Bill Bruford Says Yes’ ‘Union’ Was Hijacked And Made Under False Pretenses

Former Yes drummer Bill Bruford recently spoke to Classic Album Review and shared his opinions on one of the band’s albums. According to the famous musician, the ‘Union’ album was a massive disappointment for him.

Bruford was one of Yes’ founding members, along with Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Peter Banks, and Tony Kaye, but later, the band became very famous for their lineup changes. The drummer left the band in 1972 to join King Crimson. However, it wasn’t his last time working with Yes members. He and some former members decided to come together for a different Yes project.

Eight musicians, including the band named Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and current Yes members Squire, Kaye, Rabin, and White, started to work on the band’s new record. The recording sessions and creation process were challenging, considering the artists had very different styles and tastes. The problematic relationships between them and the production team’s bringing other session musicians caused many crises.

Finally, Yes released their thirteenth studio album entitled ‘Union’ on April 30, 1991, and Bruford revealed that the record was ‘hijacked’ and created in a very wrong way. Every part of it was auto-corrected, and it was a project made by a computer after all of these interventions that led ‘Union’ to lose its natural and unique sides. Compared to the band’s other classics, the drummer highlighted that listening to it is impossible.

Bruford stated in his interview that:

“Well, I didn’t think, along with my friend Rick Wakeman, I didn’t think much of ‘Union’ by Yes because it was hijacked and made under false pretenses. There was a human being in there somewhere, but mostly it was so computerized to death. It was like processed cheese that was more processed than the cheese could stand.

The album was processed to within an inch of its life. Everything’s been auto-corrected; everything’s been covered in huge amounts of echo governance. I suppose you listen back and think, ‘I can’t just really listen to this, just doesn’t seem like any Yes that I’ve ever come across.'”

You can watch the interview below.