Yes – A Look at the Band’s History

During the band’s 50th anniversary tour in 2015, Yes played a selection of songs from their history. The setlist included pieces from the new album, but concentrated mainly on material from their earlier albums.

The band’s early recordings are ragged and full of cover material, including psychedelic workouts on songs by Stephen Stills and the Beatles. They have also recorded their own cover versions of Paul Simon’s “America” and the Byrds’ “I See You.” Their cover version of “America” appeared on the compilation album Yesterdays and reached number 46 on the US singles chart.

The band changed its name to Yes in 1983. The name change was controversial at first, with Trevor Rabin initially objecting to the change. But Rabin stayed with Yes until 1994, eventually becoming film composer. The band had a number of lineup changes throughout their career.

Rick Wakeman left Yes in 1979, and was replaced by Trevor Horn. Geoff Downes, formerly of the new wave band the Buggles, also joined the group. The band also recruited Russian keyboard player Igor Khoroshev for the 1997/98 tour.

The band’s early albums, notably Open Your Eyes and Big Generator, featured heavy radio airplay. However, Anderson was less involved than he had wanted.

The band also recorded their first live album, Yessongs, which documented shows at London’s Rainbow Theatre in 1972. This live album reached number 7 on the UK chart.

Yes also recorded a live DVD, In the Present – Live from Lyon, which was released in 2011. This live album features renditions of the band’s classics, including Close to the Edge and Fragile. It also features new mixes.

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