Fair Warning

Fair Warning is a German hard rock band founded in 1991 by former V2 vocalist Tommy Heart and former Zeno bassist Ule W. Ritgen. The band was rounded out by guitarists Helge Engelke, Andy Malecek and drummer Jurgen ‘C.C.’ Behrens.

Featuring ex-ZENO bassist Ule Winsome-Ritgen and erstwhile V2 vocalist Tommy Heart, Hannover Melodic Rockers FAIR WARNING are extremely popular in Japan where they are quite easily able to sell out large venues and would be voted ‘Newcomers Of The Year’ in 1993. Part of this success could be attributed to the cult following fostered previously by ZENO. Guitarist Andy Malacek’s previous career had notably tracked through such acts as BALLANTINEZ and S.A.D.O..

The band’s debut album, issued in 1991, was produced by Rafe McKenna and FAIR WARNING promptly toured in Germany with GIANT and also played several festival shows across Europe. Such was the band’s impact in the Far East that the Japanese immediately launched a concert recording, ‘Live In Japan’ featuring ZENO numbers, during 1993. That same year Malecek put in a session on JOAL’s album, ‘Who’s Got The Feeling’.

During 1994 Heart teamed up with German guitar guru ULI JON ROTH for dates in Europe in a vocal quartet that also included JOHN PARR, ZENO vocalist Michael Flexig and former TRAPEZE and RAINBOW frontman Pete Goalby.

The follow up FAIR WARNING record was a distinctly self produced affair, although the group ensured that they kept to the same Melodic Rock that had brought them cult status with the first album. The 1995 ‘Live At Home’ album comprised acoustic live material and remixes.

In 1997 FAIR WARNING signed to G.U.N. Records for their third studio album ‘Go’. As with ‘Rainmaker’ the new record was produced by the band themselves. Shortly after hitting the stores it sold over 100’000 copies in Japan alone emulating the gold status of its predecessor. In the summer of the same year FAIR WARNING undertook a sell out tour of Japan. In August of 1997 the band was honoured by their home city of Hannover in recognition of their achievements as musical ambassadors. FAIR WARNING ended a rollercoaster year by having leading Japanese Rock magazine ‘Burrn!’ voting ‘Go’ album of the year.

Following Japanese dates promoting the ‘Four’ album. Heart quit to concentrate on his new act SOUL DOCTOR. The band included ex-BONFIRE bassist Joerg Deisinger, guitarist Chris Lyne and drummer Zacky. In 2000 Malecek decamped to join Country Rockers TENNESSEE STEAMBOAT. The band drafted the veteran Kai Reuter in his stead, a man with experience with JANE and VIVA.

During the summer of 2001 ex members Helge Engelke and C.C. Behrens announced the formation of their new project DREAMTIME in union with vocalist Olaf Senkbeil, keyboard player Torsten Luederwaldt and bass player Ole Hempelmann. During November Tommy Heart could be found lending vocals to a tribute album in homage to Japanese Rock veterans LOUDNESS entitled ‘Rock n’ Roll Crazy Nights’. Malacek returned to the fore in 2003 with the high profile AOR act LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM, a union with the EUROPE triumvirate of bassist John Leven, drummer Ian Haughland and keyboard player Michael Michaeli with vocalist MIKAEL ERLANDSSON. This unit cut an eponymous album for Japanese release.

FAIR WARNING, comprising Tommy Heart, Helge Engelke, Ule Winsome-Ritgen and C.C. Behrens, reformed during 2005. Signing to Italian label Frontiers Records the group announced an album title of ‘Brother’s Keeper’ for 2006 issue. The same label also re-ssued ‘Fair Warning’, ‘Rainmaker’ and the DVD set ‘The Call Of The East – Live In Japan’.

The band announced they had signed with the AOR Heaven label in June 2008 for their sixth studio album.

Current Members

  • Helge Engelke DREAMTIDE
  • Tommy Heart V2, SOUL DOCTOR
  • Ule Winsome-Ritgen ULI JON ROTH

Past Members

  • Kai Reuter VIVA, JANE


Studio albums

  • Fair Warning (1992)
  • Rainmaker (1995)
  • Angels Of Heaven(EP)(1996)
  • Go! (1997)
  • Four (2000)
  • Brother’s Keeper (2006)

Live albums

  • Live in Japan (1993)
  • Live at Home (1995)
  • Live and More (1998)

Compilation albums

  • Early Warnings 92-95 (1997)
  • A Decade of Fair Warning (2001)

Website: http://www.fair-warning.de/

Listen the song

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Burning Heart

Angels of Heaven

Longing For Love

Eastern Sun

I’ll Be There



Thunder are an English hard rock band, who originally formed in 1989 when Terraplane broke up, leaving lead singer Danny Bowes and guitarist/main songwriter Luke Morley to form a new band, namely Thunder. Retaining drummer Gary James (popularly known as ‘Harry’ James) from Terraplane, they completed the line-up with bassist Mark ‘Snake’ Luckhurst and guitarist/keyboard player Ben Matthews. Though the band’s main area of support has remained their homeland of the UK, the band also enjoy significant success in Japan.

Thunder were signed with EMI after performing a demo audition in 1989, and soon began recording their first album Back Street Symphony. With their producer, Andy Taylor (of Duran Duran) they created many blues-rock and atmospheric ballads, steering away from the melodic power pop of their previous band. The album was a huge success in the UK, and led to a prestigious appearance at the 1990 Monsters of Rock festival at Donington Park.

A follow-up album, Laughing On Judgement Day appeared in 1992, just as the grunge scene was changing the hard rock landscape. This period was the most turbulent in the band’s career; Snake quit the band after the subsequent tour and was replaced by Swedish bass player Mikael Höglund. Meantime, rumours of an approach by Whitesnake singer David Coverdale to recruit Luke Morley were circulating, and it would be another two years before the third album appeared.

That album, Behind Closed Doors was the band’s last studio album for EMI. They parted company with the label with a compilation: Their Finest Hour… And A Bit, notable for its inclusion of several unreleased tracks, in particular a cover of the Python Lee Jackson song In A Broken Dream. For personal reasons Mikael Höglund was unable to participate in the recording of the band’s fourth album The Thrill Of It All; Luke Morley handled bass duties and the album was released on the independent B Lucky record label. The band recruited bassist Chris Childs for the tour; he remains with them to this day.

In 1998, the band released Live. The album was a concert recorded at Wolverhampton and Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. A DVD was released also featuring the video to the album. Later that year two EPs were released containing the single The Only One. One EP featured the studio recording while the other featured the live version. Both EPs contained three extra bonus tracks.

In 1999 they released their fifth studio album, Giving The Game Away; toning the guitars down in favour of a mellower approach with more keyboards. This album was released to coincide with the band’s tenth anniversary; however they announced in autumn 1999 that they were to split, much to the dismay of their fanbase, many of whom had followed them from the beginning. Following a UK tour in November 1999, and some dates in Japan in early 2000, they bowed out on 4 May 2000 with a show at Camden Dingwalls in London, which was recorded for the album They Think It’s All Over… It Is Now.

Luke Morley returned to the scene the following year with the solo album El Gringo Retro and played a brace of live shows at the Borderline in London, backed by virtually all of his former bandmates (Danny Bowes being the exception). Morley and Bowes reunited in 2002 for the soul influenced album Moving Swiftly Along.

Thunder were tempted back into action by a slot on the touring Monsters of Rock UK arena shows in late 2002. They returned in 2003 with a new album called Shooting At The Sun released on their own label – STC Recordings.

Their second self-released album, The Magnificent Seventh spawned a top 30 single, “I Love You More Than Rock And Roll” in March 2005, reaching #27 in the UK Singles Chart.

Their resurgence can be traced through the venues booked for their live tours. In 2006 Thunder returned, for the first time since the days of the EMI released Back Street Symphony album, to headline the Hammersmith Apollo at the end of a 12 date UK tour.

The band also took part in the triumphant return of the Monsters of Rock festival in 2006 at Milton Keynes, sharing the bill with Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Journey, Queensrÿche, Ted Nugent and Roadstar. Hailed as one of the stars of the show Thunder justified their reputation as one of the best British live acts.

The band released their eighth studio album on 30 October 2006, entitled Robert Johnson’s Tombstone. It follows Thunder’s traditions of good honest blues rock albums, with big riffs and big sing-along choruses.

The single “The Devil Made Me Do It” taken from this album reached #40 in the UK Singles Chart on the 10th of December 2006, and the video, produced and animated by Andy Doran, also enjoyed significant success on its first week when uploaded to the YouTube site, and has received airplay on Scuzz TV.

