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IN A WORD

Yes

Symphonic Prog


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gharper@fft.c
4 stars A most acceptable packaging of the best of Yes, all collected together in one place, although I'm not exactly sure who it is aimed at. There are some "previously unreleased " songs, althiugh most of these are available in other forms, and are on the whole, unessential to the casual listener. Although the earlier classic years are represented well enough, you might just as well go get the original albums for the missing tracks ie "And you and I" (the only track missing from "Close to the edge"?) and "Sound chaser" (The only track missing from "Relayer"). In an attempt to cover as much of thier carreer as possable, some weaker tracks from later albums are included at the expense of more essential tracks from earlier works, but I guess this is nescessary for a larger over view.The true value of this collection, however is an opportunity to rediscover some of the ignored great moments from later years such as "Homeworld(The ladder) and "I am waiting" among others. So the rating is more a reflection of what has been included, and not what has been left off. Oh, and by the way, the packaging is absoltuely supurb, and should be at least the standard for any collection like this.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#21493)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent compilation spanning over Yes' entire carrer up to the point of this release. Here we get five discs filled to the the rim with the "best of" Yes and I have to admit that the whole selection is definitely very representative of their progress from their debut in 1969. I also have to point out the booklet with the history of the band as well as rare pictures and snippets from interviews with all bandmembers. I got this mainly for the last few discs (I own all of their essential stuff) and "The Ladder"-era is my favorite so far. Great introduction to the forthcoming Yes fan. 4.5/5 stars.

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Send comments to Bj-1 (BETA) | Report this review (#21496)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
kevinarkles@a
5 stars Yes-In A Word is an excellent box-set, and covers every square inch of the band's career. Starting with 'very Little Thing and finishing with 'In The Presence Of...' it is the perfect collection for anyone looking for some classic prog-and of course, Yes define classic prog. Even the Rabin-years are highly litenable, even if it doesn't quite compare to the magical 'Close To The Edge' or 'Yours Is No Disgrace'. There are, obviously, some noticeable classics which do not appear. Where is 'And You And I' (although, that would result in all of the 'Close To The Edge' album would appear, and record companies would do that for business purposes), and where is ''No Oppurtunity Needed, No Experience Nessecery'. But, the ommissions don't matter anymore, not with such an impressive track listing.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#21499)
Posted Thursday, March 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
3 stars It requires a very long career, such as the one of YES, to need no less than five full lenght CD's for an anthology. But for anyone to enjoy it ALL is very unlikely, when the band in question is as ambitious as YES. I deeply DISliked the most of the music on the fifth CD, not enjoying ANY individual track from start to end (only parts here and there). I have been a YES listener for over two decades now but I still can't get into their 90's/00's stuff. It seems like they are trying too hard to make as challenging music as in the seventies while trying at the same time to be modern. The combination often leads to horrible pretentiousness. Sadly they fail to make beautiful songs also in the opposite direction, simplicity, if one judges it by the light of this box. Take 'Last Train': a 2½ minute doodling that repeats the same stupid lines over and over. Good grief. If I remember right, that song was one of five or so previously unreleased tracks (dating back as far as the late seventies). None of them impressed me.

I'm moving backwards here. I remember the original hearing of AWBH album in the late 80's was sort of refreshing, but the two selected tracks totally failed now for me. Big Generator ('87) was never my favourites but still I'm convinced it has better tracks than 'Rhythm of Love' or 'Love Will Find a Way'. Also the 90125 tracks are badly chosen if you ask me. No complaints about Drama; applause for not trying to make it seem less important album than others (as being the only one without Jon Anderson). But the worst track selection is from Tormato ('78), which as an album really isn't as bad as many want to remember it. It's just that the good tracks aren't chosen here; 'Release, Release' and 'Arriving UFO' are total crap.

My low-moral intention of borrowing this box was to burn a compilation CD set (naturally excluding tracks from the albums already in my shelf: Close To The Edge, Topographic Oceans and Drama, plus some songs featured in Keys To Ascension live CD). Well, I nearly took it for granted that I'd make it at least a 2-CD. With more consideration I brought it down to a single CD, stretching no further in discography than to Going For The One ('77). But boy, that result is wonderful indeed. A happy surprise was getting nice tracks from the first two albums too (one from each), while my memories of them were pretty low. 'Survival' and 'Then' remind me a bit of early CARAVAN!

