Where are they now? - Yes
and projects with multiple Yesmen
This page last updated: 6 Dec 2023
On this page—Yes: Mirror to the Sky - On tour - Covers of Yes songs - Documentaries & books
Projects involving multiple Yes men: CIRCA:
(Sherwood, Kaye) - Arc of Life (Sherwood,
Yes news YesWorld; official Facebook;
official Twitter; official SoundCloud;
official MySpace; Yesfans.com
Yes are Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood and Jay Schellen. The band released Mirror to the Sky on 19 May 2023 through InsideOut. Yes returned to live performance after the pandemic with UK/Ireland dates in Jun 2022. They toured Japan in Sep 2022 and then the US in Oct/Nov. Planned 2022 dates in the rest of Europe were postponed (again) to 2023, with additional UK dates added. However, that tour leg has been postponed again to 2024 due to insurance problems. The band tour the US Sep-Nov 2023.
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 was dedicated to
his memory. Having been working with Yes since Jul 2016, Schellen
announced as a new permanent member in Feb 2023.
Before Mirror to the Sky was released, the band were
already looking towards a next studio album. In an Apr 2023
interview for The Prog Report, Davison said,
"We're actually working on a third [album, after The Quest
and Mirror to the Sky] as well." In a May
2023 interview with Yes Music Podcast, Davison said Schellen
could be part of the songwriting in the band going forwards. Later
in the interview, talking more broadly about making their next
album, Davison said, "We're certainly on this creative roll now. I
can feel the momentum happening". In another Apr 2023
interview, Downes said, "I'm sure there'll be another Yes
album further down the line." Earlier in the interview, he said,
"This is no farewell album, let me tell you. […] We're just
beginning". In a May
2023 interview, for Spill, Downes said, "I think we are
confident that as long as we are healthy and fresh to go on we
will keep it running for as long as we can." Asked about work on a
new album in the May 2023 issue of Prog, Howe
said, "we might have plans, and we might not. But we're certainly
not going to say what they are." But in the same article, Downes
said, "I think we're always looking at" doing more recording, and
Sherwood said, "Things seem to be moving at a pace that even I
didn't expect, so I wouldn't say no to making another record,
that's for sure." In a Jul
2023 interview for Goldmine, Downes said, "we all
feel that we've got more in the tank, and putting new music out is
very important to us, as much as it is important to the fans,
because [...] it keeps the band current. [...] It gives us a lot
of joy to be able to go into the studio and still make music
In an Oct
2022 interview, Davison described the current band: "We have
real harmony in the band, and I believe we're the longest standing
Yes lineup. I think Steve [Howe] feels he's in a very solid place.
He can have his version of Yes, the Yes he's always wanted. We're
accomplishing things in Yes, with Steve as our leader, that he's
wanted to accomplish for years. He's so happy now that he has his
version of the band." 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 Mar 2023
Yes Music Podcast, Paul K Joyce, orchestrator on The
Quest and Mirror to the Sky, said "Steve [Howe] and
the band show no signs of wanting to diminish their output." (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 an Apr
2023 interview with Classic Album Review, Davison was asked
about the 50th anniversary of Tales from Topographic Oceans,
which is Dec 2023. Davison said, "There will be something special
that we will provide to pay homage to it [...] That's all I'll say
for now". It was not clear whether he meant something in terms of
live performance or something else. I would guess the former. In
2023 interview with Classic Album Review, Howe said there
were no plans for a live release from the Tales tour.
Mirror to the Sky
The new Yes album is Mirror to the Sky, was released 19 May 2023 on InsideOut (Sony) (link to preorders; trailer). My review is here. (The album is called ミ ラー･トゥ･ザ･スカイ in katakana in Japan. Release is via Century Media in Australia.) The album is dedicated to Alan White; it was recorded by the current line-up of Howe, Downes, Sherwood, Davison and Schellen. It was recorded over 2022 in Curtis Schwartz's studio and in the band members' own studios. All of Downes' recordings were in Schwartz's studio. Howe and Davison often recorded there, and Sherwood occasionally did so. Sherwood and Schellen recorded the rhythm tracks together in Los Angeles. Schwartz returned to engineer and mix (all formats), while Howe again produced the album. In an Apr 2023 interview with Darren Paltrowitz, Howe said they recorded the rhythm parts for the album last, unlike the traditional approach of recording them first. He also praised the increased "productivity" arising from people recording separately. In a May 2023 interview for an Alaskan periodical, Downes said: "we've been able to get more hands on [than with The Quest recorded during the pandemic], we've been able to collaborate together in the studio more. Certainly, Jon, Billy have been spending quite a bit more time over in the UK, so we've had the facility to work together much closer and I think that really shows [...] in terms of the way that the arrangements have been put together is that there's [...] more of a continuity and understanding between all the various elements." In another May 2023 interview, for Musikknyheter, Downes said, "During the pandemic, we were scattered all over the place and we were literally just sending our files back and forth online, and Steve was sitting there with the engineer, collecting all the material that was coming in. [...] Fortunately [...] with this album we had the benefit of a more integrated approach where most of us were in the UK [except for Schellen]." In another May 2023 interview, for Spill, Downes said, "It was a team effort, but the producer had to have the last say and of course, Steve had the last say on everything. He is very accommodating and very understanding if the idea is that everyone else is contributing." In a lengthy May 2023 interview with SOAL Night Live, Howe talked about the importance of the arrangements on the album, saying, "So arrangement is what, I think, Yes listeners don't realise they want, but they want", and that, "It's no good if the song keeps on not surprising."
In an Apr
2023 interview, Downes said they delivered the masters on 11
Dec 2022, having "spent most of last year  on it, on and
off." However, in the interview
with Darren Paltrowitz, Howe said they thought they could finish
the record by Xmas 2022, but they actually finished it in Jan
2023. Mastering was by Simon Heyworth. Multiple formats will be
Various items of merchandise
are also available. The Blu-Ray has the album as a Dolby
Atmos mix, 5.1 Surround Sound, instrumental versions, and
96k/24bit Hi-Res stereo mixes. Howe said in promo for the album,
"This is a very important album for the band[.] We kept the
continuity in the approach we established on The Quest,
but we haven't repeated ourselves. That was the main thing. As YES
did in the seventies from one album to another, we're growing and
moving forward. In later years, YES often got going but then
didn't do the next thing. This album is demonstrative of us
growing and building again."
The album made #30 in the UK (26 May 2023), after making #6 in
the midweek chart (22 May). It was #7 on sales, #7 on physical
sales, #11 on vinyl, #14 on downloads and #27 in independent
record store sales, but outside the top 100 on streaming. It was
also #4 in the UK Rock & Metal chart. It was #1 on the May
2023 Progressive Albums chart. It was still at #11 in the Aug 2023
chart and at #25 in the Oct 2023 chart.
In the US, the album failed to make the top 200, but it was #7 in
current rock, #9 in Internet albums (i.e., physical sales
through online stores), #20 in current album sales, #20 in the
Tastemarker chart (sales in selected independent stores and small
regional chains), #22 in album sales, #22 in current digital
albums and #27 in digital albums. The same week, it also made #9
in Switzerland, #12 in Germany, #24 in Japan (#3 in Rock), #31 in
Hungary, #35 in Portugal, #53 in Austria, #61 in Italy, #62 in
Poland, #71 in Belgium (#55 in Wallonia, #93 in Flanders), #84 in
the Netherlands and #99 in France and Spain. It was also #3 on the
Swedish physical sales chart.
A first single, "Cut from the Stars", came 10 Mar 2023. My
review is here. It is available digitally, including
as a Dolby Atmos mix. The full performing credits for "Cut from
the Stars" are: Davison on lead vocals, Howe on electric guitar
(Fender Stratocaster through analog pedalboard; he described the
song as "the most different track guitaristically" in the May 2023
interview with SOAL Night Live), Geoff Downes on organ,
Billy Sherwood on bass and vocals, Jay Schellen on drums and
percussion, and the F.A.M.E.'S orchestra in Skopje (North
Macedonia), conducted by Oleg Kondratenko and orchestrated by Paul K Joyce.
On social media (e.g., Twitter),
Davison talked about writing the song's lyric to Sherwood's
instrumental ideas and re-arranging those ideas. The lyric was
primarily inspired by his first visit to a dark sky
park, an area of reduced light pollution to facilitate
observation of the night sky. Howe took the original idea for a
bridge and moved it to the end to make the instrumental outro. The
opening string part of the song was a part recorded for later in
the track and also brought forward and used as an intro. Sherwood
also recorded a piece for
social media, describing how the song began with a bass riff
he wrote. He continued:
once I had some music together, I sent it over to Jon Davison, who came up with amazing melodies and a beautiful set of lyrics. I did some harmonies and we ended up with this two-part harmony thing in the verses that reminds me of something sort of "Going for the One"/"Parallels" vibe — always cool in my book. And then sent it to Steve, who then produced it up, did amazing guitars, and Geoff's keyboards came out great. Jay Schellen's drums, of course just, charging away.
In an interview conducted Mar 2023 with Aymeric Leroy (author of "Yes" and
"King Crimson") for Big
Bang, Sherwood said the song wasn't planned as the
single when they were writing it. In his Paltrowitz interview,
Howe said the song was done "later on [...] in the progress of
[recording] the album".
"All Connected" was released as a second single on 26 Apr 2023. A
for "Circles of Time", the third single, was released 24 May
|2CD version (US):
|On CD, the album has a main and, on most
formats, a bonus disc, in a similar way to The Quest.
Digital and vinyl versions have all 9 songs. Tracks:
In the Prog article, Howe explained how the main
disc has been put together as an album that "flows", and
he stresses that the bonus tracks are not of lesser
quality and "weren't worked in a different way". In the
SOAL Night Live interview, he said the bonus tracks "were
worked on with the same intensity" as the rest of the
album and that they didn't know what tracks would be on
the bonus disc while recording. In his
May 2023 Yes Music Podcast interview, Davison
described the choice of a second disc with bonus tracks as
Waber's "executive decision, for marketing purposes",
which he trusts him to make. He said the bonus tracks "are
in no way less important". In another
May 2023 interview, Davison described the bonus
disc, saying "which we don't consider a bonus album". In a
2023 interview in Goldmine, Downes
said, "I think it has something to do with the fact that
vinyl just had such a resurgence lately. We have been very
conscious of the idea that we transfer those onto vinyl.
You only have a limited amount of time you can put on one
side of the vinyl versions. So, we try to reflect that a
little bit with the way that we've done the last two
Digital album (UK)
|80g 2LP edition (UK):
Digital album (US)
Interviewer: Was Alan involved in any part of the process, or was it started after his passing?
Sherwood: It was right after production of the Quest record. Demos were plenty, pencil sketches of ideas etc...
In a May
2023 interview with Yes Music Podcast, Davison said, "Alan
was involved in the beginning stages of Mirror to the Sky.
