Yessongs on Blu-ray with New DTS HD MA 5.1 Remix - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 03-03-2012, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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A must buy for me.

http://www.odeonent.co.uk/product.asp?cid=&pid=2661

Yessongs Blu-Ray
Stock Number: ODNBM002

Product Description

YES has always been regarded as a unique rock group and progressive rock legends. Never afraid to innovate or draw their inspiration from music that traversed the spectrum from symphonic to rock, YES has been at the forefront of progressive rock and became a major force in popular music selling over 30 million albums and reaching platinum status multiple times worldwide. During the late 1960's YES were renowned for their live performances culminating in their seminal album and film of the same name, YESSONGS.

Filmed in1972 at London's Rainbow theatre, this feature film was released theatrically in the UK the following year with a quadrophonic sound track. The film features their new line-up of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White, and having fallen off the radar for nearly forty years and only being available previously in poor quality bootlegs, this official Blu-ray release has been scanned and restored by Pinewood Studios Post Production into a stunning High-Definition picture and 5.1 surround sound restoration to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the live Yessongs concert.

This limited edition collector's release also includes four new YESSONGS artwork cards specially created by Roger Dean for this release, and over one hour of new and unseen extras in HD.

Featured tracks include: I've Seen All Good People, Clap, And You And I, Close to the Edge, Excerpts from 6 Wives of Henry VIII, Roundabout, Yours is No Disgrace and Excerpts from Starship Trooper

EXTRAS

Beginnings (1975) HD restoration of Steve Howe's guitar short, previously thought lost (12 mins)

New 2012 HD documentary on Yessongs featuring Steve Howe, Roger Dean and Chris Squire (60 mins)

New YESSONGS artwork cards specially created by Roger Dean for this commemorative edition

Technical Details

1973

British

Colour
84 Minutes

Release date 30/04/12

Original restored mono track, plus newly created DTS HD MA 5.1 Remix.
DIRECTED by Peter Neal
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post #2 of 93 Old 03-03-2012, 12:06 PM
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Nice!

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post #3 of 93 Old 03-03-2012, 01:22 PM
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post #4 of 93 Old 03-03-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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The nice thing is we don't have to buy an over-priced super deluxe box set with marbles, scarf and coasters, just to get the Blu-ray disc.
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post #5 of 93 Old 03-03-2012, 02:04 PM
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Nice find! Will be interesting to see how well they can clean up the sound.
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post #6 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolumbo View Post

The film features their new line-up of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Alan White, and having fallen off the radar for nearly forty years and only being available previously in poor quality bootlegs, this official Blu-ray release has been scanned and restored by Pinewood Studios Post Production into a stunning High-Definition picture and 5.1 surround sound restoration to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the live Yessongs concert.

Considering I've owned this on official VHS and DVD releases, the PR is a bunch of nonsense.
Quote:


Beginnings (1975) HD restoration of Steve Howe's guitar short, previously thought lost (12 mins)

This sounds interesting.
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post #7 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 12:43 AM
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Yes has been my favorite group for decades. I have seen them live more than 30 times on most every tour they've done from '77 until the last tour with Anderson ('04?). I saw Yessongs in the theatre, and even in a drive-in (remember those?)! I have had copies of Yessongs on VHS, LD and DVD; with each upgrade, I had hoped for a SQ improvement. The music is transcendent, but the mix on this film has always been horrible. I have little hope that the BR will be any different. I would love to be wrong, but I really doubt it.

Unfortunately, as much as it pains me to say, the band appears to have fallen on desperate times. I believe it was '06 when they had to cancel a tour due to Anderson's health; he had respiratory problems and apparently came close to death 3 times. He has since recovered, but the remaining band members- Howe, Squire and White- decided to forge on w/o him. From what I've read, they sorely neglected Anderson and went ahead with the band without its most distinctive element- the angelic voice that made Yes music immediately identifiable and the driving force behind most of their best compositions (except during the Trevor Rabin years, when the young Rock Idol took over the helm and whose stated purpose was to bring the music out of the cosmic realm and back down to earth- which he did- though IMO there were no great band compositions during those days, multi-platinum hit Owner of a Lonely Heart included).

HSW found a Yes tribute band frontman(!) to take JA's place and began a series of tours that I chose to sit out but that split the already declining hardcore fanbase into shreds. While many continued to sing their praises, there were rampant complaints of horrible shows; many cited the new singers' lack of ability, but there were also many reports of the band just going through the motions. I have read many reports of decades-longs fans who said the music was really bad; there were many, many links posted to youtube videos to substantiate the claims, but I could never force myself to watch, preferring to keep my fond memeories intact.

