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Thread: Yes - Leave It - Live - ??

  1. #1

    Yes - Leave It - Live - ??

    Anybody know the history of Leave It live?

    I don't recall how it was performed when I saw them on the 90125 tour, but based largely on the 90125 film and the few recordings from that era I've heard, I've always assumed that it was performed over backing tapes of the vocals, and that if they did try to perform the full vocal arrangement live it was early on and quickly abandoned. But this video suggests they were performing the vocals live as late as Rio in '85 - which followed the 90125 tour...



    Did they perform the vocals live for the whole tour and just use the backing tapes when they mixed the 90125 film?

  2. #2
    Either way, poor Alan is stuck fudging the drums. Probably the keys are backing tracks too.

    My guess - and only a guess - is that it was "fixed" for the 9012Live film, and what we're hearing above is probably similar to what was being done on the prior tour.

    Like the song or, err, leave it...that would be a damned hard vocal + harmony to nail night after night, in giant halls with screaming fans, before in ear monitor tech really arrived.
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  3. #3
    The other probability is that the vocals are a blend...there are prerecorded harmony vox from Anderson/Rabin/Squire/Horn behind the actual live "lead" vocals.
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    I think the blend answer is correct. I just played the video and then listened to a boot from Alpine Valley in 84 (I was there but in no way trust my memory without listening ). The 84 show sounds more like the 9012Live version - but it also sounds like Jon is having a better night on that show than he was on the Rio video (given the size of the venue for Rock in Rio I can only imagine how hard that could be at the start of a show). I'd say the sound on the 84 show is definitely fuller than it is on the Rio video, so I assume it was a mix of live with pre-recorded harmonies. I've always assumed that, but as a teenager I definitely did not pay attention to stuff like that like I do at shows now.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Either way, poor Alan is stuck fudging the drums. Probably the keys are backing tracks too.

    My guess - and only a guess - is that it was "fixed" for the 9012Live film, and what we're hearing above is probably similar to what was being done on the prior tour.

    Like the song or, err, leave it...that would be a damned hard vocal + harmony to nail night after night, in giant halls with screaming fans, before in ear monitor tech really arrived.
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    The other probability is that the vocals are a blend...there are prerecorded harmony vox from Anderson/Rabin/Squire/Horn behind the actual live "lead" vocals.
    I always thought it sounded suspiciously like the studio track. Probably a blend, like you said. As far as keys, they had an extra guy hidden under the stage on the 90125 tour, and I think BG as well.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by gearHed289 View Post
    ... As far as keys, they had an extra guy hidden under the stage on the 90125 tour, and I think BG as well.
    On Talk tour too, I saw the extra keys guy on the left side of the stage and I remember he was playing additional keys on "And You and I"

  7. #7
    Keys under the stage.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rickm View Post
    On Talk tour too, I saw the extra keys guy on the left side of the stage and I remember he was playing additional keys on "And You and I"
    That was Billy Sherwood on the Talk tour. He was on stage playing keys and guitar through the whole show that I saw, although he was off to the side most of the time.

  9. #9
    Leave It aside, this is what makes this, Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two, so much more precious, for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiberman View Post
    Leave It aside, this is what makes this, Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two, so much more precious, for me.
    Not sure I follow. What is it that makes that set precious to you? Nothing prerecorded?