[...] He was scheduled to be a part of it [the recording of the
album] and it just didn't happen".
The band started work on the album very soon after recording The
Quest. (Indeed, this is the shortest interval between Yes
studio albums since the odd circumstances where Keys to
Ascension 2 and Open Your Eyes came out in the same
month, Nov 1997.) Howe explains in the Prog article:
As we were finishing The Quest there were some other musical ideas I was particularly interested in tagging together and working out into some larger pieces. So we started Mirror to the Sky with two 10-minute tracks, which became Luminosity and the [14-minute] title track. [...] it was really encouraging to have those two tracks. All we had to do then was make them grow, and see who had what songs and what collaborations could take place
The press release for the album says, "As they were wrapping up
The Quest, YES found themselves with song sketches, structures,
and ideas that were demanding attention. YES received
unconditional support from InsideOut boss Thomas Waber, who
encouraged them to keep going in the studio, months before The
Quest would even go on sale. It was like throwing gasoline on
their creative fire." In the Apr 2023 Prog Report
interview, Davison was asked about the album's change in style
from The Quest and replied, "there were several factors
contributing factors. One, right off the bat, was that Thomas
Weber at InsideOut said let's really do an energetic album that
harkens back to more of the 70s era, with snappier tempos and, you
know, a rockier album essentially. So that sort of pointed us in a
direction. Of course, the band loved doing that. [...] when you
think about what the fans have always asked for is this kind of
record". In the Apr 2023
interview with Classic Album Review, Davison said, "I think
we really have to give credit to Thomas Waber [...] he really took
a personal invested interest in suggesting and encouraging that we
go for more of a rockier album, with snappier tempos, for example.
[...] he gave us the total freedom and support to create the music
we wanted to, but he sort of pointed our feet in that direction".
He continued, "we, as a band, rose to Thomas's request and I think
that we've always wanted to create [...] what we say in
progressive rock circles is an epic, something that's more of a
full side kind of length piece. And I think we took that to heart
so much that we ended up with several longer songs on the new
in a way, the album is dedicated to all the fans. [...] We've have
always sensed this desire from the fans [...] to have us create
new music that harkens back to the '70s era Yes and we rose to
that challenge [...] in a way, it's dedicated to them, for helping
keep the spirit of Yes music alive and well." In the May
2023 Musikknyheter interview, Downes said:
I think that we felt that it was a nice move back in, some ways, or an acknowledgement of some of the Yes albums in the 70s were there were a lot more musical features rather than it being just song after song [...] we've been able to stretch out and make these great musical sections that Yes, is so well known for [...] I think the Yes fans will appreciate that we've been trying to push the musicality of the band forward, both when it comes to musicianship and in the way Jon Davison has been developing. He has really come into his own as a writer.
In another May
2023 interview for Biff Bam Pop!, Downes said, "We dusted
ourselves off from the pandemic, and we really wanted to make an
album that [...] was instrumentally powerful as much as it was
vocally powerful. [...] if you look at the last two albums,
they've been quite a lot more song-oriented [...] this was the
real opportunity we had to expand the musical side of the band, as
Yes did back in the seventies". He continued, "I think it's
something that just came about naturally. [...] we were playing
around with a lot of different ideas, and quite a lot of those
were instrumental." He also said how the band "wanted to be a bit
out of control, we didn't want to be restricted by the song per
se." To the May 2023 issue of Prog, Downes
said, "we felt with this album, we needed some bigger tracks on
there. That was the criticism levelled at Heaven & Earth,
that there wasn't really any big epics [...] not really very
Yes-like. We had a couple of longer tracks on The Quest
and this one, we've gone overboard on!"
In a May
2023 interview with Classic Album Review, Howe was asked
whether there was a conscious decision to harken back to a '70s
Yes style. He replied, "It wasn't a conscious decision. It was
maybe a natural decision that we would always retain, y'know, some
Yes-ness about us. But, no, we're kind of enjoying this forging
ahead with some new material and trying to give it the life that,
y'know, we would have done if we recorded it in the seventies, but
we're not in a retro thinking mood." The interviewer then asked if
he felt the need to move away from what the band had done on the
last couple of albums. Howe replied, "Not really, because [...]
you might know that a couple of the tracks actually were created
during The Quest and then were never played to the label
or never completed then, so in a way it's a kind of transition
that we're shunting along with the next project". Howe also talked
about producing the album: "The role of a producer is just to be
the kind of friendly guy who keeps pulling things together by
solving all the problems, whether they're technical, musical,
financial." In the May 2023 Spill interview, Downes said, "You
can't ever try to emulate those [classic] albums, because they
were done under different circumstances and different musicians.
And at 25 or 26-years-old, you have a completely different outlook
on life. [...] there was the whole movement to progressive music,
which was very dominant. We never try to say this next album is
Close To The Edge or Tales Of Topographic Two. We are not in the
business of doing that."
Returning to the press release, it then quotes Howe, "When we
delivered everything [for The Quest], and they were just
getting the vinyl and everything into production for
manufacturing, we were still very much in that creative zone[.]
That belief that Thomas had in us really meant a lot". Sherwood
adds, "There was a lot of material floating around because the
band hadn't done anything in the studio for so long [before The
Quest]. Ideas were just copious[.] The pace of it was fast.
As soon as we were finished with The Quest, and the mix had come
out, we took a couple of little breaks there to catch our breath.
But there was still music flowing around in the loop. It was just
constantly being looked at and worked on. As we were all home and
in that mode, things started progressing quite swiftly. We just
went one album into another without really announcing, 'Hey, we're
working on a second record right now.' We just continued to work
on material. It came about pretty naturally, and then we refined
it as the process went on. But the initial bursts — there was a
lot of material around!" In an interview conducted Apr 2023 with Aymeric Leroy (author of "Yes"),
Davison explained how the band had come together "to creatively
focus" on The Quest, which "was only expedited by the
pandemic restrictions on touring, which actually provided the
silver lining of our studio efforts doubling up. This was so much
true, that by the time The Quest was completed, we already
had half of another album in the works. Despite the colossal loss
of our beloved Alan [...] we continue to thrive with his blessing
and ever present spirit." He continued, "adding Jay [Schellen]
[...] granted us the final energetic and creative boost necessary
to victoriously reach the finish line of the new album". In the
Spill May 2023
interview, Downes said, "We started off pretty much after
The Quest[.] We had a short tour in between and then straight into
this album. I suppose in some ways it is a continuation of The
In his Classic Album Review interview,
Davison said the album is "not a concept album per se, but
[...] when you listen back, to the final product, you begin to see
all these thematic sort of links." In the interview with Leroy,
Sherwood said, "it's a bit more proggy in [terms of longer
tracks], and I think it also has a bit more energy to it in the
tempos and a sort of edge on the record. [...] it's just a sort of
natural evolution of this process [of making albums], and we are
all quite happy with the way it came out, but there certainly was
no plan [to make it more proggy], it's just the natural flow of
things when you're working in Yes like we do." On the writing of
the two Davison/Howe/Sherwood tracks, "I'd sent him a bunch of
little motifs that I had written, and Steve [Howe] took the reins
there and connected all the dots and put together this
arrangement, including some of the bits he wrote, and of course
some of the bits Jon [Davison] wrote, and then we just kept
throwing them back and forth to develop them [...] I wasn't in the
same room, simply because I was in America at the time [...] and
they were over in England, Jon and Steve. [...] we've been around
each other long enough to know what we are thinking without even
discussing it. It makes working on music this way easy for us.
Where it might be difficult for others, we seem to get on with it
pretty quickly." In his interview with Leroy, Davison talked about
his writing contributions, explaining that, apart from "Living Out
Their Dream", "and apart from a few small instances, I would say
that wherever I'm singing on the 'main' record, I wrote the lyrics
and crafted the vocal melodies. I also contributed in terms of
musical theme for our title track and took the captain's seat in
arranging the order of events for [...] "Cut from the Stars", and
along with Steve, [...] "All Connected"." Davison also wrote
"Circles of Time". Talking more about the title track, he
explained how the song began with a section with a lyric ("dreams
of a sky without fire") from Howe. Davison was then on a trip to
Brighton with his then fiancée, Emily, and future in-laws Kirsten
and John Lodge. Emily
remarked that the calm sea was "like a mirror to the sky", which
inspired Davison to write another part for the title track on his
guitar. In the Apr 2023 Prog
Report interview, Davison explained how the song went
we already had some material, some outtakes from the Heaven and Earth album, stuff that Steve and I had put together at his home studio [...] And it never really made the light of day, but we made a firm resolve to one another that we would look at those ideas again. And we were well within the mixing stage for The Quest [...] We were all still reeling from the pandemic. And we didn't want to see the album work finish, because it's what kept us artistically stimulated. If we couldn't tour, we could at least be creative. So Steve looked at me one day, in those final Quest mixing days, and said let's keep it going. And let's look at those earlier ideas from Heaven and Earth. And those are really some signposts or islands that sort of lay out the design of the title track, "Mirror to the Sky".
He also explained, "just like the fans, the band, we've always
wanted to do more of a full-length side type of song. And this was
the perfect time to do it. We had the time, we had the creative
enthusiasm, we had the support from InsideOut. And we actually
ended up with more than one long song, we have several long songs,
I think, that are [...] aiming to please any hearty prog rock
fan." The interview later returned to discussing "Mirror to the
the orchestrations came a bit later on. What we had to start with was those early ideas that I mentioned […] Like the guitar intro, which is something I remember I loved hearing when Steve played the demo to me [...] and I created some chords underneath it in a bass line and we sort of left it at that. But we knew that was a great start. And it goes into something that he had in his creative archives [...] very sort of rockier instrumental thing that I felt didn't need any vocal [...] there's another more ambient section that later happens that was an instrumental offering of Steve's, again all to flesh out the song and make it longer. But what we had vocally was not much. We had his [...] repeating line “dreams of a sky without fire”. [...] I knew I wanted to create some lyrical vocal sort of islands that would […] help glue those longer instrumental sections together.
He then again tells the story of Emily coming up with "mirror to
the sky". He continued, "being so excited with that idea, I came
home after that trip to Brighton and picked up the guitar and,
along with the other sections that I wrote instrumentally and
vocally, I pieced together that kind of [...] chorus [...] that
repeats "mirror to the sky". I came up with that then and there."
Davison related a similar story in the Classic Album Review
interview about "Mirror to the Sky": "Steve came to me [...] when
we were mixing The Quest and he said, you know, let's just
keep going. [...] the world was still reeling from the pandemic.
