Why did Yes want Larry Groupé? – Part 2 – 577

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

This week Mark and I spoke to the generous and talented composer, Larry Groupé, about his compositions for the 2001 Yes album, Magnification. We also talked about the orchestrations he did for the Symphonic Tour and his conducting. It was a wonderful, wide-ranging conversation.

  • How did Larry Groupé end up working on Magnification?
  • How did Larry approach the writing?
  • Was he happy with the results?

Larry’s website –

Larry Groupé

YMP Patrons:


  • Joseph Cottrell
  • Ken Fuller
  • Jeffrey Crecelius and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman

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Hogne Bø Pettersen
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Jon Pickles
John Thomson
John Cowan
Tony Handley
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Jim Morrison

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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:

18 replies on “Why did Yes want Larry Groupé? – Part 2 – 577”

What a treat! Thank you. So many fans among us of my generation were overwhelmed by CTTE. It interests me that it attracted both musicians like Larry and nonmusicians like me. The complexity and emotional qualities are transmitted even to those like me who don’t understand why in a technical sense.
Lots of great insights in this episode.
Memories of Santa Barbara trips, time in Indiana, and teenage days on a beanbag playing CTTE over and over.
Thanks again

Thanks Jeffrey. It was amazing to speak to yet another dedicated Yes fan who is so intimately connected with the music.

Really terrific and informative interview. So much to reflect and pick up on there. Interesting that Steve Howe was hardly mentioned, though that might have been coincidental. Of course I really wish you had asked about ‘Dreamtime’, which is, for a whole range of reasons, perhaps the most adventurous track on the record (from a ‘new approach to Yes music’ point of view), with the orchestra playing a major role throughout. The coda also contains the most harmonically developed orchestral material on the album. (You mentioned the prelude to ‘Give Love Each Day’, but that has significantly less dissonance in it.) Well, I tried to hint with my comment on last week’s show… but no luck! 😉 Even so, terrific conversation and good questions. Thanks again.

Kevin & Mark that was a great episode. Larry had great memories to share with us. You posed extremely good questions and Larry provided so many interesting answers, including the mytical “orchestra following Alan” one.
I wonder if Larry remembered the basses Chris used for each track! Oh well, maybe next time!

Thanks Miguel. Like so many of the people we have interviewed, Larry was a joy to speak to.

It as been years since I intentionally listened to the entire album. This conversation inspired me return to it. It is a really good, and sadly underrated album. Thanks!

He was so open and happy to speak about this dream time for himself. The more you hear about these collaborations the more you are reminded of Yes’ professionalism on tour and with third parties.

We are indeed blessed with their creative output. We can add it to the short list of disappearing Yes albums that should have, could have and would have done so much better but for unfortunate timings or happenings, but never did.

Keep up the good work guys and well done.

What a terrific episode about a beautiful album! I’ve already listened twice, and would have enjoyed the interview going on for double its length! (Perhaps bring Groupé back? Would be a treat.)

Great episode, guys. Larry was obviously aching to go, and didn’t need much prodding. I listened to this in my car on the way to my families cabin in the mountains here in Northern Norway. And when I put my skis on, and when on a long trip in over the mountains, I had to listen to Magnification. I’ve always really liked that album. The Ladder and that album proved to me that Yes still had a lot of creative juices.

However: Larry says this was the first album with all new material in many years. I don’t think that’s quite correct. Bruce Fairbarn said in interviews that he forced Yes to write all new material for The Ladder, while Magnification had Can You Imagine, which is from the XYZ sessions. Or am I wrong here?

Thanks for the comment. That’s a good point about The Ladder. I remember reading that as well.

I noticed Larry making that assertion twice, which raised my eyebrows… I’m sure both Kevin and Mark noticed, but were right to not correct their guest mid-interview. All it would have done is derail the flow of the conversation.

While a big fan, I think it is safe to assume that Larry does not delve as deeply in the minutiae off all Yes history as the rest of us… 🙂

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