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4 stars This video was done at the same time as their former labels (Atlantic and Atco) were preparing the "Yesyears" 4 CD Box Set. There was also an additional release of the Box Set which included this video in the same package. It was almost like a last obligation for the band for Atlantic / Atco , as their next new album ("Union") was released by Arista Records (but Atlantic/Atco continued to release more YES compilation albums in the 90s).This video has interviews with the "Union" line-up members: Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Kaye, Rabin, Squire, Wakeman and White, plus appearances in the excerpts of the songs (played live or taken from promotional videos) of Banks, Downes, Horn and Moraz.It is a good documentary about the history of the band, but not everything was "wonderful" during the making of the "Union" album and the "Union Tour". Bruford, in particular, looks like reading a script at the end of the video, saying how wonderful was the opportunity to rejoin YES in 1991, when in later years, in other interviews he spoke the truth, at least about his role in the "Union" tour and album, saying that he only rejoined YES "for money", not for good musical reasons, as he wasn`t really interested in playing again "very old songs". So, the 8 members appear smiling in the interviews, but I read some interviews in the Internet on which some of the members spoke with more freedom about the difficulties of touring together in 1991.So, in these video interviews they are very "diplomatic" and "polite" while talking about the history of the band. There are other scenes of the band rehearsing for the "Union Tour", saying jokes, and some live in concert images of that tour, like excerpts of them playing "Heart of the Sunrise", "Awaken" and "Rhythm of Love".There are also images of the band filmed during the recording of the "Going for the One" and "Tormato" albums. Also there are some very early images of the original YES line-up (filmed in 1970), playing for a TV broadcast the song "No Opportunity Neccesary, No Experience Needed", and in those images I saw how good was Bruford as a drummer since his early years a professional musician, and the rest of the line-up was also impressive, and those images also show that YES was a very original band since the beginning.
Report this review (#35975)
Posted Friday, June 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the first items I bought when I was discovering Yes, it fascinated me and urged me to delve deeper into the amazing world of Yes music. Today, it still remains the best documentary, coming out quite better than YesSpeak and certainly bettering "Inside Yes".

It's very well put together and produced, flowing from various commentary from members of the band, bits of video from the particular period, and some great pictures. It runs chronologically, starting from the band's conception to the Union era, when the video was released initially. The commentary is great and informative, with a drugged-looking Squire recalling old days and Anderson wisely describing various events. It's a gold mine of information, useful for reference when reviewing the studio albums ;). It's how all rockumentaries should be!

Essential for the dedicated Yes fan, a valuable DVD offering some great information and a very enjoyable viewing experience.

Report this review (#109860)
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I remember I was at one of my good friends house who happens to love Yes just as much as I do. We had a little get together with some other friends earlier that night and they all left early. So what did the two of us do afterwards? Watch YesYears of course! This was my first time seeing this video, and I must say, I was blown right away!!! This video captures and explains all, and I mean ALL of Yes' career up until 1991. Right from the start when Jon and Chris met up for the first time. All band members besides Banks, Moraz, Downes, and Horn are all interviewed and/or make an appearance otherwise. The interviews and some of the stories they talk about are all very interesting and at times hilarious, Wakeman in particular.

The video also shows some very rare video footage of Yes in their prime years from Time And A Word, to the studio sessions of America, to the QPR concert in 74 with Moraz, to recording sessions of Going For The One (which sounds much better than the studio version IMO) and Tormato, and also concert footage from 77/78 circa which I have no idea where its from, but it sounds and looks [%*!#]ing amazing (RELEASE THAT CONCERT GUYS!)!!! There is also rare footage from the dreadful Drama era, and even worse the 90210 & Big Generator era (GROSS!). The footage of them setting up for the show from their Union tour is interesting to say the least, especially when Bruford explains how he sets up his electronic drums.

Overall, if you are an avid fan of Yes, you must pick this up! The filming is excellent, the interviews are excellent, everything about this is superb! You will not be disappointed!!

Report this review (#148243)
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars An amazing treat for a Yes freak like me. It's a great chronological history of the band, filled with informative, fun interviews, and tons of live and studio footage that I'd only dreamed I'd ever see. I'm flabbergasted that any prog fan could give this less than 5 stars.
Report this review (#172288)
Posted Monday, May 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars The progress of Yes

The time of the Union tour, when the Yes line-up of the 80's featuring Chris Squire, Alan White, Tony Kaye, and Trevor Rabin joined forces with Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, and Steve Howe (who had just made an album together that was a Yes album in all but name), was the pefect time to look back and document the history of the band so far. Having all those people under the same roof at the same time provided the makers of this documentary ("rockumenary") with the optimal conditions to create this film.

Covering the history of the band from the beginning in 1968, through the 70's and 80's, and up to the Union tour in the early 90's when the film was made, this film is interesting, well-made, and provides a valuable insight into the evolution of the band. There are no detailed analyses of each album, tour, single, etc. but the important line-up changes and transformations of the band up to that point are documented, for example when Steve Howe replaced Peter Banks, when Rick Wakeman replaced Tony Kaye, when Alan White replaced Bill Bruford, when Kaye returned and Trevor Rabin joined. Lots of interesting footage is shown throughout.

Unlike many other band documentaries I've seen this one bears multiple viewings and I've watched it several times. It is hard to rate a release like this one as it is after all a documentary film and as such is impossible to compare to music albums and live concert films and the like. On the one hand, taken for what it is, it is an excellent documentary an as such deserves a high rating. But on the other hand it is a documentary and as such may be of interest only for fans of the band. Given this I think three stars is an appropriate rating.

A four CD box set of the same name was released at the time and these two releases belong together. Indeed, this film could easily have been included in the box set Yesyears.

Report this review (#1419978)
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | Review Permalink

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