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Yes - Union CD (album) cover

UNION

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 1013 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
1 stars This will be one of the most difficult tasks I ever attempted, trying to make a coherent review of an incoherent album as "Union". Even Rick Wakeman said about it in the interview posted on the Creem Magazine:"I always call it "Onion" because every time I hear it, it makes me cry. It was an absolute pile of junk because, basically, they wanted to get us out on the road really quick so they left this complete moronic twat to mix it. And, of course, it was the early days of computers, so he just basically wiped off things that Steve did, that I did, got his mates on, and it was a joke. It was an absolute farce of an album."

I wouldn't go so far as Rick, "Union" is not a pile of junk, it's only an absolutely non transcendental and boring album, recorded for the worst reasons (most surely to finish with that Yes West v ABWH contest) and to gain a lot of money with a successful tour.

Just imaginem they tool a POP band like YES on those days and another Prog band called "ABWH" you place 4 songs from the first one and 10 from the other with totally different members (Except Jon Anderson) and call it an album, it's doomed to failure, specially because the producers who made this "Union" possible, apparently told Steve Howe, Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman that at the end of the tour there will be no place for them in Yes...Nothing can be more anti-climatic.

But lets go with the album, the best I can say of it is that UNION sounds like Yes, but without a single memorable moment except maybe "Masquerade" which is a nice acoustic ballad played by Steve Howe.

I expected that the ABWH tracks would be much better than the YES WEST songs but there's no substantial difference, All are anodyne, boring and predictable, it was so evident even for the producers that they included only two UNION tracks in the successful tour, one from each lineup.

"Shock to the System" Starts with a heavy guitar intro until the band enters with Jon Anderson sounding more acute and annoying than ever before, typically product of ABWH but with less imagination that in the first album, not even Bruford and Wakeman's efforts can save this boring AOR sounding track.

Strangely (Because it's a YES WEST) song, "Lift Me Up" sounds more pompous and Prog than most of the other tracks, it's hard to accept it for me, but Rabin sounds better here than Steve in "Shock the System", Squire backing vocals are very good dissimulating the extra sweet Anderson's voice (Did Chris placed more effort in hi songs than the one he puted in the ABWH), good but not outstanding song except for the chorus that is carefully worked.

Won't even care to review the rest of the album because it's more of the same, no surprises, no imagination, no anything, just an excuse for a successful tour with 8 YES members, but nothing new or even remotely interesting to offer. So I won't nbore the readers writing more of the same.

Three decent tracks out of 14 is not enough to save the album from being a total mess.

If there was a 0 stars option, I would rate UNION with 1 star because of the above mentioned tracks, following this logic, I should rate it with 2 stars being that the minimum rating is 1 star, but I don't believe it's a fan/collectors item because I talked with lots of fans and they all agree with me that the promises of 8 YES members making an album was a fantastic dream that turned into a nightmare.

The talent and the skills are present, nobody can deny this, they continue today with their successful stage career, but the imagination was left out, talent without inspiration and heart means nothing

One star, maybe 1.5 but no way I would rate this less than mediocre album with 2 stars, sorry to the fans and for those who haven't bought it yet, better save your money and go with an earlier stuff.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 1/5 |

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