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Yes Yes (Classic Artists) album cover
3.62 | 62 ratings | 7 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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DVD/Video, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1
The Story of Yes
Running time 210 minutes

Disc 2
Unseen footage of Yes rehearsing at SIR studios, New York in 1996
Extended interviews
Photograph and memorabilia gallery
3 Full length music promos for: Wondrous stories, Tempus fugit and Owner of a lonely heart

Line-up / Musicians

Various current and former band members plus back room staff

Releases information

2DVD Classic Artists DVDCASTY005

Thanks to easy livin for the addition
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YES Yes (Classic Artists) ratings distribution

(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

YES Yes (Classic Artists) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Yesspeaks about the Yesyears

Released just 3 years after the exhaustive "Yesspeak" DVD, this double DVD collection may seem at first seem largely superfluous. The format of the set is actually closer to the 1991 "Yesyears documentary", but in all cases, the emphasis is on interviews telling the story of the band. Here we have all 5 members of the classic line up present, along with other major players such as Bill Bruford, Peter Banks, Geoff Downes etc. Along with these are the key behind the scenes staff including Roger Dean, Eddie Offord and Jack Barrie. Notable absentees on the other hand include Patrick Moraz and Trevor Rabin (apart from a brief clip clearly lifted from elsewhere). The programme is effectively hosted by journalist Chris Welch, the band's biographer, who adds his own thoughts and opinions along the way. Production and direction is by Jon Brewer, who worked closely with Chris Squire from around the time of "Keys to ascension".

There is little new in the interviews, but they do take us through the band's history in great details from the earliest days of The Warriors and The Syn to the current latest album "Magnification" and even after that. The line up changes and recording circumstances of each album are examined in great detail, with Alan White for example only appearing well into the second hour of the documentary. The interviewees are largely tactful, both about each other and about the music generally, with even Rick admitting that "Tales from Topographic Oceans" was actually quite (but not very) good.

There is not a great deal of music to be heard during the main documentary, with only the briefest of clips of tracks from the albums (presumably for copyright reasons) being included. This means that we get about 3― hours of interviews and historical perspectives. Even the most devoted fan of Yes will find this too much to take in one sitting, so it is probably best to divide viewing into a series of episodes. Even on that's basis, the slow moving nature of the programme can lead to it dragging at times.

The second disc contains extended versions of some of the interviews with key band members which were used on disc 1. Whereas disc 1 is styled as a programme with the comments of various people on a particular topic being presented consecutively, here we have lengthy segments dedicated to a specific member. The first of these is Chris Squire, who for most of these clips is driving his car! The unedited nature of these clips is emphasised by the faint questions from the interviewer. While what is said is perhaps not as critical to the band's history, at the same time it can be a little more revealing and certainly adds colour to the main content.

The three "promos" on disc 2 are live videos of songs overdubbed with the studio versions. They are well worth seeing though. The final segment is footage of the band rehearsing in New York in 1996.

In all, despite its deficiencies, this is a well packaged set which offers a train-spotting level of detail covering the band's entire career up to the point of release. It is by and large the sort of programme one would watch once then file away for several years. With a little bit of searching, this double DVD can be found at a rock bottom price. On that basis, it is well worth picking up.

A minor personal irritation is the constant references by a number of interviewees to "England", rather glossing over the band's following over the years throughout the UK.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars This is a pretty good talk-umentary. If you're style is watching 20-30 people talk about the history of a band, here you go. The Classic Artists's Yes edition gathers as many important people involved with Yes as possible and getting them to discuss in detail the bands history, from beginning until sometime in 2006 and it can get very boring for those who want lots of action. There's quite a bit of music put in the background including ''Starship Trooper'' being played at the very end, but it's a long one to sit through. The whole first disc is over 200 minutes which is quite a long sitting time for a documentary.

It can't be a DVD without bonus features, but I'm not entirely fond of them. The rehearsal footage isn't too bad, but not that interesting to me. The gallery is a joke; the pictures are awesome, but the slideshow that they're presented in goes too fast with each picture fading immediately into the next one as soon as it appears. The music videos are of ''Tempus Fugit'', ''Wondrous ''Stories'' and ''Owner of a Lonely Heart'', so I leave it up to the fans to decide on this one.

