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Yes – “Lift Me Up”

Classic / Progressive Rock band Yes released Union in 1991, their thirteenth studio album…well, actually, I can’t explain it any better than some of the reviews on Amazon, so I’m just gonna lift directly from one:

“By the late ’80s there were basically two versions of Yes out in the world. The name was owned by the so called ‘Yes West’ version of the band that consisted of Chris Squire, Alan White, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, and Jon Anderson. This was the line up that had put out the band’s last two albums 90125 and Big Generator under the Yes moniker.

After the Big Generator album and tour, Jon Anderson left the group and joined forces with other former Yes members Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford, and Steve Howe to form Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe who then put out a well received album and tour. Yes fans were divided over which band was the real version of Yes. Both groups began working on new material for separate albums.

To make a long story short someone eventually came up with the idea of joining both bands’ together and the Union project was born. On paper it looked like a total wet dream for Yes fans with the ultimate all star Yes lineup of Steve Howe (guitar), Trevor Rabin (guitar, vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Alan White (drums), Bill Bruford (drums), Tony Kaye (keys), Rick Wakeman (keys) and Jon Anderson (vocals). Unfortunately the album that came out of this was a bit of a mish mash with most of the tracks being recorded separately by the two different camps and only minimal collaboration actually taking place.”

Roger Dean's cover art and logo for Yes' 1991 "Union" album

Roger Dean's cover art and logo for Yes' 1991 "Union" album

So, there ya’ go. It seems that most Yes purists didn’t like or even despised Union, though “Lift Me Up” was a very solid single from the album, and I remember it getting decent MTV rotation.

One thing that I don’t think anyone could deny though, is the strength of Roger Dean’s cover painting, another beautiful addition to the numerous album covers he provided for the band.

More info / resources:

Union is available as an import on Amazon, and Yes’ official site is here.

Roger Dean’s site is here, however it’s undergoing some site overhaul at the time of this writing. (Make sure you check out the collections of his brilliant work on Amazon.com!)

Oh, and of course, here’s the video for “Lift Me Up”…

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