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Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to beoneofthelingering successstories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shiftinitsaudienceand the departure of its mostvisible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the centuryasthedefinitiveprogressive rock band. Where rivals such asEmerson, Lake & Palmer withered away commercially after the mid-'70s,andGenesis and King Crimson altered their sounds so radically asto become unrecognizable to their original fans,Yesretainedthesame ...read more
Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to beoneofthelingering successstories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shiftinitsaudienceand the departure of its mostvisible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the centuryasthedefinitiveprogressive rock band. Where rivals such asEmerson, Lake & Palmer withered away commercially after the mid-'70s,andGenesis and King Crimson altered their sounds so radically asto become unrecognizable to their original fans,Yesretainedthesame sound, and performed much of the same repertoire that they weredoing in 1971, and for theirtrouble,theyfoundthemselves being taken seriously a quarter of a century later. Their audience remained hugebecausetheyhadalwaysattracted younger listeners drawn to their mix of daunting virtuosity, cosmic (often mystical)lyrics,complexmusicaltextures,and powerful yet delicate lead vocals.
Lead singer Jon Anderson (b. October 25, 1944, Accrington, Lancashire) started out during the British beat boomasamemberof theWarriors, who recorded a single for Decca in 1964; he was later in the band Gun before going solo in1967withtwosingles on theParlophone label. He was making a meager living cleaning up at a London club called La ChasseduringJuneof1968, and was thinking ofstarting up a new band. One day at the bar, he chanced to meet bassist/vocalistChrisSquire,aformer member of the band the Syn, who hadrecorded for Deram, the progressive division of Decca.
The two learned that they shared several musical interests, including an appreciation for the harmony singing ofPaulSimonandArtGarfunkel, and within a matter of days were trying to write songs together. They began developingthebeginnings ofasound thatincorporated harmonies with a solid rock backing, rooted in Squire's very precise approach tothebass. AndersonandSquire saw the groupsaround them as having either strong vocals and weak instrumental backup,orpowerful backup andweaklead vocals, and they sought tocombine the best of both. Their initial inspiration, at least as farasthe precision of theirvocals,according to Squire, was the pop/soul actthe Fifth Dimension.
They recruited Tony Kaye (b. January 11, 1946), formerly of the Federals, on keyboards; Peter Banks (b.July7,1947),previously amember of the Syn, on guitar; and drummer Bill Bruford (b. May 17, 1948), who had only justjoinedthebluesband Savoy Brown a few weeksearlier. The name Yes was chosen for the band as something short,direct,andmemorable.
The British music scene at this time was in a state of flux. The pop/psychedelic era, with its prettymelodiesanddelicatesounds, wasdrawing to a close, replaced by the heavier sounds of groups like Cream. Progressive rock,with aheavydose oflate 19th century classicalmusic, was also starting to make a noise that was being heard, in the guise ofactssuch astheNice, featuring Keith Emerson, and theoriginal Deep Purple.
The group's break came in October of 1968 when the band, on the recommendation of the Nice's manager, Tony Stratton-Smith (later thefounder of Charisma Records), played a gig at the Speakeasy Club in London, filling in for an absentSly&theFamily Stone. The group waslater selected to open for Cream's November 26, 1968, farewell concert at RoyalAlbertHall.Thisconcert, in turn, led to a residency atLondon's Marquee Club and their first radio appearance, on John Peel'sTopGearradioshow. They subsequently opened for Janis Joplin ather Royal Albert Hall concert in April 1969, and weresignedtoAtlanticRecords soon after.
Their debut single, and Anderson and Squire's first song, entitled "Sweetness," was released soon after. Theirfirstalbum,Yes,was releasedin November of 1969. The record displayed the basic sound that would characterizetheband'ssubsequentrecords, including impeccablehigh harmonies; clearly defined, emphatic playing; and an approach tomusicthatderived fromfolk and classical far more than the R&B fromwhich most rock music sprung -- but it was much more inapopmusic context,featuring covers of Beatles and Byrds songs. Also presentwas a hint of the space rock sound (on"BeyondandBefore") inwhich they would later come to specialize.
