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Yes in concert, 1977
Left to right: Steve Howe, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman
|Genres||Progressive rock, symphonic rock, art rock, psychedelic rock, pop rock|
|Labels||Atlantic, Atco, Arista, Victory, Sanctuary, Eagle, Frontiers|
|Associated acts||The Syn, The Buggles, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, Cinema, XYZ, Asia, Moraz/Bruford, Conspiracy, Circa, Yoso, Glass Hammer|
Yes in concert, 1977
Left to right: Steve Howe, Alan White, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman
|Genres||Progressive rock, symphonic rock, art rock, psychedelic rock, pop rock|
|Labels||Atlantic, Atco, Arista, Victory, Sanctuary, Eagle, Frontiers|
|Associated acts||The Syn, The Buggles, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, Cinema, XYZ, Asia, Moraz/Bruford, Conspiracy, Circa, Yoso, Glass Hammer|
Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs often with complex instrumental and vocal arrangements, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets. Seventeen musicians have been a part of the band's line-up, which currently comprises singer Jon Davison, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Geoff Downes. Yes have sold 13.5 million certified units in the United States.
Formed in 1968 by Squire and singer Jon Anderson, the first line-up also included guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford, who released two albums together to lukewarm reception and sales. Yes began to enjoy success after the release of The Yes Album (1971) and Fragile (1971), which featured new arrivals Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. They achieved further success with Close to the Edge (1972) and Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973), the latter of which featured White on drums. Wakeman was replaced by Patrick Moraz, who played on Relayer (1974). Wakeman returned on Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978). Anderson and Wakeman left the group due to musical differences amongst the band in 1980, and both went on to pursue solo careers. Their replacements, Trevor Horn and Downes, featured on Drama (1980) and its supporting tour before disbanding in 1981. Howe and Downes went to form Asia.
Yes reformed in 1982 after Squire and White were joined by the returning Anderson and Kaye, with the addition of guitarist Trevor Rabin. They adopted a pop rock sound and released the number one single "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and 90125 (1983), their best-selling album to date, followed by Big Generator (1987). Anderson left and co-formed the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe with the named members in 1989. Following a legal battle amongst both Yes groups, they formed an eight-man band to perform on Union (1991) and its supporting tour. Rabin and Kaye featured on Talk (1994) before leaving, while Wakeman and Howe returned with Keys to Ascension (1996) and Keys to Ascension 2 (1997). Wakeman was replaced by Igor Khoroshev, who was featured on Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999) along with guitarist Billy Sherwood. The release of Magnification (2001) marked the first album since 1970 to feature an orchestra.
In 2002, Wakeman returned for the band's 35th anniversary tour. The band ceased to tour in 2004, partly due to health concerns regarding Anderson and Wakeman. Following a hiatus, Yes restarted in 2008 with keyboardist Oliver Wakeman and singer Benoît David. After the release of Fly from Here (2011), which saw Downes returning on keyboards, David was replaced by Jon Davison, lead singer of progressive rock band Glass Hammer, on vocals. Yes continue to perform to this day, more than 40 years since their formation.
Yes was formed in 1968 by vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire. Anderson was a member of The Warriors with his brother Tony, and had performed on singles under the pseudonym Hans Christian. Squire was part of The Syn, and spent time to develop his bass-playing technique following the band's split in 1967. He formed Mabel Greer's Toyshop in January 1968 that consisted of singer and guitarist Clive Bailey, drummer Bob Hagger and former Syn guitarist Peter Banks. They played at The Marquee club in Soho where Jack Barrie, owner of the nearby La Chasse drinking club, saw them perform. "There was nothing outstanding about them...the musicianship was very good but it was obvious they weren't going anywhere". Barrie introduced Squire to Anderson at La Chasse, where they found common interest in bands such as Simon & Garfunkel and harmony singing. That evening at Squire's house they wrote "Sweetness", which appears on the first Yes album. Banks left Mabel Greer's Toyshop to join Neat Change, but Squire invited him back into a reformed group after the departure of Bailey and the addition of Anderson on lead vocals. Hagger was replaced by Bill Bruford, a jazz aficionado who placed an advertisement in Melody Maker. Bruford first met the band on 7 June 1968 and performed that day at the Rachel McMillan College in Deptford. Classically trained organist and pianist Tony Kaye, who had been in Johnny Taylor's Star Combo and The Federals, was the fifth and final member to join.
