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Founding Moderator
5 stars Even without Wakeman or Howe, this rates easily alongside The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge as one of the quintessential early prog-rock albums. Not only is it near-impossible to find a flaw, but every song is both great and succinct, yet the album retains an exceptional cohesiveness. Chris Squire still considers this his favorite Yes album. As much as I love all the others, I'm tempted to agree.
Report this review (#12663)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Definitely an improvement on the debut album, Time And A Word was released just like it's predecessor with a different artwork on both sides of the Atlantic (the ocean, not the label ;o))), but this time, the European got the better deal as the American version had a band snapshot in a cemetery, but with Steve Howe (ex-Tomorrow) in the fold instead of guitarist Peter Banks ? which shows how quick and abruptly Yes fired him.

Obviously the group had learned from their mistakes of the debut album and wrote plenty of tracks ala Looking Around and Survival (the better songs of that one) and here we have Astral Traveller, Then, the title tracks and the album-lengthiest and more complex The Prophet are the highlights. The only disputable weakness is the questionable use of additional strings, which tend to hinder, more than enhance the song's progress. A good step forward, but not essential still, as you can have most of the album's better tracks (except sadly The Prophet) on the Yesterdays compilation.

Report this review (#12667)
Posted Monday, March 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe do not participate on the making of this record: it is rather Peter Banks and Tony Kaye. Tony Kaye uses a VERY dirty (distorted) electric organ. There is an omnipresent symphonic strings orchestra and some horns arrangements. I think Banks' electric guitars are a bit timid, rather rythmic and not enough melodic. Squire's bass has its low frequencies VERY boosted. Bruford's drums are fast and rather complex. There are many mellow & relaxing bits, and the music is not extremely complex and progressive: it is quite catchy and accessible. Anderson's voice is excellent, as always. Most of the tracks are excellent. I would say this record flirts with the hard rock boundary: the keyboards really have a hard rock tendency. The album has similitudes with the first Yes album.

My rating: 4.5/5

Report this review (#12689)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've been writing from a parched pen for the past few days, relegated to wandering over familiar haunts in the search for some lost elixir of inspiration that might have been missed in earlier travels. "Time And A Word" seemed a fitting destination, since clearly it couldn't have warranted such misplaced invective as "grandiloquent goo" (my original assessment). But a benediction from me will have to wait for a better day. I've heard some of these songs in the context of Yesterdays and suffered no ill mood, but listening to the 1994 Atlantic remaster once more has rekindled my cranky disposition. Nowhere in their catalog is their celestial messenger so rudely handled as here, suffering the ignominy of string arrangements and caricatured in a cacophonous mix that buries the band under CHRIS SQUIRE's overburdened bass lines. Songs that might have soared of their own majesty ("Time And A Word", "Then") are here hijacked and harnessed to the body of a grossly gilded butterfly in the form of TONY COX' orchestration. The poor thing, as you might imagine, struggles to fly, flapping its wings noisily in a great commotion. The tragedy here is that "Time And A Word" might have been a better album than this. "Sweet Dreams" and "Astral Traveller" indicate that the band's "Survival" skills remain intact, but producer TONY COLTON apparently had some sort of commercial death wish for them. The red rating should of course be taken in context. YES fans are a resilient lot, capable of subsisting on the nectar of a cactus flower where occasion calls for it.

Still, I'd be remiss in not attaching to "Time And A Word" a word of caution. There's little to be gained in listening to this album, chalking it up to the band's inexperienced handlers, and slipping the disc back into the forgotten files, but much to be gained from exploring parallel universes like Flash or the solo work of JON ANDERSON. Look at this as an open invitation to expand your world. No doubt you can squeeze something sweet from this lemon, but better to embrace sweet mystery, leave "Time And A Word" to nameless possibilities, and venture into someplace unexpected, perhaps even into the gardens of GENTLE GIANT or the harsh universe of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.

Report this review (#12671)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This could be intitled the 'Yes Orchestral Album' and is a massive leap from the first album.Often unfairly overlooked when looking at their back catologue but well worth getting if only for' No Opportunity Neccessairy,No Experience Needed' which is a real monster track.No bad tracks in fact but not quite a 4 star as there was still even better to come.
Report this review (#12672)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Nicely out of tune?

"Time and a word" was certainly a major step forward from Yes' eponymous first album, but was still some way from the classic status of its successors. There are occasional hints of prog in tracks such as "The prophet", which has a more complex structure than most of the songs here.

The performance still lacks the refinement we are now used to, the vocals only being roughly in tune and the harmonies at times being anything but harmonic. There are exceptions, such as the highly melodic title track, where everything seems to come together well. The song itself is a pretty straightforward piece of pop rock, but it is thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

The band's confidence in the strength of their own material is still not absolute, as evidenced by the inclusion of two cover versions.

As with the Beatles "Let it be" album, the addition of orchestration is the cause of much debate among fans. In this case, for me it is an enhancement, although looking retrospectively it does make this sound even less like a Yes album than would otherwise be the case.

The enormously high standards set by Yes on the following albums undoubtedly make reviews such as this harsher than they would otherwise be. "Time and a word" is still a fine album with much to enjoy, just don't expect to hear a "Close to the edge" or "Yours is no disgrace".

The extended remastered CD includes "Dear Father", original mixes of two of the album tracks, plus a single version of the "The Prophet".

Report this review (#12675)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Of course, I would not recomend this if you are a begginer in Yes music, but this album it's very tasty. Just hear the amazing drum work by Bill Bruford, or the magnificent choral arrangements. Time and a Word is an evolution from Yes and the band keep growing at their best in the next three albums with the arrive of Steve Howe for 'The Yes Album' and Rick Wakeman for 'Fragile'... David Crosby's 'Everydays' and 'Time and a Word' are the highlights of an average album.
Report this review (#12678)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is not as good as their first album. As Chris Squire said in the "Yesyears" video, Peter Banks "was very against the idea" of using an orchestra in this album, and sometimes I agree with Banks. The mixing buries Banks`guitar under the sound of the orchestra in some places. Tony Kaye`s organ is the main instrument in this album, and it sounds very good, but the album lacks balance for the guitar. Squire and Bruford played very well. And this album has predominantly Jon Anderson`s songs, apart from an Anderson/Squire song, two songs written by Anderson/Foster, and two covers. The best songs are "Sweet Dreams" (recorded without the orchestra), "The Prophet", "Clear Days" (played only with piano, orchestra and vocals, and it is the best use of the orchestra in the album), and "Time and a word". Peter Banks was fired or left the band, but his style was similar in some things as Steve Howe`s. Maybe a new mixing could do better things for this album.
Report this review (#12680)
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have to say that the first thing that caught my eye was the surprisingly provocative cover of the Yes album Time And A Word. It was 1970 and this definitely was not a normal album cover for that time. It was a far cry from the science fiction covers that Roger Dean would create. In 2003, a cover like this would not make 10-year-old bat an eyelash, sad but true.

What I also find amazing about this album is that it was only the band's second effort. Rather than stay with the same successful formula (musically, not related to actual album sales) of the first release they dipped their toes into unknown waters by adding an orchestra to their compositions. This album is daring to say the least for a band that was trying to become established. This kind of courage would mark the beginning of many transitions for a band unafraid to step out and try something new. In the future change would become their ally. The next time they would record and tour in this design would be on Magnification (which is an excellent album), released thirty-one years later in 2001. To say that this particular album is a landmark, is putting it mildly. In retrospect, how many bands have done the same thing in progressive rock since? It really does boggle the mind the sheer importance of Yes and their recorded history.

Once again, the bonus tracks are generous (four) and interesting liner notes make your overall experience more enriching. The always-terrific sound gives the original recording a new lease on life. I have found listening to all of these remasters a fascinating trip, particularly this one because it was so different. Listening to a band's profuse expansion and change in their musical range, sometimes dramatically, is a rewarding experience indeed.

It's funny; I was looking at the black and white photo of the band in the CD tray and noticed how Peter Banks looked a lot like Joe Perry of Aerosmith. That has nothing to do with the music but it struck me that there can be so much commonality found in music yet so many differences.but then in same token people can look so much alike. I guess it is just another paradox of life, another page out of the novel written by the group Yes.

Report this review (#12688)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Again, the cd remaster doesn't use the original LP cover. The famous 'headless naked girl with long legs' is reproduced inside the booklet this time, and stamped on the cd itself. Again, like the first Yes album, I bought this one on vinyl, about 1976. Unfortunately, the 'new' cover on the cd, appears to have the Yes line up from THE YES ALBUM, with Steve Howe! Not the line up that should appear here! Anyway, onto the music. The opener, "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", is rather unusual, in that Jon Anderson sings in a lower register than is his wont. Of course, the song itself is excellent, and the orchestra, which is used on this album liberally, adds a nice background atmosphere, coming over at times quite powerfully. the track is a Richie Havens song, but Yes do it good justice here. Not my fave track though. The second one, "Then", is a good contrast as Jon's voice immediately goes back to his normal high register. This is a nice ballad starting off with a solitary organ fading in. Then the bass and guitar interplay nicely whilst Bruford's drumming is shown off in fine style here. The orchestra weaves in and out and the whole song is almost jazzy in parts. Technically wonderful, and deceptively simple. The whole band work well together on this one. The guitar near the end is atmospheric and nicely underplayed. I love the ending to this song. Third track in and we have "Everydays". a Stephen Stills song. One of my favourites on the album this. Very laid back and sixties in style. Nice use of brushes on the drums, and nice piano to start off. The orchestra adds something haunting to this piece. Almost bluesy in style, it suits Jon's voice nicely. I find it, intentionally or not, quite romantic. A song to listen to through headphones and daydream along with! The pace in the middle of the song picks up nicely, led by the hi- hat, and the bass dominates here. The guitar sounds a little dated, but effective. Then we slow down again for the last verse. The end is, again, impressive, with a reiteration of the middle hi-hat led theme, and Mr Squire's trademark rumbling bass ending the song emphatically. Then comes "Sweet Dreams". This starts off with sixties style guitar, and is a concise and well composed little number, quite short and melodic. Nice simple organ backing it here. This is a happy little number. "The Prophet" is next, beginning what was once side two of the album. This again starts off with organ, before the orchestra leads the band in. Overall, it is the orchestra and bass that dominate here. It sounds ok, but is not my favourite track here. The organ at the end almost reminds me of Alan Price in his Animal days! "Clear Days" comes next, this one being dominated by what sounds like a chamber orchestra. Another track that is short and listenable, but nothing special. The penultimate track is "Astral Traveller". This track lacks the melody of the other numbers, but the guitar and keyboard interplay makes up for this. As was typical of those days, the stereo effect is used to great effect, wizzing through the headphones at the build up near the end. The guitar that leads the song in is worth mentioning, a nice bit of rhythm work from Peter Banks. Also his playing as the end of the song approaches. A decent effort again. Finally, we have the title track, "Time And A Word". Nicely opened with acoustic guitar, followed by keyboards, this song, like "Sweet Dreams", is the most straightforward song on the album, with verse and chorus. It's a nice song though, and Anderson sounds good on it. Overall another fine effort from the Yes boys. Hard to say if I think it is better than the debut or not. Probably more accomplished this one, but lacking the other's power. Therefore, considering them equal, I give them both three stars.
Report this review (#12690)
Posted Sunday, February 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes's second album features an orchestra to back their music and create an extra dimension for their arrangements. Though most people consider the Steve Howe era that followed after this release to be their best period it was this album and their debut album that made me like Yes music in the first place, and these albums will always have a prominent place in my record-collection.

1. No Opprtunity Neccessairy,No Experience Needed (4:47) Heavy classical opening, with distorted keys and a great bass, complex drums, great song. 2. Then (5:42) great energetic song, the orchestra gives this song an extra dimension, great bass and drums, with some very nice rhythmic keyboards by Tony Kaye, Peter Banks guitar gets a little to the background in the mix, but besides that it's a really great song. 3. Everydays (6:05) a Stephen Stills cover, Bruford plays brilliantly, the orchestra provides a nice counterpoint for Jon's distict vocals, halfway through the song get's more heavy and fast with a very good distorted guitar solo from Peter. Just fabulous.

4. Sweet Dreams (3:48) Deep low bass, with Jon's high pitched vocals and haunting keyboards and drums, really nice. 5. The Prophet (6:32) very distorted keyboards, with frantic rhytms, build up with ever changing melodies that accompagnie Jon's clear voice. A wonderous song, that get's better with each listening. 6. Clear Days (2:04) Good vocals from Jon, but the music is too much dominated by the orchestra, that doesn't play very well.

7. Astral Traveller (5:50) Probably the best track on the album, and a good indication of the good things to come from Yes in future years. Great drumming by Bill, nicely kept together by the prominent Bass and swirling rhythmic keyboards, and fabulous guitar and keyboard solo's throughout intermingling melodies, with a great final to the song. Just Awsome. 8. Time and a Word (4:31) The title track, with powerfull bass, delicate drumming and greatly sung, fabulous song.

A wonderfull second album by these masters of progressive music. The addition of the orchestra works very well on most songs (not on clear days btw), and though the guitar appears to be a bit back in the mix, and the production is not of today's standarts I sincerely love this Gem, mostly because of the powerfull songwriting with soulfull melodies and great singing. Highly Recommended

Report this review (#12692)
Posted Monday, February 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'll keep these reviews short and sweet as I not a very good reviewer. A great and much improved follow up two the last album. Don't be fooled by Steve Howe being on the Front Cover He Isn't On The Album. Again as last time the original line up Squire, Anderson, Bruford, Banks and Kaye. 'Sweet Dreams', 'Everydays' and 'No Opprtunity Neccessairy,No Experience Needed' are my favourite tracks on the album, but 'Astral Traveller' and 'Then' are also good tracks as well. This is the first time Yes uses an Orchestra in their music and in 1970 as well, let me show you what I mean: 1. Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother 2. Uriah Heep - Salisbury and 3. Deep Purple - Concerto. Do they ring any bells. Excellent Album, More Experimental than the last album. PS in the UKthe front album cover is different.
Report this review (#12694)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album seems to arouse some negative feelings among the YES fans, and I guess it's partly because of the orchestrations, which similar in style as the strings in "From Genesis to Revelations" album. Also STEVE HOWE and RICK WAKEMAN have not yet entered the stage... There are some duller songs on the album too, but some are very good (mine favorite is the enigmatic "Then"). There are even some gospel influences in part of the songs ("No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed"). The title tune grew as one of their oldest songs of their concert repertoire. I also liked the songs "Sweet Dreams" and "Astral Traveller" (by the way I think that one of the forum members avatar is from the old television film of this song). Must admit that the album covers are quite lame if compared to the forthcoming Roger Dean sleeves!
Report this review (#12696)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Most people think THE YES ALBUM was YES' first album. Few realize they had plunked down two lps into the cuttout bins of history. Jon, Bill,Chris and Tony Kaye are there but Steve Howe isn't. Peter Banks, a much more agressive and jazz oriented guitarist (with a bit of a nod to Townshend) is pretty much sharing his space with a host of orchestra instruments which are really only there for novelty's sake. There are three great moments on this thing all of which show a band searching for direction. Richie Havens' NO OPPORTUNITY NECESSARY, NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED is a YES that existed for those four minutes and would never return. Kind of funky and thick. As masculine as Jon would ever get. ASTRAL TRAVELLER is YES on a psychadellic track to hell. Beautifully recorded it gives us insight on how these guys might've sounded like in their earliest days. The title track is Jon's ode to Hey Jude and it's so beautiful it's the only song from the pre-YES ALBUM that they still play. The rest of the album is just your run of the mill post Haight hippie crud done better by dozens of others. Little did the world know what YES would be laying down in the new decade.
Report this review (#12697)
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars In 1970, Yes was still an unknown band from England with some potent talent. After a somewhat unremarked first album, yes returned in studio with bigger ideas, with the goal of being more sophisticated in their sound. They decided to bring in a mini- orchestra and to let the jamming parts aside. The point was to find commercial territories. Did it work? Absolutely not. The orchestra did not work commercially, because Yes was still a young band, without a sound of their own, and the string arrangements mostly got in the way of their progression.

Still, a lot of artists did take notice, like Who's guitarist Pete Townshend, who was an avid fan of the group. And for reason, this is a quite good album, with a lot of energy and joy, even if the sound is not well-defined and perhaps the amps are too high for the orchestra. The bold version of the Richie Havens classic, ''No Opprtunity Neccessairy,No Experience Needed'', is a delight, with a good show from the musicians, especially Chris Squire, wich shines here. Bill Bruford is starting to mature, but his textures are still not there yet. Tony Kaye is great throughout the album, with good duets between him and the orchestra. This is also Peter Banks' last apparition as a member of Yes. He has his moments, but the direction yes was taking was to be without him. The tighter sound and the more structured arrangements would not have fit for the jazz guitarist, and the dexterity needed was maybe too high for him.

We can still hear the real basis of Yes, such as the lyrics (see Astral Traveler) and the epic sound ( see The Prophet). A transitional work, indeed, but a great one anyways. This is not up to what would come next, but it is still underappreciated to this day.

Report this review (#12699)
Posted Friday, May 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars So YES purists generally consider this a minor effort in part due to the orchestra inclusion! How paradoxical, because YES allegedly represents the top of the sub-genre called "symphonic" progresive rock and isn't that the point of it all - to combine and experiment with mixing rock with classical music, among other things!

Never mind, this album is more than a pleasant surprise when I just listened it for the first time, after being neglected for many years. I did not expect much, but I must say this is decent early work from the band with especially prominent parts offered by Squire and Bruford on the rhythm section. Kaye on organ does not have to be ashamed or envy the later star Wakeman. He did a wonderful job on keyboards here. Only Banks' guitars are withdrawn a little bit too much in favour of not always successful orchestral arrangement. In part, this was one of alleged reasons for his quitting from the band prior to the release of the record. Most of the songs are still pleasant, without much ups and downs. Highlights for me being "Then" and a cover of American folk-rockers BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD "Everydays". The only filler here is perhaps "Clear Days".

So on "Time and the Word" YES reasserted their inspiration from the prominant American folk-rockers, like they did on the debut with THE BYRDS' "I See You" and later with Paul Simon's "America". And that is a fact many "eurocentrist" proggers love to deny. Since I am a huge admirer of the "West Coast sound" of psychedelic folk/country rock, I can only add my thumbs up to YES.

"Time and a Word" is slightly less strong effort from the debut LP, but I would still advise you all to re-listen it without prejudice!


P.A. RATING: 3/5

Report this review (#35206)
Posted Saturday, June 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (9.5/10) 2. Then (10/10) 3. Everydays (10/10) 4. Sweet Dreams (7.5/10) 5. The Prophet (9/10) 6. Clear Days (8/10) 7. Astral Traveller (9.5/10) 8. Time and a Word (9/10)

Yes has now added an orchestra to the lineup (for an album), and has in my opinion became the signature Yes force in composition and musicianship. The orchestra addition to the album nearly all of the time sounds great, and the interplay between the musicians in Yes is now incredible, Peter Banks playing surprisingly well, as well as Tony Kaye, now giving you the idea that Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman had big shoes to fill, also Chris Squire and Bill Bruford are amazing throughout the album. The instrumental breaks and solo opportunities are so distinct from the album and awesome, that the album is breathtaking. Even the slower songs can rival tracks like "Survival". The entire band has stepped up and the songs are very solid. I think this album is essential because it's the first Yes album to drop your jaw, and an incredible stepup from the first album. Also, songs like Everydays and Then are among Yes' best, the former having an incredible second half, foreshadowing The Mars Volta by decades.

Reviewer's tilt: (9.5/10)

Overall score: 9.1 out of 10 or 4.5 stars (rounded to 5)

Report this review (#38301)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This second album of Yes has indicated that the band's music was becoming mature and some high-light of the songs include the one that has become all-time favorite for many Yes die-hard fans as well as the band members: "Time and A Word". It's a song with very encouraging lyrics with great acoustic guitar work. It has been the band's favorite to perform live in any concert the band did. Another favorite of mine include "Then", "Sweet Dream" and "Astral Traveler". Through this album we can hear Bruford's virtuosity with his drums. Chris thick bass lines are also very obvious. I would usually say his style of playing is like a walking bass lines.

While Genesis had progressed significantly through their follow up album "Trespass" and King Crimson with "In The Wake of Poseidon", Yes was still rooted with their debut album's style. Yes did not progress the way their other band mates did.

Progressively yours, GW

Report this review (#39584)
Posted Saturday, July 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes' sophomore effort has better songwriting and musicianship but it is plagued by an unnecessary small orchestra that drowns the band. In a few exceptions (like the opening western sounding track, or the title track), the orchestra fills in nicely, but in songs like 'Then', it lowers the quality of the music. Highlights are the happy and melodic 'sweet dreams', the opener track with great bass playing, "Then" with its psychedelic style which is unusual for Yes, and of course the happy, optimistic, compassionate, and Beatlesque title track which contains some of the most catchy melodies Yes has ever done.

Good, but not essential at all. Recommended for Yes fans who are interested in hearing Yes in their early stages.

My Grade : C-

Report this review (#42751)
Posted Saturday, August 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars For their second outing, the band are still grasping for a symphonic sound that continues to elude them. String orchestrations add a bit of a depth, but it's still Tony Kaye's spitting and snarling Hammond organ and Peter Banks' chromium-plated guitar cascades that form the musical apex of the band's sound, coupled with Anderson's unmistakable singing voice.

