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Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection

4.1 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2 CDs of career-spanning classics, plus an entire CD of unreleased material-Yes, indeed! Includes Roundabout; Yours Is No Disgrace; I've Seen All Good People; And You and I; America (single edit); Siberian Khatru; Going for the One; Owner of a Lonely Heart; Leave It; It Can Happen (single edit); Lift Me Up; Starship Trooper , and 14 more. And the bonus CD includes unreleased acoustic takes of Roundabout and South Side of the Sky , plus unreleased tracks like Show Me and Chris Squire's interpretation of Dvorak's New World Symphony !


In its day, the British prog-rock band Yes's three-letter name was a four-letter word to many diehard rock & roll fans. In time, though, its musical hallmarks have become intrinsic to college radio, that arbiter of cool. Its epic instrumental suites foretold jam bands, and its rapturously twee vocals were echoed in later groups like the Flaming Lips and the Polyphonic Spree. Packed into this three-CD set are tracks dating from Yes's origin as a uniquely virtuosic folk-rock act, covering Simon & Garfunkel's "America" of all things, to its resurrection in the mid-1980s in the hands of producer Trevor Horn, who would later gain renown with Art of Noise and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. In between are its cornerstone hits, the suite-like "I've Seen All Good People," "Long Distance Runaround," and "Yours Is No Disgrace." Inevitably, the later work, from the early 1990s on, fails to match the joy and rawness of the earlier recordings (sounds amplified thanks to remastering), but there are some new treats, including a spirited acoustic rendition of the band's signature "Roundabout." --Marc Weidenbaum

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Time and a Word
  2. Starship Trooper
  3. Yours Is No Disgrace
  4. I've Seen All Good People
  5. Roundabout
  6. Long Distance Runaround
  7. Heart of the Sunrise
  8. South Side of the Sky
  9. And You and I
  10. America
  11. Wonderous Stories

Disc: 2

  1. Siberian Katru
  2. Soon
  3. Going for the One
  4. Don't Kill the Whale
  5. Tempus Fugit
  6. Owner of a Lonely Heart
  7. Leave It
  8. It Can Happen
  9. Rhythm of Love
  10. Big Generator
  11. Lift Me Up
  12. The Calling
  13. Open Your Eyes
  14. Homeworld (The Ladder)
  15. Magnification

Disc: 3

  1. Roundabout (Acoustic)
  2. Show Me
  3. South Side of the Sky (Acoustic)
  4. Australia (Solo Acoustic)
  5. New World Symphony

