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Yes Yessongs (DVD) album cover
3.71 | 191 ratings | 16 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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DVD/Video, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I've Seen All Good People (7:11)
2. Clap (3:41)
3. And You And I (10:00)
4. Close to the Edge (18:38)
5. Excerpts from "6 Wives of Henry VIII" (7:08)
6. Roundabout (8:39)
7. Yours is No Disgrace (12:22)
8. Excerpts from "Starship Trooper" (2:50)

Total Time: 72:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals, percussion
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars, vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Alan White / drums

Releases information

VHS (1973) /DVD

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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YES Yessongs (DVD) ratings distribution

(191 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

YES Yessongs (DVD) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Initially, I was really interested in this DVD. Then I bought and thought it was utter rubbish. Then I watched it for a third time and thought to myself, 'This is really great!'

The main draw to this DVD is that it is Yes during the Close to the Edge tour, so they were essentially at the prime, performing music from their peak albums. Although the sound quality and video quality are not up to today's standards, they still are good enough so that you will have an enjoyable experience.

The DVD opens with I've Seen All Good People (after a very interesting Roger Dean animation). This opens what is truly a great show. You have all the great aspects. Wakeman in his sequin cape and his awesome Six Wives solo, Squire in his essentially playing the bass lines he's come up with, Howe doing a great rendition of Clap, played note for note perfect, Anderson with his distinctive voice (though not as disctintive as today), and White playing his heart and soul out as he always did. After Clap, Howe unveils the Double Neck SG as he blazes through And You And I with such precision. The next song is the highlight of the film, Close to the Edge. Very solid playing from everybody, especially Wakeman and Howe. Next up is Rick Wakeman's stunning Six Wives solo, very rousing indeed. Next is a superb version of Roundabout, not their best, but still a good effort. Next is Yours is No Disgrace with Howe having an orgasm of a solo (the same happens during Starship Trooper).

Overall, this DVD may turn you off at first, with it's sub par audio and video quality. But it redeems itself in showing you footage of Classic Yes at their prime. And who doesn't want that?

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars I was at about fifteen years old when I saw the just released official movie "Yessongs" on a hugh screen in a youth center. Until then I knew hardly anything from Yes (I was mainly into Genesis) but thanks to this video I became a hugh fan from Yes. I was mesmerized by that keyboard-wizard during "Close to the edge" (what a church organ sound from his Hammond), "Roundabout" (magnificent Hammond solo) and especially "Excerpts from the six wives of Henry VIII": all those virtuosic runs between lots of mirrors on that wide range of analogue keyboard equipment like the Grand piano, the Hammond organ, the Minimoogs and .. the Mellotron, what a thrill! My other hero became Steve Howe with his 'guitar- museum', from the acoustic guitar in "Clap" and the steel guitar in "And you and I" to the electric Gibsons in "Roundabout" and "Yours is no disgrace", he sounds so exciting and so distinctive! It's a pity that the live-footage is a bit dark and that the splendid finale from "Starship trooper" (delivering that magical Minimoog-guitar duel) has been replaced by non-live scenes. But these flaws cannot keep me from raring this video for five stars because this is one of the best progrock concerts ever!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I only have the laser disc version of this legendary live show. To me this one serves as a precious documentary as I enjoy seeing the band played live when they were very young. The audio quality is really bad - that' the only reason why I did not purchase the DVD because there is no value. Unless, the audio quality has been improved dramatically. One of key attractions of this video is the energetic and dynamic styles of Howe on stage - not just his rapid-fire fingers in playing the strings but most interestingly his mimics / face expressions throughout the show. Second attraction is of course Rick Wakeman, especially when he performed "Excerpts from Six Wives of Henry VIII". Alan White was quite new to the band and had not experienced with the band in any studio album. He sat at the drum stools replacing Bill Bruford who joined King Crimson because he would have thought that Yes was a jazz band and hoping King Crimson would do jazz.

All tracks featured in this live set represent the best legendary tracks: all of them are great tracks. It's an excellent addition to any prog music collection - if you ignore the production / audio quality. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Review by Zitro
2 stars An extremely flawed DVD that only should be obtained to see Yes are their early period.

