Yes and Alison Steele
Backstage at Madison Square Garden
New York City

Lineage: FM broadcast -> possibly an open-mic recording from FM radio -> unknown -> audio CD -> Sound Forge -> Noise Reduction -> Audio CD -> EAC -> FLAC

What a cool tape this is! I can't emphasize that enough.

Alison Steele was possibly Yes Fan #1, but may be #2 if Ed Sciaky holds the top position. Here we have her presenting her interviews of four of the five members of the band backstage before one of their 1978 shows at Madison Square Garden, which one of the band members describes as the "highest" venue of the tour.

As I played back these recordings today, Ms. Steele's soothing voice put me in a very tranquil mood. Sadly, her short life was plagued for many years by cancer, and her career was interrupted by her galant fight to survive. I imagine that Yes music is one of the things that sustained her during that awful time.

The recording we have here may have been made by holding a microphone in front of an FM radio while the broadcast originated live from New York's WNEW-FM on an unknown date in 1978. The audio quality is fair, in that it sounds like it was recorded through a telephone. (Perhaps it was!) But every word is clear. The recordings contain no music, and the audio files contain no MP3 artifacts.

This recording came to me in a trade with no additional lineage that I recorded. While I did not document who sent it do me, and have now forgotten who it was, I'm very grateful to the person who sent it to me. (I suspect they may be reading this now. If so, drop me a line!)

Several years ago, I used Sonic Foundry Noise Reduction 2.0 to remove a lot of background noise and bring out the voices. This process introduced some artifacts into the sound. But Noise Reduction ultimately helps the clarity of the audio.

NOTE: the only music that appears in this recording comes from Yes "Tormato." In these cases, there are only a few seconds of instrumental music mixed low under Ms. Steele's voice. This was done during the original broadcast. The music is cut immediately after Ms. Steele stops talking.

More on Alison Steele:

September 2008

7 tracks, none titled