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What 80s music could be played on the YES50 tour? – 308

Yes 80s Output
Yes 80s Output

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Michel Arsenault, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier and Bill Govier.

As we wait for YES50, we took the opportunity to think about what 80s music could be played by Yes, as suggested by both Steve Howe and Geoff Downes. We also announce a COMPETITION to win a vinyl copy of Topgraphic Drama – Live Across America! Finally, there’s a thought-provoking 2 pence…

  • From the 4 Yes albums released in the 80s what music might feature in YES50?
  • What might be the determining factors?
  • What songs from these albums have been performed since the 80s?

Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!

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Yes Music PodcastYMP patrons:

Jeffrey Crecelius | Preston Frazier | Bill Govier | Wayne Hall | Michel Arsenault

Joseph Cottrell | Michael O’Connor | Paul Tomei | Geoffrey Mason | Lobate Scarp | Fergus Cubbage | Robert Nasir | Steve Dill | Steve Scott

Paul Wilson | Jamie McQuinn | Miguel Falcão | Ken Fuller | David Pannell | Brian Sullivan | Joost Doesburg | Jeremy North | Tim Stannard | David Watkinson | Steve Roehr | Geoff Baillie | William Hayes | Terence Sadler | Neal Kaforey


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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

13 replies on “What 80s music could be played on the YES50 tour? – 308”

Now that everything seems to be repaired, I copied and pasted my comments from the facebook page… because I’m just so damned important…

Well, it’s Saturday night and there’s still no link for comments in the website show notes, so I guess I’ll have to resort to torturing you here this week… not so much, really: ‘Drama’ has been played to death for – what? – almost two solid years now, first on the “Drama/Fragile” European tour and then “Topographic Drama” – I think they can give it a rest, but it would still be cool if they were to roll out “Does It Really Happen?” with Jon A joining in the bass guitar frenzy at the end. ABWH is… not Yes, so NO. Which leaves us with 90125 and ‘Big Generator.’ I agree with mark – ‘Hearts’ is the most authentically proggy Yes song on 90125 and I’d love to see it done live. And, trying to remain in that vein, I think ‘Final Eyes’ is the candidate from BG… ‘Onward’ to the Nineties… oh, dear Lord… meanwhile, in the present, Rachel is off to rescue a truck load of milk that got missed in Belgrade (Montana, that is!) so I’ll be giving “Topographic Drama – Live Across America” it’s initial test drive in just a bit, at full concert volume… when the cat’s away…

Even when it was first released, I thought “Hearts” was the most classic-yes-sounding song on 90125 so that’s my vote for an 80s song in the setlist. I was reminded, though, of an interview with the Edge from U2. It is hard for U2 to do many deep cuts because they have so many songs that fans expect to hear at a show. Yes has the advantage of having very few must-play songs. One would expect “Owner of a Lonely Heart” to be there but they’ve clearly shown that they are happy to do concerts without that one. Roundabout? Have they ever done a show without “Roundabout?”

Regarding ABWH, they’re in an interesting historical position because Yes welcomed them back into the fold by releasing Union, thus granting the first ABWH album a place in the Yes catalog. Should the ARW album (if there ever is one) get on the Yesworld website? An equally pertinent question is “will Heaven and Earth get on the ARW website?” As you pointed out, it gets quite dicey. How many Yes members do you need to call it Yes? How about Circa? It’s first album had Sherwood, White and Kaye.

One more thought – you asked if Yes would perform a song that is the ARW setlists. ARW performs a number of classic Yes tracks that are in Yes’ setlists and that question never came up so I think it is moot.

Interesting discussion. Thanks.

I see that the fake news (sorry) Yes line up are billed to headline Stone Free with the word Yes really big and the band members’ names (well, three of them at any rate) somewhat smaller. That’s the band that should be playing the Cinema material and I am sure they would do it really well. I have no interest whatsoever in hearing it but it would be authentic. There’s nothing in that repertoire that I especially want to hear Steve Howe playing on or Jon D singing for that matter. Not sure what the point would be. That music was all about what Trevor Rabin did best. For the record I don’t want to hear the real Yes playing Asia material either.

Fair points, Ian. ARW has laying 80s material is great, from my own experience so perhaps you are right.

Good episode chaps. The choice of songs to play at such a special event is vast. I’d like to think that Yes will dig deep, but who knows, it’s going to be a great tour whatever and a fabulous weekend in London for fans at the convention.

One area I disagree with is that the band has to replicate the sounds from the album. I am fine with songs sounding live when being played live! I don’t need no stinkin’ samples! I am not saying they should completely revamp the material, just that it doesn’t have to be note for note. Give them some freedom to play!

I would love to hear anything from ABWH (except maybe Teakbois!), but I agree that Brother of Mine would be most likely. Shoot High Aim Low would be really great.

Thanks Brian. I do agree Brother of Mine is most likely although I’ll let you into a secret – I don’t think it’s the strongest song on the album…

What’s the point of speculation like this? The 80s is a right mash up of members and music. Whatever you say about it, the only thing which will determine what they play is all about Steve Howe. Most of what he did during that decade was pretty awful.
A better idea would be what ARW would play from that decade. At least they have musicians who had more relevant creativity during that period and beyond.

Ha! Thanks Brian. Jeremy, the point is, as always, that it’s a topic which interests me and I hope it interests others. Sorry if it missed the mark for you this time!

Actually while I was listening to this episode I thought to myself that at least it gives you something to talk about. I did enjoy your musings. If only Yes cared as much about as Yes as do you!

While there are folk interested in following the band, I imagine they will survive in some form. Same with the YMP I suppose. 🙂

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