Where are they now? - Yes
and projects with multiple Yesmen
This page last updated: 26 Nov 15
On this page—Yes: On tour - Heaven & Earth - Live releases - Panegyric/Steven Wilson series - Covers of Yes songs - Documentaries & books - Fandom
Projects involving multiple Yes men: Anderson Wakeman - CIRCA:
(Sherwood, Kaye) - Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin - Sonic Reality project (w/ Sherwood, Kaye et al.) - Cleopatra Records album with
guest artists (w/ Sherwood, Squire, Howe,
Downes, Wakeman, Kaye, Banks)
|Yes news YesWorld; official
Yes are Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood. Founding member Chris Squire died during the night of 27 Jun 2015. Requiescat in pace. He had acute erythroid leukaemia, a type of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Before Squire's death, it was announced that planned live dates would go ahead with Sherwood filling in for Squire, and Sherwood has now stepped in to replace him. In early Jul, Sherwood, in a message entitled "The upcoming tour", said online: "A passion never dies. Yes is my passion as it was Chris and so as requested by my friend we go forward as Yes". White has since confirmed that the band will go on; he talked about their plans in a 21 Jul Billboard article:
It's certainly going to be hard without him, but he called me and asked me to keep everything going regardless of what happens[.] So absolutely we're moving ahead. I'm gonna do it for him.The Billboard article carries more about events in Squire's final month. He first became aware of his condition in Apr, the band learning about it in late May. The article continues:
[Squire] had broached the idea of taking a year off but eventually recanted. When he became too ill to go on tour, however, he was adamant that Yes hit the road without him [...]In an Aug 2015 interview, Sherwood describes a succession of calls from Squire. Squire related how he was going to need chemotherapy and this would be a problem for the summer tour with Toto. The article continues by quoting Sherwood:
"I said, 'Well, your health is first and foremost, and if the tour has to be postponed, whatever the case may be, you gotta do what you gotta do.' And he said, 'I hear ya, I hear ya.'Another Aug interview with Sherwood has this:
Sherwood adds that their last conversations touched on the topic of keeping the band together, with Squire asking him to “keep Yes going as much as possible into the future.”In another Aug interview, Downes said:
I think that we all felt it was very important to continue the legacy of Yes, and not just for Chris’ sake but also for the fans and plans and preparations for the tour and the expectations and everything like that [...] there is an air of melancholy but at the same time I think we’ve got to make sure that we try and keep that legacy of Yes going for as long as we possibly can.An Aug 2015 interview with Howe reports that the band "had some hesitation and discussions before eventually deciding to" continue. It quotes Howe:
We thought if we don’t stay on course, we’re gonna lose the plot[.] And the plot might be that there would be a different future or no future for Yes, I suppose, is another way of sort of cruelly putting it.In another, Howe was asked about how it felt to be touring without Squire:
It's not quite like anything we expected but we have a sense of duty, responsibility, we all hold positions and you have to forge ahead, whatever happens in your life. You can't run away from things. So I guess we've kind of faced up to it and kind of come to terms with what we're about to do, because, you see, everything about it is unfortunateYesWorld carried a statement from Squire about his illness when the news was announced on 19 May 2015:
This will be the first time since the band formed in 1968 that YES will have performed live without me. But the other guys and myself have agreed that Billy Sherwood will do an excellent job of covering my parts and the show as a whole will deliver the same YES experience that our fans have come to expect over the years.Sherwood said on Facebook the same day in May:
As we have all learned the news about Chris Squire/Yes... I wanted everyone to know my perspective.Further details on Squire's passing here.
Yes released Heaven & Earth (Frontiers Records) in Jul 2014, produced by Roy Thomas Baker, mixed by Sherwood. The band toured through much of 2014; latter touring in 2014 was with a new set list, including material from the new album. A date on the 2014 European tour was recorded for a live CD/DVD/Blu-ray release, now out and also mixed by Sherwood. 2014 also saw The Yes Album and Relayer re-released with remixes by Steven Wilson and bonus material. Asked about Yes's plans for 2015, Howe said in a Nov 2014 interview for YesFANZ:
since 2008 it has been crazy busy [...] 2 albums and just loads of touring [...] is quite a good sense of progress [...] so we haven’t announced what we are doing [in 2015] but we are doing less, a bit less, not only do we need to take it a little bit easier and not jam the year up and also kind of … there might be different reasons why we agreed to not do too much [...] But there again, I particularly don’t want to lose all the momentum [...] Kind of stopping would be bizarre, doing less, you know, is the option we’ve got [...] Not only because Geoff’s still in Asia [...] So it is hard when you ask about next year, we hope that what we’ve got is kind of enough to keep us going but not too much to make it seem like we never stop seeing each other.Releases for the year are Wilson's remix of Fragile; a live CD/DVD recorded in Mesa in 2014; and Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two, covering 7 shows from 1972 and now out. Touring resumed 7 Aug with a North American co-headlining tour with Toto, followed by the Cruise to the Edge and associated dates in Nov.
|Heaven & Earth—a summary
booklet) ; Frontiers
Records page ; SoundCloud
samples ; electronic
|When||Released 16-22 Jul 2014.
||Extensive pre-production late 2013. Sessions in Los Angeles, CA ran 6 Jan-14 Mar 2014. Mix in late Mar 2014.|
|Who||Chris Squire: bass, backing vocals
Steve Howe: electric, acoustic & steel guitars (inc. pedal steel), backing vocals
Alan White: drums, percussion
Geoff Downes: keyboards, computer programming (inc. grand piano, Hammond, Solina, synth string & brass arrangements)
Jon Davison: lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar (1, 6)
|Produced by Roy Thomas Baker
Mixed by Billy Sherwood
Mastered by Maor Appelbaum
Engineered by Dave Dysart, Eric Corson; backing vocals engineered by Sherwood
Painting & logos: Roger Dean
Management: Paul Silveira Management
|What||1. "Believe Again"
[Davison/Howe] (8:02), preview at YouTube
2. "The Game"[Squire/Davison/Johnson] (6:51), preview at YouTube
3. "Step Beyond" [Howe/Davison] (5:34), preview at YouTube
4. "To Ascend" [Davison/White] (4:43), preview at YouTube
5. "In a World of Our Own" [Davison/Squire] (5:20), full preview at YouTube
6. "Light of the Ages" [Davison] (7:41), preview at YouTube
7. "It was All We Knew" [Howe] (4:13)
8. "Subway Walls" [Davison/Downes] (9:03)
Bonus track on Japanese CD:
9. "To Ascend" acoustic version (4:33)
|There were various writing/pre-production
sessions involving all or subsets of the band, dating back
to early 2012. "The Game" is partly based on a demo from the
2006/7 writing sessions by Squire and Gerard Johnson that
also produced "The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be" and parts
of the Squackett album.
Davison has said the band had "more music than we can work with" and talked of a "bunch of extra material" that will probably appear on a future album.
|How||Frontiers Records (FR CD 651) in most of
Distribution in the US by Universal; in Germany by Soulfood Entertainment
Release in Japan by Victor Entertainment
|Released as CD (Digipak) and, in Europe,
limited edition 180g 2-disc vinyl release (available in
black or blue). Japan also saw a limited edition SHM-CD
||26 (9 Aug)
|USA Hits Daily Double||27 (29 Jul); ~8,961 first week sales|
||7 (9 Aug)
||4 (9 Aug)|
||13 (9 Aug)|
||20 (27 Jul)
||4 (27 Jul)
||10 (23 Jul)
||18 (27 Jul)
||45 (week 30)
|Global Chart Report
||31 (25 Jul); 20,000 sales
Got a phone call from the Yes camp tonight, asking me to engineer the backing vocal sessions for their new record. Tomorrow I start with Jon Davison, Squire comes in later in the day to sing, Steve Howe after that and so on for the next week or so...(One report suggests that Sherwood effectively worked with the band on arranging the backing vocals.) The studio time used was shorter than for recent Yes albums and the band were rushed at the end. Squire explained to the Jun 2014 issue of Prog: "This did help focus [...] us on what we were recording, but at one time it led to us working simultaneously in three studios[.] Roy was in the main room at the studio in LA working on guitar overdubs. I was in a smaller room with Billy Sherwood getting the vocal harmonies completed, and Alan White was in a Seattle studio doing drum parts. But it worked out fine." In the Jul 2014 Prog, Squire described this period as "a kind of fun pressure, not a nasty pressure. Everyone rose to the occasion." In a late Mar 2014 interview (seemingly done some time between 27-9 Mar), Davison described the end of the sessions thus:
we finished recording just in time [...] we were doubling up in the studio, meaning that Chris and I were still there working on background vocals, Steve was finishing guitars at the same time. Geoff was in Wales, Alan in Seattle, and they were both sending tracks still. Alan had some percussion to do. So we were just kind of throwing everything in at the last minute. And then we only had, I think, two or three days maximum before we had to start this [Canadian] tour [first show was 19 Mar]. The tracks still have to be mixed and Roy Thomas Baker will start that in a couple of days. And then what he's going to do is send us, um, mix examples and then we all kind of sign off on them, or make, er, comments about changes we feel needed.Davison explained this approach to mixing was because "we just ran out of time". Davison above, Squire and Howe in an interview with Vintage Rock, and a first press release refer to Baker mixing Heaven & Earth, as was the original plan. Indeed, the band said on the cruise (11 Apr) that Baker was currently mixing the album. However, Sherwood mixed the album, at his own CIRCA:HQ studios, using Hafler speakers. On 16 May, he said on Facebook that, "I'm mixing the new YES record !!! Finished the 1st song late last night and now heading into the 2nd track." Late on 17 May, he said, "Mixing the new Yes record "Heaven & Earth".... 2 songs of 9 so far, "everybody happy happy happy". Moving into the 3rd track as we speak." 18 May, he described mixing the third song; 19 May, the fourth; 20 May, the fifth, with this comment: "song 5 of 9 today, spoke to the band, everyone happy happy happy with the mixes". Song 6 was mixed on 21 May, song 7 on 22 May, and the last two on 23 May. Sherwood said on 23 May: "Finished all the mixes for the new YES record... now I'm going to address a few minor tweaks the band members have (turn this up a bit or down etc...) and then it's off to mastering". And on 24 May: "Mixing Yes, actually doing some little tweaks on the mixs... I had Squire on Skype as I was addressing a few things with the mix, it was a blast lol. Tomorrow the entire band will be on skype with me as we'll be looking at the last and final tweaks." Posting in the early hours of the 26th, Sherwood said, "Operation "Mix Heaven And Earth for YES" is done [...] All mix[e]s done and dropped of at the mastering studio. [...] FUn day, working closely with the band , they were on skype from Holland while I was in my studio in LA. We did 8 hours of it, came out great, everybody happy happy happy !!!" In a Jul 2014 interview with MusicRadar, Howe said, "we just didn't feel that it was quite Yes" (seemingly referring to an initial mix by Baker). He continued: "Billy has a history with the band [...] we trusted him [...] That's how the swinging roundabout came; we might have been going around with this with Roy Thomas Baker, but that's not how we finished it. We wanted Billy to bring it back to Yes Central." In an interview published Dec 2014, but seemingly done much earlier (possibly Aug), Howe said:
we met up with Roy [...] and he heard some songs. He didn’t comment much. We got to January, and we played him some more things. He didn’t comment much. We went into the rehearsal room, and he didn’t say a lot. He kind of thought that most of the material could kind of make it through, which was right; it did. So it wasn’t an easy relationship to describe, really. I mean, in a way it was a meeting of different camps [...] like it always is with a band and a producer. [...] you know, we got there.In an interview Jun 2014 with Jon Kirkman, Squire said: "[Baker] threw in some useful ideas, actually, as well as his engineering skills. And things seemed to roll along quite well [...] still, we're used to a Yes album usually taking about four or five months from the beginning to the end of the mixing, but we really only had about two [...] so we started starting earlier and leaving the studio later and just generally trying to put more work into the record". He went on: "the last two or three weeks [...] we got [...] Sherwood in [...] We did the harmonies with him in a different studio while Roy was overdubbing keyboards and guitar parts. [...] Alan was in a different studio doing percussion parts [...] So it got a little bit [...] hectic towards the end [...] no-one was really doing what anyone else was doing until the last couple of days when we pulled everything together and listened to it with Roy [...] he made notes on what everybody thought about this bit or that bit and then we left". Squire continued, explaining that the expected studio time then became unavailable ("or the engineers did, or something — I'm not sure exactly what"), so Baker went to a studio in Phoenix (Salt Mine) owned by someone Squire knows, "and started to mix there, but that didn't go too well for one reason or another, I'm not too sure of, some equipment problems etc." Given the approaching deadline, the decision was taken to hand the mix over to Sherwood as the band knows him, he "works quite quickly" and knows Yes's music. In the Sep 2014 issue of Classic Rock, Squire likewise said, "We had problems with certain studios, nothing was getting done and we'd already missed our deadline[.] It wasn't Roy's fault." In an Aug 2014 interview, Squire said: "Billy actually wasn't supposed to be involved at first. There were a few scheduling hiccups at the end and we needed to get the album delivered on time. So we brought Billy in to help out."
But when we finished the recording [...] we kind of felt [...] we needed somebody like Billy Sherwood to come in and not only help us finish up the [...] backing vocals, which was one of the projects that was looking like we couldn’t do in the time frame. [...] and then he’d be able to mix it, with us [...] Billy went off and mixed it and we said. “No, yes, no, no, yes, yes,” you know. And we kind of detailed the mix as best we could [...]
Yes always tends to get pressure when we do projects. [...] In the ’70s, we’d worked where we were finishing and maybe had to go straight off on tour. So I really shouldn’t complain. It’s not any different [...]
That happens to artists because they always take more time, then they do a lot of work right at the end. In other words, everybody’s laid back, walking around saying, “Ah, there’s no rush.” Then they hit the last few weeks, and it’s like “Oh, we gotta rush! We have no time to finish it! We’ve got to cancel this and that!” [...] [laughs]
Ever since I joined the band there was talk that there would be a new album coming down the line, so I immediately started getting my ideas together. I’ve done a lot of songwriting with Glass Hammer, so I was prepared to really take this album on fully. [...] Early on, I met with Chris a few times and we started collaborating. And we met another time later and solidified a couple of our ideas, which have made it to the album. I went up to Washington to work with Alan, and that song’s also on the album. I flew up to the UK to work with Steve individually and then later Geoff individually. We had a lot of extra ideas too, that haven’t made it to the record, not because they’re any poorer in quality, but it’s just because we reached the time limit. We had enough music to work with. [...] it was just really exciting working individually with each member, and then we came together collectively, which also was really rewarding to see the bare bones ideas of demos really come to a complete realization as each musician plays the parts and interprets the parts, expands on the ideas. [...] the music becomes about the band as a whole.In an Apr 2014 interview, Squire described the album: "It's pretty well song-based in many ways, but it also has the kind of Yes style of expanding songs into musical pieces [...] it's definitely got the Yes stamp of arrangement on the album, there's no doubt about that." He continued, "[Davison] worked with the other four of us on a couple of tracks each, and we've come together at the end of the album with some very strong music." In one Apr 2014 interview, Howe had said, "we have tracks over ten minutes!", although none on the final album are that long. In an Aug 2014 interview, Davison also described the album:
You have to just go where the creativity takes you[.] At this stage in the game they [the others in Yes] want to ease back into some almost relaxing music[.] I don’t mean to sound like everyone’s dull by any means because that’s not it at all. [...]And then about the creation of the album:
it’s just a phase in their lives where it’s kind of an easy-listening record. It just kind of warms over you if you let it. It’s a lighter shade of Yes
I was just so passionate about doing an album, again because they’ve inspired me for so many years. I just brought a lot to the table[.]In the Jul 2014 interview with MusicRadar, when the interviewer said they would not call the album 'prog rock' (save for "Subway Walls"), Howe replied:
There wasn’t a lot of time [to record] [...] we had to really buckle down and get some product organized. I just had so much [...] they felt like they were happy to take it on board. At least take what they felt had potential and fine-tune it.
And I think I made it easy for them in a lot of ways[.] They were very inspired as a result. They just fed off my excitement and enthusiasm.
[...] I guess so. But [...] when somebody at Mercedes-Benz goes to work, they don’t ask themselves if they’re an Audi or a Volkswagen. They know they’re a Mercedes-Benz. When Yes goes to work, we don’t ask ourselves if we’re another band. We’re Yes. But that’s a pretty broad stroke.Back to the Vintage Rock interview and the interviewer asked Howe, "you left Asia last year  but are still busier than ever. How do you do it?" His reply sheds light on one song on the album: "there's a song on the album called "It Was All We Knew," which isn't exactly about work, but basically I'm at home in my comfort zone, being in Yes and having a schedule that's somewhat demanding, but keeps me off the streets."
[...] when you look at Open Yours Eyes or other albums [...] we deviate from being just another straight-ahead, thoroughbred prog band. [...] remember that we took nothing but criticism [...] for being a prog band [...] you can’t blame us for sometimes wanting to edge away from it. But we don’t do that because we want to; we do that because of the material we’ve got.
It was the same with Fly From Here: [...] we didn’t say, ‘Oh, we’re not gonna make this record ‘cause it’s not prog.’ Or ‘We’re not gonna make this record ‘cause it’s too prog.’ Therefore, we would have upset everybody who thinks we’re indulgent, technical show-offs. We were never that. [...] through the ‘70s, all we were was an honest band that did what we did. And that’s all Heaven & Earth is.
