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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant collection, but it misses the care and attention of the original albums
This is a brilliant collection. Track selection is (mainly) good and all the great tracks are there. The musicianship is of a high order and parts of it are 'prog rock' at its best. For someone who doesn't own the original albums, this is a very good way to get into Yes.

So, I loaded this to play with huge expectations: there they were - all my favourite Yes...
Published 22 months ago by Stephen Reid

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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really 'Ultimate'
Yes have been well served by anthologies over the years but there was every reason to bring out an authoratitive collection for the bands 35th anniversary. They are the sort of band who suit collections of this kind well, they have a formidable back catalogue and an impressive, if at times bewildering, array of styles and eras. From the naive but charming space pop of...
Published on 13 July 2004 by Timothy Hooper


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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really 'Ultimate', 13 July 2004
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
Yes have been well served by anthologies over the years but there was every reason to bring out an authoratitive collection for the bands 35th anniversary. They are the sort of band who suit collections of this kind well, they have a formidable back catalogue and an impressive, if at times bewildering, array of styles and eras. From the naive but charming space pop of their first two LPs through the glistening Trevor Horn power pop in the mid 1980's via their trademark prog rock epics, Yes have had a go at just about everything. So it shouldn't be too hard to cherry pick the best of each era and provide a meaningful introduction / celebration of their three and a half decades. 'The Ultimate Collection' sadly is far from that, ignoring five of the band's studio albums and concentrating far too much on 'The Yes Album' and 'Fragile' - nothing wrong with these two landmark releases - but they have been so well anthologised in the past that it would have been sensible to make way for something from 'Magnification' or 'Drama' at least.
The other problem is that there are too many excerpts, perhaps inevitable considering the length of many of their songs, but it gives the collection a fragmented feel.
The worst crime though is the inclusion of the 'alternative' version of 'And You And I', perhaps the bands greatest moment is representated by what can only have been an outtake in rehearsal. Guitars drop out of the mix, Anderson sings flat and without any studio treatment such as reverb - it's horrible. Wakeman still seems to be writing his part and there are no overdubs. It's shocking frankly and should never have seen the light of day.
So, a star lost for that alone. Overall, it's a fair primer but the band deserve so much more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant collection, but it misses the care and attention of the original albums, 20 Feb 2013
By 
Stephen Reid "Stephen" (Basingstoke) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
This is a brilliant collection. Track selection is (mainly) good and all the great tracks are there. The musicianship is of a high order and parts of it are 'prog rock' at its best. For someone who doesn't own the original albums, this is a very good way to get into Yes.

So, I loaded this to play with huge expectations: there they were - all my favourite Yes tracks and more in one glorious double CD package. But it is not quite the perfection that I hoped for. I have two criticisms.

Firstly, and I suppose this is true of most 'greatest hits' collections (if Yes purists will forgive me for using the term) is that it pulls together all the high spots of their albums, but loses the care and attention given to ordering the original LPs and CDs so as to provide variety and balance. 'The Yes Album' and 'Fragile', for instance, were stronger for the 'small' tracks that helped to make them a comfortable and varied listen. Somehow this collection misses that subtlety.

Secondly, I would have preferred a chronological sequencing of the tracks - that would enable the listener to track the development of the group and the impact that the personnel changes made.

That said, this IS a good collection. The music is good, the packaging is good. The pull-out notes make a reasonable fist of tracking Yes through their many personnel changes and explain who played on what. They add value.

So ... brilliant music and lots of it. It is worth owning. There are many five-star tracks but I mark this collection at four stars overall, for the reasons I have explained above.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three CDs Aren't Enough, 2 Mar 2004
Yes, the Prog Rock group to top all Prog Rock groups, have celebrated their thirty fifth year with this sumptuously packaged greatest hits collection which studiously catalogues the highlights from the early albums - Time and a Word, Roundabout South Side of the Sky etc. - and ties up a few loose ends with treasures from the 90s albums - Homeworld is the stand out track here. Where the compilation lets itself down is in the "middle" years (1974-1980). There is nothing from the underrated Tales From Topographic Oceans album, just one track from Relayer and two tracks from Going For The One.
Disc Three is a bit of a mish mash of acoustic versions of old favourites and a few solo efforts which have either been re-edited or never been released; Chris Squire's "version" of Dvorak's Ninth Symphony should have stayed on the drawing board.
The Ultimate Yes will please many old fans and maybe win a few new ones but like many compilation albums it does have its faults.
Perhaps in another four years we'll have the fortieth anniversary Ultimate Ultimate Yes CD which will rectify these omissions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation Album, 10 Dec 2007
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
"The Ultimate Yes" is an excellent introduction to this 1970's Progressive Rock band who ,like their peers Genesis, evolved into something much more mainstream and commercial in the 1980's. This 2 CD compilation therefore includes songs as diverse as the 15 minute plus epic "Ritual Nous Sommes Du Soleil" from the 1974 album "Tales from Topographic Oceans" and the punchy power pop of "Big Generator" from the eponymous 1987 album. The music of Yes is easy on the ear ; the band's musicianship is excellent and Jon Anderson's vocals are always mellifluous. However at times I must admit that some of the songs are just simply too long. My favourite tracks from this album are the delightful "Wonderous Stories" and "Soon" (short,melodic 1970's tunes),"Yours Is No Disgrace", "And You and I","Owner of a Lonely Heart" and "The Calling". The music of Yes has most certainly stood the test of time.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theirs Is No Disgrace, 29 Aug 2003
By 
Mr. G. Foxton (THIRSK, NORTH YORKS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
Although most Yes fans could write out the track listing for this double CD before seeing it, it doesn't really seem to matter. All the old favourites are here including a mix of "And You And I" which I suspect was a discarded at the time it was recorded due to flat vocals and clunky guitar.