With the line-up complete, Mabel Greer's Toyshop was renamed Yes at the suggestion of Banks. They rehearsed in the basement of The Lucky Horseshoe cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue between 10 June and 9 July 1968. Their first live show under the Yes name followed on 4 August at East Mersea Youth Camp in Essex. Early sets were formed of cover versions of songs by artists such as The Beatles, The 5th Dimension and Traffic. "What covers they were, given the full Yes treatment! We didn't just rearrange a song – we celebrated it with much enthusiasm", said Banks. On 16 September 1968, Yes performed at London's Blaise's club as a substitute for Sly & the Family Stone, who failed to turn up. They were well received by the audience, including host Roy Flynn, who became the band's manager that night. Spots at The Marquee soon turned into a residency, but Bruford decided to leave in September to study at Leeds University. He was replaced by Tony O'Riley of The Koobas, who struggled to perform with the group on-stage. Anderson and Squire pleaded for Bruford to return, who after being refused a year of sabbatical leave, rejoined for Yes' supporting slot for Cream's farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 November 1968.
In early 1969, Yes signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Their self-titled debut album was released in August, and included renditions of "Every Little Thing" by The Beatles and "I See You" by The Byrds, as well as original material. Lester Bangs gave a positive review in Rolling Stone, and complimented the album's "sense of style, taste, and subtlety". Melody Maker columnist Tony Wilson chose Yes and Led Zeppelin as the two bands "Most Likely to Succeed". After a tour of Scandinavia with The Small Faces in February 1970, Yes performed their first major solo concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on 21 March. The second half consisted of excerpts from their upcoming second album, Time and a Word, accompanied with a 20-piece youth orchestra. Released in July 1970, Time and a Word featured the orchestra with band-composed material and two cover songs – "Everydays" by Buffalo Springfield and "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" by Richie Havens. Peter Banks, who had been particularly dissatisfied with using the orchestra and the sacking of Roy Flynn earlier in the year, left the group before the album's release on 2 May 1970. Banks' replacement was Tomorrow guitarist Steve Howe, who was included on the cover of the American issue of Time and a Word, despite not having played on it. The album reached number 45 on the UK Albums Chart, and Howe played his first show with Yes on 15 July at London's Lyceum Theatre.
The Yes Album, the band's third, was released in January 1971. It was the first to solely feature original compositions, which the band wrote and rehearsed in a rented farmhouse in Devon. Howe quickly established himself as an integral part of the Yes sound, and played a wider variety of instruments including the Spanish laúd. The Yes Album also united the group with their long-serving producer and engineer Eddie Offord. According to Offord, the recording sessions would last for 12 hours or more. Each track was assembled from small sections, typically 30 seconds to one minute in length, which he pieced together to form a complete track. Only after the final mix of each track would the band then learn to play the song right through for live performances. The Yes Album peaked at number 4 in the UK and number 40 on the US Billboard 200 charts. To promote it, Yes embarked on a 28-day tour of Europe with Iron Butterfly in January 1971. The band purchased Iron Butterfly's entire public address system which improved their on-stage performance and sound. Their first date in North America followed on 24 June 1971 at Edmonton Gardens in Edmonton, Alberta, supporting Jethro Tull. Tony Kaye performed his final show with Yes at the Crystal Palace Bowl that August. The decision was made after friction arose between Howe and himself on tour, and his reported reluctance to play the Mellotron and the Minimoog synthesiser.
At the time of Kaye's departure, Yes had already found their new keyboardist – Rick Wakeman, a classically trained player who left the folk rock group Strawbs earlier in the year. He was already a noted studio musician, with credits including T. Rex, David Bowie, Cat Stevens and Elton John. Squire commented that he could play "a grand piano for three bars, a Mellotron for two bars and a Moog for the next one absolutely spot on", which gave Yes the orchestral and choral textures that benefited their new material.
