Tuesday, April 30, 1991

The Williams Brothers self-titled album released

The Williams Brothers

The Williams Brothers

Released: April 30, 1991

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: folk rock/adult alternative


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. People Are People [4:19]
  2. Strings [0:11]
  3. Can’t Cry Hard Enough(Etzioni/D. Williams) [3:12] (10/3/91, 42 US, 39 CB, 24 RR, 11 AC, 43 CN)
  4. Happy Man [4:03]
  5. It’s a Wonderful Life [3:42] (6/25/92, --)
  6. Miss This World (Etzioni) [2:53]
  7. Give It All Up for You (A. Williams/D. Williams/V. Williams) [3:38]
  8. The Family Room [4:47]
  9. Shimmering (Etzioni/A.Williams/D. Williams) [3:58]
  10. The Big Machine (Stewart/A. Williams) [4:23]
  11. Everybody Gets a Second Chance [4:48]

Songs written by Andrew and David Williams unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 39:54


4.190 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Unfortunately for the Williams brothers, they are more likely to be known, if remembered at all, as the nephews of famous singer Andy Williams. They might even be remembered for their guest appearance on an episode of The Partridge Family or their subsequent minor success as teen idols.

That’s a shame, because this album clearly separated the twins from the crooning style of their uncle as well as the teen idol pop they tried to create in the ‘70s. Their self-titled sophomore album is marked by “acoustic guitar, light rock-based tunes featuring smooth harmonies, uncluttered instrumentation, and thought-provoking lyricism.” AMG

The duo mined a similar territory as the likes of fellow underrated acts like Crowded House, but unlike that band, couldn’t even eke out a top 40 pop hit in their recording career despite having every bit as much pop sensibility. The closest the brothers came was the achingly beautiful Can't Cry Hard Enough, which stalled at #42.

It’s hard to understand why songs like the bouncy It’s a Wonderful Life or the lovely Miss This World couldn’t find an audience with adults seeking out songs with well-crafted pop hooks that weren’t being played to the point of exhaustion for the teen market. Chalk it up to marketing and being at the right place at the right time.

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First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 9/3/2021.

Yes Union released



Released: April 30, 1991

Peak: 15 US, 7 UK, 15 CN

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: progressive rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. I Would Have Waited Forever (Anderson, Howe, Jonathan Elias) [6:32] (8/24/91, 49 AR)
  2. Shock to the System (Anderson, Howe, Elias) [5:08]
  3. Masquerade (Howe) [2:16]
  4. Lift Me Up (Rabin, Squire) [6:29] (4/20/91, 86 US, 1 AR)
  5. Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day (Anderson, Elias) [5:16]
  6. Saving My Heart (Rabin) [4:38] (6/22/91, 9 AR)
  7. Miracle of Life (Rabin, Mark Mancina) [7:30]
  8. Silent Talking (Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, Elias) [3:57]
  9. The More We Live – Let Go (Squire, Billy Sherwood) [4:53]
  10. Angkor Wat (Anderson, Wakeman, Elias) [5:23]
  11. Dangerous (Look in the Light of What You’re Searching For) (Anderson, Elias) [3:37]
  12. Holding On (Anderson, Elias, Howe) [5:23]
  13. Evensong (Tony Levin, Bruford) [0:50]
  14. Take the Water to the Mountain (Anderson) [3:08]

Total Running Time: 59:37

The Players:

  • Jon Anderson (vocals, production)
  • Bill Bruford (drums)
  • Rick Wakeman (keyboards)
  • Steve Howe (guitar)
  • Trevor Rabin (guitar, keyboards)
  • Chris Squire (bass)
  • Alan White (drums, percussion)
  • Tony Kaye (keyboards)


2.509 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

About the Album:

In 1983, Yes enjoyed a career revitalization with 90125, an album featuring Trevor Rabin along with Yes alums Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Alan White, and Tony Kaye. By decade’s end, Anderson tired of the more commercial fare and reunited with Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford – the lineup from Yes’ classic early ‘70s years. Without rights to the Yes name, the foursome released a self-titled album under the name Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe.

The quartet launched work on a second album in 1990. At the same time, the Rabin-led version of Yes was heading back to the studio as well. “Bowing to record company pressure…Squire and Anderson came up with the idea of merging both projects, which resulted in the 1991 album Union.” WK “This was an album that couldn’t possibly have met the expectations inherent in the array of talent involved. The material is reasonably solid, and under ordinary circumstances this album would have been considered just fine, if not exceptional.” BE

It wasn’t really a collaborative effort, but a merger of the two separate projects. It is largely a second ABWH album with four cuts from the Rabin lineup mixed in. As for those four cuts, “The More We Live was the product of a new writing partnership between Chris Squire and Billy Sherwood, who had briefly been considered as replacement for Jon Anderson in the Rabin-led version of Yes. The song featured extensive (but uncredited) vocal and instrumental contributions from Sherwood.” WK

Two other Squire/Sherwood pieces, “Say Goodbye” and “Love Conquers All,” were demoed for the album but were not used. “The former appeared in a re-recorded version on the second World Trade album, and the latter was on Yesyears. Both original demos are on the first Conspiracy album by Squire/Sherwood.” WK

The most prominent song from this lineup was the “Trevor Rabin/Chris Squire-composed Lift Me Up [which] seems a forced exercise in heaviness.” BE It did, however, give the album its most successful song, landing on top of the album rock chart.

