The Gates of Delirium
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The Gates of Delirium

"The Gates of Delirium"
Song by Yes
from the album Relayer
ReleasedNovember 1974
GenreProgressive rock
Yes and Eddie Offord

"The Gates of Delirium" is the first track on Yes's 1974 album, Relayer. The song is based on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace,[1] and it begins with a lengthy vocal section followed by a long instrumental section (beginning at about the 8 minute mark) representing a battle. The final section, occurring about 16 minutes in, released as a single in 1975 entitled "Soon", is a very gentle, soothing prayer for peace and hope which represents the aftermath of the battle. Before the release of Open Your Eyes, the reissue of Tales from Topographic Oceans and the release of Fly from Here, this was the longest officially released studio recording by the band with almost 22 minutes, taking up the entire first side of the LP.


A loud crashing sound heard in the middle of the song is caused by a set of old automobile parts mounted on a rack being pushed over. The band decided to keep it in instead of doing another take. Alan White explains in the liner notes of the 2003 remaster of the album.

"The percussion on that song is pretty unusual," he says. "Jon and I used to travel together to Chris' home studio, where we recorded the album. We would stop at a junkyard along the way and pick up parts of cars. We'd just go there and bang on things. There were springs and pieces of metal, brake, and clutch plates. We'd buy them and bring them back to the studio. We built a rack and hung all these things off it, and we'd bang on them. During the recording I pushed the whole thing over. That crash is what you hear on the album."


The song was performed in its entirety during the lengthy set of tours between the releases of Relayer and Going for the One. It was revived for the 2000 Masterworks tour based on a fan survey[2] in which it came out as the top choice for songs fans wanted to hear Yes play live. Yes continued to play the song in the 2001 Magnification tour.[3]

Otherwise, only the "Soon" fragment was performed.[4]

  • A 22min 40sec live version of the track recorded on 17 August 1976, at Cobo Hall, Detroit, appears on the live album Yesshows.
  • It was found in the "Big Medley" of the Tormato tour. A version of this can be found on The Word is Live.
  • It also appeared on the 9012Live tour in 1984-85.
  • The song was not regularly played live again until the Open Your Eyes tour. However, it did appear on 4 April 1988, in Tokyo, Japan, and 28 and 29 October 1989, in Wembley, UK, on the Big Generator tour, and on 9 April 1991, in Pensacola, Florida, on the Union tour.
  • The song was performed on Yes's 35th Anniversary tour; before this (but after the Open Your Eyes tour), the song only appeared on 6 September 1999, on The Ladder tour.
  • The song was also performed in the DVD Symphonic Live recorded in 2001, featuring an orchestra conducted by Wilhelm Keitel and Tom Brislin as guest on keyboards.


Single by Yes
from the album Relayer
Released8 January 1975
GenreProgressive rock
Jon Anderson
Yes and Eddie Offord
Yes singles chronology
"Wonderous Stories"

The last part of the song, entitled "Soon", was issued as Atlantic single #3242 on 8 January 1975.[5] Its B-side was typically a single edit of "Sound Chaser" (3:13), though copies exist of the release with both "Sound Chaser" - probably in the same single edit - and "Roundabout" or a mono version of the song (without "Sound Chaser" in any form) as the B-side.[6]

A much different edit of "Soon," this one 5:44 in length, was released on The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection.


The 2003 remastered version of the Relayer album included a studio run-through of this song in its entirety. It is somewhat shorter than the original version, with a run time of 21:16 compared to the 21:56 running time on this reissue. However, no date is given for this recording.


  1. ^ Charles Snider, The Strawberry Bricks Guide to Progressive Rock, pg. 188, Strawberry Bricks (2008), ISBN 0-615-17566-X
  2. ^ Forgotten Yesterdays
  3. ^ Forgotten Yesterdays Yes tour log, retrieved 26 January 2007.
  4. ^ Forgotten Yesterdays Yes tour log, retrieved 26 January 2007.
  5. ^ Relayer remaster liner notes, issued 2003.
  6. ^ Yesworld Yes official site, retrieved 26 January 2007

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