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VINE VOICEon September 30, 2011
Let me start out by saying the the DVD that comes with this is region free (it can be played on any DVD player) despite what Amazon says in the product information. In fact, the DVD that comes with the set is made by Image Entertainment and features the EXACT SAME CONTENTS as their 2009 version (including the bonus '79 concert) except that this version is region free. This fold out box contains both Keys 1 & 2 as well as the DVD. As others have pointed out, the live songs here were recorded at The Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California over three nights in March of 1996. The line up for the shows is: Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White. The studio cuts on the releases were begun in November 1995 with studio overdubs and recording running into 1996. There was originally only going to be one 2 cd Keys live album. The studio cuts on Keys were originally going to be used for an album to be called "Know" with a couple of extra live tracks used as bonus songs to fill out the studio album. The studio stuff would be later rereleased together on a disc called Keystudio. These were the first studio cuts that this line up had recorded since Tormato back in '78.

The live recordings are out of this world with this being one of Yes' best live releases EVER! There are also a couple of rarities in the set lists such as The Revealing Science of God and their version of Simon & Garfunkel's America. The DVD features all the live songs and, while some don't like some of the special effects that were added in here and there, I really like them. They don't detract from the concert at all, in my opinion and for me enhance the viewing experience. Some people also seem split on the quality of the new studio songs but, once again, I like them.

The only drawback here is that this new box that they come in isn't very strong on the sides that connects the discs. The discs way heavy when you open the box to remove a disc making it easy to rip the box. They also could have used more of Roger Dean's artwork inside the box. If you have the other editions of Keys, then you really don't need this one. However, if you don't have Keys already then by all means, BUY IT!
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on September 16, 2010
I have the original, 2 double-disc, sets of this, not this packaging. For fans of classic, prog, mid70s yes this is wonderful. There's about 2 1/2 CDs worth of live performances of their early stuff (e.g. before the 80s), featuring mostly 10-20 minute long songs. Well performed in the mid-90s by the reunited late 70s lineup (Anderson, Howe, White, Wakeman, Squire), which was Yes's 2nd best (let's face it, White may be a fine drummer but Bruford's one of the greatest ever).
But, the real treat here is another 75 minutes of NEW material (well, new when this was recorded in 1997 or so) by this lineup in THE OLD STYLE. Which is to say, the songs here don't sound like what Yes was up to in the 80s or early 90s, and in fact are even more a return to form than their work on ABWH and Union. Several epics, and with a slightly modern edge (mostly in production) so they're not simply retreading old ground, but if you like progressive rock than this is definitely Yes's best work since the late 70s.
Note, if you are mainly interested in the new works, they're probably more affordably (and conventiently) available on a disc entitled "Keystudio" which has all the new stuff and none of the live from here. (You will miss out on the wonderful Roger Dean artwork with Keystudio, though). I think it's a shame the record company didn't release the new songs with the Roger Dean artwork properly and put the live stuff separate - these new songs rank as some of Yes's best work ever, yet they were released as kind of an afterthought.
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on March 23, 2011
I always wanted to see the entire live performance of "Going For the One" and finally can with the DVD that comes with the CD's. And the one standout for me is the live version of "The Revealing Science of God"...now if they would only release the live "The Remembering"... Glad I waited for the "complete" Keys to Ascension, the San Luis Obispo concert DVD truly makes this a must-have for any true Yes fan!
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on January 19, 2012
The Keys to Ascension CD's were released separately about a year apart in 1996 and 97 and both included what amounted to a whole CD of new Yes music and an entire concert. The first original music by the classic lineup in 18 years. They should have released the live stuff as a double live CD and the studio stuff as a separate CD of new Yes music. Sales would have been triple of what they were and money was left on the table that's for sure. This collection makes for a good "best of" the classic lineup as well as some quality new stuff.

Disc one: Starts with the best opening song in progressive rock, "Siberian Khatru." Then you get a wonderful version of "The Revealing Science of God," the great epic from Tales. "They move fast they tell me, but I just can't believe they really mean too." The maturity of the playing here is just incredible, worth the price of what was Keys 1. I'm listening to it right now and the middle part is what progressive rock is all about: Wow. The rest of the first disc features a solid version of Paul Simon's "America," I always liked the way they approached this number and stayed true to the original. "Onward" is so much better than the original, Steve plays acoustic guitar with Jon and Chris harmonizing and it is beautiful. "Awaken" is mind blowing as always and Wakeman excels. 5 stars for disc 1.

