Header
Yes - The Word Is Live CD (album) cover

THE WORD IS LIVE

Yes

Symphonic Prog


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
relayer66@yah
5 stars Ok, I'll admit that Yes is my favorite band right from the start. Given that, I've been increasingly critical of their output over the years. Although there are a few stinkers, they haven't really done anything so bad that I can't forgive them, like Genesis. But I don't think they've ever matched their peak from the mid 70's (Relayer, Close to the Edge, Going for the One), and with maybe a couple of exceptions haven't released a greater than 3- star album since those golden days. This is a 3 CD live set that is based around 4 periods: 1971, 1976-79, 1980 (considered separately due to the Buggles line-up), and 1988. The selections are superb, and manage to avoid duplicating the songs found on Yesshows and Yessongs, with a few exceptions. Only two of the tracks have been previously released, on the BBC sessions set they released a few years back. There are also a few surprises on here, songs that I've never heard or even heard of. The sound quality is excellent, much better than the Yessongs set, and as good as Yesshows (my favorite Yes live album, or is it this one? Haven't decided yet). The packaging is lavish and very nice, the obligatory Roger ("I love rocks") Dean cover, with some insightful essays (including a few comments by some surprising contributors). And let me finish by saying that the version of Sound Chaser on here is worth the price of admission by itself! This and a few other tracks (Awaken, a very funky interpretation of Sweet Dreams) make this collection essential. 5 stars easy, I could give it that in my sleep.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#45967)
Posted Thursday, September 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
philipbirtwis
4 stars Excellent set, a splendid range of performances featuring many of the bands line ups. Nice to see the Drama era given an airing, although the quality of those tracks seems to be a tad below some of the others present. perhaps all the storys about the Madison Square Garden recording having problems were true after all.

Interesting that it stops in in 1988. I know there's a few live albums after that, but dos this mean we are due a Volume Two at some point???

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#48734)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
tpopma@sympat
2 stars Quite frankly, I think the audio quality should be better. Disc 1 is almost unlistenable due it's harsh sound quality (the BBC recordings are no better than the original 'BBC Sessions' set). The remaining 6 tracks on Disc 1 are from 1971 and are disappointing when compared to 'YesSongs'. Disc 2 is a bit better but then the recordings are newer. Disc 3 sounds the best of the lot but then you can only get better after listening to Disc 1. After the tremendous 'In a Word' set this is very disappointing.....

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#48999)
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Those of us who have followed Yes for a number of years have sampled a wide variety of their live recordings. In recent years, I have come to dread the sight of a new roger dean cover in the "Y" rack at the record store, wincing at the memory of the disappointments, the new albums that I always hope will rekindle the band's glory days, the live sets that endlessly rehash the old classics with modern instruments and production techniques that always seem to find a way of stomping the magic out of Yes.

I find myself returning again and again to "Yessongs," that rich and mysterious document of other-worldly music-making, and realize that I should be grateful and not fault them for releasing the best live album ever at the beginning of their career.

Given that the best is already available, what the discriminating fan wants is a taste of the Yes they don't know yet. This set succeeds marvellously, with a sampling of all kinds of things that other live releases have never covered, from the Yes Album era, to songs played live but never recorded, to SOUND CHASER!!! Even the inclusion of pieces from the Trevor Horn stint feel very much at home in this box of curiosities.

This would not be for the newcomer, but "The Word is Live" is just the medicine for a jaded and bitter Yes fan wanting to be surprised again.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to freyacat (BETA) | Report this review (#49417)
Posted Thursday, September 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars After glancing at the tracklisting for this boxset, I was VERY interested in it. The things that stuck out to me immediately were:

A live version of SOUNDCHASER! They had never released a live recording of it, and I was very excited. Even more, a live version of AWAKEN from the 70's! I had been dying to hear one, and they had never released a live version of Awaken (save the one from Keys To Ascension, but they don't rock very hard in that one, as they're older.)

However, my friend bought this boxset, and I managed to listen to it. I was extremely dissapointed! The sound is not as good as it should be, and I have recently aquired Yes bootlegs, with better sound quality, and more of the tracks that I wanted, that this 40 dollar boxset does not have.

