Tag Archives: Yes

A Celebration of Progressive Rock Bass Mastery

Various Artists – A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute (Purple Pyramid, 2018)

A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute honors the work of the late Squire, who was the longtime bassist of progressive rock masters Yes. Chris Squire performed some of the most memorable bass solos in progressive rock history.

This project was produced by multi-instrumentalist and Squire’s friend Billy Sherwood. He did a great job this time, recruiting a truly impressive cast of first rate musicians: Todd Rundgren, Steve Porcaro (Toto), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree), Sonja Kistina (Curved Air), Patrick Moraz (Yes, The Moody Blues), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Dweezil Zappa, Steve Hogarth (Marillion), Larry Fast (Synergy), Jon Davison (Yes, Glass Hammer), Brian Auger, and David Sancious (Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen).

The song selection is interesting, with several tracks from Tormato and Fragile, plus pieces from other Yes albums and a few curiosities.

As one would expect, A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute highlights the electric bass, performed by Billy Sherwood. He’s an outstanding instrumentalist, who shines when he ventures into real progressive rock.

The first track is the solidly progressive rock composition “On Silent Wings of Freedom: which appeared on the album Tormato (1978). This fabulous version features Jon Davison on vocals; Billy Sherwood on bass, guitar, backing vocals; Jay Schellen on drums; and Patrick Moraz on keyboards.

Track 2 is “Hold Out Your Hand” from Chris Squire’s first solo album Fish Out of Water. It is a very Yes-sounding song with superb bass work. The lineup here is Steve Hogarth on vocals; Larry Fast on keyboards; Billy Sherwood on bass, guitar; and Jay Schellen on drums.

The beautifully-melodic “Onward” appeared on Tormato. The Jon Anderson vocals are replaced on this occasion by the great Annie Haslam (Renaissance). The rest of the band includes Billy Sherwood on bass, excellent slide guitar, keyboards, and backing vocals; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 4, “South Side of The Sky” is the Yes progressive rock classic from the album Fragile (1971). The fierce rock guitar is played by Steve Stevens. The rest of the band: Billy Sherwood on vocals, bass; David Sancious on keyboards; Steve Stevens on guitar; and Jay Schellen on drums.

“The Fish” is a knockout electric bass fest, also from the album Fragile. Hats off to Sherwood for his bass work here. His colleagues here are Sonja Kristina on vocals; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 6 is from Yes’ least appealing era. “The More We Live – Let Go” appeared in the pop-leaning Union album (1991). It features Billy Sherwood on vocals, bass; Steve Hackett on guitar; Steve Porcaro on keyboards; and Jay Schellen on drums

The tribute returns to genuine progressive rock on track 7, “Parallels” from the Going for the One album (1977). Once more, the bass lines are by Sherwood are exceptional. The band: Jon Davison on vocals; Tony Kaye on keyboards; Billy Sherwood on bass, guitar; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 8, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” from the album 90125 (1983) was one of Yes’ greatest hits. This was a time when Yes moved away from progressive rock and embraced radio friendly AOR. The best of this version is Dweezil Zappa’s skillful guitar solo. The lineup here: Nikki Squire on vocals; Dweezil Zappa on guitar; Billy Sherwood on bass, keyboardss; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Another classic, and radio hit, is “Roundabout,” from Fragile. This striking version includes Todd Rundgren on vocals; John Wesley on guitar; Tony Kaye on keyboards; Billy Sherwood on bass; and Jay Schellen on drums.

Track 10, “Don’t Kill the Whale” was included in Tormato. It holds special significance now that several countries have disgracefully decided to hunt whales again. The unmistakable Brian Auger provides the stand out organ solo here. The other artists: Candice Night on vocals; Billy Sherwood on bass; and Jay Schellen on drums.

The album contains two bonus tracks. Track 11 is “The Technical Divide” from the supergroup The Prog Collective, featuring Chris Squire, Alan Parsons, David Sancious, Gary Green and Billy Sherwood. By the way, more pop-leaning than progressive.

The final track is “Comfortably Numb” from Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The musicians here are: Chris Squire, Alan White and Billy Sherwood.

