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Yes - "In A Word"
Rhino 2002

What we got here is a cool cross section of band's entire identity card. They didn't forget to slide in a nice book with some great rare shots, equipped with words that tell a story in first part who Yes are after all, and in second part Bill Martin translates "YesWorld" philosophy into "ordinary" language. Track selection through five CD's is very impressive, especially in comparison with past "Yes best of" releases, and thus refreshing one. We got some less known pieces as Release, Release or Arriving UFO are .Box set also includes some songs that were missing on older retrospective issues (but they shouldn't miss) like Machine Messiah, South Side Of The Sky or Turn Of The Century. There are no live tracks at all.

Let us talk about some nice surprises on this 5CD box set. The Revealing Science Of God starts with complete intro and is therefore stretched (it contains bonus minute and a half of music) in comparison with officially released version that you can get in store. Intro theme on a "new" version of Revealing Science Of God is very close to Close To The Edge intro theme. Than what differs from officially released versions are also version of I Would Have Waited forever (Union, 1991) and alternate outtake of Fist Of Fire (from ABWH era) with great Steve's' involvement on guitar through entire song. "In A Word" version of I Would Have Waited Forever also includes some Steve's finishing guitar solo touches at the end. Howe's guitar style lovers will surely find this as high points of compilation.

What you will find on this selection are also a couple of unreleased tracks that were recorded prior to Rick and Jon departure from the band. I'm talking about famous Paris Session's period. All tracks are nothing special, in my opinion; I would not miss them at all. But as it is said, this is a kind of final retrospective of the band and we can't neglect this late seventies period between "Tormato" and "Drama" albums. And when you'll hear Paris Session tracks (mainly bootlegged after all these years) you'll get a direct proof why a line up change that occurred shortly after Alan broke his leg in Paris during recording sessions was necessary. Thanks to destiny that it happened this way! All those four tracks are sounding rough and as if they were just partly recorded, therefore unfinished. On my amazement guitar is squared only inside chords and famous Steve solo noodles nowhere to be found. Shame. Inside the set list of fifth CD you'll find short blues adventure called Last Train (added as a bonus track), that I see as inappropriate choice that accompanies a real orgasmic pieces like Homeworld (The Ladder), In The Presence Of or Mind Drive. With inclusion of Last Train they've made one move too much.

All songs are remastered and sound of band's seventies material (band's most important chunk of their legacy) sounds very clear. I didn't expect that. I usually stick my nose to originals. But these remastered things are sounding highly promising. So we can look forward to upcoming reissues of the Yes stuff that changed the world forever. Pay attention on crispness of Close To The Edge, Revealing Science Of God or extraordinary masterpiece Gates Of Delirium. This compilation is after all worth of any buying and highly recommended money investment especially if you are a new Yes fan. It is surely, band's best "best of" document so far!

Author:   Aleš

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