Where are they now? - Yes
and projects with multiple Yesmen
This page last updated: 17 Jun 16
On this page—Yes: On tour - Live releases - Panegyric/Steven Wilson series - Covers of Yes songs - Documentaries & books
Projects involving multiple Yes men: CIRCA:
(Sherwood, Kaye) - Anderson Rabin Wakeman
- Sonic Reality project (w/ Sherwood, Kaye et al.) - Anderson
|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 from acute erythroid leukaemia. 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. White talked about the band's plans in a 21 Jul 2015 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.An Aug 2015 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.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 unfortunateFurther details on Squire's passing here.
There are no plans, no, no. We don't have plans to do that. We have offers. We have other people wanting us to do it. Er, we're always being encouraged if you like, but when a band is ready to make a record — and we weren't necessarily when we made Heaven & Earth — when a band is ready to make a record, it knows and it has the audacity and the confidence to know that it's doing something really great and I think that's a calling that I'm prepared to wait for. But as members collaborate a little, they might get an idea, they like this song [...] but when you look at an album, it should be about 30 to 40 to 50 minutes long, so you need a few songs, y'know, and the standard and the excellence they should be at if you're going to honour what we've done beforeA Mar 2016 interview raises the possibility Howe is working on material that could go towards a new Yes album. The text reads: "he's continually writing and recording ideas, any one of which might possibly end up on the follow-up to 2011's Time [...] or perhaps as part of a new track for Yes. "I think it is a need that I have, a need to invent music in order to feel that I am a guitarist…"" In an Apr 2016 interview, published in Dutch, Howe had this on the topic:
Het maken van albums is trouwens helemaal niet zo spannend als het lijkt te zijn. Doe dus maar geen moeite om me te vragen of we een nieuw album gaan doen, dat zien we dan wel weer. Als we een paar dingen kunnen vinden, de juiste nummers, de juiste arrangementen en de goede locatie voor de opname, maar ook een producer die bij ons past en die er om de juiste reden is. Maar daar zijn we mijlenver van verwijderd, weet je, we hebben absoluut geen haast. We hebben sowieso geen tijd op dit moment om er te veel over na te denken. Jon [Davison] en ik zijn gewoon doorgegaan met schrijven, dat is normaal. Hij is bijna altijd aan het schrijven. Maar om uit te zoeken welke richting we uitgaan, dat is nog helemaal niet aan de orde.That is, Howe and Davison are continuing to write material and Howe says he loves making new music, and the band may do a new album if they find the right material that meets the standard and the right producer, but they are a long way from doing so and not in any hurry.
ik kan niet veel meer toevoegen dan op een andere manier te zeggen dat als we materiaal kunnen vinden dat aan de norm voldoet, dat we dan misschien iets hebben om over te praten. Maar ik hou van het maken van nieuwe muziek en men zou verwachten dat het heel makkelijk is om dat te doen met Yes, maar dat is het niet, weet je, het is een groot project, het is een verantwoordelijkheid. Maar er is veel interesse dus we hoeven niet ongerust te zijn.
Well it’s always on the horizon. I think that one of the reasons why YES has had such a terrific career with longevity is [...] that [...] there’s always been a new chapter to open up [...] depending on who else is in the band or the players at any given time the music, some new music has come into the fray and that’s helped shape and propel the band forwards. So I think that you know at some stage that will be something that will come off and I think you know yes the band will look and it and say yes let’s do that.And in this Apr 2016 interview, answering a similar question:
The beauty of a band like Yes is that it constantly keeps visiting new material and I think that’s important, there are bands that don’t attempt anything new, they just go out and play their catalogue. I think Yes and Asia are a bit different that and incorporate a new album with a tour. And although the fans may not be familiar with that new music they do appreciate that we are trying to keep the concept fresh and keep moving on through various stages and evolve.Asked about making a new album in a 6 Apr Q&A, Sherwood replied:
I’m always into making new music [...] That said, YES runs at its own pace. I’m not trying to come into this situation and jump into the front seat and grab the wheel, I’m very much a team player when in bands, A team member with strong opinions musically but never the less, part of a team working as one. That said.. with regards to YES I’m along for the ride right now, so if that vehicle starts heading towards a new album, I’m obviously extremely happy and excited to contribute and do whatever the band would like me to do with it and I have a ton of ideas about things that could go on and how to do things differently while maintaining the essence of that core YES feeling. [...] I’d love to make a new YES album and I’m ready willing and able at a moments notice to do so. On a personal note…. I believe in the band so much so that I could see a huge renaissance if you will by making a great new exciting fresh YES record and then touring that record.In May 2016, in comments to a fan during the band's European tour, Sherwood indicated that a new album was inevitable, but that it was still early days.
