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Yes Biography

Home > Music > Y > Yes > Biography

Birth Place: London, United Kingdom
Years Active: 1968 - 1981, 1983 - 2004, 2008 - present
Genres: Progressive Rock, Symphonic Rock, Art Rock, Pop Rock, Psychedelic Rock

Yes is an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968, generally regarded as one of the archetypal bands and pioneers of the genre. The band's music blends symphonic and other “classical” structures with their own brand of rock music. Despite many lineup changes, occasional splits within the group, and the ever-changing trends in popular music, the band has continued for more than 40 years and still retains a large following. They have sold over 33 million albums to date.

Although the band's sole consistent member has been bass player Chris Squire, Yes are also generally noted for the distinctive high-register vocals of former lead singer Jon Anderson and the eclectic musical stylings of a succession of guitarists (Steve Howe, Peter Banks, Trevor Rabin, Billy Sherwood), keyboard players (Rick Wakeman, Tony Kaye, Patrick Moraz, Geoff Downes, Igor Khoroshev, Oliver Wakeman), and drummers (Alan White and Bill Bruford).

Several band members became celebrated musicians and/or bandleaders in their own right, and a 1980 lineup of the band was briefly fronted by Trevor Horn (shortly before he became one of rock music's most celebrated record producers).

Yes’ self-titled debut album was released in 1969. Two of the album's eight songs were covers. Their third album, “The Yes Album,” was released in 1971. This was Yes' breakthrough album, as it reached #4 in the U.K. and, eventually, #40 in the U.S. where it was a platinum seller.

Their 1972 album “Fragile” peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart during a stay of 46 weeks, and reached #7 in the U.K. Albums chart. It featured one of the bands most well-known songs, “Roundabout.” The single was one of the band's biggest hits in the United States, peaking at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The single version of the song was edited down to 3:27 (from the 8:29 full length version) for American pop radio airplay.

They released “90125” in 1983 and eventually became Yes' most commercially successful album by far, selling more than 6 million copies. The album's lead song, “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” was the band’s first and only #1 hit on the main charts and even crossed over to become a top hit on the R&B and disco charts.

“Fly from Here,” the band’s first album in a decade, was released in 2011. It was the first to feature Canadian singer Benoît David, who replaced long-time vocalist Jon Anderson in 2008 due to health reasons. It peaked at #30 on the U.K. Albums chart, and #36 on the Billboard 200.