Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (sometimes referred to by the acronym ABWH) was a permutation of the progressive rock band Yes. The group consisted of vocalist Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and guitarist Steve Howe (with Tony Levin on bass). These Yes alumni had played together on the most popular recordings by Yes in the early 1970s. Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe recorded one self-titled studio album in 1989. A live recording from their subsequent concert tour was released in 1993.

Although conceived by Anderson as being a Yes re-union, others in the band were keen to distance themselves from the "Yes" name. At the time, the name was co-owned by Anderson, Alan White and Chris Squire, and Squire and White were still continuing with Yes along with Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye; for these reasons, it was not possible for ABWH to use the "Yes" name anyway. Anticipating this problem, Jon Anderson suggested they call themselves "The Affirmative," but the other band members felt that was disingenuous. The name "No" was also suggested, but in the end, they decided to simply name themselves after the members of the band, in the vein of Emerson Lake and Palmer, despite the criticism that it made them sound like an accounting or legal firm. When Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe toured, they titled their shows "An Evening Of Yes Music Plus", a name that was also used for their subsequent live album. ABWH were sued by Yes in an attempt to prevent any mention of Yes in the ABWH promotional material. This seems to stem from an agreement before the release of Yes's "90125" album between Yes (then including Anderson too), Howe and Wakeman over the use of the Yes name in the promotion of other activities.

Eventually, ABWH and Yes resolved their differences (with more than a little record company arm-twisting) and produced a Yes album titled "Union" that included recordings originally intended for separate albums by both groups. Several songs originally intended for the second ABWH album, tentatively titled "Dialogue", surfaced on the underground Yesoteric bootleg compilation. This material included demos by Anderson but without the other three that were subsequently released as part of Jon Anderson's "The Lost Tapes" box set in 2007 and then released on their own as "Watching the Flags That Fly".

Many fans tend to regard ABWH as Yes in all but name, and songs from the solo album have been included on subsequent Yes compilations.

The band was satirized in the Dead Milkmen song "Anderson, Walkman, Buttholes And How!" [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fjfyxqw0ldke]

Discography

*1989 "Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe"
*1993 "An Evening of Yes Music Plus"

References


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