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Yes Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection album cover
3.17 | 107 ratings | 19 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing


CD 1 (79:23)
1. Time and a Word (4:33)
2. Starship Trooper (9:29)
3. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:41)
4. I've Seen All Good People (6:56)
5. Roundabout (8:32)
6. Long Distance Runaround (3:31)
7. Heart of the Sunrise (10:37)
8. South Side of the Sky (7:56)
9. And You and I (10:09)
10. America (single edit) (4:10)
11. Wonderous Stories (3:49)

CD 2 (79:24)
1. Siberian Khatru (8:56)
2. Soon (new edit) (5:44)
3. Going for the One (5:32)
4. Don't Kill the Whale (3:57)
5. Tempus Fugit (5:16)
6. Owner of a Lonely Heart (4:28)
7. Leave It (4:19)
8. It Can Happen (single edit) (4:18)
9. Rhythm of Love (4:52)
10. Big Generator (remix) (3:39)
11. Lift Me Up (6:31)
12. The Calling (single) (4:39)
13. Open Your Eyes (5:15)
14. Homeworld (The Ladder) (radio edit) (4:39)
15. Magnification (7:19)

CD 3 (20:08)
1. Roundabout (previously unreleased, acoustic) (4:18)
2. Show Me (previously unreleased) (3:37)
3. South Side of the Sky (previously unreleased, acoustic) (4:28)
4. Australia (previously unreleased, solo acoustic) (4:12)
5. New World Symphony (previously unreleased) (3:33)

Total Time 178:55


CD 1 (78:53)
1. Yours Is No Disgrace (9:42)
2. Survival (6:20)
3. Roundabout (8:32)
4. Then (5:47)
5. I've Seen All Good People (6:55)
6. Heart of the Sunrise (10:36)
7. Starship Trooper (9:29)
8. Ritual (Nous sommes du Soleil) (alternate version) (21:32)

CD 2 (77:23)
1. Siberian Khatru (8:56)
2. Long Distance Runaround (3:31)
3. Wondrous Stories (3:49)
4. And You and I (10:15)
5. Soon (single edit) (4:08)
6. Going for the One (5:32)
7. Don't Kill the Whale (3:57)
8. Owner of a Lonely Heart (4:28)
9. Leave It (4:19)
10. Big Generator (remix) (3:39)
11. The Calling (single edit) (4:39)
12. Homeworld (The Ladder) (radio edit) (4:39)
13. Awaken (15:31)

Total Time 156:16

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals (A-J, L-W)
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals (A-N, P-W)
- Peter Banks / guitars (A-B)
- Bill Bruford / drums, percussion (A-F, O-P)
- Tony Kaye / keyboards (A-C, L-N, P-Q)
- Steve Howe / guitars, vocals (C-K, O-P, R-W)
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards (D-G, I-J, O-P, R-S)
- Alan White / drums, percussion (F-N, P-W)
- Patrick Moraz / keyboards (H)
- Trevor Horn / vocals (K)
- Geoff Downes / keyboards (K)
- Trevor Rabin / guitars, vocals (L-N, P-Q)
- Billy Sherwood / guitars, keyboards, vocals (T-V)
- Igor Khoroshev / keyboards (T-V)

A: Yes, B: Time and a Word, C: The Yes Album, D: Fragile, E: Close to the Edge, F: Yessongs, G: Tales from Topographic Oceans, H: Relayer, I: Going for the One, J: Tormato, K: Drama, L: 90125, M: 9012Live: The Solos, N: Big Generator, O: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe, P: Union, Q: Talk, R: Keys to Ascension, S: Keys to Ascension 2, T: Open Your Eyes, U: The Ladder, V: House of Yes: Live From The House of Blues, W: Magnification

Releases information

2003 Warner Strategic Marketing [UK], 2004 Elektra/Rhino [US] / CD 81227 37022 [UK], WTVD78042 [US]

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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YES Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection ratings distribution

(107 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

YES Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Good, but non-essential if you have the Yes collection. Nothing really new here or stuff that won't be part of a future release (Acoustic Yes, just around the corner, I'd say).

Why buy it? It's a good "Big Picture" of the band throughout the years, that is, if you didn't buy YesYears, which I didn't. The price was low for a 3 CD release too. I paid about $14.00 US. Not bad....

If you've got the whole Yes discography, you won't need it. Introducing someone to Yes? This would be a cheap and easy way to do it.

A small bio of the changes within the band is included, as well as a Yes Timeline. They could have charged more and added a more comprehensive booklet, but, who cares about the revolving doors in the keyboard position. What matters is the music and this contains the best, world wide accepted, everybody can agree on this, nearly every era covered, disc.

