Where are they now? - Yes
and projects with multiple Yesmen

This page last updated: 16 Aug 2022

YES and projects with several Yesmen

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Yes ft. Anderson Rabin Wakeman
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On this page—Yes: Next album - Cruise to the Edge - On tour - Covers of Yes songs - Documentaries & books

Projects involving multiple Yes men: Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman - CIRCA: (Sherwood, Kaye) - Arc of Life (Sherwood, Davison, Schellen)

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Yes are Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood, with Jay Schellen (ex-CIRCA:, ex-Asia, ex-World Trade, Unruly Child). Alan White was in the band until his death on 26 May 2022. It was announced that White would be absent from Jun 2022 tour dates due to health issues shortly before he passed away. The tour is now dedicated to his memory. Touring has been and continues to be disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the band returned to live performance with UK/Ireland dates in Jun 2022. Planned 2022 dates in the rest of Europe have been postponed (again) to 2023. They tour Japan in Sep 2022 and a US tour in Oct/Nov is being planned. The band released a new studio album, The Quest, on 1 Oct 2021 (with physical release in the US delayed to 15 Oct for the CD and later for vinyl), and are working on their next one. (Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman were working together as Yes featuring Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman, but that band has now finished: they are covered here.)

In a May 2020 live painting session, Roger Dean said, "There [are] [...] two important Yes projects going on at the moment. I can't tell you what one of them is, that's a big mystery [...] but I will be doing preliminary paintings for that. And the other project is we're looking to do something with Close to the Edge, which will have as many as 6 to 8 paintings in it, not just the original but a lot more, plus some of the narrative that the original was based on. So, that is probably going to come out some time around the 50th anniversary of Close to the Edge" (which would be Sep 2022). There was a rumour that the Close to the Edge anniversary project will be a re-release of the album with a new 5.1 mix. However, in a May 2022 interview, Howe was asked, "The album has been re-released on no fewer than three separate occasions; is there anything special planned with the album to celebrate its 50th Anniversary?" To which he replied, "No, nothing at all; only the fact that we are going out on the road and playing it." I presume the secret project Dean mentioned was The Quest. In a Jun 2021 interview, asked if there are any Yes projects that he is "currently working on right now", Howe replied: "We've got some unannounced plans about the early part of next year [2022], but right now, touring is the focus of our attention." It is unclear what these plans for early 2022 were.

In a Jul 2020 interview, Davison was asked if there was any talk of retirement by Yes members. He replied, "No, there really isn't [...] Everyone's having a ball [...] Each year, [...] [Howe] is getting happier with the sounds and what we stand for. And apparently, he's much happier than he was in years past, before I even joined, so he never talks of it [retirement]". In a Nov 2021 interview, White was asked, "do you foresee Yes albums still being made when you and Steve are gone?" He replied: "Don't put it like that! Eventually when we retire, but we have no intention of doing that right now. Who knows? There's a possibility that will happen but we just gotta carry the banner as long as we can." The interviewer then continued: "Bob Weir describes this dream where he's watching the Grateful Dead's music being played and [...] none of the members there are actually the original Grateful Dead members [...]" To which White replied, "That is a possible foreseeable future but not in the way I'm looking at things right now. You always get tribute bands, anyway. We shall have to see about that."

New studio album
The band are working on a new studio album. As of Apr 2022, recording was reported to be well advanced, with Paul K Joyce working on orchestrations, as he did on The Quest. In a May 2022 interview with the Yesshift podcast, Sherwood confirmed that they are working on an album. In another May 2022 interview, Downes said, "I think that we are working on some stuff at the moment [...] It's been nice to get back working with Steve in the studio again. Knowing that, you know, of course, The Quest was done fairly remotely... we never saw Billy or Alan or Jay, so it was their parts were sent over. [...] I think it's some way to go, in some respects. [...] Yes, [...] it's all about experimentation. I think, we often try and do things that are not, you know, expect the unexpected." In a Jun 2022 interview, Downes said, "We'll be doing another Yes album at some point this year. We're keeping busy with that".

In early May, Joyce's website referenced work on a new Yes album, but this was reworded to say, "Orchestrating new album project for FAMES recording…" So, presumably the F.A.M.E.'S Orchestra are also returning. On 7 May, Joyce said he was in Skopje (North Macedonia) recording with the orchestra.

In the Oct 2021 issue of Prog (#124), Downes said that the band are "already talking about the next" studio album. In a Jan 2022 interview, asked if they have any ideas for a new album, White replied, "We do, we always have ideas going around, and as soon as we complete one album, we start to think about ideas for the next one, and start sending things to each other and chatting about the next direction."

The Quest
The band's previous album was The Quest, released Oct 2021.

The Quest—a summary   YesWorld announcement
Released 1 Oct 2021 digitally everywhere and physically in most of the world; US physical release has been delayed (CD: 15 Oct; LP: 17 Dec); pre-orders available now

Lead single, "The Ice Bridge", released 23 Jul
Second single, "Dare to Know", released 1 Sep
The band have been looking at doing a new album for several years. Activity picked up in the latter half of 2019, but they really got going when COVID-19 hit, with band members working remotely through file-sharing from March 2020. Howe has said all the material was written in 2019/20. Recording appears to have been largely from Jun 2020 to the end of the year, but with some further work in the first quarter of 2021. Mixing was seemingly finished 15 Apr 2021.

Steve Howe: electric & acoustic guitars (alls), 12-string guitar (2, 7, 9), steel guitar (4-6, 11), mandolin (1, 4), koto (4), autoharp (4), vocal duet (2, 4, 7, 11), backing vocals (9, 10)
Alan White: drums (1-5, 7-11)
Geoff Downes: piano (1, 4, 7, 8), Hammond (1, 2, 8, 10, 11), Mellotron (7, 10), synths (1, 3–5, 7, 9, 11), Fender Rhodes electric piano (10)
Billy Sherwood: bass (1-5, 7, 8, 10, 11), fretless bass (6, 9), vocals (5, 6 , 10), keys (5), Fender Rhodes electric piano (3), acoustic guitar (5)
Jon Davison: lead vocals (1, 3, 5, 6, 8-10), vocal duet (2, 4, 7, 11), acoustic guitar (6, 11)

Jay Schellen: percussion
47-piece F.A.M.E.'S Orchestra (2-4), conducted by Oleg Kondratenko
Orchestra arranged by Paul K Joyce

Full credits at YesWorld

Produced by Steve Howe

Recording assembled, engineered & mixed by Curtis Schwartz

Preparatory engineering and most recordings by Howe, Downes, Davison, Sherwood

Alen Hadzi Stefanov: orchestra sound recordist
Teodora Arsovska: orchestra Pro tools operator

Mastered by Simon Heyworth

Cover by Roger Dean
CD1 (47:49):
1. "The Ice Bridge" [Davison/Monkman/Downes] (6:59), video
   a. "Eyes East"
   b. "Race Against Time"
   c. "Interaction"
2. "Dare to Know" [Howe] (5:56), streaming audio, video
3. "Minus the Man" [Davison/Sherwood] (5:34)
4. "Leave Well Alone" [Howe] (8:05)
   a. "Across the Border"
   b. "Not for Nothing"
   c. "Wheels"
5. "The Western Edge" [Davison/Sherwood] (4:24)
6. "Future Memories" [Davison] (5:08), video
7. "Music to My Ears" [Howe] (4:39)
8. "A Living Island" [Davison/Downes] (6:47)
   a. "Brave the Storm"
   b. "Wake Up"
   c. "We Will Remember"

CD2 (bonus CD; 13:44):
9. "Sister Sleeping Soul" [Davison/Howe] (4:48)
10. "Mystery Tour" [Howe] (3:33)
11. "Damaged World" [Howe] (5:18)
Howe, Schwartz and Davison began sessions together late Oct 2019. Howe, Davison, Downes and Sherwood mostly recorded at their personal studios. After working remotely, from around Jun to at least Sep 2020, Davison, Howe and Downes (often Howe/Davison or Howe/Downes) sometimes recorded together in or near London, at Curtis Schwartz's West Sussex studio. Sherwood and White recorded together in Scott Walton's Uncle Studios in Los Angeles, CA in 2020. The orchestra were recorded in Skopje, North Macedonia in Feb 2021.


Amazon UK 2CD/Blu-ray
InsideOutMusic/Sony Music
Released as 2CD, digital, 2LP/2CD set (with various vinyl colour options), 2CD/Blu-ray set, or 2LP/2CD/Blu-ray set Amazon UK 2LP/2CD/Blu-ray

The band released a new album, The Quest (duration 61:33), on 1 Oct 2021 on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music (InsideOut band page for Yes; InsideOut shop for The Quest), on license from Yes. The album is all available on the usual streaming channels. Due to multiple manufacturing problems, the physical release of most formats in the US and Canada was delayed until 15 Oct, with the standalone vinyl delayed further (until at least 17 Dec). My own initial thoughts on the album are here. Album release formats are:
The album is on Sony Music in Japan as ザ クエスト. The LP split is: side A—"The Ice Bridge", "Dare to Know", "Minus the Man";  side B—"Leave Well Alone", "The Western Edge", "Future Memories"; side C—"Music to My Ears", "A Living Island"; side D—"Sister Sleeping Soul", "Mystery Tour", "Damaged World". The Blu-ray has a 5.1 surround sound mix by Schwartz, and 96kHz/24bit audio instrumental versions of all tracks. The menu authoring was by Ray Shulman (ex-Gentle Giant). There are several vinyl colour variants: Apple Red (from Century Media) and Sky Blue in the US, and in the UK, glow in the dark (in the box set), Standard Clear (was planned to be Ultra Clear, but shortages prevented that), Bright Gold, Silver, Neon Orange Transparent (from Burning Shed), Mint (from Yes Official store), and Transparent Light Blue (from InsideOut). However, several vendors have warned that global shortages of coloured vinyl mean they cannot promise what colour is delivered.

Thomas Waber, InsideOut label manager, explained to me that, "the second disc exists for creative reasons only. to separate the main album from the additional tracks. [...] we aren't charging more for the album because of the second disc". An Oct 2021 Oakland Press article had this:
Howe says the two-disc configuration of “The Quest” was also a record company suggestion, “feeling that the bulk of it, the main album, should not go over 45, 50 minutes. So that’s eight songs, and the other three aren’t really bonus tracks in the sense they’re things we would have thrown away. We weren’t scraping the barrel or anything just to fill it out. They’re like high-quality reserve tracks, if you will. But it’s not so much a double album like the White Album by the Beatles. It’s more like there’s a second part of the story.”
Likewise, to the Oct 2021 issue of Prog (#124), Howe described the phrase 'bonus tracks' as "tainted words", saying, "I cannot overstate the fact that those three songs are not rejects or throwaways." Indeed, in a Dec 2021 interview, asked to pick one track from The Quest he'd suggest to represent the album, he picked "Sister Sleeping Soul". In a Nov 2021 interview, Davison said that the singles were "a label choice rather than something the band decided. I personally feel all the songs are equally compelling and any one of them could have fulfilled the 'single' necessity." He credited Howe with the album name: "Steve came up with the title, and the rest of us unanimously acquiesced without question. There were no working titles used or other official titles considered that I can remember, because we all knew what Steve had come up with was right."
Sales performance
The Quest made #9 on the UK midweek album chart (4 Oct), before finishing the week at #20 (8 Oct), the same as Heaven & Earth, but it was out of the top 100 by the next week (15 Oct), as was Heaven & Earth. On the sub-charts, it was #1 in Rock & Metal (#7 in its second week; #8 in its third week), #7 in Scotland, #8 in Sales (#60 in its second week; #91 in its third week) and in Physical (#55 in its second week; #87 in its third week), #9 in Vinyl (out of to 40 by second week), #17 in Downloads (out of to 100 by second week), but outside the top 100 in Streaming in its first week. It was also #1 in the Progressive Albums chart (Oct 2021) and down to #11 for Nov 2021, then #12 the next month. It made #7 on the German midweek album chart (6 Oct) and finished the week at #7 (8 Oct), and #40 in its second week. In its first week, it was also #5 in Switzerland (the best chart performance for a Yes studio album since 90125), #14 in Austria, #37 in Belgium (#30 in Wallonia and #72 in Flanders), #38 in Norway, #40 in Finland, #54 in the Netherlands, #60 in Italy, #62 in Spain, and #85 in France (#23 in physical sales). It made #46 in Japan (Oricon; also #51 Billboard Japan Hot Albums) and #8 in the Japanese international albums chart. However, it was outside the top 50 in Ireland. It did not make the US top 200 albums, presumably stymied by the split release dates for digital and physical, but in its first week the album did make #22 in Current Albums, #26 in Sales and #5 in Current Rock.

The regular album was as high as #18 on Amazon UK when it first went on sale (#1 in Classic British Rock; 26 Jul). The 2CD/Blu-ray version got as high as #36 (#5 in Classic British Rock and #8 in Box Sets), the 2LP/2CD version was as high as #55 (#7 in Classic British Rock, #10 in Vinyl and #12 in Box Sets) and the 2LP/2CD/Blu-ray box was as high as #63 (#8 in Classic British Rock, #11 in Vinyl and #14 in Box Sets). Around its release date, the 2CD version was then as high as #3 on Amazon UK. On 2 Oct, the 2CD version was as high as #33 on Amazon US (#23 in Rock), while the 2LP/2CD version was as high as #751 (#382 in Rock). The 2CD/Blu-ray version got as high as #735 (#32 in Blues Rock!), while the deluxe box was as high as #3983 (#173 in Blues Rock). On 17 Oct, the 2CD version was as high as #31 on Amazon US (#11 in Rock, #38 in Digital, and #13 in Digital Rock). Also on 2 Oct, the 2CD versions was as high as #31 on Amazon Germany (#1 in Classic Rock), while the 2LP/2CD versions was as high as #196 (#21 in Classic Rock, #36 in Vinyl, #29 in Box Sets). The 2LP/2CD version also made #310 (#34 Hard Rock & Metal, #95 in Vinyl) on Amazon France that day. On Amazon Japan, the 2CD album was as high as #6 in imports and #10 in domestic releases.

On the iTunes charts internationally, on 1 Oct, The Quest made #2 in Brazil, #6 in Spain and in Canada, #12 in the UK and in Australia, #13 in the US, #14 in Germany, #47 in Italy and #57 in France.

Early tracks and details about further tracks
"Future Memories" was billed as the third single, with a video released 15 Oct 2021, coinciding with the US physical release date. All The Quest videos have been by Wayne Joyner.

The second single, "Dare to Know", was released 1 Sep, and again is available on streaming, e.g. YouTube and Spotify. A video premiered noon UK time on 1 Sep. In promo copy, Howe said of the song:
Dare To Know presents a guitar theme played within many different arrangements, with different chord structures and altered textures. The 'idea' mentioned in the first verse gets described later as an awakening to the subtle goings on within our bodies and mind, all geared to nature's scheme of things, all fluctuating and rearranging according to the principles of life, as we know it. The centrepiece leaves the orchestra alone to elaborate and develop the way the theme is heard, then augments the closing minutes of the song as it rests, with an acoustic guitar cadenza.
"The Ice Bridge" was released 23 Jul. "The Ice Bridge" is also available on streaming, e.g. YouTube (audio only version) and Spotify. A video was released noon UK time on 23 Jul. On an interview for the 500th episode of Yes Music Podcast, Tony Kaye described the song as "great". Davison described the writing process: "Usually what happens is each member is left to write their respective parts and put their stamp on things. Geoff sent me a selection of exciting and often gorgeous snippets he had created and made it clear that he wished I experiment freely and develop as needed. This in turn gave me the confidence to take on the vocal role – lyrics, vocal melody and harmony, how the vocals are presented and uniquely phrased – but all the while striving to stay faithful to Geoff's initial ideas." The song has three parts: "Eyes East" (approx. 3:30), "Race Against Time" (approx. 0:40), "Interaction" (approx. 2:50). "Interaction" features a back and forth between Howe and Downes, but the two recorded separately. Promo describes the album as being about the dangers of climate change, but the song also appears to be about the initial peopling of the Americas via the Beringia land bridge. (Note the apparent reference to haplogroup X2a.) Note that the album is not a concept album; the narrative in "The Ice Bridge" does not continue on to other songs. However, there are some recurrent themes, e.g. environmental concerns. In an Aug 2021 interview with The Progressive Aspect, Davison explained, "I don't think it was a conscious effort on my part, it was just where the inspiration led. Equally, Steve had some lyrical themes leading in that same direction. We didn't premeditate the both of us writing on a similar topic, it just happened serendipitously." In a Sep 2021 interview, he talked about the lyrics across the album:
Though our lyrics sometimes display concerns for the state of our planet, we are mainly attempting to express on The Quest reactions of hope and optimism. Indeed, the human race faces many environmental and sociological challenges, but I believe we must embrace these as a type of quest through which to evolve and better the human race. It’s tempting to react with fear and frustration, but how much more effective to focus on sending out to the world positive and healing wishes.
In the Nov 2021 interview, Davison said, "to avoid redundancy, I try to follow a general rule of not attaching to any familiar points of lyrical topic, which of course can make things more difficult (laughs), but ultimately leading to a more rewarding conclusion, I hope. As far as fresh topics for The Quest, I touch on everything from personal loss to global issues, be it environmental or pandemic-related. Concerns about the effects of exponential technology growth is another new topic I found interesting to explore."

In the Dec 2021 interview, Howe said, "Yes music, ever since we were all hippies and had some awareness about ecology and the environment and the importance of love, all the topics we've always talked about and I don't think this record is very much different from that."

A video for "A Living Island" was released 10 Feb 2022.

In a Houston Press Sep 2021 interview, Downes said about the references to climate change, "But we didn't want to be too heavy about it[.] Like stand on soapbox and dictate to the world about it." In another Sep 2021 interview, Howe denied the album was "political", but described it instead as "ecological". In a Sep 2021 interview with Prog Radar, he said, "I'm not involved with the lyrics per se, Jon was stuck in Barbados for 5 months and I think that's reflected in his lyrics, global warming, obviously, and I think The Ice Bridge reflects those concerns." In a Sep 2021 interview with Sonic Perspectives, White said: ""The Ice Bridge" relates to the COVID situation in a strange way. We didn't want to dwell on it by spending the whole album talking about it. It was pretty much a big downer for the entire world, so we wanted the songs to be more uplifting." In a Sep 2021 interview for Spill, Downes said, "The world is going through some terrible things and changes and all the problems in the world, you know like Global Warming and the pandemic. We wanted to turn this into a more positive note. I think that was one of the key aspects of the album." He continued, "We hope people get uplifted. Yes has always been a very positive band [...] I hope people can relate to that and find that positivity, amongst all the stuff that is happening in the world. The message of this album is, 'we're here, we are going to move forward and stay as positive as we can be'. It's all in the word, the three letter word." In the Oct 2021 Oakland Press interview, Howe said that "A Living Island" is the only song about COVID-19, explaining "something like 'Damaged World' was really written before COVID and wasn't so much about ecology than really about people's relationships and how damaged that can become because of a lot of things in the world. So you can add COVID into that, because it's a right mess out there right now." In an Oct 2021 interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, he said, "Jon wrote on Geoff's music the song "A Living Island." I said, "This is a classic, epic kind of anthem to this idea [of the pandemic], but no more." [laughs] We don't need another song about COVID — when you look back at the album, you're going to be listening to a bunch of guys moaning about the pandemic. But "A Living Island" was such a beautiful, romantic, epic story about being in Barbados and "who would you rather be with than somebody you love?" It was perfect. But that's when I said, "That's it. No other songs about this thing." [laughs]"

Soon after the release of "The Ice Bridge", when it was originally credited to Davison and Downes, it became apparent that there was a close similarity between the keyboard parts in "The Ice Bridge" and a 1978 release by Francis Monkman (ex-Curved Air) called "The Dawn of an Era" (YouTube streaming) on an album of library music called Energism (Bruton Music), which then had a more conventional release as a solo album in 1980. On 24 Jul 2021, Downes tweeted: "1) In regards to recent messages, the original idea for The Ice Bridge track appears on a 1977 showreel of mine at a time when I was composing jingles and library music for a West End music production company." And: "2) Over the last couple of years, I have been looking at some of these early ideas, and felt that this one was suitable for further development. GD" But the story then continues. Monkman discussed what had happened in an email to one fan on 26 Jul that has been widely shared online (see here): he talked with Yes's management (who are also Curved Air's management) and with someone at Bruton Music, while Downes shared the recording from his showreel. Monkman wrote, "all seems resolved [...] a simple mistake so no hard feelings", and explained the series of events. He had recorded "The Dawn of an Era" in summer 1977. Bruton Music circulated this recording, then seemingly untitled. This recording got on to Downes' 1977 tape in error, leading Downes over 40 years later to believe it was his. Monkman shared a picture from Downes of the cassette tape (see here). This lists 9 tracks: "GD114", "LTG3", "GD37", "GD94", "GD96", "GD98", "GD100", "GD112", "Library Track" (this being "The Dawn of an Era"). Monkman also said he enjoyed "The Ice Bridge". Downes tweeted on 27 Jul: "Re: The Ice Bridge. Hi. I had a very pleasant chat today with Francis (Monkman), and all has now been amicably resolved concerning the track." He later added: "1), Hi, in regard to my earlier tweet and to put the matter beyond any further debate…The Ice Bridge is sourced from a Francis Monkman composition "Dawn Of An Era" (Bruton Music) which I mistakenly assumed as being one of my own library pieces." And: "2) It is a simple error on my behalf which I own up to. The YES track will now be credited as a Davison/Monkman/Downes composition. I trust this explains the situation in full, and there will be no further comment forthcoming. GD" In the Sep 2021 Spill interview, Downes said of the song:
It was inspired by a piece by Francis Monkman. We worked on it, and I think it turned out really well. It also gave us a chance to have me and Steve soloing, which we had never done before. We did a little live, but not a record. To actually capture that on a recording is pretty amazing. I hope it opens the door to more collaborations with Steve and myself to explore guitar and keyboards. It is a dynamic piece and a very uplifting piece.
A tweet gave further details of "Mystery Tour", with performance credits as: Davison (lead vocals), Howe (vocals, Fender Telecaster, Martin MC28 acoustic), Downes (Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Hammond organ), Sherwood (vocals, bass), White (drums). Howe described the song: "'Mystery Tour' is blatantly what it is. It's a rather celebratory idea about a band." In a Jul 2021 interview, White described it: "a kind of a parody of The Beatles, and when they broke up. [...] It's called "Magical Mystery Tour" [...] it's very good, it's very sing-along". In the Sep 2021 interview with Sonic Perspectives, White talked about how proud he was of having worked with John Lennon and "Then following it through with a tribute to him and the band with ["Mystery Tour"]." In the Yes Music Podcast interview, Downes said, "I wasn't so sure about it ["Mystery Tour"] when Steve came up with the idea [...] I mean, we all love The Beatles, there's no doubt about it. We've all been heavily influenced by The Beatles. But, I think, part of it, as well, is maybe the nod to Alan's connection to John Lennon". In the Dec 2021 interview, Howe said:
I had some of those lyrics [...] in 1985 [...] it wasn't until 2020 when I rummaged around in some files with lyrics, most of which were rubbish, and I saw those. "John was a fighter...". And I thought [...] there's something going on here. So I had to write more; I had to write choruses. I had to write about half of it again and I had a new tune [...]

So it grew quite rapidly as a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. I wasn't sure if the rest of the guys in the band would want to do it. Once [Davison] sang on it, it really made sense. [...] My experience with the Beatles is very limited. I never saw them live. I saw all the movies [...] on TV. [...]

But I love The Beatles. They're the musical standard that came along that upped everybody else's standard.  I met a few of the Beatles very briefly when I was working on a Tomorrow album in 1967 [...] because they we were on the same label. Paul and Ringo used to walk by and kind of say, "Hey, how are you doing?" [...] [I]n 1969 I toured with Delaney and Bonnie and Eric Clapton. And on that tour the whole week was George Harrison.

[...] he was a super guy, we talked and I actually heard him playing and singing "Here Comes the Sun." I was blessed to see that.

In a Sep 2021 article in Northern Life, Davison said, "All my vocals on A Living Island were actually recorded in my home studio in Barbados. We unanimously felt those original takes were so emotional, poignant and powerful. We therefore decided to keep all of it and that's exactly what you hear on the record." In further social media promo, Howe described "A Living Island" as having "a nice keyboard presence. It starts with a nice, real piano. And there is a real Hammond organ and lots of synths."

In a Sep 2021 video by The Prog Report, Sherwood said that "Minus the Man" and "The Western Edge" were "brand new. I mean, when Steve sent the emails around, 'Let's start sending songs around,' I thought, 'Oh my god, I don't have anything to send' because, y'know, everything that I work on finds its way to a record ultimately. It's not like I have a library of, like, 'Oh, let's see, there's that, there's that.' So I literally sat down and just... started writing in my studio and, er, came up with the musical concepts for both of those, and then sent them in. And Jon just jumped on them immediately and did his thing [...] but they were crafted in the moment, […] during those peak COVID months. In the very beginning". In the Sep 2021 article in Northern Life, Sherwood said of "The Western Edge", "Jon [Davison] came up with the melodies and the lyrics[.] I was primarily the musical aspects. I had the idea of a song title for The Western Edge and presented a demo with the chorus and Jon took it from there." In his Aug 2021 interview, Davison explained, "I asked Billy, 'why don't you write a vocal part and I'll write one and we'll see what happens when we overlap the two!' There are moments when this accidental collaboration sounds intentional with things harmonising in such a unique way. It made for an interesting exercise. The vocals came out completely different than if we had collaborated on a more conventional level." In another Sep 2021 interview, Howe said Davison wrote the lyrics for "Minus the Man" and Sherwood, the music.

In a Sep 2021 interview with Biff Bam Pop, Downes talked about "A Living Island":
I think that the ideas [...], they've been around for a while and certainly the end section for that was… I think it was a grandiose theme that I've been working on for some time. In fact, there's a little snippet of it on the beginning of the DBA [Downes Braide Association] album [Halcyon Hymns]. Y'know, I felt that with a band like Yes, you should really make this just go bigger and bigger. And as a finale to the album [...] Yes are known for these big major chords, you know, you've got something like "And You and I". [...] they take "Awaken", something like that, it is this sort of spiritual experience almost for the listener. And so, that's really what I was trying to achieve with that is that you get that big majestic chord sequence coming out and I think it's a great way to finish the album.
In the Aug 2021 interview, Davison, seemingly talking about both his writing collaborations with Downes, said, "Initially, Geoff sent me a handful of instrumental ideas. [...] I was able to take on the vocal role, lyrics, melody, how the vocals are presented and phrased, all the while trying to keep true to Geoff's initial idea." He explained further specifically about "A Living Island":
Barbados is one of few coral islands in the world, it is actually a living island. I felt that was a beautiful title to touch on while the world was shutting down during that initial lockdown. I felt the need to express in words all those intense thoughts and feelings and my personal perception of it all. Conceptually, as the song progresses through its three themes, the lyrical concept of the living island then branches out from the personal and becomes more about the well-being of the world in general, and that the planet is indeed our precious living island in a sea of stars.
Howe described the album to Prog (Aug 2021, #122), saying, "It's an opportunity to rewrite what Yes do, and not feel restricted [...] another twist to the Yes story." While there are no very long pieces on the album, Howe said, "We're not shy of considering longer, larger pieces. But this album wasn't centred around any 20-minute tracks [...] not because we want to avoid that style, more because it wasn't a natural process for us as this stage." He continued, referencing the longer pieces on the album of around 6-8 minutes duration, "That's still a healthy length for us to develop a song, the structure and the harmonic roles that, Geoff and I play instrumentally or that Jon, Billy and I do vocally. We also jump into some pretty substantial instrumental sections." The article also described White as having contributed to the writing, although he doesn't appear to have writing credits on any particular piece. In a Nov 2021 interview, White said, "a lot of [the writing] was done in England. And because of COVID, Billy Sherwood and myself couldn't get that involved in the writing because we're on the west coast of America."

Discussing the album's lyrics, Howe said, "I was looking for a steer away from overt depressing references to current events – we want to uplift." He went on to discuss how much of the album was written before COVID, so "that gives the album a chance to not be so affected by it in terms of outlook. We have got one song that Jon [Davison] and Geoff [Downes] wrote that [...] is about recent events, but that's nicely disguised [this appears to be "A Living Island"] [...] Ironically, [...] Damaged World [...] sounds very much like it's about what's been happening, but [...] it was written before."

In the Ultimate Classic Rock Oct 2021 interview, Howe said of "Dare to Know": "The one thing about that song that really does surprise me is that I can't remember [another] song I wrote that got to where I wanted it to [this] extent. The sort of R&B idea of the choruses, the verses that are more subdued. The whole thing was delightful for me." He continued:
I asked Paul K. Joyce [...] to do some arranging on that song [...] I said, “Here’s the bit: When we sing ‘rearranging, rearranging,’ you’re off. You go in there.” Paul wrote that synopsis, almost, of the themes. One of the keys to that song which gives me a certain buzz, being a bit of a chord maniac: Most times you hear the theme that I play, it’s in a different chord or structure. One time, it’s no chords at all — it’s a drone. It’s major sevenths; another time, it’s a mixture of jazzy chords. Later in the song, you get the tune again, and it’s flatted fifth, and then you get back to the major sevenths.
In an interview conducted late Jul 2021, Howe said, "the goal here was not to copy, reproduce [...] anything Yes has ever done before." He later said, "This [the album] was a very adventurous thing to do." He also explained the plan for the album: "Let's have all fresh material, nothing hanging over from the past." He said that most of the album was written before COVID. Comparing the album to Heaven & Earth, Howe said, "I can tell you that on Heaven & Earth... we don't even mention that album, because he [Jon Davison] could not really get himself established as he wanted to and... Basically, all the past is history [...] He has matured, he's singing his own way [...] he's come to the fore, and he's really produced some great vocals [...] "Future Memories" is, is a really, really soulful song [...] All the tracks, Jon is excelling on. Sometimes he does all the harmonies, sometimes it's Billy, sometimes it's me, or I do duet vocals with him on quite a few tracks". Howe also praises Davison's guitar playing on The Quest. In this Sep 2021 interview, Sherwood picked "Future Memories" as his favourite on the album.

In an Aug 2021 interview for Planet Rock radio, Howe described "The Ice Bridge" as "the spearhead of the album", but continued that, "It's not the be all and end all of the album". He then said, "It sets up the mood, it sets up the standards we aspire to now". He also said that the album "was never done in a rush". In The Prog Report video, Sherwood said he left the choice of the singles to "the higher powers".

In the Nov 2021 interview, Davison said, "'Leave Well Alone' has multiple layers of surprises and unexpected turns. Although, such moments are ubiquitous throughout the entire album, I guess. [...] Singing-wise, I crafted multiple layers of vocal on 'Sister Sleeping Soul,' which definitely posed a challenge to not only track, but to properly mix." In an interview published online in Jan 2022, Howe said the outro is "complete improv, and it's pretty much what I played. I had a few takes, but that's the take I like. Basically, I just started dabbling around with chords. I find different ways of leaning on them and crossing over them. I really enjoy guitar breaks, and that one is quite long. I sort of drifted out with it and made it reach a climax while other things were happening in the arrangement. The drums picked up and went to double time. All those things were very calculated, but they're also improvised."

About the making of the album
Howe produced the album. Curtis Schwartz (worked with Asia, Evelyn Glennie, Gwilym Simcock, Julian Arguelles, The Bee Gees, Suede), who has long done engineering for Howe, has been involved in the sessions and is credited as mixing engineer. His studio's website has a picture of Davison captioned, "Listening to his vocal takes Sept 2020". The recording studio is in Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK (not too far from London), and there other, unlabelled, pictures showing Howe and Davison. On 16 Apr 2021, Schwartz then posted to his Facebook account further photos at the studio with Howe, Davison and Downes, writing, "Yesterday I finished making the new Yes album." On 5 Feb 2020, he posted to Facebook, "At the end of another day[']s mixing the new Yes album I'm now being seranaded by Steve Howe in the kitchen whilst I peel the potatoes for our dinner. Playing Yes songs, and Beatles and Bob Dylan medleys." Simon Heyworth (worked with King Crimson, Marillion, Mike Oldfield) is the mastering engineer. Heyworth first worked with Howe on the Steve Howe Trio's New Frontier, where Bill Bruford had recommended him.