Released on 26 November 1971, the band's fourth album Fragile showcased their growing interest in the structures of classical music, with an excerpt of The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky being played at the start of their concerts since the album's 1971–1972 tour. Each member performed a solo track on the album, and it marked the start of their long collaboration with artist Roger Dean, who designed the group's logo, album art, and stage sets. (Later, for the 1976 American tour, his brother Martyn was the main designer behind the extraordinary 'Crab Nebula' set, while Roger and fabric designer Felicity Youette provided the backgrounds.) Fragile peaked at number 7 in the UK and number 4 in the US after it was released there in January 1972, and was their first record to reach the top ten in North America. The opening track, "Roundabout", was released as a shortened single that peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. In February 1972, Yes recorded a cover version of "America" by Paul Simon. The single reached number 46 on the US singles chart. The track subsequently appeared on The New Age of Atlantic, a compilation album of several bands signed to Atlantic Records.
Released in September 1972, Close to the Edge, the band's fifth album, was their most ambitious work so far. At 19 minutes, the title track took up an entire side on the vinyl record and combined elements of classical music, psychedelic rock, pop and jazz. The album reached number 3 in the US and number 4 on the UK charts. "And You and I" was released as a single that peaked at number 42 in the US. The growing critical and commercial success of the band was not enough to retain Bruford, who left Yes in the summer of 1972, before the album's release, in order to join King Crimson. His replacement was former Plastic Ono Band drummer Alan White, a friend of Anderson and Offord who had once sat in with the band weeks before Bruford's departure. White learned the band's set list in three days before embarking on the 1972–1973 tour. By this point, Yes were beginning to enjoy worldwide commercial and critical success. Their early touring with White was featured on Yessongs, a triple live album released in May 1973 that documented shows from 1972. The album reached number 7 in the UK and number 12 in the US. A concert film of the same name premiered in 1975 that documented their shows at the Rainbow Theatre in December 1972, with added psychedelic visual images and effects.
Tales from Topographic Oceans was the band's sixth studio album, released on 14 December 1973. The band played the entire suite at The Rainbow Theatre before releasing the album. It marked a change in their fortunes and polarised fans and critics alike. The double vinyl set was based on Anderson's interpretation of the Shastric scriptures from a footnote within Paramahansa Yogananda's book Autobiography of a Yogi. The album became the first LP in the UK to ship gold before the record arrived at retailers. It went on to top the UK charts for two weeks while reaching number 6 in the US, and became the band's fourth consecutive gold album. Wakeman was not pleased with the record and is critical of much of its material. He felt sections were "bled to death" and contained too much musical padding. Wakeman left the band after the 1973–1974 tour; his solo album Journey to the Centre of the Earth topped the UK charts in May 1974.
Several musicians auditioned to take over for Wakeman, including former Atlantis and Cat Stevens keyboardist Jean Roussel, Eddie Jobson, and Greek musician Vangelis Papathanassiou, previously of Aphrodite's Child and later known as Vangelis, who would work with Anderson as Jon and Vangelis in the 1980s. Wakeman's replacement was Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz, a distinctive electric-jazz musician who had previously been part of the trio Refugee, alongside two former members of The Nice. Moraz arrived during the recording sessions for Relayer, the band's seventh studio album. He fit in well with the jazz-fusion-influenced direction the band were pursuing with the record. Released in November 1974, Relayer continued certain traditions in featuring a side-long track, a cosmic battle initially inspired by Tolstoy's War and Peace titled "The Gates of Delirium". Its closing section, "Soon", was subsequently released as a single. The album reached number 4 in the UK and number 5 in the US. From 1974 to 1975, Yes embarked on a world tour to support Relayer followed by a North American tour in 1976, after each member released a solo album. Though none were well-received commercially (the combined sales of all five solo albums was still far less than the sales of any Yes album of the era), Squire's Fish Out of Water was praised among music critics. A compilation album named Yesterdays was released in 1975 that contained tracks from the band's first two albums, a b-side "Dear Father" from the Time And A Word album sessions, as well as their version of "America".
Recording sessions for Going for the One, the band's eighth studio album, began in late 1976. Wakeman rejoined Yes after a period of negotiation on a "session musician" basis. He liked the group's new material which he considered to be more energetic and interesting than Tales from Topographic Oceans. Moraz was dismissed, though he appears on the list of thanks on the album's sleeve. Released in July 1977, Going for the One topped the UK charts for two weeks and reached number 8 in the US. "Wonderous Stories" was released as a single in the UK and reached number 7 in the UK single charts in September. Going for the One was also the first not to have a Roger Dean cover image since The Yes Album, although the Yes logo, designed by Dean, was still featured. The design firm Hipgnosis handled the cover design on this particular release. The album topped the UK charts during a period of 21 weeks and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200 for the same period. Their 1977 tour supporting the record took place between July and December.