I think it’s a possibility. I think much of this is kind of an early situation that we have not yet managed to look at. 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 2015 interview, Sherwood revealed that, around May 2015, before learning of Squire's ill health, he met Squire, who asked him, in the words of the article, "to take an active role in a planned Yes studio album". Sherwood said: "These were the things we were speaking about - making a great new album and trying to revive Yes on a level that would mean something to the world in a big, big way." It appears Sherwood was to have produced. Another Aug 2015 interview with Sherwood has more on those plans and the future:
That’s the beauty of Yes, [i]t doesn’t relent [...] A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me and I kept telling him, ‘Yeah, I understand that but we[']re going forward with you in it. I’ll produce it. But you’re going to be the guy playing on it.[’] He kept telling me, ‘No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that’s something you want to do.’ And I have to keep making music. It’s just what I do. [...] I’m a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music.In an Oct 2015 interview, Sherwood said:
I honestly have no idea what Yes plans to do for the future. I know I’m all about wanting to move things forward with new music [...] That said, I’m merely a traveler on this journey and so we shall see where the future takes us, once we get there. I’m never at a shortage for creativity and the desire to push things forward — and, of course, Yes moves as its own pace.In an interview for the Jan 2016 issue of Prog, he said, "And making a new record? Yes has always moved at its own pace, so we'll have to see where that goes." He sounded more definite in this interview from around Dec 2015: the interviewer says, "I have to assume there's another Yes album in the works." Sherwood replied:
I do too; and with that we’ll just see where this goes. But I don’t think Yes is done producing new music. I am known for being one who pushes forward with new music and the band wants to, I’m sure, move forward too. It’s just a matter of the timing and when. [...] with Chris’ passing it’s very fresh for everybody so it’s not necessarily a topic going on right now. But the evolution of Yes is always about new music. It’s not just about touring. [...] I would love to make a statement with this band that shows vitality and forward thrust.Asked in a Mar 2016 interview, Sherwood said:
I'm about making new music, that's what I do. I make a lot of it and so making new music with Yes is something that I'd love to do. That said, Yes runs at its own pace [...] I haven't re-joined the band to become a dictator and set everybody's schedule the way I would like it to be [...] I just go with the flow until we're ready to make new music and at that point, turn the faucet on and let the water flow, so to speak.One of the interviewers then raises Howe's comments saying there are no plans, but speculates that Howe could readily change his mind "when the moment's right". Sherwood responded:
Well, I mean, er, I think that everyone is capable of changing their mind about things depending on the situation, and I know that, y'know, with Chris's passing, it's definitely too soon to be rushing into the studio to make another album. But I think for the band's long-term health and prosperity, the path that we're on right now, just playing live and showing people that it's still alive and well and that this is what Chris wanted, the band wanted, I think doing that and getting around the world and showing people, for the lack of a better phrase, proof of life, will tee up the inevitable next record and it will all come naturally when it comes. But I don't have a problem with people changing their minds about things. [...] Anything's possible [...] had you asked me, do you believe you'll be the bass player in Yes in 2016 next to Steve Howe, y'know, I probably would've said no, because it's no mystery that, y'know, Steve and I have worked closely together and have been [at] odds at times, y'know, I think we've produced some great music through all that and I think that's what Steve really respects the most. He's a man who says what he thinks and I appreciate that because at least you know what you're dealing with, y'know. He's capable of changing his mind, but when he does, that's when things will start changing direction. Again, I think it will all happen naturally.An unconfirmed report in Jan 2016 had that the band are looking at mid-2017 as a possible target date for a new 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 released 6 Nov 2015. 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.