The Oct 2021 article in The Oakland Press explained:
Howe [...] says via Zoom [...] that Inside Out Music chief Thomas Waber reached out during 2019 to see if Yes was ready to make a new album, and the guitarist and Davison met in Sussex to start writing material. “I put myself forward to produce, ’cause I was tired of handing it to someone who sometimes didn’t full know what this band was. That’s always a mistake. This time I said, ‘Look, if it’s going to get my full commitment then I’d really like to produce, because I think that’s where we’ve been misled before.’ The others agreed, and we were off and running.”
He also talked about Squire's death:
Time, Howe says, has allowed Yes to become comfortable with “the idea there could be another Yes record without Chris” Squire. “We don’t underestimate the impact of that, but (his death) was some time back, and we’ve done a lot of work since that happened, and I guess we’ve become a better team [...] a closer team. We’ve suffered. That was what we had to contain. We had to get things in a mode where the mixing and the bass playing in particular was credible and satisfactory, but more than that, that it had respect for what’s come before and taking the styles of all the past members of Yes and conglomerating them into sort of a new Yes. That was my goal.”
Howe said in the Sep 2021 article in Northern Life:
My contribution to the album was all written before Covid[,] and by the end of 2019 I'd started showing Jon [Davison] those songs. We'd already recorded Damaged World and Future Memories before Covid and then, as the dreaded lurgy came, we thought 'Ok, this is a means to an end.'

Curtis Schwartz's studio in Ardingly was the headquarters of the steering of the files and the building up of the tracks and accumulating our whole album of music. We may have done it quite similarly even if we hadn't had the terrible disaster but it was the only way.

In an early Oct 2021 tweet, the Gottliebs gave this quote from Howe: "All the songs that I contribute were written before COVID. In fact, most of those guitars were recorded by the time February [2020] came around. I had finished six songs, three of which are on the album." What these other three songs are, or what might happen to them, is a mystery. In a May 2022 interview, Howe was asked, "Writing for Yes and writing for your solo albums, do the two require a different headspace?" He replied:
To be totally honest with you, not really. Initially I just write, and I am not even thinking where it goes. I like to not have any idea as to where it is going. I simply follow the course of what this music says to me. However, as the time has gone by, and particularly with our last album The Quest, when we started preparing that, I did actually write six that I was thinking about Yes. That wasn’t because I needed to or it was something that I had committed to on a publishing deal, it was just something that I thought ‘I could just see if I could get some of these songs into Yes’ (laughter). And that is what happened with Dare To Know, Music To My Ears, and numerous other songs, in particular Leave Well Alone.

So, basically, I wrote those particular songs with Yes in mind but if Yes didn’t want to record them then that’s fine. It’s no skin off my nose, as I will put them onto another record (laughter).

Howe said more in the Ultimate Classic Rock Oct 2021 interview:
[Schwartz' studio] was like our headquarters — basically Jon and I started there with a couple days at the end of 2019. I said to him, “I’ve got a lot of songs.” We worked through a few of mine and some of Jon’s, and we got an idea that this was going to work with me producing. I said to the guys, “I’d like to produce, and that’s it. Yes or no kinda thing. [laughs] They said “yeah,” so that went ahead. I tried out my concept, which was the HQ studios and file-sharing. Fortunately Jon has been in England a great deal, and Geoff Downes lives in Wales, which is quite near my studio in the west country. He could come down and do actual keyboard sessions in the room, and Jon could do vocals in the room. We had just enough of that to keep ourselves satisfied. [...] I was able to steer. Not only were they willing to let me, but there weren’t the daily arguments about “Ah, you’ve taken that bit out” or “Why do you want to change that word?” I just kind of went for it and said to the guys, “I’ll do things on some tracks, and other tracks will come at me and I won’t need to do a whole lot.” Some of them did need my perspective of saying, “I like the material, but let’s rearrange it with beginnings and endings; let’s develop this.” I was able to do a lot of development sessions where the guys weren’t there but their songs were. I could help to bring things to it [...] I’ve said on a few occasions that if your producer isn’t coming up with good ideas, get another one! [laughs]

I think a producer’s world is very much about the right decisions being made and the right plan — finding the solution to every problem. He’s got to get on with it. [...] when we look at The Quest [...] it was good timing — there’s nothing good about the pandemic, for God’s sake. But the timing allowed us to get a strategy, get a methodology, to allow us to be able to do it.

In a Dec 2021 interview, Howe said:
one of my preconditions was that this should be a happy record. If people are going to be miserable and complain, then I don’t want to do it, I don’t need that.

So there was something that had to be beautiful about the record. And that was our relationship, because over the last six, seven or eight years we’ve developed a relationship together — a creative trust. And they put that trust in me. [...] I was empowered with their confidence [...]

But then again, I have to have the confidence to stand up and express my opinion. I produce my own records. I know producing records [my own] is obviously easier [...] but this was very special. And I said, it’s not going to be like a Steve Howe production. It’s going to be like a production for Yes

In the Houston Press Sep 2021 interview, Downes said, "We've talked about it [making an album] for years. We exchanged all the ideas before the pandemic, then we had to figure out how to make it." In the Sep 2021 interview with Prog Radar, he said, "We recorded this new album remotely with Alan and Billy in the US, Jon in the Caribbean and Steve and myself here in the UK, it's a nice way of working I find." He continued, "[I]t also gives you the chance to sit back and look at it all. We've had to do that with this Yes album and I think that we've learnt quite a lot by doing it that way. It's a different approach but, at the same time, it can be creative as well. [...] obviously the days of the band being in the studio for months locked away doesn't really exist these days, as they did in the '70's. It's been difficult with having the rhythm section in California, they were sending us files to review on a regular basis. But, of course, we're not alone in that we were all locked down for months on end and we've had to adapt and respond to that as best as we could." In the Spill Sep 2021 interview, Downes put it this way:
we didn't know when we would record it. The ideas and songs were around before the lockdown started, so we were quite prepared for it before all of that happened[.]

It was an interesting way to work [...] Half the band are based in the west coast of the States, while the other half is in the U.K. [...]

They sent us the files. All the files went to a central location, Steve, who is producing the album. He would sift through the ideas, then send it back to you, with comments. It was quite civil and quite easy to do.

He continued: "The classic Yes sound is just something that comes together. Going back to the very beginning, Yes has always had a particular sound, and it is very hard to get away from that. [...] you have to be aware of what you put forward so it has that certain Yes sound to it. That was the key to this album, we wanted it to sound like Yes and be a Yes album. We really wanted to excite people."

In the Nov 2021 interview, Davison praised InsideOut ("The folks at InsideOut have been completely supportive in allowing Steve and the rest of us to freely realize our creative potential") and Schwartz ("Curtis is an extremely humble and composed individual who is detail-oriented and patient. I value so much working alongside such a supportive personality because there's no drama that distracts from the creative task at hand. He happens to also be a talented musician, so I always felt that I could trust his creative input and perspective.").

In an interview by Harold Whitman in the Nov 2021 Goldmine, White said, "Jon and Steve have been writing a lot of music together over the past couple of years, and they just hooked up together again. And [...] Geoff is in England [...] A lot of the concepts of the songs came from over there." He also described the album as a "culmination of different material from different people in the band that we just wanted to get out. [...] You build up material in your system and you have to find an outlet." In the Decibel Report Sep 2021 interview, Davison said: "In November of '19, Yes began collaborating. I happened to be spending time in England, staying with my girlfriend, Emily. This allowed Steve and me to first get together and arrange ideas for two songs, Damaged World and Future Memories [...] during the first lockdown, we had to work on an individual basis, preparing ideas to share with the rest of the band. Emily and I were in Barbados at that time. It was one of the safest places to be, and fortunately, I had with me every bit of studio equipment required to record. In the later part of 2020, Billy and Alan convened in Los Angeles for the drum and bass sessions, and Steve, along with our excellent engineer, Curtis Schwartz, mixed the album this last March."

In the album announcement, Howe said, "Much of the music was written in late 2019 with the rest in 2020. We commissioned several orchestrations to augment and enhance the overall sound of these fresh new recordings, hoping that our emphasis on melody, coupled with some expansive instrumental solo breaks, keeps up the momentum for our listeners." These are on "Dare to Know", "Minus the Man" and "Leave Well Alone". These were performed by the 47-piece F.A.M.E.'S Orchestra (YouTube, Twitter; worked on North Macedonia's 2021 Eurovision entry, and on many TV, film and game soundtracks, including "The Edge of Time" Doctor Who game) with Oleg Kondratenko conducting, orchestrated and scored by Paul K Joyce, who worked with Howe on Time but is best known for the Bob the Builder theme "Can We Fix It?". Joyce wrote about his experience here. There were sessions in Skopje, North Macedonia on 1 Feb 2021, with Joyce seemingly videocalling into the sessions. In the Sep 2021 Northern Life article, Howe said: "That [the orchestra] was one of my ideas, I wanted to expand the augmentation of what Yes does and to have a controllable role for something as beautiful as an orchestra was really appealing. They came into their own and that was done remotely in Macedonia. If you organise things properly, then you get what you want back. Paul K Joyce did the arranging for me, it was an augmentation of the Yes sound and when we heard Dare To Know, we went 'Oh, my goodness, great!'" The original idea was to have the orchestra on "Dare to Know", but it was then decided to use them on further tracks. Howe explained in the Ultimate Classic Rock Oct 2021 interview:
["Dare to Know"] was the first track where I said, “Guys, do you think we should [incorporate] an orchestra? Instead of an orchestral album, which I don’t want to think about doing. What I wanted to do was bring in an orchestra occasionally to show the breadth of our love for the textures [it] can bring — as much as a Hammond organ or a Gibson guitar or whatever. [...] Paul said to me, “We can do this. We’ve got the arrangement worked out, but you can do more in the session than what you’ve got on ‘Dare to Know.’” [...] Instead of what happened with things like Magnification or Time and a Word, which was just a swamp of stuff, we picked strategic moments. We found a happy medium of having orchestral work but it not sounding like an orchestral album. I haven’t heard many [such albums] that work.
Asked about the idea to use an orchestra in the Sep 2021 interview with Biff Bam Pop, Downes explained:
It was something that was bubbling under. I think Steve had mentioned [...] that he was in touch with this orchestra [...] [The] album [...] very much, it features acoustic instruments [...] so it was a natural development [...] of that [...] There's a lot of acoustic piano on the album, there's a lot of acoustic guitar. This [...] makes it [...] almost a sort of urbane feeling that Yes has gone back to its roots in some ways and so, you know, if you go back to say Time and a Word [...] [the orchestra i]s a big feature on "No Opportunity Necessary" [...] I think that the key thing is for me was [...] having that orchestral feeling of the music already, it [...] really pointed towards maybe having these other acoustic sections that were played by an orchestra.
In terms of how he and the orchestra fitted together, he continued:
I'm a very orchestral player [...] I come up with these soundscapes and the layers of keyboards that, you know, I became more known for. So my whole thing is that [...] when I look at the orchestra, I don't see it as a me versus them, [...] but [...] I think it's an addition. [...] I think it's something that, in this case, I'm not saying it would be [...] on any future albums, per se, but [...] in this case with this particular album, I think it's very, very appropriate that, you know, it's on there.
In the 500th episode of Yes Music Podcast (Sep 2021), Downes was asked whether the material on the album (apart from "The Ice Bridge") was new or written "years past". Downes replied, "I think [...] generally speaking, they were things that have been bubbling around over the last few years and certainly traded files before [...] So there was quite a big build up to when we started actually putting the album together. [...] I would say probably the majority were of the last few years". He also described Davison as "the driving force" behind the album's lyrics. White said in a Sep 2021 interview: "It was about time we released new songs. Of course, a lot of our time was spent getting over the fact Chris Squire passed on. We did a lot of touring since that time, and I think it was time for new music. Everyone in the band writes all the time, and a new album was a way to release some of that material".

In the Sep 2021 interview with Biff Bam Pop, Downes explained how the album was "done through file exchange [...] So it was not particularly difficult for me [...] We had all the ideas really well and truly prepared, I think, before the pandemic hit . So we were kind of in fairly good shape in terms of, y'know, how we saw the whole thing... eking out". He continued, "It was all fairly much loosely in a framework before, before we got involved with the whole pandemic thing." Howe and Davison began working on "Future Memories" and "Damaged World" together on 31 Oct-1 Nov 2019. In the electronic press kit for the album, Howe says:
The Quest is a strong album with a common theme: posing the great questions of life and finding that we have our destiny within our own hands. My contribution was all written before COVID and by the end of 2019 I'd started showing Jon [Davison] those songs. On the 1st of November [2019] Jon and I put down the basic ideas of [...] Damaged World (Howe) and Future Memories (a Davison love song, asking what the future holds). That was a test to see if working with the engineer, Curtis Schwartz, with me steering, was going to work. We felt it was pretty good and began sharing music between us, with me being able to make decisions about what Jon felt he could develop. If I liked it, then it had a bit of a roll to it.
In the Aug 2021 interview, Davison likewise explained, "Damaged World was the first collaboration for the album that we did in November 2019. Steve and I decided to get together to toss some ideas around, the initial move looking at doing an album. That very first day in Curtis Schwartz's studio, we worked on Steve's Damaged World and a song of mine called Future Memories that I wrote and recorded with my old trusty 12-string acoustic." He continued about the album as a whole: "[T]here might be one leader per song but, all-in-all, everyone was free to contribute and make it a band effort. I thought that was very important and I always try to foster that concept." And: "Usually, people are left to write their own parts."

Promo for "The Ice Bridge" described how "sessions took place in the UK with Steve Howe, Geoff Downes & Jon Davison, while Alan White & Billy Sherwood got together in the studio in the US." Howe, Downes and Davison were not always recording together: it appears it was often Howe/Davison or Howe/Downes in the studio. In a Music Radar Sep 2021 interview, Howe said, "We did it mostly through file sharing but luckily Geoff and Jon Davison are in the UK quite a bit, so we were able to meet in the studio. We mainly used our own studios, but we also have an HQ where I work to pull everything together." White is quoted as saying, "Billy Sherwood and myself did all the rhythm sections, bass and drum, in America, down in Los Angeles at Uncle Studios, where he works a lot. [...] Billy's really good on the recording desk, so we got things down relatively quickly. I spent quite a while studying the music before I went down to LA so I was prepared." Liner notes quote White: "I met up with Billy in Los Angeles and we really put our heads down. I spent about ten days in a hotel and worked for at least eight hours every day. I did eleven tracks or twelve tracks in about nine days." In another Sep 2021 interview, White said the songs "were quite complete" when they received them before their recording sessions. Sherwood previously said on Facebook, "Alan White played ALL the drums on this new record , i know first hand because... I recorded he and I [...] live in my friend and YES ally Scott Walton's "Uncle Studios"" (Uncle Studios website). In the Sep 2021 interview with Sonic Perspectives, White said: "We [him and Sherwood] gave input while in the demo phase, but most of it was put together in England by Steve, Jon, and Geoff. Billy and I flew down to Los Angeles and digitally sent the working tracks of our parts to them. I recorded my part for all the tracks in about ten days in the studio with Billy. [...] I had the demos, so I knew what I was going to do when I got to the studio. I did my homework, and when I went to the studio, and was able to do what I wanted to do." In the Goldmine interview, White also said, "I think Billy did the bass over a period of time, because he's got his own studio. But then we went to [...] Uncle Studios [...] and we cut the bass and drums". He explained that they mostly recorded bass and drum parts separately, but occasionally played together. He added, "I was skeptical of the material at first and then I started to go over it more and get more into it. I really love the album now." The album's electronic press kit credited White with backing vocals on the album, but he receives no such credit in the liner notes. Howe explained to Ultimate Classic Rock in Oct 2021: "As we got more and more tracks ready, we were holding them back a bit, and then we started sending them to Billy to get his input on them. In a way, I think Billy subconsciously had the idea of "If I do it like this, when [White does] the drums, it'll be like this." Some amazing arrangement ideas came from after Jon, Geoff and I had played. Billy added the bass, and the drums went on, and they accentuated and punctuated Billy's playing so much that it was like a tribute to Chris. Like "Sister Sleeping Soul" — the way he plays that is a great example of how he's learned from Chris what Chris might have played. The way he sits out of certain beats".

Jay Schellen is credited with percussion. A sticker on the front of the album bills the band as Howe, White, Downes, Davison and Sherwood, as does some promo material. Indeed, the electronic press kit and the press release for "Dare to Know" do not mention Schellen at all. However, other packaging (e.g., the artbook) and promo gives Schellen equal prominence. He is not listed in the performance credits of any of the songs, so it is unclear where he contributes. The band Twitter account quoted him thus: "Alan's tracks were freshly finished. And then I came in, and we listened and had ideas about percussion, because they're at my fingertips. And so we just came up with ideas together." Sherwood recorded Schellen's contributions in 2 days in the same time block, with White also present. The artbook quotes White: "Jay has done a lot of work for the band[.] So I thought it was only right that he get a little piece of the action on this album. He was coming to the studio every couple of days anyway to see us, so I said, 'Why don't you do percussion?' [...] I probably could have done it myself, but I just wanted to do it that way."

In a May 2021 livestream with Jordan Rudess, Davison talked about the making of the album. Davison is in a relationship with Emily Lodge, and he had been staying with the Lodges at their family home in Barbados for what was planned to be a 10-day break between touring with her father, John Lodge (The Moody Blues), and the planned 2020 Cruise to the Edge (departing 27 Mar 2020). The pandemic then meant they were stuck in Barbados "until about June [2020]", Davison explained. (The song "A Living Island" is about this experience.) He continued, "Luckily, what kept me sane there was not only having Emily's love and support, but Yes started working on a new album. So I was able to just dive into an escape world of creativity, which saved me [...] we're still working on this album and [...] pouring all our love and hard work into it. It's just so exciting and fabulous." He discussed how they were initially exchanging files remotely, but then he met up with Howe in London: "And then as soon as I was able to come back last year [2020], last summer, Steve [Howe] and I have been getting together at the studio that we've been working in. So unfortunately Alan [White] and Billy [Sherwood] couldn't come across to this side of the pond, but Geoff [Downes], Steve and myself have been able to actually physically be together for a lot of it." The first in person meetings after the pandemic were at the end of Jul 2020 between Howe and Schwartz. Howe and Davison were together for a few days in Aug, then Downes and Howe were together for a few days while Downes' recorded parts. The band's social media accounts described "Jon joins Steve for several days, adding vocals to the songs" in 24-7 Sep 2020. Work continued through to Jan 2021.

Howe talked about how the album was made remotely in the Oct 2021 Oakland Press interview: "We've all got used to doing that file sharing thing over the last 10 years, so it was only that we had to optimize on that method [...] which actually had some pros and a few cons, but mostly pros. It meant there was a convergence, if you like, of ideas, and I was able to sift and I was able to direct and say, 'This is the one, that's maybe not the one. ...'"

Asked about having Howe produce in the Yes Music Podcast interview, Downes said, "Steve was [...] the pillar in the middle [...] Everyone was bouncing off him. [...] he really wanted to do it. [...] he was really the right man for the job [...] I don't want to make a comparison to Heaven & Earth, for instance [...] where we had the so-called 'big producer' come in [...] I think we felt that this line-up has been together [...] the longest Yes of all, I think that we felt that Steve was probably the right man to pull it all together, and I think he's done a great job." He continued, "What I think Steve was very conscious of is that we would make it [the album] sound very nice [...] It would be nicely recorded, sound great in 5.1." Downes also explained how, because the album has "some big dynamic sections, I think everybody thought that that [using an orchestra] would really enhance the recordings, so when he [Howe] suggested we got the orchestra [...] I think everbody just went with it". He continued, "It's not overplayed. It doesn't become an orchestral album, so everything's overblown". Talking about the dynamics of the new album, Downes also said that Heaven & Earth was "maybe a bit too linear for Yes's music". In an Oct 2021 interview, Downes said that the person who contributed most to giving the album a personal aspect, more than Howe, was Davison, through his vocals and lyrics. In an Oct 2021 interview published in German, Howe stressed that the album was not about re-visiting old formulas for the band, and is quoted saying, "Jetzt brauchen wir neue Riffs, neue Lieder, neue Liebe." (Roughly, "Now we need new riffs, new songs, new love.") He described the album as "ein Sammelsurium verschiedener Musikstile" ("a hodgepodge of different styles of music"). He also said that he wanted, as a producer, to put an end to a "elenden Atmosphäre" ("miserable atmosphere") and to make sure everyone had a good time making the album.

Downes was also asked about the three bonus tracks, and whether this was "an album length situation". He replied, "I think that had something to do with it. [...] we didn't want to... some people go into the studio and they'll put, like, 14 tracks on a CD [...] They have a slightly different feel in many ways from the rest of the album, and I think the 8 tracks that we've got on the album per se [...] shines a light back to the days of the vinyl, where you [...] play that side and you enjoy it, and you turn the vinyl over and you play that side. So there's not this cherry picking of ideas that people do nowadays when [...] they dot around and they'll compile things on their iPads or whatever, y'know. It's much more of a... I suppose a concept of looking back a bit and seeing how those Yes albums were put together. [...] I often spoke to Chris about this [...] And he [...] was always very conscious about having a track that related to the next one, to a different key, to a different mood, and I think this was all part of the dynamics of how Yes created their early music. [...] That was very much the idea behind it, and I think the other three tracks we put as the bonus [...] they don't sound like bonus tracks, but it wouldn't have been the same kind of album had we done it that way."

In the Sep 2021 video by The Prog Report, Sherwood talked about the making of the album from his perspective. He explained how COVID-19 began, "then we shut down, and so we kinda regrouped, and had a little chat and Steve kind of initiated the concept of beginning a record. [...] it seemed like the right thing to do, y'know, even though we weren't all present together as a band – there's nothing we could do about that [...] – but we initiated the songwriting process and sending ideas back and forth and then started developing the record." He was asked if they had any preconceptions as to what form the album should take, replying:
No, not so much. It was just about what songs were feeling good, and what songs were working together well as far as making an album. [...] Steve was kind of the sieve for all the ideas coming through and really getting on to a production level with whatever material we were committing to

[...] But, y'know, I think it's safe to say we're all pretty prolific songwriters individually, so there was no shortage of material. We actually had probably too much (laughs), so it's just a matter of sorting through it all and seeing what's going to work the best
He was then asked how his two compositions, "Minus the Man" and "The Western Edge", were transformed by the band:
in terms of the arrangement and the mapping out of what it was, musically speaking, it's pretty much the same. That said, y'know, Steve put some amazing steel guitar on "Western Edge" and took it to another level, and Geoff's keyboards on all the stuff that we did together took it to another level. And of course Jon writing, y'know, great words and interesting melodies along the way [...] What was one of the most important parts for me, personally, was making sure the rhythm section was rockin' and and doing its job underneath the song [...] the band actually asked me to record the drums here in LA with Alan. So Alan and I spent a good 12 days together in the studio, just working on drums and batting ideas back and forth.

[...] the general gist of the melodic content of the song kinda remains what I had sent in. And I think that was what we were really going for was to try to have everyone's musical expression, y'know, and then just make it flower with all the other guys overdubs and their participation on each song. So, y'know, Steve was sending me things that he had done, and Geoff and Jon [...] so it worked out quite well, but it in terms of [...] where it began and where it ended up [...] I don't really produce demos so to speak, but [...] I'm kind of used to making records, so whenever I'm writing a song, whether it's got a home or not, I'm thinking about putting that production into place to show what I've got here, so, to my ears, what I presented and what's there is pretty much intact, but enhanced in many ways. One of the things I was really excited about was when Steve called me and said, 'What do you think about putting "Minus the Man", putting some real orchestra on there?' And, y'know, I thought, wow, this will take it to another level. So, things things like that are what I think a band does as opposed to an individual sitting in the studio […] there's a respect for each other as songwriters, so, y'know, there might be slight adjustments, but there's no major hacking of things out, replacing things without anyone's knowledge.
He talked more about the process of making the album:
It [...] feels like we were all there in the same room together. And I think a big part of that is the rhythm section design, the way that that came about, set the framework for the other things to just fall right into place. [...] it's quite a different experience to do file sharing than it is to stand in a studio, with your buddies, and just, y'know, talk music and make music, but nevertheless it's the age we live in. I mean, I've been dealing with that a long time. I make tons of records and I barely see anybody (laughs)

[....] That said, I'd love to see a Yes record, in the future, made old school [...] Like, we did that with The Ladder, for instance, where we moved up to Vancouver, Canada, for a few months and all had our own apartments, and met at the studio every day, and wrote for 30 days

[...] you could be sitting in the back of the room, just not saying anything, and an idea comes out and you speak it to the room, and [...] it floats or it doesn't, but those moments are not there when you're doing file share. But, that said, [...] it feels like we were all in the same room somehow.

Sherwood also talked about the album working as a whole: "It's like walking into, y'know, Star Wars in the middle of the movie and going, 'Wait? What? What just happened here?' I think you need it as a whole [...] That's the way it's meant to be digested".

In a Jul 2021 interview, White also talked about the making of the album, saying, "We did this one different to any other album [...] We did it kind of virtually, and... Jon [Davison] and Steve [Howe] put some of the foundation of the music down in England. And Billy Sherwood and myself put the rhythm section on in Los Angeles. [...] It worked out really, really good, and I personally really enjoy it. I put it on at first, I went it's kind of a weird album for a Yes album, but now I'm pretty... pretty much into it. And there's a couple of, y'know, pretty eye-opening tracks on there." He then talked about "Mystery Tour". He described "The Ice Bridge" as a "very powerful, driving song", saying "I really like it".

Earlier in 2021, Downes was talking of more work to be done, while White was talking of the album being mixed. In a Jan 2021 interview with SOAL Night Live about the Levin Torn White project, White said:
What happens nowadays is that a lot of albums are being done virtually. I just finished a Yes... a new Yes album and it was all [Levin interjects "Wow"] kind of done by passing stuff around on the computer.
He went on to say, "It's kind of in the mixing stages. [...] subject to another couple of tracks that, y'know, we've got a lot of material." White said he was hoping for a late spring or summer 2021 release. He talked of 11 or 12 songs and revealed one track title was "The Ice Bridge". Asked what the album was like, he said:
A lot of Yes albums are totally different from the last one and this one's different yet again. I think it will be quite surprising to quite a few people. There's some more commercial kind of stuff on there. [...] But there's also a few [...] way out kind of stuff. It's a mixture.
Asked if there are any epic pieces, White joked they don't "have the energy any more" to do 27 minute tracks. He continued, "A lot of it's 7... 5, 7, 8 [minute], y'know, kind of stuff." Later in the interview, talking about writing contributions, he said, "I sent a couple of things in that I think were used in different ways, like intros and stuff like that. [...] A lot of the writing has been done by Steve and Jon Davison. He's [i.e., Davison] written some great stuff on this. [...] The seed started over there, with Steve on his farm in the countryside, and Jon was living in London at that time. [...] So that started the kind of birth of the new album, and then we all started contributing kind of things. And I ended up putting the drums on over in Los Angeles."

In a subsequent Jan 2021 interview with Yes Music Podcast, Downes said:
I wouldn't say it was in the mixing stage at this moment, but it's certainly moved along a lot in, y'know, recent times. When we have had the breaks in the lockdown, y'know, I've been working with Steve on quite a bit of stuff. And so it's been moving along quite nicely. I think that, y'know, it's obviously much more difficult because none of us are in the same room for any great length of time, due to the restrictions, but, um, certainly we exchanged a lot of stuff originally via, y'know, via the Internet, and sending files to each other, and working out, y'know, how we would put it together. [...] Steve has been very instrumental, I think, in pulling it all together [...] I think it will surprise people. I think it's going to be a [...] very interesting album. And I think the Yes fans are really going to like it.
Host Kevin Mulryne asked about the use of archival material with Squire's playing. Downes replied, "I think that's a possibility, but I'm not sure that's for definite. [...] We've not closed the doors on anything at this moment in time. [...] We haven't got an official release date for it yet. I mean, it will have to be mixed. I think there's still more ideas coming in, there's still more overdubs to go on some of the stuff, but, y'know, certainly it's getting to a point where it's taking shape as a pretty extensive album". He also said that they hadn't yet made a decision on the album's title, but that they do "have some ideas floating around [...] But you can never predict Yes."

In the Music Radar Sep 2021 interview, Howe talked about guitar choices on the album, saying, "[T]he [Gibson ES-]175 was often my first choice. And if that didn't work, it was a Tele or a Strat or a Steinberger. Or maybe moving to a different instrument altogether was what worked." He continued:
The Quest didn’t happen automatically. It was about developing as a guitarist and musician. I’m always going towards something that I might not know yet, but that I’m capable of doing. Like in the song Leave Well Alone, there’s a lot of piano and Spanish guitar. [He separately also mentioned playing koto on that track.] I’m into guitar flavours [...] tone and texture – the sound and the application. It’s about pulling out the right guitar at the right time and making it a feature. Like in the middle of the song Music to My Ears, I’m using my [Gibson ES-]175 but there’s also a Stratocaster in harmony. Less isn’t always more; sometimes more is more.


[Recording the album i]s a journey. There’s the initial idea, but then it’s a question of how’s it going to sound and who’s going to play what? [...] is the keyboard going to stab on the offbeat? Or is the bass going to drive across the whole thing? All those things aren’t yet known. [...] that’s what’s exciting about new music – there’s an idea, but it’s about finding out what you can do with it.

Sometimes it’s very subtle. For example, if you want to add rhythm guitar to a track: how much distortion you put on it, how hard you’re hitting it, what mic and amp you’re using et cetera – it all plays a part in giving you the sound you want. And that’s what I’m looking for; the right sound at the right time.

He also talked about writing most of his guitar parts on acoustic guitar. In terms of then recording, for effects, he largely used the Boss GS-10 Guitar Effects System and a Line 6 Spider amp.

In a Feb 2021 interview, Downes said, "I think that the way that we've worked is very much similar to the way that I've been working with Chris [Braide, in the Downes Braide Association] in that there have been a lot of ideas exchanged by all the members [...] over the Internet. [...] Files have been sent, ideas have been assembled, and various things have been put together. [...] it's not a done deal yet because there's still work to do, but it's certainly moved along a bit. Until we can actually all get into one room, then it's fairly early days. But having said that, I think from what I can see, it's working towards being a really great Yes album, and I think that the fans will be extremely happy with the way the direction's gone." (Earlier in the interview, he talked about writing with Davison, but without any context of when or for what project.) And in another Feb 2021 interview, he said:
Well, we’re not in the end zone yet, but I think that we’ve done quite a lot of work over the months and certainly towards the end of last year [2020], in developing these ideas that we’ve been exchanging. And it’s just really a case of trying to get everybody into one place. Obviously it’s more difficult now because we’ve got the guys in the States, and Steve and I are over here in the UK. It’s not been the easiest way of working, but I think we’ve adapted to the new normal, rather than us all being in one room, which is the historic way that Yes have worked in the past. I think this is a new way of working. There’s been creative aspects that have come up that may not have happened had we all been in that position. But it’s been great. We’re not on the home straight yet but it’s shaping up very nicely.
In another interview published Feb 2021 but perhaps done earlier than his Jan 2021 Yes Music Podcast interview, Downes was more cautious, saying, "we've exchanged some ideas, not really etched in stone yet, but erm, there's something that we want to do and we want to put an album out in the future, I think it's just a case of when and not if. I think it's really down to the logistics of getting together [...] we've been at the exchange ideas stage for quite some time now, but erm, when it comes to actually physically putting the stuff down, it's a different matter. I mean we have got some stuff recorded, but as I say it's early days yet."

