THE IN­TRO

And Geoff Downes teams up with mem­bers of XTC, No-Man and Big Big Train on new Downes Braide As­so­ci­a­tion al­bum.

Prog - - Contents -

Yes gear up for a brand new live al­bum, RIP Vir­gil Howe, plus the lat­est news on Ge­n­e­sis, Tro­jan Horse, Peter Ham­mill, John Lodge, Von Hertzen Broth­ers and more…

Yes are to re­lease their first ma­te­rial with­out co-founder Chris Squire on Novem­ber 24. Topographic Drama – Live Across Amer­ica was recorded dur­ing last year’s US tour and in­cludes brand new art­work from Roger Dean.

“We wanted to get some­thing out with this line-up,” re­veals key­board player Geoff Downes. “Billy [Sher­wood] took over from Chris nearly two years ago and we all felt it would be nice to have some­thing that showed where the band is right now.”

The al­bum, avail­able on dou­ble CD and triple vinyl, in­cludes per­for­mances from Drama and sides one and four of Tales From Topographic Oceans along­side classics such as Round­about and Starship Trooper. It opens with Drama’s Ma­chine Mes­siah.

“It’s a very hard-hit­ting track and a very pow­er­ful way to open up a show,” says Downes. “Drama was the first al­bum I did with Yes back in 1980 and I still think it’s very pow­er­ful. We had talked about [play­ing it in full] be­fore Chris got sick be­cause there was still four fifths of that line-up play­ing with Yes on stage. Sadly we lost Chris just as we were due to play the al­bum so he never got the op­por­tu­nity to play it. It’s a real shame be­cause I know that he was very proud of it.”

Adds drum­mer Alan White, “Tales… and

Drama are two favourite al­bums of mine. Be­ing in­volved cre­atively in writ­ing this mu­sic, it took count­less hours in the stu­dio to reach our goals for both these clas­sic al­bums. I’ve al­ways re­ally en­joyed play­ing this mu­sic live and sin­cerely hope it’s equally ap­pre­ci­ated by our fans world­wide.”

Topographic Drama, which has been mixed by Billy Sher­wood, comes out ahead of Yes’ 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions and 10-date UK tour next March. The band will also host a spe­cial fan con­ven­tion at the Lon­don Pal­la­dium and are cur­rently dis­cussing a new stu­dio al­bum.

“We’ve talked about it, but we’ve been pretty much flat-out on the road for the last year or two,” says Downes. “We are hop­ing to get some­thing out at some point next year as a 50th an­niver­sary edi­tion.”

Visit www.yesworld.com for more.

Mean­while, Downes has teamed up with Chris Braide (The Pro­duc­ers/This Oceanic Feel­ing) for DBA’s Sky­scraper Souls, which is out on Novem­ber 17 on X2X Records via Cherry Red.

The al­bum in­cludes a host of spe­cial guests in­clud­ing Tim Bow­ness, Big Big Train’s David Long­don, Andy Par­tridge from XTC and Marc Al­mond. Says Downes, it has a very English feel.

“When we first got to­gether on this al­bum, Chris had the vinyl of Car­a­van’s In The Land Of

“We had talked about Drama live be­fore Chris

got sick.”

Grey And Pink and we lis­tened to that. It’s an area of mu­sic that our plan­ets align on. It also has ele­ments of Yes, Ge­n­e­sis, King Crim­son – there are dark mo­ments in there so it’s not just bright, happy pop, there are some quite doom-laden sec­tions in it. I think the strength of the per­for­mances from our guests is par­tic­u­larly spe­cial and we’re very proud of the melodies.”

The ti­tle track clocks in at around 20 min­utes and Downes says it’s their “epic”.

“It goes through all kinds of man­i­fes­ta­tions. We wanted to do some­thing that has these re­cur­ring mo­tifs. We’ve al­ways had a good re­sponse to our mu­sic and I think this one pushes the boundaries even fur­ther.”

Downes is also con­tin­u­ing to work on ideas he devel­oped with John Wet­ton, be­fore the mu­si­cian’s death ear­lier this year.“I’d like to put some­thing to­gether as a trib­ute to him and get some of the great play­ers he worked with over the years on there.” NRS

MAIN IM­AGE: YES ON STAGE DUR­ING LAST YEAR’S TOPOGRAPHIC DRAMA TOUR. IN­SET: CHRIS BRAIDE AND GEOFF DOWNES, AKA DOWNES BRAIDE AS­SO­CI­A­TION.

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