss on the recording, and it's muffled and mostly bass. The "jam" takes a while to get going, and then just as it starts rolling the recording cuts off. The last ten seconds or so are just a wall of hiss.
GTR Prizefighters 5:37 This isn't the King Biscuit broadcast, instead it's an audience recording from London, September 14th, 1986. The song is taken at a much slower, more stately pace, although part of that might be the recording running slow. Bacon's voice sounds too low. The sound quality isn't too bad, apart from a bad edit at the beginning and a ton of hiss. I guess if you're a big GTR fan (is there such a thing?), you might find this interesting.
Bruford & Howe Roundabout 2:36 Wow, what a train wreck. Another aspect of the disaster that was the "Symphonic Music of Yes" project. If you haven't heard it, Howe, Bruford and Anderson got together in the 90s and hired an orchestra to play elevator music versions of Yes songs. Apparently Steve and Bill (and an unidentified bassist) went on the Regis and Kathie Lee show to try to promote the album and ended up playing this shortened, "power trio" version of Roundabout. Howe sings lead vocals, and whoever the bassist is sings backup. Remarkably, the backup vocals are even worse than Howe's lead.
Anderson Piano solo 2:45 Another recording from a YesFest convention, this one in 1994. Jon sits down at a piano and noodles for a few minutes. I'm not sure if this was a composed thing or just an improvisation. Sound quality is distant and hissy, and there's some audience chatter at the beginning, but it's not bad.
Anderson Prayersong 4:37 From the same YesFest '94 recording. This one is pretty bizarre. Jon brings out a translator named Eduardo and then launches into a little poem which Eduardo translates into Spanish (?) Jon then sings an a capella song, which sounds familiar (might be from Song of Seven?), while someone (Eduardo?) does cha-cha-chas in the background.
Anderson Anti-drug ad 0:34 This is just hilarious. I don't know if it was a British anti-drug campaign or an American one, but it's funny either way. The campaign was called "Get Off!", which seems like a poorly thought-out choice. Then add in what sounds like a fully baked Jon Anderson, telling kids to stay off "heavy" drugs...wow.
Squire Bass demo 1:18 This is listed as having been recorded in 1982, but the online notes didn't seem to know the exact source of the recording. It sounds like Squire in a studio, riffing on what sounds like the James Bond theme.
Yes Parallels (Live) 5:49 This is an audience recording from the Drama tour, August 29th, 1980. Location unknown. The sound quality is distant and hissy but otherwise not too bad. A couple minutes into the song there's a nasty gap of a second or two where the recording goes silent.
Yes The Ancient (excerpt) 2:45 This is mostly Anderson singing and strumming a guitar (or is that Howe?) Jon dedicates the song to his daughter Jennifer, who was turning 16 the next day. The track is listed as coming from Philadelphia in 1979, with no other info. Sound quality is OK, but fairly muffled with wobbly treble.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Where Will You Be? (demo) 6:04 Side 2 actually has a few interesting demos on it. Well, these were supposed to be on side two, but the guy who made my tape crammed the first three onto side 1, with the third track getting cut off in the process. Anyway, the first three tracks are all demos of songs that ended up on the Talk album. The demos sound very similar to the final versions, but it's still neat to hear. The sound quality is a little muffled and, of course, fairly hissy, but listenable.
Yes I am Waiting (demo) 8:00 Same sound quality as the previous song - muffled and hissy, but listenable. Very similar to album version.
Yes State of Play (demo) 4:41 This version isn't quite as obnoxious as the album version, and seems to have more a little more guitar to it. Sound quality is still muffled and hissy.
Bruford Drum solo 2:08 The tape case indicates that this was recorded in Bearsville studios, in 1983. The online notes state that it was during the sessions for King Crimson's "Three of a Perfect Pair" album. The sound quality is OK, although it has the ever-present hiss and it sounds a little "slurry", like it came from an MP3.
Buggles We Can Fly From Here (demo) 5:27 There seems to be some debate about whether this is a Buggles demo or if it came from the Drama sessions. I don't hear anything that sounds like Howe, Squire or White, so I'm guessing the former. Besides which, I thought I had read somewhere that Downes and Horn tried to sell this song to Yes before joining the band.
Yes Roundabout (demo) 8:07 I wonder how this got out into the hands of the public. It's not very different from the album version, although for some strange reason it starts with what sounds like dubbed-in audience applause. Along the line somewhere, someone recorded it with the right channel volume set too high and that side got distorted. Which is a shame, because otherwise this recording sounds really good.
Jon and Vangelis Say What You Will (demo) 6:15 I have no idea what this song is or where it came from, but it's about what you would expect from the Jon and Vangelis project. Sound quality a little muffled and hissy but very listenable. The song is labeled as coming from 1987, but with a question mark as if that date isn't certain.
Jon and Vangelis Let's Pretend (demo) 5:22 This is an early version of the song that would end up on the ABWH album, but it's very different. It starts out as a slower, more new-agey, mellow version of the song, using the same lyrics. But by the end it's a completely different song - different music and different lyrics. Sound quality is the same as the previous track.

