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Yesspeak DVD

Review by Gary Hill

This DVD is documentary (remember when these things were called "rockumentaries") on Yes. It focuses on interview segments with each of the current members of the band (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White) but focuses on the entire history of the band. Narrated by The Who's Roger Daltrey, the video and audio quality are extremely good. It should be noted, though, that it did take mea bit of adjusting the audio settings on both my DVD player and TV to be able to hear the narration and interview segments over the music playing in the background.

The documentary itself is top notch, interspersing footage of the band onstage, back stage, on the road and at home with the clips. Each member gets extensive coverage (in fact a separate section focusing on each one is included) and the interview reveal a lot, personalizing the band and give unique perspectives to the history, and future direction of the band. Parts are studious and others are funny. I think my favorite bit is a recurring theme of various members trying to find their way to the stage - ala Spinal Tap. While obviously contrived, this is truly hilarious.

The 2 DVD set also includes an awesome audio only recording of a show from their most recent European tour. To give an example of how well thought out and executed this collection is, when you play the audio show, rather than get a blank or just static screen, the backdrop on the TV is a series of still photos. It is also great to have live recordings of newer material and such underplayed Classic Yes songs as We Have Heaven and Southside of the Sky.

All of these elements make for an excellent DVD offering. What a great way to start Yes' 35th anniversary year!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 1 at

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