In the Apr 2021 issue of Prog, Downes is interviewed along side collaborator Chris Braide. The article said: "Downes spent much of 2020 working to manifest a new Yes album, which, he says, is coming along well." In a Mar 2021 podcast, Downes said, "We're still toying with another Yes album. That's on the horizon [...] we've been doing quite a bit of idea exchanging and, er, that sort of thing. So I think that's probably going to be the next thing in the pipeline [in terms of projects he is doing]". In an interview conducted Apr 2021 (published May), he said, "I am in the studio right now. We've been working on another YES album. It's coming along very well. We found a few windows where there was no strict lockdown, so we were able to get together at certain points. We hope to get the album out this year [2021], although it's too early to communicate a release date."

When he appeared on SOAL Night Live in Feb 2021 with Arc of Life, Sherwood said, "Did he [White] say stuff about it [the new Yes album]? He's not supposed to [...] It's a weird thing to be in Yes, the levels of security involved." He later added, "I'm sworn to secrecy", but did say, "I'm feeling good about it." Yes Music Podcast interviewed Sherwood in Jan 2021, after Downes. Asked about the album, he replied, laughing, "I've been sworn to secrecy on a higher level!" But said, "It's gonna be good." Pressed further, he said, "I'm hoping that it comes to be sooner than later". As to his possible writing contributions, he replied, "I've written some things." He said in a Feb 2021 interview:
I’ve wanted to talk about it forever, I get asked about it all the time.


Each album is different than the last and the same thing can be said here. [...] It’s going to be a special album for me, no matter what happens [...] because it will be the first studio Yes album that I’m playing bass. I never in a million years thought it would come to this place, but it is, and that is a very high honour.

I can tell you when I played the basslines that I was thinking about Chris a lot and I wanted to make sure that that feeling of Chris was conveyed into the recordings from my perspective, without imitating him and emulating him. It has those feelings [...]

Everybody has brought their A-game. I’m enjoying what I’m hearing a lot. We’ll just have to see how we proceed [...] and when it comes out.

In a Dec 2020 interview, White had said, "Yes are actually in the process of making a new album. So that keeps us all busy [...] but doing it virtually, over the Internet, is slightly different". In an Oct 2020 interview, asked how he had been spending his time, Downes replied, "We've been exchanging a few files… um, on a new Yes album. So that's been pretty exciting. [...] it's been a lot of exchanging ideas online". Towards the end of the interview, Downes discussed some of the limitations with Heaven & Earth, finishing, "I think the next one is going to be much better". An early Nov 2020 interview with Downes and White had more. Downes said, "We've been exchanging a number of ideas for Yes during the lockdown, albeit in the virtual world. It's a new way of working, but also interesting in that we are able to remain in close contact despite the geographical separation of the band members." White added, "With the situation with COVID, it's a slightly different way of everybody recording... and doing the album in that way. It's interesting, to say the least. It's less personal, but at the same time, some of the results are great."

In Aug 2020 comments, Roger Dean said he would be doing the cover for a new Yes studio album, due 2021. In a mid-Oct 2020 interview with Steve Babb and Fred Schendel of Glass Hammer, part of Sean Tonar's SOAL series, Babb described talking to Davison:
Babb: We were going to have him on this, this new [...] project that we're doing, but we talked yesterday: he's tied up. They're in the studio right now, so, with Yes.

Tonar: […] I heard they'd been kicking some ideas around, so...

Babb: They're still kicking. Let's put it that way. I think they're back to the drawing board

In a Jul 2020 interview, Davison described how touring has been cancelled and "in lieu of, Yes are writing a new album. We're not all together obviously [...] but we're exchanging files and composing for a new album in that way." He continued: "The material's really strong, and everyone's generating a lot of camaraderie and enthusiasm." The interviewer asked about how involved Davison is in the writing. He replied:
I'm quite involved. I sort of feel like the pivotal man at this point. We're early on. We're just constructing and compiling demos. [...] what generally happens is another member will send me an instrumental sort of snapshot of an idea with which I'm able to build on, lyrically and create my vocal melodies. [...] I would say we have about half an album's worth of strong material. But, again, it's all in the early demo stages still.
Davison also described the differences in writing this way, saying he preferred going "at my own pace" rather than being in a studio and being "on the clock". He continued: "Normally, we would already be in the studio or, at least, y'know, one-on-one or in subgroups". Asked about the writing process, he replied, "Generally, one person starts something [...] they [...] bring forth the idea and then we all can contribute. And every member in Yes is a composer [...] there seems to be a place within the tapestry of each song for every member to have a voice."

Howe has been more guarded in comments. In a Dec 2020 conversation with Dean, he talked of a song he is writing with Davison, although not what project it is for. He had talked of an announcement being made around autumn 2020, although nothing then happened. In a Jul 2020 interview, asked about the impact of the pandemic, Howe said:
the opportunity to go into the studio – Yes will make an announcement in a few weeks about what we’re tentatively, well not so tentatively: tentative at the moment – but yeah, sharing some songs, looking at material...because, for a good album, there’s no way you can do that quick. Unless you’re on a magic hiatus, like Yes were when we made The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge and Topographic Oceans! [...]

But things are much different now, people live in different countries, and there are not so many opportunities, so one has to sort of plan. But certainly, even in my own writing and recording work, this is gonna be a golden opportunity for that, and I daresay a lot of musicians will turn to their recording system and think, ‘well: I could do some more!’

In an Aug 2020 interview on Progzilla, Howe said, "We're working on things" and again talked about an announcement in a few weeks. He said they are "sharing some songs" and building up a body of material, but talked of wanting to "tak[e] some time". The Jul 2020 issue (#222) of Eclipsed magazine also had an interview with Howe. Asked whether the pandemic lockdown could lead to a new Yes album being completed, Howe answered that yes, this could be a lucky consequence of what has happened, and there will be an announcement soon. In his Jul 2020 interview with Yes Music Podcast, Howe was more cautious and tight-lipped, saying, "Any talk about new record, I've got to say less about it, and all I can say is that, y'know, in a few months, we might see an announcement coming up of us, y'know, mentioning what might be going on in that period. But, at the moment, I'm not saying anything at all." Issue #111 of Prog (Jul 2020) had an interview with Howe, which described him as "coy and noncommittal" on the possibility of a new album.

In the issue of German magazine Eclipsed out in Apr 2020, Howe said that the band are collecting material for a new album, but that they want to take their time with it. Asked about who will produce, Howe said that they had decided on a producer. In the May 2020 issue of Spain's Popular 1, White was asked about new material. His reply was given as:
Estamos empezando con ello, hay alguna música ya escrita, poca cosa… Es posible que empecemos a grabar después de Verano, pero hasta 2021 no habrá nuevo disco. No puedo concreter nada más, lo siento.
A rough translation would be: "We are starting with it, there is some music already written, a little... It is possible that we will start recording after the summer, but there will be no new album until 2021. I cannot be more specific, sorry."

A Feb 2020 interview by Jon Kirkman had this exchange after Howe was asked if the band will do a new album:
Howe: I'm not in a position to say yes, certainly in any way at all. I guess what we've been doing is [...] making a concerted effort to arouse material and do a little bit of collaboration. But basically we're still building a sort of pot, I suppose, of things. And until that's kind of there and we've got that sort of worked out, then we'll start talking about that we're actually doing it.


Howe: But until that point, we're not doing it. But as I say, we're making concerted efforts to see what it would be and how it could be. So, it's mildly being processed.

Kirkman: Watch this space! (Laughs)

Howe: Watch this space! (Laughs)

In May 2020, Kirkman said on Facebook that a new album is "In the works" and that work has progressed since Aug 2019. In a Jul 2020 interview, Sherwood gave no indication of current activity, but said that Howe was "excited" about the idea of a new album. He said, "I believe there's another Yes album coming at some point." He also talked about wanting to have a "wide berth of respect" after Squire's death before doing a new album, but that now there's been more time, "It's OK to start thinking about it".

In a Jan 2020 interview with Yes Music Podcast (so before the pandemic), White was asked about doing a new album. He replied: "Er, well, there's a possibility in that. I mean... we're all individually working on material at our home, home studios and coming up with different pieces that would form a Yes song and, and kind of that nature, so it's just getting the time to do it. Erm, we're kind of recording hopefully maybe this summer, somewhere. Probably in England somewhere. In and around the touring we have [...] for the rest of the year. [...] We are going to try and fit some recording into this year [2020]." In a Mar 2020 interview, he said, "We've got some ideas for songs. Hopefully we'll start working on them this summer with plans to start recording by November."

In an interview conducted Dec 2019, Howe was asked about the possibility of new material, replying:
as we did before Fly from Here, and not so much before Heaven & Earth [...] I have a habit of holding Yes back and saying, 'Let's just get this right.' [...] we need a bit more of this kind of thing. So... There's a process going on that, that could, could result in what you said [new material], but [...] I rarely or don't talk about it much until, y'know, it's sort of on the table and the process is coming to a head [...] if things go well, there well could be [a new album], but I think it will have to go through a few more testing times.
The Nov 2019 issue of Prog magazine reported that the band have "started working on new material", and quoted Howe as saying, "We're keeping our mouths shut at the moment, but there's a lot of creativity and it's all lining up." In a Nov 2019 interview, Downes said, "when we get going in the New Year [2020], once we've completed the early European dates, then I think we'll start on something, we've been swapping ideas already." (It's not quite clear what Downes means here: the band had announced Cruise to the Edge 27 Mar-1 Apr 2020 and a European leg 24 Apr-7 Jun. So did that imply recording after 7 Jun?) In a later Nov 2019 interview, Downes said, "Certainly [...] there will be a Yes album at some point over the next year or so."

Earlier album discussion
Band members have talked in vaguer terms about moving towards a new album since at least early 2018. Reports suggest they have been working on ideas for several months and that there was once a plan to release a new album summer 2020 on Rhino, with recording sessions expected from autumn 2019, possibly through to early 2020. One rumour had Sherwood set to produce. In an Aug 2019 interview, asked if there would be a new studio album, Howe said:
There’s a good chance there will be. We haven’t got all the pieces quite together yet but we’re working towards a direction where we could start to think that we’ve got it. And I think it’s about how much you believe in your own music and how much we believe in the collaboration we have. So, if we’ve got the right vehicles – which we’ve got a wealth of  – I think we’ve got to whittle it to the point where we start to think we’ve got it. So, we’re not thinking that we’ve got it but it’s an option!
At the end of the band's summer tour, in a Jul 2019 Billboard article, asked about doing a new album, Howe said: "we'll see -- that is the most honest and best answer I can give[.] We certainly still write music. I have a new solo album [...] so I'm obviously writing. But to get the right team writing together [for Yes] is something we hope for. So let's put it this way -- I hope so." In a Jul 2019 interview, Downes said, "There's a fairly large window [between touring] this time[.] That's when we'll start talking about going into the studio and doing some new stuff." Indication that activity may be gathering pace came late Aug 2019: Downes tweeted a picture on 30 Aug of himself and White, saying, "Hard at work in the studio yesterday with my [...] Yes bandmate, Alan White." Downes' wife, Martine, posted the same picture of them to Facebook (since deleted), saying:
Wonder what these boys are up to


In an Apr 2019 review of a John Lodge show in the UK, the reviewer mentioned meeting Davison, "who revealed that Yes are currently writing new songs for a forthcoming album". In response to this report, music writer Jon Kirkman said the band had "been doing that since the end of last year [2018]". In a Jun 2019 interview, done just as the summer Yes tour was starting, White was asked, "Are you guys in the studio right now for a new album?" To which he replied, "No, that's going to be coming down the line."

In a Feb 2019 interview on the Cruise to the Edge, White said the band are "looking to record an album in the near future, probably early next year [2020], the way it's looking. And, erm, we've all got pieces of music we're putting together". And when he was asked in a Mar 2019 interview, White said, "Pretty much everybody in the band has put thoughts out about new material. I think we're thinking about it. We couldn't possibly get there this year [2019], but possibly early next year [2020] we could venture in and make a new album." In Apr 2019, he also said to a fan that there would be a new album in early 2020. Asked on Twitter in early Dec 2018 about the possibility of a new album, Downes said, "Certainly not out of the reckoning. Worth keeping tabs on the forthcoming year [2019]". In a Feb 2019 interview, Sherwood said, "We've been discussing a new album over the last, y'know, year or so. Um, y'know, the fans want a new album right now, but, y'know, losing Chris and everything: there had to be some time between the idea of just 'Hey! We're going back into the studio.' Y'know, it just wasn't feeling right to anybody. But I think that now we've done so many tours and the band's settled, and we've got this sort of format of play that's working, that the conversations are coming up more and more. So we shall see what happens. There's no timeline to it, but the dialogue's begun. [...] Yes is slow! That's not a mystery to anybody. It takes time."
In a Jun 2018 interview, asked whether Yes "still has new things to say music-wise", Howe replied:
I’m very good at not making promises that are premature. Basically, in a low-key way, we’ve been getting ready to investigate each other’s music. And if that is very productive, then we could have something pretty good. But we have to feel that way about it. We’ve got interest from labels and things like that, but we’re not taking anything on[ ]board until we’ve got the kind of thing we like. [...] there is sort of hope that we will find good ways of developing new songs, it’s [a] fairly early process. It wouldn’t take much time once we got the space.
In another Jun 2018 interview, asked about the possibility of a new album, Howe replied:
We are starting to share things and have some plans, but nothing official. There is a lot of interest, but nothing until we internally have that feeling that we are growing the music together. We may put some time aside over the next 6 months to do a little more of that [...] It has to be right, it has to feel right. We have to assemble an outer shell that helps us make the record. It could be exciting, but there are no actual plans or a date or anything like that.
And in a third:
The trouble is, when you’ve got so many albums out that people love, it’s hard making more that they’re gonna love as much. [...] That’s a pretty hard act to follow. Sometimes I felt we shouldn't bother. If we can’t make an album as good as those [it's ambiguous here whether "those" refers to The Yes Album-Tales from Topographic Oceans, or through to Drama], don’t bother. But the other part of me says I make solo albums. I do collaborations. And basically Yes can still make records. We’re not making any promises, but we’re going to look at some stuff after this tour and see how we feel about the music. But you’ve got to be realistic about expectations. [...] The world doesn't move around what Yes’s next album is. It might move around what Coldplay’s next album is or some other band. So I understand that and I think we make albums for our fans. And that’s a pretty good thing.
And a fourth had this:
Howe predicts [...] some new Yes music [...] “Later in the year [2018] there may be an opportunity [...] where we can be creative. But we haven’t rushed out and accepted a huge advance from a record label because we don’t want to do it like that. We want to have our music lined up a little bit[,] then we’ll look to how we’ll release it and how we’ll do it if we get that far. But there’s no promises, and we haven’t made a commitment to our public or any business concerns that we need to make a record. We love the support we may get, but basically until there’s music to play there’s nothing more to talk about. Individually we’re gathering momentum but that’s about as much as I can say.”
In an early Jun 2018 interview, White was asked the same, leading to this exchange:
White: Everybody's got material. We are trying to figure out a plan – probably won't be until possibly next year [2019].

Interviewer: How do you approach composing?

White: I create on the piano. I have a little stockpile of ideas. I come up with ideas and beats and chord sequences. I'm not much for writing lyrics and melodies. I like writing chords and structure.

Later in Jun 2018, White said, "I think next year [2019] [...] everybody's got a lot of music ready to record, so next year [2019], we'll put our heads together, come up with something, something new." In a Jul 2018 interview, he again talked of 2019 at the earliest. In a May 2018 interview, asked about new music, Downes said, "Yes, I think it's very important for a band to continue to have a creative output of new material. [...] We're talking about going in the studio in the fall [2018]. There are a lot of ideas floating about and hopefully we'll be able to put those to good use and come up with a new album for next year [2019]."

Asked how he is preparing for a new album in this Aug 2018 interview, Davison described how, "I'm always picking up a guitar. In fact, when I'm on tour, a good way for me to wind down at the end of the night is to sit up in bed and play my little travel guitar. This process serves as a bridge from being all wound up from performing to a more meditative, sleepy state. As a result, I'm quite creative on the road. [...] I'm always gathering ideas; spontaneous snippets that I make quick recordings of. I never want to develop something too much on my own. I'd rather leave a lot of open room for band collaboration." Later in the same interview, he said, "I'm looking forward to working with the guys again in the studio having learned so much from the first time around. [...] [Sherwood] [i]s such a creative force and wonderful to collaborate with."

The band discussed doing a new album in the #YES50 tour programme. Howe talked about how the band could go about making a new album: "Some people have said over the years, 'Oh, we can't go back and do it like we used to do. We can't sit and rehearse in a room for three weeks. We've got ProTools.' I dare say, that's the only way you can write another 'Close to the Edge.' [...] We have to just play it together!" He discussed some of their '70s recordings, and described how, "The demo of 'Gates [of Delirium]' is just a sketch of the song. [...] we took [...] it, and made it at least 100% better. Because what we had wasn't good enough [...] So we had to make it better by craft. By working on it together." He then continued, "That's why, for our next album, we're going to do that for a few weeks in a residential studio. [...] if we are in a room, and we're living upstairs, we can mess with stuff. That's what we're going to try." Downes made similar comments, saying, "[I]f we do go back and make another album, I think we want to make sure that we've got all the arrangements really good and everything in place. [...] I don't think there's any substitute for being in a recording studio and bashing out the arrangements." He also said, "I think we've all got different ideas. It's just a case of collating those ideas. [...] There are some things that we've never had a chance to look at [from the Heaven & Earth period] [...] I wrote a track with Jon Davison that we never got around to recording that's about ten minutes long. It's certainly something we want to look at". Downes also said he would like to see Yes work again with Trevor Horn. Sherwood said, "I think eventually the band has to make a new record. [...] I think that part of it is the band just allowing for some more healing time since Chris' passing", while Davison noted, "I [...] feel a positive momentum is building. This, I'm confident will inevitably lead to a collective creative outpouring. [...] It's all about getting everybody on the same page, at the same time."

On the Cruise to the Edge in early Feb 2018 and in an interview for the Feb 2018 issue of Eclipsed, Howe was tight-lipped about plans for a new album, but said the band are working on material. Davison suggested the band would be assembling material towards the end of 2018. At the Fan Convention in Mar 2018, asked whether we can expect new music, Howe replied, "I never like to say, 'Yeah, for certain. Y'know, it's going to be out in three weeks,' y'know, because it's not. But people do like to build up, y'know, before you've got it, and I was thinking we want to get a base, an area that we know we've got some songs, before we start talking more about it, but it's... very likely that we'll get something, um, you know, developed, kinda cultivated, and, er, possibly released! So, it could happen. Should happen."

Downes said in a Dec 2017 interview that "when we've finished this 50th anniversary celebration", i.e. touring up to Jul 2018, "we'll probably head in the studio and start working on another album." In an early Mar 2018 interview, Downes said:
We hope to start working on new songs later in [2018]. I think that we`ll approach it in a slightly different way this time as I think we didn`t really have the strength of material for an album at that point [Heaven & Earth] and I`m not blaming anyone for that.  If we do another album we`ll be conscious that we have great material that`ll be another point in the history of Yes.


We`ll be spending a lot of time out on the road but we will be fitting in some writing at some point too.  We`ll be in The States in June and July so after that we`ll work on some new Yes material

In another interview from the same period, he said, "We're hoping to do some new YES material. We've been a bit preoccupied with the 50th anniversary, but there's time for a new YES album pretty soon. It's important that we present new music." While in a Feb 2018 interview, he said, "We're hoping to do some new Yes material[.] We've been a bit preoccupied with the 50th anniversary, but there's time for a new Yes album pretty soon. It's important we present new music." In an Oct 2017 interview, Howe also hinted at a new album: "As to new music coming from the band? well, you never can tell..." And in a Dec 2017 interview, Howe said, "We've got an interim period where we're going to be fairly secretive about what we're up to[.] Maybe we're building up repertoire for a future project, but we can't say. We've got ideas, but I can't say more than this right now." In a late Dec 2017 interview of his own, Sherwood said of the band's 2018 touring, "hopefully along the way, there will be a spark and we'll start looking at making a new album, which I would never be opposed to." Asked about new material in a mid-Mar 2018 interview, Sherwood said, "I would be happy to do a new album. I think enough time has passed now that it's not disrespectful to Chris [Squire] and I know that Chris would have wished us to continue. We could make a new album now, and it would be a positive thing."

A couple of reports from the band's summer 2018 tour had Davison saying that he and Sherwood had been writing together extensively, although that may have been about writing for Arc of Life rather than Yes. In a Feb 2021 interview about Arc of Life, Davison said: "From the moment YES started touring again with Billy in 2015, he and I were already enthusiastically talking amongst ourselves about creating new music. We continued with our plan as Billy prepared musical outlines for about 5 or 6 of the songs. We began tracking vocals in the Spring of 2017, in Topanga Canyon. [...] YES then hit the road that Summer and Billy had more music for which we used every little bit of free time backstage to track vocals. At that point the members of YES weren't ready to consider a new album, so we decided to form our own band." One report had an album planned to be out by mid-2019. Rumour from the 2018 Cruise suggested that Yes were planning to use recordings of two songs with Chris Squire (both on bass and vocals), both of which were started on before Heaven and Earth was released. One of these is "Horizons", a long piece (although exactly how long varies from report to report). This is the Downes/Davison piece not finished in time for Heaven & Earth; it may have a central role and it seems Horizons may also have been a working title for the album project. Rumours from the summer 2019 tour point to this song being on the new album. The other piece mentioned in 2018 is "Breaking Down on Easy Street", which dates back to 2012 and appears to be a Squire/Davison or Squire/Davison/White composition. An Aug 2017 backstage report from North Carolina had that Howe and Davison have been writing together extensively (with Davison very positive about the results), plus that Downes also has some material under consideration, so the band were then said to be looking at an album with "Horizons", some Howe/Davison tracks and a few Downes tracks.

There was a 2016 rumour that the new line-up were considering some unused recordings with Squire from a number of time periods. Jon Kirkman in a Dec 2016 edition of the Yes Music Podcast said that Yes "are considering an album", and that "there are two songs that Chris Squire is on [...] I'm not sure, entirely, what kind of a finished state they are in. If they are in a finished state and they can be worked on, then maybe they might see the light of day. I'm not sure [...] I don't know", with one of these being "Horizons". The first mention of "Horizons" was in a late Mar 2014 interview with Davison, when he was talking about Heaven & Earth:
when we came together [...] we would sort of try to, er, combine the ideas, expand the ideas [...] especially Geoff and I, we had a big prog piece, but unfortunately we didn't have time to finish it, so that'll probably be on the next album, and we've got a bunch of extra material too that just didn't make it because of, we had sufficient time for this album and things were just left undone [...] due to lack of time.
In the Jul 2014 issue of Prog, Howe, Squire and White all confessed to no knowledge of the piece, but Downes said: "We started it initially in a studio in Phoenix with Chris and Alan — we spent time jamming it and I compiled various section. [...] when Jon came to Wales [...] we worked on it some more [and on "Subway Walls"] [...] we just didn't have time to put it together for the record. It doesn't have a title [...] It comprises about seven or eight different styles of music and is extremely progressive. It has the potential to be a Close to the Edge-style track in terms of landscape and duration, or a Fly from Here. I've got the original demo and I hope to develop it at some point." In a Jun 2018 interview, without mentioning whether it would be on a new album, Downes described the track:
Jon [Davison] came over to my studio in Wales before we started going in the recording [of Heaven & Earth]. And we actually wrote two lengthy tracks, one of which was “Subway Walls” and the other one is still, as it stands unrecorded, but we did a substantial demo of it. And they are both, you know, 10 minute kind of tracks. And I think it was a great way that we worked together on that, because we literally had some different ideas and they just came together, and we put the whole thing together like that.
In a Jun 2014 interview with Jon Kirkman, Squire said, "I think some of that [...] longer track [...] is actually used in "Subway Walls" [...] On the other hand, [...] Geoff and Alan both came to Phoenix [...] in November [...] and we went in the studio there and did some instrumental stuff [...] that we thought would be part of a bigger piece, but that didn't actually get used on the album just because we drew a line [...] I'm sure they'll re-surface in the future." In a May 2014 interview with Aymeric Leroy, Downes also described the piece and speculated it could be on the next album. Davison said to a fan after the band's 9 Jul 2014 show that the band "are working" on the piece and that they hope to make it the "centrepiece" of a follow-up album. While most consistently referred to as "Horizons", a rumour early in 2015 had it with a working title of "Pyramids" (with the album to be named the same) and to be ~18 minutes long. Prior rumour had suggested that further material left off Heaven & Earth was receiving some attention from the band for a next album, with several pieces indicated. As well as "Horizons" and "Breaking Down on Easy Street", also mentioned were: "To the Moment" (by O Wakeman, left over from Fly from Here, subsequently released on From a Page); "Midnight" (possibly originally from Squire/White); and "Don't Take No for an Answer" (which ended up on Return Trip). There was also reported to be a Howe/Davison piece and a Squire/Downes/Davison piece. Downes described one piece as having a "Tempus Fugit" feel, although which he meant is unclear. They had already begun work towards a next album before Squire died. Squire, Davison and possibly White met in Squire's studio in Mar 2015 to go through ideas. There is no indication that "Horizons" or any of these other pieces have been used on The Quest. Howe's quote in the press release has all the music as having been written in 2019/2020, which would rule out any of these tracks.
The band had been reported to be keen to work more with Trevor Horn. Horn met with the band in Apr 2016 (as per this tweet by Downes) and one report from around then has that they discussed the possibility of Horn producing the next Yes album. This report, which cannot be confirmed, had that the band were then considering 4 pieces (both old and new), including "Go Through This". Horn and the band have since worked on "Go Through This": see here. However, in comments on Facebook after his interview with Horn in May 2016, Kirkman said, "No more production for Yes [...] certainly not on the horizon for sure". Asked about the possibility of producing another Yes album in a Jan 2019 Facebook Q&A, Horn pulled a face, saying, "Oooh, ouch... I don't know if I could do that. It would be difficult. I mean... I love working with Steve and Geoff and, er, I guess... I guess it would entirely depend on if they had something that caught my fancy".

Talking to Yes Music Podcast (#306), Downes talked about how, "if we were to do another Yes album", they would do it together in a studio (contrasting with his album Skyscraper Souls with Chris Braide). An article in the Jul 2017 issue of Prog has several comments from band members about the possibility of a new album. White described the band as being the type who "always [...] push forward with new material [...] Everyone in the band has a certain amount of material they want to get off their heads[.] Maybe [...] after the [2018] cruise." But he also noted that making a new album is "a lot of work for us. We're not spring chickens." Davison said, "I need to be creative and in the studio [...] and [...] [then] I start missing being out performing, and vice versa[.] You need the balance." Downes, however, noted that, "To be brutally honest, there isn't the clamour to hear, say, the next Yes or Genesis album. Much as I think it's important for a band to [...] make new music [...] the people that come and see you, they will remember the great tunes [...] [that] formed the backdrop of their lives." Howe was quoted most extensively. He described Fly from Here as "pretty good", but Heaven & Earth as "not so clever". Of Open Your Eyes through to Magnification, he said that "so many musicians in the band were so sad and disappointed that they didn't sell, and I wasn't. I wasn't surprised [...] the old days, you don't go back there — you remodel yourself for future work." He is also quoted saying how "Yes and Asia [...] have multiples of albums that are enjoyed [...] it's very rewarding to work those records [live] that are accepted pretty highly in the lists of great and big-selling records. [...] I need new music, and I keep writing[.] But with [...] Yes, the new albums will never be as well-received, even if we could make records like we used to, like Close to the Edge, which is almost impossible. And that's okay."

In a separate Jul 2017 interview, Howe said, "We're working on it [new music] cautiously and casually[.] We wouldn't rush into anything because we know that is a huge mistake [...] We have plans. We're obviously building material and getting that material refined and then selecting [...] We haven't fully concentrated on that, but after this summer [2017] tour, maybe one of our goals is to move into that in a creative way with the right producer and the right environment. It's a bit of a jigsaw to piece together, but I would say it's on the horizon." In an Aug 2017 interview, White said, "We have 21 studio albums[.] We always have an overload of music in everybody's mind, and we always want to come out with an album we've worked on. It's also something we all work on constantly, and every year and a half or whatever we pull it together and make a new album. That's still running within the band." In another that month (probably conducted in Jul), he said, "we're working on new material individually and we'll put it all together eventually, but we're not too worried about that yet because next year [2018] is the 50th anniversary and we'll be touring quite a lot."

White in a Feb 2017 interview said: "I think we'll see this year's touring cycle out and then we'll regroup later on this year [2017] and put our heads together. We have a lot of ideas for another album, we just have to pull them all together. The band still keeps on churning out songs and it's still really fun to be a part of it. I think it'll continue." In an interview from Feb 2017, White spoke of, "possibly doing another album in the studio after" a 2017 summer tour and possible South American dates. In an interview published Jun 2017, but seemingly conducted around Mar, he said: "Maybe after this cycle of touring we can reconvene in the studio. We're doing a summer tour, and we may be going to South America at the end of the year [which didn't then happen]. After that, maybe we'll put pen to paper and see what we come up with." White was also asked about the process of creating new music. He explained:
Everybody has ideas and develops songs. Once you get the basic idea for a song, it tends to take hold and then everybody contributes different pieces of music and certain lyrics and things like that. Things are tossed around quite a bit while we’re creating it. It’s something that just sort of falls together because of the people in the band.


Usually the demos are a one person kind of thing. But when you throw it out there, everybody’s creative juices get involved.

But Howe in comments on the Cruise to the Edge 2017 was more reticent and seemed to suggest there were no immediate plans. Asked about the possibility of a new album on Twitter, Downes said 3 Mar, "Next year [2018] would be good, 50th Anniversary and all that. Let's see..." It appears White's back problems may have introduced some delay. In a late Mar 2017 Q&A, White said:
I have many ideas for music. A lot of the stuff I write is in collaboration with other artists including the members of YES. [...] I have things in my mind and demos I’ve recorded. I have a couple of songs that I did with Chris that we’re never released that I was thinking about reviving. It’s an excellent piece of music. Chris came up with certain chords and I wrote the melody. So, I’ve got some interesting stuff like that around. [...] in the back of my mind I have some music hanging around that I want to eventually record. I’m also getting new musical ideas all the time.
Asked specifically about when Yes will do another album, he answered:
We all have it in our minds to record another album but it’s a question of trying to find time to get back into studio together. Geoff Downes is on tour with Asia for a few weeks this summer and YES will also be on the road in August & September playing about 30 shows. It’s quite possible we’ll be touring later in the year [2017] as well, so trying to please everyone, it will realistically be 2018 before we can block out enough time to do this. We all continue to write even when we’re doing other things like touring.
In his late Mar 2017 Q&A, Howe was also asked about doing a new album:
This is asked quite often. We like the fact that people anticipate and enjoy new music. Much of our focus admittedly is on the great pieces from the 70s and around that era. So we take it slow.

I tried to slow down ‘Heaven & Earth’, because I thought maybe we could refine it. But we’ve gotta get some material that we think is really worthy of doing this, first of all, and that’s gonna take a bit more writing and a bit more collaboration.

And there’s every chance that Jon Davison and I will do some more writing like we did on ‘Heaven & Earth’. YES albums are all about collaboration. Not only in the writing, but also in the arrangements because the skill of the great records in the 70s was definitely that we arranged the hell out of something that was really quite innocent. We’d drum it up to be something. And I think that allowed the musicianship and the ideas to flow.

An Aug 2016 report had that Howe, Sherwood and Davison have been writing together, with Feb 2017 as a possible time for joint writing sessions. A Sep 2016 report from a different source also had principally Howe, Sherwood and Davison writing together, with Downes also contributing, and said that material was coming together. Asked in a Nov 2016 interview about whether there will be a new album, White said: "Everybody's got music in their minds. [...] we do stuff at home [...] you've got to get that stuff out of your brain and get it recorded. [...] Everybody's very enterprising in that area." He went on to say that it is important for the band to keep doing new material. Asked whether he and Sherwood had "gotten in a room and tried to create new music" in a Jul 2016 interview, Howe replied:
Well, kind of.  Officially, we’re kind of moving slowly looking at new material. I’m one of the guys who’s most reluctant to start any kind of rush forward because I’ve been writing and Jon [Davison] has been writing. I’d be very surprised if Billy hasn’t been writing. There’s obviously going to be a pause to look at, at some point, but I think we’ve got our work cut out for ourselves pretty much all year. Maybe it’s a thing we’ll do after our cruise next year in February [2017]. We may, but that’s only just a “may” because we still need to be sure about what we’re doing now.

