Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

Various Genres

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) Yes, Friends and Relatives album cover
1.97 | 19 ratings | 6 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Write a review

Boxset/Compilation, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

DISC 1 (71:26)
1. Jon Anderson - Owner of a lonely heart ('98 remake) (3:31)
2. Rick Wakeman - Ice (4:50)
3. Steve Howe - Red and White (3:33)
4. Esquire - Zone of O (5:19)
5. Earthworks/Bill Bruford - Up North (5:22)
6. Rick Wakeman - The Pyramids of Egypt (7:06)
7. Steve Howe - Roundabout (2:29)
8. Wakeman with Wakeman - Sync or Swim (6:05)
9. Rick Wakerman - Arthur (12:57)
10. Yes - Close to the edge (19:40)

DISC 2 (69:14)
1. Wakeman with Wakeman - No expense spared (5:30)
2. Jon Anderson - Say (3:47)
3. Steve Howe - Walk Don't Run (3:01)
4. Esquire - Tron Thomi (7:52)
5. Jon Anderson - 10 Million (3:39)
6. Steve Howe - Excerpts from Tales from Topographic Oceans (9:08)
7. Jon Anderson - The more you know (3:44)
8. Rick Wakeman - Journey to the centre of the earth (Extract) (21:26)
9. Yes - America (live) (10:37)

Total Time: 140:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals, guitar, harp
- Steve Howe / guitar, bass, vocals
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Alan White / drums, vocals

Releases information

CD Purple Pyramid CLP 0337-2 (1998) / Cleopatra 337, re-issued as Eagle Records EAG 091-2

Thanks to Dragon Phoenix for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
Edit this entry



VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) Yes, Friends and Relatives ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (47%)
Poor. Only for completionists (21%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars Five years before this, ur… - ‘thing’ released, Yes put out their first ‘friends and family’ project, cleverly titled Affirmative. That is a pretty good album, and I especially liked the Badger track. This is not that album. You have been warned.

From the top….

Jon Anderson decides to do a disco-sequenced version of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” for some reason, and further corrupts the already poor rendition of a poor song by adding female backing that sounds like something Prince would have considered tasteful. This isn’t bad, it’s just boring.

On “Ice” however, Rick Wakeman borders on appalling. The keyboard sequence is actually not all that bad, and the bass line is at least passable. But the uber-cheesy dance beat and pop vocals bring this one down in a hurry. Unfortunately, the song continues for nearly five minutes after it becomes apparent that it shouldn’t.

Steve Howe at least put out a technically good performance on “Red and White”, although the point of the lyrics quite escapes me. And it goes without saying that he should never sing – ever. This is actually a short version of the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe song “Birthright” from their self-titled album. It sounds more like an old Icehouse song overdubbed with a decent guitar track (“Fat man, fat man, give me the gun…”).

“Zone of O” is an Esquire track featuring Chris Squire. This is actually a decent song, and might have made a decent b-side to an 80’s-era Yes single, except that Squire sounds like that chick that sang for Roxette.

Bill Bruford gets his turn with “Up North”, an Earthworks jazz number that has some nice horns but is hopelessly out-of-place on this collection.

“The Pyramids of Egypt” is about as ostentatious as Wakeman ever got on his solo stuff, with a bit of a spoken-word history lesson telling us what we all already knew about the origins of the pyramids, followed by some nice keyboards that border on being a bit over-the-top. But then, what does one expect from Wakeman? Alan Parsons was probably jealous.

For some reason the producer decided to include a very brief acoustic-and-vocals extract from “Roundabout” by Mr. Howe, just long enough to remind me why he shouldn’t sing, and short enough not to make me eject the CD.

“Sync or Swim” is yet another pretentious Wakeman cut, but not annoyingly so at least. Great keyboards actually, but again the pseudo-dance beat is distracting.

But for some inexplicable reason Wakeman follows himself with a live version of “Arthur” that is every bit as good as the original studio version. Go figure.

