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Yes - Keys to Ascension (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.70 | 125 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have read several reviews in several websites (Prog Archives, "Notes from the Edge", which consider this DVD as not good. Particularly the reviews in "Notes from the Edge" made me to avoid to buy this DVD for several years, but now I decided to buy it and look it by myself.

While in my opinion some of the criticisms are right (some say that it looks more like an amateur video), I liked this video. I think that some of the visuals are very good (like the used in "Close to the Edge" and in other songs which used images from nature, Roger Dean YES` cover designs, and in "Turn of the Century"), and others don`t help to see the concert in a right way. Also there are some "visual effects" which are similar to the "Delicate Sound of Thunder" video from Pink Floyd, like "Slow Motion Cameras" which sometimes are good and other times aren`t. Also, there are times when the cameras weren`t focused in the musician who was playing a solo. But in general, I liked the video a lot.

The performances of the songs seem to be the same as the released in the "Keys to Ascension" CDs Vols. 1 and 2. But it was obvious to me that the versions included in the CDs and in the soudtrack of this video have some overdubs, because in the video there are parts on which Squire didn`t sing, but his voice is heard clearly as doing backing vocals for Anderson`s lead vocals! Another example is that there are voices singing "All we are give peace a chance" in "I`ve Seen All Good People" which were overdubed (Anderson, Squire and Howe are shown singing the "dit-dit-dit-"part) or played in the concerts using tapes! Anyway, a lot of live albums have overdubs or the bands use some tapes, so these are minor things.

In 1996 YES was playing with more energy than in recent years, in my opinion. Anderson and the band in general looked in better shape, and Howe moves a lot in comparison to the "Live in Montreux 2003" which I also bought recently. Every member of YES is smiling in this video and enjoying playing together.

The version of "Awaken" in this DVD is very good, in particular, being my favourite song from YES. Alan White is a very solid drummer and he plays the old songs which were originally played by Bill Bruford in his own way, even adding some arrangements which were not played by Bruford, like the tuned cymbals in one of Wakeman`s solos in "And You and I" (In the "The Preacher, the Teacher"" part). White has made those old songs as "his own songs" despite not being the original drummer in those songs. I can`t see why many people still miss Bruford. He left the band a long time ago and he doesn`t want to play with YES again, so, after more than 30 years of being YES`drummer, I think that White deserves to be considered by his own merits and without making comparisons of him with Bruford. In this DVD some camera angles of White playing the drums show clearly why he is considered by many fans as a very good drummer, one of the best in Prog Rock. A curious thing is that he is credited with "Vocals" in the back cover credits of the DVD box, but I never saw him singing backing vocals in any song.

I think that Wakeman also used some old analogue keyboards for many of his solos. Howe changes guitars in many songs like trying to play the songs as he originally recorded them in the studio. Squire used his old Rickenbacker bass in many songs as he did it in the seventies. Anderson looks happy to be playing with this "Classic Line-up" again.

In my opinion, this is a very enyojable concert DVD, very recommendable.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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