Band: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe
Label: Gonzo Multimedia
Label Website: www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk
Release Date: 1989/2011
Over the years it’s been quite fascinating living through the various permutations the band Yes has gone through. More than many bands Yes have seen dramatic changes and yet the core sound or the core essence that is Yes has remained virtually intact. And yet for me, even though I saw the original tour the grouping of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe has for some reason never seemed like a Yes record. Yet here you have four of the five core members. It makes me wonder at the impact that fifth member has on the sound or essence that is Yes. For those few who are still unaware, it was during the tumultuous late eighties that Messer’s Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe decided to put the band aside for a while and for among legal and other reasons create music under their names. The bass was handled by the more than capable Tony Levin and yet he remains very much invisible sound-wise. The resulting disc, released under their own names came out in 1989 and was well received by the fan base.
Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe is really everything Yes music is meant to be and here in this remastered double-disc set we’re treated to not only a cleaner sounding original album but a second disc featuring a host of versions, edits and unreleased material. As for the original release, four of the nine songs come in a multi-part format and three of them clock in at over the nine-minute mark. There were even a couple of single releases that charted quite well. The single “Brother of Mine” [10:23] was one of those songs and in radio form it was edited to a comfortable 3:22 losing much of the songs ebb and flow and concentrating only one-core melodic passage. Many of the songs have lots of percussion as it seemed Bruford was going through a kind of Latin phase. This combined with Anderson’s growing penchant for diverse ethnic influences gave the album a kind of World Beat feel.
ABWH toured to very positive response incorporating more than a few tunes from the Yes catalog. The second disc here includes three live recordings from some U.K. shows including the classic “And You and I” [10:31]. Regardless of how one feels about this phase of Yes, every self-respecting fan should have this disc in their collection. And now thanks to Gonzo MultiMedia we have this fine remastered 2-CD set with a booklet that incorporates elements of the band’s tour book, including song lyrics and Pete Frame’s wonderful Rock Family Tree. Nicely done and much appreciated.