The Word is Live Box set
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Disc two focuses on arena performances from the late 70s, featuring an ambitious "Sound Chaser"from the Patrick Moraz line-up, as well as a "Big Medley"of reworked versions of some of their defining songs, with Rick Wakeman back behind the keys. The final chapter is the set's most varied, chronicling not one, but two band revampings via a trio of live tracks from the short-lived tenure of former Buggles Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes and a quartet of performances from the band's surprisingly successful, Trevor Rabin -sparked 80s pop reincarnation, including the rarities "Rhythm of Love" and "Shoot High, Aim Low." If the overall sound quality varies considerably, spanning mono radio recordings of indeterminate generation to soundboard cassettes from Howe's collection and professional multi-track (most of disc 2), it's the ever-forceful, often ambitiously reinventive performances they capture that's more the point. The set's ample booklet reinforces the notion that it's a collection aimed squarely a longtime fans, more than a few of whom contribute their insightful reminisces within. -- Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
The 2 BBC tracks are good mono, as are the 2 Gothenburg tracks. The London '71 tracks are gems. They are stereo, but it's hard to tell if they are a mono source with some echo added or not. At the beginning a capella start of Your Move, is that really the halls reverb, or a little studio after effects? Don't know for sure, but a great set of song never the less.
Sweet Dreams on side 2 is a lousy mono version from the QEP show. I do not have the DVD's, but the sound quality on those are routinely panned, and this is right up there with it.
The rest of disk 2 and the first 2 songs of disk 3 show the late `70's Yes akin to the Yesshows album. There are no repeats to the Yesshows album (save for Time and a Word) so, with it, you get the bulk of songs performed in the late `70's. If you expected better quality then the very good but not excellent Yesshows, don't look here. The quality on all this material is very good, but it does sound like it came from old, improperly stored, tapes, cleaned up as best as possible. Ironically the one overlap on both, Detroit '76, sound better by a smige on the re-mastered Yesshows CD!Read more ›
"Sound Chaser" with Moraz.
"America" with Bruford.
Yet on first listen one gets the sense that this is a box full of colored glass for the masses, with a few diamonds mixed in for the shrewd investor.
One shakes one's head at times and wonders aloud, "Is THIS the Yes that once graced those hallowed halls of yesteryear?"
Truly, there are moments to marvel at: Disc 1's set with Bruford, Kaye, and Howe is astonishing.
"America" rolls along like an art-rock juggernaut, propelled by Mr. Bill's frenetic stylings (a foreshadowing of his performance years later as a Genesis sideman). It's only after the first 6 minutes have gone by that it hits you: Yes didn't just record this on a whim as a single with Wakeman! They were playing this FOR YEARS with Kaye!
And Kaye gives the song hair!
And then we stumble upon "Sound Chaser". The lead-in track to disc two, "Apocalypse", is brilliant live Yes as only Yes can do, but "Sound Chaser" sounds like it was cut by a high-school band on acid.
The guitar solo is great, but the sound is appalling. The desire to share this magic with others, pointing and shouting, "See! See!" is severaly tempered here; it would be almost embarrassing to play this for friends.
You would find yourself sorely tempted to apologize, "They're really much better than this. Really.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good, fun album.
I really enjoy listing to this. Lots of great Yes material.
FYI, much of this is available as 'bootlegs'.
I'm glad I spent $18 on this set, from an overstock-seller, and not the $40+ price that some sellers are listing it for. Read morePublished 5 months ago by David C.
Despite being a fairly avid Yes fan, I avoided buying this album for years due to its high retail price, its duplication of songs that were already on other live albums and early... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bice
Ten years on since it's release, Yes's archival box set still a subject of blind consternation and unreasonable expectations by fans of Yes, much to the chagrin of thousands of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by John L. Flanagan
Live albums come in two flavors: Historical Value and Entertainment Value. Entertainment Value is one you can listen to over and over as if it were "an actual album. Read morePublished 13 months ago by L. R. Howard
Great to have these live versions. The packaging, artwork, photos are exquisite.Published 15 months ago by Chris Archevald
I enjoyed there box sets of rare and hits.This one is there live hits.This is for any fan of yes.Published on January 31, 2014 by Kurt Mstoecklhuber
To anyone who complains about the sound quality of some tracks, keep in mind that most weren't intended for commercial release. Read morePublished on November 17, 2013 by David L
I purchased this (album) after seeing another's review of a concert I listened to on Wolfgang's Vault of a YES performance at Wembly Arena in 1978. Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by Steve Gorman