ANDERSON BROFORD WAKEMAN HOWE Brother Of Mine [tape] Members of Yes Comes in a cigarette like package Check video
ANDERSON BROFORD WAKEMAN HOWE Brother Of Mine [tape] Members of Yes Comes in a cigarette like package Check video

ANDERSON BROFORD WAKEMAN HOWE Brother Of Mine [tape] Members of Yes Comes in a cigarette like package Check video


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Gathering of all the great Progressive musicians. Members of Yes, etc. Comes in a cigarette like package…

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When this album was first released in 1989 one newspaper pundit termed it as one “”whose sublimed redundancy makes the work of the Wombles appear profound in comparison””.Well I have nothing against Mike Batt and his furry pals but this album sure knocks spots off Orinocco and co.

Yes were in a legal mess at the time and so Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe were not able to use the name Yes. Instead they hit upon the catchy ‘Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe’ and toured playing lots of old Yes numbers to a very high standard augmented by the well known bassist Tony Levin in place of ‘Fishy’ Chris Squire. They also recorded this album and seamlessly slotted in many of the tracks from it to the set; so much like classic Yes tracks they sound.

The opening track ‘Themes’ sets the scene for what is to come very well with its extended instrumental breaks and nonsensical lyrics. ‘Fist of Fire’ follows and it’s a much shorter piece with strident keyboard playing from Uncle Rick. Next up is a ten minute version of the single ‘Brother of mine’ which is one of those tunes which you cannot get out of your head once you’ve listened to it. Some nice keyboard playing again from Rick who really does seem to come out well into the mix throughout the early tracks. ‘Birthright’ follows and it’s a somewhat slow burner of a protest song. Track five is the albums highpoint for me. An absolutely beautiful song called ‘The Meeting’ which is really just a duet between Andersons vocals and Wakemans keyboards. Simply fantastic – the song was even revived for the 2004 Yes tour. The next two tracks ‘Quartet’ and ‘Teakbois’ are for me the albums low points. Both doodle somewhat with ‘Quartet’ name checking a number of old Yes songs in the lyrics. Neither were played live which bears out the fact that they were probably not the bands favourites either. The final two tracks exit in style with the aggressive ‘Order of the Universe’ seaging into the melancholy final track ‘Let’s pretend’ (co-written by Vangelis).

So there you have it, 59 minutes of largely Classic Yes by any other name.

5.0 out of 5 stars Revisit the Magic of Yes’ Glory Years, May 21, 2005
By Kirk Lott “”a strange and unusual person”” (adrift on the seas of life) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (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. Finally, Squire is a determined perfectionist, sort of a quality control expert; he could have focused the album into a classic.

There are five solid songs on the album: three groups efforts and two quasi-duets. “”Quartet”” is the best of the group songs, a magical, serendipitous journey, which opens with acoustic guitar and climaxes in a heavenly orchestral swirl. Reminiscent of the Yes classic “”And You and I,”” it easily sits along the band’s all-time best.

“”Brother of Mine”” is a solid, muscular prog excursion, with expert musicianship and multiple segments. The opening track “”Themes”” is exciting and adventurous; the four Yes men are having fun experimenting with musical variations.

The piano-drive “”The Meeting”” is delightful and etheral, while the acoustic guitar/vocal “”Let’s Pretend”” is pure brief, magic, floating like a butterfly in summer.

On the downside, certainly the worst track on the album is heavy-handed, ugly “”Fist of Fire.”” Thankfully it’s short. “”Birthright”” is a leftover from Howe’s mediocre GTR band, and should have stayed as such. “”Teakbois”” is ok, but do we really need calypso from Yes?

It’s a shame Squire wasn’t part of ABWH. ABWH could have been called Yes, and with his input, the album could have joined the all -time Yes classics of the ’71-’77 era. Nonetheless, it’s a very solid album of progressive rock, and well worth adding to your collection.


5.0 out of 5 stars Music Healer!,
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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