And the hits keep coming with a very decent live rendition of “Close to the Edge”. I’m not sure where this recording came from but it actually serves to give this collection some value at least. Anderson’s vocals are a bit ragged, but hey – it’s live.

Wakeman again with “No Expense Spared”, I suppose from the album of the same name. I’ve never heard that album, but this is a decent track, except that it kind of sounds like what Rainbow would have sounded like with Squire on vocals instead of Ronnie James Dio. Try and visualize that for a few minutes.

Anderson follows with “Say”, some kind of techno-rap bit that seems inspired by parachute pants and the year 1993. I wonder if he wrote this for a club scene for a Miami Vice episode?

“Walk Don’t Run” is a very old tune, I can’t remember from who, but Howe covers it with acoustic guitar. Hmmm…

“Tron Thomi” is another Esquire song, and is just as decent as “Zone of O’. Again, I’m not a big fan of his vocals, and the drums are pure 80’s, but it’s a catchy beat and not altogether unpleasant. For a bit toward the end the tempo actually slows down and teases the listener with a hope of leaning into progressive territory. But alas – it degenerates into some sort of chant-response love song or something. I dunno’.

“10 Million” is another Anderson singles-bar dance number. Ugh!

Howe serves up another chopped-up version of a classic, in this case several extracts from Tales From Topographic Oceans, actually kind of nice although mostly just Howe and not much accompaniment to liven things up. One thing about this track – it reinforces for me that Tales was an album full of decent compositions, as this sounds good even without the lush keyboards and rhythm. But that damn voice!

Anderson offers “The More You Know”, as in – the more you know about 80’s music, the less you like it. This song included…

“Journey”, as in – to the centre of the Earth, is another Wakeman excerpt, and strong enough although I’m not sure why I wouldn’t just play that album if I wanted to hear this track.

But the whole band salvages this album on the final track with a very strong live recording of their awesome Paul Simon cover “America”. This is the longest version I’ve ever heard, largely because Howe and Squire are busy digging each other’s groove for large portions of the performance. I might have bought this collection just for this recording, even if I had known beforehand how much the rest of the album sucked.

Personally I much prefer the Affirmative ‘friends and family’ collection over this one. This would have been a decent album if all the Anderson dance crap would have been left out, and if someone would have had the decency to mute Howe’s microphone on his tracks. That said, this is not total garbage, just not actually very good either. I hate to give this two stars just because the “America” track is excellent, but when considered with the rest of the album I’m afraid that’s all it deserves. Buy Affirmative and Keystudio instead.


Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars From 1997 onwards, Yes produced a lot of live albums, compilation, anthologies, and DVD's. It is of course very intersting for the YesFans, and for the band (moneywise). Most of these efforts are basically good. Some are not great and this one belongs to the latter category. It is a patchwork of solo works from several band members. Lots of the songs here are pure crap (all the Anderson ones of which "10 Million" is really the worse of all, as well as the "Esquire" ones - with notable awful vocal sections). There is one track from Earthworks (one of Bill's band, formed in 1986) : it is quite jazzy with horrible vocals.

Howe's stuff is a quite average as well. Actually, there is only one good track which is a cover of "Walk Don't Run". All the other ones are real bad : "Red & White" being its poorest input, with awful vocals - again ! Two of his contributions are excerpts from YesClassic songs : "Roundabout" : rounded down to less than three minutes (one gets the great accoustic guitar intro , but when it comes to vocals, it is a complete mess. "Tales" is rendered in a nine minute accoustic medley and is not too bad compared to the rest of Steve's numbers.