The packaging was nice, and the art work is really nice. It's just too much money, for non- essential tracks.

If you're really interested in live Yes, Yessongs, and Yesshows are all you truly need. If you are STILL not satisfied, find some bootlegs. There are some great quality bootlegs with all the tracks that Yes fans would want for free. Bootlegs beat this boxset to a pulp.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to gok22us (BETA) | Report this review (#50880)
Posted Sunday, October 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars A peculiar mixture of mostly previously unreleased tracks, some very good, some so-so and some strictly "for collectors only". The highlights; early Yes with Kaye and in places Pete Banks; "Drama" material with Horn and Downes spolit by the poor sound quality; and the best, Soundchaser, with Moraz and White playing a blinder, Moraz showing his electric jazz style with his solo at the conclusion. For me, it was also great to hear the medley from the Tormato tour which brought back memories of seeing them back then, but if I was being objective, their playing wasn't as sharp as on the GFTO tour or even on the 2004 tour. Neither "Roundabout" nor "Awaken" from 1979 show them at their best, the "classic" 5 peice about to break up. There's some rabin-era material which proves to be a crowd pleaser, though to me shows some of the limits of the style of music they were doing back then. The packaging is excellent, with some nice fanzine type articles and photos in the form a small hardback booklet, encasing the 3 CD's. This is the first album where price has had a real impact on my buying decision - I hesitated to buy this album at the full asking price - around Ł40 in the UK - but didn't have to wait long before the price tumbled to under Ł15. At that price, its something of a must have if you're a Yes fan, anything much more and think carefully - you're in collectors only territory.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Phil (BETA) | Report this review (#72621)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
2 stars Yes - this are YES-Songs

Compared to 'Yessongs' from 1973 this selection of live tracks is disappointing.

CD 1 contains tracks from the early 70s which have a bad sound quality - for hardcore collectors only!

OK - CD 2 and 3 are better and also the packaging/booklet is very interesting. But if you want to get an excellent live performance of YES then buy 'Yessongs'!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Rivertree (BETA) | Report this review (#73948)
Posted Monday, April 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars The least I can say is that I thought this set would be a DVD. I had seen the track list and was incredibly blown away by the fact that such stuff could exist on film. Alas this was no DVD but just a box-set of Cds presenting archives from throughout their career. Yes, I got completely fooled by the format of this "thing": instead of having the usual CD box-set, this collection is in the DVD format, and furthermore misplaced in the library's collection, apparently I was not the only one fooled. So after pulling out the CD from my DVD player, I decided to get as much as I could from this missed selection. Apart from the unusual size, the object is actually gorgeous boasting the usual great Dean artwork, but also a lush booklet full of great pictures (even one of Jon playing electric guitar if you can believe it, but also Wakeman's incredibly tacky and kitsch stardust-sprinkled cape and a good art of Squire's incredible wardrobe of stage costumes) and associated texts, which is likely to get most Yesheads drooling and wetting their pants in anticipation.

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

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

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

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

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#90930)
Posted Friday, September 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I wouldn't as a rule, usually write about a YES album. Great band of course and I have been a fan of the 70's material for years, but so many of you have beaten me to it. After all, I think most of us now know what CLOSE TO THE EDGE and THE YES ALBUM sound like.

Really thought that this forgotten gem, needed the good review it deserves as it seems to have had some mixed feelings since release. First and foremost, I actually own a slightly different release from the one specified here. Disc 1 and 2 are present as listed, but the 3rd disc has been replaced with a DVD of the hard to find 1975 QPR concert. Good for me as I've never been interested in the 80's incarnations of YES really. My copy comes in just a digipack sleeve, sadly without the book. Anyone wanting this may find this online at a cheaper price than the box, so take your pick!

