Hypnotic Heavy Metal Band, SPELL, to Release New LP, ‘Tragic Magic’, October 28! Vancouver Progressive Duo Drops Video for New Song “Ultraviolet”
Fantastical heavy metal band Spell will release it’s new LP, Tragic Magic, on October 28 via Bad Omen Records. Featuring ten tracks of prime, progressive heavy music flooded with mesmerizing atmospheres, Tragic Magic sees Spell take a decidedly grittier lyrical approach, leaning less into escapism, while confronting real life challenges of modern times. Striking use of art by Władysław Podkowiński for the cover. Pre-order ‘Tragic Magic’ at THIS location.
A first taste of what Tragic Magic holds in store can be ingested now as Spell unveils a video for the LP’s radiating first single “Ultraviolet”. Created by Sean Edwards for Ramble Films (Freeways), the eye-catching clip showcases Spell at the height of its powers. Stream Spell’s “Ultraviolet” video HERE.
“Ultraviolet” explores the hidden terror of forces that rule us but cannot be perceived or understood, says Spell vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cam Mesmer. “Our world is shaped by powers that the limitations of our physical bodies prevent us from directly encountering. Will we fall victim to the lust for that which cannot be ours, or harness them to fulfil our wildest dreams?”
Tragic Magic is the highly-anticipated follow up to Spell’s critically-acclaimed 2020 LP, Opulent Decay, a record hailed as “fantasy rock” by Blabbermouth, “enchanting” by Heavy Blog is Heavy, and “a captivating mix of Rush- and Blue Öyster Cult” by Revolver.
Tragic Magic was written and recorded entirely as a collaboration between brothers Cam and Al (Lester); the record’s songcraft is steeped in the atmosphere of the arcane, yet the hooks are more razor-sharp than ever. While influences like the esoteric charge of the aforementioned Blue Öyster Cult and the elemental expansions of Camel and King Crimson drift through these crepuscular melodies, Spell are as likely to be influenced by the life-affirming energy of ‘60s Motown, the ethereal dimensions of Cocteau Twins, the strident woe of Candlemass, and the classic songwriting chops of Russ Ballard.
“The themes on this album are more concrete, guided by personal experience,” offers Mesmer. “Tragic Magic’ has to do with mental illness, ageing, the death of a loved one, the decay of time… this is what ‘tragic magic’ means to us – loss and tragedy outside of our control, which fundamentally alters our perceived reality. This album is our response to the world as it currently is: music for an ascetic age.”
“And we couldn’t be happier about the result,” Mesmer continues. “The identity of Spell came into sharp focus as it was always intended to be. Music is magic, and Spell is a spell. Fundamentally, it is a forum to make our dreams come true”
1.) Fatal Breath 2.) Ultraviolet 3.) Hades Embrace 4.) Fever Dream 5.) Sarcophagus 6.) Cruel Optimism 7.) A Ruined Garden 8.) Souls in Chains 9.) Watcher of the Seas 10.) The Watching
SPIROGYRA was another interesting British band from that golden period of the early ’70s. The band was folk, progressive, psychedelic…Lots of harmonies, soft vocals, acoustic guitars, pianos, synths, flutes, violins and various string instruments.., The band only released 2 singles back in the day, along with these 3 albums, and commercial success eluded them, but they have maintained many followers years later. Plenty of gems among these albums, such as “Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide”, “Time Will Tell”, “Dangerous Dave” (a single), “Don’t Let It Get You”, “The Sargent Says”, and “In The Western World”. Very easy going stuff, but lots of stories amongst the songs, and the sweet vocals of Barbara Gaskin, and the distinctive voice of (guitarist) Martin Cockerham. Disc 2 comes with 4 bonus tracks, all outtakes, the best being the upbeat “Melody Maker Man”. Disc 3 contains the bonus track “I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really)” – the A side to the band’s 2nd single. The set comes with a 12 page colored booklet complete with photos, liner notes, and interviews telling the band’s story. Well worth picking up if you’re interested, especially considering how much the band’s original LPs go for on Discogs.