  11. #11
    It's real, just like back in the day when you went to a concert. It was raw played too fast, played too slow, mistakes, just really live, there right in front of you, just the band on a good night or a bad night, but that was the 1 night of the year that you were in the room with them, that you had waited so long for. I realize that now (before Covid) the bands were still in the room with you, but added musicians under the stage prerecorded parts, auto tune etc... When I go back and listen to shows like Progeny, and there are tons of live shows like that, hard to explain really ( try Live at Leeds for another), just....real. Sorry to ramble on, you're not so much younger than me Jed take a listen to it. I think you will get it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiberman View Post
    It's real, just like back in the day when you went to a concert. It was raw played too fast, played too slow, mistakes, just really live, there right in front of you, just the band on a good night or a bad night, but that was the 1 night of the year that you were in the room with them, that you had waited so long for. I realize that now (before Covid) the bands were still in the room with you, but added musicians under the stage prerecorded parts, auto tune etc... When I go back and listen to shows like Progeny, and there are tons of live shows like that, hard to explain really ( try Live at Leeds for another), just....real. Sorry to ramble on, you're not so much younger than me Jed take a listen to it. I think you will get it.
    Funny that you mention Live at Leeds, which is from 1970...I saw the Who just a year later, and you'd better believe they were using backing tracks by that time. Couldn't have had the likes of "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" without 'em.
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  13. #13
    There is no way or probably purpose to stop things from evolving all I'm trying to say is there was a time when everything was what it was and it can be heard far better in Progeny than say "Heaven And Hell" or even "Leave It" live, or IMO Topographic Drama. Buy the way I loved Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Filled Again

  14. #14
    Well, just to chime in with my thoughts. The vocals are definitely a mix of live vocals and Memorex. You can't hear it so well on the Rio video, but on others you can hear the obviously not live vocals mixed in there, with the very obviously live (i.e. out of tune) vocals on top. The drum machine is also Memorex (or at least, it would make sense for it to be Memorex, since it seems kinda stupid to be running a tape for the vocals, then trying to sync a "live" drum machine up to that, especially circa 84-85), and I suspect maybe some of the rest of the track is also? It sounds like live bass and I believe the guitar playing at least during the bridge is live. I've always suspected that when the acoustic drums come barreling after the bridge, that's live also. But who really knows or remembers at this point?

    BTw, someone mentioned the Alpine Valley show. I have that one, that's from the second North America leg, when they came back after the Euro tour. You know that crazy guitar solo that Trevor did when they'd do Yours Is No Disgrace. Well, on this show he does it during Our Song, and somehow, it sounds better there than it did in Yours Is No Disgrace, I think. Also, Jon does not only Soon during his solo spot, but also a bit of Awaken, the section that comes after the pipe organ/crotales/harp section.
    I realize that now (before Covid) the bands were still in the room with you, but added musicians under the stage prerecorded parts, auto tune etc...
    Well, you brought up three different things. I won't even address the auto tune issue. But the other things are worth noting:

    1. Lots of bands have played to backing tapes onstage, most notably The Who. For whatever reason, they didn't want to bring out auxiliary musicians during the Keith years, so songs like Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, and big chunks of Quadrophenia, they used tapes to fill the parts the four of them couldn't do live. Even after they started using an ancillary keyboardist onstage, Baba O'Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again still featured the backing tapes. Also, Who Are You and Eminence Front made use of backing tapes also. Also, Yes used a tape for the pipe organ on Close To The Edge on that tour, so you might want to sit there and talk about Progeny being "more real" or whatever, but at least in that case, it wasn't.

    ELO also did it on at least one tour, on the Out Of The Blue tour. Trust me, those cellists couldn't possibly be playing that well in tune when they're bouncing around the stage doing their T-Bone Walker/Chuck Berry moves (and in fact, there's video footage of them from the earlier tours, where they didn't use backing tapes, and you can hear how abominable their intonation was when they were doing that stuff).

    Also, King Crimson sometimes used a tape of Adrian Belew's account of what happened when he went walking around the uglier parts of NYC at night during Thela Hun Ginjeet, but not always.

    Devo also used backing tapes on their early 80's tours (there's a TV broadcast they did where, during one song, they had to stop for some reason, during a song, but because the whole set had pre-recorded sequencer accompaniment, they had to let the backing tape run it's course before they could go to the next song). Depeche Mode once reportedly had to a restart a show because a power failure occurred in the middle of like the third song or whatever, and since the backing tapes were all on one continuous reel of tape, apparently, they had no choice but to rewind and replay the first the couple songs.

    And really, what's the difference between pre-recorded tape and a sequencer or a drum machine? In all cases, you push a button and the machine goes on it's way, doing whatever was pre-planned (unless there's a power failure or a the computer or sequencer or whatever crashes). Again, lots of people have used sequencers live: Tangerine Dream (who've also been accused of having most of their shows on tapes, with them actually playing very little of it live), The Cars, Genesis (e.g. Invisible Touch, Duchess, Me And Sarah Jane, Domino, etc) and so on.

