Yes’ Anderson-Rabin-Wakeman: Golden Plans Update

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Rabin, Anderson and Wakeman (Photo: Deborah Anderson; used with permission)

Fans of the progressive rock group Yes, which earned their long overdue inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, are well aware that there are two active editions of the band. There’s the one that’s continuously been called Yes, now led by the guitarist Steve Howe. It also includes the long-tenured drummer Alan White among its members.

Then there’s vocalist Jon Anderson, guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. The latter launched in 2016 with a well-received North American tour.

Related: Review of Anderson-Rabin-Wakeman in NYC, November 2016

Shortly after the Yes members that were chosen for induction into the Rock Hall (briefly) reunited onstage–sans founder Chris Squire who passed in 2015–to perform two songs, the ARW fellows changed their name ever-so-slightly to Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman.

Watch Yes perform their #1 hit at their Rock Hall induction

Squire formed Yes 50 years ago in 1968 and both editions are using the golden anniversary of their prog rock pedigree to their best advantage. The Howe-led edition completed a 50th anniversary tour in July. ARW played eight European and U.K. dates in June of what they promise to be a 100-date world tour that will continue in 2019, although those dates haven’t been revealed yet. A brief U.S. tour begins August 26 (see below), and a live recording from their 2017 tour arrives on Sept. 7.

Watch “Rhythm of Love” from the new Live at the Apollo release

Last April, an anthology of Yes curated by band founder/singer Jon Anderson, said to be a 2-CD/3-LP set, was promised for August via Warner Bros. Records but there hasn’t been any follow-up information on that since.

As for new music, back in 2017, Wakeman told Best Classic Bands: “We’re putting new music together but we’re determined not to rush anything. We don’t want to do it just for the sake that we can. We’re determined that any new music that appears is really of the quality that we want it to be.”

Related: Our interview with Wakeman

On Jan. 24, Rabin was a guest on SiriusXM’s Beatles Channel. During an interview on the “Fab Fourum,” he was asked by co-host Dennis Elsas: “Let me get this straight – You are recording?” Rabin’s reply: “Yeah, we’re kind of doing so right now. It’s going slow but it’s going great.”

On Aug. 21, Rabin gave an update to Billboard: “There is a lot of music that’s been written and stuff that’s been passed backwards and forwards. I have no idea whether that’s in the cards or not, but it’s certainly not something I’m against and it’s not something Jon or Rick is against.

“We’ve been offered a number of record deals but we don’t want to commit to that, so we’ve turned them down. Doing a record contract is not something we want to do, and if we record then we’ll record first and then decide what to do with it. There won’t be some announcement that Yes signs to whatever. That’s not something we’re even interested in.”

Listen to a song in its early stages, named not-so-coincidentally after the Yes album, Fragile, is available on YouTube.

Earlier this year, Anderson shared some news on his Facebook page:”The New Year promises to be musically exciting as ever, I will be finishing an album I started 27 years ago …funny how time flies..weeeeeeeee…

“Why did it take so many years?, well there is a crazy funny story that I will tell in the liner notes of the album, the album will be called ‘1,000 Hands’…simply because of all the wonderful musicians and singers who performed on it…I hope to have it ready this Spring ‘fingers crossed’.”

Following their brief U.S. tour, Wakeman will begin his own tour to support his own new solo effort, Piano Odyssey. Details here.

Yes Featuring Anderson-Rabin-Wakeman Tour Dates (Tickets are available here and here)

Aug 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky a Go Go
Aug 27 – San Diego, CA – Humphreys By the Bay
Aug 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
Aug 31 – Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theatre
Sep 01 – Las Vegas, NV – Westgate Resort & Casino
Sep 03 – Denver, CO – Levitt Pavilion
Sep 05 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
Sep 07 – Highland Park, IL – Ravinia
Sep 08 – Northfield, OH – Hard Rock Live
Sep 09 – Huber Heights, OH – Rose Music Center


Best Classic Bands Staff
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  1. John Rose
    #1 John Rose 26 February, 2018, 08:53

    Well, it’s also the 27th anniversary of an admittedly mish-mash album called “Union” and that’s what really needs to happen to do this 50th anniversary right.

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  2. rick
    #2 rick 28 August, 2018, 04:52

    Looks like the new NA TOUR are the same songs as the last tour and the tour before that.
    That is BRUTALFUL

    Reply this comment

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