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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1450 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Yes and a(n) Orchestra

Time and a Word is Yes' 1970 album, the year which many Prog bands surged or at least released something decent; Emerson, Lake & Palmer with their groundbreaking debut album, Genesis with their angelic second album Trespass, King Crimson with a jazzier version of their groundbreaking debut, and so on.

Yes' debut showed us Yes as a decent rock band playing some nice covers and some potentially great tunes, yet to be crafted and developed as much as in future years, still enjoyable despite simplicity and/or typical rock cliches. Yes with Time and a Word, while continuing to be pretty much rock musicians dealing with an average orchestra, they really surpassed themeselves, and quite a lot I must add.

While the orchestra kind-of shadowed Peter Banks guitar, Tony Kaye and Chris Squire take the lead and WOW, what a lead! Tony Kaye shining on the distorted early 70's Hammond-Organ, just like Ken Hensley and Jon Lord were doing at the same time, while Tony Kaye also added some classical and subtle substances, very alike what Tony Banks was doing with Genesis the same year. Chris Squire on the other hand, with the guitar being pretty buried on the mix, his bass playing is very loud and thank god for that! Lots of great powerful and addictive bass lines to enjoy.

Jon Anderson and Bill Bruford are quite far from being what they were to become, they still stand-out in plenty of sections which amaze me since it's such a early stage for these musicians to show what they really are capable of.

Some may be afraid of the orchestra damaging the quality of the album, and to tell you the truth, it does somehow, but that's when you listen to it for the first time, you'll find it immature, cheesy and maybe even annoying. However with time you get used to it and start to appreciate some passages, believe me or not I now can't really imagine this album without it(the orchestra). In many passages it works just like a mellotron, adding a mood and atmosphere that that specific passage requires, in other passages it works as a reinforcement, since the guitar is pretty low, the orchestra plays the same(as the guitar) but louder and with more power.

Stand-out songs for the prog-fan are definitely the songs that exceed the 5 minute mark; Then, Everydays(yes, it's a cover, but it's done greatly), The Prophet and Astral Traveller, all presenting what I mentioned: the loud and sparky bass, the distorted, though clever, organ, helpful orchestra, and some nice moments from the rest. Going even deeper in the analysis of these, The Prophet and Astral Traveller would settle pretty much the basis from future Prog classics featured in The Yes Album.

While the rest of the songs are pretty much what made the debut album, a array from enjoyable decent-eleborated pop/soft songs, which includes the ''minor-hit''(among prog-fans) Sweet Dreams with Jon's 'signature', up-lifting, mood.

Time and a Word stands as a common 1970 album from a future classic Prog band, great ideas, strong compositions and promising musicians. However, for me the overall strength of the compositions of this album goes a bit beyond the typical 1970 album, delving through very thoughtful musical passages which few have done within this stage of earliness, also the fact that the band is exploring new ideas and dares to attempt what in 10 years or so they would never have, is something I truly enjoy and that's what makes this album worthy of 4 stars. (take note that I'm a sucker for early albums by 70's Prog/Rock bands, not sure if it's the different sound they present or the ''free-spirit '' in them or the general rule of using the Hammond Organ, either way(s) I love it)

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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