Where are they now? - Yes
and projects with multiple Yesmen
This page last updated: 20 Sep 2018
On this page—Yes: Fly from Here - Return Trip - Next album - Cruise to the Edge - Fan conventions - On tour - Live releases - Steven Wilson remixes - Covers of Yes songs - Documentaries & books
Projects involving multiple Yes men: Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman -
CIRCA: (Sherwood, Kaye) - Mabel
Greer's Toyshop - Chris Squire tribute album
There are currently two rival bands with the "Yes" name.
|Yes, sometimes called official Yes, consists
of long-time Yes members, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer
Alan White. They are joined by keyboardist Geoff Downes
(also of Asia
Buggles), who first joined Yes in 1980 and re-joined
in 2011; vocalist Jon Davison, who joined in 2012; and Billy
Sherwood, who has been working with the band sporadically
since the beginning of the '90s.
More news about them is covered below this introductory box: click here.
|Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman,
sometimes abbreviated to YfARW or ARW, and previously just
called Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman, consists of long-time
Yes vocalist Jon Anderson; Rick Wakeman, who has been in and
out of Yes since 1971; and Trevor Rabin, guitarist for much
of the '80s and '90s. They are joined by Lou Molino on drums
and (usually) Lee Pomeroy on bass.
More news about them is covered on their own page: click here.
|How did this come about?
|What is sometimes
called the 'classic' line-up of Yes—Jon Anderson, Chris
Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Rick Wakeman—re-formed in
late 1995. Although Wakeman left around late 1996, the other
four kept working together and Wakeman rejoined in 2002.
However, there were tensions within the band, particularly
between Anderson and Squire. There have also been recurring
tensions between Anderson and Howe going back decades.
The band then went on an extended hiatus in late 2004: while Squire, Howe and White wanted to continue, Anderson called for a pause. Anderson and Wakeman embarked on work as a duo and Anderson also began working with Rabin. Yes's hiatus continued until discussions in 2007 for the band to return to activity in 2008. An agreement was reached between Anderson, Squire, Howe and White, although interpersonal relations appear to have remained strained. Wakeman opted out of plans, recommending his son Oliver Wakeman in his stead. However, Anderson was then hit by multiple significant health problems in 2008 and the tour had to be cancelled.
|The others continued without Anderson,
touring later in 2008 with a line-up of Squire, Howe, White,
O Wakeman and new vocalist Benoît David. They initially
toured as "Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes",
but had reverted to the "Yes" name by 2009. This band has
continued to work as Yes ever since, although O Wakeman was
replaced by Downes, and David by Jon Davison. Most recently,
Chris Squire became ill with cancer: he asked Sherwood to
fill in for him during treatment, but he then passed away.
This Yes appears to have approached both Rabin and R Wakeman since 2008 and asked them to re-join, but both refused.
|Anderson and R Wakeman were both critical in
interviews of Squire, Howe and White continuing on without
them. Anderson had some sporadic contact with Squire about
the possibility of a reunion, but nothing came of it. Rabin
remained close to Squire and guested with Yes at the encore
of a 2010 show.
Early in 2010, Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin announced they were getting together for a project that would be playing Yes material live, but which was not to be called Yes. The project moved slowly, with no substantial progress until late 2015. Squire's passing spurred the three to commit to activity. The band started touring in October 2016 as "Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman". In early 2017, they started to use the name "Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman" in adverts for European touring (see here). They formally announced the new name in April 2017.
can two bands both have rights to the name?
|There are multiple
rights at play, but key is a trademark that is co-owned by
Jon Anderson and Alan White. This allows Anderson to call
his band "Yes featuring...", although that does not stop the
other band remaining as "Yes". There appears to be a
stalemate between the two bands, rather than a negotiated
agreement, with tensions high. More discussion is here. Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin still
often refer to their band as "ARW" when discussing the band.
Wakeman has said they shouldn't have changed their name.
there be a new Union, like in the early '90s?
|Both bands have
strongly denied any plans for a reunion. Individual members
have also dismissed the idea. Rabin has said he has
"personally no interest" in a reunion. Wakeman has said, "Do
I ever see a rapprochement? Absolutely not." There are
similar comments from Howe. More discussion is here.
happened at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction?
Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Kaye, Howe, Wakeman, White and
Rabin—were inducted into the Hall of Fame in April 2017 (see here). Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, White
and Rabin performed two songs on stage together. Tensions
between the different band members were palpable.
|Yes news YesWorld; official
SoundCloud; official MySpace;
Yes are Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood, with Jay Schellen (ex-CIRCA:, ex-Asia, ex-World Trade, Dukes of the Orient) supporting on tour. Tony Kaye also joined the band for most 2018 touring in celebration of the band's 50th anniversary. As for the quesiton of whether Kaye will be involved beyond this tour, Howe said in a Jul 2018 interview, "We're not projecting any further involvement, but you never know, there might be something more we do." He was subsequently announced as joining the band on the 2019 Cruise to the Edge. Touring also continues in 2019. There are plans for Patrick Moraz to tour with the band in 2019. Trevor Horn guested on a 3 European dates and he and Moraz guested on 2 US dates. Meanwhile, Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman are working together as "Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman": they are covered here ( and see more on the names issue here).
Schellen filled in for White on the band's 2016 US summer tour while White was recovering from back problems and an operation for a herniated disc. White then returned to the band for Nov 2016 Japanese dates, but Schellen played the bulk of the shows on his own. Schellen remained with the band through their Feb 2017 touring, with White playing more of the set. The band then announced a dual drummer format for summer touring, with Dylan Howe (Steve's son; Steve Howe Trio, Wilko Johnson Band, ex-The Blockheads) as the second drummer instead: White and D Howe each played part of the set alone, and part was together. Around Nov 2017, Sherwood and Downes separately suggested the next touring would just be with White, but White had further health problems and said on 2 Feb that, "The wonderful doctors at Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, had in November detected a bacterial infection in my joints that severely limited my mobility [...] I'm making good progress in recovery and looking forward to performing in a limited capacity on the Cruise. Playing drums has been rewarding physical therapy but it will take a little time to build my strength to full capacity. My friend and comrade Jay Schellen will be helping me". See details on White's page.
contrary to what you may have heard, YES has no plans to tour with the guys from ARW next year .In the Jul 2017 issue of Prog, Downes re-iterated that there would be no reunion: "I think that concept has been well and truly discarded by all concerned." ARW have also made clear they have no interest in a union: in the same issue, Wakeman said, "Absolutely not" to the suggestion, with Rabin saying he had "no interest" in the idea. Prog asked Howe about plans for the 50th: Howe demurred on any details, but said, "We have nice plans, moulding the shape of an idea that's a little different. It's important to have heard the fans say what they would like. We've been out there for nine years listening to what Yes fans like." The article also said they were working with Warner (who own Atlantic) on anniversary plans and that the band "will be touring around the world with a special 50th anniversary show."
We do, however, have our own exciting plans to celebrate YES’s 50th Anniversary in 2018, which we will announce this summer during our 2017 YESTIVAL Tour.
Kevin Mulryne: Was that [re-recording the vocals] his idea?On 6 Dec 2016, Kirkman clarified his comments on Facebook: "I just think he [Horn] wanted to see what it sounded like and he did do the original guide vocals on many tracks for Benoit [David] to follow." He also said that, "Benoit is fine about it". (Around Dec 2016, a fan also reported an earlier chance conversation with Jon Davison, who had said that Horn had wanted to re-record Fly from Here with Davison singing.) On 8 Dec, Kirkman described the album thus: "It is the album with new lead vocals [...] so essentially the Drama line up second album. Trevor did all the backing vocals with Chris [Squire] at the time of recording and also did guide vocals for the songs for Benoit [David] to follow. Benoit is still on the album though. The vocals were done in 2016 not 201 [sic]. It sounds great and very much the follow up to Drama". However, Kirkman appears to have heard a work in progress. David does not seem to be on the album at all (but Horn praises him in his notes). A press release for the album explains that Horn began re-recording the lead vocals on the day after he guested live with Yes at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016, "and within 24 hours the rest of the band had joined him at his studio. Additional overdubs by other members have also been added." Horn did further vocal recordings in 2017. In an Apr 2018 interview, he explained, "it turned out it was a bigger job than I thought because they [Yes] asked me to do it all. So I had to take Benoit's voice off everything, replace all his harmonies." Asked about whether he used any of his earlier guide recordings, he replied, "I did a couple of guide vocals [when the album was initially recorded] [...] [but] there was nothing I could keep. So I just sang all of it again." In a radio interview in Mar 2018, Horn describes recording vocals "on and off" over a 2 month period. Horn said of the new release: "I really enjoyed listening to Alan and Chris playing together again. Finishing off the album was a labour of love." In a mid-Mar 2018 interview, Horn said, "Alan pointed out that if I did [sing on the album] then the album would be the same line-up as Drama. An opportunity we'll never get again now that Chris has passed away. So I thought: why not? Because I have to live with the album for the rest of my life, so I might as well re-do it. And as I was doing it, I changed a couple of solos on it, as one always does. Which is fine, because Geoff and I wrote it in the first place, so I didn't have to answer to anybody!" He also said that he hadn't spoken to David about the project.
Kirkman: I don't know [...] he'd done it, he said, 'Well, I've re-recorded all the vocals for Fly from Here. [...] Benoît [David] is still on it [...] [but] I just thought, as a project, it would be nice to do.'
I think something will be coming out on Warners this year that will be a historical view of Yes. That`ll be a nice release for Yes fans. They generally try to get everything that comes out so we`ll make sure it`s something really special.Trevor Horn also mentioned a Warner release. One report from the London Fan Convention (24/5 Mar 2018) had that the Warner retrospective will not include anything new (i.e., not previously released).
I did a compilation for them featuring songs recorded all over the world and picked out all of the best versions of all of the great songs and they turned around and said it was going to cost so much money to get licensing that they wouldn`t be doing it. I wish they`d told me that a few months ago before I`d done all of the work pulling it all together. They said they were just going to put another best of album but we already have several of those. I wanted to do something a bit different but the label just didn`t want to do it which was a shame.So, I think that was implying a release was coming out, but which was not curated by Anderson...?
We are starting to share things and have some plans, but nothing official. There is a lot of interest, but nothing until we internally have that feeling that we are growing the music together. We may put some time aside over the next 6 months to do a little more of that [...] It has to be right, it has to feel right. We have to assemble an outer shell that helps us make the record. It could be exciting, but there are no actual plans or a date or anything like that.In another interview later that month, Howe said:
I’m very good at not making promises that are premature. [...] in a low-key way, we’ve been getting ready to investigate each other’s music. And if that is very productive, then we could have something pretty good. But we have to feel that way about it. We’ve got interest from labels and things like that, but we’re not taking anything on[ ]board until we’ve got the kind of thing we like. [...] It wouldn’t take much time once we got the space.And in a third:
The trouble is, when you’ve got so many albums out that people love, it’s hard making more that they’re gonna love as much. [...] That’s a pretty hard act to follow. Sometimes I felt we shouldn't bother. If we can’t make an album as good as those [it's ambiguous here whether "those" refers to The Yes Album-Tales from Topographic Oceans, or through to Drama], don’t bother. But the other part of me says I make solo albums. I do collaborations. And basically Yes can still make records. We’re not making any promises, but we’re going to look at some stuff after this tour and see how we feel about the music. But you’ve got to be realistic about expectations. [...] The world doesn't move around what Yes’s next album is. It might move around what Coldplay’s next album is or some other band. So I understand that and I think we make albums for our fans. And that’s a pretty good thing.And a fourth had this:
Howe predicts [...] some new Yes music [...] “Later in the year there may be an opportunity [...] where we can be creative. But we haven’t rushed out and accepted a huge advance from a record label because we don’t want to do it like that. We want to have our music lined up a little bit[,] then we’ll look to how we’ll release it and how we’ll do it if we get that far. But there’s no promises, and we haven’t made a commitment to our public or any business concerns that we need to make a record. We love the support we may get, but basically until there’s music to play there’s nothing more to talk about. Individually we’re gathering momentum but that’s about as much as I can say.”In an early Jun 2018 interview, White was asked the same, leading to this exchange:
White: Everybody's got material. We are trying to figure out a plan – probably won't be until possibly next year.Later in Jun 2018, White said, "I think next year […] everybody's got a lot of music ready to record, so next year, we'll put our heads together, come up with something, something new." In a Jul 2018 interview, he again talked of 2019 at the earliest. In a May 2018 interview, asked about new music, Downes said, "Yes, I think it's very important for a band to continue to have a creative output of new material. [...] We're talking about going in the studio in the fall. There are a lot of ideas floating about and hopefully we'll be able to put those to good use and come up with a new album for next year."
Interviewer: How do you approach composing?
White: I create on the piano. I have a little stockpile of ideas. I come up with ideas and beats and chord sequences. I'm not much for writing lyrics and melodies. I like writing chords and structure.
We hope to start working on new songs later in the year. I think that we`ll approach it in a slightly different way this time as I think we didn`t really have the strength of material for an album at that point [Heaven & Earth] and I`m not blaming anyone for that. If we do another album we`ll be conscious that we have great material that`ll be another point in the history of Yes.In another interview from the same period, he said, "We're hoping to do some new YES material. We've been a bit preoccupied with the 50th anniversary, but there's time for a new YES album pretty soon. It's important that we present new music." While in a Feb 2018 interview, he said, "We're hoping to do some new Yes material[.] We've been a bit preoccupied with the 50th anniversary, but there's time for a new Yes album pretty soon. It's important we present new music." In an Oct 2017 interview, Howe also hinted at a new album: "As to new music coming from the band? well, you never can tell..." And in a Dec 2017 interview, Howe said, "We've got an interim period where we're going to be fairly secretive about what we're up to[.] Maybe we're building up repertoire for a future project, but we can't say. We've got ideas, but I can't say more than this right now." In a late Dec 2017 interview of his own, Sherwood said of the band's 2018 touring, "hopefully along the way, there will be a spark and we'll start looking at making a new album, which I would never be opposed to." Asked about new material in a mid-Mar 2018 interview, Sherwood said, "I would be happy to do a new album. I think enough time has passed now that it's not disrespectful to Chris [Squire] and I know that Chris would have wished us to continue. We could make a new album now, and it would be a positive thing." In the Oct 2017 issue of Prog, Downes said, "We've talked about it [a new studio album], but we've been pretty much flat-out on the road for the last year or two[.] We are hoping to get something out at some point next year  as a 50th anniversary edition."