Flaws: _1/2 of the show is not here _sound quality is extremely poor _Visual quality is very poor too _Cameras don't focus at their right places (it even focuses on Howe's legs for a few seconds when playing his solo piece) _Annoying psychedelic visuals during Close To The Edge _Why do cameras always point at Wakeman's cape!? _Weak Version of And You And I

Reasons to get this DVD: _Steve Howe's lighting speed fingers (and amazing Yours is no Disgrace solos) _Rick Wakeman's solo piece is different from Yessongs and the synth solo near the end is incredibly well done. _Wanting to see 25 year old musicians rock out (instead of 55 yr olds in Yessymphonic) _Close To The Edge played live.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This rough 16mm film was shot in December 1972 at London's Rainbow Theatre. I think that it's really interesting to actually see a visual documentation of these fellows playing, along with the audience, scenery and visualizations of the time. The skillful bassist has dressed up as a butterfly, Rick Wakeman wearing some kind of angel cloak, Jon is kissing his microphone in ecstasy and SteveHowe's facial expressions are unbelievable corny, this all being very fun and human way. The music they achieved to create is also great, though some of the constructed movements work a bit better on studio versions; A phenomena which I have found to sometimes appear in symphonic prog live performances, unlike with more ompen improvisational groups. The ultimate highlight for me here is "Close to The Edge" with some ancient visual effects done with close-ups of microscopic life and Roger Dean pictures, a really brilliant though rough version of this classic. As an anecdote, the ex-Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye's Badger opened this show, and that performance is documented on their "One Live Badger" album. I fear that their performance wasn't recorded on expensive color film, which is sad as their set was also great, check out that album if you yet haven't yet.
Review by fuxi
3 stars I bought the YESSONGS triple album back in '75, not even realising it was live, I thought it was some kind of collection, so you can imagine how shocked I was, what with parts of "Close to the Edge" sounding distinctly muddy etc., but I soon got used to the performances, I don't know how many times I played them, wearing headphones and staring admiringly at the LP-sized photo-album featuring concert pictures of all the Yes boys... How ever did these guys MOVE ABOUT on stage? What kind of magical experience would it be if you saw them right in front of you? I had no way of finding out, at least not until the GOING FOR THE ONE TOUR (when the band, unfortunately, were already past their prime) but at some point (late 1975?) this concert film was announced, and of course it never found its way to a cinema near me.

Nowadays the YESSONGS movie is freely available to all and sundry, and yes: we can now see those classic photographs come alive as often as we like, surely the band never looked cooler than this, Jon in his white suit, skinny Chris with his funny little cape, a very youthful Alan with flowing blonde hair... Long-time Yes fans finally get to see what Steve's so-called "vachalia" looked like, and if there were REAL explosions on stage during Rick's solo spot... For me, the most fascinating part of the concert is that extended guitar solo in "Yours is no Disgrace", because it seems to inhabit the same kind of parallell universe as some of the material in the Beatles' ANTHOLOGY series: to your confusion, you're suddenly confronted with an alternative performance of a piece of music you thought you knew like the back of your hand.

Although it has great value as a historical document, the YESSONGS movie suffers from serious technical defects. The credits state it was recorded and mixed by Eddie Offord, but the music sounds as if someone put a single microphone somewhere in the middle of a cavernous concert hall. I know the band's playing was rough in those days (the YESSONGS triple album doesn't lie), roughness came with spontaneity, but Eddie, didn't you keep the original tapes? Is there no way of remixing this? The camera work looks shoddy at times, but it's no worse than Jethro Tull's ISLE OF WIGHT DVD (which was praised to the sky by Tull freaks); the main problem is the silly visuals! Why do we get to stare at creatures in a stupid aquarium during the opening section of "Close to the Edge", and why are we treated to so many lingering close-ups of Rick's glitter cape?

All Yes fans will want a copy of this, but it would be an act of mercy if the band finally treated them to a cleaned-up version.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars A bit of a disappointment when I first saw it, really. I was expecting far more songs from this one than I got. Well, the original Yessongs was a triple LP and had MANY classics. Where is Siberian Khatru that opens so greatly the CD? Or the complete Starship Trooper? I had to wait until Keys To Ascension to have them on a "proper" live DVD: one that really delivers a complete set of classics (with a far bettter lightning and filming, but then this is over 20 years later).