There's still some antiquated psychedelic-pop tunes here ("Clear Days") and the band are still displaying their Beatles and West Coast rock influences on their sleeve (as evidenced by the Richie Havens and Buffalo Springfield covers). But the grasping for a grander sound is beginning to pay off, as evidenced on "The Prophet", "Astral Traveller" and the jazzy version of "Everydays". For all its Californian influences, the end result is distinctly English.

Report this review (#42878)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you intend to listen to huge solos and sophisticated musical structures, this is not the adequate YES album and the review is finished for you. But if you intend to teach some youngster to listen to YES, the "NO OPPORTUNITY NECESSARY, NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED" is the song to conquer his mind and heart. Mainly because it's powerful, bloody, excited, and as mentioned by Louis in the previous review, a band that could not sound like those 4 minutes anymore. Besides a heritage of the so loved prog band, you can also listen to it and immediately remember those times when people used to join together and play, instead of living their lives worried about the huge houses, the luxury car, the nice bank account and the expensive wines and connected to music only by a fancy mp3 player. There's no "vyagrah" solution for the soul...
Report this review (#44880)
Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is not completely the following of the first, but the birth of their style. Of course some orchestral sounds were a mistake. But the roots of the following albums are already there, in songs like Then or Astral traveller. Two songs were played by the classic line-up (with Howe, Wakeman and White): Time & a word and Sweet dreams. No opportunarity gave inspiration to the band to create Yours is no disgrace. You'll hear also there "Everydays", a cover, but what a cover, a real yes song!!! The two songs left, Prophet & Clear days, are a little immature. A second album with mistakes for a yound band... but a band already full of ambitions, whose they will next find the ways!
Report this review (#48788)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Time and a Word" is a document of a band in transition, which is an easy statement to make and many people have made it. The problem is that many people have taken that as an excuse to transition right past this album, or worse still, to only half listen to it, or judge it by the fact that Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe are not on it.

The fact is that if this is listened to on its own merits, "Time and a Word" is an exceptional album and deserves a reconsideration, particularly in light of the 2003 Rhino remaster, which clarifies and sharpens the mix. My vinyl copy of this certainly didn't sound this good.

Peter Banks was dismissed and/or left after this album. He was apparently in disagreement about the orchestra, and this might have exacerbated other problems he had with the rest of the band. I have always been a bit sad about this. Certainly Steve Howe was an essential part of later Yes music and helped create their classic period, but there is a lot to be said for Banks' psychedelic and edgy sound. Banks turns in a number of great solos here, particularly on "Astral Traveller." Perhaps Banks is not quite as fast or complex a player as Steve Howe, but then again, not many guitarists are, even well-respected ones. It is as absurd to judge Banks by Howe as it is to judge George Harrison or Eric Clapton for being unable to play "Siberian Khatru."

Banks may have been right about the orchestra in the long run; there are moments where the orchestra does detract from the overall sound. I would love to hear a version of this album where the orchestral parts were removed, because in many cases they simply double the keyboard or guitar lines and obscure them.

However, it is clear here that Chris Squire is coming into his own here. His bass is more vigorous and upfront overall, which definitely adds to the album. Tony Kaye truly shines here, though, with his Hammond given prominence. As in the case of Banks, it is unfair to compare Kaye to Wakeman or Moraz. For one thing, Kaye did not have access to the technology that Wakeman did, and the band didn't have the money to spend on synthesizers, which were astronomically expensive in 1970. For another thing, Kaye's style is completely different. As Bill Bruford remarked in an interview, "Rick Wakeman doesn't have a blue note in him," where Kaye obviously has been influenced by jazz and blues, and he brought his influences with him. Speaking of Bill Bruford, the Rhino remix clarifies his drumming, which was lost in the original mix. I continue to be amazed at how good Bruford was then at such a young age.

The Yes style and sound are developing here, but the band as a whole are still more influenced by West Coast psychedelic rock and the Beatles, as they were on their first album. That being said, as on the first album, they improved on the originals a great deal. Certainly "No Opportunity Necessary" and "Everydays" didn't sound anything like this on the Richie Havens and Buffalo Springfield albums from which they were taken.

The originals are becoming ever more intricate, but the band is still a ways away from the heights of complexity (or depths, depending on your opinion of "Tales from Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer") they would attain. "The Prophet" still prophesies of songs to come, as does "Astral Traveller," and "Then."

I sometimes wonder if some Yes fans' low opinion of this album is based on the fact that it is extremely accessible. Yes had not by any means given up on getting a "hit song" at this point in their career, and as a result a lot of the songs here (as on their first album) are melodic and tuneful. It would be a shame to disregard this album simply on the basis of that, but I suspect that some listeners more used to the cerebral approach of the band in the Wakeman/Howe glory years do exactly that.

As far as a prog milestone, it's hard to say. I find that in context of other 1970 releases, "Time and a Word" is certainly more cohesive than King Crimson's "In the Wake of Poseidon," Genesis' "Trespass," or even Emerson Lake and Palmer's first album. It is also more accessible, memorable and tuneful than any of the three albums mentioned above. To sum up, it's time for "Time and a Word" to be reassessed by Yes fans, and I think a fair listen with open ears will reveal that it is not at all the low point that some take it as.

Report this review (#55930)
Posted Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars When I noticed this album, probably in 1975, it didn't really say much to me. I listened to "Time And A Word" very sparsely; the tape I got remained practically intact until it ruined and was discarded - I found the tape, dusty and musty, when doing some end-of-the-year cleanup of my own stuff (interestingly I care to preserve the tape of Yes first album maybe for the Beatles and Byrds covers listed there).

Well, most recently I redo contact with this album and my perception changed mildly - grey hairs make the difference, perhaps. But it is not a competitor for the debut album let alone the following band works. Production and musicianship are fairer than the observed at Yes first work but songs are generally weaker, the exceptions are 'Astral traveller' which I have liked since the seventies and two other that has called my attention nowadays: the title-song and 'Everydays' - Yes seemed then more lucky making covers than working with their own material. Otherwise I wouldn't say that "Time And A Word" was a step forward, but fortunately things would change soon for the band.

Also peculiar is that CD sound could show me the full orchestra accompaniment which I wasn't able to catch wholly in the old tape, although orchestra adds only a little for the music.

This should be a 2-star rating but Yes history cannot be disdained, the final result wasn't truly awesome but at least they tried; hence I rate it as an average album. Total: 2.5 => 3.

Report this review (#66228)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars An excellent record, no matter what the so-called "big fans" of Yes could Say. It has a lot of energy and passion troughout its 40+ minutes. Some people say that yes started to develop their style with the arrival of Steve Howe but... i completely disagree with that opinion because to me they their own thing since the first seconds or "Beyond and Before", from the self titled album.

Peter Banks is a very underrated guitarist, his work is VERY IMPORTANT to the sound of the band at the time and althought Steve Howe is a lot better, i believe that Banks still deserves recognition.

My favorite Tracks: -Then-, -Time and a Word-, -Everydays- and -Astral Traveller-.

I Give it 4.2 Stars.

Report this review (#70288)
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Chris Squire's favourite Yes album, and it's easy to see why as he is on such excellent form on it. The bass is very much at the forefront througout the whole album. This was really before they had gone in the 'prog' direction. As with their debut album, there are 2 cover versions on this album, "No opportunity neccessary, no experience needed" being the stronger of the two. This opens with the orchestra, which features on all but two of the album's songs. Generally, the orchestra is very well put together on the album, and doesn't sound too cheesy as it often can. It is easy to see Peter Banks frustration however, as in many parts the orchestra effectively replaces him. A personal favourite on this album of mine is 'Then'. This is a very different Yes song to those which would feature on later albums, having a catchy melody and not too over-the top instrumentation. In this track, Jon Anderson shows some wonderful jazzy singing, as he does on Everydays. The single from this album, Sweet Dreams is a very nice catchy tune, and doesn't feature the orchestra. You get sick of this song pretty easily, as with the B side "Dear Father" which is included on the CD remaster. The Prophet and Time and a Word are the outstanding tracks on the album. Although this album features much simpler, shorter songs than the Yes album, it was clearly a stepping stone to it. It features some of the same jazzy textures that would feature on parts of the Yes album. A 4 star album, very much a band finding its feet, although there are some very nice songs on this album.
Report this review (#71790)
Posted Sunday, March 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of my favourites albums ever!! Maybe this is a not objective opinion, but this album mixes almost perfectly many influences as classical, Beatles, some drops of Buffalo Springfield, some drops of folk and early prog... well, lots of prog.

Maybe I am a little bit romantic, but I really love to hear this album. Songs such as "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", "Then", "The Prophet", "Astral Traveller" and the beautiful "Time and a Word" are early masterpices of prog music, pieces that are necessary to understand the evolution of prog rock in the last 35 years...

An spetial mention to Mr. Peter Banks, exceptional guitarist forgotten by history and many prog fans...


Report this review (#77874)
Posted Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes' second album is a bit of a mixed bag. There are a few moments of brilliance (such as 'Then', which you'll find on most Yes compilations) but otherwise the album is fragmented and inconsistent.

The use of orchestra with band is, in my opinion, fairly ineffective - the simple orchestration not helping matters - with Banks' guitar almostly completely lost in the mix. Kaye's heavy organ is extremely prominent throughout though, and compliments the bass brilliantly. The rhythm section are in fact in the stars of this show, with Bruford and Squire on top form, extremely succinct with Chris' punchy low-end sound and Bill's very fast precise drum-work.

I see this album as a transition, although confused by the use of orchestra. Songs like 'Sweet Dreams' with their simple lyrics and catchy melodies are clearly looking back to the debut, while 'Then' is a much more complex almost symphonic affair, with a more poetic effort on the part of Jon Anderson - the lyrics are thought-provoking and extremely intelligent - a complete contrast. Still a good album, however, with musicianship (as a whole) better than the debut. Recommended especially for Yes fanatics and bass fans - this is after all Chris Squire's favourite album.

Report this review (#78691)
Posted Friday, May 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is the confusing album that featured a band photo on the American release including Steve Howe, who wasn’t actually hired until after the studio tracks had been recorded with Peter Banks on guitar (the UK version has a tasteful picture of a naked chick which was much easier on the eyes than Howe anyway).

The two most striking sounds right from the opening strains of this album are the strong string arrangements (which did not appear on the band’s debut album), and the very muddy-sounding organ. The strings are a welcome addition, and the organ aside, the second Yes album is a pretty large step forward for the band.

Bill Bruford’s drumming is even stronger than on the first album, and Peter Banks does a masterful job of laying down some very progressive guitar chords at a time when most major rock bands of the day were either recycling Beatles-like pop or veering off into blues-driven psychedelia. In America at least this stuff really was close to the edge.

The second track “Then” is dominated by Tony Kaye’s heavy keyboards and accented a bit with horns. This is another fast-paced borderline psychedelic offering that slowly winds down to silence.

The strings return in a lush arrangement on “Everydays”, a slow-building number written by Stephen Stills that works up to a ear-bending guitar-and-keyboard extended instrumental that is flat-out incomparable to anything else being recorded at the time.

“Sweet Dreams” is a song I vaguely remember as a young kid. There weren’t any singles from this album (not in the States anyway), so my hippy babysitter must have gotten her hands on this album at some point or another. The song has many trademarks of the classic Yes period, particularly Anderson’s soaring and gender- defying vocals and Bruford’s prominent but unpredictable drums.

A jazzy “The Prophet” follows, one of the first of Anderson’s mystic, extended story- songs again with the strings and horns, followed by the brief interlude “Clear Days”.

Finally come the much better-known “Astral Traveller” and the title track. Both feature the strident keyboards and Anderson’s staccato vocals that would be so prominent throughout the 70s (and be largely replaced by more melodic vocal tracks in the 80s). The extended instrumental passages of keyboards, Chris Squire’s very prominent bass, and Bank’s guitar were almost surreal to mainstream listeners at the time, and I must admit I was well into my teens before I really discovered this album following my first memorable introduction (Relayer). Of the two songs I much prefer “Time and a Word” with its memorable repetitive refrain and the way the horns and strings seem to lift the vocals atop the music toward the end. A beautiful song and by far the most memorable on the album.

This album has a much more consistent quality to it than the debut, although all the songs on Side A suffer due to the crappy recording quality of the keyboards (which are much improved on the final three tracks). Like their debut though, this is a very good album, but not quite a classic or an essential part a general progressive collection. Three stars, and the best would come only a couple years later.


Report this review (#86369)
Posted Thursday, August 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is not near as bad as some might make it out to be. No, it's not one of Yes's greatest, but it's much better than it might appear and still a quality record. I like a lot of different parts from it, and the "life" of the band is still really there, Squire's bass. He more or less defines the Yes sound and gives it that appeal, the other players merely added to that touch.

There is still much to enjoy here; the orchestration isn't bad, and some of the songs are still signature classics. It's more rocking than prog, but I'm sure you can find some enjoyment out of it as I did. The first song and the title track were my personal favorites. A nice addition, especially if you are a Yes collector.

Report this review (#97045)
Posted Saturday, November 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
4 stars I've been acquainted with this album for many years, about 18, and I just don't get bored with it, and it originally came out with a different cover - a kind of surreal, black & white 'stretched naked body into a room with a checkered floor' picture (and I treasure it - the LP, not the naked body), and not with the lame band photo including Steve Howe, who wasn't even in Yes at this stage. Whilst 'Close to the Edge' is a masterpiece, I have overplayed it and I just don't get the thrills out of it anymore. This album, 'Time and a Word', is still such an exciting listen, from the grinding Hammond play from Tony Kaye, featured prominently throughout, Chris Squire's rattling Rickenbacker bass, very up-front in the mix, Bruford is more confident and quite tricky with his drumkit, there's even some 'acidic' guitar playing from Peter Banks, and Jon Anderson is, well, Jon Anderson - a great vocalist. Incorporating a small orchestra to extend the sonic pallette, each song works well, even the cover-versions they make their own. Starting with a Ritchie Havens track, 'No Opportunity Necessary...' they give the full symphonic treatment, with psychedelic leanings, even incoporating a theme from (I think) 'Big Country'. Stephen Stills' 'Everydays' is given an orchestral, jazzy workout with a thundering middle section - a total knockout. 'The Prophet' is the semi-lengthy epic of the album, opening with a fantastic Hammond solo of incredible depth, morphing into an intense passage where the band lets loose for a bit, then simmers down to Squire's playful bass-lines and Jon sings away. Still, the tracks 'Then' and 'Astral Traveller' are awesome, vaguely similar in structure to each other, they demonstrate great use of dynamics, with some full-on band/orchestra interplay and quiet passages where Banks utilises volume swells to perfection ('Then'), to a phenomenal, slow building mid-section of the complex 'Astral Traveller'. 'Clear Days' is a weaker track, featuring Jon backed with the orchestra, and 'Sweet Dreams' is an enjoyable pop-song with an uplifting riff. The title-track is the perfect closing to the album with it's anthemic and majestic chorus. 4.5 stars.
Report this review (#101639)
Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Very little to retain from this album. On the opening track "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" Jon Anderson's voice is hardly recognizable. "Everydays" & "Sweet Dreams" are not bad. "The prophet" (almost seven minutes), shows the way they will investigate in the future and is really one of the few "prog" track on this LP. Long keyboard intro from Tony kaye, the comes the bass from Chris just before Jon's entrance. Brilliant moment and definitely the highlight of this album (together with "Astral Travellers"). "Clear Days" is almost similar to "Time & A Word" and therefore pleased me substantially (the orchestra in the background is not really a plus though). I discovered "Time & A Word" with the compilation "yesterdays" and I really fell in love with the the song : fantastic melody & drama. It is another highlight of this YesAlbum (not to mix up with "The Yes Album")! Some bonus tracks (remixes mainly) on the expanded version do not change a lot to the global feeling : absolutely not necessary to own in your YesCollection IMO. It will be different of course starting with their next studio album, but this is another YesStory. Two stars. That's it.
Report this review (#105050)
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent album here from the earliest carnation of Yes, in the same vein as the debut, psychedelic rock with great vocal harmonies, quite decent song writing and excellent musicianship, particularly from the bass of Mr. Squire and the drums, courtesy of Bill "Poodle hat" Bruford. More covers still, the band puts out an excellent version of "No Opportunity Necessary" and "Everydays" which happens to be a real highlight. Yes were definitely did the best covers back then, just transforming almost everything into their sound.. excellently. The classic track "Sweet Dreams" is also featured on this album, but actually happens to be the least in quality.. There is a single clunker in "Clear Days", but the rest of the album is actually really great, "The Prophet" and "Everydays" are the pinnacle of early Yes. The title track is another classic, one of the most nostalgic for me as the first Yessong I became familiar with all those years ago. The bass playing is incredible, the 2003 remaster really brought out all of Chris' excellent lines on this album.

The orchestra.. hmm.. I feel pretty neutral towards it, in tracks like "Then" where it stays in the backround to add a fuller sound and emphasis is where it's best used, and in that regard I think it was a great addition to the bands sound. Other songs like "Clear Days" it just sounds terrible.

Overshadowed by the other 70's epics, I think if this album came from another band, the rating would be substantially higher. It's an excellent example of psychedelic Hammond rock.

Report this review (#109250)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Folks, you have to assume that the art department at Atlantic Records was out to intentionally sabotage Yes. After being duly impressed by their first album the year before, I go looking for this in the summer of 1970 in anticipation that they would be even better this go 'round. When I find the LP I'm not crazy about the cover photo but it's not terrible. They look like an average rock and roll band, nothing more. Then I turn it over and there are five ghastly high-contrast black and white individual photos that make them look like derelicts. Jon looks like a zombie that just bit into a lemon, the pictures of Chris and Bill look more like death masks, Tony looks like Charlie Manson and Peter looks like an aquarium fish. If I didn't know they were outstanding musicians I would never have bought it. Horrible album cover. Period. Now that I've had my rant about the inexcusable presentation, onward to the content.

Having been brought up listening to symphonic music, I was excited by what I had read about Yes working with an orchestra on their 2nd LP. Unfortunately, it doesn't work any better than it had for others who'd ventured down the same road. Their cover of an obscure Richie Havens song, "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed," kicks off the album with a strong organ intro and a stirring string section that makes you think for a moment that this is going to knock your socks off. But no. It quickly becomes just an average rock tune with the orchestra sounding like they're playing a theme from a TV western. "Then" is an improvement as Kaye's growling Hammond organ work lays down a fine foundation and Anderson's vocal indicates he's improving as a singer. Bruford's drums and Squire's bass interplay nicely throughout but the goofy ending leaves a lot to be desired.

Their dynamic rendition of "Everydays" is Yes finding another good specimen of late 60s California semi-swing to cover, this one by Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield. You gotta give these guys their props. When they do an arrangement of someone else's material they take it places the composer never dreamed it would or could go. This may be the only time the orchestral score reaches its potential as they perform some cool unison jazz phrasing with the group in the middle section. It also shows that Yes was still holding on to some of the jazz leanings they showcased on their debut. (Oh, and this time the song's ending is excellent.) "Sweet Dreams" features the lush harmonies they nurtured and a likeable melody but it suffers from a rather clumsy underlying track that never finds a groove. "The Prophet" is the most adventurous tune here containing a lot of well- intentioned ideas but no cohesive overall focus. And, once again, the symphony is too corny and contemporary for this kind of music. "Clear Days" is a so-so ballad but the overbearing string quartet steamrolls over the melody and the piano. The tune is disjointed and strange.

Then, at last, a ray of bright, golden sunshine! "Astral Traveller" finally delivers the goods and promises us that stupendous things are eventually going to come from Yes in the years ahead. It's got everything that great, six-minute progressive rock is about. On this song the individuals are as one. (By the way, the band I was with in '74 performed this tune in nightclubs for a few months and it was exhilarating and challenging to play. Alas, the usual responses at the end were frustrated cries from the inebriated crowd to "play something we can boogie to!") "Time and a Word" with its catchy love generation "pop" chorus brings things to a pleasant finale. It's a thinly disguised stab at getting a Top 40 hit to my ear but I have to say it's a well-written song that can easily be sung loudly in the privacy of one's own shower.

While all of us who liked the first album were somewhat underwhelmed by this sophomore effort, we still found reasons to give Yes the benefit of the doubt. Bill Bruford's drumming was much more powerful and confident than before. Plus the harmonies were tighter and more precise. If there was a weak area it was in Peter Banks' inconsistent guitar work but that was already in the process of being remedied remarkably by a virtuoso named Steve Howe. "Time and a Word" displays a talented quintet that was still searching for its unique sound, this time by experimenting with orchestral augmentations. They didn't find their niche here but they certainly did on the next project and then it was Katy bar the door.

Report this review (#113348)
Posted Friday, February 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

For their second album, YES comes back with the same original line-up with PETER BANKS and TONY KAYE still playing with JON AMDERSON, CHRIS SQUIRE and BILL BRUFORD. The big difference with the first album is the addition of a strings orchestra quite present throughout the album.

We have again 2 covers one from ....Richie HAVENS and another one from Stephen Stills that show at this time (1970) ANDERSON and SQUIRE were not fishing in the topographic oceans yet. Now do you like string orchestration or not? that's what we will make you appreciate this album or not. Sometimes well in the front like on NO OPPORTUNITY NECCESSARY , sometimes addind a lush sound in the background like on EVERYDAYS, but you can't escape it.