*For more info check out the press release, tracklisting, and links below…
• NEW 3CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET OF THE THREE ALBUMS BY SPIROGYRA RELEASED BETWEEN 1971 AND 1973 • FEATURING THE ALBUMS ‘ST RADIGUNDS’, ‘OLD BOOT WINE’ AND ‘BELLS, BOOTS AND SHAMBLES’. WITH A FULLY ILLUSTRATED BOOKLET
Spirogyra was formed by duo Martin Cockerham and Mark Francis in Bolton in 1968, but the band expanded when Cockerham was a student in Canterbury at the end of 1969. The expanded line-up featured Cockerham (guitar, vocals), Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals), Steve Borrill (bass) and Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards) and secured a contract with B&C Records in 1970. The band’s impressive debut album, ‘St Radigunds’ was issued in 1971 and featured guest drummer Dave Mattacks and Tony Cox on VCS3 Synthesizer. In 1972 the band’s second album, ‘Old Boot Wine’, was released on the Pegasus label, a “progressive” imprint established by B&C. Prior to the recording of the album Mark Francis re- joined the group, and the sessions also saw contributions from guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Rick Biddulph (mandolin), Alan Laing (cello). With the demise of the Pegasus label, Spirogyra recorded their third album for Polydor. By this time Spirogyra had become a core of Martin Cockerham (guitar, vocals) and Barbara Gaskin (lead vocals) with Steve Borrill (bass) and guest musicians Dave Mattacks (drums), Julian Cusack (violin, keyboards), Henry Lowther (trumpet), John Boyce (cello), Stan Sulzman (flute) and Steve Ashley (whistle). Despite achieving critical praise, Spirogyra failed to enjoy commercial success which ultimately led to their demise. The trio of albums the band recorded between 1971 and 1973 featured music of innovation and originality and are arguably beyond classification. They remain highly regarded and are sought after by collectors and aficionados of the Progressive era. This collection features four bonus tracks recorded during sessions for ‘Old Boot Wine’ and the 1973 single release I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really).
Disc One: St Radigunds
The Future Won’t Be Long Island Magical Mary Captain’s Log At Home In The World Cogwheels, Crutches And Cyanide Time Will Tell We Were A Happy Crew Love Is A Funny Thing The Duke Of Beaufoot
Disc Two: Old Boot Wine
Dangerous Dave Van Allen’s Belt Runaway Grandad Wings Of Thunder World’s Eyes Don’t Let It Get You Disraeli’s Problem A Canterbury Tale Bonus tracks Counting The Cars Window Turn Again Lane Melody Maker Man
Disc Three: Bells, Boots And Shambles
The Furthest Point Old Boot Wine Parallel Lines Never Separate Spiggly An Everyday Consumption Song The Sergeant Says In The Western World 1) In the Western World 2) Jungle Lore 3) Coming Back 4) Western World (reprise) Bonus track I Hear You’re Going Somewhere (Joe Really) (A- side of single)
The fifth album under the Lonely Robot name is to be released August 26th… I have to admit I wasn’t overly familiar with John Mitchell until his performances on Phil Lanzon’s (Uriah Heep) 2 excellent solo albums (If You Think I’m Crazy, 2017, and 48 Seconds, 2019). His vocals on Lanzon’s albums made me curious about his other work – such as It Bites and Arena. A Model Life is full of fine melodies and well crafted songs & productions from the opener “Recalibrating”, the softer ballad “Species In Transition” (with a cool guitar solo), the excellent title song, and “Rain Kings” (somewhat of a ballad, John reminds me of Peter Gabriel on occasion). But really, this album of 10 tracks has a lot going on, progressive, very modern / fresh sounding, great vocals, and it gets better with each listen, as there is so much going on with differences from song to song.
*for more info check out the press bio and links below…
A lone soldier on the frontlines of creativity, John Mitchell has been at the forefront of forward thinking and progressive rock for decades now. As a member of such revered prog ensembles as It Bites, Arena, Frost* and his own projects Kino and The Urbane, he has become a uniquely vital contributor to the modern scene, while his credentials as a producer for countless contemporary rock acts are unquestionable. But since 2015, John has been operating under name Lonely Robot: a solo project in all but name, it has enabled him to fully express his own musical vision, via some of the most vivid and fascinating music of his career to date.