[...] You don’t book a record until you know what you’re going to play. With everybody’s demoing the possibilities are endless, but that’s actually part of the problem too, because we’re all very smart-assed people, you know. It is like, “Here’s a track, it’s me, it sounds like a band but it’s me.”

We do that, but actually true Yes records are written with fragments. Keys to Ascension was a good example of that. We didn’t come in and play anybody’s song. We actually kind of did the rehearsal thing and wrote together and that’s very trying and we’re all long in the tooth about that, but that’s one of the best ways to generate what we can call Yes. They are more of a collaborative record, but they take a long time and maybe that’s why we ought to take a long time.

In an Aug 2016 interview, Davison talked of writing new material while touring: "I identify and get inspired by being a musician on the road. [...] I find that I get a newfound zeal when we're on tour [...] I'm always jotting down lyrics on tour." He then continued:
we’ve just gotten to know each other better and the dynamic is more diverse. What I learned from doing Heaven and Earth is that we need to allow ourselves more time as a band. We kind of rushed into the studio to do Heaven and Earth because we were so busy touring [...] so people brought in their own ideas and said “Hey, here’s my idea, let’s work this up as a band and take your idea and work it up.” I’d rather take time to write our material as a group. I think that’s what Yes did in its best moments and that’s what I’d like to carry on doing, if possible.
An Aug 2016 interview with Downes had this exchange:
Interviewer: There was a talk of an unfinished longer song with Jon Davison. [see above]

Downes: Yes that’s still there, it’s not completely on the back burner.

Interviewer: So is new YES music maybe in the plans for next year [2017]?

Downes: I hope so yes, I think it’s always good to do new music, it enables the touring to have a different angle, I mean we’ve been doing The Album Series for a while now but when you have a new album out it’s always nice to throw in a couple of the songs. [...] it not only keeps the fans interested I think, but it shows that we’re not just prepared to sit back and play the part, we always think about the future.

In another Aug 2016 interview, Downes said creating new material is "important for any band's longevity". He also described songwriting in Yes as "very much more cooperative, more of a group effort" than his songwriting with Wetton in Asia. While another Aug 2016 interview, this time with Howe, described the band as "not yet planning new material", waiting for White to record and, as Howe said, to make sure "we've got the right kind of music and mindset to do something". In a Jun 2016 interview, Howe was asked about doing a new album: "we have tremendous interest from labels and people [...] we're certainly not saying we'll never do it, but [...] there are a few criteria that Yes should hit. There's no obligation that we do make another record, but there's no reason why we shouldn't. [...] if we're going to, we've got to decide what kind of record it is, because, obviously, something like Close to the Edge is really worth making, y'know, Close to the Edge 2, but it wouldn't be if it was a pastiche of Close to the Edge, but if it was something as inventive as that. It takes a very inventive band, takes a lot of skilled engineering and production and, and we most probably have some of those [...] strengths available, but [...] it's about getting there, um, and it's about making the decision when we do this [...] [F]irst and foremost it's about having some exceptional songs and [...] that is the make-or-break-it [...] [W]e've got to hit some pretty big bars to get another record, but certainly we love the interest, but we're certainly not going to rush anything. So, therefore, if you wait, you'll find out the answer. [chuckles]" The interviewer then asked whether it "becomes impossible" to make a better album than your previous works after a long and successful career. Howe replied by saying he felt he was still developing as a "guitarist individually", and then said: "[W]hat it would take is that internal creativity again [...] I don't think you're ever too old to do this, but how you get picky enough, and how you get clever enough to realise... honest enough, most probably, to, to really collaborate, that's a skill... that might be something that you're more prepared to do when your 20 or 30 and less prepared to do when you're 60 or 70. [smiling] So, I can't deny those things play in. But I don't think they're actually an obstacle. They could be an ingredient that you've got to work round".

Previously, Howe said, when asked the same in a Feb 2016 podcast interview:
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 before
A 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.


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.

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.

Downes talked about the importance of new material in two 2016 interviews: in Mar, saying that new music is "something that will come off"; and in Apr, "The beauty of a band like Yes is that it constantly keeps visiting new material and I think that's important". Asked about making a new album in an Apr 2016 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.
In an Aug 2015 interview, Howe was asked about plans for a new album. He replied:
I really can't comment on that. We're not wholly sure. [...] we're not interested in doing it very soon. The last record was quite difficult and we have to learn from that. It could be years in the pipeline. It certainly would be a huge mistake to make some quick record and put it out [...] because we've got something really tricky to live up to, it's called things like "Close To The Edge" [...] I would say [...] we better not do the wrong thing. Therefore, to do nothing is a lot safer ground, to move along slowly, until we know a bit more.
In another Aug 2015 interview, Sherwood revealed that, around May 2015, before learning of Squire's ill health, he met Squire, who asked him, in the words of the article, "to take an active role in a planned Yes studio album". Sherwood said: "These were the things we were speaking about - making a great new album and trying to revive Yes on a level that would mean something to the world in a big, big way." It appears Sherwood was to have produced. Another Aug 2015 interview with Sherwood has more on those plans and the future:
That’s the beauty of Yes, [i]t doesn’t relent [...] A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me and I kept telling him, ‘Yeah, I understand that but we[']re going forward with you in it. I’ll produce it. But you’re going to be the guy playing on it.[’] He kept telling me, ‘No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that’s something you want to do.’ And I have to keep making music. It’s just what I do. [...] I’m a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music.
In this interview from around Dec 2015, the interviewer says, "I have to assume there's another Yes album in the works." Sherwood replied:
I do too; and with that we’ll just see where this goes. But I don’t think Yes is done producing new music. I am known for being one who pushes forward with new music and the band wants to, I’m sure, move forward too. It’s just a matter of the timing and when. [...] with Chris’ passing it’s very fresh for everybody so it’s not necessarily a topic going on right now. But the evolution of Yes is always about new music. It’s not just about touring. [...] I would love to make a statement with this band that shows vitality and forward thrust.
Asked in a Mar 2016 interview, Sherwood said:
I'm about making new music, that's what I do. I make a lot of it and so making new music with Yes is something that I'd love to do. That said, Yes runs at its own pace [...] I haven't re-joined the band to become a dictator and set everybody's schedule the way I would like it to be [...] I just go with the flow until we're ready to make new music and at that point, turn the faucet on and let the water flow, so to speak.
One of the interviewers then raises Howe's comments saying there are no plans, but speculates that Howe could readily change his mind "when the moment's right". Sherwood responded:
Well, I mean, er, I think that everyone is capable of changing their mind about things depending on the situation, and I know that, y'know, with Chris's passing, it's definitely too soon to be rushing into the studio to make another album. But I think for the band's long-term health and prosperity, the path that we're on right now, just playing live and showing people that it's still alive and well and that this is what Chris wanted, the band wanted, I think doing that and getting around the world and showing people, for the lack of a better phrase, proof of life, will tee up the inevitable next record and it will all come naturally when it comes. But I don't have a problem with people changing their minds about things. [...] Anything's possible [...] had you asked me, do you believe you'll be the bass player in Yes in 2016 next to Steve Howe, y'know, I probably would've said no, because it's no mystery that, y'know, Steve and I have worked closely together and have been [at] odds at times, y'know, I think we've produced some great music through all that and I think that's what Steve really respects the most. He's a man who says what he thinks and I appreciate that because at least you know what you're dealing with, y'know. He's capable of changing his mind, but when he does, that's when things will start changing direction. Again, I think it will all happen naturally.
Previously asked about recording plans in a Jan 2015 interview from NAMM 2015, White replied, "we've all got music [...] revolving around all the time. We've just got off the last album right now and [...] so, no, we're just laying back, smelling the roses a bit and then we'll be back at it." In a Nov 2014 YesFANZ interview, asked what he will be doing in the band's downtime until summer 2015, Davison said: "a lot of creative ideas that I want to get down on record – just to record some demos and things and it's a good window of time to get back into the studio and my wife and I have a campervan [...] we can head for the hills, we can go into the forests and I can write there." (However, he did not specify what this writing would be for.) Later in the interview, he specifically talks about Yes's future:
[Heaven & Earth] was done in such a pushed and rushed sort of fashion that we didn’t get to collaborate as much as a collective, there was definitely a one-on-one [...] which was very productive and that was a wonderful experience [...] but what we would like to focus on for the next one is collectively coming together, actually being in one room at the same time and creating the music as a unit. [...] Basically just jamming it out and recording it and piecing it together that way, that would just be great.  I think that would give it a whole new roundness and really expand [...] what we could do. [...] I want to have more time to explore as they did in the earlier years and really stretch things and see how far out on a limb we can go and of course you need funding to do that (laughs) …….. so we will see if we can actually make that happen in the practical sense as well.
Asked about whether there is a possibility Billy Sherwood would produce a new album, Davison replied, "I would say so. Yeah. Definitely." He also said he would like to work with Horn at some point.

In the Jul 2014 MusicRadar interview, Howe was asked whether "your motivation for making albums [is] the same as [...] in the '70s?" He replied:
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.
Early years archival release
In a Jun 2019 Facebook post, Yes announced that, "Towards the end of 2019, YES will be releasing a Box Set of BBC Sessions and Early Years recordings, primarily focussing on 1969 and 1970. This official release will eclipse anything released before, from this era, featuring a wealth of material that fans won't have heard before." A release has been delayed and it is unclear what plans are now. A cover was designed. Some BBC sessions by Yes were previously released on the 2CD Something's Coming (1997; also released as Beyond & Before, Millenium Collection, and The BBC Recordings 1969-1970), but this was not a complete set and was not all sourced from master tapes. I understand plans for the box set were for a substantial release, possibly including material previously not known to exist. Non-BBC sessions on the release were to include "Beyond and Before" and "Survival" from Belgian TV's Pop-Eye, broadcast 15 Oct 1969. A Jun 2020 rumour had that the release would be 4 CDs.

Other possible releases
Warner (who own the band's Atlantic back catalogue) were planning a 50th anniversary compilation. Early rumours on the 2018 Cruise talked of a compilation including both studio and live material, and, possibly, a second release later in 2018, of a sequel to The Word is Live. There was also the suggestion of new Roger Dean art for the former. What eventually happened was the vinyl-only release of The Steven Wilson Remixes, with new Dean art, so maybe parts of those reports were referring to that.

In an early Mar 2018 interview, Downes then said:
I think something will be coming out on Warners this year [2018] that will be a historical view of Yes.  That`ll be a nice release for Yes fans.  They generally try to get everything that comes out so we`ll make sure it`s something really special.
Trevor Horn also mentioned a Warner release. One report from the London Fan Convention (24/5 Mar 2018) had that the Warner retrospective would not include anything not previously released.

Mid-Apr, Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman then announced "an historical 2 CD/3 LP anthology of YES curated by band founder/singer Jon Anderson", due Aug 2018. Their promo might be taken to imply that the release will be called Quintessential Yes, but I don't think that was clear. In a May 2018 interview, Anderson said that he proposed a collection of live tracks, but that Warner baulked at the licensing costs and decided to do a compilation of previously released material instead:
I did a compilation for them featuring songs recorded all over the world and picked out all of the best versions of all of the great songs and they turned around and said it was going to cost so much money to get licensing that they wouldn`t be doing it.  I wish they`d told me that a few months ago before I`d done all of the work pulling it all together.  They said they were just going to put another best of album but we already have several of those.  I wanted to do something a bit different but the label just didn`t want to do it which was a shame.
So, I think that was implying a release was coming out, but which was not curated by Anderson...?

However, after all that, nothing was released. Vague rumour, or perhaps just conjecture, had that the Warner retrospective was cancelled and replaced by (or morphed into) The Steven Wilson Remixes.

It was in a Mar 2018 radio interview that Horn said, "there's another track that we dug out that Chris [Squire] had played bass on, called "Go Through This" [...] That's Warner Brothers reissue track, I think. It's all very complicated these days." This new version mixes archival material with Squire with new recordings by the current band. The song dates back to the Drama era: it was played live on that tour, as heard on The Word is Live. Two demo recordings of it have been previously release: by Yes on the Rhino expanded Drama, and by Howe on Homebrew 6. However, by Mar 2018, this new recording was already not expected on the Warner release. Asked on Twitter about what might happen to it, Downes tweeted 16 Apr 2018, "Honestly not sure." Rumour in summer 2019 had that it will be on a new Yes album (see next section), but there hasn't been further indication of that. But release at some point somewhere is expected. In his autobiography (written 2019), Howe referred to the song, saying, "as a rediscovered studio recording, [it] may be released in the future."

Royal Affair tour live album
The Royal Affair Tour: Live from Las Vegas (BMG Records) was released 30 Oct 2020. This live album (1 CD with 12-page booklet; 2 LP with booklet; or digital) was recorded on 26 Jul 2019, although "Roundabout" appears to be from the 12 Jul show. It was mixed by Sherwood. Tracks:

LP1, side A:
"No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (4:56)
"Tempus Fugit"
"Going for the One"

Side B:
"I've Seen All Good People"; streaming audio
"Your Move"
    "All Good People"
"Siberian Khatru"

LP2, side A:
"America", including "Southern Solo" [Howe]
"Imagine", with John Lodge on additional vocals; streaming audio

Side B:
"Roundabout", sample
"Starship Trooper"



"Southern Solo" is the part of Yes's performance of "America" by Howe that the rightsholders have agreed can be recognised as in addition to Paul Simon's composition.

"Imagine" (4:53) was released around 2 Oct 2020 as a digital single to some channels, followed by "I've Seen All Good People" (under the title "All Good People"; 7:11). "Imagine" entered United DJs Radio's Heritage Chart for "heritage" artists at #28 on 11 Oct, rising to #21 the next week, then falling to #24 the following week. The album made the UK Rock & Metal Album chart for 1 week, reaching #6 on 6 Nov 2020, although it didn't make the main chart top 100.

On the night, Yes's set was: intro: "Firebird Suite", "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", "Tempus Fugit", "Going for the One", "I've Seen All Good People", "Country Mix" (Howe solo), "Siberian Khatru", "Onward", "America" (all with Schellen up to here), "The Gates of Delirium" (with Schellen on drums and White on additional percussion, but White then returned to the drum kit for "Soon"); encore (with White on drums and Schellen on additional percussion): "Imagine", "Roundabout" (there are conflicting reports whether it was played on this night), "Starship Trooper". The album thus omits Howe's solo ("Country Mix") and "The Gates of Delirium". There's a report that this is because BMG wanted a single disc release. Howe said in the band's Oct 2020 Q&A that "The Gates of Delirium" was not included as they plan to include it on a live album/DVD from 2021's touring.

Roger Dean did the cover. He broadcast his work on the project live on Facebook, beginning 22 Apr 2020 with his working on initial sketches. He continued broadcasts for roughly half an hour several times a week. These were filmed by his daughter Freyja Dean and are archived on his siteThe Gottlieb Bros. appear to have been involved in the packaging design.

Yes 50 Live
Released Aug 2019 was Yes 50 Live (Rhino Records), a live album from the band's 50th anniversary tour, mostly recorded at their two shows on 20-1 Jul 2018 in Philadelphia, where Yes played with Patrick Moraz and Trevor Horn among guests. There was also a limited edition (1200 copies) coloured vinyl 4LP edition from Rhino.

There was an accompanying documentary, "YES 50: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" (Crooked Hand Productions), filmed, produced and directed by Paul Gosling (worked with Steve Hackett, Neal Morse). The 37-minute film was released to YouTube on 7 Jun 2019. (As YesWorld explained, a 28-minute version had a limited release on YouTube, but only until 1 Jan 2019. This was then expanded for the new release.) Gosling followed the band on their UK leg, including the the London Fan Convention. He also interviewed Howe, White, Downes, Sherwood, Davison, Schellen, Horn, Dean and the Gottliebs. Concert footage was shot at the Birmingham, Liverpool and Paris shows. Gosling's full interview with Sherwood has now also been made available separately on YouTube; further full interviews followed.

From a Page
Overseen by Oliver Wakeman, From a Page (Yes Records) was released physically 25 Oct 2019 and was available exclusively through Burning Shed, as either a single LP (YES002LP) or a 3CD set (YES002BX). A limited edition 180g light blue opaque vinyl LP followed 18 Sep 2020. A digital release came 16 Apr 2021. Asked on Facebook if the release will be distributed to stores in other countries, Oliver replied, "It will at some point in the future". The vinyl and first CD contain 4 songs, 3 being previously unreleased studio songs that were worked on in the Fly from Here sessions in late 2010 and the fourth being a new recording of an unfinished song from the same period. The CD set adds a re-release of In the Present – Live from Lyon, including the previously Japanese-only bonus track "Second Initial".

From a Page tracks:
  1. "To the Moment" [Wakeman] (6:09)
  2. "Words on a Page" [Wakeman] (6:18)
  3. "From the Turn of a Card" [Wakeman] (3:24)
  4. "The Gift of Love" [Wakeman/Squire/Howe/David/White] (9:52)
Tracks 1-3 make up side A of the vinyl. Side B has "The Gift of Love" plus a 4:22 single mix of "To the Moment" (lyric video). Tracks 1, 2 and 4 were recorded in 2010 by Chris Squire (bass, bass pedals), Steve Howe (guitars, vocals), Alan White (drums, percussion), Oliver Wakeman (piano, keys) and Benoît David (vocals, acoustic guitar) for Fly from Here, but not used once Wakeman was out of the band. Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap did a version of this on their 2013 album Ravens & Lullabies, with Benoît David on vocals. The version here is a piano/vocal duet taking David's vocal from that album and newly recorded piano parts by Wakeman. Details in Yescography.

Asked if there are any more unreleased tracks from these sessions, Wakeman said, "There are the demos and a few bits and pieces but when Steve and I met to discuss the project we decided it should be a proper record of finished pieces and not a mixture of finished pieces and demos." Wakeman is also interested in doing a version of "Aliens" (played live with Yes, but later released by Squackett).



The release was approved by Howe, White and David. The album made #23 in the UK Rock album chart (1 Nov 2019). It appeared at #23 in the Apr 2020 Progressive Albums chart, reported in issue #110 of Prog. It was the second best selling album at Burning Shed of 2019.

O Wakeman was planning to play music from the album live for the first time at a solo show in London on 9 May 2020, but this was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic: see details under O Wakeman.

In a Jan 2020 interview with Yes Music Podcast, White was asked if there's anything more in the band's archives he'd like to see released. He replied, "There's a lot of things in the archives, like jams that we've had and... at different times in the lifespan of the band [...] I myself have quite a few, kind of, y'know, files on my computer [...] Some of that you kind of go through and revise some of it, umm, into potential future songs."

Panegyric re-release series (with remixes by Steven Wilson)
Panegyric re-released a series of Yes albums: in order, Close to the Edge, The Yes Album, Relayer, Fragile and Tales from Topographic Oceans. The releases included bonus material and new stereo and 5.1 Surround mixes by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, No-Man, ex-Blackfield, worked with Steve Hackett, Ian Anderson, Marillion, Theo Travis). The new stereo mixes were then also released on the 6LP The Steven Wilson Remixes (Atlantic Catalog Group). The Steven Wilson Remixes has also seen a digital release.

Announcing the details of the Tales release in Jul 2016, Wilson ended, "Multitrack tapes are unavailable for the other key albums in the Yes catalogue, so unless that situation changes, this will be the final release in the series." In Nov 2017, Panegyric's Declan Colgan said on 28 Nov 2017 at the DGM forum that, "Panegyric released all five Yes albums for which full multi-track tapes were available, thanks to the work by Rhino Records & Yes' management in locating/transferring those tapes. Despite rumours to the contrary, the full multi-tracks to the other albums have not, at this time, been located. Happily, as we know from working with other bands, tapes do turn up/are found & if /when the tapes are located, I am sure that there would be sufficient interest to continue with these releases." In a Jul 2018 interview, asked how the albums in The Steven Wilson Remixes were chosen, Downes replied, "Those were chosen, I think, because they're the only ones that could be found. [...] I don't know if he'll do any more, though, since he tends to look at the defining albums from a band's history."

In his Dec 2015 newsletter, Wilson said:
There was talk about me doing “Drama”, an album I really love and that would sound great in 5.1, but not all the members of that line up are keen for the album to be remixed—which is totally understandable—and I wouldn’t want to do something without the band being behind it.
The one band member opposed to Wilson doing Drama could have been Downes judging by this Sep 2015 tweet: asked if Wilson would be doing a Drama remix, Downes replied, "I bloody well hope not!" Although in a Jul 2014 interview, Downes said, "I would like to hear Drama in 5.1, the album was heavily overdubbed at the time, and so it would reveal a lot of detail". But, in an Aug 2016 interview, he said the multitracks for Drama couldn't be found, also saying, "I know Steven Wilson does a very good job" of the 5.1 mixes.

In an Aug 2015 forum post, Wilson said:

I believe that the multitrack tapes for Going for the One are currently [missing]. First 2 Yes albums I would think unlikely, not enough potential sales...etc But never say never.

And then:

I really hope Tales and Drama will eventually be done, they are (perhaps somewhat perversely) my 2 favourite Yes albums

Preliminary work for a Going for the One release was done. In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe was asked whether it is "open-ended that as many of the catalog masters you have in hand" will be included in the series, he answered, "I don't think we should say yea or nay yet, because there could be logistical things or even a question of taste." On this latter point, the interviewer teases out that Howe is referring to Tormato. Howe goes on, "It's not that it's dreadful; it's just that we didn't quite get it right. I don't know if a remix would make it right, but I really can't say because I don't think it could, because if you're going to be true to the original, then you have to base it on the original."

Asked about further archival releases on the 2015 Cruise to the Edge, Howe also said there was plenty more in the vaults.

Cruise to the Edge
Cruise to the Edge (Facebook) is a series of progressive rock cruises that have featured and been co-organised by Yes, and run by music cruise company On the Blue. A 2020 Cruise was planned for 27 Mar-1 Apr, but was postponed because of COVID-19. Yes, as usual, were to headline. (In a May 2021 livestream, Davison and Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) mentioned that they had been planning to do something together on the Cruise.) There had been planning towards a 2021 Cruise too. Instead, Cruise to the Edge ran 2-7 May 2022 (with tickets for the 2020 cruise carried over) on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas, but, for the first time, without Yes. Headlining were Marillion, Alan Parsons, Al Di Meola, and Transatlantic. Also appearing were Dave Kerzner and his All Star Prog Band (including Billy Sherwood), District 97, The Flower Kings, Adrian Belew, Nektar, Lifesigns and more. (Steve Hackett, Glass Hammer and Stick Men were announced, but had to withdraw.) Jon Kirkman again hosted. No 2023 Cruise is planned, but a 2024 Cruise will sail 8 Mar 2024.

In a Nov 2014 interview with YesFANZ, White 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.
On tour
Yes had planned to play all of Relayer on tour in Europe in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic saw dates repeatedly rescheduled. Instead, they returned to live performance with 8 UK and 2 Irish dates 15-29 Jun 2022, but playing Close to the Edge in its entirety (a celebration of the album's 50th anniversary) rather than Relayer. On 22 May, it was announced that White would not be participating in this tour leg "[d]ue to current health issues", with Schellen playing all the drums parts instead. 4 days later, White died. The tour is being dedicated to his memory. There was an additional 2 hour pre-tour show at the Wharf in Tavistock, UK on 13 Jun. (Roger Dean had been meant to introduce the band, but was then unable to attend.) The band had been conducting production rehearsals at the Wharf for the preceding week. Group rehearsals started 6 Jun. The set at the pre-tour show was [SPOILERS—highlight to read] intro music: "Firebird Suite", "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" (abridged), "Yours is No Disgrace", "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", "Does It Really Happen?", improv/"Clap", "Wonderous Stories", "The Ice Bridge", "Dare to Know", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Close to the Edge", "And You and I", "Siberian Khatru", encore: "Roundabout", "Starship Trooper". On the first full night of the tour, Glasgow, 15 Jun, the set was the same, with the addition of a recording of "Turn of the Century" played before the show with a video tribute to White. There is an online version of this on Alan White's Facebook page. Roger Dean introduced the band and had sort of support slot where he did a 20 minute talk. There was then an interval, with Yes playing for 2 hours. However, on some tour dates, Dean just did an introduction, with Yes playing two sets, the interval coming before Close to the Edge in full. Sherwood said the Royal Albert Hall show (London, 21 Jun) was sold out. The production manager and front-of-house engineer is Dean Mattson.

Due next are 5 Japanese shows 5-12 Sep 2022 as part of the Close to the Edge 50th anniversary tour. The 5-6 Sep Tokyo dates are sold out. Four dates up to 9 Sep were originally announced. An extra 12 Sep Tokyo date was announced in late Jul, with a somewhat different set list, including an acoustic segment.

After Japan, the band are expected to tour the US, although we await a formal announcement. In May, a band member told a fan that Yes will be touring the US with Relayer in autumn 2022. Downes said in a May 2022 interview with Yes Music Podcast that the band are touring the US in Oct 2022 and "probably" Nov, although his words were unclear as to whether they would be focusing then on Close to the Edge or Relayer. A report in Aug has the band touring the US in Oct/Nov.

Planned 2022 dates in the rest of Europe have been postponed to 7 May-7 Jun 2023 and will feature all of Relayer, plus "favourite classic tracks from YES' extensive catalogue". A band release continued, "the logistical problems of arranging European tour dates for 2022, caused by the on-going pandemic, have proved insurmountable. YES have taken the decision, for the safety of band members, crew and audiences, to reschedule all mainland European dates to 2023." Dates cover Portugal (1), Spain (2), Italy (3), Austria (1), Switzerland (1), Czech Rep. (1), Germany (3), Poland (2), Estonia (1), Finland (1), Sweden (1), Norway (1), Denmark (2), Netherlands (1), France (1), Belgium (1) and Luxembourg (1, which was initially planned in 2020, but couldn't be included in 2022). Tickets for prior shows at the same venue remain valid for the new dates; where there has been a change in venue, check arrangements. It is expected that there will be UK dates in the leg too.

The announcement around UK and Ireland dates switching to Close to the Edge was met with much fan unhappiness. Howe explained in a May 2022 interview that:
We had planned to play all of Relayer when the pandemic struck.

But we felt it was too big an ask to tackle Close to the Edge and Relayer on the same tour.

We want to perform at the level Yes fans expect from us.
The release continued, "A full performance of the "Relayer" album will now be featured in a future tour in The Album Series." 2023 will also be the 50th anniversary of Tales from Topographic Oceans. In a May 2022 interview, Howe was asked if they would therefore be celebrating that album as well on tour in 2023. He replied that they may play some of the album, and he would like to do at least a side, but they won't play all of it.

Schellen was already planned to be part of the touring line-up through 2022/3. The UK/Ireland 2022 leg used a high-definition video wall, with Roger Dean directing the production and joining the tour with an exhibition of Yes-related art. (Dean had been due to join the tour in 2020 too.)

The 2020 plan was for Relayer to be in the second half of the evening, preceded by "a selection of CLASSIC CUTS". In a Feb 2021 interview, asked whether they had got to the point of rehearsing "Sound Chaser" before touring was postponed, Downes said: "we didn't, unfortunately. We all did a lot of work independently on it because that is probably the most challenging Yes piece of all time. Not just from a keyboard standpoint, but from the rhythm section, it's full-on, uh, hysteria! [...] Hopefully thing will ease up a bit and we’ll find the window where we can go out and do it." An article in the Oct 2021 issue of Prog (#124) interviewing Howe and Downes stated that the set will include "the best moments from The Quest and some catalogue gems", along with Relayer. White said they would be playing material from The Quest live in two interviews. In an interview with Biff Bam Pop the same month, Downes:
I think that [...] some of the more delicate tracks on there will [...] you know [...] amidst some of Yes's more powerful big fanfare type songs like "Parallels" or something like that, is to put one of these songs in there after it [...] in a way that we did with, say, I suppose "Madrigal" [...] It's a nice little release from some of the great full blown Yes sounds [...] [I]t'd be nice to open with [...] something like "The Ice Bridge", which has got a big powerful entry [...] We're not going to play the whole album. You know, there's nothing worse than trying to turn people on to an entire album in a live setting when they come to see see you play Yes's big hits
Asked what one Yes song, other than from Relayer, that he hadn't played live that he would like to do, Downes chose "Mind Drive". In another Sep 2021 interview, White picked out "The Ice Bridge" and "Minus the Man" as good songs to play from The Quest live. Likewise asked whether they will play some of The Quest on tour, in the Aug 2021 interview with The Progressive Aspect, Davison replied, "I think we will. Steve's so happy with the album. Everyone has been so inspired and there's such a camaraderie and sense of unity among the band members, I really think it's gonna be something we want to celebrate and share with audiences." In an interview with Aymeric Leroy, Davison said he would like to play "A Living Island". However, in a Sep 2021 interview, Davison said they hadn't yet made any choices as to what to play. In an Oct 2021 interview, Downes said he would cover any orchestra parts in The Quest in live performance. In a Jan 2022 interview, White said, "We are really looking forward to taking the new album out and playing it to our fans."

The plan in 2020 had been for the European Relayer tour to be followed by a US leg, but the pandemic hit before anything was announced. More recently, there had been indications of a possible US leg from Mar 2022, but this didn't happen. (In a Jul 2021 interview, White said, "I believe we're going on the road March to April [2022], then we go to Europe for a while, and then come to America, I believe, at the end." In the Sep 2021 video by The Prog Report, asked about touring, Sherwood replied, "we have the States in March [2022], and then May is Europe." Likewise, in this Sep 2021 interview, he described "a North America tour in March".) There were then rumours of US leg around Sep 2022. Carl Palmer said to fan Doug Curran in Oct 2021 that there were talks about a Yes/Asia/Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy tour for (Aug/Sep?) 2022 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Asia's debut album. However, Asia (with Downes and Sherwood) then announced their own separate US tour around Aug 2022.

In an Aug 2020 interview about his solo album Love Is, Howe was asked if Yes might play any of his solo material live. Howe replied:
I’d say, very tentatively, that Yes has a quest that’s all encompassing. It’s never been a band with limitations. So there’s no reason why it couldn’t include some of this material as well. It’s been dabbled with a little bit along the way. Back in 1976 we each played songs from the solo albums [...] Maybe we could do a very select show where we could incorporate our outside work, much like Asia did, very successfully, when we re-formed. Everybody [in Yes] has things they’ve done outside the band, so it’s something that could be considered.
The 2020 Cruise was to run 27 Mar-1 Apr 2020, but was postponed. (There was already prior planning towards a 2021 Cruise too.) Yes were to headline and to play five dates 19-25 Mar of the south-eastern US before the cruise. These tour dates were also cancelled. On 15 Feb 2020, Sherwood posted to Facebook a video of him rehearsing "Sound Chaser", saying he was "preparing for this next YES touring cycle which starts in Florida." While that implied that song was to be in the set, in a Feb 2020 interview, Howe said the leg "won't have any Relayer".

In a Jan 2020 interview, Howe talked about White's contributions: "We love Alan sticking at it, he's a real trooper. He's had his health issues and we work with Alan so that he's not loaded with the whole set. We have Jay Schellen again doing large parts of the set. This time Alan will be performing in both parts of the set and the encore – he always does [t]he encore." In Jan 2020, Schellen mentioned rehearsing "Sound Chaser" on Facebook, so it appeared he was to play on that piece. In the Feb 2020 interview, Howe said, "we presume that Alan is going to play at least "To Be Over." Of course, he'll appear at the end of the first half in Europe. Some of it's up our sleeve, but Alan is doing everything he can." Howe also said that they would record the tour, as they now record all their tours.

