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Anderson Bruford Wakeman  Howe - Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe CD (album) cover

ANDERSON, BRUFORD, WAKEMAN, HOWE

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

 

Symphonic Prog

3.16 | 251 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe was kind of like a Yes spinoff, or maybe the appropriate word to use would be permutation. In any case, Jon Anderson was feeling artistically limited by the current material Yes had been producing since 90125. He formed a quartet of members from the classic Yes lineup and named the group after their surnames, or for a less mouthful of syllables, the acronym ABWH. The group had also considered the names "The Affirmative" and "No."

The group returned to the classic Roger Dean artwork and long extended pieces reminiscent of their 1970s period. Many Yes fans at the time hailed this as a masterpiece and I myself was quite impressed with this release. Unfortunately for me, I don't think it has aged well. My primary reasons for saying that are the 1980s-like production, Wakeman's prominent use of digital synths over analogue, Bruford's overdone use of electronic drums, and the bass being mixed way too low. The sound is just overwhelmed with Wakeman's synths. I cannot believe they did not take advantage of session bassist Tony Levin's amazing skills. He would have been the perfect replacement for Chris Squire.

ABWH has some decent material on here. Themes, Fist of Fire, Brother of Mine, and Order of the Universe are all great songs, but they suffer from the same production problems I address in the previous paragraph. The rest of the tracks on here range from silly (or as another reviewer referred to as "twee") to snoozefests. Still, it was one of the better releases from the 1980s and at most I consider it about as good as Tormato in the overall Yes catalogue. Good, but hardly essential. Three stars.

progaardvark | 3/5 |

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