We`ll be spending a lot of time out on the road but we will be fitting in some writing at some point too. We`ll be in The States in June and July so after that we`ll work on some new Yes material
when we came together [...] we would sort of try to, er, combine the ideas, expand the ideas [...] especially Geoff and I, we had a big prog piece, but unfortunately we didn't have time to finish it, so that'll probably be on the next album, and we've got a bunch of extra material too that just didn't make it because of, we had sufficient time for this album and things were just left undone [...] due to lack of time.In the Jul 2014 issue of Prog, Howe, Squire and White all confessed to no knowledge of the piece, but Downes said: "We started it initially in a studio in Phoenix with Chris and Alan — we spent time jamming it and I compiled various section. [...] when Jon came to Wales [...] we worked on it some more [and on "Subway Walls"] [...] we just didn't have time to put it together for the record. It doesn't have a title [...] It comprises about seven or eight different styles of music and is extremely progressive. It has the potential to be a Close to the Edge-style track in terms of landscape and duration, or a Fly from Here. I've got the original demo and I hope to develop it at some point." In a Jun 2018 interview, without mentioning whether it would be on a new album, Downes described the track:
Jon [Davison] came over to my studio in Wales before we started going in the recording [of Heaven & Earth]. And we actually wrote two lengthy tracks, one of which was “Subway Walls” and the other one is still, as it stands unrecorded, but we did a substantial demo of it. And they are both, you know, 10 minute kind of tracks. And I think it was a great way that we worked together on that, because we literally had some different ideas and they just came together, and we put the whole thing together like that.In a Jun 2014 interview with Jon Kirkman, Squire said, "I think some of that [...] longer track [...] is actually used in "Subway Walls" [...] On the other hand, [...] Geoff and Alan both came to Phoenix [...] in November [...] and we went in the studio there and did some instrumental stuff [...] that we thought would be part of a bigger piece, but that didn't actually get used on the album just because we drew a line [...] I'm sure they'll re-surface in the future." In a May 2014 interview with Aymeric Leroy, Downes also described the piece and speculated it could be on the next album. Davison said to a fan after the band's 9 Jul 2014 show that the band "are working" on the piece and that they hope to make it the "centrepiece" of a follow-up album. While most consistently referred to as "Horizons", a rumour early in 2015 had it with a working title of "Pyramids" (with the album to be named the same) and to be ~18 minutes long. (Prior rumour had suggested that further material left off Heaven & Earth was receiving some attention from the band for a next album, with several pieces indicated. As well as "Horizons" and "Breaking Down on Easy Street", also mentioned had been: "From the Moment" or "To the Moment" (possibly by Howe); "Midnight" (possibly originally from Squire/White); and "Don't Take No for an Answer" (which ended up included on Return Trip). There was also reported to be a Howe/Davison piece and a Squire/Downes/Davison piece. Downes described one piece as having a "Tempus Fugit" feel, although which he meant is unclear.)
Everybody has ideas and develops songs. Once you get the basic idea for a song, it tends to take hold and then everybody contributes different pieces of music and certain lyrics and things like that. Things are tossed around quite a bit while we’re creating it. It’s something that just sort of falls together because of the people in the band.But Howe in comments on the Cruise to the Edge 2017 was more reticent and seemed to suggest there were no immediate plans. Asked about the possibility of a new album on Twitter, Downes said 3 Mar, "Next year  would be good, 50th Anniversary and all that. Let's see..." It appears White's back problems may have introduced some delay. In a late Mar 2017 Q&A, White said:
Usually the demos are a one person kind of thing. But when you throw it out there, everybody’s creative juices get involved.
I have many ideas for music. A lot of the stuff I write is in collaboration with other artists including the members of YES. [...] I have things in my mind and demos I’ve recorded. I have a couple of songs that I did with Chris that we’re never released that I was thinking about reviving. It’s an excellent piece of music. Chris came up with certain chords and I wrote the melody. So, I’ve got some interesting stuff like that around. [...] in the back of my mind I have some music hanging around that I want to eventually record. I’m also getting new musical ideas all the time.Asked specifically about when Yes will do another album, he answered:
We all have it in our minds to record another album but it’s a question of trying to find time to get back into studio together. Geoff Downes is on tour with Asia for a few weeks this summer and YES will also be on the road in August & September playing about 30 shows. It’s quite possible we’ll be touring later in the year  as well, so trying to please everyone, it will realistically be 2018 before we can block out enough time to do this. We all continue to write even when we’re doing other things like touring.In his late Mar 2017 Q&A, Howe was also asked about doing a new album:
This is asked quite often. We like the fact that people anticipate and enjoy new music. Much of our focus admittedly is on the great pieces from the 70s and around that era. So we take it slow.Rumours had suggested plans for some sort of album work in Feb 2017 if White was fully recovered, but he wasn't and nothing significant appears to have happened then. (A Nov 2016 report had the band planning to go into the studio in Feb 2017 if White has fully recovered, or later otherwise, with a working title for the album of Dreams of Your Mind. An Aug 2016 report had that Howe, Sherwood and Davison have been writing together, with Feb 2017 as a possible time for joint writing sessions. A Sep 2016 report from a different source also had principally Howe, Sherwood and Davison writing together, with Downes also contributing, and said that material was coming together.)
I tried to slow down ‘Heaven & Earth’, because I thought maybe we could refine it. But we’ve gotta get some material that we think is really worthy of doing this, first of all, and that’s gonna take a bit more writing and a bit more collaboration.
And there’s every chance that Jon Davison and I will do some more writing like we did on ‘Heaven & Earth’. YES albums are all about collaboration. Not only in the writing, but also in the arrangements because the skill of the great records in the 70s was definitely that we arranged the hell out of something that was really quite innocent. We’d drum it up to be something. And I think that allowed the musicianship and the ideas to flow.
Well, kind of. Officially, we’re kind of moving slowly looking at new material. I’m one of the guys who’s most reluctant to start any kind of rush forward because I’ve been writing and Jon [Davison] has been writing. I’d be very surprised if Billy hasn’t been writing. There’s obviously going to be a pause to look at, at some point, but I think we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves pretty much all year. Maybe it’s a thing we’ll do after our cruise next year in February . We may, but that’s only just a “may” because we still need to be sure about what we’re doing now.In an Aug 2016 interview, Davison talked of writing new material while touring: "I identify and get inspired by being a musician on the road. [...] I find that I get a newfound zeal when we're on tour [...] I'm always jotting down lyrics on tour." He then continued:
[...] You don’t book a record until you know what you’re going to play. With everybody’s demoing the possibilities are endless, but that’s actually part of the problem too, because we’re all very smart-assed people, you know. It is like, “Here’s a track, it’s me, it sounds like a band but it’s me.”
We do that, but actually true Yes records are written with fragments. Keys to Ascension was a good example of that. We didn’t come in and play anybody’s song. We actually kind of did the rehearsal thing and wrote together and that’s very trying and we’re all long in the tooth about that, but that’s one of the best ways to generate what we can call Yes. They are more of a collaborative record, but they take a long time and maybe that’s why we ought to take a long time.
we’ve just gotten to know each other better and the dynamic is more diverse. What I learned from doing Heaven and Earth is that we need to allow ourselves more time as a band. We kind of rushed into the studio to do Heaven and Earth because we were so busy touring [...] so people brought in their own ideas and said “Hey, here’s my idea, let’s work this up as a band and take your idea and work it up.” I’d rather take time to write our material as a group. I think that’s what Yes did in its best moments and that’s what I’d like to carry on doing, if possible.An Aug 2016 interview with Downes had this exchange:
Interviewer: There was a talk of an unfinished longer song with Jon Davison. [see below]In another Aug 2016 interview, Downes said creating new material is "important for any band's longevity". He also described songwriting in Yes as "very much more cooperative, more of a group effort" than his songwriting with Wetton in Asia. While another Aug 2016 interview, this time with Howe, described the band as "not yet planning new material", waiting for White to record and, as Howe said, to make sure "we've got the right kind of music and mindset to do something". In a Jun 2016 interview, Howe was asked about doing a new album: "we have tremendous interest from labels and people [...] we're certainly not saying we'll never do it, but [...] there are a few criteria that Yes should hit. There's no obligation that we do make another record, but there's no reason why we shouldn't. [...] if we're going to, we've got to decide what kind of record it is, because, obviously, something like Close to the Edge is really worth making, y'know, Close to the Edge 2, but it wouldn't be if it was a pastiche of Close to the Edge, but if it was something as inventive as that. It takes a very inventive band, takes a lot of skilled engineering and production and, and we most probably have some of those [...] strengths available, but [...] it's about getting there, um, and it's about making the decision when we do this [...] [F]irst and foremost it's about having some exceptional songs and [...] that is the make-or-break-it [...] [W]e've got to hit some pretty big bars to get another record, but certainly we love the interest, but we're certainly not going to rush anything. So, therefore, if you wait, you'll find out the answer. [chuckles]" The interviewer then asked whether it "becomes impossible" to make a better album than your previous works after a long and successful career. Howe replied by saying he felt he was still developing as a "guitarist individually", and then said: "[W]hat it would take is that internal creativity again [...] I don't think you're ever too old to do this, but how you get picky enough, and how you get clever enough to realise... honest enough, most probably, to, to really collaborate, that's a skill... that might be something that you're more prepared to do when your 20 or 30 and less prepared to do when you're 60 or 70. [smiling] So, I can't deny those things play in. But I don't think they're actually an obstacle. They could be an ingredient that you've got to work round".
Downes: Yes that’s still there, it’s not completely on the back burner.
Interviewer: So is new YES music maybe in the plans for next year ?
Downes: I hope so yes, I think it’s always good to do new music, it enables the touring to have a different angle, I mean we’ve been doing The Album Series for a while now but when you have a new album out it’s always nice to throw in a couple of the songs. [...] it not only keeps the fans interested I think, but it shows that we’re not just prepared to sit back and play the part, we always think about the future.
There are no plans, no, no. We don't have plans to do that. We have offers. We have other people wanting us to do it. Er, we're always being encouraged if you like, but when a band is ready to make a record — and we weren't necessarily when we made Heaven & Earth — when a band is ready to make a record, it knows and it has the audacity and the confidence to know that it's doing something really great and I think that's a calling that I'm prepared to wait for. But as members collaborate a little, they might get an idea, they like this song [...] but when you look at an album, it should be about 30 to 40 to 50 minutes long, so you need a few songs, y'know, and the standard and the excellence they should be at if you're going to honour what we've done beforeA Mar 2016 interview raises the possibility Howe is working on material that could go towards a new Yes album. The text reads: "he's continually writing and recording ideas, any one of which might possibly end up on the follow-up to 2011's Time [...] or perhaps as part of a new track for Yes. "I think it is a need that I have, a need to invent music in order to feel that I am a guitarist…"" In an Apr 2016 interview, published in Dutch, Howe had this on the topic:
Het maken van albums is trouwens helemaal niet zo spannend als het lijkt te zijn. Doe dus maar geen moeite om me te vragen of we een nieuw album gaan doen, dat zien we dan wel weer. Als we een paar dingen kunnen vinden, de juiste nummers, de juiste arrangementen en de goede locatie voor de opname, maar ook een producer die bij ons past en die er om de juiste reden is. Maar daar zijn we mijlenver van verwijderd, weet je, we hebben absoluut geen haast. We hebben sowieso geen tijd op dit moment om er te veel over na te denken. Jon [Davison] en ik zijn gewoon doorgegaan met schrijven, dat is normaal. Hij is bijna altijd aan het schrijven. Maar om uit te zoeken welke richting we uitgaan, dat is nog helemaal niet aan de orde.That is, Howe and Davison are continuing to write material and Howe says he loves making new music, and the band may do a new album if they find the right material that meets the standard and the right producer, but they are a long way from doing so and not in any hurry.
ik kan niet veel meer toevoegen dan op een andere manier te zeggen dat als we materiaal kunnen vinden dat aan de norm voldoet, dat we dan misschien iets hebben om over te praten. Maar ik hou van het maken van nieuwe muziek en men zou verwachten dat het heel makkelijk is om dat te doen met Yes, maar dat is het niet, weet je, het is een groot project, het is een verantwoordelijkheid. Maar er is veel interesse dus we hoeven niet ongerust te zijn.
I’m always into making new music [...] That said, YES runs at its own pace. I’m not trying to come into this situation and jump into the front seat and grab the wheel, I’m very much a team player when in bands, A team member with strong opinions musically but never the less, part of a team working as one. That said.. with regards to YES I’m along for the ride right now, so if that vehicle starts heading towards a new album, I’m obviously extremely happy and excited to contribute and do whatever the band would like me to do with it and I have a ton of ideas about things that could go on and how to do things differently while maintaining the essence of that core YES feeling. [...] I’d love to make a new YES album and I’m ready willing and able at a moments notice to do so. On a personal note…. I believe in the band so much so that I could see a huge renaissance if you will by making a great new exciting fresh YES record and then touring that record.In May 2016, in comments to a fan during the band's European tour, Sherwood indicated that a new album was inevitable, but that it was still early days.
