The Gates Of Delirium

Yes, The Gates of War and Peace

I’ve decided this morning to perhaps start a new trend on Wordout, something for the regulars here. I counted you all and well, I really had no idea there were that many of you who keep coming back, week after week. Thank you.

So on Sundays, I think I will post something a little more personal, something to give you a bit more of an idea who Jon @ Wordout really is. And to take it a step further, I’ll try to put something a little non-tech here, something more entertaining, hopefully.

Which is why today I am slapping these 3 Yes videos from Youtube on the site. It takes 3, ’cause in case you didn’t know, The Gates Of Delirium is a really long song. Back in the vinyl days, it took up an entire side of an LP. That’s half a CD, or about 21MB in today’s jargon. But it’s not the size that matters here.

It’s Always Been The Content

It’s the content. Musically, these guys are pure professionals. I’d have said “Rockstars”, but these guys are more than that. I saw them a couple of years ago in Greensboro with my great friend, hippie emeritus Dave Jones and well, they freakin’ rocked the house. Remember, they cut their first release in 1968, 40 years ago. And every note was dead on time, in key, and together. Once you listen to the intricacies of their music, you’ll understand how impressive that is.

But content is more than simple prowess on an instrument. Alot of that complexity is there to compliment the words, which at times follow strange but compelling metrics. For all their evident sophistication, much of the lyrical content is simple enough. Take for example:

Listen should we fight forever
Knowing as we do know
Fear destroys?
Listen should we leave our children?
Listen our lives stare in silence
Help us now

But It’s More Than Just Content

That’s pretty sweet and to the point, wouldn’t you say? It’s this weaving of complexity and simplicity that has always drawn me to Yes’ music. It seems so much to me to resemble life. There are plain and simple concepts laid in amongst complicated and sometimes intricately devised ideas. Taken as a whole, it becomes an art form almost in a category by itself.

Or maybe more than an art form… what do you call it when humanity actualizes a concept musically so completely that it becomes real? I don’t know, but whatever it is, it surpasses any technology I’ve yet to see or imagine. And it’s just these 5 guys, each alone, doing his thing, together with the others.

It’s Genius

Here’s Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Patrick Moraz, from the 70’s, playing “the first side of Relayer” (link goes to Lastfm where you can listen for FREE). The 3rd video is considerably more recent, with much higher audio quality, so if the 1st one hurts your ears(ahem), try the third, or click the Lastfm link to hear a studio rendition that will blow you away.(edit: I forgot to mention that “Soon” was a top 10 hit that year.)

The Gates Of Delirium by Yes

Create our freedom, a word we utter.

The insanity of instruments in the hands of man.

Long ago, set into rhyme – Soon, oh soon the light.


I am Jon, and I’m here to tell you: there’s no such thing as an ex Yes freak.