The acoustic versions of Roundabout and South Side of the Sky are interesting, the latter being very good. A Jon Anderson song, okay, nothing to wake grandma up for. Another fine guitar piece from Steve Howe, I can never get enough Steve Howe Acoustic stuff. Finally, Chris Squire's New World Symphony, good, but again, grandma should sleep on without being disturbed.

It all comes down to how well you know Yes. If you have the essentials already, buy something from else that strikes a chord. Got a friend who hasn't got a clue, but might make a good proghole? Buy 'em this.

A curious point..... They include ABWH in the notes, as well as the album cover, but not a single tune.... As I said, curious?

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars My comments here apply to 2-CD release. I don't know how many versions of this are available. I bought it in Singapore when YES performed their Full Circle Second Leg tour 25 Sept 2003.

NAH! I'm not gonna recommend you to buy this CD. Two reasons: 1. Yes, it may be good introduction to those who are new to the band. But, I HATE that some tracks are intentionally TRUNCATED to fit the CD capacity. This is unprofessional.Giving this CD to newbie may create wrong impression about the band. Introducing someone to YES, I'd rather give "Close to the Edge" or "Fragile" or "Relayer" or "Going for the One" albums.

2. I don't think it's a good idea to make a compilation of YES because most of their best classic tracks are very long (duration-wise). Say "Close to The Edge", "The Gates of Delirium", "The Revealing Science of God", "Awaken", "Starship Trooper", how can you make 'em in a single package? Tough job! It's impossible, I would say.

Don't get me wrong, my friend. I'm a great fan of the band. I even purchased 3 copies of this compilation in which 2 copies went to my best friends who did not have a chance to watch the band "live" in their second leg tour in Singapore. I felt ashame giving them such a poor CD collection. As for my copy, I took the sleeve only and never touched the CD since then. I HATE it!

So, my friend ... DO NOT BUY this CD! You'd better buy each album separately. And my recommendation is: you start with "Fragile" then "Close to The Edge" then "Going for The One". YES is really a great band that cannot be compiled into 2 CD! - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Review by lor68
3 stars Well- if you're not into their early stuff anymore- this collection is quite essential; otherwise you could remain a bit disappointed in the opposite, and decide to erase another half star at least.Ok the majority of this stuff has been already performed all over the world- in their Anniversary Tour 2004-but also in other completely different gigs, like that one very well appreciated by an enthusiastic crowd in Lugano at Estival Jazz, on 8 July 2004: such considerations above let me feel good anyway, even though sometimes I'm disturbed.In fact-when I think of the excellent choice concerning the songs inside the recent Magnification Tour- I don't understand whether this is the right criterion, in order to satisfy both the old and the new fans, or not...The lack of some classics from "Relayer" and "Close to the edge" (except on "And you and I"),as well as the "missed" tracks regarding the recent albums "The Ladder" (here you can listen to "Homeworld") and "Magnification", can make you feel betrayed,especially if you're a recent fan. Certainly they could have inserted the execution -into this celebrative collection- of the solos from the recent material by Steve Howe and from the classic "Catherine Howard" by Rick Wakeman as well (do you remember "Six waves of Henry VIII"?!?) and it should have been an excellent consolation for us, along with the choice to put the recent good songs within. Instead this triple CD contains some tepid compositions like "Big Generator" and "Lift me up", which are not essential for me, but it never can keep this collection as a reference, regarding of their whole career,all along their several vicissitudes: as a matter of fact- when you listen to them live on stage (The Annniversary Tour is in progress) and regarding of their programme too, which is much better- you can understand their evolution (even though actually not in all the circumstances)...
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A young persons guide to Yes

With most bands, any "Best of" compilation is going to be a subjective project. The tracks included are often their most commercially successful pieces, not necessarily their best. It seems strange then, that with their vast back catalogue, many of the tracks for inclusion in any Yes compilation pick themselves.

The UK and North American versions of this collection have a number of tracks which are unique to one or the other. The North American version for example has "Time and a word", "South side of the sky", "Open your eyes", "Magnification" "America", "Tempus fugit", "Rhythm of love" "Lift me up" and "Open your eyes", while the UK version has instead "Survival", "Ritual", and "Awaken". I'm not sure what logic was used to decide which tracks should appear on which version of the compilation, but the inclusion of an entire side of "Tales from Topographic oceans" on the UK release but nothing at all from that album of the North American one is interesting.

