Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe

Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe (ABWH) was a project of four progressive rock musicians: vocalist Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, and guitarist Steve Howe, with Tony Levin of King Crimson on bass. The four of them had played together in Yes in the early 1970s. Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe released one self-titled studio album in 1989 and a live recording from their immediately subsequent concert tour, advertised as An Evening of Yes Music plus, in 1993. In the meantime, Arista Records had co-opted the material they had written for their second studio album for a 1991 Union album of ABWH and members of the more recent Yes line-up around Chris Squire, who owned the rights to the name Yes.


The project began in 1988. At that time vocalist Jon Anderson had felt artistically constrained within Yes' current format, where the songwriting of Trevor Rabin had taken the band in a commercially very successful but musically and lyrically different direction. Although conceived by Anderson as being a Yes reunion, others in the band were keen to distance themselves from the Yes name. At the time, the name for the band Yes 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. 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 released in 1993. ABWH were sued by Yes in an attempt to prevent any mention of Yes in the ABWH promotional material. Eventually, ABWH and Yes resolved their differences and produced a Yes album titled Union (1991). The album 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 1990s bootleg We Make Believe and 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 series as Watching the Flags That Fly. Songs from the ABWH album have been included on subsequent Yes compilations and Yes concerts. 


The album Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe was released in 1989 to enthusiastic responses from prog fans and it was a full-blown return to the soaring Yes epics of old. The album was the most solid piece of work to come out of the Yes camp in years. It sold well, and a very successful tour followed, with the band playing to sell-out crowds and ressurecting some old favorites that had not been performed in a long time. 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.

Order of the Universe

Studio album

Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe (1989):

1. Themes
a) Sound
b) Second Attention
c) Soul Warrior
2. Fist of Fire
3. Brother of Mine
a) The Big Dream
b) Nothing Can Come Between Us
c) Long Lost Brother of Mine
4. Birthright
5. The meeting
6. Quartet (I'm Alive)
a) I Wanna Learn
b) She Gives Me Love
c) Who Was the First
d) I’m Alive
7. Teakbois
8. Order of the Universe
a) Order Theme
b) Rock Gives Courage
c) It’s So Hard to Grow
d) The Universe
9. Let's pretend

Live albums

An Evening of Yes Music Plus (1993):

Disc 1 
1. Benjamins Brittens Young persons guide to the orchestra 
2. Time and a World/Teakbois/Owner of a lonely Heart 
3. The Clap/Mood for a day 
4. Gone but not Forgotten/Catherine Parr/Merlin The magician 
5. Lond distance runaround 
6. Birthright 
7. And you and I 

Disc 2 
8. Close to the Edge 
9. Themes 
10. Brother of Mine 
11. Heart of the sunrise 
12. Order of the Universe 
13. Roundabout

Live at the NEC (2012):

Disc 1
1. Time And A Word/Owner Of A Lonely Heart/Teakbois
2. The Clap
3. Mood For A Day
4. Rick Wakeman Solo
5. Long Distance Runaround/Drum Solo
6. Birthright
7. And You And I
8. I've Seen All Good People
9. Close To The Edge

Disc 2
1. Themes/Bruford-Levin Duet
2. Brother Of Mine
3. The Meeting
4. Heart Of The Sunrise
5. Order Of The Universe
6. Roundabout
7. Starship Trooper