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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one, make it this one
Ok, we have an abundance of live recordings to choose from, and frankly some should never have seen the light of day. This isn't one of them.
But first to the reviewers who felt mislead. There have been two Keys to Ascension CD's, both double, with live and studio tracks and a DVD, featuring just live tracks. Five discs in all. This offering is called Keys to...
Published on 17 Sep 2011 by Mr. Paul Martin West

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A YES CLASSIC
The audio part of The Keys to Ascension was released and reviewed in 1996-7.

This 2010 set also includes a DVD of the SLO concert. In my opinion, Steve Mitchell's production and direction is disappointing. Rather than produce and direct a concert which only shows 5 excellent musicians playing music on stage in front of an audience, the director adds footage and...
Published on 12 Dec 2010 by ehadas


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one, make it this one, 17 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. Paul Martin West (Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
Ok, we have an abundance of live recordings to choose from, and frankly some should never have seen the light of day. This isn't one of them.
But first to the reviewers who felt mislead. There have been two Keys to Ascension CD's, both double, with live and studio tracks and a DVD, featuring just live tracks. Five discs in all. This offering is called Keys to Ascension and has exactly the same track listing over 4cds and 1 DVD, I don't really think it takes a genius to work out that it is a repackaging! But 5 discs of some fantastic music, played by a group at their performing peak, can't be bad.
The studio, offerings are a bit hit and miss, but it does include Mind Drive, which should really be included in any ultimate Yes canon.
The live cds are beautifully played, with all members at their peak. We could argue about inclusions and omissions, but this is a fair selection and they flow together well.
I'm going to focus on the DVD, because this is one area were us Yes fans have been sold short over time.
I would say, if you only get one live DVD, this should be it. Why? Well it's not perfect but:
Jon Anderson may be wearing something you wouldn't ever get away with in Hull, but vocally he's on great form. His ramblings between songs never reach the banality of some offerings [maybe America!] and his hand gestures and mannerisms fit well with the music [usually!]
Visually, we hit the usual pitfalls. Don't get me wrong, it's well filmed, but it would have been great if someone with basic musical understanding, could have just pointed out to the editor, who was playing. We have fun watching the editor cut to various shots of Rick's hands, only to find it's Steves mandolin in Time and a Word. There are good few examples of this, but hey ho, it adds humour.
I know some people don't like the slide images and animations, but I like to think, it is like my attitude to the LP covers for the albums. They help set a mood and direct your imagination. I'm sure it is not about trying to explain the song [I think that is way beyond just about anyone].
What we have with this DVD, is a selection of Yes's best songs, not only played well, but with a real passion. These aren't musicians, going through the motions. You can feel the enthusiasm and enjoyment.
So anyway enough ramblings. |Go and spend under 15.00] and get hours of enjoyment, that will last for years.
Enjoy, and smile in the right places. And please, please, don't use it for fashion tips.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A YES CLASSIC, 12 Dec 2010
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
The audio part of The Keys to Ascension was released and reviewed in 1996-7.

This 2010 set also includes a DVD of the SLO concert. In my opinion, Steve Mitchell's production and direction is disappointing. Rather than produce and direct a concert which only shows 5 excellent musicians playing music on stage in front of an audience, the director adds footage and graphics which sometimes have no relation to the music. Instead of a continuous Yes concert which shows musicians playing their music to the audience, the film is full of unnecessary editing and extras which should have been left out.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A baby boomer's view on Ascension, 15 Oct 2010
By 
Paul Hellander "Paul H" (Adelaide, South Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
I have to say I bought this set on a whim. One of those Sauvignon Blanc-fuelled nights of nostalgia and zeitgeist with an iPad on my lap and a desire (need?) to revisit the past.

I had done the YesSongs thing in the 70s - driving around the UK in a beat up Mini van with a tape deck and had felt so in tune with the boys of Y.

When I saw this collection I was instinctively drawn to the weaving of the comfort zone old and the suggestion of comfort zone new. After the fourth Sauvignon Blanc I clicked the BUY button and I was committed.

I spent a long week end camping in the Australian bush - plus driving there and back - and listened to all the gems on this assembly of fine Yes music and I was happy. I still am ...

I wanted the old stuff - Close to the Edge (studio-close on this live San Luis Obispo version), No Disgrace, Siberian Khatru the stuff that I cruised the UK to back in the 70s, but the new studio set impressed. I take my hat off to Jon, Chris, Steve, Bill and Rick for a now technically dated set of performances. The audio quality was excellent - at least in my Renault Mégane, stuffed to the rafters for a bush camping trip. I would have been deeply impressed had the production team saw fit to provide a HD DTS version of the DVD disk (I am a severe fan of DVD/DTS audio). But it was not to be ... I digress into technicalities.

My long weekend away in the bush was deeply enriched by this set. I smiled a lot and nostalged muchly. The music of Yes can hit that visceral nerve of comfort and familiarity even after 30 years since YesSongs.

A fine buy!

Happy listener Paul from Adelaide, South Australia
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Yessongs - all over again, 23 Sep 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Keys To Ascension (MP3 Download)
You are probably like me; you already have various Yes albums, including Yessongs. Think of this as the newer version of Yessongs.

You get four CDs worth of live music, but unlike the CD version no DVD of the performance.

If you had the DVD, you'd have seen that the venue was, by Yes standards, very small and intimate. This definitely colours the music and, from my point of view, makes it far more personal. I like it.