After a period of some uncertainty, Tales
from Topographic Oceans has been confirmed as the next
release, due later in 2016. As I understand it, a 5-disc
CD/DVD/Blu-ray release is planned, with bonus material including
a previously unreleased alternate version of "The Revealing
Science of God" and more. Wilson had stated on Facebook
around Nov 2015 that Fragile was the "final release
scheduled [...] 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 it would be
released soon, with the other band members concurring. But then,
in a Dec 2015 newsletter, Wilson was asked about Howe's comments
and replied: "Steve heard some work-in-progress mixes I was
working on in 2013 of that album, including my first attempt at a
5.1 mix, but as things stand, there aren't any more Yes releases
planned." Wilson finished his mixes in Apr
Asked about further archival releases on the cruise, Howe also
said there was plenty more in the vaults. In his newsletter
comments, Wilson continued:
There was talk about me doing “Drama”, an album I really love and that would sound great in 5.1, but not all the members of that line up are keen for the album to be remixed—which is totally understandable—and I wouldn’t want to do something without the band being behind it.
The one band member opposed to Wilson doing Drama
could be Downes judging by this Sep
2015 tweet: asked if Wilson would be doing a Drama
remix, Downes replied, "I bloody well hope not!" Although in a Jul 2014 interview,
Downes said, "I would like to hear Drama in 5.1, the album was
heavily overdubbed at the time, and so it would reveal a lot of
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.
A report in Jan 2014 had that Wilson had begun work on Tales
from Topographic Oceans. In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe was
asked whether it is "open-ended that as many of the catalog
masters you have in hand" will be included in the series, 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
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
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 next cruise will be 7-11 Feb 2017 out of Tampa, FL, visiting Cozumel, Mexico, on the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas, with a pre-cruise concert in Tampa on 6 Feb. Yes again headline, with other acts announced including Patrick Moraz, Stick Men, John Wetton (Asia, ex-UK, ex-King Crimson), Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis, ex-GTR, ex-Squackett) with his Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett set, Alex Machacek (ex-UK/Z), Dave Kerzner (worked with Billy Sherwood, Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett), Spock's Beard, the Neal Morse Band, Curved Air, Kansas, Focus, Änglagård, District 97, The Fringe, Haken, Pain of Salvation, Bad Dreams, IOEarth, Electric Asturias, and Scott Henderson. The cruise will also include a 50th Birthday Bash by Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic, Neal Morse Band, Flying Colors, ex-Dream Theater), with an "all-star" line-up celebrating 30 years in music. Imagery for the tour uses the [SPOILERS—highlight to read] cover of Tales from Topographic Oceans, presumably implying at least some of it will be played. I would guess something close to the set for the North American summer tour will be played.
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 (with Sherwood
joining for one song), 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 Friends. The 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
Gillette (Neal 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 Trewavas, Meros and
Reingold)/"Changes" (with Leonard and Jennings)/"Does It Really
Happen?" (reprise; with everyone on stage). Sherwood and Davison
were among the audience. Portnoy explained the unusual set list
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
Cruise to the Edge Wilson came 4th in the Prog Readers'
Poll 2015 Event of the Year category (won by Big Big Train live).
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.
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, Tangerine Dream, The Strawbs (electric
version), Three Friends, PFM, Soft Machine Legacy, Queensryche,
Saga, Sound of Contact,
IOEarth, The Pineapple Thief, Presto Ballet, Pamela Moore,
Electric Asturias, Scale
The Summit, Moon Safari, 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". Roger Dean
exhibited. 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).
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 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."
A US summer tour follows with 26 dates 27 Jul-4 Sep 2016. The set list will consist of [SPOILERS—highlight to read] sides 1 and 4 of Tales from Topographic Oceans and all of Drama, plus a selection of 'hits', rumoured to include "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "I've Seen All Good People" and "Roundabout". (Reports suggest the band had considered playing all of Tales.) There will be no opening act.
Japanese dates later in the year are
expected. In a Dec
2015 interview, Sherwood said: "There are plans to do a
lot more touring around the world." In a
2016 interview, Downes talked of Yes going to Japan in
Nov; a Mar
2016 interview said "towards the end of November".
