Yes
Time and a Word


3.5
great

Review

by e210013 USER (121 Reviews)
March 12th, 2018 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is a transition album, following the path of their debut. Although, it represents a slight improvement of the first one.

“Time And A Word” is the second studio album of Yes and was released in 1970. The line up on the album is Jon Anderson, Peter Banks, Tony Kaye, Chris Squire and Bill Bruford. The album had also the participation of David Foster.


“Time And A Word” was the last band’s album to feature the original line up, Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Banks and Kaye. Banks was fired before the album’s release. With the decision of use string arrangements on the most of the songs, Banks’ role as guitarist was diminished and tensions within the band increased. Just after the album’s recording is completed, was asked him to leave the band, which he reluctantly did. Then, Steve Howe would join, replacing Banks.

“Time And A Word” also includes two songs that Anderson wrote with David Foster, a former band mate in The Warriors, the band formed by Anderson and his brother Tony Anderson, in 1964. So, as happened on their eponymous debut studio album “Yes”, two of the eight songs of the album are covers. However, this was the last time that Yes recorded songs which were not made by the group. “Time And A Word” marked another difference in the band. From now on, the lyric writing of Anderson began to move from the simple love themes to subjects of a more big scale.

The UK and USA artworks for the album were different. The UK front cover used a black and white photo montage of a nude woman with a butterfly. As this was inappropriate in the USA, due to the American Puritanism, the USA front cover showed a picture of the band. Curiously, the picture shows Howe instead of Banks, despite he doesn’t played on the album. However, the back cover of both versions of the album shows a picture of the original line up of the group.

Great though, “Yes” is, I’ve always found it to be a less ambitious and less consistent work than “Time And A Word”. “Time And A Word” is a most consistent album and listening to it doesn’t was a problem for me. “Time And A Word” was the album where the band began to move into a more symphonic direction. They even hired a small orchestra to prove the point. Although, their sound was still under development there was already plenty of excellent prog rock to enjoy here. Yet, Yes had to get into anything approaching to conceptual albums, and Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe have both to join them too. But, the sound on this album is more recognisable as Yes than the debut, perhaps because of the first appearance behind the mixing desk of Eddie Offord. So, the focus, for me at least, largely is on Anderson and Squire, and it doesn’t disappoint at all. As for the guitarist here, Banks provides perfectly well, even with string arrangements. The keyboards are not very interesting but are present and heard. Squire is everywhere with his bass, as usually, showing his natural credit card. Bruford is solid on drums, as always, which is his usual location card, too.

About the tracks, you can hear lots of future Yes’ elements on this album, although rarely employed together in the same song, in a “correct” Yes’ fashion. The sound on the album is dominated a lot by the tasty Hammond work from Kaye and the orchestral arrangements works fine perfectly well in my ears. The beautiful title track was the only track from the first two albums that would remain in their live set for years to come, while “The Prophet” has a delightful fairytale atmosphere. “Then”, “Astral Traveller” and “Sweet Dreams” were all among the best tracks from very early Yes. “Then” is a song with some complexity, well elaborated, with interesting musical structures and musical changes. “Astral Traveller” has some cool musical parts. Although, the mixing and production effect on the vocals is a bit annoying. “Sweet Dreams”, even though it’s only four minutes long, is the single most recognizable piece of classic Yes’ music here. “Clear Days”, just Anderson and strings, and to be honest, he misses the group. This song isn’t Yes. It’s Anderson, solo. And just as with the first album, “Time And A Word” also included two cover versions songs. First, there is a very tight and “yesified” version of Richie Haven’s “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” and second, an atmospheric version of Stephen Still’s “Everydays”, which has an incredible instrumental part in the middle.


Conclusion: I agree with many other people when they say that “Time And A Word” was a major step forward from Yes’ eponymous debut studio album. But, it still was, somehow, very distant of the musical quality of its successors, especially from their fifth studio album “Close To The Edge”, the greatest masterpiece of the band. In reality, “Time And A Word” is a transitional album that makes an incremental improvement over the previous eponymous debut studio album, because its songs are more mature, adult and cohesive, and having in general a superior quality. By the other hand, the inclusion of an orchestra on their music, despite the risks taken by the band, shows us that it was an excellent idea. So, concluding and in short, Yes still had some more steps to go before they would reach their creative highlights and definitive masterpieces, but “Time And A Word” is a good piece of the early 70’s prog rock, anyway.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
March 12th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Time And A Word" is somehow a landmark on Yes' career. It's a transition album that represents the end of the 60's and the beginning of what would be known as the future music of the 70's, on the band. It represents also the end of their first line up with the departure of their original guitarist, Peter Banks, when he was invited to leave the band. It represents also the last time they recorded songs not made by them. Always there was a certain division about both albums. What is the better one? Even on Sputnik the opinions are divided. For instance, Sabrutin, Wham and the other reviewer of this album, Nagrarock, prefer their debut. Me, Jethro and Diva, we prefer "Time And A Word". But for some others, Twig, Friday and Intuder, it seems to be at the same level. Personally, I think "Time And A Word" is more mature and more close to the music they would make in the future. Anyway, we all agree in one thing. Both albums are a bit far way from the great things they would make in the next future.

Divaman
March 12th 2018


4298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Exactly so. Nice job, e. I think that this album took them to the point where they began to see that they were being limited in the direction they wanted to go in, which is why after this one, they replaced Banks with Steve Howe, and then after the next one, replaced Kaye with Rick Wakeman. This is the one where they really started to think about how far they could the music.

Digging: Barns Courtney - 404

e210013
March 12th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"This is the one where they really started to think about how far they could the music."