Once again, the bass of CHRIS SQUIRE leads the charge the whole album as PETER BANKS takes a back seat doing here and there some free-jazz style soloing! You know JON ANDERSON is the boss as he is the writer or co-writer of 6 songs out of 8.Only CHRIS SQUIRE is credited as a co-writer on THE PROPHET.

But to reach the next level, ANDERSON and SQUIRE already knew a few changes have to be made within the band in order to progress.

The best tracks on this album are the title track TIME AND A WORD which could be fearured on any best-of compilations, the sweet ballad CLEAR DAYS and SWEET DREAMS. There is not a really a bad track on TIME AND A WORD, just a few a little bit over- orchestrated.ASTRAL TRAVELLER is good too!

Definitely, not a must-have YES album, but like the first one a pleasnt one to listen to it once in a while. Great things are bound to come very soon . 3 STARS for a good album.

Report this review (#126650)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Compared with Yes' debut album TIME AND A WORD shows considerable improvement in Jon Anderson's songwriting (with some help from Chris Squire on "The Prophet") but the album lacks unity, and it's easy to see why it didn't turn Yes into stars. It would have been stronger if Peter Banks' lead guitar had been left in the foreground more often, and if that dratted, cheap-sounding orchestra had been left out. Alternative recordings of some of this material (made for the BBC) prove that Yes simply had no need of an orchestra. The instrumental middle sections of "Then" and "Everydays" sound far more powerful when both hammond organ and lead guitar can shine without orchestral intervention. As things stand, Tony Kaye is the soloist who dominates TIME AND A WORD. He opens both the original A-side AND the B-side with church-organ style chords, and on 'Then' he delivers what must be his most exciting solo ever! On the other hand, Peter Banks is responsible for the album's undisputable highlight: the superb guitar solo in 'Astral Traveller', one of the two pieces (the other one is "The Prophet") that give the clearest indication of where Yes music was heading for.

Report this review (#127742)
Posted Friday, July 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is actually a pretty good album. The symphonic yes has Yet to show itself, but "Time and a Word" is, although very little "prog", an enjoyable album by a very immature band. Think psychedelic pop with string arrangements and Bass and Organ as the most interesting instruments. Opening track rocks especially hard, a very enjoyable cover with a very sing-along friendly chorus, but many songs contain interesting section, especially "everydays" with the slight freak-out in the middle (although it is only just saved from being ruined by the string arrangements).

Since this was before the elegant musicianship of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman and before the sophisticated, ambitions songwriting of Close to the Edge, most of the songs have a somewhat clumsy feel, and the extremely heavy organ makes it very obvious that the strings really shouldn't be there. Another major difference between early- and later-year yes is that, at this time, the lyrics of Jon Anderson actually make sense and concern very regular things, compared to what one might be used to after hearing some of the later Yes-albums. Vocally, he also has a slightly lower pitch than we are used to.

Overall, a good album by a prog band still a few years from it's peak.

Report this review (#130458)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars No opportunity necessary, no experience needed 3 Really bombastic. Heavy, lound distorted organ and orchestra. The melody itself is OK, but the real star here is Chris Squire, who plays breathtaking basslines, right up front. all the other guys play fine too, but the backing vocals are horrible. Then 2 Starts with Kaye on organ and great bass by Squire again. The orchestra is awful on this one, it really does not fit in and the melody is below average. and Kaye´s soloing on organ does not thrill me that much, as it sounds just like Keeith Emerson ´s in one of his average (not better) moments. The trumpet at the end is just loud and awful. Everydays 2 The melody is nice and moody, somewhat jazzy. Here, the orchestra fits in well. I don´t like Ian Andrson´s jazzy vocal stylings on this one. The heavy instrumental passage with the whole band getting "angry" is gorgeous, though. Sweet dreams 4 Great rhytm section (another perfect bassliness from Squire and great drumming from Bruford). The melody is pretty good as well. The prophet 1 After a rather long intro by Kaye (not that great), the orcxhestra comes and soon after the rest of the band joins in. In fact, the openiong sounds more like Emerson Lake and Palmer than Yes. The rhytm section is gorgeous as always. The melody is very much below average , however and the song has no instrumental passages to save the rating. Clear days 1 A weak ballad with Kaye on piano and heavy on the orchestra. The melody is again very weak and the way Anderson sings it does not hlp it that much. Astral trveller 5 Great opening . Again marvelous playing by Bruford ans Squire and this time also from Kaye. Ian Anderson sings great and the melody is great too. And this features possibly Peter Banks´best performannce with the band. Time and a word 1 A not that interesting number, this one. Great rhytm section (as usual) and fine singing from Ian Anderson. The melody is fairly average again and there are no breathtaking instrumental passages and it sounds too pompous. Overal rating: 19:8= 2.3 = 2 STARS


Report this review (#130782)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not a masterpiece, but still essential. Worth a buy.

While 'Time and a Word' may not be considered THE essential Yes album, it is nonetheless a very interesting symphonic rock album. It blends rock, jazz and symphonic classical music fairly well. In some tunes, the classical instrumentation works very well, such as in 'Then', while in others it, like 'No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed', it works less well. In 'No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed' the classical instrumentation with it's cowboy-movie style generates more of a humorous effect, which is probably intended.

This album, while not a masterpiece does contain several songs which are, if not masterpieces, then at least near masterpieces, including 'The Prophet', 'Then', 'Everydays' and 'Astral Traveller' (and Iron Maiden fans will find many elements on this album which appear to have inspired Steve Harris on the early Maiden albums).

'Time and a Word' certainly is worth a buy and it is a very interesting album albeit not as interesting as many of Yes' later efforts. It may not be an essential Yes album, but it is nonetheless an essential prog album in general.

Report this review (#132934)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The time is later and the word is maybe.

Depending on the day, I may give Time and a Word a two, or maybe a four, so I'll settle on three stars. Basically the orchestra sounds nice, but I think it serves to restrain the band. Their first album was raw and energetic, but this one only displays that occasionally. Fortunately, Squire's bass is mixed nice and loud throughout, and Bruford is really starting to come into his own. Unfortunately most of the songs have boring parts that feature neither of these amazing musicians. Anderson's voice is raw and sometimes a bit out of tune...listening to this leaves no hint at his future transcendence. Here are the highlights:

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed. Great bouncy, catchy, and energetic tune. I'm always pumped up after this one.

Then. Great chorus and middle jam, but forgettable verses and a lackluster ending.

Everydays. Similar to Then: A truly inspired instrumental break, but boring stuff surrounding it. Is that worth listening to the entire tune? Only if you're in a patient mood.

The Prophet. Another track where Bruford and Squire basically carry the tune...average contributions at best from the rest.

Astral Traveller. My favorite from the album. Finally something upbeat for the duration of the tune, the guitar is finally doing something interesting, and Anderson has some harmonies to hide his limitations at this point in his career.

Time and a Word. I wasn't expecting a hippy sing-a-long, but it's certainly catchy, and a good ending to almost any album.

No wonder the recored execs put the screws to Yes after this album. There is frustrating potential for Yes, but they don't seem to know exactly what sound they are going for. Squire and Bruford clearly established themselves, and Anderson obviously stepped up his game in later albums. This core was prescient enough to fill in their obvious inadequacies with more capable and creative musicians. A must for Yes collectors of course, but also a nice buy for people who enjoy prog/pop mash-ups. Just don't expect "classic" Yes here and you'll avoid disappointment.

Report this review (#136471)
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Time and a word" is a logical suite to the first Yes album, with the same brilliant line-up and the same global inspiration.

There is just one low point which justify a lower rating : the use of a symphonic orchestra which is not integrated to the sound of the band but just added. This is a big mistake of production. I dont know if it was an idea of the band or a decision of the record company to give a more spectacular sound. But clearly it was a bad idea.

Nevertheless songs are good and you can easily take pleasure to this early Yes release.

Typical proto-prog music of the early seventies

Report this review (#140522)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8.8/10 Great

With an almost identicle feel to its predecessor, Time and a Word is another great record from YES. Easy, accessible tracks and a powerful nostalgic emotion surrounding, this album goes down as onother of their best. Time and a Word is my favorite track followed very closely by No Opportunity..., of which I must say Richie Havens does great as well so check that out! Jon Anderson just feels so good on this record, a completely marvelous voice, just mind bending. This album will see the end of Tony Kaye and Pete Banks, and a whole new line-up to follow, and also the end of this sound for YES. This is bittersweet because the emotions captured here with the orchestration work will be greatly missed, a magnificant sound for the band to play over, extremely powerful and inspiring...something far removed from their later works in my opinion. This feels more like the younger brother works, the unsung greats, the underdog sound...and it is just so nice and the final fade on Time and a Word is just so bittersweet.

YES will change direction so drastically after this and capture all new moods and sounds, of even higher brilliance and greatness. These early works are so nice and enjoyable though, so give this all a shot!

Report this review (#163516)
Posted Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent cover of Buffalo Springfield's _Everyday_. Always loved this album. Drummers take notice here. This could be Bill Bruford at his swingiest...definitely in tune with jazz at his earliest stages. The other highlight here is _Astral Traveller_ with Jon Anderson singing through the Leslie speaker effect and some Deep Purple/Jon Lord souding organ work from Tony Kaye. The track _Clear Days_ is very reminiscent of the first Gentle Giant LP, although it pre-dates it by a year or so. This CD is one of the better works in prog. when using orchestra instead of mellotron. Right on par with Cressida's _Asylum_ and certainly the better attempt at fusing both orchestra and band when Yes tried it again with _Magnification_. The best of the pre-Steve Howe period.
Report this review (#165258)
Posted Friday, March 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now this is what I call Symphonic Prog Rock!!!!!

Eah, this stuff is amazing fom the beginning up to the end! Yes is completely shown themselvesas a real prog-rock musicians that can not only cover but create fantastic symphonic songs!

1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed -5/5- amazing cover, orchestra and Squier's bass is a thing! 2. Then -4.5/5- complex of riffs and melodies sounds sometimes boring but art-rock cannot live without this. 3. Everydays -5/5- I didn't heard the original but I think this is quality work. Solo is a other topic. 4. Sweet Dreams -4.5/5- rock'n'roller song, 5. The Prophet -5/5- my favourite on this album. And because of what you ask. Firstly, great keyboard solo at the intro fading into ochesrtal melodie, different speed in other sections and so on. You must only hear it!!! 6. Clear Days -3/5- Poor. So poor. Not for my ears... 7. Astral Traveller -3/5- somehow I don't like this too, booring melody. 8. Time and a Word -5/5- a real prog-rock anthem!!!

4,375 stars actually.

Report this review (#167664)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars Enjoyably jazzy and psychedelic jams from early Yes which shows off their broadening ambition and flair for complexity. Comparing Time and a Word to later works is somewhat unfair, since the band is still experimenting and searching for their unique sound; however, even when standing alone there is a lot to enjoy.

Songwriting is strong, an improvement over their debut at the very least, with several memorable songs and instrumental passages. Yes fans will doubtlessly enjoy hearing the young band testing out styles which will later become their staple, and those coming from a more classic rock sound can easily get into Bruford and Squire's great grooving. Anderson's voice is down to earth-- not nearly so dramatic as in later work-- and has a different timbre than what we'll hear later. The inclusion of the orchestra is always a gamble, but since the band keeps their own playing to forefront it prevents the symphony from sounding too gimmicky, mostly being reserved for background textures.

All in all a strong early release, mostly for fans of the band but not without its own unique charms.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Report this review (#168773)
Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Time And A Word shows the progression of the band at it's early stages to find it's sound. Incoporating orchestral arrangments show the band unaffraid to venture into new areas. The two cover songs ( Everydays & No Opportunity Neccessary, No Experience Needed ) again show the versitility of the band to recreate these songs and give them a completely different Yes sound. The songs and writing on this their sophmore offering show improvement and clearly reveal that Yes were taking their music to new uncharted realms. Standout tracks on the album are Then, Astral Traveller and Time And A Word. I would reccomend this album as an excellent addition to any collection.
Report this review (#171725)
Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars The highlights for me on this album are Kaye's organ work and Squire's bass playing. The orchestration really detracts from me enjoying this recording. It's pretty amazing as well how much better their next record "The Yes Album" is over this one.

As i went from song to song I found myself repeating the same things over and over like great bass lines and killer organ runs, while bringing up the orchestral parts in a negative way. So i'm not going to do that for each track. The most memorable song for me is probably the title track if only for the chorus, but by far my favourite sections involve the bass and organ.

2.5 stars.

Report this review (#172599)
Posted Friday, May 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Time and a Word is the second album from symphonic rock legends Yes. Yes had a rough start to their career as they didn´t sell as many albums as Atlantic records wished. Time and a Word didn´t do much to change that fact. Yes was given a last chance and made The Yes Album and the rest is history. At the time Yes made Time and a Word they had a bit of identity crisis and strangely enough added an orchestra to many of the songs on Time and a Word. The music is unmistakably Yes and it´s rather progressive even though it´s not as challenging as later efforts, but the orchestra would divide their fans. Some think it´s a bold move while others find the orchestra a distraction from the music. I must say that most of the time I belong to the latter catagory.

The album consists of eight songs and they are all of good quality. None of the songs fall short like a couple of the songs on the debut did. The orchestra does add an extra dimension to some of the songs while it takes away power from others. My favorite songs on Time and a Word is Then, the psychadelic Astral Traveller and the pompeus title track which I for some reason have always loved even though it´s a bit cheesy. The Prophet also has many great parts while I find the orchestra to be a distraction in a song like the opening song No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.

The musicianship has only gotten better since the debut and once again Yes demonstrate their outstanding skills.

The production is really good. Clear sounding.

Time and a Word is not my favorite Yes album and I seldom listen to it, but it´s a good album never the less and I think others than the fans will also find joy in this album so I´ll rate it 3 stars.

Report this review (#172776)
Posted Sunday, June 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've set myself the goal of reviewing every Yes studio album. It's a progidious feat, but I'm probably over halfway there. Today I want to visit the Yes album that I probably listen to least, A Time And A Word.

The first two Yes albums were not sucesses, but their character is very different. The first Yes album is a good album, but firmly in the psychedelic genre. When listened to, it gives very little hint of the direction that Yes will take later on. The second (which this review is about) is a poorer effort, but it clearly foreshadows the direction that Yes will follow later on.

Let's discuss the tracks.

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required: The future begins here. The inclusion of an orchestra and Chris Squire's dominating bass lines make this a rich and exciting track. Jon sings a low register here, which is also an interesting novelty. The song is good, but not great. Still this is a great start to the album.

Then: I don't like this one. It's keyboard driven psych with the orchestra parts once again integrated, but it doesn't appeal to me like the last track, and Squire isn't nearly as prominent.

Everydays: This track once again expands the boundaries of what Yes is exploring musically. In a very mellow way, it's kind of jazzy. The composition is very piecemeal, and the orchestra once again makes it's presence known. This most definitely isn't the Yes that you know and love, but it is an interesting change.

Sweet Dreams: A syrupy rock track, but not as bad as something like Survival off of the first album. It does have an edge to it, courtesy of Squire and Kaye (of all people.) Not a favorite, but not forgettable either.

The Prophet: This foreshadows the epic form that Yes would develop in the next album. Unfortunately they don't quite have the idea down yet. Kaye's introduction isn't really up to snuff, and the song is pleasant but not really good. Anderson's vocals give a hint of what we are in for later on (esp. in CTTE.)

Clear Days: Another piecemeal track. I'm ashamed to admit that I really like this piece of psychedelic dreck, but I can't explain why. I like it, but I sure don't expect you to.

Astral Traveller: This one showcases Peter Banks's talents (although Kaye and Bruford also shine here.) Not a great song, but some scintillating performances.

Time and a Word: Eddie Offord (the producer) once said that he thought Yes had two really magical moments in And You and I and this song. I agree with him on And You and I, but A Time and a Word always struck me as too repetitive and not interesting enough to qualify.

Anyhow, I'm giving this album two stars. As far as progressive rock goes, this album is definitely a transition between Yes's early psychedelic foundation and their establishment as a bastion of progressive rock. Here they start experimenting with the ideas that will make them the maestros of progressive rock, but they don't master them until the next, watershed album.

Report this review (#173179)
Posted Saturday, June 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars There's a time and the time was then and it's right for me - There's a word and the word is Yes and it's right for me

Clearly an improvement over the debut album, but still far behind the masterpiece follow-up The Yes Album and future greats Fragile and Close To The Edge. Steve Howe was not yet on board, Rick Wakeman was not to join for yet another album, and the band were still more of a Proto-Prog band than the groundbreaking Symphonic masters they were soon to be.

Still, taken for what it is this album is very good. There is still a slight similarity to Deep Purple's earliest period with the Hammond organ being on the forefront and some songs rocking quite hard. The title track, however, is more of a Psychedelic 60's pop tune with flower power lyrics. This song would later be revived for inclusion in the bands set lists on some future tours.

Recommended, but not essential.

Report this review (#176975)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars A band with YES's power and ability simply does not need an orchestra.

Like all the other orchestral experimentations during this period, the attempt to integrate orchestra and band failed. Nowhere is this clearer than in the otherwise excellent opening track, blessed with the cumbersome title 'No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.' This is a persuasive attempt to render their dramatic skill at reinterpretation, but that central orchestral section is grafted in with all the subtlety of a third leg.

Aside from the unnecessary orchestration, the album suffers from too many inferior compositions, and generally appalling arrangements. It's telling that two of the three standout tracks are covers, which (given their later achievements) is more a matter of confidence than of lack of talent. The central section of 'Everydays' shows real promise, and it is a pity the band didn't build a more effective song around it. Other songs are simply a waste, including the execrable 'Clear Days'. There's nothing of the calibre of 'Survivor' on this album, nor is there much hint of what was to come within the year. 'Astral Traveller' is at least competent, while 'Time and a Word' is memorable if a little repetitive. And argh, that orchestra!

This is an album that cries out for a reinterpretation. It would be interesting to hear this without the orchestra and with more daring arrangements. Short of that, though, it is not a record to command repeated listenings. Pass on this and the debut and move on to their next album. Come back here at the end of your YES journey.

Report this review (#178315)
Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Orchestral feel to this album and not as progressive as the follow up albums that came along. All in good time! Nevertheless the title track is beautiful and that energetic Richie Haven opener ' No opportunity necessary, no experience needed' makes up for any peaks and vallies on Time and A Word. Tony Kaye and Peter Banks are still present which also has to have a bearing on the future shape of their music. The real strength on this album though is Chris Squire ( nothing abnormal about that) but his bass work is superb and it allows the whole album to gel together nicely. Some great covers and overall a good album but we all know the best was yet to come. A solid three stars.
Report this review (#180399)
Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second album by Yes is something like the first one.The band still looking for their sound.They are trying to make experiment with this album,because of the orchestral arrangements incorporated in.There are some very good ideas,but as whole the sound is not quite clear.I think that this album is little more weaker than the first one,because of the fact the there are not fully completed song(maybe the last track Time and a Word).In the first album I think there are two essential songs(without counting the covers) - the first one and the last one - Beyond and Before and Survival.Here we haven't so good songs,but maybe the overall level of the songs is higher than there!Not a everyday album!
Report this review (#180889)
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars I had heard most of these tracks on compilations before buying this so I came into this album quite aware of the greatness of it's best tracks but I desired to hear the lesser known tracks to decide for myself whether this album warrants a five star rating as many have awarded it here. I consider Yes to be my all time favourite prog band so I was quite disappointed with this album.

I am not convinced of the full rating for a number of reasons, the most important of which is the stand out tracks that are excellent are the ones that appear on all the compilation albums. The other tracks feel more like throwaways than anything else in comparison to the brilliant quintessential albums Fragile, Close to the Edge, The Yes Album and Tales of Topographic Oceans.

The first track 'No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed' is a wonderful stand out opener and features orchestral arrangements and incredible vocals packed into less than 5 minutes. 'Then', and 'Everydays', are nice additions but quite forgettable, and not up to the usual Yes standard. 'Sweet Dreams' is one of the gems I had heard before, as is 'Astral Traveller'. They are classics, masterfully produced with musical virtuosity and incredible precision time signatures. 'The Prophet' is a progressive 6 and a half minute mini epic with some stand out guitar and keyboard.

'Clear Days' is another of the throwaways and not as innovative as the other tracks. 'Time and a Word' is another of the classics and a must for Yes and prog fans - pure genius.

So what do we have? 4 brilliant tracks - found on lots of compilations, 1 awesome track that grows on you and 3 throwaways that are forgettable and inconsistent with the usual excellent Yes standard.

I would only buy this if you are a completist or you see it cheap. I am not going to mention the bonus tracks as I only have the original album, however they may be enough to warrant a purchase, though I seriously doubt it.

3 stars for the brilliant tracks is the highest I am willing to go with this.

Report this review (#181607)
Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Yes - 'Time and a Word' 2.5 stars

A sophomore slump that hits even the best of bands.

I believe Yes aimed their sights way too high on this one. It was always Yes's blessing and curse. For this time around, I think they were way too young and undeveloped to integrate an orchestra into their music, especially since some weren't able to get the job done themselves.

