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HIGHLIGHTS: THE VERY BEST OF YES

Yes

Symphonic Prog


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Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The best bargain I ever bought! Not one for compilations I couldn't resist this basment bargain and I am happier for the purchase. There is a good mix of songs, when I compare the multitude of compilations Yes has dished out these latter years I still think this one does the business.' Soon' edit as well as ' Long Distance Runaround' the cream of the crop on a very consistent ' Best of' offering.
Report this review (#13851)
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
con safo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I would have liked to see some of the more epic tracks on this album, but it is still a decent mix. Some standout tracks are "Time And A Word", and the classic "Roundabout" But also included are some not-so classic songs, such as "Leave It", and "Rythym of Love"

Those tracks aside, this is still a good compilation, and if you are looking to get into YES, this is a good place to start.

Report this review (#13852)
Posted Tuesday, February 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
stickmanbob20
4 stars Most of the songs on this CD have gotten a considerable amount of airplay on the radio, and some of those songs still do get played quite a bit. This is basically a Greatest Hits collection as opposed to a Best of collection. In my opinion, if you were to make a Yes best of Disc, It would be nothing but good quality live versions of their best epics (Close to the Edge, Awaken, Gates of Delerium, Ritual, Heart of the Sunrise). Those epics define what Yes was all about and the type of music they perfected. But along the way, they had some hits as well. And this album pretty much focuses on the more catchy and easily accessable songs throughout their career. Nearly every major release up to and including Big Generator is represented by a track or two, and they are usually songs (or sections of songs) that someone who knows little about Yes would find accessable on a first listen. It's an easily digestable sample of what Yes has had to offer over the years, and it does not fail to deliver.
Report this review (#38537)
Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cluster One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This attempt at a 'Greatest Hits' package is somewhat successful, but how do you really distill the essence of YES to a mere 70 minutes or so? YES is all about epics, and the best that this compilation does is offer us an edited version of 'Gates of Delirium' in 'Soon'. (An item for collectors if nothing else)

One good thing about this compilation is that the songs chosen here are presented chronologically, so you get to see the natural evolution and (often drastic) changes in sound as the band progresses from a good track from their debut album ('Survival') to the more modern period and the likes of "Big Generator's" 'Rhythm of Love'.

All in all, a decent and representative offering of YES on a single disc. A good purchase for beginners to YES' music. An even better prog purchase in terms of a YES compilation would be 1981's "Classic Yes" (One of the best compilations from ANY band by the way), as it isn't/wasn't tainted by "90125" and a lot of the 'less-challenging music' that came later.

3/5 stars: decent, but far from essential.

Report this review (#40333)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Very Best of Yes????

What blatant false advertising! Could somebody explain to me how a compilation of the very best Yes songs somehow skips entirely over their best album, Close to the Edge?

For that matter, what is Survival doing on here? I know that Jon is fond of that one because it showcases his voice well, but if the first album just has to be represented, why not include Looking Around (or Beyond and Before or Every Little Thing, for that matter.)

The Soon single edit, too..... Another Jon showcase, but this time a decent one. Still, couldn't this have been dropped to make room for something truly essential, like And You and I?

Going for the One..... I've always disliked that song, compared to the rest of the album. We've got Wondrous Stories to represent GFTO (although I wouldn't complain if they dropped both of them and put in Turn of the Century or Awaken instead.) Wondrous Stories has a legitimate right to be on a Very Best album, though. Going for the One does not.

Owner and Leave it.... Well, again, these both have the right to be on a Very Best album, but did we truly need both of them?

Rhythm of Love.... Where is Love Will Find a Way? Not that I'm dying to hear that again, but it sure would make a lot more sense on this album than Rhythm of Love.

Here's the long and short of it. If you are looking for a Best of Yes compilation and aren't willing to shell out the big bucks to get a box set, go with Classic Yes, not this thing.

Report this review (#40892)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Another compilation of YES`music released by Atlantic Records after they left the label for the "Union" album, which was released in another label (Arista) in 1991. The Atlantic / Atco label also released other two compilations since 1991: "Yesyears" (1991) and "Yesstory" (1992), and yeas later they were going to release other compilations. Maybe that was the deal with YES: they could leave the label with the condition to let the label release some compilations in the next years. So, this is another package which repeats some songs from the previous two compilations, but this time in a one CD presentation.

The complete name of this compilation is "Highlights - The Very Best of YES". It contains songs from their earliest albums to the "Big Generator" album. So, this compilation has some songs released as singles, including their most successful single, "Owner of a Lonely Heart", from the Trevor Rabin Era. While "Yesyears" was a Box Set mostly directed to their most dedicated Fans (4 CDs including some rare material), and "Yesstory" was a bit lighter 2-CDs compilation (which also included some rarities from the "Yesyears" Box Set), this 1993 compilation was, IMO, more directed to the "occasional listener" who is not very Fan of YES but knows about their most famous songs (with the exception of "Survival" and "Time and a Word" from their first two albums). This CD is maybe a good way to introduce new listeners to the music of YES with some of their most known and accesible songs. The sound of this CD is very good, and the price is not very expensive, I think.

Report this review (#82604)
Posted Monday, July 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not bad, not bad.. This is an earlier CD compilation, offering a balanced selection of selective output from the band's discography.

Not actually a Best Of, more of a "What would appeal most to the average bubble gum chewer" compilation. It's a rather plain package, a completely unrelated cover which was probably slopped together by a five year old with a bit of paste and construction paper.

Aesthetics aside, recommended for an intro if you're unsure about the band, but stop the CD at track 10!