Buy A Life In Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute

Monumental Yes Film Restored on Blu-ray

Yes – Yessongs – 40th Anniversary Special Edition (MVD Visual, 2018)

Yessongs – 40th Anniversary Special Edition is the Blu-ray release of the iconic movie Yessongs by progressive rock stars Yes. The movie was filmed in 1972 at London’s Rainbow Theatre. It was originally released theatrically in the UK the following year with a quadrophonic soundtrack.

Yes – Yessongs – 40th Anniversary Special Edition

 

At the time, Yes was a consolidated superband, with a new lineup featuring some of the finest artists in the British progressive rock scene: vocalist and songwriter Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Alan White.

The material on Yessongs – 40th Anniversary Special Edition includes some of early Yes’ essential musical pieces: All Good People, And You And I, Roundabout, and Yours Is No Disgrace.

 

Yes – Yessongs – 40th Anniversary Special Edition

 

The group had evolved into a symphonic progressive rock powerhouse. The performances include the previously mentioned full band pieces and solo segments by Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman showcasing their guitar and keyboard arsenals and virtuosity. It’s fun to watch the outfits of the time, with Chris Squire and Rick Wakeman wearing capes.

 

 

In addition to the restored film, this edition includes a 2012 documentary with Steve Howe, graphic designer Roger Dean (who designed the cover) and Chris Squire.

Yessongs is one of the essential music films of the early 1970s.

Buy Yessongs – 40th Anniversary Special Edition

Remixed Fish Out Of Water

Chris Squire – Fish Out Of Water (Esoteric, 2018)

The original Fish Out Of Water album by Yes’ bassist Chris Squire was released in 1975. This is the 2018 remastered edition available as a 2-CD set and also as a limited boxed set.

Musically, the album has a strong Yes feel. It features Patrick Moraz, who was Yes’ keyboardist at the time, and the versatile Yes drummer Bill Bruford. It’s a master class in progressive rock bass playing. Chris Squire was one of the finest progressive rock bassists and he delivers outstanding bass lines throughout the album.

In addition to prog rock musicians, Fish Out of Water also features a symphonic orchestra that enriches the album considerably. Chris Squire provided the lead and backing vocals. The backing vocals will sound very familiar to Yes fans. Squire’s lead vocals, on the other side, were more pop-oriented than Jon Anderson’s so there is an interesting clash of influences.

Patrick Moraz delivered an outstanding set of performances on electric organ and synths. The album also features other progressive rock heavy weights: Caravan’s Jimmy Hastings on flute and King Crimson’s Mel Collins on saxophone. Pianist Andrew Pryce Jackman conducted the orchestra. And Barry Rose added a masterful performance on pipe organ.

The instrumental sections, which are numerous, are outstanding. The two CD set includes the original recording a superb new mix by Jakko Jakszyk that brings forward the remarkable bass work.

The deluxe boxed set includes 2CDs, 2DVDs, 1LP and 2×7-inch singles.

Chris Squire – Fish Out Of Water boxed set

 

Fish Out Of Water showcases the talent of an influential progressive rock musician at his best, focusing on the bass a lead instrument.

Buy Fish Out Of Water

YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman to Perform in Miami

Progressive rock band YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman is set to perform on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.

YES was co-founded by Jon Anderson and the late Chris Squire in 1968 and went on to sell millions of albums with classic prog rock releases such as Fragile, Close to The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans, and Going For The One and the commercial radio friendly pop-rock recording 90125, as well as embarking on several record-breaking world tours.

The touring band line-up is completed by two remarkable musicians – Lee Pomeroy on bass and Louis Molino III on drums.

The trio will be recording new material throughout the summer for a projected album release in early 2018.

YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman Announce North American Tour Dates

YES featuring ARW – Photo by Kevin Nixond

Progressive rock band YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman will be touring North America August-October 2017.

It’s very simple,” explains band founder and vocalist Jon Anderson about the recent decision to change the band’s name from ARW to YES Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman. “The fans want it, we want it and it’s our right to use the name. YES music is in our DNA!

