A Conversation for Yes - the Line-ups of the Band

Yes-the band

Post 1


Isn't "John Anderson" actually "Jon Anderson"? Small point but if I put up info on "the Beatles" and referred to "Jon Lennon", I'm sure there would be some comment.

Yes-the band

Post 2

Room of 95

True. Nitpicky, pedantic, but irrefutably true.

Yes-the band

Post 3

Bob Gone for good read the jornal

you should do a few of jon andersons best intavew quotes, you know like she was a mumaid and I was an undersea goblin smiley - biggrin

Yes-the band

Post 4

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

Hmm, I came here to make the same pedantic observation. Good to see pedantry is not dead.

Yes-the band

Post 5

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

Given the previously mentioned aliveness of pedantry, I feel it my duty to call to account the use of the word 'mumaid'.

I'm assuming that it was suposed to read 'mermaid' - as in woman from the sea, rather than implying an as yet unreleased fizzy drink tasting of 'mum' (although the concept of a drink tasting of mum is no sillier than stuff Jon has said over the years - think of all that gibberish about 'tiny cows' before 'Wonderous Stories' each concert).

That's all. Please apply flames ->*<- here.


Yes-the band

Post 6

Bob Gone for good read the jornal

I am dislexic ok?

Yes-the band

Post 7

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

OK. Sorry. This is me being deeply humble. smiley - grovel.

Anyway, it has to be said, the mermaid quote is new to me - did he really say that, or is that 'in the style of JA'?

I've now been off and read your personal space, and believe that it would be particularly disasterous of my to offend such a high Thingite dignatory as yourself (does that link in to the campaign to rename thursday?), given that the forces that I call my own number only a few bent plastic soldiers from the 1970's and an action man with no head.

But 'you have to be trusted, by the people that you lie to, so that when they turn their backs on you, you'll get the chance to stick the knife in', as one particularly vitirolic chap put is some years ago.

Once again, sorry about the real or implied slur to your character.

If you like RW, I suppose that you're not so keen on the last couple of CD's then - or am I jumping to conclusions?

On a closing note - some years ago I saw a cartoon in a 'gentlemans' publication, of a St.Trinians type girlie carrying a large placard saying 'Support Daily Sex' - alongside her was a frumpy teacher saying 'Are you sure that's how you spell Dyslexia my dear?'

Well - it made me laugh.

Isn't it time someone wrote a fuller account of Yes than the one that we are (supposedly) talking about?

Yes-the band

Post 8

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

Yes it probably is.

I could give it a lash, although I have to say I'm not totally up to date - who was that russian bloke, Billy who, how many times has Rick Wakeman left now (did you see him on "A Question of Pop" the other day?), etc etc.

By the way, at one point early in the bands history (probably before "Yes" was made), Bill Bruford left to go to university, and someone called (I think) Tony O'Reilly took over. They did a gig at Bruford's uni, Bruford told his friends "come and see this band I used to be in, they're good". Apparently they were crap, the drummer was awful, and Bruford then re-joined.

Also, did you know Vangelis was auditioned for the keyboard role, I think after Wakeman left first time, either that or after Pat Moraz left?

Also, originally "Cinema" had someone Jobson on keyboards, I don't know whether Tony Kaye re-joined before they became Yes.

Yes-the band

Post 9

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

1) Yes, I did see him on QofP - doesn't he look old? His divorce has obviously hit him hard.

- example of RW joke:
Q: What has two legs and is covered in blood?
A: Half a dog.

As told to the audience of the Worthing Assembly Rooms some years ago on an English Rock Ensemble tour...

2) vangellis never actually auditioned. It was at the time that he was in Aphrodite's Child (a greek prog rock act), and JA had met him at some event or other - RW had just left (for the first time) and JA is reported to have suggested his name to the band - who didn't want a foreigner. History reveals that they fianlly settled for that famous englishman Patric Moraz.

3) Eddie Jobson was (is) an electric violinist. By which I mean he plays an electric violin, not that he's a violinist powered by electricity (although in a physiological sense he is). He rehearsed with Yes/Cinema in a lineup that seems to have consisted of Squire (Bass),Rabin (Guit), Horn (Keyb/Vox), White (Drums/Perc).

