The film Yesspeak was issued January 26, 2004. It was a chronicle of the classic Yes line-up comprised of keyboardist Rick Wakeman, drummer Alan White, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, and vocalist John Anderson.
Following the debut, the patrons at the cinemas were treated to a live performance by Yes that was beamed into the theaters via satellite. The performance was acoustic – or unplugged if you will. It was released briefly after its broadcast but quickly disappeared. It now returns as a DVD titled Yes Acoustic.
The quality of the picture and clarity of the sound is excellent throughout. The only real negative is the shortness of the performance, which clocks in at about 37 minutes. They have a wealth of material, so the affair could have been lengthened well beyond the seven songs presented here, although there may have been time constraints due to the type of transmission.
The DVD is fleshed out by a twenty minutes of behind the scenes documentary of the band preparing for their live performance, narrated by Rick Wakeman. All the trailers for the film and original acoustic performance are also included.
Yes is known for their electric, improvisational material, so when they are in acoustic mode, it presents their music in a different light. It places the focus upon the musicianship and style of each band member.
Three tracks from Fragile form the centerpiece of the album. “Long Distance Runner,” “South Side Of The Sky,” and “Roundabout” are all reinvented in a good way. My only criticism is the bridge parts from the last two were eliminated. The other two outstanding tracks are “Time Is Time” from Magnification and “I’ve Seen All The Good People,” which included the movements “Your Move” and “All Good People.”
The final two performances were “Tiger Rag” with Rick Wakeman on the piano, and “Show Me” which was a new Jon Anderson song at the time.
Yes Acoustic is one of those releases which is good but could have been better. Still, it is worth a view as it presents a classic band in a new and unique way.