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Mabel Greer’s Toyshop reunite

Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, the band which morphed into Yes in 1968, have reunited and will release an album in March next year, they’ve announced.

The group was founded in 1966 by guitarist and vocalist Clive Bayley, drummer Bob Hagger and bassist Paul Rutledge. Over the course of the next two years, Chris Squire, Peter Banks, Jon Anderson and Tony Kaye joined their ranks. Bill Bruford then replaced Bob Hagger and Mabel Greer’s Toyshop became Yes. Their last gig under the old name took place in London in May 1968.

Now, 46 years after that show, Bayley has teamed up once again with Hagger and Kaye to release A New Way Of Life on March 9 – their first album under the Mabel Greer’s Toyshop banner. Joining the trio are former Yes man Billy Sherwood and bassist Hugo Barre.

Bayley says: “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.”

Hagger adds: “It really was a miracle that we came together and produced this album. 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.”

Sherwood is co-producing the album and reveals he was initially unsure how the band would sound after almost half a century apart.

He says: “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 die-hard Yes fans, but also to a whole new breed of followers. It’s such an exciting project to be involved with.”

Alongside Beyond & Before which appeared on the first Yes album in 1969, they’ve also re-recorded Sweetness from the same album. Classic tracks Jeanetta, Get Yourself Together, Images Of You and Electric Funeral also feature on the record.

The band have released a promo Electric Funeral. View it below.

Scott Munro

News editor for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. He’s been at the news desk since 2014 and when not writing, he can be found watching baseball and visiting whisky distilleries.