Yes - Rock Of The 70's

(DVD 2009, 26 min, Voiceprint VPDVD72)

The tracks:
  1- Astral Traveller
  2- Everydays
  3- Then
  4- No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.

Yes Website        Voiceprint Records

In July 1970 Yes released their second album Time And A Word, which featured a thirty-piece classical orchestra. Apart from the self-written compositions, the album contained two covers: Everydays by Stephen Stills and No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed by Richie Havens. The album featured guitarist Peter Banks, who particularly was dissatisfied with the record and the sacking of drummer Roy Flynn, who was replaced by Bill Bruford. This led to his departure just before the album's release. His replacement was guitarist Steve Howe, formerly in Tomorrow, who was also included in the front cover photo of the American release of Time And A Word, despite the fact that he hadn't played one single note on the album.

In September 1970 Yes were invited by the Belgian National Television to make a TV-special featuring a selection of songs from Time And A Word. The band would mime their music on different beautiful locations in Belgium. Steve Howe, who had just joined the band, had to fake the guitar parts played by Peter Banks. This special was broadcasted on TV just before their concert at the Huy Festival in Belgium on the 5th of September.  I wasn't aware of this TV-special until I got a copy of the DVD Yes - Rock Of The 70's to review. It's a very short DVD lasting only 26 minutes, but I think it's a hot item for many Yes-fans. It mostly is of a historical importance since you'll watch a very young band just like on the DVD The Lost Broadcasts (see review).

The footage starts with Astral Traveller which shows the band arriving at the Belgian airport. The band members pretend as if they're really playing the song, but they are just miming along with the music. Next is Everydays shot on a small boat in a canal; they also visit a convent where they are suddenly chased by a nun. Then has been shot near the Belgian seaside; bass player Chris Squire stands behind a portable organ that belongs to Tony Kaye, while the latter 'plays' on Squire's bass guitar. I think they changed instruments just for fun. Final track is No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed. This time the band members are located at a junkyard. Meanwhile they show footage of the band driving a fast car. I really wondered if nobody got hurt during the shooting of that scene. The musicians sometimes act as if they were real stunt men, while driving the car at a very high speed. I guess it all went well because the above-mentioned concert took place on time.

I must confess that I really enjoyed this very old footage of the young Yes-members, who are joking around between the songs. Especially Chris Squire seemed to have fun with some paper money and cigarettes. Despite the fact that the material has been shot in 1970 you may conclude that some clips were made very well and looking very artistic. Even the miming wasn't a problem according to the footage, but it was rather strange to see Steve Howe 'play' on songs he never recorded with the band. However, I still found this short DVD worth-while watching. After all, it was a good choice to release it after 41 years...

*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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