Tape 22 - 1971 Live, GFtO demos, BG demos

This was another "Yescellaneous", but it's actually grouped fairly nicely into three parts. The first two thirds of side 1 are live performances from 1971, from the BBC and German TV. The rest of side 1 are demos from the Going For the One album. All of side 2 are demos from the Big Generator album.

The guy who put the series together admits in his online notes that someone named Eric (last name withheld to protect the guilty) "helped" put this volume together. Considering that the main compiler's notes are completely useless (he doesn't give any factual information about the recordings, just a couple paragraphs of his opinions on some songs), I'm guessing Eric was mostly responsible for this volume. Whoever put the tape together was obsessive about not wasting any tape. Every song on side 1 starts right on the heels of the previous track, and the edits are so abrupt that the first and last second or two of songs are often cut off.

Both sides of the tape were recorded at ultra-low volume. When I converted them to digital, the waveforms looked almost like flat lines. I used CoolEdit to amplify the recordings 300%, and some of the songs had to be amplified even more beyond that. Which caused the tape hiss to get pretty loud, so I had to filter it out. I just don't understand why one volume of Yesoteric was so loud that it starts to distort the music, and then the next volume is almost inaudible. For an archival project of this magnitude, you'd think the compiler(s) would use something better than cheap-o tape duplicating equipment. Or maybe I'm just spoiled after having access to digital audio editing equipment for a decade.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required (live) 4:22 This is just listed as "live in 1971", whereas the next two songs are listed specifically as BBC sessions. If this isn't a BBC session, it sure sounds like one. There's no audience noise and it sounds like it was professionally recorded, so I'm curious what the source of this was. No information is given about the recording date, location or circumstances. It might be the same recording that ended up on the "Something's Coming" release. The sound is a little muffled and hissy, and the stereo image tends to slide from side to side a bit, but it's still very listenable.
Yes Clap (live) 3:29 This one is listed as a 1971 BBC recording, but there's no date or show listed. It's just Howe performing Clap, with a quote from some other song that I can't identify thrown in the middle. The sound quality is pretty good - a little hissy and not much bass, but very listenable. If Peter Banks didn't have a serious hate on for Steve Howe (and vice versa, from what I've read), this would have made a nice addition to the "Something's Coming" release.
Yes Starship Trooper (live) (cut off) 8:14 Listed as another 1971 BBC recording with no other details given. The sound quality is OK, although there's not much bass and the recording sounds "distant". Oddly, as the song progresses the volume level goes down and it sounds more and more distant. It sounds like the recording runs fast too - Jon's voice is high, but it's not that high. I'm wondering if someone didn't mess up the notes somewhere along the way and it's actually the first two songs on this tape that are from the BBC - they have much more similar sound quality than this song and the previous one. Unfortunately, Starship is cut off abruptly mid-way through the Wurm section.
Yes I've Seen All Good People (live) 3:21 The first couple seconds of the song are missing, and the recording lacks bass and is more than a bit hissy, but overall it's very listenable. This is listed as coming from a German TV broadcast in 1971.
Yes Yours is No Disgrace (live) 10:15 The very beginning is cut off, and a couple minutes from the end there are a couple dropouts that leave half-second blank spots in the song. The sound quality is a bit tinny and hissy, but overall sounds good except for a couple spots late in the song that are muffled. This one is also listed as a 1971 German TV broadcast.
Yes Parallels (instrumental demo) 5:48 This, in my opinion, is possibly the best track in the entire Yesoteric series. Remembering this one song is what spurred me to try to transfer my tapes to CDR. I've never been a big fan of the Going For the One album, and part of the reason for that is the annoying production on that album. And Howe's out-of-control slide guitar drives me up a wall. So I was psyched to hear this early version of Parallels. It sounds like just White on drums, Squire on bass and Wakeman on pipe organ. No guitar, no vocals. The bass is way out front in the mix and crystal clear. If I remember right, Squire originally wrote this for his "Fish Out of Water" album, and this version certainly makes it sound like his song. The overall sound quality could use some more bass frequencies and less hiss, but it's very listenable. There are a couple bad spots where it sounds like the tape got damaged. But even with its flaws, I like this version of the song about 10 times as much as the album version.