At the time Horn wanted to get into producing (although Rabin actually did a lot on 90125), so they got Anderson back for Vox, and Kaye for Organ (NOT Keyboards) and changed the name back to Yes.

In fact most of the keyboard playing on 90125 is by Horn and Rabin, with bits by Squire. Kaye is generally accepted as being the worst keyboard player Yes have ever had - because he was only ever an organ player. It's an important distinction. Wakeman was a pianist who could play synths and organs, Kaye wasn't.

After everyone else joined Jobson left - he didn't feel the group (as Yes) was something that he felt comfortable in.

The only known recording of Jobson playing with Cinema is the video of Owner of a Lonely Heart - he was edited out mostly, but managed to make it into a few of the sequences because it was too expensive to re-shoot, and Yes hadn't had a hit for decades (little did they know).

Live, Kaye played simple bits, but most of Wakeman's fancy compositions were played off stage by a keyboard roadie - or so it's said.

4) By my reconning Wakeman has left 4 times.
First time: he left - citing musical and religeous diferences - after Tales from Topographic Oceans.
Second time: he left - during the 'Paris Sessions' for the album that was supposed to follow Going for the One - this time for unrevealed personal reasons.
Third time: he was kicked out - after Union a new version of Yes - Squire, Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman and White - wanted to record and perform, but the promoters said that audiences would be confused, so they asked Kaye back in to reform the 90125/Big Generator line-up.
Fourth time: After re-joining the band to record the SLO concerts (released as KTA 1 & 2) and some new material (released as the studio parts of the same) he left because he did not want to tour. His health has not been good since a heart attack in the 70's and it was about this time that he and his wife parted company.

Much of the above is unsubstantiated gossip, or culled from decades of the music press (is there a diference I wonder) and so the veracity of it would have to be considered 'advisory' at best.

to date Yes have had:

2 Bass players (Squire, Horn) [- Horn played bass on a couple of tracks on drama].
2 Lead Vocalists (Anderson & Horn)
3 Lead guitarists (Banks, Howe & Rabin)
1 Rhythm Guitarist (Billy Sherwood)
5 Keyboard players (Kaye, Wakeman, Moraz, Wakeman again, Kaye again, Wakeman & Kaye at once, Kaye again, Wakeman again, Koroshev)
2 Drummers (Bruford, White)

If you count ABWH as Yes in all but name you can add a couple of other Rythym guitarista and Tony Levin on bass (plus a guy that did the US tour who's name escapes me, but he's the one on the Live CD).

Yes-the band

Post 10

Bob Gone for good read the jornal

smiley - smiley
no problem I was actully just p****d off last night to many people moning at once.
any way. yep I have almost off of the yes colection even the few without Rick on cd or Vinal smiley - smiley

Yes-the band

Post 11

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

2) I have to take issue with - I have a book in which the band members describe Vangelis's audition - apparently he wasn't satisfied with showing off his keyboard skills, and showed off his prowess on all the other instruments as well.

My information about Jobson came form one of those "rock family tree" things - and it definetely marked him as keyboard player - a mistake on their part, I assume?

On point 4 - were those Paris sessions not after "Tormato" rather than "Going for the One" ?

Yes-the band

Post 12

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

Just realised huge oversight on my part smiley - sigh

To date, Yes have actually had SIX keyboardists (or five, or four depending on how you count them - see the notes below), so the ammended list (studio albums only) goes:

Kaye: 1969 - 1971 (Yes, Time & A Word, The Yes Album)
Wakeman: 1972 - 1974 (Fragile, Close To The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans)
Moraz: 1974 (Relayer)
Wakeman2: 1977 - 1978 (Going for the One, Tormato)
DOWNES: 1979 (Drama) <-- Geof Downes, previously of Buggles, subsequently of Asia.
Kaye2: 1983 - 1987 (90125, Big Generator)
Wakeman3 & Kaye3: 1991 (Union)
Kaye4: 1994 (Talk)
Wakeman4: 1996 - 1997 (Keys to Ascension, KTA2)
Koroshev*: 1997 - 1999 (Open Your Eyes, The Ladder)
Brislin**: 2001 (Magnification)

* When he was in the band Koroshev got a full credit as a member on the CD sleeve, however once he had left (or was sacked?) the bands official website gave the impression that he was never a 'full' member.
* The current (unreleased at this date) CD has no single band member on keyboards, but Tom Brislin will be playing keyboard parts on tour, and has supplied parts for the CD.