I think it’s a possibility. I think much of this is kind of an early situation that we have not yet managed to look at.In an Aug 2015 interview, Howe was asked about plans for a new album. He replied:
I really can't comment on that. We're not wholly sure. [...] we're not interested in doing it very soon. The last record was quite difficult and we have to learn from that. It could be years in the pipeline. It certainly would be a huge mistake to make some quick record and put it out [...] because we've got something really tricky to live up to, it's called things like "Close To The Edge" [...] I would say [...] we better not do the wrong thing. Therefore, to do nothing is a lot safer ground, to move along slowly, until we know a bit more.In another Aug 2015 interview, Sherwood revealed that, around May 2015, before learning of Squire's ill health, he met Squire, who asked him, in the words of the article, "to take an active role in a planned Yes studio album". Sherwood said: "These were the things we were speaking about - making a great new album and trying to revive Yes on a level that would mean something to the world in a big, big way." It appears Sherwood was to have produced. Another Aug 2015 interview with Sherwood has more on those plans and the future:
That’s the beauty of Yes, [i]t doesn’t relent [...] A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me and I kept telling him, ‘Yeah, I understand that but we[']re going forward with you in it. I’ll produce it. But you’re going to be the guy playing on it.[’] He kept telling me, ‘No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that’s something you want to do.’ And I have to keep making music. It’s just what I do. [...] I’m a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music.In an Oct 2015 interview, Sherwood said:
I honestly have no idea what Yes plans to do for the future. I know I’m all about wanting to move things forward with new music [...] That said, I’m merely a traveler on this journey and so we shall see where the future takes us, once we get there. I’m never at a shortage for creativity and the desire to push things forward — and, of course, Yes moves as its own pace.In an interview for the Jan 2016 issue of Prog, he said, "And making a new record? Yes has always moved at its own pace, so we'll have to see where that goes." He sounded more definite in this interview from around Dec 2015: the interviewer says, "I have to assume there's another Yes album in the works." Sherwood replied:
I do too; and with that we’ll just see where this goes. But I don’t think Yes is done producing new music. I am known for being one who pushes forward with new music and the band wants to, I’m sure, move forward too. It’s just a matter of the timing and when. [...] with Chris’ passing it’s very fresh for everybody so it’s not necessarily a topic going on right now. But the evolution of Yes is always about new music. It’s not just about touring. [...] I would love to make a statement with this band that shows vitality and forward thrust.Asked in a Mar 2016 interview, Sherwood said:
I'm about making new music, that's what I do. I make a lot of it and so making new music with Yes is something that I'd love to do. That said, Yes runs at its own pace [...] I haven't re-joined the band to become a dictator and set everybody's schedule the way I would like it to be [...] I just go with the flow until we're ready to make new music and at that point, turn the faucet on and let the water flow, so to speak.One of the interviewers then raises Howe's comments saying there are no plans, but speculates that Howe could readily change his mind "when the moment's right". Sherwood responded:
Well, I mean, er, I think that everyone is capable of changing their mind about things depending on the situation, and I know that, y'know, with Chris's passing, it's definitely too soon to be rushing into the studio to make another album. But I think for the band's long-term health and prosperity, the path that we're on right now, just playing live and showing people that it's still alive and well and that this is what Chris wanted, the band wanted, I think doing that and getting around the world and showing people, for the lack of a better phrase, proof of life, will tee up the inevitable next record and it will all come naturally when it comes. But I don't have a problem with people changing their minds about things. [...] Anything's possible [...] had you asked me, do you believe you'll be the bass player in Yes in 2016 next to Steve Howe, y'know, I probably would've said no, because it's no mystery that, y'know, Steve and I have worked closely together and have been [at] odds at times, y'know, I think we've produced some great music through all that and I think that's what Steve really respects the most. He's a man who says what he thinks and I appreciate that because at least you know what you're dealing with, y'know. He's capable of changing his mind, but when he does, that's when things will start changing direction. Again, I think it will all happen naturally.Previously asked about recording plans in a Jan 2015 interview from NAMM 2015, White replied, "we've all got music [...] revolving around all the time. We've just got off the last album right now and [...] so, no, we're just laying back, smelling the roses a bit and then we'll be back at it." In a Nov 2014 YesFANZ interview, asked what he will be doing in the band's downtime until summer 2015, Davison said: "a lot of creative ideas that I want to get down on record – just to record some demos and things and it's a good window of time to get back into the studio and my wife and I have a campervan [...] we can head for the hills, we can go into the forests and I can write there." (However, he did not specify what this writing would be for.) Later in the interview, he specifically talks about Yes's future:
[Heaven & Earth] was done in such a pushed and rushed sort of fashion that we didn’t get to collaborate as much as a collective, there was definitely a one-on-one [...] which was very productive and that was a wonderful experience [...] but what we would like to focus on for the next one is collectively coming together, actually being in one room at the same time and creating the music as a unit. [...] Basically just jamming it out and recording it and piecing it together that way, that would just be great. I think that would give it a whole new roundness and really expand [...] what we could do. [...] I want to have more time to explore as they did in the earlier years and really stretch things and see how far out on a limb we can go and of course you need funding to do that (laughs) …….. so we will see if we can actually make that happen in the practical sense as well.Asked about whether there is a possibility Billy Sherwood would produce a new album, Davison replied, "I would say so. Yeah. Definitely." He also said he would like to work with Horn at some point.
The whole landscape has changed. If everybody who ripped off our album were prepared to give us two months' work of their lives for free, then maybe it would be a very well-balanced situation. [...] They’re taking more than two months – but let’s just whittle it down to two months’ studio work [...] So the reason why we do this has changed a lot. Some people in this band might say that the reason why we do it is because we’re musicians and we’re supposed to make new music. But that’s a bit blind. That’s a little like a mouse saying, ‘I’ll walk across this road even though there’s a cat on the other side.’ [Laughs]
[...] It took me a long time to decide that I would agree to do [Heaven & Earth]. [...] The Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith [...] they make records and they don’t even chart! [...] some of the biggest bands in the world. Yes needs to learn this. [...] [It] is a very, very different scene, and it’s [...] mostly due [...] to the internet. People got the needle about labels making money, but they have to because they have to print, distribute and promote the record, and give us a lousy percentage. Yeah, I could moan about that.
But now we’ve got the situation where people take the music for free [...] it does hurt. It does grieve me that our rights and our copyrights are abused all the time. And yet, we’re stupid enough to go and make another record, which immediately is put on the internet by somebody.
So the inspiration is quite different. I make time, I make my Homebrew series, I’ve done records with Asia – I do things for quite a few different reasons. But when it comes to a high-profile group like Yes… It’s a very complicated question you ask me.
series (with remixes by Steven Wilson)
Panegyric re-released a series of Yes albums: in order, Close to the Edge, The Yes Album, Relayer, Fragile and Tales from Topographic Oceans. The releases included bonus material and new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, No-Man, ex-Blackfield, worked with Steve Hackett, Ian Anderson, Marillion, Theo Travis), who has done similar projects for King Crimson, ELP, Jethro Tull, Caravan and XTC. Neil Wilkes, who worked with Wilson on the King Crimson remixes and other projects, returned as well. The new mixes use the original multitrack masters. The original stereo mixes are also included. Sleeves notes are by Sid Smith. The band and Roger Dean were also involved and approved the releases.
Now out is the 6LP The Steven Wilson Remixes (Atlantic Catalog Group), consisting of Wilson's stereo remixes on vinyl, mastered for vinyl by Chris Bellman. The album has a new cover by Dean, and he also did new covers for Close to the Edge and Tales from Topographic Oceans, and re-worked the remaining covers (with Fragile looking the most changed). The Steven Wilson Remixes has also seen a digital release. On Spotify, Amazon Music and Apple Music, several tracks are sub-divided as follows:
There was talk about me doing “Drama”, an album I really love and that would sound great in 5.1, but not all the members of that line up are keen for the album to be remixed—which is totally understandable—and I wouldn’t want to do something without the band being behind it.The one band member opposed to Wilson doing Drama could have been Downes judging by this Sep 2015 tweet: asked if Wilson would be doing a Drama remix, Downes replied, "I bloody well hope not!" Although in a Jul 2014 interview, Downes said, "I would like to hear Drama in 5.1, the album was heavily overdubbed at the time, and so it would reveal a lot of detail". But, in an Aug 2016 interview, he said the multitracks for Drama couldn't be found, also saying, "I know Steven Wilson does a very good job" of the 5.1 mixes.
In an Aug
2015 forum post, Wilson said:
I believe that the multitrack tapes for Going for the One are currently [missing]. First 2 Yes albums I would think unlikely, not enough potential sales...etc But never say never.
I really hope Tales and Drama will eventually be done, they are (perhaps somewhat perversely) my 2 favourite Yes albums
Preliminary work for a Going for the One release was done. In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe was asked whether it is "open-ended that as many of the catalog masters you have in hand" will be included in the series, he answered, "I don't think we should say yea or nay yet, because there could be logistical things or even a question of taste." On this latter point, the interviewer teases out that Howe is referring to Tormato. Howe goes on, "It's not that it's dreadful; it's just that we didn't quite get it right. I don't know if a remix would make it right, but I really can't say because I don't think it could, because if you're going to be true to the original, then you have to base it on the original." Asked about further archival releases on the 2015 Cruise to the Edge, Howe also said there was plenty more in the vaults.
Cruise to the Edge
Cruise to the Edge (Facebook) is a series of progressive rock cruises featuring and co-organised by Yes, and run by music cruise company On the Blue. The next Cruise to the Edge will be 4-9 Feb 2019, again on the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas out of Tampa, FL. The itinerary is Tampa; Key West, FL; Cozumel, Mexico; back to Tampa. Yes headline, with Tony Kaye guesting, while also appearing are The Sea Within (with Tom Brislin), Steve Hackett, Fish (ex-Marillion, worked with Steve Howe), John Lodge (The Moody Blues), Brand X, David Cross Band (worked with Peter Banks), Adrian Belew Power Trio, Frost*, Soft Machine, PFM, Spock's Beard, Focus, Alan Hewitt's One Nation, Riverside, District 97, Pendragon, Airbag, Electric Asturias, Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), In Continuum (with Dave Kerzner), Fernando Perdomo (Dave Kerzner Band), Gazpacho, Pendragon, Enchant, Haken, IO Earth, Rachel Flowers, Baraka, UniKuE, Marbin and Magic Pie. The cruise is again hosted by Jon Kirkman.
The most recent Cruise to the Edge was 3-8 Feb 2018; it was close
to sold out. Yes headlined (with White playing in a limited
capacity following further health
problems, Schellen also on drums, and with Tony Kaye
guesting—see more below); the band were
rehearsing in Tampa beforehand. Other acts included Glass Hammer,
Levin and guest David Cross (ex-King
Crimson)), Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy, Steve Hackett (with
a set to include solo, Genesis and GTR
material), Dave Kerzner (worked with Billy Sherwood, Jon
Anderson, Steve Hackett), Marillion, the Adrian Belew
Power Trio, Gong, Sons of Apollo (debut shows from new supergroup
with Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian (both
ex-Dream Theater)), Saga (playing their final shows
ever), Martin Barre (ex-Jethro Tull), Neal Morse
(with a partial Transatlantic reunion as guests), Focus, Enchant,
Lifesigns, Moon Safari, Haken, Knifeworld, Baraka, IOEarth, Bad
Dreams, Thank You Scientist and others. Roger Dean
was also on the cruise. (The previously advertised Sound of
Contact and Anathema both had to pull out.) (In a Dec
2017 interview, Downes said Patrick
Moraz would also be with them, but he wasn't.) The cruise
had a tribute to John Wetton, including The Aurora Project
performing Asia's "The Last to Know" on 7 Feb.
There was a pre-cruise concert in Tampa on 2
Feb by Dave Kerner's All-Stars playing the music of Pink Floyd.
The line-up was based around the Dave Kerzner Band, with Kerzner,
Fernando Perdomo, Durga & Lorelei McBroom
(worked with Pink Floyd), Derek Cintron and Roger
Houdaille, with guests including Billy Sherwood and Jon Davison
(just on "Comfortably Numb"), Steve Rothery
(Marillion, worked with Steve Hackett), Harry Waters (Roger Waters' son; keys), Gabriel Agudo (In
Continuum), John Wesley, Wes Dearth, Randy McStine,
Rick Armstrong (Neil Armstrong's son), Andy
Robbins (Brit Floyd), and Jamison Smeltz.
The set was all of Dark Side of the Moon, "Shine on You
Crazy Diamond", "Have a Cigar", "Wish You were Here", "Run Like
Numb" (with Sherwood on lead vocals, Kerzner on keys and
additional vocals, and Davison joining the McBroom sisters on
backing vocals). Baraka opened the evening, and Carl Palmer's ELP
Legacy performed a set at the end. On the first day of cruising,
Stick Men with David Cross played: intro, improvisation/"Larks'
Tongues in Aspic, Part Two", "Hide the Trees", "Mantra", "Sartori
in Tangier", "Shades of Starless", "Cusp", "Prog Noir", "Level
Five", "Open, Part 3".
Yes did a Q&A with Howe, White, Downes, Sherwood, Davison and
Schellen. Their set on 4 Feb was: intro: "Benjamin Britten's Young
Person's Guide to the Orchestra", "Survival", "Time and a Word",
"I've Seen All Good People", "South Side of the Sky", "And You and
I", "Madrigal", "Clap" (Howe solo), "Bolero" (Downes solo, from
Asia's "Cutting It Fine"), "Soon", "Going for the One", "Don't
Kill the Whale", "Machine Messiah", encore: "Yours is No
Disgrace", "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". The main set was with
Howe/Downes/Sherwood/Davison/Schellen, while the encore was with
Howe/Downes/Sherwood/Davison/White/Kaye (with Schellen on
additional percussion). The second set was the same, except with
"Madrigal" replaced by "Leaves of Green".
Also on the cruise, Dean did a Q&A and painted live. Downes
guested on a performance of "Into the Sun" by the Dave Kerzner
Band. Some Yes members sat in on the Late Night Jams.
The previous cruise was 7-11 Feb 2017, also out of Tampa,
with a pre-cruise concert in Tampa on 6 Feb. Yes again headlined,
with other acts including Patrick Moraz (solo, having been
advertised as to appear with his iNOW Trio), Stick Men,
Steve Hackett, Alex Machacek (ex-UK/Z), Dave Kerzner, Spock's Beard, the Neal Morse
Band, Frost*, the John Lodge Band, Curved Air, Kansas, Focus (and
Thijs van Leer solo), Änglagård, District 97, The Fringe,
Haken, Pain of Salvation, Bad Dreams, IOEarth, Electric Asturias,
and Scott Henderson. Roger Dean
was also on the cruise, including doing a live painting. John
Wetton was booked, but withdrew for health reasons and was to die
before the cruise began (see under Asia).
The cruise also included a 50th Birthday Bash by Mike Portnoy
(Transatlantic, Neal Morse Band, Flying Colors, ex-Dream
Theater), with an "all-star" line-up celebrating 30
years in music: this included sets with Flying Colors and
Transatlantic (worked with Jon Anderson). In the
2017 Prog Readers' Poll, Cruise to the Edge came 5th in
the Event category. Yes's first set was Drama in order
(with White on "Machine Messiah", then Schellen taking over), "And
You and I", "The Revealing Science of God", "Leaves of Green",
"Ritual" (with White back halfway through), "Roundabout",
"Starship Trooper". Their second set dropped "And You and I", but
added at the end, dedicated to the recently departed John Wetton,
Asia's "Heat of the Moment" (White on drums, Schellen on
additional percussion). Moraz played a solo piano set (with some
pre-recorded tracks) on day 4 of the cruise: "First Dance" (by
John Cage), "Sacrifices", excerpts from "Rite of Passage", excerpt
from "Future Memories" (improv), "Cachaça (Baiao)", "Karu",
"Talisman", "Imp's Dance/The Best Years of Our Lives", Relayer
medley: "To be Over/Sound Chaser/Soon", "Molecular Symphony:
Movement 4", "Over-Boogie". The Dave Kerzner Band consisted of
Kerzner (keys), Matt Dorsey (Sound of Contact), D
& L McBroom (vocals), Fernando Perdomo (guitar) and Derek
Cintron (drums), with various guests. After their initial set,
they did an additional set celebrating the music of Greg Lake,
including with Sherwood singing "C'est la Vie". Davison joined Rob
Schmoll, Jace Grey and others to perform "Turn of the Century" at
one of the after hours jams, while Moraz, Joe Cass (drums), Joel
Simches and Mark DeGregory performed "Cachaça (Baiao)". Downes
also did a late night performance of "Video Killed the Radio Star"
on piano. Stick Men opened their show with "Larks' Tongues in
Aspic, Part 2" in memory of Wetton.
we created the brand, Cruise to the Edge, and we got something that’s quite palatable, quite manipulable. That isn’t to say that we’re going to keep doing it, we don’t know. Each time we do it, it is a test. “OK, are we going to do it again?” They always want us to commit to another one, but it depends on how it goes.Fan conventions &c.
