The arrival of Rick Wakeman propels Yes

Rick Wakeman's arrival propels Yes


The guys from Yes had some “pif & nbsp;” when they approached Rick Wakeman to offer to join the British squad. The long-caped keyboardist allowed Yes to broaden his musical spectrum.

The Fragile album, which celebrated its 50th birthday yesterday, marks the start of a new phase for Yes, as evidenced by the Roundabout , South Side of the Sky , Long Distance Runaround and Heart of the Sunrise , which quickly achieved the status of classics.

At the end of the tour of the disc The Yes Album , in late summer 1971, Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Tony Kaye and Chris Squire started work on their fourth studio album at a small studio in London.

Tony Kaye is not interested in expanding his horizons beyond piano and Hammond organ. The keyboardist is not at all attracted to synthesizers and the Mellotron which are starting to appear.

Which annoys vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire, founding members of Yes, who don't. do not appreciate this attitude and which will quickly lead to the dismissal of Kaye. & nbsp;

The guys from Yes had a potential replacement in mind. They had been impressed by the style and virtuosity of Rick Wakeman who had just left the Strawbs. & Nbsp;

At two in the morning, Chris Squire contacts Wakeman to offer him to be part of Yes.

< strong> The cover

Approached to be part of David Bowie's touring group, the keyboardist accepts Yes's offer, where he believes he will have more artistic freedom. & Nbsp;

“Rick Wakeman was, at that time, a very busy studio musician and he wasn't always with us rehearsing and recording. He would come and tell us he could be there the next day at 3pm. We told him it was OK. We worked on our side and he added his touch when he was around. It suited us & nbsp; “, said Steve Howe, during an interview, published last May, in the magazine Guitar Player .

We find, on Fragile , four pieces composed by the five musicians and five that were proposed by each of the members of the group. & nbsp;

These individual ideas became Cans and Brahms ( Wakeman), We Have Heaven (Anderson), Five Per Cent for Nothing (Bruford), The Fish (Squire) and Mood for a Day (Howe). An idea from Bill Bruford that allowed new Yes listeners to discover a little more about the musical personality of each of the musicians. & Nbsp;

“& nbsp; Yes was very good on The Yes Album , but our sound was weird. Production, ideas and cohesion were extremely good on Fragile . It's a great album to listen to because it's a real recording that all the musicians have contributed to. It's an album that sounds Yes & nbsp; “, indicated the guitarist.

The superb cover, created by Roger Dean, also marks the beginning of a long collaboration which will continue with the opuses Close to the Edge , the live album Yessongs , Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer . Dean will also be involved in the set design on tour. in Canada and seventh in the United Kingdom. & nbsp;

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