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Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe

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Audio CD, June 12, 1989
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B000002VGG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,225 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Themes: I Sound, II Second Attention, III Soul...
2. Fist Of Fire
3. Brother Of Mine: I The Big..., II Nothing...III...
4. Birthright
5. The Meeting
6. Quartet: I Wanna Learn, II She Gives...III...IV...
7. Teakbois
8. Order Of The Universe: I Order Theme, II Rock...
9. Let's Pretend

Editorial Reviews

Audio CD..

Customer Reviews

Good and bad, more or less half and half.
While many will listen and not enjoy it at this level in their first listening, it will grow on you if you give it the chance.
Highly recommended for any Anderson-era Yes fans.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Kirk Lott on May 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The late 80s saw strange events in Yes, bizarre even for this band's wild and wacky history.

Singer Jon Anderson left the band in 1988, tired of tension with co-founder bassist Chris Squire, and power moves by guitarist Trevor Rabin. Rabin, while the newest member of Yes, was determined to seize control of the band, intent on spending the "political capital" he earned being the main writer of the 1983 #1 comeback hit, "Owner of a Lonely Heart."

Anderson then recruited three former Yes cohorts, reuniting 4/5 of the classic Yes line-up that recorded such early 70s milestones as "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge." He even tried to take back the Yes name, but this was blocked by Squire, the hold-out 1/5 of the classic line-up.

Thus Anderson's rival Yes was forced to trade under the band members' names, "Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe." Their first and only album, a Yes album in all but name, is a very good, but not perfect, return to Yes' early 70s glory years.

On the plus side, while 80s Yes produced music with standard pop structure and length, ABWH returns to the template of 70s Yessongs. A number of tracks are mini-epics, up to 10 minutes in length. Further, they're adventurous and divided into different movements - you never know what's going to happen next.

Anderson's lyrics are once again mystical and spiritual. Finally, the expert guitar work of Steve Howe and prodigal keywords of Rick Wakeman bring back expert musicianship with a force.

On the downside, Squire's presence is sorely lacking. Many consider him the greatest and most innovative bassist ever, and while Tony Levin is an excellent replacement, he's no Chris Squire. Also, Anderson's vocals are sometimes shrill without Squire's great backing vocals to anchor them.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jesper Erlandsson on April 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I remember hearing this album the first time in the summer of 2001 in my friend's father's car. At this time I was a big fan of eighties Yes; 90125 and Big Generator. The song that really stuck my attention this first time was Brother Of Mine which I thought was a really nice structured and beutiful harmonized song.

One year later when I had become a big fan of both seventies Yes music and the eighties part I borrowed the CD from my friend's dad, listening to it more seriously. I realized it was an album you should listen to pretty loud to appreciate while it has a lot of ingrediens of different sounds and arrangements that you miss otherwise. At the same time as it's complicated music, it's not complicated to prove the skills of the musicians but to make the music sound very "much" music in terms of many notes of music hitting you ears frequently. At the same time that the music has a fresh approach it has a lot of ingredients that make Yes music from the seventies so special and good. It's pompous, creative, emotional, beutiful, interesting, powerful, it has a new approach and the musical skills of the members from the seventies Yes. Can it be better?

They say music can heal illness, and I think the music that Anderson and company gives us here is a good example of that. The music always makes me think about sunlighted fields of grass with a blue heaven and it makes me feel delighted and happy and in love (especially Quartet). So as you can see it's an album that means very much to me and that I feel a personal connection to. Maybe you will get it as well..

Recommended if you like the seventies Yes and don't discard everything of the music that was delivered in 80's music as crap ;).
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By revolucionaria on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I would like to base my review on a more historical perspective. New so-called 'prog-rock' converts tend to compare the album flat against the better YEs albums of the 70s without experiencing the sense of rejuvenation that ABWH unleashed that one would have felt back in 1989.

For anyone who got lured into Yes in 1983 through 90125, and dug up the even better history of classic Yes albums, the period 1983 to 1989 would equal as The Great Music Depression (generally speaking).

Prog-rock albums were just so hard to find. Vinyl versions were mostly out of print, and only a marginal number of prog albums had been converted to CD format. Everything on radio (let alone the internet that wasn't WWW yet) was dominated by Bon Jovi - Bananarama - Whitney Houston types. In short, it was the hardest period to find anything good - let alone prog', past or present at that time. It was in this context of sissy 80s glam rock oppression (Big Generator wasn't that inspiring either) - that suddenly ABWH was released. It was the greatest liberating moment after such a decade of boredom.

ABWH sounded fresh considering that the members hadn't played together for 17 years, and also fresh in terms of hearing classic 'prog' structures played with current technology. Sure, there are moments on the album that would sound dated today (particularly Rick's array of plastic-sounding Korg digital keyboards, and Bill's dabbling in Simmons drums), but overall the musical quality shone through - one aspect that Trevor Rabin's Yes sorely lacked on 1987s Big Generator (Big Generator just sounded too dull and repetitive).

Gave it 4 stars for lacking Squire's irreplaceable backing vocals.(Tony Levin on bass/stick is OK, though)

Many posts have sufficiently reviewed the tracks - so nuff said.
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