During their halcyon days.

During their halcyon days.
During their halcyon days.

Yes, in concert at Yale Bowl – Yale University, July 24, 1971

Anybody who was around at the time will remember when Yes were such a household name they became the butt of jokes and parody. So strong was their influence they had become a staple of FM underground Radio and more or less synonymous with the 70s. They were also inextricably linked to the downside of the Progressive Movement – the one that ran the risk of being pretentious and self-absorbed.

But if you worked your way around the evocative Roger Dean album covers and the bliss-heavy message, there was a lot of good and well executed music to be had. Although the band went through a number of changes and band members (including the somewhat unceremonious dumping of co-founder and lead singer Jon Anderson in 1980) they have always maintained that cachè of the 70s about them.

And as a reminder of what they were like early on, here is a concert they performed at Yale University in 1971. Strangely, but not surprisingly for the time, they were opening act for Grand Funk – another reason the 70s were so skewed in many ways. The schizophrenic juxtaposition of booking bands at concerts was enough to give anyone a headache.

So there’s that. But beyond that, the music was far from dull.

It also explains why the set is short by todays standards – less than 40 minutes was standard for an opening act. And yes, Yes were an opening act once.

Enjoy – there’s a couple glitches here and there, mostly original tape deterioration – but overall the sound is good and you’ll get an idea of what you may have missed the first time around.

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4 thoughts on “Yes – In Concert At Yale – 1971 – Past Daily Backstage Pass

  1. Thanks for the memory-jolt. I’ve never been a huge fan of their sound, but I definitely enjoyed the artwork and (if my memory serves me) the BBC documentary about Roger Dean’s contribution. Didn’t he also do some work for Pink Floyd?

    1. I don’t recall Roger Dean doing any Pink Floyd covers, but he’s certainly done a lot for other bands. Roger established his reputation via Yes and it seems they’ve been linked to each other forever.

  2. Well, I wondered about that and I’ve clearly mixed up Dean with Thorgerson, or did I? ( http://www.stormthorgerson.com/ + http://www.rogerdean.com/ ) What amazing websites!

    As far as my brief internet search reveals. (a) ‘Collaborated with Storm Thorgerson, Dominy Hamilton, David Howells and Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis, the design team known for the surreal photographic images on Pink Floyd record covers.’ ( Chronology > Roger Dean > 1976 to 1982 :::> http://www.rogerdean.com/overview/chronology/ ) ; (b) ‘Along with artists like Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon) Roger is credited with transforming the status of the album cover for all time, elevating it from mere packaging to a work of art in its own right. ‘ ( Full Biography > Roger Dean :::> http://www.rogerdean.com/overview/fully-biography/ ) : ‘Us and Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd’ ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_and_Them:_Symphonic_Pink_Floyd ) Though not credited on Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia, it appears that he’s certainly been involved in the artwork for various Pink Floyd albums of Yesteryear 😉

    Do you think you might be able to find this: Storm Thorgerson & Roger Dean – 28 October 2010 7.30—9.00pm – Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL ?

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