Anderson's falsetto lead vocals gave the music an ethereal quality, while Banks' angular guitar, seemingly allpickedandnonestrummed,drew from folk and skiffle elements. Squire's bass had a huge sound, owing to his playing with apick,givinghim oneof the most distinctivesounds on the instrument this side of the Who's John Entwistle, while Bruford'sdrummingwasverycomplex within the pop song context, andKaye's playing was rich and melodic.
In February of 1970, Yes supported the Nice at their Royal Albert Hall show, while they were preparing theirsecondalbum,Timeand aWord. By the time it was released in June of 1970, Peter Banks had left the lineup, to be replacedbyguitaristSteve Howe(b. April 8, 1947),a former member of the Syndicats, the In Crowd, Tomorrow ("My White Bicycle"),andBodast.Howe ispictured with the group on the jacketof Time and a Word, which was released in August, and played hisfirstshowwith thegroup at Queen Elizabeth Hall on March 21, 1970, butBanks actually played on the album. This recordwasfarmoresophisticated than its predecessor, and even included an overdubbedorchestra on some songs, the only timethatYeswouldrely on outside musicians to augment their sound. The cosmic and mysticalelements of their songwritingwereevenmoreevident on this album.
The group's fame in England continued to rise as they became an increasingly popular concert attraction,especiallyaftertheywere seen bymillions as the opening act for Iron Butterfly. It was with the release of The Yes Album inApril of 1971thatthepublic began to glimpse thegroup's full potential.
That record, made up entirely of original compositions, was filled with complex, multi-part harmonies; loud,heavilylayeredguitarand bassparts; beautiful and melodic drum parts; and surging organ (with piano embellishments)passagesbridgingthem all.Everybody was workingon a far more expansive level than on any of their previous recordings: on"YourMove"(which becamethe group's first U.S. chart entry, atnumber 40), the harmonies were woven together in layersandpatternsthat were dazzlingin their own right, while "Starship Trooper" (whichdrew its name from a Robert Heinleinnovel,thusreinforcing the group's spacerock image) and "All Good People" gave Howe, Squire, andBruford the opportunitytoplayextended instrumental passages oftremendous forcefulness. "Starship Trooper," "I've Seen AllGoodPeople,""PerpetualChange," and "Yours Is No Disgrace" alsobecame parts of the group's concert sets for years to come.
The Yes Album opened a new phase in the group's history and its approach to music. None of it was pop music inthe"Top40"sense of theterm. Rather, it was built on compositions that resembled sound paintings rather than songs;theswellingsoundof Kaye's Moog synthesizerand organ, Howe's fluid yet stinging guitar passages, Squire's rippling bass,andAnderson'shauntingfalsetto leads all evoked soniclandscapes that were strangely compelling to the imagination of thelistener.
The Yes Album reached number seven in England in the spring of 1971; later, it got to number 40 in America. Earlyin1971,Yesmade theirfirst U.S. tour opening for Jethro Tull, and they were back late in the year sharing billing with TenYearsAfterandthe J. Geils Band. Thebandmembers began work on their next album, but were interrupted when keyboardplayerTonyKayequit in August of 1971 to join ex-Yesguitarist Peter Banks in the group Flash. He was replaced byformerStrawbskeyboardplayer Rick Wakeman, who played his first shows withthe band in September and October of 1971.
Wakeman was a far more flamboyant musician than Kaye, not only in his approach to playing, but in thenumberofinstrumentsthat he used.In place of the three keyboards that Kaye used, Wakeman used an entire bank of upwardsofadozeninstruments, including Mellotron,various synthesizers, organ, two or more pianos, and electricharpsichord.Thislineup,Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman, and Bruford,which actually only lasted for one year, from August of1971untilAugust of1972, is generally considered the best of all the Yesconfigurations, and the strongest incarnation of theband.