On 20 September 1978, Tormato was released at the height of punk rock in England, during which the music press often criticised Yes as representing the most bloated excesses of early-1970s progressive rock. The album saw the band continuing their movement towards shorter songs, played with a tighter rock feel that at points approached New Wave styling. At this point, there was evidence that Yes were beginning to change aspects of their sound. Wakeman replaced his Mellotrons with the Birotron, a tape replay keyboard, and Squire experimented with harmonisers and Mu-tron pedals. The band have since said that they were not sure about some of the material on the album. This lack of focus extended to the production style, which was handled collectively by the band and saw disagreements at the mixing stage. The album artwork saw Hipgnosis taking a turn once again, with their combination of manipulated photography and graphical elements cohabiting rather uneasily with Dean's definitive logo. The album reached number 8 in the UK and number 10 in the US charts. Despite internal and external criticisms of the album, the band embarked on a successful 1978–1979 tour that featured a central revolving stage and a circular sound system fitted above.
In October 1979, the band convened in Paris with producer Roy Thomas Baker. Their diverse approach was now succumbing to division, as Anderson and Wakeman favoured the more fantastical and delicate approach while the rest preferred a heavier rock sound. In 1980 Howe, Squire and White liked none of the music Anderson was offering at the time as it was too lightweight and lacking in the heaviness that they were generating in their own writing sessions. The Paris sessions abruptly ended in December after White broke his foot while roller skating. When the band reconvened to consider their next move, their growing musical differences, combined with internal dissension, obstructed progress. By May that year, relations had deteriorated and Anderson departed from Yes. Wakeman immediately followed suit, thinking that the band could not continue without their primary voice.
In 1980, pop duo The Buggles that was formed of keyboardist Geoffrey Downes and singer Trevor Horn acquired Brian Lane as a manager. The pair had a worldwide hit with the single "Video Killed the Radio Star", and were working in the same office as Yes. The duo already had a song called "We Can Fly From Here," which had been written with Yes in mind. To their surprise, they were invited to join Yes as full-time members. They accepted the invitation and appeared on the Drama album in 1980. The record displayed a heavier, harder sound than the material Yes recorded with Anderson in 1979, opening with the lengthy hard rocker "Machine Messiah". The album peaked at number 2 in the UK and number 18 in the US. Their 1980 tour of North America and the UK received a mixed reaction from audiences. They were well received in the United States, and were awarded with a commemorative certificate after they performed a record 16 consecutive sold out concerts at Madison Square Garden since 1974.
After the Drama tour, Yes reconvened in England to decide the band's next step. They dismissed Lane as a manager, and Horn chose to pursue a career in music production. White and Squire were next to depart, leaving Downes and Howe as the sole members. They opted not to continue with the group, and went their separate ways in December 1980. A live compilation album of performances from 1976 to 1978 was released as Yesshows that peaked at number 22 in the UK, and number 43 in the US.
An announcement came from the group's management in March 1981 confirming that Yes no longer existed. Downes and Howe reunited to form Asia with former King Crimson bassist and vocalist John Wetton, and drummer Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. Squire and White continued to work together, initially recording sessions with Jimmy Page for a proposed band called XYZ (short for "ex-Yes-and-Zeppelin"). Page's former bandmate Robert Plant was also to be involved as the vocalist but he lost enthusiasm, citing his ongoing grieving for recently deceased Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. The group produced a few demo tracks, elements of which would appear in Page's band The Firm and on future Yes tracks "Mind Drive" and "Can You Imagine?". In 1981, Squire and White released "Run With the Fox", a Christmas single with Squire on vocals and with lyrics by Peter Sinfield, which received radio airplay through the 1980s and early 1990s during the Christmas periods. A second Yes compilation album, Classic Yes was released in November 1981.
In 1982, Squire and White teamed up with South African rock guitarist and singer Trevor Rabin in a new band called Cinema. Rabin had initially made his name with the band Rabbitt, subsequently releasing three solo albums, working as a record producer and even briefly playing in an early version of Asia. Squire also recruited another former Yes musician, Tony Kaye, whose approach to keyboards suited the new group. Despite the presence of three Yes musicians, Cinema was not originally intended to be a continuation of Yes.
