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4.2 out of 5 stars
Time And A Word [Expanded & Remastered]
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2007
Only Yes would have the balls to enter a studio and record with an orchestra for only their second album. The results are interesting.
Some of the material on Time And A Word gives an increasing insight into the future direction of the band. 'Then', 'The Prophet' 'Astral Traveller' and their treatment of Buffalo Springfield's 'Everydays' have the kind of long, complex instrumental passages that would become one of Yes' trademarks. In fact 'Astral Traveller' is almost a precursor to the following album's 'Starship Trooper.
'No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed', 'Sweet Dreams' and the title track are good examples of the band's ability to write short, more accessible pieces to counter the more ambitious efforts, and like the debut, the individual msuicianship on display is quite excellent.
The only real downside on 'Time And A Word' is the orchestral element. It provides more nuisance value, rather than compliment the existing music. In fact, a CD is available (maybe from this website) of BBC sessions from this era of Yes that contains much of the Time And A Word Material, and the difference is staggering. The music flows better and has much more impact when you can hear the individual playing without an orchestra involved.
The use of an orchestra on this album led to guitar player Peter Banks' departure, and I have to say I'm in the Banks camp when it comes to this aspect of the record.
Another downside is the quality of the production on the title track, it's simply awful. For some reason, Peter Banks doesn't get to play guitar on the track so instead of a nice acoustic guitar being played, there's an awful twanging at the start of the track that sounds like a five year old is playing. The live version of the track was always far better. That's the reason for two points dropped. Otherwise, a good album, and a good tongue wetter for what was to follow with the Steve Howe inspired The Yes Album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2011
I've always had a soft spot for "Time and a Word". This was the first Yes album that I ever bought and, all these years later, I'd even go as far as to say that I prefer it to "The Yes Album". For most people though, only familiar with the title track, this is not classic Yes.

The tensions within the band are obvious. Peter Bank's playing, which was so perfectly suited to the first album, seems uncoordinated and clumsy - the inclusion of the original mixes of "no opportunity..." and "Sweet Dreams" highlights this particularly and hint as to why an orchestra was thought to be necessary. The symbiotic relationship which the band would later have with producer Eddie Offord is a thing of the future. The band are still lacking in self-confidence and Tony Colson's production wasn't always to their liking - the use of the orchestra has been described as possibly the most unsympathetic in a rock album ever - while the band's ambitions were clearly way-ahead of what the existing line-up were capable of delivering.

Yes were still covering other peoples material at this time - Richie Haven's "No opportunity necessary, no experience needed" and Buffalo Springfield's "Everydays" getting the Jon Anderson treatment. "Then", "The Prophet" and "Astral traveller" point the way towards the band's next incarnation in "The Yes Album" while "Clear Days" is basically just Jon and orchestra.

The first bonus track is "Dear father" which has found a new home since, I guess, the "Yesterdays" album is somewhat redundant, in the current catalogue. The final track, unusually for a single version, is a different recording of "The Prophet", in full, rather than an edited down "radio" single and is a nice addition for those who haven't come accross it before.

Nice :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The great second studio album by the group yes is TIME AND A WORD. This album has a live orchestra throughout most of the album. This idea by Jon Anderson was not favoured by fellow band member Peter Banks and later Banks left and was replaced with Steve Howe after the completion of this album.
Like the first album there are songs by the band and musical influences from other sources including the Richie Havens song No Opportunity needed, no experience necessary. Featuring the main them from the film The Big Country by Jerome Moross and the track prophet has excerpts from Gustav Holst's The Planets Suite. Also like the first album there is a Stephen Stills song with Everydays. (from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)
Once again we get the original British album comer here with the Dada esque black and white photo of a nude woman with a butterfly.
Track listing is
1 No opportunity, No experience needed. 2 Then 3 Everydays 4 Sweet Dreams 5 The Prophet 6 Clear days 7 Astral Traveller 8 Time and a word. Bonus tracks are 9 Dear Father 10 No opportunity necessary, No experience needed (original mix) 11 Sweet Dreams (original Mix) 12 The Prophet (single version)
all tracks remastered
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2009
OK, we know that, with this, their 2nd album, Yes had not yet established their trademark sound. However, in a way, I prefer it to their later work, simply because it presents a far clearer concept than on subsequent releases, where the group disappears into the stratospheric realms. All very exciting, of course, but I wonder how many fans honestly relate to - or even understand - lyrics such as: "my eyes convinced eclipsed with the younger moon attained with love" (TOTAL MASS RETAIN) or "charged only for a sight of sound the space agreed between the picture of time behind the face of need" (AND YOU & I). "The time is now & the word is love," on the other hand, is as rich & relevant an idea today as ever & each track offers a different perspective on the theme. Track-by-track analysis:
NO OPPORTUNITY NECESSARY, NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED - "Step out in the night when you're lonely." A great opening line, it poses the question, 'will you accept the challenge of life, or just lie down & die?' Yes's very future was in doubt at this point, so the song had a particular relevance to their situation. (Note: The 'Big Country' extract has provoked criticism over the years, but I think it's great).
THEN - "Love is the only answer, hate is the root of cancer...there's only us who can change it.." Again, we are being urged to respond positively, to make things happen.
EVERYDAYS - Sheer tedium, the reality of so many people's lives - "every day's a-killing time" - is emphasised by the lazy, lethargic arrangement of this Stephen Stills song, until the sudden burst of dynamic energy midway through jolts the listener awake, to show how exciting life COULD be. Tremendous.
SWEET DREAMS - Joy, sorrow, tedium or excitement apart, dreams live on, regardless, as they're "born to last." A (non-hit) single.
THE PROPHET - A touch of philosophy. "Searching for the truth to life, seeing things in different lights...have made him more alive." Continuing the theme of personal development & fulfilment.
CLEAR DAYS - "On a clear day, we'll all be together.." Glimpsing Nirvana.
ASTRAL TRAVELLER - Correctly identified as the precursor of STARSHIP TROOPER, etc. Pretty good in its own right, though. Now we have blast-off...
TIME & A WORD - Still a firm favourite - & concert-closer - this sums up the general theme very well.

