XYZ (English band)

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OriginLondon, England
GenresProgressive rock, hard rock
Years active1981
LabelsSwan Song
Associated actsLed Zeppelin, Yes, The Firm
Past membersChris Squire
Alan White
Jimmy Page
Dave Lawson

XYZ were a short-lived rock supergroup. The name XYZ is taken from eX-Yes-&-Zeppelin as the group consisted of ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, along with ex-Yes members Chris Squire (bass guitar, vocals, keyboards) and Alan White (drums).


The band came together after Squire met Page by chance at a party shortly before Christmas 1980. The group also featured former Greenslade keyboard player and vocalist Dave Lawson.[1] Squire was the main writer for the group.[2] Page believed the band needed a strong vocalist and sought out former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. Plant did attend one XYZ rehearsal on 28 February 1981, but decided not to join the group citing his dislike for the complexity of the music,[3] and because he was still deeply hurt by the recent death of his long-time friend, and Led Zeppelin's drummer, John Bonham.

Without a firm commitment from Plant and contractual issues on who should manage the group (Peter Grant or Brian Lane),[4][5] the project was shelved shortly thereafter.

With XYZ's future in limbo, Squire and White recorded a Christmas single called "Run with the Fox", in October 1981 at Squire's house, New Pipers,[6] before forming Cinema, with guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Tony Kaye. Rabin initially attempted to rework the XYZ material along with his solo songs for the new group. Cinema went on to become a reformation of Yes with the addition of singer Jon Anderson, and the recording of the album 90125 in 1983.[7] It is unclear what of the XYZ material made it to 90125, but White said in a 2008 interview that "those were the beginning of some songs that ended up on the next Yes album anyway."[8] White also confirmed the XYZ material was used on 90125 album in a 2012 interview.[9]

In 1984, Jimmy Page joined Yes, including Squire and White, on stage, playing "I'm Down" during a concert in their 9012Live tour at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.[10]

Page has not dismissed the possibility of releasing the XYZ material. Squire supported the idea, but said Page hadn't discussed the matter with him.[11]

Demoed material[edit]

A four-song demo tape of XYZ consisting of two instrumentals "Mind Drive" and "Fortune Hunter" and two songs "Can You See" and "Telephone Secrets" (featuring vocals from Squire) exists and can be found on ROIO trading sites.

  • "Mind Drive" - part of the instrumental was reworked and became part of "Mind Drive" on the 1997 Yes album Keys to Ascension 2[12] (credited as a band composition).
  • "Fortune Hunter" - this other instrumental was used as the intro to The Firm's "Fortune Hunter". About "Fortune Hunter". Squire explained, "One of the tracks ended up being called "Fortune Hunter" [...] that was a riff that Jimmy brought into the mix anyway. Part of our song "Mind Drive" was also from those sessions as well. [...] Most of the songs were mine. I'm the only vocalist on it."[11]
  • "Can You See" would resurface as "Can You Imagine" on the 2001's Yes album Magnification.



  1. ^ "David Lawson Music - Composer and Sound Designer". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Entertainment". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Achilles Last Stand - Led Zeppelin: Achilles Last Stand". Led Zeppelin. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  4. ^ Welch, Chris (2003). Close to the Edge: The Story of Yes, Revised Edition. London: Omnibus Press, p. 202. ISBN 0-7119-9509-5
  5. ^ "Alan White de Yes: el batero que tocó con todos | RollingStone Argentina". 16 November 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ [1] Archived 5 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "90125". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  8. ^ [2] Archived 22 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Interview:Alan White (Yes,John Lennon,George Harrison)". Hit Channel. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  10. ^ "06/24/1984 Dortmund, Germany".
  11. ^ a b "Chris Squire of Yes Talks Rock Hall, Jon Anderson and Jimmy Page". 13 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Yes - Perpetual change". Innerviews. Retrieved 15 July 2014.

External links[edit]