Cinema subsequently entered the studio to record an album. Although Rabin and Squire initially shared lead vocals, Trevor Horn was brought into the project as a potential singer, but subsequently changed roles in order to become the band's producer. Horn polished the band's developing songs with modern studio effects and digital sampling using the Fairlight CMI and also played a prominent role in vocal arrangement (including contributing to the backing vocals). However, his clashes with Tony Kaye (complicated by the fact that Rabin was playing most of the keyboards during the recording sessions) led to Kaye's departure after around six months of rehearsing.
Meanwhile, Jon Anderson had released two solo albums since leaving Yes and had also achieved success with the Jon and Vangelis project. Having encountered Anderson at a Los Angeles party, Squire played him the Cinema demo tracks and subsequently inviting him to become the band's lead vocalist. Anderson joined the project during the last few weeks of the sessions, having comparatively little creative input beyond adding his lead vocals and re-writing certain lyrics.
At the suggestion of record company executives, Cinema then changed their name to Yes. Rabin initially objected to this, as he now found that he had inadvertently joined a reunited band with a history and expectations, rather than help launch a new group. However, the presence of four former Yes members in the band (three of them founder members, including the distinctive lead singer) suggested that the name change was sound commercial strategy. The new album marked a radical change in style as the revived Yes had adopted a pop rock sound that showed little of their progressive roots. This incarnation of the band has sometimes been informally referred to as "Yes-West", reflecting the band's new base in Los Angeles rather than London.
Yes released their comeback album 90125 (named after its catalogue serial number on Atco Records) in November 1983. It became their biggest-selling album, selling over 6 million copies, and introduced the band to younger fans. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" topped the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for four weeks, and went on to reach the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the first and only single from Yes to do so, for two weeks in January 1984. Kaye's short-term replacement on keyboards, Eddie Jobson, appeared briefly in the original video but was edited out as much as possible once Kaye had been persuaded to return to the band.
In 1984, the singles "Leave It" and "It Can Happen" reached number 24 and 57 respectively. Yes also earned their first and only Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1985 for the two-minute track "Cinema". They were also nominated for an award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals with "Owner of a Lonely Heart", and a Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal award with 90125. The band's 1984–1985 tour was the most lucrative in their history and spawned 9012Live, a concert film directed by Steven Soderbergh with added special effects from Charlex that cost $1 million. Yes' mini-LP released in 1985, 9012Live: The Solos, earned Yes a nomination for a second Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for Squire's solo track, a rendition of "Amazing Grace".
Yes began recording for their twelfth album, Big Generator, in 1986. The sessions underwent many starts and stops due to the use of multiple recording locations in Italy, London and Los Angeles as well as interpersonal problems between Rabin and Horn, which kept the album from timely completion. Eventually Rabin took over final production, and the album was released in September 1987 which reached number 17 in the UK and number 15 in the US. Big Generator earned Yes a nomination for a second Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1988. The single "Love Will Find a Way" topped the Mainstream Rock chart, while "Rhythm of Love" reached number 2 and "Shoot High, Aim Low" number 11. The 1987–1988 tour ended with an appearance at Madison Square Garden as part of Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary.
By the end of 1988, Anderson felt creatively sidelined by Rabin and Squire and had grown tired of the musical direction of the "Yes West" line-up. He took leave of the band, asserting that he would never stay in Yes purely for the money, and started work in Montserrat on a solo project that eventually involved Wakeman, Howe, and Bruford. This collaboration led to suggestions that there would be some kind of reformation of the "classic" Yes, although from the start the project had included bass player Tony Levin, whom Bruford had worked with in King Crimson. The project was contractually unable to take over or otherwise use the Yes name as Anderson, Squire, White, Kaye, and Rabin held the rights which dated back to the 90125 contract. The group became known as Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, which suited Bruford since he wanted to distance himself from the "Yes" name.