The obvious omission from both is "Close to the edge", presumably due to its length. The other two classic tracks from that album are present, although the UK release originally had the wrong version of "And you and I" on it. An early, "studio run through" version appeared as a bonus track on the expanded re-release of "Close to the edge", but was erroneously included on this compilation in place of the original album version.

On the North American version, the order of the tracks is broadly chronological, offering a picture of how the band's music and style has developed and changed over the period. The UK version however appears to have been compiled with a view to creating a coherent album regardless of the relative ages of the tracks, and thus ends with "Awaken" from the 1977 "Going for the one" album.

It is significant that there is a strong bias in the track selections on both versions, towards the band's early material, such that by the third track on disc 2 of the chronological North American version, we are only up to "Going for the one".

Both versions of this album represent an excellent, reasonably priced, introduction to the music of the band for those who are unfamiliar with the music of Yes. Of course there are the usual compilation failings of edits, remixes, missing tracks etc., which make the album less valid for fans, but it is good to see Yes getting the attention they deserve from the music industry. This resulted in the collection enjoying significant chart success.

The North American release included a short bonus third CD of acoustic tracks which were rather out of place, but probably worthwhile nonetheless.

Review by Australian
3 stars After 37 years Yes still managed to reach high chart positions with "The Ultimate Yes." The album reached number 10 in the UK while also charting throughout most of the world. The great thing about this album is that out of all Yes best of albums it is probably the cheapest, easiest to acquire and most far as a double album goes. It isn't all that expensive if you compare it to 'In A Word', but who other than a hardcore Yes fan (like me) would spend such large amounts of money on a CD? For this reason "The Ultimate Yes" is perfect for the Yes newbie as it covers all eras of Yes, even The Ladder despite the fact the song "Homeworld" is criminally shortened from nine to three minutes. On reflection "The Ultimate Yes" is more of a collection than a best of in that it contains songs from all periods of the band; it's really a sample album. The album also comes with a fold out booklet which includes all past and present members of the band and all studio albums. I'd recommend this album to beginners to the band; it will do well for you. Good, but non-essential
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars The UK version is one of the best compilations of the Yes Canon. So many highlights including the excellent Yours is no disgrace, Roundabout, I've seen all good people, Heart of the sunrise, Starship trooper on CD1. I was amazed that an alt version of Ritual (Nous sommes du soleil) was included from Topographic!

CD 2 features brilliance with Siberian khatru, Long distance runaround, Wondrous stories and my favourite And you and I. Going for the one and Don't kill the whale are welcome additions. No collection would be complete without the awesome Owner of a lonely heart. Its all here for the new Yes fans! There is not much in the way of new material so most Yes fans would have all this. But its still a great package. Well worth the effort.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars I have mixed feelings about this compilation. First of all, I canīt decide which version is better. I guess in the end itīs all the same: no compilation does justice to Yes. Simple as that. I agree with much of what the other reviewers say, I conccurs with Easy Livinīs reasoning. Still I think itīs hard to give a newbie a truly overall picture of Yes picking up some tracks from their many releases. Some of their best stuff are just too long to fit propoerly in the limited CD space (Close To the Edge is maybe their most obvious exemple). And some albums are too much a complete affair to be sliced without some considerable artistic damage.

Ok, I know most of the tracks are excellent. Even their 80īs work has some merit, but to mix them with their classics and some of the earlier - pre The Yes Album - stuff is giving a newbie a strange picture. Yes changed a lot over the years and I think that only the whole albums did really shows what they were about on every phase. Yes were never a singles band (even if they did have some hit singles). So this album is really great songs taken out of context (the good CD booklet does not solve this problem entirely either)

Conclusion: if youīre interested in knowing Yes, go for the individual albums. If you get this compilation be aware that each song is only a sample of a greater thing. So when you like one particular tune then you can go for the album it came from. Youīll be rewarded.

Review by thehallway
4 stars Someone titled their review for this as a "young persons guide to Yes". And that's exactly what is was to me when I took my first step into the genre of prog, aged 13.

Of course once you own the entire Yes discography, this album becomes useless. But initially it is a very good way of getting your head around this perpetually changing band, showcasing all of the different "eras" and consequent changes in style on two jam-packed discs (or 3 as the case seems to be over in America). I have no major complaints, although I think 'Relayer' and 'Magnification' should be better represented (perhaps sacrificing some of the 90's songs).

So basically, if you're new to prog and you want a taster of some 35 years of it, then buy this! I wish I had got the 3-disc version now....