It is also worth mentioning that although uncredited, Trevor Horn recorded keyboard parts used on 90125 and Big Generator, and Trevor Rabin for 90125, Big Generator and Talk. In fact, Talk was recorded almost entirely solo by Rabin at his own houise onto an Apple Mac with him playing everything, and then Anderson came in and dubbed the vocals at the end. The versions of the songs bootlegged from the Talk tour as played by the whole band actually souond fairly different (and in my oppinion better).

So if you count the number of people who have been recorded playing keyboards with Yes you get Eight (TK, RW, PM, GD, TH, TR, IK, TB).

If you only count full band members you get Seven (TK, RW, PM, GD, TH, TR, IK).

If you accept that Igor Koroshev was NOT a full band member you get Six (TK, RW, PM, GD, TH, TR).

If you only count those people credited on record sleves as keyboardists you get Five (TK, RW, PM, GD, IK).

But If you only count those people credited on record sleves as keyboardists AND you accept that Igor Koroshev was NOT a full band member you get Four (TK, RW, PM, GD).


Keyboard players is where Yes have really been a merry-go-round. Guitarists are easier.

Banks: 1969 - 1970 (Yes, Time & A Word)
Howe: 1971 - 1980 (Frag, TYA, CttE, TfTO, Rel, GftO, Tor, Drama)
Rabin: 1983 - 1987 (90125, BG)
Howe2 & Rabin2: 1991 (Union)
Rabin3: 1994 (Talk)
Howe3: 1996 - 2001 (KTA, KTA2, OYE, Ladder, Magnification)

In addition Jimmy Haun was a rythym guitarist for ABWH and the ABWH bits of Union, Billy Sherwood was rythym guitarist for the Chris Squire Experiment bits of Union, and toured with Yes for Talk, produced and engineered on KTA & KTA2, and joined the band proper for OYE and Ladder (and the associated tours).


Bruford: 1969 - 1972 (Yes - CttE)
White: 1973 - 1987 (Yessongs [the live album of the CttE tour] - BG)
Bruford2 & White2: 1991 (Union)
White3: 1994 - 2001 (Talk - Magnification)


Anderson: 1969 - 1979 (Yes - Tormato)
Horn: 1980 (Drama)
Anderson2: 1983 - 2001 (90125 - Magnification)

Howe, Rabin and Squire have all sung harmonies or shared lead vocals on certain songs - for maximum comic effect listen to 'Man In The Moon' from OYE - this is probably the worst song ever to be released by Yes but it's a fine example of Squire singing; another contender for Yes' worst song is 'Run With The Fox' a christmas single available now only as part of the YesYears box set - it also features Squire on vox, because at the time it was recorded Anderson wasn't in the band.


Squire - the only member of the band who appears on every official Yes recording.

Even this is not simple however, as Horn played Bass on a few Drama tracks in 1980, and Rabin played bass on much of the 4 records he was with the band.

1) No given line-up of yes may last more than 2 studio records.
2) No more than 2 people may leave at any one time.
3) To be allowed to use the name Yes a band must contain at least 2 of the following: Squire, White, Howe, Anderson - but the ones not in the band can veto use of the name (which is why ABWH wasn't yes, dispite being only 1 person [the bass player] different from the line-up in 1972.
4) No more than 4 recordings in a row are allowed to be in a consistent musical style - this is mostly as a resuly of rule 1.
5) All live albums must feature more material from the 'Classic' period than more recent material. A good example of this is the 1990's releases of KTA and KTA2, neither of which use any live material written more recently than 1978.