    2. Auxiliary musicians: ok, you mention having them hidden under the stage, so I assume you feel having an extra one or two or...how many people did Pink Floyd have onstage when I saw them in 94 (well, let's count them: you had Tim Renwick on guitar, Gary Wallis on percussion and keys, Jon Carin on keyboards, Guy Pratt on bass, Dick Parry and three backing vocalists...that's EIGHT backup musicians) is a different matter?

    Again, lots of bands have hidden people backstage. Cheap Trick always hid their backup keyboardist backstage. And for awhile in the mid 80's, that backup keyboardist (and also harmony vocalist) was named Steve Walsh. Yes, THE Steve Walsh, used to be in...what were they called? Topeka? Missouri?

    I remember reading an article on Hall And Oates in Keyboard magazine back in 85, I think it was, that mentioned that in addition to the two keyboardists they had onstage (Daryl Hall and Charlie DeChant), they had a further two hidden backstage.

    Iron Maiden has a keyboardist hidden backstage (actually, it's Steve Harris' bass tech, Michael Kenney, who also has the distinction of playing Eddie in the Women In Uniform video) for the songs where they need synths. I guess they decided guitar synths didn't really cut it onstage.

    And a lot of bands used to have a couple singers backstage to beef up the vocal harmonies.

    Oh, and let's not forget Chuckles Fripp playing from behind a curtain on Peter Gabriel's first solo tour.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 09-18-2020 at 12:46 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Funny that you mention Live at Leeds, which is from 1970...I saw the Who just a year later, and you'd better believe they were using backing tracks by that time. Couldn't have had the likes of "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again" without 'em.
    Actually, you could have, but you'd have required a fifth musician performing live to do it, and somehow, that wasn't a possibility with 70's era Who.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 09-18-2020 at 12:40 AM.

  16. #16
    Member chescorph's Avatar
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    Wow Steve Walsh and Cheap Trick, now that is interesting!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    1. Lots of bands have played to backing tapes onstage, most notably The Who. For whatever reason, they didn't want to bring out auxiliary musicians during the Keith years, so songs like Baba O'Riley, Won't Get Fooled Again, and big chunks of Quadrophenia, they used tapes to fill the parts the four of them couldn't do live.
    If The Who had used a touring musician it might have reduced the pressures in the band. Would it have diluted the brand? It didn't do REM any harm. The same might apply to Led Zeppelin.

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Tangerine Dream (who've also been accused of having most of their shows on tapes, with them actually playing very little of it live),
    Wasn't there an infamous occasion when the power to the stage went off and the band were sitting there twiddling their fingers while the concert continued at full blast?

    The Rolling Stones used to hide Ian Stewart away because his looks didn't fit in with the rest of the band.

    ABWH used additional hidden performers on their 'Yes Music Plus' tour.

  18. #18
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halmyre View Post
    ABWH used additional hidden performers on their 'Yes Music Plus' tour.
    If you're referring to the supplementary guitarist and keyboardist, they were not hidden but played onstage with the rest of the band.
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  19. #19
    FWIW that video sounds a lot like what I heard at the Cow Palace during the 90125 tour ... shortly after the Bugs Bunny cartoons ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by chescorph View Post
    Wow Steve Walsh and Cheap Trick, now that is interesting!
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Cheap Trick always hid their backup keyboardist backstage. And for awhile in the mid 80's, that backup keyboardist (and also harmony vocalist) was named Steve Walsh. Yes, THE Steve Walsh
    And sometimes Walsh was hidden in plain sight on the stage:


  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Halmyre View Post
    If The Who had used a touring musician it might have reduced the pressures in the band. Would it have diluted the brand? It didn't do REM any harm. The same might apply to Led Zeppelin.
    Back in those days, I don't think anyone thought about "brand" or whatever that's supposed to mean. I think in the case of Zep, it was probably a matter of John Paul Jones wishing to demonstrate his abilities on different instruments.