Thunder undertook a European Tour in early 2007, their first in nearly 12 years, playing small venues in Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Italy. A further UK tour took place in November and December 2007. In February 2008 it was announced Thunder would be the opening act on the second leg of Def Leppard and Whitesnake’s co-headline UK arena tour. The second leg in July 2008 opens in Cardiff International Arena before heading to Liverpool Arena and Nottingham Arena.

Current Members

Danny Bowes
Luke Morley
Ben Matthews
Chris Childs
Gary ‘Harry’ James

Former members

Mark ‘Snake’ Luckhurst
Mikael Höglund


Studio albums

* 1990 – Back Street Symphony (EMI)
* 1992 – Laughing on Judgement Day (EMI)
* 1995 – Behind Closed Doors (EMI)
* 1996 – The Thrill of it All (B Lucky)
* 1999 – Giving the Game Away (Eagle)
* 2003 – Shooting at the Sun (STC Recordings)
* 2005 – The Magnificent Seventh (STC Recordings)
* 2006 – Robert Johnson’s Tombstone (STC Recordings)


* 1998 – The Only One (Eagle)
* 1998 – The Only One (Live) (Eagle)
* 2007 – Six of One (STC Recordings)
* 2008 – Half a Dozen of the Other (STC Recordings)

Live albums

* 1995 – Live Circuit (EMI) – live
* 1998 – Live (Eagle)
* 2000 – Open the Window, Close the Door – Live in Japan (JVC, Japan)
* 2000 – They Think It’s All Over… It Is Now (Papillion)
* 2001 – They Think It’s All Acoustic… It Is Now (Papillion)
* 2002 – Symphony and Stage (Snapper Records) – live compilation
* 2004 – The Best of Thunder Live (Armoury Recordings) – live compilation


* 1995 – Their Finest Hour (and a Bit) (EMI)
* 1998 – The Best of Thunder (EMI, Japan)
* 1999 – The Rare, the Raw, and the Rest (EMI)
* 2000 – Gimme Some… (EMI)
* 2001 – Rock Champions (EMI)
* 2003 – Ballads (EMI)

Official Website: http://www.thunderonline.com/

Listen To Thunder Music!

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Thunder Love walked in (us version)

Dirty Love

She’s so fine

Gimme Some Lovin’

Backstreet Symphony

I Love You More Than Rock ‘n’ Roll


Black ‘n Blue

Black ‘n Blue is a glam metal band currently featuring singer Jaime St. James, guitarist Shawn Sonnenschein, guitarist Jeff Warner, bassist Patrick Young, and drummer Pete Holmes. They were expected by many to be “the next big thing” but, despite having a loyal fan base, they never broke through commercially.

The band formed in 1981 out of Portland, Oregon and were originally known as Movie Star. They moved to Los Angeles in 1982, and that same year made their first recorded appearance on Metal Massacre — an independent compilation album that also introduced newcomers Metallica, Ratt, and Malice.

In 1984, they released their self-titled debut album on Geffen Records. This album included what is perhaps their best known hit to date, “Hold On to 18,” and the album became a moderate success. A follow-up album, entitled Without Love was released the following year. This album saw the band sacrifice their original rougher, hard-edge sound in favor of a more polished, radio-friendly pop-metal approach, a move that alienated many fans. Although the tracks “Without Love” and “Miss Mystery” were both released as singles, neither of them saw chart success, and the album was somewhat of a disappointment. A third track from this album, “Nature of the Beach” appeared in the film Vision Quest (also known as Crazy for You) and also appeared as the B-side to the Madonna single “Gambler” from the same movie, although it was not included on the soundtrack LP. The band would go on to release two more albums under the label, both of which saw them making a conscious effort to return to the original raw power that characterized the music on their debut. Both albums were produced by Gene Simmons, but neither could recapture the Black ‘n Blue sound of old, and the band broke up in 1989.

All five original members would reunite on Halloween of 1997 for a live performance, which was recorded and released the following year as a live album, One Night Only: Live. This reunion was a one-time affair, and no further touring followed.

The band reunited again in 2003 (this time, without Thayer, who was performing lead guitar duties for Kiss at the time) to tour and record a new album, entitled Hell Yeah!. Shawn Sonnenschein is the new lead guitarist to be featured on the album. The album was initially scheduled to be released in September 2003, but it has been pushed back several times. The most recent projected date for the release of the album is sometime in 2008.

Jaime St. James later became the lead singer for Warrant, while Tommy Thayer continues to play lead guitar for Kiss. Pete Holmes is currently playing with Malice and Mandy Lion’s WWIII. He was formerly playing with Michael Schenker, Peter Gabriel and Ted Nugent.

Guitarist Jeff “Woop” Warner for a short time played with Kneel Cohn in an early line-up of the band The Dead Stars On Hollywood which is now based in NYC.

Black ‘n Blue, including Tommy Thayer, made a reunion appearance in their home town Portland, Oregon December 8, 2007 at Berbati’s Pan. The concert benefited the band’s long-time friend Kenny Nordone in his struggle with cancer.

Following Jaime St. James’ departure from Warrant due to Jani Lane’s return to that band, St. James has reunited Black ‘n Blue with Shawn Sonnenschein replacing Tommy Thayer who is currently contracted to Kiss. The band is scheduled to perform at Rocklahoma in summer 2008.

Current Members

* Jaime St. James: Vocals
* Shawn Sonnenschein: Guitars
* Jeff “Woop” Warner: Guitars
* Patrick Young: Vocals, Bass
* Pete Holmes: Drums

Former members

* Tommy Thayer: Lead Guitars


* 1984: Black ‘n Blue
* 1985: Without Love
* 1986: Nasty Nasty
* 1988: In Heat
* 1998: One Night Only: Live
* 2001: The Demos Remastered: Anthology 1
* 2001: Ultimate Collection
* 2002: Live In Detroit – 1984
* 2005: Collected (box set)
* 2007: Rarities
* 200?: Hell Yeah!

Official Website: http://www.myspace.com/blacknblueofficial

Listen to Black ‘n Blue Music!

Watch Black ‘n Blue Video!

Hold On To 18

Miss Mystery

Chains around heaven” (Live ’84)

School Of Hard Knocks – Live Houston 1984

Wicked Bitch – Live in Houston 1984

Autoblast – Live in Houston ’84

The Strong Will Rock – Live Houston 1984

Nasty Nasty – Live 2007



Loudness was Japan’s largest rock export in the 1980′s, but EZO wasn’t far behind. Many people may have assumed that their outrageous hair and kabuki masks/make-up was being used to divert attention from the music, but their brand of melodic Scorpions meet Kingdom Come metal was very satisfying.

EZO was a Japanese heavy metal band originally formed and known as Flatbacker in Sapporo, Japan. EZO has been named a “seminal influence by such artists as Steve McDonald of Redd Kross and Michael Steele of the Bangles.

EZO consisted of Masaki Yamada (vocals), Taro Takahashi (bass), Shoyo Iida (guitar) and Hiro Homma (drums). They released one demo cassette (Minagoroshi) in 1984 and two albums (1985′s Senzo and 1986′s Esa) in Japan as Flatbacker in the mid-1980s before coming to the U.S. Rumor has it that Gene Simmons of KISS, who produced their self-titled U.S. debut album, was behind the band’s name change to EZO, inspired by Eizo, an ancient name for Hokkaidō. They released two albums for Geffen Records, 1987′s E-Z-O and 1989′s Fire Fire, before being dropped from the label and internal differences led to the band’s demise.

Vocalist Masaki Yamada joined fellow Japanese metalheads Loudness in 1992 and drummer Hiro Homma joined Loudness in 1994. In 2000, the original Loudness lineup reunited and Masaki and Hiro left the band. Hiro Homma is currently the drummer for the Japanese metal band Anthem and vocalist Masaki Yamada is now the bass player for the New York-based band FiRESiGN. EZO may have failed to reach big success in America, but they did open doors for similar Japanese artists while leaving behind some incredible music.

Band Members

Former members
Masaki Yamada
Taro Takahashi
Shoyo Iida
Hirotsugu Homma


* Accident (1985) (as ‘Flatbacker’)
* Esa (1986) (as ‘Flatbacker’)
* EZO (1987)
* Fire Fire (1989)

Listen To EZO Music!

Watch EZO Video!

Flashback Heart Attack

Million miles Away

Here It Comes – Kiss of Fire



You can say a lot of nasty things about progressive rock, and many people have — most frequently, that the genre emphasizes musical chops over soulful expression. But in the case of Yes, the British band’s often overbearing pretentiousness resulted in moments of rare grace and beauty, a bizarre and fleeting — if totally unrealistic — coupling of classical textures with rock & roll pathos.