Not bad, but not great either.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars This is a nice supplement to other better Yes DVDs such as 'Tsongas', 'Symphonic Yes' and 'Live at Montreaux'. Instead of a lavish concert experience, Yes (Classic Artists) is an interview DVD with all, or most, involved in the Yes history. It is pleasant to hear from the likes of Roger Dean, and Bill Bruford in particular who are so integral to Yes and have some good things to say. We learn about why Bruford left for the King Crimson years straight from the man himself. Chris Welch is the host and has a strong delivery throughout retelling the history of Yes.

Parts of the DVD are relating bitter experiences but for the most part it is a walk down memory lane of all that was great about the band. We learn about how hard it was for Yes in the early years, particularly from Squire who is very vocal about it all. Anderson provides a great insight too on the lyrics of 'Topographic' among other albums. The DVD is presented in chronological history moving from one album to the next in order of release so it is excellent if you want inside information about the albums.

Some interviews are conducted with Peter Banks, Geoff Downes, Eddie Offord and Jack Barrie. It is a bit draining watching this from start to end as its all talk talk talk apart from a brief clip or a song here and there, but there are not enough songs or clips to break the constant talking. So I believe it is better to watch this in parts and watch some clips of Yes from other DVDs or it can be a draining experience.

There are special features including lengthy outtakes of interviews. One in particular features Squire just driving around London and chatting about the band. He takes us on a tour of his home stretch, showing us rehearsal places and houses of interest. He has a lot to say as he was the one member of the band who stayed woth them from start to end. The promo videos are available elsewhere and as such a bit of a waste if you own other Yes DVDs. eg: 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' is here again!

The second DVD has some interesting features including a rather lengthy rehearsal where Anderson is exposed as the control freak he was, admittedly too was Wakeman. Its great to see this footage and you feel like a guest just sitting and watching them in full action launch into one classic song after another.

So grab this for some inside info on the great Yes. But you are unlikely to watch the interview disk as much as the concert DVDs as it is after all just information, and once you know it, there is not much call for hearing it again and agian. Therefore the longevity of the DVD is quite limited after the initial viewing.

Review by JLocke
4 stars Cool! My first video review!

I figured if I was going to start doing these, I should pick a video that had to do with one of the biggest Prog bands. Well, you can't get much bigger than Yes, no? Err . . . I mean . . .

So, I suppose there have been countless other documentaries made about this band, but for me, this was the first one I ever saw. It's really, really good. For such a turmoil-heavy career, this really does a great job of keeping track of all the key events. I loved learning about how the band founders, Squire and Anderson, met at the 'La Chasse Club', and how Peter Banks, the band's first lead guitarist, was actually the one who came up the band's name, and countless other tidbits that I suppose veteran Yes-heads already knew about, but for newer Yes fans like myself (I've only been a prog enthusiast for a handful of years), it was really great to get all of this information from one source, and presented in such a concise and direct way.

The story of Yes has to be one of the most intriguing and exciting rock journeys I have taken. Just hearing about those times makes me wish I could have experienced it all firsthand. With all the twists-and-turns these guys have taken, it's a wonder they are even still together in ANY form. I would say if you want a nice music history lesson about one of the most influential bands of all time, Classic Artists: Yes is a very good investment to make. I have yet to watch any other currently available videos on the subject, so I really can't say if there are any better-organized works out there, but I can say for sure that you'll have a hard time finding a more accurate account of everything that went on. Not only was this documentary handled by Chris Welch, the well- respected Yes biographer, but all of the key band members are here, with in-depth interviews that are more than a little eye- opening when it comes to some of their internal feelings regarding certain eras of the group.

In addition to the band members, there is a whole slew of other equally-important figures including Jack Barrie, the manager of the 'Marquee' and 'La Chasse Club' who first introduced Jon anderson to Chris Squire; Eddy Offord, the sound engineer-turned- producer during the band's most musically rich era; Michael Tait, the band's tour manager and the father of modern stage shows; and Phil Carson, the enthusiastic (although quite manipulative) Atlantic executive. All of these additional perspectives are invaluable to creating a very indepth, broad narrative.

The editing and image quality of this documentary is superb. Once again, my lack of experience with any other Yes-related documentary may cloud my judgement a bit here, but I can honestly say that everything sounds and looks very crisp, and the anamorphic widescreen frame fits my HDTV perfectly. Of course, in some cases, the interviews and performance footage lifted from earlier sources end up having the tops and bottoms of their frames chopped off to make way for the 16:9 format, but for the most part, the video is made up of all modern footage, and it all looks really good. The footage is all cut together in way that causes the story to flow very naturally, and very little backtracking needs to be done. So all in all, it's a treat from a technical standpoint.