We can’t change our mold. On this record, we’ve just got those songs. Some of them were a little bit dangerously close to being accessible, but some of them might not be dangerously close to being accessible. We don’t have a mold. I mean, I love the Keys To Ascension and I love the ‘70s, but we’re not always there. We just have to accept that, and so does our audience.
In some ways, some people in our band might be trying to appease people and give them something accessible. [...] I can say that we are more accessible – as writers, that’s what comes to us. I don’t disagree [...] about Subway Walls. It’s a profoundly good arrangement; we really developed a lot of ideas. I think it shows what weight Jon Davison has brought to us. He collaborated on the music with [Geo]ff as much as I did with him on Believe Again.
It’s a real mixed bag of writing, and it isn’t all the same, thank goodness. Some of it does lean a bit to close to ‘la la la-la-la,’ but that’s what we are
He’s come through with some great material.In another Apr 2014 interview, Howe was asked about the sound of the album:
His writing has been building up for a few years, and he's been looking for an outlet. The singer is expected to do that. Benoit [David] wasn't a writer, really. That's why Trevor Horn was involved in writing “Fly From Here.”
Now we’re much more independent. We don’t have a producer to write songs, so therefore we have to come up with them ourselves, and Jon is really excellent.
it sounds pretty different for us. [...] we are presenting a new writer [with Davison] alongside what Chris and Geoff and I are writing. It[...] has a lot of freshness, and I think that’s quite a healthy thing. The cross-writing is quite interesting, as Jon has written with most of us. There’s quite a collaborative sense that Jon brought into play [...] And his voice — we’ve gotten to see the effect of that element because of Roy Thomas Baker as we checked the mixes and got the whole feel. I’ve become quite happy with the album, and think it will be somewhat more of a surprise than Fly From Here.In an Apr 2014 interview with Prog Sphere, Howe described taking "a long time to collaborate [...] and I wanted that to be a longer process." He then talked about Heaven & Earth being "not strictly speaking a concept record but the basic idea of heaven and earth came about from some different title ideas which we presented to Roger Dean, who mistakenly one day called it Heaven And Earth". He expanded on the story in a Nov 2014 interview for YesFANZ:
it was actually Roger and I who came up the mistaken title of Heaven and Earth – a great title, it’s perfect for it – but it was actually came out of two other titles, one that had Heaven in it and one that had Earth in it. And Roger was going to me ‘I saw your titles and a couple … and Chris put forward one and we put forward a couple, and I dreamed up a couple, so …….. it’s good. And I said ‘yeah, Heaven and Earth’ and I said ‘no, no, it wasn’t Heaven and Earth but that’s really good Roger’ and he went ‘yes, it is, isn’t it. It’s kind of ying and yang’. And we said ok this is it and we went down that path and went to the band and said, you know, just be mistake I told them what happened to Roger and I and they kind of went “what?” and I said ‘yep, just think about it. Heaven and Earth, you know.[’]Howe went on to describe the genesis of the new logo:
I said to him ‘are you thinking about the logo’ and he said ‘well, you know, blah, blah, blah’. I said ‘Roger you have got to get out of that, you’ve got to change it [...] how about a sort of stripy one. [...] I can’t see a stripy one anywhere in our past [...] Some sort of zebra [...] think about the 2004 stage when it looked like a cow’, you know, anything that makes it stand out – ‘black and white [...]’. So there you are. I did have a hand in the logo only because I pushed him to think outside that box which was the colour treatments and the thing.In Jun 2014, in the Prog Magazine podcast, Squire had a simpler explanation: "Heaven and Earth was actually the title of Roger Dean's painting. […] Roger said, 'I've got this painting. It's called Heaven and Earth. How about using that as your album title?' We went, 'Why not?'" In the Prog Sphere interview, Howe explained how the titles represents a duality: "how Earth is a physical place, it's about measurement and distance [...] all the things that science loves to document and accurately record, and then Heaven is something that's more free-willing [wheeling?]. You could call it religion if you wanted to but for a lot of people it isn't religion, it's a spirituality with our religion [...] it's all about imagination and the unknown. I think these two things are great parallels, like Yin and Yang, right and wrong, good and bad – it's a whole mix of those extremes [...] on one side you have heaven which is pure fantasy, on the other side you have earth which is pure physical." Dean's cover, also reportedly called "Frozen", continues the floating island theme from across much of his work (cf. Fragile and Yessongs), and which is part of his ongoing plans for a feature film. In a Jun 2014 interview, Davison described first sending Dean "a few samples of the lyrical direction to kind of give him an idea of where we were going. [...] that helps fund his creative outlook."
Brian Neeson: Reports from other interviews suggest that there was a wealth of new Material “enough for 2 albums” ..?White later added: "It's all fresh music. Everything on the album was conceived within the last year or so." And: "No epics on this album but there are some longer pieces with intricate parts to them, but there are some shorter tracks too which are right to the point." Brian asked about a title and White replied, "We are on the brink of having a title right now. We are working with Roger Dean on exactly what that is." In the 23 Feb interview, White spoke of a release date in "April sometime". Asked what the album sounds like, he replied:
White: There wasn’t quite enough for two Albums. We decided we would work with what we had and take it to this point. There is some extra stuff but it would take it a lot of work to make it to a Yes album.
It’s hard to explain! Jon Davison has [...] written material for the new album that has really wonderful melodies. There’s a certain amount of great musicianship and just generally, what you’d expect from Yes, a lot of great harmonies, great guitars, good high performance music.In the SYN interview, White also talked about Davison's contribution, saying, "He's been working on the lyrics and the melodies on the new album. He's a really good songwriter. He presents that to the band, and of course we all work on those, change them and turn them into what they are. [...] He is very serious about his vocals and he gets the job done." In an interview published 21 Mar 2014, Squire said, "[Davison] has contributed very strongly to that [the new album] in terms of writing, both musically and lyrically [...] Jon Davison has brought in an interesting quality of songwriting and lyric writing. He has pretty much written all the lyrics for this album." The article also said the album is being mixed and has no title yet—although one soon followed. In a late Mar 2014 interview, Downes talked about various aspects to the album:
It’s been very inspirational working with [Baker] [...] The old school approach on certain things makes you realize how great those early albums were in construction and recording techniques. The [new] album is an interesting mix of hi-tech and vintageWhite said in the electronic press kit: "It seemed like an opportune time to get into recording a new album. I think everybody in the band had quite a bit of material that we need to get out of our systems". Downes continued, "It's not dissimilar to the way we approached the last album [...] we like to get the sound together first, so we spent quite a bit of time rehearsing the backing tracks, experimenting with ideas, and that kind of thing. The actual recording process itself is just a case of refining it... y'know, trying to turn it into something special". Davison said, "Ever since I joined this band, I've been preparing for this album. I got going on demos right away. Really inspired [...] to hear the band take home what I've offered, interpret it differently and add their own thing to it, their own flavours. And it's just expanded these songs." Howe added: "Every album is different. [...] it feels different, a different time, a different sensibility. Maybe a different mood too, which I think comes through in the music [...] we've got Jon Davison now [...] he's also a writer, a musician, a very fine musician [...] so, um, that meant that Geoff Downes and I and Chris and Alan could kind of just come here and start on the first track."
There was quite a long period to the end of last year  where ideas were tossed around between various members, so there has been a general collaborative feel to the making of the album. We had a good idea of what we were going to record prior to going in to the studio, and worked closely with Roy on the choice of material.
[Davison] has really stepped up to the plate, and we’ve seen what a talent he truly is, not just as a vocalist, but also in an all round musical sense.
He certainly does. And the kind of hidden obviousness of the lyrics becomes expanded when somebody else plunks some other lyrics which are kind of just a little bit more out there. We like that. It is a characteristic that we endorse and recommend, because our music isn’t about . . . I was going to say hate, but that sounds a bit too extreme. But our music’s not about troubles, it’s about belief.Howe talked about the album in an Apr 2014 interview, saying:
I was the guy holding everybody back. Because they thought they could do it sooner [...] and I said “No, we just haven’t gotten the material.” So October/November we had to rethink about the material and who had songs. So in fact it could have been a real botched job to have done it any sooner.He had more to say in an Aug 2014 interview:
[...] there’s no substitute for the work you’ve got to put in writing songs. That’s something that we do when we’re home or something we do when [...] we’re in an environment where we can write. We did some collaboration so that we could share some of those ideas with each other
we didn’t know if Jon [Davison] was going to do as much collaboration as he did, but he came quite heavily armed with a lot of music anyway as I did, so there was a kind of pool happening with different songs and “where’s this going to go” and “where’s that going to go.” Jon proved his worth and he got the energy up to [...] see me in the U.K. and see Geoff [...] He made himself mobile to see what would happen if he was a common spirit between the music.
Obviously, he didn’t write all of the album, but he had a lot of source material [...] we just basically put our heads together in different numbers. Then when January came around, that was the first time that we really did a short rehearsal. [...] we didn’t really need to do much of that, but we had to get in the studio and start looking at each song [...] So there is a variety of different songwriting collaborations and also songs from Jon and myself that aren’t collaborated on.
I had plenty of songs. I could have written, like Jon could’ve [...] the whole album. But, we didn’t want to; that wouldn’t be Yes, and so we had plenty to collaborate on and plenty for my next project [laughs]. [...] it’s what people go for [...] in the songs. The guys heard “It Was All We Knew”, Jon liked it, and we did “It Was All We Knew”. I didn’t know whether it was going to make it through the sometimes dubious course of being talked about, being recorded, and then being overdubbed and then being mixed. There were places along there, with all the songs, there were risky moments.In an article in the Jul 2014 Prog, Squire said, "I won't say from which area, but there was some dissent about whether we should make an album at all because nobody makes any money out of them any more [...] Fly from Here [...] ended up costing us[.] So we were definitely a bit more cautious this time." He goes on, "It was important to do an album with Jon [Davison.] He's been with us a couple of years and he's a creative person in his own right". In an Aug 2014 interview, Squire said:
But that’s the way albums are constructed. I mean, I have not changed. I just do the same thing. It just so happened that “It Was All We Knew” was a song that stayed like it was originally, more or less. [...] I wrote most of “Step Beyond” and Jon collaborated with me. And in reverse, Jon wrote most of “Believe Again” and I collaborated with him. [...] maybe we’ll do that a lot more together in the future.
[...] we make albums. I held back a lot ‘cause I said we need a lot of material. [...] we only had enough for an album by the time we were ready, but most of it had been semi-approved and very, very little had been throwbacks from prior from here. So in a way we tried not to do that - just do things that were throwbacks prior from here that we didn’t do then - because we thought that the material needed to be fresh. And, for the most part, that’s what we did. So that material was not only comparatively fresh, it was recorded starting January and then it was released [...] July-August. [...] it could be the freshest Yes album ever as far as it being created and then released.
Whether that’s a good thing I can’t say. In a way it isn’t totally a good thing because we could’ve spent a bit more time on it. We were up against the wall. We had a tour coming and we just tried our hardest. [...] we could have spent another week on mixing and refining it. But, there again, we didn’t; and we couldn’t. [...] That happens.
I was really looking forward to us being able to do an album of new material with [Davison], so we could solidify his presence in the band. I recognized that he was a great lead vocalist when he first sang for us. But once I got to know him, and we wrote some songs together, I realized he was pretty talented in that area as well. So I suggested [...] the new album be done in the way where I’d write a few songs with him, and Steve, Alan, and Geoff would, too. And that was the principal that we [...] went with.In the Apr 2014 interview, Howe also talked about the choice of producer, saying, "you have a list and you take things off of it and then you end up realizing that a certain name is right. [...] we had other people and we talked to other people. We kicked the ball around the yard a fair bit, but we kept coming back to Roy [...] and his enthusiasm was very solid. We got good implications from his attitude that we needed somebody and he was interested in Yes." He also described how the album name arose from him and Roger Dean talking, and that it represents "the dualistic quality of the known and the unknown and the more you look at the known the more you see that there's even more unknown than you knew before." In the 2014 Vintage Rock interview, Howe talked more about Baker: "he understands in a different way, more probably, what Yes is like, what Yes is about, than what maybe Trevor Horn does because they likely see Yes quite differently. And I think that will be one of the marked differences in these two records [Heaven & Earth vs. Fly from Here]." In the same article, Squire put it like this: "Roy is very musical, but I think the emphasis or his background definitely came from the engineering and sound sculpture point of view, as opposed to other producers who are more overall conceptualists. Trevor Horn is a little more like that, a conceptual producer. Roy I think definitely started off in the engineer's seat, and has a wide knowledge of sound."
I was all really quite comfortable with it, especially because we started one-on-one. I started in Phoenix with Chris. We solidified a few ideas together. And then I went up to Seattle and worked with Alan. And then flew to the UK and went up to the countryside with Steve and that was great. I was there for about a week. We got a lot done as well. Then I went to Wales to work with Geoff one-on-one.Early Apr 2014, Downes tweeted about the "big prog piece", confirming events: "Yes that's true. It's 15 minutes long with 6 or 7 different sections. Shame we didn't record it for this album". In the Jul 2014 Prog, Howe, Squire and White all confessed to no knowledge of the piece, but Downes has more: "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". In the interview Jun 2014 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 [...] [We] said, 'No, we can't do more than this right now, let's just work on these.' [...] I'm sure they'll re-surface in the future." In a Jul 2014 interview, Howe was asked whether the band avoided epics on the new album. He replied:
We all did a lot of writing on our own, especially myself. [...] I had lots of material. [...] when we came together [...] we would sort of try to, er, combine the ideas, expand the ideas [...] for example, Steve might have an idea and I would, "Hey, let's try this with it," and we would just kind of start blending things together, expanding concepts, 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, just again due to lack of time.
I think it touches on all aspects of Yes, seventies, eighties. But mainly it's a really fresh sounding album. [...] Personally, I feel like it's light years from Fly from Here. [...] a fresh, new direction.
There were times when people started constructions that were really kind of growing, and somewhat meandering, and including another song. And the group’s reaction to that was kind of like, well, hang on, this is gone too far — I’ve lost the plot here. We didn’t have the right balance to do that this time, and therefore the songs stood out more individually without a great deal of expansion. But that wouldn’t mean that we shouldn’t or couldn’t or don’t want to do that in the future.In another Jul 2014 interview, on the same subject, Squire said: "we definitely wanted to try and pin down the actual songs".
“We usually take our time when we get a new member in the band [...] We didn’t know how prolific of a songwriter that Jon [Davison] was. When we learned, he really put a lot of himself into the project.”An article in the Jul 2014 Prog has this chronology: "Squire explains that Davison came to his house in Phoenix, Arizona towards the end of 2012 to work on new material. After completing a couple of songs, Davison flew to Seattle to write with White, and then to England for collaborations with Howe and, in Wales, Downes." Squire explains: "we were maximising Jon as the fresh element, allowing him to interact with each of us. Then we came together at rehearsals and started playing on the tracks we'd each been working on with him." Davison said, "Chris and I started right away, in 2012. I was over at his home and we were composing together from early on. [...] songs developed over the course of a year and a half." An article in the Jul/Aug issue (#162) of German magazine Eclipsed has this:
Squire says normally making an album would take more than five months, but for “Heaven & Earth,” the band completed it in three.
“Every album has been different,” he says. “I believe this was one of the fastest we have made. It was due to us being ready for everything. We got everything lined up and it all worked out.”
“We had these writing sessions that were amazing,” he says. “It was all very relaxed for the entire band.”
Als er vor gut zwei Jahren bei Yes anheuerte, war Davison klar, „dass wir eine Platte aufnehmen werden. Vor allem Chris und ich trieben die Sache voran. Wir arbeiteten eifrig an Liedern. Der Rest der Gruppe kam erst später hinzu.“ Squire muss lachen, als wir ihn mit Davisons Einschätzung der Aufnahmesituation konfrontieren: „Na ja, so das würde ich so nicht unterschreiben. Der gute Jon überschätzt unser beider Stellenwert bei Yes ein wenig. Tatsache ist, dass wir alle ein neues Album mit neuem Material voranbringen wollten. Zwar eine Platte, bei der Jon als Sänger im Vordergrund steht. Aber definitiv eine Platte, die im Patchwork aus allen fünf Mitgliedern der Gruppe entstehen sollte.“That is, Davison was clear he wanted to make a new album as soon as he joined the band, and he describes himself and Squire as driving the process, with the rest of the band coming later, although Squire offers another view. Davison added: "Ich kam mit jeder Menge lnspiration und Enthusiasmus zu dieser Gruppe [...] lch will Yes mit 'Heaven & Earth' meinen Stempel aufdrücken. Mit der Produktion soll klar werden, dass ich die Sache weitgehend vorangebracht habe." In a Jun 2014 interview, Davison said:
we were working on it for more than a year on an individual level, mainly. But, Chris and I got together earlier on, even in 2012, I think, and were already starting to write. [...] these were just little spurts, because we stayed so busy [...] touring. [...] Whenever we had an opportunity, I think we were all working, individually, since we all live apart. [...] eventually, we got together on a one-on-one basis regularly. I went to Europe and I worked with Geoff, and I worked with Steve. I worked with Alan up in Washington last year  a bit. This is the way it was until about January of this year , and then we came together as a group. And, as a whole band, we then constructed the songs; the demos, we brought to life. You know, everyone learned the parts, or reinvented the parts. Everyone collaborated uniformly.And in another Jun 2014 interview, he said:
The first thing that happened was that I went out to Chris Squire’s house and set up my portable pro-tools rig so that we could write together. From there, things continued on a one-on-one basis. In late December of 2013, I flew to Steve Howe’s farm house [...] we worked together for about a week collaborating extensively. I then did the same thing with Geoff Downes [...]In a Jul 2014 interview, Davison said:
In January 2014, the band convened in Los Angeles prior to the recording of the album. That was when the music really came to life as everyone was now involved and we were collaborating on the music as a band. [...]