Yes Vevey (long version) 4:47 I don't really get why this track is listed as "Vevey". It has the same instrumentation as the track of that title on YesYears (Anderson on harp, Wakeman on pipe organ), but it's a completely different piece of music. I doesn't contain the Vevey melody at all. This just sounds like a mostly improvised jam session. For some reason the hiss keeps getting louder throughout the track, and is really annoying by the end.
Yes Wonderous Stories (demo) 3:45 For reasons unknown, the sound quality takes a huge nosedive here. The previous two GFtO demos sounded pretty good, but this one is muffled and all mid-range, no treble or bass. Just a big block of noise, very boomy. Kind of a throwaway track, because the song is almost identical to the album version.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Love Will Find a Way (demo) 4:57 This song kicks off the Big Generator demos. An earlier Yesoteric volume had what were claimed to be official "remixes" of the BG album, but those turned out to be a hoax. These demos sound like the real deal. The sound quality is only so-so, and the songs don't sound finished yet. The band took a long time getting the BG album out because they kept tinkering with it, and these demos give a nice glimpse into what the album sounded like before the perfectionism. Personally, I like most of the final album versions better, but it's neat to hear these "unpolished" versions. The recording of this particular song starts out really muffled and then goes through "waves" of clearing up and then going back to muffled. By the middle of the song or so, it reaches a balance of "somewhat muffled but listenable". There's also a bit of hiss, and the left/right balance seems off to the left.
Yes Big Generator (demo) 4:53 Wow, this song was fairly different in its original incarnation. It starts out with some high-speed riffing from Rabin, and some of the lyrics are different. Sound quality is still fairly muffled and a bit hissy, but very listenable.
Yes Rhythm of Love (demo) 5:23 I'm noticing a trend of long gaps between songs on this tape side. On the other hand the fade-in for this song is so long and slow, maybe part of that gap is just the song buried under muffled hiss. At the very beginning of the track, there's an drum machine playing a kind of "island" rhythm in the background. It actually sounds pretty good, they should have kept it. Those "oh oh ah ah" backing vocals that crop up halfway through the song are goofy though, they made the right call dropping those.
Yes Final Eyes (demo) 7:36 This song sounds slow and simple compared to the album version. The lyrics are fairly different too. It sounds like maybe Rabin came in with the basic song, and Anderson had the "You were there when I needed you" section, and the band grafted the two together and turned Rabin's rock ballad into more of a progressive rock song. The sound quality is still a bit muffled and hissy, and there's a tiny bit of distortion, but overall it sounds OK.
Yes I'm Running (demo) 8:39 The band really seemed to change the beginnings of these songs around a lot. This version of "I'm Running" starts out with a long, high-pitched keyboard note being held for several seconds with the more familiar bass riff eventually starting underneath the drone. There's also something that sounds like jungle noises at the beginning. The lyrics are a little different too. But after the first couple minutes, the song sounds a lot more like the album version. Sound quality remains a bit muffled and hissy.
Yes Shoot High, Aim Low (demo 1) 8:00 The first half-minute or so of this version sounds more atmospheric and "darker" than the album version. After that though, apart from the vocals and lyrics being a little different the song sounds very similar to the final album. The sound quality takes a little dip here and gets more muffled and a little distorted.
Yes Shoot High, Aim Low (demo 2) 7:06 This version has about the same sound quality as the previous track. It starts off with drums and launches into the song much more quickly. The lyrics are a lot more direct and make it clear that the song is about wars in Central America. The ending of the song is cut off abruptly, probably because a tape side ran out somewhere along the line when someone was copying this.

Tape 23 - Live, Demos, Singles and Edits

This was another tape that was recorded at ultra-low volume. I had to boost the waveforms as high as CoolEdit would let me, and then go back and re-boost some songs again. And then filter the resulting hiss out, which left some of the songs with a sort of "slurry" digital sound to them.

