If you think of Rick Wakeman, the synthesizer immediately comes to mind. The traces that the famous musician has left in rock history with this electronic powerhouse are too deep. As a sound witch of Yes, but also as a solo artist who has created large-format works for symphony orchestra and choir. Now with "Piano Odyssey" he has once again recorded a quiet album, which shows him on the grand piano.
From Rick Wakemans to the hundred solo recordings, it is above all the early albums "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII", "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" and "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table" that have remained in the memories of rock and prog fans. These established him as the intoxication gold angel on the battlements of his synthesizer castles. But the 69-year-old Englishman has also repeatedly focused on the natural sounds of the piano, as in his current recording "Piano Odyssey", a follow-up to the very successful "Piano Portraits" from 2017 in Great Britain. On a Steinway grand piano he intones pieces by Yes, David Bowie, the Beatles and Queen as well as his own compositions.
A first studio product of them is yet to come. But as a live act, the Yes formation around Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman has been convincing all along since 2016. The recording "Live At The Apollo" now documents for the first time the stage qualities of the Yes fission product. It raises the question of the true guardians of the rich heritage of progressive rock pioneers.
After reporting on the Yes splinter group under the aegis of Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman in December, Steve Howe, who presides over the "official" Yes with Alan White, Geoff Downes, Billy Sherwood and Jon Davison, now has his say. The last sign of life of his band was the concert recording "Topographic Drama - Live Across America". It was released in November 2017, two months after Yes had to cancel the pending concerts of the "Yestival" tour due to the sudden death of Howe's youngest son. Since then the visionary guitarist had retired. Now he is back in the public eye and gives information about his plans.
eclipsed: Your son Virgil's death was a disaster. Even if it is difficult, how do you cope as a private person and as a musician?
The story of Yes is a story full of surprises and imponderables. This includes the separation into two autonomous fractions. First happened in 1989, when Jon Anderson moved away from "Yes-West" (the pop-oriented group led by Chris Squire and Trevor Rabin) to revive Yes's classic seventies sound with ABWH (Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe). When the band - long again in a singular incarnation - continued in 2008 with a new singer due to health problems of Anderson, the former members Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman announced ARW in 2010. The first concerts were in 2016 and since April of this year, after the name change to Yes feat. Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman, there are now also two Yes formations nominally. The following interview took place in July 2017 during the Night Of The Prog.
eclipsed: How far along are you with the recordings for your first studio album?
So far the British Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman and Lee Pomeroy with the South African Trevor Rabin and the US-American star drummer Lou Molino III have sailed close to Germany since their new formation about two years ago. After a US tour last fall, an extensive UK tour and one gig each in Holland and Belgium in spring, we caught the band shortly after the end of a successful Japan off-shoot, their first tour under the name Yes feat. Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman.
eclipsed: Why did you change the band name to Yes feat. ARW now?
In the spring of 1972 Yes returned home after giving a series of concerts in America to promote the album "Fragile". Immediately afterwards, Jon Anderson and Steve Howe worked out the material they had gathered at soundchecks, in hotel rooms and backstage when the band toured the Northeast and Midwest. They had eagerly exchanged ideas and recorded their writing sessions. The community spirit that had shaped "Fragile" reached its peak on "Close To The Edge". […]
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.