On stage at the 2 May 2016 show, Howe
talked of playing Tales in
the US later in the year and added "hopefully here at home [i.e.,
in the UK] in the next year." At a slightly later show, he again
talked of Tales being a
large part of the 2017 set. Asked about bringing the summer US
tour set to the UK on Twitter, Downes said
3 May this was, "Very possible!"
The band played a western European
tour 27 Apr-1 Jun 2016, with dates
covering the UK (10 dates, 27 Apr-10 May), France (13 May Paris; sold out), Belgium (14 May Brussels), the
Netherlands (15 May Utrecht), Germany (7 dates, 17-25 May),
Switzerland (27 May Zurich) and Italy (4 dates, 28 May-2 Jun). The band were rehearsing in Monmouth, Wales in
late Apr. The band play two one hour sets, with a 20 minute
interval; the set list has varied somewhat over the leg. At the
initial shows, it was Chris Squire tribute, intro music: "The
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" excerpt, Drama in
order, "Time and a Word", "Siberian Khatru", interval, Fragile
in order, "Don't Kill the Whale", "Owner of a Lonely Heart",
encore: "Starship Trooper". (However, the set list taped to the
mixing desk at the second show included two more pieces, but
crossed off: "Going for the One" after "Time and a Word", and
"Soon" after "Heart of the Sunrise".) Part way through UK dates,
they switched the second half of the set to "Going for the One",
"Owner of a Lonely Heart", Fragile in order and then the
encore. Then at the Royal Albert Hall in London (which was
nearly full), the band dropped the intermission and substituted
"Soon" for "Going for the One". (The band's set list for the
evening included "Going for the One" first in the encore, before
"Starship Trooper", but it wasn't played.) By their Utrecht
show, they had returned to the original set list, while in
Frankfurt, they played "Don't Kill the Whale" and "Owner of a
Lonely Heart" before Fragile.
Davison plays a variety of additional
instruments, including acoustic guitar in "Machine Messiah",
"Run Through the Light" and several others, additional
percussion generally and additional keys in "South Side of the
Sky". "the fish" began with Howe on guitar and then was
performed by Sherwood (bass), White (drums), Downes (keys) and
Sherwood said in a 6
Apr Q&A that they would start rehearsals on 14 Apr and
that is when they were to finalise the set list. In an Apr
2016 interview, White had said:
I think Going For The One and Time and a Word could be in there too. We might also do Soon from Relayer and Owner of A Lonely Heart which was a big hit for us.UK dates were to have Moon Safari (worked with The Syn) in support, but the band had to withdraw for technical reasons from most dates and just opened for Yes at the 10 May London show, playing a half hour, 4-song set. Trevor Horn guested live with Yes at their 9 May Oxford and 10 May London show; he was rehearsing with the band in Wales in late Apr. He sang lead vocals for "Tempus Fugit", although one report had had that he had previously intended to sing "Into the Lens" as well.
Asked if he prefers playing whole albums
live, Howe responded in a Feb
2016 podcast interview, "Well, I do." And asked if there
are plans to play any other albums, he said: "Well, we do
actually, but I can't really give it a way [this seems to be a
reference to playing Tales
in summer 2016], but eventually [...] we'll have to play Relayer. [...] We'd need a while
to get ready to play that one. We talked about other records and
I said Time and a Word one
day [...] it's off the mark with America because they really
don't know that record." In another Feb
2016 interview, Howe, again talking of playing full
albums, said, "we hope one day to resurrect [Relayer]."
In Howe's interview, he went on to say:
"There's other sorts of set lists we mustn't ignore. In other
words, I'm saying, ya, I like playing albums [...] but it's not
the only game in town, y'know. And there's other sets that I've
invented in my mind, and circulated, that do a different... tell
a different story. And we've got to be careful not just to tell
the same story, oh here's another album." He gave as an example
of another set list approach, "Like we did last summer ,
that was a very kind of friendly, come on set, couple of new
songs [...] it was bubbly [...] there are other great, great set
lists". The interviewer then suggested doing Magnification
tracks. In reply, Howe first talked about prior albums: "I quite
like Keys to Ascension studio tracks [...] that's quite
a nice era" and after he'd heaped praise on Bruce Fairbairn and
his production of The Ladder, Howe said he'd found it
"difficult" to pick tracks from Open Your Eyes and Magnification
that he's "fully committed to now. Of course I've got enjoyment
for them [...] Certainly, as an album [i.e., playing Magnification
in full], I don't think so". Howe continued, "There is one track
[...] I would single out" from Magnification; he didn't
identify it, but said it's not "Spirit of Survival" or "In the
Further discussion of possible set lists
is below. 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".