That was an amazing experience… to hear the material I had been painstakingly working on for more than a year in my home studio finally come to life! [...] A week later, we were already in the studio laying down the basic tracks and moving forward with the album.
Chris Squire and I got together [in Phoenix] and worked on ‘The Game’ and ‘In a World of Our Own’ back in 2012[.] Then I went and saw Steve [...] and we worked on new material. Then it was Wales to write with Geoff. And I went to Seattle to work with Alan.He then talked about writing "To Ascend": "I did a lot of writing for that song while living in a camper van with my wife[.] We have this little conversion van and we were trekking through northern California, Oregon and Washington – just staying in the middle of nowhere out in the forest." And in an Aug 2014 interview, Davison said:
It was all one-on-one initially and then we got together before doing the album to solidify and arrange the music as a band. That’s when everything came to life.
I had a big creative burst. I was so excited to join the band [...] Right when I joined [...] we were already talking about an album. And I was demoing, and in any spare time I could get [...] so this album is the result of a long time preparation and anticipation.He added how he plays acoustic guitar on two tracks "because I write a lot on the acoustic. That doesn't mean I always play acoustic on the songs I wrote, even though I maybe started with an acoustic. It's always been a tradition in Yes; Jon Anderson's main instrument is the acoustic guitar, but sometimes it goes beyond the acoustic and it's translated to a keyboard part. Or Steve would take over the part and flesh it out, and make it really grand". In a Nov 2014 YesFANZ interview, Davison said:
Really as a band, it was just at the final stages that we collaborated and arranged the music. But in terms of bare-bones ideas, demos, I was doing a lot of personal prep work for more than a year, and then in December  was when we really started buckling down, and we would work one on one, we’d do sessions; I worked with Steve and [...] Down[e]s [...] and then I went out to Arizona with Chris, and I was up in Washington with Alan, so there was a one-on-one period too. There were definitely different phases, or tiers, if you will, toward the final plateau of recording.
I had done a lot of extensive demo-ing on all of the songs. A lot of it was trimmed out and that was fine because that left room for others to say “well, I’ve got a part, let’s try and incorporate that”. So the songs became collaborative efforts which I was more than willing to yield to because that is the most important thing. [...] it just so happened with 'Light of the Ages' though that everyone was on board with all my ideas and the arrangement as it was. I think though that I did have some extended parts for that as well that Steve helped me edit and trim down but all in all those were my themes [...] The subject matter is very poignant for me [...] being a meditator and how spirituality plays a very vital role in my life [...] that song is probably the closest to home in that respect. But I think that is definitely reflective in all the lyric [...] looking at the deeper meaning of life. That there is more to it tha[n] just [...] the grind of basic existence. [...] what is the meaning and how are we all connected and how we can we manifest more love in our lives. It was very basic concepts that the Beatles sung about [...] 40+ years ago.Later in the interview, Davison says of Heaven & Earth:
I think we were all encouraged by the album. It 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 or, you know, twos at a time if you will which was very productive and that was a wonderful experience – I am very pleased with the album – but what we would like to focus on for the next one is collectively coming together [...] Basically just jamming it out and recording it and piecing it together [...] I think that would give it a whole new roundness and really expand [...] what we could do. By comparison, Heaven and Earth in some respects is a safe album, a very safe album, because of the time constraints we just had to nail it down and get really specific very quicklyA Jul 2014 interview with Howe had this exchange:
Interviewer: How were you able to make “Heaven & Earth” so quickly, given that you’ve spent so much time on the road these past few years?In the interview Jun 2014 with Jon Kirkman, Squire said: "Jon [Davison] and I first got together and started working on a couple of songs [...] earlier in the year [i.e., earlier than summer, so early 2013] [...] we re-got back together in November  to sort of like polish them up and put them in better shape. But I realised, the first time I worked with him, that he is obviously very talented in the writing area and that, y'know, the next Yes album [...] would be best served by him interacting with the other guys who were already in the band. And so I said, 'Let's finish off these couple of songs that we're doing, and then you go and work with Steve and Geoff and Alan on a couple of songs each,' and that's basically the plan we came up with and we stuck to it." Kirkman then asked about the importance of the pre-production sessions. Squire replied: "We put together a sort of a demo reel [...] [of] the songs that we were working on and then we all got them to listen to, and then we all started to add our own bits at home. And then we got together in Los Angeles [...] and went into a rehearsal room first to [...] make the final decisions about which tracks we were going to go for and to take the arrangements a little further down the line. So we did that for [...] maybe 10 days. And then we went straight into the studio [...] we knew at that point that we didn't have a lot of time." Talking through the album, Squire described "Step Beyond" as a "fairly simple track for Yes, but actually it's very, very catchy. It's a bit of a pop song, but it's got [...] Yesisms about it." He continued to describe "Light of the Ages" and "Subway Walls" as "both very proggy tracks. And we wanted to represent that we still have that side of us going because [...] some of the other tracks are quite poppy."
Howe: It was quite easy, really. Over that time, different songs got written — not necessarily on tour, but fragments might have been — and then other things collaborated on, and then Jon [Davison] did circulation around everybody to see what they had and what he could help with, what he could do with something of somebody’s else’s. Within two months we were able to walk in with demos on every song, and then say, let’s record this.
Right now we’re just getting ready, we're writing and getting ready to make a new album, which we're gonna start in January [...] we hope to have that ready for release some time around next summer [...] The difference between Jon Davison and Benoit David is that Jon is a pretty good writer and has been doing that for quite a while. So his input into the band collaboration, along together with everyone else, is going to put another slant on Yes, I hope, and we'll come up with something fresh.In the Dec 2013 issue of Prog, Squire said:
We're currently writing songs [...] The aim is to go into the studio at the start of 2014, and have recording finished by March.The album was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, who is best known for producing multiple Queen releases (including "Bohemian Rhapsody") and has also produced Nazareth, Hawkwind, The Cars, Journey, Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Chris de Burgh, Guns N' Roses and The Smashing Pumpkins. He also worked with Gentle Giant, The Moody Blues, Egg, Frank Zappa, Ginger Baker, T. Rex, Ten Years After and Foreigner. He previously worked with Yes, producing the band's aborted Paris sessions in late 1979, and later produced Jon Anderson's 3 Ships. In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, asked about Baker's previous involvement with Yes, Downes said, "for Steve Howe and Chris Squire, it's a case of unfinished business [...] they were keen to get Roy back on board." He is then asked whether any material from the Paris sessions is being used on the new album: "None [...] we've written the new material from scratch. [...] it's starting from a clean slate. No baggage left over." Asked in Brian Neeson's SYN interview about Baker, White said, "Roy is a smart guy and he knows where we should be going. He is getting on fine with the guys. He says his piece and he is very much part of what is going on." Neeson then asked about getting White's sound right on the album; White replied, "We spent quite a while getting the drum sound right. Roy is quite meticulous about which microphones get the right sound. We were using about $50,000 worth of microphones on the drums alone." In one of his Apr 2014 interviews, Howe said Baker "added his approach very subtley [sic] and very gradually into the recordings; he got things the way he wanted. He had nothing to do with our previous relationship at all which we all had virtually forgotten about anyway". In another, Howe described how the band was looking for someone with as much experience as them. He also related how Baker was suggested to the band, but they initially rejected the idea. (To quote the interview, in Czech: "Hledali jsme někoho, kdo má stejně jako my hodně zkušeností. Někdo ho zmínil, ale nejdřív jsme to zavrhli. Potom jsme však měli pocit, že bychom to měli zkusit.") Squire, in a Jun radio interview, described how other producers they were considering wanted to hear demos of the new album before the band felt they were ready, whereas Baker was willing to commit without doing so, and that is one of the reasons they chose him. In the Jun 2014 Kirkman interview, Squire discussed the choice of Baker, explaining how the band's manager, Paul Silveira, used to work for Baker ("about twenty years ago"). He went on: "We put out a couple of feelers to a couple of people [...] We didn't really want to work with Trevor Horn again even though [...] Trevor's, y'know, a really good mate of mine [...] We thought, 'No, let's work with somebody else.' [...] Roy was very favourable to the idea. [...] He was also very trusting in that we would come to the studio [...] with some ideas that he would like. So he wasn't one of those, 'Well, I'll have to hear the material before I can make up my mind'. [...] We liked Roy's attitude towards working with us."
I think it is my time now to step forward and reveal who I am. I have tried to do that in the context of the tour and that was balancing; performing the great Works of the band yet rendering and adjusting myself. [...] On the new material I can play around more and explore my own expressions, my uniqueness. The new music is very Yes-like but shows a lot more of my individuality.Davison described the material: "It will be more 70s sounding but we are touching on all that is Yes. [...] we have a wide variety of music. Actually we have more music than we can work with, so we have to consolidate what we have."
White: I’m gonna get together with Chris and just kind of toss some ideas around and maybe get the foundations of some new album work. [...]It had appeared that the band were planning studio work in late 2013, for an earlier album release in spring 2014, but that timetable shifted. They were working on new music through much of 2012 and have continued to do so through 2013, with a number of demos under consideration. For example, Squire and Davison were working together in late Aug/early Sep. In a May 2013 Brazilian TV appearance by Squire and White, Squire said, "We are looking at making a new album towards the end of this year . [...] We're going to compose some original music; we've already started with that process [...] maybe by the spring of 2014, there will be release of new musics. [...] maybe by March, April, something like that." In a Jul 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Squire said, "the next thing we're looking at doing is a new studio album [...] then we'll go out on the road and promote that. So that's what's up next for YES – is recording." And in another interview later that month, he said, "We're doing this touring [see below] right now and then towards the end of the year  we'll be looking to make some new, original music for a new studio album. That's going to be the next project and that's going to take us into 2014." A fan who met Downes and White in Apr 2013 reported they said the plan was for a spring 2014 release with 5 tour legs in support following, starting with a 2014 summer tour of the US. They also described the album as a "new Drama".
Interviewer: That’s great to hear you’re taking that step forward with the new album.
White: [...] we’ll be passing ideas around of the foundation musically – that kinda thing, with the view of building this stuff into concrete ideas for a new album, hopefully early in the next year  some time.
Jon[ Davison]’s a great guy, a real pleasure to work with. He’s really talented, has a wonderful voice [...] He has great ideas, and he’s a very talented songwriter.
Interviewer: When I talked to Chris Squire [...] he said one of the things he really liked about Jon is that he has a lot of musical ideas. Is he toying with the idea of bringing some of his own material into the songwriting process for the next album?
White: Absolutely! He’s got many, many great ideas up to this point that we’re taking in, and everybody’s excited about what he comes up with.
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. We’ll take address of the situation once we’ve got through the tour and the cruise and see how not just the fans['] response is but how we feel internally about the situation. But I think we’ve got a very, very strong core, obviously long term fundamental members of the band, and Jon Davison who is a fabulous singer and fabulous talent that we’ve got on board, so I think there’s life in the old dog yetIn 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 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.(The Jul 2015 issue of Prog (but no other sources) said that the band's Apr-Jun 2016 European tour "coincides with the release of a new album", although it does not specify whether this means a new studio album or something else; I presume this was an error or, at best, not a reference to a studio album.)
[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 Trevor Horn at some point.
In a late Mar 2014 interview, talking about Heaven &
Earth, Davison said:
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 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 this 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 "centerpiece" of a follow-up album. It was reported to be going under the title of "Horizons", but a rumour early in 2015 has it going under the working title of "Pyramids" (with the album to be named the same) and to be at ~18 minutes in length.
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, the label behind DGM's King Crimson 40th Anniversary Editions, have re-released a series of Yes albums. After Close to the Edge, The Yes Album and Relayer, Fragile was then released 6 Nov 2015 (delayed 1 week from the previously planned 30 Oct). The releases include 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 before for King Crimson, ELP, Jethro Tull, Caravan and XTC. Neil Wilkes, who worked with Wilson on the King Crimson remixes and other projects, returns as well. The new mixes use the original multitrack masters. The original stereo mixes are also included. Sleeves notes are by Sid Smith, with others contributing to the releases including Daniel Earnshaw and Anil Prasad. The albums can be ordered direct from Panegyric via the label's official stall at Burning Shed. The band and Roger Dean are also involved and fully approve the releases.
Wilson stated on Facebook around Nov 2015
that Fragile is the "final release scheduled in the
classic Yes album remixes series at present." However, around
the same time, Howe said on the Cruise to the Edge that Wilson
had completed mixes for Tales from Topographic Oceans
(and indeed that he had tweaked the final mixes with Wilson) and
that that it would be released soon. Asked about further
archival releases, Howe said there was plenty more in the
vaults. Various earlier rumours had also suggested Time
and a Word and Going for the One were possible, or
that Wilson had been contracted to do everything from Time and
a Word through to Relayer. In an Aug
2015 forum post, Wilson said:
I did start on Tales a couple of years back, but honesty it's not really up to me when and if more are released, and right now I don't have any more tapes anyway. 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, and as I said a lot of work was done on Tales before the focus shifted to the "hit" albums, so I hope at least that one will eventually get a green light.
In a Feb
2014 interview, Wilson discussed the band's
involvement:"Steve [Howe] and Chris [Squire] heard it [Close to
the Edge remix], but only when it was pretty much finished.
Both of them really liked it. There wasn't necessarily any sort of
constructive criticism, but it was nice to have the seal of
approval [...] Since then, Steve has been a lot more hands-on with
the subsequent Yes stuff I've done." In an Apr
2014 interview, Howe described his input on Close to the
Edge: "I was involved with some of the mixing, because he
[Wilson] wanted some of my input. [...] I got together with him to
listen to some of it and talk about some of the details." He
described having similar input on The Yes Album and then
talked about the next release to be done, the title of which was
censored: "before the  Canadian tour started, I sat down
with Steve for an afternoon and listened to [the album]. I did
hear a few things, and they were able to take my comments and
incorporate them as well as they could [...] They're very
meticulous, in the way they want to match the original, or get as
close to the original as humanly possible. [...] I'm very proud of
Steve and that he's going the whole distance. I'm just helping him
where I can." In a May
2014 interview, Squire described having listened to Wilson's
Close to the Edge, but not The Yes Album.
like all the releases, comes in a Blu-ray and a DVD-A version.
As previously, these will include Wilson's 5.1 mix, Wilson's
stereo mix and the original mix, while the Blu-ray will also
have instrumental versions of the new mixes and a needle-drop of
an original UK vinyl. Bonus material this time consists of 6
additional tracks, all previously unreleased:
comes in a Blu-ray
and a DVD-A
version. Again, these include Wilson's 5.1 mix,
Wilson's stereo mix and the original mix, while the
Blu-ray also have instrumental versions of the new mixes
and a needle-drop of an original UK vinyl. There is
various bonus material. Packaging includes rare photos and
archive material, plus artwork expanded, restored and
approved by Roger Dean. CD tracks:
|Buy Blu-ray version from
||Buy Blu-ray version from
The Blu-ray has the same as the DVD-A, plus an instrumental
version of the new album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo and an
exclusive needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing
transferred in 24bit/96khz audio. It also has additional extras as
The 1971 London live tracks are the same as were released on The
Word is Live, but the New Haven recording of "Perpetual
Change" has not been previously released. The release comes with a
booklet containing new sleeve notes by Sid Smith, plus rare
photos and archive material. The Blu-ray version was at least as
high as #135 in Music (and #43 in Rock) on Amazon UK (23 Apr),
with the DVD-A version at #387 in Music. The Blu-ray was also #1
in Blu-Ray Audio (15 May). Available only as imports on Amazon US,
the Blu-ray version there has been at least as high as #252 in
Music (23 Apr) and, perhaps on the back of Heaven & Earth
being listed, #12 in Movers & Shakers (biggest gainers in
sales rank in last 24 hours) on 14 May.
The Yes Album came second in the best reissue category of
Prog magazine's Critics' Choice for 2014. Relayer
Close to the Edge (Blu-ray version; DVD-A version) is similar in its contents. The CD contains the new stereo album mix by Wilson, a new mix of "America" and an early mix/assembly of "Close to the Edge" (18:42). The DVD-A contain a 5.1 Surround mix and both the new Wilson mix and the original mix of the album plus "America". In addition, it also has (in regular CD audio) an alternate version of the album as follows:
And single versions:
The Blu-ray has the same as the DVD-A, plus instrumental versions
of all new mixes and a needle-drop of an original UK vinyl. The
album can be ordered direct from Panegyric via the label's
official stall at Burning
version). The Blu-ray version was at least as high as #526
in Music (and #5 in Psychedelic Rock) on Amazon
Releases have, so far, only been announced one at a time, with
what subsequent albums will be included unknown. I previously
erroneously reported first that Going for the One would be
next, then that Tales from Topographic Oceans would be
next, and I believe there has been work towards both, but instead
Relayer was announced. A report in Jan 2014 had
that Wilson had begun work on Tales from Topographic Oceans.
