Yes are one of the most accomplished, popular and enduring UK progressive rock bands of all time. Formed in London in 1968, it wasn't until their third album (and the introduction of guitarist Steve Howe) in 1971, that they began to make a significant impression. Having been tipped by sections of the music press, and also by disc jockey John Peel, they broke into the mainstream with their symphonic, complex rock music, characterised by long tracks with numerous changes, periods of improvisation, and obscure, sometimes fantastical lyrics. The band enjoyed enormous success throughout the 70s. Even when punk and new wave were at their height in the late 70s, Yes’ loyal following alone saw several critically derided albums reach the upper echelons of both the USA and UK charts. The band broke up in 1981, only to reform in 1983 and pick up where they left off. There was also a hiatus from 2004, although they once again reformed in 2008, and continue to tour. The Yes line-up has always been subject to change, with bassist Chris Squire remaining the only constant. Several former members have enjoyed distinguished careers in music since leaving Yes and numerous bands have sprung from it's source. As with progressive rock as a whole, Yes has often been an easy target for cynics, criticising their over-indulgences, of which there have been a number. But their willingness to push boundaries and take chances, often working outside of the verse/chorus/verse format, has resulted in some of the most truly breathtaking pieces of music in rock and there can be no doubting the outstanding musicianship that has been a constant throughout Yes’ long existence.
Followers: Rush, Kansas, Emerson Lake And Palmer, Marillion
Influenced By: Pink Floyd, King Crimson, The Beatles, The Syn
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