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Yes Fantasy Live!

What's your Yes Live Fantasy?

In a forthcoming episode, I’d like to feature your ideas of a Yes Fantasy Live event. If you could manufacture an event in the live history of the band, what would it have been?

Would you have had Peter Banks actually walking out with the rest of the Union crew? What about Patrick Moraz returning at some point, Rick Wakeman playing keyboards on the Magnification tour, Vangelis joining in the mid 70s or Trevor Horn returning to lead vocal duties in 2011?

I have absolutely no doubt you can come up with much more creative ideas.

So when you have designed your Yes Fantasy Live event, let me know what it is via any of the methods on the right hand side of the website – email, Tweet, record a message, leave a comment on this blog post etc.

I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

UPDATE: Owing to the fantastic response, I’m going to release this episode on Friday 11th May so deadline for your thoughts is Thursday 10th May 2011. Thanks so much everyone!

Creative Commons image credit: D.L.

24 replies on “Yes Fantasy Live!”

[1] This is a ‘Yes Music’ group made from past members and relatives for an event to keep music from ‘Drama’ to ‘Fly From Here’ alive:

Vocals – Trevor Horn
Guitar – Trevor Rabin
Keyboards – Oliver Wakeman [son of Rick]
Bass – Chris Squire – oops!! but really who is the alternative here Jeff Berlin? Tony Levin [great player with Crimson and Gabriel but not Yes sound]?
Drums – Dylan Howe [son of Steve] (currently with Wilko Johnson previously with The Blockheads)

[2] Here is a possible ‘Yes’ group built largely from ’80s pop musicians but who certainly have the technical skills to manage the songs
it would be fascinating to hear this group, maybe at an 80’s pop revival gig like ‘Rewind’:

Vocals – Nik Kershaw
Guitar – Francis Dunnery (of It Bites)
Keyboards – Billy Currie (or Richard Barbieri or Thomas Dolby or Howard Jones)
Bass Guitar – Nick Beggs (of Kajagoogoo, Kaja, Ellis/Beggs/Howard and recently both Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson[Porcupine Tree])
Drums – Simon Phillips (who has played with everyone – I first saw him with Toyah, he has played with The Who, J Anderson and T Rabin and more recently Toto)

[3] How about a prog supergroup to play the ‘classic’ Yes songs from the 70’s….

Vocals – Geddy Lee (Rush)
Guitar – Robin Trower (Procol Harum)
Keyboards – Vangelis Papathanassiou (Aphrodite’s Child, Jon Anderson)
Bass – Jon Camp (Renaissance)
Drums – Ian Mosley (Hackett and Marillion)

Or how about ALL THREE of those bands plus current Yes in a weekend long ‘YesFest’?

Whoa – I can see the effort and thought you put into that!! Brilliant stuff. I would indeed be fantastic to see any of these three bands – or all in a festival event.

It’s interesting to consider the music of Yes being played by others – and of course there are plenty of examples of this already out there.

Thanks so much for this, it will make a great segment of the episode!

Well after much thought here is my idea of a Yes fantasy line up
First I would start with the first two albums this would of course include Peter Banks oh this would also be held in the round they would open with Sweet Dreams and Then.of course this would include Tony Kaye as well.maybe even throw in astral Traveler.Then Steve Howe would enter and play two tracks off his first album with yes Yours is no disgrace and a venture.Then Tony Kaye would leave and of course the great Rick Wakeman would take over and this is when Alan would take over for this point I think there is a lot that could be played but to make it fair they would have to do Close to the edge and Going for the one I know I skipped Gates however Pat comes in at the end to play Sound Chaser it was always my favorite live Steve and Chris just explode on stage. Then Trevor Horn and Geoff would come in to do Run though the light and does it really happen to you.Intermission time Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye appear to play Leave it and It can happen then its time for Big Generator then then Talk.Trevor and Tony leave. and in comes Rick for a little Mind Drive then Rick leaves and Billy and Igor come on and Open your eyes and Man on the moon.Next I would definitely have Rick come back on for Magnification I’m torn about Fly from here I really think it is Benoit duties to handle Fly from here however I think Trevor Horn could handle those as well then 2nd Intermission .Now we have all members on stage in the round to play the”Hits” you know the Hits from All Good People to Long Distance run around to Roundabout to Owner of a lonely heart .Then they finish with Reviling science of God and Ritual.I know that I have left out many great pieces of work but remember this is just a fantasy.I would pay 300 US for a show like that easy.Kevin thank you for the opportunity to dream always just so much fun to share great ideas with people so passionate about the greatest Rock / Pop Prog band Ever!!!!
Paul Tomei

I’m imagining it now! Wow – that would be a blast… As you say, it would be worth any entrance fee!

Thanks for the addition to the episode – a great segment!

I’ve been thinking this one over, and there are so many possibilities… but I think I know what I’d like.

First, the line-up would have to be Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford as a core group, but with a few other people added in. Firstly I’d have Jon Anderson *and* Jon Davison on vocals as imagine what they could sing without the need for any overdubs? I’d have Wakeman on keys, but to me it could be Rick or Oliver, it doesn’t matter so much as both are brilliant and can swap over easily. I think I’d have an orchestra for good measure—I loved the Symphonic Live tour 🙂

For the song choices, I’d have them play all of their long stuff 🙂 Most importantly, seeing as we’ve got the orchestra, I’d have them play the whole of Tales from Topographic Oceans. The Ritual was great on the Symphonic Live tour, but I’ve always wondered what the rest of the album would sound like with an orchestra. It’d also be great to hear what Bruford could have brought to their later stuff—though I’d have him sit as far away from a power point as possible so there’s absolutely no possibility of him using digital drums!

