Keys to Ascension 2
|Keys to Ascension 2|
|Live album / Studio album by Yes|
|Released||3 November 1997|
|Recorded||March – November 1996|
|Producer||Yes and Billy Sherwood|
Cover on some releases of the album
Keys to Ascension 2 is a double album by the British progressive rock group Yes and was released in 1997. It is the successor to the critically acclaimed Keys to Ascension 2-CD set from 1996. It is the band's sixteenth studio album and fifth live album. It is the last album with Rick Wakeman until returning and staying with the group from 2002 to 2004, but not involved in any studio recording. The album reached No. 62 in the UK.
Like the first seven tracks on the previous album, the first six tracks on Keys to Ascension 2 were recorded live in San Luis Obispo, California in March 1996. The second disc features studio recordings made in November 1996. Rick Wakeman wanted these studio tracks to be released with Jon Anderson's working title Know, with the disc of live tracks thrown in as a bonus. Wakeman's preference was not honoured and by the time Keys to Ascension 2 was released, he was no longer in the band. 
"Mind Drive" would be Yes' eighth and last song over 18 minutes until "Fly from Here" in 2011. The song was originally a concept that the band XYZ, which featured Chris Squire, Alan White and Jimmy Page, wrote and demoed in 1981. It was later incorporated in a drum duet between Alan White and Bill Bruford on the 1991–1992 Union tour.
"Bring Me to the Power" references the original title of Talk, History of the Future.
"Children of Light" was originally written by Jon and Vangelis in 1986 as "Distant Thunder". "Distant Thunder" was later demoed by Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe during the recording of their self-titled album, later appearing as a hidden track on the 2011 limited edition of the album. The lyrics to "Distant Thunder" ended up in Yes' Union tourbook in April 1991. On 8 May 1994, Jon Anderson performed the song via radio on the Tommy Vance show. During a Mother's Day concert on 12 May 1996, Jon Anderson performed "Children of Light" and said he hoped it would appear on a Yes album, which it did.
"Lightning", Rick Wakeman's introduction to "Children of Light", was mixed out before the album's release. "Lightning" was restored to the track on the 2001 compilation Keystudio. The "Distant as the distant thunder..." introduction, as heard on Keys to Ascension 2, was mixed out on the Keystudio version.
Keys to Ascension 2 features cover art by Roger Dean on an outer sleeve that fits around the package. On the sleeve, the image's predominant colour is magenta, but the booklet features the painting in its original blue colouration.
|Disc one: Live|
|1.||"I've Seen All Good People
||Jon Anderson, Chris Squire||7:15|
|2.||"Going for the One"||Anderson||4:59|
|3.||"Time and a Word"||Anderson, David Foster||6:23|
|4.||"Close to the Edge
||Anderson, Steve Howe||19:41|
|5.||"Turn of the Century"||Anderson, Howe, White||7:55|
|6.||"And You and I
||Jon Anderson; themes by Bill Bruford, Howe, Squire||10:50|
|Disc two: Studio|
|1.||"Mind Drive"||Anderson, Squire, White, Howe, Rick Wakeman||18:37|
|2.||"Foot Prints"||Anderson, Squire, Howe, White||9:07|
|3.||"Bring Me to the Power"||Anderson, Howe||7:23|
|4.||"Children of Light
||Anderson, Howe, Squire, Vangelis, Wakeman||6:03|
|5.||"Sign Language"||Howe, Wakeman||3:28|
- Jon Anderson – lead vocals
- Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
- Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals
- Rick Wakeman – keyboards
- Alan White – drums
- Produced By Billy Sherwood & Yes
- Engineered By Tom Fletcher & Billy Sherwood
- Mixed By Billy Sherwood
- Mastered By Joe Gastwirt
- "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002