Remarkably, Lonely Robot’s catalogue is already four albums deep. From 2015’s cosmic debut Please Come Home and its grandiose follow-up The Big Dream (2017), to the multifarious charms of 2019’s Under Stars and most recent full-length Feelings Are Good (2020), John has cemented his reputation as a prolific and inspirational songwriter. Two years on from his last release, the Lonely Robot is back in action again in 2022. The fifth album to bear the name, A Model Life is John Mitchell’s first communication to a post-pandemic world.
“The truth is, I only ever intended to make three albums and then stop,” he laughs. “Then we got to the end of the three albums and I had a discussion with the label about maybe not releasing the next one under the name Lonely Robot, but with true Germanic business sense, they said, ‘We have established the brand now!’ So then everyone’s wondering where the guy in the spacesuit has gone! But I don’t really care what it’s called, as long as I get to keep making music. The thing I find most freeing about Lonely Robot is that I can just sit there on my own, get on with it at my own pace and not wait around for other people!”
If the first four Lonely Robots offered wistful, sci-fi-tinged observations on the state of things, A Model Life is perhaps understandably infused with the anxieties and ominous omens of the real life, present day. As John explains, the new songs have a little more grit under their fingernails than any of their predecessors; even if the relentlessly inventive, melodic splurge of his songwriting remains soundly intact.
“A lot of shit has happened, and one quite traumatizing thing was that I split up with my girlfriend of 16 years and it hit me very hard,” he says. “Then quite a few people I know died, and that hit me very hard. I thought, this isn’t how it’s supposed to go. What happened to the forever ever after, into the sunset? That’s where the title comes from, A Model Life. It’s about what people’s fantasies of what they would like their lives to be, rather than what they actually are. Endless positive affirmation on social media and everything looking pure and white and like an Enya video. So every song is about being pissed off about someone or other. There’s no robots or space or anything!”
An album that brims with frustration at the state of things, while tugging remorselessly at the heart strings, A Model Life is plainly the most honest and vulnerable Lonely Robot record to date. From opener Recalibrating, which muses on the aftermath of a broken relationship, and Digital God Machine – a sardonic tribute to keyboard warriors everywhere, to the boys-don’t-cry pathos of Rain Kings and the absurdly moving, adoption-themed Duty Of Care, these new songs provide a scattershot but profoundly emotional soundtrack to a restless and uncertain world.
“Recalibrating is about splitting up with somebody and the nail goes into your head and you realize that there is no second act for that relationship. Digital God Machine is about fucking morons in their bedrooms, typing hate at people like me for writing music and thinking they know better. Then there’s The Island Of Misfit Toys, which is about people that don’t have a sense of belonging. I like the analogy of knackered toys with eyes hanging out, for people who don’t fit in and are socially awkward… a bit like myself! I was thinking about an article I read about how Google go out of their way to employ people on the autistic spectrum, because they’re much better at figures and numbers. One day those people will take over the world!”
In musical terms, A Model Life marks a notable departure from the synth-fueled futurism of 2020’s Feelings Are Good. Songs like the darkly euphoric Starlit Stardust and the tense sprawl of Species In Transitions are full of punchy riffs and blazing solos, not to mention all the ingenious instrumentation and studio trickery that John Mitchell has made such an essential part of his music.
“I do think this record is different,” he notes. “There’s lots of weird sounds and soundscapes. I’m just trying to make odd sounds out of things. On Digital God Machine, that’s me beating the shit out of a cello through a distortion pedal. At the risk of sounding like Peter Gabriel, there’s a lot of ethnic elements like marimbas and things I haven’t used before. I was under a self-imposed solo ban for the last Frost* record, so I really went overboard and played too many guitar solos this time. The last album was all about synthesizers, but this one is all about getting back to what I think I probably do best, so it’s all about guitar playing again.”