The group completed its next album, Fragile, in less than two months, partly out of a need to get a new album outtohelppayfor all ofWakeman's equipment. And partly due to this haste, the new album featured only four tracks by thegroupasawhole, "Roundabout," "TheSouth Side of the Sky," "Heart of the Sunrise," and "Long Distance Runaround" --although,significantly, all except "Long DistanceRunaround" ran between seven and 13 minutes -- and was rounded outbyfivepiecesshowcasing each member of the band individually.Anderson's voice was represented in multiple overdubson"WeHaveHeaven"; Squire's bass provided the instrumental "The Fish," whichlater became an important part ofthegroup'sconcerts;Howe's "Mood for a Day" showed him off as a classical guitarist; Bruford's drumswere the focus of"FivePercent forNothing";and Wakeman turned in "Cans and Brahms," an electronic keyboard fantasy built on onemovementfromBrahms'FourthSymphony.
Fragile, released in December of 1971, reached number seven in England and number four in America. Thealbum'ssuccesswasenhancedby the release of an edited single of "Roundabout," the group's first (and, for over a decade,only) majorhit,whichreached number 13 on theU.S. charts. For millions of listeners, "Roundabout," with its crisp interwovenacousticandelectricguitar parts and very vivid bass textures,exquisite vocals (especially the harmonies), swirling keyboardpassages,andbriskbeat, proved an ideal introduction to the group's sound.Neither Emerson, Lake & Palmer nor King Crimson,thegroup'sleadingrivals at that time, ever had so successful a pop chart entry. Thesingle's impact among teenage andcollege-agelisteners wasfar greater than this chart position would indicate; they simply flocked to theband, with the resultthat notonlydid Fragile sellin huge numbers, but the group's earlier records (especially The Yes Album) were suddenlyindemand again.
Even the album's jacket, designed by artist Roger Dean, featured distinctive, surreal landscape graphics,whichevokedimagesseeminglyrelated to the music inside. These paintings would become part and parcel of theaudience'simpression ofYes'music, and later tours by thegroup would feature stage sets designed by Dean as an integral partof theshows.
Yes' appeal was multi-level. In some ways, they were the successors to psychedelic metal bands suchasIronButterfly;"Roundabout" mayhave been space rock, with a driving beat that carried the listener soaring into theheavens,butlines like"In and around the lake/Mountainscome out of the sky/They stand there" evoked a surreal imagery notfarremoved(in theminds of some listeners) from "In a Gadda DaVida," and just as effective, amid Wakeman's swirlingsynthesizerandMellotronpassages, as a musical background for any druggyindulgences that fans might pursue. These wouldalso beamongthe lastlyrics that fans of the band would have to deal with, apart fromanomalies such as the ethereal "I getup/I getdown"from"Close to the Edge" or the topical "Don't Kill the Whale"; on most of the band'sfuture releases, and for muchof thissongaswell, Anderson's voice was part of the overall mix of sounds generated by Yes. Some of hislyrics in future yearswereworthadetailed look, however, often possessing complex subtexts drawn from religious and literary sources thatmadethemgoodforintellectual analysis, and something that college students could listen to with no shame or rationalizing.Inthatrespect,Yeswere as much the successors to the Moody Blues, with a beat and balls in place of thepioneeringartrock/psychedelicband'sstateliness and overt seriousness, as they were to Iron Butterfly.
Jon Anderson's falsetto vocals, moreover, compared very well with those of his Atlantic Records stablemateRobertPlant,thelead singer ofLed Zeppelin. Their classical music influences offered a level of intellectual stimulation thatLedZeppelinseldombothered with. And Yesplayed loud and hard; they were progressive, but they weren't wimps, and they putona bettershowthan Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Theirmusic seemed to evoke the most appealing elements of heavymetalrock,psychedelicmusic, the work of composers as different as IgorStravinsky and film composer Jerome Moross(whose"MainTheme from theBig Country" provided the basis for the group's version of "NoExperience Necessary"), andEasternreligion, allwrapped insongs running upwards of 22 minutes -- an entire side of an album.
"Roundabout" would be the group's biggest single success for the next 12 years, but it was more thanenough.Althoughtheywould continueto release 45s periodically, including a cover of Paul Simon's "America" during the summerof 1972,Yes'futureclearly lay with theiralbums. On Fragile, "Long Distance Runaround," as a three-minute song, had beentheanomaly;thebandmembers were clearly looking atlonger forms in which to write and play their music.
