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Music DVD Review: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe: An Evening of Yes Music Plus

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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe: An Evening of Yes Music was captured on the American Leg of the 1989 world tour and finds the band performing songs from their self titled album as well as classic songs from their days as Yes. Although Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe lost the rights to use the name of their parent group Yes, it was agreed that they could refer to their origins in Yes on tour posters and other merchandise.

The album opens with an excerpt from Benjamin Britten's 'Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra." Then Jon Anderson comes out and performs solo doing "Time and a Word," "Teakbois," and "Owner of a Lonely Heart." This is followed by Steve Howe who does a solo of "The Clap and Mood for a Day," followed then again by Wakeman who performs "Gone but not Forgotten," "Catherine Parr," and "Merlin the Magician" as a solo. All three are great! I loved the way they were allowed to shine as individuals before coming back together as a whole.

Then the band came together and began with "Long Distance Runaround" and they sounded as fresh as when they recorded some of this music in the seventies. They continued with "Birthright" from the ABWH album from 1989 (as in "Themes," "Brother of Mine" and "The Meeting"). Each song better than the last!

I won't go into each of the songs other than to say that this is not only a great concert film but it is a great representation of what was Yes, perhaps not in their heyday, but certainly in a much more refreshed and revitalized form. You can see from how they play off each other they are having a lot of fun. Steve Howe is almost animated at times, bouncing around the stage.

The performances are excellent; Howe's guitar work is simply great. Wakeman's circle-around keyboards are extraordinary. Bruford's drumming explodes on the stage and Anderson's vocals are spot-on. Jeff Berlin, who replaced the ill Tony Levin for this show, was perfect as well.

The filming is also terrific. There is very good clarity to the picture. The sound is very good as well. There are a few special effects but thankfully they are kept at a minimum so that you can focus on the musicians and what they are doing. If I had one complaint it would be that there are no voice interactions between the sets. I have heard that prior versions of this film had audible talking. If that is so, I would have liked to have had that left in.

If you are a fan of Yes, this is a positively must own. This may be the best video of the lot; granted it is minus one Chris Squire and so technically not Yes. If you want to see what Yes is all about, if you are a historical music fan, or if you just want to see a great concert with great musicians then you want to get Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe: An Evening of Yes Music

Track List for An Evening of Yes Music
Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – 0:51
Time and a Word / Teakbois / Owner of a Lonely Heart – 7:32
The Clap / Mood for a Day – 9:33
Gone but Not Forgotten / Catherine Parr / Merlin the Magician – 5:41

Long Distance Runaround – 7:08
Birthright – 6:35
And You and I – 10:15
I've Seen All Good People – 9:18
Close to the Edge – 19:29
Themes: 1. Sound / 2. Second Attention / 3. Soul Warrior – 6:34
Brother of Mine – 10:24
The Meeting – 4:54
Heart of the Sunrise – 10:44
Order of the Universe – 9:29
Roundabout – 10:39
Starship Trooper – 13:45

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • Hung Nguyen

    It was so weird to see this incarnation of Yes as they were in the late 80s. It was especially weird since Bruford was still in his electronic drum phase, so you were hearing classics like “Close to the Edge” with very hollow and sterile percussions sounds (which I didn’t mind too much).

    Actually, though, Bruford was the highlight of this DVD to me. His time in King Crimson did him good, and many of these songs were actually more interesting due to his new improvisational and experimental style. Furthermore, he was smiling and looking like he was having lots of fun.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    i saw them on this tour. it was pretty good, though i’ve gotta say that Steve Howe makes the most frightening “guitar face” i’ve ever seen.

  • Hung Nguyen

    It’s downright scary these days! I love Steve. I had the fortune of standing no more than 20 feet away from him when I saw Yes in 2002. He can play guitar like nobody’s business. But the man is a walking skeleton. :)

  • http://www.PhotoshopTodaynet.blogspot.com/ T. Michael Testi

    Hung,
    Thanks for the comments, I watched a portion of this last night and it still amazes me on how good each one of them are and how much fun they are having. Yes, Howe can put on some pretty strange facial expressions, but he can play.

    T.

  • http://www.PhotoshopTodaynet.blogspot.com/ T. Michael Testi

    Mark,
    I have never had the chance to see them, but after seeing this DVD, I am going to make a point if I get a chance.

    Thanks for the comments.

    –Tom