Having said that I also must say Yessongs, the DVD, is not bad at all. In fact, to see the band in their glory days is wonderful. Even if the sound and image quality are only average and the set is quite short for a Yes concert, they were at their peak creatively and is a document of an era. The absolute highlight is the fantastic version of Close To The Edge, but the whole DVD is good.

Conclusion: a must have for any truly Yes fan. It is the only known footage of this great period and you only wish it had more songs and Bill Bruford on the drumstool to make it perfect. 3,5 stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars This film is a great historical document of a great show, by a great band, at a high point in their career. But I must point out already at this point that this video cannot be compared with the live masterpiece that is Yessongs the double album. The album is very much better than the video. This video does not offer the full show and it is much shorter than the album.

The Wakeman solo is interesting though as it is different from the one on the album.

I got this video very early on in my Yes life and I used to love it. Yes is still my favourite band of all time and I now have pretty much everything they ever released on CD and DVD. And the Yessongs video is certainly not the best. However, it is certainly not the worst either and as a purely historical document it is very good. But there are now much better Yes DVD's out there. Just to mention some excellent ones - House Of Yes - Live At The House Of Blues and Symphonic Live.

Yessongs the album I revisit sometimes, but Yessongs the video gets played very rarely now that I have so many other and better Yes products.

Only for fans, but for them it can be very enjoyable indeed! But make sure you get the Yessongs double album as it gives you a lot more value for your money.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars I knew about the existence of this film since late 1981. At that time, I was playing the drums in an amateur band with one of my brothers and a cousin, who then one day went to another city in my country to visit another cousin and his family. This cousin had a very good collection of Prog rock albums, including Jon Anderson "Olias" album with the original cover, etc., and this "Yessongs" film. My brother and my other cousin saw this film in his house, and they returned later to my city very happy saying that "we watched the Yessongs film!". In early 1981 I bought the "Yessongs" album, and in 1981 I was buying each album I could find from YES, Genesis, etc. I was discovering a lot of very good music.

I recently bought the DVD version of this film. As years have passed, obviously I wasn`t very excited to see it. In fact I didn`t buy it before despite seeing it in record shops for several years and since the VHS version was released. But I remember that I watched some fragments from this film in the eighties on TV.

As other reviewers wrote before me, this film caughts YES in a time when they have become a very popular Prog Rock band. I think that Bill Bruford left the band exactly at the same time the band became very successful. Alan White became the new drummer in YES, but as White himself said in one interview, I also think that it really wasn`t very fair for him to release a live album and to do a concert film with him on drums during a time on which he was learning how to play with YES. I wrote in my review for the "Yessongs" album that White`s playing is amazing despite being in the band for only a few months. But I think that he still was adapting his drums style of playing to YES` music style. I think that both the album and the film were done prematurely, but at the same time they needed to do both to really enjoy more fame and success. And they earned both.

This film, done in the Rainbow Theatre in December 1972, is short. I think that it was produced then by a group of persons who were not very specialised in producing concert films. At least that is the impression I have about it. It seems that it was done with few cameras. The camera angles almost always focus on Steve Howe, Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, a bit less on Rick Wakeman, and much more less on Alan White. So, being an old film it doesn`t have the standards of some of today`s concert films. The sound is not very good. But it is a good film.

The selection of songs is good, but I could have chosen to include the full version of "Starship Trooper" instead of including Howe`s and Wakeman´s respective solos. I was expecting to see Wakeman`s impressive synth solo on "Starship Trooper". Instead, I couldn`t see it because the final credits are shown on the screen! I also could have chosen to include "Siberina Khatru", wasn`t included.

The inclusion of the "Close to the Edge" song was very good. It is the same live version which was included in the "Yessongs" album (the same is for the "Starship Trooper" excerpts). Wakeman`s organ solo is impressive too in this song. "And You and I" was well played too, with Howe using a double necked 12 & 6 strings electric guitars plus his pedal steel guitar. Howe is moving and dancing while he plays, in contrast to the most recent concert DVDs released by YES. But the most recent DVDs of YES in concert are obviously much better in production, thanks to the more specialised producers and the more modern technology available in the present. At least in the sound mixing this film is better than the film done during the "Relayer" tour in 1975, now also available on DVD (but with the mixing mistakes still included!).

