Friday, 25 October 2013

Uncle G's Yes / YesRelated Music Collection
Spotlight: Yes – Life Me Up (CD & Cassette Single)

I always had a love / hate relationship with Yes' 13th studio album; Union. I supported it when it was new. Brother Kevin and I saw the band when they played The Woodlands (just outside Houston) promoting the release. Was a magical night for now Yes consisted of eight members, all regarded by this time as being some of the best players / musicians in prog rock, alone or especially together.

The Yes album Union (Arista Records) from 1991, is said to include a cast of thousands. Lots of rumors. Wakeman was reported to have thrown the recording he received from the record company, out the window of a rather fast moving motor car. Nevertheless, in my opinion some good songs came out of all that. One being called; Lift Me Up.

Written by Trevor Rabin and Chris Squire, Life Me Up was released as Unions first single, and did a super job charting. Was performed nightly on the Yes Union Tour. It's lyrical content to be about homelessness, but also containing random words found in the dictionary. Is nowadays regarded in the Yes fan base with high esteem and often placed on lists of fans favorite YesSongs. Mr. Rabin has since it's release been quoted as saying when heard, the song makes him cringe. Not the actual music, but it's mix. Trevor said the original in which he did, was much better. Ends up Clive Davis (Arista Records) didn't like that, nor another Trevor done. So they hired out, and according to Rabin, no fault to the man who did the final work. It's just that no one (from or at Arista Records) ever gave him an idea of what was wanted. As a co-writer and musician on the song, Mr Rabin is certainly worthy of giving an opinion. Uncle G can't comment since I only heard the one studio version that is on the officially released Union album.

Gary Brown
American Corespondent for Classic Rock Radio Dot EU

You can read about Trevor Rabin's version of events surrounding the Union album along with Bill Bruford's illuminating account of the Union period in the book Time And A Word: The Yes Interviews by Jon Kirkman. Available only on line here

You can also watch a short film about the book here:

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