That song, “Saving My Heart and Miracle of Life were largely demos: Rabin had been planning to record them properly and was taken by surprise that they were used as they were (with vocals from Anderson added).” WK

Meanwhile, ABWH had collected demos for an album that was to be called Dialogue. “The only surviving piece to make it onto Union was Take the Water to the Mountain. Both the main riff of I Would Have Waited Forever and the 9/4 riff in Silent Talking can be heard on Steve Howe’s solo album Turbulence, released about the same time.” WK

Masquerade was a solo piece Howe had recorded some time before, included at the last minute when the record company requested a solo guitar piece from him.” WK It is “one of the most beautiful classical guitar showcases of his Yes career” BE and “earned the album a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance.” WK

Among the ABWH material, “I Would Have Waited Forever shows off the group’s vocalizing (by Chris Squire and Jon Anderson) at its most melodic.” BE while Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day “seems more like a composed-by-numbers piece than a truly inspired song.” BEEvensong was a version of Bruford and session bassist Tony Levin’s duet from the ABWH tour.” WK

None of the material here would rate alongside the better (forget the best) tracks from any of the group's 1971-1974 albums. Perhaps the defects revealed the real purpose of this album, which wasn’t so much to make a definitive statement by any of the participants, but rather to show the flag of the reunited band, which it did.” BE

The album “was supported by a massive tour that filled arenas with at least two generations of fans.” BE Both the fans and the band praised it as one of Yes’ best tours. WK The album was the last studio effort by Yes to go gold, but was “not as well-received” WK as previous albums from the band. Union marked the final Yes album to feature Bill Bruford as the group returned to the Rabin-led lineup. However, Howe and Wakeman would return to the fold in 1996.

Notes: The European edition of the album also included “Give & Take,” which was the B-side of “Lift Me Up.”

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First posted 6/7/2011; updated 7/25/2021.

Monday, April 8, 1991

Simple Mind’s Real Life released

First posted 10/10/2020.

Real Life

Simple Minds

Released: April 8, 1991

Peak: 74 US, 2 UK, -- CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.3 UK, 0.95 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alternative rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Real Life (10/26/91, 34 UK)
  2. See the Lights (3/23/91, 40 US, 10 AR, 12 MR, 20 UK, 10 CN, 10 AU)
  3. Let There Be Love (3/23/91, 6 UK, 15 AU)
  4. Woman
  5. Stand by Love (6/22/91, 42 AR, 4 MR, 13 UK, 70 AU)
  6. Let the Children Speak
  7. African Skies
  8. Ghostrider
  9. Banging on the Door (intro)
  10. Banging on the Door
  11. Travelling Man
  12. Rivers of Ice
  13. When Two Worlds Collide

Total Running Time: 52:15

The Players:

  • Jim Kerr (vocals)
  • Charlie Burchill (guiar, keyboards)
  • Mel Gaynor (drums)


2.999 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


About the Album:

Simple Minds brokethrough in the American market in 1985, thanks to the #1 hit “Don’t You Forget About Me.” The follow-up album, Once Upon a Time, hit the top 10, but then the band went back to relative obscurity, peaking at #70 with 1989’s Street Fighting Years and at #74 with 1991’s Real Life.

Simple Minds – now officially a trio after the departure of keyboardist and founding member Mick MacNeil – maintained success in the UK, peaking at #2 with the album and landing four top-40 singles in the UK. The lead single, Let There Be Love, reached #6 while in the U.S. the first single was See the Lights. It did squeak into the top-40, but found greater success on the modern rock (#1) and album rock charts (#10). “The catchy” AMG Stand by Love was also a top-5 hit on the modern rock charts and reached #13 in the UK.

Some of the songs were reworked version of previous material. Let the Children Speak was based on “Theme for Great Cities” from 1981’s Sister Feelings Call. WK Travelling Man shared similarities to “Waterfront” from 1983’s Sparkle in the Rain. WK Similarly, When Two Worlds Collide is based on the title track. WK

From a critical standpoint, All Music Guide’s Alex Henderson noted “how much less inspired their writing had become by the early ‘90s. Though some of the songs are decent…the majority of them aren’t very memorable.” AMG “Casual listeners would be much better off sticking to the band's mid-‘80s work.” AMG While Real Life wasn’t terrible, it didn’t compare to the band’s trio of strong albums from 1982-85: New Gold Dream, Sparkle in the Rain, and Once Upon a Time. AMG

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