One source reported that Wilson has been contracted to do Time
and a Word through to Relayer, but also then
said that Wilson has "nothing against" doing Going for the One
as well. Howe's Apr 2014 interview implies that Fragile
won't be next, but will be done at some time. Asked whether it is
"open-ended that as many of the catalog masters you have in hand"
will be included in the series, Howe 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." 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". Wilson said in an Aug
2013 interview that:
the idea is to do most of the classic Yes albums. For most people, that was the 70s records. So we’re going to do I think all of the 70s records
Cruises, a Camp & a Festival
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 2015 cruise, which was nearly sold out, was on the NCL Norwegian Pearl, 15-9 Nov 2015, leaving Miami, FL and visiting Key West, FL and the Bahamas, with tickets including a pre-cruise show and party on 14 Nov. Yes headline (setlist below) and did a Q&A, with other acts including Nektar (worked with Billy Sherwood), Allan Holdsworth (ex-UK, ex-Bruford, ex-Soft Machine, worked with Jean-Luc Ponty), Marillion, Steve Rothery Band, Neal Morse Band (with Mike Portnoy), Dave Kerzner Band (worked with Billy Sherwood), Caravan, Premiata Forneria Marconi (with a fill-in drummer), Moon Safari (working with The Syn), Anathema, Three Friends (led by former Gentle Giant members Gary Green and Malcom Mortimore, but Green was hospitalised shortly before the cruise, so the band consisted of Mortimore on drums, Neil Angilley on keys, Jonathan Noyce on bass, Charlotte Glasson on sax &c. and a vocalist), Saga, Lifesigns, Anglagard, Spock's Beard, Martin Barre (ex-Jethro Tull), Haken, Casey McPherson, Enchant, Barracuda Triangle, Messenger, IOEarth, Airbag, Messenger, Jolly, Thank You Scientist and Bad Dreams, all hosted again by Jon Kirkman, assisted by Lonn Friend. Roger Dean was also in attendance. Most acts performed at least twice. (Banned from Utopia (formed by several artists who worked with Frank Zappa) and Big Elf were announced, but had to pull out.) There were also performances by attendees in the After Hours Electric Prog Jam, including Davison singing "To Ascend" with Sue Vienneau and JoJo Razor (backing vocals), John Haddad (bass), Rob Schmoll and Greg Bennett (guitar), Myke Mitchell (drums), and Nicolas Caluda (keys); and "Wonderous Stories" with Sue Vienneau (harmony vocals), Joel Simches (bass), Joe Cass (drums), Alex (keys), Tom Matlosz (guitar), Rob Schmoll (acoustic guitar). There was also a performance of "Tempus Fugit" with Downes plus JoJo Razor (vocals), Rob Rutz (harmony vocals), Sue Vienneau (keys, harmong vocals), John Haddad (bass), Chris Rupert (guitar), Mike Thorne (Saga; drums).
The cruise included an all-star tribute to
Chris Squire by Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Flying
Colors, Neal Morse Band, ex-Dream Theater) and
core band was Portnoy with the Neal Morse
Band, i.e. Morse (Transatlantic, Flying
Colors, ex-Spock's Beard; keys, guitars),
Randy George (Ajalon, works with Morse and Portnoy; bass),
Bill Hubauer (Neal Morse Band; keys) and Eric
Morse Band; guitar). Set: intro tape:
"Amazing Grace", "Every Little Thing" (Morse and Gillette sharing
vocals), "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (with
vocalist Casey McPherson (Alpha Rev, Flying Colors)),
"Hold Out Your Hand/You by My Side" (with vocalist Steve Hogarth
and bassist Pete Trewavas (both Marillion)),
"Silently Falling" (with Hogarth, bassist Jonas Reingold
(The Flower Kings, Kaipa, worked with Transatlantic)
and keyboardist Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard, worked with Squire)
providing an organ solo) , "Cinema"/"Make It Easy" (with
vocalist Ted Leonard (Spock's Beard, Enchant)),
"City of Love" (with bassist Dave Meros (Spock's Beard)
and vocalist Ross Jennings (Haken))/"The Fish
Medley" (including the openings of "On the Silent Wings of
Freedom" and "Heart of the Sunrise"; with 4 bassists, including
Trewavas, Meros and Reingold)/"Changes" (with Leonard and
Jennings)/"Does It Really Happen?" (reprise; with everyone on
stage). Portnoy explained the unusual set list online, saying:
I was asked by the Yes camp in advance to refrain from any of the 70's Yes material…so everything from The Yes Album through Drama was off limits
I did the best I could with those restrictions and ended up coming up with a setlist that was way more unique and special as a result
In a Nov 2014 interview with YesFANZ,
White said that, based on their experiences, they had a different
strategy for the 2015 cruise:
the  one, quite frankly for me, was a little bit too many bands and too many people on them but it was huge. I think there was 22 bands on that boat and thousands and thousands of fans and it was just a little bit over the top for me. The next one we are going to play it down a little bit and make the acts more specialised good acts, like five or six really main headliner type things, which I think is the best way to go.
[...] this next one is the way to do it and make it more concise, more specialised and have more headline type acts on board.
He said that the cruise had sold about half of its capacity so
far (as of Nov 2014). He also said that doing a Mediterranean
cruise "is still on the books if possible".
In a Sep
2015 interview, Howe said:
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. We’ve never tried it in November, [...] we have to see. I think one has to keep things open in your mind.
A 2016 cruise with Yes headlining is under
consideration, with reports suggesting it will go ahead.
Cruise to the Edge 2014 ran 7-12 Apr 2014,
starting and finishing in Miami, FL and visiting Honduras and
Mexico. It was on a larger boat, the MSC Divina, than the
first Cruise. Several acts from the first cruise returned. Yes
again headlined (two shows, plus Q&A, meet-and-greet etc.).
They played the same set both shows (~2 hours 20 minutes
duration): "Firebird Suite" intro, "America", "Tempus Fugit", all
of Close to the Edge in order, "Heart of the Sunrise", all
of The Yes Album in order; encore: "Roundabout".
Also performing were Patrick Moraz,
Stick Men (with Tony Levin; Eddie
Jobson guested in one set), Steve Hackett's Genesis
Revisited, UK, Marillion (due to a routine medical procedure, Ian
Mosley will not be on the cruise, with Leon Parr standing in on
drums), Tangerine Dream, The Strawbs (electric version), Three
Friends (Gentle Giant spin-off band; Davison was in the audience),
PFM, Soft Machine Legacy (also with a stand-in drummer),
Queensryche, Renaissance, LifeSigns
(with John Young (ex-Asia), Nick Beggs
(Steven Wilson, ex-Steve Howe) and Martin Beedle), Saga,
Sound of Contact
(Hackett guested on one song), IOEarth, The Pineapple Thief,
Presto Ballet, Pamela Moore, Electric Asturias, Scale The Summit (also
at Yestival), Moon Safari (also
with a stand-in drummer as their regular member was expecting a
baby), The Prog Orchestra, Heavy Mellow and Cheap Thrill. Moraz
played two solo sets on piano and keys with backing tapes. First
set: intro, "Sound Chaser/improvisation/Lost Way/Temples of
Joy/improvisation", "Freedom Alive", "Mumbai Mumbai
Mantra/Cachaca", "Away to Freedom/Modular Symphony (1st
Movement)". The second set featured material from i
and a performance of "Soon" with Annie Haslam singing. In
Hackett's second set, John Wetton (vocals) guested on "Firth of
Fifth", Simon Collins (Sound of Contact, Phil Collins' son)
guested on "Apocalypse in 9/8" and Wetton (lead vocals, rhythm
guitar) and Chris Squire (bass) guested on "All Along the
Watchtower". Passengers performed various pieces of music as well,
including a cover of "The Gates of Delirium", with the audience
including Squire, Moraz, Downes and Davison.
Kirkman returned as host and Roger Dean was again exhibiting.
Dean also did a Q&A in which he painted live before the
audience, a career first. (Dean was also on this year's Moody Blues Cruise just
before.) Writer Armando Gallo was also on board again. White
explained in this exchange in the Nov
White: It’s called Cruise to the Edge because we control who plays on the boat, and we work with a promoter to pick out the right acts. [...]Mar 2013 saw the inaugural Cruise to the Edge (Facebook). Other acts included Glass Hammer, UK (with Eddie Jobson, John Wetton, Terry Bozzio and Alex Machacek), Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited, Carl Palmer Trio, Nektar and IOEarth. Most bands did both regular performances and 'Storyteller Performances' (Q&A sessions, sometimes including musical performance). Roger Dean was also on the cruise, exhibiting work, while Jon Kirkman hosted Q&A sessions and did a talk about his Yes book too.
Interviewer: Obviously you’re working with a promoter, and there are other people who have a say in the lineup, but from Yes’ side, was it a pretty democratic experience in selecting the bands?
White: We all get together with a list of names, and obviously we know some of the guys in some of the bands. We’ve been around long enough to know a lot of people in the business. It really didn’t take much at all when all the names were presented to us – a couple changes, but it was fine.
I had asked about Jon Anderson and even [about] Rick Wakeman. Wakeman wasn’t available. But Jon, as we were talking, I don’t think there was a problem on the Yes end – not liking it but understanding that if you wanted … to encompass something that was Yes, that’s somebody you have to have. But that got solved on its own. There was a competitor cruise, Prog Nation At Sea, and they had started their own prog cruise after we had gotten ours up. So [Anderson] came off the market.
During the band's 2013 summer tour, they held Yestival, a half-day event in Camden, NJ featuring Yes and multiple other bands. The main stage had Scale the Summit, Volto!, Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy, Renaissance, The Musical Box (Genesis tribute band) and Yes (who played all of their then set). A second stage saw The School Of Rock All-Stars playing between main stage sets. There was also an art showing by Roger Dean and others. Attendance was ~5500. A press release described this as the band's "inaugural festival". In a Jul 2013 interview, Squire said, "if it all goes well, in 2014 we'll tour with a festival". Asked about this in the Apr 2014 interview, Squire said: "I think what we decided was that it requires the correct bill, and we were looking at trying to put that together for this year , but I guess some of the other acts that we wanted to be involved [...] had prior commitments so we weren't really able to put that together. [...] maybe the following year  you might see something more spectacular like Yestival in a lot more towns."
The band play on the Cruise to the Edge in Nov 2015, preceded by three Florida dates 11-13 Nov. In a Sep 2015 interview, Howe said they would play a 2 hour set on the cruise. In another Sep 2015 interview, asked about the cruise set list, he said:
We have a responsibility to develop a show [...] we’ve got more time to play. And if people had seen us in the summer and we played the same music on the cruise, that would be somewhat disappointing. So we’re going to spice up the show with [...] other music that is going to have a reference towards things we need to play next year [...] when we’re playing Fragile and Drama in Europe. [...] [W]e’re going to do this show plus another half an hour.
The 11 Nov set was: pre-recorded "Onward"
tribute, intro: "Firebird Suite" extract, "Siberian Khatru",
"Believe Again", "Going for the One", extended version of "White
Car", "Tempus Fugit", "America", "Nine Voices", "Time and a
Word", "Clap", "Don't Kill the Whale", "Soon", "I've Seen All
Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout", encore:
"Starship Trooper". They played the same set for both of their
Cruise to the Edge 2015 shows. Richard Davis remains as bass
A western European
tour follows 27 Apr-1 Jun 2016, with dates
announced covering the UK (10 dates from 27 Apr-10 May),
France (13 May Paris), Belgium (14 May Brussels), the Netherlands
(15 May Utrecht), Germany (7 dates, 17-25 May), Switzerland (27
May Zurich) and Italy (4 dates from 28 May-2 Jun). The tour will
see [SPOILERS—highlight to read] both Fragile and Drama played
in their entireties. UK dates will have Moon
Safari (worked with The Syn) in support.
Further touring is expected. A Mar/Apr tour of the US before the
announced European tour appears to have been under consideration,
but the latest reports say this is not
happening. A US summer tour later in the year is
possible: on the 2015 Cruise to the Edge
Q&A, Howe said they did not yet have plans for summer 2016
and said that the band could do a 2-set show in the summer as
opposed to touring with another band. Discussion
of possible set lists is below. Further touring is under
As for future possible tour destinations, in a Nov 2014 YesFANZ interview, Davison
said: "we actually did get an offer to go to South Africa at one
point so that is in the works [...] [T]here has been talk about
going to India and there are some further areas in Asia, Malaysia,
that area, that we would like to explore some more".
Yes and Toto did a co-headlining
tour with 25 US dates 7 Aug-11 Sep and 1 Canadian date 12,
with Yes playing a final Canadian date without Toto on 14 Sep.
Will Alexander returned as the keyboard tech. Full band rehearsals
began 3 Aug. In an Aug
2015 YesWorld Q&A, Sherwood talked about rehearsing:
I had three days rehearsal! And that’s not saying it in a bad way, like, we didn’t have time. They actually wanted to rehearse for ten days and I said “are you doing that for me?” and they said “Yeah” and I said “I only need a few days ’cause I got this, you know” and they said “really, okay, well how’s three days?” I said “that’s plenty”.
I had already done my homework. [...] I learned a long time ago [...] that you don’t show up to the session not knowing what you’re supposed to do. And so that’s been my mantra and my mindset through my entire career. Anything I do, I show up prepared.
[...] I was already familiar with a lot of his parts so a lot of that came very naturally and we just fitted it in three days and off we went and started touring. That being said, I’m sort of just now feeling like I don’t have to think about any of that any more ’cause it’s on autopilot. Where the first few shows it was like “I have to concentrate on this and hit all these marks”, now I’m actually able to perform a little bit as a opposed to just standing there and just delivering the parts.
He later also said: "The grooves have been great and the tempos
are back up where they should be, which was kind of a pet peeve of
mine. I used to tell Chris and the guys "you need to pick up the
tempo.. It's called 'Tempus Fugit' you know what I mean?" So the
tempos are back up where they should be".
The 8 Aug show sold 1,982 tickets, grossing $171,944. The 23 Aug
and 2 Sep shows sold out, with the 30 Aug show close to full. The
23 Aug show sold 2,006 tickets, grossing $205,106.
Toto played first and Yes second on
all dates, each band playing about 90 minutes. (Toto have
previously worked with Jon Anderson and
Billy Sherwood, while Toto's Steve
Porcaro played on two Yes albums, and Michael
Sherwood (performed on Union; Billy's elder
brother) has 3 co-writes on Toto XIV, the album
Toto are touring in support of: see under
Porcaro for details.) In the accompanying press release,
Lukather called Yes "our musical heroes", saying "we even have a
song ["Great Expectations"] on our new record totally inspired by
them". He added, "We all stood and waited in line for tickets to
see Close to the Edge and Topographic." In an interview
from NAMM 2015, David Paich of Toto also described Yes as
The Yes show started with Squire's bass alone on stage,
while a montage video was shown to the studio version of "Onward".
The set was then: Intro: "Firebird Suite" extract, "Don't Kill the
Whale", "Tempus Fugit", "America", "Going for the One", "Time and
a Word", "Clap", "I've Seen All Good People", "Siberian Khatru",
"Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout", encore: "Starship
Trooper". "Clap" seems to have since been dropped, not being
played at the 27 or 30 Aug shows. In an interview
shortly before rehearsals began (published early Aug), White said:
because we’re touring with Toto who are probably going to do a lot of the[ popular tracks]. We’re not going to play whole albums [...] We’re just going to do a great selection of Yes music that people love to hear in concert.
In another, White also said:
This one’s going to be – I wouldn’t say all hits, but it’s all favorites of people who like Yes. Toto are going to be playing all the hits, so Yes is going to be playing a bunch of our kind of hits and maybe a couple numbers that weren’t. There are always a couple numbers in a Yes set where you say, “Wow, I didn’t know they were gonna play this one.”
Toto's Lukather in Apr 2015 said: "we will change up set lists
night by night as well I think. NOT that same set as last year. NO
ballads or any pop stuff... and just the big 3 hits... the rest is
new and or deep cuts." While in an Aug interview, he said the set
will be "a little more hit bound. We've added a couple of songs
that weren't on the new DVD ["Live in Poland"] that were hits and
stuff like that. We're trying to suck in the casual audience".
Their set was: "Running Out of Time", "I'll Supply the Love",
"Hydra", "Never Enough", "Hold the Line", "Georgy Porgy", Paich
solo, "Great Expectations" (dedicated to Squire), "Pamela",
"Without Your Love", "Little Wing", "On the Run/Goodbye Elenore",
"Orphan", "Rosanna", "Africa". Reportedly, they played the same
set on the second night too.
we're going to play a selection of music that's appropriate for the summer, it's appropriate under the circumstances that we find ourselves under [...] we've invented a setlist that definitely has a couple of songs that we definitely haven't played for many, many years [...] We're going to play some popular songs, but we're also going to build in some stuff that we feel adds to that development of having done albums [i.e., playing albums in full] [...] it's nice to break the chain [of that] and do something that allows us to choose music from all over the career. I think maybe it's a bit corny to say it's a celebration of Yes' career, but I mean we definitely cover a very wide spectrum.
Tom Brislin, Patrick
Moraz, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, Michael Sherwood and
Ricky Rat (CIRCA:) all attended shows.
