Monday, February 26, 2024

Pre-Yes Group Mabel Greer’s Toyshop Reform

Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, the late 60s psychedelic progressive rock group (four of whom went on to form the original Yes) have reunited with a new album entitled New Way Of Life, due to be released on 9th March 2015 through RSK Entertainment.

New Way Of Life is said to be about “authenticity without compromise” and while distinctly different from Yes the kind of vibes heard when Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Tony Kaye and Jon Anderson were in the band will still be present. Indeed Kaye adds his distinctive keyboard sound to the album and it also features early co-writes by both Squire and Anderson.

The album is said to demonstrate the evolution of Mabel Greer’s Toyshop from when the band formed back in the sixties to how life experiences have since shaped the music. “We hope that Yes followers everywhere enjoy this offering. It’s a piece of history brought to life by the technology of today. The album includes new versions of old classics like ‘Beyond & Before’, and a whole lot of new music too,” said singer, guitarist and songwriter Clive Bayley.

New Way Of Life offers “a vibrant, energised and occasionally otherworldly sound; with an eclectic mix of old and new music” The album was recorded after the two founding members Clive Bayley and Robert Hagger met up again last August after a gap of 45 years! Other members of Mabel Greer’s Toyshop went on to establish long and successful careers in the music business with Yes and other bands, while Clive and Bob ventured into the world of business. “It really was a miracle that we came together and produced this album”, said Hagger. “It started out as fun when I met Clive again and he suggested a trip to the recording studio. The outcome was that we rediscovered the old magic – it was a big buzz working together again, and we have to thank Alex Keren and Hugo Barré for their help in making this project happen.”

“On hearing that Mabel Greer’s Toyshop wanted to get back together after so long, I was sceptical about how it would all sound,” revealed another former Yes member, Billy Sherwood. “To my surprise it was actually very cool.” So much so that Sherwood ended up co-producing the album and supplying additional keyboards and bass, alongside Hugo Barré. “Not only will this new album appeal to the die-hard Yes fans, but also to a whole new breed of followers. It’s such an exciting project to be involved in” added Sherwood.

The full line-up comprises three original members in Clive Bayley (vocals, guitar), Robert Hagger (drums) and Tony Kaye (keyboards). Kaye has lead an interesting career, touring with legendary French rock ’n’ roll star Johnny Hallyday and after leaving the original Yes playing with prog band Badger, hard rockers Detective, plus more hit orientated acts such as Badfinger and David Bowie before returning to Yes for their bestselling 90125 album and since 2007 playing alongside Yes drummer Alan White and Billy Sherwood in Circa. The group’s current line-up being completed by the aforementioned Sherwood and Barré.

Featuring six all-new compositions primarily written by Bayley, New Way Of Life also features new versions of Beyond & Before’ and ‘Sweetness’ from 1969’s Yes debut – the former co-written by Clive Bayley and Chris Squire and the latter by Bayley, Squire and Jon Anderson. There are also new versions of classic Mabel Greer’s Toyshop songs ‘Jeanetta’, ‘Get Yourself Together’, ‘Images of You & Me’ and ‘Electric Funeral’ co-written by Bayley and Squire, with the latter being the album’s opening track and has been premiered on Youtube.

Mabel Greer’s Toyshop’s New Way Of Life CD goes on sale 9th March 2015.

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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