We couldn't tour, so let's just stay creative, we thought. [...]
he'd taken some earlier demos that him and I, sort of, compiled,
more or less, and put in a folder and tucked away... um, earlier
stuff, from years past. He put some of that together, combined
with [...] He has this great creative archive and he'll suddenly
pull out something [...] he had two of the bases of the song,
where there's longer instrumental sections, he had those outlined
as well. So, we had a great skeletal outline and one of quite
great length, but we didn't really have sections that were vocal
ready, in any way. So I went away and wrote some music and came
back with these various vocal sections that then became [...] the
bridging link between all these instrumental islands". Davison
continued, saying he generally writes the lyrics, but "Steve had
one line, in one of these sections that he provided. He had this
great, poignant line, "dreams of a sky without fire", and I
thought, 'Oh, that's fantastic, I'm gonna go away and work on that
and elaborate on that.' And that was really the lyrical beginnings
of the song. […] I think I drew inspiration from all that is sort
of bizarre and the unknown in our existence. You know, those
inexplicable events that seem to link what we define or believe to
be ordinary life and that which is metaphysical or beyond, far
beyond the ordinary." He finished by describing the end of the
track, a section "where we all drop out and then there's just this
feature of Paul [Joyce]'s where he's taking all the various themes
that have already occurred in the song and overlapping them and
they all crescendo into this big ending". In the SOAL Night Live
interview, Howe explained that the "dreams of a sky without fire"
section was originally the chorus of a whole song, but that he
decided to scrap the rest of the song, which was very "personal".
He described "Mirror to the Sky" as a "highly experimental track"
and plays Fender Telecaster on it. To the May 2023 issue of Prog, Howe
said the song began when Davison was at his studio and he "was
just playing some things and he [Davison] said to me, 'This bit's
really good.' He put bass and a rhtyhm guitar to mock this idea
up. That [...] pushed me forwards and I tied it up with something
else that was around, some slightly crazy guitar stuff. There was
[also] a small fragment of a song [...] 'dreams of the sky
without fire'. I played them to Jon and he said, '[...] this
is fantastic.' He went away and wrote the middle [...] We just
kept finding more ways of using that opening guitar theme." In the
Bam Pop! interview, talking about the song, Downes talked of
how they came to "expand it and expand it [...] It took its own
natural course [...] By the time we actually put it all together,
it was even a little bit longer, so we cut it down a little bit."
In his interview
with Darren Paltrowitz, Howe discussed "All Connected" and
described how he was playing, in places, guitar parts written by
Sherwood. He also described how Sherwood generally came up with
his bass parts, but in places he asked Sherwood to stick to the
parts Howe had written. In the Apr 2023
interview, Downes was asked whether the band went into the
studio with the songs all worked out or whether they just worked
out material while recording. He replied, "There's a bit of both,
really. I think that we did a lot of preparation with exchanging
ideas virtually [...] but I think with this one, we had a bit more
chance to get together in the studio and start arranging the stuff
more. Not playing live as a band particularly, but more [...]
discussing things. [...] I did a lot of stuff with Steve [...] The
previous album [The Quest], we were pretty well locked in
the pandemic, so no-one was in the same room at all, but this one,
it was a bit more [...] together." Talking about instrument
choices, later in the same interview, he said, "Yes music's always
been a foundation of things like acoustic piano. So, generally
speaking, I [...] use the real instruments in the recording,
rather than the electronic equivalent. [...] I mean, it's a
mixture of the two really". In the Classic Album Review interview,
Davison said about "All Connected" that it "started with Billy's
brilliant instrumental ideas and lots of them and he had some
lyrics and sections where he sang. And I love that, when we can
have a dual sort of vocal identity in a song. It adds so much to
the storytelling. And I think he had the title "All Connected"
already evident in the lyric, and he was approaching it more about
how we're all connected in a literal sense, in the physical, and
then, of course, I wanted to Yessify it, if you will. [laughs]
And I thought, well, we're all connected [...] in a metaphysical
way, as well, so there's that dichotomy of our personalities in
there [...] Steve supplied the brilliant intro, on his steel,
which crescendos beautifully and then takes us into the proper
song. [...] the song concludes with Steve's theme, as well. And
it's a very complex song with all those interesting proggy twists
and turns, but it's amazing how inspired and quickly it came
together, really." In his Alaskan May
2023 interview, Downes said:
I really latched on to ["All Connected"] in terms of the arrangement because we were experimenting with a lot of chunks of ideas and it got more and more expanded as a piece of music. And I think that [...] particularly this album we're looking much more towards... musicality in, you know, instrumental sections, as well as the big vocal sections, which of course has always been a [...] feature of Yes's music going back to the very beginning [...] there's some [...] more dynamic songs [...] Yes music has always had a very dynamic aspect to it [...] I think [...] "All Connected"is a very good example of that.
In the May
2023 Musikknyheter interview, Downes said about both "All
Connected" and "Mirror to the Sky" that: "I think that we worked
on those following the principle that we weren't trying to make up
a five-minute song [...] Our goal was to have something we could
expand. So, a lot of these ideas came from people chipping in
little bits, here, there and everywhere, and the whole song just
kept getting bigger and bigger. [...] The songs just have their
own way of developing into something bigger and then you add
instrumental sections that are given enough time to develop. And
the vocals parts come back, and I think that creates a nice
In the SOAL
Night Live interview, Howe described "Luminosity" as a
"highly developed piece of music" in that they worked on it at
length. Howe plays on autoharp and steel on the piece. Davison's
core idea for the song dates back to the Heaven & Earth
In the same interview, Howe described "Living Out Their Dream",
for which he wrote the lyrics, as "fairly tongue in cheek". The
song is about "living out that fantasy dream, that [has] partly
been created by social media", with the ending about "how
catastrophic" you can make your life. He wrote the music, but
"using some of Geoff's [...] tunes that he had [...] for the
verses". Howe said the song is "a little bit like the Rolling
Stones at the beginning", but that the ending "is meant to
surprise you", also describing it as "the twist". In the May
2023 Musikknyheter interview, Downes said, "It's
interesting, because historically, I don't think I've written that
many songs with Steve. So, it was it was nice to be able to sit
down with Steve and put together a couple of ideas that we felt
were compatible." Another May
2023 interview with Downes, in Spanish, has him saying this
about "Living Out Their Dream": "Bueno, es una canción hecha a
partir de antiguas ideas hace bastante tiempo y luego la terminé
con Steve Howe. [...] Ciertamente esa canción fue algo que escribí
en el pasado [...] Pero "Living Out the Dream" estaba ya muy
desarrollada, la tenía prácticamente completa." That is, the song
was based on an old idea of his that was practically complete,
which he then finished with Howe. In the Classic Album Review
interview, Davison described "Living Out Their Dream": "lyrically
speaking, [...] there's so much tongue-in-cheek irony in that one.
[...] It's just sort of pokes fun at, y'know, how the institution
of marriage is so now sort of obsessed with this idea of making it
a glitz and glamour sort of ideal, and how you can impress
everybody on social sites." He went on, "It's actually Steve and I
are singing octaves in unison. [...] Somehow blending my voice
with his creates this unique one voice with the two." Asked in the
SOAL Night Live interview why Downes does not have more writing
credits on the album, Howe replied, "It's really about what people
have got", so while Downes brought more ideas for The Quest,
"this time there wasn't so much". He continued, "maybe on the next
album he will be more forthcoming". In the Alaskan May
2023 interview, Downes said:
this line up has been pretty much together for the last seven years [...] there's a whole thing about maybe we felt that Jon [Davison] would [...] come more to the fore because, you know, his writing previously had been fairly limited. And so I think it was important that certainly Jon's blossomed very much as a writer, and we recognise that and allow him to come through with his ideas [...] his vocal harmonies and [...] his lyrical ideas as well. So it's very much a case of [...] letting things find their own way. And I think with Jon's writing, he's really come on very strong as a writer and he's very, you know, been very dominant, particularly on the last two albums.
He also talked about the lyric writing falling more to Davison,
as Davison has to sing the lyrics and "you've really got to
believe in what you're singing about". In the Musikknyheter
interview of May 2023, Downes was asked about his "main role" on
the album, to which he replied: "To come up with new sounds and
new ideas for the main sound keyboard wise. It is still heavily
geared towards Hammond organ and acoustic piano, with some
electric piano and some Mini Moog for the single synth line stuff.
And since this is Yes music, you must have Mellotron sounds and
that kind of thing. But the same time I like to incorporate some
whole new sounds, digital washes and soundscapes". The interviewer
then compared his approach to that of Tony Kaye:
Yeah, it's more like Tony. He was much more a supporter of the music, especially on [...] The Yes Album [...] I think that it's the same process that I have used on this album. The material lends itself more to textures rather than just me playing all the flashy stuff. But that has really never been my department anyway. I'm much more of a of a sound guy, creating a big wall of keyboard sound which was a fundamental feature of the band with Tony. I take each album as it comes maybe the next will be a very different kind of album and I'll be all over it. I think that you generally try to do what's appropriate and supportive to the music.
Howe to SOAL Night Live described "Circles of Time" as "our real
turn down track" and "really mellow". The band tried a number of
versions of the piece, including one with extensive church organ,
but they decided on a more "minimal arrangement". The song is
mainly performed by Davison on vocals and acoustic guitar, with
Howe saying, "I play very little on it", although he did add some
pedal steel. Sherwood sings just one line. Davison said he wrote
the song when he first fell in love with Emily Lodge and then had
to go on tour. Howe said of "Unknown Place", on which he plays
acoustic and electric guitar, that "we wanted something mystifying
about it". He described the final two bonus tracks as "quite
sprightly". He described "One Second is Enough" as being about how
"happiness comes and goes, but we don't know why". He plays
12-string guitar on the piece. "Magic Potion" was originally to be
called "It's a Good Day to be Had by All". Howe described the
song, saying it "harks back to 1967". While Howe generally let
Sherwood come up with bass parts, he wrote the bass line for
"Magic Potion", describing it as "a tricky little bass line [...]
not totally in character [for Yes]". He went on: "it's almost got
a little bit of disco in it somewhere, or maybe it's a bit
eighties Trevor Horn."
In the liner notes, Downes says, "We didn't want the album to be
The Quest, Part Two. We wanted to do something that was more like
adding another arrow to the quiver." In the Oct 2021 issue of Prog
(#124), Downes said that the band were "already talking about the
next" studio album. Recording
was reported to be underway in Apr 2022. 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. [...] 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". It seems that work continued through 2022. Sherwood was in
the UK in late Sep 2022, between the Japanese and US legs of
Howe talked about producing the album on social media (e.g.,
in Apr 2023, in which he discussed his collaborative approach. He
also talked about the use of orchestra "in places", stressing
"this is not an orchestra takeover". He described given the
orchestra its own section on "Dare to Know" on The Quest,
and then repeating this approach on "Mirror to the Sky", which is
partly why it became 14 minutes long.
The press release also has this from Davison: "We truly get along
as people[.] I feel like everyone's focused inward to the greater
circle, concentric to the core of highest standards that define
YES. [...] I believe this reflects vibrantly in the music and the
creative input that each one is willing to apply, not for the
benefit of the individual, but for the greater whole that is YES."
