Which line up of a band is the "right" one? A question of vital importance in some fans minds, especially so when it comes to Yes.
This week there are two bands calling themselves Yes. The "official" one with two long standing members, one who was there for a bit and came back, and two who came from tribute bands. Then there is Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman now also calling themselves Yes. Anderson & Wakeman have form here as they were in an off shoot in the 80s with Steve Howe and Bill Bruford called ABWH. Keeping up? Thought not, nor am I.
The legitimacy of line ups is an odd question, particularly as many of the heroes of the seventies are getting on a bit and may not always be up for too much touring. In an effort to top up the pension the few remaining "real" members recruit some new talent as band mates retire and hit the road. AC/DC lost their singer, and recruited Axl Rose to complete a tour. For me the picture to the right is all the reason you need why this shouldn't have happened.
In the end you pay your money (or not) and take your choice of continuing to follow these artists. Personally I have been to see Procol Harum (great), Robin Trower (struggling), and others over the last few years because the chance clearly won't be there soon. Others however, like Yes, Renaissance, and Steely Dan I passed on because it feels like time for them to finish as performances don't seem up to scratch or politics has got in the way.
To return to Yes there is still another version of the band that has justput out an album. This one has Downes, White and Howe from "official" Yes, the late Chris Squire on bass and Trevor Horn rubbing out the original singer on "Fly From Here", their 2011 album, and adding his own voice. Now this one I am interested in. This lineup made my favourite Yes album "Drama" in 1980, which was at least partly written by Horn & Downes in Buggles mode. The 2011 version always sounded like the singer (called Benoit David should you care) was following a guide vocal by Horn, and I gather he was. So my order is in and we will see what the difference is. Watch this space...