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Yes - Union CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 970 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
2 stars In late 1990, ANDERSON, BRUFORD, WAKEMAN, HOWE were recording songs for a new album. It seems that some record executives had the good idea to make this album with more songs oriented to Radio playing, to make this second ABWH album more successful than their 1989 album.It also seems that someone wanted to have YES in this label, so they contacted Chris Squire`s YES line-up (without Anderson) to secure more commercial songs for this album. So, YES left their label and agreed to add some new songs with Jon Anderson as lead vocalist. YES joined ABWH`s label, and they released this "Union" album in 1991. As I read in two interviews in the website " FAQ", one with guitarist Jimmy Haun (in ), and one with ABWH`s producer Jonathan Elias (in ), it seems that the label, the producer and Jon Anderson were not happy with the sound of the ABWH songs. Personal relationships between the ABWH members were not very good, so the producer and the label suggested to Jon Anderson to bring outside musicians to replace some of Howe`s guitars,and also some of Wakeman`s keyboards. So, this is the reason why many additional musicians were listed in the ABWH songs (in a similar way as Pink Floyd`s "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" album). Jimmy Haun replaced many of Steve Howe`s parts (in the interview, he says in which minutes and seconds of each song in the C.D. he replaced Howe`s parts!). He was asked to play "classic Steve Howe`s sound of the 70s", so he did the best he could. In my opinion, the ABWH songs are good, but the first time I heard the album I asked myself "where is Wakeman?". Haun did a very good job, and he really sounds like Howe. The best ABWH songs are:"I would have waited forever", "Shock to the system" and "Silent Talking". I think that Chris Squire`s YES`s songs are better, because they sound more "authentic", because apparently they didnīt use additional musicians. This is a good album, but with a lot of compromises done to be released. One for collectors/fans only. Bruford said in interviews years later that this is the most embarrassing album he has recorded, and that he toured with YES in 1991-92 "only for money". Howe was surprised and angry when he knew that many of his guitar parts were replaced, and Wakeman said that he couldnīt recognize his keyboard parts in this album. Wakeman calls this album "Onion" because it made him cry every time he listened to it. The Cassette and Compact Disc versions of this album have two ABWH bonus tracks not available on the L.P.:"Angkor Wat" and "Give and Take" ."Give and Take" was also released as the B-side of the "Lift Me Up" single. There is also another C.D. version which doesn`t include "Give and Take", but it includes "Angkor Wat". One day I listened in the Radio to one of Steve Howe`s albums (I think that it was called "Turbulence", and it seems that it also was released in 1991) and I heard some guitar melodies which Steve also used for the songwriting of some songs in "Union". "Give and Take" is one of those songs.
Guillermo | 2/5 |


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