Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Yes - The New Director's Cut CD (album) cover



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
erik neuteboom
4 stars

This 2-DVD is released because of the 35th anniversary of the band (1968-2003) during the 2003 tour in the UK in a socalled "new director's cut" (like with famous movies) but I prefer to rename it in the 30th anniversary of the triple live LP Yessongs (1973-2003) because to me this 2-DVD looks like a kind of Yessongs Plus. I have seen Yes during their 2004 tour in The Netherlands (that concert was similar to the two concerts on this 2-DVD) and I was delighted about all enthousiastic Yes members and the many new arrangements of the classic Yes compositions during the tours in 2003 and 2004. On these two DVD's you can enjoy great camerawork that captured the great Yes spirit on stage and how inspired Yes delivers the new arrangements.

The Birmingham gig (16 songs): an excellent and extended Steve Howe solo and pleasant modern keyboard work in Siberian Khatru, a flashy synthesizer solo in the powerful rendition of Don'Kill The Whale, a spectacular Gibson electric guitar/Minimoog synthesizer duel in South Side Of The Sky, exciting Minimoog flights, beautiful classical orchestrations and wonderful work on the Fender twin-steel guitar in And You And I, a virtuosic solo spot by Steve Howe on the acoustic guitar (including the inevitable Clap), an even more virtuosic performance solo spot by Rick Wakeman featuring dazzling runs on the Minimoog and digital keyboards (sensational church-organ sound on the GEM keyboard), a great break with bass solo play, accompanied by a lush strings-sound in Heart Of The Sunrise, a blend of guitar flageolets, distorted bass and subtle drums in Long Distance Runaround and a breathtaking version of Awaken with sparkling piano, majestic church organ, Chris Squire on his triple-neck and Howe on the Fender Telecaster, a standing ovation!

The Glastonbury Festival gig (11 songs): A famous progrock band on an open air festival, that doesn't happen very often and hoew colourful they looked: Steve Howe in a jellow suit, Jon in purple clothes and Chris with a pink blouse, a very coloured progrock band, like the average reggae band! The sound is not optimal (Rick Wakeman sounds a bit far away in the mix and the camerawork suffers a little bit from waving banners) and the lightshow is minimal but Yes plays an inspired gig, it's interesting to compare this Yes gig with the Birmingham concert.

Most of the compositions on this 2-DVD are introduced by Yes members with interesting and funny stories, from Steve Howe with Mr. Gibson to Rick Wakeman with his own big limousine and marching band with beautiful girls to Jon with his praise for the band during the years. For me it was very pleasant to hear these stories but on the other hand it also can be a bit disturbing if you want to enjoy the entire concerts.

My conclusion: for sure Yes is the most prolific symphonic rock dinosaur concerning DVD releases but I doubt or many Yes fans are waiting for this DVD (for example if you already own Songs For Tsongas) but in general the Yes fans have good jobs and are often willing to buy every DVD release, it's up to your need to buy all Yes DVD material.

Thanks Jim 'Hammond' Garten, you know why

Report this review (#181000)
Posted Thursday, August 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Brought out of retirement. . . the songs that is!

This 2008 double DVD release belatedly makes available 2 concerts from Yes' 35 anniversary year in 2003. While the Yesspeak DVD had included an audio only recording of a gig from that tour, this is the first time the video has been officially available. Having attended the Edinburgh, Scotland leg of the tour, it is good to have this recording of the Birmingham show a few days before or after. For this tour, the Classic line up of Anderson, Howe, Squire, White and Wakeman are back together, adding extra appeal.

In my view the set list is not one of the strongest Yes have come up with, but on the other hand we would not want them to play the same songs on every tour. As a result, there's no "Close to the edge" or "Gates of Delirium" for example, but songs which have been resting for years are given new life. The two highlights in this respect are "South side of the sky" from "Fragile" and "Awaken" from "Going for the one". "South side of the sky" was never one of my favourites (great name for a PA member though!), but the version for this tour is revitalised by some great sparring between Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. "Awaken" is the song which steals the show though, this majestic rendition bringing out the full power and beauty of the piece, and placing it firmly alongside "And You and I", "Close to the edge" etc. at the top table of Yes songs.

