ARCD-8643 Union
Produced by Jonathan Elias, Steve Howe, Trevor Rabin, Eddy Offord, Mark Mancina, Billy Sherwood
Released on April 30, 1991
UK CHART POSITION #7 . . . US CHART POSITION #15 . . . GOLD RECORD (7/2/91)
Find it at GEMM
ARCD-8643 cover  

I n a fascinating twist, members of Yes past and present combined their efforts under a single banner for Union. Made up of material slated for a second ABWH album and new songs from the existing Yes outfit of Rabin, Squire, White and Kaye, the collective work of both factions yields a tour de force. Only the most jaded critics could have found Union a disappointment; these fourteen songs far exceed anything that the individuals involved, solo or otherwise, have recorded since 90125. The record has something for everyone: arena-scale rockers that outperform anything on Big Generator, complex arrangements that succeed where the first ABWH album failed, and individual contributions that ooze with atmosphere. Producer Jonathan Elias proves to be as invaluable as Trevor Horn once was, cowriting much of the material and adding state-of-the-art production that matches Peter Gabriel’s Us in its environmental ambience. But the real story is Yes; Steve Howe’s inspired guitar licks (including another acoustic solo piece, “Masquerade”), Bill Bruford’s off-kilter drumming, the decision to allow Tony Levin’s bass to fill the same space as Chris Squire once did, Trevor Rabin’s dead-on hooks, and Jon Anderson’s voice paired once again with Squire. Union really does represent the best of both worlds. Where Big Generator sounded mechanical, Union feels organic; where the ABWH experiment lacked direction, here it is focused like a high-powered laser. Each of the fourteen tracks is a miniature treasure for fans, but even so some moments rise to the top: “Lift Me Up,” “Saving My Heart,” “Miracle of Life,” “Silent Talking,” “I Would Have Waited Forever,” “Shock to the System” and “Dangerous (Look in the Light of What You’re Searching For)” belong with their best tracks from the ‘80s and ‘90s. If Yes seemed to take its heritage lightly with Drama, Union settles the score with fans. As a further treat, the entire lineup supported the album with a live tour. Union remains the perfect postscript to the Yes story. Note that the CD and cassette add “Angkor Wat,” a tribute to the Cambodian landmark similar to Vangelis’ “The Little Fete,” and the Jon Anderson composition, “Take the Water to the Mountain.”

ARCD-8643 back sleeve
ARCD-8643 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. I WOULD HAVE WAITED FOREVER    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Jonathan Elias)
  2. SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Jonathan Elias)
  3. MASQUERADE    (Steve Howe)
  4. LIFT ME UP    (Trevor Rabin/Chris Squire)
  5. WITHOUT HOPE YOU CANNOT START THE DAY    (Jon Anderson/Jonathan Elias)
  6. SAVING MY HEART    (Trevor Rabin)
  7. MIRACLE OF LIFE    (Trevor Rabin/Mark Mancina)
  8. SILENT TALKING    (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Rick Wakeman/Bill Bruford/Jonathan Elias)
  9. THE MORE WE LIVE - LET GO    (Chris Squire/Billy Sherwood)
  10. (*CD/CS bonus track:) ANGKOR WAT    (Jon Anderson/Rick Wakeman/Jonathan Elias)
  11. DANGEROUS (LOOK IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT YOU'RE SEARCHING FOR)    (Jon Anderson/Jonathan Elias)
  12. HOLDING ON    (Jon Anderson/Jonathan Elias/Steve Howe)
  13. EVENSONG    (Tony Levin/Bill Bruford)
  14. (*CD/CS bonus track:) TAKE THE WATER TO THE MOUNTAIN    (Jon Anderson)

    JPN reissue bonus track
  15. GIVE AND TAKE

CREDITS

JON ANDERSON -- vocals
BILL BRUFORD -- drums
STEVE HOWE -- guitars, vocals, engineer
TONY KAYE -- keyboards
TONY LEVIN -- bass
TREVOR RABIN -- guitar, vocals, engineer
CHRIS SQUIRE -- bass, vocals
RICK WAKEMAN -- keyboards
ALAN WHITE -- drums
Deborah Anderson -- additional vocals
Richard Baker -- synthesizer
Gary Barlough -- synthesizer
Jerry Bennett -- percussion, synthesizer
Pauline Cheng -- Cambodian poetry
Jim Crichton -- keyboards, synthesizer
Jonathan Elias -- keyboards, synthesizer, additional vocals
Gary Falcone -- additional vocals
Sherman Foote -- synthesizer
Tommy Funderbunk -- additional vocals
Jimmy Haun -- guitar
Rory Kaplan -- synthesizer
Alex Lasarenko -- keyboards, synthesizer
Ian Lloyd -- additional vocals
Mark Mancina -- programming
Steve Porcaro -- synthesizer
Allan Schwartzberg -- percussion
Michael Sherwood -- additional vocals
Danny Vaughn -- additional vocals
Brian Foraker -- engineer, mixing, synthesizer
Paul Fox -- mixing
Buzz Burrowes -- additional engineering
Chris Fosdick -- additional engineering, mixing, synthesizer
Stan Katayama -- engineer
Eddy Offord -- engineer, mixing
Billy Sherwood -- engineer
Mike Shipley -- mixing
Ed Thacker -- mixing
Roger Dean -- design and paintings, computer graphics
Carolyn Quan -- art direction
Kai Krause -- computer graphics

return to YES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/GER 1991 Arista LP/CD*/CS* 211/261/411 558 picture sleeve
US/CAN April 30, 1991 Arista LP/CD*/CS* AL/ARCD/AC-8643 picture sleeve
JPN 1991 Arista CD* BCVZ-8  
JPN   Arista CD BVCM-37387 K2 24-bit remaster w. bonus track

 

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