Of the five CD's I consider only Nos. 1 and 2 well done (otherwise good disc 3 is marred by the wrong Tormato pickings). Fourth one is full of misses (or actually hits, but in this case it's almost the same thing). I haven't listened to albums Open Your Eyes, Talk and Magnification, so I can't judge the horrible last disc objectively. The lavishly illustrated book includes the band history and an essay on YES music, and naturally the discography with everything except the track listings.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#164100)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Admin / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars Huge in length, huge in depth.

Yes have released numerous box sets and compilations over the years, but this is the most ambitious yet. Five discs, each packed full of great tracks, going through the band history on each disk. The set comes with a near book of the band, about 200 pages full of great pictures, biographies, and other goodies all about this spectacular landmark Prog band. All five discs add up to an impressive 390 minutes, including some of the bands very best tracks, with the longs, the shorts, the in-betweens, the unreleased, the underappreciated, and so much more. Overall this box set is perfect for the Yes newbie, as I was back in 2002. I didn't appreciate them then, but when I got into prog, having this in my dad's collection was essential for my small prog collection. I listen to this whenever I want a good mix of Prog- and you should too! Instead of reviewing each track (I would be insane), I will go by each disk.

Disk 1 ("Yes" to "The Yes Album") contains the very earliest Yes music, from their 60s psych roots to their early beginnings in symphonic rock. The disk contains classics like Survival, I've Seen All Good People, and Perpetual Change. Starting from the beginning is good for an retrospection on this band, as you can see the developing styles all throughout the set.

Disk 2 ("Fragile" to "Tales") encompasses the bands more classic (pretentious) period, with both massive tracks Close to the Edge and The Revealing Science of God contained on the disk. The disk showcases the delicious symphonic excesses that Yes had in their classic hey-day, with some of their best from that period.

Disk 3 ("Close to the Edge", "Relayer" to "Tormato") (Siberian Khatru didn't fit on Disk 2) shows the bands peak, with the massive Gates of Delirium contained on the disk, as well as hits from Going for the One and the overlooked Tormato. This disk contains some of the bands better tracks, as well as the collection's first unreleased track, Richard.

Disk 4 ("Drama" to "Union") contains the bands dreaded period, the 80s, and the early 90s. With the departure of Jon Anderson for Drama, the band made a slow decline into the sad dead period for classic prog during the 80s, and didn't fully recover ever again. Although this period in Yes history is frowned upon by die hard Yes fans, the band was able to bring together a collection of great tracks, some really great unreleased material, and overall a decent display of Yes's "pop" era.

Disk 5 ("Talk" to "Magnification") contains the band's newest material and the band's closest return to their 70s greatness. This collection shows the band's new sound, with some of their better tracks from each of the modern albums. Overall, the disk closes the history of Yes rather nicely, with the great In the Presence Of...

ALBUM OVERALL: In A Word, although not containing much "new" material (save the numerous unreleased tracks that appeared on the album), is an essential collection for any aspiring Prog fan. Five discs of Yes history capture the best of each of Yes' 18 studio records. With all the essential classics, this box is huge: and hugely important to a growing prog collection. 5 stars.

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Send comments to Andy Webb (BETA) | Report this review (#285136)
Posted Saturday, June 05, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
5 stars The Ultimate Yes Box Set in 390 minutes of Prog Heaven!

If anyone wants to know why Yes are celebrated as one of the greatest prog bands in history, this box set is the proof. This beautiful lavish set is the ultimate starting point for newcomers to Yes, and I bought this before buying anything else apart from "Tales from Topographic Oceans" and "90125". So for a long time I was married to this box set, devouring all its contents and being completely blown away by this 'new' band that was caressing my ears for months. The cover is adorned with the 'Hallelujah Mountains' and as you open the box, the book beckons you to flick through its pages.

The booklet is a wonderful complimentary gift with the set and tells you everything you want to know about the band, and stuff you wished it did not reveal, beautifully illustrated in glossy colour, with a time line at the end showing the tracks of each album that became my guide as I was beginning to collect every Yes album. But this was my launching pad, the book guiding me like a wise old sage to every album eventually of this genius music band. The book is a whopping 96 pages of Yes. "Tales from the Edge" is written by Chris Welch and researches meticulously the fascinating story of the birth of the band. There are pictures of the early years, the albums, the singles, picture sleeves, the transformation of the lienups, in 6 glorious sections in 53 pages. Then we get a few pages of colour pictorial spreads. The next section is by Bill Martin called "Another green language: still after all these years", which is basically what happened during Magnification, the departure from music and the reunion, up to the present day at the time of release. On Page 88 there is a terrific discography with pictures of the album in timeline format with info about each including the various lineups. The track list is here showing the albums where each song comes from as a guide to the box set. The book is as good as any available on the market and is the best I have seen in any box set, along with the books in The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson box sets.

