Picks and Pans Review: Union

updated 08/26/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1991 01:00AM

Yes

Call it a leather-collar crime.

Here's the offense: A "supergroup" from days gone by decides to put out a record full of the aural equivalent of butterscotch pudding. Then, these mastodons of rock take to the road and milk all the marquee value they can out of their presumably prelegendary names. And, at least in Yes's case, an inexplicable, imponderable thing occurs: People start filing into the arenas like zombies from Night of the Living Dead.

This is Foreigner's first record in four years (stop the presses!), and Kentuckian Johnny Edwards has replaced Lou Gramm at the mike (on second thought, keep 'em rolling).

As to Yes, members from the band's various past lineups have joined forces after two years of legal squabbling over use of the Yes name.

So what's left to talk about? Well, band leader Mick Jones gives us no reason to remember the old days of Foreigner. Most of his songs are connect-the-dot rock numbers.

Yes, on the other hand, sounds like they weren't even in the same studio together. And most of the time, they weren't. See, Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe were doing their own album. Meanwhile Chris Squire, Alan White, Tony Kaye and Trevor Rabin had been laying down tracks for another album. Rabin was into a solo project and...oh, forget it. The details, like the music, overdub themselves numbingly. (Foreigner, Atlantic; Yes, Arista)

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