‘Make this a priority': Petition asks that rare Yes recordings be released before it’s too late

A petition asking Yes and Rhino Records to release rare recordings from the 1970s, some including the last performances featuring Bill Bruford before he departed for King Crimson, is gaining traction again as worries increase over their deterioration. Sign up here!

The grass-roots effort, sparked by the Yes fan site Notes from the Edge, initially received a few hundred signatures, according to organizer Mike Tiano. That number has quickly doubled since Tiano took up the cause again earlier today.

“We know that Yes is focused on releasing their new album Heaven and Earth, and touring Europe and America,” Tiano says. “Nevertheless, just as fans rallied in the valiant attempt to get votes for the band to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, let’s let Yes and Rhino know that that we are just as passionate about seeing that these recordings are released in our lifetime.” Tiano’s worry is that the tapes have deteriorated over the years, “another reason to make this a priority.”

These rare recordings were discovered in 1998 when the company that provided flight cases for 1970s-era Yes’ tours came across a previously unnoticed cache of reels, stored away unnoticed for years. Included were shows at the Academy of Music in New York on February 19 and 23, 1972; Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island on February 25, 1972; and what appear to be recordings from May 10, 1975, among others. 1972 was, of course, a critical moment in the history of Yes, as the group transitioned from Bruford to Alan White at the drums. This era also provided some of the live material for the Yessongs project.

In all, more than a dozen reels were reportedly found, but have since remained locked away for more than 15 additional years. The attached petition asks that Yes and Rhino Records, who own the rights to these recordings as part of WEA, recognize this music’s historical value and release it to the general public before it’s too late.

Notes from the Edge was founded as the first major Yes-focused fan site in 1991; Tiano also helped Yes launch its official web site, and ran it for some 18 years.

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