Yes are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968 by lead singer and frontman Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford. The band has undergone numerous line-up changes throughout their history, during which 20 musicians have been full-time members. Since February 2023, the band has consisted of guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes, bassist Billy Sherwood, singer Jon Davison, and drummer Jay Schellen. Yes have explored several musical styles over the years and are most notably regarded as progressive rock pioneers.
Yes began performing original songs and rearranged covers of rock, pop, blues and jazz songs, as evidenced on their self-titled first album from 1969, and its follow-up Time and a Word from 1970. A change of direction later in 1970 led to a series of successful progressive rock albums, with four consecutive U.S. platinum or multi-platinum sellers in The Yes Album (1971), Fragile (1971), Close to the Edge (1972) and the live album Yessongs (1973). Further albums, Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973), Relayer (1974), Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978), were also commercially successful. Yes toured as a major rock act that earned the band a reputation for their elaborate stage sets, light displays, and album covers designed by Roger Dean. The success of "Roundabout", the single from Fragile, cemented their popularity across the decade and beyond. Anderson and Squire remained with the group throughout the 1970s, with Banks, Kaye, and Bruford all departing across 1970–1972, and being replaced by Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Alan White, respectively. Wakeman would leave the group in 1974, but returned two years later, with Patrick Moraz taking his place in the interim. After a final album, Drama, and tour in 1980, both of which saw Downes and Trevor Horn replace Wakeman and Anderson, respectively, Yes disbanded in 1981.
In 1983, Squire and White reformed Yes, with Anderson and Kaye returning, and guitarist Trevor Rabin joining. Rabin's songwriting helped move the band toward a more mainstream rock style. The result was 90125 (1983), their highest-selling album, featuring the U.S. number-one single "Owner of a Lonely Heart". Its follow-up, Big Generator (1987), was also successful. From 1991 to 1992, Yes were an eight-member formation after they merged with spinoff Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe for Union (1991) and its tour. From 1994 to 2004, Yes regularly released albums with varied levels of success. After a four-year hiatus, they resumed touring in 2008 and have released three new albums; their most recent is The Quest (2021). Throughout the long history of Yes, current and former members have often collaborated outside of the official band context; most recently, the group Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman toured from 2016 to 2018. Among the longest serving members of the band, Squire died in 2015, and White died in 2022.
Yes are one of the most successful, influential, and longest-lasting progressive rock bands. They have sold 13.5 million RIAA-certified albums in the U.S., as well as more than 30 million albums worldwide. In 1985, they won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance with "Cinema", and received five Grammy nominations between 1985 and 1992. They were ranked No. 94 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Their discography spans 22 studio albums. In April 2017, Yes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which chose to induct current and former members Anderson, Squire, Bruford, Kaye, Howe, Wakeman, White, and Rabin.
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