The main focus of this volume seemed to be collecting together the single release (45s) of various Yes songs, with some live tracks and demos thrown in as filler. For the most part, the single versions don't sound all that different from the album versions.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Yours is No Disgrace (Live) 10:46 This tape kicks off on a good note, with this lengthy and decent sounding live performance from 1971. Unfortunately, the "liner notes" that I could find for this volume were long on opinions and short on factual details, so I have no idea when or where this was recorded. It sounds like it's probably the exact same recording that was included on the previous tape as being live on German TV, but this version runs a little slower, has a lot more bass and has less hiss.
Yes Into the Lens (Live?) 4:42 The original compiler was of the opinion that these "live" recordings from the Drama tour, supposedly from a performance on TV (with no other details available), were actually a hoax. Which makes one wonder why he included them. At any rate, they certainly don't sound live - it sounds like someone took the studio recordings, cut them off short and tacked on some obviously dubbed-in applause at the end. Generations of tape copying have made these sound kind of like "live" boots, but the music just sounds too much like the studio album to be believable. If these really are from a live TV performance, then the band was amazing that day.
Yes Tempus Fugit (Live?) 3:05 See comments for previous song.
Yes Cinema (demo) 2:11 This is a little muffled and hissy, but otherwise sounds very good...maybe a little too good. This is another one that could be the album track masquerading as a "demo". It doesn't sound quite exactly like the album though, so maybe it is a demo. All in all though, it's so close - what's the point of including it?
Jon Anderson Far Far Cry (single) 3:23 This is listed in Yesoteric as an Anderson song, but a web search turned up the information that it's actually Jon providing vocals for a song on the Jonathan Elias album "Requiem For the Americas". Another web page hinted that the guitar on this song might be played by Tommy Shaw of Styx. Sound quality is pretty good.
Jon Anderson Change We Must (demo) 3:38 This is a demo for the title track of Anderson's "Change We Must" album. No information given about where this demo came from. The sound quality is slightly muffled but OK.
ABWH Brother of Mine (long edit) 6:17 This is listed as the "long edit", but I think it's actually shorter than the album version. Maybe there was a "short edit" single and this longer (but still edited) version. Listening to it, I couldn't really tell what was different from the album version. Sound quality is hissy and slightly muffled but good.
ABWH I'm Alive (alternate ver.) 3:21 This version does sound substantially different from the album version, with a long, slow fade-in that makes it hard to hear the opening piano part, and some other keyboard bits that sound different. The sound quality is slightly worse than the previous ABWH song, so I'm not sure if this is a demo or was something that was officially released.
Yes Walls (single) 4:15 This is the single version of the song from the Talk album. It sounds a lot mellower than the album version, and the guitar parts are a little different. Sound quality is good.
Yes Long Distance Runaround (single) 3:10 This one obviously comes from a 45 because it sounds "brittle" and has a lot of pops and clicks. It's also overloud, to the point of being slightly distorted in the loudest spots. I didn't really notice much difference between this and the album version, other than it not going into The Fish.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Roundabout (single) 3:26 This comes from a fairly scratchy vinyl 45 with lots of pops and clicks. The sound is also fairly muffled, and very muddy and muffled in places. The single edit isn't really anything to write home about anyway - they just (very noticeably) cut big chunks of the song out to trim it down to three and a half minutes.
Yes Don't Kill the Whale (single) 3:21 This one was also a little muffled, and the muddy sound came and went in "waves". The song isn't that different from the album, other than a few more "dig its" during the fade out. Only a bit of noticeable vinyl noise from the 45.
Yes Into the Lens (single) 3:38 This one is odd. It's a tad muffled but otherwise sounds good. There's not even much vinyl noise. But the song starts half-way through the album version, and then there are a bunch of disorienting edits (for people familiar with the album track) to cut it into "hit single" form.
Yes Run Though the Light (single) 4:23 Like the other Drama single, this one has decent sound quality but only bears the slightest resemblance to the album version. In this case, it sounds like they completely re-recorded the song. It's recognizable as the same song, but this version sounds almost completely different from the album version.
Yes Owner of a Lonely Heart (single) 3:43 This one sounds like it might run just a tiny bit fast, but otherwise sounds very good. I couldn't hear any obvious differences from the album version though.
Yes Love Will Find a Way (single) 4:10 This one also sounds very good and possibly a bit fast, but it's also very similar to the album version. Oddly, it fades out just seconds before the "real" ending.
Yes Rhythm of Love (single) 4:20 A little muffled but otherwise OK. The beginning sounds slightly different from the album version, otherwise it sounds the same.
Jon Anderson Hold On to Love (single) 3:56 This is a 45 from Jon's ill-fated "In the City of Angels" CD. If you haven't heard it, don't bother. It was an attempt to go out to Los Angeles and become a pop star in 1988 after 90125 made him a household name again. The album was the worst pop dreck to ever come out of the Yes camp. I can't tell if this single is different from the album version because I got rid of the CD years ago. The recording has a good bit of vinyl crackle to it, but is otherwise OK.
Jon Anderson (and band) Petroushka 9:01 This is listed on the tape and in the online notes as being a live performance from Sheffield, England in 1980. But it doesn't sound live at all - there's no audience noise, and it sounds like a studio recording. Maybe it's a soundboard. The sound quality is a little muffled and gets very distorted in places, especially the bass. This is an instrumental version of the Stravinsky orchestral piece, played by a rock band.
The Dead Milkmen Anderson, Walkman, Buttholes and How! 3:28 This was the Dead Milkmen's not-so-loving "tribute" to the ABWH project. It's from their 1990 album Metaphysical Graffiti. I was surprised to find that the song is about 90% instrumental, with a single verse that makes fun of prog rock in general. It doesn't sound very "punk", more of a parody of prog.

