Experience the pure power of Yes on their 1973 world tour, featuring the classic lineup of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White. London's Rainbow Theatre reverberates with the energy of the legendary rock group as they perform many of their signature mood pieces from the "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" albums. You haven't seen this classic rock group until you see them live. Songs: Your Move/I've Seen All Good People, The Clap, And You and I, Close to the Edge, The Six Wives of Henry VIII [excerpt], Roundabout, Yours is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper [excerpt].
Yes was on tour to promote the recent release of Close to the Edge
when this energetic performance was captured on 16-millimeter film in London's Rainbow Theatre in December 1972. Although this DVD was mastered from a ragged print (with plenty of scratches evident throughout), this is actually the better of the two Yes discs available (the other--Live in Philadelphia
--has an even murkier transfer from videotape), with marginally better sound quality and a 75-minute performance that finds the band at the height of their "early years" popularity. The lineup is the same as that of the 1979 performance in Philadelphia (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Rick Wakeman), but this concert is by a much younger, much more ambitious band that was still forging its formidable prog-rock identity. As a result this is the more valuable of the two Yes performances on DVD--a tighter, sharper, more satisfying look at the band at the peak of their creativity. It's also worth noting that they allowed room for solo improvisations (such as Howe's playful rendition of "The Clap" and Wakeman's excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"), but as a group they remained intimately faithful to their studio recordings. And although even die-hard fans will grumble about the film's murky quality (which DVD can do nothing to improve), camera access was adequate for this show and each member of the band is given adequate screen time to demonstrate his instrumental virtuosity--particularly Howe, whose guitar work here is nothing short of amazing. While it's unfortunate that both DVDs featuring live Yes music leave much to be desired, this disc is definitely worth owning if you've ever wanted to see the giants of '70s prog-rock at the top of their game. --Jeff Shannon