Their eponymous album released in 1989 featured "Brother of Mine" which became a MTV hit and went gold in the United States. It later emerged that the four band members had not all recorded together; Anderson and producer Chris Kimsey slotted their parts into place. Howe has stated publicly that he was unhappy with the mix of his guitars on the album, though a version of "Fist of Fire" with more of Howe's guitars left intact appeared on the In a Word box set in 2002. ABWH toured in 1989 and 1990 as "An Evening of Yes Music" which featured Levin, keyboardist Julian Colbeck, and guitarist Milton McDonald as support musicians. A live album was recorded and released in 1993 titled An Evening of Yes Music Plus that featured Jeff Berlin on bass due to Levin suffering from illness. The tour was also dogged by legal battles sparked by Atlantic Records due to the band's references to Yes in promotional materials and the tour title.
After the tour the group returned to the recording studio to produce their second album, tentitively called Dialogue. After listening thru the tracks Arista Records refused to release the album as it felt the initial mixes were weak. They encouraged the group to seek outside songwriters, preferably ones who could help them deliver hit singles. Anderson approached Rabin about the situation, and Rabin sent Anderson a demo tape with four songs, indicating that ABWH could have one but had to send the others back. Arista listened to all four and wanted all of them, but Rabin would not agree on the request. The "Yes-West" group were working on a follow-up to Big Generator and had been shopping around for a new singer. Ex-Supertramp vocalist Roger Hodgson had already rejected the post, though he enjoyed working and writing with the group, he thought it unwise to attempt to pass off the resulting music as "Yes." The band had also been working with Kansas singer Steve Walsh and with Billy Sherwood of World Trade, although the former only spent one day working with Yes, the latter worked well enough with the band to continue with writing sessions. Arista suggested that the "Yes-West" group, with Anderson on vocals, record the four songs to add to the new album which would then be released under the Yes name.
Union was released in April 1991 and is the thirteenth studio album from Yes. Each group did their own songs, with Anderson singing on all tracks. Squire sang background vocals on a few of the ABWH tracks, with Tony Levin doing all the bass on those songs. The album does not feature all eight members playing at once. The track "Masquerade" earned Yes a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1992. Union sold approximately 1.5 million copies worldwide, and peaked at number 7 in the UK and number 15 in the US charts. Three singles from the album were released. "Lift Me Up" topped the Mainstream Rock charts in May 1991 for six weeks, while "Saving My Heart" peaked at number 9 and "Make It Easy" at 36.
Almost the entire band have openly stated their disliking for Union. Bruford has disowned the album entirely, and Wakeman was reportedly unable to recognise any of his keyboard work in the final edit and threw his copy of the album out of his limousine. He has since referred to the album as "Onion" because it makes him cry when he thinks about it. Elias later stated publicly in an interview that Anderson, as the associate producer, knew of the session musicians' involvement. He added that he and Anderson had even initiated their contributions, because of the hostility between some of the band members at the time, resulting in none of the work was getting done. The 1991–1992 Union tour united all eight members on a spinning circular stage. Following its conclusion, Bruford chose not to remain involved with Yes and returned to his jazz project Earthworks.
In 1993, the album Symphonic Music of Yes was released and features orchestrated Yes tracks arranged by David Palmer. Howe, Bruford and Anderson perform on the record who are joined by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the London Community Gospel Choir. The following Yes studio album, as with Union, was masterminded by a record company than the band itself. Victory Music approached Rabin with a proposal to produce an album solely with the 90125 line-up. Rabin initially countered by requesting that Wakeman also be included. Rabin began assembling the album at his home, using the then-pioneering concept of a digital home studio, and used material written by himself and Anderson. The new album was well into production in 1993, but Wakeman's involvement had finally been cancelled, as his refusal to leave his long-serving management created insuperable legal problems.
Talk was released in March 1994 and is the band's fourteenth studio release. Its cover was designed by pop artist Peter Max. The record was digitally recorded in its entirety by Rabin on 10 GB of hard disk storage on four Apple Macintosh computers running Digital Performer. It blended elements of radio-friendly rock with a more structurally ambitious approach taken from the band's progressive blueprint, with the fifteen-minute track "Endless Dream". The album reached number 20 in the UK and number 33 in the US. The track "The Calling" reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and "Walls", which Rabin had written with Roger Hodgson, peaked at number 24. Yes performed "Walls" on Late Show with David Letterman just days into their 1994 tour that featured Billy Sherwood on additional guitar and keyboards. Using portable FM radios tuned to a specific frequency, audiences could hear the concert with greater dynamic range and stereo effects. Kaye and Rabin opted to leave Yes following the tour to pursue other projects. Rabin went on to become a successful film-score composer.
