Why did Yes want Igor Khoroshev – Part 2 – finally – 575

Produced by Joseph Cottrell, Ken Fuller, Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

Mark and I finally got round to finishing off our examination of why Yes wanted Igor Khoroshev this week after listening to a very enjoyable bootleg recording from the Open Your Eyes Tour. We also had a chance to discuss in a two pence the recent news of the postponement of the Relayer Tour in the UK and Europe until 2024. Please leave your own comments as always on the show notes for this week if you have anything to add to either of those topics.

  • Can we hear why Yes wanted Igor?
  • How did he fit into the band?
  • Why has the Relayer Tour been postponed?
Open Your Eyes Tour Poster
Open Your Eyes Tour Poster – the first time I saw Igor Khoroshev play

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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:

6 replies on “Why did Yes want Igor Khoroshev – Part 2 – finally – 575”

Let’s be plain: There is no reason why insurance should be an issue for this tour, unless Yes is so cash-strapped that it can’t afford to pay something even close to market rates.

The insurance problem is 100% genuine but there is a caveat. I know another band of similar vintage (slightly younger but not young) that plays similar venues (and larger) who had to push a European tour off to 2024 because of this very thing. They could get insurance but not at a price that made sense in the context of the wider budget and having a tour stand still for a week to ten days 4000 miles from home with no money coming would be brutal – buses, trucks, wages, hotels for 20+ people. Nothing to do with the band members’ own health issues.

What makes this Yes cancellation look bad is that this issue was known about industry wide more than six months ago and that other band’s 2023 European tour was not put on sale last Autumn for that very reason. Their fans didn’t have to find hundreds of pounds for tickets and make travel arrangements that would come to nothing because that band’s management and agent and promoters could see the writing on the wall for their clients and acted accordingly. Obviously some people are still going out on the road, doing so with no cover and talking their chances. Yes isn’t one of them. Of course if one or more of the Yes band has a pre-existing health condition that could be life threatening with a bad case of Covid on top then that is another matter entirely.

As for conspiracy theories the fact that London is not being rescheduled but the rest of the UK tour is going to be rerouted makes me wonder if a) Hammersmith was actually selling all that well or whether b) they have been offered a big festival slot that includes an embargo on a London theatre show in the same time period?

I wonder if they might turn up on one of the Hyde Park BST bills next summer playing in say the special guest slot immediately before the headliner. Nothing would surprise me at this point. Either way people who have Hammersmith tickets bought through Ticketmaster have had to eat the non insubstantial booking fees for the privilege of not seeing them play.

Thank you for this episode!

I’d pretty much lost interest in the direction the band was moving during and after the Union era and relied largely on the old classics to satisfy my Yes cravings.

“Why Did Yes Want Igor Koroshev” was my opportunity to take a new listen to what came next.

I listened to “The Ladder” this morning. Better than what I remember from first listen, but still not quite what Yes was in their prime. Had you not focused on Koroshev’s contribution to this album, however, I’d have assumed it was Wakeman the elder on keyboards. I’ll be adding “The Ladder” to my rotation.

I watched “House of Yes” as well. The guys were in top form, and their arrangements of the classic cuts was the best I’ve heard. Koroshev’s interpretation of Kaye’s and Wakeman’s work was seamless.

I thought this episode was going so well until Mark said that in his opinion, The Ladder is better than anything they did in the 70’s!!! Dude, your favourite Yes album is Relayer or have you changed your mind? Maybe I’ve misunderstood what you meant which I hope is the case, The Ladder is in my opinion mediocre at best. I’d not have bought it had I heard it before buying it on someone not a million miles from this podcast team’s recommendation 🙂
However I agree with you about Igor K. He is brilliant and they were stupid to let him go.
Regarding the Relayer tour, I’d not have been going but I think it’s a pretty lame excuse of theirs to cancel it. I think they should do a two off pair of concerts, one in Canadia for Mark and one in Stratford-on Avon for Kevin

Hi Jeremy,

What I meant to say was The Ladder is as good as anything they have done the 70’s…not better.
You still may not agree with that. ..but it’s the one album I find myself retiring to ….very frequently.
The opening track “Homeworld” is easily one of their best opening songs…the vocals are fantastic and Igor’s piano playing…especially at the end with Jon…is brilliant.
The rest of the album is excellent. ..and easily sounds better then 85% of their catalog..which we have Bruce Fairburn to thank for that.

Hope you are doing well..

Mark Anthony K

It is a small tragedy in the history of Yes that they needed to let Igor Khoroshev go. But they were right to do so. There can be no tolerance for sexual assault, and though the matter was settled out of court, I don’t get the impression that there was any contrition.

The tragedy is that Igor was perhaps the most complete keyboard performer Yes ever had. That is not in any way to underrate the irreplaceable and massive contribution of Rick in the ’70s, or Patrick Moraz on ‘Relayer’, or indeed Tony Kaye (twice). But Igor could emulate and develop any of the keyboard styles Yes has employed over the years, and he could do so with technical mastery and technological proficiency. He could also compose and arrange really well. His solo ‘Piano Works’ may have strong tinges of his Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Bartok and jazz influences, but it is sooo well crafted and realised. I hope we might hear the work he did with Jon Anderson on the unreleased album they worked on one day.

Igor is best judged, I think, by ‘House of Yes’ (which is fabulous), and by his contribution to the stunning ‘Masterworks’ tour, both of which I was privileged to witness, as well as OYE and ‘The Ladder’ tours on both sides of the Atlantic. I remember suggesting to both Henry Potts and Steve Sullivan, who were also on that tour, that the Masterworks roster (Anderson, Howe, Squire, Khoroshev, White) had the potential to be a new classic line-up.

Ironically, that was the very night he blew it backstage and ended up in prison for a night. So sad. Igor and Tom Brislin are the two players I would most loved to have stayed in Yes beyond their too-short tenures. Amazing players. One a bit crazy, the other just lovely all round, and both musicians of the highest calibre.

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