As for the music itself (I'm only reviewing the 2 CD's here), I have to say that I purchased this on the strength of the tracklist itself. Many songs that we haven't heard live before, one or 2 that were never even released and all gloriously extended for the stage - perfect recipie for a live album. I was not dissapointed. The sound quality is actually very good (despite what some people might say). Much better that YESSONGS which I find has a kind of 'distant' sound to it. I know that there are a lot of dodgy sound quality live CD's on the market from various prog artists. This is not one of them. Whoever complied this, was obviouly conscious not to just throw it together as performances are brilliant, all of the band on top form. Disc 1 in particular has some spectacular moments. The 17 minute version of America is just sensational and CHRIS SQUIRE'S bass solo on It's Love is sublime. These tracks were actually taken from the 1971 Crystal Palace gig, which was TONY KAYE'S last gig of the 70's.

I'm listening to disc 2 as I write, even on my rather tinny sounding PC speakers, the sound is great, very uplifiting.

So there you have it. Maybe not for the casual listener, but for any lover of YES, this is an essential purchase.

4.5 stars for this!

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to kingdhansak (BETA) | Report this review (#124967)
Posted Thursday, June 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This gets 3 stars. Good, but not essential. There are better live Yes albums out there.

The hook for this release is the live material that Yes fans have either never heard or never heard live. Tracks like We Can Fly From Here and Going Through This were never officially released. Live versions of things like Astral Traveller or Everydays are hard to come by. So the set list is definitely slanted towards people who are more than casual fans. It's a solid set list with lots of interesting little things on it (I'm listening to the extended guitar soloing on Sweet Dreams right now, and it sure is good) but nothing that's amazingly special.

The other thing we need to talk about is sound quality. The sound quality isn't great for the older tracks, but it is listenable. We are talking a sound quality that is poorer than Yessongs (which, despite being the best live album Yes ever released, doesn't have exceptional sound quality by any means) but not nearly as bad as King Crimson's Earthbound (which isn't worth the purchase price.) Sound quality generally improves as the tracks get more modern, but never gets quite as good as you would hope.

So three stars for this one. It's a live album slanted towards fans who aren't satisfied with Yessongs and Yesshows and KTA I and II, but it's good enough that it's not JUST for jaded fans.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to ghost_of_morphy (BETA) | Report this review (#127375)
Posted Monday, July 02, 2007 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars WELL WORTH BUYING - AS LONG AS YOU CAN PUT UP WITH THE SOUND...

THE WORD IS LIVE has received a drubbing from the critics, which I think is somewhat unfair. Most of the performances are excellent, and if you're into 1970s Yes I recommend them unreservedly. It's true that recording quality is passable at best, and awful most of the time. Just play this album on that small portable CD-player you've got in your kitchen, and such things won't bother you too much. Provided you can buy THE WORD at a reduced price, I don't think you'll ever regret acquiring a copy.

A feeling of opportunities missed crept up with the very first two tracks (BBC recordings), which had been available for quite a while. Why waste space on such stuff, Rhino, if you could have given us "Starship Trooper" from 1971? But from track 3 onwards, it's, er, "jingle all the way"! On both "Astral Traveller" and "Everydays", the lead guitar solos from Steve Howe (not Peter Banks) are astonishing. Howe's solo turn on "Yours is no Disgrace" (featuring BB on drums) is equally exhilerating. "America" suffers from some unnecessary repetition (apparently the band, at that stage, still needed to edit and trim their epic interpretation), but "It's Love" (a track I didn't know; is it an old Motown number?) is great, innocent fun: it features Chris Squire playing bass and singing scat at the same time, neatly prefiguring Mr. Stanley Clarke.

On the second disc, "Future Times/Rejoice" (from TORMATO) still doesn't sound convincing, but the much-maligned "Circus of Heaven" brought a smile to my face. On "Siberian Khatru", Patrick Moraz replaces Rick Wakeman's harpsichord with electric piano (an unforgivable sin, in my view) but this strange performance is immediately followed by a blistering version of "Sound Chaser" (also from Detroit 1976), which really makes me wonder why Rhino didn't include "To Be Over" as well.

