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Q: "Quintessential YES: 50th Anniversary" 2-CD from Warner: What Happened?

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    Q: "Quintessential YES: 50th Anniversary" 2-CD from Warner: What Happened?

    I was listening to my CD of THE ROYAL AFFAIR TOUR: LIVE IN LAS VEGAS recently and thought, "I completely forgot that Brian Lane put out that press release in 2018 about Warner Records releasing a 2-CD set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of YES ("curated" by Jon Anderson)......."

    Anyone heard of why that CD set (considering not one, but *TWO* YES bands were touring the globe to mark #YES50!) never got released...??

    -Douglas /AgentA\

    #2
    As with so many things Yes, someone wanted more money than someone else was willing to part with.

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      #3
      With a lot of things Anderson, things get started but never completed.

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        #4
        Shrug…we can make playlists too.
        “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

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          #5
          Originally posted by agentarmstrong View Post
          I was listening to my CD of THE ROYAL AFFAIR TOUR: LIVE IN LAS VEGAS recently and thought, "I completely forgot that Brian Lane put out that press release in 2018 about Warner Records releasing a 2-CD set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of YES ("curated" by Jon Anderson)......."

          Anyone heard of why that CD set (considering not one, but *TWO* YES bands were touring the globe to mark #YES50!) never got released...??
          It's not clear, but we have some lines of evidence. Brian Lane just made stuff up for press releases and seemed little interested in fact-checking what he wrote, so I don't put much weight in what he says!

          Anderson said in an interview, "I did a compilation for them [Warner] featuring songs recorded all over the world and picked out all of the best versions of all of the great songs and they turned around and said it was going to cost so much money to get licensing that they wouldn`t be doing it. I wish they`d told me that a few months ago before I`d done all of the work pulling it all together. They said they were just going to put another best of album but we already have several of those. I wanted to do something a bit different but the label just didn`t want to do it which was a shame."

          This would suggest there was perhaps some miscommunication between Warner and Anderson. Warner clearly wanted to do something for the 50th anniversary because it's an obvious time to sell product. There were a number of reports that Warner were planning some sort of compilation across the band's history. Both Horn and Downes mentioned it. Horn talked about how they had done a new version of "Go Through This" using Squire's original bass recordings. He suggested this would be on a Warner release, possibly this collection. However, that plan seems to have been dropped early on. There were negotiations between Yes and Warner over the track as Warner own the original recordings and Yes (+ Horn?) own the new recordings.

          At the London fan convention, I talked to someone from management about Warner's plans and it sounded like a greatest hits compilation. Presumably, during planning, someone reached out to Anderson and he started putting together his idea for a collection of live material, but this doesn't seem to have been what Warner wanted. An important issue here is going to be cost. Warner own everything the band did while signed to Atlantic, but the post-Atlantic period requires licensing from others. Warner are going to have a bias towards Atlantic-era material and perhaps also to material belonging to entities where they have a good relationship and know they can do a deal. Anderson perhaps presented them with something drawing heavily from post-Atlantic tours, perhaps particularly from tours where licensing was going to be expensive.

          We don't know what was on Anderson's planned track list. We don't know what was on Warner's planned track list. We do know that no such release came out. There were rumours that the plan eventually morphed into the vinyl boxset The Steven Wilson Remixes. That seems to have sold well and presumably made Warner happy: it's all material they owned!

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            #6
            I would love it if Jon Anderson's mooted tracklist ever surfaced one day because I wouldn't be surprised if you could compile a close enough version from bootlegs.

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              #7
              Originally posted by kilianltia View Post
              I would love it if Jon Anderson's mooted tracklist ever surfaced one day because I wouldn't be surprised if you could compile a close enough version from bootlegs.
              Well that's how he was going to do it. 😆

              Take a leaf out of Rick's book...

              Apologies to all of you that might have been offended by any irrational anti-Christ related wrath in this post.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Frumious B View Post
                Shrug…we can make playlists too.
                Well said.

