Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe Original recording reissued
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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.Read more ›
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 ;).
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pitiful. Get yourself any Flash and/or general release Peter Banks album.
Or early Yes with Banks. Or early Yes still with patient Bill Bruford. Read more
"The Order of the Universe" is a top 10 Yessong! Very good album!Published 2 months ago by Bruce Usher
I only heard a couple of singles from this album before, namely Brother of Mine (which hauntingly reminds me of Doctor Who) and I loved that song, so I thought I'd love the album... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ytse
Non related album songs, probably meant for individual consideration. Nothing special here.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I bought this the moment it came out back in 1989. Didn't hear a note before I bought it, didn't need to. Why? Read morePublished 11 months ago by Cactus Ed
I went back and re-listened to this album recently -- inspired by the release of the excellent Progeny box set. Read morePublished 12 months ago by D. Leonard