Why did Yes want…Patrick Moraz? Part 2 – 550

Produced by Ken Fuller, Wayne Hall and Jeffrey Crecelius

This week, Mark and I give our impressions of the self-titled album by Refugee, featuring Patrick Moraz, in our attempt to see why Yes wanted him in the band in 1974. As you will hear, we both rather like it. Please do add your own comments to the show notes for this week’s episode and let us know if you agree or disagree.

  • Is it obvious why Yes wanted Patrick Moraz from this album?
  • What special abilities does he show here?
  • Would he fit in?
Patrick Moraz!

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Not final artwork – just me messing about with one of Jeremy North’s photos
  • What characteristics did Patrick have that Yes wanted?
  • What was Moraz up to before joining Yes?
  • Why didn’t they go for Vangelis?

Take a listen to the episode and then let us know what you think below!

YMP Patrons:


  • Ken Fuller
  • Jeffrey Crecelius and
  • Wayne Hall


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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…Patrick Moraz? Part 2 – 550”

I have to say that listening to Rufugee was quite a revelation – I can’t believe I never heard it before. You can definitely hear the roots of PM’s artistry. Good stuff!

Refugee–what brilliant keyboard work!! Full of many creative ideas & virtuosic playing, Patrick reminds me of a mash-up of Chick Corea, Jan Hammer, Keith Emerson with a little Rick (W)-rolled in (never gonna give you up LOL)…the lyrics & vocals are not quite doing it for me but man, those instrumental passages! Had the chance to meet Pat when he sat in with Renaissance in 2015 (my son & I know Tom Brislin)…one of the most thrilling moments in my concert-going experience was hearing him & Tom trading fours on the jam-section of Ashes Are Burning! Lovely person as well, as is Tom!

Glad you finally got around to listening to Refugee. Better late than never! I kid as I’m much older than you two & bought it when it was released. It’s a must for Moraz fans, Yes fans who appreciate him, and all fans of prog rock. As with The Nice, the weakness is with the vocals by Jackson, who’s ok but a better bassist than singer. Musically, though, it’s top notch. Drummer Brian is excellent in all of his bands.

Jon & Chris were both big fans of The Nice, so were aware of this new band forming with Nice men & Moraz. Chris told me years ago that they did see Refugee in concert in London so they saw first hand the talents of Moraz. Here’s my Moraz signed original vinyl album.

Thanks for reading out my (very long) post re the Moraz era.

The point I was making about changes in fashion was not that Yes would ever try to be a Pop band but they were certainly under pressure to have radio hits because other credible rock artists (in terms of what was credible in Rock from 1977-1980) were having plenty of them.

I have not taken the time to tot it all up but if you were to calculate the average length of a Yes song (excluding solo showcase tracks) from Yes Album to Relayer you are looking at well over 10 minutes.

Now look at the next three records that span the Punk and New Wave era.. Two Yes epics including their best long form composition but loads of shorter songs of the kind that would not have had a look in since the Peter Banks era. Not sure that can be put down to coincidence. The width of their trouser legs and length of their hair cuts changed too along with the music.

There was demonstrably a conscious move away from longer forms and perhaps a sub conscious move towards what was hip and happening. Plus plenty of pressure from the record company to get in the charts like all the cool Punk and New Wave bands (and ELP) were doing.

What they came up with is still Prog at heart but much more succinct and I would contend that you don’t get tracks like Parallels or Going For The One without the sea change of 1976/77. The broader Rock culture was moving a long way away from what made the band successful in the first place so I don’t think it would have been a crime for them to say to each other “maybe we should incorporate some of this energy into the next record” just like Zeppelin did with the three 1978 tracks were intended for an ep but ended up on Coda.

At that point a lot of the mainstays of 70s rock were deemed musically irrelevant in the UK and were in danger of going to the wall in commercial terms. Yes would have had no idea whether the audience would stay with them or not but I don’t think they left it to chance.

So looking once again at the UK charts post Relayer – Wonderous Stories is a bona fide hit and a much bigger record in the UK than Owner (or I Know What I Like for that matter) Going For The One was a Top 30 record also doing better than Owner. Don’t Kill The Wave was Top 40. They had zero chart action before only a glimmer thereafter. This was their moment of pop glory. Doesn’t make them Culture Club or Duran Duran but it certainly opened them up to a lot more mainstream record buyers in the UK who might otherwise have seen them as passé.

Rick left the first time because they couldn’t self-edit and he thought the musical ideas on Tales under explored and over extended. I think that is unarguable. I would imagine his coming back therefore had quite a bit to do with their need to explore a new artistic brevity.

That’s my take on it at any rate.

FYI, Yes has asked Patrick to rejoin the band, I’ve been told by several band members over the years. He declined on 1 occasion that I know of when they needed a keyboardist. And of course they were in discussions with Patrick for a tour playing Relayer a few years ago, which didn’t come together.

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