Monday, April 9, 2007


@ Wiki
Yes are an English progressive rock band that formed in London in 1968. Their music is marked by sharp dynamic contrasts, often extended song lengths, and a general showcasing of its members' instrumental skills. Yes uses symphonic and other so called 'classical' structures with their blend of musical styles in an innovative "marriage" of music. Despite a great many lineup changes, occasional splits and many changes in popular music, the band has continued for nearly 40 years and still retains a strong international following.

Early days (1968-1970)
Yes was formed in 1968 by vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire. Anderson had already recorded a single in 1964 as a member of The Warriors, a beat band formed by his brother Tony, and later sang on a couple of 45s for Parlophone Records under the pseudonym Hans Christian. He was also briefly a member of the group Gun. Squire had been a member of The Syn, a flower-pop outfit who had recorded a couple of singles for Deram Records (one, "14-Hour Technicolour Dream", celebrating the "happening" held at Alexandra Palace on April 29/April 30, 1967). After the breakup of The Syn, Squire spent a year developing his bass-playing technique, strongly influenced by The Who's bassist, John Entwistle. Then, in May 1968, he met Anderson in a Soho nightclub, La Chasse, where Anderson was working. The two had a common interest in vocal harmony and began working together soon afterwards.

Squire was in a band called Mabel Greer's Toyshop with Clive Bailey, and Anderson also started singing with the group. Drummer Bill Bruford was recruited from an ad he had placed in Melody Maker, replacing Bob Hagger. A jazz aficionado, Bruford had played just three gigs with Blues revivalists Savoy Brown before leaving. The group had also included guitarist Peter Banks.

With Bailey's departure, Banks' return and the addition of organist/pianist Tony Kaye, the band became Yes. Banks came up with the three letter name, with the rationale that it would stand out on posters. The classically trained Kaye had already been in a series of prior groups (Johnny Taylor's Star Combo, The Federals, and Jimmy Winston and His Reflections)..... =>>>>>>>>>>>

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There is a timeline of Yes (up to 1980) with historical notes by Steven Sullivan. Pete Whipple's Forgotten Yesterdays charts the band's live history, while Paul Cobb's Yes Catalogue charts their release history.

Chris Squire and Peter Banks first played together in a band called The Syn, but both later (and at separate times) joined Mabel Greer's Toy Shop. One night, Jon Anderson met Squire after a Mabel Greer gig and the core of Yes was born. Anderson sang with Mabel Greer's Toy Shop a few times and a new line up was to emerge of Squire, Anderson, Banks, Bill Bruford and Tony Kaye. Around August 1968, they changed their name to Yes (the name coming from Banks). As well as their own material, the early band also played numerous covers, some of which would later see release on Yes, Time and a Word or Yesterdays. This line-up released Yes (1969), which was well received in the music press. With the addition of a string section, the same line-up recorded Time and a Word (1970), although Banks had been replaced by Steve Howe shortly before its UK release. Eddie Offord was brought in by the producer as engineer, the beginning of his long association with the band. The cover art for the UK release of Time and a Word, featuring a drawing of a nude woman, was deemed too risque for the US and it was replaced by a band photo including Howe, even thought he had nothing whatsoever to do with the album. The US cover was preserved for the CD.

Now with Howe, the band recorded The Yes Album (1971). Kaye was the next to leave, forming Badger with David Foster, Anderson's partner in a band before Yes (The Warriors) and co-writer of two songs on Time and a Word. Both Kaye and Banks had had musical differences with the rest of the band and seem to have been sacked, although they were quite willing to go. Kaye was replaced by Rick Wakeman and the band recorded Fragile (1972). Fragile included solo pieces from each member, although, for contractual reasons, Wakeman was only able to contribute a 'cover' of a piece by Brahms as "Cans and Brahms". The same line up next recorded Close to the Edge (1972). Bruford left before the associated tour, to join King Crimson, feeling he could go no further with Yes. His replacement was Alan White.

The double album Tales from Topographic Oceans (1974) followed. Wakeman, publicly outspoken against the album and the direction the band had taken, left after the tour. Anderson, Howe, Squire and White started work on the next album, to be joined by Patrick Moraz. This produced Relayer (1974). At Anderson's suggestion, each band member then produced a solo album in 1975/6. Anderson made Olias of Sunhillow, a true solo album in which he played every instrument. Squire's Fish Out of Water saw the return of Bruford, plus Moraz on keys. Both also guested on Howe's Beginnings. For Ramshackled, White turned to an old band of his, though Anderson and Howe guest on one track. Moraz made i (also known as The Story of i). Some solo pieces were tried out on the subsequent Yes tour, but were soon abandoned. ......=>>>>>>>>>>>

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by Bruce Eder @ Allmusic
Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to be one of the lingering success stories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shift in its audience and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. Where rivals such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer withered away commercially after the mid-'70s, and Genesis and King Crimson altered their sounds so radically as to become unrecognizable to their original fans, Yes retained the same sound, and performed much of the same repertory that they were doing in 1971; and for their trouble, they found themselves being taken seriously a quarter of a century later. Their audience remains huge because they've always attracted younger listeners drawn to their mix of daunting virtuosity, cosmic (often mystical) lyrics, complex musical textures, and powerful yet delicate lead vocals.