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                  #9
                  All I really want from Warners at this point is unreleased/unheard 1969-88 live material. The bonus tracks on the Rhino reissues cover most of what was left in terms of studio track, and any else from the studio still out there is probably even more fragmentary and demo-like.

                  Post-Atlantic could have some possibilities. The Igor factor might make it problematic, but a proper live album from the 2000 Masterworks tour would be an auto-buy for me. The 2002-04 period has several releases, but I'd love to know if anything else was properly recorded. The Ladder tour was a strong period for the band, but of course there was already a release from that tour--I'd gladly accept more (and a better mix, to boot).

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                    #10
                    *Kind* of unrelated, but also a little bit related, *if* there were to be a retrospective of some kind, which, no, I don't think there will be, but if there were, what are some models you've enjoyed in the past? For me, collections/box sets I've enjoyed included:

                    Jethro Tull: 20th Anniversary. The gold mine of b-sides, rare tracks, unheard masters, live versions, rarities, etc, this one really holds up as a great overview *for the fan*, who already has all the studio albums.
                    ELP: Return of the Manticore. Sue me, but I like the remade Pictures at an Exhibition with Greg Lake's older voice.
                    Jethro Tull: 25th Anniversary. An odd one, with a live concert from 1970, live snippets through the years, a disk of 90s-style remixes, and a live-in-the-studio best of. Quirky, but if you had all the albums, you still had none of this.
                    The Who's 30 Years of Rhythm & Blues, like Tull, had a lot of alternate takes, rarities, live stuff, just a really solid overview of the band and what they were capable of.

                    Yesyears was great at the time, with better mastering that widely available, but since then, there's not that much except a couple live cuts I need to hear again.
                    King Crimson's Frame by Frame, ditto, was great at the time, but even the then-very rare live disk has been replaced with an ungodly amount of live material available either via download or CD.
                    The Word is Yes, same as Yesyears, maybe: a handful of rarities that remain interesting.

                    The Word is Live was great in theory, but I find the actual execution less so: muddy, inconsistent sound, and an avoidance of material already released (or close to it), plus a criminally short run of songs from the love them or hate them but still vitally important YesWest band keeps this one on the back burner…

                    I guess it really depends on who they'd be aiming such a package at, the longtime fan who needs a treat, or the general population, assuming this is 30 years ago before any kind of digital revolution (which, who knows, might be what they're thinking…)?

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                      #11
                      For me, at least, there's really nothing left to mine from the classic years that I would still be interested in, there are just so many great boots out there already. A good compilation of Yeswest live tracks circa 1984 - 1988 would be cool, though.

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                        #12
                        I would like to see a Live complete, or at least mostly complete, show for each album. What they were playing live when each album was released. Maybe with liner notes that indicated set list changes.
                        Yes.....I would buy that.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Nut View Post
                          I would like to see a Live complete, or at least mostly complete, show for each album. What they were playing live when each album was released. Maybe with liner notes that indicated set list changes.
                          Yes.....I would buy that.
                          Yes that would be good. Or, something fairly similar - I'd love to see a series of live albums released which each feature one line up of the band, properly mixed, until every line up was featured in the series. And the whole concert each time please. That way, when we got to The Ladder line up, we could have a release which has 'Hearts' on it. Never understood why the opportunity to feature such a deep cut on a live album was missed.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by profusion View Post
                            All I really want from Warners at this point is unreleased/unheard 1969-88 live material. The bonus tracks on the Rhino reissues cover most of what was left in terms of studio track, and any else from the studio still out there is probably even more fragmentary and demo-like.
                            Originally posted by Davy View Post
                            For me, at least, there's really nothing left to mine from the classic years that I would still be interested in, there are just so many great boots out there already. A good compilation of Yeswest live tracks circa 1984 - 1988 would be cool, though.
                            Yes, the Rhinos picked out the best unheard tracks and we've got lots of great boots, but I think there's some material in the archives that would still be worth unearthing from the Atlantic years. There are recordings believed to exist that haven't even leaked. The pre-90125 period is an obvious example where there's a wealth of studio recordings we've never heard.

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