Yes are so well established in the music world that they require no introduction. Formed in the early 70’s they were one of the founding fathers of the Prog Rock movement. Yet they did not allow themselves to get bogged down in it. They also had the foresight to pursue endeavors out side of the Yes label.

I guess in someways they were and are a session band. They get together, they play, and then they return to their own worlds. Maybe if more bands took this approach they would get along better.

This DVD takes a look at two concerts from 2003, what I find delicious is that there are cut aways between tracks where the band members get to give short sound bites about the history of the band.

Yes has taken many forms over the intervening years, but there are some core players

Number one has to be Jon Anderson (Vocals, and some guitar), his voice is so distinctive you can hear it from 200 miles away. Jon alas has had some respiratory problems of late and Yes have had to cancel their planned 2008 tour.

Number two, although in my mind number one is the wizard on the keyboards Rick Wakeman. Rick has taken keyboards to places no-one else ever has. He was one of the first musicians to record with a Moog. And has created film scores, theatrical concerts, stars in a hit TV comedy series, and has about a thousand other things on his resume. He also can brag about his very musical children. Rick was unwilling to participate in the 2008 tour, who did the remaining band members invite? Oliver Wakeman! I have interviewed both of them, and both have left a very positive impression on me. Rick has a style all of his own, a style that I know and love. Oliver has inherited his fathers gift, and will be a tour de force in the music scene for decades to come. On the downside, about the worst job in the world would be the roadie working with either of them, Rick uses 10 (yes I did say 10) keyboards in his performance, and they all look heavy! Oliver is still collecting, I believe he is only at the 6 per concert level, but those Korg T1’s are back breakers!

I would be remiss in not mentioning the rest of Yes, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White. Steve Howe is a guitarist extrodinair, his achievements would fill a book. The one aspect that I really like about him is his largess to up and coming artists. In 2002 he also produced and played on Oliver Wakeman’s 3 Ages of Magick.

Chris Squire is the king of the Bass, and a colorful character. I found this on his website:

In his youth, Chris began his musical career as a choirboy. This early indoctrination gave Chris a particular insight into choir arrangement and vocal techniques that was to follow him throughout his career to this day. In 1964, Chris was suspended from Haberdasher Aske’s public school for wearing his hair much longer than was allowed. The money given to Chris for a haircut was ‘spent on other things’. Chris never returned to school.

Alan White on drums hits the right note with this band. There is no question that this is the ultimate line up.

Every Yes fan will need a copy of this DVD for their collection.

You can get yours from MVD.

Simon Barrett

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