Yet another career peak from one of modern prog’s most prolific polymaths, A Model Life hits harder than any previous Lonely Robot record, but with a warmth and wit that few can match. Meanwhile, with long-awaited tour dates tentatively etched into the horizon, John Mitchell declares himself ready and cautiously optimistic for whatever the future holds.
“There’s a tour in February and some dates in Europe. But if the various hoops we have to jump through haven’t been sorted by then, When we planned this tour it was three albums ago, so I don’t know what I’m doing anymore! [Laughs] I’m really proud of A Model Life, so I might focus on that. I’ve got no idea what I’m going to play because I’ve got far too many songs! I’m sure I’ll put my nose back to the grindstone soon and make another album too.”
Legendary YES vocalist/songwriter Jon Anderson will be playing select shows with The Paul Green Rock Academy in Summer 2022! Jon and the ensemble will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the release of YES’s classic album “Close to the Edge” by performing the album in its entirety, along with other classics and surprises!
This Jon Anderson with The Paul Green Rock Academy tour is a resumption of the tradition started in 2005 when Jon toured with Paul Green’s original School of Rock all stars.
These early shows, over 30 in total between 2006-2008, were nothing short of magical, and now Jon Anderson returns to continue that magic with a set of Yes Classics, deep cuts, mash ups, and solo works, all with lush arrangements featuring choral singing, horns, and all the other benefits of having a backing band with 25 young musicians.
Says Paul Green, “Having done a few of these songs in the past with Jon and my students, I couldn’t wait to add them to the current show. Once we did ‘Close to the Edge’ and ‘And You and I’ on our Florida run in April, I was reminded of the magic of hearing these songs recreated by young musicians…They really capture the frenetic energy of the original recordings. Then when I heard it was the 50th anniversary of the album I just knew we had to do the whole thing. Jon agreed.”
There are so many wonderful moments in my musical life, and being on stage with these young teenagers performing Classic Yes songs, makes me so happy and proud …..
It’s a marvel and a tremendous pleasure for me..
They are a joy to be with and so much fun!!!
I am grateful, thankful and feel very blessed to be able to sing along with them. Janee and I love them all Love and light… Jon Anderson
Jon Anderson with The Paul Green Rock Academy tour dates:
7/7: Plymouth NH – The Flying Monkey Performing Arts Center 7/8: Beverly MA – The Cabot 7/13: Huntingdon NY – The Paramount 7/14: Montclair NJ – Wellmont Theater 7/16: Ridgefield CT – Ridgefield Playhouse 7/17: Sugar Loaf NY – Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center 7/20: Glenside PA – Keswick Theatre 7/22: Kent OH – The Kent Stage 7/23: Des Plaines IL – Des Plaines Theatre 7/27: Greensburg PA – The Palace Theatre 7/30: Milwaukee WI – Pabst Theater 8/3: State College PA – The State Theatre 8/6: Albany NY – The Egg
Jon Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in music as the lead vocalist and creative force behind YES. Anderson was the author and a major creative influence behind the ground-breaking album “Fragile” as well as the series of epic, complex pieces such as “Awaken,” “Gates of Delirium” and especially “Close to the Edge” which were central to the band’s success. Additionally, Anderson co-authored the group’s biggest hits, including “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Roundabout” and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” After 50 years of success in the music business, Jon has worked with many variations of YES, as well as collaborations with Vangelis, Kitaro, Roine Stolt and Jean-Luc Ponty. He has released several critically acclaimed solo albums including “Olias of Sunhillow,” “Song of Seven,” “Animation,” “Three Ships,” “Toltec” and “Survival and Other Stories” to name just a few. In 2017 Jon reformed YES with former band members Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. YES Featuring ARW toured the world to rave reviews and released “Live At The Apollo” CD/DVD in September 2018. Never to stand still musically, in 2019 Jon released an album he started 28 years ago, now called “1,000 Hands,” a reference to the fact that numerous guest musicians perform on the album, including Ian Anderson, Billy Cobham, Jean-Luc Ponty, Chick Corea, Zap Momma, Chris Squire, Alan White, Steve Howe and many more.
