The Best of Musikladen

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This 20-minute assembly of three songs, performed during two appearances that Yes made on Beat Club (aka MusikLaden) in 1969 and 1970, isn't nearly as satisfying as some of the other entries in the series. The opening track, their cover of Ritchie Havens' "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" -- with opening and bridge sections appropriated from Jerome Moross' main title music from The Big Country -- dates from the show's black-and-white period, which isn't nearly as much of a problem as the camera work itself. Amid the quick cutting and constant zooming in and out, it's impossible to see any faces except that of Jon Anderson. The rest of the band is reduced to wide-shots and images of their instruments and hands playing them. The 1971 clips are in color and feature the second generation lineup with Steve Howe replacing Peter Banks but Tony Kaye still on the organ. The songs aren't quite complete as performed, the band apparently having overlooked "Your Move" to get right to the heavier "All Good People." The highlight is "Yours Is No Disgrace" which offers beautiful images of the band at work; in addition to being well-played, it is exceptionally well-edited and directed as the picture cuts back and forth to images derived from the jacket design of the then-current Yes Album. The pity is that they didn't do more on Beat Club on this occasion, or that they, evidently, made no subsequent appearances. Probably in recognition of its short running time and limited audio fidelity (especially on the first track), this volume in the MusikLaden series has a list price lower than most of the rest by 25% or more.

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