The major problems arise with the members that were soon to be replaced. Peter Banks guitar work was appalling compared to his job on the eponymous debut album. His eclecticism and variety that really gave the debut a shine was largely vacant on this one. He just merely provided a rhythm backing and had little implementation on the music. Likewise, Tony Kaye had a sort of similar problem in his execution as well. His organ is damn dirty, and I mean really dirty. It just doesn't mix with strings and horns at all.really goes against the point of it all. Combined, these two musicians really drag the album down low.

The opening track is a beauty, but just a cover song, but the credit is due for its wonderful execution. None of the other tracks really live up to that one's potential. I was fairly disappointed with this one, but there was room for change.

Report this review (#182822)
Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Although this album marks an improvement over the first album, something here simply doesn´t work (at least as a whole album is concerned). The band is more confident, bolder and there are some brilliant moments (the title track, Time Traveller, Sweet Dreams, Then). But there are parts that is also clear they were just experimenting. The orchestrations didn´t help much most of the time, since they tend to bury the group´s sound (the guitar sound to be more especific). Tony Cox simply seems not to know what to do with Yes music. Little wonder the band refused to use an orchestra again for over 30 years!

What strikes me here are the organ sound: I guess Tony Kaye was better than I used to think. And Bill Bruford is very confortable too, working very well his jazzy influences. The bass is a little too high in the mix, but Chris Squire´s playing is as beautiful and skillful as ever. Sometimes I´m not sure if Jon Anderson´s voice was recorded right all the time. The same goes for the harmony vocals. Peter Banks suffers the most as he is hardly noticed (lack of interest? He was sacked soon after this release).

In all, I see this as a transitional album. They tried different approaches to the music and some worked, some didn´t. However, the songwriting department did improve and their potential would be shown in the next album with full force. There are some strong tunes and in general I think this album is superior to their debut. However, it is also way below anything they would do in the next few years. Be sure to have their major albums before getting this one.

Report this review (#186766)
Posted Friday, October 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars As with the first album, Yes offers six original songs and two covers. This time, the material is stronger and a little bit closer to the classic Yes sound, though still not quite there. With the notable exception of "The Prophet," Tony Kaye is inadvertently relegated to the background, and I believe this is due in no small part to the band bringing the orchestra on board. My opinion of this addition is mixed, as sometimes they blend in with the band, and at other times stick out somewhat unpleasantly. Peter Banks, who will no longer be a member of Yes after the release of this album, takes more of a supportive role as well. Chris Squire's bass guitar is creeping up to the fore, as the first two tracks show. Jon Anderson is much better than he was on their first album, but still lacks much of the maturity that came later. Bill Bruford, doesn't stand out too much, but keeps the beat well enough. Five of the eight tracks are strong enough to warrant this album four stars, but only just.

"No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" Normally, I don't think a band with original material should start off an album with a cover song, but none of the other pieces are energetic enough to warrant going first. The introduction contains a heavy organ and the orchestra. The bass groove is most powerful during the verses, and Anderson really does a phenomenal job singing this one. The orchestral-based interlude always makes me think of the theme for "The Magnificent Seven" even though the tunes are quite different. I consider this Yes's best cover song (even though there aren't many of them), and I enjoyed it the very first time I heard it.

"Then" Like "Survival" from the previous album, this is one song I wish the band would do live now. It's an excellent song, full of very interesting parts, at just under six minutes. The introduction has a descending organ and guitar line before Kaye locks into a groove, while Banks and Squire fiddle around over it. Anderson's singing is delightful, especially during the chorus. Squire makes his bass sound like a deep machine gun during the instrumental section, and Banks and Kaye really show what they're made of. At times, the music sounds like it could have been part of the soundtrack to a James Bond film, and this is largely due to the orchestra's involvement. Afterwards, only Squire and Banks play, and after Anderson finishes the song (very quietly), the band and brass section wrap it up quickly.

"Everydays" Here's the second cover song (this one from Buffalo Springfield), and the problem is, it's terribly boring. The trembling strings, the pizzicato, the uninteresting drumming, Anderson's dreary singing, and the lack of rock instrumentation,make the first couple of minutes tiresome. The heavy rock section that follows is wild and doesn't really flow, but at least it's a relief from what came before. Banks gets a rare opportunity to show his stuff throughout the entire middle section. Sadly, the song becomes what it was in the beginning- bland and tedious. The very end is just random.

"Sweet Dreams" If Yes ever wrote a pop song before 90125, this is definitely it. But it's good, and one I enjoy hearing. I was pleased the band pulled it out of their catalogue on their DVD Songs from Tsongas, though I would've picked something else myself. Despite its generally simple structure, there are some fine bass and guitar runs, and the chorus is a lot of fun to sing along with.

"The Prophet" Kaye enjoys time in the spotlight during the first minute of "The Prophet." Even though he is clearly not as talented, I like his organ playing here better than most of what Keith Emerson ever did on his solo spots on the ELP studio records. The strings, and later the whole band, joins Kaye in setting things up for the song proper. The vocal work, especially over the strings, is some of the best on the album, as Anderson gives his voice some "oomph" that is clearly lacking on most of Yes's first two albums. I enjoy Squire's playing on the short section just before the final verse. This song, which overall is the closest to progressive rock on this record, finishes strongly.

"Clear Days" The shortest number here is a bland little ditty that really features only the strings section and Anderson singing. The music sounds like something that would be performed during an extravagant wedding.

"Astral Traveler" Yet another exceptional Yes song, "Astral Traveler" has some exciting instrumentation throughout. I like the warbling effects applied to the vocals, and the entire piece has very clear direction. Banks gets in two solos, one on a muffled guitar with a jazz tone, the other with a crispy, distorted tone. There is more machine-gun bass-playing from Squire, and Bruford's drumming is fantastic. I also especially like the lyrics. Like "The Prophet," this one is definitely "progressive rock" and shows exactly where the band is heading musically.

"Time and a Word" The title track is not progressive rock, really, but still a positive and pleasant acoustic guitar-based song. I like how the lead guitar is played through a Leslie, and Squire's bass work during the chorus is top-notch. Most of all, the vocal harmonies are exceptional.

Report this review (#192324)
Posted Monday, December 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars We can clearly see that Yes improved their sound on this album. It's slightly better than the debut album. And we can't forget that this album is orchestrated, something unusual for an early 70's album. Some songs are ordinary, some are good and some are fantastic:

Then: Bruford shows us some of his skills. I can't say it is a bad song, but I don't like it very much. 3,55 stars.

Everydays: very influenced by jazz, it is a kind of a ballad, at least in the beginning. After 2 minutes, the song takes an entirely different course and becomes aggressive and fast. 3,6 stars.

The Prophet: it has good rhythm, melody and lyrics. For me, it's very melancholic. In some parts, it is very catchy. 3,85 stars.

Clear Days: at the beginning and end, the violins remind me of Ray Shulman's violin riffs, from Gentle Giant. It is the calm and melodic song of the album. The lyrics are beautiful. I sympathize with this song... It reminds of a girl from the old days? 4,2 stars.

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed: I don't know the original song, so I can't say if they did a good cover, but this song is amazing. Powerful, I'd say. Full of energy, mainly by the fast drums and rhythmic bass line. 4,3 stars.

Astral Traveller: very mystic song, it also is powerful. Jon sings through a Leslie Speaker, which gives a special effect to the vocals. The solo is really powerful and just shows us how good Mr. Banks was. Bruford once again has fast fills on drums. I really like this song. 4,5 stars.

Time and a Word: it deserves to be the album title. Well orchestrated, this song has good lyrics, rhythm, melody and is beautiful. The chorus is memorable ! 4,65 stars.

Sweet Dreams: when I listen to this song I feel like the band is trying to pass me a message: 'bye 60's, hello 70's !'. It is VERY melancholic. I haven't lived the 60's or the 70's, but I feel very melancholic ! Undoubtedly the best song on the album, when I listen to it I get into a trip, a long journey. Powerful, beautiful, magic, pure feeling. Listening to it, you'll have SWEET DREAMS. 5 stars.

Yes, a great album to enter the seventies. Highly recommended to Symphonic Rock lovers. 4 stars.

Report this review (#204883)
Posted Monday, March 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Nearly Time Out

This equally flat follow up to their not exactly mind-blowing debut put the future of Yes in the balance. The fact that it actually did worse in terms of sales, failing completely to put them on the map in America, and causing Atlantic to seriously reconsider their contract only goes to underline how much work (and personnel changes) were required in order to make this band a success.

The opening cover of Ritchie Haven's No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required shows Jon Anderson in the same mould as on the debut - barking out the lyrics and losing all sense of the original's vitality and drama. The vocal harmonies are not Springfield/CSN any more, they're utterly laughable.

The interpretation is, underneath all the sloppily engineered orchestration, not a bad one, musically, as it creates a powerful driving boogie that actually suits it. The opening orchestration is a complete joke, though, only topped in cringeworthiness by the sudden interjection into the title music from The Big Country, by Jerome Moss.

This style, though, is very close again to that of Scottish band Clouds, who used subtle orchestrations on their 1968 debut, Scrapbook, as well as the sudden classical style excursions and jazz moments.

The orchestration thing was inspired by The Nice and Deep Purple, according to AMG - but to these ears, Clouds are the natural predecessor. It sounds awful to me - and it sounded awful to poor Peter Banks, who was later sacked from the band. Unlike Clouds, though, Yes had a few students from the Royal College of Music as the orchestra, under the guidance of unknown Tony Cox - which might explain its general awfulness.

Add to that the crushing presence of Squire's bass, turning Bruford's kit into so many biscuit tins, and this is a real Spinal Tap moment in the history of Yes.

Then begins with a real Lord-like hammond, and more of that ridiculous orchestration, but, thanks to Bruford's drumming, is much more interesting. All manner of Genesis styled bits and pieces float through, with Emerson flavoured dischords from Tony Kaye. The instrumental section is mildly interesting, but mostly bluff in a kind of ELP style.

You can tell that Yes were trying to get onto the bandwagon they saw forming in the music of Crimson et al - but this falls far short of the mark until 4 minutes or so, when there is a sudden drop down to a laid-back coda, reminiscent of the middle section of Moonchild - or perhaps Child In Time, until Anderson ruins it all with those interminable squeaky vocals.

Next up is the lightly jazzy downtempo interpretation of Stephen Stills Everydays, which suffers even more from the orchestration, which is out of tune in places. Oddly enough, in other places, it works very well well well... speaking of which, when those words are sung, the piece is ruined for me.

Again, Anderson completely fails to pick up the feeling of the original piece - he totally loses the wonderful chromatic runs of the original, the thrown away well, well, wells, as well as the light-hearted sunshine at the core of the piece.

This moves on to a section that begins interestingly, before descending into a rather messy jam, Squire leading all the way, with loads of parallel chord movement that sets my teeth on edge. It's a peculiar mixture of bits and pieces that work and sound good, and more stuff that just sounds horrid, which you sit through in case another good bit appears.

Generally, it spectacularly fails to create the atmosphere of the original, instead, creating a kind of pastiche atmosphere of the progressive music scene, of which this is at the fringe - and not for the right reasons.

Sweet Dreams has a sort of proggy chugging rhythm on the bass and an uber- repetitive, catchy melody. There are flavours of the Beatles strongly running through this pop-styled song, but there are also a number of interesting changes in the music, and Banks puts in some interesting rhythm parts, reminiscent of the Byrds. The instrumental section is a bit of a train wreck, however. Mainly, it's Anderson's voice that kills the piece - which is a pity, as musically, it's more interesting than a lot of reviews might have you believe.

Kaye's intro to The Prophet stumbles around blindly after the first 30 seconds or so - but begins very promisingly, setting up a nice proggy texture. The intrusive strings soon wreck proceedings completely, and the piece flails around trying to find some kind of direction - but fails miserably.

Interesting sounds poke through, but mainly, this piece is based around a few simple jams - the main one being based on a single chord. Where it isn't, the sections are short and mainly a Squire/Bruford showcase duet. These latter are sometimes interesting, but never develop.

The orchestration then introduces Clear Days, a mercifully short saccharine-sweet ballad. Buried in the mix are some meandering piano lines from Kaye, which sound like they might be quite interesting.

Then we're blasted with a funky riff from Banks, picked up by the rest of the band - a tired walking bass line from Squire, and some brave efforts from Bruford to save things rhythmically in Astral Traveller.

The warped effect on Anderson's bark soon gets old, and the continued intensity of this piece makes for tiring listening - yet there is something that draws me in, until the kind of tinkly bit half way through - another classic Spinal Tap moment of the most embarrassing sort - and even then, there are still moments of near-glory in the music, even in the continuing single chord jams, with off-kilter rhythms and superb sonic arrangements.

Definitely the proggiest piece on this entire album.

Finally, the title track - which one would expect to be the high point of the album; the moment everything has been leading up to.

Instead, we get this rather unconvincing song with an interesting arrangement, sans the horrible orchestration at last, that shows a band tentatively experimenting with different chord progressions within the confines of a pop song.

So ultimately, there's not a lot of variety in this album, no overarching concept, a preponderance with pop song writing, horrible string orchestration - Motown did it much better, years before - a tendency to wear their influences on their sleeves to the point of including covers, some really painful moments, and awful vocals and lyrics.

On the bright side, there are some very interesting musical moments, and the album offers a kind of compulsion on that basis - you trawl through the dross in order to hear the good bits, and are duly rewarded, even if momentarily. Oh, and 50% of the songs are longer than 5 minutes.

Since Yes have long been considered among the darlings of Prog, this is definitely an album to listen to, even if not actually own. It's also worth exploring the tiny back catalogue of Marquee-mates Clouds, who are now here in the archives to more fully appreciate this album in context.

Not a very good album - but a recommended, if not compulsory listen for all collectors and fans of Prog.

Report this review (#220476)
Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars After an acceptable but irrelevant debut, YES had to release a really strong album in order to stay in the eye of the storm and to resist comparisons with icons such as KING CRIMSON, so the band hired an orchestra and recorded the more ambitious "Time and a Word".

Nobody can deny that the album is a healthy leap from their modest self titled release, but still weak in comparison of records released the same year like "ELP" or Trespass", which were far ahead in creativity, originality and complexity. Despite this fact, "Time and a Word" is a pretty good album with some outstanding moments bit others weak and even far bellow the average.

The pompous "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" opens the album, which I believe is a mistake, being that the track is a cover version of Ritchie Havens song, combined with Jerome Moross' soundtrack for "The Big Country", and a band that pretends to be one of the leaders of a recently born movement can't rely so much in covers (Their previous album already had two), doesn't matter how good they can be.

Of course the arrangements are original, even the usually annoying Anderson's vocals sound great, the only problem lies in the terrible and out of tune backing vocals (something unusual with Squire in the band)

The orchestral mixture makes the track stronger, but still I can't stop imagining Gregory Peck on a cowboy movie each time I listen the track, and this makes it sound even more dated than when released, bad start for a good but uneven album.

"Then" is a great improvement, at last we can listen an excellent song, complex, well elaborate, with interesting structures and radical changes. Again Join Anderson's voice is sweet and less acute than usual (When did he started sounding as Farinelli?), the violins are a perfect addition to Kaye's keyboards. A magnificent song.

"Everydays" is a good song, very Jazzy and well elaborate, but again a cover, this time from a song by Stephen Stills, way too much if you add the two tracks from the previous album and of course "America" by Paul Simon, but this is the last occasion in which this would happen, their subsequent albums would contain only their own material.

"Sweet Dreams" proves that a Prog band can also rock and do it well, despite the good arrangements, the wonderful keyboards and imaginative guitar by Peter Banks, it's a blues oriented track, the only question I keep asking is why did the backing vocals were so out of tune around all the album.

If only Tony Kaye had sounded like in "The Prophet" on all the tracks, probably YES would had never recruited Rick Wakeman, never so Baroque and dramatic as in this song, the good keyboardist does an excellent job leading the band towards a Jazzy track and making it well all along, with that typical late 80's Psyche oriented sound, I always wondered why they don't play "The Prophet" on stage.

As said before, the problem with "Time and A Word" is that the album is uneven, the best prove is "Clear Days" a short and boring orchestral interlude that I believe was recorded only to reach the 39 minutes the album lasts, otherwise I can't understand how a sub- standard song was included.

Now "Astral Traveler" is another excellent song in which they blend the Baroque keyboards with a 100% Prog Rock structure, again Peter Banks plays excellent guitar sections that blend perfectly with the rest of the band, specially with good old Bill Bruford who does one of his most elaborate performances.

The album ends with the title song, a timeless classic that sounds today as good as it did in 1970, soft but at the same time complex, for the first time in the album the backing vocals are outstanding, absolutely melancholic that represents the first stage of YES with honors.

Now, I don't like the albums with so many covers, but all are well performed and leaving behind two weaker tracks, "Time and a Word" is a huge improvement that allows us to listen for the first time echoes from the future greatness of YES.

Not a masterpiece neither an excellent addition to any Prog collection, but a good album, so I believe three stars is a fair rating.

Report this review (#225161)
Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Time and a Word saw Yes attempting to use an orchestra, something that, in a sense, made perfect sense for a symphonic prog band, but at this point, Yes were still more of a psychedelic band than a prog band. The orchestra still fits well enough, and they are perhaps the most compelling reason to listen to this album - to hear what Yes could sound like with an orchestra. (This is something you could alternatively hear on their later album, Magnification, or on their Symphonic Live CD or DVD).

In terms of the songs, Yes had not yet reached the era where their epics would define them - the longest song on this album isn't quite 7 minutes (even with the bonus tracks).

It starts strongly enough with No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed - a cover, but one with enough energy to have the listener feeling appropriately upbeat. It is not hugely memorable afterwards, I find, but nonetheless a fine opening. The following song, Then, is perhaps stronger, as Yes were really starting to master their songwriting, even if they weren't quite the masters that they would become with their next album.

Everydays is yet another cover, and not a hugely strong one; it is followed by Sweet Dreams, another upbeat tune that is more memorable than the opener. Other than that, there is not much to be said about it.

The next two songs, The Prophet and Clear Days, both have nice soundscapes but are as forgettable as almost everything else on the album. The only reason to keep listening through them is to reach the end of the album, which includes two highlights, and the strongest songs off the album - Astral Traveller and Time and a Word (the title track).

Astral Traveller is a catchy guitar-driven song, one of the two on the album without the orchestra. This song would not receive a lot of live play, however, although it has been featured in their most recent (2008-2009) tour, with Chris Squire being the only member of the band who was around at the time of this albums recording. It really is a gem, and while perhaps not as much of a masterpiece as anything from Yes' golden era, definitely a great track.

Time and a Word is idyllic in the way that many future Yes tracks would be, under the lyrical guidance of Jon Anderson. While not quite as much of a flight of fancy as future tracks, the chorus:

"There's a time, and the time is now and it's right for me, it's right for me, and the time is now. There's a word, and the word is love and it's right for me, it's right for me, and the word is love."

Is appropriately upbeat and catchy enough.

Overall, however, those two songs are the only ones truly memorable. For people who are not into the band, this album is little more than a curiosity - they would have stronger tracks on future albums, and Symphonic Live is probably the best way to go to hear Yes with an orchestra, as you can hear some of the best songs from their entire catalogue on that disc.

Report this review (#231740)
Posted Saturday, August 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars We made 5 pounds more than Genesis at that time, so I didn't join them in the end - Peter Banks

Time and a Word was Peter Banks' last album with Yes, and with that, Tony Kaye knew his time was soon to come. This album features use of an orchestra, which is one of the main reasons for Peter's disagreements with the band, and with his guitar being buried in the mix, Peter left shortly afterwards.

This album features a dirty Hammond organ sound played by Tony kaye, and is most recognized with organist Jon Lord of Deep Purple fame. His sound is so rich, and so cathedralic it feels like Kaye IS the orchestra! Bill Bruford has started to get his drum playing rolling and ready for his famous snare sound, featured on albums like Close to the Edge and Fragile. Yes' symphonic sound is really symphonic on this album, especially in terms of composition, and as said in previous reviews, instrumentation.

This album is an epic showcasing of Bruford's drum skills, with maniac rhythms jumping all over him, and he deflects their hits, one by one, with his mighty drumming abilities. Peter Banks once said: "We made 5 pounds more than Genesis at that time, so I didn't join them in the end", but regretted his mistake shortly after departing from Yes, rough day Peter, eh? This album has been overlooked because of many successful, or hoped-to-be-successful albums of 1970, like "In the Wake of Poseidon", which was supposed to be an epic sequel to In the Court, or even Genesis' Trespass.

The writing on this album is fantastic, yet underestimated by many, be it famous rock critics, or just your friend from next door. I agree, some songs were definitely not musts on this album, like Then, or the beginning of Everydays, but they are still musts in order for you to have this album listened to ass a whole. However, things like the louder part of Everydays are what I like to hear; Bruford's cymbals crashing, Chris Squire's high bass notes rocking my woofers, Banks' classically influenced guitar solos, and Tony Kaye's chorale Hammond organ sound are the things that make my day. Sweet Dreams is a Tormato song to me, and by that I mean that its feel and sound are very similar to those in the 1978 Yes album, Tormato. The Prophet sounds a lot like a song off Badger's One Live Badger album, which is coincidentally the band Tony Kaye started after being kicked out of Yes, with it's heavy organ sound and guitar/organ/bass synchronized parts, yet differenting it from the Badger sound are Jon Anderson's vocals and the massive orchestra. The song Astral Traveller is what Banks-Kaye-time-Yes was all about, which is like what happens on Everydays, cymbal crashing, drum bashing, bass slapping, keyboard mashing rock n' roll!