Tape 24 - Pre-Yes, Early Yes Live and Howe with Dream Theater

This was yet another tape that was recorded at low volume. Amplifying the sound makes for lots of hiss, especially on the Essen tracks.

The main focus of this volume is a collecton of live performances by the original Yes line-up, with sound quality that goes from bad to worse to pretty much unlistenable. The tape is filled out by some pre-Yes tracks, one rare Yes-related track and Steve Howe's 1990s performance with Dream Theater.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
Mable Greer's Toyshop Beyond and Before (BBC) 3:55 This was Squire, Banks and Anderson's pre-Yes band which basically evolved into Yes. They never released an album, but they did record a live BBC session which was apparently widely bootlegged. This track and the next two came from a CD called "Boot Moments", according to the online Yesoteric notes that I found. Sound quality is surprisingly good. This was the only song that survived the transition from Mable Greer to Yes.
Mable Greer's Toyshop Images of You and Me (BBC) 4:02 Another tune from the Mable Greer BBC sessions. Continues the good sound - just a touch too bass-heavy, but very listenable. The song isn't that great though. It shows Squire's developing bass style, but in the end it's just a fairly forgettable love song.
Mable Greer's Toyshop Jeanetta (BBC) 3:11 Another fairly forgettable song with good sound quality. I can see why the band dropped most of these songs when they became Yes.
Yes Dear Father (Live) 5:46 The next three tracks were listed as "Penthouse Sheffield 1969". No exact date given. I'm guessing The Penthouse was a nightclub in Sheffield, England. The music comes from an audience recording that is listenable but not great. It's fairly hissy and distant sounding, and mostly mid-range without much bass or treble. This particular song starts with a fade-in as the music is already playing, so the first couple seconds are missing.
Yes Eleanor Rigby (Live) 3:28 Also from the Penthouse audience recording. This one also starts with a fade-in, and sounds like the band may have segued from another song into this one. About a minute and a half into the track there's a gap where it sounds like a few seconds of the song are missing but someone edited out most of the blank spot.
Yes I See You (Live) 7:56 This one starts out very abruptly and very LOUD, but I think that was intentional. It's from the same audience recording as the previous two songs, with the same sound quality. The performance extends the song with lots of jamming, and it fades out just as it sounds like it might be heading for a drum solo.
Topo D Bill Witchi Tai To 3:28 I couldn't believe that neither the tape case nor the online notes I found for this volume made any mention of why this song was included in the Yesoteric series. After much web research, I found out that Topo D Bill (listed variously as Topo D. Bill, Topo D'Bill, Topo-D-Bill, etc) was actually Larry Smith from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. This single was supposedly recorded with "members of Yes" in 1969, but no one seems to know exactly which members of Yes. Speculation is that it's Squire and Kaye, and the audio evidence fits that theory. The song itself isn't worth all the work I had to do to track down the story behind it. It's a repetitive chant that's supposedly based on something from some primitive culture, with a very forgettable rock band backing. The version on this tape had a lot of vinyl pops and clicks in it. The song was listed on the tape case as "Witchi Tai Po", but every on-line source I found listed the last word as "To".
