(All Album Reviews by Octavio Trimmingham)
Originally released - November 2, 1970
Personnel – Jon Anderson: Vocals
Chris Squire: Bass
Tony Kaye: Keyboards
Bill Bruford: Drums
Peter Banks: Guitars
With Time and a Word, Yes’s sophomore release, the band was still trying to nail down a style and direction for their sound. Peter Banks would, unfortunately, call it quits shortly before it’s release.
Like their first album, Time and a Word also had two different album covers. The cover art for the UK release featured a drawing of a curvaceous nude woman. This was deemed too risqué for the US and it was replaced by a boring old band photo including Banks’ replacement, Steve Howe. Ironically, he would be the last ingredient needed for the band to find the sound & style they had been seeking but that’s all I can say about Howe for now.
The album features many orchestral string sections added throughout and this is a love it or hate/tolerate it feature for many serious Yes fans. It is also one of the straws that broke Bank’s symbolic “camel’s back” if you will. I enjoy the string arrangements myself. If the band didn’t experiment in ways like this, how would they eventually have become the Yes we came to know and love?
The song list consists of two cover songs, as the first album did, and six band originals. The first cover song, “No Opportunity Necessary…”, features one of the most grooving bass lines in the Yes catalog and makes for an excellent album opener. Along with that, “Then”, “Everydays” & “Astral Traveller” are all excellent, standout tracks (despite the string sections).
Banks guitar style and sound are blistering and beautiful at the same time, especially his solo during “Everydays”. It’s a shame he had to share time with the overbearing string sections on this track. You even hear Pete salute Bach when he throws a few measures from a Brandenberg concerto (not sure what no. concerto though) into the solo.
The low point on the album for me is the title track. Peace, love and understanding is not something I often like to hear sung about but it’s mostly the droning melody of the song’s chorus that leaves me bored to tears.
All in all, I think it is a great album and I like it slightly more than the first one. I would’ve loved to hear Banks work evolve on just one more album, but, oh well, it didn’t happen. That’s the way it goes I guess.
(All Album Reviews by Sean)
A vastly underrated album. Sure the guitar is low in the mix, sure there are strings and orchestrations on it. So what! This is still a raw and edgy Yes coming to terms with their soon to be classic sound. Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye and Chris Squire never sounded better in Yes than right here on this album.