I absolutely agree with you. Thanks my friend for your comment.

Sabrutin
March 12th 2018


6456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

For some reason I can't get into this album as much as I'd like. It leaves me a bit cold

e210013
March 12th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No problem Sab. As you know, all of us have our personal mood and taste. This is the beauty of our feelings and of the world in general.

KILL
March 12th 2018


81232 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album fucking rules honestly, fattest bass sound ever made

Jethro42
March 12th 2018


15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Squire does a great job there, boosted notes as usual. The rhythm section is full of complicity, and Anderson is top shape. Album is keyboard oriented, and it sounds dirty, even distorsioned. Overall, it's a great early prog release. The addition of strings orchestration don't work all the time, and it buries the guitars in places. Guitars are a bit timid and they serve as rhythm more than melodies. I'm sure Banks was unhappy to be that limited in his playing.

''Then'', ''Astral Traveller'' and the title track are classic Yes songs. ''Sweet Dream'' has a nice melody but it's getting repetitive for a short song. ''The Prophet'' and ''Clear Day'' are my least favorites. Both songs are bland and ''The Prophet'' is where the strings arrangement are the most embarassing. They remind me those found in From Genesis to Revelation.

Good review, my friend.

Divaman
March 12th 2018


4298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kind of surprised there has only been one other review of this album before this one.

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ KILL

You're absolutely right. Squire shows perfectly well his skills. That is evident since the first moment on both first albums of Yes.

Thanks, man.

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Jethro

"Anderson is top shape."

I agree. He is better than on their debut.

"The addition of strings orchestration don't work all the time, and it buries the guitars in places. Guitars are a bit timid and they serve as rhythm more than melodies. I'm sure Banks was unhappy to be that limited in his playing."

Yeah, you're right. I think it was the main reason why he was fired. And this was probably the main reason why Sabrutin said: "For some reason I can't get into this album as much as I'd like. It leaves me a bit cold."

Thanks my friend. It's always a pleasure to read your succinct comments. I really appreciate them.

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Diva

"Kind of surprised there has only been one other review of this album before this one."

I'm not so surprised as you are. I think the first two albums of Yes are put in a low place in the discography of the band, which is perfectly understandble. And is seems is more evident with their second album. If you take a look on my reviews of Yes, that is pretty obvious. About "Time And A Word", in this moment, there are only four comments of the members of the site and about 270 views. That is a low-key rendition about the interest on the album.

TwigTW
March 13th 2018


3821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You went back to the beginning! You've inspired me to go back and give the first two albums a listen, which I will confess I have not done in years.

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Do that Twig. They aren't properly two brilliant albums, but they are two good albums. Besides, both represent the beginning of all. The beggining of one of the best and most influential prog bands ever.

TwigTW
March 13th 2018


3821 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so true, will do

Jethro42
March 13th 2018


15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Kind of surprised there has only been one other review of this album before this one."



If it was not for the Yes' discogs initiated by e21 and my ProgJect colleague Super Nag, album wouldn't get any review at all. Time and a Word is rather unpopular and/or overlooked, that can explain why there are not many visits.

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My intention wasn't to be so radical as you, Jethro. But, you are absolutely right. And I can assure you that it's a pity that Nagrarok is too much busy to be reviewing albums on here. Unfortunately, I arrived to Sputnik too much later, to echange my opinions with him. The guy made an incredible work in spread of prog music on Sputnik. I take off my hat to him and to you Jethro, with your prog project. Actually, Progject, your reviews and the reviews made by Nagrarock are absolutelly amazing. A project with 31 reviews and someone who made 219 reviews is absolutelly overwhelming. I have no words to classify it. It's a pity that Nagrarock can't be with us more more often. How I would like to domine English as he dominates. But, above all, thanks to you Jethro and Nagrarock. Here it's my deepest thanks for your work on this site about prog rock music. With guys like us, prog wiil never die.

Jethro42
March 13th 2018


15960 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nagrarok has always been the second more prolific user after ReturnToRock. Nag has compiled an impressive amount of discogs under the belt, and not only for prog, but for rock in general from every decades, and even metal. And they really are top quality reviews, so I was more than happy when he offered his help and joined me into our collaboration called ProgJect. Our team turned to be a winner, and a good combination of interest and passion for writing about prog. As you know it, it eventually came to an end when Nag became too busy in his personal life. Whithout his magic touch, I was left helpless and I called it a quit. I wish there were more ProgJect reviews on the map, but still, I'm proud of what we've done.

I'm flattered of your kind words, e21, buddy. It's true, you missed the time where prog community was larger than that, but your reviews are not done in vain, since you carry the prog torch, and you encourage old and new proggers to follow you into your massive prog work. It's not you who arrived too late to the site, it's more like a lot of Sputnik proggers left the boat too early. Long live to prog my friend. Keep up the good work!

Cheers!

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm very flattered with your words, buddy. In what concerns to me, I'm never going to leave the prog torch. The things are what they are. As we always says, at least in my country, the water never pass twice in the same place. So, we must live wit that reality. I refuse that it's too be late for prog. Besides, I think there are many great prog works that are being done precisely in this moment. So, long life for prog. We are abble to carry the prog torch, however heavy and big it may be, my friend.

TheIntruder
March 13th 2018


427 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Another excellent review, buddy. Thanks for you review the first two albums of Yes. It was a great thing, man. I appreciate it, really. So, have a pos.

e210013
March 13th 2018


2562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, Intruder. I'm very flattered by your pos, because I reviewed the album. Thanks really.



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