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Yes - Union CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 972 ratings

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2 stars I remember very well in 1991 hearing of a new Yes album. In 1989 I knew about the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe album, and the local radio station would play "Brother of Mine". It sounded like a modernized, updated version of a progressive Yes. At that time I wasn't sure why they couldn't be called Yes, until I discovered it was because Chris Squire wasn't present. Two years later ABWH and Yes West were working on their followups, only to think these two projects should make a new Yes album. Let's just say this album is a huge mess. I can at least say the album is pretty listenable, but where's the inspiration? I remember "Lift Me Up" and "Saving My Heart" getting radio airplay, these were the Yes West cuts (the ones with Trevor Rabin), although the latter is a bit of a mistake, Yes and reggae doesn't go together (but isn't as cringeworthy as the Calypso-influenced "Teakbois" off ABWH, which would be an infinitely better album if that song was thrown in the trash). Most of the songs really failed to leave an impression on me, but I kinda liked the ambient "Ankgor Wat" (obviously an ABWH track, sounds like Rick Wakeman had just picked up a Korg M1, because it sounds like one here). Way back in '91 I thought all eight members played together, they didn't. It was simply Yes West and ABWH tracks, with Chris Squire participating in it all. Rolling Stone wasn't exactly kind to this album, gave it a * 1/2 star rating, the one part I remembered of that review was they felt they should have included Peter Banks and Geoff Downes (maybe also Trevor Horn, but I don't remember) because "eight isn't enough". The other annoying thing is they felt they needed to cram as much music as they could on one CD, because it's 1991, and no one was interested in vinyl (it was available on CD and cassette, and even vinyl) so obviously it because a bit tedious to listen to. Rick Wakeman called this "Onion" because it brings tears to his eyes every time he hears it or is reminded of it.

While I was never a fan of Yes-West, it's actually rather good pop/rock, much like Genesis was, because they did make some solid music, even if you might not go for the more commercial approach (Genesis was much the same, although I started developing less tolerance for '80s Genesis after hearing the Gabriel-era material), but on Union it wasn't much of a "union", and making great songs seemed to gone awry. This is one where I could agree on the Rolling Stone review. Luckily I bought this on cassette, for cheap. Two stars because most of the material isn't particularly cringeworthy, but isn't too remarkable either.

Progfan97402 | 2/5 |


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