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Yes: Songs From Tsongas – 35th Anniversary Concert

Three hours of classic Yes extended to over four.

The (for most fans) definitive line-up of Yes were still on speaking terms in 2004 when they celebrated 35 years of affirmation with a three-hour set, embracing all eras of their complex existence.

The last tour by Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman and White, here filmed at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts, is shown to be cheerfully angst-free, even if that does somewhat dilute mystique. I’ve Seen All Good People is perky and precise, and there’s a lengthy acoustic section, with Wonderous Stories in particular revelling in frill-free melody and charm.

So far, so much already released in 2005. Added now is an extra disc featuring 70 minutes of highlights from an outdoor show during the same tour. Shot in Lugano, Switzerland two months later, it reveals that it rained. A lot. But that doesn’t stop Anderson looking ecstatic and Wakeman looking like he’s pondering which curry to order afterwards. Plus ça change.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.