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Friday, 16 March 2012

YES: A kind of magick


Union Live Part Three
I think that the last word about the Union Live DVD should go to one of the major players on it, Mr Rick Wakeman. I have been working on a reissue of one of his volumes of autobiography in which he wrote:

Yes were also in the middle of recording an album, and the general plan was to merge the two products, produce one album and call it Union. (When I heard the finished product I renamed it “Onion" as it made me cry every time I played it.)

More time was obviously needed to enable the albums to be merged successfully, but time was something that I didn’t have. I had a solo tour contractually booked and so was very limited to the amount of extra work that I could put in on the project. The end result was, as far as I was concerned, an unmitigated disaster and the worst piece of Yes product ever released to the general public.

The tour, however, was a totally different kettle of fish.

I arrived in Florida for the rehearsals, full of excitement and expectation. I sensed in a strange way that such a tour would only ever happen once, as there were too many personality clashes waiting in the wings for a head-on musical tight, so I had already decided that I was not going to get involved in Yes politics but just thoroughly enjoy performing the music - and that is exactly what I did.

It was wonderful playing with Chris Squire and Alan White again, and Trevor Rabin and I also struck up a tremendous relationship. The tour lasted nearly a year and virtually went round the world, with the last performances taking place in Tokyo early in 1992.

Far be it for me to argue with Mr W, but I really enjoyed Union when it first came out two decades ago, and whilst it is not the best album they made, it is still a personal favourite. And I have to agree with him, there was something completely magickal about the tour, and that magick comes across on the DVD.

Trust me guys, it is well worth the small investment.

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