In November 1995, Wakeman and Howe returned to the line-up and performed on two new tracks, "Be the One" and "That, That Is". The band then reunited for three shows in March 1996 at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California which were recorded and released, along with the new studio tracks, that October as Keys to Ascension on CMC International Records. The album peaked at number 48 in the UK and number 99 in the US. A same-titled live video of the shows was also released that year. Yes continued to record new tracks in the studio, drawing some material written around the time of the XYZ project. At one point the new songs were to be released as a studio album, but commercial considerations meant that the new tracks were eventually packaged with the remainder of the 1996 San Luis Obispo shows in November 1997 on Keys to Ascension 2. The record managed to reach number 62 in the UK, but failed to chart in the US. Wakeman left the group following the album's release. He was disgruntled at the way a potential studio album had been sacrificed in favour of the Keys to Ascension releases, as well as how a Yes tour was being arranged without his input or agreement. In 2001, the studio material from both albums was combined and released on the single CD Keystudio.
Squire turned to a project named Conspiracy with Sherwood that included contributions from White. The two reworked existing Conspiracy demos and recordings to turn them into Yes songs and added new material. Anderson and Howe were less involved with the writing and production at this stage and expressed dissatisfaction about the situation later. Sherwood's integral involvement with the writing, production and performance of the music led to his formally joining Yes as a full member at the end of the sessions, taking on the role of harmony singer, keyboardist and second guitarist.
Yes released their seventeenth studio album, Open Your Eyes, in November 1997 on the Beyond Music label, who ensured that the group had greater control in packaging and naming the album. It was not a chart success; the record peaked at number 151 on the Billboard 200 but failed to enter the charts in the UK. The single "Open Your Eyes" managed to reach number 33 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The band's 1997 and 1998 tour featured only a few pieces from the album, but mostly concentrated on earlier material. The tour also featured keyboards from Russian keyboard player Igor Khoroshev, who had played on some of the tracks on Open Your Eyes.
Khoroshev became a full-time member of Yes for their eighteenth studio album The Ladder, released in September 1999. This would be the last project that record producer Bruce Fairbairn would work on before his untimely death. Many fans were reminded of the band's 1970s sound largely because of Khoroshev's classically oriented approach, though White also brought in world music influences with Latinesque arrangements, and with multi-instrumentalist Randy Raine-Reusch contributing to the album's textures. Sherwood's role continued to be limited to backup vocals and backup guitar. One of the album tracks, "Homeworld (The Ladder)", was written for Relic Entertainment's Homeworld, a real-time strategy computer game and was used as the credits and outro theme. The band stated that they wrote the song not because the game's developers asked them but because they liked several aspects of the game itself. The Ladder peaked at number 36 in the UK and number 99 in the US.
The performance at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on the 1999–2000 tour was filmed and recorded for the DVD and live album release, House of Yes: Live from House of Blues. This would be the band's last work with Sherwood, who left the band after at the tour's conclusion in early 2000. That year, Yes embarked on the three-month Masterworks tour of the United States. Khoroshev left the band at its conclusion.
In 2001, Yes released their nineteenth studio album Magnification. Recorded without a keyboardist, the album features a 60-piece orchestra conducted by Larry Groupé; the first time the band used an orchestra since Time and a Word in 1970. The record was not a chart success; it peaked at number 71 in the UK and number 186 in the US. Yes toured with a symphony orchestra in 2001 with keyboardist Tom Brislin as Wakeman was occupied with his solo tours. Their performance in Amsterdam was released on DVD in 2002 and CD in 2009 as Symphonic Live.
Following Wakeman's announcement of his return in April 2002, Yes embarked on their Full Circle Tour in 2002–2003 that included their first performances in Australia since 1973. The triple compilation album The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection was released in July 2003 that reached number 10 in the UK charts, their highest-charting album since 1991, and number 131 in the US. On 26 January 2004, the film Yesspeak premiered in a number of select theatres, which was followed by a closed-circuit live acoustic performance of the group that was released as Yes Acoustic: Guaranteed No Hiss later on. A 35th anniversary tour followed in 2004 which was documented on the live DVD Songs from Tsongas.
