XYZ was the proposed name for an abortive 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). Page believed the band needed a strong vocalist and sought out former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant — Plant did attend one XYZ rehearsal in 1981 but decided not to join the group, citing his dislike for the complexity of the music. Without a firm commitment from Plant, and contractual issues on who should manage the supergroup (Peter Grant or Brian Lane), the project was shelved shortly thereafter.
Since the mid 1990s, a number of bootleg tracks have surfaced, originally recorded by XYZ at Chris Squire's home studio at New Pipers, in Virginia Water, Surrey, during April 1981. They are believed to have been sourced from demo tapes stolen from Jimmy Page's house at Cookham, Berkshire, in 1987. These consist of four pieces: two instrumentals (the riff from one of which was used on The Firm's "Fortune Hunter"; the other was later used in a drum piece on Yes's Union tour and then incorporated into their 1997 song "Mind Drive"), plus vocal numbers known as "Telephone Secrets" (a.k.a. "Telephone Spies"; previously attempted by Yes as "Song No. 4 (Satellite)" during the sessions for Drama and included on a re-release of that album) and "And (Do) You Believe It" (or "Can You See"). This latter track was recorded by Yes in 2001 under the title "Can You Imagine" on Magnification. It is quite possible other songs were also attempted but nothing else has been released publicly.
With XYZ's future now in limbo, Squire and White recorded a Christmas single called "Run With the Fox", in October 1981 at New Pipers, 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, but the material was abandoned. (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.)
In 1984, Jimmy Page joined Yes on stage, playing "I'm Down" during a concert in their 9012Live tour at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.
The demo tracks have recently resurfaced on Youtube.
* Jimmy Page - Lead guitar
* Chris Squire - Bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
* Alan White - drums