Yes recently put out a new album, which has received fairly good reviews even from the fans who shredded the live shows; I have stayed away b/c I don't want to support the current version that I believe is Yes in name only. They have since replaced the tribute band singer with yet another tribute band singer and are due to tour down under soon.

It appears to me (as well as many of the hardcore) that HSW are merely grabbing at whatever cash they can get. I fear that this release is just another cash-grab. I would be ecstatic to have Yessongs released with a good soundtrack; the band was at its peak, having just released their seminal Close to the Edge album. The performances were stellar, but from what I understand, the band- who was always trying to stretch boundaries with not only their music but also with the technolgy they used, tried a new recording method that turned out to be a bust (placing microphones in front of speaker stacks). Thus, the sound on the movie, as well as the triple-album of the same name, has always been mediocre at best. Unless they've found some new method of cleaning it up, the sound will remain hollow and tinny, with a distorted high end. Its such a shame, but be wary of this release. Though I eagerly await unbiased reviews and hold out (faint) hope to be proven wrong.

One last hint that things aren't as the above release would have us believe is the patently false assertion that Yessongs has previously only been available as a poor quality BOOTLEG. The previous releases were definitely not bootlegs; they even sold the DVD (and I believe for a time the VHS) on their website.
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post #8 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 03:09 AM
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Well that throws some cold water on it! Never having seen it tho, I'll be a beta tester and I've got it ordered...
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post #9 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 04:34 AM
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Why only excerpts from Starship Trooper (and 6 Wives of Henry VIII) and not the entire songs? While not a big Yes fan Starship Trooper has always been my favorite song. Did Yes preform excerpts only of the songs or are they butchered in post? I would buy for this alone but not a butchered up version.
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post #10 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post

Why only excerpts from Starship Trooper (and 6 Wives of Henry VIII) and not the entire songs? While not a big Yes fan Starship Trooper has always been my favorite song. Did Yes preform excerpts only of the songs or are they butchered in post? I would buy for this alone but not a butchered up version.

Some of Starship Trooper is played during the end credits.

This version of Yes is my second favorite. My favorite is with Bruford on drums prior to Close To The Edge. Is there any video with this incarnation? I have Yessongs and a MusikLaden DVD with the original members, but nothing with Bruford, Howe, Anderson, Squire and Wakeman.

larry

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post #11 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 05:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geremia P. View Post

Considering I've owned this on official VHS and DVD releases, the PR is a bunch of nonsense.

How long are the VHS and DVD releases compared to the 84 minutes this is purported to be?
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post #12 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolumbo View Post

How long are the VHS and DVD releases compared to the 84 minutes this is purported to be?

Just pulled out my DVD copy, played it for a bit, put it back away where it belongs. 4:3 Aspect ratio video is horrid, sound quality (oxymoron in this case) is worse. Probably the worst quality recording I've heard with maybe the exception of 45 records played on a child's phonograph.

Total playing time as stated inside the cover is approximately 76 minutes. I will also be interested in reviews of this title, I don't hold much hope. What a shame, this could have been a masterpiece had it been recorded well.

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post #13 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 09:09 AM
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If you think the SQ of Yessongs is bad, you should hear Live in Philly- makes Yessongs sound good. Then there's the QPR video, taken from a TV simulcast, where the SQ is not too bad, but the soundman must have ingested some powerful stuff, because some of the songs are ruined by the mixing, which had to take place at the board. For some reason, Yes at its peak was never able to get recorded well; such a shame, as they were truly magical. Maybe that magic is too elusive to be captured on video...

Thank goodness for the more recent releases, which sound great, though the guys are all up there in years, so not much to look at. Also, even though they still play very well, the true fire from their glory days is diminished, esp. Howe, who was a guitar God in his prime. He won Guitar players best guitarist 6 years in a row until they said that was the limit and took him off the ballot. He still plays with much feeling and beauty, but he has definitely lost some of his chops- understandable at his age. The tempo of songs like CTTE have slowed considerably over the years and the consensus among the hardcore is that Howe is the main reason why. That’s why it’s such a shame that Yessongs was so poorly recorded; he was absolutely incendiary.

No video that I know of w/ AHSBW line-up, though there is video of the later incarnation of Yes that JA started when he grew tired of Trevor Rabin’s version and started Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe (ABWH). No Squire, of course, as he was still with TR in what is often called Yeswest. But Tony Levin played bass and was awesome in the live show (only time I’ve seen him live using his “funk fingers”). The ABWH video is very good, called “An Evening of Yes Music Plus,” but it’s a shame (a seemingly recurring theme with this band) that TL was sick on the night they had scheduled a pay-per-view presentation of what I believe was their last US date of that tour, which ended up being becoming that release. There is also a video called “In the Big Dream” that has a couple of music videos from the ABWH album, as well as some discussion with the band. Bruford’s dry sense of humor is very apparent in this and there is some footage of ABWH with TL, though the one concert video it contains is from An Evening With… and so doesn’t have him. There is also a video of the Union tour, where Yeswest and ABWH “united” and played as an 8 piece band, which includes your favorite line-up, but also has AW, TR and Tony Kaye (the original keyboardist before RW, who was resurrected for TR’s Yes). So, you can see AHSWB, but not by themselves. I really loved this show when I saw it, but watching the video is less satisfying than most others I have- just too congested. Also, TR and SH did not “play well” together. I also dislike TR’s wanking up classic Yes bits, but YMMV.