Overall, I would describe this album as a brave effort, from a band on the verge of stardom & brimming with the confidence & youthful enthusiasm one would expect. They overstretch themselves at times, trying too hard to impress, but, at others, they blitz the senses through sheer bravado.
Non-Yes fans, especially those with a 'psychedelic' persuasion, may find this more accessible than the group's later output.
Finally, much has been made of the orchestration. Does it work? I think so - anyway, having lived with the album for 40 years now, I cannot imagine it not being there. (The 4 bonus tracks are worth having, though unexceptional).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
`Time and a Word', the 1970 second album release from Yes, has a distinct character different from the rock-pop feel of the debut and different again from the 1971 landmark `Yes Album' where the young band found its definitive sound. Some see TaaW as an ambitious but failed experiment and for sure it doesn't float every fan's boat, but it definitely has its moments and is in many ways a lot more interesting than Yes' first album.

TaaW has the founding Yes line-up, i.e. Peter Banks on guitar and Tony Kaye on keyboards, to be replaced within 2 years by Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman respectively. The distinctive sound of TaaW is the not-always-successful use of orchestral strings on most of the tracks, a Jon Anderson initiative which instigated a row with Peter Banks leading to his departure from the band the day recordings were completed. Generally the strings get in the way more than they augment the sound, though they work well on `Everydays' and on the explosive opener, an imaginative re-work of Ritchie Havens' `No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed' which is for me the album's star track.

The standout musician is Chris Squire, whose inventive and busy use of bass guitar in the treble register drives along the more rock-based numbers (like `Sweet Dreams' and the aforementioned `No Opportunity...'). Anderson's song writing is one of the album's weaknesses: not yet developed to creating impressionistic lyrical landscapes so characteristic of the `Yes sound', `The Prophet' and the title track `TaaW' in particular sound naïve, new-agey and dated.

But overall TaaW is interesting as a historic oddity, with more developed multi-part compositions like `Everydays' and `Astral Traveller' (you can hear the musical origins of `Starship Trooper' in this song) signposting the band's future direction, which they were to declare unambiguously with the follow-up, the international best-selling `Yes Album.'

This re-mastered CD has 4 bonus tracks: the version of `Dear Father' originally on the B-side of the `Sweet Dreams' single, and alternate takes of `No Opportunity...', `Sweet Dreams' and `the Prophet' - none significantly different to those featured on the original album.

The usual 16-page booklet insert completes the package featuring a retrospective penned by Mike Tiano, all the song lyrics and period photos of the band. The B&W surrealist painting of the naked girl which graced the original UK album cover was deemed too prurient for the US market, and was replaced by a photo of the band. There are plenty of good photos of the line-up featuring Peter Banks, but the decision was made to use a photo with Steve Howe in place of Banks on the US album cover, as Howe had already joined the band at the time of release of TaaW.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The first "Yes" LP was a set of covers and sounded like a band trying to work out who they were.

The third LP : "The Yes Album", was the master-work, with the band's unique (and glorious) sound firmly in place.

This album, "Time and a Word", is a very distinctive intermediary. It still has covers, and is still a bit "genteel", but it has the recognisable beginnings of the Yes sound, which would come to the fore on the "Yes Album".

