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Yes - The Word Is Live CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.24 | 139 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Go Through This

This four disc set is considered the live companion to the In A Word box set. The Word Is Live features live recordings from the early 70's to the late 80's and thus features material taken from a wide range of different sources with many different line-ups involved. The sound quality ranges from good to weak. The tracks are ordered in roughly chronological order starting out with some early BBC recordings from 1971 and ending with four songs recorded in 1988. Along the way we get to meet (in multiple configurations) guitarists Peter Banks, Steve Howe, and Trevor Rabin; keyboard players Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, and Geoff Downes; drummers Bill Bruford, and Alan White; vocalists Jon Anderson and Trevor Horn; and bass player Chris Squire who remains the only constant throughout.

With the sole exception of Tales From Topographic Oceans, every studio album up to 1987's Big Generator is represented. There is thus nothing from the Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album or Union or from any subsequent album. However, there is a 1980 live recording of We Can Fly From Here which many years later became the title track of Fly From Here (2011). Go Through This is another track from the same 1980 live recording featuring the line-up that recorded Drama that like We Can Fly From Here was not included on that (or any other) album (at the time). There are also a few other non-album tracks featured here, the most prominent example being It's Love - a cover song that was played live by the band in their early days.

Now that this box set can be heard on Spotify, being a huge fan of the band, I certainly find it worth hearing. However, with so many fine "proper" live albums (and videos) from the band, this massive compilation of independent live tracks is less than essential. If you have some or all of the band's official live albums (Yessongs, Yesshows, Keys to Ascension, House Of Yes, Symphonic Live, etc.) then you don't really need this box set unless you are a serious fan and collector. The listening value of these discs is a lot lower in virtue of the material being taken from such a wide range of sources, and I generally strongly prefer live albums that are taken from a single concert.

Recommended for fans and collectors

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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