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Yes - Union CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 1005 ratings

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1 stars YES has had a variety of lineups in its history. Most fans distinguish between the YES of the 1970s and what they call YESWEST of the 1980s, when the band relocated to America and their music supposedly became more radio-friendly. On this album the two YESes come together - sort of. Well, actually, they don't. The two units never really worked together, even though they had JON ANDERSON in common. But what makes this album a complete dog's breakfast is that the various contributions were then taken and heavily modified by producer Jonathan Elias. He infamously erased many of the band's contributions and replaced them with session musicians. So what we have here is part YES-by-numbers, part YES-by-remote-control and part YES-tribute-band.

Honestly, there's little point in talking about the songs, as they are without exception insipid, juiceless things. Honestly, I would have waited forever for an album with passion and fire. Hearing this for the first time was a distinct shock to the system, as this disjointed effort masquerades as a genuine YES album ... you see where I'm going. Look, plenty of stuff tailored for the radio isn't done only for the money, but this sure was. Or how else do we explain the result? The kindest thing I could say is that the members were stretched thin, many absorbed by other projects, and this album didn't receive the attention it deserved. But another, darker voice says the band didn't have to bow to studio pressure, and had they done their job properly maybe Elias wouldn't have been tempted to replace their efforts.

Except for the purposes of review, I'm not sure anyone I know has listened to this album twice.

russellk | 1/5 |


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