I used to be an admirer of YESSONGS (it was the first Yes album I ever bought) but nowadays I play the set very little, as I generally prefer the studio originals. It came as a pleasant surprise that I really enjoyed the versions of "Long Distance Runaround", "The Fish", "Roundabout" and "Heart of the Sunrise" on THE WORD IS LIVE. To my feeling, these tunes all sound crisper, leaner and more exciting than on the earlier live album. One of the reasons is that you can now hear Rick Wakeman's keyboards more clearly, and Rick plays with admirable fluency. The same is true about "Awaken", where Rick sounds, once again, superb - although on this particular track, Steve's fast, electric solo really sounds too dry, not aggressive enough.

I can't complain about Steve's playing in general: on the three pieces by the Buggles-dominated Yes (Disc Three, tracks 3-5), you can tell he's "reaching for the stars", and when he does so, you know he'll sound rather cacophonic at times, but at least you could never say he's just going through the motions... To tell you the truth, this entire collection gave me such a thrill I even enjoyed the performances of the Trevor Rabin-dominated band (Disc Three, tracks 6-9). Just seeing those photographs (on p. 34 and 39 in the booklet) of Jon Anderson in the late 1980s, holding his toy microphone, reminded me how I used to despise this incarnation (a betrayal of all I once held dear) but if you judge their music on its own terms, it sounds just fine: it is melodious, performed with conviction and (I never thought I'd write this!) even Trevor Rabin's solos are fun.

RATING: Three and a half stars.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#142676)
Posted Monday, October 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I do not believe there is much point in berrating the sound quality because even like Yessongs it was not great. But most people did not care about sound quality much then as long as the vinyl did not jump or get stuck. The beauty of CD's is that it captures releases that would have otherwise not seen the light of day on vinyl. So viewing or listening to this as a latter day release, yes the quality is poor, but I fail to see the relevance.

The CD's ( note not DVD! I was another one tricked into believing there were DVD's in here) offer an excellent gammut of sounds from the early 70's thru to the Drama and Big Generator era and some great tracks off Tormato as well. Over three and a half hours of great live moments in the Yes travels that many enthusiasts will have in their collections already. ' Tempus Fugit' and ' We Can Fly From Here' from the Drama era the highlights ,for obvious reasons this album's exposure received the least publicity in retrospect. Anyhow a great collective of music. Good to hear the party atmosphere on Rhythm of Love at the Houston show.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#179324)
Posted Sunday, August 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Pretty much, if you are a Yes fan, there is something in this collection for you. It contains live music from various different era's of Yes' career, including many rarities and some songs that were only ever performed live and never recorded.

For fans of Yes who do not appreciate the first two albums enough to buy Something's Coming/Beyond and Before (the two disc "BBC Sessions" album), this album will help scratch that itch, with four tracks from the same era, including "For Everyone", which eventually evolved into a section of Starship Trooper on The Yes Album. It also includes a 16 minute, more jam- oriented version of America, which, while not as tight as the version on "Keys to Ascension", is definitely a gem for any hardcore Yes fan. The first disc ends with It's Love, another song that was not ever released on a studio album, a cover of a song by "The Rascals". It's a nice rock track, if not the same sound as their classic era.

Speaking of the classic era, this gets more coverage on the second disc, which starts with Apocalypse (a section from "And You And I") and Siberian Khatru. What is interesting to fans about these tracks is they were versions recorded in '76 - meaning that Patrick Moraz was behind the keys instead of Wakeman. (In fact, Wakeman's presence from Fragile to Tales from Topgraphic Oceans is ignored on this album, due to that period being covered by Yessongs). This gives the songs a bit of a different feel than their album counterparts, making these versions unique among Yes live albums. Another track notable for fans of the band off this disc is Sound Chaser, which is as hard rocking and eclectic here as it was on Relayer, if not perhaps slightly better because of the live setting.

The gem off of disc 2 is "The Big Medley", a 25 minute track that Yes performed after the release of Tormato to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. It includes music from most of Yes' albums to that point, and is an excellent medley. It is also one of the only live recordings of Survival (off of Yes' debut), which is played here in conjunction with "The Fish". It also includes "Perpetual Change", another under-appreciated Yes classic off of The Yes Album. Disc 2 also includes Hello Chicago, a quick little rock piece where Jon Anderson sings to the audience.

