Nice collection of YES videos from the Atlantic/Atco years
Jeffery K. Matheus | Indianapolis, IN United States | 10/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally released to coincide with Yes' 1991 "Union" tour, "Greatest Video Hits" is simply a collection of all (or at least most of) the concept videos made by Yes between 1977's "Going For the One" and 1987's "Big Generator" - along with a couple of live tracks from the "9012 Live" concert. All of the songs are preceded by commentary from members from the "Union" line-up, and it is a rare treat to hear them share their thoughts on the writing and recording of these songs (and occassionally, on the making of the videos.) We hear mostly from Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Trevor Rabin, and Alan White, and occassionally from Chris Squire. Strangely, Jon Anderson's thoughts would be completely missing in action if not for one brief comment (which seems to have been edited in from the "Yesyears" documentary.) It certainly would have been nice to hear Jon's comments on lyrics, inspiration, etc. - but I guess it just wasn't to be. Some other ommissons include the rare "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" video (yes, I have actually seen this one on poor quality bootlegs, and it is basically just the band in the studio doing the recording session), as well as some earlier clips such as the "America" promo film, or their various "Beat Club" apperances. It is also true that there was a video for "Lift Me Up" (a minor radio hit at the time this was released), but let's remember that this is an Atlantic/Atco product, and the ABWH/Union albums were released by Arista...OK, enough about what missing!..So what DO we get with "Greatest Video Hits"? "Wonderous Stories" is basicaly just a performance video, and being used to the more recent concert realeases, it is amusing to see the band looking so young! "Don't Kill the Whale" features some very "70s" special effects, with the band members superimposed over footage of whales and oceans. "Madrigal" is probably my favorite video here. It is made to look like a Royal command performance, with Rick Wakeman playing his "Thomas Goff Harpsicord" in full ruffles & tails (the other band members edited in via special effects.) Next come another two favorites, the videos from the "Drama" years with Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn. "Tempus Fugit" and "Into the Lens" are both straight performance videos, and give those of us who missed the "Drama" tour a clue what this line-up might have looked like on stage. However, contrary to what it says in a previous review, the versions here are lip-synched from the record, not "live in the studio" (Still, I'm a huge fan of the "Drama" album, and as this is probably the closest we'll ever get to actual concert footage, I'm glad to have it!) We then move into the "90125" era with "Hold On" (energetic live version from the 1983 tour), "Owner Of a Lonely Heart" (I've never been a fan of this one - especially when the worms start eating the guys eyes out...akkk! However, trivia buffs should note Eddie Jobson of the prog band "UK" standing in for Tony Kaye), "It Can Happen to You" (funny commentary from the band on this one!) and "Leave It" (again, not a big fan of this video - it's just too visually simplistic and, well...silly) The "Big Generator" album is represented by "Love Will Find a Way" (a good video with some fun interplay between the band members - just check out Tony Kaye playing an accordian!) and "Rhythm of Love" (one of my favorite songs from this particular line-up, although the FX-heavy video is hard to describe). The collection ends with a live version of "All Good People", which is again taken from the "9012 Live" concert. (I found it strange that it is Steve Howe who introduces this clip, eventhough he is not included on the version that they chose to use)...I also must say that I disagree with previous reviews that have complained of poor sound and picture quality with this DVD. I actually compared the DVD side by side with my original VHS copy from 1991, and let me tell you - the difference is VERY noticable! The picture here is very clear considering the age of some of the source material, and the stereo seperation is definitely much better on the DVD version (I did notice, however, that both versions sound better through headphones). All in all, if you are a Yes fan, this is a good historical document of the band's video output."
Bjorn Clasen | RollÚngergronn, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Europe | 03/07/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Even as a huge fan of Yes, I consider this video pretty useless. Be fair: Yes were never big visual performers, and the length and complexity of their work (fortunately) does not call for music video channel primetime.Furthermore, the songs 'chosen' for the video, are from more or less the same period of time. And many of them are just taken from the '9012live' video, so you might as well buy that one.The 'interviews' with band members before every video have nothing to do with the videos, only with the songs. It also seems ridiculous that Steve Howe is interviewed about 'I've Seen All Good People', and then once more, the video is taken from '9012live'... featuring not Steve Howe but Trevor Rabin on guitar.Not worth the money."
Neat video for the collectors
Stephen B. Sumemrlin | Austin, Texas United States | 07/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This video is pretty hard to find and it's actually pretty cool. It is totally for the completest and cooelctors. No collector should not have this video. It has interviews with the band members talking about the songs before they show the video. The musicians actually say some interesting things. And now on to the videos.Wonderous Stories - Neat video with the band playing on a stage. Shot on film. Always liked this song.Don't Kill the Whale - Oh my god. I heard this video had cheesy effects in it but I didn't know they were this bad. It shows a film of the sea with whales swimming in it and the band superimposed over the film of the water shot on video. Really cheesy but I like it. I bought the video really wanting to see this video.Madrigal - This one is pretty cool. It shows Rick Wakemen dressed up as Mozart playing a harpsichord and then it shows the members of yes playing superimposed over the keys of the harpsichord.Tempus Fugit - This is kind of neat. Just a basic video of the band playing in a set up with a bunch of lights in the background. It looks like something on the set of Doctor Who actually. Check out Geoffery Downes's outfit in the video.Into The Lense - See Tempus FugitHold On - From the 9012live video. I actually hate this song and this era of yes. The guys are wearing the most horrid outfits in this video.Leave It - kind of a boring video of the band all standing upsidedown in suits and special camera effects making there bodys move in certain ways. I remember seeing this video back when I was 3.It can Happen - a cheesy video of the band playing in some round room wearing make up. Don't askOwner of a Lonely Heart - I think everyone's seen this video so I'm going to skip this one.Rhythem of Love - Uggh I hate this song. I hate this video too. Very 80's. I just don't care to sit through it.Love Will Find A Way - Shows the band playing outside of a campfire and in a studio like setting. Like the song it's pretty boring and very 80s. I hate Big GeneratorI've Seen All Good People - See Hold on.Thats all the videos. So why only four stars? Because this video has more songs I don't like then songs I do like. The first 5 songs are great and then when you get into the generator area is when I hate it but i love the good stuff on here and was worth the money. I am proud to own it and everyone who is a huge yes fan and colelctor who doesen't have this I recomend it. Rick Wakeman is pretty funny at the end of the video. i don't want to give it away so just buy it."
Glad To Have The DVD!
fpapp | MI USA | 08/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished watching, and I have to say that the video wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting based on the reviews. 5.1 Audio is just fine. I'm glad to have the DVD to replace my aging VHS copy, and get another tape off the shelf.
This isn't my favorite Yes DVD, mainly because I'm not a big fan of the "90125" & "Big Generator" era Yes. However, it's nice to have the videos from "Drama", "Tormato", and "Going for the One"! Now if they would just release footage from "ABWH", "Union", "Talk", and "Open Your Eyes", I'd be in Heaven!"
Sounds Just Fine
Pranqster | Audubon, Pa. United States | 08/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here are the videos in DVD 5:1 surround. It sounds just great on my upscale system. I particularly enjoy the Drama songs live in the studio. The sound of the Drama songs is great for Yes "live" video. And as Yes fans know it is hard to find good sound matched with them playing live. "Hold On" is excellent sounding too and is a bright promise for the forthcoming 9012Live DVD. I'll give back one star to the poster complaining about the transfer of video though it is just fine for me."