Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (album)

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Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
AndersonBrufordWakemanHowe album.jpg
Studio album by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
Released 20 June 1989 (1989-06-20)
Recorded 1988 – 1989
Studio AIR Studios, Montserrat & London
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock
Length 59:05
Label Arista (original release)
Gonzo Multimedia (2011 re-release)
Producer Jon Anderson, Chris Kimsey
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe chronology
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
An Evening of Yes Music Plus
Back cover
Alternative cover
Alternative gatefold cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe is the only studio album by four alumni of the progressive rock group Yes: Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, and Steve Howe, released on 20 June 1989 for 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 of Yes' "classic" line-up. Bruford, who had at various times been a member of King Crimson, recruited his Crimson bandmate Tony Levin as the group's 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 their subtle way of stamping this as the next Yes album after 90125.

Anderson composed and recorded basic tracks for the album's material in Paris (drawing in part on additional songs and music contributed by the other group members) with the band's support musicians - Julian Colbeck on keyboards and Milton McDonald on rhythm guitar. Anderson notably built on several demos provided by Howe, some of which Howe released on 1996's Homebrew and subsequent releases. Anderson then flew directly to the island of Montserrat for further recording, accompanied by Bruford and Levin (many of the tracks on the album, specifically "Teakbois", carry Latin and Caribbean influences). Howe recorded his guitar parts separately at follow up sessions at Sarm West in London.

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.

Song notes[edit]

The song "Brother of Mine" was released as an edited single, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart with the aid of a promo video that was directed by Storm Thorgerson. The last of its three section 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.

Bill Bruford later stated that he had "absolutely nothing to do" with the songwriting on the album and that the credits were only meant to split the royalties four-ways. Later releases such as Steve Howe's Homebrew series confirmed that the bulk of the songs were written by Anderson and Howe, with Wakeman contributing "Fist of fire" and "The meeting".


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 only previously available as the b-side to the "Brother of Mine" 7-inch vinyl single). This edition was initially only available only from Gonzo but can now be bought from other suppliers. In 2014 Esoteric Recordings reissued the album in time for its 25th anniversary.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Anderson, Howe, Wakeman and Bruford except where noted.

Original CD release[edit]

  1. "Themes" – 5:58
    i) "Sound"
    ii) "Second Attention"
    iii) "Soul Warrior"
  2. "Fist of Fire" – 3:27
  3. "Brother of Mine" – 10:18
    i) "The Big Dream"
    ii) "Nothing Can Come Between Us"
    iii) "Long Lost Brother of Mine" (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, Geoff Downes)
  4. "Birthright" – 6:02 (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, Max Bacon)
  5. "The Meeting" – 4:21
  6. "Quartet" – 9:22
    i) "I Wanna Learn"
    ii) "She Gives Me Love" (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, Ben Dowling)
    iii) "Who Was the First"
    iv) "I’m Alive"
  7. "Teakbois" – 7:39
  8. "Order of the Universe" – 9:02
    i) "Order Theme"
    ii) "Rock Gives Courage" (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, Rhett Lawrence)
    iii) "It’s So Hard to Grow"
    iv) "The Universe"
  9. "Let’s Pretend" – 2:56 (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, Vangelis)

2011 Limited edition[edit]

Disc 1

  1. "Themes"
  2. "Fist of Fire"
  3. "Brother of Mine"
  4. "Birthright"
  5. "The Meeting"
  6. "Quartet"
  7. "Teakbois"
  8. "Order of the Universe"
  9. "Let's Pretend"

Disc 2

  1. Rick Wakeman intros
  2. "Brother of Mine" (edit)
  3. "Brother of Mine" (radio edit)
  4. "Vultures in the City"
  5. "Order of the Universe" (edit)
  6. "Order of the Universe" (long edit)
  7. "Quartet (I'm Alive)" (single edit)
  8. "Brother of Mine" (live)
  9. "And You and I" (live)
  10. "Order of the Universe" (live)


Guest musicians
  • Chris Kimsey - production, engineering
  • Chris Potter & Giles Sampic - engineering
  • Rupert Coulson, George Cowan & Steve Orchard - assistant engineering
  • Michael Barbiero & Steve Thompson - mixing
  • George Cowan - assistant mixing
  • Bob Ludwig (Masterdisk) - mastering
  • All Songs Published by Fizz Music Ltd./WB Music Ltd. - Basedown Music Ltd. - Rondor Music Ltd. - E.G. Music Ltd, except "Birthright" (all publishers noted and Sunarts Music Ltd.), "Brother of Mine" (all publishers noted and Island Music Ltd./Carlin Music Ltd.), "Order of the Universe" (all publishers noted and Rhettrhyme Music) & "Let's Pretend" (all publishers noted and Warner Bros. Music Ltd.)


Year Chart Position
1989 The Billboard 200 - USA 30
1989 UK Charts 14


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, W. (2011). "Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe - Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe | AllMusic". Retrieved 25 July 2011.