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Yesspeak: 35th Anniversary [DVD] [2003] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x8c4de324) out of 5 stars 50 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c7784d4) out of 5 stars Excellent Documentary about where Yes is in the year 2004 28 Jan. 2004
By Kevin Caffrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Whereas _YesYears_ from 1991 was a comprehensive album-by-album account of the history of Yes up until that point, _Yesspeak_ centers more around the "Classic Yes" lineup of Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman, and White. Therefore, don't expect a lot of time dedicated to the 80s and early/mid 90s. The focus really is more on their European tour last year, and what makes up Yes in the year 2004. What makes up Yes is the individual members -- and they are presented in very pleasant detail. While a hardcore fan might not learn anything new (yet, they might), it really is enjoyable to just sit back and watch the guys in relaxed environments and on the road. It reminded me of something you would see on A&E or the Biography Channel and get caught up in watching the whole thing from beginning to end. Clips from the European Tour are presented here and sound/look great--I'm sure a full-length concert DVD with this lineup will be made available in the next two years. A full concert performance is only presented in *audio* format on Disc Two - so don't expect a full-length concert DVD with live performances. However, as a hardcore fan, I really enjoyed watching the documentary, and as soon as it was over, I couldn't wait to listen to the audio concert on Disc Two. I really recommend this DVD!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5f4c24) out of 5 stars Audio Problems but generally OK 3 Feb. 2004
By David Carlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a double DVD set and broken up into chapters which spotlight the individual artists as well as a Life on the Road section.
I enjoyed seeing each band-member here at their respective homes, and discussing touring and music in general. The music business has changed dramatically over the course of Yes's career, and it still does not keep fans away from their concerts, including myself.
The DVD set was well organized and also contains what appears to be an entire show's (audio only + slideshow) worth of material during their European tour. It was not up to the professional quality of the YESYEARS documentary, but it's a good up to the present account of the band now. Since this marks the 35th anniversay of YES, would have been nice to have other interviews from Bruford, Moraz and other Alumni's for historical purposes, but this DVD set focuses on the Band Now.
The production was ok, but there was a problem with the audio mix, especially when the bandmembers spoke with the music in the backround. I had a difficult time articulating the interviews mixed with the music. The backround music was usually too loud. This could have been mixed better. The interviews were good and I especially liked Rick Wakeman's comical approach to life. He gives the band stability and a light-hearted approach to their life on the road. Rick re-counts some good stories as usual. There were also many shots on the tour bus, but Steve was missing from these shots. I believe, if memory serves me correct, that Steve travels in a car, rather than on the tour bus.
All in All, a decent production. If you can find a copy of YesYears the documentary, also check that out. It contains much more archival footage of the band including interviews with Bill Bruford as well. I'd still recommend this video as well, since we still have no biographical account called, with the exception of Rick's book entitled "Say Yes" so this is a good substitute for now.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5fa360) out of 5 stars How could Yes have allowed this to be released??? 14 Feb. 2004
By Oliasdoug - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As an earlier reviewer stated, I am a huge Yes fan--have been since January 1972--and always will be. I've seen them 9 times in concert over the last 3 decades and will continue to attend their concerts until they fold up their tents. Jon Anderson is one of my musical idols, up there with people as diverse as Bruce Cockburn, Jonn Serrie & Neil Young. I have every Yes DVD that I know of, and this, fellow Yes fanatics, is the first one that has left me appalled and infuriated.
Thank God one other reviewer (David Carlin of Philadelphia) was astute enough to notice the UNBELIEVABLY sloppy mix of the interviews with the band playing in the background. It's customary to do this in rockumentaries, and more often than not makes the reviews more intimate & atmospheric. But, whatever DUMBBELL was responsible for the mix of the music & interviews ought to be sued--THE BACKGROUND MUSIC WAS AT TOO HIGH A LEVEL, & FOR MOST OF THE CONTENT OF THE INTERVIEWS, YOU CAN'T HEAR A @#?!#$%&##?! WORD THEY'RE SAYING!!! WHO in the name of All That's Holy was manning the knobs??? Was it director Robert Garofalo, or some intern with no business being at the mixing board? I feel ripped off & betrayed by the group that I have proudly referred to as MY BAND--my NUMBER ONE BAND--over the last 32 years. Why was this poor-quality piece of amateurishness allowed to be released to Yes' fan base????? I think it was during one of Alan White's interview segments that he mentioned Yes' perfectionism (no surprise) and how he & Rick could argue over one wrong note in a given song. Well: This leads me to believe that Jon, Chris, Steve, Rick & Alan did NOT, in fact, view the finished product & instead trusted the producers to do right by them. Pretty tragic.