Wakeman’s solo is presented in full; it’s titled excerpts because he played excerpts from his solo album 6 Wives of Henry VIII, along with other things. I know its on the album, can’t remember if it’s in the movie, where he played a bit of Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus. All the songs except ST are complete, though there are some now laughable images that are shown over some spots, esp. in CTTE, as well as some "trippy effects" (sarcasm) added that were I guess supposed to express the cosmic aspect of the music. I actually thought they were pretty cool when I was 16.

Doctor O, I look forward to your review; I hope they found a way to improve the SQ.

For anyone interested in Yes concert video, they have recently released a BR of “Yes Symphonic Live,” the tour they did accompanied by different orchestras, after releasing the Magnification album, where an orchestra was used to replace RW (very under-rated album IMO and available as a DVD-A, though now OOP and a bit pricey, though nothing like most OOP DVD-A’s). The SQ on my DVD is great and reviews I’ve read of the BR’s DTS-HD MA track have been stellar. Great performances and an excellent setlist, if you like the epics (CTTE, GoD, Ritual, AY&I, ST, etc.). The orchestra really added a lot to familiar songs and it was a great show. I enjoy it a lot, but prefer my Yes straight up. There is another BR of them “Live In Montreaux” which is good, though the sound has some problems. SQ is good, but there are a number of places where the mix seems off, esp. having JA too low at times. But still a very good video. My favorite Yes video is “Songs from Tsongas,” which I hope gets the BR treatment soon. Great AQ and SQ on the DVD, though the setlist might not appeal to the non-hardcore as much. Best version of And You and I I’ve ever seen. Starts off with a rockin Going for the One and one of the encores is an awesome version of their cover of the Beatles Every Little Thing, which they did on the 1st album. The songs span their whole career and they were in great form- RW had just rejoined them the previous year.

Speaking of ridiculous boxsets (still holding out for WYWH to come down to around $50), I would pay those exorbitant prices for all that other crap if they would release a deluxe version of CTTE with a good quality hi-res 5.1 mix. This is my all-time fave album and I believe the zenith of modern musical composition (not at all biased).
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post #14 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 09:15 AM
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Word has it on a Yes forum I frequent that they've found the original QPR multitrack reels[they were given to Steve Howe btw] so a redo may be in the offing eventually.

If a movie or concert video or a TV show isn't on blu ray it darn well should be.

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post #15 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin j View Post

Word has it on a Yes forum I frequent that they've found the original QPR reels so a redo may be in the offing eventually.

Really? That would be great. I do miss Wakeman on this, but to have the live Relayer songs would be awesome! Of course, I've learned to take any Yes rumors with a grain of salt- was assured by an "insider" many years ago that we'd be getting DVD-A of CTTE.

What Yes forum do you frequent? I check in at alt.music.yes from time to time, but it has gone way downhill and the S/N ratio is very high anymore.
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post #16 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JimWinVA View Post

Unfortunately, as much as it pains me to say, the band appears to have fallen on desperate times. I believe it was '06 when they had to cancel a tour due to Anderson's health; he had respiratory problems and apparently came close to death 3 times. He has since recovered, but the remaining band members- Howe, Squire and White- decided to forge on w/o him. From what I've read, they sorely neglected Anderson and went ahead with the band without its most distinctive element- the angelic voice that made Yes music immediately identifiable and the driving force behind most of their best compositions...

A couple years ago (can't recall the date) I had the fortune to see Jon play a solo gig at a bar in Winnipeg. I swear it was one of only a couple of shows in NA and the obvious "why the heck Winnipeg?" question wasn't answered.

Anyway it was right after his recovery. Just him with a guitar and an electric piano - he wasn't good at either but it didn't stop him from playing from the heart and entrancing the relatively small dinner crowd. His wife was off at her own table to the side of the stage.

Anyway, a concert I won't forget, for all the reasons that should have made it forgettable if it had been anyone else...except maybe Ian Gillan...
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post #17 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougHamm View Post

A couple years ago (can't recall the date) I had the fortune to see Jon play a solo gig at a bar in Winnipeg. I swear it was one of only a couple of shows in NA and the obvious "why the heck Winnipeg?" question wasn't answered.

