Martin Popoff: Time And A Word: The Yes Story

Still fragile: the prog legends’ life story.

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The Yes saga is complex enough without distracting asides about what Jethro Tull or Rush are up to, or Randy Bachman critiquing Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Not Fragile album. Context is obviously important when relating events of 40-plus years ago, but then so is relevance.

Martin Popoff wisely chooses a timeline format to tell the story and has exclusive interviews with the main participants, although they are not always the best narrators of their own soap opera.

Jon Anderson is mostly “backstroking in the clouds”, as Popoff memorably puts it; Chris Squire uses the word “interesting” whenever things get difficult; Steve Howe is too forgiving, at least until the 90s; and Bill Bruford sounds bored with the whole thing, so it’s left to Rick Wakeman and Alan White to say what they think.

Yes fans will find plenty of detail to savour, not least that Patrick Moraz’s keyboard set-up increased from five to 24 during the Relayer tour.