Although Yes is one of the truly great classic progressive rock bands, it wasn't until the release of 1971's The Yes Album and 1972's Fragile that the group would become true rock stars. Because of this, fans of the group tend to overlook the band's first two albums, 1969's Yes and 1970's Time And A Word. The band's 1969 debut was an underrated masterpiece, though drastically different from anything they would record in the years to come. How does the band's second album, Time And A Word, measure up? Read on for my review.
This is Yes's sophomore slump, but it's still a very good album. A musical artist's second album rarely tops the first, and with Yes, it's no exception. Still, this is a damn fine album that proved to be one of the finest progressive rock releases of 1970. Guitarist Steve Howe hadn't joined the band yet, nor had keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman (they wouldn't join until the band's 1971 and 1972 releases, respectively.) Nonetheless, Yes serves up a solid album. It's with this album that the band really began to take a step in a more progressive rock direction - the direction that would ultimately dominate their career. However, it's still a far cry from the band's future albums. Many of the songs have an orchestral touch to them, and this adds greatly to them. This is not Yes's finest album by any means, but it's a damn good addition to your collection if you're a Yes fan. Four out of five stars.
In 2003, Rhino Records reissued the Yes catalogue. Their new reissues feature new cover art, expanded liner notes, improved sound, and most important of all, bonus tracks. The bonus tracks featured on this reissue are mostly original mixes of songs featured on the album.Read more ›
Although this album doesn't carry the weight or take the risks of Fragile or Close to the Edge (their pinnacle works), there are some classic Yes elements to savor in microcosm - the jittery Squire/Bruford rhythm team grooving like no other, Jon Anderson's unique and seemingly effortless vocals (which sound jazzier here than anywhere else), and the oft-unorthodox, angular deployments of keyboards and guitar. Speaking of which, Peter Banks was a more than competent guitarist, although the orchestra did claim several of his original parts on this album. Steve Howe would soon join the band and make the YES ALBUM one of the finest rock guitar records of all time, but credit must go to Banks for getting the Yes ball rolling and avoiding most of the blues-rock clichés of the day.
What of the songs? The aforementioned Astral Traveller and Then are the standouts, both featuring some subtle arrangements in the verses and then cutting loose with outré instrumental breaks. Sweet Dreams is fairly irresistible, from the bouncing Squire bassline to the twangy guitar track to the spirited Anderson vocal. Everydays gives Bruford a chance to swing, and Anderson another chance at lounge stardom.Read more ›
Musically this album is well worth it, but the remastering only so so..