Howe also said in the Prog article that the songs on the
album "had to stream in with the others" and that, aside from
"Living Out Their Dream", a lot of the "other stories are much
more romantic, and interested in our history, our philosophy".
Roger Dean did the cover
from a "basic germ of the idea" from Howe, although Dean was
initially uncertain about the approach, as Howe explained in the May 2023 SOAL
Night Live interview. He posted
to Facebook on 19 Jan 2023 about "a recent design for the
new YES [...] album, which didn't end up getting used but it was
an interesting concept. Steve Howe had been thinking about the
Nebra Sky Disc [see
Wikipedia], which was discovered in Germany in 1999 [...] I
like the way it came out but it didn't actually end up getting
used as the colours disappear into the finished painting. I'll be
posting about that soon…" On 23 Jan 2023, Dean posted
about the actual new album cover, with discussion about its
creation, sketches and the final sketch painting before the real
thing. 26 Jan, he showed a clip
where he was working on the final art. Dean has said the cover was
inspired by a story he was told by video game designer Henk Rogers
of being on a boat on a lake at night seeing the stars reflected
in the water. He also talked about being impressed by images from
the James Webb Space Telescope.
Howe said Dean "heard a lot of the album" before doing the cover.
In his May 2023 interview, Downes said, "[Dean] likes to know what
the music's about before he gets going on the painting. So the
ideas of some titles and things like that are thrown at Roger and
this sort of sparks his creativity [...] it's a constant thing
where he provides sketches [...] It's almost in the same way that
we develop the music [...] we do it over a period of time and the
same with Roger is that [...] we work closely with him." The
Gottlieb brothers did the layout and some photos were by Schwartz.
The band's previous album was The Quest, released Oct 2021 on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music. Due to manufacturing problems, the physical release of most formats in the US and Canada was delayed until 15 Oct, with the standalone vinyl delayed further. 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."
The Quest made #9 on the UK midweek album chart (4 Oct 2021), 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 had been 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 top 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. The album persisted in that chart: it was still at #27 in Sep 2022.
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  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.Jay Schellen was credited with percussion. 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."
I think something will be coming out on Warners this year  that will be a historical view of Yes. That`ll be a nice release for Yes fans. They generally try to get everything that comes out so we`ll make sure it`s something really special.Trevor Horn also mentioned a Warner release. One report from the London Fan Convention (24/5 Mar 2018) had that the Warner retrospective would not include anything not previously released.
I did a compilation for them featuring songs recorded all over the world and picked out all of the best versions of all of the great songs and they turned around and said it was going to cost so much money to get licensing that they wouldn`t be doing it. I wish they`d told me that a few months ago before I`d done all of the work pulling it all together. They said they were just going to put another best of album but we already have several of those. I wanted to do something a bit different but the label just didn`t want to do it which was a shame.So, I think that was implying a release was coming out, but which was not curated by Anderson...?
Rhino (part of Warner) released The Yes Album (Super Deluxe Edition) on 24 Nov 2023. A digital single, the previously unreleased "I've Seen All Good People: Your Move / All Good People (Early Take) [2023 Remaster]", came to streaming services (e.g. YouTube) in October. This is a 4CD + 1LP + 1Blu-ray box set. CD1 is the original album, newly remastered by Steven Wilson. CD2 has Wilson's remixes plus his instrumental mixes from the 2014 Panegyric re-release series.
CD3 Rarities (remastered by
(Early leaked information included a track
"Untitled Instrumental" instead of tracks 12 and 13. It is not
known what this was, but maybe it was just confusion over the
instrumental alternate "Life Seeker".)
CD4 Live (described as all previously unreleased,
although some of the tracks have been released previously):
The Blu-ray has Wilson's 2023 Dolby Atmos mix, 5.1 Mix DTS-HD MA, 5.1 Mix LPCM and his 2023
The LP is described in promo as being
Wilson's 2023 remaster. Jason_Rhino
on the Steve Hoffman forum, who oversees the Yes catalogue for
Rhino and co-produced this release with Steve Woolard, said
there (4 Oct) that,
"The LP in this super deluxe set is a new AAA cut by Bernie
Grundman from the original master tapes." There was a premiere
of the new surround mix at L-Acoustics in London, UK on 7 Nov
2023: I attended and wrote
about the evening in the blog. Bill Bruford was in
attendance and took questions afterwards. A similar playback
in the US takes place in Los Angeles, CA on 30 Nov.
There was talk about me doing “Drama”, an album I really love and that would sound great in 5.1, but not all the members of that line up are keen for the album to be remixed—which is totally understandable—and I wouldn’t want to do something without the band being behind it.The one band member opposed to Wilson doing Drama could have been Downes judging by this Sep 2015 tweet: asked if Wilson would be doing a Drama remix, Downes replied, "I bloody well hope not!" Although in a Jul 2014 interview, Downes said, "I would like to hear Drama in 5.1, the album was heavily overdubbed at the time, and so it would reveal a lot of detail". But, in an Aug 2016 interview, he said the multitracks for Drama couldn't be found, also saying, "I know Steven Wilson does a very good job" of the 5.1 mixes.
In an Aug
2015 forum post, Wilson said:
I believe that the multitrack tapes for Going for the One are currently [missing]. First 2 Yes albums I would think unlikely, not enough potential sales...etc But never say never.
I really hope Tales and Drama will eventually be done, they are (perhaps somewhat perversely) my 2 favourite Yes albums
Preliminary work for a Going for the One release was
done. In an Apr 2014 interview, Howe was asked whether it is
"open-ended that as many of the catalog masters you have in hand"
will be included in the series, he answered, "I don't think we
should say yea or nay yet, because there could be logistical
things or even a question of taste." On this latter point, the
interviewer teases out that Howe is referring to Tormato.
Howe goes on, "It's not that it's dreadful; it's just that we
didn't quite get it right. I don't know if a remix would make it
right, but I really can't say because I don't think it could,
because if you're going to be true to the original, then you have
to base it on the original."
Asked about further archival releases on the 2015 Cruise to the Edge, Howe also said there was
plenty more in the vaults.
Cruise to the Edge
Cruise to the Edge (Facebook) is a series of progressive rock cruises that previously featured and were co-organised by Yes, and run by music cruise company On the Blue. After pandemic cancellations, Cruise to the Edge ran May 2022 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. Jon Kirkman again hosted. There is no 2023 Cruise, but a 2024 Cruise will sail 8-13 Mar 2024, which has now sold out. Appearing will be Dave Kerzner and his All Star Prog Band (including Sherwood again, playing material from Kerzner's solo albums The Traveler and Heart Land Mines Vol 1 & 2), Marillion, Steve Hackett, Flying Colors, Big Big Train, Adrian Belew, The Flower Kings, Marin Barre, PFM, Gryphon, Ray Wilson (ex-Genesis) and others. Yes has not been anounced as appearing.
In a May
2023 interview, Downes said they were not on the last cruise
(2022's) because of COVID-19 uncertainties, but as for future
cruises, "I certainly think we'll give it consideration. [...] we
haven't made any plans as yet."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
Relayer has been [...] almost like [...] a heavy weight on our shoulder these difficult years. We've rescheduled that tour three times, I think. So, we've really just dropped the album tour for a while to give us a break and not make us feel that we're only playing Relayer because we've said, for three years, we're gonna play it. [...] that feels a bit of an encumberment. So, we're gonna free off that and dream up a really fantastic set that will have some new music, it'll have a little bit of something to do with Tales. [...] we're looking forward to it because [...] it's not something we've been carrying and wrestling with rescheduling [...] it's going to be something fresh [...] even our approach, not that we're going to change our positions on stage, but the approach that we're going to use in our production is going to be quite different too. [...] we're certainly not having any spaceships or cows floating across the stage [...] it's less of that and more of the bringing the group really tightly together because we find that when we play closely together on stage, without risers, something quite clever happens [...] to us. So, we're looking for that closer connection to the [...] pulse of the musicIn his May 2023 interview with Yes Music Podcast, Davison said, "The set is really still being designed for the tour next year , and this year . [...] But I know, without a doubt, we will play some homage to the Relayer album." Asked what songs he would like to play, Davison named "Cut from the Stars", "All Connected" and "Mirror to the Sky". In the Apr 2023 interview with Classic Album Review, asked whether they are still planning to play all of Relayer live, Davison had replied, "all I could say is... yes, no, maybe so... I can't say yes on that yes, just a maybe." The interviewer also asked if Davison would be up for playing all of Tormato some time, to which Davison replied, "Oh, 100%. I mean, remember, Billy, Jay and myself were Yes fans before we became Yes members, so I think the fanboys in us would love to be able to play Tormato, absolutely. [...] we'll vie for that." However, Howe, in the Classic Album Review interview, said he "would not predict in the near future" the band playing the album. In the Biff Bam Pop! interview, also in May 2023, asked what songs from the new album he would like to do live, Downes replied "Unknown Place", but suggested they wouldn't do more than 2 new songs.
let's face it, let's be realistic and say we're selling nostalgia. [...] we want to give the fans the music they come to hear. [...] but having said that, I think that the new music is quite conducive to a Yes set. I think we've found, on this last tour [in 2022], [...] I must tell you, the band was so touched by the audience's reactions to the new music, the overwhelming enthusiasm they gave. It was really encouraging [...] so we'll be doing the same with the new materials, a couple of selections.He was also asked in the interview what songs he would like to perform and in his reply, he mentioned "Sound Chaser", "To be Over" and "The Remembering". In another May 2023 interview, Davison said that Howe "primarily" comes up with tour set lists, which the others then "fine tune". In the Classic Album Review interview, Howe also talked about future possible sets, saying, "the album series idea is definitely not going away."
YES and their management have explored every possible avenue to arrange insurance cover for the tour in the event of COVID-related exemption or Act of War exclusion. The insurance industry has withdrawn all such insurances which made touring possible pre-COVID and before the Ukraine conflict.In a Mar 2023 with Aymeric Leroy, Sherwood highlight specifically the role of the war in Ukraine. Saying the cancellation of the 2023 European dates was "devastating", in his Yes Music Podcast interview, Davison said, "The dominos are still falling in reaction to COVID and, unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover for it. So, as a business, we have to be, y'know, financially prudent. [...] We have to play it safe [...] We love touring Europe [...] We really want to make it up to [the fans] anyway we possibly can." Announced 2023 dates had covered 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.
There have always been calculated risk assessments to consider when touring and YES has unfailingly paid a premium to cover against terrorism in addition to conventional cancellation risks. With a view to supporting venues and crew, YES toured the UK in 2022 but the band simply cannot undertake such a large-scale tour with so many risks being uninsured.
Insurance cover was promised for events in 2023 but this has now been withdrawn until 2024, with confirmations of normality in ’24 following representations to the insurance industry to reassess its attitudes to COVID and Act of War insurance. Bands at some levels can mitigate against these risks but YES’ touring model creates unjustifiable levels of risk.
