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3.5 out of 5 stars30
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2000
This is a nice come-together with the partcipation of as many as eight Yes members. In fact it was intended to be two separate albums by two different bands... but both of them realized they were not able to cope without Jon Anderson's unique lead vocal, so they compiledit into one single album, a »Union«!
The result is interesting and worthwile. It has a lot of the ABWH soul, influenced by the Rabin style. The inevitable hit »Lift Me Up« is the best example of this mixture. So is »Saving My Heart«, except that this one is not very good and would've been better off left out.
The highlight is the extremely beautiful »Silent Talking« which combines rock and ballad in a rhapsodian way that nearly makes you think of the good old Yes epics. Nearly.
A welcome release, a good piece of work - A Perfect Union.
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on 10 September 2000
This album was recorded using the two different factions of Yes that were going around at the time, hence the tile Union. Some critics didn't like the fact that a lot of session musicians were used but I found that only added to the charm of the recording. One of the best tracks on the album are The More We Live- Let Go which was written by Chris Squire and Billy Sherwood, who was to later join the band on a more permanent basis. Other highlights are Silent Talking, which would have been even better if they had extended it a little, and I Would Have Waited Forever, with the fantastic vocal arrangements and finally Miracle Of Life, a progressive little number with very catchy tune. One other track, which stood out, was Dangerous, which does not sound like Yes and was a very refreshing tune to listen too. The band did release a single from the album Lift Me Up that sadly never made it in to the UK charts. There are a couple of what can only be described as weaker tracks, Saving My Heart and Holding On but apart from them the rest of the album is up to the usual high standard that Yes are famous for and the album is well worth adding to your music collection.
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on 26 January 2016
If you're reading this, you're not a fairweather fan. No fan gets to this point in Yes's back catalogue without having heard the horror stories (usually from the band themselves) of how this was a horrible cut-and-shut mess of a record assembled by greedy record company execs with their eye on a moneyspinning 'reunion' tour. All of that is true. And yet, and yet...

I really, REALLY like a lot of 'Union'. I KNOW it wasn't a happy experience for those involved; some of the songs DO feel like they've wandered from a completely different album ('Saving My Heart' - WTF?) - but there ARE some true gems on here. Most of the second side is either Yes blowing a sonic gasket ('Miracle Of Life/Dangerous/Give And Take'), or blissing out cosmically in the style which we've known and loved over the years ('Angkor Wat/Evensong/Take The Water To The Mountains'). The gigs the followed were some of the most triumphant in the band's career, and Steve's beautiful solo piece 'Masquerade' even earned them a late career Grammy nomination. The time has surely come for a critical reappraisal.

Enough time has now passed for some enterprising producer to go back to the original sessions, unpick the tapes and release 'The Union Sessions: The Complete Recordings', preferably with assistance from the surviving members, and incorporating other material prom this period like 'Love Conquers All' from the 1991 'YesYears' box set. Yes fans do love a box set, and they'll happily pay good moolah for it too. Come on Arista, you KNOW it makes sense...
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on 25 November 2000
This is a nice come-together with the partcipation of as many as eight Yes members. In fact it was intended to be two separate albums by two different bands... but both of them realized they were not able to cope without Jon Anderson's unique lead vocal, so they compiledit into one single album, a »Union«!
The result is interesting and worthwile. It has a lot of the ABWH soul, influenced by the Rabin style. The inevitable hit »Lift Me Up« is the best example of this mixture. So is »Saving My Heart«, except that this one is not very good and would've been better off left out.
The highlight is the extremely beautiful »Silent Talking« which combines rock and ballad in a rhapsodian way that nearly makes you think of the good old Yes epics. Nearly.
A welcome release, a good piece of work - A Perfect Union.
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on 14 March 2016
Two different incarnations of Yes, that were making reasonable music separately, try to pool their efforts and amalgamate into one eight-member Union, and the result - as you might expect - is patchy and inconsistent. The high points, which in my opinion are I Would Have Waited Forever, Shock To The System (these two kick the album off, so a good start......) and Silent Talking, are worthy of a Yes album pre-Rabin. The tracks that really sound Rabin-esque, sounding like 90125 out-takes, are Lift Me Up and Saving My Heart, Miracle Of Life also I suppose, are OK but less convincing than the aforementioned songs.

The More We Live is nice, Chris Squire's voice suits it, but the other songs don't seem to be at home. So really only half of the album is really worth listening to. The pinnacle of the Rabin line-up, Talk, is way better. The ABWH album is also better than Union, by a lesser margin than Talk, I was not surprised at all that only one album by ABWH was made. It missed the Squire bass and harmonies, and although some Yes fans hold Bill Bruford on a high pedestal, as soon as Alan White replaced him, Yes sounded stronger and had more power. Just listen to Sound Chaser (on Relayer), to Awaken (Going For The One). So the ABWH release missed Alan White's heaviness too.