Anyway it was right after his recovery. Just him with a guitar and an electric piano - he wasn't good at either but it didn't stop him from playing from the heart and entrancing the relatively small dinner crowd. His wife was off at her own table to the side of the stage.

Anyway, a concert I won't forget, for all the reasons that should have made it forgettable if it had been anyone else...except maybe Ian Gillan...

I've seen him solo a couple of times and have his DVD; very enjoyable and for the reason you mentioned, that it comes from the heart. Musically, it pales next to real Yes, but I'd much rather see him than what passes for Yes today. To me, he is the heart and soul of Yes. Which is why, w/o him, I chose to skip the recent tours, even before I read about the fiascoes that many of the shows appear to have been...
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post #18 of 93 Old 03-04-2012, 06:25 PM
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I frequent the Yesfans forum.

If a movie or concert video or a TV show isn't on blu ray it darn well should be.

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post #19 of 93 Old 03-05-2012, 05:18 AM
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I enjoy the House of Blues 1080i Digital VHS tape a great deal--awesome sound quality and picture, some classic cuts and a lot of material from the Ladder.
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post #20 of 93 Old 03-05-2012, 08:35 AM
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I really like the HoB release as well, though I only have the DVD. It was THE Yes video I watched over and over- the only good release, until Symphonic. I think I got a little burnt out on it. Generally only watch the Ladder songs from it now when it gets a spin. The last tour they did with a lot of new songs. Thought Igor was a good replacement for RW, but never thought Billy Sherwood added a lot to the band, other than his contributions to the Ladder.

Wonder when that will get a blu release? Was the D-VHS a release or did you record the DirectTV showing?
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post #21 of 93 Old 03-05-2012, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by JimWinVA View Post

Wonder when that will get a blu release? Was the D-VHS a release or did you record the DirectTV showing?

It was an authentic D-VHS release, one of the very first. If I remember correctly, it was bundled with the early shipments of the first JVC consumer D-VHS deck.
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post #22 of 93 Old 03-06-2012, 10:55 AM
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A comment on another forum indicates the release will be on PAL format only.

Having seen Yessongs in the theater several times, as well as on VHS and DVD, I have very low expectations for this product. While the musicianship is superb, the original sound and video quality were horrible (as was the Yessongs album). Unless they had access to the original cinema quad mix, they would have used the original mono soundtrack to create a 5.1 mix.

I would love to be proved wrong.
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post #23 of 93 Old 03-06-2012, 11:48 AM
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PAL should not be a concern for any display other than a CRT, these days (though there could be some exceptions). Also, are BDs even subject to the PAL issue with hi-def material (standard def extras could be in PAL, though)?

Still, I was initially excited at this announcement but with all the comments in this thread, I'll await some reviews before taking the plunge.
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post #24 of 93 Old 03-06-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovation View Post

Also, are BDs even subject to the PAL issue with hi-def material (standard def extras could be in PAL, though)?

BDs do not concern themselves with analog standards like PAL or NTSC. The only issue will be the framerate: 1080p25, 1080p30, or 1080p24, all of which practically every display can handle anyway.

I am mildly interested in this release, but I do fear that the sound quality will not be improved from the apparently abysmal DVD/VHS/LD version(s).

Sigh, so much lost to time, in only a few short decades. It's a wonder we know anything about Mozart's music, or that there is any Django Reinhardt to hear at all.

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post #25 of 93 Old 03-07-2012, 11:34 AM
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Doctor O- any eta on your copy of Yessongs? Looking forward to hearing the results of your "beta testing."
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post #26 of 93 Old 03-25-2012, 06:07 AM
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Anyone have a chance to see this yet?
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post #27 of 93 Old 04-07-2012, 04:19 PM
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bump
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post #28 of 93 Old 04-08-2012, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Release date is April 30th.
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post #29 of 93 Old 04-11-2012, 05:10 PM
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So um, who's going to be the guinea pig on this one? Pet Motels and JimVA's responses had me rolling.
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post #30 of 93 Old 04-12-2012, 07:56 AM
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So um, who's going to be the guinea pig on this one? Pet Motels and JimVA's responses had me rolling.

Doctor O says above he ordered it. Looking forward to a review. I would be surprised if this was a significant improvement over the dvd, but still holding onto hope.

If reviews suggest it is a good transfer, I will be all over this. One thing that has eluded me ever since home video has been a good video performance of Close to the Edge. Symphonic has a decent version, but no Wakeman and it suffers from the tempo lag that has been an increasing problem for the band as they've aged. Would LOVE to hear the yessongs version w/ good AQ- this version smokes! If the audio is good wouldn't even mind the silly effects during the song (underwater plant life that I guess was supposed to look cosmic-lol).
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