We had planned to play all of Relayer when the pandemic struck.In an Oct 2022 interview with the Yesshift podcast, Schellen said, "We had the whole [Relayer] tour down, and then the pandemic hit." Asked if there were any Yes songs he particularly wanted to play, he said he would like to perform the other two sides of Tales from Topographic Oceans that they haven't done recently, i.e. "The Remembering" and "The Ancient". He added, "And we've talked about it. I think that could be coming." 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.
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.
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.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.As for future set lists, another Jun 2018 interview with Howe describes the situation thus:
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.
After bassist Chris Squire’s death in 2015, Howe inherited the job of putting Yes’ concert set list together. “I make a set list generally with two considerations. There’s gotta be some challenges; There’s got to be some things we haven’t been playing in the last two years or so. [...] you’ve got to go do some homework at home. But the other thing is we’ve got to make it possible. [...] our set list is generally a mix of challenging new things -- or new in the context of what we’ve been playing recently -- and then some really familiar stuff, but not the same-old, same-old -- although we can’t do a show without ‘Roundabout.’ [...]”
Downes also talked sets in a Jun
Interviewer: Are there any songs that you personally would like to retire? [...]
Downes: We approach each tour differently. [...] it’d be nice maybe to look at a couple of 80’s era Yes tracks as well. And maybe even something from the 90’s, you know. Well we do a couple of tracks from the 90’s anyway. [...] there’s so much there [...] you’ve got 22 or 23 studio albums to pick material from, that’s a pretty enormous body of work to tackle. But certainly, I’m game to try anything that’s in the Yes catalog.
Interviewer: [...] is there a song or two you wish you guys could play, specifically?
Downes: I think I’d like to just do one of the big pieces from the album Relayer. We did a little bit of that, but something like either “Sound Chaser” or maybe “Gates of Delirium,” which would be an enormous challenge to actually learn something like that [...] quite a fascinating challenge to do that.
In a Jun
2018 interview of his own, White said, "we tried not playing
"Roundabout" for a while. We got so many complaints because we
didn't play it, we've been playing it ever since." Asked in the
Yes Music Podcast about YesWest material, Downes replied, "that
would be something a lot of the fans would appreciate [...]
certainly I think Steve's up for doing some of it". Asked about
the possibility of performing "The Gates of Delirium", he began
by remarking on the challenge of doing so, but continued,
"everything's possible […] Whether or not we do it next year
, I don't know. We might do it the year after . We
might even at some point attempt the whole of Relayer. That's... that's
something that has been put forward. I think in terms of it being
the fiftieth anniversary of Yes that the focus is going to be more
on a historical view of Yes's music rather than any specific
albums". In his Mar
2017 Q&A, White had said, "we plan to play the entire "Relayer' album in the UK next year
", but he backed away from that by this Aug
2017 interview: "I think next year  should be a really
good selection of songs from every era. We actually thought about
playing the whole "Relayer" album,
but I think that would be too much for the kind of show it should
be next year  for our 50th anniversary." In the Feb 2018
issue of Eclipsed,
Howe also said they wanted to play all of Relayer but described
this as challenging to do. In the mid-Mar 2018 interview, asked
about whether Relayer
is a possibility for summer US dates, Sherwood replied, "You never
know. I've been lobbying for that for years now as it's one of my
favourites. [...] As of yet it's not been spoken about, so we'll
just have to see what happens." Sherwood in a Nov
2017 interview said he would like to play "The Gates of Delirium" and
"On the Silent Wings of Freedom". Asked in his matching
interview what songs he would like to include, White
"Awaken" and "Mind Drive"; he implied that, with
Kaye present, they would do "Yours is No Disgrace". In the
#YES50 tour programme, out Mar 2018, Downes said, "I'm excited
about taking on the Relayer
album". At the Jul 2018 YesFanFest, Howe
was asked about doing Relayer
in 2019 and replied, "Maybe". In an Aug
2018 interview, asked what songs he would like to do,
Davison picked Relayer
first, then saying, "I'd like to bring to the stage all of Tormato and Relayer
and make the '70s Album Series a complete thing. Beyond that, some
of the '80s and '90s material." He then mentions "The More We Live—Let Go"
and "Shoot High Aim Low". In a Jul
2019 interview, Sherwood supported the idea of playing "Sound Chaser".
Asked how set list decisions come about, he replied:
Asked if there are plans to play any other albums in a Feb 2016 podcast interview, Howe said: "eventually [...] we'll have to play Relayer. [...] We'd need a while to get ready to play that one. We talked about other records and I said Time and a Word one day [...] it's off the mark with America because they really don't know that record." In another Feb 2016 interview, Howe, again talking of playing full albums, said, "we hope one day to resurrect [Relayer]." An Aug 2016 report had that the band have discussed doing Relayer in 2017 or 2018. Downes said in an Aug 2016 interview: "We have considered playing [Tormato] [...] but Steve doesn't think it's strong enough as an album. [...] Alan feels the same, it's not got that depth that the other albums have got [...] Relayer is up there as a possibility." Asked what album they will do next, he replied, "We're still discussing whether to do that [continue playing full albums] [...] but with this line-up I don't see us doing any other full album other than Relayer, if we were to do anything." In Howe's interview, he went on to say: "There's other sorts of set lists we mustn't ignore. In other words, I'm saying, ya, I like playing albums [...] but it's not the only game in town, y'know. And there's other sets that I've invented in my mind, and circulated, that do a different... tell a different story. And we've got to be careful not just to tell the same story, oh here's another album." He gave as an example of another set list approach, "Like we did last summer , that was a very kind of friendly [...] set, couple of new songs [...] it was bubbly [...] there are other great, great set lists". The interviewer then suggested doing Magnification tracks. In reply, Howe first talked about prior albums: "I quite like Keys to Ascension studio tracks [...] that's quite a nice era" and after he'd heaped praise on Bruce Fairbairn and his production of The Ladder, Howe said he'd found it "difficult" to pick tracks from Open Your Eyes and Magnification that he's "fully committed to now. Of course I've got enjoyment for them [...] Certainly, as an album [i.e., playing Magnification in full], I don't think so". Howe continued, "There is one track [...] I would single out" from Magnification; he didn't identify it, but said it's not "Spirit of Survival" or "In the Presence of". In a Feb 2017 interview, Howe discussed the band's set and possibilities for the future:
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.
I like playing new music. I’ve done 12 solo records over the years – I’ve been delighted to not have to only play old music. But my favorite stuff is definitely looking at Yes.On Eddie Trunk's Sirius XM radio show from the Cruise to the Edge 2017, White said the band had been discussing playing material from Relayer, including "Sound Chaser". He later spoke of "doing some things from Relayer", i.e. not the full album. He also said, "We can't get away with not playing "Roundabout". We've tried many times." Also on the cruise, asked what other albums they might tackle, Howe again said they would like to Relayer (but that it would take "an enormous amount of work to capture the performances on that album"), but he also mooted "Keys to Ascension" (presumably meaning the studio tracks on Keys to Ascension 2) and Magnification. Asked about Tormato material, he was more negative, saying the album "wasn't designed for the stage" but that "maybe one day we will try to revisit it." In his Mar 2017 YesWorld Q&A, White said, "'Relayer' is a hard album to play but we're discussing performing that album next year ." Asked about playing songs from Tormato, he also said "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" would be "a great song to include".
It doesn’t have to be that old – we might come onto the ‘90s at some point and start looking at Keys to Ascension or something. There’s a lot of music that we’d like to look at. But we do get a lot from the ‘70s, and we don’t have a problem.
I think you’re right; ‘The Remembering’ would be an interesting choice [...] But there are also so many other hidden gems on the albums that have been historically been overlooked by the touring band over the years. Talk, Big Generator, Union, The Ladder, & Keys to Ascension also have some killer tracks. How about ‘Mind Drive’ as a suggestion? ☺
In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes was asked about doing other albums and replied, "We've never discussed this at all, but it's not been ruled out. [...] I can see the subject coming up [...] But what we don't want to become is a band who just live in the past". He then talked of the possibility of varying tour set lists so that they "do a lot of more contemporary material on one tour and the next time we do something a lot more nostalgic." In an Apr 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'
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 a Mar 2023 interview, Wakeman said, "there was talk of another [Yes] reunion, but I said, "absolutely no way." Because we don't have Chris Squire anymore. We don't have Alan White anymore. You just can't do it. You know, let's have a great memory of what we did." It's unclear when (his comments seem to imply that this was since White passed away) or with whom this "talk of another reunion" was.
to Classic Rock magazine, published Jun 2023, Howe
dismissed the idea of reunion: "It's something I'm absolutely
resistant to, because I remember the fiasco of the Union
tour [...] Sometimes I might have thought, 'Well, one day maybe',
and one never wants to say never, but basically I can't see it."
He also said: "I love Jon [Anderson]. I'm a lot older now,
and so is he, and the only terms I work on is that I'm happy
working on this. I'm not going to take a sudden load on my back
that I either don't need or want. My music’s always guided me, and
it’s not telling me to do those things. It's telling me to go
In an Aug 2023 interview with Anderson (published in Spanish), the interviewer says his manager has warned him not to ask anything Anderson anything about the current Yes. He goes ahead anyway, asking if there's a bad atmosphere between Anderson and Yes. Anderson's reply is given as: "No, realmente no. Simplemente ellos siguen su camino, persiguen su sueño, como cada uno de nosotros. Yo persigo mi propio sueño, tengo otros proyectos, otras ilusiones y tampoco me gustaría que si digo cualquier cosa sobre ellos se manipulase o se malinterpretase." This translates as: "No, not really. They simply follow their path, pursue their dream, like each one of us. I pursue my own dream, I have other projects, other hopes and I would not like it if anything I say about them were to be manipulated or misinterpreted."
In an Apr
2023 interview, asked if he thought the current band under
Howe is an "authentic version of Yes", Anderson replied:
It’s Steve’s idea of Yes, I suppose. It’s hard to pinpoint. I’ve listened to a couple of songs, of course, and they’re OK. But I’m still into the voyage of musical Yes. I’m totally into the original idea of it. [...] The energy of the Seventies, musically around the world… It was quite an unbelievable time. Yes was a part of it. I still want to perpetuate it, I suppose.
The interviewer then asked about Anderson's then forthcoming tour
with the Band Geeks: "You're playing Yes music on tour with new
musicians. Steve is playing Yes music on tour with new people.
Can't one argue that what you're doing is just as authentically
Yes as what he's doing?" Anderson replied, "Yeah. I've never seen
his show though, so I can't tell you. [Laughs.]" The
interviewer then said recounted how when he had interviewed Howe,
Howe had said a reunion was "completely unthinkable". Anderson
I’m a pessimist… I’m a pessimistic optimist. You never know in this life. And that was just him at that moment in time. I sang with him on my last album, 1,000 Hands. [...] I [...] said, “Would you play some lovely guitar at the end?” And he did. All I could think of when I heard was to sing with it, and I did.
