Keyboard legend Tony Kaye releases his debut solo album, End Of Innocence, on 10th September, marking the 20th anniversary of the tragic 9/11/2001 terrorist attack in the USA.
Tony Kaye is best known as the original keyboard player with progressive rock legends YES, his Hammond organ giving their ground-breaking The Yes Album its most distinctive sound within the band’s catalogue.
Following his departure from YES in 1971 Kaye was involved with a number of other bands and artists including David Bowie, Badger, Detective and Badfinger before returning to YES for their greatest commercial success 90125 in 1983. Kaye remained with the band for several albums and tours before retiring from the music business in 1996.
Following the re-awakening of his musical inspiration in 2001, Kaye accepted an invitation from current YES bassist Billy Sherwood to work on projects which led to the formation of Circa in 2007, and has yielded four albums to date.
Moved by the events of 9/11 during his retirement, Kaye committed his thoughts and feelings to a heartfelt personal musical interpretation that will now see the light of day.
End Of Innocence is a requiem for those who lost their lives and all those touched by the horrific events of 9/11. Primarily orchestral, End Of Innocence is intended as a powerful and emotional suite, being both beautiful and sinister, reflecting the dark forces at work that day. It guides the listener through the day and touches on the response, to reach a hope that peace and calm may prevail.
As did many millions, Kaye watched the horrors of 9/11 unfold on his TV screen. “The next day I unpacked my keyboards for the first time in a long time,” Kaye recalled. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. It was one of those things that happened, inspiration on a musical level.”
The suite begins the night before 9/11 but, as Kaye’s wife Dani Torchia sings an innocent lullaby, menacing storms are gathering. The ‘9/11 Overture’ was the first piece Kaye composed, and on the following day. “I had no recording equipment, just an 8-track cassette recorder and some of those recordings became what you hear now.”
Thereafter, Kaye created vivid images of New York city life and a vibrancy around The World Trade Centre (on the track ‘285 Fulton Street’) before the terror begins and captures the fears of those on the planes (on ‘Flight 11’), depicting the conversations stewardesses had with the tower. The track includes a powerful drum solo by Kaye’s friend Jay Schellen (Circa, YES) reflecting the struggles onboard.
Following the collapse of the towers, Dani Torchia sings her lament ‘Sweetest Dreams’ and the album looks at the ‘Aftermath’ and the ‘Heroes’ before focusing on the response. “I wanted it, musically, to be about that day,” Kaye said, “But I felt compelled to extend it to deal with the repercussions of what happened. Musically, it was quite challenging to do the battle scene and then the ‘Hope And Triumph’, a patriotic anthem and the consequences of war. Ground Zero is the hope for the future, the rebuilding.”
The album was produced by Kaye, as were all the compositions, with the exception of ‘Sweetest Dreams’ by Dani Torchia. The artwork for the album has been created by Roger Dean, known for his work with YES and Asia, powerful imagery reflecting the journey the music takes.
End Of Innocence features the following tracks: ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Twilight Time’, ‘911 Overture’, ‘NYC Blues’, ‘Battle Cry’, ‘285 Fulton Street’, ‘Let’s Roll’, ‘Tug of War’, ’Flight 11’, ‘Towers Fall’, ‘Sweetest Dreams’, ‘Aftermath’, ‘Heroes’, ‘The Battle’, ‘Hope and Triumph’, ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Ground Zero’.
The album will be released on Spirit Of Unicorn Music (and distributed by Cherry Red Records) and available as a standard CD jewel case. You can pre-order End Of Innocence by clicking here.
Tony Kaye, Spirit of Unicorn Music and Cherry Red Records are donating 10% of all profits from End of Innocence to https://www.garysinisefoundation.org/ = The charity supports veterans, defenders and first responders in times of hardship.