The band played on the Cruise
to the Edge in Nov 2015, preceded by three Florida dates in
Nov 2015. 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 tech; Will
Alexander is the keys tech. The 11 Nov show sold 1,061 tickets,
grossing $66,165. The 12 Nov show sold 821 tickets, grossing
$51,792. The 13 Nov show sold 1,730 tickets, grossing $91,974.
Yes and Toto did a co-headlining
tour with 25 US dates 7 Aug-11 Sep 2015 and 1 Canadian date
12 Sep, 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 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 remain 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
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:
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:
[The fans] are behind the band and want the band to keep moving forward here. It doesn't seem like anybody's kind of given up on the band, which is really encouraging and it'll help us move things forward. Things can't just stop, you know? We've got to maintain the Yes name and ... meet the high standards of musicianship Chris created.
[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:
"We got an email that said, 'I don't think I'm gonna be able to make this tour, so if you can do it without me I want you to keep things going and I'll get rid of this and I'll see you next spring in Europe,'" White recalls. "He had a very positive attitude, but it was clear something was very wrong."
"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:
"He called me about a week later, and said he didn't want to stop the tour, which is a testament to Chris and his passion for people."
Squire's concerns, Sherwood continued, were for the many people - in both the Yes and Toto organizations, as well as the promoters in various cities - who would be negatively impacted financially should the tour be canceled.
"I want this tour to continue," Squire told Sherwood. When Sherwood responded he wasn't sure what Squire was trying to say, "it was at that point he asked me [to replace him].
"I instantly said 'Yes,'" continued Sherwood as the catch in his throat became more prominent. "He's my brother. I loved the man."
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:
“At the time I thought he was talking about just standing in[,] but I think he knew and was a little more accepting of his fate then I was.”
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:
[...] during the course of the show [...] there will be a very fitting tribute to Chris, and I think that’s important as well. So it’s kind of a strange situation for all of us, I think, because none of us has been in that position before. But we will do the best we can and I think the band will be very strong.
[...] It’s kind of unknown territory for us, obviously, because Chris was such an integral part of the band, and was from the beginning. He was on every single one of the twenty-one or twenty-two studio albums and remained in the band from the beginning so I think that’s important in some respects. We’ll keep that to the fore.
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:
There have only been so many gaps in Yes' performance [history] - 2005, 06, 07 are the only times. So there is a sense of responsibility. We do feel like it would be silly just to stop. Even though this is a very dramatic development, to stop maybe wouldn't be fair to Chris, because Chris was obviously hoping we'd carry on anyway. I think we're trying to strike a balance with a brave concept of going on and rising to the occasion.
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.In an interview around Dec 2015, Sherwood reflected on events:
I met Chris Squire in 1989, we became fast friends and have remained so ever since. I've worked with Yes in various capacities over the years, writing, producing, playing, touring etc... and have remained friends with all of them. Recently Chris phoned me to share some rather serious personal news, it seems some medical issues have arisen from out of the blue and they are needing to be dealt with before he can go back out on tour with the band. Chris went on to explain that Yes are meant to tour in Sept/Aug etc... but unfortunately this will be the 1st time he won't be able to go. The band has a deep loyalty to it's fans, I know this well having been a full member of Yes in the late 90's and witnessing the devotion to touring and sharing the great musical legacy with the people of the world who love this band. That said Chris suggested rather than cancel this upcoming tour, the band should go on for now without him. It was truly a bittersweet moment when my dear friend of many years phoned me to explain all this to me and then ask me "would you jump in and play bass and sing with the band till I get back up to speed". I was very moved, as I told Chris, he is the reason I wanted to play bass and sing when I started my professional career... My love for the band and for my friends made the answer very easy, "of course" I said, "under the banner of your returning asap", we agreed and so I'm very honored to say that I will be playing bass and singing with Yes on this upcoming Yes/Toto tour. Thanks to the fans for understanding these unusual circumstances and supporting Yes and Chris in this decision. I look forward to keeping the musical integrity and performances as high as my friend expects it to be.
we all know happened with Chris. It’s just made it difficult for everybody. You know, no one was sure if Yes was going to continue, with me at the tip of that spear. I wasn’t sure. Will these people accept me in here? I mean, I understand the pain, but will this work? And to my surprise, and I’m very happy to say the vast majority of Yes fans are rallying behind the band right nowFurther details on Squire's passing here.
