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Anderson Bruford Wakeman  Howe - Live At The NEC CD (album) cover

LIVE AT THE NEC

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 20 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The Meeting

Unlike the live recording featured on the album An Evening Of Yes Music Plus, which was released on double CD in 1993, the present show from the same tour was not released at the time but has been sitting in the archives for years before it finally saw the light of day in 2010. I am the happy owner of the special edition three disc set which comes in a hard DVD case and includes a bonus DVD in addition to the two audio discs. The contents of the DVD is however only some behind the scenes footage from the tour.

Given that this show, which was recorded live at the NEC in Birmingham on Oct 24th 1989, is from the same tour and has the same set list as the show featured on An Evening Of Yes Music Plus, one may rightly wonder if this new release is really needed. Well, there are a few minor differences between the two. First, unlike the An Evening Of Yes Music Plus double CD album, the present release holds the complete show (the An Evening Of Yes Music Plus double CD album lacked three songs, but the DVD version of that same show has the complete show in audio and video). Second, Tony Levin (with whom Bill Bruford played in King Crimson) is playing the bass here as opposed to Jeff Berlin on An Evening Of Yes Music Plus which may interest some fans. The song Themes is followed by a drum and bass workout by Bruford and Levin which obviously wasn't on An Evening Of Yes Music Plus.

The show opens with the four Yes-men each having their individual solo spots. Starting with Jon Anderson performing an acoustic medley of Time And A Word, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, and Teakbois; then Steve Howe treats the audience to two of his best-known acoustic numbers in Clap and Mood For A Day; Rick Wakeman's solo spot focuses on snippets of tunes from some of his solo albums, and, finally, Bill Bruford gets to perform a drum solo preceded by Long Distance Runaround.

With the sole exceptions of Time And A Word and Owner Of A Lonely Heart during Jon's opening solo spot, all the Yes material included here originally featured on the three classic albums Close To The Edge, Fragile, and The Yes Album, all from 1971 and 1972 when Bill Bruford was still a member of the band. The new album is represented by Order Of The Universe, The Meeting, Brother Of Mine, Themes, Birthright, and the aforementioned Teakbois.

Overall, the show is excellent and I would say that Live At The NEC is preferable to the CD version of An Evening Of Yes Music Plus but not to the DVD version of the same show. Having either the DVD version of An Evening Of Yes Music Plus from Voiceprint or the present live album is highly recommended, but having both is probably for fans only.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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