Something I think is really interesting about this production as well is how well the story is told. It makes you form your own opinions about all of the players involved. I personally found myself growing quite fond of Jon Anderson, while not feeling as warm and fuzzy about Steve Howe. I also ended up feeling like Phil Carson was a bit of a clown in all of this. There are times when he seems to be so genuine about his love of Yes and concerns for their well-being, while at other times he acts as if he's simply reading off of cards or memorizing pre-rehearsed jive so that he could appear like a noble guy in the video. And the fact that he appears to have just come off of a bender and obviously has no clue that 'And You And I' is not part of the CTTE suite doesn't help his cause. But ALL of those opinions of mine came from the depiction of the people through the documentary's wonderful story-telling.

There are some things I wish had been a little different about this, however. The most painfully absent aspect of Yes' career on this thing is the use of substances. Now, I'm not saying they should have gone completely nuts with that side of things, but the band members' intake of certain types of hallucinogens clearly made an impact on the music, and I would have liked to have heard some first-hand accounts from the guys, much like what was presented in The Beatles Anthology. But aside from that and a few other minor issues, I found this to be very rich in information.

So my final verdict is this: if you already know everything there is to know about this band, you probably don't need it, but if you are just as uneducated in Yes history as I was prior to watching this, you'll be hard pressed to find a better visual biography that is as in-depth or enjoyable. Some people complain about the lack of music, it seems, but this is a documentary, not a concert. I'm not watching it for the tunes; I'm watching it for the stories, and this is something it does very well. Plus it's just fun to see the Yes members themselves reminisce.

I'm giving Classic Artists: Yes a very solid 4 out of 5. Happy viewing.

Review by thehallway
4 stars People have criticised this for not telling them anything new - the documentary is informative and detailed and it isn't the creator's fault if someone is already a Yes expert (yexpert?)...

There are lotsa relevant people interviewed here, of which Peter Banks is perhaps the most interesting; he was the first person to be kicked out of Yes and his side of the story is worth hearing. Some people are missing (Tony Kaye, Brian Lane, Igor and Billy, and Trevor Rabin (though I am happy to not hear his arrogant voice)). But the whole spectrum of time is covered and so is all the controversy over this incredible band.

If one is a Yexpert, there are still some interesting stories in the extra features, including Wakeman's devotion to David Bowie's studio ethics, Anderson's inability to listen to Tales from Topographic Oceans, and Peter Banks' Union tour anecdote which almost resulted in a broken nose for Steve Howe!

Review by Guillermo
4 stars A documentary about the history of YES, but maybe better than the "Yesyears" documentary. But like that video, this video still has some things which I donīt like very much. But it is more detailed in the narration of the history of the band and more updated than the "Yesyears" video (which was released in 1991), because the history is told until around 2004. It contains interviews with Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Howe, Wakeman, White, Downes, Horn, and even with Peter Banks who was not interviewed for "Yesyears", plus a very brief appearance of Trevor Rabin (who maybe didnīt want at the time to be associated again with the band). But again, several former members of the band were excluded: Moraz, Sherwood, Khoroshev, and now Kaye was excluded too maybe because at the time he was in a legal problem with the band about unpaid royalties from the "90125" album.So, , if "Yesyears" was done more, in my opinion, as a way to sell the image of a more or less "happy band" to promote the "Union tour" in 1991, I think that this documentary shows more the political things which have characterized a band like YES (and many others too) since their start. At least, the recently late Peter Banks was given an opportunity to give his point of view about the band and the politics inside it, and he talks with some freedom and honesty about it. The history, as I wrote above, is more detailed and extended, which is very good, but maybe the best thing to do to watch it is to do it in at least two viewing sessions. Among the things which I donīt like very much is some bias, some favoritism about interviewing some members of the band most of the time and the total exclusion of others. So, this is another somewhat biased documentary about a band like YES. But it is good, anyway.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Any fan of prog rock knows that YES is the foundation of British progressive rock which is a fusion of various musical styles, including folk, classical music, blues and jazz with exceptional musical talent. YES truly embodied the term "super group" with five individually- talented members and ... (read more)

Report this review (#797991) | Posted by Lord Anon | Wednesday, August 1, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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