Jonesy was a British prog outfit that released 3 albums in the ’70s. Lead by singer/guitarist John Evan-Jones, the band released their classic debut album No Alternative in 1972. The line-up here consisted of Jones, along with American born keyboardist James Kaleth, drummer Jim Payne, and bass player Dave Paull. Both Paull and Payne had previously been in National Head Band with Lee Kerslake (pre Uriah Heep), Paull would also play on Ken Hensley’s Proud Words On A Dusty Shelf album. Anyway, No Alternative is perhaps the band’s most sought after record, featuring the band’s best know track “Ricochet”. It also featured stand-out cuts like “Mind Of The Century”, the wild epic title track, and the ballad “Heaven”. Four of the cuts on the debut clock in at (near) 8 minutes or longer! No Alternative takes up disc one, and includes the short instrumental “Reprise” added on.
By the time the band recorded their 2nd album John Evan-Jones remained, along with Kaleth, and joining them were Jones’ brother – Trevor, on bass, Plug Thomas on drums (Thomas had brief spells with Screaming Lord Sutch and Supertramp), and Alan Bown on trumpet and percussion. Ray Russell was also brought in to do some orchestral arranging. 1973’s Keeping Up was much more laid back, with more emphasis on vocals, harmonies, keyboards, flutes, strings… gone are the heavy guitar pieces. But some fine songs in “Masquerade”, “Questions And Answers”, and the ballad “Song”, which should made a good single. Disc 2 adds the single version of “Ricochet” and it’s B-side “Every Day’s The Same”. Disc 3 comprises of the band’s last album released in late 1973 – Growing, as well as the band’s final album Sudden Prayers Make God Jump. The latter was never released until years later from a cassette, but here it is taken (as are all the albums) from the original master tapes. Growing featured most of the same line-up, and producer Rupert Hine was brought in as well. This album was more upbeat from the previous album, with tracks like “Can You Get That Together?”, “Know Who Your Friends Are”, and the title track. The band’s final album Sudden Prayers Make God Jump (who comes up with these titles?) featured a new line-up. Joining the Jones bothers were drummer David Potts, keyboard player Ken Elliott (ex of Second Hand, and later played with Arthur Brown), and Bernard Hagley on sax & flute (he had played on Growing, and previously Tranquility). This last album is probably the band’s most experimental, lots of different instrumentation, vocal harmonies, and unique songs, kinda rivalling some of the stuff Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come was doing in the early ’70s. Jonesy were a very overlooked gem of the British prog scene of the early ’70s; none of their albums would get released in North America and they contained no big hits, but are well worth checking out through this CD box set. *Comes with a 16 page colored booklet, with liner notes penned by Mark Powell.
The legendary keyboard giant remembered; stories, tributes, rare and unseen photographs
A lavish, fully illustrated book in which family, friends, colleagues, and fans talk to author Chris Welch about the life, work, and legacy of Keith Emerson from before The Nice and ELP through 3 to The Keith Emerson Band. Illustrated throughout with previously unseen photos from family, friends, and professional photographers, this official celebration will tell the remarkable tale of Keith’s musical evolution, his personal relationships, and the creation of his astounding musical legacy. Includes new interviews with Keith’s children, ex-wife, close personal friends, Mari Kawaguchi, Carl Palmer, Rick Wakeman, Lee Jackson, Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Alan White, Dave Kilminster, Marc Bonilla, Rachel Flowers, Darius Brubeck, Geoff Downes, and others.
The book draws on the private Emerson family archives for photographs of Keith at home, at work and play. Close family and friends share memories and stories from throughout his life, revealing the true man, while fellow musicians from the worlds of prog, rock and classical attest to Keith’s talent and dedication, while others who worked with him tell of his spirit, generosity and sense of humor.
Keith Emerson celebrates the life and legacy of the man who first played the Hammond organ like a lead guitarist, introduced the European classical music tradition to rock fans with The Nice and helped create the template for prog rock with the very first Moog synthesizers with ELP. He also wrote movie soundtracks, performed with world-renowned jazz musicians, and toured the world as a solo artist. All of that and more is explored in this deluxe book.
