Yes, “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” from Time and a Word (1970): YESterdays

Share this:

Yes seemed to have stumbled a bit with their sophomore album Time and a Word. Released in November 1970, the project would be the last to feature Yes’ original line up — and would also be the first to feature heavy use of a sting section.

Upon repeated listening, one notes a number of gems on Time and a Word; singer Jon Anderson, in particular, seemed to have developed his writing chops. The album’s first song, “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” highlights Yes’ arranging prowess as they do a major reworking of a Richie Havens composition. But, as Yes moves boldly forward, producer Tony Colton seems a little at a loss. The outcome overall is mixed, even if Time and a Word offers an intriguing glimpse into what might have been, had the world’s greatest progressive band not connected with producer Eddie Offord and second guitarist Steve Howe.

<<< BACKWARD (“Survival”) ||| ONWARD (“Then”) >>>

Peter Banks was particularly at odds with Jon Anderson over the direction of Time and a Word, but this tension did not seem to impact “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.” Tony Kaye’s growling Hammond organ gets the song off to a rousing start, before the orchestra makes a somewhat jarring appearance. Anderson, singing lower in his register than usual, gets things going over Bill Bruford’s frantic back beat.

The orchestra comes in again, with a swirling interlude which could have easily been covered by a Banks guitar solo. Yes’ trademark harmonies are there too, with bass maestro Chris Squire joining Anderson in harmony. Ultimately, however, this is a Yes song which doesn’t quite sound like Yes. A subsequent reissue of Time and a Word contains the track’s original mix, which is a little more focused — but not much.

Preston Frazier’s new YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that will explore the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
Share this:
Close