Yes are an English progressive rock band that formed in London in 1968. Their music is marked by sharp dynamic contrasts; often extended song lengths; esoteric, abstract lyrics; and a general showcasing of its members’ instrumental skills. Yes blends symphonic and other ‘classical’ structures with their own brand of musical style. Despite a great many lineup changes, occasional splits within the group and the ever-changing trends in popular music, the band has continued on for nearly forty years and still retains a following. The band planned to have a 40th anniversary tour, Close to the Edge and Back, but, due to an asthma attack that vocalist Jon Anderson suffered, the tour was cancelled.

Yes was formed in 1968 by vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire. Anderson had already recorded a single in 1964 as a member of The Warriors, a beat band formed by his brother Tony, and later sang on a couple of 45s for Parlophone Records under the pseudonym Hans Christian. He was also briefly a member of the Scottish group Gun. Squire had been a member of The Syn, a flower-pop outfit that recorded a couple of singles for Deram Records (one, “14-Hour Technicolour Dream”, celebrating the “happening” held at Alexandra Palace on April 29/April 30, 1967). After the breakup of The Syn, Squire spent a year developing his bass-playing technique, strongly influenced by The Who’s bassist, John Entwistle. Then, in May 1968, he met Anderson in a Soho nightclub, La Chasse, where Anderson was working. The two had a common interest in vocal harmony and began working together soon afterwards.

Squire was in a band called Mabel Greer’s Toyshop with Clive Bayley, and Anderson also started singing with the group. Drummer Bill Bruford was recruited from an ad he had placed in Melody Maker, replacing Bob Hagger. A jazz aficionado, Bruford had played just three gigs with Blues revivalists Savoy Brown before leaving. The group also included guitarist Peter Banks.

With Bayley’s departure, Banks’ return and the addition of organist/pianist Tony Kaye, the band became Yes.[2] Banks came up with the three letter name, with the rationale that it would stand out on posters. The classically trained Kaye had already been in a series of unsuccessful groups (Johnny Taylor’s Star Combo, The Federals, and Jimmy Winston and His Reflections).

Yes played their first show at East Mersea Youth Camp in England on August 4, 1968. Soon after this, they opened for Cream at their 1968 Farewell Concert from Royal Albert Hall. Early on, influenced by bands like 1-2-3 (later Clouds),[3] the group earned a reputation for taking other people’s songs and drastically changing them into expanded, progressive compositions. In September, they subbed for an absent Sly and The Family Stone at Blaise’s and as a result of that appearance gained a residency at The Marquee club. Soon after, they made their first radio appearance on John Peel’s programme and, when Melody Maker columnist Tony Wilson selected them and Led Zeppelin as the two bands “Most Likely To Succeed” (as he states on the liner notes of the band’s debut LP), it appeared that their future was assured.

Their eponymous debut album was released on July 25, 1969. The harmony vocals of Anderson and Squire were an immediate trademark of the Yes sound. The band’s optimistic, vaguely futuristic outlook on the world was delivered with a combination of melody and virtuosity. Standout tracks were a jazzy take on The Byrds’ “I See You” and the album closer, “Survival”, which displayed the band’s vocal harmonies and deft song-construction. Notably, the album was given a favourable review by Lester Bangs in Rolling Stone magazine, which described the band as promising, the album displaying a “sense of style, taste and subtlety”

In 1970 the band released their second album, this time accompanied by a 30-piece orchestra. Time and a Word featured mostly original compositions and two cover songs, Richie Havens’s “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed”, and “Everydays” by Stephen Stills, originally recorded by Buffalo Springfield. The reworking of Havens’ song also included excerpts from the theme song of the movie The Big Country. Although musically exceptional in terms of melody delivery, the orchestra (and keyboardist Tony Kaye) overpowered Banks and much of the vocal work, leaving Time and a Word somewhat uneven. Before the album’s release, guitarist Peter Banks was fired and ex-Tomorrow guitarist Steve Howe was hired. Howe was included in the front cover photo of the American release despite not having played on the album.

The 1970s Yes recordings are still considered the classic Yes sound by many fans. These albums feature complex classically influenced arrangements, unusual time signatures, virtuoso musicianship, dramatic dynamic and metrical changes and oblique, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Songs often exceeded the standard three-minute pop-song structure with lengthy multi-part suites sometimes lasting 20 minutes or more, making the band a leading 70s progressive rock combo. Vocal verses alternated with atmospheric instrumental interludes, frenetic ensemble passages and extended guitar, keyboard and bass improvisations. The signature sonic features of this ‘classic’ period are Jon Anderson’s distinctive high-register lead vocals, the group’s strong vocal harmonies, Rick Wakeman (and Patrick Moraz) and Steve Howe’s respective keyboard and guitar solos, Bill Bruford’s and later Alan White’s polyrhythmic drumming and Chris Squire’s highly melodic and discursive bass playing, enhanced by the sound of his Rickenbacker model RM1999 bass.

Chris Squire was one of the first rock bass players to adapt successfully electronic guitar effects such as tremolo, phasing and the wah-wah pedal to the instrument. The rhythm section of Squire/Bruford and Squire/White was considered by some to be one of the best in rock music at this time.

The first two Yes LPs mixed original material with covers of songs by their major influences, including The Beatles, The Byrds and Simon & Garfunkel. The departure of Peter Banks in 1970 and his replacement by Steve Howe gave Yes a new cutting edge. The group’s emerging style coalesced on their next LP, the critically acclaimed The Yes Album, which for the first time consisted entirely of original compositions by the band. It was also the record that united them with long-serving producer and engineer Eddie Offord, whose studio expertise was a key factor in creating the Yes sound.

In 1971, original organ/piano player Tony Kaye left the band, and though some reports attest that he was fired, others indicate that he left voluntarily. It is typically reported that the decision had to do with his unwillingness to use modern keyboard technology, as he considered himself to be simply an organist. He soon formed the group, Badger. Although a talented player who contributed memorable chord passages on the Hammond organ (particularly on the classic “Everydays” and “Yours is No Disgrace”), Kaye, arguably, could not match Howe’s guitar improvisation. He was replaced by the classically trained Rick Wakeman, who had just left The Strawbs and was already a noted studio musician with credits including David Bowie and Lou Reed. Wakeman brought the keyboards up to a level of improvisational skill comparable with that of Howe’s guitar. Tony Kaye and ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks eventually formed their own progressive rock band, Flash. Oddly, Flash was accused of stealing Yes’s musical sound – a sound Peter Banks and Tony Kaye themselves were instrumental in creating.

As a soloist, Wakeman proved to be the perfect foil for Steve Howe. He also brought two vital additions to the group’s instrumentation: the Mellotron (which Kaye had been unwilling to employ) and the Minimoog synthesizer. Surrounded by banks of keyboards, his flowing blond hair and sequined cape provided a strong visual focus on stage.

The first recording by this lineup (Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire and Wakeman) was a dynamic ten-minute interpretation of Paul Simon’s “America”, which originally appeared on the album “The Age of Atlantic”, a compilation with several acts from the roster of Atlantic Records. However this song was frequently played live during the touring cycle before Wakeman joined the band. The Mellotron part on the end of the track was actually played by Bruford. It was both the end of one era (their last non-original track) and the beginning of another, showcasing all the elements of the new Yes sound in place.

With Wakeman on board, Yes entered what some consider their most fertile and successful period, cutting two highly acclaimed LPs. Fragile (1972) went Top Ten in America, as did Close to the Edge (1972). Yes enjoyed enormous commercial and critical success around the world and became one of the most popular concert attractions of the day. They also notably benefited from the tremendous advances in live music technology that were taking place at that time, and they were renowned for the high quality of both their sound and lighting.

Fragile also marked the beginning of a long collaboration with artist Roger Dean, who designed the group’s logo and their album covers, as well as their stage sets. Some consider the album Close to the Edge to be the high point of the whole progressive rock genre. Some fans of this era describe themselves as “Troopers”, after the 3-part track “Starship Trooper” from The Yes Album.

Before the release of Close To The Edge, and at the height of the band’s success, Bill Bruford announced that he was quitting to join King Crimson. He was replaced by former Plastic Ono Band drummer Alan White, a more conventional rock drummer and a distinct contrast to the jazz-influenced drumming of Bruford. In fact, White was brought into Yes several months before the September, 1972, release of Close To The Edge. Their early touring with White was featured on their next release, the three-record live collection Yessongs, recorded on their world tour in late 1971 and early 1972. The album included two tracks with Bruford, notably the song “Perpetual Change” with an extended Bruford drum solo, as well as backing Chris Squire in his solo “The Fish,” while White played drums on the rest of the tracks. White learned the tremendously ambitious repertoire in a matter of three days before embarking on the tour. (White, a friend of Anderson’s and Offord’s, had sat in with the band once during the weeks before Bruford’s departure. After trying each other out for three months, Squire threatened to throw White out the window if he did not join.) White has lasted with the group for over thirty years, contributing great drumming, navigating ambitious time changes and shifts, and maintaining a reputation for having a collaborative and “down to earth attitude”.

