Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Yes In a Word album cover
4.27 | 134 ratings | 9 reviews | 51% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

Write a review

Buy YES Music
from partners
Boxset/Compilation, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (79:24)
1. Every Little Thing (5:46)
2. Sweetness (4:35)
3. Survival (6:20)
4. Then (5:47)
5. Sweet Dreams (3:51)
6. Astral Traveller (5:56)
7. Time and a Word (4:34)
8. Dear Father (4:13)
9. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:42)
10. Clap (3:24)
11. Perpetual Change (8:53)
12. Starship Trooper (9:28) :
- a. Life Seeker
- b. Disillusion
- c. Würm
13. I've Seen All Good People (6:55) :
- a. Your Move
- b. All Good People

CD 2 (78:15)
1. Roundabout (8:33)
2. South Side of the Sky (7:56)
3. Heart of the Sunrise (10:36)
4. America (10:31)
5. Close to the Edge (18:38) :
- i. The Solid Time of Change
- ii. Total Mass Retain
- iii. I Get Up I Get Down
- iv. Seasons of Man
6. The Revealing Science of God (22:01)

CD 3 (79:44)
1. Siberian Khatru (8:55)
2. Long Distance Runaround (3:33)
3. The Gates of Delirium (21:50)
4. To Be Over (9:07)
5. Going for the One (5:32)
6. Turn of the Century (7:41)
7. Wonderous Stories (3:49)
8. Don't Kill the Whale (3:56)
9. Release, Release (5:46)
10. Arriving UFO (6:02)
11. Richard (3:33) *

CD 4 (77:42)
1. Tango (3:48) *
2. Never Done Before (2:10) *
3. Crossfire (2:42) *
4. Machine Messiah (10:24)
5. Tempus Fugit (5:17)
6. Owner of a Loneley Heart (4:29)
7. It Can Happen (5:30)
8. Leave It (4:14)
9. Hold On (5:16)
10. Rhythm of Love (4:52)
11. Love Will Find a Way (4:50)
12. Holy Lamb (Song for Harmonic Convergence) (3:22)
13. Brother of Mine (10:18) :
- a. The Big Dream
- b. Nothing Can Come Between Us
- c. Long Lost Brother of Mine
14. Fist of Fire (alternate version) (3:28)
15. I Would Have Waited Forever (full uncut version) (7:02)

CD 5 (78:37)
1. Lift Me Up (6:31)
2. The Calling (6:55)
3. I Am Waiting (7:25)
4. Mind Drive (18:38)
5. Open Your Eyes (5:14)
6. Universal Garden (6:17)
7. Homeworld (The Ladder) (9:35)
8. The Messenger (5:15)
9. Last Train (2:23) *
10. In the Presence Of (10:24) :
- i. Deeper
- ii. Death of Ego
- iii. True Beginner
- iv. Turn Around and Remember

Total Time 393:42

* previously unissued tracks

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Trevor Horn / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Patrick Moraz / keyboards
- Geoff Downes / keyboards
- Tony Kaye / keyboards
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Alan White / drums
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Peter Banks / guitars
- Trevor Rabin / guitars, vocals
- Steve Howe / guitars, vocals
- Billy Sherwood / guitars, vocals
- Igor Khoroshev / keyboards

Releases information

Elektra/Rhino 2002

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy YES In a Word Music

YES In a Word ratings distribution

(134 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(51%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (7%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

YES In a Word reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.
Review by Matti
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.

Review by Andy Webb
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.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars I never thought that I was going to write a review about this Box Set compilation until a few days after the sad news of Chris Squire`s death. With him dead, there are two original musicians from this band who are dead now (Peter Banks died in 2013). I was thinking in the last days that many musicians from the bands that I have listened from a very long time ago are now of more of fifty or sixty years of age, with some being more than seventy years old. And these musicians and bands are still my favorite musicians. I can`t imagine myself listening to today`s Pop bands like many young people in their twenties-thirties do. And I also think that while all these "old" musicians are not really of my generation, they really contributed more to the development of music than the new bands which are for very young people who only record one album or song and they later disappear. So, if the musicians that I like are now more in risk of dying (due to age or illness) or some of them are already dead, I don`t know to what kind of music I`m going to listen in the future. That is one of the reasons I still listen to all these "old" bands and musicians.

I have listened to YES since the early seventies. It was to their very first album ("Yes", 1969) that I remember listening for the first time to the band, maybe in 1971. The next album was "Fragile" (1971) in 1973. By 1976 it was to "Relayer (1974). Later in 1977, in was to "Going for the One" from the same year. By 1981 I have bought all the albums that were available from the band then. Bands like YES became a constant listening, and also they became very good sources from which I could learn to play the drums (and also to sing harmony vocals) when I was a teenager. Their music became a "friend" in lonely and troubled times and in happy times too. Finally, some years later I could see them play in concert in my city, three times (1998, 1999, 2002). So, YES became one of my favorite bands, and it still is one of my favorite bands, even if I sometimes forgot to listen to their albums for a long time. Being albums from which I still can learn something musically (for example, while trying to learn the chords of the songs in a keyboard while I listen to them; a very funny and relaxing way for me to forget the problems of some days, even if I don`t play the keyboard very well, not really being a keyboard player) it is obvious that they still have a lot to me to still be listened to after all these years.