Close to the Edge, recorded in the late spring of 1972 and released in September of that year, showed justwheretheywereheaded,consisting of only three long tracks, essentially three sound paintings, in which the overall soundandmusicaltexturesmattered more thanthe lyrics or any specific melody, harmonization, or solo. "Siberian Khatru" was almostarockadaptation ofStravinsky's Rite of Spring,recalling the composer's most famous work and sounding as thoughAndersonandcompany hadtapped into a element of ritual and a stateof consciousness going back practically to the dawn oftime(orstretching to theend of time), while "And You and I" seemed to take "YourMove" to a newly cosmic level. The fansandcriticsalike loved Closeto the Edge, resplendent in its rich harmonies and keyboard passagesof astonishing beautyandcomplexity,brittle butpowerful guitar, and drumming that was gorgeous in its own right. The album reachednumber fourinEngland andnumberthree in the United States without help from a hit single (though an edited version of "And You andI"didreach number42 inAmerica).
By the time of the record's release, however, Bill Bruford had left the band to join King Crimson, and was replacedbyAlanWhite(b. June 14,1949, Pelton, Durham), a session drummer who was previously best known for having playedwithJohnLennon andYoko Ono's Plastic OnoBand. With White -- who was a powerful player, but lacked the subtlemelodictechniqueof Bill Bruford --installed at the drum kit, the groupwent on tour behind the new album to massiveaudienceresponse andcritical acclaim. As anadded bonus for fans, Rick Wakeman hadcompleted his first solo LP, theinstrumentalconcept albumThe Six Wives of HenryVIII, which was released by A&M Records in Februaryof 1973 (Wakemanhad playedexcerpts from itduring his featured solospot during the previous Yes tour).
A large part of the Close to the Edge tour, like the group's prior tour with Bruford on the drums, was recorded, and a three-LP(two-CD) setentitled Yessongs, released in May of 1973, was assembled from the best work on the tour.Yessongsbecameamodel for progressive rocklive albums; at over 120 minutes, it included the band's entire stagerepertoire(notcoincidentally,the best songs from the three precedingalbums), all of it uncut and all of it well played. The livealbumreachednumber sevenin England and number 12 in the United States.
The group spent the second half of 1973 trying to come up with a follow-up to four successive hit albums.Theresultingrecord,a double LPentitled Tales from Topographic Oceans, was released in January of 1974 with suchhighexpectations thatit earneda gold record from itsadvanced orders.
Tales from Topographic Oceans broke all previous artistic boundaries, consisting of four long tracks each taking upthefullsideof an LP,with titles like "The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)." If the group's prior albums weremadeupofpaintings in sound, thenTopographic Oceans was a series of sonic murals, painted across vast spaces on amassivescalethatdid not make for light listening. Ifthis all seems ridiculously overblown today, perhaps it was, but this workwasbeingdone inan era in which groups like Emerson, Lake &Palmer were recording album-length suites and stretchingrelativelymodestworkssuch as "Fanfare for the Common Man" by AaronCopland into ten-minute epics. The group membersbelievedtheyhadcultivated an audience for such music, and they were right;Topographic Oceans not only topped theBritishchartsbutreached number six on the American charts.
No album has more divided both fans and critics of Yes alike. At the time of its release, critics calledTalesfromTopographicOceansexcessive, representing the height of progressive rock's self-indulgent nature. Originally inspiredbyJonAnderson'sreaction to a set ofShastric scriptures, the album displayed a sublime beauty in many parts,andimmense,mesmerizingstretches of high-energy virtuosity formost of its length.
