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Anderson - Bruford - Wakeman - Howe - An Evening of Yes Music Plus CD (album) cover

AN EVENING OF YES MUSIC PLUS

Anderson - Bruford - Wakeman - Howe

 

Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 114 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 490

"An Evening Of Yes Music Plus" is the debut live album of the musical project of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman And Howe. It was recorded live at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, in California USA, in 1989, when they toured their eponymous debut and only studio album "Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman And Howe". However, it was only released in 1993. Like as happened with almost all Yes' albums and with their self-titled studio album, the art cover for the album was also created by Roger Dean. It features a painting from him which was titled "Floating Islands".

The line up on the album is Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Bill Bruford (drums and percussion), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Steve Howe (backing vocals and guitar). But, the album has also the participation of three other musicians, Tony Levin, who performed bass on their eponymous studio album as well as on the most of the live tour. Still, he fell sick during this tour and was replaced by Jeff Berlin, a bassist very well known by them because he had already worked with some of band's members. Julian Colbeck, a well known former professional keyboard player that usually collaborates with several bands and musicians such as with Yes and Steve Hackett, the ex- guitarist of Genesis. He participates on this album with some additional keyboards. Milton McDonald, a very well known session guitarist who plays with many artists and that participates on this album with some additional vocals and extra guitar work too.

"An Evening Of Yes Music Plus" contains material from their self-titled studio album, songs from past Yes' albums and excerpts from Rick Wakeman's solo albums. The album opens with "Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra" which is based on a classical oeuvre of Benjamin Britten, and represents the introduction of the live show that substitutes the popular Igor Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" usually used by Yes to open their live shows. From their self-titled studio album we have "Birthright", "Themes", "Brother Of Mine", "Order Of The Universe" and extracts of "Teakbois". From "Time And A Word" we have extracts of the title track. From "The Yes Album" we have "The Clap", "I've Seen All Good People" and "Starship Trooper". From "Fragile" we have "Mood For A Day", "Long Distance Runaround", "Heart Of The Sunrise" and "Roudabout". From "Close To The Edge" we have "And You And I" and "Close To The Edge". From "90125" we have extracts of "Owner Of A Lonely Heart". From Wakeman's albums we have extracts of the albums, "Gone But Not Forgotten" of "Coast Of Living", "Catherine Parr" of "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" and "Merlin The Magician" of "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table".

If you've seen Yes all over the years, most of these songs will be, no doubt, be very familiar to you. The performance of the entire band is spot on, Anderson especially in fine form and Howe, as always, giving a virtuoso performance. Although Wakeman's choice of modern keyboard tones at times borders on cheesey, the guy still blazes through these new and classic tracks. In addition, the set opens up with some great solos spots which are always very fun to hear.

This album certainly has that Yes sound mostly due to the fantastic vocals of Anderson. He sounds great all over these CD's. Wakeman is also a dominant force here. Still, his keyboards and synthesizers have a more 80's sound which stands to reason as the album was originally released in 1989. Of course, I can't forget about Howe. Still, his playing is quite restrained, there are many beautiful acoustic moments to be found and he does let loose occasionally like on the rocking "Order Of The Universe", a feel good, up tempo tune with a heavier section featuring fiery work from Howe and Bruford. Other highlights include the poignant "Brother Of Mine" featuring Anderson's patented soaring timbre and the some super and catchy tracks where Howe's acoustic guitar is quite sublime. Remember, the album as a whole is a relaxing listen. Still, you will find no "Gates Of Delirium" here which is completely understandable given the decade this was made. The bottom line is the band sounds tight and progressive and made many Yes fans happy with this album.

Conclusion: We can consider this live album divided into three parts, the solo tracks, the ABWH's tracks and the Yes' tracks. The solo tracks are in my opinion very good and much better than the solo tracks on "Fragile". The ABWH's tracks represents some of the best musical moments of that album and are for me much better performed live than performed on studio. The Yes' tracks include some of Yes' best works, and the live version of "Close To The Edge" is absolutely great and surprising and is probably, in my opinion, the best live version released by them. When I reviewed ABWH's album I agreed with Easy Livin, when he said that the album was a missed opportunity. On this album I agree with Gatot when he says that this is an underrated live album. This is one of the best live albums of Yes and is also one the best live albums I've heard in my life. The individual live performance of Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford are completely irreproachable and absolutely unforgettable. The live album has also an amazing sound quality.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |

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