Other than including yet another version of Heart of the Sunrise and Awaken - great tracks but otherwise well covered in other live Yes albums - Disc 3 contains two gems: We Can Fly From Here and Have We Really Got To Go Through With This?, tracks that were written during the Drama era but that Yes never recorded due to time constraints. (Which is too bad, I would have rather have had one of these on Drama then White Car!) They are both great tracks. Also of note from that era is a live version of Tempus Fugit.

Unfortunately, Disc 3 is probably the "Black Sheep" of the set, as other than the first two redundant tracks, the music is all from "Drama" and "Big Generator" era, which are not Yes' most popular albums. As such, the second Disc will likely get the most play from the most people.

The album does skip a few eras (Fragile to Tales, 90125), but these are eras of Yes' discography that are well represented by other live albums. Unfortunately, Rhino (who did this release) did not have any music from after Big Generator that they could publish, which is a shame because, while Yes has released plenty of live releases post 2000 that cover a lot of their later career, there still aren't any official releases that cover the Union tour, and I know that many Yes fans would love to hear music from that era.

Nonetheless, for Yes fans who want to hear more, this album truly delivers, with interesting takes on existing songs, many unreleased tracks that weren't released on studio albums, etc. For those who aren't strong fans of Yes, this album will probably have less appeal, especially the first and third disc which don't cover the classic era.

Final rating: For yes fans, 4/5 stars. For everyone else, 2/5.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to TheGazzardian (BETA) | Report this review (#257478)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars In the early 2000's, rumors floated around for a good while that Yes was thinking about releasing a boxset of previously unreleased live material, but after a while I started to think (like I'm sure many fans did) that, given how much Yes was dragging their heels on actually doing this, this would never happen. So imagine my surprise when I found out that it would be released in 2005, and that there ended up being only one significant delay from the initial target release date. 'Twas a modern miracle, to be sure, given Yes' habitual tardiness with such releases in the latter part of their career ...

So anyway, this 3-CD boxset is a nice addition to the band's catalogue, and it justifies its existence by (mostly) focusing on periods in the band's history that haven't been adequately covered by Yessongs, Yesshows and the like. The all-music guide actually complains about the fact that the band's '72-'75 peak is ignored on here, but that seems rather silly to me; if this set focused on that period, it would be redundant, whereas in its current state it's largely essential for hardcore fans. It's even nice enough to have some tracks on it that are the exact same versions as ones I already owned ("Sweet Dreams" is from the Electric Freedom/QPR '75 show, the three 1980 tracks are from the Complete Dramatized Tour show), and it covers some material from some tours where I have bootlegs of other shows, so it's at least a partial solution to hunting down tracks from bootlegs that are no longer easy to find.

The set starts off slightly redundant, presenting cleaned up versions of "Then" and "For Everyone" done in BBC sessions while Banks was in the band, but quickly moves into Steve Howe's initial period with the band, giving us our first chance to hear the TYA lineup live. We start with solid runthroughs of "Astral Traveller" and "Everydays" from 1970, which prove that Steve had his style and technique down from day one, as he mostly reinvents Banks' guitar lines and makes the songs distinctly his. Then it's off to 1971 and nice performances of "Yours is No Disgrace" and "I've Seen All Good People," giving us a chance to hear what this material was like when it was completely fresh and had no stench of overfamiliarity. One thing that particularly stands out in "YIND" is just how aggressive Howe would get when it was his turn to shine; the band actually sounds a little cautious and unsure when playing the main parts of the song, but as soon as Howe can break out those wah-wah licks, it's like watching a leopard pounce.

From this show, we also get to hear the young, jammy cover-band Yes, the one that would make Paul Simon's "America" last 16 minutes and "It's Love" by The Young Rascals last 11. I'll admit that 16 minutes is a little excessive, but it's just so intriguing to hear the band making songs so long not because they'd written them as such, but because they needed to fill space in their shows from not having much of a back catalogue yet, and the ideas that they pull out to try and make it work are neat to hear. Just as it would be later at the SLO shows, "America" is a great showcase for Steve's prog-country licks, and in this case even Kaye's organ gets some of the spotlight. As for "It's Love," I'm betting this cover would infuriate fans of the original (if I knew the original I'd be able to make a surer guess), but as far as I'm concerned, it has a great combination of groove (Bruford is bashing about but also holding the fort well) and great instrumental sounds, so that's enough for me. Chris' bass solo (with attempt to sing along to it) could be a little shorter, but I still like it a lot.