The other things that mst be said is that this album is excellent value - when I placed my pre-order, my thought was that I couldn't possibly lose at the price and having now listened to the album, I know it was money well spent.

So, if you are a Yes fan, then you probably already have all these tracks, but maybe not the intimate mix. So buy it.

If you are new to Yes, and you already like prog rock, then this is a great starter. However, I doubt there are many prog rock fans who don't already know Yes.

Oh, go on, just buy it; you know you want to!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great set at GREAT Value!, 7 Jan 2012
By 
Ben Bottle (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
What if we've heard it before? You are into Yes or you are not into Yes!
The "classic" line-up doing what they do best - and I for one am always happy to hear the variations.
The 6 Studio tracks on this set are quite interesting and - as far as I know - exclusive to it.
FOUR Cds + a live set DVD running at 147 mins! To be honest, it's a treat and at 10.99, what is there to beef about?
This is Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White doing their thing - it's great.
"Close to the Edge", "Starship Trooper", "Awaken" and "Siberian Khatru" - will I ever tire? Not personally - no!
If you are a Yes aficionado, then you either will or you won't; I did and am very happy with my purchase.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music!! Great price!!, 7 Oct 2010
By 
Eric Tersago (Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
To me this is one hell of a set! the live cd's are vintage yes and the dvd is amazing!
The dvd not only contains the 1996 live concert but also a concert registration of 1979 in the U.S.A.
which is of not so clear quality but still great to look at!
ok,some reviewers are right about the packaging:to me it looks like recycled cardboard with fancy lettering
but, hé,it's the music that counts!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic value for money, 26 Jun 2011
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
Wow''This 4 cd box set is great value for money!My fav song 'Turn of the century'on here is the business live''Awaken' is a superb 2nd best!! Funny thing is,the first time around when yes were in their prime and i was a 20 year old young un'i did not get yes' I was into 70's reggae,and classic rock bands like hendrix/deep purple etc...It was only i live' clip of 'Turn of the century'on you-tube what turned me on to yes.There is a quiet time at the end of the day,or when it is my turn to create a meal,hmmm bring out a yes cd...I still play it loud'but listening to yes'is almost like hearing music from a church monestry,words to that effect...I know i wont like every single track on this 4 cd box set,but it is such good value for money and there are loads of tracks to discover and listen to...To sum up 'Yes' in a few words about this album is,,,if anyone is new to yes'please consider this album 'Ascension!!! Ok' it is live' and 'live albums are not always the best option to listen to a decent band because 9 times out of ten you will not get the best sound even from the best in the business...I can assure anyone new to yes'if you go with 'Ascension'as your first venture into 'yes' you wont be let down!!! Trust me,and trust this review! 'Awaken'' to ''YES''''''''''''' Nuff Said!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quality recording, 8 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Keys To Ascension (MP3 Download)
good recap of early yes material. Most of it is live with some new studio material. Excellent sound quality. ok 'yes' fell out of favour in the 80's and then become some mid Atlantic radio friendly dross under Trevor Rabin but this is the original yes, Anderson, Squire, Howe from the 70's. This was a 4 album set so its excellent value as a download at about a tenner
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, live Yes - think of it as an update to Yessongs, 23 Sep 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
You are probably like me; you already have various Yes albums, including Yessongs (Yessongs: Remastered). Think of this as the newer version of Yessongs and it sounds as good, if not better, than Yessongs. As you know, Yessongs came out before Topographic Oceans, this live album contains that and more of the newer material as well.

You get four CDs of live music, plus a DVD of the performance. The CDs have been previously released (as Key to Ascension volume 1 and volume 2), but buying this package gives you the full set of four CDs for less than the other two previous albums, plus you get the DVD.

From the DVD, you'll see that the venue was, by Yes standards, very small and intimate. This definitely colours the music and, from my point of view, makes it far more personal. I like it.

The other things that must be said is that this album is excellent value - when I placed my order, my thought was that I couldn't possibly lose at the price and having now listened to the album, I know it was money well spent.

Back in the mid-70's NME (or was it MM???) referred to Rick Wakeman as the "chick in the white dress" - well he doesn't look like that any longer, but from the DVD you'll see that someone else might have taken on this particualr mantel (not telling you who, you'll have to watch the DVD :-) )

So, if you are a Yes fan, then you probably already have all these tracks, but maybe not the intimate mix. So buy it.

If you are new to Yes, and you already like prog rock, then this is a great starter. However, I doubt there are many prog rock fans who don't already know Yes.

Oh, go on, just buy it; you know you want to!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Repitition Repitition Repitition, 6 Nov 2010
This review is from: Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD] (Audio CD)
I Bought the original keys CDs when they came out and they are brilliantly played & recorded live recordings

Ignore the Amazon review bit about improvisation, this is tightly composed music that soetimes sounds improvised, but actually is played identically every time.

I'm thinking they repackaged this and re-released it in a kind of "get back at Avatar" in that the cover is a Roger Dean original that was blatantly ripped off in the Avatar movie (like so much of his artwork was).

Yes have a long habit of repackaging their back catalogue in a new cover and selling it again, fair enough its a damn fine back catalogue, but guys, get the band together again and do something new (even if its with David B rather than Jon A). It does feel a bit like yes produce their own bootlegs sometimes, there are so many reissues in different guises.

I bought the original .... sorry I'm repeating myself now
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Keys To Ascension [4CD+DVD]
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