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Yes - In a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.27 | 134 ratings

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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.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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