Monday 16 May 2011

Yes vs. AWR - timelines

When people talk about the possible Anderson Wakeman Rabin album and the competition this alt-Yes offers to Fly from Here, they tend to stress how we can enjoy both and this is not a contest. And they're right. But, you know, it's much more fun to look at it as a contest! I thought it would be interesting to look at timelines.

The new Yes as we know it was announced in September 2008 (although the idea of Yes moving on without Anderson was mooted as early as June 2008 in the initial panicked reaction to Anderson's ill health). That same month, the idea of doing an album at some point is mentioned in interviews. We'll take September 2008 as the starting date.

The idea of Anderson Wakeman Rabin, or Anderson Bruford Wakeman Rabin as the initial plan was, dates back to February 2010. Wakeman, without naming names, first described the project and plans for an album that month.

But it's one thing to moot doing an album at some point. That's not the same as really starting work. Of course, musicians are of always writing and often use older ideas, so this is difficult to assess. Still, let's try to identify when we first see serious and collaborative work towards an album. For Yes, that would seem to be September 2009 when Squire, Howe and O. Wakeman gathered to exchange ideas specifically for a new album. With AWR, it would appear to be January 2011, when Anderson first says that he and Wakeman have written material for the project (whereas his 2010 interviews talk of writing in the future). So, this first step took 12 months for Yes and 11 months for AWR.

For Yes, recording sessions began in October 2010, another 13 months on. Recording finished in February 2011 (3 months more) and the album was mastered in May 2011 for a June 2011 release. Presuming that happens to plan, that's 3 months from recording finished, 6 months from recording beginning, 19 months from joint writing beginning, 31 months from the project beginning.

AWR started later. To stay one month ahead of Yes, they need to start recording by February 2012 and aim for a September 2012 release. OK then, clock ticking...


  1. First of all Thank You. I visit your site at least every other day....Mainly to see what Jon, A.W.R., and Billy are up to. I am no longer a fan of Yes-Lite. I hope by the above you have heard that Jon, Rick and Trevor are going to record soon. Although it sounds like they already have, seperately though. Sending music to each other.....Not way to make classic music like CTTE, but I will take it. Just want to hear Jon and Trevor duet again...Loved shoot high, final eyes, and Endless dream!! I do not dislike Yes-Lite, the show in 12-08 was a total let down....I could not wait until Jon was we know different about the situation. According to your reports...the album has six songs, 5 of which are five minutes or so, and We can 20 minutes...that song is 31 years old...and if any of the guys since the orginal....Jon, Trevor, Billy or Chris really thought it was worthy....It would have been recorded already.....Yes, Billy and Chris, etc...I really feel it's not going to be a good album without Jon's influence!!

  2. No, sadly I haven't heard anything to suggest A, W and R will record soon. Everything I've heard suggests quite the opposite, yet Wakeman remains gung-ho in his blog, so I guess we'll have to wait and see how things unfold.

    Of course, as you say, they're clearly recording demos. With Yes, they recorded demos and then went into a proper studio environment and recorded the album from scratch. AWR could opt to build pieces remotely, so the distinction between "demo" and "final recording" may blur.

  3. I think AWR,RAW or WAR(Wait a minute that's been used.) will probably put something out by 2012 just because Yes(ish) is soon. I think the mere fact that Jon wanted ABWR was to get back at Yes the same way ABWH did in 1989. The kink in the works is Bill Bruford. Probably still feels the sting of the Union album. Too bad he won't do at least an ABWR album. I like to see it but I would also like to see a new ELP album. C'est la vie. Maybe after this Yes album Fly From Here (Drama 2)Trevor Rabin, Jon Anderson,Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire and Alan White will get back together and do their last album in 2013 or 2014 and call it Goodbye,Farewell and Amen! Don't worry about Steve Howe and Geoff Downes they still have Asia.