There are so many other songs I’d like to see them do live, but I’d be happy with TFTO + orchestra in its entirety.

That’s what I call a line-up! Wow! Love the 2 Jons idea. I think it might be a week-long event! How cool would that be?

Hmm…. I think my ultimate wish for a live Yes event would be to see a series of concerts in which entire albums were performed by the very same artists that recorded the album. 

For example, one night you would have “Fragile” performed live by the exact lineup from the studio album,  on the next night you would have the entire 90125 performed with the artists from its lineup. Even better if they were scheduled in chronological order. 

And, let’s see.. Yes, the concerts would be performed outdoors on perfect, moonlit nights with free food and wine for all. 

This of course would be a logistical impossibility for the band, the marketers, and the weather gods, but you did ask for fantasies right? I’m getting good at those.

A series – of course – excellent idea. If only… and the picture you paint of the events is awesome… Thanks!!

The idea of a series of concerts playing entire albums really appeals to me. Imagine ten days of concerts in which they would be playing, in chronological order, for instance…
Monday: Yes+Time and a Word+The Yes Album
Tuesday: Fragile+CTTE+Related material (America…)
Wednesday: Tales from Topographic Oceans
Thursday: Relayer plus a mix of solo material of the middle 70’s
Friday: Going for the one+Tormato
Saturday for Drama and Fly from Here
Sunday for 90125, Big Generator and Talk
Monday for ABWH, Union and Keystudio
Tuesday for OYE + The Ladder + Magnification
And yet another day for a last best of setlist. All this with all the original members involved, and since all of them would be around, possible contributions from people of other lineups for the encores.
Remember… we have one incredible luck, all of them are still alive!
All shot in HD and recorded in 5.1 for posterity.
I do not agree that much in the outdoors setting, it is too risky for such an event, and it does not guarantee the best possible recording conditions, we are talking about creating alternative new recordings of full classic albums, so they’d better sound as good as possible. Lots of work for Trevor Horn, not only on the Drama night! A very special venue should be booked to stage all this, something legendary, like a Royal Albert Hall, for instance.
Just my 5cents…

My Yes Live choices all take me back to my teenage years when I was really discovering prog rock – and Yes in particular – for the first time. Here are my thoughts, by way of a set-list and band line-ups.

First of all I remember the late, great Tommy Vance broadcasting the Yes 1978 Wembley Arena show, which featured the most astounding version of Starship Trooper I’ve ever heard. So I’d like Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Allan White to open the show with that, to get whole place on its feet.

After that I’d like Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes to head onto the stage (Wakeman can take a well-deserved break after his incredible playing on Starship Trooper) for Machine Messiah, White Car, Does It Really Happen and Tempus Fugit from Drama, the first Yes album I bought.

While the next changeover happens, it would be great if Steve Howe could play Mood For A Day and then Clap.

Next I’d like the 90125 line-up to play Cinema, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Changes and City of Love from the second Yes album I bought.

Finally, everyone can come back onto the stage so we have an XL version of the Yes choir for I’ve Seen All Good People and then the closer Heart Of The Sunrise.

Not only would that represent for me the ultimate Yes night, but I think it would also be one of the greatest nights in music, period. Of course, I may be a little bit biased, but I think I’m amongst friends here!

That’s an easy one for me. Rick Wakeman on the Talk tour! Only because, as I understand, Rick came very close to being a part of the Talk album, so it actually could have happened. It might have even convinced Trevor Rabin not to become incredibly rich and happy scoring films instead 😉

I dunno really. I was lucky enough to see the debut of “Close To The Edge”. I saw 90125, ABWH and the Union tour at Wembley. I saw the Talk tour and then later on the Masterworks tour (so I finally got to hear “Gates” live). Looking back, I think my Yes fantasies have been pretty much fulfilled. But there is one thing – if I had the money I would hire Alan, Steve, Jon (Anderson), Rick and Chris to play just for me and my mates in my backyard!

Going a half crazy idea, maybe more for a supergroup (?). I was inspired after listening “Tribute to Pink Floyd” made by members of bands like Yes, King Crimson, ELP, Asia, etc.

Vocals – Jon Anderson
Keyboards – Vangelis
Bass – Chris Squire
Guitar – Steve Howe / Steven Wilson
Drums – Nick Mason

Doesn’t sound crazy to me at all! Sounds like an excellent idea! Thanks for the contribution.

I say bring back Bruford and Tony Levin, as in the Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe tour, except now also include Chris Squire. Throw in guest appearances of Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew for a Crimson-Yes jam session. And while we’re at it, go for a total Prog-o-pallooza by bringing in Greg Lake (former Crimson member before ELP), Laurie Anderson (hired Adrian Belew), Brian Eno and Dave Byrne. They’ve all worked together one way or another, it’s not so far-fetched.

Could you imagine what Yes would have sounded like in the mid 70’s with Vangelis. The Vangelis album HEAVEN AND HELL is truly stunning, to hear Yes colloborate on that material would have been a Yesfans dream come true.

As a present day Yes fantasy, I would love to see Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin back on stage with Yes.

A world tour with each and every member of Yes past and present, each representing their era of the band is a longshot, but we all secretly want that.

New Squackett sounds like a wonderful progression of Yes-related music for 2012.

Thanks Scott. I am looking forward to listening to Squackett! Your fantasy idea is also hyper-cool!

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