The group toured behind Topographic Oceans early in 1974, performing most of the album on-stage. Followingthistour,planswereannounced for each member of the group to release a solo album of his own. At this point, thegroupfacedanothermajor lineup change asWakeman -- whose second solo album, Journey to the Centre of the Earth,appeared inMay of1974 -- announced that he was leaving Yes'lineup in June to pursue a solo career. In fact, as he revealedin interviewsmanyyearslater, he'd been very unhappy with the content ofTales from Topographic Oceans, feeling that itsmusic nolongerreflectedthe direction he wanted to go in and that it was time to partcompany with the band. Wakeman'sdecisioncreated amajorproblem for Yes, for the keyboard player had become a star within their ranks,and was the group'smost well-knownindividualmember; people definitely paid to see and hear his keyboards rippling amidst the band'ssound.
In August of 1974, it was announced that Patrick Moraz (b. June 24, 1948, Morges, Switzerland), formerlyoftheprogressiverock trioRefugee, had replaced Wakeman. Three months later, the group's new album, Relayer,wasreleased,reaching theBritish number four spotand the American number five position. Moraz proved an adequatereplacementforWakeman, butlacked his predecessor's gift forshowmanship and extravagance. The group toured in the wakeofRelayer'srelease inNovember of 1974, but didn't record together again fortwo and a half years.
Indeed, in order to satisfy the demand for more Yes material in the absence of a new album while the group wasontheroad,Atlantic inMarch of 1975 released a collection of their early music entitled Yesterdays, drawn from the firsttwoalbumsandvarious singles, whichrose to number 27 in England and number 17 in America. A film that the group hadmadealongtheir1973 tour, entitled Yessongs, wasreleased to theaters at around the same time. The movie receivedpoorreviews,possiblyowing to the fact that most reviewers wereunfamiliar with the group's music, but it was profitable andhasbeenpopular foryears on home video.
Meanwhile, in the absence of new albums by Yes, other bands began trying to capitalize on their own versionsoftheYessound: the mostnotable of these were Starcastle, a progressive rock band signed by Epic Records, whomadetheirrecordingdebut in 1976 with a self-titledalbum that could have been another incarnation of Yes; and Fireballet,aPassportRecordsquartet who seemed to bridge the music of Yesand ELP.
In November of 1975, Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water and Steve Howe's Beginnings were both released andclimbedintothemid-sixtieson the American charts. Squire's record was clearly the more accomplished of the two, virtually alostYesalbum,with the bassist exploringnew instrumental and orchestral textures, and turning in a credible vocalperformanceaswell.Howe's record was an interesting, low-keyeffort that might have impressed other guitarists, but was sorelylackinginthesongwriting department.
These were followed in March of 1976 by Alan White's Ramshackled, which placed at number 41 in England,andMoraz'ssoloventurePatrick Moraz, which reached number 28 in England and number 132 in America. And in July of1976,JonAnderson'sOlias of Sunhillow, adazzling, Tolkien-esque science fiction/fantasy epic (with packaging on the originalLPthatmust havedoubled the basic production cost ofthe jacket) that sounded as much like a Yes album as any recordnotmade bythe entireband could, reached number eight in England andnumber 47 in America.
Amid all of these solo projects, the group's lineup changed once again, as Wakeman announced his return to thefoldinlate1976, whileMoraz exited. Wakeman's original plan was to assist Yes in the studio on their new album, butthesessionsprovedso productive that hemade the decision, fully supported by the band, to return to the lineup permanently.
The group's next album, Going for the One, released in August of 1977, represented a much more austere, basicstyleofrockmusic, builtaround shorter songs. The long-player topped the British charts for two weeks and reached numbereightontheAmerican charts, while thesingles "Wonderous Stories" and "Going for the One" rose to numbers sevenand24,respectively, inthe U.K. Yes embarked on a massivetour shortly after the album's release, including theirmostsuccessfulAmericanappearances ever, playing to record audiences on the EastCoast.
Tormato, released nearly a year later (heralded by the single "Don't Kill the Whale," the group's first songwithatopicalmessage), made theTop Ten in both England and America in the fall of 1978. Once again, after finishing thetourbehindthealbum, the group members beganworking on solo projects. The year 1979 saw the release of The SteveHoweAlbum,whileearly in 1980 Jon Anderson hooked up withGreek-born keyboard player Vangelis. The two released analbum,ShortStories,and an accompanying single, "I Hear You," early in 1980,both of which reached the British Top Ten. Jon&Vangelis, astheteam became known, went on to cut several more records together.
