Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe An Evening of Yes Music Plus|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Important moment in YES history
Jeff Barnaby | Richmond, Virginia | 09/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, my personal disclaimer: I know that this is technically AWBH, but technically AWBH is the classic version of YES that sprang up during the late 1980's in response to (or rather as a revolt against) the eighties modern YES, which remains controversial to this day. So with all due respect to the lawyers and the industry execs I'll refer to them as YES from here on out - even though there is no Chris Squire.
I was happy to learn that Voiceprint re-released this concert video on DVD for a number of reasons. First, the CD version of this concert has long been one of my favorite YES concerts. Second, this period of time is rather significant in YES history. It is when 80% of YES's classic lineup stood their ground and kept their music going so that it could be discovered by the ensuing generation of music fans - including myself. As I said in my 9012-Live review, I am one of the very few YES fans in existence who appreciates both the Trevor Rabin version and the classic version of YES. This period, just prior to the Union show/adventure/debacle, planted the seeds for my discovery of what classic YES is all about - and I am grateful. Third, and finally, it is a great show that covers a bunch of the great classic YES songs.
As far as the DVD itself is concerned, I'm not disappointed, but I am not particularly blown away either. The concert is from the 1989/1990 world tour, and if I recall correctly, this was originally a Laserdisc release that has since been dumped onto DVD. The result is something that looks marginally better than VHS, but is not quite up to par with the DVD video standards that we've all grown accustomed to, and hence have been spoiled by. The only real criticism I have is with the audio mix. This exact show was released on CD back in the early 1990's, as I mentioned earlier, it is one of my favorite YES audio concerts. However, when I play the DVD and the CD back-to-back, I swear the CD sounds better. And I don't think it is the DVD mastering, I think it is the audio mix used - and yes I ran them both through the same sound system. It is not that the DVD sounds bad, it is just that I know it could sound better, so I am always aware of it. It is not as crisp, and some of the lows are muddled.
On the positive side, again, this is a great concert with a considerable array of classic YES songs, a few tunes from the AWBH album, and some very worthwhile solo performances from Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford, and Steve Howe. The performances themselves are top-notch. The two released songs from AWBH, Brother of Mine and Order of the Universe are both far superior to the album cuts. They sound alive and have a groove. Pull out the original CD and compare, you'll see what I mean. With regards to the classic YES songs, it's hard to pick a favorite because they're all well done - Long Distance Runaround, And You And I, Close to the Edge, Starship Trooper, All Good People, Heart of the Sunrise, and of course, Roundabout. What has always been amusing about this concert is the acoustic rendition of Owner of a Lonely Heart that gets thrown into Jon's Medley at the start of the show. Whether it's good natured humor or a deliberate jab at the other YES lineup, it is still very well done.
What stands out to me about both this concert and the Keys to Ascension concert from the later 1990's is that they represent authentic recordings of the classic YES work that feature modern recording and production technology. When YES recorded most of their original work in the early to mid 1970's it was ahead of all the technology. While the end result was the ultimate in progressive rock, the work was so harmonically and sonically rich that not everything really made it through to the albums. This particular concert represents one of the first times that these majestic rock compositions could be heard with digital clarity - Full, bright, crisp, clear, and powerful.
If you are a YES fan, then this needs to be in your DVD library. If you are a progressive rock fan, then the same holds true. If you're a concert fan or a holdover from the MTV generation, then maybe /maybe not. While I hold this concert in pretty high regard, it might not be for everyone. This one is targeted at a pretty specific niche. If you are in in that niche, then it ranks as pretty good and well worth it.
Also sadly disappointed...
Luciano J. Carneiro | São Paulo, SP - Brazil | 04/10/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When news came out that this amazing concert was being re-released by VoicePrint, I was absolutely thrilled and pre-ordered it as soon as I could. The price was far from cheap, but hey... A 2007 brand-new release of such a classic concert, we'd have 5.1 sound, at least 2.0 DTS, we'd have remastered image, we'd have a single DVD-9 with the full (non-interrupted) concert and a bonus DVD with the "In The Big Dream" documentary.
At least we *thought* we'd have all this.
When I finally got this, my first impression was excellent, as the digipak case and discs are superb, very nice piece of work...
...which instanty vanishes as soon as you press PLAY.
I've known nearly all versions of this amazing concert, since it was first released on VHS, back in the late 80's. I even got the official LaserDisc release once, which I captured to my PC and authored my own personalized DVD, as I thought it would never be released as a DVD. Back then, the quality of this LD impressed me, and the "featurette" in the very beginning, during which Jon Anderson walks from his dressing room to the stage (through the crowd) was a pleasant surprise.
Well... Surprise ! You DON'T get that on this "new" DVD. And that isn't all that was taken away... Most of the dialogue and interaction with the audience between songs has simply been chopped off by VoicePrint ! To make things a little worse, the image quality is only acceptable, very similar to the old LD release... I also had the chance to check the first DVD release of this concert (by Image Entertainment itself), and I really saw no difference at all.
Not to mention the fact that what you get are two regular DVD-5 (single layer) discs, so you have to experience the first half of the show and when the best comes, near "The Meeting"... Surprise again ! You must take disc 1 off and insert disc 2 ! Kind of nostalgic that is... It reminded me of the LD release, when we had to switch it to "side-B" halfway through the concert (as was the first DVD as well, I might add). I mean, are DVD-9 (double layer) discs still so expensive to master these days ?... Even to a "limited edition" release ? Oh well.
This concert was a true gem, an amazing performance by fantastic musicians, with a loving selection of songs. That is exactly why I got so disappointed with VoicePrint, as absolutely no effort appears to have been made to improve in any way the quality of video and audio. I know we're talking about 1989 audiovisual technology, but once you have the masters, a little REAL re-mastering would be very welcome.
At least that nice digipak work looks great on the shelf. And there this DVD will remain, because I'll stick to my "home-made" version, made off the LD."
Pick it up before it goes out of print
WillieB | 09/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not many people I know enjoyed the ABWH stuff as much as I did. Since I have never seen this and missed the first printing of this DVD, I was glad when they re-released this at a decent price. This 2 ½ hour concert consists of the basic Yes faves (killer version of "Close to the Edge") and a nice selection of tunes from the ABWH album. The video footage is clear but the camera is not always where it should be and there are some cheesy video effects. The audio is decent but comes only with a stereo mix and there are no extra features - what a bummer.
Anderson, as always, appears to be in a state of bliss, Bruford is armed with his electronic kit and seems to be enjoying most of the gig, Wakeman is surrounded by nine keyboards (not sure if he uses all of them) and is nearly flawless, and Howe is animated and looks happy. The other rarely seen musicians on this DVD are - Jeff Berlin (bass, vocals), Julian Colbeck (keys, vocals), and Milton McDonald (guitar, vocals).
Overall this is an awesome souvenir of a brief moment in time and all ABWH fans, that don't already own this, should get this before it goes out of print again.
FYI - Amazon's product description mentions this comes with a photo booklet and sleeve notes. Mine didn't have these items.
A New Opportunity To Enjoy, To Get The Emotion of a Fantast
Jeff T. Jesmorh | Mexico City. | 02/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This lengthy live DVD concert presents interesting material of the original Yes music. In the beginning Jon Anderson conducts a nice charming chat introduction of the band. He appeared walking between the audience to get into the stage to perform an acoustic sing alone section of hits including "Owner of A Lonely Heart". After this, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford play respectively a solo section too. In this concert we can see the great feelings and a sense of respect and fraternity between the members of the band. This Time the YES performance delivers its music with Bill Bruford on board, the band plays the well known songs of the Yes repertoire like "Close to The Edge", "And You & I" or "Roundabout" being helped too by the support of jazz bassist american virtuoso Jeff Berlin to reinforce the classic YES SOUND, even though we really miss a bit the fat metalic sound playing of former bassist Chris Squire (at the time with another founder member Tony Kaye). YES presents The songs of their first ABWH recording that really gets better with the performance of the mystical songs "Birthright" and "Heart Of The Sunrise"
This is really a great opportunity to get a marvellous concert at the nineties stage of a superprogressive group like YES. Is a good recording, with good image and sound and a great feeling in it, and it well worth the price to pay. Every Yes fan must have this... So get it! and Good Luck!...