RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

ABWH – Live at the NEC Deluxe Edition
Gonzo Multimedia


Rating: B

Gonzo Multimedia are a UK company doing some fine work digging about and coming up with concerts and videos from great bands. This release features Yes when they were not called Yes!

In 1988 Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe (AWBH) formed, released an album and went on the road performing what they called “An Evening of Yes Music Plus.”

On October 24, 1989, the band pulled into Birmingham, England for a concert at NEC and the tapes were rolling. Joining Yes –errrr—AWBH on this evening was bass player Tony Levin, who missed several shows due to illness. This is the first recording released with the talented bassist performing with the band.

The release, only available online, features two CDs of music and a fun, behind the scenes look at the band on the road DVD titled “Off the Wall.” The DVD is a bonus because the real treat here is the music.

Together, a total of 16 songs are performed, and, as expected, they are performed flawlessly.

The track list includes many Yes classics including “Time and Word” which then goes into a great acoustic version of “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”

“The Clap” and “Mood for a Day” allow guitarist Steve Howe to show off early in the set. Not to be outdone, Rick Wakeman plays a great solo, shortly afterwards. The rest of the show keeps going with classics including “Long Distance Runaround,” “And You and I,” “All Good People,” “Close to the Edge,” “Heart of the Sunrise,” “Roundabout” and “Starship Trooper.”

This may not be a Yes concert but with Wakeman and Anderson joining Howe, it is much closer than the Yes lineup of today!

This is a great show and a ‘Must Own’ for Yes fans.

By Jeb Wright