The interviewer continued to push on the question of a reunion
between Anderson and Howe, saying they "should be onstage
together". Anderson replied, "it's not going to happen as far as I
know. I've mentioned a couple of times over the years that I'm
very open to giving it a whirl. In these days, though, you never
know what's going to happen."
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
In a Mar
2023 interview, Wakeman said of the current Yes line-up:
Steve [Howe]’s the only member who was in what people call the classic Yes lineup. None of the others were. But that’s absolutely fine. I don’t have an issue with that. I do think that after Chris died, it might have been time to retire the name. But I don’t have an issue with that, as long as people want to hear the music. They have absolutely every right to exist and play it.
In an interview for Prog
published Jan 2023 (issue #137), after talking about how Downes
him out after he had had some equipment stolen, Wakeman
said, "Some of the rumours you hear about the two camps of Yes
being at loggerheads are completely untrue. Steve [Howe] and I
have been intending to have lunch for a while but never seem to
get around to it. There's a lot of mutual respect between us all."
Asked if he would accept an offer from Howe to make a guest
appearance with Yes, Wakeman replied, "I probably would, though
I'm not sure politically it would be the thing to do. They've got
their own setup and I've got mine. But never say never." 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
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  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.
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.”
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
When ABWH went out, Bill, Rick and I basically wanted to carry on being called ABWH. We weren't really interested in being called Yes, but there was a contingent in the band [i.e., Anderson] and the management [i.e., Brian Lane] that very much encouraged us to rejoin Yes. Actually, the three of us ended up with nothing. That lineup didn't continue after Union so we lost everything.
ARW came out and they justified their existence. They're ARW. Nobody can deny them the right to do that. Now there's a bit of game playing going on, adding that particular thing [presumably Howe means here the "Yes featuring..." part of their name]. I don't know if they are going to make things more interestingly confusing by calling it quintessential Yes [a reference to ARW's promotion for their 2018 touring].
It's up to them what they do. They're free, we're free. We're tolerant and they're tolerant. Hopefully, people won't go around saying "We don't like those guys." [Anderson in Mar 2017 said, "We don't like them" about Yes] We never said that. We want to be sharing and positive about everything we can generate, which I think is important.
If the fans have got a choice, now, to see different versions of things, then so be it. I can't see a problem.
In a Mar 2017
interview, Wakeman and Anderson both dismissed any
possibility of a reunion. Asked about that in a Dec
2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Rabin replied,
"Oh, I very much doubt it. It's kind of like, if it's not broke,
don't fix it. We've got the ARW thing right now and we're just
loving it. That's certainly where we're at right now." In a
Howe replied to a similar question: "We know the 50-year
anniversary is going to be quite colossal. The Union tour
was popular with many fans, but it would have to be re-thought if
we were considering that. It would need some reinvention. But
that's a ways away." When the interviewer returned to the question
of repeating the Union tour, Howe continued:
As long as its not trying to put a square peg in a round hole. The Union tour [...] [f]or the fans, it was seen in a particular light. But internally, it was complex. [...] you'd have to think about how it could work in a different way. It's nice seeing people play together, but it's really about the mood and the willingness and the love and the sharing. It just comes down to a lot of other things, unfortunately, like business and technical. Those other parts both help and interfere and destruct. A few people have said to me that although it was great to see us together all night for the Union tour, it was really a lot to try and fill your ears with. But I do appreciate that people are thinking about seeing us together, and that's a very nice sentiment.
Some of that was put to Anderson in his Rolling
Stone interview and he was asked whether he thinks
anything will happen to commemorate the 50th anniversary. He
I'll call you! You'll be the first person I call [laughs]. Like anything, my idea of Yes is ARW at the moment. That's what I feel is the Yes I always dreamed of coming back together with.
In a late
Jan 2017 interview, Howe was asked about the Union
tour, and replied, "It's not something that we know we're going to
do again. Obviously it would need good planning." White was asked
why don't they "go back to Anderson & Wakeman" in his Mar
2017 YesWorld Q&A; he replied:
Well, you know, I’m open to anything in the future. I’m not opposed to the idea of that down the line but I’m part of the YES touring band and it makes more sense to continue with the group of musicians I’m currently working with… we have a great working vibe between us. You asked why we don’t “go back” and that’s really key because I always try to be positive and continue to move forward instead, I want to make progressively new and interesting music and we’re performing great on stage together. I’m happy with the way things are and looking forward to continuing on with the current YES line up.
In his late
Mar 2017 Q&A, Howe was asked something similar. He
This topic has gone round the houses a little bit. Before we can take on board ideas, there has to be a good line of communication. And as far as I understand ARW aren’t really interested in doing this and we’re most probably not really interested in doing this either.
Now that sounds like a big shut down, but in another way, one’s gotta understand that things aren’t always what they appear. Reinventing the ‘Union Tour’ is not really a concept that anyone from either of the lineups of YES or ARW have endorsed.
So basically, I would say, it’s not foreseeable. I think there’s ways that we can celebrate YES’s 50th year and most probably they want to as well. I think the complexity is unmeasurable by the fans. Those things aren’t easy. It’s not any one person that’s particularly making it difficult, but people can make it difficult and then it’s gotta be done in the right spirit. I’d say don’t hold your breath.
In a May
2017 interview, White was a little bit more positive:
"There's a possibility [of a reunion] way down the line here[.]
The next tour is the 50th anniversary of the band, so who knows
what will happen then."
Relations between the band have not gotten any better since ARW switched name to "Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman". Howe was interviewed for an article in the Jul 2017 issue of Prog on the subject, using language described by the magazine as "both damning and colourful", but he subsequently asked for his comments not to be used. However, it is also revealed that:
he [Howe] wrote to them before, their tour, wishing them good luck. "That's my true spirit: that anyone can play Yes."
In the same issue, Downes and Wakeman both professed to be
unbothered about the other band, although their language comes
across as rather passive aggressive! Downes said: "We're focusing
on what we're doing [...] We wish them well. We've got no axe to
grind. We hope they succeed. They may have something against us.
If they do that's their problem not ours." Wakeman: "I don't care
what they do. They're fully entitled to do whatever they live.
[...] I have no idea what they're doing [...] It's of no interest
to me. [...] They're not a rival band. They're another lot out
there playing Yes music, same as we are. We're just doing it our
way [...] Good luck to them." Sherwood meanwhile said that he
would go see Yes featuring ARW perform if he was free.
Asked how he feels about the other band touring at the same time
as them, White said in an Aug
2017 interview, "It's quite funny. Quite frankly, I don't
think about it very much. [...] They're doing their thing." In
answer to a similar question in this Aug
2017 interview, Sherwood replied:
It’s interesting and strange at the same time. I haven’t really been paying too much attention to it because we keep staying on our track [...] I’m happy to hear as much Yes music in 2017 from the participants thereof and see the music thriving. There’s the obvious political push and pull that goes on in Yes; it’s always been that way and will always be that way. [...] there’s always much chaos and many moments to have it. (laughs) It’s really not surprising that we’re in this current state of affairs, but we go forward as Yes doing what we do.
On Eddie Trunk's radio show broadcasting from the Cruise to the
Edge 2018 in early Feb, Sherwood said much the same: "From my
perspective, I'm a long-time Yes fan, the more Yes music out there
in 2018, the better. Um... obviously there is a lot of politics
involved, but that's way above my pay grade. I just want to play
the music […] It's all good as far as I'm concerned."
Before hearing they would be inducted, in a Nov 2016 interview, asked about a reunion with Yes if the band get inducted in the Hall of Fame, Wakeman said: "I think there's no chance of us ever reuniting[.] There's not a hope in hell of that happening."
In an Apr
2016 interview, Howe was asked whether it is fair to say
that Anderson will never be back in the band. He replied: "I don't
think that's fair at all [...] I don't know what the future holds
[...] We're just moving ahead as we are. [...] We need
certainties, y'know, we need availabilities, we need, y'know,
commitments and things like that". He was later asked if the band
still has good relationships with R Wakeman: "Well, I hope we try
and keep good relations with everybody, y'know [...] people put
their foot in it occasionally [laughs] But [...] there are always
people from the bands you've been in that you have stayed
closer to and other people you haven't and that very much depends
on who makes any effort and who's got any time and, y'know, how
much you can, so, y'know, it spreads itself evenly across the...
so many members of Yes [laughs] that we've had, besides the other
bands I hasten to add I've been in. But, y'know, um, it's a lovely
thing, y'know, there's a pool of musicians and, y'know, we can
reach out to each other when we want to." In a Jul
2016 interview, asked whether they would work with
ex-members, Howe focused on the current band's plans and said:
"Well, I guess what we're going to do is we're going to try to
contain ourselves in our ambition and figure out how to keep these
things going. It takes a lot of work and a lot of agreement."
Asked in the Dec
2016 interview when he last spoke to Anderson, Howe replied,
"I don't know whether I can reveal things like that. It's a little
bit personal. We've been working in different bands and different
areas for a very long time."
Sherwood was asked in an Aug
2016 interview about the band's future: "Could another
merger be on the horizon? Who even owns the Yes name?" The article
“All that stuff is above my pay grade,” Sherwood says with a laugh. “Let’s be honest. Did anyone think Yes could survive Chris Squire not being there? I wasn’t sure, and I was the one being asked to do it. But it seems to be surviving and thriving.” The future is “a hard thing to even discuss, because you just don’t know until you get there.”
Sherwood says he tries not to draw “hard lines” about authenticity. “Life evolves and music evolves and bands change,” he says. “We’re losing guys. That’s sad to say, but it’s true. But the music lives on and it’s a testament to the music.”
Aug 2015 interview, Howe was asked whether "Chris' passing
make it any more likely we'll see Yes work with former members
like Jon Anderson or Rick Wakeman in some capacity, even just for
one big concert to celebrate the band's legacy?" He replied:
I'd hate to say no, so I'll say I don't know. [...] From inside it's quite different. We have to try to stay on our course, and if we change something that changes multiple other things, then we don't know where we are. We spent a lot of time in 2008 kind of finding out where we are, with Benoit and Oliver Wakeman and now with Geoff Downes and Jon Davison and now with Billy Sherwood. In other words, we can't open the floodgates without thinking. So sure, we give these things some thought, but until we come to a conclusion, we'd rather do nothing than the wrong thing.
In a Sep
2015 interview (conducted late Aug), Howe talks about
several past members of the band, saying how they met with Moraz
while on tour. He then says, "We have some contact with Jon
Anderson. [...] I think we ought to see this group as sort of an
In an interview
recorded in Apr 2016, White said, "I talk to Jon [Anderson]
[...] on occasion. [...] I call him on his birthday, and that kind
of stuff. [...] Rick, I haven't seen him for an awful long time.
