Live at Knoxville Civic Auditorium, November 15, 1972

This concert tape captures Yes on its triumphant autumn ’72 tour. Even 51 years later, it’s scintillating prog featuring hallowed names like Howe, Squire, Anderson, and Wakeman.

Unlike the muddy audio of their 1973 Yessongs live LP, this 2023 set has been meticulously remixed. One revelation is the restored stage volume of Rick Wakeman’s once-buried synthesizers and Mellotron strings. After the standard Stravinsky introduction, Yes burns through “Siberian Khatru,” fronted by Chris Squire’s Rickenbacker 4001 and Steve Howe’s berserk bebop runs. “Your Move” kicks off with chiming chords on a Portuguese 12-string acoustic, teardrop-shaped and brighter than a standard 12. A thrilling “Heart of the Sunrise” is their frontal assault, framed around a lightning-speed riff penned by Squire.

One of the most revolutionary solo-guitar tracks of its era, Howe’s quasi-flamenco “Mood for a Day” is delivered on his ’53 Martin 00-18, followed by the ragtime swagger of “Clap.” The audio is incredible – even better when you realize the acoustic was miked, the good ol’ fashioned way.

Presented a half-century later, Knoxville is among the greatest Yes live recordings of all time. Look for it on Spotify, Youtube or, if you’re lucky, grab the rarer vinyl version.

This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.