"We never really set out to play rock'n'roll anyway"
Manny Hernandez | 07/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Howe's comment in the liner notes is a bit of Monday-morning quarterbacking that I wish he'd done when it was still "Sunday afternoon". Then I would have had something to sling back at all those know-it-alls who accused Yes of treason to rock'n'roll. You can't be called a "traitor" to a "nation" you're not a "citizen" of. All the way from "The Yes Album" (I think of "Time and a Word" and "Yes" as their apprenticeship) to "Keys To Ascension" (either volume), it's been one heluva roller coaster ride. After buying that first real Yes album for "Your Move" (that song made me think they were folk-rock), the opener "Yours Is No Disgrace" blew me away. The intro reminded me of the "Magnificent Seven" theme. It also established one of their most effective devices--take a syncopated Bruford tom riff, have Squire match it on bass--and in this song, Howe even doubles it on guitar. Contrapuntal harmonies a la Gentle Giant in "We Have Heaven". Next-generation doo-wop in "Leave It". Magnum opuses like "Close To the Edge", "Gates Of Delirium" and "Topographic Oceans". That one got SO much heat, even in my own house. My wife felt that I only had the right to so much time for listening to music--she came into the room and got in my face in the middle of side three. And the hell of it is (except in the Miller household), everyone would have avoided loads of high blood pressure if they'd only realized that it wasn't really a rock album. Why didn't you speak out back then, Steve? Oh yeah--sometimes when I put on these discs, I think of my ex. I knew that might happen, but that didn't stop me from buying this set. May they give you better memories than that."
Mainly For Diehard Yes Fans
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is not a putdown, but you have to appreciate the entire history of Yes to really dig this collection. If this describes you, you're in for a big surprise! It starts with the early days before Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman came into the picture. All the members of Yes (even Billy Sherwood is represented here, although he would join at least 5 years after this boxset was released) display talent. Disc 4 features the Yes of the 1980's with Trevor Rabin. Highlights include Starship Trooper, Close to the Edge, Owner of a Lonely Heart, Soon, Roundabout, Wonderous Stories and "rarities" like Something's Coming, Make It Easy, And You and I (live), Money, and the closing track Love Conquers All. The accompanying book is in-depth and generous with photos, discography, personell changes and Roger Dean's unique artwork. If you enjoy Yes as much as I do, you'll be sure to get your money's worth! P. S. I can't believe nobody else reviewed this up until now!"
Nice overview of Yes' amazing history!
Stephen Cabral | New England | 09/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very nice 4 CD box set that gives you a nice overview of Yes' amazing history. Listening to this from start to finish reminded me of why I love this band so much. It's chronological and the comprehensive liner notes follow the tracks very nicely. There is a nice balance of original material with alternate takes and unreleased songs. Some of the new material includes instrumentals by Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Trevor Rabin, and "Amazing Grace" by Chris Squire, the Christmas song "Run With The Fox" by Chris Squire and Alan White, a live cover of The Beatles song "I'm Down", live versions of "Changes", And You And I" & "Heart of the Sunrise", and about 4 other previously unreleased songs along with lots of great selections from every one of their studio albums through 1991's Big Generator.
Surprisingly, their 80's material is very dated while their music from the 70's sounds as good today as it did the day it came out. When you lie back and close your eyes, the 70's material is still able to take you to other places that only Roger Dean can describe but the 80's stuff comes a little too close to Asia/Journey territory but they don't completely cross that line and they did remain pretty innovative. I'm glad that they are back today creating the same ambitious music that made them great in the first place. "
Brad J. Holland | Tampa Bay, Florida | 01/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think this is a very good set to have, especially if you like to hear previously unreleased stuff.
I have recently taken all the unreleased tracks off this set and the new "Yes...In A Word" set and put them onto two cds.I'm hoping Yes will one day come out with a set similar to the Beatles Anthology cds, with only alternate takes of songs we know, unreleased songs, and demos. That would be nice.I have bought this set 3 times (I can't say why I didn't keep it the first time, probably needed the money so I traded it in.) But I always come back to it.My favourite song on this set is "Montreux's Theme". To me, this one song makes the set worth having; I love it that much.If you like unreleased stuff as I do, this is the one to get (if you can afford only one). If you want a "Best Of..." collection, then "In A Word" is the one."
A real treat for true yes fans
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 09/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Get this box if you're serious about collecting all things Yes. Not necessarily the best compilation of Yes greatest hits there is, but definitely a very good attempt at summarizing their music by taking the listener through their different musical periods, by means of some original releases, as well as plenty of previously unreleased and demo material.This is, in my opinion, the box I own that best succeeds at being not only a "greatest hits" type-of box, but digs into the details surrounding the big picture of a band. To round things up it comes with a very comprehensive color booklet which covers the history of the band."