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B00016XNZM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,706 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Before I begin, let me say to all the true die-hard Yes fans out there, "I am one of you". So please don't think that I am just some bitter newbie who joined up with the band in the 80's. Nope, I've been around - buying every album, compilation, box set, and remastered recording that Yes has released, as well as attending every tour for the last 15-20 years. And it is because I have been such a true fan that I am getting so frustrated.
Let's look at the facts. Since 1991, Yes has released 4 complete albums of new material (5 if you count Keystudio). In that same time, they have released 6 box sets or compilations which re-hash already released material. And with each new compilation comes a little sampling of new material that forces us to buy the entire catalog of songs that we have already purchased. To make matters worse, Rhino has, over the last year, re-released 11 Yes albums, each with another sampling of new material. So we are forced, yet again, to re-buy all of the same albums we already own. And then, just when we thought we had enough, they give us 2 box sets in as many years and include, once again, samplings of new material. Now, they could have just as easily taken ALL of the new material and put out a disc of completely unreleased material. But then they wouldn't get as much of our money that way, now would they? Of course, it's not all Rhino's fault because this seems to be an old Yes trick (see the 2 live Keys To Ascension albums that had new bonus material thrown on the end or the 3 Magnification releases that each had a different bonus disc of previously unreleased live material).
So, aside from feeling completely cheated and ripped off, what is this latest 3-disc compilation really like?
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Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong. I've been a huge fan of Yes since the beginning. I eagerly snatched up YESYEARS in 1992, and with nearly an hour's worth of rarities it was a box set worth adding to my collection. When the 5-CD IN A WORD came out in 2002, I bought it, too. It not only broadened the scope of the earlier box, it brought it up do date covering the previous ten years. Now, however, Rhino/Elektra is asking me to shell out more money for essentially a condensed version of IN A WORD? I don't think so.
Other than the third disc of previously unreleased versions--mostly acoustic, there are only four tracks from the first two discs not found on IN A WORD. Obviously the third disc was meant to entice the die-hard fan, but it strikes me as nothing short of extortion by the record company and I'm not buying. If you're a casual fan and don't own either of their previous box sets, I'd say go for it. ULTIMATE YES probably includes everything you really need. For the serious fan, it depends on how deep your pockets are.
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Format: Audio CD
There's not much to say about the quality of the music contained within The Ultimate Yes- it's great, of course. The song selection is very good, with every Yes studio album except their eponymous debut, Tales From Topographic Oceans, and Keystudio represented. Of course we can nitpick about what songs deserved to be on this collection and weren't (cough, cough, Beyond And Before, cough), but this is the best attempt thus far at a Yes best-of.
I applaud Yes for putting some lesser-known material on here. Their 2001 Magnification album, which sold like a lead balloon, was still hailed as wonderful by those who did buy it (including myself), and putting the title track on here might help to boost its profile. And just when I'm beginning to wonder if Yes will ever acknowledge the existence of their 1980 masterpiece Drama- which singer Jon Anderson did not perform on- they put "Tempus Fugit" on this collection. Great move. That song had the potential to be *huge* when it came out, and it is a real gem in the Yes catalogue.
And I must add, the sound quality on all of these songs is amazing.
There are a few edited tracks on the album. "Soon," the finale of "The Gates Of Delirium," is edited to include a minute and a half more of the song that the previous single edit version. It's an improvement, but "Soon" doesn't really work out of the context of the song from which it comes. I think Yes would've done better to include something else from Relayer, like an unedited "Sound Chaser." Oh well. The single edit of "The Calling-" which I've never heard before- doesn't sound right with its reworked intro. I loved the vocal harmonies in the beginning of the song, and this version does away with them. The radio edit of "Homeworld (The Ladder)," I have to admit, is sloppy.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, most people buying this set will probably be Yes fans anyway, so this review is mostly for the bonus track. But if not...
For the uninitiated, this is an overall decent representation of Yes' music from the 70's to now, with at least one track representing every album except a few(the debut, Tales and Keys). As you can hear, the band has gone through many member changes and many styles and phases yet retaining a distictive sound of their own. For those not familiar with Yes, they pretty much have the following aspects: a couple high-voiced vocalists, clean cutting bass guitar loud in the mix, classical-tinged piano and synthesizer licks, somewhat country-ish guitar playing, long epic tracks done in sections often stretching up to 20+ minutes, positive yet undecipherable lyrics that deal with the spiritual/metaphysical etc, spacey album covers, revolving door of coming and going band members, all of which leaving lasting marks. That's pretty much Yes in a nutshell, and here are some fine songs to boot. A decent set to start off with, and good for those not willing to shell out for the 5 disc box set. Consider this the 2 disc version.
As for the third disc, there are 5 new tracks here, the first with Rick Wakeman since 'Keys to Ascension' from 1996, which give this set a strange sense of almost being a Fragile part 2 or a 'mini-Fragile'. Indeed, the content is very much like that classic 1971 Yes album in that it is comprised of solo pieces and band compositions. There is an solos for Anderson(Show Me), Squire(New World Symphony), Howe(Australia) and Wakeman(South Side Variations), plus acoustic versions of two tracks from the original Fragile(Roundabout & South Side Of The Sky). All that's missing is a new epic track(Heart Of The Sunrise-ish) and an Alan White solo.
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