Please don't take what I'm ranting about here the wrong way; if I didn't love and revere Yes as much as I do, this would be more of an annoyance than a reason for me to break a blood vessel. Those of us who've stood beside MY BAND for all these years have always been treated to the very best that Yes could give us at all points in their magnificent career. Their concerts have never been anything short of astounding. They are all virtuoso's on their respective instruments (in which I'll include Jon's voice--a priceless instrument in itself). It's just unconscionable to me that this DVD could have been let out of the stalls with this glaring imperfection running all the way through it. And, for the record, I agree with the criticisms I've read by the other reviewers. I think they could have chosen a better narrator than Roger Daltrey, AND I agree that the script was a little on the embarrassing side at times--that is, when I could HEAR IT. For a narrator, I'd have been inclined to choose maybe an accomplished female musician (e.g., Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Jane Siberry, Maire Brennan), as Bruce Cockburn did for his MY BEAT video. Roger came off sounding a little too perky, like a reporter from Entertainment Tonight.
Did I like anything about this DVD? Sure I did. It was great to get up close and personal with the band members today--to meet Chris's family, to see Jon's devotion to Jane, to note how badly Steve needs to see a dentist (Good Lord!), to see that Rick does indeed have a wry sense of humor, and to note (with some amusement) how Alan appears to be trying to affect an American accent--which he forgets at times. :-) For me, it's never JUST been about Yes' music; it's also been about the guys themselves. I love interviews when they're conducted with dignity and intelligence, & thankfully all 5 seemed willing & eager to share their views about life in general & their feelings toward Yes' music and its future. I can't in all honesty tell fellow Yesfans to stay away from this DVD, because I can't go that far against Yes...it's not in my nature. (After all, I've forgiven them for letting Patrick Moraz go and for releasing TORMATO. Hope that didn't offend anyone.) I would merely tell anyone wanting to purchase this DVD to view it before you plunk down money for it, if possible--THEN decide if it's worth the price. And if you decide to buy it without previewing it first? Two words: CAVEAT EMPTOR.
I know that that what I'm about to suggest would only happen in a perfect world...but I hope Robert Garofalo & Classic Pictures get an earful of these reviews, go back into the studio, RE-DO the entire mess, and then offer replacement DVD's to those of us who are unhappy with the current version. As I've said, I love Yes enough to honestly believe that those responsible for this debacle owe us that much. True legions of longtime fans don't deserve to be jerked around like this. As others have said, your money would be wiser spent on YESYEARS (a more comprehensive documentary), and--for me--their ultimate concert video, LIVE AT THE HOUSE OF BLUES.
Jon...Chris...Steve...Rick...Alan: You guys are the greatest progressive rock group EVER, and I am still proud to call you my favorite band of all time. But PLEASE, for the love of God, DO something about this if you can. A lot of us are feeling pretty shafted right now.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c5f5b10) out of 5 stars Very Disappointed 19 Feb. 2004
By D. Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I guess I didn't read the cover of this DVD close enough. So that others don't make the same mistake, read closely:
It is a series of interview snippets clustered around small segments of live footage. The interviews were pretty bland and did not flow at all. Most of what each member said was pretty trite - although I thought Alan White's comments were the best.
Why YES would put out a 2-disc DVD and NOT have full songs included is beyond me? This would have worked MUCH better if they had sandwiched the interviews between full-song concert footage.
The track listing of songs are audio-only, but the sound mix on these is utterly terrible. Certain songs start out great (Awaken, Don't Kill The Whales), but when the full band comes in, the bass and drums sound muted and distant - which is a problem with the way this thing was mixed (not the performance).
Save you money. This one is a dog.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c636660) out of 5 stars Fairly Tepid Really 17 Feb. 2004
By eddiepresley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Uninspired interviews...other releases cover this stuff better...the sound is muddled...Roger mumbles too much...I was not inspired to continue on to the second disc. Some nice stuff for die hard fans, but to not have a fully filmed concert from that tour at the center of the release is a real shame. 3 hours of interviews can easily be scrunched onto one disc. Fellowship of the Ring is 3 hours on one disc. They could easily have put the video of the concert on the second disc. At least the audio should be able to be played in standard CD players...will we see a separate release? I give it high marks for the effort, but the gems here are only for real die hard fans...but the rest is nothing that most any fan hasn't already heard. It's hard to celebrate 35 years of a band without at least a few words from past members. As an aside about Alan's american accent...it's just becoming muddled from all the time spent in Seattle...but it's always been that soft lilting kind of accent...
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