Anyway, in conclusion I can say that this "Yessongs" film is a very good opportunity to see YES in their peak period in the early seventies. It is a very good historical document. The DVD version is maybe better than previous versions on VHS and Betamax, I think.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Since it is Christmas day, I will spend some time with some good old acquaintances. Let's start with "Yes".

The title of this DVD is somewhat tricky for the fans.

One can think of getting a complete show during this great tour, like the one available of the fantastic triple album (or double CD). These recordings were taken throughout their long '72 tour (featuring Brufford on two songs) and spread over several concerts.

The original video footage was shot during their London representations at the Rainbow theatre in December '72. It is quite surprising that so little of the concert was either captured or released.

This DVD really starts with "And U&I" as far as I'm concerned, which means that the first eleven minutes are of less interest: an animated intro, "Seen All Good People" which I never really praised much and the usual Howe's acoustic guitar solo. Of course the man is a guitar genius and the track featured on the video ("Clap") is different than the one from the CD ("Mood For A Day").

To have featured "The Six Wives Of Henri VIII Excerpts" on such a short version leaves me voiceless as well: why not have the full and brilliant version of "Starship Trooper" instead of this emasculated one of less than three minutes? A mystery!

Of course there is CTTE (it's the same one than on the audio recording) which remains one of the best prog epic ever written. Some fine video pictures during the intro and fine "smoke effects" like it was in use in those days during live shows. Might look old fashioned by now, but this was the way it was in the early seventies.

The other two great songs from this video are "Roundabout" and "Yours Is No Disgrace" (the encore) which features some phenomenal guitar work from Steve.

To have a global picture, you can add that image capture is not top notch, that lightning is average; which combined to a very short footage and a track list that could have been better leaves a good result but no more. Three stars.

Review by richardh
2 stars Next to the mighty Yes Symphonic Live DVD (one of my favourite things in all existence) this ranks as possibly one the lowest. I have to admit I had all too high expectations for the Blue Ray with a new cleaned up print and new mix. Still sounds as muddy as ever though and it looks and feels as if it was filmed in a dungeon. What particularly annoys me though is that you can't even get the picture to stretch across the screen. Just spent about and hour on this futile exercise but no luck. I own 100's of DVD's and have never had this problem. There are extras on the DVD that may be interesting but quite frankly I've lost the will to live and can't be bothered to even view them. This is nailed on 2 star material if either there was. It might be forgiveable as a concert of historical interest if Bruford was here but he isn't. If you want to splash out on a Blu Ray of Yes please get Yes Symphonic Live as that is the dog's cahonas.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This movie is fantastic! I am unsure of any other previous releases, but the DVD release is amazing. I have always been looking to purchase a Yes DVD but they are either from a more recent concert or something other than the original lineup. I was unsure of what to expect when I bought this movie, ... (read more)

Report this review (#133102) | Posted by smokey | Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What a blessing this DVD is. Unfortunately it is much shorter than the actual concert, but we need to learn to appreciate what is offered, and that is applicable here. Second to only the QPR DVD's, you won't find a better live document of this incredible band, especially this early in their caree ... (read more)

Report this review (#109253) | Posted by OGTL | Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This concert is a bit grainy-looking, but it's well-done. Each member of the band gets nice shots, and it's a decent look at this time in Yes. Some very complex songs are played here, and are a treat to see and hear, rather than just hear. Definitely something to look into as a Yes fan. ... (read more)

Report this review (#44056) | Posted by | Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a good DVD, and has some great YES's greatest songs, although the flaw of this DVD is very poor and bad video/audio quality. But that doesn't matter at all, because it is great to have early footage from this great tour these rock giants did. It includes the lineup Anderson, Squire, Howe, ... (read more)

Report this review (#34869) | Posted by alchemist | Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great DVD and a great performance by Yes! The only problem is the poor audio and video quality but after spending a little time with this DVD you learn to overlook that. Overally it's definatly worth it to get this DVD if you have the chance. I wouldn't recommend this as a first exposur ... (read more)

Report this review (#34868) | Posted by | Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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