I don't get why Banks was so eager to leave the band after this album: his parts were fantastic, he was mixed just right and was well heard, and he just did a great job overall. Chris Squire is the only Yes member to appear on every Yes album, but not only that, but he has also been in groups The Syn and Mabel Greer's Toyshop, both of which later evolved into Yes. This album is the ending of a very good Yesyear...

4/5, because the orchestra is a few notches below bad, and that does not please me, with it being a very important part of the album, musically. Astral Traveller would be a better fitting album bookend, while Time and a Word sounds more like a mid-album track on Yes's debut album

Report this review (#237268)
Posted Saturday, September 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
4 stars Yes and a(n) Orchestra

Time and a Word is Yes' 1970 album, the year which many Prog bands surged or at least released something decent; Emerson, Lake & Palmer with their groundbreaking debut album, Genesis with their angelic second album Trespass, King Crimson with a jazzier version of their groundbreaking debut, and so on.

Yes' debut showed us Yes as a decent rock band playing some nice covers and some potentially great tunes, yet to be crafted and developed as much as in future years, still enjoyable despite simplicity and/or typical rock cliches. Yes with Time and a Word, while continuing to be pretty much rock musicians dealing with an average orchestra, they really surpassed themeselves, and quite a lot I must add.

While the orchestra kind-of shadowed Peter Banks guitar, Tony Kaye and Chris Squire take the lead and WOW, what a lead! Tony Kaye shining on the distorted early 70's Hammond-Organ, just like Ken Hensley and Jon Lord were doing at the same time, while Tony Kaye also added some classical and subtle substances, very alike what Tony Banks was doing with Genesis the same year. Chris Squire on the other hand, with the guitar being pretty buried on the mix, his bass playing is very loud and thank god for that! Lots of great powerful and addictive bass lines to enjoy.

Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford are quite far from being what they were to become, they still stand-out in plenty of sections which amaze me since it's such a early stage for these musicians to show what they really are capable of.

Some may be afraid of the orchestra damaging the quality of the album, and to tell you the truth, it does somehow, but that's when you listen to it for the first time, you'll find it immature, cheesy and maybe even annoying. However with time you get used to it and start to appreciate some passages, believe me or not I now can't really imagine this album without it(the orchestra). In many passages it works just like a mellotron, adding a mood and atmosphere that that specific passage requires, in other passages it works as a reinforcement, since the guitar is pretty low, the orchestra plays the same(as the guitar) but louder and with more power.

Stand-out songs for the prog-fan are definitely the songs that exceed the 5 minute mark; Then, Everydays(yes, it's a cover, but it's done greatly), The Prophet and Astral Traveller, all presenting what I mentioned: the loud and sparky bass, the distorted, though clever, organ, helpful orchestra, and some nice moments from the rest. Going even deeper in the analysis of these, The Prophet and Astral Traveller would settle pretty much the basis from future Prog classics featured in The Yes Album.

While the rest of the songs are pretty much what made the debut album, a array from enjoyable decent-eleborated pop/soft songs, which includes the ''minor-hit''(among prog-fans) Sweet Dreams with Jon's 'signature', up-lifting, mood.

Time and a Word stands as a common 1970 album from a future classic Prog band, great ideas, strong compositions and promising musicians. However, for me the overall strength of the compositions of this album goes a bit beyond the typical 1970 album, delving through very thoughtful musical passages which few have done within this stage of earliness, also the fact that the band is exploring new ideas and dares to attempt what in 10 years or so they would never have, is something I truly enjoy and that's what makes this album worthy of 4 stars. (take note that I'm a sucker for early albums by 70's Prog/Rock bands, not sure if it's the different sound they present or the ''free-spirit '' in them or the general rule of using the Hammond Organ, either way(s) I love it)

Report this review (#241927)
Posted Monday, September 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a great album, slightly progressive (considering it's Yes, it's barley progressive) but I really like this. It's an evolving album as it sounds, they are gaining their overall normal sound that you would hear on the albums that they released after this one. Musician ship is great on this album, and it's the first of the Yes albums to feature an orchestra, the other being "Magnification" released in 2001, years from when this was released. Great album.

"No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" is a great tune. Nice orchestra, though it dosen't really flesh out the sound, it just seems to override the sound of the band, this is a good opener. Very good lyrics and Chris plays some great basslines. The organs are distorted, as usual with Tony. "Then" is has a quiet opener with some odd chords played by Peter bands, though the organs are nice. The bassline is loud and distorted as usual, thanks Chris. The vocals are very nice on this song, and Bill starts to play really well on this track, very complex drum part. The orchestra really opens this song out, and it's a lovely track you just can't skip. "Everydays" is a bit of a boring song for me. It seems to be the Yes standard, but more about love, and you can hear Jon going his lowest on a note. Nice soft vocal harmonies, but this song is just too uninteresting for me. "Sweet Dreams" starts with a cool upbeat sound, nice bassline, great guitar, nice keyboards, and the vocals are great. Bill plays a very solid beat from start to finish, never sounding dull. It's a nice sound on this track, but the orchestra dosen't help the sound on this track. "The Prophet" is the most progressive on this album, sounding a lot like Uriah Heep with the keyboards. The lyrics are imaginitive, and they fit well with the sound. The orchestra makes this track awesome, making it so progressive to the ears. Dirty and distorted bass by Chris squire, excellent track for bass. "Clear Days" is a ballad type of song, a bit boring, nice piano, but it dosen't seem to carry through me very well like some of the other songs. "Astral Traveller" is another good track, starts with an odd guitar riff fading in loud. The drums and bass rythym section is great on this track, Bill is playing a really good thing. The lyrics are very nice on this track. "Time and a Word" is the best closer that I have heard, ever. The bassline is tender and great, I just get a great feeling from this track. I don't know why, the acoustic guitar is just really nice.

This album is solid, though lacks in cosistancy. This deserves a 4 stars because it's farily progressive, but not as great as their other albums that they would release.

Report this review (#249429)
Posted Monday, November 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Time and a Word - Yes (3.38 stars) Original Release: 6/0/1970


No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (4 stars) Organ, strings and bass play an openning fanfare that sounds like a theme for a Wild West movie. The bass is groovin' throughout the song. The instrumental mid-section is rockin' with the band and the orchestra moving as one. The lyrics suggest some kind of wake up call to be positive and not dwell on the negative; as a Christian I hear an indirect reference to Jesus in the lyrics as well.

Then (3 stars) The lyrics describe the conditions and qualities of how a better world on earth with heavenly overtones of greater experience and mutual cooperation will come to pass. Dramatic strings accent the song's pensive tone until the chorus opens up the mood to a mild rapture. Then a long instrumental section revs up the energy before it slows way down into a serene jazzy space. The previous lyrics are repeated against this mellower background while the bass plays jazzy phrases. The song abruptly ends with an explosion of brass and brass aftershocks.

Everydays (3 stars) The lyrics seem to hint at the many joys and wonders that seem all but buried in the mundanity of everyday life. This is presented to a laid back swing beat and jazzy vocals; la- de-da. Then the word "day" which ends a lyrical stanze is repeated with eerie instrumental sounds hinting at something about to break to the surface. The dull illusion fades as the instrumental section comes in on an intense hi hat. Then a staccato bass and organ melody followed by a guitar jam. Then organ and orchestra join in eventually climaxing...and the song returns to its dull world vision; la-de-da, de-da. Both this song and to a lesser extent the previous one have the quality that they attempt to take the listener on a journey somewhere in short order and back again; and these songs have the little extra length to help accomplish that journey without it feeling too rushed. These are signs of a definite impulse towards the grand progressive rock songs Yes would later create.

Sweet Dreams (3 stars) Dreams can bring you out of any hole you may fall into says this straight-forward pop song. The bass is out for a rigorous stroll hear and pumps a great deal of rhythmic energy into this song giving it almost a march-like feel. The other instruments hunker down and provide the background to the vocals and bass.

The Prophet (4 stars) Ah, the blazing, seering organ that starts this song is a great dose of keyboard wizardry, one that I haven't seen enough appreciation given to. The long, satisfying spell of an organ solo finds its way into a theme from Holst's "Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity". Then the guitar comes in to guide the energy down into a more flowing energy. The strings highlight the spiritual lyrics who tell of a man who speaks of a higher truth that is both personal and more than personal. The strings once again add drama and by the end of the song you have really rocked and rolled.

Clear Days (3 stars) Our happiness becomes clear in brief moments but those moments are in touch with eternity. Sweet strings and piano accompany these lyrics. The song ends with a more apprehensive tone.

Astral Traveller (4 stars) The lyrics seem to allude to out of body experiences in the form of efforts at literally soaring into the sky. The guitar sets the tone for the traveller. The singer's distorted voice suggests a transportation to another realm. Staccato rhythm throughout sets you up for the instrumental section which starts with baroque variations on a melody. This changes into a slow guitar mediation against the faster background. Then as the guitar rachets things up we come back to the original instrumental theme. Throughout this song there is a percussive quality that lends a unique tone. It begins to chip away at the 60s pop and jazz style into something more abstract and more like rock. The contrast between lyrical section and the instrumental section is not so stark as in many of Yes' other songs at this point.

Time and a Word (3 stars) This is straight-forward hippy love song sung with all due seriousness by a sincere believer. Like "Sweet Dreams" this song relaxes the instrumental muscles a bit. The chorus is surprisingly infectious and makes for an excellent closing song for the album.

Dear Father (3 stars) Lyrics seem to be about Jesus speaking with God, the Father, about his mission. He shows his human side, resisting His calling. The instrumentals and orchestra play a grand theme behind the vocals. The instrumental coda is nice with the orchestra as well ending the song with that 60s pop energy that will suddenly disappear on their next album.

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Original Mix) (2 stars) No stereo back and forth to the strings on the openning of this edit (which didn't seem to sound right on the album version of this song anyway). With a suppressed or absent orchestra other elements like organ and background vocals stand out more, but often not to good effect.

Sweet Dreams (Original Mix) (2 stars) Again background elements, in this case, backing vocals, are brought forward. There is additional guitar work in the solo which ends up making this song longer in spite of it being played a bit faster.

The Prophet (Single Version) (2 stars) Again a subdued orchestar reveals some sounds that don't quite mesh.

Album: As I felt in my review of Jethro Tull's "Benefit" this album by Yes makes an incremental improvement over the previous album. The songs have a more coherent, natural quality even as they attempt to reach out at times into contrasting musical moods. The band and the orchestra play well together, each with their own confidence. The serious song lyrics are somewhat deluted by the giddy energy of 60s pop and shaken up by the muscular thump of the bass. Yes was a band that seemed ready to break the bounds of pop-rock but still felt restrained to not so long songs and even doing covers. But by the time the year 1971 rolls around progressive rock will have entered its golden age and such restraints will be left far behind by Yes and the other giants of the still birthing genre.

MP3 recommendation:

Four stars (4 stars) 1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (4 stars) 2. The Prophet (4 stars) 3. Astral Traveller (4 stars)

Report this review (#263074)
Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars UPDATE: 2 stars was harsh for this proto-progressive gem. Although I still feel the orchestra application is sloppy here (and some), the tunes I always liked, I now love. Trevor Rabin said he liked it because of the transitional feel from cool pop to symphonic prog rock, and with that in mind, Time and a Word does have a great mood to it. Nevertheless, it contains orchestral filler (the worst kind)....

REVIEW: Time and a Word is difficult for me. Both to listen to and review. For, when I hear it, part of me wants to congratulate Jon Anderson for continuing up the 'mountain of progressive-ness'. Yet, part of me also wants to slap him in the face for being so prematurely pretentious. Yes, I'm talking about the orchestra. Enhancing a rock album with an orchestra, is considered a bit of a "mid-career crisis". It is designed for bombastic double albums and rock operas with their inevitable world tours. But Yes hadn't reached the middle of their career yet; this was only their second album. And in my opinion, the orchestra restricts the record as a result.

A lot of people compare Time and a Word to YES; the two come as a sort of 'pair'. This isn't surprising (they were the only two albums to feature that line-up). And most people rate them pretty much equally. The thing is, Time and a Word, SHOULD be better than Yes, and compositionally it is. In fact, most elements of the album are an improvement: theres more of a focus, more complex arrangements, and an increased showcase of instrumental skill. However, the album is handicapped by its orchestra. It's too ambitious, and the band, still young and relatively inexperienced, don't carry it off well. If they had waited until their world-domination status to make a symphonic album, it may have worked in their favour (Maginification doesn't count, they were hardly "on top of the world" when they made that). And so what we get on Time and a Word, is the snazzy and impressive nature of YES, ruined by the sloppy application of the orchestra, who seem to be just as confused by it all as the listener. There are great moments, but you have to ignore the symphonic decoration to appreciate them. Violins add nothing to a great rock song. Cellos add nothing to a jazz workout. Quirky brass adds nothing to a Richie Havens cover (and what's the Western insert all about?!).

For Yes, Time and a Word was one step forward, two steps back. The mistake of the orchestra was forgivable, but a mistake nonetheless. They were lucky to survive this one...

Report this review (#277850)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars In 1970, Yes followed up their promising debut album with this rather patchy affair. I've never been particularly keen on Time And A Word due to the tasteless orchestration throughout the album. I'm not overly fond of the surreal artwork of a naked woman either, and this cover was apparently considered to be unsuitable for the US audience. Some of the songs here are actually quite good, but the intrusive orchestrations spoil them in the majority of cases. Paradoxically, one of my favourite parts of the album is the orchestrated 'Big Country' theme that is incorporated into the cover of Richie Havens' NO OPPORTUNITY NECESSARY, NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED. The remainder of the piece tends to bore me though. THEN is one of the better tracks, but the brash orchestral sweeps obscure Tony Kaye's organ flurries. The album's second cover is a tedious version of Buffalo Springfield's EVERYDAYS, although it picks up in the middle with a nice instrumental section.

Jon Anderson monopolizes the songwriting credits on this album; Chris Squire, who co-wrote four songs on the debut, is only involved on one song here. THE PROPHET is the sole Squire collaboration, and it's an ambitious but dull piece featuring nice Hammond and really cheesy strings. Anderson indulges himself on CLEAR DAYS, which has a chamber feel thanks to the string arrangement, while SWEET DREAMS and the title track are catchy sing-along tracks. For me, ASTRAL TRAVELLER is the album's highlight with its treated vocals and Peter Banks' choppy guitar. As with a track or two on the first album there's a Genesis influence here, during the central instrumental section. Time And A Word is small-beer in comparison to subsequent Yes albums. It's ok, but then again it's not as good as the first album and I could happily do without those orchestrations. So, in my opinion this is for fans only.

Report this review (#279164)
Posted Friday, April 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I got this album because I wanted complete my collection of their music. I wanted everything I could get my hands on by them. I have to say that the cover they show now is not the original cover. That one had a picture of the band on it, with Steve Howe included, after Peter Banks left.

My favorite tune on the entire album was "Everydays." It is a killer song! The first song "No Opprotunity" is also well done, with the middle section that has a theme that comes straight out of a western movie I have seen before. Very cool! In fact the whole first side is good. The band has begun to arrive as a major force in the prog movement. I like a couple songs on the second side, "The Prophet" and "Clear Days," and "Astral Traveler."

Yes is coming together here and they do some nice work. It is essential to the band, but again not to the listener. I give it 3 stars.

Report this review (#282383)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars What do you do when you've decided that your band's calling is not as an interesting jazz- rock ensemble, but as an art-rock band? And what do you do if your compositions aren't quite of the necessary caliber or style to make said jump? Why, you grab your friendly neighborhood orchestra and ask them to contribute arrangments over your songs, whether they fit or not!

Essentially, all of the problems with this album are summed up in that opening blurb there. Commercially saavy as the band was, somebody in the band realized the imminent surge of popularity and acceptance of progressive rock, and my guess is they wanted to stake their claim ASAP. But honestly, they jumped the gun - the songs may be less accessible than those on the debut, but they're still centered around more-or-less conventional jazz- rock motifs and normal pop-stylings. In other words, there's really not that much to betray what the band would become in just a year's time.

Meanwhile, the orchestral arrangements, which ostensibly were intended to 'lift up' the seriousness of the album, only manage to (a) annoy the listener with their inappropriateness (with a couple of exceptions) and (b) obfuscate the actual band performances. In particular, poor Pete Banks is absolutely smothered on this album - it was enough for him to compete with Chris' bass, which increasingly moves to the forefront of the mix, and the addition of various strings and brass instruments makes Pete very difficult to hear in many cases.

But even with these weaknesses, the album could still be great if the songs were consistently great. Alas, half of the album is very good, while the other half ... isn't. The worst offender of all, of course, has to be "The Prophet." The lengthy introduction (which has nothing to do with the rest of the song), is an irritating puttering by Tony on his organ, as he steals elements of Genesis' "The Knife" and diddles around in a minor key for a full two- and-a-half minutes. And the main song ... guh, it sounds like a minor-key version of the theme to Sesame Street!!!! I mean, come on, it's one thing to steal your inspiration from various rock artists or whatever. But the theme to Sesame Street??!!!

Three of the other songs are also irritating for various reasons. The orchestral arrangements for "Then" positively do not work - the actual song is an ok minor-key groove, but the orchestra muddies things up to such an extent that it gives me a headache. "Astral Traveller" does have a slightly more entertaining minor-key groove, not to mention some decent enough guitar from Pete, but I never have a good feeling about the song as a whole when it ends. Maybe it's the watery vocals and awkward chorus, who knows. And "Clear Days," an all-orchestral ballad, completely passes me by each time.

So that leaves four songs which, fortunately for all, are REALLY good. Oddly, two of them are covers, but whatever - the performances rule. The highlight, of course, is their cover of an obscure Richie Haven's number called "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required." If you've ever wanted a solid musical definition of 'over-the-top', this should be where you head. An opening organ blast, like the band turning the ignition for the song, and then strings all over the place! Then, of course, Anderson starts preachin' it while Squire pounds out a bassline at an insanely fast clip, and then the strings break into "The Big Country" (not the theme to "How The West Was Won," as I thought for forever; thanks to the person who corrected me). It's corny as hell, but it's well-arranged and well-played corn, so how can I not love it?

The other cover, a Steven Stills number called "Everydays," doesn't disappoint either. The strings actually sound in place (in fact, it's hard to imagine this version without them - live versions sans strings, while very cool, sound really strange), and the middle jam is a neat free-jazz type explosion with Pete and Chris each going nuts (with Pete throwing in some random classical quotations as well). It's not quite as concise as "No Opportunity," but it's still plenty enjoyable.

And, of course, there are two wonderful pop songs, the likes of which we wouldn't hear from the band again for years without end. "Sweet Dreams" drops the strings, thank goodness, and the band comes through with an extremely compact, extremely catchy pop number with understandable lyrics. The title track also shines through - it may seem like a typical lightweight hippie anthem, but man, Jon Anderson was and is a lightweight hippie. The lyrics are simplistic, but so unbelievably catchy and idealistic that they can't help but bring a smile to your face. Well, ok, unless you think they're really dumb. In any case, though, the melody is also extremely catchy and non-trivial, so what more do you want?

So there you go - a band in a state of confusion, not knowing where to go, trying to expand towards the future but only succeeding with what had worked in the past. So, of course, the band did the only logical thing - they fired Pete Banks so quickly that he didn't even get to pose for the cover photo. After all, somebody had to take the fall, so why not the guitarist who had been smothered by a producer and a hyperactive bassist?

Report this review (#288485)
Posted Sunday, June 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Their underwhelming debut may have got the group noticed but their sophomore effort, which came complete with a full-scale orchestral backing, almost got them sacked. Released in 1970 'Time & A Word' featured the same line-up as their previous, eponymously-titled album, just this time they had a slightly bigger budget and a tad more experience to put into the mix. The results were, again, pretty mixed, although commercially-speaking 'Time & A Word' outdid it's predecessor, charting in the UK and generating some more, much-needed exposure for the youthful five-piece. Hindsight, as we all know, is a pretty special thing, but even back in 1970 the critics complained that the orchestra was intrusive. Time has not diminished that viewpoint. Again the similarities to Procol Harum are notable, although the group do manage to construct at least one killer track in the shape of the fully-blown space-rock of 'Astral Traveller', a piece that features some suitably phaser-laced vocals from Anderson and a searing, uplifting chorus filled with impressive drum licks from Bill Bruford. The rest of 'Time & A Word', however, fails to convince. The group's label, Atlantis, were actually considering dropping Yes after 'Time & A Word' failed to become a hit in the true sense of the term, but all was forgotten once 'Fragile' became a huge-seller and put Yes on the international Map. Thank god for patient record company executives then, a sentence that probably doesn't even exist in today's cynical, market-driven industry, but someone somewhere back in 1970's London had the foresight to see that Yes had something special and whoever that person is, he/she should get a medal. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#293397)
Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Second Yes album is much better than their debut, but still not so essential as their more classic works. Musicians there all are great, and I really enjoy Anderson vocals, Chris Squire excellent bass and Brufford drumming!

Music generally is very orchestrated, but often there are jazz-rock basis under the skin of many compositions. Sound in moments is a bit bombastic (in ELP style), but I believe two main problems there are Yes still didn't find their own musical style and compositionally songs are a bit unfocused.

As a result there are plenty of really great moments, but it's difficult to chose fully great composition, and during one song there always are some great sections, and some not so good.

