Released by Gonzo Media (HST006CD)
This release is exclusively available from Gonzo Media
This is a 3 disc set 2CD/1DVD and documents the band's 24 Oct, 1989 concert in it's entirety at the Birmingham N.E.C.
Also on the DVD is a short film called ABWH-Off The Wall by Julian Colbeck.
In 1989, when I learned that ABWH were putting out their first (and only) studio album, I was really excited, since I was not very keen on the commercial move made by Yes a few years earlier. Because of my very high expectations, the CD was somewhat of a disappointement (mostly because of the electronic 80's style keyboards and drums) but still very good, even more if you compare it to the Yes Union album that came a few years later.
A tour followed, that was well documented on CD and video, with Jeff Berlin (an excellent musician) replacing Tony Levin on bass.
Now, more than 20 years later, we get another double album from the same tour with just about the same setlist. Why? I can find three reasons.
Firstly, the bass player is Tony Levin instead of Jeff Berlin. Perhaps some well musically trained listeners will notice the difference, but not me.
Secondly, there is a bonus DVD of backstage activity of mostly unknown people talking and even sleeping, and of bored members of the band trying not to look bored because they are being filmed. There is also about ten minutes of some of the band members checking their equipement or tuning their instruments and, finally, snippets of the live show, filmed and recorded at a bad bootleg quality level. All this lasts about 30 minutes, but it felt like 2 hours to me.
Thirdly, I feel that the Yes people have been recently putting out loads of "not so interesting" stuff (not including their very good studio album of last year), probably for making extra bucks while the band is still active, and this latest product is part of that. I don't mind people trying to make some money but this is stretching it a bit.
In conclusion, if you don't already own the previous 2CD version of a live ABWH show, well this is a nice product to pick up, if the price is not too high. The DVD. in my opinion, is a waste of good plastic, but could possibly interest the die hard Yes or Tony Levin completist... but don't expect much.