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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1449 ratings

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4 stars Review - #10 (Yes - Time and a Word)

Time and a Word is the second studio album by Yes, released on 24 July 1970 on Atlantic Records. It was released several months after the release of the band's self-titled debut. During the writing or Time and a Word they continued to tour heavily and recorded Time and a Word during gaps between shows. In this album Yes continued to follow their early musical direction and styles however with a small orchestra of brass and string session musicians. In addition, Yes continued performing original material and cover versions of songs by various artists. Now, let's look at some of the music found on the album.

"No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", the album's first cover song was written by American artist Richie Havens. It opens with an orchestral theme taken from the soundtrack to the 1958 Western film The Big Country by Jerome Moross. The next two songs, Then and Everydays (cover by Stephen Stills), contain a similar jazz style that feels unique for the band. Sweet Dreams is one of those tracks that I always find myself coming back to. Peter Banks displays great guitar work throughout this song while Chris Squire does what he's known for on the bass. Sweet Dreams was also well-received by future Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin, who requested it's performance during the 90125 tour in 1984. The next song, The Prophet, is the longest song on the album and shadows some of the arrangements the band would be known for. Jon Anderson wrote The Prophet telling the story of "a man who tells others to find and believe in themselves and not follow like sheep". Clear Days is a short yet beautiful song that has a similar style of the song Yesterday and Today which is found on Yes's self-titled debut. Then comes Astral Traveler which instantly became one of my favorite songs on this album and by the band in general. Jon Anderson uses an odd vocal distortion while singing which conveyed an other worldly sound to the song. Once again, Peter Banks really shines on this song with his guitar work. Tony Kaye also steps up to a somewhat lead role in parts of the song which is not common on this album. Last but certainly not least we have Time and a Word. The band was searching for an anthem-type song. Jon Anderson presented its basic theme to the group on a guitar, using only two or three chords, which left the band members trying to discern what he was playing and eventually resulting in the song we know today. The song was recorded with Foster on acoustic guitar. Once again, Banks didn't agree and claimed it was not meant to be part of the final mix, having been intended only as a guide track. On the final version, Banks played his parts over Foster's. This song would become another classic from the album and would be played on multiple tours. Sadly, this album isn't perfect. Jon Anderson still seems to be finding his voice and sometimes instruments seem to be lost. However, these flaws do not take away from the overall listening experience of the album.

From beginning to end, this album contains and different yet excellent version of Yes that would sadly not be revisited after this album. Soon after the recording of the album, Peter Banks would be kicked out of the band in favor of Steve Howe. Which would ultimately be a good decision by the band. The first excellent album by an excellent band!

PrimeReviewsMusic | 4/5 |


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