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Yes - The Word Is Live CD (album) cover

THE WORD IS LIVE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.23 | 120 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars The least I can say is that I thought this set would be a DVD. I had seen the track list and was incredibly blown away by the fact that such stuff could exist on film. Alas this was no DVD but just a box-set of Cds presenting archives from throughout their career. Yes, I got completely fooled by the format of this "thing": instead of having the usual CD box-set, this collection is in the DVD format, and furthermore misplaced in the library's collection, apparently I was not the only one fooled. So after pulling out the CD from my DVD player, I decided to get as much as I could from this missed selection. Apart from the unusual size, the object is actually gorgeous boasting the usual great Dean artwork, but also a lush booklet full of great pictures (even one of Jon playing electric guitar if you can believe it, but also Wakeman's incredibly tacky and kitsch stardust-sprinkled cape and a good art of Squire's incredible wardrobe of stage costumes) and associated texts, which is likely to get most Yesheads drooling and wetting their pants in anticipation.

The first disc is obviously the older sessions or concert excerpts ranging from their first two albums to the year where Yes moved up to the big leagues with their Yesalbum. To tell you that the general quality of the recordings are flawless would be lying, but in general they are acceptable. The first four tracks actually show an interesting side of their first line-up, but the next four are rather more surprising: what a raw powerhouse they were with Howe's guitars answering Tony Kaye's organs. Is included here a live version of the S&G America and a rather unexpected RnR cover.

The second disc concentrates on the second part of the 70's and there are a few surprises here as well: medleys and rather rare tracks are on the main menu. Given that most of the track selection is rather unusual because not played many times, the choice of tapes was probably limited and again the recording quality is at times a bit shoddy. Actually I was always a bit shocked at the 80's Genesis doing medleys of their older material, feeling it lack the respect for their old classics, but they took the idea from Yes as plainly shown in that "Big Medley" from the 78 tour, although the linking bridges between the track excerpts are rather interesting for the Yeshead.

As you might guess the third disc is dedicated partly to later 80's stuff but also there are some of more recording from exactly the same nights as on the second disc. Personally I would've chosen to include all of 78's Oakland tracks on the same disc and regroup the 79's Chicago tracks on the third disc. Just a question of respect for fans. The later two sessions (one with the Buggles in the fold) are both much less interesting for everyone but the unconditional fans.

A lot of these tracks are really for hardcore yes fans, but if you are a casual fan, you might want to pass on this, and a newbie would probably abandon the group should he start with this set. No matter how beautiful the package, it is rather hard to give much more than 3 stars though.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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