AC85-90126 Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe
Produced by Chris Kimsey and Jon Anderson
Released on June 20, 1989
UK CHART POSITION #14 . . . US CHART POSITION #30 . . . GOLD RECORD (8/30/89)
Find it at GEMM
AC85-90126 cover  

A dry and judgmental review stood here earlier, a monument to critical mediocrity. Perhaps some negative energy surrounded me, finding its outlet in the petulant assessment that the album looked like classic Yes and invoked the great glyphs (Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe) in tantalizing order, yet somehow the spell fizzled. And that dismissive attitude wasn’t an isolated experience; in fact, every time I played ABWH looking for Fragile, I came away disappointed. (Begging the obvious question: Why not just listen to the old classics if that’s what you wanted to hear?) The rest of the time (roughly half), I’d listen to ABWH without those preconceptions, and a new spell would be woven: intoxicating in a different sense than the old days, less intense and perhaps sparingly celestial, but still a source of some magic. Because the reunion was colored by more than a decade of fanciful speculation, it seems I’d let the ghosts of “Roundabout” and “Siberian Khatru” haunt the present, and it obscured me from seeing the beauty of ABWH. If it suffers from some infragility, it must. Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman had arrived at a different place since the early ‘70s, availing themselves of modern instruments and new sounds over the years because of a native curiosity, the same curiosity that drove them to explore the edge way back when. Listening to “Brother of Mine,” “Quartet,” “Let’s Pretend,” “Fist of Fire” and “Order of the Universe” is to hear less a reunion than a pre-Union, planting the seeds that would blossom on the organic-sounding half of their next album (“Silent Talking” and its klatch). The presence of peripheral personalities to the Yes story are kith and kin I’d welcome in: Tony Levin, Max Bacon, Vangelis, Geoff Downes, Rhett Lawrence. None of them atone for the absence of a certain squire, but they’re hardly hired hands. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with the way I hear things, in particular isolating the music from the musicians. So forget for the moment that this is the music of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. Give it a new name of your own choosing, one unfettered with impressions and ideas. Then will exploration and enjoyment dance entwined.

AC85-90126 inner booklet photo
AC85-90126 inner booklet photo

TRACK LISTING

  1. THEMES
    i. Sound    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    ii. Second Attention    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    iii. Soul Warrior    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
  2. FIST OF FIRE    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
  3. BROTHER OF MINE
    i. The Big Dream    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    ii. Nothing Can Come Between Us    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    iii. Long Lost Brother of Mine    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford/Geoff Downes)
  4. BIRTHRIGHT    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford/Max Bacon)
  5. THE MEETING    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
  6. QUARTET
    i. I Wanna Learn    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    ii. She Gives Me Love    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford/Ben Dowling)
    iii. Who Was The First    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    iv. I'm Alive    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
  7. TEAKBOIS ("The Life and Times of Bobby Dread")   (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
  8. ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE
    i. Order Theme    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    ii. Rock Gives Courage    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford/Rhett Lawrence)
    iii. It's So Hard To Grow    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
    iv. The Universe    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford)
  9. LET'S PRETEND    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford/Vangelis)

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- lead vocals
BILL BRUFORD -- acoustic and electronic drums
STEVE HOWE -- guitar
RICK WAKEMAN -- keyboards
Matt Clifford -- keyboards, programming, orchestration, vocals
Tony Levin -- bass, stick bass, vocals
Milton McDonald -- rhythm guitar
The Oxford Circus Singers (Deborah Anderson, Frank Dunnery, Carol Kenyon, Tessa Niles) -- backing vocals
J.M.C. Singers (Jon, Matt, Chris) -- backing vocals
Emerald Community Singers, Monsterrat -- backing vocals
Michael Barbiero -- mixing
Chris Kimsey -- engineer
Chris Potter -- engineer
Steve Thompson -- mixing
Roger Dean -- artwork, painting and design

return to YES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK June 20, 1989 Arista LP/CD/CS 209970/259970 lyric sleeve, gatefold cover,
LP w. edited tracks
US/CAN June 20, 1989 Arista LP/CD/CS AL85/AC85-90126 lyric sleeve, gatefold cover,
LP w. edited tracks
MEX 1989 Arista LP LAE-876  
JPN   Arista CD BVCM-37386 K2 remaster

 

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