Yessongs was a hugely ambitious project and undoubtedly a major gamble for their label, Atlantic Records. It was one of the first rock triple-album sets, featuring live versions of all-original material from the previous three studio albums. Presented in one of the most lavish album packages to date, Roger Dean’s artwork spread across a triple gatefold cover and continued the cosmic-organic design concepts of the two previous albums. The album was another bestseller and was recently voted among the top twenty live records of all time. A video of the tour, released under the same name, featured concert footage (with Howe garnering a large amount of the focus due to his brother-in-law being the editor!) intermixed with psychedelic visual effects.

Their next studio album, Tales From Topographic Oceans, marked a change in the band’s fortunes, polarizing fans and critics alike. Although extended compositions were by now a Yes hallmark — the title track of Close To The Edge took up the entire first side of that album — the four roughly 20 minute tracks on the two-disc Topographic Oceans earned mixed reviews and left many feeling that the band was beginning to overreach itself. Coming after extensive touring, the album was later described by Jon Anderson as “the meeting point of high ideals and low energy.” Rick Wakeman, in particular, was not pleased with the album, and to this day speaks ill of much of it. It is said that the mockumentary film, This Is Spinal Tap, was largely inspired by the album and its tour. On the other hand, many prog-rock fanatics consider it to be one of the greatest progressive albums of all time. As divided as the opinions get, the one thing that is certain is that this album leaves behind an impression – whether it be positive or negative.

Increasing interpersonal tensions between Wakeman and the rest of the band, as well as Wakeman’s own burgeoning solo career, led him to quit at the end of the Tales tour in 1974. (By 1976, Wakeman worked to put together a prog-rock triumvirate rivaling Emerson, Lake & Palmer, but in the end Wakeman did not participate in that project. That band, eventually featuring Bruford, his King Crimson bandmate John Wetton, guitarist Allan Holdsworth, and Roxy Music’s wunderkind keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson, formed under the name UK.) Wakeman himself embarked on a long, productive solo career, in addition to his projects with the English Rock Ensemble, film scores, and collaborations with other artists.

Initially, Yes auditioned Vangelis of Greece, to replace Rick Wakeman. However, that plan was quashed by immigration issues. Ultimately, Yes settled on a replacement for Wakeman: Patrick Moraz, a Swiss musician, for Relayer in 1974. The vast difference between Moraz’s contributions to Yes and Wakeman’s was more of a novelty than a disappointment, Moraz being a distinctive electric-jazz musician in his own right. Again, the album featured a side-long track, “The Gates of Delirium”, from which the “Soon” section was put out as a limited single release. This reached Number One on the Spanish charts. Following an extended tour through 1975–1976, each member of the group released his own solo album. At the same time, Yesterdays was released, containing tracks from the first two albums, as well as “America” as the opening track.

The group commenced sessions for a new album. There is some confusion about the chain of events, but after a considerable amount of negotiation, Rick Wakeman rejoined the band on a “session musician” basis. The confusion comes from Moraz being on record as saying he feels he deserves credit for much of the music on the resulting album. Certainly Howe has also stated that the group “tried to remove as much of Patrick from the songs as possible”, so it would appear that he did contribute to the initial sessions. Ultimately, Moraz ended up at the top of the ambiguous “thanks to…” list on the album sleeve. In any case, after hearing and being impressed by the new material Wakeman once again became a permanent band member. Apart from the 15 minute track “Awaken”, the resulting album, Going for the One, the first not to feature Roger Dean artwork since The Yes Album (although it does display the Yes logo he designed), was mostly made up of shorter songs, including “Wondrous Stories,” released as a single in the UK in 1977. This album and the next, 1978′s Tormato featuring the same lineup, were successful in spite of being released at the height of the punk rock era in Britain, during which Yes were often criticized by the music press as representing the most bloated excesses of early 1970s progressive rock. Ironically, Yes outlasted almost all the groups of that era as well.

The Tormato album is another that has sparked dissension among fans, with many feeling half the album is mere filler and others defending it as a logical progression from the more poppy Going for the One. Fans of the “classic” Yes sound were happiest with the last track, the driving, symphonic and jazzy “On the Silent Wings of Freedom,” propelled by White’s energetic kick drum and Squire’s harmonized bass. The band members themselves have said that they were not sure of some of the material on the album. The album artwork would see large changes as well, with design firm Hipgnosis taking a turn once again with their combination of manipulated photography and graphical elements in lieu of the traditional Roger Dean approach. For many fans, this artwork did not properly capture the iconic “Yes” look, though it was arguably as much of a visual departure as that of the music. However, despite internal or external criticisms of this latest album, the band enjoyed successful tours in 1978 and 1979.

In October, 1979, Yes convened in Paris with producer Roy Thomas Baker, fresh off his success producing The Cars. There are a number of statements by band members and rumours as to why the sessions did not produce a formal album. Howe, Squire, and White said later in 1980 that none of the three of them liked the music Anderson had offered the band, claiming it was too lightweight and lacking in a heaviness that the trio felt they were generating during their own time together. (Bootlegs of these sessions would suggest that Howe et al. were correct in their descriptions of Anderson’s music, some of which appeared on his 1980 solo album Song of Seven.) In December, the sessions ended when Alan White broke his foot. There is also strong specualtion that Anderson and the remaining members of the band had a falling out over money issues and claims and counterclaims of members spending more than their fair share of their group monies. By May, 1980, the situation reached a conclusion with Anderson departing Yes as no agreement could be reached over musical direction and financial remuneration. With Anderson leaving, Rick Wakeman followed suit, thinking that Yes could not continue without its primary voice.

At Yes manager Brian Lane’s suggestion, Squire invited the Buggles duo of Geoffrey Downes (keyboards) and Trevor Horn (vocals) – who were coming off an international success with their New Wave album The Age of Plastic and the acclaimed single “Video Killed the Radio Star” – to help out on a new Yes album. Initially, the plan was that Downes and Horn would help write some new material – they already had a song called ‘We Can Fly From Here’ which had been written with Yes in mind. Soon, Howe, Squire, and White confessed that their singer and keyboardist had actually left the band. To Downes and Horn’s surprise, they were invited to join Yes as full-time members. They accepted the invitation and performed on the Drama album in 1980 (on which ‘We Can Fly From Here’ was not included). Drama clearly displayed a heavier, harder sound than the material Yes recorded with Anderson in 1979, opening with the hard rock, lengthy track “Machine Messiah.” While Drama was well received by many fans, and often regarded as one of the finest moments for the trio of Squire, Howe, and White, despite the Horn/Downes contribution, many other Yes followers missed Anderson’s unique lyrics and vocal style. The album’s artwork (the album was nicknamed “Panthers” by some fans after the black cats featured in the cover) raised eyebrows as the inside cover also displayed a bit of a horror-house style in photo and graphic design, an anomaly that perplexed some fans. The band undertook a North American tour in September, 1980. The general consensus is that Horn performed the vocals for their new material on tour very well (although he had no experience fronting a band that performed on the scale of Yes shows) but that he struggled on the classic Yes material as it was not in his range. When the band returned to England later in 1980, the English press heaped great criticism on Horn and Yes.

Meanwhile, Jon Anderson reunited with Papathanassiou (who became best known for his “Chariots of Fire” soundtrack) as Jon & Vangelis. Their collaboration worked well enough to produce three albums including the North American FM hit “Friends of Mr. Cairo” and the U.K. hits “I Hear You Now” and “I’ll Find My Way Home”.

After the Drama tour, Yes reconvened in England to decide the band’s next step. Ultimately, Trevor Horn left to pursue music production. Alan White and Chris Squire left Yes but continued working together, beginning sessions with former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The band was to be called XYZ, said to be short for “ex-Yes-and-Zeppelin,” but nothing came of the sessions when ex-Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant failed to get interested. XYZ produced a few demo tracks, elements of which would appear in later Yes music (most notably “Mind Drive” from Keys to Ascension 2, and “Can You Imagine,” from Magnification). Later in 1981, Squire and White released the Christmas single “Run With The Fox.” Downes and Howe, who were left holding the bag of Yes as it were, opted not to continue Yes. Instead, they went on to form “supergroup” Asia with former King Crimson and UK bassist/vocalist John Wetton and Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake & Palmer on drums.