Lead singer Jon Anderson (b. Oct. 25, 1944, Accrington, Lancashire) started out during the British beat boom as a member of the Warriors, who recorded a single for Decca in 1964; he was later in the band Gun before going solo in 1967 with two singles on the Parlophone label. He was making a meager living cleaning up at a London club called La Chasse during June of 1968, and was thinking of starting up a new band. One day at the bar, he chanced to meet bassist/vocalist Chris Squire, a former member of the band the Syn, who had recorded for Deram, the progressive division of Decca.

The two learned that they shared several musical interests, including an appreciation for the harmony singing of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and within a matter of days were trying to write songs together. They began developing the beginnings of a sound that incorporated harmonies with a solid-rock backing, rooted in Squire's very precise approach to the bass. Anderson and Squire saw the groups around them as having either strong vocals and weak instrumental backup, or powerful backup and weak lead vocals, and they sought to combine the best of both. Their initial inspiration, at least as far as the precision of their vocals, according to Squire, was the pop/soul act the Fifth Dimension.

They recruited Tony Kaye (b. Jan. 11, 1946), formerly of the Federals, on keyboards; Peter Banks (b. July 7, 1947), previously a member of the Syn, on guitar, and drummer Bill Bruford (b. May 17, 1948), who had only just joined the blues band Savoy Brown a few weeks earlier. The name Yes was chosen for the band as something short, direct, and memorable.

The British music scene at this time was in a state of flux. The pop/psychedelic era, with its pretty melodies and delicate sounds, was drawing to a close, replaced by the heavier sounds of groups like Cream. Progressive rock, with a heavy dose of late 19th century classical music, was also starting to make a noise that was being heard, in the guise of acts such as the Nice, featuring Keith Emerson, and the original Deep Purple. ......=>>>>>>>>>>>

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Ernesto Lechner @ Rolling Stone
You can say a lot of nasty things about progressive rock, and many people have -- most frequently, that the genre emphasizes musical chops over soulful expression. But in the case of Yes, the British band's often overbearing pretentiousness resulted in moments of rare grace and beauty, a bizarre and fleeting -- if totally unrealistic -- coupling of classical textures with rock & roll pathos.

Curiously enough, Yes' 1969 debut is a relatively down-to-earth affair -- and a not very inspired one at that. The quintet's reworking of the Beatles' "Every Little Thing" illustrates its knack for mysterioso, angelic harmonies, led by singer Jon Anderson. But the band's original compositions are sketchy at best. The psychedelic Time and a Word offers little improvement, perhaps because of the dubious decision to attach an entire symphony orchestra to the already cluttered arrangements.

It was the addition of Steve Howe's guitar pyrotechnics that finally allowed Yes to find their true identity. The Yes Album is a gigantic leap forward, with extended workouts such as the ethereal "Starship Trooper" emphasizing the band members' individual virtues. In Bill Bruford, Yes had a hip, jazzy drummer; in Chris Squire, a bassist willing to dominate the mix with his elephantine lines; and in Tony Kaye, an organist who used his Hammond sparingly, for funkier effect.

Kaye was unceremoniously dismissed so that virtuoso Rick Wakeman could join in, perfecting the definitive Yes sound. Fragile is quintessential classic rock. "Roundabout" is an undeniable prog-pop singalong, but the album's happiest moments are subtle, brief passages such as the bucolic instrumental segment of "South Side of the Sky" and the gleefully baroque line that Wakeman repeats hypnotically during the climax of "Heart of the Sunrise."

At that moment, the band threw caution to the wind and indulged its appetite for excess without a hint of guilt. Close to the Edge is not really a rock record, but rather a symphony that happens to be performed by a rock band. The decidedly trippy 20-minute-long title track is occasionally shrill and breathtakingly intense, whereas "Siberian Khatru," with its staccato attack and tribal vocalizing, remains, to this day, strangely hip. A bewildered Bruford quit the group, reasoning that Yes could never reach such heights again. He was replaced by Alan White, a more economical drummer.

Depending on your point of view, Tales from Topographic Oceans is either prog rock's absolute nadir or its dreamy masterpiece. Sure enough, this overblown double LP set finds true redemption only when seen as an exercise in mood. Relayer is probably Yes' best opus, a manic jam session that places the group's instrumental dexterity at the service of a ferocious combination of free jazz and heavy metal. ......=>>>>>>>>>>>

Paul Cobb's Yes Catalogue is a unique, highly detailed discography and bibliography of Yes (and ABWH) releases and media appearances. The Catalogue is available in PDF format.

Clicking on the link will start your Acrobat plug-in automatically allowing you to view the document. At somewhat over 1.0MB, it may take some time to download. If you don't have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it here.

Last catalogue update: 11 Feb 2006

Copyright: Paul Cobb, 2001-2006. This copyright gives permission for you to have a copy of this document for your own personal use, either as an electronic document or a hard copy. You may not sell this catalogue for any reason and you may not charge people for the media on which a copy of this catalogue is given, or distribute this catalogue in mass quantities.

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