Often criticized by Yes fans, I still believe this album is really good one, with many interesting moments on it. It really shows band's potential and basis where from band started their fantastic flight. No comparable with best band's albums for sure...

My rating is 3+, almost 3,5.

Report this review (#307598)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Like their symphonic counterparts GENESIS with "From Genesis to Revelation" and "Trespass," "Time and A Word" showed YES in their early development--not yet nailing down their distinctive sound(s) but very much on their way. "Then" (with its awesome video! [with Chris Squire playing the keyboards?!?!]), "Astral Travellor" and the title song are the most enjoyable/memorable songs for me from this album. The aforementioned trio of songs definitely put on display the awesome creativity to come while showcasing the amazing talent and skill these young musicians have. At this stage of the game (album #2) I think they were ahead of their countrymates. Albums number three, "The Yes Album" and "Nursery Cryme" really put the two at the top of the heap. I still can't hear the CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG similarities critics of the time were quick and frequent to point out. The chunky bass, prevalent organ, and high pitch of Anderson's lead vocal don't fit. Oh well.
Report this review (#330913)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This was an interesting movement for the band after their debut album. Some critics at the time thought the string arrangements on most songs were too intrusive. I'd agree that not everything worked perfectly but in many places they worked quite nicely.

Just like other reviewers, I think that Chris Squire's bass was excellent throughout. I really noticed that recently (but come to think of it, this release was no exception). Bill Bruford's drumming was also superb as usual. In fact, there were strong contributions by all including nice organ and solo guitar parts. I think "Sweet Dreams" is a cool early Yes track. "The Prophet" is one of the high points for me and my favourite moment on the album.

The amazing guitarist Steve Howe arrived just after this release and later also keyboardist Rick Wakeman, so Yes' music was to change for the better. "Time And A Word" is still a good album though and well worth checking out especially if you like the band's other works.

Report this review (#363846)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars This is not yet at the level of the YES greatest albums but it surely an improvement respect to the debut.

"No Opportunity Necessary..." is probably a track that didn't find room on the debut album, as it's not much different. They are using an orchestra, but on this first song there are just some strings at the end. I have to say that Tony Kaye and Peter Banks don't sound too different from Howe and Wakeman on this track.

"Then" is well played and arranged. In particular bass and keyboards make a great work, but the song is not yet mature. Also in this case the orchestra doesn't make great things. Only the brasses that appear in a sort of chorus are symptoms of an orchestra behind. Unfortunately the arrangement is better than the song itself.

The orchestra appears at the beginning of the jazzy "Everydays". This is really a good track on which keyboard and orchestra make the variations over the main theme carried on by Anderson, Bruford and Squire. After a couple of minutes a jazz tempo by Brufod introduces a more rocky section on which Kaye performs a very good keyboard riif helped by Banks, then they o back to the jazz-club mood of the beginning of the song. One of the best album's tracks.

"Sweet Dreams" is a taste of things to come. It's still far from the heights of CTTE or Fragile, but it's already a YES song. The one that I was remembering more before giving a spin to this album after a number of years

"The Prophet" looks like a patchwork of different short pieces grouped together. The result is quite good and for the first time the orchestral work is relevant.

"Clear Days" is a filler. Strings and Jon's voice for a mellow short song.

"Astral Travellers" is opened by a guitar fading in. It's one of the best things of the album. After the funky beginning, the central section of bass and guitar is excellent, then the track progresses very well. A great song with a great performance by Squire.

Finally the title track, something that the YES are still performing live after 40 years. (I should say 25 as the last time that I've been at a YES gig was about 15 years ago. However it's a great closer.

I don't like speaking of bonus tracks or re-releases, specially when I have the original vinyl, so I stop here. This is an album more solid than the first, very promising on which they might have saved some money by giving up to the non-needed orchestra. Good, but newbies please start from "The Yes Album".

Report this review (#373079)
Posted Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album was a step toward the prog rock giant that Yes was to become. The songs are a bit more symphonic sounding than on the previos album, and a little more adventurous. It's not surprising that guitarist Peter Banks was gone after this album. At many times, his playing seems superfluous, at other times, almost nonexistant.

While this album was recorded with an orchestra, the arrangement does not overpower the rock band. Tony Cox apparently had the good sense to just use the orchestra to strengthen the sound (something the broadend keyboards of Tony Kaye, and later the addition of Rick Wakeman would render unnecessary).

The songs are slightly more complex than on the debut album, but have yet to reach the complexity that "The Yes Album" would introduce to their sound. But still, as an early prog release, it begins to show the bands potential.

I find myself particularly drawn back to Everydays, a Stephen Stills song that Yes plays with a very jazzy flair. It's the only song I've heard where Yes reminds me of The Nice.

3.5 stars

Report this review (#404255)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars I dont think i'm gonna get too many agreeing with me about this album, and I agree with others that their epic stuff came later, but this is my personal favourite album due to the fact that I like every track.

For me their isn't a poor one, Astral Traveler, The Prophet & Time And A Word being my personal favourites. Least favourite is the 1st one. Im not going into all the reasons why people should buy but you all should listen a few times. Whenever I go back to hearing it after a couple of years, I always am surprised why I forget how good it is.

Essential for me and maybe people who might think the band's epic material is a bit indulgent, may well find this one more enjoyable as it is accessible with shorter tracks and still keeps an alternative 60's style.

Report this review (#412743)
Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Time and a Word doesn't sit with me as well as the debut. The overall feel of the album is much darker, whereas the debut was happier and poppy. However, this album is more progressive than the self-titled debut, so Time and a Word probably will sit better with someone looking for the most progressive of pre-classic era Yes. Aside from being a darker sounding album throughout, orchestrations make their first presence on a Yes album. The orchestrations are not extremely elaborate and come off sounding very Terry Riley minimalist styled, and they don't really add anything significant to the music.

A few songs do stand quite well on their own. The opener, "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", is a very strong rock song with terrific organ, catchy chorus, and Squire's heavy bass thumping. Not a very experimental song, but definitely a great opening song. "The Prophet" is very dark and sounds like it could've come off of the Trespass album by Genesis. "Then" is probably the most progressive song on the album, and packs in a remarkable amount of short interesting passages throughout it's short duration. "Astral Traveler" is a very driving rock song with weird underwater sounding vocals, which I assume are supposed to sound astral. "Sweet Dreams" is probably the most optimistic and poppy song on the album, and is quite fun to listen to and definitely sounds post-hippie.

This is a good album from pre-classic era Yes, and even though there are a few stand out tracks on this album it just doesn't seem as good as their debut, in my opinion. But I'm sure fans of The Yes Album would find some fantastic music to love here.

Report this review (#429351)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Time and a Word ? 1970 (2.6/5) 9 ? Best Song: Go bother your scones, donny-osmond.

Time and a Word, or how being a child becomes molested by the idea that you HAVE to grow up. Their sophomore slump! It's a humpty dumpty dump! (of poorly made musical decisions which lead to a less-than-enthralling musical experience). I can safely say that, unlike the vast majority, I'll blatantly rate Time and a Word lower than their debut. Not a lot (it's not as if the overriding keyboards were far from them at any point in their career). Most folks will hear this and think 'oh it's because Wakeman and Howe weren't staples of the band just yet!', but what they don't know is Howe and Wakeman are actually stitches.

Boy, they goof up a bunch of decent songs. Aside from the hammering keyboard groogling (only word I can think of for the bubbly churning and gut-vomiting noise that thing creates), and aside from the ocean vocals (seriously, was it a group session they had that ended with '[%*!#] humanity!'?). Aside from all that, 'Astral Traveller' is a competent rocker, I suppose. What else am I supposed to call it? Well-performed hogwash? I can see them wishing to be taken seriously, and I can see that they possessed real, stable playing ability, but I can't say they didn't lose their heads with this one. When Banks is allowed to be let loose (which is much less often now), he still cooks, but all of it makes wonder?why do you have to grow up?

Report this review (#442946)
Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Although Time and a Word sees Yes make a few steps towards establishing their own identity rather than chasing their musical heroes, it's also compromised critically in a number of key aspects. The main issue is the inclusion of a string section on many of the songs, which gives rise to two different problems. The first is that the string sections just don't contribute much; they're not very imaginative, they're kind of saccharine and undermine rather than contributing to the mood of the songs, and if Rick Wakeman were in the band at that point in time he could have outplayed them in his sleep with one hand tied behind his back. And that leads to the other problem: Tony Kaye keeps getting upstaged by the strings, and Peter Banks is all but absent on some tracks. The album isn't outrageously incompetent - Jon Anderson's singing is still improving, Chris Squire's bass playing and Bill Bruford's drumming is still tight, and when the band isn't hampered by the strings they're pretty good. (In particular, there are some nice jazz-influenced sections which work quite well). But whilst they're good, they're not great yet, and those strings just aren't helping. Two stars.
Report this review (#457651)
Posted Monday, June 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Firstly, I feel abd giving this three stars, as it really is 3.5, and I really enjoy this album. That said, I don't really feel validated in giving in four stars.

"Time and a word" is a more Beatlesque affair than what might become expected of the band, given albums like "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "Relayer", "Close to the Edge" etc. The songs hover around the five minute mark. They are very innovative, but they received a lot of help from an orchestra. The tracks kind of blend prog, psych and pop-rock, and they do it rather well. The tracks often have catchy choruses but blend that with some complex instrumental parts and detailed introductions.

"Everydays" is a slightly jazzy number, and I'm not sure if Jon Anderson was trying to sing like Billie Holiday but it's a fine song! Written by Steven Stills! The title track is Beatlesque pop at it's finest, and 'Then' is another jazzy song, and the string arrangement works really well here. Possibly the best song is the pumping, infectious rocker 'Sweet Dreams'.

The other songs vary in quality, but mostly aren't too bad; "Astral Traveller" might be a failed attempt at sounding like "Legend of a mind", "Clear Days" is a McCartney-styled ballad. "No Opportunity Necessary" is a cover of a Richie Havens song (funny how he turns up in prog circles; in 1978 he sang two songs on 'Please Don't Touch'. "Dear Father" is a worthy pop- psych song that is a bonus track, despite a trite-sounding chorus. "The Prophet" is probably the most ambitious song here, an early attempt at a prog-epic.

The drawbacks are that it doesn't always cohese well. There are too many messy instrumental sections and not enough exciting ones. These problems kind of belie the top-notch songwriting. Oh well, you can't always win!

Report this review (#467849)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Some people don't like the orchestra on this album. I don't really see what the big deal is - this is a great album!

"No Opportunity Necessary" takes an okay folksy tune by Richie Havens & makes it ROCK. There is a quotation from "The Big Country" in the middle. This track is a ROCKET SHIP. My only complaint is the, er, "experimental" panning used on the strings during the opening fanfare. Really, guys?

"Then" floats down in chromatic chords, to begin rolling on Bruford's ultra-fast snare. I love Anderson's lyrics - probably the best articulation of his "message" available in these early days. There is a nifty time change in the middle. The orchestra really does add a lot here. This track has all the elements I love, and yet - it just doesn't grab me that much. Ah, well.

Pull up a bar stool for "Everydays." Whew, man. Smoky. Yes play jazz better than jazz musicians, in my opinion. Of course, this is pretty archetypal jazz, but wowie zowie. The midsection is another wonderful instrumental work-out. "Time and a Word" is full of this sort of thing - something I love. Look out for the quote from Bach in the guitar solo. Peter Banks is incredible.

"Sweet Dreams" is the "hit single." It grinds along at a pleasant pace, but doesn't have a whole lot to say. The midsection provides an excellent old-time rock feel - and those lyrics aren't all bad! A little more "experimental production" on this track actually feels pretty cool this time. But man, those chord progressions sure are cheesy.

I used to be bored to death by "The Prophet." Many listenings later, I love it. The intro goes through about five distinct moods before a single word is sung. Show-offy? Yeah. Awesome? Also yeah. And that organ is HUGE - and it has a delicious violet hue. The vocal hooks are excellent as always.

"Clear Days" is a solo Anderson track, backed by strings and piano. The lyrics move from local feelings for girl into cosmic unity. Two days - one with your love, one with the universe. The ending is magic - shimmering strings in darkness, and a looping riff in 5/4.

Oh, "Astral Traveler" -- proto-"Starship Trooper" space-Yes-rock. The vocals are wrung through an interesting warble effect, probably a Leslie speaker. The middle section, though fey, introduces some incredible ensemble playing ideas.

"Time and a Word" -- the track -- is BEYOND cheesy. I love it. The clunky acoustic guitar, and those LYRICS... "there's a word, and the word is love and it's right for me." Cheesy, yeah. Also a "Hey Jude" knockoff. But if there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's "Hey Jude" knockoffs. This song is beautiful.

Wow, this album is wonderful. More "experimental" effects than usual make it slightly interesting in places, but hey, it was 1970. The orchestra plays great, the music is tight, and I love this album.

Report this review (#478997)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
Prog Sothoth
Prog Metal Team
3 stars In 1970, many of the big-name full-fledged prog rock bands were getting their act together. Although arguably barely any of their releases that year would be their obvious seminal work (a valid claim for ELP's debut could be made I suppose), the "prog rock sound" was becoming a fully formed genre as opposed to just a bunch of ideas involving complexity and tight structural workouts. Some of these releases hold up well today and can stand next to the monster prog albums unleashed the following couple of years without feeling embarrassed. Time And A Word isn't one of them.

I'm not going to slag this album. Even though Yes were all over the place trying to come up with a style and identity that would take them to the next level, I can't say they didn't give it the good sophomore try. It certainly sounds different than their debut as they threw in more elaborate passages and even added orchestral embellishments to show the world they meant business. Unfortunately, these changes came at the expense of Peter Bank's 'acid rock meets jazz' jams, whose role in this effort sounds a bit dwarfed by, well, everyone else in the band. Squire's bass, in particular, is brought to the forefront like a big throbbing fully erect, ahem, guitar. And why not since he's ON THIS THING. The guy puts on a clinic and propels this stuff like an angry metal god stuck in a happy realm of peace and hope. For all its faults, there can be no denial that there's some sweet instrumentation going on here.

Things begin with a noisy Hammond assault before the orchestra kicks in, announcing to the world that Yes were ready to tame the wild west by bewildering the natives with the power of PROG. The song itself moves like a herd of wild buffalo, but the corniness of the strings and horns temper the results. The lyrics to this cover aren't too far off from Jon's mindset, but I can almost hear him yearning to break free from the tune's constraints and soar up two octaves to wail about spaceships bringing inner peace across rivers of time. It's decent, but doesn't show off the band's true potential.

"Then" is a better number, with a swinging Twiggy on acid vibe during the verses until the instrumental break that's a bit of a space rock / symphonic prog hybrid. It ends on a mellower note, furthering its overall unpredictability. I found it to be one of the cooler numbers.

"Everydays" starts off like a tripped out ballad, and here the strings actually work in adding atmosphere. Like the last track, the tune eventually breaks out into a bouncing instrumental showcase before returning to its calm beginnings, although there is a bit of noise at the end. Again, keepin' things unpredictable. I can dig it.

"Sweet Dreams" is one of my favs here. It's a pop-prog track with a heavy bass and super catchy vocal melody. It has some 60s vibes to it, letting us know that Yes weren't about to jump into the bleak moody bandwagon like plenty of other groups were doing in 1970. As proggy as this band were to become, they always had this strong sense of melody that made some of their stuff just so damn hummable, even during their epics.

"The Prophet" is alright, but a bit aimless at times and the strings are all over the place to add cotton candy to the whole thing. Things don't get any better with "Clear Days", a mushy ballad where John sings about little girls and dreams or something. It's cheesy.

"Astral Traveller" brings back the good stuff, although at first it sounds like a variation of "Then" with that swingin' vibe and similar chord progression. Then it gets interesting with lots of soloing going on, including a nice bass solo. Hey, Peter shows that he's still in the band too! At least for awhile.

The title track that ends this album has this ridiculously catchy chorus, partially due to the ultra-goofy lyrics. I always have to play some dumb pop song with a super catchy hook after I finish this album lest I walk around with "There's a word, and the word is LOVE and it's right for me!" stuck in my head for hours. I have nothing against the sentiment at all really; violence and destruction is fine as angry music and videogame entertainment, but in life itself there's just too many beautiful women out there in the world for me to have a warmongering attitude. Still, the song is just so in-my-face that I'd probably have a heart attack if I had to sing this at karaoke night.

No doubt the band got better after this album. It's amazing how much impact Steve Howe brought to the band, and he was clearly needed to add some grit and chops to the mix. The band wouldn't ditch its themes of 'love and hope through bizarre time signature changes' but so what? A little optimism isn't a bad thing, and this optimism kept the band alive to hit the big-time the following year. They didn't just catch up to the other groups, but blew most of them away.

Report this review (#576486)
Posted Sunday, November 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I stated in my review of Yes' debut that I don't get into Yes' covers as much as their originals (in general), with the exception of their version of The Byrds' "I See You", but I have to make another exception for their cover of Ritchie Havens' "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed." The fiery acoustic guitar is still there, but they've turned the song into a greatly dynamic symphonic rock gem with the attention commanding string intro, the distinguished vocals, and their heavy and full, organic band arrangement and performance on a song that is typical to an album that is very atypical to the band's catalogue. Compositionally, they were progressing towards the sound they would achieve with the next album, but producion-wise, nothing else sounds like Time and a Word. Strings are used on many songs, there are more out there guitar effects than usual, and instruments shift in pan at unexpected moments quite often. In other words, more overtly psychedelic than usual for them. If that's your cup of tea, AND you enjoy Yes' style of songwriting, you'll most likely love their second album. Even though they aren't expanding every piece to the sophistication they would soon after (although "The Prophet" is strongly progressive), their gift for writing songs has fully arrived with this album, and ever track has something going for it. Even their cover of Stephen Stills' "Everydays" is thouroughly entertaining. Anyway, if you happen to be in the position of having all the Yes albums starting with The Yes Album, get the first two, too, and be prepared for a shockingly different sound with this one, but also be prepared for some stellar mind excursions in "Sweet Dreams" and "Astral Traveller", as well as the great universal love anthem "Time and a Word" at the end. I, personally, consider their second album to be a classic.
Report this review (#583625)
Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars 6/10

"Time And A Word" is an overlooked transitional album between immaturity and maturity.

After the unsuccessful debut, Yes come out with what some consider the least enjoyable album of the band during their golden era. "Time And A Word", however, shows clear improvements, and is a good transitional album between immaturity and maturity.

Compared to the debut, things have unquestionably changed: while the first was more towards the psychedelic side, thus more melodic and naďve, "Time And A Word" is clearly a Prog Rock release: the musicianship has clearly improved, especially Jon Anderson, who doesn't sing quite like he'll do on following releases, but still becomes the center of attention when a part is sung. The drums, the guitars, the bass, and even the keyboards by Tony Kaye, soon to be replaced with legendary Rick Wakeman at the release of "Fragile", are also a big refinement. The overall sound of the LP is going towards a more mature type of music, as mentioned, Prog Rock: much more keyboards used, the song structures are definitely more interesting, the melodies more elaborate.

Despite all these things, it's still a not yet mature album, and it has some flaws, especially in the songwriting, which at times can be annoying, like in "Dear Father", where the melodies aren't doing it at all for me. The ability to write powerful, good, songs has not yet shown in "Time And A Word", thus some songs can be forgettable. However, others are much more appealing: "Astral Traveler" is a spacey, more memorable song, with great musicianship and performances. The opening track also shows some of the magic that will eventually be abundant in a Yes song, "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed". Then, the frustrations can be somewhat frequent in some other moments: other than the mentioned "Dear Father", a song like "The Prophet" starts great, but ends up to loose itself with a mediocre melody. "Then","Everydays", and the title track have also similar flaws.

Despite the negative sides, "Time And A Word" isn't a bad listen overall: the improvement should be considered, and it's what I am most considering when rating this album. Not at all like the following albums, but still, underrated.

Report this review (#596738)
Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sadly, at the time of this writing, this album's rating is only 3.22, for this is truly a masterpiece.

I prefer much of this to Close to the Edge. The whole album is so rocking and intense that really there are few flaws to be found. 'Then' stands out as my favorite track. (Also, some awesome footage of that song can be found on YouTube) Astral Traveler, The Prophets, Everydays, and Time and a Word are great as well. This album is especially interesting as it really shows the evolution of Yes. It transitions very well into The Yes Album, which, as this album, flirts at times with hard rock.

One of the unique qualities of this album is the backing orchestra. It sounds very different than most backing orchestral tracks. Instead of blending in the background, the orchestra is very easily separable from Yes in the mix. Just an interesting item to note when listening.

Another point of interest is the lack of Yes's later pompous-ness and over-exaggeration of prog themes to be found on Close to the Edge, Going for the One, Fragile, etc.

Oh, and Bill Bruford. He is a monster on this album. Better than even some of his King Crimson stuff. Tony Kaye also gives a good performance. His style is completely different from Wakeman, but fits in just as well with the music.

