23 Sep



Originally presented in 2005 on

Continuing with my one a day aural vitamin helping of Yes Music in celebration of original singer Jon Anderson’s milestone 70th birthday, Time And A Word was the second album by progressive rock band Yes, released in mid-1970 in the UK (the group’s home country) and November 1970 in the US. This was the last Yes album to feature the group’s original line-up of Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass, vocals), Peter Banks (guitar), Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Bill Bruford (drums). Nearly all of the band’s compositions were written by Anderson for this album with the sole exception of The Prophet which was co-written with Chris Squire.

(portions of this blog were lifted from Wikipedia sources – hence the weird formatting)     

       With the ambitious decision to use string arrangements on most of the album’s songs, Peter’s role as a guitarist was diminished. Tensions within band members increased, and just after the album’s recording was completed in early 1970, Peter was asked to leave, which he reluctantly did. Steve Howe would join the line-up that March, replacing Banks.

    Time And A Word’s use of heavy strings seemed intrusive to some critics, and while the album was received in a lukewarm fashion upon its release (UK #45, Yes’ first chart entry at home), it is more warmly remembered today.

      With the acquisition of Steve Howe, the band would start to compose and routine the music for The Yes Album over the summer of 1970 which, upon its release the following spring, would finally earn the band their success. In effect, Time And A Word marks the end of Yes’s formative, yet musically significant, period.

Time And A Word (Atlantic 2400 006) reached #45 in the UK. It never charted in the US.

                                 Time And A Word was remastered and reissued in 2003 with several bonus tracks.

Jon Anderson‘s decision to use a live orchestra on most of the album’s songs (as he reported in the YesYears video) put him very much at odds with Peter Banks. Tensions within the band increased, and just after the album’s recording was completed in early 1970, Banks was asked to leave. Steve Howe would join the line-up that March, replacing Banks. The album includes two songs Anderson wrote with David Foster, a former band mate in The Warriors.

    Time and a Word’s use of a studio orchestra seemed intrusive to some critics, and the album was received in a lukewarm fashion (UK No. 45, Yes’ first chart entry at home). The opening track contains an orchestral intro to Richie Havens’ song “No Opportunity Needed, No Experience Necessary”, featuring a main theme from the 1958 film The Big Country by Jerome Moross. Also, the track “The Prophet” borrows from Gustav Holst‘s “Jupiter” from the Planets Suite.

Track listing

Side one
No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed       Richie Havens  4:48
Then                                                                                Jon Anderson 5:44
Everydays                                                                        Stephen Stills  6:08
Sweet Dreams                                                                 Anderson, David Foster 3:51

Side two

The Prophet                                                                     Anderson, Chris Squire  6:34
Clear Days                                                                       Anderson 2:06
Astral Traveller                                                                 Anderson 5:53
Time and a Word                                                             Anderson, Foster 4:31

2003 Remaster bonus tracks
Dear Father                                                                     Anderson, Squire  4:12
No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Original mix)  4:42
Sweet Dreams (Original mix)                                         4:19
The Prophet (Single version)                                          6:33

Tracks 9–11 first appeared on early West German pressing of ”Time and a Word”, Atlantic/Teldec (GE) (24/4/70).

         Where were you on November 2, 1970? when Yes’ second album, Time and a Word was first released (in the US)?

        The only thing that springs to my six-year-old mind about 1970 was that it was the year that his Aunt Priscilla had graduated from Trenton State College and I had to attend the ceremony in a suit. Wasn’t much of A Man’s Warehouse double-breasted suit type of guy and therefore raised a tumultuous tantrum about it. It also marked the occasion that when I first referred to my stepfather as a bleedin’ asshole, even though I don’t have a recollection of where I first had heard that terminology having been used before (probably something I picked up from watching Monty Python) Nevertheless, I had achieved in getting another good sore assbeating for my abrupt forwardness (of spurting out the truth).


     Due to overcrowding at Northvail School in Parsippany, NJ – I was transferred to Lake Hiawatha School for first grade class which was a pretty long walk from my house. One of my bus mates going to school with me was James Vigilante – who went on to become a decorated Gulf War veteran and after a couple more tours of Iraq, he was already established as a pillar of my hometown of Parsippany and had become a highly respected local councilman for Morris County. He was a well-respected individual and comforting voice for the community, selfishly volunteering his time and services for many charity causes. Tragically, he suffered a major heart attack last November of 2013. The town of Parsippany, its’ citizens both past and present continue to mourn him. Some of the lyrics of the title track sort of brings me back memories of him – particularly this line:  When you get things in perspective/ Spread the news and help the world go around.

Time and a Word line-up consisted of Jon Anderson– vocals, Chris Squire – bass, Tony Kaye, organs, the late Peter Banks last appearance on guitar, and Bill Bruford- drums.

This was the first album to utilize orchestral arrangements – a process that the band would not use again until 2001’s Magnification album. Feeling inadequate working with an orchestra was a major contributing factor leading up to Banks’ departure. Since Banks left the band before the street date release of the album, the first edition printing of the album cover spotted an elongated nude woman in some chessboard decorated corridor (probably due to censors), while the American version of the cover already featured Bank’s successor, Steve Howe posing with the rest of the band on the photo cover!!

Highlights: Cover version of Ritchie Havens’ No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed – complete with a middle section that sounds as if it were lifted from the theme from the long running television western, Bonanza (SURPRISE it actually was!), Jon Anderson’s short and punchy rocker, Sweet Dreams, and the lyrically thought-provoking (a protest of the Viet Nam war?) The Prophet which along with Astral Traveller would serve as the blueprint for more drawn out cosmic rockers like Starship Trooper and Sound Chaser on future albums. Tony Kaye, upped his madman organ playing ante to compensate for the orchestration’s short comings.

Best lyrical line: Just remember when you’re gone there’s someone after you – from the Prophet by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire.

Tomorrow: The stellar success of the Yes Album updated for the recent release of the Steven Wilson 5.1 surround sound remixed edition.


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