    As for The Who, maybe it was a "It'll screw with our chemistry" or whatever. Also, a lot has been made of Pete, Keith and John's ability to "read each others' minds" and follow each other as they went into those extended jams onstage. Maybe another guy onstage might have disrupted that. I know the members of Rush said the reason they didn't add an extra musician might have upset the chemistry the three of them had between them (though I don't see why it would be an issue with just having a fourth guy onstage, since there was virtually no improv in their live shows anyway).

    I think the thing that would have "taken the pressure" off Zep or The Who would have been if certain band members hadn't had certain bad habits, if you know what I mean, that can impact one's ability to perform.

    re: Tangerine Dream,
    Wasn't there an infamous occasion when the power to the stage went off and the band were sitting there twiddling their fingers while the concert continued at full blast?
    Never heard that story before. But there's talk of how after a certain point, most of their shows was Memorex. There's even debate as to exactly when that started happening, with some peopple saying it was as early as 1982.
    The Rolling Stones used to hide Ian Stewart away because his looks didn't fit in with the rest of the band.
    Not really true, I don't think. What happened was, Andrew Loog Oldham, their first manager, apparently decided six musicians was "too many people onstage", and Stu got demoted to being their road manager, though reportedly the "he looked more like a truck driver than a rock n roll bad boy" played into him being the guy who got the demotion. But he still played on the studio sessions, and later in the 70's, The Stones reverted to having him play live, albeit only on the songs he wanted to play on (that's why they had to carry Billy Preston or Ian McLagen around, to play on the songs Stu didn't want to play on), but they kept him in full view of the audience. Or at least, he and McLagen are both fully visible in all the live footage I've seen from the 78-82 touring cycles (haven't seen much live footage from the early or mid 70's to comment on).

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesmanzi View Post
    Anybody know the history of Leave It live?
    I hate to do the old "I think I remember hearing once" number but... I think I remember hearing once that the band attempted to perform Leave It without any backing tapes during rehearsals for the 90125 tour in Lititz, but the results were less than satisfactory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    What happened was, Andrew Loog Oldham, their first manager, apparently decided six musicians was "too many people onstage", and Stu got demoted to being their road manager, though reportedly the "he looked more like a truck driver than a rock n roll bad boy" played into him being the guy who got the demotion. But he still played on the studio sessions, and later in the 70's, The Stones reverted to having him play live, albeit only on the songs he wanted to play on (that's why they had to carry Billy Preston or Ian McLagen around, to play on the songs Stu didn't want to play on), but they kept him in full view of the audience. Or at least, he and McLagen are both fully visible in all the live footage I've seen from the 78-82 touring cycles (haven't seen much live footage from the early or mid 70's to comment on).
    Nicky Hopkins was one of their primary keyboardists as well, both in studio and occasionally touring in the early '70s. Hopkins, Stewart, and Preston really complemented each other imho on the Stones recordings.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by malgeo View Post
    I hate to do the old "I think I remember hearing once" number but... I think I remember hearing once that the band attempted to perform Leave It without any backing tapes during rehearsals for the 90125 tour in Lititz, but the results were less than satisfactory.
    It seems like a strange song to play live, I think. I mean, the track as we know it really is very much a studio creation, with a drum machine for the front half of the song, multi-tracked vocal harmonies. You could theoretically do an arrangement with the five (or six, if you're counting Casey Young) of them playing live, with just Squire, Rabin, and Anderson singing live, but it would sound very different from the studio version.

    BTW, that brings up something else regarding Yes: did Alan White actually sing? On the 90125 video, you can see him appearing to sing back up vocals, on Leave It (as does Tony Kaye, though I suspect his mic wasn't actually live) and Hold On. Did he really sing or was that just another of those "for show" things? Did he sing in the studio?

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    BTW, that brings up something else regarding Yes: did Alan White actually sing? On the 90125 video, you can see him appearing to sing back up vocals, on Leave It (as does Tony Kaye, though I suspect his mic wasn't actually live) and Hold On. Did he really sing or was that just another of those "for show" things? Did he sing in the studio?
    White is credited with backing vocals on 90125 and several other Yes albums.

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