Review Summary: Yes try standing up and get halfway there.
Everything about Union
aims to be accessible to the entire spectrum of Yes fans: the core group they built up during their classic progressive period was partly alienated when they chose to pursuit pop music during the 80’s, although the formula that created Owner of a Lonely Heart
certainly introduced them to a whole new generation at the same time. Bringing together the separate Yes movement, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (who weren’t allowed to use the band name since Squire owned it in part), and the current band with Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye, Union
was fittingly titled indeed (it even carried, for the first time since Drama
, a Roger Dean cover). It also made Yes a big act again, with both sides of their fans, as following tour proved to be very fruitful. The album in itself is however of little comparison to the Close to the Edge
s of their career.
What makes Union
unsuccessful as an album is simply the same thing that fuelled its existence: the uneven combination of Yes musicians from two radically different eras. The two didn’t match for obvious reasons, and created a lengthy, quite messy collection of songs that mostly range from half-hearted progressive tracks to poppy tunes that were, once again, stretched to a fault. There’s a few gems around that save the record from being poor altogether. With its lovely harmonies, I Would Have Waited Forever
would have been perfect for 90125
, while Shock to the System
manages to actually rock a bit. As most of the good tracks are found near its beginning, Union
does quickly become a bore. Its sound is still drenched in that 80’s production, despite being released in ’91, and while the merge of old and new band members ignited something that easily puts the album above the tiring, forced nature of Big Generator
, its musical success as a Yes album remains rather limited.
Union’s Yes was:
- John Roy Anderson ~ Lead Vocals
- Stephen James Howe ~ Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Trevor Charles Rabin ~ Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Christopher Russell Squire ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Anthony John Selvidge ~ Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Richard Christopher Wakeman ~ Keyboards
- William Scott Bruford ~ Drums
- Alan White ~ Drums, Backing Vocals
TO BE CONTINUED...