Now, about this Box Set: this is a good compilation Box Set from YES, released in 2002. Five CDs which include songs from every studio album from 1969 ("Yes") to 2001 ("Magnification"), plus a few previously unreleased tracks (some from the aborted Paris sessions from late 1979, one from the "Magnification" album sessions from 2001, and one recorded as a trio by Howe-Squire-White before the "Drama" album sessions in 1980). Some alternate mixings and versions of some songs ("Fist of Fire" from the ABWH album, and one extended version of "I Would Have Waited Forever" from the "Union" album, plus a different spoken introduction which was added to "Clap" from "The Yes Album" from 1971, and a longer introduction added to "The Revealing Science of God " from the "Tales from Topographic Oceans" album from 1973). I could have included some of my favorite album tracks which were not previously included in other compilations ("Harold Land", for example, which I still consider as one of the best songs from their first album). In a few words, while this Box Set still includes some songs which were previously released in other compilations, it still is very good because it includes songs from all the studio albums which were available until 2002, including songs from albums which were released in other labels, not only in the Atlantic / Atco labels (as it was the case in the "Yesyears" Box Set from 1991). So, I think that this "In a Word" Box Set is maybe the most exhaustive compilation of the band`s music, including every member that the band had in the line-ups that were recorded in the studio until 2001 (with the Box Set titled "The Word is Live" from 2005 being a very good companion to this "In a Word" Box Set, but with only having live recordings from 1970 to 1988). There are not really "perfect" compilations from this band, but this Box Set is still very good. It also includes a very informative Booklet with the history of the band and photos, plus some essays written about the band. The Booklet has some inaccuracies, but it still is very informative.

As I write this review, the band has to play some tour dates without Squire from August to November of this year and some dates even in 2016, tour dates which were planned when Squire was still alive. Squire in fact a month ago announced that he was ill with Leukemia and that Billy Sherwood was going to replace him in these tour dates until his recovery. Unfortunately, Squire died, and it seems that these previously contracted tour dates are still going to be played by the band. I really don`t know if the band is going to carry on after these tour dates are played. But I still think that with Squire being the only original musician that played with the band all these years (and also being the only original musician of the band still playing recently with the band until before his death), I think that the band maybe could say "farewell " to the fans after all these previously contracted tour dates are played. But who knows? Maybe Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood could have other plans to carry on playing together as YES indefinitely.

Review by patrickq
4 stars If you were going to assemble a 5-CD collection of Yes music, spanning from 1969 to 2001, with just enough rare or unreleased material to keep fans interested, you probably couldn't do much better than this. The song selections make good sense, and while the sound is good on the 2002 edition, the newer edition is likely even better, as this it presumably uses the 2003-2004 Rhino remasters. The packaging is also very nice.

On the other hand, In a Word is almost entirely redundant, containing only a handful of unreleased tracks, at least two of which would later appear on reissued versions of the original albums: "The Revealing Science of God" with a longer atmospheric intro, and an alternate mix of "Fist of Fire." Of the remainder, we have four 1978-1980 demos, which had been widely available as bootlegs (though definitely not in this quality); "Last Train," a Magnification outtake; and a much-appreciated extended version of "I Would Have Waited Forever."

Evidently there was a reason that the five songs which had never been released in any version - - "Richard," "Tango," "Never Done Before," "Crossfire," and "Last Train" - - had never been released before; the most generous thing I can think to say is that they're uncompleted demos. They seem a little out of place on a best-of, multi-CD set.

As I've said before, it's pointless to quibble over song selection on retrospective compilations like this, so I'm not going to comment on this other than to say that, under the circumstances, the choices make sense. The sequencing is a bit odd; while just about everything is in strict chronological order, at one point there are three songs in a row, "Revealing Science," "Siberian Khatru," and "Long Distance Runaround," that are in reverse chronological order, apparently to optimize CD space usage.

So, how to rate In a Word? If you're a die-hard Yes aficionado, it's essential insofar as it's the only way to get the five demos, plus the extended version of "I Would Have Waited Forever," on a legitimate release. If you're not a fan but are curious, you might not want to start with such an exhaustive and expensive set! And if you are a fan of one era of the band and already have all of the albums from that period, this might be a way to sample some of their other material.

Even though this isn't an essential part of a complete prog rock collection, I'm awarding four stars on the basis that this is the single best Yes collection listed on Prog Archives.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#749362) | Posted by mohaveman | Saturday, May 5, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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-yea ... (read more)

Report this review (#21499) | Posted by | Thursday, March 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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. A ... (read more)

Report this review (#21493) | Posted by | Monday, November 22, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of YES "In a Word"

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


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

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

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.