DVD review: YES – The New Director’s Cut

YES - The New Director's Cut

The Store For Music [Release date 16.02.18]

Talk about milking it.

It may have been a major event when Wakeman reunited with Anderson, Squire, Howe and White in time for the band’s 35th anniversary tour in 2004, but there continues to be a fair amount of re-cycling of the recorded events.

First there was the Songs From Tsongas DVD that captured the gig at the Tsongas Arena, Massachusetts on May 15, 2004.  That got a 10th anniversary Special Edition reissue in 2014,  supplemented by an additional 70 minutes of a rather wet, stripped back, outdoor gig in Switzerland on the European leg of the tour.  There was also the Live At Montreux 2003 DVD.

So what of The New Director’s Cut?  Well, a DVD Yesspeak was released in 2003 that, while primarily a documentary (supplemented with live clips), included audio only live recordings from the 35th Anniversary tour.  Full concert footage was an obvious omission.  And while Yesspeak has been re-issued several times, The New Director’s Cut (2008) put that right with footage of the full 2003 Birmingham Arena gig (albeit interspersed with Yesspeak interview clips), and the band’s Glastonbury set the same year.

And despite what you might read, this 2018 release is just a straight re-issue.   The suggestion that it includes ‘behind-the-scenes footage and previously unreleased live performances … which have only been seen before in edited clips, and now, due to demand from fans, have been included in full’ merely echoes the wording of the original 2008 Press Release.

So, as the saying goes, ‘what goes around, comes around’.

So what of The Director’s New Cut?  Well, the reality is that, while not the most riveting of visual performers, and the video editing doing relatively little to add to the ‘spectacle’, the music  which majors significantly on Fragile and Close To The Edge  speaks for itself, and is almost a ‘must have’.

I say ‘almost’ because the constant interruptions – by way of interview clips  while interesting enough first time around, mean you need to the remote constantly to hand if you simply want to enjoy the gig.

As for the Glasto gig, well it’s a truncated (naturally) version of the Birmingham set, and it’s not spliced with interview clips.  It is, however a daytime set, so does lack some of the atmosphere the dusk brings.  But once again the performance speaks for itself, and it’s a nice inclusion,.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley

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