Union was recorded by an amalgamation of Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford, and Howe, and Yes. It’s the only album recorded by more than 5 members. (And the first appearance of Billy Sherwood, who would replace Chris Squire after his death) The album had two singles, and reached #7 in the UK and #15 in the US.
Jon Anderson: vocals on all tracks except 3 and 13, production
Steve Howe: Guitar on 1, 3, 8, 12, and 15, production on track 3
Trevor Rabin: lead and backing vocals, guitar on 4, 6, 7, and 9
Chris Squire: harmony and backing vocals (1, 2, 4-7, 9 and 11) bass on tracks 4, 6, and 7
Tony Kaye: Hammond B-3 organ, piano (4, 6, 7, and 9)
Rick Wakeman: Keyboards (1, 2, 5, 8, 10-12, 14)
Bill Bruford: acoustic and electric drums, percussion (1, 2, 5, 8, 11-14)
Alan White: acoustic drums and percussion (4, 6, 7, and 9)
- “I Would Have Waited Forever”: Howe has a great riff on this song.
- “Shock to the System “: Although Howe wrote the opening riff for this song, it was re-recorded by Jimmy Huan with no parts from Howe. It’s one of two tracks featuring bassist Tony Levin (best known for his work with Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, and Liquid Tension Experiment).
- “Masquerade”: A brief guitar solo from Howe.
- “Lift Me Up”: This is one of my favorite songs. It’s about a homeless man pleading for help. I like the harmony and guitars on it.
- “Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day”: This features some great keyboards from Wakeman.
- “Saving My Heart”: Rabin felt this song was unsuitable for Yes, but Anderson convinced him to include it on the album. It’s not bad, but not great either.
- “Miracle of Life”: Rabin wrote this as a protest of the slaughtering of dolphins off the coast of Denmark. Squire has a good bass line here.
- “Silent Talking “: Howe originally recorded this son, but Anderson came in too soon on the second half. Haun was brought in to fix the discrepancies. The song feels messy.
- “The More We Live –Let Go”: This is Billy Sherwood’s first appearance on a Yes album, alongside Chris Squire. He and Sherwood would continue writing together from this point. Kaye sounds good here.
- “Angkor Wat”: This song is named after the Cambodian temple and features some beautiful keyboards.
- “Dangerous (Look in the Light of What You’re Searching For)” : I’m not a fan of this one.
- “Holding On”: Howe’s guitar is great.
- “Evensong”: This is the second track to feature Levin, who also plays a Chapman Stick. Bruford sounds great here.
- “Take the Water to the Mountain”: This has some good keyboards form Wakeman.
Final Verdict: This album could’ve been such a mess with so many people involved. But the result is much better than expected. I think this is a great album.