Dave DiMartino
May 17, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT


Current Status
In Season

We gave it a D+

Here’s a stunningly wicked parody of an outlandish concept: an actual reunion album by eight former members of the art-rock group Yes, who so bitterly feuded among themselves during the ’80s that they actually split into two separate bands, Yes and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe. Union is so superbly gaudy that you’d swear this was an actual Yes album: horrendous cover art, anal-retentive track-by-track musician credits, and, best of all, lyrics rivaling even Yes’ most classic line about mountains that come out of the sky and, er, ”stand there.” It’s great! Beginners may want to spend some time — say a few days — reading the hilarious CD booklet, particularly the passage that describes how a ”twist of fate” brought all the players together and never once mentions the word money. And check out that list of ”additional musicians” featuring 14 keyboard players, including 11 on synths; even in its heyday, progressive rock was never this excessive. But what really makes this set work as performance art is its complete and utter unlistenability. Imagine how horrifying it would be if these people were serious. D+

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