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ABOUT YES’s HEAVEN AND EARTH
Among the world’s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, Grammy Award winning, YES, is proud to announce its new album, ‘Heaven and Earth.’ Having sold nearly 40 million albums in a career that has so far spanned more than four decades, ‘Heaven and Earth’ sees YES continuing with its tradition of symphonic progressive rock that remains timelessly fresh and innovative.
‘Heaven and Earth’ contains eight new tracks, each of which boasts the unique musicianship and craftsmanship that have come to be known as ‘the YES sound.’ YES’ distinctive layered music, swirling arrangements, brilliant vocals and harmonies are all in abundance. ‘Heaven and Earth’ is an album sure to please both long-time and new YES fans.
For ‘Heaven and Earth,’ YES teams up with legendary Grammy Award winner, Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, The Cars, Guns N’ Roses, Foreigner, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice Cooper, etc.), who handles production and mixing.
Also onboard is long-time YES artist, the world-renowned Roger Dean, who again brings his masterful artistic creativity to the album’s cover art and packaging.
Since its founding in 1968, YES has created much of rock history’s most important music, including iconic pieces like ‘Roundabout,’ ‘Close to the Edge,’ ‘I’ve Seen All Good People,’ ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart,’ ‘Starship Trooper,’ and countless others. YES’s albums, including ‘Fragile,’ ‘Close to the Edge,’ ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans,’ and ‘90125,’ have been certified multi-platinum, double-platinum, platinum, and more by the RIAA. YES continues to inspire millions of musicians, fans, and music lovers around the world.
STEVE HOWE ON HEAVEN AND EARTH
I don’t know whether it’s a concept record in the true sense, but basically Roger Dean and I were talking about different things and sometimes it helps to get Roger fired up about ideas that we can draw from. In a way, the parallel of saying ‘Heaven And Earth’ is the same as saying good and bad, yin and yang, up and down, left and right. They’re two extremes, but I think the way Roger and I liked it was that in fact the Earth is a physical place where you can measure stuff and you can do quantum physics.
You can look at tiny things or you can see the world as a very big thing in an even bigger universe. It’s all about the physical. But Heaven is an unknown place of no particular destination as far as anybody knows. And yet it doesn’t matter whether you’re totally tied up in a religious belief or whether you’re spiritual in a way that doesn’t require religious commitment — it just requires awareness to the fact that there’s obviously something out there that we don’t know about.
In fact, there’s most probably 99% of everything about the universe we don’t understand and that isn’t only in the physical. It’s also in the effects of what is spiritual or what is ethereal. What is heaven and is there life after death?
You know, all of those questions that just have no bloody answer! [Laughs] That keeps us guessing and I think that’s why I approved the title ‘Heaven And Earth’ because basically it sums up the dualistic quality of the known and the unknown and the more you look at the known the more you see that there’s even more unknown than you knew before.
ALAN WHITE ON HEAVEN & EARTH
There wasn’t quite enough for two Albums. We decided we would work with what we had and take it to this point. Roy’s doing fine. He’s doing a great job. He’s getting some great sounds on the instruments. Roy is a smart guy and he knows where we should be going. He is getting on fine with the guys. He says his piece and he is very much part of what is going on.
We spent quite a while getting the drum sound right. Roy is quite meticulous about which microphones get the right sound. We were using about $50,000 worth of microphones on the drums alone. It’s all fresh music.
Everything on the album was conceived within the last year or so. No epics on this album but there are some longer pieces with intricate parts to them, but there are some shorter tracks too which are right to the point.
GEOFF DOWNES ON HEAVEN & EARTH
It’s been very inspirational working with one of the great British record producers of all time. The old school approach on certain things makes you realize how great those early albums were in construction and recording techniques. The album is an interesting mix of hi-tech and vintage, and it’s been great to have contributions from Jon Davison on his first Yes album.
There was quite a long period to the end of last year where ideas were tossed around between various members, so there has been a general collaborative feel to the making of the album. We had a good idea of what we were going to record prior to going in to the studio, and worked closely with Roy on the choice of material.
It’s been very good for Jon to be involved creatively. He has really stepped up to the plate, and we’ve seen what a talent he truly is, not just as a vocalist, but also in an all round musical sense. We anticipate good things ahead, and are very much looking forward to playing this album live.
CHRIS SQUIRE ON JON DAVISON
Jon has been with us for a couple of years and he has fit in very, very well. He does a really good job (on tour) of faithfully reproducing the older songs, which of course are the songs that Jon Anderson sang back in the day.
And more importantly, we have just finished our brand new album and he has contributed very strongly to that in terms of writing, both musically and lyrically. Everyone gets along with him really well and he is very easy to work with. So everyone in the band is very happy. Jon Davison has brought in an interesting quality of songwriting and lyric writing. He has pretty much written all the lyrics for this album.”
JON DAVISON ON WRITING
I thought it might be pressured, but it turned out not to be at all. I got to know the band really well and their composing styles and patterns and pace. And I was really quite comfortable with it especially because we started one on one.
I started in Phoenix with Chris, we solidified a few ideas together, then I went up to Seattle and worked with Alan, and then flew to the UK and went out to the countryside with Steve and that was great. I was there for about a week. We got a lot done as well. Then I went to Wales and worked with Geoff one on one. It was really very comfortable and very exciting too.