The opening night set in the US was a casino show and the set was
abbreviated: "Siberian Khatru", "And You and I", all of Fragile in
order, "I've Seen All Good People"; encore: "Owner of a Lonely
Heart", "Starship Trooper". Their first full show was 6 Jul and
featured "To Ascend" and "The Game" instead of "Believe Again" and
a full version of "I've Seen All Good People". The 13 Jul show
dropped "Starship Trooper" and had a full "I've Seen All Good
People". The 15 Jul set had: Fragile in order, "To
Ascend", "The Game", Close to the Edge in reverse order;
encore: "I've Seen All Good People", "Starship Trooper". On 16
Jul, they played: Fragile in order, "To Ascend",
"The Game", Close to the Edge in order; encore: "I've Seen
All Good People", "Starship Trooper". The 23 Jul show and a number
of subsequent shows had: Close to the Edge in reverse
order, "Believe Again", "The Game", Fragile in order;
encore: "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart". A
number of reports suggest the band had rehearsed 5 pieces from the
new album in total, the other 2 not yet performed being "Subway
Walls" and "Light of the Ages". Sean Ono Lennon attended an early
Jul show. The 23 Jul Northfield, OH show sold out (attendance over
1800). The 25 Jul Madison, WI show sold 1,454 tickets, grossing
$86,033. The 28 Jul Nashville, TN show sold out (2,139 tickets),
grossing $145,475, while Alison Krauss was among the audience. The
30 Jul Atlanta, GA show was sold out or close to being sold out
(capacity 1,762). The 2 Aug St Petersburg, FA show sold 1,867
tickets, grossing $124,327; while Orland, FA on 3 Aug sold 1,662,
grossing $88,588. The 11 Aug Tucson, AZ show reportedly sold out;
the 12 Aug Mesa, AZ show was estimated to have an attendance
around 1450. The Mesa show was filmed for a DVD
release. The 19 Aug San Jose, CA show, filmed by Yahoo, was
estimated to have an attendance around 800; the set was the same
as the 12 Aug show, but without the second encore. Sherwood was in
the audience for the final show on 24 Aug in Los Angeles, CA,
which sold 4,252 tickets, grossing $184,651.
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."
The band, of course, did move to a different album selection for summer touring 2014. In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe said, "we could do 'Drama,' 'Fragile' and 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. But I'd love to do some of 'Tales,' I think [playing sides] one and four would be a great way [...] because it's the beginning and the end. But I don't know — we're not going to do any of those things at the moment."
In the interview
with Vintage Rock conducted around the beginning of Apr
2014, asked whether the album format is an "ongoing part" of their
touring, Squire answered, "not necessarily. [...] the focus is
going to shift [...] We're going to be promoting our new album
[...] I've always thought it very important for Yes to always come
up with [...] a new product and focus the future on that. Because
that's [...] partly our key to success — that we haven't been
afraid to keep, I don't know, boldly carrying on into the
stratosphere with new pieces of music. And then [...] perform them
live. So that I look forward to more than rehashing the old
favorites. Of course, I do love playing them." The article also
has Howe commenting on the current format: "I'm really pleased
that we do albums. I got a little tired of a show that didn't have
any reason why it validated itself." And the article had White
putting 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 hopes 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 want to do Relayer, and White and Downes
want to do Drama and possibly 90125; US
promoters are said to be keen on 90125. Unconfirmed
rumours in Sep 2014 suggested the band considered playing Drama
in its entirety in 2015, with a US set list to consist of all of Fragile
and all of Drama, plus greatest hits and material from Heaven
& Earth, but also that subsequent touring might
see a set with most of Heaven & Earth combined with
material from Fragile, Drama and Relayer.
Then, Howe, while on a solo tour in Sep 2014, suggested the band
may play all of Drama and Heaven & Earth plus
a selection of hits in 2015, and that they might drop Fragile.
However, the band took a different direction and that isn't now
happening in 2015, yet the announced 2016 European tour [SPOILERS—highlight
to read] covers
Fragile and Drama. One
unconfirmed report from ~Jun/Jul had that White said to a fan
(probably before Squire's passing) that the band would tour the US
in summer 2016, playing Drama and Relayer.
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.
[...] We’re talking about playing ‘Machine Messiah’ and ‘Drama’ stuff, which I love.
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 "The
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:
Natürlich können wir nicht behaupten, dass Jon Anderson bald wieder an Bord sein wird[.] Aber ausschließen will das auch niemand. Zwar ziehen wir im Laufe dieses Jahres noch etliche Konzerte mit Davison überall auf der Welt durch. Andererseits laufen schon Verhandlungen, dass wir 2015 ein paar Konzerte mit dem anderen Jon - also Anderson - machen werden. Doch wer weiß schon, was die Zukunft bringt? Vor allem die Zukunft von Yes, die ja stets unberechenbar war.Davison's response is given as:
[Translation: Of course we can't say we'll have Jon Anderson back on board anytime soon. But we can't rule it out either. We have a bunch of global concerts with Davison this year . On the other hand, there are already negotiations for a few gigs with the other Jon, Jon Anderson, that is. But who knows what the future will hold? Above all, the future of Yes, which was always so unpredictable.]
Mir war der Umstand, dass ich nur Jon Andersons Ersatz bin, stets bewusst. Das wurde mir vom Rest der Gruppe von Beginn an klargemacht. Trotzdem wäre ich sehr traurig, wenn ich meinen Platz bei Yes schon bald wieder räumen müsste. [...] Aber: Für einen Ausnahmemusiker wie Jon Anderson mache ich sofort Platz.The article then continues:
[Translation: I'm perfectly aware of being just a back-up for Jon Anderson. The group made that clear from the very start. Nevertheless, I would be quite sad if I had to leave the band again soon. [...] But for an exceptional musician such as Jon Anderson is I would make room anytime.]
Momentan sind dies jedoch noch Gedankenspiele. Und dennoch: „Auch wenn es nach außen hin chaotisch wirkt, bei Yes sind die Dinge konsequent durchgecheckt", ist sich Squire sicher. „Das war immer so, daran hat sich nie etwas geändert. Wir sind dieses Jahr noch eine Zeitlang auf Tour, wir hatten das alles von langer Hand geplant, lange bevor Jon bei Yes eingestiegen ist. Aber Davison singt die alten Songs großartig, insofern muss er da jetzt durch. Es scheint ihm auch jede Menge Spaß zu machen. Was danach passiert, werden wir einfach mal sehen. Auf Nicht-Bandmitglieder mag dieses Procedere merkwürdig wirken. Für mich ergibt es einen Sinn. Wir wollen dieses merkwürdige Schiff namens Yes am Schaukeln halten, Es bereitet zu viel Spaß darin zu schippern, als dass wir damit kentern wollten."In the Sep 2014 issue of Classic Rock, Squire likewise said, "I spoke to Jon Anderson not long ago[.] We had a nice chat. I think we will do something together again — it's just that he may not be up for full-scale touring." He added, "I don't think Rick[ Wakeman]'s interested[.] He's in his own world, working his way towards a knighthood." However, nothing more along these lines have been heard and the band appear to be planning to continue with Davison into 2016.
[Translation: At the moment, this is just a bit of brainstorming. Yet: "Even though it might seem a bit chaotic from the outside, all things Yes are consistently planned down to the last detail," Squire assures. "It's always been that way and nothing's changed. This year  we'll still be on tour for a while. Everything was planned well in advance, long before Jon [Davison] joined Yes. But Davison sings the old songs in a great way, so he just has to stick with it right now. And he seems to have a lot of fun doing so. What will happen after that remains to be seen. For non-band members this procedure may seem a bit strange. For me, it all makes sense. We'd like to keep this strange ship called Yes rocking. It's much too much fun sailing it to just let it capsize."]
Son ideas que hemos estado hablando, que se cocinan a fuego lento, que se desarrollan. [...] No van a pasar ni este ni el siguiente año (del 45 aniversario), pero mantengan los ojos y los oídos abiertos, que algo escucharán de estoAsked about the possibility of Anderson returning to Yes in a May 2012 interview, Squire referred to a possible residency on Broadway:
[My translation: These are ideas we've been talking about, which are on the back burner and developing. [...] It is not going to happen this year  or the next (the 45th anniversary), but keep your eyes and ears open, you will hear something about this.]
Interviewer: I read that there is a possibility of “Yes on Broadway” in 2013 to celebrate the band’s 45th anniversary [...]To Innerviews for more from Squire:
Squire: Ya, I don’t know how this rumor really got started. It was something that we were discussing as a band that maybe, at some point, to do a history of Yes sort of show and possibly have all of the previous members come in and do bits here and there. But it’s kind of a backburner thing. It’s not really something that’s going to happen this year  or next. But it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a while, so don’t be surprised if in 2014 something pops up.
It’s [...] on the back burner while we mull it over. The idea is to do a history of Yes concept, including past and present members, if it was physically and financially possible. [...] We were looking at Broadway as opposed to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, which is where people try to do residencies. [...] we put this idea out there to see if someone who controls the theaters on Broadway would come to us and suggest something. We’ve had a couple of enquiries, but it hasn’t gone that far. [...] Next year , we’ll be looking at doing a new studio album [...] So, this idea may not surface for awhile.In an Aug 2012 interview, White may be alluding to the same or a related idea:
As for Anderson coming back, "we haven't put that out of our minds at all," White says. But if it happens, "I've got a feeling it won't be these long, arduous tours, maybe just some one-off gigs in big cities and stuff like that."
And for these special occasions, "I think we probably would have Jon there, too, the other Jon [i.e., Davison]. He's that nice a guy. He'd work with us on it and be part of it."
2012 interview asked White whether he would like to play
with Anderson again. The reply (seemingly translated into Greek
and then back into English):
It would be great to play with Jon again but you know, he’s doing his own thing. Now, we have a new singer in Yes. I see the reason of playing with Jon again in a special concert or in a special occasion. In very special gigs around the world like New York, L.A.. That kind of things.
discussion & relationships with past members
In an 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 mean, 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
Anderson, in a Sep
2015 interview, described having "a good chat" with Squire
after learning of his ill health, and then emailing back and
forth. In an interview in the Jul 2015 issue of Prog, Anderson
described e-mailing Squire. He is asked whether it is strange
hearing Yes perform with other singers; he replies, after a "long
[...] not really. You think, "OK, well, so that's what they are now." That's not my idea of what Yes is. But what can I do?
The interviewer then says that Yes have "always replaced you with
soundalikes". Anderson continues:
[...] they have to work with people who can make it sound as much like the real thing as possible [...] since Chris got sick, it's just the two guys [Howe & White]. But I don't blame them. They've got to make a living. I've been there myself – you get into your own little world and you don't care about other people.
Asked about whether he can see himself back in Yes, he replies:
Of course. Me and Rick have both said many times that we would love to get back with the guys [...] When I'm out there singing on my own, I still think I'm part of Yes. Those are my songs.
However, an Aug
2014 interview with Anderson had this:
“That moment [when the band continued on without him in 2008] really hurt,” Anderson admits. “I think we’d grown apart over the years, and when it came to the crunch, you know, business is more important and that’s what they wanted to do.
“But we’re still brothers,” he adds. “I’d still greet them if I saw them.” Noting that a[...] reunion could happen if Yes ever makes it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [...] Anderson says he’d be happy to sing with them again.
As for a full reunion should it be offered, though, he demurs. “It’s not what I want to do,” he says.
2014 interview with Howe had the following exchange about
Interviewer: Is there any chance of a reunion with [Anderson]?
Howe: How would you like it if I asked you to get back together with your ex-girlfriend ...
Interviewer: People do get back together with their exes ...
Howe: We have a new album coming out. The way we see the band –– I don’t want to appear to be disinterested in things that other people might be interested in –– but you need clear goals when you’re working.
At the moment, we’ve got these [other] plans.
Asked whether Yes would perform with Anderson if they're inducted
into the Hall of Fame in this Dec
2013 interview, Squire replied:
Squire: Yes, that’s not a problem. In fact, Jon and I had quite a long phone conversation a couple of months back. I know he’s excited about the nomination and of course he’ll be there. We’ll see, we’ll probably try to do an expanded Yes thing there, if we’re inducted.In a Jul 2013 interview, asked about Anderson, White said:
Interviewer: He’s cool with you guys going on with another singer?
Squire: Yeah, the chips have sort of fallen where they lay now. It seems like we can have a good conversation, and some of that bodes well for that being a good performance (if we’re inducted).
We haven't ruled out the fact that we might do something with him in the future. We don't know when. We have a good formula for right now. [...] We're going to roll like this at the moment and we're enjoying it.
And, earlier in the same interview, he also said, "There is a
possibility we may do something with him [Rabin] in the future."
In an Aug
2013 interview, asked about Anderson saying he would like to
return to the band, Howe responds:
Well, I've got two choices here[.] I either don't answer the question because I could say this is not a question I can deal with. I could say it's none of your business. People say all sorts of things about this, and I don't want to get into any deep water, but I will say that we've got a wonderful band at the moment and we've got a lot of plans for the future. So I don't really understand where that's [i.e., talk of Anderson's return] going myself, because we're very settled into keeping this lineup as close as we can to what we have. It's what we know, it's what works, it's what's been proven. Going back to something that everyone thinks, 'Oh, it's what they want' ... it might not be what we can deliver.
While in a second Aug
2013 interview, Howe has this to say:
The best lineup we’ve got is the one we’ve got[.] This is the best Yes lineup because it works now. All the others may have had their moments in time.
We greatly respect the contributions of every Yes member that’s ever been[.] They’ve helped fill in the bricks of construction that make up the architecture. We’re all products of our own making. Many people can’t accept that. Every situation is one we’ve produced ourselves.
And asked why Anderson isn't in the band in a third:
That’s like me saying how do you feel without your ex-wife or without your ex-girlfriend[.]
People don’t have any problem asking us questions like that but we have a problem answering them. What about Bill Bruford? [...] he retired from Yes altogether. And I love the guy. So there are a lot of crosses to bear, and I do respect all of the people who have made such great contributions in their previous role as Yes members. End of story.
In a Mar
2013 interview, White had this to say about the possibility
of Anderson returning to the band:
"I haven't put it out of my mind that it's a probability," he says. "We'll see down the line. I don't think it will be for a whole period. I think it will be for some specialized gig like New York, L.A., or London, that kind of a thing."
Despite Anderson seeming a bit bitter about the band recording its first album in ten years without him [...] White says there is no bad blood between them. "I spoke to Jon a few weeks ago," White shares. "He's a 49ers fan, and I'm a Seahawks fan, and we were having a conversation totally about football."
In an Apr
2013 interview (in Spanish), Squire was asked about the
possible return of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Moraz. His
answer (translated): "Not at the moment, at least not this year
. Perhaps in the future, there is a possibility of doing
something with them again."
In an interview
from around May 2013, Anderson said:
[...] I said to Chris the other month, if Geoff [Downes] and Jon [Davison] are in the band too, I don’t mind, you know, we can all work together. I’m very open. I think the music is more important, and the fans are more important than all that “I want the band to be my way” business. I was never into that. And I’m always very open for things to work out okay.
Rick is a very important part of the group [...] I think that it’s important that he should be involved as well.
And I spoke to Alan a couple of weeks ago. So we’re in touch, and when the time comes, when the stars align, we’ll probably be able to get together and perform together. I don’t see myself going on crazy tours for months on end, I don’t see the point in that—we’re all a lot older, and I hope a lot wiser. We should do shows here and there and we should make sure the shows are very important and very, very well produced
Anderson was asked for his thoughts on the current band in an Aug
2013 interview on Planet
Rock radio (UK); his answer: "[...] the music is great,
there's no question [...] they're playing well [...] They're not
as adventurous as they should be, but that's just me. [...] I wish
them well." In another interview
around the same time, asked about reuniting with Yes, he said,
"It's gonna happen. I think the key thing will be if we get in the
'Hall of Fame'. It will be fun. We used to joke about it. We'll
all be in wheelchairs and we'll get in the 'Hall of Fame'." A Nov
2013 interview asked Anderson about Yes. He was first asked
if he misses "the other members of Yes while performing these
songs", and replied: "I miss the beautiful energy that we created
as a band, but it's something that I can't dwell on too much
because it's something that is not going to happen. It might
happen in the next year or two. You never know. I'm never opposed
to doing concerts with the guys". Then asked about whether he is
on good terms with the current Yes members, he said: "I speak to
Alan [White] [...] He left a message the other day for my
birthday, so we're in touch. Chris [Squire] and Steve [Howe] they
are doing their own lives. [...] We're not that in touch". He was
also asked how he feels about the idea that Yes cannot be Yes
without him. He replied:
I can imagine when Journey went out with different singers that fans got very upset, but they loved the songs and still go see the band. With Yes, it's kinda different in many ways because I was a very integral part of the music as well as the songs that I wrote and the lyrics. So it's a different set of energy when people go see Yes. They'll hear the music [...] it's really great music, but it's going to feel different because I think I was this person to the band, leading the band. I had this certain energy, and it's missing. But that's not to say people don't enjoy going to see their show. I can't really fault them for anything other than they carried on doing the music without me, and it is very inspiring music anyway. So, I can see how the fans are upset in a way. I wish them all the best, and I hope that one day we will all get back together and do the tour everybody dreams of.
In another Nov
2013 interview, he said: "they're going to do what they
wanna do, Steve [Howe] and Chris [Squire]... they're in charge of
the band and they can do what they want. It's always gonna be
their band and I'm busy doing what I'm doing and Trevor [Rabin] is
busy doing what he does, Rick[ Wakeman]'s busy doing what he does.
Everybody's got a life y'know?" The interviewer then praised the
early Yes albums and Anderson replied, "Well, they're still
available. There's still the incredible history of the band.
People shouldn't worry too much and hold on to the past. That was
wonderful and it's gone. We move on to a better future. And you
never know. We might all get together and do a tour. You never
know..." In a Feb
2014 interview, asked why the 'classic' line-up isn't
together, Anderson answered, "Times changes and lives move on,
y'know. People have a strong feeling about what they want to do.