discussion & relationships with past members
In an Apr 2016 interview, Howe was asked whether it is fair to say that Anderson will never be back in the band. He replied: "I don't think that's fair at all [...] I don't know what the future holds [...] We're just moving ahead as we are. [...] We need certainties, y'know, we need availabilities, we need, y'know, commitments and things like that". He was later asked if the band still has good relationships with R Wakeman: "Well, I hope we try and keep good relations with everybody, y'know [...] people put their foot in it occasionally [laughs] But [...] there are always people from the bands you've been in that you have stayed closer to and other people you haven't and that very much depends on who makes any effort and who's got any time and, y'know, how much you can, so, y'know, it spreads itself evenly across the... so many members of Yes [laughs] that we've had, besides the other bands I hasten to add I've been in. But, y'know, um, it's a lovely thing, y'know, there's a pool of musicians and, y'know, we can reach out to each other when we want to." In 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'd hate to say no, so I'll say I don't know. [...] From inside it's quite different. We have to try to stay on our course, and if we change something that changes multiple other things, then we don't know where we are. We spent a lot of time in 2008 kind of finding out where we are, with Benoit and Oliver Wakeman and now with Geoff Downes and Jon Davison and now with Billy Sherwood. In other words, we can't open the floodgates without thinking. So sure, we give these things some thought, but until we come to a conclusion, we'd rather do nothing than the wrong thing.
In a Sep
2015 interview (conducted late Aug), Howe talks about
several past members of the band, saying how they met with Moraz
while on tour. He then says, "We have some contact with Jon
Anderson. [...] I think we ought to see this group as sort of an
In an interview
recorded in Apr 2016, White said, "I talk to Jon
[Anderson] [...] on occasion. [...] I call him on his birthday,
and that kind of stuff. [...] Rick, I haven't seen him for an
awful long time. I'd like to see him again, y'know, because we
used to get on very well." Asked if Anderson and Wakeman might
ever return to Yes, he said, "I wouldn't rule it out [...] put
it that way, but I think Jon doesn't want to do these long,
arduous tours any more and if it was, it would be a kind of
cameo appearance at some bigger venues like London [...] or Los
Asked in a May
2016 interview if he could see himself reuniting with
other members of Yes, Anderson replied, "No, just Trevor [Rabin]
and Rick [Wakeman]. That's enough." In an Apr
2016 interview, Anderson was asked about the continuing
Yes, replying: "It's just business, and it's a group of people
going out there and playing music that's very valid. I have a
different perspective on what it is, and there are bands out
there performing Yes music, called tribute bands[.] That's kind
of the feeling of what's going on. That's why me and Trevor
[Rabin] say, 'Well, listen if we're going to get together [in Anderson Rabin
Wakeman], we've got to reignite Yes[.]'" In another May
2016 interview (presumably conducted in Apr), Anderson was
asked, "Do you see yourself reuniting with any other members of
Yes in the near future?" He replied, "No, just Trevor and Rick.
That's enough." Asked in another Apr
2016 interview how, if he had "a magic wand", he'd like to
see Yes wrap up, Anderson replied: "Create some of the greatest
music in the next 20 years. I'm still Yes, I'm still part of Yes
in my heart and soul. I didn't leave the band, the band went off
on their merry way when I wasn't very well. [giggles] [...] I've
got it in my DNA".
In yet another
May interview, Anderson said, "My history is intact
musically[.] Yes became a brand and a business deal and that is
not my idea of what music is. Music needs to touch you
spiritually. When it is driven by money, then it takes away the
joy of creation." In an interview for the Spring 2016 issue of Progression,
Anderson was asked if he "keeps tabs on his former band". He
replied: "Not really, no. I know they're on the road. Musicians
need to make a living and that's what they're doing. [...]
there's only two of them left". And in this Jun
2016 interview, he said: "people ask me, "What do you
think of Yes?" I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been
my life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can't
tell them what to do, because it's not my band. They've got the
name, but I've got the state of mind about what true "Yes music"
should sound like".
In an interview in the Jul 2015 issue of Prog, asked whether
it is strange hearing Yes perform with other singers, Anderson
replied, after a "long pause":
[...] 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.
[...] I think pretty much [he is looking for funding]. [...] Yes is a separate entity really from Roger [...] I have to look out for what’s best for Yes as opposed to Roger. But I think the idea of animated film for a Yes musical project is a good one but there are various options on the table that we are looking at.
Contemporary live releases
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:
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|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".|
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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 issued.