Yes No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required (Live) 5:18 This song kicks off a set of four tracks taken from an audience recording of a Yes concert in Essen, Germany on 9/10/69 (I'm not sure if that's September 10th, or October 9th, but I'd guess the former). The first two tracks round out side one, the last two kick off side two. Unfortunately the sound quality of the audience recording is absolutely miserable. It's all mid-range and once the band starts playing it turns into a muddy wall of noise. There's a lot of hiss, the recording sounds distant and the taper made a lot of extraneous noise that sounds like the tape recorder being bumped around. Plus the whole thing sounds very off-balance to the left. To add insult to injury, this song is cut off well before the end (don't let the five minute length fool you - the first couple minutes are just the band tuning up and Anderson introducing the song). Someone attempted to edit the cut-off ending into the beginning of the next song, but it doesn't sound like a natural segue at all.
Yes Dear Father (Live) 5:50 Not like we needed another version of this song, especially with sound quality this bad. Continues with no break (see previous song's description) from the last track. Ends with some mumbled announcements and lots of tape hiss.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Yes Every Little Thing (Live) 6:49 Side two continues with the Essen, Germany recording, and it's just as bad as the previous two songs, possibly even hissier and more distorted. Squire has a very brief bass solo in it, but otherwise there's nothing to recommend this version.
Yes Something's Coming (Live) 8:39 We finally reach the end of the Essen recording, with sound quality just as bad as ever.
Yes No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required (Live) 4:38 This comes from another audience recording, this time recorded in Koln, Germany on April 4th, 1970. I didn't think it was possible, but the sound quality gets even worse than the Essen tape. Much, much worse. This is so low-volume and so completely muffled and so hissy that you can barely make out the music, especially during the quiet parts. Imagine putting the album on your stereo, turning the treble all the way down, stuffing cotton balls in your ears, wrapping a towel around your head and listening from three rooms away, and you'll get an idea of what this recording sounds like.
Yes Then 5:58 Continues with the Koln recording. It's hard to tell, due to the sound quality, whether the band just went straight into the next song or if the two were edited together, but the transition is pretty smooth. About half a minute into the song, there's an unexpected drum solo that goes into a drum and bass duet - it's different from the album version, and clearly takes Anderson by surprise as he starts singing and then quickly stops when he realizes that the band isn't going into the next verse. There's a quiet section of the song about a minute and a half long that is almost inaudible due to the bad sound quality.
Yes Every Little Thing 6:24 Another quick switch from the previous song into this, and more super-muffled, nearly-inaudible sound quality. It's a shame this recording sounds so bad, because the performance seems like an interesting one. Just after the song ends there's a loud noise that sounds like someone fell into an amplifier or something. Odd. And with that noise, the barely-listenable portion of the tape ends.
Dream Theater with Steve Howe Yes Medley (Live) 13:39 In the mid-90s, Dream Theater released an EP (which was longer than most band's regular albums) that contained one new epic length song and was filled out by live covers of famous rock songs. As part of that project, they played a show on January 31st, 1995 with Steve Howe as a guest guitarist. The resulting medley of Howe-centric Yes music didn't make the EP, but this (surprisingly tinny and hissy) recording made it onto Yesoteric. The medley includes bits of Machine Messiah, Heart of the Sunrise, Siberian Khatru and the Wurm section of Starship Trooper. I'm not sure if this is a soundboard or an audience recording (probably the latter), but it's listenable.

Tape 25 - XYZ, Wakeman and Rabin

This tape was split into three parts: the first half of side one was the infamous XYZ demos, and the second half contained some Wakeman rarities. All of side two was devoted to Trevor Rabin, first some demos of songs he wrote in 1981 which ended up on the 90125 album, and then part of a live performance from 1989.