Yes and Patrick Moraz had discussed him touring with the band in 2019 to play all of Relayer, something he had earlier talked about wanting to do. This didn't happen in 2019, but rumours from the first half of 2019 suggested he would joining touring in 2020. It was then confirmed that the band were planning to play Relayer in 2020, but there was no indication that Moraz was involved. Late 2019 rumour suggested that the possibility was still alive. In a Nov 2019 interview, Downes said, "these things can happen [...] the door's always open". Moraz talked about 2019 plans on several occasions in late Jul/early Aug 2018, in conversation with various fans. He said late Jul 2018 that he'd been asked by Yes management, but no contract had yet been signed. In his Dec 2018 interview, Kaye said, "There was kind of talk of maybe doing Relayer, which would've been great, with Patrick [...] at some point, maybe Relayer can be re-visited with this band. It would be kinda cool, wouldn't it?" But his tone implied that this wasn't imminent, however. Asked in a Jul 2020 interview, Sherwood said there were no plans for more Yes work with Moraz or Kaye.

In the late Sep 2018 interview, Howe also said, "I feel that it's a desirable thing to keep playing this [Yes] music, playing songs that are maybe sometimes being missed by the band. For instance, our album series tours were so successful; they covered five albums – five and a half, actually – in their entirety." He continued:
We’ve become more interested in really looking at the original recordings as much as possible, taking everything we can from them. There are obviously compromises we might make, but that doesn’t really matter. What we’re interested in is giving a sense of realism to it. Without that realism, we might as well not even go and play the right notes. [...] and I think that’s brought together with improvisation.

After all, a solo is a solo, and you can play what you like. [...] There’s got to be some freedom. But again, it’s nice hearing the raw, core tunes that call in that solo.

As for future set lists, another Jun 2018 interview with Howe describes the situation thus:
After bassist Chris Squire’s death in 2015, Howe inherited the job of putting Yes’ concert set list together. “I make a set list generally with two considerations. There’s gotta be some challenges; There’s got to be some things we haven’t been playing in the last two years or so. [...] you’ve got to go do some homework at home. But the other thing is we’ve got to make it possible. [...] our set list is generally a mix of challenging new things -- or new in the context of what we’ve been playing recently -- and then some really familiar stuff, but not the same-old, same-old -- although we can’t do a show without ‘Roundabout.’ [...]”

Downes also talked sets in a Jun 2018 interview:

Interviewer: Are there any songs that you personally would like to retire? [...]

Downes: We approach each tour differently. [...] it’d be nice maybe to look at a couple of 80’s era Yes tracks as well. And maybe even something from the 90’s, you know. Well we do a couple of tracks from the 90’s anyway. [...] there’s so much there [...] you’ve got 22 or 23 studio albums to pick material from, that’s a pretty enormous body of work to tackle. But certainly, I’m game to try anything that’s in the Yes catalog.

Interviewer: [...] is there a song or two you wish you guys could play, specifically?

Downes: I think I’d like to just do one of the big pieces from the album Relayer. We did a little bit of that, but something like either “Sound Chaser” or maybe “Gates of Delirium,” which would be an enormous challenge to actually learn something like that [...] quite a fascinating challenge to do that.

In a Jun 2018 interview of his own, White said, "we tried not playing "Roundabout" for a while. We got so many complaints because we didn't play it, we've been playing it ever since." Asked in the Yes Music Podcast about YesWest material, Downes replied, "that would be something a lot of the fans would appreciate [...] certainly I think Steve's up for doing some of it". Asked about the possibility of performing "The Gates of Delirium", he began by remarking on the challenge of doing so, but continued, "everything's possible […] Whether or not we do it next year [2018], I don't know. We might do it the year after [2019]. We might even at some point attempt the whole of Relayer. That's... that's something that has been put forward. I think in terms of it being the fiftieth anniversary of Yes that the focus is going to be more on a historical view of Yes's music rather than any specific albums". In his Mar 2017 Q&A, White had said, "we plan to play the entire "Relayer' album in the UK next year [2018]", but he backed away from that by this Aug 2017 interview: "I think next year [2018] should be a really good selection of songs from every era. We actually thought about playing the whole "Relayer" album, but I think that would be too much for the kind of show it should be next year [2018] for our 50th anniversary." In the Feb 2018 issue of Eclipsed, Howe also said they wanted to play all of Relayer but described this as challenging to do. In the mid-Mar 2018 interview, asked about whether Relayer is a possibility for summer US dates, Sherwood replied, "You never know. I've been lobbying for that for years now as it's one of my favourites. [...] As of yet it's not been spoken about, so we'll just have to see what happens." Sherwood in a Nov 2017 interview said he would like to play "The Gates of Delirium" and "On the Silent Wings of Freedom". Asked in his matching interview what songs he would like to include, White mentioned "America", "Awaken" and "Mind Drive"; he implied that, with Kaye present, they would do "Yours is No Disgrace". In the #YES50 tour programme, out Mar 2018, Downes said, "I'm excited about taking on the Relayer album". At the Jul 2018 YesFanFest, Howe was asked about doing Relayer in 2019 and replied, "Maybe". In an Aug 2018 interview, asked what songs he would like to do, Davison picked Relayer first, then saying, "I'd like to bring to the stage all of Tormato and Relayer and make the '70s Album Series a complete thing. Beyond that, some of the '80s and '90s material." He then mentions "The More We Live—Let Go" and "Shoot High Aim Low". In a Jul 2019 interview, Sherwood supported the idea of playing "Sound Chaser". Asked how set list decisions come about, he replied:

Steve [Howe] usually does it, and we have suggestions along the way, but Steve's got a really good sense of ebb and flow in the set. If too many songs are in the same key and they’re bundled up together, he can move them around, and based on tempos and all that type of thing. We sort of just wait for Steve to give us the set list. [...] then [...] anyone’s allowed to throw in their opinions but usually it’s pretty spot on, I’ve found.

Asked if there are plans to play any other albums in a Feb 2016 podcast interview, Howe said: "eventually [...] we'll have to play Relayer. [...] We'd need a while to get ready to play that one. We talked about other records and I said Time and a Word one day [...] it's off the mark with America because they really don't know that record." In another Feb 2016 interview, Howe, again talking of playing full albums, said, "we hope one day to resurrect [Relayer]." An Aug 2016 report had that the band have discussed doing Relayer in 2017 or 2018. Downes said in an Aug 2016 interview: "We have considered playing [Tormato] [...] but Steve doesn't think it's strong enough as an album. [...] Alan feels the same, it's not got that depth that the other albums have got [...] Relayer is up there as a possibility." Asked what album they will do next, he replied, "We're still discussing whether to do that [continue playing full albums] [...] but with this line-up I don't see us doing any other full album other than Relayer, if we were to do anything." In Howe's interview, he went on to say: "There's other sorts of set lists we mustn't ignore. In other words, I'm saying, ya, I like playing albums [...] but it's not the only game in town, y'know. And there's other sets that I've invented in my mind, and circulated, that do a different... tell a different story. And we've got to be careful not just to tell the same story, oh here's another album." He gave as an example of another set list approach, "Like we did last summer [2015], that was a very kind of friendly [...] set, couple of new songs [...] it was bubbly [...] there are other great, great set lists". The interviewer then suggested doing Magnification tracks. In reply, Howe first talked about prior albums: "I quite like Keys to Ascension studio tracks [...] that's quite a nice era" and after he'd heaped praise on Bruce Fairbairn and his production of The Ladder, Howe said he'd found it "difficult" to pick tracks from Open Your Eyes and Magnification that he's "fully committed to now. Of course I've got enjoyment for them [...] Certainly, as an album [i.e., playing Magnification in full], I don't think so". Howe continued, "There is one track [...] I would single out" from Magnification; he didn't identify it, but said it's not "Spirit of Survival" or "In the Presence of". In a Feb 2017 interview, Howe discussed the band's set and possibilities for the future:
I like playing new music. I’ve done 12 solo records over the years – I’ve been delighted to not have to only play old music. But my favorite stuff is definitely looking at Yes.

It doesn’t have to be that old – we might come onto the ‘90s at some point and start looking at Keys to Ascension or something. There’s a lot of music that we’d like to look at. But we do get a lot from the ‘70s, and we don’t have a problem.

On Eddie Trunk's Sirius XM radio show from the Cruise to the Edge 2017, White said the band had been discussing playing material from Relayer, including "Sound Chaser". He later spoke of "doing some things from Relayer", i.e. not the full album. He also said, "We can't get away with not playing "Roundabout". We've tried many times." Also on the cruise, asked what other albums they might tackle, Howe again said they would like to Relayer (but that it would take "an enormous amount of work to capture the performances on that album"), but he also mooted "Keys to Ascension" (presumably meaning the studio tracks on Keys to Ascension 2) and Magnification. Asked about Tormato material, he was more negative, saying the album "wasn't designed for the stage" but that "maybe one day we will try to revisit it." In his Mar 2017 YesWorld Q&A, White said, "'Relayer' is a hard album to play but we're discussing performing that album next year [2018]." Asked about playing songs from Tormato, he also said "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" would be "a great song to include".

Since starting their triple album tour in 2013, the band have been asked about the possibility of repeating the format with different albums. They have also talked about material outside of a complete album format. In a Feb interview, Howe talked of wanting to do "To be Over" and "Sound Chaser". When the interviewer mentions playing material from "more recent albums such as Keys to Ascension, The Ladder and Magnification", Howe responds that, "They're something we'd like to incorporate, possibly next year [2014]. Because, although we've ignored them quite considerably, there are some times we say, "Oh, should we try that one?" [...] "Bring Me to the Power" and some of the other songs on [Keystudio] are really quite the cream of what we were doing then." In a Mar 2013 Q&A, Davison talked of wanting to sing "Gates of Delirium" and "Survival", while in his in Apr, Downes talks of playing all of Relayer, Drama or 90125. To a question suggesting the band play "The Remembering", he replied:
I think you’re right; ‘The Remembering’ would be an interesting choice [...] But there are also so many other hidden gems on the albums that have been historically been overlooked by the touring band over the years. Talk, Big Generator, Union, The Ladder, & Keys to Ascension also have some killer tracks. How about ‘Mind Drive’ as a suggestion? ☺

In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes was asked about doing other albums and replied, "We've never discussed this at all, but it's not been ruled out. [...] I can see the subject coming up [...] But what we don't want to become is a band who just live in the past". He then talked of the possibility of varying tour set lists so that they "do a lot of more contemporary material on one tour and the next time we do something a lot more nostalgic." In an Apr interview, Howe said, "the one that everybody wants to hear is 'Relayer.' But we're not ready for that yet. [It] would be a heck of a challenge. [...] at the moment we haven't got the time or the inclination yet to do something like that."

In the interview with Vintage Rock conducted around Apr 2014, White put forth Drama and Relayer as two albums he would like to perform. In a Jul 2014 interview, Davison said: "There's been talk about any of the earlier albums up to '90125'". In a May 2014 interview, Squire said he hoped that they will do a tour one day playing material from the 1980s. He describes as interesting the idea put forth by the interviewer for a tour featuring Drama, 90125 and Big Generator. Reports from backstage on the 2014 summer tour suggested that Squire wanted to do all of Heaven & Earth, Howe and Davison wanted to do Relayer, and White and Downes wanted to do Drama and possibly 90125; US promoters are said to remain keen on 90125. One report from backstage on the 2015 summer tour has that Howe and White would like to do all of Time and a Word, but promoters prefer Relayer, which might produce a 3-album set of Time and a Word, Relayer and Drama. In an Aug 2015 YesWorld Q&A, asked what Yes pieces he would like to play, Sherwood replied:

There are many, but there’s only so much time in a set. As things progress, which looks like they are, we’ve had some successful touring here so far and there’s other promoters and more opportunity coming online – I envision YES being back at a place where it plays by itself for three hours, rather then playing with another band, and at that point with a three hour set that we can fill, there’ll be some other material that I’m definitely gong to be suggesting.

[...] There’s plenty of stuff out there that I would love to dive into, but my favorites, if I could choose – ‘Gates of Delirium’ would definitely be part of the set and so would ‘Tomato’ – a lot of it – I love ‘Future Times/Rejoice’, ‘On The Silent Wings Of Freedom’, ‘Release, Release’.

He also mentioned "Gates of Delirium" in answer to another question, but added: "but I don't know how far my vote goes just yet… give me some time!" He is then asked which albums he would pick if doing the whole album format; he nominated Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer.

Away from the while album format, several comments point to individual tracks under consideration of some sort. In a Nov 2014 interview for YesFANZ, Davison talked about the new material in the set:

we have been doing two [new] songs [...] live [...] [W]e were doing [...] 'To Ascend' for a while to start out with but it just didn’t quite stick as well with the ebb and flow of the concert, but we would like to incorporate at one point as much of the new album as possible.  We’re all still very focussed on that.  We just haven’t been able to promote that sufficiently in that regard because we are down to a 2 hour time limit [...] but we will get more of that into the live context.


I would really like to do 'Light of the Ages'

Asked in a Dec 2013 interview about playing YesWest material, Squire explained: "[It's] because of the character of the music, and the character of the guitar player as well. Trevor [Rabin] doesn't do a bad job of imitating Steve [Howe], but it doesn't work as well the other way around. I wouldn't really push the issue." Asked about playing '80s material in his May 2013 Q&A for YesWorld, Davison replied, "I think it would be really fun to perform Changes, It Can Happen, and/or Shoot High Aim Low." In a Jul 2013 interview, Davison said, "What I'd like to do is continue it; with maybe Fragile, Relayer and Drama following it up." In Downes' second Q&A, he said, "whilst we are currently focusing on the 70's Yes, there was some great music came out in all chapters of the band's existence [...] Personal favourite is "Changes"", while White said to a fan in Apr 2013 that the band had considered playing the piece, and that he would also like them to perform "Endless Dream". In a Jun 2012 interview, Squire said that White had suggested including "Perpetual Change". In one of the Jul 2012 interviews, Squire said:

There are certain songs we kind of have to play. I do think we're going to try not playing Owner of a Lonely Heart on this tour. But there again, with a casino show, you tend to not get a hardcore Yes audience, so you're tempted to want to play the big 1980s hit because that's probably all some of these people know from Yes. So it is a difficult thing to do, but we always manage.

Asked in a Jul 2012 interview if there are any Yes songs Downes would like to perform live in the future, he named "To be Over" and then went on "I'd quite like to have a look at something from 90125 as well at some point. Maybe something like 'Changes'".

In a Mar 2011 interview, Howe is asked about playing certain songs so often. He replies:

“Roundabout”, “All Good People”, they are going to be tough ones to not play and I don’t know that I have a problem with playing those. I love the beginning of “Roundabout” […] But if we ever sounded tired and we couldn’t play it, well, then, yeah, I think we’d ought to stop. But what Yes have been doing over the past couple of years is re-establishing the absolute rigidity of the arrangements that exist in Yes because I personally object to two ex-Yes members [a reference to the Anderson/Wakeman tour], going out, playing a Yes song, particularly “Turn of the Century” and not adhering, one, to the melody, two, to the chord sequence, three, to the bass, y’know. To the bass, chord sequence… so important. Anybody who goes out and sings those songs with the wrong words, the wrong chords, the wrong bass part, the wrong harmony, I don’t want to play with them. I… I can’t play with them. Because I adore Yes music. I adore all the music that I’ve been part of, and whether it’s Tomorrow playing “My White Bicycle”, I want to play that the same […] Because when Bob Dylan started doing songs different: I stopped going to concerts. I don’t want to hear “I Want You” in a different way […] [references The Rolling Stones also changing songs live] I am so irritated by people messing around with their music or our music playing it with disrespect. Y’know, because if you just scat some part of “Yours is No Disgrace” or “Turn of the Century”, you’re not my friend. I don’t want to hear from you. Get out of my life. The rigidity of the structures of Yes are what hold it together. […] That’s what we’re about now. We’re very sure that our fans are similar to us. In other words, the perfectionism that Yes were capable of creating has to be reproduced. There’s no point in trashing that and expecting, hey, we’ve got two thousand Yes fans and they’re going to hear us play, what, “The Revealing Science of God” all in five minutes, we’ve got it all down to five minutes, not twenty minutes, and we’ve changed all the chords, changed all the words, and taken off the beginning, y’know, personally, I’d say, leave it alone.

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".

In a Feb 2011 interview, Howe said, "Yes is a touring band. It's fundamental to our existence."

Relationships with past members
The question of a reunion between Yes and Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman (which had disbanded by early 2020), or between key past members and Yes, has always refused to go away. It appears unlikely. In a Dec 2017 interview, Todd Rundgren, who had recently toured with Yes, said, "There are actually two versions of Yes. There are conflicts between members of the band." However, Jon Kirkman claimed in a May 2021 edition of the Prog Report that "they're all talking to each other now. There's no arguments. All of the band, all the people who have ever been in Yes are now talking to each other and on good terms." In the Oct 2021 issue of Prog (#124), Howe said, "I like to think we still have contact with Bill Bruford and Tony Kaye, and I'm still friendly with Jon [Anderson] and the other guys who are around". In an interview published online in Jan 2022, Howe said:

Whenever you leave a band, you might stay in touch with somebody, or you might not. The latter says something, in a way: ‘Look, I’ve done that, and we can’t really connect so much anymore.’ It happens.

Sometimes you stay in touch with people that you don’t work with anymore. I never stopped being friendly with Bill, but we’re not working together.

In that interview, he was also asked about Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman and replied:

That was just a futile thing they did. When they came out with the idea for it, I actually sent three emails to each of them [...] I said to them, ‘Great. You’ve put a band together. Go with it. Good luck.’ I never heard back from them, but basically that was fine. They had their run. There has to be some competition in life, and they appeared to be what might be called competition.

Basically, in their second year they decided to tack Yes on the front, and some promoters used the Yes logo, which they weren’t allowed to do. There was a bit of a pickle, but fortunately people woke up and said, ‘OK, we won’t do that.’

It was a bit of a difficult time, because it was confusing, not only for the audience, but also for promoters. ‘Is this Yes, or is it Yes with ARW?’ It was a bit of a mess for a long time.

In a May 2022 interview, Howe said, "I love Jon Anderson and I believe we have an understanding and an immense respect for each other. But the difficulties of trying to work together are too great."

In a Jan 2022 interview, Wakeman said he hadn't heard The Quest, but that, "I am having lunch with Steve [Howe] in a couple of weeks. That everybody hates each other is a complete myth. There's a lot of mutual respect between us all." In a Feb 2022 interview, asked if we still on good terms with Yes, he replied, "Depends who you mean by 'Yes.' [...] obviously, I am on good terms with Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson. I haven't seen Steve [Howe] or Alan [White] since the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but have the highest respect for both of them." (So, lunch was postponed?) He was then asked if he would consider playing with the band again, and replied, "They already have a line-up."

In an Oct 2021 interview, having previously been critical of Yes for using the name, Wakeman said:

I have tremendous admiration for Steve for keeping the ship afloat, especially after Chris died[.] There are so many bands these days that have got lineups of which, if people came back from the 1970s and could be reincarnated to look at them, they’d go: ‘Who are they?’

But Yes isn’t the only one. There are so many so many bands like it. And I think if it helps to keep the music alive, then I don’t see a problem.

In a Jul 2021 interview, Anderson was asked if there could be a merger between ARW and Yes. He replied, "Oh, yeah. I'm sure, I'm sure it will happen one day." He then talked about witnessing Chris Squire entering heaven in a dream. The interviewer said that Squire would want a re-union to happen, saying, "You gotta do this." Anderson replied, "We will! You've gotta speak to Steve. [laughs]"

In a Feb 2021 interview, asked if there was any possibility of a new Union, Tony Kaye replied, "No." He expanded:

I just don’t see it happening. I think the main reason I can come up with is that this [line-up of the] band actually likes each other. They’re all good friends. Everybody gets along. Jay and Alan are close. As a band, it works.

[...] the band works … it may not “work” for everyone, fans. But it just works together. Jon Davison is such a cool guy. [...] They do great justice to the music — I think they don’t want to lose that. Anderson can be a weird guy. There’s a lot of history. That’s really all I can come up with. The band just loves each other and has a great time together.

He also said, "if the band [Yes] asks me to do something in the future, I think it'll probably happen."

Steve Howe on one side and Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin on the other have voiced the strongest words against the idea. In a Jul 2020 article, commenting on the idea of a reunion, Howe said, "I don't think [fans] should stay up late nights worrying about that[.] There's just too much space out there between people. To be in a band together or even to do another tour like Union is completely unthinkable." He continued, "What I've done with Alan, and Chris until he passed, [...] has been trying to build something much more stable [than Union] and not so haphazardly sensational [...] Yes is about people who love working together and can. That word 'can' carries the whole story. That means compatibility and the same awarenesses about what we want to do." That said, in an interview conducted around Feb 2020, Howe commented on his relationship with Anderson, saying, "Jon and I get on really well now. We have the history and the friendship. But it's probably better that we don't attempt to work all the time together – because of this and that. But nobody knows what the future holds." A Jul 2019 Billboard article quoted Howe as saying that Yes "has had nothing to say" about Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman using the band name. It went on to quote him: "Anybody can play Yes music; [w]e'd never stop anybody doing what they want to do[.] Basically I say 'Good luck' to them." However, commenting on ARW's hiatus from activity in 2019, Howe also said, "we're not unhappy, so that maybe tells you something."

In an Oct 2019 interview, Wakeman said ARW should not have used the 'Yes' name and that their next tour (to have been in 2020, but which never happened) wouldn't. He said a reunion would not work: "I can't see it happening, although I've learned in rock & roll the word "never" doesn't exist. [...] Let's put it this way, it's highly unlikely. You've got more chance of Donald Trump getting divorced and marrying Hillary Clinton." He argued that neither band should have been called 'Yes' since Squire died: "If you want my real honest answer, the whole Yes thing is a mess since Chris died. It's a total and utter mess for the fans and the people because nobody knows what the hell is going on. Nobody knows who is in what, who is doing what. It's just one hilarious mess." In an Aug 2020 interview, he said, "when Chris passed away, that was it for me. Not the end of Yes music! But the end of the name Yes. Because Chris was the only founding member who remained throughout [...] I felt when Chris passed away, that was the time to retire the name, in his honour and in his memory. No reason why we can't all go off and play Yes music [...] Steve, myself, Jon, whoever — that's fine. But the name Yes, out of reverence and respect for Chris and the music, the name, I think, should've been retired. [...] that's the reason why, when anybody says, 'Is there ever likely to be reunion again?', my answer is, well, you can't have one without Chris." In a Sep 2020 interview, Rabin said, "I heard talk of... an interview somewhere where there was talk of maybe a [Yes] reunion and that's something that will never happen, not with me." He continued, "It's kind of ridiculous. I don't even think there should be a band with the name Yes without Chris Squire in it." He also said that the only "remaining legitimate Yes members" were White, Howe, Anderson, Wakeman and himself, continuing, "Without Chris, [...] it wouldn't be something that would include me."

White has had a different tone when answering questions on this topic. In a Feb 2019 interview from the Cruise to the Edge, asked what he would still like to accomplish with Yes, White said, "Well, it will be good to, maybe, in the future, see some kind of union tour. […] I don't think it's totally out of the question […] we'll see what happens." In a follow-up interview with Sherwood, told about White's comments, Sherwood responded, "Wow... he's the great uniter in the band, y'know. He's always wanting that to happen." Asked about the possibility of a reunion in a Mar 2019 interview, White said, "I'm not going to say definitely no. I'll say there is a possibility, but everybody is getting up there in age now. I don't see it as out of the question in the next few years [...] I definitely won't say "no." It's a "maybe."" In a Jun 2019 interview, asked about "bringing together many members of Yes from the past 50 years", White replied, "I'm not going to say no because anything's a possibility. Maybe one day everybody will just come together and be able to do a big show of everything again, which might be in the future. But as of now, we're just getting on with this Yes." In a Jul 2019 interview, Sherwood was asked about a reunion, and answered, "that question's a little above my pay grade [...] from my perspective I just see us going along this same course right now because we're a really happy unit moving forward [...] I know that the fans are speculating about another union-type scenario, but I don't know. I think it's kind of a long shot, to be honest with you."

It is Anderson who has been most supportive of the idea. A Jul 2020 article reports Anderson as being "keen on a reunion". It quoted him:

It was talked about three years ago, why don't we get Yes back together, it's the 50th anniversary of the band and I said, 'I don't see it, there would be about 15 people onstage, it's too much'[.]

But I had a dream the other week. I was backstage and I realised that's what happens: I'll start the show with my guitar and I'll sing a couple of songs and then Steve[ Howe]'s band will play, then I'll sing a couple more songs and Rick [Wakeman] and Trevor [Rabin] and myself will come on and do something and then all of a sudden we'll all get together and do 'Close To The Edge' and 'Awaken' and Bob's your uncle.

My mantra has always been it'll happen when it happens

In another Jul 2020 article, Anderson was asked about the possibility of a reunion, producing this exchange:

Anderson: Nobody has said, “Let’s do it.” But I think it would be great to get the Yes band back together. Obviously, it’s not going to happen this year [2020] with the coronavirus, but maybe in 2021 or 2022.

Interviewer: How would it work since Howe’s version of Yes features Jon Davison as the singer?

Anderson: We’ll figure it out. I’m not worried about that part. I just can’t wait to sing on a stage again.

In an Aug 2020 interview, Anderson responded to Howe's comment that a reunion is "unthinkable" by saying, "But he knows that I'm very open, but he has his own pocket decision to take". He continued, "I wouldn't go back into that band because I don't think they're that good [...] They're good! But they're not that good." In part 2 of the same interview, asked if he would sing on stage with Davison, Anderson replied, "Yeah, why not? [....] Of course I would. I'd sing with the band, y'know. I had this dream that I had a guitar and I was going to open the show by singing a couple of songs [...] And now Steve Howe and his band... eh... and I'd sit there [...] and sing along with some harmonies or whatever. And they'd come off stage, and then Trevor and Rick, are you ready yet? [...] And then we all did "Close to the Edge" and "Awaken"." In part 9 of the interview (released Oct 2020), Anderson blamed management for the failure to record an ARW album and then said: "I've left Yes twice and got kicked out when I got sick, I can't believe it, but that was the manager, you know? And I always say, 'Managers [...] don't care.' They don't care that audiences have paid a lot of money to see me sing. They'll put Mickey Mouse up." In a Sep 2020 interview, Anderson appeared to comment on that interview, saying, "I misspoke a little bit about the other band, because as far as I'm concerned, I work with really good musicians, and I expect brilliant things to happen [...] So, Steve and his band? I don't mind, they go out and sing songs that I wrote, and me and Steve wrote - which is fantastic – and keep the flag flying [...] They're very good at doing Yes classics, but I've been waiting for some new Yes classics, you know. It's very hard without me."

In the Dec 2020 issue of Prog magazine, in an interview conducted early Oct, he said, "For me, I am Yes. It's never left me." Talking about the current Yes, he said, "I haven't heard anything that hits me and says, '[...] I'm so happy they've evolved.' It's really great to hear them to the classic songs and Jon Davison's singing well". He again talked of his dream for a tour: "I'd love to do it as a final hurrah for the fans and go on a very special tour." He then outlined much the same plan of him opening with an acoustic guitar, the current Yes playing, him returning for two acoustic songs, and then him, Wakeman, Rabin "and all the others [...] There'd be about 20 of us on the stage all playing Close To The Edge."

In a Nov 2020 interview, Anderson was asked, "Do you think that it's possible for everyone [from Yes] to get together to make more music and tour?" Anderson replied:

Yeah, you never know. I’m a little bit like an open book. If they ask me, I will. But I don’t want to change them because I’ve asked them many times to get together and do this and that, and they’ve always been busy. I don’t mind that, you know? We’re like family, and family sometimes are close and tight, and sometimes they’re really not.

Howe guested on Anderson's 1000 Hands (albeit remotely). After discussing this, a Mar 2018 interview with Anderson has this exchange:

Interviewer: Of course, you'll never get the band back together [...]

Anderson: No. No, it's just one of those things. Life isn't... that organised. [chuckles] [...] For some reason, for whatever many reasons, it's not meant to be. That's OK. I've got things to do.

Interviewer: Yeah. Well, you've certainly got good relationships with everyone and you've kept in touch.

Anderson: Yeah, yeah, you keep in touch and, y'know, like anything, you have highs and lows. Like any family. Because we're family people. We're brothers, all musical brothers. Sometimes you love each other, sometimes you don't.

Later in the interview, Anderson was asked about his "next dream" after 1000 Hands, he replied:

I really want to do the final, great Yes album. I've got an idea of what it looks like, what it sounds like, but I'm not sure how to pull it off. [...] it's one of those things. I know what it should be, I know there's a lot of people who would love it to happen and I would love it to happen as well.

In another interview later that same month, talking about Howe's appearance on the album, Anderson said, "I just called him up and he said he'd love to play on it[.] I haven't sang with him in many, many years. It felt really comfortable and cathartic to do that. We're brothers. Sometimes you don't understand or misunderstand your brother and want to do different things. I think that is called a family." The article then raised the question of a reunion:

“I’m very open to it,” says Anderson. “It’s been 50 years now. You think something has got to happen. To me, a great album has to be made. That’s what I think. I don’t know how it’s going to be made, but the final Yes event should happen. I’ve talked to a couple of people about it and they get it. I really want to do this. I’ve even written eight songs for the record that I’m thinking would work with a full orchestra and a choir.”

Is Steve Howe into this idea? “I don’t know,” says Anderson with a sigh. “Maybe he’ll read this article and say ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ I don’t know.”

A Jul 2019 interview with Anderson had this exchange:

So is the recent Anderson/Howe collaboration on “1000 Hands” a harbinger of a real Yes reunion? Anderson doesn’t say no.

“When it happens, it’ll happen,” Anderson said.

In yet another Mar 2019 interview, Anderson said, immediately after talking about ARW, "I've always said it would be nice to do a Yestival and get everybody together on stage, that's like a magic wand to make that happen, but you never know in this life." And, in yet another Mar 2019 interview, asked what is the possibility of a reunion with Howe, Anderson replied, "I don't know [...] If I got the right phone call, I'd be there."

When Howe was asked by Prog magazine (Apr 2019 issue) about prospects of a re-union with Anderson and Wakeman, he replied, "We're happy doing our own parallel things. It's always a challenge to build the time to work with the people you are working with, let alone the people you did work with [...] let's leave it at that for now."

Asked about tensions between the two bands, Downes said in the Nov 2018 issue of Prog, "Any real direct confrontations have hopefully been nipped in the bud. As time has progressed it's become less critical. When they first came out they were pretty gung-ho—they were making a lot of comments in the press which were not very pleasant, calling us The Steve Howe Tribute Band. [...] For the most part, we've attempted to keep the high road and not get involved too much with slagging them off." Later in the same interview, he went on: "they do their thing, they've got their own agenda going on. They're not getting in my face. That's all I'm particularly bothered about." In a late Sep 2018 interview, Howe said any re-union is "completely off the table".

In an early Jun 2018 interview, Howe said this on the two bands situation:

When ABWH went out, Bill, Rick and I basically wanted to carry on being called ABWH. We weren't really interested in being called Yes, but there was a contingent in the band [i.e., Anderson] and the management [i.e., Brian Lane] that very much encouraged us to rejoin Yes. Actually, the three of us ended up with nothing. That lineup didn't continue after Union so we lost everything.

ARW came out and they justified their existence. They're ARW. Nobody can deny them the right to do that. Now there's a bit of game playing going on, adding that particular thing [presumably Howe means here the "Yes featuring..." part of their name]. I don't know if they are going to make things more interestingly confusing by calling it quintessential Yes [a reference to ARW's promotion for their 2018 touring].

It's up to them what they do. They're free, we're free. We're tolerant and they're tolerant. Hopefully, people won't go around saying "We don't like those guys." [Anderson in Mar 2017 said, "We don't like them" about Yes] We never said that. We want to be sharing and positive about everything we can generate, which I think is important.

If the fans have got a choice, now, to see different versions of things, then so be it. I can't see a problem.

