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Yes Inside
Yes-Plus Friends & Family
Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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  There is no question that Yes was one of the progenitors of progressive rock. They remain vital and relevant today while recording in the studio and performing in concert as energetically as people half their age. Classic Rock Direct is a fine label from the UK that specializes in classic rock and progressive rock. They offer extensive packages like this three DVD set on a regular basis. Knowing what a big fan I am of Yes certainly made receiving this set for review more inviting. In fact, I requested it, being a long time reviewer of their line of product gives me that wonderful privilege that I feel honored to have.

There is certainly enough material out there on Yes, possibly too much at this point and it is hard to distinguish what would be the best representative of the band's work without finding a constant rehashing of familiar content packaged differently. This is something many of the major labels are continually doing. I can say with all honesty that Classic Rock Direct does it right and gives the music fan nothing but quality product, like this particular set.

The first DVD covers the period of 1968-1973 with critical reviews of their albums and showing rare archive film of the band to highlight the bands developing years. Also the biography of Roger Dean titled Views is part of the mix. I received Views when it first came out however I was unable to view it because it was in the PAL format and would not play on the DVD player I had at the time. I eventually did watch it on my PC but long after its release. I enjoyed it greatly. Dean's art is incredibly beautiful and unique. It has become legendary by being a standard element of the Yes and Uriah Heep album covers over the years.

The second DVD gives the spotlight to on again off again Yes keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, who has created his own legacy within the band and his numerous solo efforts. You are treated to an amazing Wakeman live set that clearly illustrates his importance to the keyboard's ability to be a main instrument in an ensemble and the lead voice in a solo effort. I enjoy Wakeman's work immensely. Most recently, I picked up copies of his solo efforts Retro, where he plays all vintage equipment, and At Lincoln Cathedral Live. I highly recommend both recordings. He has been pumping out solo albums since 1971 while serving as the Yes keyboard player several times since the 70s.

The third DVD is a retrospective of Steve Howe through a series of interviews, what looks to be culled from the 80s. Howe takes you on a guided tour through his guitar parts in classic Yes songs. Some of the footage is at his home where he is surrounded by various electric and acoustic guitars. I also would highly recommend the Howe solo cannon, which got its start back in 1976, particularly the Home Brew series of releases.

This is a fascinating overview of Yes and two of its members that have released very successful solo work and performed in other influential bands. The drawing power of Yes and its members still has a strong foothold in the prog-rock community. We would feel lost without them; they remain one of the anchors that keep the great prog rock ship afloat.




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