Keys To Ascension Box set, CD+DVD, Import
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|1. Studio Tracks Recorded 1995/1996 - Mind Drive|
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|1. DVD - Recorded Live at SLO 1996 - Siberian Khatru|
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2010 five disc (four CDs + PAL/Region 2 DVD) release. In 1995 Yes reformed its most celebrated line-up - Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White, and this reunion was greeted with anticipation by millions of fans worldwide. New studio tracks were recorded at Yesworld studios in San Luis Obispo, California throughout the winter of 1995 and spring of 1996. They then embarked on a series on brilliantly staged live concerts in March 1996 at The Freemont Theatre in San Luis Obispo, performing timeless classics from all phases of their career. Both in the studio and live the band gelled magnificently and this set proves that all the magic was still there, great vision, stunning technical ability, incredible improvisational skills and imaginative presentation of ideas...timeless Yes music. This is the first time all of these performances have be corralled together in one package, the original artwork is by Roger Dean. Proper.
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Top Customer Reviews
So for the price and the quality of the performance it's a great intro to Yes. However there is a downside and that are the new studio tracks. Thankfully except for three tracks they are all on one CD that you can listen to once then spend time with those great classics. Just an FYI, if you want to know the line up is Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.
With a band like Yes or King Crimson, I can't help it to go the way I will, so, forgive me.
As I am typing this, I am listening to close to the edge from this album.
Think about it, I was just a young kid when the close to the edge lp came out, if you would have told me that at 56 years old, I would purchase an album of Yes with close to the edge on it and yes, the song would put the same innocent smile on my face, and yes it feel so good!
On this album beside the standered, but don't get me wrong, the so call standered are done in a way that will surprise you and amaze you, yes, after all those years, they find a way to play it with a few different notes here and there, putting more passion here and not so much there.
so, beside those songs that we all know, I was quite surprise to hear quite a few songs that I never heard before. And I see myself as a quite of a maniac freak of the band. But what got me right a way when I played it is the super good quality of sound of the cds. Four all together. I say don't let you be missguided by the titles because what count is the different arrangements of those songs. they are just out of sight! English is not my first language and I could not find the words to express my joy when listening to the set.
don't be afraid , go and purchase it, if you are a bitg cheap like me, you can have a good deal at Market place.
I will not even try to do a review of the dvd, I will be honest and tell you that I am a blind person, and even though, I have friends telling me all about it, you ask two persons to tell you about the same thing and they will tell you different things.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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!
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.
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.