Report this review (#109863)
Posted Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is actually a pretty decent collection for novice proggers looking to get a brief taste of the greatness of Yes. Other than “Starship Trooper” and “Roundabout” there are none of the real epic Yes songs here, but it’s a bit surprising how much the record label managed to squeeze onto a single CD.

About half the songs here also appeared on ‘Classic Yes’, which was released the first time the band appeared to be on the breaks. This one came out the second time, in which case they pretty much were on the skids. Who would have thought in 1993 that Yes would go on to release another five studio albums, or that Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman would take part in some of those releases? Not me, that’s for sure.

I bought ‘Classic Yes’ in the early eighties because I wasn’t nearly as serious a fan as I would later become, and because I was among the many folks who figured this was a good way to collect the essentials before all their albums faded into obscurity and fell out-of-print. Turns out there wasn’t anything to worry about on that count, but who could have known at the time?

This time around I figured ABWH was the real future of Yes, and didn’t know at the time that lineup was already a thing of the past. No matter, the record didn’t cost much more then than ‘Classic’ had a decade earlier, and today it can regularly be found in discount bins for no more than a few dollars. In that light I’d say it’s a bargain, especially for anyone who has never heard the band’s first three or four albums and isn’t in a position to invest in them.

I’m not really much of a purist when it comes to compilations, and although I personally prefer the more comprehensive Yesstory collection, which includes everything on this album except “Leave It” (certainly not essential), or even my Ultimate Yes collection that has some interesting previously unreleased acoustic versions; I think this one makes for a decent economy introduction to the band. And it does have the single edit of “Soon”, which should convince anyone who hears it to buy ‘Relayer’ if they don’t already have it (and buy the Tangent’s ‘Not as Good as the Book’ while they’re at it for a really cool modern sci-fi twist on “Gates of Delirium”).

So anyway, a decent collection, but not essential. I’m tempted to give four stars because everything on here except possibly the eighties stuff deserves it, but in keeping with a preference of rating the quality of the collection and not the music I’ll go with three stars and recommend this as an introductory collection for novices only.

peace

Report this review (#173877)
Posted Friday, June 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The very best of Yes, maybe commercially speaking.

First i reviewed Classic Yes which i consider a worth addition and a strong compillation album, on the other hand here we have a Best of released in the early 90s which of course contains some songs from the 80s, you know the band took a different direction in some albums, and incidentally they were probably the only of the big dinosaurs who had a great success in that era, despite the different and pop commercial oriented style of some songs.

This album is a nice compillation for those who want to take a trip to the different Yes eras, so you can listen to Time and a Word, Roundabout or Owner of a Lonely Heart, also a part of the amazing Gates of Delirium, in the edited part of soon. But here we dont have any of their true best songs, some of them are excellent of course, but as i said in my first line, i consider this is a The Best of, commercially speaking.

I once had this album, but didn't work for me so i sold it, my final grade here are 2 stars, recommended for Yes fans who want to have all their collection, and to people new to the band who want a proof of their different eras.

Enjoy it, or not!

Report this review (#181147)
Posted Saturday, August 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars 1.75; The very best of Yes, you say? I think not.

Not a bad compilation in its own right, especially regarding the commercial department. But for the progger, the title of the compilation is quite deceiving. It is almost more a greatest hits compilation in disguise, with a couple hints of other periods in their music as of when the compilation was forged, though I'm really only talking about the songs Survival, Time and a Word, The Fish, and the tongue-in-cheek four minute excerpt of Gates of Delirium, Soon. It contains nothing from Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, or (really) Relayer, all Yes' most ambitious albums. I remember the only time I listened to the whole thing (after already being quite exposed to their hits anyways) was on a long trip home from a family vacation a few years ago. After getting my hands on the albums The Yes Album through Relayer, the period which culminates the REAL best of Yes (which I suppose is a matter of opinion), as well as 90125, there was practically no reason for me to have this album afterward. And it only has one song off Big Generator, and it's the most pop oriented one on the album. Now the compilation just sits and collects dust on the shelf.

I suppose the main reason for anyone to get this album is if they are not very familiar with the music Yes, or prog overall for that matter. I could see it having great use in getting the more commercial-minded listener familiar with Yes and thus maybe into prog. But other than that, on real progressive terms, better to skip this one and go to a better compilation like Ultimate Yes, or maybe something less expensive.

Report this review (#181766)
Posted Thursday, September 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars This very best of Yes collection curiously omits the three greatest albums of the band's 1970s period (sure, the edited version of "Soon" is included, but so what?). There is nothing from Close to the Edge, nothing from Tales from Tropographic Oceans, and just a cursory nod at Relayer. Only the title track and "Wonderous Stories" of Going for the One is present. Tormato and Drama are missing also. The obvious hits are included, but they certainly do not constitute the very best of Yes. So what's the point? Well, whoever produced this compilation missed it. There are certainly a number of excellent songs on here, but this cannot be recommended to either a respectable Yes fan or an individual looking to expand horizons. "Survival" and "Time and a Word" are present, which means this compilation at least nods to the Peter Banks period of Yes, and while the former track is an amazing piece of work, a better one could have been chosen to represent Yes's second release. There are better compilations than this one; even the first one beats it. This for the most part could have been called the mediocre of Yes and it would have been far more accurate.
Report this review (#219888)
Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
patrickq
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars This substandard release probably targets listeners seeking a one-disc Yes greatest-hits collection that covers the 1970s and 1980s (there's also The Best of Yes: 1970-1987 (2000), a Warner CD which may still be in print in Japan). I'll also mention Classic Yes, originally released in 1981, which is a good overview of, well, "classic Yes" of the early 1970s.

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

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

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

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

Report this review (#2137136)
Posted Sunday, February 17, 2019 | Review Permalink

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