I'd like to see him again, y'know, because we used to get on very
well." Asked if Anderson and Wakeman might ever return to Yes, he
said, "I wouldn't rule it out [...] put it that way, but I think
Jon doesn't want to do these long, arduous tours any more and if
it was, it would be a kind of cameo appearance at some bigger
venues like London [...] or Los Angeles". Asked in an early
Nov 2016 interview whether, in the context of putting on a
united performance should Yes be inducted into the Hall of Fame,
there is animosity between the two bands, White replied: "There's
a certain amount, y'know. I actually talk to everybody, so... so,
it's a matter of other people sorting their opinions out". In the
2016 interview, Howe was asked, "How do you feel about ARW
being on tour now? Do you think that's a good idea? Are you cool
with it?" He replied:
[Laughs] It's an idea that has every right to exist, as much as ABWH when we were together in the late 1980s. Basically there's room for anybody to play Yes music. We love to hear other people play Yes music. These guys have quite a bit of credibility to do that and they are outstanding musicians, so there's no reason why they shouldn't go out and play. There's not any reason.
Apparently responding to comments by ARW in a number of
interviews, Sherwood posted
to Facebook in early Oct 2016:
In light of current events...
In my view, anyone who puts on the uniform I.E. served playing with Yes, making records, touring etc... deserves respect for doing so (regardless of era), without ending up under a bus. It's my honor to play under the "YES" flag, of which there is only one flying... I have always been loyal to that flag... even at times when I was under fire for doing so (see OYE lol). I know Chris was loyal, as he was the only member to NEVER leave... I'm humbled and honored to now be back in "YES" [...] especially having been personally asked by my long time friend and musical comrade (inside and out of YES) Squire himself, he asked me to carry on in his position in the "band" and so it shall be done. My heart and soul are in it to win it, every time I play those bass parts I'm thinking of Chris and "YES" and what it all means to have had fate guide my life in this most unexpected manner, Yes was my world growing up as a kid. It became part of my career as an adult, a very surreal destiny indeed. With that I will continue to serve, putting on the uniform of a "YES" man once again, and as I promised Chris, I'll give it my full passion and priority... always remembering my fallen hero.
Asked in a May
2016 interview if he could see himself reuniting with other
members of Yes, Anderson replied, "No, just Trevor [Rabin] and
Rick [Wakeman]. That's enough." In an Apr
2016 interview, Anderson was asked about the continuing Yes,
replying: "It's just business, and it's a group of people going
out there and playing music that's very valid. I have a different
perspective on what it is, and there are bands out there
performing Yes music, called tribute bands[.] That's kind of the
feeling of what's going on. That's why me and Trevor [Rabin] say,
'Well, listen if we're going to get together [in Anderson Rabin
Wakeman], we've got to reignite Yes[.]'" In another May
2016 interview (presumably conducted in Apr), Anderson was
asked whether they would reunite in the near future. He replied,
"No, just Trevor and Rick. That's enough." Asked in another Apr 2016
interview how, if he had "a magic wand", he'd like to see
Yes wrap up, Anderson replied: "Create some of the greatest music
in the next 20 years. I'm still Yes, I'm still part of Yes in my
heart and soul. I didn't leave the band, the band went off on
their merry way when I wasn't very well. [giggles] [...]
I've got it in my DNA".
In yet another
May 2016 interview, Anderson said, "My history is intact
musically[.] Yes became a brand and a business deal and that is
not my idea of what music is. Music needs to touch you
spiritually. When it is driven by money, then it takes away the
joy of creation." In an interview for the Spring 2016 issue of Progression,
Anderson was asked if he "keeps tabs on his former band". He
replied: "Not really, no. I know they're on the road. Musicians
need to make a living and that's what they're doing. [...] there's
only two of them left". And in this Jun
2016 interview, he said: "people ask me, "What do you think
of Yes?" I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been my
life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can't tell
them what to do, because it's not my band. They've got the name,
but I've got the state of mind about what true "Yes music" should
[Squire] would just always call and be in touch, and we never stopped talking. On numerous occasions since I’d left the band and was very busy doing film work, he called a number of times and said, ‘You know, I think it’s time for you to get up from your desk job and get back on the street.’ And you know, I was always a bit reluctant about, if the band’s going to be called Yes, for it to not have Jon in it. It seemed a bit strange to me. But the prime reason was that I was just so busy with what I was doing and really enjoying it.What might the long-term future for the band be?
I believe that the members of Yes historically have always said that Yes music will go on way after we are no longer about. And it’s almost like classical music in a way that it does live on. Our hope is that Yes music will continue to bring enjoyment to people and will continue to be relevant. And so, we aim to continue for as long as we possibly can. I think that it’s something that we built up, and particularly with this lineup, we have built up a great rapport with each other. It would be good if we can continue.In a Jun 2023 article, Howe said about the possibility of Yes continuing on without him, "I would be silly not to think that was most probably going to happen[.] There's things that have the potential to grow and carry on through the hands of the younger generation. I think maybe I'd have the same spirit that Bill [Bruford] has always had – 'The band can go on'. The only word of caution is I'd like it to be carried on in the spirit of a progressive rock band, because progressive rock is what this is."
[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 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” ???In an Aug 2014 interview, Davison said:
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 😇
[Yes's music i]s similar to the way classical music works. Long after those marvelous composers [...] passed, and the centuries moved forward, their music lives on. It’s not so much about the personality anymore. And people have a hard time seeing that now, because obviously the members [of Yes] are still alive, apart from Peter Banks [...] But it’s so easy to associate the music with the personality, and that causes a lot of conflict among fans. But ultimately, it’s about the music, and just taking the music forward. And there will always be a Yes. And I’m a lover of Jon Anderson as much as I’m a lover of Chris Squire, but you can’t fight it. And when something has that power to it, it’s beautiful, and beauty transcends all of that personality, and it’s always gonna belong, you just can’t put a cap on it and say, “Well, the original members aren’t doing this music anymore, so it’s over.” That can never be. It just can’t be.In a Jul 2012 interview for The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Howe explains Yes's longevity by saying, "[T]hat's the answer to your question: We change[.] We're like an orchestra; an orchestra can change membership." In an interview for the Feb 2014 issue of Prog, Downes was asked how long he can see the band continuing: "As long as people want to see and hear us. [...] If we can get on a stage to play, and the fans still buy tickets, then we'll do it. [...] There's a lot more life in us." In an Aug 2015 interview, White was asked, "Chris [Squire] often joked that Yes could conceivably continue on with completely new members, that the name could just encompass the spirit and go on for new generations. Now that idea seems even more possible." He responded: "[Laughs] I never heard that one, but the music is kind of timeless, really."
Someone asked me the other day, “Do you think the band will ever get to the point where there’s no [classic] members?” And I said, perhaps, because it’s the music that makes it all worthwhile. There are a few Yes tribute bands out there, but not as many as other tribute bands because the music is quite hard to play.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. [...]An Aug 2012 interview with the same newspaper, Reforma, raises the idea again, along side plans for a live residency by the band. The article is not specific, but Squire seems to respond that both ideas are being considered, but will not occur in 2012 or 2013. See details above.
Son muchos años, muchas anécdotas que contar, creo que tendríamos que seleccionar muy bien lo que quisiéramos abordar, porque una película, comúnmente tiene una corta duración, cerca de dos horas y es muy poco para contar tanto, ya casi cumplimos cincuenta años de estar juntos.
It is unclear how Yes are or were involved with planning for
"Floating Islands". The film was expected to feature music by the
band. Asked in the Mar 2008 interview about Yes making some music
especially for the project, Dean replied: "all members of the band
have spoken enthusiastically about doing that. [...] That's
definitely what we would like." He goes on to say he would like
both existing and new songs, and discusses the options for either
existing or new recordings of old songs. He talks about both
"Awaken" and "Soon". Back in Jun 2007, Dean had said that Yes are
not currently involved with the project beyond authorising the use
of their music. A report from around 2005 had that the film was
intended to contain 8-12 classic tracks (a re-recorded "Close to
the Edge" was mentioned in one rumour) and at least 4-5 new
recordings. In Jun 2007, Dean confirmed there had previously been
discussion of Yes writing new music for the film and that the band
had been thinking of "re-recording everything" (presumably meaning
re-recording classic pieces), but that there hadn't been any
discussion of new music recently with Yes then being dormant.
Further back, there were more reports from Yes about contributing. In a Dec 2004 Delicious Agony interview, White said, "We're starting to write music for it." In his Christmas Newsletter 2004, Wakeman said: "There are certainly ideas in the offing which include [...] making a film/and/or DVD with Roger Dean involved with all of the visuals which I particularly like, but there is much to be sorted out within the band itself before any decisions". Wakeman indicated that one of their main reasons to prefer the DVD format over CDs is Internet piracy. In an Oct 2005 interview with Squire for YesFANZ, he said:
We are looking at various options from the various major companies. Universal have shown interest and we are going to be looking at trying to put together a show that maybe then after the film has been made of the same, we can then tour the world with that kind of a look and with that kind of combining the film and the touring aspect.The interviewer, Brian Draper, then raised the Dean project. Squire:
I think Roger’s floating Islands idea is a very good project. But after Lord of the Rings was made [...] with such good quality, it[']s hard to know quite whether Roger may be a bit late in thinking about that because it has been done so well with the correct amount of money [...] His idea, I fully support it but I am not quite sure where it is going to go. I had a couple of meetings with him to try and figure it out but so far nothing is happening.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.
[...] 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.
Archival live releases
30 Live (RRAW) was 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". 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, with no significant work done to improve the audio. The discs are housed over 11 "fatpack" jewel cases, holding 2-4 discs each. The contents were initially announced as:
DVD 1: "An Evening of Yes Music Plus"The set comes with replica tour programmes from the US/UK tour (28 pages) and Japanese tour (32 pages), Roger Dean artwork, and a press pack/folder including photos, postcards and tour laminate.
DVD 2: "In the Big Dream"
CD 1-2: An Evening of Yes Music Plus
CD 3: An Evening of Yes Music Plus - The Original Broadcast
CD 4: The Original King Biscuit Radio Broadcast
CD 5: Radio Interviews
|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.|
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.
|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).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).
1969, out 2 Dec 2022, is a limited edition vinyl
release of recordings in 1969; presumably this is the same
material as above. Tracks:
Live... USA '71 (London Calling) is a 4-track CD of Yes's 24 Jul 1971 show at the Yale Bowl.
1. Every Little Thing
2. Something's Coming
3. Looking Around
5. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.
1. Something's Coming
2. Every Little Thing
3. Looking Around
Yessingles (Rhino) is a forthcoming compilation of some of Yes's singles, due 6 Oct on vinyl (140g black or limited release splatter) and digitally. It was mastered and cut by Jeff Powell. An advance digital single for the collection, "And You and I (Part I) [Promo Edit]" (3:25), was released to streaming channels on 21 Aug 2023. Tracks:
I A&R and oversee the Yes catalog for Rhino. The Yessingles compilation is not intended to be complete.He later added, "the development and research for Yessingles was rooted in research, streaming data and retail requests."
