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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1449 ratings

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3 stars This is an album I had never heard before, losing it in the shuffle I guess, until I unconsciously thought about what Squire and Bruford were doing before 'The Yes Album', which was my Yes initiation upon its release. This oft reviewed recording needs no added comment from me, certainly undeserving after 44 year absence, other than it did provide me a huge glimpse into the burgeoning talent of the dynamic rhythmic duo. Peter Banks was certainly a gifted guitarist, rockier than Steve Howe, which can also be applied to Tony Kaye and his raunchy organ. Seeing composing credits such as Stephen Stills, Richie Havens and David Foster are certainly unsettling but so what? The songs are decent enough, certainly taking the still pubescent 1970 sound to increasingly technical heights which would blossom with the impending arrival of technology (synthesizers, multi-tracking, mellotron and classical acoustic instruments).

The Rickenbacker playing is up-front and brutal, Squire could never be accused of shyness and modesty, so I thoroughly enjoyed following his devastating runs on each and every track. Bruford was already experimenting with his simple drum kit and keeping the time like only he can. The seeds of looming genius are obvious to behold. There are sections that are deliriously entertaining, like the biting guitar, choppy organ, booming bass and frantic drum interaction followed by lots of bluesy inflections, some jazzy feel (at times it was like listening to Sade) on 'Everydays'. The opener is also a rousing affair, an orchestral megalith that blasts ahead unrepentant, directed by that nasty bass that veers the whole piece into a more-Deep Purple/Uriah Heep direction. My only negative feeling is the rather ineffectual use of orchestra, it's obvious that other producers/arrangers mastered this union of rock and orchestra much better than Misters Cox and Colton. Perhaps with Moody Blues maestro Tony Clarke, the results may have been more symphonic as opposed to the feeling of Scotch tape that hovers over the pieces. There are also moments of amateurish simplicity where things just do not mix well, such as on 'Astral Traveller', which could have been so much better.

While it would be unnecessary to further elevate the upcoming series of albums which catapulted Yes to the highest office in Progland (and basically sucked for the next 20 years!), this remains an interesting educational recording, another clear example of how quickly the scene evolved in those 'glory days' of exalted perpetual change.

3 clock lyrics

tszirmay | 3/5 |


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