On a new Mabel Greer album “The Secret” to be released by December 15, and for the first time in 50 years, Peter Banks and Clive Bayley are heard playing a guitar duo. Clive has written a new song around previously un-released guitar parts by Peter Banks. The song is included in the album as a tribute to Peter Banks and Chris Squire joining Mabel Greer in September 1967. “I did it because reading of Peter’s passing in 2013 was the catalyst for meeting Bob Hagger again and coming up with the crazy idea of re-forming Mabel Greer. The result is that we have produced two new albums since then, and released re-mastered BBC tapes from 1967 on the EP ‘Images’”; said Clive.
Clive and Bob first met in 1966 – a time when the London underground music scene was an impressive force for future development of a different kind of rock music. Clive at sixteen years old, had already been playing music in a band since the age of 13, he was writing his own compositions and already had an idea of what kind of music he wanted to perform. Bob had previously been for an audition in the band ‘The Syn’. The bass player happened to be Chris Squire and the guitarist Peter Banks, it wasn’t long before they both joined Bob and Clive in Mabel Greer’s Toyshop and the seeds of ‘Yes’ were planted. In early 1968, Jon Anderson also joined the group, in June Bill Bruford replaced Bob and Tony Kaye joined on keyboards. But in August of that year Clive left the band and they changed name to ‘Yes’.
Fast forward to 2013, Clive met Bob again for the first time in 45 years! Both now in their sixties. The first thing Clive said to Bob was “let’s get into the studio, see if we still have the old magic”. The result became the album ‘New Way Of Life’ featuring Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye, released in 2015.
This new album of 9 songs ‘The Secret’ with Max Hunt on keyboards and Hugo Barré on bass will be available on or before December 15, 2017 on CD and digital download at: https://mabelgreerstoyshop.bandcamp.com
A special thanks to Daniel Earnshaw of QEDG Management for providing the Peter Banks recordings.
Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, the prog psychedelic outfit which sprouted the first shoots of YES, has applied for a Guinness World Record for longest period of time between a band forming and releasing their debut album.
The band, which releases its first record New Way of Life on 9th March, formed 49 years ago in 1966. There is no current holder for the record…
Founders Clive Bailey and Robert Hagger, joined by Billy Sherwood, Hugo Barre’ and Tony Kaye, took the band out of the freezer and back on the scene after a 45 year gap, to bring the sounds of their past into the 21st century. In their heyday, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop had a residency at the Marquee Club, where they played alongside the likes of Keith Emerson and The Nice. John Peel, a strong supporter and fan of the band also invited them to play on the BBC radio programme, Night Ride, which they did in March 1968. The line-up in those days included Chris Squire, Peter Banks and Jon Anderson.
Mabel Greer’s Toyshop morphed into YES in 1968 and has released a short six-minute documentary describing the history of the band. Clive Bayley and Bob Hagger started the group in 1966. The guys revived MABEL in 2014 and made a new album “New Way Of Life”. In the documentary, they describe the very beginnings of the band and talk about what its been like to release an album 49 years after the band’s inception. An amazing story indeed. The video contains footage never seen before and features background music from the new album. The documentary is released on YouTube today, check it out here:
Pre-YES psychedelic-prog outfit Mabel Greer’s Toyshop have released new footage for Electric Funeral, the opening track of their upcoming reunion album New Way OfLife out on 9th March.
The video shows founding members Clive Bayley and Robert Hagger as they meet for rehearsal, two old friends finding each other again after 45 years, with the same chemistry and some terrific new songs. Smiles all around speak louder than words about the spirit of this reunion as they meet to jam in a bar in Nice, France.
Joined by Billy Sherwood, Hugo Barré and Tony Kaye, Clive and Bob have recently reformed Mabel Greer’s Toyshop – the 60s prog psychedelic outfit which sprouted the first shoot of YES – and created a record that brings new life into their trademark sound, aiming not only to rekindle their love affair with the old YES fans, but also to conquer a completely new breed of listeners.
The footage ends with a large amount of empty pints covering the bar; a good time was had by all and many more are still to come. This is just the beginning!
The video for Electric Funeral is currently streaming on YouTube:
New Way Of Life will be available on CD and digital download from 9th March 2015. Electric Funeral will be available to download and on iTunes as an instant gratification track on album pre-orders from the beginning of February.
The psychedelic progressive rock group Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, which sprouted the first shoots of YES, have reunited and announced a new album entitled New Way Of Life, which will be released on 9th March through RSK Entertainment. The opening track Electric Funeral premieres on YouTube today.
New Way Of Life is about authenticity without compromise – a unique and very special album. At once distinctly different from all twenty-one YES studio albums, it still has unmistakeable early Mabel Greer’s Toyshop (MGT) vibes from the time Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Tony Kaye and Jon Anderson were in the band. The album demonstrates the evolution of the group from when it was formed 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,” says singer, guitarist and songwriter Clive Bayley.
The 11-track album has been co-produced by YES producer and former member Billy Sherwood who also plays keyboards alongside Tony Kaye and bass alongside Hugo Barré, and combines Bayley’s soulful vocals and wailing guitar solos with Tony Kaye’s distinctive keyboards.
On New Way Of Life, Mabel Greer’s Toyshop deliver a vibrant, energised and occasionally otherworldly sound; with an eclectic mix of old and new music, the album doesn’t disappoint on originality. It 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 MGT 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”, says 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 re-discovered 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.”
Billy Sherwood adds: “On hearing that Mabel Greer’s Toyshop wanted to get back together after so long, I was sceptical about how it would all sound – to my surprise it was actually very cool. 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”.
New versions of Beyond & Before and Sweetness, from the very first YES album in 1969, are included on New Way Of Life – the former co-written by Clive Bayley and Chris Squire and the latter by Bayley, Squire and Jon Anderson. Other new versions of classic songs on the album co-written by Bayley and Squire are: Jeanetta, Get Yourself Together, Images of You & Me and Electric Funeral. The other tracks are all new compositions written primarily by Bayley.
New Way Of Life will be available on CD and digital download from 9th March 2015.
The opening track, Electric Funeral, premieres today on YouTube: