The pro's and con's of Yesspeak

Yes has been captured live on film and tape many times over the years. What's your favorite?
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Jon Flanagan
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The pro's and con's of Yesspeak

Post: # 3984Post Jon Flanagan
Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:34 am

Ok...I had make my own new topic on this, beacause there are some misconceptions about what this release was about, and the reasons it falters in some respects, because, as opposed to some here, I don't think it's a complete waste of does have merit, albeit in an unconventional way. First, people have to remember, and Yesworld explicitly stated IS NOT a concert film, but a documentary of the tour last year. The actual content of said documentay are a little self-congradulatory, in that this is the definative line-up, and any other phases of the band are superfluous; The 90125 era is skirted over, and is only mentioned by Chris Squire briefly. Some people got the impression that this was going to be a continuation of YesYears, with another chronological run-through sprinkled with anecdotes and memories from various band members, along with archival footage of the band through the years, but was never advertised as such. I'm an audio-phile, so I'll start with the technical aspects, such as picture and sound, especially focusing on the notorious Live-set of the entire show, which of course, much to the chargin of some members here, was a strange bonus feature.

Picture quality: The main concert sequences, brief as they are, and the stationary interviews of the band members were shot in high-definition and presented in 16:9 anamorhic widescreen...a nice touch, as the image is outstanding, with nice saturated colors with no pixelization and edge enhancement, though you can't really appreciate it's full resolution because it's down-converted for DVD...but still a great picture, with the obvious exception of some of the steady-cam work showing backstage footage both in color and black and white sourced from a standard video camera.

Sound: The mix of the live material, during the documentary, and again there are no complete live performances here, is still top-notch, recorded in DTS(digital theatre system) at 24 bit, 96khs(kilo-hertz). The sound is clear and dynamic, with aggressive use of the LFE channel(low-frequency effects-subwoofer),and nice ambient effects in the surround channels with crowd noise kept to a minimum. Jon's voice is firmly locked in the center channel along with some guitar and bass, while nicely dispersed among the front channels...well thought out and mixed. But, when Roger Daltrey enters the fray with his amatuerish narration, it's an unharmonious marriage, and at times clashes with the music. I have the highest regard for this man's singing voice, but his east-london accent, with clipped phrases and irritating delivery, becomes nauseating is also unnecessary; The band members own dialogue alone was enough to keep the attention of the viewing audience, and as this is not a PBS war documentary on the Omaha beach invasion at Normandy, it is not required; It's recording level fluctuates and again, can be very bothersome. Now the live set...why? I will not bash this arbitrarily without explaining why it's presented the way it was, and why it could not be a visual experience as well. First off, DTS requires enmormous disc space, since it is a less-compressed digital soundtrack, hence it's superior quality...herin lies the first problem...the audio-only live set suffers in sound quality, not only from bad mixing, but beacause of the aforementioned DTS soundfield on the documentay itself...the storage capacity isn't there, so the dolby digital presentation of the live material is compressed and becomes alarmingly murky, and isn't representative of what we could have heard with a straight concert dvd. As far as the performance itself, I commend the band for not pulling a " Key to the septic tank " studio abomination, in that the live performances are pro-tooled to death, and some cases, re-recoreded all over. Ed Schaum remarks how hoarse Jon's voice sounded on some of the songs, but Ed, If you haven't heard live performances of last year's tour and in 2002, that's the way Jon sounds now...all the time...strained, especially on South side of the Sky, which sounded sloppy, mainley because of Alan, who butchered it beyond belief, and tired. Also, Ed says it's missing two songs " Yours is not Disgrace " and " No Oppourtunity necessary, No experience needed." It isn't...they are there, but in archival form from the Beat Club performance we've all seen many times circa 1969/70; since we know Yes haven't performed the latter in many years, that should have been a dead givaway that it wasn't part of the live show, but with " Yours is no Disgrace" mentioned on the cover, it did confuse some people But, back to the perfomance itself, on other songs, such as Heart of the sunrise, Jon still can nail the high notes and sounds great still. Again, it was nice to hear them warts 'n' all...and they still sound very good in most respects. Going back to the live audio complaints, there is a solution that could have been pulled off if some of the nitwits at classic rock pictures had any insight, with a little dvd authoring process called "seamless branching." Huh? It's a technology employed on dvd's that's been around for a few years that allows footage, such as alternate cuts of films to be presented in more than one way; People who bought the mammouth " Alien quadrilogy"late last year will know what I'm talking about. It includes, on the same disc, two versions of the Ridley Scott Classic: the oringinal, which is still awe-inspiring, and new re-edited 2003 version with the much sought after " Cocoon " sequence which was deleated in 1979; You can select wich version you want to see, and scenes are dropped and added according to your commands...the same could have been done with Yesspeak. The ideal version would have been to have the entire concert, both audio and visual, spread over the two discs, with a dts surround track as the standard, along with a stereo pcm two channel mix for non-5.1 systems. And with that, the option to see the concert film with interviews interspersed between could have been done easily...with two discs, and no dolby digital soundfield to comprimise the DTS, there would have been more than enough storage capacity for this...and the sound would have been state-of the art. The packaging has even recieved some critisism...sorry guys, but that's the way Classic Rock pictures do the double dvd, as well as other manufacturers of dvd's in England as shown with the recent Rick Wakeman releases such as " The Legend:2000," and " Live in Buenos Aires," which sucks...but's that a different story; My fealings are that this was a missed oppourtunity, since the band sounded very good that night, and it sounded LIVE for once...and could have made for a fantastic concert/documentary dvd that would have even surpassed the excellent " Yessymphonic " dvd of two years ago, and also would have allowed Yes the distinction of having the first seamlessly branched music dvd on the market....too bad.

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Post: # 67975Post EricBliss12345
Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:08 am

Can I go in there and edit your review?

You could have said it much more simply like this.

Two thumbs down, jabbing in a shitty asshole.

I hate Yesspeak. <img src=pix/jestera.gif border=0 align=middle>

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Post: # 68211Post Stoutman
Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:24 am

I thought this was a waste of time and money. First off, I didnt think the documentary was informative and it taught us nothing that we havent learned before. The YesYears documentary back in 1991 was more entertaining and informative. I thought this documentary glossed over alot of key members such as Bruford and Rabin who were integral to the band`s life at one time. for these reasons alone, it`s worthless. And I dont realy care for cd`s that you can only play in a DVD. ELp with their `Pictures DVd, were able to provide on the flipside of the DVd, an actaul CD in which you can play in any system. Why couldnt the makers of this Dvd do that.
And I really dont give a shit if alan White gets to sail with his family oof the waters of Seattle or what the other members may do in their spare time

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Post: # 74894Post flowering
Fri Aug 20, 2004 9:02 pm

i agree. a live-dvd or a live cd or both (like transatlantic and flower kings) in one box including the documentary would had been the right way to make the 35-years-celebration dvd a real good thing!

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