Urm... as you know, I got very sick and Chris and Steve and Alan
just wanted to go on the road. I understand that. Y'know, they
went on the road and they're still doing it. It's one of those
things, I did say after I got better that I'd love to, y'know, get
back together and do some work with Rick and... it just didn't
seem to want to do that kinda... y'know, I'm a sort of taskmaster.
I don't sit around [...] Times change. All the Yes fans, I really
feel sad for them having not the chance to see the band, but maybe
next year  we'll get into the Hall of Fame and you never
know, we might just go on tour together. Life is like that [...]
you can't say never again." In a Mar
interview, Anderson said:
If we get into the Hall of Fame, maybe we’ll all be friends again[.] That’s probably the way a reunion would come about. Steve and Chris have their idea of Yes, and that’s what it is. I went through a similar experience. ‘90125’ [...] wasn’t my idea of what the band should be. I tried to push them back into the long-form pieces of music, and eventually I gave it up and decided I would do it myself. I started writing musicals — I wrote three in the 1980s and two in the 1990s.
In a Q&A
for YesWorld in Apr 2013, Howe said:
The current members of Yes respect and regard and appreciate the enormous contributions that our past members have made, not the least of all Bill Bruford, Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, and the late Peter Banks, Billy and Trevor and so many people and they’ve all been contributing to the past. And what you have now is the Yes that is functioning because of multiple reasons: we want to, we’re able to, we have the energy, and we love the music.
And in an Apr
2013 interview, Downes said:
who knows, as regards Jon Anderson? It's something that's not really in my control. I've not really ever worked with Jon Anderson. So I know the other guys speak to him from time to time. So it's not... people say it was an acrimonious departure--probably not as much as people might think.
The article continues:
does it seem like it's healed over time, if indeed there was any acrimony?A Sep 2012 interview asked Howe: "Asia is a band that works so well with the original four, and not nearly as good without the original four. Yes, however, is a band where everyone, at one time or another, has come and gone, including you, yet it still works. What is the difference between the two?" His reply:
"I'd say so, yeah. People get on. [...] when you get to your 60s, you don't want to be carrying too many grudges around with you (laughs)."
It must be personalities. Asia had a long break where we didn’t do anything and Yes has perpetuated all of these years. That has required people to come and go and it has meant we need to get new blood sometimes, as well.
Asia is really quite different as it doesn’t work unless it is the original guys. You could claim the same for Yes and say that we should bring back the original guys, but Bill Bruford is, sadly, retired. Peter Banks and Tony Kaye are both very good musicians, but it wouldn’t be the same as what we do now, or what we did in the past. Yes and Asia are very different kinds of creatures, really.
Later in the same interview, he is asked if Anderson and Wakeman
will ever work with the band again:
Well, how in the hell do I know? I wouldn’t particularly say that it is on the agenda. People have said the cliché like we have burned bridges and all of that.An interviewer in Nov 2012 said to Howe, "I interviewed Jon Anderson a while back and he was quite upset that Yes toured and recorded without him." Howe's reply:
We are realistic people, so in the sense of realism, for Yes to evolve, we had to be a strong group and we had to have people who were committed to it to warrant a position in the band. In other words, if you come in and say to Yes, “I play the drums but in Yes I am going to play the bongos.” We would say, “But we want a drummer.”
You’ve got to be able to provide the full story. [...] everybody in this group needs to accept that we look at the entire career of this group. We don’t just look at little pockets when certain people were in the group—we don’t do that anymore. [...] Of course, we do focus a lot on the ‘70’s but there were a few lineups there.
In a way, that is the commitment. It is not about Jon and Rick now. It is about who can do these tours and who can perform the repertoire from 1968 to 2012. If you can do that then you have an opportunity to be in Yes. I’m not going to say Rick and Jon can’t do that. I will say that I don’t think that is what they want to do. But that is what Yes demands. We want artists who can come in and perform with an open heart right across the board. I guess that is the key to it.
We were upset for several years when he wouldn't tour. It wasn't only because he had not been well. We were very sympathetic to that. When he was well, he went out and did Yes songs on his own. I'm not saying it is tit for tat. What I am saying that the circumstances have changed. Yes has toured with Jon Davison singing and it was very successful. We are going to continue with Davison next year . I know people would love to see Jon Anderson, but it's about does it work. Do we want to honor each other's position? Nobody leads Yes. Yes does not have a single, solitary leader who says I am the leader of the band. It's a team. We have pushed forward and we haven't had anyone going home unhappy or asking for their money back. We deliver what Yes is supposed to do.In a May 2012 interview, Squire talked about a possible Broadway residency that would be in collaboration with Anderson and other ex-members: see above for more. He also supports the interviewer's suggestion of a get together if the band were ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, saying: "That would be fantastic, wouldn't it? It would be great to get every member up there onstage. Fortunately, I think every member is still alive, so they shouldn't wait too long." In a mid-Jun 2012 interview, asked about a "reconciliation with Jon Anderson", White said
Who knows? One time, hopefully,
we can, erm... get back together with Jon. Whether it'd be for a
just a few specialised kind of... y'know, the shows are an
occasion, and not much like a whole tour, will probably be the
case [...] I'm still great friends with Jon. And he's just happy
doing his solo thing.
The interviewer then says she spoke with Anderson in 2011 and that he's ready, to which White replies: "I wouldn't count it out."In an early Sep 2012 interview for GTFM radio (Wales), the interviewer asked Downes about Squire having said he is "open" to Anderson returning. Downes replied:
What Chris might say in an interview might (a) be misinterpreted or (b) might be something that, y’know, he might want to… erm… not really mean what he’s saying in that respect. Certainly, at the moment, I don’t see that being a possibility, but you never say never in those circumstances. There may be some level whereby there is a kind of a Yes reformation some time down the line in the future, similar to the Union situation, maybe. But certainly I think that the level of touring we’re doing at the moment and the intensity of dates, I don’t think would probably suit Jon Anderson, not that I know him particularly wellIn a Jan 2013 interview, Anderson was asked, "Will there ever be a chance at reconciliation with Yes that could result in a new tour, perhaps even a new Yes album?" His answer: "I would love that to happen!" He said more in this exchange from a Feb 2013 interview:
Interviewer: A few months ago[...] Squire [...] told me that he's never turned down the opportunity to work with you again, but currently your health is too poor to do an extensive tour. How is your health [...]
Anderson: Yeah, I nearly died a couple of times. My health is very good. The bizarre thing is I sing more on stage now doing my solo shows than I ever did with Yes. I sing and talk for an hour and three quarters. Chris just wants to own and control the band, that's his life. I wish he'd have called the band something else, it would have been more real, but bands do it, Journey carried on without their singer. I wish them luck; it's not my idea of Yes, obviously. My idea of Yes is "Open" and what I'm doing now. Emotionally I haven't left Yes at all. [...] I still have a great feeling about the future of my idea of Yes music. I'm still committed to the wonderful Yes music we've created over the years. I want to continue to make that kind of Yes music [...]
Interviewer: [...] Are you open to the idea of an extensive tour with them?
Anderson: I wanted to tour in 2009 when I got better and they said no. They turned me down. They said maybe next year . That's kind of bizarre to me that they'd say they already had a singer, six months later that singer, probably a lovely guy, couldn't handle the touring, because it's so hard. Now they have another singer, they didn't call me or ask me if I'd be interested, they just say oh he's sick, which is a lot of rubbish.
Interviewer: Would you ever work with them again?
Anderson: Sure, I'd love to. There's no reason why we shouldn't bury the hatchet, get together and make some music and do something very special for all the Yes fans around the world. And there are thousands of people who would like us to get together [...] Rick would have to be in the band. There's no point in just me. We'd probably do some shows or something, some beautiful new music [...] we could make a movie or something like that, just to honor all the fans.
2013 interview had this:
Anderson says he’s made overtures about joining the Yes fold again [...] His only condition [...] was that [...] Rick Wakeman return as well. [...] Chris Squire and [...] Steve Howe, Anderson adds, weren’t interested.
“Chris and Steve like to have control of things. That’s what they want to do,” Anderson says. “I’ve said two or three times, I’d love to get back together — as long as Rick is back in the band. They don’t seem to be hearing that, at the moment. Maybe, one day it will happen. We’ll see.”
He had earlier in the interview given his view of the current
They’re carrying on[.] Fans have lost interest in the whole concept, anyway. It’s what it is. It’s going to go the way it’s going to go — that’s really all I can say. I think a lot of people are just disappointed, like I was, that it’s lost that impetus that made Yes music so beautiful and different.
He also commented that he hasn't heard Davison singing, but he
said of David: "I heard Benoit when someone sent me a link on
YouTube, and he was singing pretty good. He's a good singer, but
he was having a tough time after a year on the road. Singers, it's
a very physical thing, and they are the most affected by long
In the wake of David's departure, it was reported that an attempt
was made to reach out to Jon Anderson, but
that Anderson would not talk and no discussion with him took place
(see, for example, here
on Yesfans.com). In response to earlier, erroneous, online reports
that he had been asked to re-join, Anderson released a statement
on 8 Feb, from which I quote:
Interviewer: Because of your health issues,
Yes decided to tour with a replacement vocalist. Can a band
still call itself Yes and not have Jon Anderson singing?
Anderson: No, it's never going
to be the same band. And they've just announced this week that
they had to get yet another singer after the guy who replaced me
became ill. I've told them that since I am healthy again that I
would to get back with them. I told them that I wanted to create
new music, but they don't want to do that. They just want to go
on the road and make money. They don't care for the integrity of
the band. I feel they have let a lot of fans down. They're just
in it for the money.
In the wake of David's departure, it was reported that some sort
of attempt was made to reach out to Anderson, but that he would
not talk and no discussion with him took place (see, for example,
on Yesfans.com). In response to earlier, erroneous, online reports
that he had been asked to re-join, Anderson released a statement
on 8 Feb, from which I quote:
I love Chris [Squire] like a brother and wish only the best for him. But I think Jon is such an important part of YES, and it's not just the sound. It's the input and perspective that Jon brings. It sometimes is tough, but it's so worth it.Billy Sherwood was asked about the "situation" with Yes and Asia in this late 2012 interview, and replied:
I have and like any fan of the music one has their favorites of this or that.... That said, it's not my business how bands evolve, who should be there and who shouldn't. i just enjoy the fact music is being made.And then asked about working with Yes again, he said:
With Yes I have learned to never say no lol... Anything is possible, every time I thought I was finished working with the band it would then re-enter my world in some significant way. I have no plans to re-join or produce etc... but I didn't have that plan when it came at me in the past so.... let's leave it at who knows.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 suggest 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."
Yes has certainly stood the test of time. We’ll see what happens down the line. It’s possible there might be a Yes band 100 or 200 years from now, much in the same way cities have symphony orchestras that have been around. [...] the name could be kept and you could have new musicians come in. [...] Yes isn’t necessarily contingent upon my presence. By now, people know what my contribution to the band has been, both in songwriting and playing. Of course, I can be emulated and my style can be borrowed from for any future bassist or secondary vocalist for the band. I’ve thought about it a lot, and this could be a possibility looking toward the future.
In a Dec
2013 interview, Squire mooted the possibility of something
akin to the Union tour in the future:
Maybe at some point in the future we’ll try and do another expanded Yes as we did in 1991, and maybe that will give us some opportunity to do some more of that [YesWest] music. The great thing about that band was that it was almost like a “Yes orchestra.” It was defintely a good thing to do, and not out of the question that we might do it again at some point. But right now we’re forging on with the new project.
Animated film project: Roger
Dean's "Floating Islands" film or something else
Yes have 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 involved with current planning for
"Floating Islands". The film is 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 is
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.Fly from Here
[...] 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.
national chart positions
Contemporary live releases
That was only part of the evening's set, omitting Close to the Edge, played first in the evening. Close to the Edge was omitted because it is covered by a follow-up live release recorded at the Mesa, AZ show on 12 Aug 2014. Like It Is—Yes at the Mesa Arts Center (Frontiers) came out 10 Jul 2015 as a Blu-ray, a 2CD+DVD pack, download, or 2LP. Japan (through Sony Japan) additionally sees a 2CD only release. Sherwood described mixing the album in posts to Facebook, Jan 2015. On 3 Mar, he said to Facebook, "Finished the YES MIX !!! "Live From Mesa DVD". Mastered by my friend Maor Appelbaum". The set that night was Close to the Edge in reverse, "Believe Again", "The Game", all of Fragile, "I've Seen All Good People", "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Starship Trooper". However, the release just covers the two full albums; tracks:
|Buy 2CD from Amazon (US):
|In the Present—Live from Lyon (Frontiers) was released in 2011 as a 2CD, limited edition 3LP gatefold (Europe only; now sold out) or 2CD+DVD set. This is the 1 Dec 2009 show when Oliver Wakeman and Benoît David were in the band. The audio is the full show on the Japanese release, but omits Howe's second solo piece elsewhere. The ~55 min. DVD consists of interviews with the band, behind the scenes footage, excerpts from the show and complete performances of "Roundabout" and "Machine Messiah". Director of video content: Philippe Nicolet. Tracks: CD1—"Siberian Khatru", "I've Seen All Good People", "Tempus Fugit", "Onward", "Astral Traveller", "Yours is No Disgrace", "And You and I", "Corkscrew" (Howe solo), "Second Initial" (Howe solo; Japan only bonus track); CD2—"Owner of a Lonely Heart", "South Side of the Sky", "Machine Messiah", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper".|
|Buy 2CD Highlights from
||Buy 3LP Highlights
from Amazon (US):
Seven Shows from Seventy-Two is a new, 14-disc
box set containing 7 complete shows from 31 Oct-20 Nov 1972,
i.e. the Close to the Edge tour with
Anderson, Squire, Howe, White and Wakeman. The album was
released 25 May 2015 in the UK (Rhino) and 26 May in the US
(Atlantic Catalog Group). The box also features extensive
new art by Roger
Dean. The YesWorld
page about the release has the full story of the
recordings and the work to restore them, but in short these
are 2" tape, 16-track (or possibly 8-track) recordings done
for what would become Yessongs, and indeed some of
these were used for some of the material on Yessongs.
The shows are: 31
Oct Toronto; 1 Nov Ottawa; 11 Nov Durham, NC; 12 Nov
Greensboro, NC; 14 Nov Athens, GA; 15 Nov Knoxville, TN; and
20 Nov New York, NY. The 14 and 15 Nov discs are in the
correct, chronological order but were labelled the wrong way
round on the original release of the set, but more recent
copies have this corrected. (I don't know of any way of
telling whether you are ordering a set with the error
corrected or not—sorry!) Replacement discs have been
The track listing is the same for each show: "Opening (Excerpt from Firebird Suite)"/"Siberian Khatru", "I've Seen All Good People", "Heart of the Sunrise", Howe solo (usually "Mood for a Day/Clap", but sometimes there were the other way around), "And You and I", "Close to the Edge", "Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"", "Roundabout", "Yours is No Disgrace". The exception is that Howe's solo was played before "Heart of the Sunrise" at the 31 Oct show. The set was restored and remixed by Brian Kehew (worked on bonus tracks for Rhino's Tormato re-release, works with Keith Emerson) and others. Liner notes are by Syd Schwartz. ForgottenYesterdays' Steven Sullivan has a short FAQ about the release here; other details on Wikipedia here.
Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two made #64 in the UK album chart, #57 in Germany, #48 in Italy and #10 in Hungary in its first week. It was as high as #26 on Amazon.com in all albums there, #14 in Rock and #26 in Pop on 27 May; it also made #1 in Classic Rock on 28 May. It was #1 in Psychedelic Rock at various times between 28 Feb-28 May. An import listing on Amazon.co.uk was #12 in Box Sets and #106 overall on 7 Mar before the domestic release was listed. The UK domestic release made #23 in Box Sets, #38 in Compilations and #252 overall (27 May).
Released at the same time and available as a 2CD, 180g 3LP or download, Progeny: Highlights from Seventy-Two is a 90-minutes selection from the 14-disc set; tracks: "Opening"/"Siberian Khatru" (from 20 Nov), "I've Seen All Good People" (20 Nov), "Heart of the Sunrise" (15 Nov), "Clap/Mood for a Day" (12 Nov), "And You and I" (11 Nov), "Close to the Edge" (11 Nov), "Excerpts from "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"" (12 Nov), "Roundabout" (31 Oct), "Yours is No Disgrace" (12 Nov). The 3LP release was as high as #542 (#10 in Psychedelic Rock, #59 in Classic Rock; 2 Mar) on Amazon.com, while the 2CD version reached #23 (#12 in Rock, #1 in Classic Rock, #23 in Pop; 27 May), and #1 in Psychedelic Rock (various times 18-27 May). The download was #1 in Progressive Rock (27-8 May) and #19 in Rock (#92 in Paid Albums; 27 May). The 3LP was as high as #383 on Amazon.co.uk (#4 in Vinyl, #37 in Box Sets, #66 in Compilations on 26 May), while the 2CD edition has been as high as #95 (#21 in Compilations; 27 May) and the download was #17 in Rock and #80 overall (26 May). The 3LP release made #14 on the UK vinyl chart in its first week.
Progeny has been nominated in Prog magazine's annual awards in the Storm Thorgerson Grand Design category: you can vote here.
|Buy Progeny from
||Buy Progeny from
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.
|A Special Edition re-release of "Songs from
Tsongas—The 35th Anniversary Concert" was out 10 Sep 2014 in
Japan (Nippon Colombia) and 22 Sep elsewhere (Eagle Rock).
