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BROTHER OF MINE (2)

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

Symphonic Prog


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Anderson Bruford Wakeman  Howe Brother of Mine (2) album cover
2.88 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Brother of Mine (single version) (6:30)
2. Themes (5:58)
a) Sound
b) Second Attention
c) Soul Warrior
3. Vultures in the City (5:59)

Total Time: 18:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Steve Howe / guitar
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards

With:
- Tony Levin / bass, stick

Releases information

CD Atlantic #162379 (1989)

Thanks to AndYouAndI for the addition
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ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE Brother of Mine (2) ratings distribution


2.88
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE Brother of Mine (2) reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Maybe the main problem for artists like ABWH in the late eighties was that the music business of the record labels then was more focused in having Hit Singles in the Radio and also videos to be played by MTV, and they demanded from artists commercial music done in the fads that then were created and promoted by these very commercially oriented people. As Bill Bruford said in interviews done in the early nineties, it seems that the music business then was led "more by accountants than by people who really loved music" (more or less as I rmember now). So...with this in mind, many Prog Rock bands from the sixties and seventies had to please these people to have recording contracts with them.

Even with all this, ABWH, being a project which was led mainly by Jon Anderson, being very good musicians, still could not deliver to the record label the "very commercial music" that they wanted. So, even if "Brother of Mine" is a very good Prog Rock song, and even with the edits done to it to make it a single to be played in the Radio and with a video to be played on MTV, as the record label wanted, it still sounds and looks very "artistic". The arrangements and playing in this song are very good to be edited out for a single release, which it does not sound bad...but I still prefer the original version of ten minutes in lenght. Anderson was tired of some of the YES`s music of the eighties which was very much dictated by outside forces (a record label, again), so he left YES in 1988 to make music which he liked more. So, he formed ABWH and they recorded a very good album. Unfortunately, the "market forces" also demanded from them "money making music", so in the end they had to reunite with YES to make the "Union" album for the same record label they signed as ABWH. YES`s "Union" album, in comparison to ABHW`s album, was almost a disaster, a marketing trick which did not satisfy several of the eight members of the band. Anyway, the "Union" tour was better than the "Union" album. I think, like Bruford said in another interview, that if ABWH could have been left free to record the style of music that they wanted to do without the usual pressures from major record companies they could have lasted as a band for more years and making very good music. Unfortunately they also had some problems between them as members of the band. The eighties musical fads and marketing plans were not good enviroments for a band with very good musicians like them.

Anderson still reflects some of his lack of satisfaction with the demands of record labels in the eighties in the lyrics of "Themes", the album version of this song which also was released in this single. A song which also was not commercially oriented, with some New Age music arrangements.

But the main reason to review this single is the addition of a non-album track titled "Vultures in the City". It is also a good song which maybe was not very similar to the other songs which were included in the ABWH album, so this maybe was the main reason to be left out of that album. It is also not very commercially oriented song with very good arrangements. Maybe it also worked as a "marketing hook" for fans to buy this single as this song was not released in their album.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Themes

This single by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe released in 1989 is interesting for Yes fans primarily because of the non- album b-side (or c-side actually) Vultures In The City. This song is in a similar style to the ones that ended up on the album and it would not have been out of place on that album. Personally, I wouldn't have minded this song instead of Teakbois, the least good song on that lone Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album.

There are two other tracks here. The a-side is an edited version of Brother Of Mine which is cut down to six and a half minuted from the original ten and a half minutes. It is a beautiful song and even though I prefer the uncut album version, it works also in this shorter version. Themes is however left untouched and is thus the same as on the album.

Overall, we get here some 18 minutes of very good music, one song of which is not available elsewhere (though it has since been made available on a bonus disc with recent re-releases of the Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album).

Review by patrickq
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I bought this one back in 1989 or 1990 as a three-inch "import" CD for the non-album song "Vultures in the City." In addition to an edited version of "Brother of Mine," the album version of "Themes" is also included.

The music of the verses of "Vultures in the City" sound a bit like "Birthright," and I wonder whether Steve Howe was involved in writing those parts (there is a joint writing credit on all ABWH songs). But the remainder suffers from the malady which beset several other songs on Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe: a sentimentality in both melody and lyrics. It's better than some of the weakest material on the album, but its exclusion from the final running order is no tragedy.

And then there's the single's lead song, an edited version (elsewhere called the "long edit" of "Brother of Mine." The first two parts of the song, "In the Big Dream" and "Nothing Can Come Between Us" occupy the first 4:35 of this single version, compared to 6:37 on the album. There are edits throughout, but none are obvious. The final part of the song, "Long Lost Brother of Mine," is just under two minutes on the edited version, a reduction of nearly half. Some of the edits used to achieve the abridgment of this part are a bit less artful, but they're not really bad.

What I've always scratched my head over is why the last section of "Brother of Mine" wasn't featured more prominently on the single edit. The catchy vocal part where they sing "long lost brother..." comes just over five minutes into the edited version. While there is an art to editing songs for radio airplay, it doesn't really seem to have been practiced here. Instead, to achieve an edit of roughly two-thirds of the original length, about one-third of each part has been removed. It's true that the album version of "Brother of Mine" takes its time getting to the really good parts at the end, which includes not only the "long lost brother" chant, but also extended solos by Steve Howe on electric guitar and Rick Wakeman on piano. But the radio-friendly section is at the end. The drum fill indicating the beginning of "Long Lost Brother of Mine" starts at 6:37 on the album version, leaving around 3:43 left: not a bad duration for a single, I would think. (The "radio edit" of the song doesn't even include "Long Lost Brother of Mine," so what do I know?)

"Vultures in the City" and both the "long" and "radio" edits of "Brother of Mine" are included in the most recent reissues of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, the group's lone studio album, so this single is redundant for all but serious collectors. But even before these were available as CD bonus tracks, they weren't what I would consider essential. Two stars.

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