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INSIDE YES 1968-1973


Symphonic Prog

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erik neuteboom
3 stars In the mid-Seventies I was in a youth-centre where the just released movie Yessongs was to be seen on a huge screen. I was totally mesmerized by Yes their virtuosic and magical performance, especially 'caped crusader' Rick Wakeman with his wide range of vintage keyboards and 'guitar man' Steve Howe with his museum of different acoustic - and electric guitars!

On this DVD about the early Yes era (1968-1973) you will see wonderful live footage from that magical Yes on stage like Yessongs 1974 and Live In Philadelphia 1979 but also lots of lesser known but thriling footage. Some quotes about the albums and band members: "Squire and Anderson loved the USA Westcoast bands", "Jon Anderson is one of the most individual and gifted musicians in music", "Peter Banks and Tony Kaye gave Yes a real drive and soulful edge", "Squire was the secret ingredient of Yes, he often led the music with his quirky play", "The overlooked Tony Kaye was more interested in rhythm", "Bill Bruford described himself as an 18 year old virgin with Yes as his first girlfriend", "Steve Howe was photographed on the cover of the second album but he has nothing to to with it!", "Rick Wakeman gave Yes 'the edge' in the studio and he was sketching a routemap to follow", "Fragile features all the quirky musical halmarks of Yes" and "Yes knew how important Jon Anderson was and they were adapting to him". The arrival of artist Roger Dean brought "a new dimension to Yes ("the fist 3 covers were crap") and we can take a look on his mindblowing cover art. The album Close To The Edge is called their masterpiece, we hear interesting words about it and also the funny remark "And You And I is the only 12 minutes love song I've ever heard!". The final chapter is about the controversial concept double album Tales From Topografic Oceans. Only one member of 'the critical team' is positive ('a masterpiece"), all others are talking like "It didn't have a central quality, it was a bit of a mess", "It's a crap album", "What on earth they were talking about?", "They sounded like extended jam sessions" and "It's an album that makes you happy that the punk came!". We also hear the stories about the hardboard cow and the home-shower that Jon Anderson wanted in the studio because there his voice was so good ....

This DVD is a pleasant dive in the waters of early Yes when they turned from a progressive pop band into a legendary Seventies symphonic rock formation.

Report this review (#87937)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Irrelevant Views ..and one essential one

This edition of the "Inside" DVD series covers the band's early years from 1968 to 1973. To date, the rest of the story has not been told in this particular format. As usual, Bob Carruthers gathers together an eclectic group of people to talk about the band and the albums they released during the period. While on some "Inside" DVDs, the assembled critics have credible links with the band, here they are simply a melting pot of journalists, session musicians, and hangers on, some of whom do not even appear to be particularly keen on the band. Collectively, they provide us with comments which range from the bleeding obvious, through tedious cord sequence descriptions and ending up with blatant misinformation. The saving grace is the presence of Steve Howe, who adds some brief but useful commentary to the proceedings.

As usual for this type of product the live sequences, all of which are extracts, are taken from what is available. On the plus side, these do include some rare glimpses of the pre "Fragile" line up, although some of the renditions of the early songs included here are not by the line up which actually recorded them.

While the main feature is quite short, running to just over an hour, a significant enhancement to this product is the inclusion of a full length documentary called "Views". This fascinating programme offers a wonderful insight into the work of Roger Dean, who not only came up with the sleeve illustrations for some of Yes' finest albums, but also created masterpieces for many other bands such as Uriah Heep and Asia. Dean talks at length about some of his best known works, what inspired them, how he works, and many other aspects of his work. The programme is introduced by Rick Wakeman, who strides around like a demented Richard Attenborough trying to outfox the admirably patient cameraman. The background music is provided by Wakeman and a recent Uriah Heep line up. This documentary alone makes the package highly appealing.

Reverting to the Yes programme, the many official releases by Yes documenting their history, and cumulating in the "YesSpeak" DVD render this one far from essential. Do however try to get hold of the "Views" programme.

Report this review (#269589)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The inside series of DVDs are certainly very interesting for the progressive rock fan. It is worth noting that there are a series of "Inside" DVDs available, including Pink Floyd, Van der Graaf Generator, early Genesis, Supertramp, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and of course "Inside Yes". Each DVD is in Dolby digital 5.1 and DTS so the sound is incomparable. The Inside series is an independent critical review featuring rare archive footage much of which has been previously unavailable on DVD.

"Inside Yes" looks at the years 1968 to 1973 and of course we are treated to rare film clips of the classic Yes lineup with the indomitable Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson at the helm. There are interviews with Steve Howe guitarist extraordinaire and the great bassist Chris Squire.

Musicologists of varying backgrounds critically assess the music to discover the essence of the band. It is a very brief look at the band as are all of these DVDs of the "Inside" series, clocking just over one hour in length. Therefore it is more of a taster for those new to Yes or for those Yes-aholics who just want to look back at the golden years of this wonderful prog rock band.

Report this review (#1432012)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2015 | Review Permalink

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