Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe were a progressive rock band active from 1988 to 1990 that comprised four past members of the English progressive rock band Yes. Singer Jon Anderson left Yes as he felt increasingly constrained by their commercial and pop-oriented direction in the 1980s. He began an album with other members from one of the band’s line-ups from the 1970s, namely guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and drummer Bill Bruford, who invited Tony Levin to play bass.
The group released their sole studio album, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, in June 1989 which reached number 14 in the UK and number 30 in the US. Their 1989–90 world tour was well-received and spawned two live albums, An Evening of Yes Music Plus (1993) and Live at the NEC – Oct 24th 1989 (2012). In 1990, tracks for a second studio album were included with songs recorded by Yes to make the thirteenth Yes album, Union (1991). This marked the end of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and the start of the eight-member Yes formation until 1992, comprising Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and Yes musicians Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye, and Alan White.
And “Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe” is the only studio album by the English progressive rock band Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, released in June 1989 on Arista Records.
The project began in 1988. At that time vocalist Jon Anderson had felt artistically constrained within Yes’s current format, where the songwriting of Trevor Rabin had taken the band in a commercially very successful but musically and lyrically different direction. Anderson regrouped with Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford. Bruford, who had at various times been a member of King Crimson, recruited his Crimson band mate Tony Levin as their bassist. The group was unable to use the name Yes for legal reasons. However, the group did have Arista assign the catalog number of 90126 to the original releases of the CD and cassette. This was a subtle way of stamping this as the next Yes album after 90125 (1983).
Pre-production recording took place at La Frette Studios near Paris with Anderson putting down an outline of much of the album’s songs with guitarist Milton McDonald. Anderson notably built on several demos provided by Howe, some of which Howe released on his solo album Homebrew (1996) and subsequent releases. Recording then relocated at AIR Studios on the island of Montserrat with Wakeman, Bruford and Levin. Most of the album was recorded using C-Lab’s Notator software. Howe recorded his guitar parts separately at SARM West Studios in London. Mixing took place at Bearsville Studios in Bearsville, New York.
The final section of “Brother of Mine” draws on an unrecorded Asia track “Long Lost Brother of Mine” written by Howe and Geoff Downes.
The song “Birthright” concerns the British nuclear tests at Maralinga and incorporates some material originally written by Howe and Max Bacon for their post-GTR band Nerotrend.
The song “Quartet” contains lyrical references to several classic Yes songs, such as “Long Distance Runaround”, “Roundabout” and others.
“Let’s Pretend” was originally composed by Anderson and Vangelis in 1986 for their Jon and Vangelis project and rearranged as a voice and guitar duet for Anderson and Howe.
The artwork for the album was created by artist Roger Dean, known for designing album covers for Yes in the 1970s. It features two paintings, the front titled “Blue Desert” and the back titled “Red Desert”. Most releases of this album represent only a truncated version of “Blue Desert”. There was, however, a special release with a gatefold cover, though “Blue Desert” was horizontally inverted in that version.
The album was released on 20 June 1989. Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe peaked at number 14 on the UK Album Chart and number 30 in the US. It went on to reach the top 30 in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, Norway, and Sweden. On August 30, 1989, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling 500,000 copies in the US. Yes biographer Chris Welch wrote the album sold approximately 750,000 copies. “Brother of Mine” released as an edited single and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Its music video was directed by Storm Thorgerson.
The album was re-released in a remastered limited edition by Gonzo Multimedia on 18 March 2011, with a bonus CD with extra tracks, including alternate edits and live versions of tracks on the main album, as well as “Vultures in the City” (originally titled “Vultures” and previously available only as the b-side to the “Brother of Mine” 7-inch vinyl and CD single). This edition was initially only available only from Gonzo … (by wikipedia)
File under “Yes.” When this version of the band couldn’t obtain rights to the name, they put their album out under their combined names, but it’s still Yes by any other name. Jon Anderson’s tenor wails through spacy lyrics, Rick Wakeman constructs cathedrals of synthesized sound, Steve Howe rips high-pitched guitar leads, and Bill Bruford makes his drums sound like timpani. For all that, it’s a pedestrian effort for these veterans, not as bombastic as some of their stuff, not as inspired as others, but it definitely has the “Yes” sound. “She Gives Me Love” even refers to “Long Distance Runaround.” (by William Ruhlmann)
Jon Anderson (vocals)
Bill Bruford (drums, percussion)
Steve Howe (guitar)
Rick Wakeman (keyboards)
Matt Clifford (keyboards, programming, orchestration, vocals)
Tony Levin (bass, chapman stick, vocals)
Milton McDonald (guitar)
The Oxford Circus Singers:
Deborah Anderson – Tessa Niles – Carol Kenyon – Frank Dunnery
Jon – Matt – Chris
Emerald Isle Community Singers + In Seine Singers
01. Themes 5.58
01.1. Sound (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
01.2.Second Attention (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
01.3. Soul Warrior
02. Fist Of Fire (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 3.32
03. Brother Of Mine 10.24
03.1. The Big Dream (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
03.2. Nothing Can Come Between Us (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
03.3. Long Lost Brother Of Mine (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Downes)
04. Birthright (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Bacon) 6.07
05. The Meeting (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 4.26
06. Quartet 9.25
06.1. I Wanna Learn (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
06.2. She Gives Me Love (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Dowling)
06.3. Who Was the First (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
06.4. I’m Alive (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
07. Teakbois (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 7.44
08. Order Of The Universe 9.02
08.1. Order Theme (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
08.2. Rock Gives Courage (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Lawrence)
08.3. It’s So Hard To Grow (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
08.4. The Universe (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford)
09. Let’s Pretend (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Vangelis) 2.56
01. Rick Wakeman Intro’s (Wakeman) 2.52
02. Brother Of Mine (Edit) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Downes) 6.32
03. Brother Of Mine (Radio Edit) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 3.24
04. Vultures In The City (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 5.55
05. Order Of The Universe (Edit) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Lawrence) 4.53
06. Order Of The Universe (Long Edit) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Lawrence) 6.03
07. Quartet (I’m Alive) (Single Edit) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 3.18
08. Brother Of Mine (Live) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Downes) 10.52
09. And You And I (Live) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 10.34
10. Order Of The Universe (Live) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford/Lawrence) 9.42
11. Children Of Light (Bonus track) (Anderson/Howe/Wakeman/Bruford) 5.00