In 1982, over a year after the breakup of Yes, Chris Squire and Alan White formed a new group, dubbed Cinema with guitarist Trevor Rabin (late of the band Rabbitt). Original Yes organist Tony Kaye was invited to participate as Squire felt that Kaye’s textural approach to keyboards would suit the band. Formerly a solo artist with three albums to his credit, Trevor Rabin’s writing contributions included the catchy riff-oriented “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” but Rabin also played a role in the making of music to fit the MTV era while retaining certain aspects of Yes’ original style – particularly the vocal harmonies. Originally, the lead vocals were shared between Rabin and Squire, but in early 1983, Chris Squire played Jon Anderson some of Cinema’s music at a party in Los Angeles. Impressed with the band’s new approach in songs like “Leave It,” Anderson was invited by Squire to add his vocals to the new project and Anderson accepted the invitation, resulting in the “accidental” reformation of Yes. Many fans call this lineup “Yes West,” because of the band’s relocation to Los Angeles and the more American, radio-friendly sound that introduced Yes to a massive fan-base and a reinterest in their older material. Yes made many new and younger fans over the next years due to the 90125 album.

To distinguish them from those who prefer the classic Yes (sometimes called “Troopers”), fans of this lineup were often called “Generators”, taken from this lineup’s second album, Big Generator. However, it should be noted that many Yes fans enjoy both periods of the group’s music.

The band’s first album since the reunion, 90125 was a radical departure from their earlier sound. It was more visceral, with then-modern electronic effects – attributable chiefly to producer (and former Yes vocalist) Trevor Horn. Yes’ most commercially successful album by far, 90125 eventually sold over six million copies and secured a new lease on life for Yes, who toured over a year to support it. The song “Owner of a Lonely Heart” from this album was even a top hit on the R&B and disco charts (and sampled countless times since), and remains a defining song of 80′s-era pop. The keyboardist appearing in the video for this song was Eddie Jobson since Tony Kaye could not appear due to scheduling conflicts. Yes also scored significant hit singles with “Leave It” and “It Can Happen,” also garnering a Grammy award for Best Rock Instrumental (“Cinema,” a short, highly compressed and complex track recorded live in the studio), suggesting that the group had not totally abandoned their musicianship in favour of commercial success – as some fans allege. The popular album also spawned a concert video, directed by Steven Soderbergh (9012Live), and a short live album (9012Live: The Solos, which included solo pieces from Anderson, Rabin, Squire and Kaye plus a Squire/White jam).

In 1986, Yes began recording Big Generator. Unfortunately, interpersonal problems (chiefly between Rabin and Anderson) kept the album from timely completion, and ultimately Trevor Rabin took a hand in its final production. Although 1987′s Big Generator did not fare as well as 90125, it still sold well over two million copies. Some Yes fans have considered Big Generator more faithful to the vintage Yes sound than its predecessor due to a concentrated effort to record longer songs such as the fan favorites “I’m Running” and “Shoot High, Aim Low” in addition to the more poppy tunes. Trevor Rabin’s radio-friendly “Love Will Find a Way” charted moderately well, with the Beach Boys-inspired “Rhythm of Love” barely scraping the Top 40. The 1988 tour ended with a gig at Madison Square Garden as part of Atlantic Records’s 40th anniversary celebrations, but left Yes members exhausted and frustrated with one another.

Jon Anderson grew tired of the musical direction of the “new” Yes line-up and wanted the band to return to its classic sound. Following the 1988 tour, Anderson, asserting that he would never stay in the band purely for the money, began working with former Yes members Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, and Bill Bruford. Some in the group (particularly Bill Bruford) wanted to distance themselves from the “Yes” name. As it turned out, the former Yes members were contractually unable to use the name, as Squire, White, Kaye, Rabin (and, ironically, Anderson) held the rights, dating back to the 90125 contract[citation needed]. Subsequently, the new group called themselves “Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe”, or simply ABWH. The project included Tony Levin on bass, brought in by Bruford after the two had worked together in King Crimson. Appealing to old and new Yes fans, their eponymous 1989 album featured “Brother of Mine,” a popular MTV video in its own right, and went gold in the United States. However, they did not all record together as in the early 70s and instead their parts were slotted into place on the album by Anderson. Howe has stated publicly that he was unhappy with the mix of his guitars on the album (a version of “Fist of Fire” with more of Howe’s guitars left intact eventually appeared on the In a Word box set in 2001). It is also worth noting that according to Bruford, the four-way writing credit does not reflect the actual writing process and was instead an incentive to have the ex-Yes men take part in the recording sessions. After the album’s release, legal battles (sparked by Atlantic Records) soon followed over the title of ABWH’s tour, An Evening of Yes Music Plus, the live recording of which featured Bruford colleague Jeff Berlin in Levin’s bassist spot, who was forced to sit out for two weeks due to illness. In addition, the live sessions were augmented by second keyboardist Julian Colbeck and guitarist Milton McDonald. The tour alternated between music from AWBH and vintage Yes classics, and each night opened with short solo stints from all four Yes members.

Meanwhile Yes were working on their follow-up to Big Generator. The band had been shopping around for a new singer, working with ex-Supertramp Roger Hodgson, and songwriter Billy Sherwood of World Trade. Hodgson enjoyed working with the group but thought it unwise to attempt to pass off the music as Yes. Arista, ABWH’s new label, encouraged ABWH to seek outside songwriters, and Trevor Rabin ultimately sent a demo. Predictably, Arista sensed the commercial possibility of a Yes re-union. This would lead to the end of Yes having new albums released by Atlantic Records after more than 20 years of their initial recording contract. Throughout early 1991, phone calls were made, lawyers soothed, and agreements were struck, with Yes West joining ABWH for the Union album. Each group did its own songs, with Jon Anderson singing on all tracks. Chris Squire sang background vocals on a few of the ABWH tracks (with Tony Levin doing all the bass on those songs). A world tour united all eight members on one stage in a short-lived “Mega-Yes” line-up of Anderson, Squire, Howe, Rabin, Kaye, Wakeman, Bruford, and White. The album was clearly a somewhat forced combination of the music from the two line-ups, since none of the songs on Union featured all eight members at once; two-thirds were actually ABWH compositions, while Trevor Rabin and Chris Squire contributed four songs (including a Billy Sherwood collaboration). Nearly the entire band have publicly stated their disliking for the finished product due to producer Jonathan Elias’s secret involvement of session musicians after the initial sessions. (Bruford has disowned the album entirely, and Wakeman was reportedly unable to recognise any of his keyboard work in the final edit, and amusingly threw his copy of the album out of his limosine.) The Union tour itself featured tracks spanning the band’s entire career, and it was one of the highest grossing concert tours of 1991 and 1992. The album itself fared well, with approximately 1.5 million sold world-wide.

When the tour was over in 1992, Bill Bruford and Steve Howe recorded an album of Yes instrumental music reinterpreted by an orchestra for RCA Victor, which featured Jon Anderson’s vocals on two of the songs. Entitled Symphonic Music of Yes, the album offered some fresh sonic presentations of Yes masterpieces; it remains debatable, however, whether the concept warranted the length of the actual finished recording. String arrangements were done by David Palmer, and the record was produced by progressive rock legend Alan Parsons. After the release of this album, Bill Bruford chose not to remain involved in future Yes possibilities. Jon Anderson began writing with both Howe and Rabin separately but eventually the former was not asked to be on the next album by the record label (Victory Music), which had approached Rabin with a proposal to produce an album solely with the 90125 lineup, to which Rabin initially countered by requesting Wakeman be included. By 1993, Wakeman’s refusal to leave his long-serving management meant he also could not play on the new album, which by then was well into production (Rabin and Wakeman have both expressed regret that they never played together on a Yes album – excepting the patchwork of Union – although Rabin did guest on Wakeman’s Return to the Centre of the Earth album in 1999).

Yes was back to its popular 1980s lineup of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye, and Alan White. In 1994, Yes released Talk on Victory Music, one of the group’s poorest selling releases. Neither the record label nor US radio stations provided much promotion for “The Calling,” perhaps their strongest single since “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” (David Letterman heard the song while driving and immediately sought to find the “new band” and have them appear on the Late Show, which they did on June 20, 1994, just days into their Talk tour, performing “Walls” from Talk). Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin’s collaboration resulted in a remarkable fusion of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Yes. Some of the fruits of the band’s work with Roger Hodgson also appears on the album. On the 1994 tour, guitarist/vocalist Billy Sherwood, who co-authored Union’s “The More We Live” with Squire, joined as a sixth member. The “Talk” tour featured an innovative sound system via which fans at a concert could listen on their portable FM radios turned to a specific frequency to hear greater dynamic range and stereo effects during the concerts. By the end of 1995, Tony Kaye, Trevor Rabin, and Billy Sherwood left, with Rabin going on to become a highly successful film score composer and Kaye retiring (though Kaye did provide Hammond organ on several tracks on the Sherwood-produced Return To The Dark Side Of The Moon in 2006).

