The Ultimate Yes

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
To commemorate their 35th anniversary, this progressive rock juggernaut have -- as you might expect -- decided to show their continued willingness to progress. Thus, in addition to two discs packed with favorites as diverse as the embryonic psychedelic venture "Time and a Word" and synth-pop forays like "Owner of a Lonely Heart," Yes outfit this retrospective collection with a disc comprising entirely new recordings. Retooled, all-acoustic versions of "Roundabout" and "South Side of the Sky" pump new life into those old favorites, with some particularly intricate playing on the part of Steve Howe. The guitarist also gets the opportunity to strut his stuff on the solo ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
To commemorate their 35th anniversary, this progressive rock juggernaut have -- as you might expect -- decided to show their continued willingness to progress. Thus, in addition to two discs packed with favorites as diverse as the embryonic psychedelic venture "Time and a Word" and synth-pop forays like "Owner of a Lonely Heart," Yes outfit this retrospective collection with a disc comprising entirely new recordings. Retooled, all-acoustic versions of "Roundabout" and "South Side of the Sky" pump new life into those old favorites, with some particularly intricate playing on the part of Steve Howe. The guitarist also gets the opportunity to strut his stuff on the solo tour de force "Australia," while singer Jon Anderson takes center stage on "Show Me" a song that he introduced on Yes's Full Circle tour. And just to -- no pun intended -- bring things full circle, Chris Squire harks back to the band's headiest days with his adaptation of Dvorák's "New World" Symphony, which closes the collection out on a grand, elegant note. Lovingly packaged and attentive to all the nuances in the band's storied career, The Ultimate Yes easily lives up to its title.
All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Yes' second (and least successful) album was a transitional effort; the group trying for a more produced and sophisticated sound through the use of an orchestra -- the use of orchestra was apparently Jon Anderson's idea, and the rest of the group, except for Peter Banks, went along with it, as did producer Tony Colton, a member of Head Hands & Feet and a friend of Anderson's. Even so, the results weren't conventional, because the group didn't tone down or turn down its sound. Much of Time and a Word relies on bold, highly animated performances by Bill Bruford, Chris Squire (whose bass is very audible throughout), and Tony Kaye. Additionally, by this time the group was developing a much tauter ensemble than was evident on their first LP, so there's no lack of visceral excitement here, though a lot of the sound is still unfocused. "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" was a bold opening, a highly amplified, frenzied adaptation of the Richie Havens song, melded with Jerome Moross's title music from the movie The Big Country. Somewhat more successful musically is "Then," which keeps the orchestral accompaniment to a minimum and allows Kaye and Banks to stretch out on organ and guitar. "Everydays" is highlighted by Anderson's ethereal vocals and Kaye's dueting with the orchestra -- it also features a few guitar sounds that anticipate some of Banks's work on his first solo album, The Two Sides of Peter Banks, as well as his quotation of Johann Sebastian Bach on electric guitar. A surprising amount of the material here seems rather tuneless, but the group was solidifying its sound and, in the process, forcing Banks out of the lineup, despite some beautiful moments for him (and Tony Kaye) on the prettiest parts of "The Prophet," a piece that also contains fragments of music that anticipate Yes' work right up through Tales from Topographic Oceans. "Astral Traveller," as a title anticipates, the themes of future group work, though they still don't have the dexterity to pull off the tempo changes or the brittle mix of sound they're trying for. By the time the record was completed, Banks was out of the band, which is why Steve Howe, his successor, ended up pictured on the cover of most editions. The 1997 remastering does make the orchestral accompaniments work better than they did on the original LP.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/27/2004
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 081227804220
  • Catalog Number: 78042
  • Sales rank: 26,460

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yes Primary Artist
Rick Wakeman Keyboards
Jon Anderson Vocals
Peter Banks Guitar
Bill Bruford Percussion, Drums
Steve Howe Guitar, Vocals
Trevor Rabin Guitar, Vocals
Chris Squire Bass, Vocals
Patrick Moraz Keyboards
Alan White Percussion, Drums
Geoffrey Downes Keyboards
Trevor Horn Vocals
Tony Kaye Keyboards
Billy Sherwood Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Igor Khoroshev Keyboards
Technical Credits
Rick Wakeman Composer
Jon Anderson Composer
Bill Bruford Composer
Steve Howe Composer, Engineer, Logo Design
Trevor Rabin Composer, Producer
Paul Simon Composer
Chris Squire Composer
Yes Producer, Logo Design
Patrick Moraz Composer
David Foster Composer
Roger Dean Cover Painting, Logo Design
Alan White Composer
Ray Davies Composer
Tony Colton Producer
Paul DeVilliers Producer
Geoffrey Downes Composer
Dave Dysart Engineer
Jonathan Elias Producer
Bruce Fairbairn Producer
Paul Fox Remixing
Dan Hersch Remastering
Trevor Horn Composer, Producer
Bill Inglot Producer, Remastering
Tony Kaye Composer
Patrick MacDougall Engineer
Eddy Offord Producer
Billy Sherwood Composer
Tim Weidner Producer
Steve Woolard Discographical Annotation
Martyn Dean Digital Editing
Igor Khoroshev Composer
David Foster Composer
Kam Dahlin Engineer
Chris Welch Liner Notes
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