Yes- Time and a Word
Written on January 3, 2010
Although 1970’s Time and a Word is not included in what many fans consider Yes’ Main Sequence of progressive rock albums, it might be the most pivotal release in their catalog because it lays the foundation for the type of complex instrumentation that they would use to build many of their future albums. Yes achieved this complexity on the record in part by incorporating the use of a symphony.
Many fans and critics cite Time and a Word as a weak point in Yes’ catalog, but I disagree. Time and a Word is severely underrated. The only weak aspect of the album is some of its lyrics, but the sound of the album is fantastic, and every song is laced with intricate symphonic-rock jams.
“Astral Traveler” is the album’s true standout. The lyrics are ambiguous (which I like), and it is Yes’ most progressive song to date, featuring a complex jam session led by Tony Kaye’s organ work. “Then” is also a highlight, as it is the most symphonic song on the album. “Clear Days” is another winner that has a great Gentle Giant feel to it. Lastly, there’s “Time and a Word,” which is not nearly as complex as the other tracks, but it is the best known song on the album, and it has remained in Yes’ live set for over 40 years.
As mentioned, I think the record is underrated, and I would not skip it, as it is shows the Yes levee about to break, and it is very cool to see Yes’ progression leading up to their first signature album (The Yes Album), which would be released just 7-months later.
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