In A Word 1969- (Yes)

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Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Other than the three-letter word they chose as their moniker, there's nothing small about Yes -- and this lavish five-disc package is no exception. The set, which is arranged in roughly chronological order, traces the band's development from purveyors of somewhat expansive pop-rock a guise worn on tracks such as a cover of Lennon & McCartney's "Every Little Thing" to riders on the furthest crest of prog-rock, a phase that coincided with the recruitment of guitarist Steve Howe who replaced Peter Banks in 1970. Howe's intricate textures pushed songs such as "Siberian Khatru" and the group's ten-minute-plus rendition of Paul Simon's "America" to spectacular heights --...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Other than the three-letter word they chose as their moniker, there's nothing small about Yes -- and this lavish five-disc package is no exception. The set, which is arranged in roughly chronological order, traces the band's development from purveyors of somewhat expansive pop-rock a guise worn on tracks such as a cover of Lennon & McCartney's "Every Little Thing" to riders on the furthest crest of prog-rock, a phase that coincided with the recruitment of guitarist Steve Howe who replaced Peter Banks in 1970. Howe's intricate textures pushed songs such as "Siberian Khatru" and the group's ten-minute-plus rendition of Paul Simon's "America" to spectacular heights -- which they'd soon outstrip with the addition of keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, who signed on a year later. Gradually, Yes became known for side-long epics, such as "The Revealing Science of God" and "The Gates of Delirium" the latter, whittled from the 22-minute version presented heretofore, made many a radio playlist under the title "Soon". But then, as the '70s drew to a close, the band -- which had shifted lineups several times in the meantime -- tightened things up considerably, leading to the more radio-friendly tones of songs like "Going for the One," "Owner of a Lonely Heart," and "Love Will Find a Way." In a Word, which also includes a smattering of songs from the neo-Yes Anderson-Bruford-Wakeman-Howe, is rounded out by a six-pack of previously unreleased songs, most of which date back to the late-'70s lineup with Wakeman and Alan White. The title of "Tango" hints as to the song's spirit -- spry, sunny, and vibrant -- while "Richard" from the same sessions waxes a bit more melancholic, thanks to Wakeman's subtle fillips. Yes' current state is documented on the final bonus cut, "Last Train," taken from the sessions for 2001's Magnification. Accompanied by an 80-page booklet with several essays and new artwork by longtime visual collaborator Roger Dean, In a Word is the last word on one of rock's most storied careers.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/30/2002
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 081227818623
  • Catalog Number: 78186

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A complete overview of their highs and lows

    When you have an album oriented group like Yes, its very difficult to make an overview 'hits' collection but over this 5 CD set you get a very good idea what Yes was all about. Obviously there are times when the songs seem a bit disjointed simply because they are not in the context of their original album and when you have as many highs and lows as Yes has had over the years you're bound to like some of these CDs more than others, but the overall experience is wonderful. The package has a very good book but the CD's are housed in this tall-box without individual cases, so if you store your CDs in something that holds regular CD cases you will have to buy some empties for these 5 CDs. With a group like Yes, 5 CD's are probably the minimum for a hits collection, anything less gives a distorted view of the group. Some may be better off just buying the albums from their favorite Yes period (69 to mid 70's, late 70's to mid 80's, late 80's through the 90's, or the new stuff) but as an overview, this is the one to get.

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