Proving the truth of the old adage “never say never again,” the band surprised and delighted fans by reforming with the classic 1970s lineup of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Alan White, Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman for a three-night live performance in the California town of San Luis Obispo in 1996. As the band formed a brief contract with CMC International Records, the resulting live recordings were released, together with new music, on the Keys to Ascension albums. Keys to Ascension 2, in particular, featured 48 minutes of new music. The band was disappointed the new material wasn’t released as a single studio album, which had the working title of ‘Know.’[citation needed] The new studio cuts from those two albums were later reissued on a single CD called Keystudio. Wakeman left the group yet again before the release of Keys to Ascension 2 after a Yes tour was planned without his input, and because of his frustration over the decision to bury the Keystudio studio tracks on redundant live albums.

Billy Sherwood immediately rejoined Yes on keyboards and guitar. A close friend of Squire, Sherwood had had some success as lead vocalist/bassist of the 1980s prog-pop band World Trade. Open Your Eyes, released in 1997, was originally intended as a project by Squire-Sherwood called Conspiracy. However, it was basically co-opted by Yes in order to fulfill a need to get a new record out by the then-current lineup. Squire and Sherwood were forced to release a different set of songs they were working on as Conspiracy. The band would release this and all the rest of their future releases on the Beyond Music label to ensure they have more of a say in packaging and titling the albums. The tour that followed featured only a few pieces from the new album, and mostly concentrated on the revival of classic Yes material such as “Siberian Khatru.” The return of Steve Howe to the touring Yes, along with a heavier emphasis on 1970s-era Yes music, was considered an exciting development by many fans. The tour also featured keyboards from Russian keyboard player Igor Khoroshev, who had played on a few of the Open Your Eyes tracks. Khoroshev was later made a full time member for the following album The Ladder. This would be the last album that record producer Bruce Fairbairn would work on before an untimely death.

Many fans were reminded of the band’s classic 1970s sound, largely because of Khoroshev’s keyboards. His work was classically-oriented and also included sampling large sections of music by British techno group The Prodigy. Sherwood’s live role was limited to backup vocals and backup guitar, with a few notable spotlight moments for guitar solos in Rabin-era songs. Howe refused to duplicate Rabin’s solos, citing that his style would not fit those solos. The 1999 tour resulted in a live DVD of the performance at the Las Vegas House of Blues. “Homeworld (The Ladder)”, a track from The Ladder, was written for Relic Entertainment’s Homeworld real-time strategy computer game and was used as the credits and outro theme.

Sherwood was relieved of his duties prior to the 2000 Masterworks tour, which featured a revival of the Moraz-period extended piece “The Gates of Delirium” (from the album Relayer). Khoroshev was fired from the band after the tour due to a cloud of controversy over his backstage conduct including a sexual assault charge, just before the recording of the 2001 orchestral release Magnification. The band was not only backed by a 60-piece orchestra, but specific parts and arrangements were written by notable film composer Larry Groupé and performed by the orchestra, sounding as if the orchestra was a permanent band member. On tour, however, the band hired keyboardist Tom Brislin to augment the orchestra since the orchestra alone could not faithfully reproduce some of the classic Yes keyboard material.

Fans who felt they were short-changed in 1996 were delighted as Rick Wakeman announced his return to the group on April 20, 2002, and a world tour for Yes followed, including a return to Australia after more than 30 years. The classic lineup enjoyed a somewhat revitalised presence in the public consciousness, especially during the celebration of their 35th anniversary in 2004. Reacting to an online survey of popular Yes songs to play, the band added “South Side of the Sky” to the touring set list, a surprise given that it was rarely played before, even on the original Fragile tours.

This revitalisation showed itself during a show in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Near the end of the song “And You and I” where Howe finishes his pedal steel part, before the last few acoustic notes, the band was overwhelmed with thunderous applause. It lasted so long that by the time it subsided, the roadies had already removed Howe’s guitar – Wakeman then had to play the last bit with Anderson singing.

In later legs of the tour, the band performed some songs in acoustic style towards the later part of the tour, after doing a live-via-satellite concert as part of the Yesspeak documentary premiere.

On November 11, 2004, for one night only, Trevor Rabin, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, and Geoff Downes performed “Cinema, and “Owner of a Lonely Heart” at the Prince’s Trust concert at Wembley Arena, which was a tribute to former Yes vocalist/producer Trevor Horn. It remains somewhat unclear why Anderson did not perform that night, although since Horn was being honoured that night, (the other acts that played that night were all produced by Horn), there may have been a desire to emphasize Horn’s role rather than Anderson’s. One report said that Anderson needing time to rest, under doctors’ orders, and that Wakeman declined to join in because of Anderson’s absence. Whatever the exact reason, fans of the 90125 era were delighted to see Rabin perform with the group for the first time in ten years, and, as on the Union tour, the audience was treated to guitar solos by both Rabin and Howe.

Since 2004, Yes has been on hiatus. In lieu of releasing new albums, they formed deals with Image Entertainment and other video firms to release past concert performances, music videos, and interviews on DVD. Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White had all expressed an interest in recording and touring, but Anderson had been firmly opposed due to personal health concerns. Thus, band members have pursued varied solo projects. White has formed a new group, White, featuring Downes. Their debut album, also called White, was released on April 18, 2006. In 2004, Squire joined a reformed version of The Syn, one of his pre-Yes groups from the 1960s.

Plans for a joint tour by White, The Syn, and Steve Howe, which would have included the Yes members (with the singer from White) performing songs from Drama, were canceled as a result of visa problems for English members following the July 2005 London bombings. White joined the band for a tour in 2006. On May 16, 2006, Squire announced that he had left The Syn. On the same day, the original members of Asia, including Howe and Downes, announced that they would be reuniting for a 25th anniversary tour, which commenced in September. Anderson and Wakeman toured together in October of 2006, and the setlist for most shows featured Yes material along with songs from both their solo careers, and at least one ABWH song. In early 2007, Sherwood, Kaye and White — along with guitarist Jimmy Haun — formed a new band, CIRCA:. The band released its debut album, CIRCA: 2007, available from its website www.circahq.com. Their debut live performance was held on August 23, 2007, at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, at which time the band performed its entire debut album followed by an hour-long medley of Yes songs.

Anderson has also composed some new music with Trevor Rabin. How this music will reach the public has yet to be seen.

As of March 2008, Anderson is touring North America, Howe is touring with Asia, and White is touring with new band CIRCA.

In honour of the band’s 40th Anniversary, Yes had announced a 2008 world tour, entitled Close to the Edge and Back. Unfortunately, the tour was canceled on June 4 due to Anderson’s health problems. Per the press release, “Yes frontman and founding member Jon Anderson was admitted to the hospital last month after suffering a severe asthma attack. He has now been diagnosed with acute respiratory failure and was told by doctors this weekend that he needs to rest and not work for a period of at least six months or suffer further health complications. Upon receiving this news the band has determined that their tour plans need to be put on hold.”

The tour had been planned to feature Anderson, Squire, Howe, and White, and to also include Oliver Wakeman sitting in on keyboards, in lieu of his father, Rick (who bowed out on the advice of his doctors.

Anderson said the band was preparing four new “lengthy, multi-movement compositions” for the tour which are “very, very different,” however, after the weak sales of 2001′s Magnification, Anderson had said that “putting together an album really isn’t logical anymore” and no announcement has been made as to a release of recordings of this new material in any form.

Current Members

Steve Howe
Chris Squire
Alan White
Jon Anderson

Former members

Bill Bruford
Tony Kaye
Peter Banks
Patrick Moraz
Trevor Rabin
Trevor Horn
Geoff Downes
Billy Sherwood
Igor Khoroshev
Rick Wakeman


Highlights: The Very Best Of Yes 2008
Live at Montreux 2003 2007
The Word Is Live 2005
Close To The Edge [Expanded & Remastered] 2005
Relayer [Expanded & Remastered] 2005
Yes [Expanded & Remastered] 2005
The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection 2004
Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversay Collection 2004
Ultimate Yes 2004
Yes Remixes 2003
Keystudio 2002
The Ladder 1999
Keys To Ascension II 1997
Keys To Ascension 1996
The Very Best Of Yes 1993
Yesstory 1992
Yesyears 1991
Union 1991
Big Generator 1987
90125 1983
Classic Yes
Drama [Bonus Tracks] 1980
Yesshows 1980
Tormato [Expanded] 1978
Going For The One 1977
Yesterdays 1974
Tales From Topographic Oceans 1973
Yessongs 1973
Close To The Edge 1972
Fragile (Expanded) 1972
The Yes Album 1971
Time And A Word 1970
Yes 1969

Official Website: http://www.yesworld.com

Listen to Yes Music!