The Trevor Rabin years are poorly treated with "Owner of A Lonely Heart", "Leave It", a new mix of "Big Generator" and a short edit of "The Calling". The most glaring ommission from this period is the wonderful "Love Will Find A Way".

Praise the invention of C.D. so you can miss out on the extended noodling of "Ritual" and just rejoice in "Starship Trooper" Siberian Khatru" "Heart of The Sunrise" and "Roundabout".

If you have all these tracks on other albums buy this anyway. It's a reasonably priced double and as we all know, Yes music can take you to places other music can't.
.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's to another 35 years, 4 Aug 2003
By 
Simon Slator "coldsun" (Tamworth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
It's an undeniable fact that, in 35 years, Yes has produced some of the finest music to come out of the 70's prog rock explosion. Looking at the track listing, "The Ultimate Yes" is a well chosen collection which makes the perfect introduction for those new to Yes' music.
Disc 1 consists entirely of music recorded between 1969's eponymous debut and their sprawling 1974 masterpiece, "Tales from Topographic Oceans". All except "Then" are often cited as Yes classics (I never rated the 'Time and a Word' album) and rightly so. The classic Yes sound first came to fruition during this era: Anderson's light vocals, Squire's floor-shaking Rickenbacker bass, Bruford's infallably precise drumming (no wonder King Crimson snapped him up!) and introducing the virtuoso talends of Howe and Wakeman.
Disc 2 picks up from where Disc 1 left off - with a few more classics. Not only do you get half of 1972's must-have "Close to the Edge" album ("Siberian Khatru" and "And You and I") but also two of Anderson's most respected songs: "Long Distance Runaround" and "Soon" (note to newbies: you'll find "Soon" at the very end of "Gates of Delirium" on the "Relayer" album). 1977's chart-topping "Going for the One" is presented almost in its entirety with the title track, the top 10 "Wonderous Stories" and the epic "Awaken" closing the album. The 80's were a bit of a transition period for the band as they took on South African rock guitarist Trevor Rabin: "90125", "Big Generator" and "Talk" are represented by their signature tunes and little else. Yes' return to form at the close of the 20th century comes in the form of "Homeworld", however the only glaring omission is "In the Presence of" from 2001's "Magnification" which remains true to the early Yes sound.
Overall, "The Ultimate Yes" may not be totally ultimate (if that's what you seek, go for the "In A Word" box set) but as a digestable intro to Yes, this is ideal. It's also great to see the boys back in the UK Top 10 - a testament to the respect they've earned over the last 35 years. From here, I recommend any newcomer to try their studio albums. Start with "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" then take your pick!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disc 1=Yes, Disc 2=No!, 15 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
Yes polarise opinion.
The main criticism is the length of their songs. "Tales of the Topgraphic Oceans" is a good example, 4 sides, 4 songs.
Now I think its a magnificent piece of work, but such is the complexity of these songs, people prefer their short, catchy, unbeArably "poppy" songs instead! "Owner of a Lonely Heart", sadly present here, is over produced nonsense, whilst the 'filler' tracks on the end of the second disc here are examples of a good band gone bad-simplistic,even more over produced and unimaginative.

Early Yes and later Yes is like comparing the Beatles to Wings. That is, there is no comparison.
Side 1 of this album is great. Yes, the longer songs have been edited, but it should be enough to tempt people to explore further their real majesty. Side 2 starts well enough, but bleeds a slow, lonely death, the woeful, 5th form dirge "Don't Kill The Whale" (from the poor "Tormato" album) commencing the death ritual.

If you want to discover and enjoy this band-recommend "Fragile" to start with. "Relayer" is a suitable follow up album, you are then ready for the might of their two proper live and 'best of' albums, "Yesshows" and "Yessongs". Once you mastered those, go for the Yes doctorate with the afore mentioned "Tales of the Topographic Oceans". And enjoy.

The later stuff is dreadful and, having it on here shows just how truly depressing their music eventually became-ideally, this album would finish after "Going for the One" and be kept to 1x disc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ah YES, 23 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
I remember Yes from 70's, but only got into the chart songs i.e Going for the one, Owner of a lonely heart etc. - having these songs on 45's I decided to purchase a 'hits' CD - love these tunes, but can't get into their more obscure - i hope over time i can but hey that's my taste.
So can't complain - I now have my favourite Yes tunes anyway.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More enjoyable than ever, 27 Aug 2003
This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
Many years ago, in my youth, I was a keen fan of Yes - but did I ever REALLY listen to them and were there some tracks that I used to dismiss or skip (literally, as I'm talking vinyl and stylus)? This double CD has been a revelation - and isn't that a good word to use when we're talking about Yes? It's reawaked (another good Yes word) all my past interests and fascinations. This is truly an excellent compilation - just as good as other notable compilations such as, say 'Beyond Boundaries' featuring Michael Hedges.
If you were ever a fan of Yes and want a good collection of their best material - this is it.
If you are wondering what all the fuss was about - this CD will tell you.
If you're just curious and want your musical boundaries challenged - this CD will do it in spades.
As I said - all my previous love of their music has returned and now I don't even want to skip anything.
Punch the air lads and lasses and exclaim YESSsssssssss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yes compilation album, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection (Audio CD)
From beginning to end this 2 cd album does not disappoint. Never really heard much of their work but want to now
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