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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How on earth do you rate this??
Tricky one, this. I was sorely tempted to give it just 1 star, as it is clearly a cynical marketing ploy to get long-term fans (such as myself) to pay for stuff they've already got, just to get hold of the 'live at Montreux' CD - which they CLAIM will be exclusive to this package.

But then I looked at the price, especially here on Amazon. 17.99 for 5 CDs is an...
Published on 10 Jan 2007 by John Wyant

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good value.
The best element of this product is its value. I was only really after 'Talk' but the price of that alone was about the same as that for 5 cds in this package. The live cd is good, though just a series of extracts from another double cd. Magnification is very good but 'Open Your Eyes' and 'The Ladder' (with the exception of the opening track 'Homeworld' which sits...
Published 4 months ago by Victor


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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How on earth do you rate this??, 10 Jan 2007
By 
John Wyant (Romsey, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essentially Yes (Audio CD)
Tricky one, this. I was sorely tempted to give it just 1 star, as it is clearly a cynical marketing ploy to get long-term fans (such as myself) to pay for stuff they've already got, just to get hold of the 'live at Montreux' CD - which they CLAIM will be exclusive to this package.

But then I looked at the price, especially here on Amazon. 17.99 for 5 CDs is an absolute bargain, and not much more than you would have paid for 'live at Montreux' on its own, if it was available as such.

Also, if you're one of the people who believe that Yes stopped making decent music 'round about' 1978 (which I'm definitely NOT, by the way!), then you could be in for a pleasant surprise by allowing yourself to catch up with the more recent stuff.

'Talk' was the last Trevor Rabin-era Yes album. I actually reviewed this over on Amazon.com, if you're interested, but to summarise: this was, for me, a wrongly overlooked album - there are some great songs on here - 'Calling' is a great opener, just as 'Endless Dream' is a fantastic 11-minute epic that shows that Rabin COULD do prog, and do it well. Meanwhile, 'Real Love' must rank as the heaviest song that Yes ever recorded in any line-up (that's not a criticism, by the way, in case you were wondering!).

'Open Your Eyes' is probably the most accessible, dare I say it, 'commercial' album of their carreer ('90125' included). For a start, all the songs are under 6 minutes long! And I know some people have difficulty squaring this with being a Yes album, but if you just approach it with an open mind ('open eyes'?), simply as a music lover, there is some great stuff on here, especially the first 5 tracks and the last one. Think of it as a lost 'Conspiracy' album if you must, but don't dismiss it out of hand.

'The Ladder' was supposed to be a massive return to form, and to a large extent it is, though I personally don't find it particularly consistent. It doesn't help that they kick off with 'Homeworld', easily the best track on the album, which then means that the rest comes as a bit of a let-down, until you've listened to it a few more times and appreciated the other songs in their own right.

'Magnification', for me, was the 'real' return to form. Largely replacing keyboards with a full orchestra, the album lets Yes get as grandiose as they want to be, with stunning results, and a high level of consistently good songs. The title track, 'Spirit of Survival' and 'In the Presence of' are the high points, but there really isn't a duff track to be found.

That just leaves the 'live at Montreux' CD. Just a look at the track-listing should convince any fan that it's worth getting hold of. For a start, the mighty Rick Wakeman was back in the fold by this time - always a plus point in my book! You get NON-orchestral versions of 'Magnification' and 'In the Presence of' (interesting to compare their treatments, of course). This was the tour when they re-introduced (after a long absence from live gigs) the absolute classic 'South Side of the Sky' - that middle quiet section always sends shivers down my spine. And then you've got 'Awaken', which is even better live than in the studio, together with the almost inevitable 'Siberian Khatru', 'And You and I' and 'I've Seen All Good People'.

So now you know why I bought this package, even though I already owned 4/5ths of it! You must make your own decision, of course, but at this price, how can you resist?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Price, Great Set, 13 Sep 2013
By 
John T. Gleadon "JTG" (Huddersfield) - See all my reviews
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For someone who missed out on Yes in their youth and just discovered them in there 60s this box set was great, as is the other five CD set offered by Amazon. Ok you don't get the posh detail notes you would get if bought individually and art work, but lets face it you buy for the music. The live CD is worth the money spent alone. Some Yes snobs look down on Yes's later music but times cannot stand still. Lets face it, the 60s-70s are gone. I listen to both rock music and classical and find Yes a bridge between the two. I think if Mozart was alive today he might be a member of Yes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good value., 28 Feb 2014
By 
Victor (Portsmouth UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essentially Yes (Audio CD)
The best element of this product is its value. I was only really after 'Talk' but the price of that alone was about the same as that for 5 cds in this package. The live cd is good, though just a series of extracts from another double cd. Magnification is very good but 'Open Your Eyes' and 'The Ladder' (with the exception of the opening track 'Homeworld' which sits alongside any other Yes classic) disappoint.
However, you can't go wrong with this box set.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT!, 27 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It is a great box set if you don't have the cds. Good price and a special "bonus" disc live in Montreux.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music 5 Morals 1, 11 Mar 2013
This review is from: Essentially Yes (Audio CD)
Yet Another Sad, Sad Day In The Life of the band who music I love: This collection isn't fooling anyone (except perhaps those who are fans of the band rather than the music - because let's be fair they may be great musicians/composers - but as people their morals leave much in question, the way Squire, Howe and White have treated Jon Anderson, Benoit David and Oliver Wakeman)..Yet another scam to wring the last few pounds out of the hands of the very people who have supported them through thick and thin. For Completists ONLY.
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5 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For The Sad Fanboy & Tragic Completist Only, 3 Mar 2011
By 
Bren Tierney (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Essentially Yes (Audio CD)
Well, I guess they need the money - assuming they see a penny of it from this (perhaps that's why they have to tour so incessantly as their own tribute band, playing the same tired set-list each time?)

Just tragic.
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Essentially Yes
Essentially Yes by Yes (Audio CD - 2008)
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