Yes Putting New Singer to Work on 21st Studio Album
Billboard -- As it prepares to dig deep into its past for its upcoming North American tour -- which will feature three of its 70s albums in their entirety -- Yes is already hatching plans for new music with their latest frontman Jon Davison.
Bassist Chris Squire tells Billboard that he expects the veteran prog rock troupe to hit the studio this fall to record a follow-up to 2011's "Fly From Here."
"We're already looking at bits and starting to gather music together," he reports. "It's really just in the germination stage at the moment."
The set -- their 21st studio release -- will also be Yes' first with Davison, the Sky Cries Marry and Glass Hammer alumnus who joined the group in 2012 to replace the ailing Benoit David.
"Jon is also a writer, so he'll be bringing something to the table to add to the Yes mix," Squire notes. "He's definitely a creative spirit, so we're looking forward to that new material with him, and hopefully we'll get a refreshed new Yes studio album."
That, of course, will come after Yes hits the road March 1 to play 1971's "The Yes Album," 1972's "Close to the Edge" and 1977's "Going For the One" in 23 cities (some casino shows will only feature the first two). Squire says the idea "has been something we've toyed with and discussed over the last 10 years from time to time" but has been waylaid by other concerns. "We thought this would be a good time to employ this strategy and see how it works, and ticket buyers seem to be quite excited by it."
Squire says these three titles were chosen because "we just thought they denoted certain landmarks in Yes' career." "The Yes Album" marked guitarist Steve Howe's arrival in the lineup, while "Close to the Edge" sports Yes' first side-long suite and "Going For the One" saw keyboardist Rick Wakeman return to the lineup and was also the first time Yes recorded outside of the U.K.
"They're all 70s albums, of course," Squire adds. "They're all slightly different in a way, so they definitely represent our career in the 70s."
Squire says that only one of the songs, "A Venture" from "The Yes Album," has never been played live, though the group had road-tested a version of what became the song that featured a jazzier approach with both he and Howe playing bass. And while the three-album format means a number of Yes favorites will be left on the bench, Squire predicts that "I expect they'll get 'Roundabout' in the end, a little bit of 'Fragile.' "
Yes has "left a space open for later in the summer" to play more shows, according to Squire. He also says the band could do more full-album tours in the future with different titles from its catalog. "We're going out with this format, with these albums, and we're trying it out," Squire says. "We could do others in the future, although the next time we go out we'll be promoting the new studio album, so the emphasis will be on that at that point."
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Find more online: Billboard.com
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