1997 Yes – Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes is the seventeenth studio album by progressive rock band Yes, released in 1997. It is the first album to feature Billy Sherwood as a band member, and the only one on which he is the main keyboard player.

Following the 1996 reunion of the mid-late 1970s “classic” lineup of Yes (and the release of the two live-and-studio double albums Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2), keyboard player Rick Wakeman had left the band once again, throwing future tour and album plans into jeopardy. In order to sustain momentum, the band was obliged to come up with a new workable lineup as well as new sources of song material.

Already an established engineer and progressive rock musician in America, Billy Sherwood had previously been involved with Yes as a backup keyboard player and guitarist on the Talk tour (as well as being considered as a potential new lead singer during Yes rehearsals circa 1990). More recently, he had worked as engineer and producer for part of the Keys to Ascension project. He had had a strong working relationship with Yes bassist Chris Squire since the late 1980s, when the two had begun work on a duo project called The Chris Squire Experiment (later to become Conspiracy). Yes singer Jon Anderson was impressed by some of the early Conspiracy material and became interested in singing on it, in part because of Yes’ need for new material. Consequently, Sherwood, Squire, Anderson and drummer Alan White began working on several Conspiracy songs together with the aim of transforming them into Yes songs. Sherwood has said the band was falling apart after Wakeman’s withdrawal and that he led on songwriting activity to keep the band going, working with Squire, White and Anderson. Guitarist Steve Howe (at the time, the band’s only UK-based member) was not practically involved for most of the process and made his contributions to the album at the end of the sessions (and mainly as a player). By the end of the sessions, Sherwood was formally inducted into Yes – he would play second guitar and sing harmony vocals on tour.

Although Sherwood played the bulk of the keyboards on the album, two other keyboard players were involved. Steve Porcaro had played keyboards on the title track when it was a Chris Squire Experiment piece, and his parts were retained for Yes’ rendition. Russian keyboardist Igor Khoroshev performed on “New State of Mind”, “No Way We Can Lose”, and “Fortune Seller”. Khoroshev was hired as the band’s keyboard player on the tour promoting Open Your Eyes (on which he also played percussion and sang backing vocals) and would be a full member by 1999’s The Ladder, on which he was featured more prominently.

Tracks

1 New State Of Mind 6:00
2 Open Your Eyes 5:14
3 Universal Garden 6:17
4 No Way We Can Lose 4:56
5 Fortune Seller 5:01
6 Man In The Moon 4:41
7 Wonderlove 6:08
8 From The Balcony 2:43
9 Love Shine 4:38
10 Somehow Someday 4:47
11 The Solution / The Source 23:47

The Band

Bass Chris Squire
Drums Alan White
Guitar Steve Howe
Guitar Billy Sherwood
Steel Guitar Steve Howe
Mandolin Steve Howe
Banjo Steve Howe
Keyboards Billy Sherwood
Harmonica Chris Squire
Percussion Alan White
Background Vocals Chris Squire
Background Vocals Alan White
Background Vocals Billy Sherwood
Background Vocals Steve Howe
Vocals Jon Anderson

Other Musicians

1 New State Of Mind

Keyboards Igor Khoroshev

2 Open Your Eyes

Keyboards Steve Porcaro

4 No Way We Can Lose

Keyboards Igor Khoroshev

5 Fortune Seller

Keyboards Igor Khoroshev

Producer – Yes
Arranged By – Yes
Engineer – Billy Sherwood
Management – The Left Bank Organization
Mastered By – Joe Gastwirt
Mixed By – Billy Sherwood, Randy Nicklaus
Recorded By – Billy Sherwood

Painting, Design (Logos, Lettering) – Roger Dean

Phonographic Copyright (p) – Beyond Music
Copyright (c) – Eagle Records
Manufactured By – Victor Entertainment, Inc.
Distributed By – Victor Entertainment, Inc.
Mixed At – The Office
Mastered At – Oceanview Digital Mastering
Published By – Opio Publishing
Published By – Carlin Music Corp.
Published By – Basedown Ltd.
Published By – Backyard Levitation Music
Published By – Warner-Tamerlane Music, Inc.