In a Mar 2017 interview, Wakeman and Anderson both dismissed any possibility of a reunion. Asked about that in a Dec 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Rabin replied, "Oh, I very much doubt it. It's kind of like, if it's not broke, don't fix it. We've got the ARW thing right now and we're just loving it. That's certainly where we're at right now." In a matching interview, Howe replied to a similar question: "We know the 50-year anniversary is going to be quite colossal. The Union tour was popular with many fans, but it would have to be re-thought if we were considering that. It would need some reinvention. But that's a ways away." When the interviewer returned to the question of repeating the Union tour, Howe continued:

As long as its not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. The Union tour [...] [f]or the fans, it was seen in a particular light. But internally, it was complex. [...] you'd have to think about how it could work in a different way. It's nice seeing people play together, but it's really about the mood and the willingness and the love and the sharing. It just comes down to a lot of other things, unfortunately, like business and technical. Those other parts both help and interfere and destruct. A few people have said to me that although it was great to see us together all night for the Union tour, it was really a lot to try and fill your ears with. But I do appreciate that people are thinking about seeing us together, and that's a very nice sentiment.

Some of that was put to Anderson in his Rolling Stone interview and he was asked whether he thinks anything will happen to commemorate the 50th anniversary. He replied:

I'll call you! You'll be the first person I call [laughs]. Like anything, my idea of Yes is ARW at the moment. That's what I feel is the Yes I always dreamed of coming back together with.

In a late Jan 2017 interview, Howe was asked about the Union tour, and replied, "It's not something that we know we're going to do again. Obviously it would need good planning." White was asked why don't they "go back to Anderson & Wakeman" in his Mar 2017 YesWorld Q&A; he replied:

Well, you know, I’m open to anything in the future. I’m not opposed to the idea of that down the line but I’m part of the YES touring band and it makes more sense to continue with the group of musicians I’m currently working with… we have a great working vibe between us. You asked why we don’t “go back” and that’s really key because I always try to be positive and continue to move forward instead, I want to make progressively new and interesting music and we’re performing great on stage together. I’m happy with the way things are and looking forward to continuing on with the current YES line up.

In his late Mar 2017 Q&A, Howe was asked something similar. He replied:

This topic has gone round the houses a little bit. Before we can take on board ideas, there has to be a good line of communication. And as far as I understand ARW aren’t really interested in doing this and we’re most probably not really interested in doing this either.

Now that sounds like a big shut down, but in another way, one’s gotta understand that things aren’t always what they appear. Reinventing the ‘Union Tour’ is not really a concept that anyone from either of the lineups of YES or ARW have endorsed.

So basically, I would say, it’s not foreseeable. I think there’s ways that we can celebrate YES’s 50th year and most probably they want to as well. I think the complexity is unmeasurable by the fans. Those things aren’t easy. It’s not any one person that’s particularly making it difficult, but people can make it difficult and then it’s gotta be done in the right spirit. I’d say don’t hold your breath.

In a May 2017 interview, White was a little bit more positive: "There's a possibility [of a reunion] way down the line here[.] The next tour is the 50th anniversary of the band, so who knows what will happen then."

Relations between the band have not gotten any better since ARW switched name to "Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman". Howe was interviewed for an article in the Jul 2017 issue of Prog on the subject, using language described by the magazine as "both damning and colourful", but he subsequently asked for his comments not to be used. However, it is also revealed that:

he [Howe] wrote to them before, their tour, wishing them good luck. "That's my true spirit: that anyone can play Yes."

In the same issue, Downes and Wakeman both professed to be unbothered about the other band, although their language comes across as rather passive aggressive! Downes said: "We're focusing on what we're doing [...] We wish them well. We've got no axe to grind. We hope they succeed. They may have something against us. If they do that's their problem not ours." Wakeman: "I don't care what they do. They're fully entitled to do whatever they live. [...] I have no idea what they're doing [...] It's of no interest to me. [...] They're not a rival band. They're another lot out there playing Yes music, same as we are. We're just doing it our way [...] Good luck to them." Sherwood meanwhile said that he would go see Yes featuring ARW perform if he was free.

Asked how he feels about the other band touring at the same time as them, White said in an Aug 2017 interview, "It's quite funny. Quite frankly, I don't think about it very much. [...] They're doing their thing." In answer to a similar question in this Aug 2017 interview, Sherwood replied:

It’s interesting and strange at the same time. I haven’t really been paying too much attention to it because we keep staying on our track [...] I’m happy to hear as much Yes music in 2017 from the participants thereof and see the music thriving. There’s the obvious political push and pull that goes on in Yes; it’s always been that way and will always be that way. [...] there’s always much chaos and many moments to have it. (laughs) It’s really not surprising that we’re in this current state of affairs, but we go forward as Yes doing what we do.

On Eddie Trunk's radio show broadcasting from the Cruise to the Edge 2018 in early Feb, Sherwood said much the same: "From my perspective, I'm a long-time Yes fan, the more Yes music out there in 2018, the better. Um... obviously there is a lot of politics involved, but that's way above my pay grade. I just want to play the music […] It's all good as far as I'm concerned."

Before hearing they would be inducted, in a Nov 2016 interview, asked about a reunion with Yes if the band get inducted in the Hall of Fame, Wakeman said: "I think there's no chance of us ever reuniting[.] There's not a hope in hell of that happening."

In an Apr 2016 interview, Howe was asked whether it is fair to say that Anderson will never be back in the band. He replied: "I don't think that's fair at all [...] I don't know what the future holds [...] We're just moving ahead as we are. [...] We need certainties, y'know, we need availabilities, we need, y'know, commitments and things like that". He was later asked if the band still has good relationships with R Wakeman: "Well, I hope we try and keep good relations with everybody, y'know [...] people put their foot in it occasionally [laughs] But [...] there are always people from the bands you've been in that you have stayed closer to and other people you haven't and that very much depends on who makes any effort and who's got any time and, y'know, how much you can, so, y'know, it spreads itself evenly across the... so many members of Yes [laughs] that we've had, besides the other bands I hasten to add I've been in. But, y'know, um, it's a lovely thing, y'know, there's a pool of musicians and, y'know, we can reach out to each other when we want to." In a Jul 2016 interview, asked whether they would work with ex-members, Howe focused on the current band's plans and said: "Well, I guess what we're going to do is we're going to try to contain ourselves in our ambition and figure out how to keep these things going. It takes a lot of work and a lot of agreement." Asked in the Dec 2016 interview when he last spoke to Anderson, Howe replied, "I don't know whether I can reveal things like that. It's a little bit personal. We've been working in different bands and different areas for a very long time."

Sherwood was asked in an Aug 2016 interview about the band's future: "Could another merger be on the horizon? Who even owns the Yes name?" The article continues:

“All that stuff is above my pay grade,” Sherwood says with a laugh. “Let’s be honest. Did anyone think Yes could survive Chris Squire not being there? I wasn’t sure, and I was the one being asked to do it. But it seems to be surviving and thriving.” The future is “a hard thing to even discuss, because you just don’t know until you get there.”

Sherwood says he tries not to draw “hard lines” about authenticity. “Life evolves and music evolves and bands change,” he says. “We’re losing guys. That’s sad to say, but it’s true. But the music lives on and it’s a testament to the music.”

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 expanded family."

In an interview recorded in Apr 2016, White said, "I talk to Jon [Anderson] [...] on occasion. [...] I call him on his birthday, and that kind of stuff. [...] Rick, I haven't seen him for an awful long time. I'd like to see him again, y'know, because we used to get on very well." Asked if Anderson and Wakeman might ever return to Yes, he said, "I wouldn't rule it out [...] put it that way, but I think Jon doesn't want to do these long, arduous tours any more and if it was, it would be a kind of cameo appearance at some bigger venues like London [...] or Los Angeles". Asked in an early Nov 2016 interview whether, in the context of putting on a united performance should Yes be inducted into the Hall of Fame, there is animosity between the two bands, White replied: "There's a certain amount, y'know. I actually talk to everybody, so... so, it's a matter of other people sorting their opinions out". In the Dec 2016 interview, Howe was asked, "How do you feel about ARW being on tour now? Do you think that's a good idea? Are you cool with it?" He replied:

[Laughs] It's an idea that has every right to exist, as much as ABWH when we were together in the late 1980s. Basically there's room for anybody to play Yes music. We love to hear other people play Yes music. These guys have quite a bit of credibility to do that and they are outstanding musicians, so there's no reason why they shouldn't go out and play. There's not any reason.

Apparently responding to comments by ARW in a number of interviews, Sherwood posted to Facebook in early Oct 2016:

In light of current events...
In my view, anyone who puts on the uniform I.E. served playing with Yes, making records, touring etc... deserves respect for doing so (regardless of era), without ending up under a bus. It's my honor to play under the "YES" flag, of which there is only one flying... I have always been loyal to that flag... even at times when I was under fire for doing so (see OYE lol). I know Chris was loyal, as he was the only member to NEVER leave... I'm humbled and honored to now be back in "YES" [...] especially having been personally asked by my long time friend and musical comrade (inside and out of YES) Squire himself, he asked me to carry on in his position in the "band" and so it shall be done. My heart and soul are in it to win it, every time I play those bass parts I'm thinking of Chris and "YES" and what it all means to have had fate guide my life in this most unexpected manner, Yes was my world growing up as a kid. It became part of my career as an adult, a very surreal destiny indeed. With that I will continue to serve, putting on the uniform of a "YES" man once again, and as I promised Chris, I'll give it my full passion and priority... always remembering my fallen hero.

Asked in a May 2016 interview if he could see himself reuniting with other members of Yes, Anderson replied, "No, just Trevor [Rabin] and Rick [Wakeman]. That's enough." In an Apr 2016 interview, Anderson was asked about the continuing Yes, replying: "It's just business, and it's a group of people going out there and playing music that's very valid. I have a different perspective on what it is, and there are bands out there performing Yes music, called tribute bands[.] That's kind of the feeling of what's going on. That's why me and Trevor [Rabin] say, 'Well, listen if we're going to get together [in Anderson Rabin Wakeman], we've got to reignite Yes[.]'" In another May 2016 interview (presumably conducted in Apr), Anderson was asked whether they would reunite in the near future. He replied, "No, just Trevor and Rick. That's enough." Asked in another Apr 2016 interview how, if he had "a magic wand", he'd like to see Yes wrap up, Anderson replied: "Create some of the greatest music in the next 20 years. I'm still Yes, I'm still part of Yes in my heart and soul. I didn't leave the band, the band went off on their merry way when I wasn't very well. [giggles] [...] I've got it in my DNA".

In yet another May 2016 interview, Anderson said, "My history is intact musically[.] Yes became a brand and a business deal and that is not my idea of what music is. Music needs to touch you spiritually. When it is driven by money, then it takes away the joy of creation." In an interview for the Spring 2016 issue of Progression, Anderson was asked if he "keeps tabs on his former band". He replied: "Not really, no. I know they're on the road. Musicians need to make a living and that's what they're doing. [...] there's only two of them left". And in this Jun 2016 interview, he said: "people ask me, "What do you think of Yes?" I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been my life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can't tell them what to do, because it's not my band. They've got the name, but I've got the state of mind about what true "Yes music" should sound like".

In an Oct 2016 interview, Rabin talked about how Squire stayed in contact with him:
[Squire] would just always call and be in touch, and we never stopped talking. On numerous occasions since I’d left the band and was very busy doing film work, he called a number of times and said, ‘You know, I think it’s time for you to get up from your desk job and get back on the street.’ And you know, I was always a bit reluctant about, if the band’s going to be called Yes, for it to not have Jon in it. It seemed a bit strange to me. But the prime reason was that I was just so busy with what I was doing and really enjoying it.
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.
In the Mar 2012 Classic Rock, Squire floats this possibility, once suggested by R Wakeman around the time of Union:

I've been thinking recently that Yes could evolve into an entity like the London Symphony Orchestra, with different players. There could still be a Yes in 200 years' time. But presumably the band members will be different.

In a May 2012 interview, Squire made a similar comment:

YES to me now is evolving like a sports team or an orchestra. It’s not beyond the possibility that there still could be a YES in 200 years time… of course with different members

And here's another May 2012 interview: "In many ways I think about the possibility that there could still be a Yes in 100 or 200 years from now, just like a live symphony orchestra. [...] Just think of the Los Angeles Philharmonic: the members change, but the band keeps the same name." In the Apr 2018 issue of Prog, Downes said, "I had many conversations with Chris [Squire] where he said Yes' music should continue for as long as it can. It will probably be here long after we've gone." However, in an Oct 2019 interview, Wakeman argued that neither the band with Howe/White/Downes or ARW should be using the 'Yes' name, saying:
I really feel that the name should have been retired. I think it was disrespectful to Chris. There were all sorts of stories going around that “Oh, Chris wanted it to continue.” I know for a fact people that spoke to Chris and that isn’t true.
In Oct 2021, Sherwood responded to someone posting a 2019 article on Facebook that referenced that quote. He wrote:
3rd person anonymous “people who talked to Chris” ???
I can only speak to the 1st person conversations Chris and I had about YES future, which were many within the 6 weeks from him telling me he was sick to his passing. He wanted it to continue... for the fans and the music.
People can say what they like... I know first hand what Squires wishes were and to that end it’s 6 years later and we are going forward just as Chris wanted 😇

In an Aug 2014 interview, Davison said:
[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."

In an interview published Jun 2017, but seemingly conducted around Mar, White said:
Someone asked me the other day, “Do you think the band will ever get to the point where there’s no [classic] members?” And I said, perhaps, because it’s the music that makes it all worthwhile. There are a few Yes tribute bands out there, but not as many as other tribute bands because the music is quite hard to play.
In a Jul 2019 interview, asked if Yes could continue on "for decades", "with younger generations", Sherwood answered, "Yeah, I do. I could see that happening. Because the music is so good…it's like classical music [...] Anything that's timeless is always going to be revisited. And while we would love all of the original members to still be alive, reality is that life goes on and we lose people as we go. But the music lives on and I think that's important and I think it will go on in the future." In an Aug 2019 interview, asked whether Yes could continue after his death, Howe said: "I'm not overly possessive in what Yes is. I know that to help Yes you've got to have good ideas so if a guitarist could replace me and add good ideas then I don't see why not." In a Jul 2020 interview, Davison was asked if Yes will continue on, replacing members; he replied: "Well, it's hard to say, it's hard to imagine, y'know, losing these key members, these classic original members. It's possible, but of course we would need their blessing. [...] I can see it happening. [...] I think both Chris Squire and Rick Wakeman in the past have said, Yes will always go on, just like as true, monumental works of music in the classical style have gone on. [...] So, in a way, they have given us the blessing to do so. So maybe Billy, Jay and myself are like Star Trek: The Next Generation."

Animated film project: Roger Dean's "Floating Islands" film or something else
Yes had 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. [...]

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.

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.

Yes were also in contact with Roger Dean about being involved in his film plans. Dean has described a feature-length film using 3D computer animation based on the backstory to many of his Yes album covers, called "Floating Islands" (rogerdean.com link). Dean discussed the project in a Mar 2008 interview and described how they are still working on a script and arranging funding. He said the film will probably be just animation, although he would prefer to use a mix of live-action and computer-generated backgrounds. Dean was working on the script in an editorial capacity. In Jun 2007, Dean told a fan that significant funding for the project has been raised, although his comments suggested it could still be some while before the film enters production. Lynda Cope and David Blake were executive producers, with Dean and David Mousley as producers. In Feb 2011, asked about the project on his Facebook page, Dean replied: "it is unfortunately on hold for a while. We're hoping to get things moving again this summer [2011] though." Asked in Apr 2011, the reply on Facebook was:

We haven't given up on it but there has been no progress in the last three months, it has been very intermittent. When there's something to share we'll put it on the website.

Dave McKean's Twitter mentioned the project in Jun 2009. McKean is an artist (including cover art for Bill Bruford's Earthworks, Dream Theater, Tori Amos) and filmmaker (directed "MirrorMask", conceptual artist on the "Harry Potter" films). He explained, "we were both developing fantasy feature film ideas and decided to try and combine them since they have a lot in common", but cautioned, "Very early stages of something that may never happen and even if it does will take years". He also tweeted, "Lots of notes today on story outline for Roger Dean film. Coming together well. Parts of our individual stories + new connective tissue."

In a Feb 2008 interview, Dean said:

it’s surprisingly difficult to sort out the finances for it. [...] we have had a lot of people who have said ‘subject to you finishing the script, we’d like to do it’, so that kind of put the ball back in our court. We’ve had a number of re-writes on the script and at the moment we haven’t re-presented it until we’ve got a final, satisfactory script. [...] our ideal scenario is to have a script that we really love, because we have a story that we really love, but the script has always been not quite right [...] I’m involved in it but I’m not a writer. [...] It’s not in my hands to get this right, so it’s a little bit frustrating for me but I think we’re going to get there fairly soon. We’re currently in negotiations with a number of investors. All of the investor’s money that we’ve discussed so far for the movie hasn’t been with distributors, so our hope and expectation is that we will have a significant part of the funding in place before we talk to major film companies.

[...] It’s a ninety minute feature film. My partner and I haven’t come to a total agreement on whether it’s going to be CG with live action, which is my preferred route. He is still thinking we should keep the option of doing it fully animated with no live action at all which is something I’m not as enthusiastic about. However the technology is moving forward so I might change my mind later.

It is unclear how Yes are or were involved with planning for "Floating Islands". The film was expected to feature music by the band. Asked in the Mar 2008 interview about Yes making some music especially for the project, Dean replied: "all members of the band have spoken enthusiastically about doing that. [...] That's definitely what we would like." He goes on to say he would like both existing and new songs, and discusses the options for either existing or new recordings of old songs. He talks about both "Awaken" and "Soon". Back in Jun 2007, Dean had said that Yes are not currently involved with the project beyond authorising the use of their music. A report from around 2005 had that the film was intended to contain 8-12 classic tracks (a re-recorded "Close to the Edge" was mentioned in one rumour) and at least 4-5 new recordings. In Jun 2007, Dean confirmed there had previously been discussion of Yes writing new music for the film and that the band had been thinking of "re-recording everything" (presumably meaning re-recording classic pieces), but that there hadn't been any discussion of new music recently with Yes then being dormant.

Further back, there were more reports from Yes about contributing. In a Dec 2004 Delicious Agony interview, White said, "We're starting to write music for it." In his Christmas Newsletter 2004, Wakeman said: "There are certainly ideas in the offing which include [...] making a film/and/or DVD with Roger Dean involved with all of the visuals which I particularly like, but there is much to be sorted out within the band itself before any decisions". Wakeman indicated that one of their main reasons to prefer the DVD format over CDs is Internet piracy. In an Oct 2005 interview with Squire for YesFANZ, he said:

We are looking at various options from the various major companies. Universal have shown interest and we are going to be looking at trying to put together a show that maybe then after the film has been made of the same, we can then tour the world with that kind of a look and with that kind of combining the film and the touring aspect.
The interviewer, Brian Draper, then raised the Dean project. Squire:
I think Roger’s floating Islands idea is a very good project. But after Lord of the Rings was made [...] with such good quality, it[']s hard to know quite whether Roger may be a bit late in thinking about that because it has been done so well with the correct amount of money [...] His idea, I fully support it but I am not quite sure where it is going to go. I had a couple of meetings with him to try and figure it out but so far nothing is happening.

[...] I think pretty much [he is looking for funding]. [...] Yes is a separate entity really from Roger [...] I have to look out for what’s best for Yes as opposed to Roger. But I think the idea of animated film for a Yes musical project is a good one but there are various options on the table that we are looking at.

In a late May 2020 webcast, asked about the film, Dean said it had "never been off the agenda". He said he was working with a scriptwriter, but described them as "working on it by stealth". He also said part of the story being turned into a script was in the previous Yes tour book.

Archival live releases
Rob Ayling has organised three box sets of archival live material coming out: Union 30 Live, Yes Live at QPR 10th May 1975 (although this now appears to have been cancelled) and an expanded An Evening of Yes Music Plus (ABWH).



Union 30 Live (RRAW; promo video of "Owner of a Lonely Heart"; promo video of "Roundabout") is a limited edition 26CD/6DVD release in a "flight case" to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Union tour, a sort of much expanded re-release of Union Live. It was originally due 3 May 2021, but delayed to 16 May and then to 30 Jul. The latest update on 23 Jul said orders would arrive "within the next couple of weeks". Copies have arrived with most people now. As Jon Kirkman explained in a May 2021 edition of the Prog Report, "Yes haven't generated this". Rather, the release comes from The Larry Magid Entertainment Group, with project conception, inception and coordination by Rob Ayling. Magid, who has been working with ARW more recently, was the tour promoter and owns the rights to recordings from the tour. Kirkman said the eight Yes men were "fully on board with" the release. Ayling, Magid and Brian Lane were the executive producers. Audio mastering was by John Hughes.

The main disc is a multi-camera DVD of the 8 Aug 1991 Shoreline Ampitheatre show mixed by Trevor Rabin, previously released in 2011. The rest of the set comes from various bootlegs, including audience recordings, desk tapes and radio broadcasts. The discs are housed over 11 "fatpack" jewel cases, holding 2-4 discs each. The contents were initially announced as:
  • 2CD/DVD: Pensacola Civic Centre, 9 Apr 1991, previously released on the 4-disc version of Union Live
  • 3CD: Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA, 17 Apr 1991
  • 2CD/DVD: Nassau Colosseum, 20 Apr 1991
  • 3CD: Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle, Stuttgart, Germany, 31 May 1991 (FM broadcast)
  • 3CD: 2CD for Wembley Arena, UK, 29 Jun 1991 (FM Broadcast) + 1CD for Star Lake Amphitheatre, 24 Jul 1991
  • 3CD: Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Wisconsin, 26 Jun 1991
  • 2CD/DVD: Madison Square Garden, New Tork, 15 Jul 1991
  • 3CD: Spectrum Theatre, Philadelphia, 12 Jul 1991
  • 2CD/DVD: Shoreline Amphitheatre, 8 Aug 1991 (remastered), previously released as Union Live
  • 3CD: Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan, 4 March 1992

The contents have now been announced as:
Various individual tracks have been mislabelled. Some of the CDs seem not to have been digitally formatted correctly. Also included are a numbered certificate, reproduction tour programme, reproduction AAA laminate, reproduction cloth passes, 10 band photos and 2 posters. These shows all appear to have been released on Union Live or been previously bootlegged. It is unknown if this release will include better audio or video.

Also due is a limited edition (1000 units) 180g coloured 4LP box, described as from the Shoreline show. One report had this as delayed to 3 Sep, but it was then delayed again to 27 Sep 2021, although some people received theirs earlier. This comes with the previously released DVD of the show (many copies sent were missing this, but if you were affected, contact Gonzo Distribution for your copy), reproduction programme, laminate and guest passes. There have been complaints that the packaging deviates from promotion. Tracks: side 1—"Intro: Firebird Suite", "Yours is No Disgrace"; side 2—"Rhythm of Love/Shock to the System", "Heart of the Sunrise"; side 3—"Clap/Mood for a Day/Make It Easy", "Owner of a Lonely Heart/And You and I"; side 4—drum duet/Tony Kaye solo (labelled as such, but actually just the first part of "Changes"), "Changes"/I've Seen All Good People"; side 5—"Solly's Beard/Saving My Heart for You", "Whitefish/Amazing Grace"; side 6—"Lift Me Up", Rick Wakeman solo; side 7—"Awaken"; side 8—"Roundabout". Again, the announced contents have been updated. What was first announced had the material on the first 3 LPs being what was previously released on vinyl, with the contents of the fourth LP being new to vinyl, having been previously released as audio tracks on the 4-disc Union Live, and added at the end, outside of the original running order. The updated track listing put this material into its right place. A free digital version of the LP (plus 2 bonus tracks) was then made available when you subscribe to their mailing list. This had "And You and I" truncated to 5:55. This also had "Rhythm of Love" with around 10 minutes of silence at the end of the file. It comes with 2 bonus tracks not from the Shoreline show: "Gimme Some Lovin'" and a rehearsal recording of "Yours is No Disgrace". However, this offer has now disappeared.

There is also a 2 CD/1 DVD release of Shoreline Ampitheatre, 8th Aug 1991, which appears to be just the Shoreline jewel case from Union 30 Live as a standalone, out 10 Sep 2021. This is thus the same as 3 out of 4 of the discs on Union Live.

Various other merchandise items, including programmes, are available.

Advertising then appeared for a Yes Live at QPR 10th May 1975 boxset to be released on 30 Sep 2021 on Takeaway Records, which is owned by Rob Ayling and Brian Lane. This was to have been an expanded re-release of the live at QPR film, famous for its audio problems. The box set was advertised as containing: DVD 1 – QPR film; DVD 2 – audio: quad up mix of the QPR concert + original quad version of King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast from Boston, 11 Dec 1974; CD 1 – 2CD of Boston; CD 2 - 2CD of New Haven, 10 Dec 1975 (advertised as such, but actually this was 1974). It was also to come with a reproduction programme, postcards, poster, numbered certificate and various doodads. An LP box set was also expected. Among other places, the set was advertised in a newsletter associated with Rick Wakeman from RRAW Enterprises Ltd. (a label by Ayling and Rick Wakeman), although of course Wakeman was not in the band at the time. Alerted to this, Wakeman responded on Twitter on 31 Jul, saying: "I've no idea where this started as I certainly didn't personally write about it in my rwcc blog so whoever did this newsletter was not authorized by me to mention it. I've been told it's not coming out now, although it hopefully will one day as it's all part of the history of YES". The listing for the release on the Takeaway Records site has been taken down.

Finally, Takeaway Records are releasing CD and vinyl box sets of An Evening of Yes Music Plus, the ABWH live album. Details haven't been released, but there appears to be a 4 or 5CD and/or 4LP release.

Rick Wakeman's Yes Solos 1971-2003 (RRAW) is, as the name implies, a compilation of 15 of Wakeman's solos from Yes shows, released as a Wakeman solo album in 2021. RRAW is a label by Wakeman and Rob Ayling (Gonzo/Takeaway Records/Voiceprint). Two more tracks from the tour are on Wakeman's Unreleased Demos Volume 1, in his Collector Club series: see under Wakeman for details.

Following on from Progeny, it appears that further archival live releases (from other tours) may be planned. Brian Kehew, who mixed Progeny, said that the release was very successful and that they were looking at further options. In a Mar 2015 Q&A, he said:
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) was 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.) He has sent various recordings to Yes's management, including of the showcase by Cinema when they were looking for a record deal.

On the Cruise to the Edge in Nov 2015, when asked about further archival releases, Howe said there was plenty more in the vaults. On the 2017 Cruise, he said they were considering some sort of follow-up to Progeny, possibly covering the Union tour, where they have around 6 shows they could use.

Early recordings out of copyright
Certain copyrights on music expire after 50 years in Europe. As I understand it, it is this that has led to a series of releases of early Yes recordings, as certain recordings up to 1971 are covered by these rules. These are separate to the reports of early years boxset and done without the approval or involvement of the band. The first was In the Beginning (London Calling, LCCD0005069), a CD/LP release of 1968-9 recordings. This came out 13 Nov 2020 in the Netherlands and 27 Nov in the UK. Tracks, LP side A—Night Ride, early 1968, BBC Radio 1: "Beyond and Before" (3:44), "Images of You and Me" (3:52), "Jeanetta" (3:04); Pop-Eye, Brussels, Belgium, broadcast 15 Oct 1969 (Belgian TV): "Beyond and Before" (4:55), "Survival" (6:11); LP side B—Chikito Club, Bern, Switzerland, 27 Nov 1969 (Swiss TV): "Dear Father" (5:29), "Everydays" (5:19), "Sweetness" (4:19), "Something's Coming" (7:14). The first 3 tracks are by Mabel Greer's Toyshop: they were previously released on that band's 2016 release, Images. The Belgian TV tracks have been expected on the official early years boxset. The release comes with an 8-page CD booklet (4-page LP booklet) with background notes and archival imagery. In the Beginning Volume 2 (LCCD0005076) followed 12 Mar 2021. Tracks, Sporthalle, Cologne, West Germany, 3 April 1970, WDR-TV: "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", "Then", "Every Little Thing", "Astral Traveller", "Everydays"; Belgian TV, Brussels, Belgium, 4 Sep 1970, BNTV: "Astral Traveller", "Everydays", "Then", "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed", "Sweet Dreams".

Then there was the 2CD Beyond and Before (1968-1970) on Audio Vaults with 1968-70 recordings: CD1—three Night Ride 1968 Mabel Greer's Toy Shop tracks as above, "Looking Around" (3:50, Johnnie Walker Show, 14 Jun 1969), "Every Little Thing" (5.35, Symonds On Saturday, 10 Aug 1969), "Sweetness" (3.55, ibid.), "For Everyone" (9.35, Mike Harding Show, 14 Apr 1970), "America" (15.50, Mike Harding Show, 27 Oct 1970), "Sweetness" (4.02, The Penthouse, Sheffield, 24 Feb 1969), "Something's Coming" (7.23, ibid.), "Sweet Dreams" (3.15, ibid.); CD2—"Every Little Thing" (3.32, Big Apple Club, Wiesbaden, West Germany, 26 Aug 1969), "Something's Coming" (8.20, ibid.), two 1969 Pop-Eye tracks as above, four 1969 Swiss TV tracks as above, five 1970 Cologne tracks as above.

Then came the 3CD Transmission Impossible (Eat to the Beat, ETTB 133), originally due 14 Jan 2022, but then delayed until 28 Jan. The first 2 discs come from 1968-70 in the UK (the 1968 sessions are Mabel Greer's Toy Shop), mainly radio sessions, with the third disc covering German and Belgian TV sessions from the same period. Tracks:
CD1—Top Gear, BBC, 12 Jan 1969: "Something's Coming" (7:38), "Everydays 5:11), "Sweetness" (4:14), "Dear Father" (5:33), "Every Little Thing" (5:32); Symonds on Sunday, 4 Aug 1969: "Looking Around" (3:39), "Beyond & Before" (5:27); Dave Lee Travis Show, 19 Jan 1970: "Sweet Dreams" (3:25), "Then" (4:19), "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (4:15); John Peel's Sunday Show, 17 Mar 1970: "Astral Traveller" (6:01), "Then" (5:15); Mike Harding Show, 27 Oct 1970: "America" (14:56).

CD2—John Peel's Sunday Show, 17 Mar 1970: "Every Little Thing" (6:48), "Everydays" (6:08), "For Everyone" (4:35); Johnnie Walker Show, 14 Jun 1969: "Intro/Sweetness" (5:17); Top Gear, 23 Feb 1969 "Something's Coming" (7:59), "Sweet Dreams" (4:15); Mabel Greer's Toyshop, Night Ride, BBC, 3 Apr 1968: "Beyond & Before" (3:44), "Images of You and Me" (3:53), "Jeanetta" (3:04); Mike Harding Show, 14 Apr 1970: "For Everyone" (9:40); The Penthouse, Sheffield, 24 Feb 1969: "Dear Father" (5:43), "Eleanor Rigby" (3:26), "I See You" (7:49); "Beyond & Before" (4:06).

CD3—Pop-Eye, Belgian TV, 15 Oct 1969: "Beyond & Before" (4:55), "Survival" (6:11); Big Apple Club, German TV, 26 Aug 1969: "Every Little Thing" (3:33), "Something's Coming" (8:21); Popshop, Belgian TV, 4 Sep 1970: "Astral Traveller" (6:26), "Everydays" (6:57), "Then" (6:11), "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (5:22), "Sweet Dreams" (3:27); Progressive Pop Festival, German TV, 3 Apr 1970: "Then" (6:28), "Every Little Thing" (6:54), "Astral Traveller" (6:06), "Everydays" (6:18), "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" (4:57).
The Sheffield tracks on CD2 seem to be the only recordings not from a broadcast and are worse in audio quality. This is the first commercial release of Yes performing "Eleanor Rigby".

There is considerable but not complete overlap between all these releases. Thus, for example, In the Beginning Volume 2 contains a subset of Transmission Impossible's CD 3. Transmission Impossible CDs 1 and 2 cover most of In the Beginning and Beyond and Before (1968-1970), but the latter both include four Swiss TV tracks not on Transmission Impossible. There are further unique tracks on Beyond and Before (1968-1970).


Some retailers are advertising the 6CD Yes Box—Legendary Recordings from the Early Years, but this appears to be an illegitimate bootleg.


Other re-releases &c.
There is a limited edition (1500 copies) silver vinyl re-release of 9012Live The Solos due from Music on Vinyl (MOVLP1672C) on 27 May 2022.

Tales from Yesterday
, the Yes tribute album including appearances from Howe, Sherwood, Banks and Moraz, has been released on a 2LP splatter vinyl by Cleopatra Records. Cleopatra Records has also done a 2LP splatter vinyl of Beyond and Before – BBC Recordings 1969-1970.

Yes's "Wonderous Stories" is included on the 3CD compilation 70s Rock Down: The Ultimate Rock Anthems, which was curated by Rick Wakeman: details on his page.

Several recent compilations on Cherry Red or its sub-labels include Yes tracks, including Yes's "Every Little Thing" and Tomorrow's "Strawberry Fields Forever" (with Steve Howe) on Looking Through a Glass Onion – The Beatles Psychedelic Songbook 1966-72, "America" on Beyond the Pale Horizon – The British Progressive Pop Sounds of 1972, "Beyond and Before" and "Survival" on Banquet – Underground Sounds of 1969 (ECLEC32765), and "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" and "Astral Traveller" on Taking Some Time on – Underground Sounds of 1970 (ECLEC42767). The 5CD Think I'm Going Weird: Original Artefacts from the British Psychedelic Scene 1966-68 on Grapefruit, out Oct 2021, includes Mabel Greer's Toyshop's "Jeanetta" (with Squire and Banks), The Syn's "Flowerman" (with Squire and Banks), Canto's "Come Over Stranger" (with Howe) and Tomorrow's "The Incredible Journey of Timothy Chase" (with Howe). Out the same day was the 4CD Breakthrough – Underground Sounds of 1971 (ECLEC42779), including "I've Seen All Good People" and "Heart of the Sunrise". The 4CD Blowing Free – Underground and Progressive Sounds of 1972 (ECLEC42799), 4CD due 24 Jun 2022, includes "And You and I".

Three Yes songs and an ABWH piece are included on Bill Bruford's career retrospective 6CD box set Making a Song and Dance: see under Bruford for details.

Covers of Yes songs & other news
Brad Mehldau's Jacob's Ladder (Nonesuch), released 18 Mar 2022 (vinyl release to follow later), includes new music and re-interpretations of several prog rock songs, including "Starship Trooper". The album was otherwise composed by Mehldau. The album is described as featuring "new music that reflects on scripture and the search for God through music inspired by the prog rock he loved as a young adolescent." Also performing are Chris Thile (mamdolin), Cécile McLorin Salvant (vocals), Mark Guiliana (drums), Becca Stevens (vocals), Joel Frahm (sax) and others. It was produced by Mehldau and John Davis. Tracks:
  1. "maybe as his skies are wide" (3:43), containing elements of Rush's "Tom Sawyer"
  2. "Herr und Knecht" (7:48)
  3. "(Entr'acte) Glam Perfume" (5:45)
  4. "Cogs in Cogs, Pt. I: Dance" (4:11), containing elements of the Gentle Giant song
  5. "Cogs in Cogs, Pt. II: Song" (4:02), interpretation of the Gentle Giant song
  6. "Cogs in Cogs, Pt. III: Double Fugue" (4:31), containing elements of the Gentle Giant song
  7. "Tom Sawyer" (7:44), interpretation of the Rush song
  8. "Vou correndo te encontrar / Racecar" (5:05), the latter being an interpretation of the song by Periphery
  9. "Jacob's Ladder, Pt. I: Liturgy" (1:57)
  10. "Jacob's Ladder, Pt. II: Song" (11:30), interpretation of the Rush song
  11. "Jacob's Ladder, Pt. III: Ladder" (4:19)
  12. "Heaven: I. All Once — II. Life Seeker — III. Würm — IV. Epilogue: It Was a Dream But I Carry It Still" (10:07), including an interpretation of "Starship Trooper"


Released 6 Jun 2022 was Awaken (trailer), an album of Yes songs and related pieces by Tim Morse and the Yes tribute band Parallels. Tracks:
  1. "Awaken" (15:31), recorded 2007
  2. "Some are Born" (5:50), an arrangement combining both Jon Anderson's solo version and Yes's version
  3. "Opening Sketches" (6:33), sketches by Morse from when he was collaborating remotely with Anderson on musical ideas that Anderson eventually used on "Open"; previously released on Morse's limited release album Miscellanea
  4. "Future Times/Rejoice" (6:52), recorded 2007
  5. "Guitar Etude #1" (0:28), original piece by Morse as an intro to "Onward"
  6. "Onward" (4:44), all instruments and vocals by Morse
  7. "Awaken (Adam Holzman Mix)" (15:30)
Mick Squires (Duff McKagan's Loaded) organised a cover of "Starship Trooper" as a benefit video for Roadie Relief to support road crew and touring support staff who had difficultites during the pandemic. The video is in four parts: part 1 ("Life Seeker") has Jeff Pilson (ex-Dokken, ex-Dio, Foreigner; bass), Greg Gilmore (Mother Love Bone; drums), Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks; guitar), Brandon Yeagley (Crobot; vocals) and Ty Bailie (works with Katy Perry; keys). Part 2 ("Disillusion") has Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, worked with Conspiracy; acoustic guitar) and Amanda Hardy (Bexley; vocals). Part 3 ("Disillusion" ending) has Alex Skolnick (Testament; guitar), Kirk Douglas (The Roots; vocals), Janet Weiss (Quasi; drums), Tony Reed (Mos Generator; bass) and Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth; keys). Part 4 ("Würm") has Squires (guitar), Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses; guitar), Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters; bass), Loren Gold (works with The Who; keys) and Don Gunn (drums). Gunn also produced and mixed the song.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star make instrumental lullaby versions of rock music and released 7 Jan 2022 Lullaby Versions of Yes as a digital album (Roma Music Group). Tracks:
  1. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (5:39)
  2. "Roundabout" (5:03)
  3. "I've Seen All Good People" (7:02)
  4. "Love will Find a Way" (5:00)
  5. "Changes" (6:40)
  6. "Long Distance Runaround" (4:31)
  7. "Starship Trooper" (7:09)
  8. "Sweetness" (4:40)
  9. "Then" (5:10)
  10. "Closer [sic] to the Edge" (6:58)
  11. "Mood for a Day" (3:47)
  12. "Wonderous Stories" (4:44)
Joe Bonamassa's Now Serving: Royal Tea Live from the Ryman (Provogue Records) is out as a CD, 2LP, DVD or Bluray on 11 Jun 2021 in the UK and due 18 Jun on the US (9 Jul for 2LP). It ends with a combination of Jethro Tull's "A New Day Yesterday" and Yes's "Starship Trooper: Würm". The album made #5 in Germany, #7 in Switzerland, #23 in Austria, #26 in the Netherlands, #51 in the UK and #163 in France.

Lucas Altuzarra's "Everybody (Move Your Body)" samples "Owner of a Lonely Heart". The song was recorded during sessions for his album Lucas, but not used at the time. It was released for the first time on his 2022 compilation album Greatest Hits.

It samples Yes' “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and Barry White’s “Playing Your Game, Baby”, with the latter being sampled for the second time; the artist first used it with “tonight” (and its remix version).

On tour in Aug 2022, Jordan Rudess has been performing on piano to a backing track with Anderson singing of "Soon".

Arkady Shilkloper (horns) performed a Symphonic Tribute to Yes with the Tomsk Symphony Orchestra on 10 June 2021, viewable on YouTube. Working with Igor Lerman's Chamber Orchestra, he performed "Onward", "Time and a Word" and "The Meeting" in Russia on 3 Oct 2021, also on YouTube.

A remix of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Start Rec ft. Jua Amir (1:38 duration) was released on (I think) 9 Jul 2021 and is used in a new advertising campaign from Renault.

Cov3r to Cov3r is the third in a series of covers albums by Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George. It includes "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" with vocals from Jon Davison: see under Davison for details.

Trevor Rabin is putting what he described as "a variation" of "Endless Dream: Silent Spring" on his forthcoming solo album: see under Rabin for details.



Media, books, fandom etc.
Forgotten Yesterdays has had a major re-vamp, including taking over Remy Menting's Songs of the Earth (yessongs.nl) archive of live recordings, which was previously endorsed by the band.

Yesfans.com, which has long been the main online forum for Yes fans, closed 31 Nov 2021. Many thanks to Tim Lutterbie for running the site for so many years. Much of the community moved to The New Yesfans, run by John Vehadija, which has now moved back to Yesfans.com.

Due 24 Feb 2022 was Paolo Carnelli's Italian-language Yes biography, "Yes. Gli Anni d'Oro (1969 - 1980)" (Facebook).

Simon Barrow is publishing a new and expanded edition of his book "Solid Mental Grace" with five new chapters, including covering The Quest. This has been expected around Aug 2022.

"Yes in the 1980s" (Sonicbond Publishing) is a book covering Yes in the 1980s, but also ABWH and associated projects, including Asia, XYZ, The Buggles, Jon and Vangelis and GTR. The book is by Stephen Lambe (author of "Yes: Every Album, Every Song") with David Watkinson (author of "Yes—Perpetual Change"), released 29 Oct 2021. Watkinson has also been considering an updated version of "Yes—Perpetual Change", among other projects. Lambe's "Yes: Every Album, Every Song" had a 2021 release as an ebook in an updated form covering From a Page. Sonicbond are next doing a book covering Yes in the 1990s, with Lambe and Simon Barrow involved. If anyone has good photos from the period, please get in touch with Simon.

Martin Popoff has written "Yes: A Visual Biography" (Wymer Publishing), out 9 Jul 2021. An A4 book, weighing over 1.5kg, it covers the band up to Drama. With an updated title of "Yes: A Visual Biography I: 1968 - 1981", the book is re-released on 18 Feb 2022 with a new cover. "Yes: A Visual Biography II: 1982 – 2022" (224 pages), also by Popoff, followed 6 May 2022.

Sid Smith is working on a book compiling many of the liner notes he has written over the years, corrected and expanded. The book will largely cover music of the 1970s and will probably include his notes for the Panegyric Yes re-releases.

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 by a "big publisher": further details under Wakeman. Moraz too was planning an autobiography that "will reveal the truth of what happened with Yes" (Oct 2010 interview). Squire was also working on an autobiography before his death, which may be completed by collaborator Vincent Gallo.

Management etc.

Since the beginning of 2016, Yes have been managed by Martin Darvill of QEDG Management (Facebook, Twitter), who already managed Asia, Geoff Downes, Downes Braide Association, Snakecharmer (with Adam Wakeman), John Wetton, ELP, Greg Lake, Focus, Curved Air, Uriah Heep, This Oceanic Feeling and others. Further management and contact details are available at YesWorld. Publicity is by the Mitch Schneider Organization.

Precisely who owns the Yes name, or what that question even means, is unclear with various different rights at play. Yes appears to exists as two corporate entities: Yes '97 LLC was owned by Howe, White and Squire, while Yes Touring LLC (set up 2014) was owned by Howe, White and Downes (and formerly Squire). It is unclear what effect Squire's and White's passing has. Anderson and possibly R Wakeman were equal co-owners of Yes 2002 LLC, but reportedly sold their shares back. Copyright in the classic Roger Dean logo belongs to Dean and Howe, but there is a US trademark including it (serial number 73266222) belonging to Anderson, White and Squire.

In an interview published online in Jan 2022, Howe was asked if he and White "call the shots" in the band these days. Howe replied: "Yeah, we have a strength of opinion based on our experience, and we can bring light to the dark tunnel sometimes by saying we've been through all these things before. I'm sure Alan and I have voices that are going to be listened to. But this is a team. This does rely immensely on teamwork, and pretty much things have to run through people, and they have to agree irrespective of their period in the band."

Consider also this Jul 2009 interview with Squire:

Q: Yes has endured many personnel changes, but you've always been there. [...]

A: It's more by default than design, actually. I've been there, and other members have gone off to do other projects. A lot of them have come back and left again and come back again. [...]

Q: There have been intraband tension and court fights. [...]

A: [...] Over the years, there have been challenges about who can use our name. It's quite simple: A majority of people left in the band at a certain time own the name. It's not like I'm the guy who has the name under my own contract.

Squire made related comments in an Oct 2009 interview published in Italian:

Intanto è stato casuale, non è che abbia mai avuto il disegno di essere il portavoce della band ora e sempre. E' però accaduto che nel corso del tempo altri decidessero che per loro era il momento di provare strade ed esperienze diverse. Così sono usciti e poi rientrati dal gruppo, come hanno fatto [Rick] Wakeman e Steve Howe. Però sono stato in buona compagnia perché Alan White si è unito a noi nel 1972 quindi i suoi 38 anni se li è fatti pure lui...

In interviews promoting Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman, Rabin made a number of comments pertaining to rights and ownership. In a Sep 2016 interview, he said, "Even though I have absolutely nothing to do with the current Yes band; I look forward to performing the material. When I left the band, I gave up my rights to the group; Jon and Alan White own the rights". (This appears to be a reference to the trademark.) While in an interview published the next month, but probably also conducted Sep, he said, "When Rick, Jon and I decided to get together we actively decided not to call it Yes, even though we have just as much right to do so." In a Jan 2017 interview, Wakeman described events in 2008 so: "The other guys in Yes decided they wanted to carry on [without Anderson] but I felt very strongly that you couldn't have Yes without Jon singing and wanted to wait. But they had a democratic vote and they went out on tour". In a Jun 2016 interview, Anderson said:
And people ask me, “What do you think of Yes [today]?” I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been my life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can’t tell them what to do, because it’s not my band. They’ve got the name, but I’ve got the state of mind about what true “Yes music” should sound like
In late Jan 2017, ARW started using the 'Yes' name in promotion, billing themselves as "Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman (ARW)". They did so against the wishes of the current Yes band. See more under ARW. When ARW then made a press announcement switching to that name on 10 Apr, Yes announced:
While Jon Anderson has rights to use the name as one of the co-owners of the trademark, Yes' position is that every effort should be made by promoters, ticket agencies and all involved to respect Yes' magnificant and loyal fanbase and minimize confusion regarding the use of Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman.
An Apr 2017 UltimateClassicRock article reports that, at the time of Squire's death, ownership of the Yes brand (whatever precisely that means) was jointly held by Squire/Anderson/Howe/White. The article talks of a gentleman's agreement to that point between Anderson and Squire over use of the name, although it is unclear whether this is their theory or was confirmed by sources. They quote management for the continuity Yes as saying that while Anderson "has a co-ownership right to use the name", he also "presumably" has "a duty to ensure that the use does not cause unnecessary confusion for fans." Yes management also said they had been given exclusive use of the classic Dean logo. (Roger Dean himself said to one fan in late 2017 that he was open to doing cover art for ARW.) The article quotes Anderson's management too: "Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman have as much right – if not more so – to call themselves Yes, since Jon Anderson, the co-founder of the group, has always had the rights to use the name and the trademark". In a May 2018 article, Howe said, "It's complicated. Instead of going to court for five years and wasting £2m, we basically are just kind of enjoying the fact that we're Yes and they're Yes as well sometimes. Hey, you know, it's a bit like accepting that Cornish pasties aren't simply made in Cornwall." In a Jun 2018 article, asked about the other band, he said, "I've got nothing to say really[.] Our position is non-aggression ... but it's not a perfect scenario."

In a May 2018 interview, Anderson said that, "I owned the name and Chris Squire and Alan White owned the name. His wife said that when Chris leaves us maybe we could use the name. We said that the year we got into the Hall of Fame we'd be out there as Yes in front on one million people around the world so why didn't we use the name. We used the addition of featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman to differentiate us from the other Yes." Asked whether he has any problems with the other band, he replied:
They`ve been really cool about it.  It`s never been a problem.  I had a conversation with the other guys and just said to them to let people know who`s in the band as I keep getting phone calls about me playing somewhere but I`m not in your band, so please tell people who`s in the band so they don`t expect to see me.
A Jun 2018 article in The San Diego Union-Tribune stated that, "A longstanding agreement stipulated that the only band that could be billed as Yes was the one that included Squire. After his death, Squire's widow told Anderson she saw no reason he, Wakeman and Rabin could not also assume the Yes name. So they did." A Jul 2021 rumour on Facebook had that the Yes trademark had been owned by Howe, White, Squire and Anderson, but that Squire's widow passed his share to Anderson, leaving Howe/White and Anderson with equal shares, leading to an agreement over how to use the name.

Asked in another Jun 2018 interview whether each band has the other's blessing, White said:
Well, I don’t know. I don’t really think about it much, to tell you the truth. It’s their thing; their version of Yes. We do our version, but really this band is still Yes. There are comments that come from the other camp, but I wouldn’t reply to the comments because I don’t need to.
Rumour suggests there have actually been ongoing arguments over the use of the Dean logo, with ARW periodically using it and then stopping using it.

In a Jun 2018 interview, commenting on the two bands situation, White said:
It’s a lot of business stuff. We own the name. They own the name. Jon Anderson and I own it, but the logo we own, because Steve Howe owns most of the logo.
A Mar 2019 interview with White had this exchange:
Interviewer: Who owns the name “Yes” since there are two of them now?

White: Well, there’s not really two of them. This Yes I’m in is the guys with the Yes name and always had it. And so legally, we are still Yes. Even though the other guys were in it for long periods of time at different times, they’ve all done other things. Chris and myself had never done anything else. We just carried on.

Interviewer: But they call themselves “Yes featuring ARW.” How is that legal if you guys own the name?

White: They can legally do that because Jon still has some of the copyright. It’s kind of a legal thing. They they can say “Yes Featuring ARW,” but they can’t call themselves “Yes.” We own the logo.

Projects involving multiple Yes men
There are a large number of projects involving more than one Yesman (see summary table on main page). Some are listed below, while others are listed on their own pages or under key individuals. In particular, Sherwood and Tony Kaye have continued to work on several projects together, including CIRCA:, covered here.

Arc of Life Twitter; Instagram; Facebook
Arc of Life are Billy Sherwood (bass, vocals), Jon Davison (vocals) and Jay Schellen (drums) from Yes, plus Dave Kerzner (In Continuum, worked with Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Genesis, ex-Giraffe; keys) and Jimmy Haun (ex-CIRCA:, worked with Yes, Jon Anderson, Conspiracy, Steve Porcaro; guitars). The band are managed by Martin Darvill at QEDG Management, who also manage Yes, Asia, Downes Braide Association and many others. Their debut album, Arc of Life (Frontiers Records, FR CD 1088; 57 minutes), was released 12 Feb 2021; details in Yescography. On 7 Mar 2022, Sherwood posted a picture of him and Haun to Facebook, saying, "Working on the next "Arc Of Life" CD". In an interview with the Yesshift podcast, uploaded 19 May 2022, Sherwood said
we've actually made a new record and I literally just finished it and had it mastered by Maor Appelbaum just about [...] three weeks ago now. So, now I'm just working on cover art and getting all the sort of stuff together with Frontiers Records to get it ready to come out. When they put it out, I don't know
He continued: "The first record, you know, admittedly is a little bit more straight ahead in places and a little more, you know, not that it's a bad word, but kind of commercial. […] the record starts that way and then it evolves into a sort of more progressive feeling thing by the end. And this is almost like a relay race now where we took that baton and now we've just gone farther, faster with it, and so it's much more progressive on this one. The last track is 17 minutes long. It's actually called "Arc of Life The Last Track". Dan Shinder, interviewing, asks how that name came about. Sherwood replied, "the first track that Jon and I wrote for this, when we were just writing for fun, y'know, we kept writing this song, and kept writing and writing, and eventually it was like 17 minutes long. So when, when it came time to sort of put together the first record, I played music for Frontiers and that was one of those songs and they kind of were, like. 'Well, this is really cool, but we kind of were looking for more of a straight ahead kind of record here for the debut.' So that song just kind of went on ice for a minute, but has since now resurfaced and been fleshed out and developed and and just sounds killer. It's the right evolution for the band at the right time".

The debut album's production was credited to the band and Derek Shulman (ex-Gentle Giant, worked with Yes in a management role), although it appears Sherwood led for the band. It was recorded and mixed by Sherwood (additional engineering by Scott Walton), and mastered by Maor Appelbaum. Design and artwork were by Michael Inns. They were thinking about the cover as the COVID-19 pandemic started. The idea for it came from Sherwood, who was thinking about the experience of being locked down. He also said in a Feb 2021 interview that he didn't want the cover to look like a Yes album.

The album peaked at #95 in the US iTunes chart, #18 on the Rock chart (12 Feb 21). It was as high as #91 in Amazon US's Rock chart (#19 for Best Rock New Releases). The album made #49 in the UK Indie album chart and #9 on the Independent Albums Breakers chart for acts who have not yet made the full top 40 (19 Feb 2021).
The songwriting is all credited to Sherwood/Davison. (Kerzner described the first album in a May 2021 interview as "very much [Sherwood's] style. And Jon [Davison]. But even more [Sherwood's] style, I would say.") Davison said in promo for the album that, "Once the world gets over the COVID hump, Arc Of Life will be planning as much touring as we can fit in between YES and our other projects. Quite honestly, we're all chomping at the bit to be out performing again!" In a Jan 2021 interview with Yes Music Podcast, Sherwood said, "One of the things we did on purpose was to show the range of expansion that's available [...] how you go from the top of the album, which is pretty straight ahead, even though it's proggy in its arranging, and then by the time you get to "Therefore We Are", y'know, it's flowered into these very long pieces of music [...] So I think that shows the potential of what we can do".

Back in Sep 2016 on Facebook, Sherwood described working on a song entitled "Until Further Notice", also the working title for a solo album of his. He also named another song, "Talking with Siri". In early Nov 2017, he shared a video on Facebook of a drum session with Schellen for the latter. In another Jan 2021 interview, with Heavy New York, Sherwood described how he began "Talking with Siri" while on a UK Yes tour, one night after a show. In a Feb 2021 interview with SOAL Night Live, Sherwood acknowledged that there were some older ideas used on the album, but said most of the writing was from 2017 onwards. He explained that he and Davison started writing together without any particular intent: "We just started writing songs. And once we had two or three things developed, they were kind of obvious to he and I that this was something more than songwriting, but it wasn't, like, destined for a Yes thing [...] It was to become something bigger. [...] it was that point we realised we needed to fill the band". He also described working early on with Shulman on some of the arrangements. In his Yes Music Podcast interview, Sherwood described how the band came out of songwriting by him and Davison when they shared a tour bus for 2017's Yes tour: "before too long we had kinda three or four ideas that were developing [...] we thought maybe we can start steering this towards a band thing. It was at that point we kind of made the decision and phoned Jay Schellen up [...] and Jimmy Haun [...] and Dave Kerzner". He confirmed that the album was principally written by him and Davison, but continued, "now that we've formed the thing [...] I know that there's talented writers in the band [...] the idea for the next one will be to just get it into a studio and just sit down and have some fun for a week and see what we come up with as a unit". Sherwood also said he "strummed a couple of acoustic guitars along the way", but that largely each member performs their instrument. He then continued, "I might have sprinkled a couple of overdubs here and there [...] by virtue of that's how the songs were written". In terms of how the album was recorded, Sherwood said, "Jon and I recorded a lot of things in the back of the bus [...] we also spent time at his house in LA [...] we knocked out a lot of the vocals together there. [...] Schellen's local to LA, so we got [...] into a studio and tracked drums and bass together". He described how the album was done, prior to the pandemic, around Yes being very busy. Haun mostly recorded remotely from Utah, although there were some sessions with Sherwood and Haun together at Haun's place. Kerzner recorded remotely. In yet another Jan 2021 interview, Sherwood said that none of the music was ever intended for Yes. In the Heavy New York interview, he was asked if they had tried to make the music different to Yes. He replied, "Wasn't really thinking about that — just being creative." In the latter Feb 2021 interview, Sherwood said they "were done with the record long before COVID kicked in"; that is, they had recorded it. Even the track "Locked Down" was titled such before COVID. In a Feb 2021 interview, Davison said the album was recorded over 2017-9, but that, "What took us even longer to bring the album to its release was finding the right management and label to back it."

Davison's account in the Feb 2021 interview puts the start of the project a bit earlier: "From the moment YES started touring again with Billy in 2015, he and I were already enthusiastically talking amongst ourselves about creating new music. We continued with our plan as Billy prepared musical outlines for about 5 or 6 of the songs. We began tracking vocals in the Spring of 2017, in Topanga Canyon. I had a groovy little pad there. YES then hit the road that Summer and Billy had more music for which we used every little bit of free time backstage to track vocals. At that point the members of YES weren't ready to consider a new album, so we decided to form our own band."

In the SOAL interview, Sherwood said they went through a lot of possible names. He came up with "Arc of Life" when he was thinking about the "path" of his own career and how "strange" it has been, and then about the "arc pattern of nature". He proposed the name to the rest of the band and Shulman, who liked it. He was initially concerned that their might be some similarity to "ARW", but that ceased to be an issue by the time the band launched. At one point the band was to be a quartet (without Kerzner) called AVA and to sign to Golden Robot Records. The first we heard about a band project was when Kerzner wrote on Instagram in Jun 2019 about "an upcoming album I'm making with some of the guys from Yes this year [2019]! A cool collaboration with Jon D and friends [...] while Yes is on their Royal Affair Summer tour!" Answering a question on Twitter about it, he expanded, "Working with Jon and Billy on a new album/project and they're recording themselves remotely with me on their @ikmultimedia iRig Pro IO and AXE IO set ups while on tour with Yes this Summer!" Davison described the project in a Jul 2020 interview, saying he and Sherwood "[ha]ve written a lot of music together. We've got our own side project band [...] we've got the album all ready to go [...] It should be coming out at the last point of this year [2020] or early next year [2021]." Kerzner talked more about the project on ProgessiveEars.com in Dec 2020. He described, "I didn't write any of the songs on this album but that's ok. I have so many other projects where I write the songs and get to run the show. It's actually nice and quite refreshing to just walk into someone else's band and have all the pieces in place... a manager (great one too), agent, label and all that. [...] you know what I like the most about this? It's a band!!!! So, I'm not a sideman addition in this. I am in the band and there's a great vibe and brotherhood to it." He later said, "It sounds like the style of the songwriters as most albums do. They're in Yes so... a complete departure is probably unrealistic. If I was co-writing with them it would probably go further away from their sound just by nature of blending styles and influences but... hopefully that'll happen down the road." And: "The songs are mostly written by Billy and Jon so naturally it would predominantly be their style". And, later in the month, "I'm a late addition to the band and came in after the songs were already written and mostly recorded. I wouldn't normally do that but I love these guys and the potential of what we can do together live and in collaboration is exciting to me. [...] I hope my contributions will be part of the equation in the future. That was the idea of me joining... that we'd tour and co-write the next album together. Of course, a pandemic can throw everything up in the air so who knows what will happen when?" Likewise, on Facebook he said on 10 Dec, "It's Billy and Jon's new tunes with a new line up. [...] I arrived late in the game after the songs were already written. If someone came to me and said "Dave what would you do IF you were wanting to make a sort of next-generation Yes album" that would be different. That was never mentioned whatsoever. These are just my pals from the latest Yes line up who asked me to join their side project band that would tour when Yes isn't touring."

In the Feb 2021 interview, asked if there was additional material that didn't make the album, Davison replied, "We have another 3 or 4 songs that were developed in tandem with the rest of the material. They'll be appearing on the next AOL album. One of these is a 25 minute epic." In a Mar 2021 interview, Sherwood said, "We're committed to another album already." In the Apr 2021 issue of Prog, Sherwood said, "There's definitely a second album in our future and hopefully more — we're all committed to this band." Yes Music Podcast interviewed Kerzner in May 2021, asking him about writing for a new album. Kerzner explained how he asked Sherwood if they should "send some songs back and forth", but Sherwood "didn't want to. He preferred, he said, 'No, I'd actually rather write all together in the same room.'" Kerzner continued, "[Sherwood] wants to create a new animal, that's a blend of all of us, that would happen in the room."

The band are with TKO for booking live shows. In the YesShift interview, Sherwood explained:
just as Arc of Life came out, the COVID thing was kicking into high... and so, everything was wiped out. So unfortunately we had plans to go out and play live but they just got crashed [...] and now that we're at this point, and Yes is re-entering the equation here and I'm also going to be playing with Asia soon here too, um, it's all about getting the schedule together where we can make that point of entry to go out and do gigs, at the right time, um, so that's the sort of idea for the live front for Arc of Life. We all want to get it going and get playing and perform with that band
In terms of what the band might play live, Sherwood said after the first album, in a Feb 2021 interview, "we're going to have to find that line as we go, but I'm not opposed to playing [...] material that Yes is not really playing just to play some interesting music. There's a wealth of material that I can bring to the table from other projects, Circa has some great songs, Conspiracy..." In the SOAL interview, Kerzner talked about drawing from all of their individual catalogues and also playing Yes songs. Sherwood then talked about not wanting to replicate what Yes are doing live, but discussed the idea of doing something like CIRCA:'s "Chronological Journey", the medley that spanned nearly all of Yes's history. Davison said in the Feb 2021 interview that "there will be the occasional odd YES nuggets incorporated into our set that fans otherwise would never hear live." In a Mar 2021 appearance, Sherwood said that Arc of Life would "most likely" be able to do shows before Yes because they will be playing smaller venues, which he expects to open up sooner. In an early Feb 2021 interview, he had said, "Arc of Life are definitely going to be playing live shows." Asked in a Jun 2021 interview whether Arc of Life would be touring, Kerzner said, "that's the plan [...] when Yes isn't touring", but that "I haven't heard anything yet, concrete".


Colin Scot
Colin Scot's eponymous debut album in 1971 included guest appearances from Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman, Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Peter Gabriel (ex-Genesis), Phil Collins (Genesis), Peter Hammill (Van der Graaf Generator), David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator, worked with David Cross), Guy Evans (Van der Graaf Generator), Jane Relf (ex-Renaissance) and others. Colin Scot, Remastered & Expanded Edition (Esoteric Recordings, QECLEC2773) is due 30 Jul 2021, with 4 bonus tracks (three alternate takes and a previously unreleased song, "Long Time Gone", from the same sessions), restored artwork and a new essay. I've never been clear who performs on which tracks, so I am uncertain if Anderson or Wakeman might be on the bonus tracks.

Mabel Greer's Toyshop Official site; Facebook; YouTube; Twitter; Pinterest
Clive Bayley and Bob Hagger (ex-So Rare) reunited Mabel Greer's Toyshop in 2013. They recorded, with Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye, an album, New Way of Life. In an interview, Hagger referred to the original Paris recordings, "the Paris Tapes", with just him, Bayley and Barré, "before Billy produced the music and Tony joined. The label want to publish a separate album with that music that gives a slightly different feel. It is less sophisticated but has an immediacy." However, this has yet to appear. In another early 2015 interview, Hagger again referred to "the Paris Tapes", saying, "it's worthy of another album at some point".

Max Hunt (Yes tribute band Fragile, worked with Jon Anderson, Fish) joined on keys in 2015. (Bayley & Hunt went on to release a duo album in 2020: see under Bayley.) A 9-track album, The Secret, was released in Dec 2017 on CD, performed by Bayley (guitars, lead vocals), Hunt (keys, guitar, backing vocals), Hagger (drums, percussion) and Hugo Barré (JP Raillot Quartet, works with Alex Keren; bass). The final track, "The Secret", was written around an existing guitar solo by Pete Banks. The band have been hoping to tour the UK and possibly Europe.
Cleopatra Records releases
The latest Prog Collective release produced by Billy Sherwood was Songs We were Taught (Purple Pyramid), out on digital, CD and limited edition purple LP (CLO2882LP), although the LP is already shipping. It is described as "a trip through some of the most recognizable and influential folk and art-rock songs of their generation". It thus represents a further move towards covers rather than original material for the Prog Collective series. Several other Yes members guests. Tracks:
  1. "The Sound of Silence", originally by Simon & Garfunkel, with Jon Davison, Geoff Downes
  2. "Year of the Cat", originally by Al Stewart, with Sherwood, David Sancious (worked with Jon Anderson, Peter Gabriel, Sting, ex-Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band)
  3. "House of the Rising Sun", traditional but popularised by The Animals, with David Clayton-Thomas (ex-Blood Sweat & Tears), Steve Hillage (System 7, ex-Gong)
  4. "In the Land of Grey and Pink", originally by Caravan, with Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex-Guns N' Roses, ex-Asia)
  5. "Summer Breeze", originally by Seals and Croft, with Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, working with Jon Anderson), Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs)
  6. "Fire and Rain", originally by James Taylor, with Sonja Kristina (Curved Air), Martin Barre (ex-Jethro Tull)
  7. "The Weight", originally by the Band, with Rod Argent (The Zombies), Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (ex-Steely Dan, ex-The Doobie Brothers)
  8. "Wild World", originally by Cat Stevens, with Rosalie Cunningham (ex-Ipso Facto), Patrick Moraz
  9. "It's Too Late", originally by Carole King, with Candice Night (Blackmore's Night), Dweezil Zappa
  10. "The Times They are a-Changin'", originally by Bob Dylan, with Martin Turner (ex-Wishbone Ash), Jerry Goodman (ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra, ex-The Flock)

Sherwood plays bass and drums throughout and often keys, guitars and backing vocals. Rik Carter contributed additional Mellotron and organ. Mix and additional production were by Mark Gemini Thwaite. Details in Yescography.