Media, books, fandom etc.
will be publishing a new and expanded edition of his book
"Solid Mental Grace" with five new chapters, including
covering The Quest and Mirror to the Sky.
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.
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.
Stephen Lambe has a revised edition of his "Yes on Track"
book, due 25 Aug 2023.
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.
Billboard estimates that the Yes catalog generated about $3.2 million in annual revenue over the last three years — from 2020 through 2022 — and further estimates Yes’ royalties at almost $1 million. The band also appears to own master recordings beginning in 1991, but those albums had meager consumption units last year, collectively accumulating less than 2,000 units in the U.S. Consequently, Billboard estimates WMG’s acquisition of Yes master rights and royalty income streams at about $20 million to $25 million.In an Oct 2023 interview, Rabin was asked about the possibility of a surround or Atmos mix of 90125. He replied: "I'd love to do that [...] sometimes the artist just gets bypassed when those things come up when catalog deals are made. There was a recent deal I went along with where I said, "Yes, I'll go along with this whole thing once you've worked everything out, but on one condition—you get me the masters so that I can bake them, and transfer them." And I'm still waiting. I'm still waiting."
And people ask me, “What do you think of Yes [today]?” I, honestly, never left Yes. Because Yes has been my life. The band itself are doing what they want to do. I can’t tell them what to do, because it’s not my band. They’ve got the name, but I’ve got the state of mind about what true “Yes music” should sound likeIn late Jan 2017, ARW started using the 'Yes' name in promotion, billing themselves as "Yes, with 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."
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.
Well, I don’t know. I don’t really think about it much, to tell you the truth. It’s their thing; their version of Yes. We do our version, but really this band is still Yes. There are comments that come from the other camp, but I wouldn’t reply to the comments because I don’t need to.Rumour suggests there have actually been ongoing arguments over the use of the Dean logo, with ARW periodically using it and then stopping using it.
It’s a lot of business stuff. We own the name. They own the name. Jon Anderson and I own it, but the logo we own, because Steve Howe owns most of the logo.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.
There's a Japanese bonus track, an acoustic version of
"Don't Look Down".
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,
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 knowHe continued: "The first record [...] 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 two people singing on both albums are only Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood. Although, for the first time Billy played in my solo band [...] after that experience he said he wanted me to also sing on the third Arc of Life album where we'll all write together as a band. That was actually the initial plan for the second Arc album, but, thanks to Covid we weren't able to all get together so easily in the last 2 years.In a Dec 2022 interview on the NewEARS Prog Show #290, Kerzner said the album, and all of his sessions, was mostly recorded remotely because of the pandemic. He continued: "Fortunately, Billy and Jon just had a ton of material. More than just what was on the first Arc of Life album, so Billy was able to kinda ringlead that whole thing into a release, so that people didn't have to wait too long for a follow-up album."
Fortunately, Billy and Jon had written a lot of material while on tour with Yes and it was enough for two albums. This is also probably why they have a cohesive connection to each other stylistically besides the fact that it is a band led by, mixed by and produced by Billy. [...] this [the second album] has longer proggier tunes than the previous Arc of Life album
[...] With Arc of Life, so far I've really had the least amount of creative input of any band or project I've been in. It was a band I was added to because we're all friends and they needed a keyboard player. I can't wait to play live with these guys because we have some interesting fun surprises for the live show. I look forward to a time when I can write with them as well!
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 bandAsked about the band touring in an Oct 2022 interview he did with the Yesshift podcast, Schellen replied that, "it's something that's always on our mind and in the realm of possibility, but Yes is very busy". He continued, "There is possibilities, y'know. Maybe getting together with some of our other prog band friends [...] it's always on our minds, if we find an opportunity".
The latest Prog Collective release is Seeking Peace (Purple Pyramid), released digitally and on limited edition purple marble LP (CLO3217LP-PM) on 11 Nov 2022; a CD release (CLO3217CD) followed soon after. The album was composed, recorded, produced and mixed by Billy Sherwood. It was mastered by Maor Appelbaum. The album is a return to original material, as with the original Prog Collective releases, but unlike the previous album of covers, Songs We were Taught (described below), or the mix of original material and covers on Worlds on Hold. Tracks (Bandcamp digital version):
To Prog magazine (issue #137, published Jan 2023), he explained the title: "Given what's going on in Ukraine and other parts of the world, it's kind of a cliché in a way that we're 'seeking peace'. But it had to be said. I thought that was just a positive statement for the record."
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
in Yescography. With respect to "It's Too Late",
Sherwood said in a Feb
2023 interview, "I had suggested Dweezil because I've worked
with him a bunch [...] The label recommended Candice, it worked
out quite well."
Again, the album was put together by Engler.
Next came Meddle
Reimagined on 1 Sep 2023. Tracks:
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 include:
2. "Magic Fly", originally by Space, by Rick Wakeman
The album is mixed by Jürgen Engler. It was recorded in
Engler has also remixed William
Shatner's 2013 Ponder the Mystery album that was
produced by Sherwood, with guests including Rick Wakeman
and Tony Kaye. Ponder
the Mystery Revisited was due 18
Aug on CD (CLO3869CD), black/purple/white
splatter vinyl (CLO3869LP-BPWS), or digital.
Kerzner is in Arc of Life,
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 appeared.) 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. In a Nov
2022 post to ProgressiveEars.com, he said, "guitarist
Fernando Perdomo and I have been working on a separate Yes-like
project that really blends an early 70's Yes influence with King
Crimson and Pink Floyd especially in this one particular track. I
might ask Billy and Jon to play and sing on it. It's a whole batch
of different sounding material that needs a home so we'll probably
build a project around it or release under our project called
"Squids Out To Sea"."
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 several 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
ProgressiveEars.com (Nov 2018):
Thus "Trifecta" and "Times Gone", which were released on 2012'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 ." However, these have yet to appear. 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  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."
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). "Man Unkind" is from
In Continuum's Acceleration Theory Part One: AlienA:
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
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!)
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. 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 a Feb 2023 interview,
Kerzner described, "a Genesis tribute album we're going to finish
this year", later saying, "I've been working on this since 2011".
In the NewEARS Prog show interview (Dec 2022), Kerzner said, "I'm
releasing, in 2023, a multi-disc Genesis tribute album. [...] One
of them is a retrospective of a few songs from each of the albums,
going back to the very first one, up to I think Genesis, Genesis.
And I'm doing that with Fernando Perdomo, like the same way we did
[...] Yesterday and Today [...] where we split up the
tasks and, y'know, I handled a certain era and he handled another
[...] like the first Yes album, he did. [...] He did do the same
thing on From Genesis to Revelation. [...] then, of
course, there's [...] the entire Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
done with Francis Dunnery [ex-It Bites; on
vocals] and various guests. Nick D'Virgilio on drums. Me on
keyboards. And then a surprise additional thing I did with Martin
Levac, Matt Dorsey. [...] I can't say what it is yet. It's sort of
like a lost Genesis album, let's just say." He also mentioned John
Mitchell, Nad Sylvan and Alex "Yatte" Chod as vocalists on the
first of these. In the Feb 2023 interview, Kerzner described how
the Lamb tribute, which he has produced, was originally
going to have different vocalists, until Dunnery persuaded him to
just have one singer throughout. He implied that some of the
earlier versions of Lamb tracks with different vocalists
will be included on the first disc, including Sherwood singing
"The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" and Nad Sylvan on "The Chamber of
32 Doors", while that set will also have John Mitchell (It Bites, Frost*) singing "I Know What I
In a Nov
2022 interview, Kerzner said he had just been talking to
Fernando Perdomo about "our tribute albums" and said, "I'm going
to finish that" about the Rush album. He also said they want to
finish the Genesis tribute album, then continued, "At some point,
we might want to do a John Wetton one." On Facebook that same
month, he said, "I'd really like to finish certain tribute albums
that have been in the works for a LONG long time. That's a Genesis
one (first), a Rush one and the Pink Floyd with your favorite
musician AP who engineered some of it years ago. I will finish it
and release it in 2023. Have to!" In an Oct 2012 post to
ProgressiveEars.com, Kerzner 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 are one or two 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." 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. In Nov 2022, Kerzner said on Facebook, "It's been
in the works for a long time and we just need to finish vocals
with Francis [Dunnery] for 4 or 5 tunes, maybe a few more Tony
Banks' keyboard [sample] overdubs and then mix it. I'd really like
to get it done sooner than later so we'll see how it goes!" 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". In Sep 2022, Kerzner referred on
ProgressiveEars.com to "Fernando [Perdomo] and I are also doing
[...] a separate thing - a deluxe tribute album to Genesis with
covers of their songs like we did for Yes's 50th Anniversary". In
another post that month, he said, "[Alex "Yatte" Chod and I] were
working on a Genesis tribute album (multi-disc big thing actually)
he was nailing some stuff from DUKE [...] I've asked people like
Alex and also Martin Levac to contribute to either or both the
Genesis tribute album and [Kerzner's solo album, The Traveler]".
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
I was just talking with Francis Dunnery about finishing up The Lamb tracks next month [Apr 2018]. The Rush tribute is the closest to finish and I was just holding out to do a track with David Longdon of Big Big Train [...] but it would have to be built from scratch since I don't have the drum track from Neil Peart for that song... and I was going to play it from the keyboard using Neil's drum samples but it's in 5/8 and a little tricky. A fun challenge but I need a bit of time to do it right. Arrrggghhh. Maybe I'll still do it. There's also an original music side to the project too and I have material from Glass Hammer, Billy Sherwood and others for that as well. The Floyd tribute split into two projects, one I did with Alan Parsons participating and the other that's become a female led Floyd tribute sung by the McBroom Sisters and it'll be their album that I'm co-producing which will also have original songs written with various people who played with Floyd like Guy Pratt, Jon Carin and others. Even a tune they wrote with Lemmy from Motorhead will be on that one. Some of the guys from Australian Pink Floyd are helping finish that album because I've gotten a bit too overloaded to do ALL of them at the same time. There is also another Genesis-related Sonic Elements thing that may come out as well but it hasn't been announced publicly so that's probably the lowest priority. Then there's the Yes stuff which I don't know if I have enough to do a full album of Yes music. Might put those on an SE compilation album or something just to get everything I've worked on a home and unless we do any others (might) that will wrap up the tributes. Obviously if they do really well for my distributors there could be more. [...] I'm imposing my own deadline of releasing them all before the end of the year . Probably around Summer time or at least by the end of the year  as I'll be playing some of it on CTTE!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.
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:
Holden's next album, Kintsugi, was released 30 Sep 2022,
with guests including Yes ft ARW's Iain Hornal
Bainbridge (Iona, The Strawbs, Downes Braide
Association; guitar), Payne, Minnear, Jones,
Shankar and St-Père. See details
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.
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
Produced by Tony
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