82681-2 Time And A Word
Produced by Tony Colton
Released on July 1970
UK CHART POSITION #45
Find it at GEMM
82681-2 cover  

I ’ve been writing from a parched pen for the past few days, relegated to wandering over familiar haunts in the search for some lost elixir of inspiration that might have been missed in earlier travels. Time And A Word seemed a fitting destination, since clearly it couldn’t have warranted such misplaced invective as “grandiloquent goo” (my original assessment). But a benediction from me will have to wait for a better day. I’ve heard some of these songs in the context of Yesterdays and suffered no ill mood, but listening to the 1994 Atlantic remaster once more has rekindled my cranky disposition. Nowhere in their catalog is their celestial messenger so rudely handled as here, suffering the ignominy of string arrangements and caricatured in a cacophonous mix that buries the band under Chris Squire’s overburdened bass lines. Songs that might have soared of their own majesty (“Time And A Word,” “Then”) are here hijacked and harnessed to the body of a grossly gilded butterfly in the form of Tony Cox’ orchestration. The poor thing, as you might imagine, struggles to fly, flapping its wings noisily in a great commotion. The tragedy here is that Time And A Word might have been a better album than this. “Sweet Dreams” and “Astral Traveller” indicate that the band’s “Survival” skills remain intact, but producer Tony Colton apparently had some sort of commercial death wish for them. The red rating should of course be taken in context. Yes fans are a resilient lot, capable of subsisting on the nectar of a cactus flower where occasion calls for it. Still, I’d be remiss in not attaching to Time And A Word a word of caution. There’s little to be gained in listening to this album, chalking it up to the band’s inexperienced handlers, and slipping the disc back into the forgotten files, but much to be gained from exploring parallel universes like Flash or the solo work of Jon Anderson. Look at this as an open invitation to expand your world. No doubt you can squeeze something sweet from this lemon, but better to embrace sweet mystery, leave Time And A Word to nameless possibilities, and venture into someplace unexpected, perhaps even into the gardens of Gentle Giant or the harsh universe of Van Der Graaf Generator.

82681-2 back picture sleeve
82681-2 back picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. NO OPPORTUNITY NECESSARY, NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED    (Richie Havens)    4:47
  2. THEN    (Jon Anderson)    5:42
  3. EVERYDAYS    (Stephen Stills)    6:06
  4. SWEET DREAMS    (Jon Anderson/David Foster)    3:48
  5. THE PROPHET    (Jon Anderson/Chris Squire)    6:32
  6. CLEAR DAYS    (Jon Anderson)    2:04
  7. ASTRAL TRAVELLER    (Jon Anderson)    5:50
  8. TIME AND A WORD    (Jon Anderson/David Foster)    4:31

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  9. DEAR FATHER
  10. NO OPPORTUNITY NECESSARY, NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED (ORIGINAL MIX)
  11. SWEET DREAMS (ORIGINAL MIX)
  12. THE PROPHET (SINGLE VERSION)

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- vocals
PETER BANKS -- guitar & vocals
BILL BRUFORD -- drums
TONY KAYE -- organ
CHRIS SQUIRE -- bass & vocals
Tony Cox -- orchestral arrangements
Eddie Offord -- recording engineer
Barry Wensal -- cover photo
Loring Eutemey -- original cover design
Lawrence Sackman -- backliner photos

return to YES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER July 1970 Atlantic LP K 40085  
US November 2, 1970 Atlantic LP SD 8273  
BRA   Atlantic LP 4020 023  
US   Atlantic CD/CS 8273  
BRA 1991? Atlantic LP 6709 345  
US Sep/Oct 1994 Atlantic CD 82681 digital remaster w. lyric sleeve
JPN   Atlantic CD AMCY-6281 digital remaster
US January 2003 Rhino CDX 73787 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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