*Registering at http://www.keithemersonbook.com will ensure a special discount when pre-order begins, allow people to have a name printed in the book and be a part of this unique project.
NEKTAR began in Hamburg, Germany in 1969 and released a number of classic progressive rock albums in the ’70s, such as A Tab In The Ocean, Remember The Future, Down To Earth, and Recycled. Through many line up changes, a break up in 82, and reformations since 2000, plus the loss of founding member (singer/guitarist) Roye Albrighton in 2016. The band now based in the US, recently released a new CD/DVD package of their 2020 album. *See the press release below for more details.
THROUGHOUT THE 1970S NEKTAR RELEASED A SERIES OF ACCLAIMED ALBUMS, SCORING CHART SUCCESS IN GERMANY (WHERE THE BRITISH BAND WAS BASED) AND LATER IN THE USA (WHERE THE BAND RELOCATED).
FOLLOWING THE PASSING OF ORIGINAL GUITARIST / VOCALIST ROYE ALBRIGHTON IN 2016, FELLOW FOUNDER MEMBERS DEREK “MO” MOORE (BASS, VOCALS), RON HOWDEN (DRUMS, VOCALS) AND MICK BROCKETT (LYRICS, VISUAL CONCEPTS) REUNITED, ALONG WITH RANDY DEMBO (BASS, 12-STRING GUITAR), RYCHE CHLANDA (GUITAR, VOCALS) AND KENDALL SCOTT (KEYBOARDS) TO RECORD
CHLANDA ORIGINALLY RECORDED WITH NEKTAR IN 1978, AND FOR ‘THE OTHER SIDE’, THE BAND UPDATED SOME OF THOSE IDEAS WHICH EVOLVED IN THE BASEMENT OF MOORE’S HOUSE IN NEW JERSEY WITH RON HOWDEN. THE 1978
UNRECORDED SONG ‘SKYPILOT’ HAS EVOLVED INTO ‘SKYWRITER’ IN 2019. ‘I’M ON FIRE’ IS THE MUSICAL ADAPTATION OF A POEM WRITTEN BY MO FOR HIS SOON-TO-BE WIFE, NICKI, DURING THAT SAME TIME PERIOD.
THE CLOSING TRACK, ‘DEVIL’S DOOR’, WAS ORIGINALLY PERFORMED LIVE IN 1974, BUT NEVER FEATURED ON A NEKTAR ALBUM. UPDATED AND RECORDED FOR THIS ALBUM, THE SONG FEATURES THE PRESENCE OF THE LATE ROYE ALBRIGHTON ON THE INTRODUCTION TO THE TRACK, WHOSE WONDERFUL GUITAR PART WAS TAKEN FROM A LIVE SOUNDBOARD RECORDING MADE IN 1974.
KENDALL SCOTT’S DISTINCTIVE AND VERSATILE KEYBOARD PRESENCE HAS ENHANCED THIS CONSIDERABLY, WHILE RANDY DEMBO, WHO ORIGINALLY JOINED NEKTAR IN 2004, BRINGS THE SOUND TOGETHER WITH 12-STRING AND BASS GUITARS, ROUNDING OUT THE INSTRUMENTAL ARRANGEMENTS. RON HOWDEN HAS BEEN A CONTINUAL DRIVING FORCE OF THE BAND, WEATHERING ALL VERSIONS OF NEKTAR SINCE ITS CONCEPTION IN 1969. WITH MICK BROCKETT NOW BACK IN THE FOLD (WITH HIS VISUAL CONCEPTS AND IDEAS AS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE BAND MAKING THE MUSIC AND LIGHT THEATRE A REALITY). ‘THE OTHER SIDE’ IS A STUNNING ALBUM FROM A LEGENDARY BAND
1. I’m On Fire 2. Skywriter 3. Love Is / The Other Side 4. The Light Beyond 5. Look Thru Me 6. Y Can’t I B More Like U. 7. Drifting 8. Devil’s Door
Disc Two: DVD
The Making Of The Other Side : A Documentary About The Making Of The Album And The Reunion Of Nektar
The 2nd YES album to featured Jon Davison on vocals. I never did give it’s predecessor much of a chance [but have picked it up while enjoying this new one]. The 2nd video released “Future Memories” I really liked right away, and that got my interest. It is still the stand out song here, for me, a classic Yes ballad, and if the band ends tomorrow Jon Davison will have left an amazing mark with this one. Lead off track / video “The Ice Bridge” is a strong track as well, love Geoff Downes bright keyboards throughout this number, with the intro briefly reminiscent of ELP, and elsewhere this song reminds me a bit of Saga, and love Steve Howe’s riff and solo. Davison and Billy Sherwood co-write and share vocals on the upbeat “The Western Edge”. Though much of this album is near ballads or acoustic numbers, it is a pretty uplifting set of songs, as The