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, worked 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 was nominated in Prog magazine's annual awards in the Storm Thorgerson Grand Design category, but lost to Steven Wilson's Hand. Cannot. Erase.
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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.
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The Panegyric re-release series, with remixes by Steven Wilson, are covered above in their own section.
Rhino/Atlantic Catalog Group have re-released Drama as a 180g vinyl, cut from the original analogue masters, with Fragile to follow soon.
Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman are reportedly planning a remastered version of Talk for release in 2017, to coincide with their further touring.
A Special Edition re-release of "Songs from Tsongas—The 35th Anniversary Concert" was released 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.
Symphonic Music of Yes was a 1993 orchestral album, with Steve Howe, Bill Bruford and Jon Anderson. The album was arranged and conducted by Dee Palmer (then David Palmer, ex-Jethro Tull). Gonzo Multimedia are re-releasing the album, along with Palmer's related projects for the music of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen and Genesis. There is also a 4CD box set, A Vintage Case of Dee Palmer (HST401BOX), due 25 Jun, with Symphonic Music of Yes, Objects of Fantasy (The Music of Pink Floyd), We Know What We Like – The Music of Genesis and Passing Open Windows – A Symphonic Tribute to Queen. Palmer has recently completed choral arrangements from three of the albums for possible live performance.
1. "Order of the Universe (Long Edit)" (6:03), from 12" single
2. "Brother of Mine (Long Edit)" (6:33), from 12" single
3. "Vultures in the City" (5:54), b-side to "Brother of Mine"
4. "Quartet (I'm Alive) (CD Single Edit)" (3:19), from CD single
5. "Order of the Universe (Short Edit)" (4:52), from single
6. "Brother of Mine (Single Edit)" (3:25), from 7" single
|This 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
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 negotiationsCovers 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, which was out 4 Dec on limited release in the US and 15 Jan 2016 in the UK. Kozelek also appears as himself in the film.
Horn-player Arkady Shilkloper (Аркадий Шилклопер, worked with The Bulgarian Voices Angelite, Pago Libre, Moscow Art Trio) released Owner of a Lonely Horn (Symphonic Tribute to Yes) (ArtBeat Music) on 1 Oct 2015, available digitally worldwide and on CD in Russia. Tracks:
"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.
The Japanese string quartet Morgaua Quartet released Atom
Heart Mother is on the Edge (Denon) on Jun 2014. It
consists of covers of several well-known prog pieces:
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.
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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."
Yes were previously nominated for entry to the Hall of Fame in 2014, 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). Yes came fourth in the public vote with 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. 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 (8th).
Voices for Yes (Facebook; Twitter) has been a major fan-led campaign to get Yes inducted in the Hall. It was re-started with Yes's nomination in 2015. You can sign their 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. Voices for Yes released a video supporting the 2014 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."
The Jan 2016 issue of Prog declared Yes the
Greatest Artist of All Time. Three other bands that Bruford
drummed in also featured: King Crimson at #4, Gong at #26 and UK
at #47. Rick Wakeman made #54 as a solo artist, while The Strawbs,
in which both he and Oliver have played, made #70. Asia came in at
Media, books, documentaries
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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,
Limited Editions), out as
a limited edition (1000 copies). There was also a
edition (350 copies) signed by Kirkman and three of
the band. An updated, large format, softback version
follows under the name "Yes
with pre-orders available. 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). New material for the softback includes
an interview with Horn from May 2016. Kirkman is
also working on a second Yes book project.
Released 29 Feb 2016 in the UK and 1 May in the US was Martin Popoff's
"Time and a Word: The Yes Story" (Soundcheck Books).
Popoff did original interviews with Anderson, Squire,
Bruford, Howe, Wakeman, White, Downes and others for the
book. Popoff has previously written extensively on metal.
Keyboardist Brian Chatton
(ex-The Warriors, ex-FlamingYouth, ex-Jackson Heights,
worked with The Hollies, Meat Loaf) releases
his memoir "Rolling
with Rock Royalty" (Facebook)
in summer 2016. Chatton has worked with Anderson,
Squire, Kaye and White over the years. The back cover
photo for the book was taken by Deborah
Will Romano's "Mountains Come Out of the Sky: The Illustrated History of Prog Rock" (Backbeat Books) covers Yes, Asia, King Crimson, Genesis, Pink Floyd and many other bands. The foreword is by Bill Bruford. Another recent book about progressive rock is "Prophets & Sages: An Illustrated Guide to Underground and Progressive Rock 1967-1975" by Esoteric Recordings label manager/founder, Mark Powell (worked with Soft Machine, Caravan, Camel).