9/10 (5*)

Report this review (#629894)
Posted Friday, February 10, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the risk of being mocked at I think this is Yes's best album! To be frank, I was always more of a Genesis, Pink Floyd and King Crimson addict. Yes was never really my cup of tea. Despite the overt praise of "Close to the Edge" I prefer this "Time and a Word". Considering the fact that neither Howe nor Wakeman are present on this album this might be called disturbing and puts the lineup that made the grade into perspective. Why does his album set all the other Yes albums back? It is the magic combination of Anderson's voice, the strings, the lush and 'dirty' Hammond and the fantastic melodies. My criterion is the number of goose bumps an album gives me and this album gives me plenty! A definite five star album!
Report this review (#813060)
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hey all in the prog universe, time for yet another prog review. Today, I will be reviewing Yes' Time and a Word. Now for the background on this recording. Time and a Word was the second studio album from the band. It was released in 1970 and it featured the exact same lineup as the first album (Anderson - Vocals, Squire - Bass, Bruford - Drums, Kaye - Keys, Banks - Guitar). However, unlike the previous album (Yes) there was a bit of a twist to this, as an orchestra was added to the mix. This was met with a mixed reception among Yes fans as some hated it while some thought it added to the music. How did I feel about it? Well, on to the review no??

The track listing is as follows:

1) No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed - Decent cover of a Richie Havens piece but nothing really that special (the exception being the rhythm section of course) in my eyes. 7/10

2) Then - This piece is one of those musically sophisticated pieces that doesn't get its dues. Chris and Bill work best on here in my opinion. Also, to top that off just look at those lyrics from Jon: "love is the only answer, hate is the root of cancer" (that's deep stuff my friends). In this song you can see and hear a band that is growing before our eyes and even though they are not quite there yet (on the album overall) there is potential for greatness. A sign of great things to come. 10/10

3) Everydays - A jazzy rock piece that is relaxing during the verses but then strikes you like lightning as its dynamics change up (they are fantastic I tell you) on you. I feel like this song is like Perpetual Change in the making (or its lesser known brother). 10/10

4) Sweet Dreams - This song has a great groove and a rhythm section to die for (Bill and Chris were one of the best rhythm sections, if not the best in Prog at the time). Not a bad vocal delivery from Jon either. 9/10

5) The Prophet - This piece has never been a fav of mine. It doesn't really cut it for me. Not a bad track at all but it just doesnt do much for me. 6/10

6) Clear Days - To me this song is same as "The Prophet" as it is nothing special (at least for my ears). I believe Yes was in the process of replacing Peter Banks (not 100% sure though) with this piece and it shows. Not a bad track though it is just not really to my liking. 6/10

7) Astral Traveller - This song is crazy and you see what Yes is really capable of on this track. They create that atmosphere that would eventually become Yes and the Yes Sound as it goes through many time signatures I believe the verse is in 7/4 (It might even be in 6/4). I maybe wrong but it's definitely not popular among rock bands (especially today) and odd time signatures like that during verses tickle my fancy hehe. The best song on the album bar none. 10/10

8) Time and a Word - Musically this song is pure pop but the lyrics speak to me on a deep level. I take the lyrics here to heart as they are the basis for my life and how I live it. Lyrics are really good. They want to get you to do something positive. I like it a lot. 9/10

Overall, despite some forgettable tracks (The Prophet and Clear Days) and the orchestration being somewhat mixed for me. I felt that Time and a Word was a step in the right direction for Yes as in this record the band showed us what they were really capable of (Astral Traveller, Everydays, Then, Sweet Dreams). It's not a perfect album or a masterpiece but it certainly is not bad either (I thought it was actually pretty damn good) but again since it pales in comparison to later Yes albums I am going to deduct it some. I am going to give yet another early Yes album a solid 4 stars. Peace out!

Report this review (#886601)
Posted Thursday, January 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps surprisingly to some, "Time And A Word" is one of my favourite Yes albums and easily worthy of a 5-star rating for me. Whilst they are still trying to find their progressive voice, it is a great advance from their self-titled debut, and contains probably the best "tunes" on any Yes album for me. The whole work has a great live quality, and each musician is a great talent and absolutely necessary to the sound on the album. I think that Tony Kaye and Peter Banks' efforts are greatly underrated and unfairly overshadowed by the great Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman who would succeed them. Nonetheless, a very consistent album (every song is at least amazing), with great melodies and the band working as a strong unit after a lot more gigging since the inferior "Yes". In my opinion, almost as good as "The Yes Album", and definitely deserves more recognition.

"No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Necessary" brings you straight into what the album's going to sound like - some rock organs, orchestral experimentation, and some sketchy yet loveable production. An excellent opener, and compared to Richie Havens' original, and outstanding cover really, with some improved melodies, harmonies, and a great classic Chris Squire shaping of the low end. "Then" is a more progressive, perhaps less soulful track than the first. One of Jon Anderson's first compositions, it shows how much he has evolved since the late 60s songs. The melodies are still there but he introduces very intriguing strings sections thrown all over the place in a sort of "organised chaos" sense. Very harmonious chorus with the whole band complementing each other beautifully! The verses are a little dull on the whole (lyrically and sonically), but has such a great contrast on that chorus. Some great offbeat rhythms over the solos towards the end and on the whole, just awesome!

"Everydays" explores some different techniques, maintaining their signature Yes sound though. Very clever songwriting, and the strings are used to great effect again (tremolos and fingerpicked glissandos everywhere), with even more harmonies. Such a relaxing song, with quite mature post-psychedelic lyrics that pop up every now and then. The track becomes more musically chaotic with great offbeats again, Bill Bruford and Chris Squire to be particularly commended here. "Sweet Dreams": one of my favourite songs on the album. So uplifting both lyrically and melodically, and the whole feel is just phenomenal! I love the return to the sort of early 60s style stuff interrupting the song, building back up the next verse with towering harmonies. "The Prophet" is probably the worst is gets. I suppose it goes on a bit too long, but becomes much more structured at about 2 and a half minutes. It does all flow into each other, but maybe in the wrong place? Bill's drumming is astounding here, as is Tony Kaye and the strings (although overplayed in a couple of places - like Genesis' debut a year before this). Without a doubt, still a brilliant song and an excellent addition to the places - just a few flaws.

"Clear Days" is quite like a more classical "Sweet Dreams", with more absolutely tremendous lyrics and melodies delivered just incredibly by Jon Anderson's high and rasping vocals. The strings and piano work together very well, although maybe a little too much going on in the back all of the time. It could have built up like some of the previous songs. Too short for my liking (they could have taken some time off "The Prophet" and put in on here), but ends so well, with that solo violin coming over the top. "Astral Traveler" is more experimental than the previous track, with more organs and drumming, upholding the standard, with an odd trembling effect on Anderson's vocals, without sci-fi lyrics and cosmic harmonies! A great Pete Banks solo backed perfectly by Chris - couldn't imagine it any better! "Time And A Word", the title track, sums up the whole album really and brings it home excellently. The chord progressions are quite progressive and unpredictable (as with the whole of the album actually), and the lyrics and melodies once again are just lovely. Such a great way to end it, with a great continuous acoustic that reminds me of Led Zep's "Tangerine". The electric keeps that great pulsing feel heard on the previous song. Overall, it all comes together and feels so complete, as with all Yes albums that were to come. The start of great things for the band!

A-: The young group beginning to broaden their horizons to more musical areas, and shows Yes presenting their signature sound to the listeners. The bare essence of the band as they reach new possibilities, with some timeless melodies laid on top!

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed: ***** Then: ***** Everydays: **** Sweet Dreams: ***** The Prophet: **** Clear Days: **** Astral Traveler: **** Time and a Word: *****

Report this review (#984599)
Posted Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I really don't enjoy Time and a Word very much. I find the orchestration, as has often been mentioned, to be overdone and a bit fake, and it takes away from rather than adds to the music. Nonetheless, there are some fine tunes on here, most notably The Prophet, Sweet Dreams, and the title track. Unlike many folks, I don't really like the Ritchie Havens cover, but I see why some do like it. A word about Peter Banks' guitar: years ago, I discounted him as far inferior to Steve Howe, but nowadays, upon re-listening, I can see that he was actually quite great. It would have been interesting to hear what else he would have done with Yes.
Report this review (#1145890)
Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Time and a Word' - Yes (70/100)

I suppose it's understandable why Yes' debut has never received too much praise or recognition; I personally liked the self-titled a lot, but the band were clearly a few steps away from finding the sound they're known for. It's not so understandable why Time and a Word also seems to have flown under the radar. Sure, Yes were an album away from inducting Steve Howe as their guitarist (and two from Rick Wakeman as keyboardist) but it was here where Yes' signature style took form. Time and a Word isn't Yes at their best, but it's an incredibly underrated slice of prog rock history.

Time and a Word is, in many ways, typical for a band's second album. It takes the successes of the first album and matures them, adding fresh elements when possible. In the context of Yes' career as a whole, Time and a Word is a transition piece, elevating the band from the psychedelic organ rock of the self-titled into something more ambitious and nuanced- Time and a Word would start a streak of ambitious symphonic prog that would last a decade. I've heard that Yes felt the urge to polish their technical skills once they heard King Crimson perform; even when compared to the relatively capable debut, it's clear that they took that challenge to heart with Time and a Word. Listening to "Then" or "The Prophet", one gets the impression of a band making an effort to push themselves wherever possible. Yes weren't as refined circa 1970 as they would be with their canonical masterpieces, but to hear a band with such an apparent motivation to aspire and improve is a treat of its own.

Whereas most symphonic prog makes use of synthesizers to get the 'symphonic' element across, Time and a Word hosts a full string section. The good intention is admittedly better than the execution itself, but it's nonetheless impressive to hear such a young band trying to work a true-to-life symphonic layer into their music. There are places where the string section gets overzealous (a great song is hiding somewhere in "Clear Days" for example, but the prominent string section sounds aimless) but it does give Time and a Word a unique sound- Yes wouldn't try this again until their nineteenth album, Magnification, in 2001. For proof of the string section's potential in Yes' music, just listen to the way it accentuates the instrumentation on "The Prophet" or the title track. The approach was in its rough stages, but I think Yes could have done some cool things with an orchestra, had they stayed the course.

While I've never been as impressed by Bill Bruford's work with Yes as others clearly have (I've always felt his talents were more apparent with King Crimson), the drums are among the most impressive elements here. Bruford's playing is dynamic and calculated, a style that works particularly well with this record. Of course, that all-too large proportion of listeners who cannot dissociate Yes from Howe and Wakeman will be wondering how their predecessors- Peter Banks and Tony Kaye respectively- fare on Time and a Word. Peter Banks' guitar work won me over with the self-titled debut, and only continues to do so with Time and a Word. While Steve Howe plays with a notable classical influence, Banks brings a jazzier tinge to Yes. While Time and a Word brought Yes much closer to their symphonic trademark than the debut, Banks' predilection for jazz is still evident in the playing- it makes me wonder what Yes might have sounded like, had Banks stuck with Yes. Tony Kaye's work on the keyboard isn't quite as impressive- he holds his own on Time and a Word, but he doesn't compare with the virtuosity Wakeman brought to the keyboard from Fragile onwards. As the most consistent and only stable member Yes has ever had, Chris Squire's brilliantly distinctive style with bass really takes form on Time and a Word. On "The Prophet" and "Astral Traveller" in particular, Squire's importance to the band is incredibly evident. Lastly, Jon Anderson's higher register vocals seem to be a love-it-or- hate-it thing for a lot of listeners, and his voice sounds similar here as it would for the rest of their progressive output, albeit in less refined form. Time and a Word is certainly more impressive from an instrumental perspective, and it would be at least another album before Anderson hit his vocal peak; with that said, he sounds particularly good on "Clear Days" and Time and a Word.

The songwriting here is generally pretty solid, albeit inconsistent in comparison to their later work. "The Prophet" and "Then" stand as two of Yes' strongest pieces- "The Prophet" in particular sounds like an epic condensed into seven minutes! On the other side, "Sweet Dreams" feels pretty one-sided, and "Clear Days" sounds like a half-baked Beatles tune. It's counter-productive to go comparing this to their 'classic' albums too much- Yes were at a different stage in their musical life then we're used to as listeners in retrospect. Its flaws should be forgiven for its risky ambition and vitality. If Yes' debut was a prelude to their glory years as a band, Time and a Word sees them making a bold first step into the realm of prospective greatness.

Report this review (#1166443)
Posted Sunday, April 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars YES were showing their desire to progress rapidly. TIME AND A WORD is only their second album and they were already deciding to add an orchestrated string section to their more ambitious songwriting. This album like their debut is one that I neglected in the past in favor of the masterpieces that follow, but after revisiting the first two album I discovered that they have grown on me without my knowing it! I used to own this but lost it a long time ago and only recently acquired the newer remastered edition in order to refamiliarize myself with their early releases. I remembered liking the first track "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" an ambitious and progressive take on a Ritchie Havens song, but other than that one I couldn't remember any tracks. As with the debut album I was pleasantly surprised that I actually like this 2nd release quite a bit as well. It was obviously gestating its essence in my brain for years only to surprise me when I finally got back to it.

TIME AND A WORD progresses the songwriting and YES have moved forward another few steps towards their more popular sound that would come to full fruition on the next album. The songs on here are still very 60s sounding but the band is more adventurous. They keyboards are much more lively as are the other instruments. They lyrics are more cosmic and fantasy based. The string section is one that isn't as pronounced as I would imagine. The orchestral arrangements by Tony Cox are subtle and serve as a background filler more than as an actual member of the band. In this regard it works fairly well but I would like to have heard a little loosening of the reins in this department. As with the debut album, i'm quite surprised that I have warmed up to this sophomore release but upon revisiting it, I am quite taken but its beauty and charm and find this to be a worthy 4 star release. The rest is history. Peter Banks was asked to leave the band and Steve Howe joined at this time. He actually appeared on the photos on the US edition. "The Yes Album" would launch this band into the stratosphere, but this album is an interesting pre-masterpiece edition to your musical collection.

Report this review (#1196297)
Posted Friday, June 20, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes- a timeless band. They never really do change, do they? Especially back in their early 70's heyday they were doing the same thing many other prog bands: reveling in the scene that they had intruded on. Yes was equally as fervent to produce their masterworks, but they were perhaps on the top. This, of course, was after 1972 when their hit Fragile slammed the charts and gave new light to it's other brethren. Antecedent to this, Yes was still releasing a few releases to test the waters, notably their self-titled début as well as Time and a Word. Out of the two of them, I like them both. Except, after listening to this album, it's grown on me so much that I absolutely adore it.

The band is of course a symphonic prog band. Thus, they have an obligatory motif of acoustic echoing and orchestral-style instrumentation contained within these couple of guys. I must say that this is excellent. Of course they've done it amazingly especially on later releases, but A Time and a Word gives you a little sample of what they've got going for them and for you, the listener in the future. The album features some beautiful previously stated acoustics as well as amazing vocals. Every instrument is played to it's full extent and is free of public criticism due to this (as stated before), before Yes became extremely popular. Something that's not exactly positive but I wouldn't take away from it is how not as accessible it is compared to their other releases. It features a lot more material from the heart as opposed to fancy time signatures to please time-weathered prog folk as well as the general consensus of the modern music world. It isn't anything displeasing; in fact for me, it's even better because there's less radio-friendliness and more true light-hearted experimentation coupled with occasional ominous overtones.

This album is one for the books. It is most definitely on par with the likes of Close to the Edge and Fragile, and is much better than The Yes Album with followed it up. I suggest you go pick up Time and a Word as soon as possible if you haven't already.

Go give it a listen.

Report this review (#1351291)
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2015 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is an album I had never heard before, losing it in the shuffle I guess, until I unconsciously thought about what Squire and Bruford were doing before 'The Yes Album', which was my Yes initiation upon its release. This oft reviewed recording needs no added comment from me, certainly undeserving after 44 year absence, other than it did provide me a huge glimpse into the burgeoning talent of the dynamic rhythmic duo. Peter Banks was certainly a gifted guitarist, rockier than Steve Howe, which can also be applied to Tony Kaye and his raunchy organ. Seeing composing credits such as Stephen Stills, Richie Havens and David Foster are certainly unsettling but so what? The songs are decent enough, certainly taking the still pubescent 1970 sound to increasingly technical heights which would blossom with the impending arrival of technology (synthesizers, multi-tracking, mellotron and classical acoustic instruments).

The Rickenbacker playing is up-front and brutal, Squire could never be accused of shyness and modesty, so I thoroughly enjoyed following his devastating runs on each and every track. Bruford was already experimenting with his simple drum kit and keeping the time like only he can. The seeds of looming genius are obvious to behold. There are sections that are deliriously entertaining, like the biting guitar, choppy organ, booming bass and frantic drum interaction followed by lots of bluesy inflections, some jazzy feel (at times it was like listening to Sade) on 'Everydays'. The opener is also a rousing affair, an orchestral megalith that blasts ahead unrepentant, directed by that nasty bass that veers the whole piece into a more-Deep Purple/Uriah Heep direction. My only negative feeling is the rather ineffectual use of orchestra, it's obvious that other producers/arrangers mastered this union of rock and orchestra much better than Misters Cox and Colton. Perhaps with Moody Blues maestro Tony Clarke, the results may have been more symphonic as opposed to the feeling of Scotch tape that hovers over the pieces. There are also moments of amateurish simplicity where things just do not mix well, such as on 'Astral Traveller', which could have been so much better.

While it would be unnecessary to further elevate the upcoming series of albums which catapulted Yes to the highest office in Progland (and basically sucked for the next 20 years!), this remains an interesting educational recording, another clear example of how quickly the scene evolved in those 'glory days' of exalted perpetual change.

3 clock lyrics

Report this review (#1402198)
Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars In 1970, Yes were getting rave reviews from their debut album, which obviously struck a chord with listeners who wanted to hear music that was familiar yet adventurous. The fact that they were on the road constantly at this time, gigging up and down England and Europe, surely helped boost sales of the album as well as establishing the band's presence on the music scene at large and increasing their general confidence. So, having already been bitten by the "ambition" bug, Yes decided that the best way to top itself would be to add an orchestra to their next album!

I view this as an interesting little detour in the Yes discography. The addition of the orchestra was certainly part of the "feeling-out" process, and the experiment actually comes off quite well for the most part. The extra musicians (who by the way are uncredited; in fact the name of the ensemble is not even mentioned) are there to add to the sound rather than take away from it except for maybe one or two songs. However, their presence on the album did not sit well with other people in the band, as they felt they were being phased out by what the orchestra was playing. Peter Banks, original Yes guitarist, would actually leave the band after this album's tour?ultimately, I think, to their benefit.

First track here is another wonderful Yes cover, this time of Richie Havens' "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed." (How's that for a song title?) If the intro sounds like it comes from a Western movie, that's because it does?specifically, the 1958 William Wyler film The Big Country. This grand theme soon gives way to an upbeat, almost proto-"Roundabout" groove over which Tony Kaye lays down some tasty Hammond organ lines under Jon Anderson's vocals (great Chris Squire bass here too). The instrumental section finds Banks performing in tandem with the orchestra to great effect, and the track is generally a fun ride, although the ending is a bit clumsy.

"Then" is an Anderson original and shows a definite improvement in the group's songwriting from the first album. The lyrics are typical "hippie love" stuff, I suppose, but they complement the music wonderfully, and the orchestra backing on the chorus is lovely. The instrumental section is another trip, as Kaye turns in some sparkling organ solos that sound rather like Keith Emerson at times (by the way, I consider this album to be Kaye's best with Yes, performance-wise). The orchestral arrangement is more brass-heavy than the others on the album, and the build-up before the final verse, with crackling lead trumpet lines, almost reminds me of the Maynard Ferguson big band! The final verse is taken rubato before a dark and rather disjointed final chord, with low brass and HONKING saxophones.

The next (and last for a while) cover is Stephen Stills' "Everydays," originally recorded by the great Buffalo Springfield. This is one of the tracks where the orchestra really doesn't add much of anything to the performance, and consequently, this is one of my least favorites here, although the band arrangement is actually very good?significantly more jazz-flavored than Stills' original, and Banks' raunchy guitar solo is quite effective. However, the single version heard on the Yes remaster, which eliminates the orchestra entirely, is how it should have been released here in the first place.

"Sweet Dreams" is a welcome relief from the relative chaos of the previous tracks, as it's a bit more downtempo and also dispenses with the orchestra entirely. The band sounds very comfortable in the groove, though (especially Bill Bruford); the Beatley bridge is highlighted by fantastic vocal harmonies?the group's best yet?and the song generally communicates its' innocence quite well. This song also became an unlikely stage favorite on the Relayer tour just five years later, when the band was moving in an entirely different direction.

Side two's opener is "The Prophet," which begins with another great Kaye organ solo, again influenced by Emerson yet also sounding somewhat like a monster movie; the strings enter with a vaguely Eastern-sounding theme which is echoed by the band. Eventually this all gives way to a full-band instrumental section before the vocals, which basically summarize, Cliffs Notes-style, the Kahlil Gibran book of the same name (so Christgau wasn't BS'ing after all!). I won't say the transitions between vocal sections are a work of genius, but they still sound fresh and vital even today. A great, dense track that is too often forgotten.

"Clear Days" is not one of the better tracks here; it's another ballad in the "Yesterday and Today"/"Sweetness" vein, which showed that the band's slower tunes still had a long way to go. This one is just Jon solo vocals, sepia-toned piano and string section; the tune lumbers around for about two minutes before the sudden ending, with weird-sounding strings for no real reason.