There is something of a focus on "Fragile" in the set list, with "Heart of the sunrise", "Long distance runaround", and several others being performed. Of the other songs, those like "Don't kill the whale" and "Magnification" are lesser Yes numbers, and as such could have been omitted in favour of stronger material.

The songs are occasionally interspersed with back stage footage and interviews with the band members. These appear to have been lifted straight from the Yesspeak" DVD, and as such offer nothing new.

In addition to this virtually complete concert, we get about 90 minutes of Yes headlining the Glastonbury festival, also in 2003. There is naturally significant overlap in the set lists for the two gigs, with "Awaken", "South side of the sky", "Magnification" and many others being pretty much mirror images of those on disc one. There is a certain appeal to this set as the audience are not necessarily Yes fans, although it would seem the vast majority are. I would venture to suggest that the average age of the crowd is much younger that at your average Yes gig this century.

Fans of Yes have never found it a challenge to obtain live Yes material in audio or video format. Whether this collection is a necessary purchase is therefore somewhat dubious. As ever, the band are in top form and the music is beyond reproach, it is just a question of whether you already have enough in the way of Yes live to satisfy your needs.

Report this review (#187310)
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars A very nicely put together package with short interview clips interspersed with full stage songs.

I didn't buy this dvd because it's exactly the same set list as the cheaper montreux one, but this show was shown on satellite television and I caught it a few times. The interview footage is the main attraction; revealing up to date opinions and anecdotes from all five members of the band, sometimes with immense depth and detail (e.g. Steve Howe describing his favourite guitar, or Rick Wakeman treating us to yet another crazy story about the 70's). The live songs are great too though, with consistent and lively playing/singing. There are many classics (but none of the 20-minute-plus songs) as well as virtuosic solo spots for each member (although Alan and Chris share theirs).

I am however, confused by the inclusion of the Glastonbury show, as this exactly the same songs as the Birmingham set list on disc 1, minus the solo sections. Was this dvd designed for people with amnesia?! I guess it's harmless but it seems a little pointless to me; they could have filled the second disc with more interviews, or some studio music.

Anyway, besides that odd exuction of disc space, I'm very happy with this release and even happier that I caught it for free. Only avoid it if you own the other dvds from the 35th aniversary era, because the set list will be identical.

Report this review (#282640)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars First of all, let it be known: Steve Howe is ON FIRE here. He deftly moves from one guitar to the next and nails his famous solos (nearly) flawlessly, all while attending to the audience and genuinely appearing to enjoy himself.

Other positives from this DVD: Great performances - these guys may be starting to look their age, but they still rock hard in their inimitable Yes style. Some different songs that you don't typically hear, and almost all are different ones than appeared on their "Songs From Tsongas" dvd from the same 35th anniversary tour. Interesting stories, backstage footage and snippets of info from the individual band members between the songs. Disc 2 begins with the best version of "Awaken" I've ever seen or heard. It is special. Great camera work and professionally done - we get close-ups of the performers from all different angles, and just enough of the audience to make you feel like you have a seat at the show. Rick Wakeman's bank of keyboards has gotten even bigger... (Is that possible?)

A few negatives: Audio was slightly out-of-sync in some spots, especially on disc 1. That's an annoyance. Drums were mixed very low at the start of the first concert. Sometimes the volume seems to dampen or compress a bit in spots.

The second disc contains the final 3 songs from the indoor show featured on the first disc, then segues into an outdoor show that has virtually the same song lineup in the exact same order. For that show, the camera angles are much more limited, there are a few distractions on stage with roadies moving and checking equipment, and there is some unknown (pretty) woman sitting behind Steve Howe and enjoying the music - another distraction for some of us... (The annoying audience member who insisted on waving his Pink Floyd flag through parts of the show was also a slight negative.)

But overall, you get great performances, excellent sound in most places (but certainly not perfect), and just an enjoyable couple of shows for the Yes fan. (...and aren't we all? ;-)

Report this review (#2439598)
Posted Thursday, August 20, 2020 | Review Permalink

YES Yes - The New Director's Cut ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of YES Yes - The New Director's Cut

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.