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Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe: An Evening of Yes Music Plus (DVD)

Filmed at the Shoreline in 1989 and now being reissued by Voiceprint, this concert by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe will always be fondly remembered and cherished by longtime Yes fans. Viewed as a real Yes reunion at the time, the ABWH album and tour offered real competition for the existing Yes line-up that included Chris Squire, Alan White, Trevor Rabin, and Tony Kaye. Here, the ABWH band played a host of Yes classics, as well as a selection of songs from their debut album. Rounded out by a few guest players, including one Jeff Berlin on bass, himself no stranger to the prog & fusion world, the music here is larger than life, glitzy and full of glamour and class, as this large scale ensemble rips through stellar versions of "Close to the Edge", "And You and I", "Heart of the Sunrise", as well as "Brother of Mine" and "Order of the Universe". A real treat is seeing Jon Anderson walking through the crowd and singing his opening solo spot, and you really get the feeling that the singer really loves his fans. Steve Howe especially looks pretty motivated throughout the set, something that seemed lacking from him in the years that followed. It's nice to see so many close ups of Bill Bruford, whose nimble drumwork is always a pleasure to behold, but it's a real shame that Berlin is basically ignored by the camera crew. You barely catch a few glimpses of him over this DVD's 2+ hour length. That brings us to the main drawback to this release-the quality of the video, and especially the camera work, leaves a lot to be desired. There are too many instances where the cameras are on the wrong musician, and you can expect plenty of abrubt cuts and general miscues when the shot is cut to basically nothing. In other words, it ain't perfect, but it's grand Yes music nontheless, and thankfully the audio portion of this DVD is very good. Chances are most Yes fanatics already have this show in some shape or form (the CD was also re-released at the same time), but if not it's available once again for you to take the plunge and enjoy this moment in Yes history.

Track Listing
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
6. Birthright
7. And You and I
8. I've See All Good People
9. Close to the Edge
10.. Themes
11. Brother of Mine
12. The Meeting
13. Heart of the Sunrise
14. Order of the Universe
15. Roundabout
16. Starship Trooper

Added: August 27th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Yes World
Hits: 3717
Language: english

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Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe: An Evening of Yes Music Plus (DVD)
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-08-27 09:43:40
My Score:

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe is a band that makes up four fifths of the legendary Progressive Rock group Yes and in 1989 these musicians recorded an album that bore the same name and would support it with an extensive tour. This tour would feature many of the originals from this debut album along with a strong compliment of Yes classics and so special was the occasion of the live recording that it would be available to any cable television subscriber who wanted to order it via something that was called "Pay Per View". Since this was 1989, the term was still quite new but in today's world it's much more commonplace and is done very often for concerts and special sporting events. I still remember begging my parents to let me order the program and swore I would pay them back. These PPV Specials were great as you would be able to invite friends over for a live concert that was happening right in your living rooms. The concert for ABWH begins with some orchestral flourishing and instead of seeing the entire group onstage from the get go, we instead find singer Jon Anderson walking out among the crowd as he makes his way to the stage. Singing and touching the outstretched hands of the audience in attendance while he walks, Anderson does his vocal lines with the help of a rhythm guitarist onstage. When he is finished we find Steve Howe doing the same thing and performing solo to the audience and then Rick Wakeman does the same. It was definitely an interesting way to start out as one normally expects the full group to perform at the onset of a concert like this. Leave it to the Progressive innovators to change things up once again. It's not until the beginning of "Long Distance Runaround" that we find drummer Bill Bruford onstage accompanying them on a tambourine before he jumps behind his tremendous kit of Simmons electronic drums. As a drummer, Bruford was one of the biggest advocates of these types of percussion implements and he led the charge into their being accepted by more performers.

The concert is quite good and while the ABWH debut album possessed a number of solid tracks the greater appeal lies in the delivery of the Yes material. It's hard not to lean on the classic tunes such as "Close To The Edge" and "I've Seen All Good People" when its being done by so many members of the classic seventies lineup of the venerated Progressive juggernaut. To compliment their sound the four members of Yes are joined onstage by other musicians who help better to bring the show to life. Also featured are the talents of Julian Colbeck (keyboards), Milton McDonald (rhythm guitar), and Jeff Berlin (bass). The ABWH album features Tony Levin on bass, but Berlin would do the tour. I would say that the only downside is the lack of any additional bonus material such as a documentary about this groups all too brief existence in some sort of "looking back on" feature or even some interview footage with some of the personnel who were involved. You get the concert and its original artwork nothing else. This performance was released several years ago and is still available at a higher price but thanks to the people at MVD Visual, Yes and Progressive fans around the world can own it for a more accommodating price. This is a great addition to your video collection of Yes films.

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