Label: Image Entertainment
Released: January 15, 2007
I’m a fan of Yes. I understand that they have serious flaws from Jon Anderson’s esoteric, eastern-philosophy-lite lyrics to their frequent substitution of calculation for emotion, but somehow, they manage to get away with it in my book.
Like Yes’ better moments, this DVD often finds itself short on thrills, but long on quality nonetheless. The biggest problem is that the whole thing is 95% interviews. There is very, very little live footage and only slightly more vintage images. While that makes it rather dull and difficult to connect to the music (isn’t the music the point?), there is still value here. Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford and Alan White as well as managers, journalists and other insiders all share their point of view quite honestly. They deal frankly with firings, members quitting and the pressures of the business end of music. You also get to see Steve Howe looking like a mad scientist these days and that’s kinda cool.
The second disc provides more interviews (probably overkill after the 204 minutes of disc 1) and three music videos. “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” while perhaps not a true Yes song to prog purists, is a classic video, but the “Wonderous Stories” video doesn’t add much value. “Tempus Fugit” is a strange inclusion, because there is a camp for classic Yes line-ups and another for the Trevor Rabin era, I doubt there’s anyone who runs to the defense of Drama. Disc 2 also includes a still photo gallery, but I for one have never found the galleries on DVDs to all that interesting and this one is no different.
Yes – Their Definitive Fully Authorized Story is interesting, but that hardly qualifies it as a great rock film. For the die hard Yes fan, there is plenty of good information, but it might be more enjoyable to get your old Yes album out and listen while you watch, because there’s just too little music here. If you’re a casual Yes fan, there’s just not a lot here.