Martin Popoff has written numerous books on various hard rock & metal bands, genres, and sub-genres over the years, but Time and a Word-The Yes Story is his first foray into progressive rock, and he does a very good job tackling a band that is obviously very near and dear to him. As is the format for many of his collections, the text is comprised of some history, album by album analysis, and plenty of interview & review snippets conducted by the author himself over the years, as well as many other writers (yours truly among them) from other publications & websites. It's no surprise that the '70s era is given a wider berth here, so the albums The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans, Relayer, and Going For the One get plenty of coverage and discussion, but fear not, Drama, 90125, Union, Open Your Eyes, Talk, The Ladder, and Fly From Here are not forgotten, nor are notable solo albums and side projects such as Asia, GTR, and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book are the first hand comments from current & former members of the band, especially Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, who have very critical, both positive & negative, opinions of much of the bands output over the years. Though the 2000s and up is glossed over somewhat quickly, Time and a Word takes the reader right up to the passing of original founding member Chris Squire on June 27, 2015, certainly the end of an era, but as we now know, not the end of Yes. With on again, off again member Billy Sherwood now taking over for Squire, the band continues on with Howe, Geoff Downes, Alan White, and Jon Davison on lead vocals.
Written in Popoff's unique style, Time and a Word is a fun read, more notable perhaps for the wealth of interview material included than any uncovered facts, and with plenty of photographs and charming anecdotes included, the book is without a doubt a must read for any Yes or progressive rock fan.
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