There are a Blu-ray version, a 2DVD version and a 3CD
version. Japan also has versions with the Blu-Ray + 3CD, and
with 2 DVDs + 3CD. In addition to the original content, the
Blu-ray and DVD versions include bonus material (on the
second disc for the DVD version) of 70 minutes taken from
the band's Lugano, Switzerland festival performance (in
Standard Definition 720×480), "Ritual" from the Tsongas show
(moved from the main running order and offered as a bonus
track on some versions, but in the correct place in the
running order on the Japanese Blu-Ray), and an interview
with Roger Dean. All the
Japanese releases come with an additional 8 tracks from the
Lugano show, i.e. the full show. "Songs from
re-released a remastered and expanded version of ABWH
(ECLEC22465). This comes with restored artwork and booklet,
including a new essay by Sid Smith. Bonus disc:
1. "Order of the Universe (Long Edit)" (6:03), from 12" singleThis is different to the 2011 Gonzo re-release. In a Jul 2014 post to ProgressiveEars.com, the Esoteric account explained what had happened and the choice of bonus material:
With regards to AWBH , it was always owned by Sony, no one in the band had the right to licence to Gonzo we have been told , hence Sony wanted it licensed legitimately, it is complicated though what you can add, the owning label have to give permission to add bonus tracks that they don't own etc and we have a very short window to release on other label licences that don't allow for lengthy negotiationsThe Yes Album, Close to the Edge, Going for the One and Yessongs are now available as HD downloads from HDtracks (in the US; in most countries). These are described as "flat" transfers from the master tapes. Several Yes songs are also available through the Jammit app, which allows you to isolate multi-tracks. Audio Fidelity have released a limited edition, 'gold' Hybrid SACD release of Close to the Edge (AFZ147). Going for the One (AFZ 157) followed in Jun 2013. Both were mastered by Steve Hoffman, who said on his online forum that he used the master tape for Going for the One rather than the EQ'd LP cutting master used, he said, for previous CD releases.
|Buy from Amazon (UK):
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Covers of Yes songs
& other news
Mark Kozelek's cover of "Onward" (from his 2013 album Like Rats) appears multiple times in "Youth" (or "La Giovinezza"), a new movie starring Michael Caine and written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino, due 4 Dec on limited release in the US and 15 Jan 2016 in the UK. Kozelek also appears as himself in the film.
"Roundabout" is covered on The
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Prog Rock Classics
(Cleopatra Records), which is described
under Moraz who plays on another track on the album.
Brenda Carol & ClaireVoyance continue to perform a number of Yes and related pieces live. In Jun 2013, they performed as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival a set including "No Opportunity.../The Prophet", Squire's "Lucky 7", "Everydays/I See You", and King Crimson's "Prince Rupert Awakes". Classical pianist Stephen Prutsman performs his version of "Sound Chaser" in his recitals, and may now be working with Jon Anderson (see under Anderson). Esoteric signing Tin Spirits have played "Roundabout" live. Korekyojinn, led by Tatsuya Yoshida (Facebook; Ruins), perform a packed Yes medley live. Dylan Howe did a cover of "Perpetual Change" with July Valls (guitar, bass, keys), viewable on YouTube, and they did another of "Awaken": see under Dylan.
Voices for Yes
Voices for Yes (Facebook; Twitter) is a major fan-led campaign to get Yes inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It has been re-started with Yes again nominated in 2015. You can sign the petition here. The campaign is headed by two political operators: John Brabender (who worked on Rick Santorum's 2012 US Presidential campaign) and Tad Devine (who worked on John Kerry's 2004 and Al Gore's 2000 Presidential campaigns). Also involved are Steve Capus (former president of NBC News), Sara Taylor (former White House Political Director under George W. Bush) and our own Steven Sullivan (Forgotten Yesterdays). In 2014, the campaign received support from the current band, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Geddy Lee (Rush), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Savannah Guthrie (NBC News co-anchor), Dylan Howe and Virgil Howe. Yes responded to the campaign here.
Yes were nominated for entry to the Hall of Fame in 2014. They were on the long list along side Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel (first nomination; already inducted as part of Genesis in 2009), Nirvana (first nomination), Kiss, The Replacements (first nomination), Hall and Oates (first nomination), The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, LL Cool J, N.W.A, Link Wray (first nomination), The Meters, Linda Ronstadt (first nomination), Cat Stevens (first nomination) and The Zombies (first nomination). The public were able to vote in a poll to select a top 5 that then makes up a part of the formal ballot. (Precisely how is unclear, however from 2014, three of the top five in the public vote are guaranteed to be inducted.) Yes came fourth with 151,238 votes (10.88%), behind Deep Purple (11.93%), Nirvana (15.69%) and Kiss (17.22%); Hall and Oates were fifth with 8.1%, with Gabriel just behind in sixth. Voices for Yes released a video supporting the vote. Anderson responded to the news on Facebook with: "wonderful new, all you great Fans deserve to see YES in the Hall of Fame, YES music is very special, very unique, and I'm a fan of what we did as a band, no matter what happens, we still created some of the most wonderful music ever [...]" In a Dec 2013 interview, Squire said he had spoken to Anderson about the nomination: "he's excited about the nomination and of course he'll be there. We'll see, we'll probably try to do an expanded Yes thing there, if we're inducted." He also said, "And I think Pat [Moraz] sho[u]ld be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well, if we're inducted."
However, Yes were not chosen for induction in 2014. Downes
tweeted in Jan 2014 that, "Fact: Yes missed out on the R&R
Hall of Fame by a mere 24 votes out of 700." The inductees were
Kiss (1st in the public vote), Nirvana (2nd), Hall & Oates
(5th), Peter Gabriel (6th), Linda Ronstadt (7th) and Cat Stevens
But Yes have now been nominated again for
2016 entry: you
can vote for the band here. Their rival nominees are The
Cars (first nomination), Cheap Trick (first nomination), Chicago
(first nomination), Deep Purple, Chaka Khan (first nomination),
Chic, Janet Jackson (first nomination), the JB's (first
nomination), Los Lobos (first nomination), N.W.A., Steve Miller,
Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths and The Spinners (first nomination).
As of 31 Oct, the band are in second place in the public ballot,
Before the announcement, in this Nov
2013 interview, Anderson had said, "We might not get in this
year. If not, then we'll try and get in next year. My mantra is,
it will happen when it happens." However, the band were not
nominated for 2015 entry. Geddy Lee, who is on the voting panel as
a former inductee, said in a Nov
2014 interview, "I'm disappointed that Yes and Deep Purple
did not get in. It's just wrong."
Media, books, documentaries
Journalist Jon Kirkman (worked on the "Union Live" and other releases; Cruise to the Edge host) has written a new, authorised book about Yes, "Time and a Word: The Yes Interviews" (Facebook, YouTube; Rufus Stone Limited Editions), now out as a limited edition (1000 copies). There was also a limited signature edition (350 copies) signed by Kirkman and three of the band. An updated, large format, softback version now follows under the name "Yes Dialogue" (Stereo33Books), with pre-orders available soon. The book 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's personal collection). Kirkman is also working on a second Yes book project.
Released 1 Jan 2015 was Dave Rubin's "Yes - Guitar Signature
Licks: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Guitar Styles and
Techniques of Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin", published by Hal
Leonard. Covering "Clap", "Close to the Edge", "Going for the
One", "I've Seen All Good People", "Long Distance Runaround",
"Love will Find a Way", "Mood for a Day", "Owner of a Lonely
Heart", "Roundabout", "Siberian Khatru", "Starship Trooper" and
"Yours is No Disgrace", the book includes notes and tab, with demo
tracks available to stream or download.
Los Sonidos del Camaleón" (Lenoir; 316 pages), by Jordi
ex-Dracma), is a new Spanish-language book about Yes,
Garry Freeman (author of "The Bootleg Guide" and
the forthcoming "Emerson, Lake and Palmer—A Live Guide
1970-1978") is working on "Yes—A Live Guide 1968-1979" (Helter Skelter
Publishing). The book aims to review as many shows as
possible from this period, including details on equipment
specifications and so on. If you can help with recordings of shows
or technical information (what equipment the band used, what was
the set list etc.), please e-mail
Garry. The Gottlieb brothers are working on a book on Yes
collectibles and Bill Martin (author of "Music of
Yes—Structure and Vision in Progressive Rock") has been
rumoured to be working on a new Yes book.
In a Jul 2004 interview, Wakeman said he would
be writing a book about Yes: "I am going to do [a book] about Yes.
There have been lots of books written about the band and I want to
do one from what it's like inside the band." In a Jan 2005
interview, he said he was "seriously thinking about" writing a
book about Yes having been asked to do one by a "big publisher".
See further details under Wakeman.
Moraz too is planning an autobiography that "will reveal the truth
of what happened with Yes" (Oct 2010 interview). Squire and Howe
are both working on autobiographies, which will cover Yes.
Yes and Wakeman were featured in the third and final episode of
of Song documentary series, "Mix It Up and Start
Again", with Wakeman being interviewed for the programme. Wakeman
also presented BBC4's Tales from the
Tour Bus: Rock 'n' Roll on the Road.
|Mabel Greer's Toy Shop 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). A website was
launched; then Billy Sherwood
announced in Jul 2014 that he and Tony
Kaye were working with the band. Sherwood said 8 Aug
2014 on Facebook: "At present I'm pre-mixing the elements
already recorded by Bob and Clive, once I get all the tracks
in sonic order I'm heading into doing overdubs, Keys and
bass. Tony Kaye is scheduled to play some hammond on here as
well". Across that month he did first bass and then keyboard
overdubs, with Kaye believed to have recorded Hammond parts
in late Aug. Mixing took place early Sep 2014.
An album, New Way of Life (Edifying Records, MGTCD1), is out 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, engineered by Keren and Sherwood, mixed by Sherwood, and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (worked with Yes, CIRCA:). Tracks:
|Buy from Amazon (UK):
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.
Not at the moment. I spoke with Rick a couple weeks ago, and he’s getting ready for a tour next year  [...] Journey to the Centre of the Earth, a big tour. But he actually said to me he had some new music he wanted to have ready in a couple weeks, and I said, “Please,” because we might as well continue writing together, because we respect and love each other very much.A Nov 2013 interview had more: "We're working on a project, doing a couple of songs in the moment. He's doing a lot of orchestral work next year  [...] We won't tour the next year  together, but the year after , I'm sure. We are always in touch." In a May 2012 interview, Anderson said, "Rick's working on some new music now. I'm not sure when he's going to finish the music but he's actually working on some new music for a new album". In his Jun 2011 GORR, Wakeman mentions that he and Anderson "have been exchanging music to work on for [...] the pair of us" (as well as material for the project with both of them and Rabin; see below). Asked in a Jun 2011 interview, Anderson said:
Anderson & Trevor Rabin
Anderson and Trevor Rabin have been sporadically collaborating over the last several years. They were reportedly writing together in 2006. Anderson has mooted both the possibility of joining Rabin on some film work and of touring the YesWest catalogue. In a May 2008 article, he talked of him and Rabin "maybe touring some of that '80s-period music, because it was very special. [...] I wouldn't do it, like, Yes. I'd do it like me and Trevor aspiring to be the two of us making music and see what we come up with." The article describes Anderson as being "amenable to some sort of reunion of the Yes[West] lineup", although it is unclear whether Anderson indicated the involvement of any of Squire, White or Kaye. However, it appears this co-writing activity is now being directed to a project with Rick Wakeman as well: see below.
A Mar 2014 interview with Anderson said he had received an e-mail from Rabin on 11 Mar "because they were connecting with ideas and working on film scores."
Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman & Trevor
Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin have been working on a project together, but the collaboration is proceeding slowly. Some preliminary material has been written, initially by Anderson/Rabin in early 2011 and before, but also through online interaction since. The latest on the project came in the Jan 2014 issue of Prog. There, Wakeman discussed how the project came about and then said, "the band was officially born last year", presumably referring to 2012. Quite what he meant by "born" is unclear given he first announced the project in early 2010; he may be referring to how all three met up in London in early 2012 to exchange ideas. In the Prog article, Rabin explained, "It's been a slow process [...] because of our respective workloads. But we are always trying to move this forward." He added, "We all have a passion for this [...] I can't put a time frame on it. But none of us are getting any younger." Wakeman also explained that, given his solo touring schedule in 2014, that any release will be in 2015 "at the earliest". Describing progress to date, Wakeman said, "The first stage that we've agreed on is the swapping of music, themes and songs. That way we can begin to work on each other's suggestions." And Rabin said, "All we've done is pass on indvidual musical skeletons [...] there's nothing even close to being ready to play for anyone." In a Feb 2014 interview, Anderson said Rabin had sent him some music just before Xmas 2013, explaining, "So we're just jamming around with ideas." While in a Facebook comment that month, Rabin said, "Still hoping that time allows for an album with Rick and Jon. We certainly want it." A 14 Mar 2014 interview with Anderson said he had received an e-mail from Rabin on 11 Mar "because they were connecting with ideas and working on film scores." It also said Anderson had been in contact with Wakeman that month.
In an interview
with Anderson from around May 2013, asked about the
collaboration, he said:
Well, I made the mistake of mentioning it once, and obviously a lot of people want to know what’s happening, and it was just one period of time about a year and half ago or so when I was seeing Trevor quite a lot and we’d been writing a couple of songs and we talked about maybe working with Rick. It’s funny because you spend time talking ideas and then six months later you’ve stopped talking about them, and then Rick’s busy and Trevor’s doing another movie and I’m on tour. It was very hard to bring it together, and at the moment we’re sort of in limbo.
2013 interview with Anderson had saying: "there's now some
talk of Rick and I doing an album with Trevor Rabin. Rick's doing
some music so I'll send that off with some vocals on it to Trevor
and he may put some guitar on it if he's not too busy composing
another film score." And then in another May 2013 interview, he
said that he, Rabin and Wakeman would like to tour playing Talk
with another couple of musicians. In
an interview in the Spring 2013 issue of Progression
magazine, Rabin said:
We've let it slide for a long time because I've been busy. Jon and I have never been closer, Rick and I were never anything but close. We really want to try to do something. [...] So I'm not sure when or how, but the intent is stronger now that it has been. We've been talking conceptually, but not really trading musical ideas.
He also said that he would like to use Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters, worked
with Jon Davison, Chris Squire, Alanis Morissette, Coheed and
Cambria) on drums, who is "really into" the idea.
The initial idea for the project was in early 2010. In 2011, it
emerged that plans had shifted to the main activity being in 2012.
By early 2012, Anderson was being cautious in his descriptions. A
2012 interview had this:
We talked about it, we wrote a
couple of things together, Trevor got sidetracked, we talked
about this year . We haven’t really finalized a
time. It’ll happen when it happens. That’s my new mantra: ‘It
will happen when it happens.’
The article then continues:
is there any chance of
Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin hitting the road and playing Yes
songs? “No, I don’t think so.”
“Rick’s recording as we speak,” Anderson says. “He said he’d send me some music this month or next month. And then I would send it to Trevor. We’d actually written a couple of songs, me and Trevor, and me and Rick have written a couple.” Last time, Anderson said he couldn’t imagine an Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin tour, but he may have warmed up to the idea. If they do tour, fans shouldn’t expect a Yes “greatest hits” show.
“If we make music that we really like, and we put it out there, we’ve got a good fan base who wants to see us do new music… I don’t think we’d want to go out just doing old music, I don’t see the point. I’d rather go out there and do some new music, of course, you’d do old stuff that people want to hear. But you don’t rely on that as your show. You want to take some new music out there and have an adventure.”
2012 interview then had this:
Anderson: It will happen when it happens. I'm never that sure when it will happen, but I just know it will happen. I'm in touch with Rick and Trevor all the time. They're busy doing things [...] I'm busy doing things, but we've talked about some ideas we've come up with and music that we've come up with and it's really a question of timing. Maybe next year  is going to be the year.
Interviewer: [...] who will be on drums and bass?
Anderson: Got no idea at all. We talked about getting an ensemble on stage with three of us, rather, you know, than five or six or seven other musicians. [...]
Interviewer: Do you think it will be something you do in a virtual studio or do you think that you'll try to do some studio time together [...]
Anderson: [...] we'll probably do virtual.
2012 interview with Anderson had been more negative:
Over the past year, Yes fans
have been looking forward to a proposed project from [...]
Anderson [...] Rabin and [...] Wakeman. Unfortunately, as
Anderson tells Ultimate Classic Rock, the grouping has been put
“We did some songs last year, and Trevor had some things going on in his life that he had to sort out, you know, family things and he gets very, very tied up in his music for movies, so we just found it hard to collectively get together. And Rick’s got so many things that he’s doing in England. He has TV shows and radio shows. So eventually, it will happen. You keep the door open and hope that it will happen.”
With Trevor it’s all about
timing being everything you know. You never know, Trevor always
said he wanted to do but right now he’s going through some
changes in his work, seeing what he wants to do. I am very open
to when it happens it happens, always ready to try things like
[...] I think Trevor is waiting to jump into that adventure but he’s not quite ready yet in his heart. We wait and see and when we will work together I think it will be real spontaneous music. That’s what we talked about, making it spontaneous. A bit different than we used to do…
2012 interview with Anderson had: "It Happens When It
Happens, is my mantra! [...] we're always in touch. [...] we'll
see what happens."
