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Yes - Yesspeak CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.07 | 71 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Talk

Yesspeak is, as is implied by the title, the band members talking about the band and its history. This is not an audio/video recording of a live concert. The band members talk at length, both individually and collectively about their time in the band, and various happenings along the way. Many of the anecdotes have been heard before, either on previous DVDs such as "YesYears", or in band biographies like the excellent book "Close to the edge, the story of Yes" by Chris Welch.

The interviews are backed by live Yes tracks, taken from their current tour at the time. One of the main gripes about the DVD is that the music is too far forward in the mix, making it difficult at times to make out what the band members are saying. While there is no interviewer as such, an unseen Roger Daltrey (of the WHO) acts as master of ceremonies, performing the role with gushing enthusiasm.

Each band member is afforded a considerable amount of time (over 20 minutes), each being filmed in a different location. Alan White for example chooses his boat on Lake Washington in Seattle, while his offspring frolic in the water behind him. Rick Wakeman comes across very much as the joker of the pack, belying the "Grumpy old man" image he has recently decided to groom for television.

While the interviews are interesting and in reasonable depth, one does get the impression that we are only getting a superficial view of the band members, and that a lot of juicy stories remain untold, perhaps being held back for the band member's autobiographies. The anecdotes appear to have been carefully sanitised, to ensure that none of the members who contribute are seen to be criticised by their peers. This feeling is exacerbated by the fact that only the five current members are included, with former members such as Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye, Patrick Moraz, etc., being notable by their absence.

The two DVDs are best watched in bite sized chunks, each of the ten sections being sufficient for a single sitting. Understandably, this is not the sort of DVD which bears repeated viewing, once every couple of years would probably be sufficient. In years to come, "YesSpeak" will constitute a useful historical document. Personally, although it is somewhat older, I found "YesYears" to be more rewarding, but younger fans of the band in particular will find the background information provided here to be particularly interesting. Those old enough to have lived through it will consider the DVD to be very much akin to reminiscing about the old days down at the pub. (The days when no self respecting schoolboy would be seen without carrying an LP such as "Close to the edge" under his arm).

Among the DVD bonus features are a full length audio recording of an entire concert performed during the then current tour. Among the highlights are a superb performance of "South side of the sky", featuring a fine duel between Wakeman and Howe.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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