In March of 1980, Yes' lineup collapsed, as Wakeman and then Anderson walked out after an unsuccessfulattempttostartwork on a newalbum. Two months later, Trevor Horn (vocals, guitar) and Geoffrey Downes (keyboards),formerly oftheBritishband the Buggles, joined theYes lineup of Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White. This configurationrecordedanewalbum, Drama, which was released in August of1980; rather ominously, this record did dramatically betterinEngland,reachingthe number two spot, than it did in America, where it got nohigher than number 18. This hybrid lineuplastedfor ayear, butthe old Yes incarnation remained much closer to the hearts of fans; inJanuary of 1981 AtlanticRecordsreleasedYesshows, adouble live album made up of stage performances dating from 1976 through 1978that reachednumber 22inEngland andnumber 43 in America.
Finally, in April of 1981, the breakup of Yes was announced. Geoff Downes formed Asia with Steve Howe, whichwentontosomeconsiderable if short-lived success in the early '80s, and the rest of the band scattered to different projects.Forayearand a half, the groupseemed a dead issue, until Chris Squire and Alan White announced the formation of anewgroupcalledCinema, with original Yes keyboardplayer Tony Kaye and South African guitarist Trevor Rabin.Thisbandprovedunsatisfactory, and Squire invited Jon Anderson to join. It wasjust about then that everyone realizedthatthey'dvirtually re-formed the core of the Yes lineup, and that they should simply revive thename.
In late 1983, this Yes lineup, with guitarist/vocalist Trevor Horn serving as producer, released an unexpected chart-toppinghitsingle(number one in the U.S. in January of 1984) in "Owner of a Lonely Heart," displaying a stripped-downmoderndance-rock sound unlikeanything the group had ever produced before. The remaining group released a successfuldance-rockstylealbum, 90125, under Horn'sguidance, which sold well but also proved a dead end, with no follow-up, whenHornchosenot toremain with the group.
Yes was invisible for nearly two years after that, until the late 1987 release of Big Generator, whichperformedonlymoderatelywell.Meanwhile, in 1986, Steve Howe reappeared as a member of the quintet GTR, whose self-titledalbumreached number 11in America. Theproliferation of ex-Yes members gathering together in various combinations ledtoanongoing legal dispute overwho owned the group name,which came to a head in 1989. Luckily for four of them,thenameAnderson Bruford WakemanHowe was recognizable enough to reach thefans, which sent the resulting album intotheU.S.Top 40 and the British Top 20,more or less handing them a victory by acclamation (latersupported by the settlement)intheirdispute over the name. Bytouring with An Evening of Yes Music, they presented their classicrepertoire to sold-outhousesallover the country, includinga 1990 gig at Madison Square Garden.
The legal squabbles had all been settled by the spring of 1991, at which time a composite "mega Yes"groupconsistingofAnderson, Howe,Wakeman, Squire, Kaye, White, Rabin, and Bruford (all of the key past membersexceptPeterBanks)embarked on a blow-out world tourcalled Yesshows in 1991. The accompanying album, Union, whichdisplayedasomewhattougher sound than they'd been known for, debutedon the British charts at number seven and reachednumber15in America.This tour, which allowed the band to showcase music from all ofits previous incarnations and, in thesecond halfofthe show,featured each member who wished it in a solo spot, broke more records. Thesemammoth three-hourshows andtheresultingpublicity (even news organizations that normally didn't cover rock concerts did features on thereunion)onlyseemedtoheighten interest in the four-CD box set YesYears, which was released by Atlantic in 1991.