To get average to good numbers, we have to look into Rick's direction. "Ice" has nice symphonic arrangements but is a bit too repetitive. The first good track of this album is "The Pyramids Of Egypt". Really good (except the narrated intro); it sounds a bit like Jeff Wayne's "War Of The World". "Arthur" is a live track and is a sort of mini-suite (can't talk about an epic here) with a great intro & finale, but the middle section is rather long and dull. One of his weak contribution (the other one being "Sync Or Swim"). The longest track of this album (over twenty-one minutes) is "Journey". Even if, at times, it's sounds OK, the more the song advances, the more it turns out to be a bit boring. It could easily be cut in two to keep the level to an acceptable standard. Something funny : around minute seventeen or so, one can easily hear the riff of "American Woman" from the Canadian hard rock band "The Guess Who". It will last for about two minutes. It is played live as well.

Fortunately, there are two outstanding numbers, credited to the whole band. These are live renditions for "America" and "Close To The Edge". What is a bit annoying here, is that they both come from "Keys". "Keys I" for "Ameraica" and "Keys II" for "Close". "America" is great of course. By the way, it is not the longest live version by any means. The longest one is to be found on the compilation "The Word Is Live" released in 2005. It clocks at ...16'21". Then "Close To The Edge". This is by far the best track here. See my review for "Keys II" for more details.

Having said all the above, you will understand that most of the tracks are not worth the expense. Since "America" and "CTTE" are already available on Keys, there are only Rick's work that is worth to be taken into consideration. Still, this is only for die-hard fans (like myself). Two stars.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars A family divided

"Friends and relatives" compilations have become a rather discredited way for band members or their nearest and dearest to promote their solo works on the back of the band name. This collection, being one of the first such ventures, offers a reasonable if somewhat eclectic mix of such material from the Yes family.

There are only a couple of tracks actually by Yes here, one to close each disc. Both are live tracks which were already available on the "Keys to ascension" albums (one from each). "Close to the edge" it goes without saying is magnificent, but if you have not heard Yes's highly imaginative cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "America", this is a good way to obtain it. With these two tracks alone running to half an hour, this album does have some credibility.

The rest of the tracks here are from the solo and side projects of the band's most illustrious members, with the exception of Alan White. Rick Wakeman is afforded the most space, his revised versions of "King Arthur" and "Journey to the centre of the earth" running to a further half hour between them. Indeed, his total solo allocation here is around 50 minutes! The other Wakeman tracks included are unfortunately more representative of the albums he made which did not come up to the high standards we expect of him.

Jon Anderson's songs are adequate while unremarkable, while Steve Howe demonstrates all to clearly why Anderson is the singer with Yes. Howe's solo interpretation of parts of "Topographic oceans" a reasonably interesting diversion though.

There are no Chris Squire songs as such, instead we have two from his wife Nikki's Esquire venture, while Bill Bruford's jazz based Earthwork's venture does nothing for me I am afraid.

In all, a rather pointless collection whose prime purpose seems to be to remind us that these guys are so much better as a collective unit than they are individually.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
2 stars What may have come across as a wonderful idea in the planning stages ended up becoming one of the most bungled and convoluted compilation albums in all of the 90s. YES, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES is supposed to be a continuation of the previous compilation "The Family Album" that featured samples from the greater Yes family. On this botched attempt of continuing that idea however the material was geared more from the 90s pool of solo releases but the brilliant minds at Eagle Rock Entertainment somehow misplaced these lofty ambitions on a shelf in the back room and somehow came up with a totally ill-prepared product instead.

While i thought this one would introduce me to the best works of Yes members past and present (prior to 1998 of course) what we get is not only a ver random hodgepodge of solo samplings but for some reason live group efforts from the "Keys To Ascension" albums which unfortunately accomplish nothing except making most of this solo rubbish sound like weak crap. It doesn't take long to discover how misconceived this effort is when the very first track is a remix of Yes' big pop hit "Owner Of A Lonely Heart." Now don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of "90125" and some of Yes' progressive pop material but not only is this remix a very BAAAD remix but also leaves me scratching my head as to why they possibly include it on a so-called "family & relative" compilation much less place it as the first track.

