Yes In A Word: Yes (1969-)

Yes In A Word: Yes (1969-)
An obvious financial foray into the next generation of Yes fans, In A Word is a comprehensive five-CD set with a lush 95-page booklet containing historical essays by Yes experts, filmmaker Cameron Crowe and tribute quotes from Les Claypool, Tool’s Danny Carey and others. Yet the question remains: what does this set have that the 1991 YesYears four-disc set does not? For starters, the fifth disc spans from 1991’s Union up through last year’s Magnification, including one previously unreleased track from that album and four from and around 1978’s Tormato sessions. Also featured are older nuggets like "Sweetness” and the excellent "Astral Traveller”; the massive "South Side Of The Sky” (recently covered by Spock’s Beard on the expanded edition of Snow); the Steve Howe acoustic workout "Clap”; the essential "Siberian Khatru”; the full-length cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s "America”; Relayer’s "The Gates Of Delirium” and "To Be Over”; and a few more key cuts from their 90125/Big Generator resurgence. Both sets share the hits "Yours Is No Disgrace,” "Roundabout” and "Heart Of The Sunrise” (recently covered acoustically by the California Guitar Trio with Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto on CG3+2) and of course, the popular epics "Starship Trooper,” "I’ve Seen All Good People” and "Close To The Edge.” However, In A Word harbours the glaring omissions of "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus),” the companion piece, for all practical purposes, to "Long Distance Runaround,” the epic "And You And I” (from 1972’s Close To The Edge) and a bonus video, all of which YesYears has. Still, In A Word is the better retrospective of these progressive rock pioneers, though with today’s DVD technology, it’s a shame that the label didn’t take advantage of what could’ve been some wondrous visuals. (Elektra)