Prog-rock icons Yes have rescheduled their album series concert tour for 2021 in the wake of dates cancelled earlier this year. They have also released a new live album and a single version of John Lennon’s classic Imagine to mark the occasion of John Lennon’s 80th birthday.
For half a century, the band have been one of the most innovative, influential and best-loved acts in the country, consistently at the forefront of the progressive rock movement. Having been forced to cancel their 2020 concert dates in light of the coronavirus pandemic, they have announced new dates for 2021 concluding at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 28 May. The Album Series 2021 Tour will feature their 1974 album Relayer in its entirety, the latest as Yes continue to revisit their classic albums in full, together with a selection of other Yes favourites.
“Many things have changed in the world these past few months,” said Alan White. “My appreciation for the freedoms we’ve enjoyed in the past has grown along with my gratitude for all the people caring for humanity throughout the world.”
“I can’t wait to be on stage again in front of real audiences playing Yes’ music. I’m hoping we can bring some joy and positivity back into our lives. Please take care and stay safe, we want to see our many fans and friends again in 2021.”
Those who can’t wait until then can enjoy the band’s recently released live album, which features a Lennon cover with a Yes connection. Imagine was recorded in May 1971, after The Beatles’ split, in Lennon’s studio at his home in Berkshire and featured soon-to-be Yes drummer Alan White as a member of Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band ensemble.
Lennon spotted Alan White playing drums with his band Griffin in a London club and invited him to join the Plastic Ono Band for the Live Peace concert in Toronto in 1969, alongside Yoko Ono, Klaus Voorman and Eric Clapton. White played drums on Lennon’s single Instant Karma and George Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass before Lennon invited him to play on Imagine.
Yes’s version of the track was recorded at the Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas during the encore on the final night of their 2019 US Royal Affair Tour. As they played, a film was shown behind the band of John Lennon recording the song in his studio with a very youthful Alan White.
“They put a special film together with footage from that time. We played Imagine on the Yes tour, and they’d run it behind me. The first time I saw it, I turned around and went, ‘Who the hell is that guy?!’” Alan laughed.
Yes play Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 28 May 2021
The Royal Affair Tour, Live From Las Vegas is out now