Richard Kaczynski's fantasy novel "The Billionth Monkey" quotes Yes's "Arriving UFO" and includes a cameo by fictitious Yes cover band, Hot Tormato, for whom Kaczynski has also created a webpage.
Garry Freeman (author of "The Bootleg Guide" and the forthcoming "Emerson, Lake and Palmer—A Live Guide 1970-1978") has been 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. 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 was and Howe is also working on autobiographies, which cover Yes.
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|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:
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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.
Billy Sherwood's Citizen
Billy Sherwood released Citizen (Frontiers Records, FR CD 710) on 6 Nov 2015. 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 performed 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).
Frontiers approached Sherwood about doing a solo album and
suggested a concept album. Sherwood based the idea loosely on General
Patton's belief that he had been reincarnated on several
battlefields through history. Sherwood talked about choosing guest
artists in an interview
around Dec 2015:
normally what I’ll do is I’ll construct the entire record myself and pretty much have it built so I can understand what I’ve got. And then I sort of back up a bit and start listening to the music and equating who I think would suit what parts. For instance, when I wrote “Just Galileo And Me” I immediately started hearing Colin Moulding’s voice on this track. And I wrote to him as soon as I finished that [...] That same application applies to all the material. Another good example is Rick Wakeman on “The Great Depression”. His piano work [...] lends itself to that melancholy sad feeling of this poor guy who’s at the end of his rope and about to jump. I had asked Rick when I sent him the files “Could you please tap into that emotion and enhance it?” [...] So I kind of think about who would be right for what and what their style is like, and tempos, the song, the lyrics and how that all works together.
The interviewer then asks, "Do you find that once you have a
musician who’s going to be on a piece is there a lot of change in
the song from your original concept to the final recording based
upon their input?" He replied:
No, it’s more the case of I send them the file and then explain between this point and this point is where your main solo is to do your thing. And with the rest of the track feel free to add and enhance it in however way you see fit. By doing that and giving them that creative freedom they come back with amazing overdubs. But they’re working over my track as it exists and that track remains solvent and doesn’t change.
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 and 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"". While in this Dec 2015 interview, he talked more about the process of recording the guests:
If we tried to pull together a record like this back in the day it would be a very, very expensive process, traveling around [...] The way we do it now is doable. I recorded Jon Davison in my house, and I went to Alan Parsons’ studio to record his vocal for “Empire.” For the track “The Citizen,” which features Chris Squire [...] we recorded at a Holiday Inn near his home. Since I carry my mobile recording studio with me on the road, I just set up in the hotel and turned it into my studio for the day, and he did a great job.
||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 2015, 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). Sherwood talked more about touring plans
in the Dec 2015 interview:
I’ve got management looking at gigs now. Yes has become a priority in my life [...] But there is time still to do other things, and my other priority is to get Citizen on the road. I’ve built a core band [...] I will be playing bass and lead vocals. I will be joined by [Connor/Thomas/Walton] [...] The core of the band will be the four of us, and we plan to have guests playing with us as well. There’s nothing confirmed yet, but I’ve spoken to several musicians from the album, and they’ve all mentioned their desire to participate, schedules permitting.
Nelson Mandela Day
As part of the Nelson Mandela Day celebrations, Action Moves People United are releasing an album worldwide on around 17 Jul 2016. The project involves Geoff Downes, Patrick Moraz, Tony Levin, John Wetton (Asia, ex-King Crimson), Jon Kirkman (written about Yes and Cruise to the Edge host), Julian Lennon, Steve Walsh (Kansas), Kathy Sledge (ex-Sister Sledge), Janis Ian and many others. The album will be launched at an event in Washington, DC including a live show, although no Yesmen appear to be playing at that.
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 instrumental album Levin - Torn - White (Lazy Bones), produced by Levin and Scott Schorr. Details in Yescography. A Sep 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 was a sort of follow-up in the form of Levin Minnemann Rudess (Lazy Bones), produced by Schorr and Levin: details under Levin.
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 (ex-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. The line-up on the
album was 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.