Interview comments from Rabin also express some uncertainty over
timing. In this May
2012 interview, Rabin is asked whether there is anything he
cares to discuss about the collaboration and replies: "Nothing I
care to discuss as of yet. Rick is supposed to be sending me
something pretty soon for us to work on, so we'll see what comes
of it." In another May
2012 interview, he said:
We’ve been wanting to do
something for a couple of years now but we’ve not been
able to get together. Either I was on tour [this appears to be
in reference to Rabin accompanying his son's band, Grouplove, on
tour], or Rick and Jon were on tour. I met with Rick about eight
months ago in London. Rick and I get along so well [...] As
musicians, we get on really well, and the same goes with Jon.
The three of us are really intending on doing something but time
has not been our friend.
In my interview
with Rabin from Jul 2012, he said:
While Jon, Rick and I are excited about the prospect of doing something together nothing is organized yet and there’s no telling when or how something will be done. We really want to. Time is the enemy at the moment.
An article in Prog magazine, issue 26, stated that, "While nothing is confirmed, Rabin hopes recording will happen in 2012." This issue was published May 2012, although it appears to be based on an interview around Mar. Rabin is quoted as saying: "I haven't spent time with Rick since we had dinner in London at the end of last year. And I last saw Jon ever earlier, when he stayed with me. The problem is that all three of us have so much going on in our lives that it's been impossible to find the time to take it forward. The one thing I can tell you is that we all want to make this happen." He describes plans for the album: "What we want to end up with is an album that showcases what we're all about as individuals, but to make certain that it has an overall sound which represents this new band." He also mentions the possible involvement of Bill Bruford, which h previously ruled out by Bruford (see below): "I know Bill Bruford's name has been mentioned, and I'd be happy to have him involved. But right now, we've approached nobody else at all. And, to be realistic, until we have our schedule mapped out, then there is no point in bringing anyone else in." In yet another May 2012 interview, Rabin said, "Jon and I speak all the time. [...] Rick Wakeman, Jon and I have been talking about doing something for the last 3 years. [...] schedules are a real problem."In a mid-Apr 2011 Facebook message, Anderson had said, "all is great with Trev, Rick and Myself, writing ideas , and thinking of next year  already." In an Apr 2011 interview, Anderson said, "At the moment, I am writing with Trevor Rabin and Rick." Asked about the collaboration in a May 2011 radio interview, Anderson said, "we were writing songs just two weeks ago [...] it's gonna be fantastic next year ". In this interview, published Sep 2011, Wakeman describes meeting Rabin in London "recently" to discuss the project. Then there was this in a joint Oct 2011 interview by Anderson and Wakeman:
Wakeman: [I'm] waiting to hear from Trevor at
the moment. To be fair, I certainly haven't chased him, as I've
been so busy this year  (as indeed Jon has and certainly
Trevor as well). I really want this to happen; I believe it
could be amazing in so many ways. I will certainly play my part
in trying to bring this to fruition.
Anderson: We've talked about creating a project; it's just finding the right time to work together.
The Nov 2011 Classic Rock
Presents... Prog (issue 21) has this on the
Rabin is also to be involved in
a new project with [...] [Wakeman and Anderson.] But things are
still in the formative stages right now.
"We are still working it all
out. I did spend some time with Jon when he was over in the
States doing solo shows not that long ago. I'm sure this'll
The original idea was for the project to be made up of and be
called Anderson Bruford Wakeman Rabin, echoing the Anderson
Bruford Wakeman Howe project of 1988-90, but Bruford is not to be
involved. I had multiple reports that plans for the project came
to a halt in Mar 2011, but the project returned to being a going
concern. I reported the project's demise here on 31 Mar, but in
response to the subsequent online discussion, Wakeman explicitly
denied that the project was cancelled and his webmaster advised
looking to the RWCC for any official news. A report from close to
Jon Anderson also denied the project had come to an end. Wakeman
discussed the matter at some length in his April 2011 GORR:
In his 18May
blog, Bruford said in reply to questions:
a lot of people talking about Yes, which you may
all know that I am not re-joining and have received no such
invitation from anyone connected with the band. [...] Can’t we
just let rumours be rumours? It just clogs up the place.
The answer to Roger Norway - 3/16/2010 12:02:37
PM [who asked about
the reports of Bruford's involvement in the
Anderson/Wakeman/Rabin project] is therefore – I have
no interest. These rumour things often get started by a ‘slow
news’ day over at the magazines and blogs.
Billy Sherwood's Citizen
Billy Sherwood has an album entitled Citizen (Frontiers Records, FR CD 710) due 6 Nov on CD and digitally (digital pre-orders come with the tracks "The Citizen", "Just Galileo and Me" and "No Man's Land"). He described the album in Apr 2015 press as: "the story of a lost soul wandering through time and living through many lives during historic periods of time." Sherwood wrote the album and performs vocals, guitar, keys, bass and drums; performing guests include Chris Squire, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Steve Hackett (Squackett, ex-GTR, ex-Genesis), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Steve Morse (Deep Purple, The Dixie Dregs, worked with Steve Howe, ex-Kansas), Steve Hillage (System 7, ex-Gong, ex-National Health), Alan Parsons, Colin Moulding (ex-XTC), John Wesley (worked with Porcupine Tree, Sound of Contact, Steve Rothery, Steve Hogarth, Fish, Sean Malone) and Jerry Goodman (ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra, worked with Dream Theater, Gary Husband, Jordan Rudess), all of whom have appeared on Sherwood-led projects before. John Wetton (Asia, ex-King Crimson) was due to be involved too, but it appears has been unable to contribute due to ill health (see more under Asia).
Squire recorded a 5-string bass track for the album in a hotel
when Sherwood was visiting Arizona, not long before he told
Sherwood about his diagnosis; this is thought to be his final
recording work. On 5 Jul, Sherwood said on Facebook:
In memory of Chris I decided to mix the title lead off track from [...] "CITIZEN". The song is titled "The Citizen" and features the last recording of Chris playing great (about 7 weeks ago) !!! ALong side him is my dear friend and bandmate in CIRCA: Tony Kaye [...] This is an important track because it sets the stage for the conceptu...al aspect of the record [...] The record also features other friends [...] John Wetton co[m]mitted to the project early on but has since fallen ill and is dealing with his health, I hope and pray for my friends recovery, I hope he can make it to the party [...] today it's just been my pleasure to hear Chris blazing out of my speakers.
Sherwood continued mixing through the month (he talked of mixing
"Trail Of Tears" on 6 Jul). Later in Jul, Sherwood continued on
Just finished mixing "CITIZEN" [...] I wrote with a conceptual theme. A lost soul reincarnated into various periods of history, he is the citizen... A conscript legionnaire in the Roman army at the end of the empire. A trench runner in WW1. A friend to Galileo as he discovers the earth is not flat. A distraught Wall Street man stepping out onto the ledge... a casualty of the great depression. Assistant to Darwin as he discovers his Theory. A member of the tribe during the trail of tears. Reborn as Nostr[adamus] [...] For me the most special track on the record is the title track "The Citizen" which sets the stage for the concept behind it all, on this track is the last recording of Chris Squire and he's larger than life on it !! I recorded him not too long ago in a Holiday Inn when I went to visit with him just before he fell ill.On 17 Jul, he posted about "Putting the finishing touches on the last 2 mixes for "CITIZEN"".
||Buy MP3 version from Amazon
||Buy MP3 version from Amazon
In an Aug
2015 YesWorld Q&A, Sherwood described touring plans:
[Frontiers] want me to tour it. So I said to the label “well, you know, for me touring that, the best band I could get to do that behind me would be Circa [see here] and so they said “well that would be great idea because we’re going to release your Circa record too”.
So Circa will be the band that is sort of, for lack of a better phrase, the ‘House Band’ for ‘Citizen’, and then the idea is to bring in guests, maybe Steve Hackett comes and plays for a week or John Wetton comes and joins us for a week or Alan Parsons. And we take it out and we do some shows like that. So that’s the idea being floated [...]
Proper management have stepped up to the table and agents and it’s early going but we’ve talked about all this [...] The ‘Citizen’ album is an hour long and [...] we’re going to need a couple of hours, so [...] we’ll probably do an hour of Circa music and then come back out and do the ‘Citizen’ set
In a Nov 2015
interview, Sherwood said:
I can say that I’ve pretty much built the core band that I believe can hold down the fort [...] to cover the entire record. The idea I have is that we’ll invite some guest artists to come and play some shows, depending on schedules and where people are with their own artistry [...] so I don’t really know who’s committed yet. [...] management is in place and the agents are getting together and the label’s supporting it, so… I want to do it for sure, between all of the Yes stuff that’s going on, and I think it’s going to happen.
However, on 23 Nov, CIRCA: drummer Scott
Connor said the current plan was him, Sherwood, keyboardist
Scott Walton (worked with Conspiracy, CIRCA:, Weird Al Yankovic)
and guitarist John Thomas (XNA,
worked with Toni Childs, Vixen, Graham Bonnet).
Levin Torn White, a trio of Tony Levin (bass, Stick), Alan White (drums, percussion) and David Torn (worked with Bill Bruford, Terry Bozzio, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, John Legend; guitar, textural events), released the 14-track instrumental album Levin - Torn - White (Lazy Bones), produced by Levin and Scott Schorr. Details in Yescography.
Asked about live work, Torn said: "we've been talking about it,
but a few periods-of-time already haven't worked-out, so.....
dunno." Levin, in the aforementioned interview, said, "We're
indeed talking about that… too early to know if it can come
together. Alan busy touring with Yes -- I have Fall and Winter
commitments with Stick Men sharing a bill with Adrian Belew. So …
we'll see." While in White's Nov 2011 interview, he said: "We've
talked on email about doing some shows, maybe next year 
sometime. I think everybody still has that in the back of their
minds. But I told Tony we would have to rehearse at least a month
to recreate that stuff!"
White and Schorr discuss the project further with YesFANZ' Brian Draper here.
The interview ends with Draper asking about live work:
White: [...] we bandied about on that for a
while. Even so with Tony's schedule and my schedule and stuff
like that its really hard to pull off. And so as far as that
material goes, the answer is you would have to rehearse for
about 6 months! (laughs) That's the way I can see it. Now, I
reckon we could latch into it but it would be an intimate live
version of that and it would be the same thing but a live
version but the framework is the same.
Schorr: Alan knows this I would love to do another one with him. But the thing, maybe the second time would be to get the three guys in the room. So we talked about that but he is so slammed with Yes and other stuff that he does. This is kind of almost like a once in a life time opportunity to get something with this.
2012 interview asked White about a follow-up album. He
replied: "we're talking about it, right now. I'm not sure when and
where but we're talking about not doing something similar, but
just move on. Probably we'll not do it until early next year
." In a Feb
2014 interview, asked about doing a new album, White said,
"They want us to make another album – I'm not sure whether David
Torn but Tony and myself want to make another album whether David
does or not, I'm not sure but it's in the back of our minds."
Meanwhile, there is a sort of follow-up now out in the form of Levin Minnemann
Rudess (Lazy Bones), produced by Schorr and Levin: details under
Elements projects &c.
Sonic Elements (Facebook; SoundCloud) is a group of progressive/classic rock projects led by Dave Kerzner (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud; Sound of Contact, Mantra Vega, Lo-Fi Resistance, working with Billy Sherwood, worked with Francis Dunnery, Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, ex-Giraffe), founder of the music software development company Sonic Reality. Kerzner is the main producer and keyboardist of a number of projects, including often Billy Sherwood, that are recording various covers (including of Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Genesis and ELP) and original songs for upcoming releases, but where some of the instrumental tracks are also available through Sonic Reality's sample libraries. Kerzner's other work, including with his own band and Sound of Contact, has seen these projects delayed. In Sep 2015 on ProgressiveEars.com, Kerzner said: "I've put the Sonic Elements tribute albums on temporary hold while I finish mixing the Mantra Vega album [...] and yes I've returned to Sound of Contact so that's a priority over tributes as well (although everyone is working on multiple projects besides SOC). That said, The Lamb 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", previewed
here, features newly composed material performed by Sherwood
(bass, guitars) and Kerzner (keys) to an existing drum track for
Rush's "YYZ" that was recently recorded 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.
In Feb 2012, Kerzner said on Facebook: "So that no one has to
wait too long for these wonderful projects to make their way to
full album releases... a decision has been made [...] to release a
variety of singles and EPs spanning originals and covers."
Full-length albums will follow. A 5-song EP, XYZ—A Tribute to Rush,
produced by Kerzner, came first on download and as a limited
edition CD from esoundz.
Pre-orders included a bonus, downloadable 6th track. Details
in Yescography. Tracks:
In Apr 2012, Kerzner explained that there:
will at least be another EP of
different 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.
We're also thinking about putting XYZ out on limited edition vinyl. Just 300 of them.
However, in an Oct 2012 post to ProgressiveEars.com, he said the
next Rush-related release will be the full-length album Moving
Signals & Waves, covering tracks from the Rush albums Moving
Pictures, Signals and Permanent Waves.
The album is due, digitally and as a CD; mixing was going on in
May 2013. Confirmed tracks for the album include "Digital
Man" with Sherwood (vocals, guitar, bass), Kerzner (keys)
Perdomo (Dreaming in Stereo, worked with Mika; guitars);
of Radio", with Sherwood (bass), Kerzner (keys), Mike Keneally (ex-Frank
Zappa, ex-Stanley Snail, worked with Robert Fripp; guitars),
Nick D'Virgilio (Mystery,
ex-Spock's Beard, Big Big Train, ex-Genesis, ex-Tears for Fears,
worked with Chris Squire; vocals); and "Subdivisions",
with Kerzner, John Payne (ex-Asia,
Asia Featuring John Payne, GPS; vocals), Erik Norlander
(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 will also 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's Steve Babb said in this Dec 2013 interview that the band is "slated to contribute a track on Sonic Realities' Neal Peart Project." This appears to be the 'Trifecta' release. Kerzner said on Facebook in Feb 2014: "I'll be mixing a unique track from the progressive rock band Glass Hammer next week! This song will have a very interesting new "element" in it." I asked Steve Babb about their contribution in a Mar 2014 interview (available here) and he explained the track consists of Glass Hammer (here, Babb, Fred Schendel, Alan Shikoh, Carl Groves) playing along to a drum part by Peart: "Fred composed most of the music for this track, and I did the lyrics. Alan added a good deal too. Carl Groves is singing this one. We were given many of Peart's tracks to choose from, then asked to write music to his drumming and to incorporate his ideas into the Glass Hammer sound. [...] We just wrapped up this song, which for now at least is called "Impulse"."
Seemingly referring or related to the 'Trifecta' album project, in Jan 2012, Kerzner said on Facebook: "Among the various music releases you can expect this year  from Sonic Elements 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." However, this release has yet to appear. There is 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 until 2016 at the earliest; it features multiple guests, including Sherwood, Steve Rothery (Marillion), Lee Pomeroy (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 are 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.
A Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon project also involves
Nick Mason (ex-Pink Floyd), Nick Davis
(worked with Genesis), Dorie Jackson (works with
Dunnery, ex-The Syn; vocals), Guy Pratt (worked
with Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson; bass), Colin Edwin (Porcupine
Tree; bass), Natalie Azerad (vocals), Durga McBroom-Hudson & Lorelei
McBroom (worked with Pink Floyd;
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 (former backing vocalists for
Pink Floyd). 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, McBroom-Hudson and McBroom 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.
|Kerzner has released
his debut solo album, New World, after a successful
The line-up on the album consists of Kerzner (vocals, keys,
guitars, drum programming, sound design), Fernando Perdomo
(guitars, bass), Nick D'Virgilio (Big Big Train,
ex-Spock's Beard, worked with Tears for Fears, Mystery,
Jordan Rudess; drums), with guests Billy Sherwood
(bass on 5), Steve Hackett (Squackett, ex-Genesis,
ex-GTR; guitar on 1, 11), Francis
Dunnery (ex-It Bites, ex-The Syn; guitar
on 10, 11), Keith Emerson (ex-ELP; Moog
synth solo on 5 via Sonic Reality), Simon Phillips (worked
with Asia; drums on 5), Colin Edwin (bass on 2),
Russ Parrish (guitar on 6), Heather Findlay (Mantra
Vega, ex-Mostly Autumn; vocals on 2), Jason
Scheff (Chicago; vocals on 1, 11), David
Longdon (Big Big Train; vocals on 10), Durga
McBroom-Hudson (Australian Pink Floyd, ex-Blue Pearl,
worked with Pink Floyd; vocals on 1, 11), Lorelei
McBroom (Australian Pink Floyd, worked with Pink
Floyd; vocals on 7, 8), Emily Lynn (Australian
Pink Floyd; vocals on 8, 11), Lara Smiles (Australian
Pink Floyd; vocals on 8), Christine Leakey
(vocals on 7), Maryem Tollar (vocals on 6), Ana Cristina
(vocals on 1). Tracks:
||Buy digital version of the
basic album from Amazon (US):
I also WROTE a song with Jon
Anderson that's absolutely beautiful. It's not finished yet but
he sang a rough and it's really cool. Stylistically between old
Yes, Vangelis and something futuristic/film soundtrack-like. Not
sure if that will end up on his albums or one of ours but at
some point we'll be able to share something!
The demo for this piece, "Shell Sea", was made available to Kickstarter backers of New World. (Kerzner also talked of how another piece, initially called "Don't Leave Me Now", that he had intended for possible collaboration with Anderson ended up being used on Sound of Contact's Dimensionaut album as "Beyond Illumination".)
Records tribute/covers projects
Cleopatra Records continues to release multiple albums—generally tribute and covers albums—featuring multiple guest artists, including in some cases multiple Yesmen. Several of these were projects led by Billy Sherwood and these are covered in his section.
Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.