Side 1

Artist Song Length Notes
XYZ Instrumental 1 (Mind Drive) 4:34 The XYZ demos are from an aborted attempt at a supergroup that would have combined Chris Squire, Alan White and Jimmy Page, thus the name (ex-Yes & Zeppelin). They couldn't interest Robert Plant in joining though (he apparently thought the music was "too complex"), plus they had some management issues, so the project fell apart. But they did manage to record some demos in 1981, and rumor has it that these demos got into the public domain when someone stole them out of Jimmy Page's house. The recordings on this Yesoteric volume sound a little muffled and just a tiny bit distorted, but otherwise are pretty good. This instrumental that kicks them off was later recycled as the basis for the Yes song "Mind Drive".
XYZ Instrumental 2 4:00 This one has a neat, driving bass line, but I don't recognize it as having been recycled into any later songs.
XYZ Can You See (aka And You Believe It) 4:24 This one has some vocals (which sound like they're sung by Squire), and was eventually re-worked as the song "Can You Imagine" on the Yes album Magnification.
XYZ Telephone Secrets 7:21 The vocal sections of this one are fairly run-of-the-mill, but there's a neat instrumental bridge section in the middle.
Rick Wakeman Microcosm soundtrack 17:21 In 1993, the video game company Sega released a game called "Microcosm" which featured a musical soundtrack written and performed by Rick Wakeman. Wakeman would later release a small portion of the music in a solo album called "Medium Rare", but this is (presumably) the full score. It's really just a collection of eight or so brief musical sketches strung together into one long suite. Sounds very "digital", sort of like Wakeman's "2000 AD Into the Future" album.
Rick Wakeman Montreaux 1977 studio chatter 3:40 This is a weird one. I guess it's from the sessions for Going For the One. It features Wakeman talking to the sound engineer (mostly in the right channel) and playing a few keyboard patches (mostly in the left channel). Eventually the conversation turns into a very tongue-in-cheek comparison of musical performance to sex. The clip ends with about a minute's worth of Awaken being played in the left channel, then ends abruptly.

Side 2

Artist Song Length Notes
Trevor Rabin Make It Easy (demo) 5:59 These are apparently the demos that Rabin recorded before he met Chris Squire, so they give a pretty good indication of how much the other guys in the 90125 line-up contributed to the songs. The basic songs are already present, but the lyrics are often quite different and the music sounds very AOR/early 80s rock. This particular song has awful sound quality, starting out very muffled and almost all treble, and then going through "waves" of getting quieter and more muffled then louder and less muffled. Both the beginning and the end of the song seem cut off. There's also a nasty high pitched whine throughout these demos, usually most audible at the beginning of songs.
Trevor Rabin Moving In (demo) 5:20 This one sounds a little better, but is still muffled and mostly treble, and still has that high-pitched noise. The music seems to be an early version of "Hold On", but with very different lyrics.
Trevor Rabin Changes (demo) 3:39 By this point the sound quality has improved, but still isn't that great. This version of the song is missing the famous "odd time" intro section.
Trevor Rabin Hold On (demo) 4:15 This version starts out sounding like Toto's "Hold the Line", but between this and "Moving In", the band cobbled together the version of Hold On that ended up on 90125.
Trevor Rabin Fools (demo) 5:25 At first glance, this song seems unrelated to 90125, but a closer listen reveals a riff that ended up in City of Love (at least I think it's in City of Love - it's definitely somewhere in the back half of 90125). The sound quality is starting to get worse now, with more hiss.
Trevor Rabin Owner of a Lonely Heart (demo) 5:02 The hiss cranks up another notch on this one, but the song is recognizable as the track that would put Yes back on the map while simultaneously turning them from a progressive rock band into a mostly pop band.
Trevor Rabin Lift Me Up intro (live) 1:38 The last three tracks on this tape come from an audience recording of a Trevor Rabin solo show in Boston on December 5th, 1989. This song is listed on the tape as "Lift Me Up", but it's really just the instrumental opening bit, and then it segues directly into the next song with no break. Sound quality is better than the previous demos, with much less hiss, but that annoying high-pitched whine is still there. Otherwise this is a fairly decent audience recording - just a bit muffled.
Trevor Rabin Cover Up (live) 5:22 Nice performance of this song from Rabin's "Can't Look Away" solo album. There's an odd spot at the end of the song where the volume drops briefly during the applause - I'm guessing it's someone's bad attempt at an edit.
Trevor Rabin Heard You Cry Wolf (live) 5:32 The tape closes with this live performance of a song from one of Rabin's pre-Yes solo albums.


