Trevor Horn on the Two Current Versions of Yes
The lineup featuring Steve Howe, Alan White and Geoff Downes is marking the band's 50th anniversary this year, while another group that includes Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman are also on the road.
Horn, who fronted Yes from 1980-81 and appeared on their 1980 album Drama, was asked by TeamRock about the two competing bands. "This is what happens between people," he said. "Fifty years – still going, still arguing! It’d be very hard though to have even Steve and Trevor, two big star guitar players, in the same band because they’d cancel each other out. ... Look, at least there’s two Yeses you can go and see! Go see them while they’re still playing.”
Howe’s band featured a recent appearance by Horn in London to help celebrate the anniversary. The event also included a launch party for a new version of the 2011 album Fly From Here, which now features Horn’s vocals in place of singer Benoit David, who's on the original LP. “The band suggested it,” Horn said. “Because Benoit is French-Canadian, English wasn’t his native language. And Yes lyrics are difficult enough to understand if you’re English in the first place. So it was kind of tricky for him to understand the nuances of what he was singing.
Horn noted that when he was asked to revisit the record with the band, "Alan pointed out that if I did, then the album would be the same lineup as Drama. An opportunity we’ll never get again now that Chris [Squire] has passed away. So I thought why not? Because I have to live with the album for the rest of my life, so I might as well redo it. And as I was doing it, I changed a couple of solos on it, as one always does. Which is fine, because Geoff and I wrote it in the first place, so I didn’t have to answer to anybody.”
He also said he doesn't know how David feels about the changes.“I haven’t asked him," Horn said. "I don’t know if the rest of the band have spoken to him about it, because he left quite rapidly, mid-tour. I don’t know, I wasn’t around. And I haven’t seen the guys for a while as they’ve been out on tour. Last time I spoke to them they were in the middle of re-learning Topographic again. ... That’s a lot to learn!”