Disc 2 begins (after having the band walk out on stage to Moraz and Howe playing "Apocalypse" from "And You And I") with FABULOUS runthroughs of "Siberian Khatru" and "Sound Chaser" from 1976 (followed by "Sweet Dreams" from the already mentioned 1975 show). "Sound Chaser," in particular, sounds way way better here than it did as the Electric Freedom opener, and I don't think it's just a matter of sound quality. The band toys with the introduction, making it loads more atmospheric, and the song itself becomes a rocking monster that I think could (potentially) be enjoyed even by somebody who didn't really like the original.

The rest of disc 2 (and the start of disc 3) focuses on the Tormato tour. "Big Medley" is there in all its glory, and the renditions of "Heart of the Sunrise," "Awaken" and "Roundabout" are all some of the best you can get from Yes (I'm not thrilled about having these songs on here taking up space, but I guess you have to have a good % of "standards" for a set like this). Of course, I wish that "Circus of Heaven" and "Future Times/Rejoice" weren't also taking up space (the Wembly version of "On the Silent Wings of Freedom," by far the best rendition of the track I've heard, would have been preferable), but whatever. Next up are "Go Through This," "We Can Fly From Here" and "Tempus Fugit" from the Complete Dramatized Tour show, and the biggest thing I can say here is that I finally learned to really enjoy "Go Through This"; it's a fine piece of New Wave rock'n'roll, go figure.

Unfortunately, the set ends on a slightly down note, as the last four tracks are from the Big Generator tour, generally regarded as one of the worst tours the band ever did. The songs and performances themselves are fine (except for "Hold On," which still blows), but I can't help but be irritated that, of all the remaining possibilities, the band decided that the world needed to have seven officially released tracks from one of its worst tours (remember, Yesyears contains "Heart of the Sunrise," "And You And I" and "Changes" from that tour). Ah well.

In the end, I might have been able to do a better job of selecting tracks (it would have been better, for instance, to have "Awaken" from the Union tour) to go on here, but I'm pleased with what I have. I don't recommend it for anybody but big fans like me, but for big fans like me, it's definitely a necessity.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#278858)
Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars A box set of Yes live performances through the time. No less and no more.

A box that does not come with a particular impressive packaging and feels a bit cheap does not really appeal to me. I would had liked a bit of the programmes they sold on the gigs itself. Anything but this.

The live performances is picked from 1970 to 1988. The sound is not particular interesting throughout this box. The first CD sounds like a bootleg recording. Not nice. The second and third one is better but it still sounds like bootlegs to me. It does not have this official, heartfully approved by the band stamp over it.

This whole thing screams rip off long way and I cannot and will not recommend it to anyone.

2 stars

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#574915)
Posted Friday, November 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A Box Set with mostly previously unreleased live recordings of diverse quality that YES released in 2005. It covers recordings done between 1970 and 1988, the years on which YES was signed to Atlantic / Atco Records. The tracks "Then" and "For Everyone" were previously. released in the "Something`s Coming" and "Beyond and Before -The BBC Recordings 1969-70" albums from 1997-98. The rest of the tracks, as long as I know, were officially released for the first time in this Box Set. Most of the tracks are interesting for my taste, but, as I mentioned before, the quality of the recordings varies. I have to say that until the late eighties-nineties the quality of the recordings of most official live albums released by YES left a bit to be desired. Not only the recordings were not very good but the mixings were not very good too. The same happens with most of these live recordings, with the exception of the live recordings done in 1988 (which I previously recorded from the radio in 1989; in fact, these recordings complete some of the live recordings from 1988 done in Houston which were previously released in the "Yesyears" (1991) Boxset, but still leaving as unreleased tracks some other songs from the same concert). I think that the recordings from 1970 and 1971, despite sounding well, are Mono recordings. The rest of the songs are Stereo recordings.