Quest according to guitarist and producer Steve Howe – “The Quest is a strong album with a common theme: posing the great questions of life and finding that we have our destiny within our own hands.” The band also pays tribute to The Beatles in the track “Mystery Tour”. YES also pays homage to their won past according to Geoff Downes – “There’s a lot of retro sounds, reminiscent of some of the early Yes recordings. I was really a big fan of Tony Kaye, his style of Hammond playing, and even going back to the Drama album, the basic keyboard instruments – like the Hammond organ and acoustic piano – have really come out on this album..” The album also includes orchestra on a couple of tracks – Howe’s “Dare To Know” – “I wanted to augment what Yes does – To have something as beautiful as an orchestra was really appealing, and that was done remotely in Macedonia. Paul K. Joyce did the arranging for me.” The orchestra was also used on the Davison / Sherwood track “Minus The Man”. Howe’s “Leave Well Alone” is an epic Yes tune with a classy mix of vocals, and plenty of changes, and I’m pretty sure I hear a nod to “Starship Trooper” later on in.
As I’ve said previously, I never was a huge Yes fan, and post 90125 albums were hit and miss with me, but I did like The Ladder, and going back recently [upon hearing this] really liked Fly From Here, so I will put The Quest up there as my next favorite Yes album, despite being fairly laid-back, overall. There are a few songs that have jumped out at me, and there is lots to still get in to here. For all that’s been said of the line-up being without a few founding members, I am quite happy with this and look forward to more.
The Quest comes in various formats, colored vinyl, a box set… Beautifully packaged in Roger Dean artwork again.
I’ve picked up almost every Yes album over the years, and since the ’80s I often wondered if I was picking up Yes albums more so for the Roger Dean artwork than the music, which (for me) didn’t always grab me from album to album. The first 2 singles from The Quest I enjoyed, and the new video/single for the ballad “Future Memories” is the most likeable and memorable Yes song in decades. Jon Davison, who joined the band in 2012, penned the song and delivers a fantastic vocal, with such a great melody. The video itself appears to be a tribute to the band’s collaboration with Roger Dean over the past 50 years, as it features images of the album covers he’s done for the band, flowing along with band member pics, colors, and ongoing paint strokes.
15th October 2021: YES, who are Steve Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood, recently released their new studio album The Quest on InsideOutMusic/Sony Music The album was produced by Steve Howe. “Much of the music was written in late 2019 with the rest in 2020. We commissioned several orchestrations to augment and enhance the overall sound of these fresh new recordings, hoping that our emphasis on melody, coupled with some expansive instrumental solo breaks, keeps up the momentum for our listeners,” said Steve.
Today the band are please to reveal a video for the track ‘Future Memories’, watch it now here:
‘The Quest’ also sees its physical release in North America, as of today. Pick up your copy here: https://yes-band.lnk.to/TheQuest The album has also been hitting charts worldwide, find a selection of them below: #7 German Album Charts, #20 UK Album Charts, #1 UK Rock Album Charts, #5 Swiss Album Charts, #8 Japanese International Weekly Charts, #23 French Physical Album Charts, #37 Belgian National Album Charts, #54 Dutch Album Charts, #60 Italian Album Charts.
