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Yes - In A Word  CD (album) cover

IN A WORD

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 126 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

patrickq
Prog Reviewer
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.

patrickq | 4/5 |

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