RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Martin Popoff – Time and a Word: The Yes Story
Soundcheck Books

Rating: A

Yes is an amazing band with a rich history of interchanging superb musicians and utilizing different music styles.  Over the last several decades they have reached the top of the musical heap, fell to the bottom commercially, reinvented themselves as a touring force and returned to the top again. These days they are a constant on the Prog circuit, drawing legions of loyal fans wherever they may roam.  Among their ranks are some of the most talented musicians to ever play in the rock genre.  Journalist Metal Martin Popoff, it turns out, is the perfect guy to tell their Proggy tale.

You may think, “Mighty Martin Popoff... the OTHER Metal God? Writes about YES?”  Indeed, Martin is the man.  He is more than your average metal scribe.  You see, Popoff has real passion for any style of music that has strummed his heartstrings.  Yes may not seem like the band of choice for a guy who knows more about the New Wave of British Heavy Metal than the guys who invented it... but fear not!  Popoff knows his proverbial shit and he unleashes a true time-machine of a book based on one of Prog’s most fascinating bands.

For starters, this one is laid out by year and date for the linear-minded.  It includes facts and release dates and reviews, but most importantly this publication includes thoughts of the era being dissected by the guys who made the music.  We are talking about the important Yes members with names like Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, Downes, White and many others.

Popoff treads through the days and years with a mixture of Walter Cronkite telling it like it is reporting, fan-boy gleam and rock journo attitude.  Not content to stick to the story of Yes, he delves into the members side projects: bands like Asia and GTR, and the band member’s solo albums.  Nary a stone is unturned in this not-so-fragile collection of quotes and facts.

Time and a word -make that many words- make this book a must own for any rock fan.

Well done!

By Jeb “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Wright