12:00 Total Mass Retain (set: "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", "Siberian Khatru", "Sound Chaser", "Future Times/Rejoice", "Changes", "Hearts", "Brother of Mine", "The More We Live—Let Go", "Subway Walls"; Kaye, Moraz, Sherwood, Davison and Schellen were in the audience)This follows on from an earlier UK fan convention that was part of a weekend of 50th anniversary celebratory events in London on 24/5 Mar 2018, including the convention on 25 Mar, which was co-organised by David Watkinson (author of "Yes—Perpetual Change") and Brian Neeson, both good friends of this site. The band also played London both those days within their European tour leg. The event saw the launch of Fly from Here - Return Trip (see above). Roger Dean unveiled a not quite finished new painting of an alternate view of the inside painting of Close to the Edge, and a painting for the cover of The Steven Wilson Remixes. Prog's editor Jerry Ewing compered, while also attending were Yes book authors Watkinson and Simon Barrow. There was a raffle of Yes collectables for charity and a display of memorabilia curated by Watkinson. The Yes tribute bands Seyes and Fragile (with Claire Hamill (worked with Alan White) and Max Hunt (Mabel Greer's Toyshop, worked with Jon Anderson, Fish)) performed. Profits went to The Christie Hospital in Manchester and Kangaroos. Nearly £8000 was raised. Approximate timetable:
13:30 Tom Brislin (half hour set from solo album Hurry Up and Smell the Roses + 1 song from The Sea Within; Kaye, Moraz, Davison and Downes were in the audience)
14:25 Cruise to the Edge team
14:40 Patrick Moraz (set of mostly solo material + an interpretation of "Soon")
16:15 Q&A with Yes, includng Schellen and Kaye, plus Horn and Moraz (video on YouTube: part 1, part 2)
16:40 Raffle & auction winners announced
12:55 IntroductionThe Yes Music Podcast team have assembled some video and audio of the event. A fan from Scandinavia was also recording material for a documentary about Yes's 50th anniversary. There is an official page with photos from the event. The UK event was nominated for the Event of the Year category in the Progressive Music Awards 2018, but failed to make the top 3 and lost to Space Rocks.
13:00 Seyes ("Gates of Delirium", "Close to the Edge")
13:50 Dean, Watkinson and Barrow Q&A with Ewing
14:30 charity auction
15:15 Fragile ("Siberian Khatru", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Awaken")
16:15 Yes (Howe, White, Downes, Sherwood, Davison, Schellen) Q&A with Ewing (on YouTube)
|Hall of Fame
In 2017, Yes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Hall chose the band members to be inducted as the Union 8 (neither Yes nor their management were consulted): Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Trevor Rabin, Alan White and Tony Kaye. The induction ceremony was on 7 Apr 207 in New York, NY, and attended by the living inductees, except for Kaye, who did not attend for health reasons. (Daniela Torchia, his wife, explained, "Tony is laying low, and health prevents him from traveling at the moment. Local fun is safe, close to home, and sweet.") ELO (with Lee Pomeroy on bass) opened the show. Yes were on third. The band were introduced by Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee of Rush. The seven inductees plus Scotland and Xilan Squire (Chris's widow and daughter) took to the stage. Those who spoke were, in order, Anderson, Rabin, White, Howe and Wakeman.
After speeches, the band played "Roundabout" with Geddy Lee (bass), Anderson (vocals, tambourine), Howe (guitar, backing vocals), Wakeman (keys), White (drums) and Rabin (guitar, backing vocals). Lee was asked to play by Scotland and the Yes men. Howe replaced Lee on bass and they moved on to "Owner of a Lonely Heart" with the "Make It Easy" intro. With Anderson acquiring an acoustic guitar, they continued with an extended outro while Wakeman (on Keytar) and Rabin did a walk through the audience, as on the ARW tour. The all-star jam at the end of the evening was Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World", led by Pearl Jam, with Rabin (the only Yes inductee), Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neal Schon and others participating. Anderson said to Prog that "we" (presumably ARW) had wanted Pomeroy to play bass on "Owner of a Lonely Heart", but that this was not allowed because Pomeroy was also performing with ELO, and so Howe then said he would. Sherwood described how there had been "a question about me playing bass but it didn't work out and I'm cool with that."
The Hall released a 4DVD/2BluRay set, "The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: In Concert", on 24 Apr 2018 in the US, with highlights from the 2014-7 ceremonies, including Lee and Lifeson's introduction, Yes's acceptance speech and performance, but not the all-star jam.
The six inductees present took questions from the press afterwards. Wakeman stressed that the reunion with old colleagues was a "one off". After the event, both sides moved quickly to deny any interest in a full reunion.
After bassist Chris Squire’s death in 2015, Howe inherited the job of putting Yes’ concert set list together. “I make a set list generally with two considerations. There’s gotta be some challenges; There’s got to be some things we haven’t been playing in the last two years or so. [...] you’ve got to go do some homework at home. But the other thing is we’ve got to make it possible. [...] our set list is generally a mix of challenging new things -- or new in the context of what we’ve been playing recently -- and then some really familiar stuff, but not the same-old, same-old -- although we can’t do a show without ‘Roundabout.’ [...]”
Downes also talked sets in a Jun
Interviewer: Are there any songs that you personally would like to retire? [...]
Downes: We approach each tour differently. [...] it’d be nice maybe to look at a couple of 80’s era Yes tracks as well. And maybe even something from the 90’s, you know. Well we do a couple of tracks from the 90’s anyway. [...] there’s so much there [...] you’ve got 22 or 23 studio albums to pick material from, that’s a pretty enormous body of work to tackle. But certainly, I’m game to try anything that’s in the Yes catalog.
Interviewer: [...] is there a song or two you wish you guys could play, specifically?
Downes: I think I’d like to just do one of the big pieces from the album Relayer. We did a little bit of that, but something like either “Sound Chaser” or maybe “Gates of Delirium,” which would be an enormous challenge to actually learn something like that [...] quite a fascinating challenge to do that.
In a Jun
2018 interview of his own, White said, "we tried not playing
"Roundabout" for a while. We got so many complaints because we
didn't play it, we've been playing it ever since." Asked in the
Yes Music Podcast about YesWest material, Downes replied, "that
would be something a lot of the fans would appreciate [...]
certainly I think Steve's up for doing some of it". Asked about
the possibility of performing "The Gates of Delirium", he began
by remarking on the challenge of doing so, but continued,
"everything's possible […] Whether or not we do it next year
, I don't know. We might do it the year after . We
might even at some point attempt the whole of Relayer. That's... that's
something that has been put forward. I think in terms of it being
the fiftieth anniversary of Yes that the focus is going to be more
on a historical view of Yes's music rather than any specific
albums". In his Mar
2017 Q&A, White had said, "we plan to play the entire "Relayer' album in the UK next year
", but he backed away from that by this Aug
2017 interview: "I think next year  should be a really
good selection of songs from every era. We actually thought about
playing the whole "Relayer" album,
but I think that would be too much for the kind of show it should
be next year  for our 50th anniversary." In the Feb 2018
issue of Eclipsed,
Howe also said they wanted to play all of Relayer but described
this as challenging to do. In the mid-Mar 2018 interview, asked
about whether Relayer
is a possibility for summer US dates, Sherwood replied, "You never
know. I've been lobbying for that for years now as it's one of my
favourites. [...] As of yet it's not been spoken about, so we'll
just have to see what happens." Sherwood in a Nov
2017 interview said he would like to play "The Gates of Delirium" and
"On the Silent Wings of Freedom". Asked in his matching
interview what songs he would like to include, White
"Awaken" and "Mind Drive"; he implied that, with
Kaye present, they would do "Yours is No Disgrace". In the
#YES50 tour programme, out Mar 2018, Downes said, "I'm excited
about taking on the Relayer
album". At the Jul 2018 YesFanFest,
Howe was asked about doing Relayer in 2019 and
replied, "Maybe". In an Aug
2018 interview, asked what songs he would like to do,
Davison picked Relayer
first, then saying, "I'd like to bring to the stage all of Tormato and Relayer and
make the '70s Album Series a complete thing. Beyond that, some
of the '80s and '90s material." He then mentions "The More We Live—Let Go" and "Shoot High Aim
The line-up consisted of Howe (guitars, backing vocals), White (drums), Downes (keys, backing vocals), Sherwood (bass, backing vocals) and Davison (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, additional percussion, sound effects), with Jay Schellen (drums, additional percussion) following further health problems for White. Tony Kaye guested with the band on Cruise to the Edge 2018 and does so on the US leg, but was not on the European leg. Patrick Moraz guested with the band on 20-1 Jul, playing "Soon" (with Downes also on stage playing), and also appeared separately at the US Fan Convention on 21 Jul. Trevor Horn guested with the band for 1 song at the 2 London dates and in Paris; he also guested with the band on 20-1 Jul. He sang "We Can Fly" on both nights (with backing vocals from Davison). For the 21 Jul encore of "Starship Trooper", Horn, Moraz, Brislin and Schellen were also on stage (additional percussion).
On their opening night of the US tour, most of the show was with Howe, Downes, Sherwood, Davison and Schellen; set: intro: "Firebird Suite", "Close to the Edge", "Nine Voices", "Parallels", "Mood for a Day", "Leaves of Green" (slightly extended version), "We Can Fly" (Davison described this as being closer to the Return Trip arrangement in this Aug 2018 interview), "Sweet Dreams" (explicitly the 1975 arrangement), "Heart of the Sunrise", intermission, "Perpetual Change", "Does it Really Happen?", "Soon" (White joins on drums for the end and plays the rest of the show), "Believe Again", "Awaken"; encore (Tony Kaye joins too): "Yours is No Disgrace", "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". Schellen plays additional percussion while White is behind the drum kit. The second night saw the same set, except "Perpetual Change" was omitted. However, the set soon stabilised to having "Perpetual Change", but not "Believe Again", and White joining for "Awaken" rather than coming out during "Soon". With interval, the show is about 3 hours long. Their third night and a number of others (including 13-4 Jul) were casino shows with a substantially shorter set: "Close to the Edge", "Nine Voices", "Parallels", "Sweet Dreams", "Soon", "Awaken", "Yours is No Disgrace", "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". In Anaheim, White sat out "Yours is No Disgrace". At the 21 and 23 Jul shows, Yes played "Second Initial"/"Madrigal" instead of "Mood for a Day"/"Leaves of Green".
André Cholmondeley was the guitar tech and Steve Rispin was the
bass tech. On the European leg, there was a 124-page 12"x12"
tourbook, with new interview material, by the Gottlieb Brothers. The US
leg saw that expanded further with 24 additional pages, including
material on Return
Trip from Horn. This expanded version is a limited
edition of 1000 copies.
They played the first two nights at the same 897-seat venue in St Charles, IL, selling out the first night and selling out or nearly selling out the second night (reports conflict). The 6 Jul show was at capacity (1550). Tom Brislin and Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Neal Morse Band, Flying Colors, ex-Dream Theater) were in the audience for the 21 Jul show. The 16 Mar Glasgow show sold 1433 tickets, grossing $93,926.
The European set was: intro: "Firebird Suite", "Yours is No
Disgrace", "I've Seen All Good People", "Sweet Dreams" (the 1975
arrangement), "South Side of the Sky", "Onward", "Mood for a Day",
"Wonderous Stories", "Parallels", "And You and I", interval, "The
Revealing Science of God", "Leaves of Green", "Ritual"; encore:
"Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". ("Onward" wasn't played in
Newcastle.) The evening was 2 hours and 50 minute long, including
a 20 minute interval. Most of the set was with
Howe/Downes/Sherwood/Davison/Schellen; White replaced Schellen on
the drum kit partway through "Ritual" (with Schellen continuing on
additional percussion) and played the encore (with Schellen on
additional percussion). At both London shows (24-5 Mar),
Howe/Downes/Sherwood/White/Horn played "Tempus Fugit" as the
opening number of the encore and "Starship Trooper" was
abbreviated ("Life Seeker" was greatly shortened). On 24 Mar,
"Onward" was dropped from earlier in the set, while on 25 Mar, it
was "South Side of the Sky" that was dropped, with "Onward"
dedicated to multiple members of the Squire family in the audience
(including his brother, sister, niece and possibly nephew). Horn
and "Tempus Fugit" were back in the same slot for the 30 Mar Paris
show, with "Onward" omitted. Steve's daughter Stephanie and her
partner (who both worked on design elements of Nexus),
David Cross (ex-King Crimson, worked with Peter
Banks), Lisa Wetton (John Wetton's widow)
and Keith Emerson's partner attended the 24 Mar show. The 25 Mar
performance was introduced by Bill
Bruford, who then sat in the audience for the show. Hugo
Barré (Mabel Greer's Toyshop) attended the
30 Mar show.
Yes scheduled 31 North American dates Aug/Sep 2017 with Carl
Palmer's ELP Legacy and with Todd Rundgren. 4-26 Aug, 29 Aug and 3
Sep are with all three acts. 28 Aug was without Rundgren, while
5-19 Sep were to be without Palmer. 31 Aug and 1, 17, 18 and 19
Sep were to be just with Yes. However, the tour was cut short
following the unexpected death of Steve's son, Virgil Howe,
with the last 6 dates (12-19 Sep) cancelled and Rundgren alone
performing the 11 Sep show. The 22 Aug show was cancelled because
of bad weather. Venue sizes ranged from 1500 to 12000. In the Jul
2017 issue of Prog, Downes noted that, "A package
featuring a few compatible bands can be safe" in terms of
economics. The line up was with two drummers, with Dylan Howe (Steve's son; Steve Howe Trio, Wilko Johnson Band,
ex-The Blockheads, worked with Viv Albertine, Gabrielle)
as the second drummer. The band played one song from each of the
band's albums from Yes to Drama, in order (which
was Howe's idea), plus other material. Will Alexander (works with Asia, worked with Keith Emerson)
was the keyboard tech, John Walsh was the drum tech, André Cholmondeley (worked with Eddie Jobson, John Wetton, ELP, Adrian
Belew, Al Di Meola) was the guitar tech and Steve Rispin (worked with Asia) was the bass tech. Don
Weeks returned as the lighting tech. The band had a new stage
show, with lighting and visuals, including lasers, by Don Weeks
and Andy Clark.
The second night set was: intro: "Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra", "Survival" (with Davison on acoustic guitar), "Time and a Word" (with Davison on acoustic guitar), "Yours is No Disgrace" (no White; Davison on acoustic guitar), "South Side of the Sky" (no White), "And You and I" (with D Howe drumming at the beginning, and White at the end), "Leaves of Green" ("The Ancient" extract; with S Howe on guitar, and Davison and briefly Sherwood on vocals), extended version of "Soon" (no D Howe), "Going for the One" (no D Howe), "Don't Kill the Whale" (beginning with a brief drum duet), "Machine Messiah" (with Davison on acoustic guitar), encore: "Madrigal" (with S Howe and Davison on acoustic guitars, and Sherwood on harmony vocals), "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". Some of the set is with 2 drummers (D Howe focusing on percussion), but each sit out a few songs. Yes's set was around 1 hour 40 minutes. "Madrigal" and "Starship Trooper" were omitted on the opening night due to bad weather. Many later dates dropped "Starship Trooper", while alternatively "Madrigal" was occasionally dropped. They rehearsed "Perpetual Change" on 25 Aug, presumably for inclusion on shows without Rundgren &/or Palmer, but never played it. For example, their first of these shows, on 28 Aug, saw the usual set list (with "Starship Trooper" and "Roundabout" reversed in order).
Audience attendees early in the tour included Patrick
Moraz, Tom Brislin,
Schellen, Annie Haslam (Renaissance, worked
with Steve Howe) and Chester Thompson
(worked with Genesis, Frank Zappa). Later in the tour,
Phyllis and Michael
Sherwood attended a show.
In an Aug
2017 interview, Sherwood said, "[Howe] kinda selected the
tracks that would fit best in the set. We all agreed [...] and it
came together pretty quick." In another Aug
Downes explained it this way:
We’ve put together something that we think will suit Jon Davison’s voice and suit my style of keyboard playing and suit Steve and Alan. I think it’s kind of an interesting way of looking at it and getting everyone’s input. And that’s really what YES is about today—it’s about everyone having a voice and that’s important for longevity and, in general, for the morale of the band.
In a Sep
2017 interview, asked about the choice of "Survival", Downes
said "that was a song that Steve particularly was very fond of."
The band played Cruise to
the Edge in Feb 2017 and, continuing their summer 2016 US
tour, they did a 9-date leg of the south of the US either side of
the cruise (3-20 Feb). Schellen remained with the band in addition
to White. Opening night set: intro: "Benjamin Britten's Young
Person's Guide to the Orchestra", Drama in order (with
White on "Machine Messiah", then Schellen taking over), "And You
and I", "Heart of the Sunrise", "The Revealing Science of God",
"Leaves of Green", "Ritual", encore: "Roundabout" (both White and
Schellen on the last 2 pieces). Howe dedicated "Roundabout" to the
recently departed John Wetton. On the cruise, Yes's first set was
Drama in order (White on "Machine Messiah", then Schellen
taking over), "And You and I", "The Revealing Science of God",
"Leaves of Green", "Ritual" (with White back halfway through),
"Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". Their second set dropped "And
You and I", but added at the end, dedicated again to Wetton,
Asia's "Heat of the Moment" (White on drums, Schellen on
additional percussion). "Heat of the Moment" was played again on
11 Feb. The 12 Feb set was Drama, "And You and I", "Heart
of the Sunrise", intermission, "The Revealing Science of God",
"Leaves of Green", "Ritual", "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper",
"Heat of the Moment". The 14 Feb show appears to have had "And You
and I" and "Perpetual Change" in the middle. White missed the 11,
12 and 14 Feb shows as he was unwell (a bug separate to his back
problems). He was back playing "Machine Messiah" and the encore
for the 15 Feb show. 18 Feb had "And You and I" and "Perpetual
Change" in the middle, with White absent, while 19 Feb again
substituted "Heart of the Sunrise" for "Perpetual Change", with
White playing "Machine Messiah", then returning from partway
through "Ritual". The 3 Feb show sold 1,407 tickets, grossing
The band played
dates in Nov 2016 in Japan, with a new set described as
sides 1 & 4 of Tales from Topographic Oceans, and
selections from Yessongs, plus further material. The
Japanese promoters reportedly did not want Drama in full.
On the opening night, they played: "Machine Messiah", "White Car",
"Tempus Fugit", "I've Seen All Good People", "Perpetual Change",
"And You and I", "Heart of the Sunrise", interval, "The Revealing
Science of God", "Leaves of Green" ("The Ancient" excerpt),
"Ritual", encore: "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". White returned
to the band, but with Schellen continuing to "sit in until White
is fully healed". On the first night, White just played on the
encore. At the 28 Nov show, White joined partway through "Ritual",
playing the drumkit when Schellen moved to percussion.
Asked if there are plans to play any other albums in a Feb 2016 podcast interview, Howe said: "eventually [...] we'll have to play Relayer. [...] We'd need a while to get ready to play that one. We talked about other records and I said Time and a Word one day [...] it's off the mark with America because they really don't know that record." In another Feb 2016 interview, Howe, again talking of playing full albums, said, "we hope one day to resurrect [Relayer]." An Aug 2016 report had that the band have discussed doing Relayer in 2017 or 2018. Downes said in an Aug 2016 interview: "We have considered playing [Tormato] [...] but Steve doesn't think it's strong enough as an album. [...] Alan feels the same, it's not got that depth that the other albums have got [...] Relayer is up there as a possibility." Asked what album they will do next, he replied, "We're still discussing whether to do that [continue playing full albums] [...] but with this line-up I don't see us doing any other full album other than Relayer, if we were to do anything." In Howe's interview, he went on to say: "There's other sorts of set lists we mustn't ignore. In other words, I'm saying, ya, I like playing albums [...] but it's not the only game in town, y'know. And there's other sets that I've invented in my mind, and circulated, that do a different... tell a different story. And we've got to be careful not just to tell the same story, oh here's another album." He gave as an example of another set list approach, "Like we did last summer , that was a very kind of friendly [...] set, couple of new songs [...] it was bubbly [...] there are other great, great set lists". The interviewer then suggested doing Magnification tracks. In reply, Howe first talked about prior albums: "I quite like Keys to Ascension studio tracks [...] that's quite a nice era" and after he'd heaped praise on Bruce Fairbairn and his production of The Ladder, Howe said he'd found it "difficult" to pick tracks from Open Your Eyes and Magnification that he's "fully committed to now. Of course I've got enjoyment for them [...] Certainly, as an album [i.e., playing Magnification in full], I don't think so". Howe continued, "There is one track [...] I would single out" from Magnification; he didn't identify it, but said it's not "Spirit of Survival" or "In the Presence of".In a Feb 2017 interview, Howe discussed the band's set and possibilities for the future:
I like playing new music. I’ve done 12 solo records over the years – I’ve been delighted to not have to only play old music. But my favorite stuff is definitely looking at Yes.On Eddie Trunk's Sirius XM radio show from the Cruise to the Edge 2017, White said the band had been discussing playing material from Relayer, including "Sound Chaser". He later spoke of "doing some things from Relayer", i.e. not the full album. He also said, "We can't get away with not playing "Roundabout". We've tried many times." Also on the cruise, asked what other albums they might tackle, Howe again said they would like to Relayer (but that it would take "an enormous amount of work to capture the performances on that album"), but he also mooted "Keys to Ascension" (presumably meaning the studio tracks on Keys to Ascension 2) and Magnification. Asked about Tormato material, he was more negative, saying the album "wasn't designed for the stage" but that "maybe one day we will try to revisit it." In his Mar 2017 YesWorld Q&A, White said, "'Relayer' is a hard album to play but we're discussing performing that album next year ." Asked about playing songs from Tormato, he also said "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" would be "a great song to include".
It doesn’t have to be that old – we might come onto the ‘90s at some point and start looking at Keys to Ascension or something. There’s a lot of music that we’d like to look at. But we do get a lot from the ‘70s, and we don’t have a problem.
I think you’re right; ‘The Remembering’ would be an interesting choice [...] But there are also so many other hidden gems on the albums that have been historically been overlooked by the touring band over the years. Talk, Big Generator, Union, The Ladder, & Keys to Ascension also have some killer tracks. How about ‘Mind Drive’ as a suggestion? ☺
In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes was asked about doing other albums and replied, "We've never discussed this at all, but it's not been ruled out. [...] I can see the subject coming up [...] But what we don't want to become is a band who just live in the past". He then talked of the possibility of varying tour set lists so that they "do a lot of more contemporary material on one tour and the next time we do something a lot more nostalgic." In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe said, "the one that everybody wants to hear is 'Relayer.' But we're not ready for that yet. [It] would be a heck of a challenge. [...] at the moment we haven't got the time or the inclination yet to do something like that."
In the interview
with Vintage Rock conducted around Apr 2014, White put forth
Drama and Relayer as two albums he
would like to perform. In a Jul
2014 interview, Davison said: "There's been talk about any
of the earlier albums up to '90125'". In a May
2014 interview, Squire said he hoped that they will do a
tour one day playing material from the 1980s. He describes as
interesting the idea put forth by the interviewer for a tour
featuring Drama, 90125 and Big
Generator. Reports from backstage on the 2014 summer tour
suggested that Squire wanted to do all of Heaven & Earth,
Howe and Davison wanted to do Relayer, and White and
Downes wanted to do Drama and possibly 90125;
US promoters are said to remain keen on 90125. One report
from backstage on the 2015 summer tour has that Howe and White
would like to do all of Time and a Word, but promoters
prefer Relayer, which might produce a 3-album set of Time
and a Word, Relayer and Drama. In an Aug
2015 YesWorld Q&A, asked what Yes pieces he would like
to play, Sherwood replied:
There are many, but there’s only so much time in a set. As things progress, which looks like they are, we’ve had some successful touring here so far and there’s other promoters and more opportunity coming online – I envision YES being back at a place where it plays by itself for three hours, rather then playing with another band, and at that point with a three hour set that we can fill, there’ll be some other material that I’m definitely gong to be suggesting.
[...] There’s plenty of stuff out there that I would love to dive into, but my favorites, if I could choose – ‘Gates of Delirium’ would definitely be part of the set and so would ‘Tomato’ – a lot of it – I love ‘Future Times/Rejoice’, ‘On The Silent Wings Of Freedom’, ‘Release, Release’.
He also mentioned "Gates of Delirium" in answer to another
question, but added: "but I don't know how far my vote goes just
yet… give me some time!" He is then asked which albums he would
pick if doing the whole album format; he nominated Tales from
Topographic Oceans and Relayer.
Away from the while album format, several comments point to
individual tracks under consideration of some sort. In a Nov 2014
interview for YesFANZ,
Davison talked about the new material in the set:
we have been doing two [new] songs [...] live [...] [W]e were doing [...] 'To Ascend' for a while to start out with but it just didn’t quite stick as well with the ebb and flow of the concert, but we would like to incorporate at one point as much of the new album as possible. We’re all still very focussed on that. We just haven’t been able to promote that sufficiently in that regard because we are down to a 2 hour time limit [...] but we will get more of that into the live context.
I would really like to do 'Light of the Ages'
Asked in a Dec 2013 interview about playing YesWest material, Squire explained: "[It's] because of the character of the music, and the character of the guitar player as well. Trevor [Rabin] doesn't do a bad job of imitating Steve [Howe], but it doesn't work as well the other way around. I wouldn't really push the issue." Asked about playing '80s material in his May 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Davison replied, "I think it would be really fun to perform Changes, It Can Happen, and/or Shoot High Aim Low." In a Jul 2013 interview, Davison said, "What I'd like to do is continue it; with maybe Fragile, Relayer and Drama following it up." In Downes' second Q&A, he said, "whilst we are currently focusing on the 70's Yes, there was some great music came out in all chapters of the band's existence [...] Personal favourite is "Changes"", while White said to a fan in Apr 2013 that the band had considered playing the piece, and that he would also like them to perform "Endless Dream". In a Jun 2012 interview, Squire said that White had suggested including "Perpetual Change". In one of the Jul 2012 interviews, Squire said:
with Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman and with past
With the band being inducted into the Hall of Fame and the possibility of a reunion of the current line-up and ARW at the ceremony, the question of a longer term reunion refuses to go away. It appears very unlikely. In a Dec 2017 interview, Todd Rundgren, who had recently toured with Yes, said, "There are actually two versions of Yes. There are conflicts between members of the band."
In an early
Jun 2018 interview, Howe said this on the two bands
When ABWH went out, Bill, Rick and I basically wanted to carry on being called ABWH. We weren't really interested in being called Yes, but there was a contingent in the band [i.e., Anderson] and the management [i.e., Brian Lane] that very much encouraged us to rejoin Yes. Actually, the three of us ended up with nothing. That lineup didn't continue after Union so we lost everything.
ARW came out and they justified their existence. They're ARW. Nobody can deny them the right to do that. Now there's a bit of game playing going on, adding that particular thing [presumably Howe means here the "Yes featuring..." part of their name]. I don't know if they are going to make things more interestingly confusing by calling it quintessential Yes [a reference to ARW's promotion for their 2018 touring].
It's up to them what they do. They're free, we're free. We're tolerant and they're tolerant. Hopefully, people won't go around saying "We don't like those guys." [Anderson in Mar 2017 said, "We don't like them" about Yes] We never said that. We want to be sharing and positive about everything we can generate, which I think is important.
If the fans have got a choice, now, to see different versions of things, then so be it. I can't see a problem.
In a Mar 2017
interview, Wakeman and Anderson both dismissed any
possibility of a reunion. Asked about that in a Dec
2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Rabin replied,
"Oh, I very much doubt it. It's kind of like, if it's not broke,
don't fix it. We've got the ARW thing right now and we're just
loving it. That's certainly where we're at right now." In a
Howe replied to a similar question: "We know the 50-year
anniversary is going to be quite colossal. The Union tour
was popular with many fans, but it would have to be re-thought if
we were considering that. It would need some reinvention. But
that's a ways away." When the interviewer returned to the question
of repeating the Union tour, Howe continued:
As long as its not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. The Union tour [...] [f]or the fans, it was seen in a particular light. But internally, it was complex. [...] you'd have to think about how it could work in a different way. It's nice seeing people play together, but it's really about the mood and the willingness and the love and the sharing. It just comes down to a lot of other things, unfortunately, like business and technical. Those other parts both help and interfere and destruct. A few people have said to me that although it was great to see us together all night for the Union tour, it was really a lot to try and fill your ears with. But I do appreciate that people are thinking about seeing us together, and that's a very nice sentiment.
Some of that was put to Anderson in his Rolling
Stone interview and he was asked whether he thinks
anything will happen to commemorate the 50th anniversary. He
I'll call you! You'll be the first person I call [laughs]. Like anything, my idea of Yes is ARW at the moment. That's what I feel is the Yes I always dreamed of coming back together with.
In a late
Jan 2017 interview, Howe was asked about the Union
tour, and replied, "It's not something that we know we're going to
do again. Obviously it would need good planning." White was asked
why don't they "go back to Anderson & Wakeman" in his Mar
2017 YesWorld Q&A; he replied:
Well, you know, I’m open to anything in the future. I’m not opposed to the idea of that down the line but I’m part of the YES touring band and it makes more sense to continue with the group of musicians I’m currently working with… we have a great working vibe between us. You asked why we don’t “go back” and that’s really key because I always try to be positive and continue to move forward instead, I want to make progressively new and interesting music and we’re performing great on stage together. I’m happy with the way things are and looking forward to continuing on with the current YES line up.
In his late
Mar 2017 Q&A, Howe was asked something similar. He
This topic has gone round the houses a little bit. Before we can take on board ideas, there has to be a good line of communication. And as far as I understand ARW aren’t really interested in doing this and we’re most probably not really interested in doing this either.
Now that sounds like a big shut down, but in another way, one’s gotta understand that things aren’t always what they appear. Reinventing the ‘Union Tour’ is not really a concept that anyone from either of the lineups of YES or ARW have endorsed.
So basically, I would say, it’s not foreseeable. I think there’s ways that we can celebrate YES’s 50th year and most probably they want to as well. I think the complexity is unmeasurable by the fans. Those things aren’t easy. It’s not any one person that’s particularly making it difficult, but people can make it difficult and then it’s gotta be done in the right spirit. I’d say don’t hold your breath.
In a May
2017 interview, White was a little bit more positive:
"There's a possibility [of a reunion] way down the line here[.]
The next tour is the 50th anniversary of the band, so who knows
what will happen then."
Relations between the band have not gotten any better since ARW switched name to "Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman". Howe was interviewed for an article in the Jul 2017 issue of Prog on the subject, using language described by the magazine as "both damning and colourful", but he subsequently asked for his comments not to be used. However, it is also revealed that:
he [Howe] wrote to them before, their tour, wishing them good luck. "That's my true spirit: that anyone can play Yes."
In the same issue, Downes and Wakeman both professed to be
unbothered about the other band, although their language comes
across as rather passive aggressive! Downes said: "We're focusing
on what we're doing [...] We wish them well. We've got no axe to
grind. We hope they succeed. They may have something against us.
If they do that's their problem not ours." Wakeman: "I don't care
what they do. They're fully entitled to do whatever they live.
[...] I have no idea what they're doing [...] It's of no interest
to me. [...] They're not a rival band. They're another lot out
there playing Yes music, same as we are. We're just doing it our
way [...] Good luck to them." Sherwood meanwhile said that he
would go see Yes featuring ARW perform if he was free.
Asked how he feels about the other band touring at the same time
as them, White said in an Aug
2017 interview, "It's quite funny. Quite frankly, I don't
think about it very much. [...] They're doing their thing." In
answer to a similar question in this Aug
2017 interview, Sherwood replied:
It’s interesting and strange at the same time. I haven’t really been paying too much attention to it because we keep staying on our track [...] I’m happy to hear as much Yes music in 2017 from the participants thereof and see the music thriving. There’s the obvious political push and pull that goes on in Yes; it’s always been that way and will always be that way. [...] there’s always much chaos and many moments to have it. (laughs) It’s really not surprising that we’re in this current state of affairs, but we go forward as Yes doing what we do.
On Eddie Trunk's radio show
broadcasting from the Cruise to the Edge 2018 in early Feb,
Sherwood said much the same: "From my perspective, I'm a long-time
Yes fan, the more Yes music out there in 2018, the better. Um...
obviously there is a lot of politics involved, but that's way
above my pay grade. I just want to play the music […] It's all
good as far as I'm concerned."
Before hearing they would be inducted, in a Nov 2016 interview, asked about a reunion with Yes if the band get inducted in the Hall of Fame, Wakeman said: "I think there's no chance of us ever reuniting[.] There's not a hope in hell of that happening."
In an Apr
2016 interview, Howe was asked whether it is fair to say
that Anderson will never be back in the band. He replied: "I don't
think that's fair at all [...] I don't know what the future holds
[...] We're just moving ahead as we are. [...] We need
certainties, y'know, we need availabilities, we need, y'know,
commitments and things like that". He was later asked if the band
still has good relationships with R Wakeman: "Well, I hope we try
and keep good relations with everybody, y'know [...] people put
their foot in it occasionally [laughs] But [...] there are always
people from the bands you've been in that you have stayed
closer to and other people you haven't and that very much depends
on who makes any effort and who's got any time and, y'know, how
much you can, so, y'know, it spreads itself evenly across the...
so many members of Yes [laughs] that we've had, besides the other
bands I hasten to add I've been in. But, y'know, um, it's a lovely
thing, y'know, there's a pool of musicians and, y'know, we can
reach out to each other when we want to." In a Jul
2016 interview, asked whether they would work with
ex-members, Howe focused on the current band's plans and said:
"Well, I guess what we're going to do is we're going to try to
contain ourselves in our ambition and figure out how to keep these
things going. It takes a lot of work and a lot of agreement."
Asked in the Dec
2016 interview when he last spoke to Anderson, Howe replied,
"I don't know whether I can reveal things like that. It's a little
bit personal. We've been working in different bands and different
areas for a very long time."
Sherwood was asked in an Aug
2016 interview about the band's future: "Could another
merger be on the horizon? Who even owns the Yes name?" The article
“All that stuff is above my pay grade,” Sherwood says with a laugh. “Let’s be honest. Did anyone think Yes could survive Chris Squire not being there? I wasn’t sure, and I was the one being asked to do it. But it seems to be surviving and thriving.” The future is “a hard thing to even discuss, because you just don’t know until you get there.”
Sherwood says he tries not to draw “hard lines” about authenticity. “Life evolves and music evolves and bands change,” he says. “We’re losing guys. That’s sad to say, but it’s true. But the music lives on and it’s a testament to the music.”
Aug 2015 interview, Howe was asked whether "Chris' passing
make it any more likely we'll see Yes work with former members
like Jon Anderson or Rick Wakeman in some capacity, even just for
one big concert to celebrate the band's legacy?" He replied:
I'd hate to say no, so I'll say I don't know. [...] From inside it's quite different. We have to try to stay on our course, and if we change something that changes multiple other things, then we don't know where we are. We spent a lot of time in 2008 kind of finding out where we are, with Benoit and Oliver Wakeman and now with Geoff Downes and Jon Davison and now with Billy Sherwood. In other words, we can't open the floodgates without thinking. So sure, we give these things some thought, but until we come to a conclusion, we'd rather do nothing than the wrong thing.
In a Sep
2015 interview (conducted late Aug), Howe talks about
several past members of the band, saying how they met with Moraz
while on tour. He then says, "We have some contact with Jon
Anderson. [...] I think we ought to see this group as sort of an
In an interview
recorded in Apr 2016, White said, "I talk to Jon [Anderson]
[...] on occasion. [...] I call him on his birthday, and that kind
of stuff. [...] Rick, I haven't seen him for an awful long time.
I'd like to see him again, y'know, because we used to get on very
well." Asked if Anderson and Wakeman might ever return to Yes, he
said, "I wouldn't rule it out [...] put it that way, but I think
Jon doesn't want to do these long, arduous tours any more and if
it was, it would be a kind of cameo appearance at some bigger
venues like London [...] or Los Angeles". Asked in an early
Nov 2016 interview whether, in the context of putting on a
united performance should Yes be inducted into the Hall of Fame,
there is animosity between the two bands, White replied: "There's
a certain amount, y'know. I actually talk to everybody, so... so,
it's a matter of other people sorting their opinions out". In the
2016 interview, Howe was asked, "How do you feel about ARW
being on tour now? Do you think that's a good idea? Are you cool
with it?" He replied:
[Laughs] It's an idea that has every right to exist, as much as ABWH when we were together in the late 1980s. Basically there's room for anybody to play Yes music. We love to hear other people play Yes music. These guys have quite a bit of credibility to do that and they are outstanding musicians, so there's no reason why they shouldn't go out and play. There's not any reason.
Apparently responding to comments by ARW in a number of
interviews, Sherwood posted
to Facebook in early Oct 2016:
In light of current events...
In my view, anyone who puts on the uniform I.E. served playing with Yes, making records, touring etc... deserves respect for doing so (regardless of era), without ending up under a bus. It's my honor to play under the "YES" flag, of which there is only one flying... I have always been loyal to that flag... even at times when I was under fire for doing so (see OYE lol). I know Chris was loyal, as he was the only member to NEVER leave... I'm humbled and honored to now be back in "YES" [...] especially having been personally asked by my long time friend and musical comrade (inside and out of YES) Squire himself, he asked me to carry on in his position in the "band" and so it shall be done. My heart and soul are in it to win it, every time I play those bass parts I'm thinking of Chris and "YES" and what it all means to have had fate guide my life in this most unexpected manner, Yes was my world growing up as a kid. It became part of my career as an adult, a very surreal destiny indeed. With that I will continue to serve, putting on the uniform of a "YES" man once again, and as I promised Chris, I'll give it my full passion and priority... always remembering my fallen hero.
Asked in a May
2016 interview if he could see himself reuniting with other
members of Yes, Anderson replied, "No, just Trevor [Rabin] and
Rick [Wakeman]. That's enough." In an Apr
2016 interview, Anderson was asked about the continuing Yes,
replying: "It's just business, and it's a group of people going
out there and playing music that's very valid. I have a different
perspective on what it is, and there are bands out there
performing Yes music, called tribute bands[.] That's kind of the
feeling of what's going on. That's why me and Trevor [Rabin] say,
'Well, listen if we're going to get together [in Anderson Rabin
Wakeman], we've got to reignite Yes[.]'" In another May
2016 interview (presumably conducted in Apr), Anderson was
asked whether they would reunite in the near future. He replied,
"No, just Trevor and Rick. That's enough." Asked in another Apr 2016
interview how, if he had "a magic wand", he'd like to see
Yes wrap up, Anderson replied: "Create some of the greatest music
in the next 20 years. I'm still Yes, I'm still part of Yes in my
heart and soul. I didn't leave the band, the band went off on
their merry way when I wasn't very well. [giggles] [...]
I've got it in my DNA".
In yet another
May 2016 interview, Anderson said, "My history is intact
musically[.] Yes became a brand and a business deal and that is
not my idea of what music is. Music needs to touch you
spiritually. When it is driven by money, then it takes away the
joy of creation." In an interview for the Spring 2016 issue of Progression,
Anderson was asked if he "keeps tabs on his former band". He
replied: "Not really, no. I know they're on the road. Musicians
need to make a living and that's what they're doing. [...] there's
only two of them left". And in this Jun
2016 interview, he said: "people ask me, "What do you think
of Yes?" I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been my
life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can't tell
them what to do, because it's not my band. They've got the name,
but I've got the state of mind about what true "Yes music" should
[Squire] would just always call and be in touch, and we never stopped talking. On numerous occasions since I’d left the band and was very busy doing film work, he called a number of times and said, ‘You know, I think it’s time for you to get up from your desk job and get back on the street.’ And you know, I was always a bit reluctant about, if the band’s going to be called Yes, for it to not have Jon in it. It seemed a bit strange to me. But the prime reason was that I was just so busy with what I was doing and really enjoying it. Chris put me together with two of the managers that were there during the time, but, besides that, we just remained very good friends.Asked in a Jul 2014 interview whether there is "an irreducible core to this band, somebody without whom you would just say, let's call it a day," Howe responded:
[laughs] Not really. We’ve all been replaced by somebody at one time or another. What I’m concerned about is that if one loses the idea of the adventurousness in this music — the dynamics that we need to play with that make the sensitivity and the crescendos and the lulls and all those things — if we suddenly think that we don’t need to do that, that we just play the songs, hammer them out, that would be a nonsensing of Yes, really. When we play “Five Percent for Nothing” for the first time ever onstage, we will be showing, if not ourselves, we’re showing the audience also that we’re challenging ourselves. If we don’t, then this isn’t Yes [...] That would be a good reason for you to moan all over the Internet, that Yes have lost the flame to be adventurous and to be musical and to be subtle as well as powerful [...] Subtlety is what Yes is.As for the future, in the Dec 2008 article, Squire said age would not slow them down: "There are classical musicians who perform into their 90s. I don't see why that can't be the same for people who play rock 'n' roll." In the Mar 2012 Classic Rock, Squire floats this possibility, once suggested by R Wakeman around the time of Union:
[Yes's music i]s similar to the way classical music works. Long after those marvelous composers [...] passed, and the centuries moved forward, their music lives on. It’s not so much about the personality anymore. And people have a hard time seeing that now, because obviously the members [of Yes] are still alive, apart from Peter Banks [...] But it’s so easy to associate the music with the personality, and that causes a lot of conflict among fans. But ultimately, it’s about the music, and just taking the music forward. And there will always be a Yes. And I’m a lover of Jon Anderson as much as I’m a lover of Chris Squire, but you can’t fight it. And when something has that power to it, it’s beautiful, and beauty transcends all of that personality, and it’s always gonna belong, you just can’t put a cap on it and say, “Well, the original members aren’t doing this music anymore, so it’s over.” That can never be. It just can’t be.In a Jul 2012 interview for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Howe explains Yes's longevity by saying, "[T]hat's the answer to your question: We change[.] We're like an orchestra; an orchestra can change membership." In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes was asked how long he can see the band continuing: "As long as people want to see and hear us. [...] If we can get on a stage to play, and the fans still buy tickets, then we'll do it. [...] There's a lot more life in us." In an Aug 2015 interview, White was asked, "Chris [Squire] often joked that Yes could conceivably continue on with completely new members, that the name could just encompass the spirit and go on for new generations. Now that idea seems even more possible." He responded: "[Laughs] I never heard that one, but the music is kind of timeless, really."
Someone asked me the other day, “Do you think the band will ever get to the point where there’s no [classic] members?” And I said, perhaps, because it’s the music that makes it all worthwhile. There are a few Yes tribute bands out there, but not as many as other tribute bands because the music is quite hard to play.
Animated film project: Roger
Dean's "Floating Islands" film or something else
Yes had preliminary discussions about possible film ventures, including one being developed by Roger Dean. In an Apr 2007 interview for Mexican newspaper, Reforma, Squire said that the band have been in contact with Universal Pictures about making an animated movie about the band's history from their formation to the present day, including their more representative songs. The article makes a comparison with The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine":
Hace poco la compañía Universal Pictures se mostró interesada en hacer una película de animación en la que se muestra un poco de nuestra trayectoria musical, desde cuando surgimos, hasta la actualidad, incluyendo obviamente, nuestras canciones más representativas. Lo estamos analizando, todavía hay algunas puntos por precisar, como la historia, de qué trataría y cómo se abordaría, cuáles etapas de la carrera se incluirían, las canciones, pero creo que es muy pronto para hablar del tema, esperemos pronto poder dar más detalles. [...]An Aug 2012 interview with the same newspaper, Reforma, raises the idea again, along side plans for a live residency by the band. The article is not specific, but Squire seems to respond that both ideas are being considered, but will not occur in 2012 or 2013. See details above.
Son muchos años, muchas anécdotas que contar, creo que tendríamos que seleccionar muy bien lo que quisiéramos abordar, porque una película, comúnmente tiene una corta duración, cerca de dos horas y es muy poco para contar tanto, ya casi cumplimos cincuenta años de estar juntos.
It is unclear how Yes are or were involved with planning for
"Floating Islands". The film was expected to feature music by the
band. Asked in the Mar 2008 interview about Yes making some music
especially for the project, Dean replied: "all members of the band
have spoken enthusiastically about doing that. [...] That's
definitely what we would like." He goes on to say he would like
both existing and new songs, and discusses the options for either
existing or new recordings of old songs. He talks about both
"Awaken" and "Soon". Back in Jun 2007, Dean had said that Yes are
not currently involved with the project beyond authorising the use
of their music. A report from around 2005 had that the film was
intended to contain 8-12 classic tracks (a re-recorded "Close to
the Edge" was mentioned in one rumour) and at least 4-5 new
recordings. In Jun 2007, Dean confirmed there had previously been
discussion of Yes writing new music for the film and that the band
had been thinking of "re-recording everything" (presumably meaning
re-recording classic pieces), but that there hadn't been any
discussion of new music recently with Yes then being dormant.