There are several line-ups of the band included in the recordings used in this Box Set: the original line-up (Anderson, Banks, Bruford, Kaye and Squire), "The Yes Album" line-up (Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Kaye and Squire), the "Relayer" album line-up (Anderson, Howe, Moraz, Squire and White), the "Going for the One" and "Tormato" albums line-up (Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White), the "Drama" album line-up (Downes, Horn, Howe, Squire and White), and the "90125" and Big Generator" albums line-up (Anderson, Kaye, Rabin, Squire and White). As the "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" albums line-up (Anderson, Bruford, Howe,Squire and Wakeman) was previously presented in three tracks in the "Yessongs" album, I think that it was the reason it was left out of this Box Set, but I think that it could have been very interesting to listen to live versions of songs like "Heart of the Sunrise" and "Rondabout" done live by this line-up.

One really can listen to some differences in the playing of some live tracks by different line-ups. For example, the live versions of "Astral Traveller" and "Everydays" are played with Steve Howe on guitar and I really prefer the live versions with Peter Banks on guitar from the BBC albums. "Siberian Khatru" is played with Patrick Moraz on keyboards, but I prefer the live versions recorded with Rick Wakeman."Soon" (from "The Gates of Delirium") was played with Rick Wakeman in the "Big Medley" from 1979, but I prefer the live recordings done with Patrick Moraz.

Fortunately, they only included live recordings of the "Drama " album line-up playing songs which originally were only played by that line-up (with "We Can Fly from Here" and "Go Through This" being songs that they only played live during that tour and they did not include studio versionsof them in the "Drama " album), because now it is very known that Trevor Horn did not sing old songs from YES very well. The live version of "Awaken" from 1979 included in this Box Set is very good, in my opinion, and the live tracks from Houston 1988 done during the "Big Generator" tour are very good. The same could be said of "Sweet Dreams" done by the "Relayer" album line-up in 1975.

So, while not being a "perfect" live Box Set in the general quality of the performances and of the recordings, this Box Set it is a very enjoyable listening experience.It also could be a very good Box Set for the most die-hard fans of the band.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#1146828)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars Go Through This

This four disc set is considered the live companion to the In A Word box set. The Word Is Live features live recordings from the early 70's to the late 80's and thus features material taken from a wide range of different sources with many different line-ups involved. The sound quality ranges from good to weak. The tracks are ordered in roughly chronological order starting out with some early BBC recordings from 1971 and ending with four songs recorded in 1988. Along the way we get to meet (in multiple configurations) guitarists Peter Banks, Steve Howe, and Trevor Rabin; keyboard players Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, and Geoff Downes; drummers Bill Bruford, and Alan White; vocalists Jon Anderson and Trevor Horn; and bass player Chris Squire who remains the only constant throughout.

With the sole exception of Tales From Topographic Oceans, every studio album up to 1987's Big Generator is represented. There is thus nothing from the Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album or Union or from any subsequent album. However, there is a 1980 live recording of We Can Fly From Here which many years later became the title track of Fly From Here (2011). Go Through This is another track from the same 1980 live recording featuring the line-up that recorded Drama that like We Can Fly From Here was not included on that (or any other) album (at the time). There are also a few other non-album tracks featured here, the most prominent example being It's Love - a cover song that was played live by the band in their early days.

Now that this box set can be heard on Spotify, being a huge fan of the band, I certainly find it worth hearing. However, with so many fine "proper" live albums (and videos) from the band, this massive compilation of independent live tracks is less than essential. If you have some or all of the band's official live albums (Yessongs, Yesshows, Keys to Ascension, House Of Yes, Symphonic Live, etc.) then you don't really need this box set unless you are a serious fan and collector. The listening value of these discs is a lot lower in virtue of the material being taken from such a wide range of sources, and I generally strongly prefer live albums that are taken from a single concert.

Recommended for fans and collectors

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#1166852)
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Review Permalink

YES The Word Is Live ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of YES The Word Is Live


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | GeoIP Services by MaxMind | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.32 seconds