Tour Dates:

Saturday, Augugust 26 – Stockton, CA – Bob Hope Theatre
Monday, August 28 – Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery
Tuesday, August 29 – Friant, CA – Table Mountain Casino
Thursday, August 31 – Las Vegas, NV – Smith Center
Saturday, September 2 – Layton, UT- The Kenley Amphitheater
Sunday, September 3 – Littleton, CO – Hudson Gardens
Tuesday, September 5 – Kansas City, MO – Kauffman Center
Friday, September 8 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater (new showdate)
Saturday, September 9 – Hammond, IN – Venue at the Horseshoe Casino
Tuesday, September 12 – Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavilion
Wednesday, September 13 -Vienna, VA- Wolf Trap
Friday, September 15 – Akron, OH – Goodyear Theater at East End
Saturday, September 16 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
Monday, September 18 – Quebec City, QC – Grand Theatre du Quebec City
Tuesday, September 19 – Montreal, QC – St. Denis Theatre
Thursday, September 21 – Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre
Saturday, September 23 – Wallingford, CT – Toyota Oakdale Theatre
Sunday, September 24 – Brookville, NY – Tilles Center
Wednesday, September 27 – Newark, NJ – NJ PAC (NJ Performing Arts Center)
Friday, September 29 – Reading, PA – Santander Performing Arts Center
Saturday, September 30 – Trenton, NJ – Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
Sunday, October 1 – Philadelphia, PA – Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center
Wednesday, October 4 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater
Thursday,October 5- Albany, NY- Palace Theatre
Saturday, October 7 – Niagara Falls, NY – Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino.
Sunday, October 8 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
Tuesday, October 10 – Melbourne, FL – King Center For The Performing Arts
Wednesday, October 11 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
Friday,October 13- West Palm Beach, FL – Kravis Center For The Perf. Arts
Saturday, October 14 – Miami, FL- Adrienne Arsht Center For The Perf. Arts

Go to www.YESfeaturingARW.com for more information

Anderson & Stolt Release ‘Know’ Video

Jon Anderson
Jon Anderson

 

Anderson/Stolt, the collaboration between Jon Anderson (Yes) and Roine Stolt (Kaipa, (The Flower Kings, Transatlantic), have released a new music video titled ‘Know’. The song appears in the duo’s acclaimed first album, ‘Invention of Knowledge‘ (InsideOut Music). The video was created by Jon’s daughter, photographer Deborah Anderson.

 

Jon Anderson & Roine Stolt - Invention of Knowledge
Jon Anderson & Roine Stolt – Invention of Knowledge

 

Jon Anderson recently picked up the Prog God award, presented to him by Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin of ARW at the Progressive Music Awards 2016 in London.

 

Keyboard Maestro Rick Wakeman to Release Five Albums

Rick Wakeman - Starmus 2015
Rick Wakeman – Starmus 2015

British progressive rock keyboardist Rick Wakeman will be releasing 5 new albums on the RRAW label through Gonzo MultiMedia in Summer/Fall 2016.

Best known for his work on some of the best progressive rock-era albums with Yes, as well as his memorable solo career, Rick Wakeman’s upcoming albums are “Starmus 2015”, “Phantom of the Opera”, “Gastank”, “Gospels” and “Rainbow Suite.”

Billy Sherwood & Tony Kaye Captured Live

Billy Sherwood & Tony Kaye - Live In Japan (Cherry Red Records, 2016)
Billy Sherwood & Tony Kaye – Live In Japan (Cherry Red Records, 2016)

Multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood and keyboardist Tony Kaye, two musicians associated with progressive rock band Yes performed live in Japan in 2011. The duo played songs from both artists’ careers and released them on this 3-CD set that includes two audio CDs and a DVD.

The selection includes some progressive rock-era Yes songs as well as quite a few FM-oriented AOR songs.

Billy Sherwood, Yes’ current bass player, provided drum and bass backing tracks while he concentrated on the live vocals and guitar. Sherwood is an excellent guitarist and treats the listener to a series of memorable solos. I’ve mentioned before that his vocals sound more like Peter Gabriel than Jon Anderson so the effect is really interesting. Former Yes keyboardist, Tony Kaye concentrates primarily on the electric organ sounds, so his sound is less symphonic.

The best thing about a live performance is that even the less interesting AOR songs feature great guitar solos by Sherwood. Nevertheless, the high points are the Yes songs like “Time and Word,” “Wondrous Stories” and “Roundabout.” Other highlights include the guitar instrumental “I Am Waiting” and the “Toky Kaye Solo” keyboard piece.

The DVD features the same songs as the audio albums but also includes behind-the-scenes tour video clips.

Buy Live In Japan