Further back, there were more reports from Yes about contributing. In a Dec 2004 Delicious Agony interview, White said, "We're starting to write music for it." In his Christmas Newsletter 2004, Wakeman said: "There are certainly ideas in the offing which include [...] making a film/and/or DVD with Roger Dean involved with all of the visuals which I particularly like, but there is much to be sorted out within the band itself before any decisions". Wakeman indicated that one of their main reasons to prefer the DVD format over CDs is Internet piracy. In an Oct 2005 interview with Squire for YesFANZ, he said:
We are looking at various options from the various major companies. Universal have shown interest and we are going to be looking at trying to put together a show that maybe then after the film has been made of the same, we can then tour the world with that kind of a look and with that kind of combining the film and the touring aspect.The interviewer, Brian Draper, then raised the Dean project. Squire:
I think Roger’s floating Islands idea is a very good project. But after Lord of the Rings was made [...] with such good quality, it[']s hard to know quite whether Roger may be a bit late in thinking about that because it has been done so well with the correct amount of money [...] His idea, I fully support it but I am not quite sure where it is going to go. I had a couple of meetings with him to try and figure it out but so far nothing is happening.
[...] I think pretty much [he is looking for funding]. [...] Yes is a separate entity really from Roger [...] I have to look out for what’s best for Yes as opposed to Roger. But I think the idea of animated film for a Yes musical project is a good one but there are various options on the table that we are looking at.
Contemporary live releases
|Buy 3LP from Amazon (UK):
||Buy 3LP from Amazon (US):
||Topographic Drama – Live Across America,
out Nov 2017 on Warner, documented the band's tour playing Drama
and over half of Tales from Topographic Oceans. This
is a live album (2CD, 3LP or digital) taken from 12 shows
across the band's Feb 2017 tour leg
Schellen and Alan White were sharing drum duties).
There is no accompanying DVD. No overdubs were used on the
album. The cover is by Roger
Dean; photos/package design by Doug & Glenn Gottlieb.
Sherwood confirmed he was mixing in May 2017 on Facebook and
he chose the performances. After an Asia
show in Jun or Jul 2017, Sherwood said a CD is
||Buy 2CD from Amazon (UK):
||Buy MP3 version from Amazon
YES must have recorded many things beyond 1972, hopefully tapes survive and will turn up in good shape. I have mixed some of their live stuff before, but it was considered (I agreed) too poor to release, with sound issues, keyboard tunings, etc. In particular a 1976 show we found with Patrick could have been amazing (JFK Stadium in Philadelphia maybe?), but the tapes made it clear it was a very sour night.Jon Dee (who organised the Rock Aid Armenia project with Squire, Downes and umpteen others) has been tasked by Yes's management to collate soundboard and FM radio broadcasts that could be released. If you have high quality copies of such, please contact Jon.
of Yes songs & other news
A version of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is, it seems, to appear on The Eighties Reimagined from Trevor Horn.
Pusha T's "What Would Meek Do" (2:33; streaming audio), featuring Kanye West (who also produced), samples "Heart of the Sunrise". The song—written by Pusha T and West with Anderson, Bruford and Squire also credited for the sample—is on his May 2018 mini-album Daytona (GOOD Music/Def Jam Recordings). The album made #3 in the US (#2 in R&B/Hip-Hop), #5 in Canada, #13 in the UK, #86 in Germany, #18 in the Netherlands, #11 in Australia, #17 in Ireland, #22 in Sweden, #12 in Norway and New Zealand, #22 in Flanders, and #163 in Wallonia. First week US sales were of 77,000 album-equivalent units, including 39,000 actual album sales. (Pusha T's 2013 "Only You Can Tell It" previously sampled "Without Hope You Cannot Start the Day".)
Live in the UK (Open Sky Records) is a 2CD/DVD release from Celestial Fire, the band led by Dave Bainbridge (Iona, The Strawbs, worked with Damian Wilson; guitars, keys, bouzouki, percussion, vocal), Sally Minnear (lead vocals, vocal looping, acoustic guitar, percussion), Frank Van Essen (Iona; drums, percussion, violin, vocals), Simon Fitzpatrick (Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy; basses, Chapman Stick, Moog bass) and Dave Brons (guitars, Mandolin, vocals). Most of the material is from Bainbridge's solo career or Iona, but tracks include a bass solo version of "Roundabout" and their encore of "Soon".
Annie Barbazza (worked with Greg Lake, John Greaves) released a digital album, Annie's Playlist, Vol. 2 through Bandcamp (with streaming audio), in Dec 2017 largely of covers, including of King Crimson, ELP and Jethro Tull. There is an 8:57 Yes medley with "Close to the Edge: I Get Up I Get Down"/"Wonderous Stories"/"Close to the Edge: The Solid Time of Change"/"Soon"/"And You and I".
The Booboo'zzz All Stars' 12-track album Studio Reggae Bash Volume 2 (Baco Records), released 30 Mar 2018, includes a cover of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" featuring Rebecca M'Boungou on lead vocals (video).
documentaries & fandom
Another good friend of this site, Simon
Barrow, has written a book about Yes's music. "Solid Mental
Grace: Listening to the Music of Yes"
(Cultured Llama; Facebook,
is now out. Orders
available here. Simon explains the book's approach:
And yet another good friend, Aymeric Leroy (translated Bill Bruford's autobiography), wrote "Yes" (Le Mot et le Reste), a 352-page history of the band in French, now out. The book made #1 on Pop et rock Livres on Amazon (France).
Prog editor Jerry Ewing has written "Wonderous Stories: A Journey Through the Landscape of Progressive Rock" (Flood Gallery Publishing): a limited edition (600 copies) deluxe edition was released late 2017, with a regular hardcover (240 pages) following 18 Feb 2017. Slate journalist David Weigel has written "The Show that Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock" (WW Norton & Co., 320 pages), released 13 Jun 2017 (hardcover, ebook and audio book). The book covers Yes and Asia among other prog bands.
Geoff Bailie, another friend of this site, has a new podcast
Years 50", about the band on Prog Report radio, and
available through iTunes
and Google Play.
Prog magazine celebrated Yes's 50th
in their Apr 2018 issue. There was a 6-page article on Fish
Out of Water, 10 pages on Yes, and 2 on Cruise to the Edge,
plus various relevant reviews. The cover CD includes "Endless
Journey (Endless Version)" from Peter Banks'
Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky... The Anthology; and
"Tears from the Sun" with Oliver
Wakeman from John Holden's Capture
Uncut magazine released Yes:
The Ultimate Music Guide. Edited by John Robinson,
this is a 124-page magazine with a new introduction by Howe and
using interviews published over many decades.
At the London Fan Convention, Yes Music
Podcast's Kevin Mulryne (as he described in podcast
#328) met someone, later identified as Paul, who's been
working on some sort of documentary with Steve Howe and who was
also filming parts of the Fan Convention, with the possibility of
expanding the documentary to be about Yes's 50th anniversary. He
Journalist Jon Kirkman
(worked with Yes, Asia; Cruise to the Edge host),
who's also been helpful to the site over the years, wrote
an authorised book about Yes largely consisting of full
interviews with various band members, "Time and a Word: The
Yes Interviews" (Facebook,
Limited Editions), which was initially released as
a limited edition (1000 copies). There was also a
edition (350 copies) signed by Kirkman and three of
the band. An updated, large format, softback version
followed under the name "Yes
a large format, limited edition (600 copies,
signed). The book has now received a general paperback
release under the original title. It contains new and
archive interviews with current and past band members,
covering Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Kaye, Banks, Howe,
Wakemans R & O, White, Moraz, Downes, Rabin, Sherwood,
Brislin, David and Davison, as well as with Phil Franks,
the photographer for The Yes Album. The book also
contains many photographs, many not previously published
(including from Moraz' personal collection). New material
for the softback includes additional interviews with
Squire, Downes, Sherwood and Horn (Horn's conducted in May
2016), and interviews with Roger Dean and Mabel
Greer's Toyshop's Robert Hagger and Clive Bayley.
The artwork for the "Yes Dialogue" version was by Dean,
based on his planned artwork for Union when the
album was to be released under the name Dialogue.
Kirkman is also working on a second Yes book project.
"Melody Makers" is a documentary film about the magazine Melody Maker, principally from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s. Interviewees include Steve Howe, Alan White, Chris Squire, Roger Dean, Barrie Wentzell (Melody Maker photographer), Chris Welch (Melody Maker journalist, Yes biographer), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Steve Nardelli (The Syn), Sonja Kristina (Curved Air) and Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention, ex-Giles, Giles & Fripp). The film was shown at a number of US and UK film festivals in 2017. See my review here.
Keyboardist Brian Chatton (ex-The Warriors,
ex-FlamingYouth, ex-Jackson Heights, worked with The Hollies,
Meat Loaf) releases his memoir "Rolling with Rock
soon. Chatton worked with Anderson, Squire, Kaye and White over
the years. The back cover photo for the book was taken by Deborah
And people ask me, “What do you think of Yes [today]?” I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been my life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can’t tell them what to do, because it’s not my band. They’ve got the name, but I’ve got the state of mind about what true “Yes music” should sound likeIn late Jan 2017, ARW started using the 'Yes' name in promotion, billing themselves as "Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (ARW)". They did so against the wishes of the current Yes band. See more under ARW. When ARW then made a press announcement switching to that name on 10 Apr, Yes announced:
While Jon Anderson has rights to use the name as one of the co-owners of the trademark, Yes' position is that every effort should be made by promoters, ticket agencies and all involved to respect Yes' magnificant and loyal fanbase and minimize confusion regarding the use of Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman.An Apr 2017 UltimateClassicRock article reports that, at the time of Squire's death, ownership of the Yes brand (whatever precisely that means) was jointly held by Squire/Anderson/Howe/White. The article talks of a gentleman's agreement to that point between Anderson and Squire over use of the name, although it is unclear whether this is their theory or was confirmed by sources. They quote management for the continuity Yes as saying that while Anderson "has a co-ownership right to use the name", he also "presumably" has "a duty to ensure that the use does not cause unnecessary confusion for fans." Yes management also said they had been given exclusive use of the classic Dean logo. (Roger Dean himself said to one fan in late 2017 that he is open to doing cover art for ARW.) The article quotes Anderson's management too: "Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman have as much right – if not more so – to call themselves Yes, since Jon Anderson, the co-founder of the group, has always had the rights to use the name and the trademark".
They`ve been really cool about it. It`s never been a problem. I had a conversation with the other guys and just said to them to let people know who`s in the band as I keep getting phone calls about me playing somewhere but I`m not in your band, so please tell people who`s in the band so they don`t expect to see me.A Jun 2018 article in The San Diego Union-Tribune stated that, "A longstanding agreement stipulated that the only band that could be billed as Yes was the one that included Squire. After his death, Squire's widow told Anderson she saw no reason he, Wakeman and Rabin could not also assume the Yes name. So they did." Asked in another Jun 2018 interview whether each band has the other's blessing, White said:
Well, I don’t know. I don’t really think about it much, to tell you the truth. It’s their thing; their version of Yes. We do our version, but really this band is still Yes. There are comments that come from the other camp, but I wouldn’t reply to the comments because I don’t need to.Rumour suggests there have actually been ongoing arguments over the use of the Dean logo, with ARW periodically using it and then stopping using it.
It’s a lot of business stuff. We own the name. They own the name. Jon Anderson and I own it, but the logo we own, because Steve Howe owns most of the logo.
|Mabel Greer's Toyshop was founded in 1966 by Clive Bayley and Bob Hagger. They were joined in 1967 by Chris Squire and Peter Banks from The Syn, and then by Jon Anderson in early 1968. With Bayley and Hagger's departure, the band evolved into the first Yes line-up. Spurred on by Banks' passing, Bayley and Hagger (ex-So Rare) met up and decided to reunite the band. There were sessions Aug 2013-May 2014 in Paris with Hugo Barré (JP Raillot Quartet, works with Alex Keren; bass) and Clive's daughter, Annouchka Bayley (vocals). Billy Sherwood then announced that he and Tony Kaye were working with the band. Although not involved, Squire endorsed the project. An album, New Way of Life (Edifying Records, MGTCD1), was released with C Bayley (vocals, guitar), Barré (bass, keys, backing vocals), Hagger (drums, percussion), Sherwood (keys, additional bass), Kaye (Hammond), A Bayley (additional vocals), Alex Keren (backing vocals). The album was produced by Mabel Greer's Toyshop/Sherwood.|
The idea was to take 5 or 6 of the original songs and then flip them a bit, not playing them the way we used to play them, although we were playing some from memory. On one song in particular we just left a major bit out [...] after we recorded the album we thought "There's something wrong here... oh yeah, we've messed up! We've missed up the most important bit of the song!["] So now we've put the section in on the live set but obviously it's not on the album. [...] The last one you've heard which we're still playing around with is one of the new songs. We've got another albums' worth of songs, we just need to get together and put them down.
| Hagger continued on the writing process:
"Clive [Bayley] usually comes up with the idea and he puts
down the chords and the structure, we try it out [...] he
goes back to write the lyrics and then we put it all
together afterwards. Clive has written just about all of the
material." Hagger also says that there is some material from
the 1960s that they simply cannot remember today, although
Bayley is investigating an old ¼" tape he found that may
contain old material.
Released 2016 (1 Sep on Amazon) is a digital-only EP, Images, consisting of the band's 1967/8 John Peel sessions of 5 songs—"Beyond and Before", "Get Yourself Together", "Jeanetta", "Images of You and Me", "Electric Funeral"—remastered by Appelbaum in 2015. A CD version followed 4 Mar 2018. Performing are Bayley (guitar, vocals), Peter Banks (guitar, vocals), Chris Squire (bass, vocals) and Hagger (drums). These are from the same source as used on Peter Banks' Can I Play You Something? (tracks subsequently re-released on a number of compilations), but this is the first release known for "Jeanetta". The album was earlier made available through the band's website (with a bonus track of "Beyond and Before" with Sherwood and Kaye from New Way of Life), but this version is not remastered and appears to be a straight rip from Can I Play You Something?.
In Jul 2015, Mabel Greer's Toyshop announced that Max Hunt (Yes tribute band Fragile, worked with Jon Anderson, Fish) had joined on keys for sessions in Paris, with further sessions due in London. A 20 Jul 2015 rehearsal in Paris was with C Bayley, Hagger, Barré, Keren and Hunt. The band, including Bayley and Hunt, were working on the new music in Oct/Nov 2016. A new 9-track album, The Secret, was released on 8 Dec 2017 on CD, with songs having been released digitally one by one beforehand. The album is performed by Bayley (guitars, lead vocals), Hunt (keys, guitar, backing vocals), Hagger (drums, percussion) and Barré (bass); produced by Hunt and the band. Tracks:
version at Amazon (US):
||Buy CD at
Musical arrangements were by Bayley/Hunt/Barré/Hagger.