Watch Yes Video!

Owner of The Lonely Heart



Hold On (Live)

It Can Happen

Love will Find A Way

Don’t Go

The Calling (Live)

Walls (Live)

And You and I (Live)


Shotgun Messiah

Shotgun Messiah were a 1980s Glam metal band originally from Sweden, they went on to dabble in Industrial rock music during the early to mid 1990s.

The band previously went under the name “Kingpin” while they played in Sweden, recording the album Welcome To Bop City, the line-up featured Zinny J. Zan (vocals), Tim Skold (going by “Tim Tim”) (bass), Harry K. Cody (guitar) and Pekka “Stixx” Ollinen (drums). This would become the original line-up of Shotgun Messiah as the band changed their name and relocated to Hollywood, California hungry for more success. The album they released under the “Cools” name was re-recorded and released as Shotgun Messiah’s self-titled debut album, Shotgun Messiah. The style of this album was Glam metal typical of early 1980s American bands, in the vein of Mötley Crüe and Ratt.

Soon after this, frontman Zinny J. Zan departed, leaving Tim Skold to take over vocal duties for the band, Shotgun Messiah drafted in American bassist, Bobby Lycon to fill Skold’s former position. This would prove to be the band’s most successful era. In 1991, the band’s follow up album Second Coming was released, spawning their most famous hit “Heartbreak Blvd”. Stylistically, due to Skold’s less conventional singing style, this era saw the band playing Sleaze glam-styled hard rock, closer to Guns N’ Roses and Faster Pussycat than their previous effort.

A punk rock influence was prevalent during this period. The band released I Want More, an EP featuring cover versions of songs by the Ramones, the Stooges and the New York Dolls, during this time, they were also known to cover the Sex Pistols live.

1993 proved to be the final year for the band, Harry K. Cody and Tim Skold were left as the only members of Shotgun Messiah, and created what would be the last Shotgun Messiah album Violent New Breed, this album is significantly different from the previous efforts as it focused heavily on Industrial rock stylings, bringing in live players for the Violent New Breed tour. Soon after the band split permanently, citing artistic differences as the reason.

After Shotgun Messiah, Tim Skold’s acitivies have been the most notable, building on the Industrial rock of the band’s last album Violent New Breed, with a solo album (entitled Skold), before joining bands such as KMFDM, MDFMK and the Newlydeads (with Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat). From 2002 to 2008 Skold replaced Twiggy Ramirez as the bassist for the band Marilyn Manson. Twiggy has since rejoined Manson leaving Tim to return to his solo work and future collaborations.

Zinny J. Zan has also released a solo album, and two albums with his new band “Zan Clan”.

Band members


* Zinny J. Zan – Vocals
* Harry K. Cody – Guitar and backing vocals
* Tim Skold – Bass and backing vocals
* Stixx – Drums

Second Coming

* Tim Skold – Vocals
* Harry K. Cody – Guitar
* Bobby Lycon – Bass
* Stixx – Drums

Violent New Breed

* Tim Skold – Vocals and programming
* Harry K. Cody – Guitar and programming
* Ulf “Cybersank” Sandquist – Programming
* Bill Bruce – Live rhythm guitar
* Pat Guyton – Live bass
* B. J. – Live drums


1989 Shotgun Messiah
1991 Second Coming
1993 Violent New Breed
1992 I Want More (EP)

Official Website: http://www.jonasbeijer.com/shotgun_messiah/

Listen To Shotgun Messiah Music!

Watch Shotgun Messiah Video!

Heartbreak Blvd

Shout It Out

I Don’t Care About Nothin

I’m a Gun

Violent New Breed

Sex Drug & Rock n Roll (Live 92)

Living Without You


Ugly Kid Joe

Ugly Kid Joe was a rock band from Isla Vista, California, USA. The band’s name is a pun on the band Pretty Boy Floyd. UKJ’s sound touched on a range of styles, including hard rock, southern, funk, rap & thrash. In conclusion to the band’s overall sound & vision, the members of the band have cited many times, that they were simply a manifestation of their environment & lifestyles — mounting from their geographic location of Southern California.

The band enjoyed popularity in the early to mid 1990s with their mix of satirical humor and metal sound. Their logo was a cartoon embodiment of an “ugly kid” wearing a backward baseball hat and giving the finger. Heavily influenced by Black Sabbath & AC/DC, they covered several of their songs, including, “Sweet Leaf”, “N.I.B.” and “Sin City”. They toured the US several times — their second tour was in support of Scatterbrain, and later opening for former Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.

Ugly Kid Joe first gained success with “Everything About You,” which peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart. Later the song was used in the movie Wayne’s World. Further singles did not fare as well, however the positive response to the band’s live performance of Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle” prompted a studio version, subsequently released as a well-received single that sold over 500,000 copies in the United States alone and peaked at #7 in the UK Singles Chart. After a world tour in support of their 1992 full-length album America’s Least Wanted, the band searched around for a replacement drummer, as Mark Davis left to pursue a life away from the spotlight. Davis was eventually replaced by Shannon Larkin, formerly of the metal band Souls At Zero. His contributions led to a grittier sound for the second album Menace to Sobriety, released in the summer of 1995.

Menace to Sobriety received much praise from the press and fans, and UK rock magazine Kerrang! ranked it as a contender for “album of the year.”[citation needed] Despite success overseas and a successful European tour, the album was given little encouragement from Mercury Records & subsequently failed in the United States.

After being dropped by Mercury Records, Ugly Kid Joe formed their own independent label Evilution Records for the release of their next album. With distribution support from Castle Communications, the album Motel California was released at the end of 1996, and again the band toured Europe to smaller crowds. The tour was named “Late check-out Tour”, underlining the band’s characteristic sense-of-humor. Motel California, an album the singer described as “heavy, funky & has everything in it”, initially received lukewarm reviews and sold poorly, though it has gained a minor cult following in recent times.

Ugly Kid Joe disbanded 1997, and as of 2007 have not expressed plans for reuniting. Drummer Larkin is currently a member of Godsmack, while singer Crane has collaborated with some Godsmack members on a new project called Another Animal.

Former members

* Whitfield Crane — vocals
* Erik Phillips — -guitar and song writer. Years:1987-early 1991
* Klaus Eichstadt — guitar, vocals
* Cordell Crockett — bass guitar, vocals
* Dave Fortman — guitar (replaced Roger Lahr)
* Shannon Larkin — drums, percussion (replaced Mark Davis)
* Roger Lahr — guitar
* Mark Davis — drums, percussion
* Bob Fernandez — drums, percussion


1991 As Ugly As They Wanna Be
1992 America’s Least Wanted
1995 Menace to Sobriety
1996 Motel California
1998 The Very Best of Ugly Kid Joe: As Ugly as It Gets
2002 The Collection Spectrum

Official Website: http://www.myspace.com/uglykidjoetheband

Listen to Ugly Kid Joe Music!

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I Hate Everything About You

Everything About You (Live)

Cats in The Craddle (Live)

Unplugged 96

Milkman Son (Live)

Panhandlin Prince (live)

Cats In The Craddle (Unplugged)

Busy Bee (unplugged)



Tyketto were an American hard rock band of the 1980s and 1990s. The group was put together in 1987 by former Waysted vocalist Danny Vaughn; Brooke St. James (guitar), Jimi Kennedy (bass), and Michael Clayton (drums) completed the lineup.

By 1990, the band had signed to Geffen Records, and released their debut album Don’t Come Easy, which included the modestly successful single “Forever Young”. Musically, the album was somewhere between Whitesnake and Bon Jovi, and Tyketto opened for the former on many bills. However, the rise of the grunge sound in 1991 saw Tyketto’s hopes of a big breakthrough begin to recede. Jimi left the band and was replaced by Jamie Scott. Their second album was rejected by Geffen and finally emerged in 1994 under the title Strength in Numbers on CMC in the USA and Music for Nations elsewhere in the world.

The following year, Vaughn left the band to look after his wife, who had developed cancer, and was replaced by former Tall Stories vocalist Steve Augeri. Tyketto’s sound began to move more toward a Journey-type style (Augeri would later become lead vocalist for Journey), and this line-up released Shine in 1995, again on CMC / Music for Nations. However, dwindling audiences and the changing landscape of the rock industry saw the band split up in 1996, releasing the live album Take Out & Served Up Live as a swan song, having never really broken through. The various band members went onto other projects: most notably Vaughn, Clayton and Scott would reunite in Vaughn. Vaughn would eventually start releasing material under his own name in 2007.