The rest of the 1990s proved every bit as busy for members of the group as the '80s had been, if not alwaysinagroupcontext. Bill Brufordand Steve Howe, in conjunction with producer Alan Parsons and arranger DavidPalmer,successfullyspunoff the group's classic music on amostly instrumental project called Symphonic Music of Yes, releasedonRCA,whichpresented many of the best-known Yes songs in anorchestral setting (with Jon Anderson furnishing vocalsintwoplaces).Trevor Rabin reunited with Anderson, White, Kaye, and Squire in1994 for the Talk album, which sold poorlydespiteanationaltour and the presence of a killer single in "The Calling." Kaye left the musicbusiness for more than adecadefollowingthattour, which saw guitarist Billy Sherwood, a longtime friend of Squire's and an ex-member ofWorld Trade,join as anewofficialmember of the band.
It was also around this time that the first round of upgraded reissues of the group's catalog appeared onCDfromAtlanticRecords. In 1995,the classic lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, and White reunited for ashortseriesofperformances, which yielded several liverecordings as well as a pair of new studio albums soon after, KeystoAscensionandKeys to Ascension 2, but the reunion was interrupted byWakeman's departure, in a dispute over thetreatmentof thenewstudio material. Sherwood eventually took over on keyboards, in addition tohis guitar duties. He andSquirebecamekeymembers of the latter-day Yes lineup, their work in their own band Conspiracy serving as thecore of whatbecametheYesalbum Open Your Eyes.
By this time, Yes had taken on two distinct incarnations, on-stage and in the studio. With Trevor Rabin having optedoutofthegroup after1995 in favor of work as a film composer, Steve Howe returned to the concert stage as a member,hisworkahighlight of their shows, whilein the studio it was Sherwood and Squire, along with Anderson, at the creativecenterofthegroup. And another new member was addedfollowing the tour for Open Your Eyes (which was mostly devotedtorevivingtheir'70s repertoire), in Igor Khoroshev.
The group's lineup went through further changes amid a plethora of live recordings, released as both CDs and DVDs,intheearly21stcentury. Sherwood was dismissed in 2000, and Khoroshev was gone after the tour that year. Magnificationsawthebandworking with a fullorchestra, which proved something of a disappointment to many fans -- Yes had neverreallyworkedwell withthat sort of accompaniment,on those rare occasions when they tried it in the past, and not even state-of-the-artdigitaltechnology could help. Wakeman was back forthe group's 2002 international tour, and Yes toured againtwoyearslater, tocommemorate their 35th anniversary.
All of these performances and new recordings coincided with a massive amount of activity surrounding thegroup'scatalog.Asecond, moreexpansive career-retrospective five-disc box set, In a Word: Yes, was released in 2002, andaroundthissametime Japanese WEA reissuedthe entire Yes catalog in audiophile-quality remastered editions, packagedinhandsomeminiatureLP sleeves that re-created all of theRoger Dean-designed jackets in perfect detail, inside and out. Nottobeoutdone, RhinoRecords in the U.S. -- by now absorbed into theWarner-Elektra-Atlantic family of labels -- issuedtheirownremasterededitions of the same catalog in slipcased editions, with the addedvirtues of extensive bonus tracksandannotationand, in thecase of Tales from Topographic Oceans, a remixed master as well.
Yes, by now carrying so many permutations to their lineup and sound, had transcended their progressive rockorigins,andalsomanaged towin over even some of their harshest critics -- perhaps in some ways simply by wearing themdownwiththeirlongevity, but also using thatlongevity as proof of their worth. Trevor Rabin returned to the fold alongside Howe--alongwithGeoff Downes -- for one night, in aperformance honoring Trevor Horn at the 2004 Prince's Trust concert (aneventthatevengot Kate Bush, who never concertizes, onto thestage). The group then became officially inactive, thoughRhinodidrelease athird box set, entitled The Word Is Live, in 2005, to decidedlylackluster reviews -- mostly the set was madeupofsecondarymaterial performed by lesser later lineups, though its first disc, part of whichshowcased the PeterBanks/TonyKayeperiod,was worth hearing. Kaye, Sherwood, and White reunited in a new context -- using the groupnameCIRCA: -- in2006,with analbum released the following year. A 21st studio album from the band, the Trevor Horn-produced FlyfromHere,wasreleasedin 2011, and included Canadian singer Benoit David on lead vocals -- David had been the lead singer inaYestributebandbefore joining the group in 2008. « hide
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