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Yes – Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed no Hiss March 23, 2007

Posted by erouhban in Movies/DVD's, Music, Prog Rock.
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yes-ac.JPGIt is very difficult to judge a recorded live performance because a large portion of the charm and ambience encountered in a live show is impossible to convey on CD or DVD. It is even more difficult if you’re judging technical virtuosos YES, especially in an Acoustic set! I was first worried that the quality of the music (not the recording quality!) would be damped by the attempt to convert all their technical genius into un-amplified grand piano aided ballads! But oh boy how happy I was when all my doubts were proven wrong! The DVD is terrific, especially classics ‘Roundabout’ and ‘Good People’ which ironically –as ballads- may very well be the best two versions of the songs I have ever listened to! In addition, I have never imagined hearing Jon Anderson sing so beautiful and deep on stage, the guy now rates No.1 on my best vocalist list, surpassing greats like Roger Daltrey, Freddie Mercury, even most of my favorite jazz singers.

      

The DVD I got has seven wonderful tracks, but ‘Good People’ and ‘Roundabout’ just stand out! They are both ingeniously arranged for an acoustic set, and played flawlessly. The line-up is the second best (second to the one in ‘Fragile’ and ‘Close to the Edge’, in my opinion at least) that yes have ever had, the same one we saw in ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ and ‘Relayer’. All this reassures the fact that technical geniuses like YES will have no problem adapting to any environment, be it classical or groovy. This DVD is a must!

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Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans November 9, 2006

Posted by erouhban in Music, Prog Rock.
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tales.jpgIt is now well known that you either like or dislike this album. As an avid yes fan, I have to say that this is one of their best. Listening to it is a little tiring with 4 very long tracks changing the album’s momentum continuously, but after 2 or 3 runs you start feeling its magic. The album is packed with terrific work from Steve Howe and Chris Squire. Rick Wakeman does give you an impression that he wants out (he did leave after Tales) although he has 2 very nice solos in there, and Alan White does a good enough job not letting you miss the brilliant Bill Bruford. Surprisingly, Jon Anderson sings his utmost best; the amazing lyrics are -as always- beyond this world and are sang beautifully.  

“The Revealing Science of God” is one of the best ballads I have ever heard, a great progressive song as well as a great tune with a beautiful ending. “The Remembering High the Memory” and “The Ancient Giants under the Sun” are more technical; the latter having a nice classic guitar piece in the middle. “Ritual” is also a great tune with very nice bass work, and again, nice vocals at the ending. 

All in all “Tales” is a must for all Yes and progressive rock fans. You have to remember that this album came after the best ever progressive release -“Close to the Edge”-; expectations were high and critics very harsh.