Tapes 26-29

The above info covers all the Yesoteric tapes that I have copies of. From searching the archives of the alt.music.yes newsgroup, I've discovered that there were at least four more volumes issued after I got my set. Here's what I could dig up about them:

Volume 26: "And Now- Patrick Moraz"

This 100 minute tape contains demos that Patrick Moraz had been working on for two albums: _And_ & _Now_. Completely instrumental demos, these pieces show that Moraz's keyboard skills haven't deteriorated with age. This material is unavalable anywhere else on the PLANET!!!

Thanks go to Eric T., who was nice enough to send these treats to me.

Volume XXVI: And Now, Patrick Moraz! (100 min.)

Side One
========
Tribute to KJ (8:41)
Gentle Storm (8:31)
Untitled 1 (5:03)
Shine (4:19)
Untitled 2 (2:50)
Fun Kong (13:30)

Side Two
========
New Song (Pts. 1 & 2) (12:58)
Blue Funk (2:33)
Spare Notes (6:41)
Sorrento (6:13)
Roads (3:32)
Another From Age (6:04)
Minuet (6:55)
Un-lead-ed (2:49)
Untitled 3 (5:42)


Volume XXVII: Yescellaneous VII

Side One
--------
Jon Anderson: Whatever You Believe (a single released for charity)

GTR: Toe the Line (live in L.A., CA 1986)

Yes: 80102 Promo
It Can Happen (live b-side)

Shock to the System
Lift Me Up
(both from Wembley Arena, 6/91)

Saving My Heart (from Japan, 3/92)

Jon Anderson: Shine

Side Two
--------
Yes: No Way We Can Lose (live from Hartford, CT 10/17/97)

Open Your Eyes
From the Balcony
Children of Light
(live from London, 2/98)
(CORRECTED IN A LATER POST: Actually from a radio broadcast of an L.A. concert, 12/7/97)

Bruford: BBC 1977
Feels Good To Me
Back to the Beginning

Alt. Dialogue Tracks
Take the Water to the Mountain
After the Storm

Jon: Whatever You Believe (live)


Yesoteric Volume #28- Yescellaneous I

Side One:
South Side of the Sky (Tulsa, OK 1975)
Sweet Dreams (3/84)
Polonaise
Igor solo (both from 3/26/98 Warsaw, Poland, no Dolby)
Owner of a Lonely Heart
Open Your Eyes
I've Seen All Good People
Roundabout (unplugged from the Mark & Brian show, 1998)

The Neat Change:
I Lied to Auntie May
Sandman (Peter Banks from 68)

Winston's Fumbs:
(a later post questioned whether it was "Fumbs" or "Frumbs")
Real Crazy Apartment
Snow White (Kaye from 67)

Side Two:
Moonlight Desires (Gowan)
Evolution (Steve Bailey)
Do You Want To be A Hero (Biggles soundtrack)
Chock's Way (Biggles soundtrack)
Up In the Air (Howe/Steve Morse) (no Dolby & Dolby B)
Mr. Sirius- Siberian Khatru
Envision- South Side of the Sky


Yesoteric Volume #29: Yessplices II

Side One:
Your Move
America different mix: America has very little guitar
Going For The One 3:40 single version
Brother Of Mine (short edit)
Brother Of Mine (long edit)
Order Of The Universe (long and short edits)
Lift Me Up (edit)
Take The Water (edit)
Make It Easy (short edit)

Side Two:
Make It Easy (long edit)
The Calling (single & original)
Be The One (edit), That That Is (edit)
Open Your Eyes (radio edit)
Shine (edit)
Island of Life (radio edit)
Suffocation (edit)
See You Later (edit)
reach out amounderness- catforth school choir
5- where were you- a miracle holiday for kids


Conclusion

So that's the first 29 volumes of Yesoteric. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were more, but that's all I could find. If you have any further information or corrections you would like to add to this page, email me (my address is my last name, Eichler, with the number two after it at Comcast, who dot with a net not a com. All lower case. Sorry if that's too confusing, but I'm trying to avoid spam).

I said this up at the top of the page, but it's worth repeating - PLEASE don't email me asking for a copy of the series. I'm not going to do it. All such requests will be ignored. I just don't have the free time or the resources to become a Yesoteric distributor, and I don't want to draw the wrath of the band's lawyers. Sorry to be such a jerk about it, espeically after someone was nice enough to make me a copy back in the 90s, but that's how it is.

This page was created as a historical document only. No endorsement of the Yesoteric series was intended, and I'm not suggesting that it should be resurrected.