More Fragile Drama! We chat to Geoff Downes from Yes

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It was great to chat to a musical legend and a hero of mine from my music-obsessed teenage years, Geoff Downes.

Geoff was initially known as half of new wave duo the Buggles who had a worldwide chart-topper in 1979 with Video Killed The Radio Star.

Both Geoff and his other half in the band, Trevor Horn, then unexpectedly joined progressive rock giants YES, co-writing their 1980 album DRAMA which reached no 2 in the UK charts.


Geoff playing with Yes at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend, April 2014

Being highly accomplished musicians and writers, Geoff and Trevor they more than filled the void left by the departure of Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson, both modernising and preserving Yes’s trademark sound.

The band called it a day after that album and Geoff joined Yes guitarist Steve Howe, Carl Palmer from Emerson Lake and Palmer and ex-King Crimson singer John Wetton, forming Asia and having phenomenal success around the world, particularly in the USA where their eponymous debut sold over 10 million copies.

Yes reformed and Geoff is now a full time member again. He’s still going strong after many albums, solo projects and side projects. I spoke to Geoff about his forthcoming work with Yes, including a major tour of UK and Europe in the spring to promote the reissue of Drama and Yes’s 1971 album Fragile, both of which will be played in their entirety at the shows.

Geoff also had a few words about his current work with Asia too.

You can catch Yes at the Royal Alber Hall on 10 May. More details about this and the album reissues can be found on the band’s official website.