Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Incas Valley – Yes/Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe[#630]

Unknown-4As long term readers of this project might remember, during the divergence of Yes in the early nineties, when Chris Squire said “No” to Jon Anderson’s use of the band name

Yes

forcing the creation of  the eponymous Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (and later the creation of Anderson Rabin Wakeman (ffs!)), Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick “Keyboard Wizard” Wakeman and Steve “Carpet” Howe  got together with Tony Levin, released an album and went on a world tour entitled An Evening of Yes Music. Incas Valley is the bootleg of one of those shows.

I remember being excited at the prospect of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe touring the UK with their show and hoped that I would be granted permission from my parents to go to their gig, the closest to me at the time was in Birmingham. Sadly, my olds decreed that 16 was too young to go to Birmingham to see a rock band on my own and my older brothers couldn’t care less about their younger brother’s musical development so didn’t offer to take me. Instead one recorded onto a cassette a BBC radio broadcast of the gig instead so I had to make do with that.

Many years later I discovered the Incas Valley bootleg on a binary newsgroup and it was pretty much the same set but with extras. So now, to relive that experience, I often play Incas Valley on my stereo in the kitchen while I charge myself £40 to sit in the loft and pretend I’m in the Birmingham Arena. Win!

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Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe – Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe [#71]

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 19.10.20Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (ABWH)

ABWH by ABWH is an album that slots in between Big Generator and Union in the pantheon of Yes albums. Oh, yes, you probably won’t be aware of what happened.

As frequently happens with Yes, there are often little tiffs between members, some members want to do something one style, while the others throw their toys out the pram and say they want to do it a different way.

Case in point. Listen to any Yes album pre-90125. The style is different. You can hear how the style has evolved sure, but it’s definitely a different paradigm shift is styles. The younger, cooler, less hippy members of the band went “We want to do an album like this” while the pye eyed hippy lot went “No but we want to do one as well”

Unfortunately you can’t have two bands with the same name formed of members, old and new. No. It just won’t do (Are you reading this Renaissance, Deep Purple etc?)

So what you do in a situation like that? When your older band mates come along and say “Hey, lets make an album?” Well you make an album. Of course the existing member of Yes at the time (White, Squire, Kaye and Rabin) went “Oi! No! Not as Yes you don’t” and so began a long battle for the rights to use the band name Yes.

In the meanwhile, ABWH produced an album and this is that album. Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick “Grumpy” Wakeman and Bill “I’ve met Stegzy Gnomepants” Bruford. It’s full of Anderson mystique, Howe and Wakeman twiddly and Bruford boshbishbashing. It’s a show off album. It says “Listen to us! We’re old but we can still do stuff”. Yeah.

It’s ok.

It’s not great.

It’s ok.

Its definitely of the time, late eighties, early nineties. You can tell from the tribal and African influences. To me it’s too twee for the time. It’s certainly an album of talent, but it’s like 10 years too late. The style is very Peter Gabriel and you can tell Squire isn’t about because the bass just isn’t as fiddly.

Spin forward a few years, the band reconciled their differences and recorded Union. Another pile of tosh. More of that later.

 

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