Disc 2: This includes the two ending songs of the show: "Roundabout" one of the hits and Chris, Rick, and Alan do some fine work here making this the best of all the Roundabout versions that are roundabout. "Starship Trooper" which most likely was the encore and would have left the crowd wanting more after Ricks amazing solo. Then we have two "new" songs: "Be The One" which is a pretty good 10 minute song that starts out with a similar sound to a Jon solo album, but Alan steps in and the song picks up quickly. "That, That Is" is a classic Yes 20 minute epic and it stands up to any of them. Steve's guitar solo "togetherness" is as good as anything he has ever done. I must admit that Jon singing about crack heads is a little strange but this is still one solid progressive rock song. 4 stars for Disc 2, it's the worst of the set but worth having and a good listen.

Disc 3: Has the rest of the live show with "All Good People," "Going for the One," and "Time and a Word" and they are all very good. The mix and sound of these CD's is just wonderful and kudos to Billy Sherwood: good job. "Close To The Edge" is well done and to hear "Turn of The Century" live, makes this a 5 star disc and it still has "And You and I" to go. The best disc in the set.

Disc 4: Features five new studio songs, the first of which "Mind Drive" is what Yes is all about. 18 minutes of 5 great musicians doing what they do best: making the best prog rock ever. Steve Howe with some killer solos, Chris laying down a thrilling bass line, Alan playing his best on the drums, Rick chipping in with some well placed keyboards, and Jon with great vocals as always. This is the heaven I need, thanks boys. The other songs are real good as well but none come up to the standard set by Mind Drive. 5 stars for disc 4.

Summary: The music on this CD is top notch and the mix and production is great and makes this package a must have for any fan of the classic Yes lineup. Someone says they had more energy in 1972, well so didn't I, but the maturity in the playing and the quality of the sound make this a great look at the best progressive rock band ever. "Mind Drive" is playing as I type this and if you haven't heard it, please do.
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on July 16, 2011
get it while its below $35. great yessong flow and enchantment. beautiful and insight-charged. fully satisfying and, until it reaches $35 & up in price, a bargain. keep this in print!
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on December 22, 2011
I think that both Key I and Key II were really cool releases and essential to reestablishing Yes. However, I don't understand why they released "Key Studio" and not "Key Live"? My suggestion to swap CDs #2 and #3 kind of corrects this and allows the studio tracks to stay together if you put all 4 CDs in a multi CD player. Yet I am not certain that the swap still results in the correct song order. Close but maybe not right. I know that the band is "different" today but I think it would still be worthwhile to release the live tracks as a compete concert. Just saying......
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on December 9, 2013
I'm glad I bought this boxed set. My dad introduced me to Yes at a very young age (they're his favorite band), and I've always loved their music. When I asked my dad what he thought of this set, if he had ever heard it, etc- he expressed skepticism because of the era it's from (he's a Jon Anderson-only Yes fan). Of course, I didn't realize that Anderson was on this at the time!

Really high-quality live recordings combined with some other cool material. If you're on the fence but you love Yes, just do it already.
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on September 9, 2014
an incredible anthology of, i believe to be one of the most creative and musically talented bands in rock music. i have seen "yes" in concert live at least 5 times. and the live dvd in this collection really took me back. i am getting old, and am hearing impaired- not from the concerts- yet will go see "yes" again if they tour again. they are spectacular musicians every one. buy this album, you will have hours of fine entertainment.
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on April 8, 2015
My husband loves this set. We watched the DVD with no problem. It was not a region 2, which might of kept us from watching it. This is a great set for Yes lovers. It is the group at it's prime. Wonderful videos in the background while they are playing. Every one of the group had special talents, and stood out on their own. Great sound, as well. This is a good buy! Buy it.
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on December 11, 2015
My only complaint besides the fact that the video looks quite amateurish in many ways, is that while I can see Chris Squire play bass, I can't really hear the bass. I can definitely hear him on the CDs, but for some reason it's not coming through on the DVD at all.
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