(1) and (2) were edited by Hunt, and the whole album
mastered by Hunt.
Chris Squire tribute album
In Jan 2017, Billy Sherwood announced that he had signed on to produce a tribute album to Chris Squire. He (bass) and Jay Schellen (drums) perform throughout, with various guests including Jon Davison, Tony Kaye and Patrick Moraz. In a Mar 2017 interview, he said he had 25 or 26 guests, including several he met on the Cruise to the Edge. He described working on the album in the break between the two Asia tour legs, i.e. 5 Apr-4 Jun 2017. Social media updates in Apr described guitar tracking. Sherwood described working on "The More We Live—Let Go" in an 11 Apr 2017 Facebook message, saying "Came up with a very cool acoustic 12 string part, using this very cool miniature 12 string made by Fret King Vintage, its called "VIATOR 12". Very unique tone and fits great into the sonic picture going on for this track...." He also used the VIATOR 12 on "Onward". On 16 Apr, he was recording "On the Silent Wings of Freedom".
Sherwood then had a long period touring, with Asia and then Yes,
before returning to the project in Oct 2017. On 4 Dec, he said he
had begun mixing the album. Preliminary mixing and some additional
recording appears to have continued through the month. Mid-Feb
2018, Sherwood posted to Facebook that, "Wish I was mixing the
Chris Squire Tribute record I produced and recorded but for
reasons unknown the record company thinks it will be better if I
don't.... still completely stunned by that logic or lack there of.
Needless to say I'm most unhappy with their decision." However, on
17 May, he posted, "I'm extremely happy to announce the label
decided to use my Mixs for the Chris Squire tribute I've produced
A Life in Yes: The Chris Squire
Tribute (Purple Pyramid), produced, recorded and
mixed by Sherwood, is due 9 Nov on CD and vinyl. The
cover is by Charlie Roy. Tracks (61 minutes + 14 minutes
of previously released bonus tracks):
Keyboardist Dave Kerzner (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud; Sound of Contact, In Continuum, Mantra Vega, worked with Francis Dunnery, Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, ex-Giraffe) has worked and is working on several projects involving Yes members. The debut album of his new band In Continuum has Jon Davison guesting: see under Davison for details. Davison and Billy Sherwood guested on "Comfortably Numb" at a pre-Cruise to the Edge show in 2018 by Kerzner's All-Star band, while Geoff Downes guested on a song by the Dave Kerzner Band during the cruise: details in the Cruise section.
Kerzner is working on a Yes tribute album,
to be mixed mid-Sep 2018 and due later in the year, co-produced
by himself and Fernando Perdomo (In Continuum,
worked with Mika). Kerzner reported the album recording
finished on 11 Sep 2018, with a release due Nov. Pre-orders will
come with a " few bonus original tracks". Kerzner performs keys
(including a Hohner Claviola), with guests including Tony
Schellen, Johnny Bruhns (ex-CIRCA:,
ex-Yes tribute band Roundabout;
guitar), Robert Berry (ex-3, worked with
Steve Howe), Francis
Dunnery (vocals), Dave Bainbridge (Iona,
The Strawbs, Celestial Fire), Sally Minnear (Kerry Minnear's daugther; Celestial Fire),
Marco Minnemann (In Continuum, worked with Tony
Levin, Eddie Jobson; drums), Nick D'Virgilio (Pulse,
In Continuum, ex-Spock's Beard, ex-Genesis; vocals), Robin Schell (vocals),
District 97, Dennis Atlas (Bad Dreams; vocals),
Joe Cass (Total
Mass Retain Yes tribute band; drums), Derek
Cintron (Dave Kerzner Band; drums), and
Pat Sansone. Tracks include:
Downes, Sherwood and Davison were reportedly in Florida at the end of Aug 2018 for work on the album. There were sessions for the album in early Sep with Atlas, Bruhns, Cass, Cintron, D'Virgilio, Dunnery, Minnemann and Schell. Kerzner was working on some Yes tracks some years ago: it is unclear if these recordings appear on the forthcoming album or not. In Aug 2011, he described Sherwood and "several other ex-members of Yes" yet to be specified as working on some Yes covers. Sherwood (bass, vocals) and Kerzner (vocals) then described a cover of "The Fish" (sample), using existing drum samples from Bill Bruford and also some other samples from D'Virgilio. There was a teaser sample here. Kerzner described in Oct 2011 working on a Yes medley with Sherwood, possibly including "Starship Trooper: Würm". Next came a sample from "Changes" with Sherwood (bass, guitars, drums, vocals) and Kerzner (keys, vocals). Then in Mar 2012, Kerzner referred to a cover of "Yours is No Disgrace" with Sherwood (bass, drums), Kaye (keys) and Bruhns (guitar); Kerzner may also play keys on the piece.
Kerzner also reportedly has an album
co-written with Sherwood expected in 2019. This might be
connected with some of the projects described further below.
Kerzner's second solo album, Static
(>75 minutes duration), now out, is with Kerzner (vocals, keys,
guitars), Perdomo (guitar, bass, drums), Derek Cintron (In Continuum; drums), Randy McStine (The Fringe, In Continuum; guitar, bass), Matt
Dorsey (Sound of Contact, In Continuum; bass),
Durga & Lorelei McBroom (worked with Pink
Floyd; vocals), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd),
Alex Cromarty (Mostly Autumn; drums),
Stuart Fletcher (Sea Horses; bass), Colin
Edwin (ex-Porcupine Tree; bass), Stuart
Fletcher (bass), Sherwood (bass), D'Virgilio (drums), and Ruti
Celli (cello). Kerzner also recorded, mixed and produced the
album. Tracks include "Crossing of Fates" with Kerzner (keys),
Keith Emerson (modular Moog), Perdomo (guitar), Sherwood (bass)
and Simon Phillips (ex-Asia; drums): video here.
Sherwood sat in with the Dave Kerzner Band for one song on the Cruise to
the Edge 2015, and again on the 2017
Sonic Elements (Facebook; SoundCloud) is a group of progressive/classic rock projects led by Kerzner dating back some years, which are also connected to his music software development company Sonic Reality. Kerzner said on ProgressiveEars.com in Mar 2018 that, "I'm always putting those on the back burner to the point where they've been brewing for 5 years so it's time to release them into the wild. I will get those done and released this year." He is the main producer and keyboardist on the projects that are recording various covers (including of Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis and ELP) and original songs, where some of the instrumental tracks are also available through Sonic Reality's sample libraries. In Sep 2015 on ProgressiveEars.com, Kerzner said: "The Lamb [Lies Down on Broadway tribute] as well as the Rush tribute and the Floyd tribute are all about 80% done and I'm looking forward to final tracking with Francis [Dunnery] and others then mixing them and releasing them! They sound really good and they were a lot of fun to do!"
Plans have evolved over time. Back in Dec 2011, Kerzner described
a plan consisting of:
Sonic Elements Fantasy Interactive
Dark Side of the Moon w/ Alan Parsons
Sonic Elements XYZ Fantasy Band Tribute to Rush featuring Neil Peart Drums
Sonic Elements Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Fantasy Soundtrack Tribute to Genesis
Sonic Elements Trifecta (original music with Billy Sherwood and drums from Terry Bozzio, Rod Morgenstein, Neil Peart...)
Sonic Elements TBA fantasy progressive rock project featuring...
... all involving Sherwood in some capacity. The tribute to Rush
and Trifecta serve to explain the model for these
projects. The original track "Trifecta" features newly composed
material performed by Sherwood (bass, guitars) and Kerzner (keys)
to an existing drum track for Rush's "YYZ" that was recorded not
long before by Neil Peart for a sample library at Sonic Reality
with producer Nick Raskulinecz (worked with Rush),
while the Rush tribute consists of covers of Rush songs, again
using Peart's drum tracks. A 5-song EP, XYZ—A Tribute to Rush,
produced by Kerzner, was released on download and as a limited
edition CD from esoundz.
Pre-orders included a bonus, downloadable 6th track. Details
in Yescography. In Apr 2012,
Kerzner said that there:
will at least be another EP of
different [Rush] material (the "keyboard era" stuff) and then
eventually a full album and that will have different versions of
some of these songs on it as well.
Plus there's going to interactive versions of the songs similar to Jammit except they can work inside products like AmpliTube where you can play guitar through modeled amps and pedals or inside Garageband and play anything you want. That's coming along with Neil Peart's isolated drum tracks. But these interactive versions are more for musicians to interact with.
In an Oct 2012 post to ProgressiveEars.com, he said the next
Rush-related release would be the full-length album Moving
Signals & Waves, covering tracks from the Rush albums Moving
Pictures, Signals and Permanent Waves.
Mixing was going on in May 2013. Confirmed tracks for the album
Man" with Sherwood (vocals, guitar, bass), Kerzner (keys)
and Perdomo (guitars); "Spirit
of Radio", with Sherwood (bass), Kerzner (keys), Mike Keneally (ex-Frank
Zappa, ex-Stanley Snail, worked with Robert Fripp; guitars),
D'Virgilio (vocals); and "Subdivisions", with Kerzner, John Payne
(ex-Asia, Asia Featuring John
Payne; vocals) and Erik Norlander (ex-Asia
Featuring John Payne). Another song on the album
features Kerzner (keys), Sherwood (bass, guitar), Steve Hackett
(Squackett, ex-GTR, ex-Genesis) and Keith Emerson
(ex-ELP), while either that one or another features
guitar from both Hackett and Francis
Dunnery (ex-It Bites, ex-The Syn, worked with ABWH).
The album was also to include the 4 Rush tracks on the XYZ
EP, but in different versions. At various times, Kerzner or
others have described covers of further Rush songs:
Dunnery is also singing on some of the Rush songs.
Glass Hammer did a track for the Trifecta release, but this was eventually released instead on Glass Hammer's Untold Tales under the title "The Impulsive Type" (see under Davison, who is on other tracks on that album). Seemingly referring or related to the Trifecta album project, in Jan 2012, Kerzner said on Facebook: "Among the various music releases you can expect [...] are some original tunes, many of which have been done with ex-Yes-man Billy Sherwood along with SR sampled grooves of great drummers such as Rod Morgenstein of the Dixie Dregs." There was an accompanying clip to a piece entitled "Razors Edge" with Sherwood and samples from Morgenstein. Then there's "Racing Through Time" (sample), another original piece by Sherwood, this time using a sample library from Alan Parsons.
Also due is a Genesis tribute. The plan, after some evolution, is
for a 40th anniversary tribute to The Lamb Lies Down on
Broadway led by Kerzner (keys) and Dunnery (lead vocals),
both of whom also worked on Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited
2 album. The album, It: A Tribute to Genesis & The
Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (teaser
here), was due 2015 but has been delayed; it features
multiple guests, including Sherwood, Steve Rothery
(Marillion), Lee Pomeroy (Anderson Rabin
Wakeman, Rick Wakeman, It Bites, Steve Hackett),
Dan Hancock (ex-Giraffe), Martin Levac (The
Musical Box) and Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett).
The album is
described as "done in a "classic rock-meets-modern film
score" style combining authentic vintage instruments from the 70s
(including sounds recorded at Genesis' studio with engineer Nick
Davis) along with a full orchestra." Previous reports have also
mentioned the involvement of Stan Cotey (ex-Giraffe),
McStine and Mark Hornsby
(worked with D'Virgilio), plus the use of samples of
Tony Banks' keyboard playing. Sherwood plays on at least
"Lilywhite Lilith". He also sang lead vocals on versions of that
song and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway": those and "Chamber of
32 Doors" sang by Sylvan were expected as bonus material on the
album. A Peter Gabriel cover, "Rhythm of the Night", with Dunnery
(vocals), using Sonic Reality's Jerry Marotta drum library was
also mooted previously.
The Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon project involves Nick
Mason (ex-Pink Floyd), Davis, Dorie Jackson (works
with Dunnery, ex-The Syn; vocals), Guy Pratt (worked
with Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson; bass), Colin Edwin (ex-Porcupine
Tree; bass), Natalie Azerad (vocals), Durga & Lorelei McBroom (vocals). The Sonic Elements Facebook
page in Jan 2013 said: "I've assembled a Sonic Elements band in LA
this week to work with the McBroom sisters [...] Billy Sherwood,
Randy McStine, Fernando Perdomo and myself (with Pink Floyd's
rhythm section already recorded/sampled)". An update in Jan 2014
announced The Dark Side of Sonic Elements album for 2014
with Sherwood, Dunnery, McStine, the McBrooms and "utilizing the
brand new Sonic Reality 2014 sample library releases from Nick
Mason, Guy Pratt, Alan Parsons, the McBroom Sisters and more."
However, this has yet to appear.
I was just talking with Francis Dunnery about finishing up The Lamb tracks next month [Apr 2018]. The Rush tribute is the closest to finish and I was just holding out to do a track with David Longdon of Big Big Train [...] but it would have to be built from scratch since I don't have the drum track from Neil Peart for that song... and I was going to play it from the keyboard using Neil's drum samples but it's in 5/8 and a little tricky. A fun challenge but I need a bit of time to do it right. Arrrggghhh. Maybe I'll still do it. There's also an original music side to the project too and I have material from Glass Hammer, Billy Sherwood and others for that as well. The Floyd tribute split into two projects, one I did with Alan Parsons participating and the other that's become a female led Floyd tribute sung by the McBroom Sisters and it'll be their album that I'm co-producing which will also have original songs written with various people who played with Floyd like Guy Pratt, Jon Carin and others. Even a tune they wrote with Lemmy from Motorhead will be on that one. Some of the guys from Australian Pink Floyd are helping finish that album because I've gotten a bit too overloaded to do ALL of them at the same time. There is also another Genesis-related Sonic Elements thing that may come out as well but it hasn't been announced publicly so that's probably the lowest priority. Then there's the Yes stuff which I don't know if I have enough to do a full album of Yes music. Might put those on an SE compilation album or something just to get everything I've worked on a home and unless we do any others (might) that will wrap up the tributes. Obviously if they do really well for my distributors there could be more. [...] I'm imposing my own deadline of releasing them all before the end of the year. Probably around Summer time or at least by the end of the year as I'll be playing some of it on CTTE!
John Holden (Facebook) has recorded a solo album, Capture Light (samples), out Mar 2018; the album was produced by Holden and mastered by Robin Armstrong. Holden is responsible for guitars, bass, keys and programming, while Oliver Day (Yes tribute band Fragile, Winter Springs; electric & acoustic guitars, lute, mandolin) appears on tracks 1-5 & 8. Details in Yescography. Tracks:
The music is by Holden, with lyrics by Holden and Elizabeth Buckley.
|Light Freedom Revival (Facebook) is a project headed by singer-songwriter John Vehadija (ex-Inyth, worked with Jon Anderson). A first album, Eterniverse Deja Vu, was released Mar 2017 with contributions from Billy Sherwood (drums, bass, keys, mix, engineering, co-produced) and Oliver Wakeman (piano, keys, additional engineering) among others. Details in Yescography.|
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.