Trevor Rabin: Soundtracks, Jacaranda, and, oh, Yes...

Want to start some great debates and controversy? Try explaining to a classic Yes fan that without Trevor Rabin, there would be no legendary band to speak of, and Yes would have been relegated to the history books as another mid-level British prog band from the ‘70s that never achieved major success.

Obviously, some of you are already outraged, thinking, “What are you talking about? He wasn’t even in the classic Yes band!” But by 1981, that band had already come to an end. South Africa-born guitarist and classically-trained, multi-instrumentalist, Trevor Rabin, was developing a new band (Cinema) in England with former Yes drummer Alan White and bassist Chris Squire. After Squire played some of Cinema’s material for Jon Anderson, he wanted to get involved with the project, too. As a result of so many former Yes band members being involved in the project, the record label decided the band needed to be called Yes. Former Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye joined the lineup as well, and former band member Trevor Horn produced the music. The ensuing album, 90125, delivered the band multi-platinum record sales and arena tours.

Simplifying the fascinating and complex band history, what came next were a string of successful albums with Trevor Rabin in the guitar and co-vocalist role. Eventually, though, Rabin left the band and released a great progressive rock solo album, Can’t Look Away, and from there he moved into scoring motion picture soundtracks.

The sountrack direction proved to be an ideal match for Rabin’s classical background and keen penchant for writing catchy, melodic music. Over the past few decades, Rabin has climbed to the top of Hollywood’s soundtrack “A list,” scoring major blockbuster films including Armageddon, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure I and II, Remember the Titans, Con Air, and many more.

Being in such high demand for film scoring has left fans of the incredibly talented guitarist waiting a very long time to hear something new, but the wait is finally over. Trevor Rabin’s new instrumental album, Jacaranda, finds the musician in top form on many instruments, though most notably the electric guitar and the dobro. We had a chance to sit down with him and talk about the new album, his work in Hollywood, and, oh yes… we talked about that English prog rock band, too.

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