Yes has undergone so many lineup changes and convolutions over the years that you need a computer program to keep up.
But one of the most puzzling was that period at the end of the 1980s, when the classic (Fragile, Close to The Edge) lineup of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman reunited not under the familiar band name, but beneath the mighty mouthful of their surnames alone.
A self-titled album and a hit single, ?Brother Of Mine,? followed before nomenclatural sanity prevailed, but the most lasting memory of the period must be the concerts they played together under the banner An Evening of Yes Music Plus.
That is the title of a new DVD (Voiceprint U.K.) that captures one such performance in all its career-spanning glory. Spotlight pieces by Anderson, Howe and Wakeman round up both Yes favorites and their own solo work before the full band comes together for a dynamic set that reaches all the way back to ?Heart of the Sunrise? and ?Roundabout? and forward to selections from the ABWH album.
The DVD features excellent sound and dynamic camera work. Purists may grumble that it is no substitute for the original band and that there?s more great footage in the Yes vault than we could fit into a lifetime. But still, any opportunity to see and hear these musicians in full flight should be grasped with greedy relish, and this rates among the most spectacular prog DVDs of the year so far.
It?s certainly a far cry, musically at least, from this month?s other most notable DVD release ? the three-disc Punk And Disorderly ? The Final Solution (Cherry Red Films, U.K. ? www.cherryred.co.uk), that collects together two previous single-disc volumes of P&D, plus a bonus disc that rounds up further performances and features great interview footage.
We?d be here all day if I tried to list every performance in the package; suffice it to say, there are storming performances from the likes of TV Smith, Vice Squad, the Buzzcocks (live in 1981 ? the earliest performance on the set), Jayne County, Splodgenessabounds, Slaughter and the Dogs, the U.K. Subs, Abrasive Wheels… Every angle of the punk explosion is covered here, with footage drawn from both live shows and purpose-shot promos ? Beki Bondage and Ligotage?s excellent ?Crime And Passion,? Attila the Stockbroker?s seldom-seen ?Airstrip One,? the Adicts? ?Joker In The Pack.?
Not every track is essential; not every band pulls out all the stops. But when the true, full story of punk?s evolution is written, Punk and Disorderly will be its soundtrack.
Say hello again to an old friend. Martin Gordon ? of Jet, Sparks, Radio Stars and (according to a dog-eared late 1970s copy of an English tabloid) the Rolling Stones ? returns with his fourth solo album, the marvelously jacketed The World Is Your Lobster (Radiant Future, Germany ? www.martingordon.de).
Lobster follows seamlessly in the thematic footsteps of its predecessors. That means another clutch of infuriatingly catchy pop songs laden with lyrics that demand a double-take, visions of a world skewed so far it?s almost sensible again and a healthy disregard for whatever sacred cows we?re being told to pay the most attention to today.
?What Would Jesus Drive?? brings home a message to melt into the paintwork of every gas guzzler on the road; ?No More Limbo? ponders the Pope?s decision to do away with Limbo and what it means for everyone living there; and then ? naturally ? both the Beatles and Gilbert & Sullivan come in. Gordon?s glistening take on ?Hey Bulldog? will change the way you sail your submarine forever, by the way.
It?s a marvelous album, as great as its predece