"Astral Traveller" kicks off with a guitar figure that almost sounds like underground funk (!), with its scratched-out minor-chord variations before a quasi-tribal thumping groove, bolstered by yet another great Squire bass line. This is another track that features the band only, without orchestra. The vocals are marred throughout by fast Leslie effects on every voice, an ill-conceived piece of psychedelia; fortunately, they don't last long. Most of the song is given to instrumental passages that, to my ears at least, predate some of the stuff that Genesis would later pull off on Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot. (Did I ever mention that Tony Kaye is consistently awesome throughout this album? Because he is.) Banks' guitar playing is also at its best here, with a wonderful jazz-meets-rock solo that makes me wish for a moment that he had continued on with the band. Eventually the track fades out on the funk guitar from the intro, while band hits fade in at the same time before the "big finish"!

The closing title track ends things on a gentle note, as it's a ballad accompanied mostly by acoustic guitar (which I assume is played by Anderson). Like "Sweet Dreams," it's definitely in the Beatle mold, exemplified not only by the melodic and harmonic construction of the song itself, but also by the quasi-"Hey Jude" ending vamp with the orchestra playing variations on the melody. Although this track is not really one of my favorites today, it was important to me as a budding Yes fan and so I have a soft spot for it.

The Rhino remastered version of the album contains four bonus tracks: the original version of "Dear Father" (the B-side to "Sweet Dreams") with orchestra, an interesting change from what I'm used to on the Yes remaster; "original mixes" of "No Opportunity" and "Sweet Dreams" with no noticeable differences except that the latter song is about 30 seconds longer in this version; and the single edit of "The Prophet" which again is pretty much identical to the album version from what I can tell. Really, I don't even know why they bothered including these, unless there's some subtle thing I'm missing (if it's explained in the liner essay, I don't have it anymore).

An interesting footnote to this album is the fact that Yes produced music videos for five of its' songs?specifically, "No Opportunity Necessary," "Then," "Everydays," "Astral Traveller" and the title track, which is the only one to feature Banks. The others all feature new guitarist Steve Howe, whose presence must have come as a shock to some (he's even in the band photo on the US release). Anyway, these videos are notable solely for the fact that the band is obviously not even trying to play along with the recorded versions?plus, on the "Then" video, Squire and Kaye actually switch instruments for the whole song (Squire on keys, Kaye on bass) for reasons unknown.

Overall, my verdict of the first two Yes albums is that they have a certain charm to them despite not really measuring up to what they would do later. There is a certain "lazy day in the English countryside" innocence about this music, and that sort of sound definitely has its appeal. For all I know, some people might consider this the REAL Yes (kind of like how certain people also think the same about Pink Floyd). Early Yes has its fans, to be sure, and if you like adventurous music that still isn't too far out, I would recommend this along with the debut; it may be right up your alley. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Report this review (#1450053)
Posted Friday, August 7, 2015 | Review Permalink
1 stars I'm a big fan of Yes, and over the years they have released some incredible music which has placed them, rightfully so, on the throne of progressive rock. So it's with sadness that I have to confess to not liking their earlier material at all. The primitive, dated-sounding production doesn't help much, but overall I just find the songs to be dull and boring, the complete opposite of Yes' later material which is vibrant and exciting.

Though there are one or two decent moments on this album, there really is nothing here for me to go back to. In fact, just saying "decent moments" really means "trying to find at least something memorable". I doubt I'll listen to them again.

A lot of diehard prog fans will likely find this to be blasphemous, but this album can only get one star from me. I'll never get rid of it because it's Yes and it belongs in my collection, but I can honestly say I don't think I'll ever listen to this album again.

Report this review (#1478188)
Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album here, is a definite improvement over the previous album. It's still not amazing or anything, since there's still a lot of meh songs on here, but the good songs on here are really good. The band was still trying to find their way, Peter Banks was still a member after all, but the music here serves as a direct precursor to the material on "The Yes Album" from the following year.

Even though this album is an improvement on the last, there's still some cons. For some reason, there's string and orchestral accompaniment on most of the album, which can get pretty obtrusive in most cases. Another thing is that the production on this album is really inappropriate for the type of music this is, the album can sound like a Sinatra record at times.

This album really does have its moments though. The best songs on here are "The Prophet", "Astral Traveler", "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", and "Time And Word". The third song I mentioned in that list is actually a Richie Havens cover, but Yes really make it their own on here. "Astral Traveler" and "The Prophet" are the most direct precursors to the band's later material on here. Also, "The Prophet" is probably my favorite cut off of the whole album. The title track is love ballad, though a tastefully done love ballad. Some other decent tracks are "Then" and the Buffalo Springfield cover "Everydays". Overall this is a significant improvement over the debut.

3.5 stars

Report this review (#1542350)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the first Yes album I had the pleasure to enjoy back in 1971. The opening track "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" is a kind of UFO, like nothing else with a kind of "heavy violins". Each album track is very different from the others with special mention to Astral Traveller and Time and a Word which deserve 5 stars. The lack of homogeneity impairs the overall performance and therefore the album cannot be considered as a masterpiece. Yes is trying there to find its way to symphonic prog. Very interesting yet, and very promising. Recommended in vinyl. The bonus tracks on the CD do not present something really worth listening.
Report this review (#1610497)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars Review Nş 145

"Time And A Word" is the second studio album of Yes and was released in 1970. It was the last band's album to feature their original line up, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Peter Banks and Tony Kaye. Banks was fired before the album's release. With the decision of use string arrangements on the most of the album's songs, Banks' role as guitarist was diminished and tensions within the band increased. Just after the album's recording is completed, was asked him to leave the band, which he reluctantly did. Then, Steve Howe would join the line up, replacing Banks.

"Time And A Word" also includes two songs that Anderson wrote with David Foster, a former band mate in The Warriors, the band formed by Anderson and his brother Tony Anderson, in 1964. So, as happened on their eponymous debut studio album "Yes", two of the eight songs of the album are covers. However, this was the last time that Yes recorded songs which were not made by the group. "Time And A Word" marked another difference in the band. From now on, the lyric writing of Anderson began to move from the simple love themes to subjects of a more big scale.

The UK and USA artworks for the album were different. The UK front cover used a black and white photo-montage of a nude woman with a butterfly. As this was inappropriate in the USA, because the American Puritanism, the USA front cover showed a picture of the band. Curiously, the picture shows Howe instead of Banks, despite he doesn't play on the album. However, the back cover of both versions of the album shows a picture of the original line up of the group.

"Time And A Word" has eight tracks. The first track "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experienced Needed" written by Richie Havens is the first cover song on the album. It's a strange way to open the album, because is unusual a band start an album with a cover song. However, I think that happened because this is the most energetic song on the album. It's a very good version of the original song, very powerful, full of energy, with fast drums and a great rhythmic bass line. It reminds me the great western movies, which isn't surprising because it features an orchestral musical arrangement of the main theme from the 1958 film "The Big Country". The second track "Then" written by Anderson is a very good song with some complexity, well elaborated, with interesting musical structures and radical musical changes. The voice of Anderson is very sweet and the addition of violins was an interesting choice. It's a very good and interesting track. The third track "Everydays" written by Stephen Stills is the second cover song on the album. This time is a Buffalo Springfield song, and is another good version very well elaborated of an original song. It's a song very influenced by jazz and in the beginning is a kind of a ballad, but after two minutes the song becomes more aggressive and fast. The fourth track "Sweet Dreams" written by Anderson and Foster is a bit a pop song very enjoyable to listening. It has a simple musical structure but we can hear on it a fine bass line, powerful keyboards and good guitar too. It's a blues oriented song with nice backing vocals. The fifth track "The Prophet" written by Anderson and Squire is a song with a more complex musical structure than some other songs on the album and is one of the most progressive songs too. It's one of the most epic tracks of the group in their early musical period and I have to mention also the fantastic keyboard work of Kaye. The sixth track "Clear Days" written by Anderson is a very short acoustic ballad nicely sung by Anderson and featuring lovely strings accompanied by a nice piano. As with on "Claugroi", the violins remind me Ray Shulman's violin riffs of Gentle Giant. However, this is probably the weakest moment on the album. The seventh track "Astral Traveller" written by Anderson is another very good song with a progressive rock musical structure. It's a song with great instrumental work by all members of the band, very well orchestrated. This is one of the first songs of Yes that represents the future sound of what will be the progressive songs of the group. The eighth track "Time And A Word" is the title track. It was written by Anderson and Foster and is another highlight of the album that became a Yes' classic song. It's a beautiful song with good lyrics, very melodic, with good chorus and very well orchestrated. It's the best known song of the album and it became a live staple for the band. It's a fantastic way to finish this musical work.

Conclusion: I agree with the opinions of some of my colleague reviewers on Progarchives, when they say that "Time And A Word" was a major step forward from Yes' eponymous debut studio album. But it was still, somehow, very distant of the musical quality of its successors, especially from their fifth studio album "Close To The Edge", the greatest masterpiece of the band. In reality, "Time And A Word" makes an incremental improvement over the previous eponymous debut studio album, because its songs are more mature, adult, cohesive and having, in general, superior quality. By the other hand, the inclusion of an orchestra on their music, despite the risks, shows us that it was an excellent idea. So, concluding and in short, Yes still had some more steps to go before they would reach their creative highlights and definitive masterpieces, but "Time And A Word" is a good piece of early 70's progressive rock, anyway.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1820735)
Posted Friday, November 10, 2017 | Review Permalink
The Crow
3 stars Second album of Yes and the last with their original line-up!

And here, in comparison with their debut from 1969, we can hear a much more orchestral album with some really competent compositions and fine playing from all the members. They are not at the same level that they would reach years later with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman in the line-up, but the musicianship is good enough to be surprising and interesting almost the whole record.

But of course, the best here is Chris Squire, being his bass simply spectacular in tracks like Astral Traveler. Jon Anderson also makes a fine job, demonstration what a great singer he is.

The rest of the album is a good example of early symphonic rock with tons of progressions but with a pop feeling that Yes would never abandon through their whole career.

Best Tracks: No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (fine homage to Jerome Moross), The Prophet (beautiful melodies in this one), Astral Traveler (the most instrumentally spectacular track of the album) and Dear Father (I really don't know why, but I always loved this little song)

Conclusion: in Time and a Work Yes was still experimenting in the search of their true personality, and despite some lackluster moments (the cheesy Sweet Dreams and the not so interesting Time and a Word) the result was a fine symphonic rock album influenced by The Moody Blues with beautiful orchestral arrangements and a pair of very good songs.

In The Yes Album they finally incorporated Steve Howe playing guitars, saying goodbye to Peter Banks. And the rest is just history!

My rating: ***

Report this review (#2079478)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2018 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've been a pre-Howe, or "early" Yes fan for decades. This period was not the band's peak, but was the equal of, let's say, late-1990s Yes.

The first edition of Yes lasted for two years, from June 1968 to June 1970. The band was vocalist Jon (then "John") Anderson, who also received that lion's share of writing credits during this period; bassist and secondary vocalist Chris Squire; guitarist Peter Banks, organist/pianist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford, who was replaced temporarily by Tony O'Reilly during the fall of 1968. Their promising debut album, Yes, was released at the end of July 1969, but flopped.

Time and a Word was released at the end of July 1970. It's been repeated many times that, after Time and a Word also sold poorly, Atlantic Records was this close to dropping them. This may be true, but given the quality of the group's first two albums, and the fact that the band had already recruited guitarist Steve Howe and signed a new management contract in June, being dropped by Atlantic might not have changed the band's trajectory - - just their record label.

Yes and Time and a Word sound like they could've been drawn from the same sessions. The major difference is that seven of the eight songs from Time and a Word, plus the b-side "Dear Father," include an orchestra, although it's used primarily as embellishment. Peter Banks was disgruntled over the guitar being pushed back in the mix when the orchestra is playing. This is understandable; but it wouldn't have made sense to have the guitar and orchestra fighting for space in the mix. (Since the master multitrack tapes are apparently available, fans have suggested a remix of the album which would exclude the orchestra. I think this would certainly be worth having.)

For whatever reason, the first and third songs on Time and a Word are the two cover songs on the album. The opener is Richie Havens's "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed." "No Experience" is filtered through the Yes process and presented as a medley with Jerome Moross's "Main Title" from the soundtrack to The Big Country. On the other hand, Buffalo Springfield's "Everydays" is as faithful to the original as is any Yes cover. Both songs are nice, but neither is an important part of Yes history. After Time and a Word, Yes would almost entirely eschew cover songs.

In another sequencing decision which seems odd to me, Anderson's "Then" is the album's second song. In hindsight, we see in "Then" a band trying to find itself, and making good progress. But it's the most challenging listen on Time and a Word, and as such, would ordinarily be the second-to-last song on the second side. "Then" was the edgiest Yes song yet, with the orchestra used to great effect, and yet it doesn't seem to get where it intends to go, like driving with the parking brake engaged. It's good, but within a year, Yes would do much better.

Whereas Yes had included two somewhat sappy love songs, Time and a Word has only one, the inoffensively forgettable "Clear Days." Anderson's lyrics, while moving away from interpersonal affection, were still sophomoric; "Time and a Word," is an unsuccessful stab at a Beatlesque anthem, and while the intro to the lyrically moralistic "The Prophet" makes excellent use of the orchestra, the song itself is unremarkable.

Two of the poppier songs, though, are remarkable: The aforementioned "Dear Father," which is included on the version of Time and a Word that's currently in print, and "Sweet Dreams." Neither differs that much from "The Prophet" or "Time and a Word," but each is more sophisticated, structurally and and lyrically. Plus, "Sweet Dreams" is the catchiest song here.

The real gem on Time and a Word, and the crowning achievement of early Yes, is "Astral Traveller." Even without the song's title, which parallels that of "Starship Trooper" on The Yes Album, "Astral Traveller" is more than a hint of Yes to come: it's a tight song with abstract lyrics; it has a custom-fit structure; and the main riffs are syncopated and angular. In a way it doesn't even belong on Time and a Word. Despite my confidence that the quantum leap from Time and a Word to The Yes Album is largely due to the addition of Steve Howe, I have to admit that "Astral Traveller" is compelling evidence that, months before Howe's arrival, "early Yes" might have been transitioning into what we now know as "1970s Yes."

Anyway, Time and a Word is a good album. For those less familiar with the band, and interested in the band's pre-"Owner of a Lonely Heart" period, I'd suggest listening to The Yes Album, Fragile, or Drama first.

Report this review (#2152417)
Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | Review Permalink
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!

Report this review (#2374807)
Posted Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars I believe that Time and a Word is often underrated and does need recognition as one of Yes' better albums. The album is more progressive than their first, and in my opinion a good improvement. Yes are about to enter into their trilogy of brilliant albums, while Time and a Word is not on the same level as those, they do a great job with numerous good tracks such as Time and a Word, Sweet Dreams, No opportunity necessary, No experience needed, Astral traveller, Then. It is important to remember that Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman are yet to join the band.

All in all I think this is a much overlooked album that deserves recognition.

Report this review (#2376603)
Posted Monday, May 4, 2020 | Review Permalink
2 stars If ever an album represented one step forward, two steps backward, this is it. The Yes debut album was the promising effort of five extraordinarily talented musicians of limited song writing abilities who compensated by being able to improvise around some great pop tunes like The Byrds song, "I See You". The debut album is more Vanilla Fudge than traditional Yes, but it gives an overview into the band's ability to display their range of playing. The second album, Time and a Word, is a gigantic advance on their song writing skills, but ultimately fails because of the overambitious attempt to combine their sound with an orchestra. Peter Banks and Tony Kaye bear the brunt of having their instruments submerged in the violins and horns, subverting any continuity of the electric sounds which conflict with the constant interruptions of the orchestra. This is immature Yes, from which the band will learn from the mistakes it makes in the studio. However, the eventual casualties will be the one who complained the most, Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, who leaves after the next album.

The album opener, "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" is terrible. What was the band thinking? Is that the theme of Bonanza that runs through the orchestra? "Then" is a reasonable song if it wasn't for the constant interruptions of the orchestra. "Everydays" is the first song on the album where the band really stretches out with a nice exchange between organ and electric guitar. 'Sweet Dreams" is mediocre at best. "The Prophet" features some ethereal organ by Tony Kaye at the start, if only he was given more latitude in the middle section of the song when the violins take over from the organ. The two best songs on the album are the last two. Astral Traveller is a great piece of psychedelic pop. "Time and a Word" is a beautiful ballad with some ordinary keyboards from Tony Kaye. Rick Wakeman delivers some superb piano playing of the same song on the "Keys to Ascension" album.

I struggle to believe Chris Squire names this his favorite Yes album. As a stepping-stone to the next album, "The Yes Album" it serves it's purpose.

Report this review (#2414844)
Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album is original by its concept and sound in Yes discography. The use of orchestra paired with raw rock sound with very audible Hammond organ created quite an original Yes entry. Rhythm sections and vocals shine above all closely followed by Hammond and piano playing that suits rock-classical style of music. Bruford and Squire are already mature with their chops, virtuosity. Some can argue that such dynamics don't go well with orchestra but one can get used to that and it shows that orchestra is complementary to rock music, not the other way out.

Most compositions are pretty good composed and executed. My highlights are highly upbeat Hammond-drum-bass driven "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", the melodic "Then" with great instrumental section where Kaye shows his tasteful playing, "Sweet dreams" that as a more pop-rock end of 60's feeling. "The prophet" may have been thought to be the epic on the album but it falls short of expectations, there are a couple of good moments but the overall number seems incoherent to me. "Astral traveller" sounds futuristic and offers very good playing by all band members. The positive uplifting title track closes the album. Definitely a must for every Yes fan.

Report this review (#2435567)
Posted Friday, August 7, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second album of YES, with the same line up as their debut album. The arrangement of the songs started to be more complex and has stronger rock feel, and the YES sound as we know in some of their next signature albums are getting more and more entrenched, particularly in rhythm section. The use of orchestra makes this album distinctive from others. In some tracks it adapts themes from classical piece or earlier movie soundtrack.

Among highlights of this album is off course the title track 'Time and a Word' written by Jon Anderson and late David Foster (British musician and songwriter). This song has a very nice hook in its chorus and has been becoming one of most frequently performed song in live, with several versions or as part of medley. The orchestra goes beautifully well with guitar, and the rhythm sections.

'Astral Traveller' has a nice complexity, catchy keyboard theme with great guitar and bass companions. Another showcase for the talent of the band members, and should be in YES essential catalogue.

'Then' is a meticulous composition built by contribution of each of band members, blended by the orchestra. Great performance and arrangement as a band. 'Sweet Dreams' has the same quality (with catchier melody) but a bit lighter 'The Prophet' has more influence from classical music (including adaptation of Gustave Holst 'The Planet Op.32 ? Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity' in the intro section). It is a catchy song, with complex drumming and good guitar fills. In my opinion, the orchestra part is too loud in this song, thus make the intensity of the band playing complex arrangement is a bit hindered.

YES covers two songs in this album. The opening track 'No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed' is a cover version from Richie Havens song (from 1968 album 'Something Else Again'). Orchestration part is an adaptation from Jerome Moross score for the movie 'The Big Country'. Chris Squire bass playing is fascinating,

'Everyday' is another cover version from Buffalo Springfield. The re-arrangement is for me a prototype of typical YES complex but artistic arrangement, that will be emerging as their core beauty in the next few albums. Bill Bruford drumming is really excellent and provide a great rhythm for Steve Banks solo (including a playful phrase from Bach's 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring).

In short, this second album is still not the band's masterpiece, but it was a great starting period to develop their foundation. Squire's dynamic and melodic bassline and Bruford's complex drumming are started to be unique features of the band. A step closer to their golden period.

Report this review (#2461935)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review #44

Two in a row!!

The same line-up that recorded the debut album of YES was playing in this one. This album has more of the same blasting rock with insane BRUFORD's drums, SQUIRE's bass and KAYE's keyboards but now with the elegant touch of the orchestral arrangements in the background; with this nice arrangements the band reached a new level even more oriented to a Progressive Rock style than to just a regular Hard Rock one.

The formula of six original tracks plus two covers remained in this album too: the album features a RICHIE HAVENS cover ("No opportunity necessary, no experience needed") and a BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD cover ("Everydays"); as a one, the album is very multifaceted: a very interesting mixture of symphonic/jazz/hard/bluesy rock.

The sound that the band would later achieve in its following albums ("The Yes album", "Fragile" and "Close to the edge") got its origin in this album, even when this was the last album featuring the original guitar player Peter BANKS (who would later be replaced by Steve HOWE), "Time and a word" was a corner stone in the development of YES following records.

Report this review (#2481090)
Posted Sunday, November 29, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars I would like to give this one a 4,5 star really. In my opinon it's very underrated album. The use of orchestra was very bold move from the young band, tried around the time by Moody Blues (with orchestral parts added afterwards) or Deep Purple, but I think it's Yes who managed to incorporate the orchestral sound the best of them all. I wound gladly hear the orchestral parts used even more often, but it must wait untill brilliant "Magnification" album :) The style of the band is not yet crystalised as there is still strong hammond presence (which is a nice thing btw) and the overall sound is a bit dirty but the compositions are much more complex (look at the amazing minisuite "Then" or any other track) and the rhythm section is insane - Squire and Bruford are already at their trademark Yes-y sound. Brilliant! I love the melodies beautifuly lead by Anderson supported by strings. Not a weak track and many very strong ones Oh and I have an impression Anderson's voice is particulary "smoky" on this record, which I simply adore! One of their best.
Report this review (#2487109)
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2020 | Review Permalink

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