As the album continues the listener gets bombarded with the worst pop shlop aspects of the individual family members with an extra heaping helping of Rick Wakeman dishing out his most banal and cheesy attempts to create catchy pop hooks. I can't say the Jon Anderson are much better. The only tracks i really like on here (other than the live tracks from the band) are the live performances of Steve Howe doing a decent acoustic version of "Excerpts From Tales From Topographic Oceans" despite his weak vocals, the good but not really improved upon version of the 1954 track "Walk, Don't Run" made more famous by The Ventures and excellent "Arthur" from Wakeman's "Live At Hammersmith" which only serves to show how weak all the other Wakeman tracks are on this one.

I must say that i am by no means an expert on Yes' members' solo projects but i still have heard enough to know that i could have picked out a better selection of tracks than this! What's most glaring about this pratfall of a project is the distinct absence of many members like Chris Squire, Tony Banks, Patrick Moraz, Peter Banks or even decent Bill Bruford projects while others like Wakeman are overly represented. Not to mention even Squire's ex-wife Nikki gets her band Esquire included! Yikes! A total wipeout of a compilation. At the end of the day, there is good material on this one so i couldn't possibly give this the worst rating but when i rate compilations i rate them on their effectiveness at representing what they intended to represent and this one falls off the mark big time. My advice is to simply not even bother with this one, unless by chance you get it for super cheap at a thrift store or something. Instead, just go straight to the sources of where these tracks were lifted. All except two track had been released before (the exceptions are "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" which didn't need to be made and is also included as a bonus track on remastered versions of "90125" and "10 Million" which doesn't thrill me).

Tracks with original album sources included:

DISC 1 (71:26) Jon Anderson - Owner of a lonely heart ('98 remake) (3:31) Rick Wakeman - Ice (4:50) from "Time Machine" 3. Steve Howe - Red and White (3:33) from "Home Brew" 4. Esquire - Zone of O (5:19) from "Coming Home" 5. Earthworks/Bill Bruford - Up North (5:22) from "Earthworks" 6. Rick Wakeman - The Pyramids of Egypt (7:06) from "Seven Wonders Of The World" 7. Steve Howe - Roundabout (2:29) from "Not Necessarily Acoustic" 8. Wakeman with Wakeman - Sync or Swim (6:05) from "Wakeman & Wakeman" 9. Rick Wakerman - Arthur (12:57) from "Live At Hammersmith" 10. Yes - Close to the edge (19:40) from "Keys To Ascension 2"

DISC 2 (69:14) 1. Wakeman with Wakeman - No expense spared (5:30) from "Wakeman & Wakeman" 2. Jon Anderson - Say (3:47) from "The More You Know" 3. Steve Howe - Walk Don't Run (3:01) from "Quantum Guitar" 4. Esquire - Tron Thomi (7:52) from "Coming Home" 5. Jon Anderson - 10 Million (3:39) 6. Steve Howe - Excerpts from Tales from Topographic Oceans (9:08) from "Not Necessarily Acoustic" 7. Jon Anderson - The more you know (3:44) from "The More You Know" 8. Rick Wakeman - Journey to the centre of the earth (Extract) (21:26) from "Live At Hammersmith" 9. Yes - America (live) (10:37) from "Keys To Ascension 1"

Latest members reviews

1 stars Sorry, this completely misses the mark. Nothing from Squire's solo work or Conspiracy! Half the album given to Wakeman (I wonder why, considering Wakeman's producer produced it?), including dreadful pieces like "Ice" which make me wish I was drowning instead of listening to it. Fair enough, have ... (read more)

Report this review (#41236) | Posted by | Monday, August 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This double album is pretty much a mixed bag. It gives a taste of the solo projects of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman (including Wakeman and Wakeman), Chris Squire (in the band Esquire) and Bill Bruford with his Earthworks. Yes appears in two tracks only, Close to the edge and America, bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#35085) | Posted by | Monday, May 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of VARIOUS ARTISTS (CONCEPT ALBUMS & THEMED COMPILATIONS) "Yes, Friends and Relatives"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.