Most of you already know the story-in the late 1980's, Jon Anderson left Yes, then at the time featuring Chris Squire, Alan White, Trevor Rabin, and Tony Kaye, to once again work with his longtime friends and former Yes mates Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford. Since Squire owned the rights to the Yes name, this new faction simply called themselves Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, or ABWH for short. In many fans eyes, this was more of the "real Yes deal" than the existing incarnation of Yes that pumped out mega selling albums like 90125 and Big Generator. ABWH recorded a studio album and went on a huge tour, and the result is the 2CD live album, which was originally released in 1993, now being reissued by Voiceprint with a slightly different track order and the inclusion of "I've Seen All Good People".
If you've seen Yes over the years, regardless of the line-up, ,most of these songs will no doubt be very familiar to you. The four Yes veterans were augmented here by bassist Jeff Berlin, Julian Colbeck on second keyboards, and Milton McDonald on second guitar, the latter two mostly to flesh out the sound on the songs from the ABWH studio album, namely "Brother of Mine", "Birthright", "Themes", and "Order of the Universe", all fine songs and worthy of being attached to the Yes name. The performance of the entire band here 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. Showstoppers include "And You And I" (when does this tune not bring down the house?), the epic "Close to the Edge" (complete with some amazing drum work from Bruford), and a blistering "Heart of the Sunrise", which lets fusion legend Berlin rip it up with the boys. In addition, the set opens up with some great solos spots which are always fun to hear.
This reissue comes housed in a lavish digipack adorned by the wonderful artwork of Roger Dean, as well as plenty of photos. Also available is a companion DVD of the event.
1. Benjamin Britten's Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra
2. Jon Anderson Solo-Time and a Word/Owner of a Lonely Heart/Teakbois
3. Steve Howe Solo-Clap/Mood for a Day
4. Rick Wakeman Solo-Gone But Not Forgotten/Catherine Parr/Merlin the Magician
5. Long Distance Runaround
7. And You and I
8. I've See All Good People
1. Close to the Edge
3. Brother of Mine
4. Heart of the Sunrise
5. Order of the Universe
7. Starship Trooper