After the 35th anniversary tour in September 2004, Yes were inactive for four years. The band were unable to continue touring because of Anderson's health issues who, unlike the other members, was not interested in producing a new studio album after the low sales of Magnification. He claimed that recording one was not "logical any more," and no announcement was made regarding a release of the new material. A 40th anniversary Close to the Edge and Back tour was scheduled to begin in 2008 that was to feature Oliver Wakeman on keyboards, as his father was advised by his doctors not to tour. Anderson claimed that the band rehearsed four new "lengthy, multi-movement compositions" for the tour that was suddenly cancelled in May 2008 after he suffered an asthma attack and diagnosed with acute respiratory failure. Anderson said he "just needed a break, but the guys were upset about that."
In 2008, Jon Anderson was replaced with Canadian singer Benoît David of progressive rock group Mystery and a Yes tribute band called Close to the Edge. Anderson stated that he felt "disappointed" and "disrespected" by the band's decision to tour without him and by the lack of contact with the other members since his illness.[when?] Jon Anderson delayed Yes from doing any touring due to respiratory issues. In 2008, after four years, the remainder of Yes became tired of waiting and brought David with them in lieu of Anderson. The band embarked on their 2008–2010 In the Present Tour that featured Oliver Wakeman on keyboards. The tour was cut short in February 2009 as Squire required emergency leg surgery plus a month of recuperation. The tour was documented with the live album and DVD set In the Present – Live from Lyon released in 2011.
It was announced in August 2010 that new material had been written for the band's twentieth studio album Fly from Here, the first since 2001. Howe dispelled rumours that Anderson was invited back to sing on the record, asserting that all studio recording was to be carried out by "the line-up that actually...does the work." The band signed a deal with Frontiers Records and began recording in Los Angeles with Trevor Horn serving as producer. During the recording sessions Oliver Wakeman was replaced by the returning Geoff Downes. Upon completion of recording in March 2011 and post-production a month later, the album was released worldwide by mid-July 2011. A North American tour took place that was co-headlined with Styx and a following European tour concluded in December. Fly from Here peaked at number 30 in the UK chart and 36 on the Billboard 200. Anderson was openly critical of the record, describing it as "a bit dated" and its production not "as good as [he] expected", though he called Horn a "great producer."
In February 2012, after contracting a respiratory illness, David was replaced by Glass Hammer vocalist Jon Davison who, like David, was discovered while fronting a Yes cover band. Squire has stated that he is open to Anderson's return in the future, but it wont be considered before at least another year of promoting Fly from Here. Squire has also mentioned the possibility of 'Yes on Broadway' in 2013 to celebrate the band's 45th anniversary. He claims this could hopefully involve not only Jon Anderson, but other former members, such as Rick Wakeman and/or Patrick Moraz.
An article in the 26 July 2012 Philadelphia Metro (p. 8) says there will be a new Yes album in 2013, according to Alan White. A June 2012 interview with Squire had this: "Yes has a new vocalist in Jon Davison who has turned out to be really fantastic. So we will definitely be looking at doing a new Yes album next year I'm sure with new material with Jon Davison's involvement. Very loosely, that's the next part of the Yes story."
24-30 Mar 2013 will see Yes lead a progressive rock-themed Caribbean cruise, the Cruise to the Edge.
In an August 2012 interview, White said: "[Davison is] already coming up with ideas and new pieces of music that we're passing around, kind of thinking towards [an album] next year". A 25 Sep 2012 interview with White had: "we are going to do some writing with Chris [Squire] between now and Christmas with the view to recording something next year." An August 2012 interview with Squire and White says, "Chris Squire [...] and [...] White [...] told CBS Local that they're hoping to do a new album, their first with the new singer, next year."
|1978||"Don't Kill the Whale"|
|1980||"Into the Lens"|
|1983||"Owner of a Lonely Heart"|
|1983||"It Can Happen"|
|1985||"Hold On" (live)|
|1987||"Love Will Find a Way"|
|1987||"Rhythm of Love"|
|1991||"Lift Me Up"|
|2011||"We Can Fly"|
|2011||"Live from Lyon"||Philippe Nicolet|
After the release of 90125, Yes released an extended single "disco" remix of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" called "The Red and Blue Mix" on cassette tape. A version of Leave It using scratching was on the B-side. This version was filmed and was an introduction video on a subsequent tour.
Media related to Yes at Wikimedia Commons