Still Wish You were Here: A Tribute to Pink Floyd (Cleopatra Records) was released in the US on 28 May 2021. UK release followed 11 Jun. The album features various musicians performing Pink Floyd's Wish You were Here in its entirety, including Downes, Wakeman, Moraz and Levin. The album was put together by Jürgen Engler, who has done a number of tribute projects for Cleopatra. (No Billy Sherwood on this one!) See Yescography for details. A sequel, Animals Reimagined – A Tribute to Pink Floyd (Cleopatra Records, CLOCD2573), came out 19 Nov 2021 on CD and coloured vinyl; tracks:
  1. "Pigs on a Wing 1", with Nick van Eede (Cutting Crew), Martin Barre (ex-Jethro Tull)
  2. "Dogs", with Graham Bonnet (ex-Rainbow), Vinnie Moore (UFO), Kasim Sulton (ex-Utopia), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson)
  3. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)", with LaBrie, Al Di Meola, Joe Bouchard (ex-Blue Öyster Cult), Moraz, Billy Cobham (ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra)
  4. "Sheep" with Arthur Brown, Wakeman, Jan Akkerman (ex-Focus, worked with Peter Banks), David J (Bauhaus), Appice
  5. "Pigs on a Wing 2", with Jon Davison, Albert Lee, Billy Sherwood

Again, the album was put together by Engler. Moore said in a Nov 2021 interview that he was originally told Tim Bowness would be singing on "Dogs" and only found out it was Bonnet when hearing the final result.



Synthesizer Classics (Cleopatra Records) was released 12 Aug 2022 on CD (CLO3053CD) and purple and black splatter vinyl (CLO3053LP-PBS), featuring covers of foundational electronic and synth music. Tracks:

  1. "Tubular Bells", originally by Mike Oldfield, by Derek Sherinian (Planet X, ex-Dream Theater)
  2. "Magic Fly", originally by Space, by Rick Wakeman
  3. "Pulstar", originally by Vangelis, by Geoff Downes
  4. "Chase", originally by Girogio Moroder, by Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater); streaming audio on YouTube
  5. "Oxygene (Part 4)", originally by Jean-Michel Jarre, by Patrick Moraz; side B of LP begins
  6. "Escape from New York", originally by John Carpenter, by Thijs van Leer (Focus)
  7. "Tour de France", originally by Kraftwek, by Nyte Jewel (listed as Nite Jewel in some places)
  8. "Visitors", originally by Koto, by Larry Fast (Synergy, worked with Tony Levin, Peter Gabriel, Nektar, Foreigner, Annie Haslam)

The album is mixed by Jürgen Engler and mastered by Chris Lietz, with cover art from Javier Carmona. The album was recorded in 2021. In Aug 2022, Downes tweeted about the project: "Interesting line-up, and happy to be a part of it. Get on it folks and listen to some sizzling synthesizers! 🎹🎹🎹 🤛🏻"

Legends Play the Beatles, released 6 Aug 2021, was a 1CD (CLO2324CD) or limited edition 2 LP album that compiles 12 tracks from Abbey Road: A Tribute to The Beatles (2009, produced by Sherwood and with White, Downes and Kaye guesting) and other Cleopatra releases. I don't think there were any new recordings on this.



Dave Kerzner projects
Keyboardist Dave Kerzner (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud; ex-Sound of Contact, In Continuum, Mantra Vega, worked with Francis Dunnery, Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Genesis, ex-Giraffe) has worked and is working on several projects involving Yes members. His band In Continuum has Jon Davison guesting, plus material Kerzner wrote with Anderson: see under Davison for details. Davison guested with Kerzner on the 2019 Cruise to the Edge and the pre-cruise show: details above.

Kerzner released a new solo album, The Traveler (overview sampler), digitally on 10 Jul 2022, with physical copies following on 15 Aug 2022, with Billy Sherwood (bass on 3 tracks), Jon Davison (vocals on 1 track), Fernando Perdomo (The New Empire, In Continuum), Durga McBroom (worked with Pink Floyd), Nick D'Virgilo (Big Big Train, ex-Spock's Beard, working with Ryo Okumoto, worked with Genesis, Mystery), Matt Dorsey (In Continnum), Randy McStine (In Continnum, working with Ryo Okumoto), Marco Minnemann (In Continnum), Alex Cromarty, Tetra Fletch, Ruti Celli and Joe Deninzon. The album, written, produced, mixed and mastered by Kerzner, sees the return of the main character from his previous solo album New World and also ties in with the story in the In Continuum project. The album is produced by Kerzner, with a cover by Rafal Olbinski. Formats include digital, 1CD, 2CD (with second disc of outtakes and alternate versions of the songs from the album), 3CD and 4CD (box set with 2 discs of outtakes, alternate versions and instrumental mixes + 2 new re-recordings of Sound of Contact's "Not Coming Down" and "Closer to You" + 5.1 Surround Sound Audio Blu-Ray fourth disc + stickers etc.). Details in the Yescography. Released 6 Aug 2022 was The Traveler Singles, a digital-only, 5-track EP with shorter, alternate versions of several songs, including "Feels Like Home" with Davison. The Bandcamp version comes with an additional 5 shorter edits of the same songs, and a bonus track, "Here and Now (Single Version)" with Sherwood.

Kerzner also created his All Star Prog Band with himself (keys, vocals, guitar), Sherwood (bass), Perdomo (guitar), McBroom (vocals), Deninzon (violin) and D'Virgilo (drums): they played at RoSFest 2022 (15-7 Apr in Sarasota, FL; with Tony Kaye in the audience) and then the 2022 Cruise to the Edge. Kerzner said on Facebook, "I've put together a special All Star Prog Band to perform songs from my forthcoming [solo] album as well as songs from my previous band and solo albums plus some classic rock tunes from Pink Floyd and more with a cast of musicians and singers who have performed with some of my favorite bands. I have some surprise guests joining me on stage to close the weekend festival with a bang!" In a 9 Mar Facebook post, Kerzner said, "Not only will we be playing songs from my albums New World, Static and my upcoming new release "The Traveler" but we'll also be playing songs from Sound of Contact, In Continuum and classics from Pink Floyd, Genesis and more!" The RoSFest set focused on Kerzner's new album and his solo back catalogue, but also included material by Sound of Contact, In Continuum and Kevin Gilbert.

Kerzner is in Arc of Life, described above, with Sherwood, Davison, Jay Schellen and Jimmy Haun. He has also been working on a mystery second project with Jon Davison. As well as In Continuum and the Yes tribute album (Yesterday and Today: A 50th Anniversary Tribute to Yes), Kerzner had written in Sep 2018 on ProgressiveEars.com that, "I may do some more stuff with both Jon, Billy and Geoff (either separately or in combination with each other)." In Aug 2020 on ProgressiveEars.com, he said he had "more than one side project with various musicians from Yes [...] in one band/project the music is co-written by me and in the other it isn't so..." The latter was Arc of Life. Soon after on Facebook he said, "I have yet another original music project that's Yes-related but it's almost completely unannounced apart from me hinting about it. There is a band name and no one but the people involved know what it is. It also involves someone from King Crimson but that's all I can say about that! Haha." Likewise, in Sep 2020 on ProgressiveEars.com, Kerzner posted, "Got a few in the works involving some of the guys mentioned in this thread [about Yes]. One project that I'm co-leader/co-singer of and another where I'm just the keyboard player for a change." In a late Dec 2020 Facebook post, after mentioning Arc of Life, Kerzner said, "I'm also working on a new album featuring Jon Davison and other musicians you know for another 2021 album release!" (He confirmed this is separate to the third In Continuum album, on which Davison appears.) He continued, "This other album I mentioned is very Proggy and a bit retro as well." In a Feb 2021 post to ProgressiveEars.com, he said, "I am already co-writing new music with Jon D for another project". In the Feb 2021 Arc of Life interview with SOAL Night Live, after talking about In Continuum, Kerzner said, "I am writing with Jon [Davison] for some other things". In a May 2021 appearance on the Yes Music Podcast, Kerzner said he and Fernando Perdomo (In Continuum, The New Empire, worked with Mika) have some "Yes-ish" track ideas, and they might get Davison or Robin Schell to do vocals, or he could offer them to Arc of Life.

Released Nov 2018 was Yesterday and Today: A 50th Anniversary Tribute to Yes by Sonic Elements and Kerzner is open to the possibility of a volume 2. Sonic Elements (Facebook; SoundCloud) is a group of progressive/classic rock projects led by Kerzner dating back some years and connected to his music software development company Sonic Reality. Further Sonic Elements releases are expected, including a lot of work with Billy Sherwood on bass. The original idea for Sonic Elements was to do tribute albums using drum tracks available through Sonic Reality by various famous drummers: a Rush tribute using Peart's drum tracks, a Pink Floyd tribute using Mason's, etc., thus mixing elements like the original recordings (parts recorded by the original drummer) with new elements, although the Yes tribute didn't take this approach. Then, as Kerzner explained to ProgressiveEars.com (Nov 2018):

In addition to that, the plan was/is to do some experimental original songs with these elements (particularly with the re-arranged drum tracks to other songs because drum parts on their own are copyright free in terms of songwriting). So, starting about 6 years ago Billy Sherwood and I co-wrote a bunch of vocal and instrumental tunes to drum tracks from Neil Peart, Nick Mason, Terry Bozzio, Billy Cobham and others. "Times Gone" and "Trifecta" [...] are examples of that [...] Most of those songs are predominantly Billy's style (especially with him writing lyrics [...]) and he sings them [...] But, that's just the start. It could possibly expand to include myself and others singing original songs with these various "elements" too.

Thus "Trifecta" and "Times Gone", which were released on 20212's XYZ—A Tribute to Rush, featured newly composed material performed by Sherwood and Kerzner to an existing drum track for Rush's "YYZ" and "Tom Sawyer" respectively that was recorded by Neil Peart for a sample library at Sonic Reality with producer Nick Raskulinecz (worked with Rush). In the Feb 2021 ProgressiveEars.com post, Kerzner said, "I have many unreleased tracks with Billy that will be finished and put out this year [2021]." However, these have yet to appear.

Glass Hammer did a track for the Trifecta release, but this was eventually released instead on Glass Hammer's Untold Tales under the title "The Impulsive Type". Seemingly referring or related to the Trifecta album project, in Jan 2012, Kerzner said on Facebook: "Among the various music releases you can expect [...] are some original tunes, many of which have been done with ex-Yes-man Billy Sherwood along with SR sampled grooves of great drummers such as Rod Morgenstein of the Dixie Dregs." There was an accompanying clip to a piece entitled "Razors Edge" with Sherwood and samples from Morgenstein. Then there's "Racing Through Time" (sample), another original piece by Sherwood, this time using a sample library from Alan Parsons. On Facebook in Aug 2020, Kerzner referred to: "possibly an album of all original music released this year [2020] as well with Billy singing most of it and playing bass and some of the guitar. Me on keys and second vocals, acoustic guitar and producing it."

A special edition of XYZ—A Tribute to Rush was released 12 Jan 2020 to commemorate Neil Peart's death. This includes "Times Gone", which was only available with some versions of the original album, and then adds three more songs: "I Can't Take You with Me" by District 97 (5:36); "The Impulsive Type" by Glass Hammer (4:37); and "Man Unkind" by In Continuum (5:50). "The Impulsive Type" is another new piece based on a Peart drum track from 2017's Untold Tales: see on Jon Davison's page for more details. "Man Unkind" is from In Continuum's Acceleration Theory Part One: AlienA: also described on Davison's page. These extra songs are also on the XYZ—Charity Edition (Dedicated to Neil Peart), which raises money for charity.

Earlier that month, Kerzner explained on ProgressiveEars.com:

with Billy I've already recorded a LOT of material, both original and cover/tribute material that's been sitting here waiting to be finished when the time slot opens up. [...] Billy and I have been friends for decades so we could always collaborate deeper at some point and do more than experimental creative re-workings of drum tracks. That would be fun. The only thing is, he's one of the busiest guys I know (and I'm quite busy myself!)
Kerzner also said that the full Rush tribute (after the XYZ EP) was due 2019, with drums being from the Peart library or played by Minnemann. However, it has yet to appear. Kerzner again: "However, I'm behind on releasing the Genesis-related ones, Pink Floyd-related [...] and others". He did hint a Genesis tribute could be released in 2019. Back in Sep 2015 on ProgressiveEars.com, Kerzner said: "The Lamb [Lies Down on Broadway tribute] as well as the Rush tribute and the Floyd tribute are all about 80% done and I'm looking forward to final tracking with Francis [Dunnery] and others then mixing them and releasing them!" Plans have evolved over time. Back in Dec 2011, Kerzner described to ProgressiveEars.com 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. A 5-song EP, XYZ—A Tribute to Rush, was released previously. Details in Yescography. In Apr 2012, Kerzner said that there:

will at least be another EP of different [Rush] material (the "keyboard era" stuff) and then eventually a full album and that will have different versions of some of these songs on it as well.

Plus there's going to interactive versions of the songs similar to Jammit except they can work inside products like AmpliTube where you can play guitar through modeled amps and pedals or inside Garageband and play anything you want. That's coming along with Neil Peart's isolated drum tracks. But these interactive versions are more for musicians to interact with.

In an Oct 2012 post to ProgressiveEars.com, he said the next Rush-related release would be the full-length album Moving Signals & Waves, covering tracks from the Rush albums Moving Pictures, Signals and Permanent Waves. Mixing was going on in May 2013. Confirmed tracks for the album included "Digital Man" with Sherwood (vocals, guitar, bass), Kerzner (keys) and Perdomo (guitars); "Spirit of Radio", with Sherwood (bass), Kerzner (keys), Mike Keneally (ex-Frank Zappa, ex-Stanley Snail, worked with Robert Fripp; guitars), D'Virgilio (vocals); and "Subdivisions", with Kerzner, John Payne (ex-Asia, Asia Featuring John Payne; vocals) and Erik Norlander (ex-Asia Featuring John Payne). Another song on the album features Kerzner (keys), Sherwood (bass, guitar), Steve Hackett (Squackett, ex-GTR, ex-Genesis) and Keith Emerson (ex-ELP), while either that one or another features guitar from both Hackett and Francis Dunnery (ex-It Bites, ex-The Syn, worked with ABWH). The album was also to include the 4 Rush tracks on the XYZ EP, but in different versions. At various times, Kerzner or others have described covers of further Rush songs:

Dunnery also sang on some of the Rush songs.

Also due is are 2 Genesis tribute albums: as Kerzner explained on Facebook in Sep 2021, "A general one with a variety of songs from the first album up to at least the Mama album and then there's another one that's the full Lamb album." He also said one of these is due in 2021. The plan, after some evolution, had been for a 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), was due 2015 but has been long delayed. On Facebook in Mar 2020, Kerzner said the album would be released in 2020, but it was further delayed. It features multiple guests, including Sherwood, Steve Rothery (Marillion), Lee Pomeroy (Anderson Rabin Wakeman, Rick Wakeman, It Bites, Steve Hackett), Dan Hancock (ex-Giraffe), Martin Levac (The Musical Box) and Nad Sylvan (Steve Hackett). The album is described as "done in a "classic rock-meets-modern film score" style combining authentic vintage instruments from the 70s (including sounds recorded at Genesis' studio with engineer Nick Davis) along with a full orchestra." Previous reports have also mentioned the involvement of Stan Cotey (ex-Giraffe), McStine and Mark Hornsby (worked with D'Virgilio), plus the use of samples of Tony Banks' keyboard playing. Sherwood plays on at least "Lilywhite Lilith". He also sang lead vocals on versions of that song and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway": those and "Chamber of 32 Doors" sang by Sylvan were expected as bonus material on the album. A Peter Gabriel cover, "Rhythm of the Night", with Dunnery (vocals), using Sonic Reality's Jerry Marotta drum library was also mooted. In Jul 2020, Perdomo mentioned on Facebook Tony Levin recording bass tracks for "the Genesis Tribute Album Dave Kerzner and I are producing".

The Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon project involves Nick Mason (ex-Pink Floyd), Davis, Dorie Jackson (works with Dunnery, ex-The Syn; vocals), Guy Pratt (worked with Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson; bass), Colin Edwin (ex-Porcupine Tree; bass), Natalie Azerad (vocals), Durga & Lorelei McBroom (vocals). The Sonic Elements Facebook page in Jan 2013 said: "I've assembled a Sonic Elements band in LA this week to work with the McBroom sisters [...] Billy Sherwood, Randy McStine, Fernando Perdomo and myself (with Pink Floyd's rhythm section already recorded/sampled)". An update in Jan 2014 announced The Dark Side of Sonic Elements album for 2014 with Sherwood, Dunnery, McStine, the McBrooms and "utilizing the brand new Sonic Reality 2014 sample library releases from Nick Mason, Guy Pratt, Alan Parsons, the McBroom Sisters and more." This has yet to appear.

Various further progressive rock covers have been described. Kerzner's also described doing 3 tracks for an Alan Parsons project with Sherwood. An ELP cover with Keith Emerson (ex-ELP; keys) and Payne (vocals) was planned.

In Mar 2018 on ProgressiveEars.com, Kerzner updated us thus:
I was just talking with Francis Dunnery about finishing up The Lamb tracks next month [Apr 2018]. The Rush tribute is the closest to finish and I was just holding out to do a track with David Longdon of Big Big Train [...] but it would have to be built from scratch since I don't have the drum track from Neil Peart for that song... and I was going to play it from the keyboard using Neil's drum samples but it's in 5/8 and a little tricky. A fun challenge but I need a bit of time to do it right. Arrrggghhh. Maybe I'll still do it. There's also an original music side to the project too and I have material from Glass Hammer, Billy Sherwood and others for that as well. The Floyd tribute split into two projects, one I did with Alan Parsons participating and the other that's become a female led Floyd tribute sung by the McBroom Sisters and it'll be their album that I'm co-producing which will also have original songs written with various people who played with Floyd like Guy Pratt, Jon Carin and others. Even a tune they wrote with Lemmy from Motorhead will be on that one. Some of the guys from Australian Pink Floyd are helping finish that album because I've gotten a bit too overloaded to do ALL of them at the same time. There is also another Genesis-related Sonic Elements thing that may come out as well but it hasn't been announced publicly so that's probably the lowest priority. Then there's the Yes stuff which I don't know if I have enough to do a full album of Yes music. Might put those on an SE compilation album or something just to get everything I've worked on a home and unless we do any others (might) that will wrap up the tributes. Obviously if they do really well for my distributors there could be more. [...] I'm imposing my own deadline of releasing them all before the end of the year [2018]. Probably around Summer time or at least by the end of the year [2018] as I'll be playing some of it on CTTE!
In the Feb 2021 interview with SOAL Night Live, Kerzner talked about using this pandemic period to move forward on releasing all these tribute albums.

Fernando Perdomo and Mark Murdock are also in The New Empire, who have released a tribute album to Peter Banks combining new material and covers of Empire, Flash and Yes. Kerzner guests. See under Banks for details.

John Holden
John Holden (Facebook) has released 3 solo albums. His first two, Capture Light (details in Yescography) and Rise and Fall (details in Yescography), have both Billy Sherwood (bass) and Oliver Wakeman (piano, keys) guesting. His third album, Circles in Time, came out Mar 2021 (without any Yes-related guests). Before then, Holden organised a charity album, Together Apart, released digitally 4 Mar 2021 on Bandcamp, raising money for low grade ovarian cancer research with Cure Our Ovarian Cancer. The lead track is a cover of Renaissance's "Northern Lights" with multiple guest performers, most of whom have worked with Holden before, including Oliver Wakeman, Jon Camp (ex-Renaissance), Joe Payne (ex-The Enid), Sally Minnear (Kerry Minnear's daugther; Celestial Fire, worked with Dave Kerzner, Dave Bainbridge), Peter Jones (Tiger Moth Tales), Gavin Harrison (King Crimson, ex-Porcupine Tree), Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, worked with iCon), Vikram Shankar, Marc Atkinson (Mandalaband), Michel St-Père (Mystery) and Holden himself. Tracks:

  1. "Northern Lights" (7:02)
  2. John Holden: "Circles" (5:46), from Circles in Time
  3. Tiger Moth Tales: "Taking the Dawn" (5:23)
  4. Mystery: "How do You Feel" (4:53)
  5. Marc Atkinson: "Brave the Storm" (3:16)
  6. That Joe Payne: "Love (not the same)" (6:35)
  7. Oliver Day: "Chasing the Sun" (2:27)
  8. Band of Rain: "Larkspur" (7:53)
  9. Lux Terminus: "Epilogue: Fly" (4:35)
  10. "Northern Lights radio mix" (4:05)

exo-X-xeno (Facebook, Bandcamp) released a single, "Onward, Love" (YouTube) on 15 Jan 2021. A second song, "Reaching for Beyond" (YouTube), followed 5 Jul 2021. The band consists of Craig Maher (guitars, lead vocals), Billy Sherwood (bass, backing vocals), Patrick Moraz (keys) and Jay Schellen (drums). Maher wrote both songs, and both were mastered by Maor Appelbaum (worked with Yes, Arc of Life). They are working on an album, Luminous Voyage.

White Car
Leon Alvarado (worked with Rick Wakeman, Billy Sherwood, Trey Gunn, John Goodsall) had described a forthcoming project called White Car with Billy Sherwood, Jon Davison and Johnny Bruhns (ex-CIRCA:, ex-Yoso). Alvarado said on 20 Mar 2020 on Facebook, "This is coming down the pipe but because of the Covid-19 situation we aren't sure as to when it will be completed." However, asked about in a 4 Jul 2020 interview, Sherwood said he "didn't know about that project". In May 2021, Alvarado posted an update to Facebook, saying:

Update on new music. It has been a long time since I have put out any music at all. My circumstances went through a lot of changes with being put out for two years as we fixed our house from massive flood damaged and rebuilt the studio. Finalizing things just to get under the pandemic which delayed things even more. However, during that period I did managed to make some music from time to time but not all of it goes well with each other. I just started to work on unfinished projects and even though there's enough material to fill up a regular album, it is very different sound-wise between one another so they will have to be subdivided into different releases. Some of the work was done with Billy Sherwood, Jon Davison and Johnny Bruhns. Billy and Johnny played on my last record release and this was the first time I worked with Jon but he's such a professional. In the middle of that project I got distracted by another project I was working on prior to that one. [...] To put it into perspective, the work I am doing with the Yes chaps sounds a lot like Yes and so I'll keep it that way. The work I am doing with these other musicians sounds very different from that

Edison's Lab
US prog band Edison's Lab previously collaborated with Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye. On Facebook in late Feb 2017, Edison's Lab's Kurt Schweizer (drums) announced that Jon Davison would be guesting "on one of our recordings in the extremely near future." And that they "are also greatly looking forward to further work with [...] Sherwood in the not too distant future." He went on to explain that Davison's appearance will be on "a remix of one of our songs with Sherwood and Kaye from our last album. But we do have some brand new stuff in the works. :) Got some basic tracks for a couple things already laid down." Davison has sung 4 tracks of backing vocals for the song "Difference" from the band's debut EP, which otherwise has lead and backing vocals by Sherwood and keys by Kaye: this was released digitally in late 2018. Edison's Lab are working towards a new album. Davison has talked to the band about doing a whole EP or album together.

Lobate Scarp
Lobate Scarp is a California band consisting of Adam Sears (composer, vocals, keys), Andy Catt (bass), Peter Matuchniak (guitar), Lance Crane (drums), Emer Kinsella (violin), Mike Gerbrandt (drums) and Andrea Whitt (viola). They achieved their funding goals in a Kickstarter to mix, master and manufacture their second album, You Have It All, for release to crowdfunders on 2 Feb 2022; general release follows 6 May (pre-order comes with immediate download of 2 songs). Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood guest on vocals on the title track. There was an extended goal to fund a vinyl release. The album expands on their 2019 EP Spirals and Portals, with new versions of two out of the three songs from that release. Other than those songs, the album was recorded between Aug 2021 and Mar 2022. Tracks:
  1. "Conduit" (6:41), instrumental, with Eric Moore (ex-Suicidal Tendencies) on drums and Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard) on keys
  2. "Nothing Wrong" (6:17), new version of song previously on Spirals and Portals
  3. "In the Night I" (0:51)
  4. "Life-Line" (5:55), with Jimmy Keegan (ex-Spock's Beard) on drums
  5. "You Have It All" (14:30)
  6. "In the Night II" (1:03)
  7. "Beautiful Light" (5:46), new version of song previously on Spirals and Portals
  8. "Our Test Tube Universe" (7:33)
  9. "Flowing Through the Change" (17:20)
    1. "Futureflow"
    2. "In the Night III"
    3. "Dreamflow"
    4. "A New Beginning"
    5. "Dreams are Coming True"
Rich Mouser (worked with Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic) mixed and mastered the album; he also co-produced and engineered some tracks, plus performed dilruba on "Nothing Wrong". Steve Leavitt co-produced and engineered; he also contributed additional piano, harmonium, reverse snares to "Nothing Wrong". Hoyt Binder (guitar) and Rachel Grace (violin) also appear.

John Wetton box set
An Extraordinary Life is a forthcoming box set commemorating John Wetton's life to be released initially through Burning Shed only. (Early reports had that a general release would follow later.) It will contain all six of his studio solo albums: Caught in the Crossfire (1980), Battle Lines (1994), Arkangel (1997), Sinister (2000), Rock of Faith (2003, with Geoff Downes) and Raised in Captivity (2011, with Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye and Eddie Jobson). Each will be remastered and come with bonus material, in some cases expanding them to 2 CDs. Also included will be a hardback book by Nick Shilton with interviews with Wetton's collaborators and friends. There will also be video content. The set includes artwork chosen by Wetton towards the end of his life. Wetton's widow Lisa and son Dylan are involved in the project.

An 11 Jun 2022 update said, "Recently, and at long last, after COVID, we have been able to liase with John's son Dylan and John's wife Lisa, together with John's archivist Rick Nelson and writer Nick Shilton, to put the finishing touches to John's forthcoming career releases. It has been a labour of love and awe finally to examine the treasure trove of memories which form the legacy of the genius of John Wetton. There have been Holy Grail discoveries and goosebump moments from John's personal archives. We know it has been a long time coming but the forthcoming book and box set will be worth the wait. There will be formal announcements in due course." A series of digital releases of remasters of Wetton's solo albums was also announced on the 12th of each month, beginning with Caught in the Crossfire.

John Vehadija
Light Freedom Revival (Facebook) is a project headed by singer-songwriter John Vehadija (ex-Inyth, worked with Jon Anderson). There have been multiple releases with contributions from Billy Sherwood and Oliver Wakeman among others, and further ones without any Yes connections. The most recent Yes-related release is a 4CD boxset in tribute to Jon Anderson: Musicsoul Continuum: Jon Anderson Love of Music Homage. This was released digitally as 4 albums on 1 Mar 2020; CD release came 4 Apr. There is Musicsoul Continuum: One World Timebraces with features Dylan Howe on drum. Musicsoul Continuum: True Love Dreamwishes features O Wakeman on keys. Musicsoul Continuum: Alternative Mindspaces features Eric Gillette (Neal Morse Band) on guitar and bass. Musicsoul Continuum: Symphonic Pearlgates features Jamie Glaser (ex-Anderson Ponty Band) on guitar and bass. Gillette did arrangements throughout.

In Aug 2019, a YouTube trailer appeared promoting a Yes tribute album, Yesgenes (White Oil Record) with Sherwood, O Wakeman and D Howe.

United Progressive Fraternity
Planetary Overload Part 1: Loss (GEP, GEPCD1061; details in Yescography), released 2019, and Part 2: Hope, due 2022, come from United Progressive Fraternity (Facebook). The band are led by Mark "Truey" Trueack (Unitopia) and Steve Unruh (The Samurai of Prog), but with a plethora of others involved, including Jon Davison, who appeared on Loss and is expected on Hope. The band's website credited Trueack (vocals, songwriter, artistic direction, co-production), Unruh (violin, guitars, flute, vocals, songwriter, co-production), Christophe Lebled (worked with Jon Anderson; keys, soundscapes, guest arranger), Cornel Wilczek (Qua; orchestration, conductor on "Seeds for Life"), Dan Mash (Damanek; bass), Matthew Atherton (Sound; vocals, soundscapes, synths), Marek Arnold (Damanek; sax), Joe Toscano (The Loving Tongue; drums, vocals), Mark Franco (Sound; bass, vocals), and with guests including Davison, Claire Vezina (vocals), Michel St-Père (Mystery; guitar), Angelo Racz (keys), Nick Magnus (ex-Steve Hackett, ex-The Enid; keys), Michelle Young (ex-Glass Hammer; vocals), Gancedo García (drums), Hasse Fröberg (The Flower Kings; vocals), Guillermo Cides (Stick), Grace Bawden (vocals), Lisa Wetton (John Wetton's widow; vocals), Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis, ex-GTR, ex-Squackett; acoustic guitars), Charlie Cawood (Knifeworld, Mediaeval Baebe; oud, bağlama saz, bouzouki, hammered dulcimer, zither, pipa, zhongruan, liuqin, 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass), Raf Azaria (piano, synth, slide guitar, electric guitar), Clive Hodson (alto sax, trombone, trumpet), Jerry Marotta (worked with Tony Levin, Peter Gabriel, Iggy Pop; drums), Angus Keay (guitar), Alex Grata (Sixth Sense, Voices of Babylon; vocals, piano, synths, loops, electric guitars, acoustic guitars), Hans Jörg Schmitz (drums), Colin Edwin (ex-Porcupine Tree; fretless bass, soundscapes), Phill Soka (CosMoS; drums), Brendon Darby (trumpet, flugelhorn), George Perdikis (guitar), Valentine Halembakov (guitars on "Forgive Me, My Son"), Matt Williams (electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals on "Mercenaries"), David Hopgood (Unitopia; drums on "Mercenaries"), Marc Papeghin (French horn) and Ettore Salati (worked with David Jackson; electric & acoustic guitars on "Cruel Times", arrangements). Artwork is by Ed Unitsky (worked with The Tangent, The Flower Kings).

Loss has been released on LP, with bonus tracks from live performance in 2020.

A debut single for Hope comes 27 Nov 2021, entitled "Love Never Leaves Us" and featuring Trueack (vocals, lyrics), Unruh (guitars, vocals), Wetton (drums, percussion), John Greenwood (guitars), Don Schiff (Stick, fretless bass), Lebled (keys, programming, arrangement), Sam Greenwood (grand piano), Hodson (horns), and Darby (horns).

The project dates back some years. Trueack and Stephen Layton (worked with Jon Anderson) made contact in 2009 and planned a project called The Hope to feature multiple guest musicians. That led to Jon Anderson guesting on an album entitled Fall in Love with the World, the United Progressive Fraternity debut, released 2014. The Hope was then initially expected in 2015. The project evolved further, splitting into 2 albums. Trueack was also, at various times, in contact with Anderson, Billy Sherwood, Igor Khoroshev and Nikki Squire about possibly guesting, but none of them are now involved.

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Any news, additions or corrections, please e-mail Henry Potts. Thanks.