Here we discover the wonders of Bruford's skittering drums, Squire's astonishingly lyrical bass lines, Tony Kaye's fulsome Hammond sound - and Mr. Anderson's trademark choral voice. Peter Banks' guitar is fine - but the sound really took off with the arrival of Steve Howe on the next LP.

Some great tracks, great sound, and a very interesting historical document.

If you are new to Yes (and, if so, where on earth have you been for the past 40 years?), then I recommend the "Yes Album", or "Fragile" or "Close to the Edge" (before they lost it with "Topographic...").

If (like me) you think that "The Yes Album" is their finest moment, then this is worth a listen to see the band evolving.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2014
Thou it was a popular concept at the time to have an orchestra, or a string/brass section playing on a rock record, or (usually) with a prog rock band; I just think this ruins some of the songs on the album.
But "Time and a Word" does have it's good moments. Sweet Dreams. Astral Traveller. No Opportunity necessary etc---. and the title track; which is a good album closer and also a single release that had the potential to become a sizeable hit, but 'twas not to be. At least Time and a Word became Yes' first charting album, and much better things were to come for this fine symphonic prog group. Their next release; The Yes Album. Was going to be a classic.
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on 12 January 2015
The second album from Yes is, to say the least, an interesting affair but not always for the right reasons! Originally I considered this a step down from their first album, but although there are weaknesses in some of the material and the recording of it, there is much to recommend it which in my opinion just about puts it in the four-star category (three and a half would probably be right, but three stars would be to low). The album certainly gets off to a good start with the Richie Havens track 'No opportunity necessary, no experience needed' with Chris Squires explosive Bass well up in the mix! 'Sweet dreams' and 'Astral traveller' are also partially good tracks. But problems start to become apparent with the orchestra nicking most of Peter Banks guitar parts. This is very noticeable if you hear the rough mixes of 'Everydays' as two of the extra tracks on the previous album. Also the orchestra doesn't really integrate with the group and feel grafted on and not always that well! Finally the title track has one of the worst recorded acoustic guitar parts ever committed to record (which apparently Peter Banks didn't record) and so what could have been a classic track comes across as a rather disappointing one. That said most of the tracks come across something to commend them (with the exception of 'Clear days' which is disappointing) with the aforementioned 'Sweet dreams' and 'Astral traveller' showing greater potential and being the standout tracks.
That said, Yes still to come across as a group with a distinctive style and some very tight arrangements which are possibly even more inventive and adventurous than on their first album and have a lot of energy in their execution. But the tighter focus of that first album is what is lacking here. The group would really define themselves on their next album and with the inclusion of Steve Howe and take a giant leap forward. If they didn't really do that here, Yes still came across as a group to watch!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
... but still a strong decisive move in that direction. By classic Yes, i refer to the albums from "The Yes Album" up to "Going for the One" which are known amongst Yes fans as the strongest period of the band's history.
However, being a fan of the psychadelic and rock movements towards the far end of the 60s, i was attracted to general sound on this album. Be warned, it's a fairly raw and edgy, and without Steve Howe's more refined playing, Peter Banks uses guitars in a harsher style that may not appeal to everyone. However, i have grown to love the comparitively primative sound of organ-based rock, and enjoyed the album immensly.
Stand out tracks for me are the title cut, "Then" and the truly startling "Astral Traveller" (a title which was skillfully echoed later in "Starship Trooper" from "the Yes Album").
I must warn you again, that a lot of pre-Howe Yes is not what one might expect from such a derided prog rock band, but if you like bands like the Nice, Soft Machine and a little smattering of early Caravan, it's well worth looking into both this, and the self-titled debut.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The first LP Yes [Expanded & Remastered] was pretty impressive, but with a variety of styles, sounded like a band trying to work out who they were.

The third LP The Yes Album [Expanded & Remastered], was the master-work, with the band's unique (and glorious) sound firmly in place.

This album, "Time and a Word", is a very distinctive intermediary. It has a couple of covers, and is still a bit "genteel", but it has the recognisable beginnings of the Yes sound, which would come to the fore on the "Yes Album".

Here we discover the wonders of Bruford's skittering drums, Squire's astonishingly lyrical bass lines, Tony Kaye's fulsome Hammond sound - and Mr. Anderson's trademark choral voice. Peter Banks' guitar is fine - but the sound really took off with the arrival of Steve Howe on the next LP.

Some great tracks, great sound, and a very interesting historical document.

If you are new to Yes (and, if so, where on earth have you been for the past 40 years?), then I recommend the The Yes Album [Expanded & Remastered], or Fragile [Expanded & Remastered] or Close to the Edge (before they lost it with "Topographic...").

If (like me) you think that "The Yes Album" is their finest moment, then this is worth a listen to see the band evolving.
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