Why did Yes want Oliver Wakeman? Part 2 – 590

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

Mark and I really enjoyed listening to/watching Oliver’s album/DVD ‘Coming To Town – Live In Katowice’. We were surprised by and delighted with the performances, the writing and the production. It’s a great set from a band firing on all cylinders!

  • Is this all progressive rock?
  • Does Oliver take the lead?
  • How proficient are the others in the band?

Oliver’s Website page about the album

Let us know if you agree with us!

Available now!

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


Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James LangPaul Tomei
Joost Maglev

David Heyden

Paul WilsonMartin Kjellberg
Bob MartilottaLindMichael O’ConnorWilliam Hayes
Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

Lobate ScarpMiguel Falcão
Chris Bandini

David Watkinson

Neal KaforeyRachel Hadaway
Craig EstenesDemMark ‘Zarkol’ BaggsPaul Hailes
Doug Curran

Robert Nasir

Fergus CubbageScott Colombo
Fred BarringerDavidGeoff BailieSimon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason

Stephen LambeGuy R DeRomeSteve Dill
Henrik AntonssonSteve Perry

Hogne Bø PettersenSteve Rode
Declan LogueSteve ScottTodd DudleyJim
Jamie McQuinn

Steven Roehr

John ParryKeith Hoisington
Alan BeggTerence SadlerJohn HoldenBarry Gorsky
Michael HanderhanTim Stannard

Jon PicklesJohn Thomson
John CowanTony HandleyRobertGary Betts
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:

5 replies on “Why did Yes want Oliver Wakeman? Part 2 – 590”

Thanks for another great discussion. I agree with Mark regarding the other question: Why did Yes let him go?? I agree ‘his’ album (From a Page) was great. Maybe a new series: why did Yes fire…..?
Maybe Doug has insight into the return of Geoff? Enjoy the weather Mark. Records falling as temperatures soar in Arizona of late. Also the home of some dark sky areas BTW.

You picked a great live album that showcases Oliver’s playing & compositional skills, and that of his bandmates. I reviewed one of guitarist David Mark Pearce’s albums in the late 90s for Progression magazine. He’s a fantastic guitarist, as Mark noted. Drummer Dave Wagstaffe is best known for his time in Landmarq, and also played on Oliver’s ‘Three Ages of Magick,’ and played with John Wetton, Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash and others. Singer Paul Manzi was the singer with Arena, and also sang with Ian Paice, Oliver, Gordon Giltrap, and is currently with the classic band Sweet. It’s worth seeing & hearing just for Oliver’s wonderful playing. So after Kevin and Mark, I add my thumbs up on this live recording. I see that Amazon dot com has it on dvd for only $10.36, for those who don’t have it yet!

As for Jeff’s point, I will tactfully say that I wish Oliver had stayed with the band, and I talked about that with various members past & present, including Chris, Alan & Rick. To hear Oliver, Geoff and Trevor talk about the ‘Fly From Here’ period, I highly recommend Jon Kirkman’s two ‘Dialogue-The Yes Interviews’ books. They are currently on Amazon at $22 and $24 for the paperback versions. There are two sides to every story, three sides in one saying, but most of them have been pretty open about the influence of Trevor on the songwriting & recording of the album and the switch from Oliver to Geoff.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Oliver notices a sudden uptick in sales for “Coming to Town” after your glowing reviews. It was enough for me to search it out on Amazon and order a copy… though it’s going to be a bit of a wait as it’s coming from Germany!

Another personnel note: amongst his many projects, Clive Owen is most notably (to me, anyway) the keyboardist for the criminally overlooked progressive band Pendragon, of which I am a tremendous fan. They’ve been making fabulous prog for over four decades.

…aaand, of course: after a seemingly endless winter and a long, cold wet spring, summer has finally arrived in Utah. Completely clear skies and temperatures into the triple digits this week. Put on some good music and enjoy whatever you get!

I think I may have gotten my Clives mixed up… or maybe misheard one way or the other…

Pendragon is still a great band either way.

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