Part of the fun of Yes is that you never know what you're going to get next, but love it or hate is the standard of musicianship is second to none***.

*** With the exception of Open Your Eyes which must have been recorded in a hurry for contractual reasons as most of it is pure unremmitting crap, and is the only record I've ever purchased where I felt cheated out of the money - but that's my personal opinion, I'm sure that someone must like it, but it generally comes top in fans lists of what is the worst Yes album ever.

Yes-the band

Post 13

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

Open Your Eyes - bought it, listened to it once, has been gathering prodigious amounts of dust ever since...

Yes-the band

Post 14

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)


Paris Sessions were after Tormato.

Only excuse is that there are so many Yes records I got two in the wrong order in my head.

As for the Vangelis audition, I was basing the "no audition" thing from an article I read ages ago abour Jon & Vangellis, where someone (can't remember who) said he was due for an interview but never got one.

Yes-the band

Post 15

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

Will we ever see, or why haven't we seen, or maybe you have seen and I haven't seen, a Yes "The Paris Sessions" CD???

I seem to remember Jon and co blathering about them on the YesYears video - something about a song about picasso which Jon suddenly launches into whilst strumming an air guitar...

Yes-the band

Post 16

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

There are a number of bootlegs in existance of paris sessions material.

There are no plans to offiially release it that I've ever heard about, and in one interview a former band member (Wakeman?) claimed that some of the masters were deliberately destroyed by other band members to stop it ever getting out. smiley - sadface

Yes-the band

Post 17

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

Damn! Have you heard any of it? Is it good? if it was anything like Tormato, pretty bad I suspect?

Yes-the band

Post 18

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

My understanding is that Anderson used one song from Paris called 'Everybody Loves You' and another two rejected from Tormato - 'Days' and 'Some are Born' on his 'Song of Seven' LP. It has been re-issued on CD recently, but it's not the best record he ever made (but also a long way from being the worst).

Wakeman re-used bits of Parisian stuff on solo LPs but I can't specifically remember the songs.

Apparently one song from Paris re-surfaced in a different form as 'Run Through the Light' on Drama, but I haven't heard the Paris version so I don't know anything about it really.

Yes-the band

Post 19

Uncle Monty (nothing much going on here then)

I've got "Song of Seven" at home somewhere, I'll check it out. Another one I think I only listened to once. Have you got "Change We Must"? One of his not bad solo efforts, I thought. I've also got one called "City of Angels" - and there's a song on that which uses the tune to "Circus of Heaven" from Tormato. I think it's called "If it wasn't for Love".

What do you think of Tormato? I love some of it, and hate some of it. The aforementioned "Circus of Heaven" I rate as the worst song they did, at least in the 1970's. But I love "On the Silent Wings of Freedom", and some of the others are pretty good.

Referring to our other thread, yes I like Drama as well. Very ...dramatic..

Yes-the band

Post 20

DJP (Keeper of small things - see A598647 for more details)

I quite like Tormato.

It's not the best - it's certainly not the worst.

The live recordings (I've got a 2 1/4 hour recording of the Wembley 78 concert) are some of the best.

Wakeman at the top of his form.
Enough material to give a decent selection.
Anderson still able to hit the high notes, but not so stoned that he became incoherent in the introductions (it's alleged).
Squire and White stillbeing experimental - having not yet gone through the Buggles and Rabin forays into 'Ordinary Rock n Roll')
Howe - never seems to change over the years, but not being forced to play anything that he didn't write (as he has recently).

Pretty good.

It's worth noting that the set list for Wembely 1978 and SLO 1996 are almost exactly the same - as is the line-up. That said the SLO recordings are more profesional and the whole sound it 'tighter' - but you'd expect that after an extra 20 years to practice.

Some people have said that before Tormato Yes never made a conventionl rock record and since they have never made anything but.

Drama tried to be POP
90125 WAS pop.

Big Gen --> OYE was an atempt to repeat 90125 (some good some bad)
and Ladder was a well rehearsed group of friends making a good record but falling into 'old familiar ways'.

It looks like Magnification might be a return to novel ideas, but we've got 6 weeks to wait to find out.

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