Although Bill played on Close To The Edge, which his style complimented well, when he joined King Crimson and Alan White stepped into Yes, it was as if both bands were instantaneously "completed". Their styles fell into the right places at once.

After that we got Tales From Topographic Oceans, Relayer and Going For The One from the two greatest Yes line-ups, their three strongest albums one after the other. Thanks to Alan White - plus Patrick Moraz playing the keys on Relayer a revelation as well. A new lease of life even though Close To The Edge was so brilliant. And then after doodling around on Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Starless & Bible Black and Red, three very good albums, King Crimson once Adrian Belew and Tony Levin came along released the unbelievable style and sounds of Discipline and Beat into which all four musicians, including Bruford of course, were perfectly placed. Change any one of them, neither of those albums would have worked nearly as well as they did.

So considering the pure calibre of the musicians involved (Levin pops up here too), one can only admit that Union is fairly disappointing.
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on 31 January 2006
As probably you know, we got here two albums by two different bands: Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe and Rabin-Squire`s Yes. But the producer Jonathan Elias made his work so perfectly, that this album sounded more authentic Yes, than, say, "Tormato", "Open Your Eyes" or "Magnification".
The album was recorded in 1991 when the Cold War ended and the good feelings of that time made their ifluence on this music. I`m listening to this album since that time and still the music impresses me.
ABWH recorded impressive songs "I Would Have Waited Forever", "Shock to the System" with hard rock sound, crystal clear acoustic ballad "Masquerade" by Howe, song in style of "Tales from Topographic Oceans" with magical playing by Rick and with the reading of Cambodian poetry "Angkor Wat", pop hit "Give and Take" as bonus track. Trevor Rabin prepared hit "Lift Me Up". Jon Anderson sings perfectly. So we got best of both line-ups. I think it`s one of the best albums by Yes at all.
In sessions participated Tony Levin and Steve Porcaro (Toto).
Artwork by Roger Dean. So if you like Yes and don`t have this album - it`s a mistake.
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on 18 December 2008
Up until this album release "Yes" had never really made a bad record. At the time "Yes" were in two with the more american sound of Squire Rabin and White, and across the pond Anderson Wakeman Bruford and Howe. The two separate "Yes" camps both contributing material to produce one collective album. Great idea if you are the record company and maybe you can make twice the money yes? Wrong... No they didn't!

What you get with "Union" is no union. There is no single direction, no cohesive concept or continuity. Much of the music is of poor construction, many tracks sounding odd and out of place with one another and the production is absolutely pants!!! It just doesn't fit together properly and the men in suits have really got a lot to answer for here. There are a few good tracks, but it isn't good enough, not for a "Yes" album.

Not recommended...
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on 14 March 2008
Please bear in mind that Rick Wakeman refers to this album as 'Onion' because it brings tears to his eyes every time he hears it. He also called it a disgraceful album. Apparently The producer took the tapes away & got various session men to play on it. The result is a dishonest album that doesn't deserve to carry the YES name.
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on 5 June 2014
Honestly, this album is not as bad as many Yes fans (and some members) try to tell you. It suffers with the fact that it was not a true union of the two band sections and both probably wanted to have all their recordings icluded in the tracklist. I think if some of them were reduced, especially in the second half of the album, the overall impression would be that Yes still got it. Listen, for instance, only to first five tracks. Are they not typically Yes enough? Though perhaps not the classic ones, they are still decent pieces in terms of both musical ideas and arrangements. Nobody expected from McCartney in the early 1990's to produce another Sgt. Pepper of from Brian Wilson to make another Pet Sounds, so you must not compare Union to Close to the Edge either. If you look at the album without prejudices and too big expectations, you'll probably find it much more satisfying than most 1980s Yes albums. Way back in 1991, I was disappointed too after I got to the end of the whole album, but the better tracks stucked in my mind immediately and I wanted this CD in my collection when the price had been reduced later. (Dean'c cover picture probably contributed to this feeling a bit too.) Contrary to some reviews, I'd say that the bonus track Give and Take seemed like a fresh air after some duller album tracks. And I can still remember my initial emotion when hearing the first track I Would Have Waited Forever - I thought to myself with delight "Yes are back!" So, I would never say this is a disaster of any sort, just a VERY uneven set, and probably too long as well.
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on 7 June 2016
At last i've been able to buy a copy of this album which i had many years ago on cassette , the only thing i found on music sites have been in all aspects a different album called Yes union Live - so nothing like this album.
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