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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - 1989 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - 1989 Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

ARTIST: Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
ALBUM: Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: ARCD85-90126
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2011, Gonzo, HST004CD (with bonus disc)


LINEUP: Jon Anderson - lead & backing vocals * Bill Bruford - acoustic and electronic drums * Rick Wakeman - keyboards * Steve Howe - guitar

Additional Musicians: Tony Levin - bass, chapman stick, vocals * Matt Clifford - keyboards, programming, orchestration, vocals * Milton McDonald - rhythm guitar * Joe Hammer - percussion programming * Deborah Anderson, Tessa Niles, Carol Kenyon, Frank Dunnery, Chris Kimsey & the Emerald Isle Community Singers - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Themes * 02 Fist Of Fire * 03 Brother Of Mine * 04 Birthright * 05 The Meeting * 06 Quartet * 07 Teakbois * 08 Order Of The Universe * 09 Let's Pretend

Looking back at 1989, there wasn't a good deal of high quality progressive rock to be found. Ok, 'Presto' from Rush was patchy but still pretty good and Jethro Tull's hard rocking 'Rock Island' was a fine return to form but in hindsight there were two standouts that I probably played the most and give a spin every few months to this day. The first would be Peter Gabriel's atmospheric and emotionally charged 'Passion' which was his soundtrack to the controversial film 'The Last Temptation of Christ' and the second would be this album from former members of Yes - Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe.

The Songs
At the time I was still left with a bad taste in my mouth after the messy hi-tech overkill of 'Big Generator' so other than another typical but gorgeous Roger Dean sleeve, I didn't expect much from the line-up. Surprise! This album is huge in both sound and scope and stands shoulder to shoulder with any classic early Yes album. Naturally Anderson's 'out there' lyrics dominate the albums subject matter but Wakeman's staccato keys on 'Fist Of Fire' compliment the new age-y flight of fancy to a tee. 'Brother Of Mine' harkens back to the 'Going For The One' days and was a big hit on FM playlists, albeit in edited form. The plaintive ballad 'The Meeting' is a highlight and the sonic rainbow that is 'Quartet' reminds me of Supertramp in spots with the final movement 'I'm Alive' picked as a single and not too far removed of the type of thing Air Supply were doing in this period. Yet, just when you they've gone soft in comes 'Order Of The Universe', a progressive rock tour-de-force that holds up to everything we expect from a project like this.

In Summary
Of course anything associated with Yes has always carried a small amount of drama and ABWH encountered a lawsuit from the other members of Yes claiming the band could not mention their association with the 'real Yes' in interviews and advertising material, including concert posters. Ridiculous and it happened anyway when European concert promoters placed the Yes logo on posters. The tour was a success unfortunately it led to a ghastly merger with both camps for the disastrous 'Union' album and less said about that abomination, the better.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 28 2015 12:58:25
ABWH - 1989 Brother Of Mine
#2 | Explorer on October 28 2015 13:18:24
Like yourself Eric, I wasn't expecting much from this album, but boy was I surprised. This is Yes, in all but name. The live album they did 'an evening of Yes music plus' was bloody good too.
#3 | gdazegod on October 28 2015 13:40:59
This album gets my vote.
#4 | DEMONAOR on October 28 2015 22:53:14
Great album.
#5 | swazi on November 01 2015 21:42:35
The 2011 GONZO version has a different artwork. Correct?
#6 | Explorer on November 01 2015 21:56:18
I believe it`s the same picture but reversed, and with a dark rather than light title frame.
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