Previous video singles from The Quest include “Dare To Know” and “The Ice Bridge”
The Quest was recorded across the globe, The sessions took place in the UK with Steve Howe, Geoff Downes & Jon Davison, while Alan White & Billy Sherwood got together in the studio in the US. “Billy Sherwood and myself did all the rhythm sections, bass and drum, in America,” says Alan White, “down in Los Angeles at Uncle Studios, where he works a lot. It helps when you’ve got a good place to work,” Alan laughs, “and Billy’s really good on the recording desk, so we got things down relatively quickly. I spent quite a while studying the music before I went down to LA so I was prepared.”
The Quest is also now available for pre-order on various formats, including a Limited Deluxe Box-Set that features a Gatefold 180g 2LP on exclusive colored vinyl, 2CD+Blu-ray Digipak (featuring 5.1 mix & backing tracks), 36-page perfect bound booklet, enamel pin badge, 60x90cm poster, slipmat & hand-numbered certificate of authenticity, all housed in a rigid lift-off box.
Containing 11 songs, 8 on the main CD with 3 extra tracks on a bonus CD, The Quest will also be available as Limited 2CD+Blu-ray Artbook, 2CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP+2CD & as Digital Album. Order now here: https://yes-band.lnk.to/TheQuest
CD1: 01. The Ice Bridge 7.01, 02. Dare To Know 6.00, 03. Minus The Man 5.35, 04. Leave Well Alone 8.06, 05. The Western Edge 4.26, 06. Future Memories 5.08, 07. Music To My Ears 4.41, 08. A Living Island 6.52 CD2: 01. Sister Sleeping Soul 4.51, 02. Mystery Tour 3.33, 03. Damaged World 5.20
Formats are: Limited Edition Deluxe 2LP & 2CD plus Blu-ray Box-set, Limited Edition 2CD & Blu-ray Artbook, Gatefold 2LP & 2CD plus LP-booklet, 2CD DigipakDigital Album.
The current line-up of YES was completed in 2015 when Billy Sherwood replaced founder member Chris Squire, at Squire’s insistence, as he bravely fought a losing battle with leukemia. Since then, YES have concentrated on touring with their Album Series tours, each featuring a classic YES album in its entirety. During this period YES have released three live albums Topographic Drama – Live Across America (2017), Yes Live 50 (2019) and The Royal Affair Tour: Live in Las Vegas (2020)
British progressive band Marillion bring their The Light At The End Of The Tunnel tour to the stages of Britain with a 10-date tour in November culminating in 2 nights at the London Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.
Steve Hogarth says: “No, it isn’t a train coming the other way, it is in fact, The Light at the End of the Tunnel. We spent our time IN the tunnel writing our twentieth studio album.
We will tour in the UK in November and debut one or two new tracks, along with what we feel is the best of our (let’s face it) huge catalogue.
Our fans are legendary creatures of faith and enthusiasm – some say obsession – so we can’t wait for that feeling of reunification as we return from the wilderness, to the stage. The light is gonna feel good.”
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Tour November 2021:
Sunday 14th Nov Hull City Hall
Monday 15th Nov Edinburgh Usher Hall
Wednesday 17th Nov Cardiff St David’s Hall
Thursday 18th Nov Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Saturday 20th Nov Cambridge Corn Exchange
Sunday 21st Nov Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tuesday 23rd Nov Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Wednesday 24th Nov Bath Forum
Friday 26th Nov London** Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (seated)
Saturday 27th Nov London** Eventim Apollo Hammersmith (standing)
**Please note the Apollo Hammersmith shows will be – one night seated and one night standing.
MARILLION are: Steve Hogarth – lead vocals, lyrics, keyboards, percussion, Steve Rothery – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, Pete Trewavas – Bass, Guitar, Backing Vocals, , Mark Kelly – keyboards, and Ian Mosley – drums, percussion.
The band’s latest studio album’s are 2016’s F.E.A.R. [Fuck Everyone And Run], and 2019’s With Their Friends From The Orchestra. The band is currently working on An Hour Before It’s Dark – for 2022 release.