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars New World Symphony

The Ultimate Yes is a compilation album that was released to celebrate the band's 35th year of existence. There are several different versions of the collection with somewhat different tracks and running order. The version that is available on Spotify in my territory oddly doesn't include anything more recent than (a remix of the title track from) Big Generator. Only the US version covers the whole 35 year history of the band with inclusions from Union, Talk, Open Your Eyes, The Ladder, and Magnification (the latter being their most recent studio album at the time of this compilation).

For fans of the band The Ultimate Yes is of limited interest as most of the tracks here were previously released on the regular studio albums. There are however a few previously unreleased tracks that may be of some interest for fans and collectors. These include a new edit of Soon (a bit longer than the original single edit), the aforementioned remix of Big Generator, a single edit of The Calling, and a radio edit of Homeworld (The Ladder). The single edits of America and It Can Happen are bound to be in your collection already, especially as they were included as bonus tracks on the remastered CD editions of Close To The Edge and 90125 respectively.

There is also a bonus disc with some acoustic recordings including Roundabout and South Side Of The Sky. Show Me is a new song by Jon Anderson that was performed on the band's tour at the time. These acoustic arrangements can be heard on the Yes Acoustic DVD and some of them also on the Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert DVD. If you like me already own both Yes Acoustic and Songs From Tsongas, The Ultimate Yes does not offer that much extra. However, Australia and New World Symphony are new recordings that are not to my knowledge available elsewhere. These are solo numbers by Steve Howe and Chris Squire respectively that round off the bonus disc. New World Symphony is a more fitting closer now than it was at the time considering Squire's untimely passing.

If you want "the ultimate Yes" you must invest in the entire back catalogue, nothing short of that will do.

Latest members reviews

1 stars I would say this compilation is for beginners, if they choose to get it. But not the US version for it has single edits of songs, so you won't get the experience of the epics Yes are known for. The UK version has a mix of songs from the beginning to the present of their career. The Problem I h ... (read more)

Report this review (#514439) | Posted by Hober Mallow | Sunday, September 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This the the compilation that really introduced me to Yes when I had just discovered progressive rock, and I can say I suppose it did it's job of introducing a young, open-minded and musically informed kid into a Yes fan. I wouldn't say it's my favorite compilation, but I mainly appreciate some s ... (read more)

Report this review (#159941) | Posted by Draith | Sunday, January 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am not a massive Yes fan, and after being disappointed by Close to The Edge I thought i'd cut my losses and buy this 2 disc best of album. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the album, finding it in general much more pleasing than Close to The Edge. My favourite songs on the album are R ... (read more)

Report this review (#156430) | Posted by cynthiasmallet | Sunday, December 23, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars OK, I got this compilation the year it was released. It has a selection of material from Time and a Word (1970) to Magnification (2001). While the tracks that are chosen are quite good representation of the band's respective eras, the company decided to include some sub par unreleased tracks, mos ... (read more)

Report this review (#110472) | Posted by OGTL | Friday, February 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This review is of the UK version: (I don't know if there is a mistake on this site but my version's disc 2 has 13 tracks - the last 3 being The Calling, Homeworld (The Ladder) and Awaken) For a casual Yes listener or a complete stranger, I think this is a very good introduction to the band. ... (read more)

Report this review (#89648) | Posted by Jimsey | Thursday, September 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Of course, no collection will ever be large enough to capture all of Yes' essentials. But, with that being said, I find this collection came very near. It is an excellent introduction to Yes' music for a non-progger or new progger. I always prefer to buy actual albums instead of collections, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#85199) | Posted by Shakespeare | Sunday, July 30, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Possibly one of the greatest cds ever! How dare you say it isn't essential. I had never listened to YES before, but because of these CD's I purchased every single YES CD, Vynil, Tape and 8 track. I love it. Brilliantly Put together. WELL worth a buy. ... (read more)

Report this review (#31154) | Posted by | Sunday, April 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Being a younger generation fan I can you're guys points of views, but in all honesty I like this album. Its got some of my favourite tracks on, from my favourite albums so I cant complain. My suggestion if you're a younger generation fan (like me =] ), and you want to get into YES then I would ... (read more)

Report this review (#31153) | Posted by | Wednesday, March 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars compilations - there has been some of them to present yes. I'm not quite sure if this really attracts people who are only familiar with 'owner of a lonely heart'. Most of the real Yes fans have all or at least most of the studio and live albums anyway... the most interesting stuff is included o ... (read more)

Report this review (#31151) | Posted by | Friday, September 10, 2004 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I purchased this collection album a few days after it was released in the U.S., and I was extremely disappointed. If this album didn't have such a large concentration of edits and remixes of the songs then maybe it could have been a worthwhile collection of some Yes favorites. Avoid this one u ... (read more)

Report this review (#31147) | Posted by | Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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