In 2004, Tyketto reformed for a reunion tour with the full original lineup. They played a second set of reunion dates in 2007 and stated this will be the last time the original four members, or any other line up, will ever perform under the Tyketto name. To coincide with the dates the band released an album mainly consisting of a collection of tracks unearthed from long forgotten demo tapes. Most of these never made it to previously released albums, but there are also some early “alternative” versions of a few classic tracks as well.

Band Members

Danny Vaughn
Brooke St James
Jimi Kennedy
Michael Clayton
Jaimie Scott
Jimi Kennedy
Steve Augeri


Don’t Come Easy (1991)
Strength in Numbers (1994)
Shine (1995)
Take Out & Served Up Live (1996)
The Last Sunset – Farewell 2007 (2007)

Official Website: http://www.tyketto.de

Listen To Tyketto Music!

Watch Tyketto Video!

Forever Young


The End Of Summer Days

Rescue Me (Live)

Standing Alone



1927 was an Australian rock band, popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Their major hit songs were “If I Could”, “Compulsory Hero” and “That’s When I Think of You”.

Alongside Men at Work’s Business as Usual, Sydney band 1927′s album … Ish was one of the most successful Australian debut albums of the 1980s. The Album …Ish attained five times platinum status by racking up sales of more than 400 000 copies …

Garry Frost was best known for his role as guitar player/songwriter with Moving Pictures. He penned the band’s massive hit single ‘What About Me?’ before leaving the band after its second album. He formed a short-lived duo, Roberts Frost, with singer Brenton Roberts, but when that project failed to warm any hearts he retired to his home studio in Sydney to write. In late 1986, he saw vocalist Eric Weideman performing The Police’s ‘Roxanne’ on the Red Faces segment of popular Melbourne television variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday. Frost knew that Weideman was the perfect singer for his unrecorded songs, and the ideal frontman for this new band. Frost drove all the way to Melbourne in order to snare the singer. With Frost’s youngest brother Bill on bass and drummer James Barton, the line-up of 1927 was complete.

Frost spent a year attempting to get a deal for the band and every record company in the country knocked him back. Eventually producer Charles Fisher (who had worked on Moving Pictures’ Days of Innocence album) signed 1927 to Trafalgar Productions which he ran in conjunction with Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner and the Gurus’ manager Michael McMartin. Fisher produced 1927′s debut album, …. Ish (December 1988) which was brimful of stirring, stately pop rock anthems. The album reached #1 on the national chart during April 1989. In the interim, it had produced two Top 5 hit singles ‘That’s When I Think of You’/’Alright’ (July 1988; #4 in September) and ‘If I Could’/’Not Talking’ (October; #3 in December). More hit singles, ‘You’ll Never Know’/’Willing and Able’ (#17 in February 1989), ‘Compulsory Hero’/Propaganda Machine’ (#8 in April), ‘To Love Me’/’All the People’ (June). …Ish stayed on the chart for a year. ‘That’s When I Think Of You’ also made the UK chart when it peaked at #46 in April 1989.

The band won the 1988 Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) Awards for Best Debut Single (‘That’s When I Think of You’) and Best Debut Album (shared with Rockmelons’ Tales of The City). By that stage, Weideman had become something of a pin-up idol courtesy of his photogenic appearance and boyish good looks. Frost added Charlie Cole (keyboards;ex-Moving Pictures) to the line-up, and the band toured for a year in support of …Ish. In late 1989, as 1927 was in the process of commencing work on its new album, founder member and principal songwriter Garry Frost left the band. The parting was an amicable one, and the songwriting emphasis shifted to Weideman.

The Other Side (co-produced by Fisher and Frost) was full of lush, ambitious arrangements and well-crafted pop, but it was not as accessible as its predecessor. The album made its debut at #3 but then slipped out of the chart. Its three singles, ‘Tell Me a Story’/’Call on Me’, ‘Don’t Forget Me’/’Seventeen’ and ‘The Other Side’/’Final Split’, all made the national Top 40. Two years later, 1927 was back with its third album, 1927 (November 1992). In the meantime, Barton and Cole had left the band to be replaced by Phil Campbell (drums) and Dave Dwyer (guitar) respectively. The 1927 album revealed the band to be a competent, rock outfit trotting out blustery, hard rock numbers like the singles ‘Scars’ (October 1992) and ‘It Ain’t Love’ (February 1993). By 1993, the band was in serious financial and artistic difficulties, and broke up with little fanfare.

Weideman slipped from public view, but re-emerged in September 1996 with his debut solo single ‘Nothing I Can Do’ (produced by Fisher). ‘Nothing I Can Do’ appeared as the last track on the 1927 ‘Best of’ album The Very Best of … 1927 which was a way of announcing his impending rise as a solo artist.

Recently, over the past few years, 1927 have reformed (with varying line-ups but always with Eric Weideman as the front man, singer, songwriter) and have been doing occasional gigs in and outside of Australia.

Eric Weideman has been doing solo gigs around South East Queensland.

‘EXTA’ – Eric and JJ Harris (Divinyls) have been doing very casual, intimate acoustic gigs also.

Band Members

Eric Weideman – (vocals, guitar)
Garry Frost – (guitar, keyboards, vocals; ex-Moving Pictures)
Bill Frost – (bass, vocals)
James Barton – (drums, vocals)


…ish (1989) #2 1989 ARIA Australian Year End Albums Chart
The Other Side (1990) #50 1990 ARIA Australian Year End Albums Chart
1927 (1992)
The Very Best of 1927 (1994)

Official Website: http://www.nineteen27.com

Listen To 1927 Music!

Watch 1927 Video!

If I Could

That’s When I Think Of You

The Other Side

Tell Me A Story


Compulsory Hero

You’ll Never Know



Nelson is a glam metal band founded by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (the twin sons of Ricky Nelson.) They had a No. 1 hit in the United States with “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection” during the week of September 29, 1990. They are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only family to reach number one record status in three successive generations (beginning with grandparents Ozzie and Harriet Nelson). On the other side of their family, their great-grandfather was World War II-era Navy Secretary Frank Knox.

The band split with Geffen Records record label after 1995, but they have continued to produce and release albums independently under their label, Stone Canyon Records. However, they have yet to revisit the level of success they experienced during their 1990 debut.

Raised in a musical family, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson were always involved in music. In the early 1980s, they joined a band called Strange Agents. Later that decade, they put together their own band and got a recording contract with Geffen Records. Their debut album, 1990′s After The Rain, was a success, and the band went on tour to support it. The album produced the No. 1 hit “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection.”

Following that tour, the band immersed itself in the recording of their next project. The result was a harder and heavier concept album called Imaginator. However, when they played the album for Geffen, the label considered it too heavy. According to Nelson members, Geffen even threatened to drop the band from the label if they did not produce another record more to their tastes.

The band spent another year recording another album called Because They Can. The label finally approved and released it in 1995. Still, the pop music landscape had undergone a dramatic change in the five years following After the Rain, and Geffen chose not to promote the new album and quickly dropped Nelson entirely from its roster. The Nelson brothers then set up their own label, Stone Canyon Records, and released Imaginator in 1996.

Despite not enjoying the same level of success in the United States, the band has been a consistent seller in Japan. With their label, they have released four other albums, including a tribute to their father.

As of Spring 2008, Nelson has become a wildly-successful band on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Circuit, rocking the honeymooners on Brilliance of the Seas among other ships. Also, they performed for the sixth-consecutive year in Epcot’s Flower Power Concert Series as part of the annual International Flower & Garden Festival.[1]

Eschewing their long, blond locks and taking on a much more conservative look, they have refined their set list to include the songs of Ricky Nelson, having let go of their previously stated vow of not playing their father’s songs. The band is now celebrated by young and old alike.

Current members

Matthew Nelson – lead vocals, bass guitar, guitars
Gunnar Nelson – lead vocals, guitars, drums
Cary Park – guitar
David Morgan – keyboards
Brian Burwell – drums
Steven McClintock – guitar

Former members

Brett Garsed – guitars
Joey Cathcart – guitars, background vocals
Paul Mirkovich – keyboards, background vocals
Bobby Rock – drums


After the Rain (Geffen 1990)
Because They Can (Geffen 1995)
Imaginator (Stone Canyon 1996)
The Silence Is Broken (Stone Canyon 1997)
Brother Harmony (Stone Canyon 1998)
Life (Stone Canyon 1999)
Like Father, Like Sons (Stone Canyon 2000)

20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Nelson (Geffen 2004)

Listen to Nelson Music!

Watch Nelson Video!

After The Rain

Rock Heaven