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Yes - Highlights: The Very Best of Yes CD (album) cover

HIGHLIGHTS: THE VERY BEST OF YES

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.88 | 87 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
1 stars This substandard release probably targets listeners seeking a one-disc Yes greatest-hits collection that covers the 1970s and 1980s (there's also The Best of Yes: 1970-1987 (2000), a Warner CD which may still be in print in Japan). I'll also mention Classic Yes, originally released in 1981, which is a good overview of, well, "classic Yes" of the early 1970s.

I was surprised in 1993 when I discovered that one of my friends (we were married several years later) had bought Highlights: The Very Best. I'd owned Classic Yes for a few years, but it hadn't occurred to me that a record company might attempt a one-CD compilation covering the 1969-1987 period (as I understand it, Atlantic controlled the band's catalog through 1987, but not Union, which had been released in 1991 by Arista).

Yes had released twelve studio albums by 1987, and Highlights: The Very Best manages to include selections from eight. An ill-fated attempt is made to (1) represent nearly all phases of the band, (2) focus on shorter, more accessible songs, but still (3) not exclude the full versions of three of their best-known classics from 1971 - - which wind up being the longest three tracks here. While the compilers accomplish all of this, the result is a disjointed product which I'm amazed is still in print 25 years later.

It's easy to fault song selection on a compilation album, and very tempting in this case, but ultimately I think the problem is less with the choice of songs and more with the choice to make this a (then) career-spanning one-disc set. Evidently, in Atlantic's view, it was efficacious to have a CD like this available for sale in 1993.

I generally avoid one-star ratings, but this one is deserving. In particular I'm rating the continued availability of this set, which was never a good product anyway, when other options are far superior.

patrickq | 1/5 |

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