Strangely enough my entire collection began with this over indulgence in box sets. I took a risk really forking out such an enormous amount of cash for bands I had only heard on the radio, in the case of Yes we all knew Owner of a Lonely Heart, but Yes is so much better. Yes had somehow avoided me in my teens like a guarded secret, and I guess I had avoided it. But music tastes change and I absolutely grew to love the music on this. The great thing about a set like this is it effectively replaces buying stacks of albums, and you can always go back and get the classics over time and still have value for this type of set. The huge booklet, that is packed with info, and the overall packaging are absolutely stunning. The box feels good in the hands as you flick through the 5 CD binders. The illustrations on the box are exclusive Roger Dean's artwork, as are parts of the book. The booklet taught me about Mr Dean and the career of the highly revered band, every member, every album, with all their line up changes and iconic statements in music.

Onto the music: Disc I jams on a full disk of early Yes with some great tracks such as Sweet Dreams, Astral Traveller and Time and a Word. Having heard the early albums, these songs are just about the best tracks. The music really transforms noticeably when we come to the classics Yours Is No Disgrace, and my all time favourite Yes song Starship Trooper. It ends with the legendary I've Seen All Good People. The great thing is these songs are the album length versions, no edits here thankfully. After hearing these songs I knew it would not be long before I owned The Yes Album and Fragile.

Disc II is perhaps the best in the collection, taking classics from Fragile and Close to the Edge. Every song is a killer; Roundabout, the full version, South Side of the Sky, Heart of the Sunrise, and the complete album length Close to the Edge track. It also features a little known track America, and ends with an obligatory track from Topographic. On compilations, it is either Ritual or the opening track, and in this case the much preferred The Revealing Science of God is used. I don't think I ever played it having owned the full album, but it needed to be here.

Disc III is also great Yes, especially with Siberian Khatru, and Long Distance Runaround. I was introduced to Relayer with the full 22 minute The Gates of Delirium, and To Be Over, and of course that is about the whole album apart from the Howe dominated track. The tunes change considerably and suddenly on the next few tracks, after the long hiatus and lineup changes. The best of Going for the One is here and replaced that album for me for years. The best songs on it are represented, the title track, Turn of the Century, Wonderous Stories, and the best of Tormato is represented with 3 songs. It ends with a previously unissued track called Richard, that is forgettable but nice that there is something unissued here. More unreleased tracks are to come on the ensuing discs.

Disc IV features the unissued tracks of Tango, Never Done Before, and Crossfire which is great for completists who may be drawn to this set to get those songs plus the rewards of the booklet. Drama is represented by its best songs Machine Messiah and Tempus Fugit. 90125 is well represented with the smash single Owner of a Lonely Heart, and 3 others, though Changes would be a better choice than Hold On. I had the 90125 album on cassette, my first Yes album, but on CD it is so much better of course. The disappointing commercial sound of Big Generator is here with the 3 songs, but it was wonderful to hear 2 tracks from the ABWH album, both are brilliant. The CD ends with one Union track. Disc V is the worst disc especially as the much maligned mediocre 1990s Yes albums are represented, Union, and Talk with the first 3 songs. I skipped often to the 18 minute epic Mind Drive track which is stunning from Keys to Ascension 2. The 2 tracks from Open Your Eyes are fine as is the mini epic Homeworld (The Ladder) and The Messenger from The Ladder. Last Train is another unreleased track that is OK and from the more recent Magnification is In the Presence of, clocking about 10 minutes and ending on a high note.

As with any compilations there are some big omissions. And You And I is missing for some strange reason though that would have meant the entire Close To The Edge would be here, which is not necessarily a great marketing move. I would have liked to have heard some live material but the live box set available compensates for that. Overall this is the ultimate Yes collection. It should not replace all the classic albums from the debut to Going For The One, but honestly disc 4 and 5 compensates for the Yes 1980s and 1990s albums. The set effectively spans the entire career of one of the greatest Symphonic Prog bands in history so it deserves 5 stars without hesitation.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#400056)
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 5 disc box set from 1992 with a wondeful cover. Pretty much anything good from Yes is here up to that point in the band's career. Expensive, but probably worth it considering what is contained on these cd's. Some rarer songs are here like "Richard" and "America". Well, it's hard to say anything bad about this package. I could disagree with a few song choices, and wish for a few different ones but that would really be nitpicking. An excellent set from an excellent bad. COmes close to getting a 5 star rating but since it is a greatest hits package, 4 will be enough.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#749362)
Posted Saturday, May 05, 2012 | Review Permalink

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