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Yes are a British progressive rock band who formed in London in 1968. They are best known for the 1972 9-minute US Top 20 smash "Roundabout" and their 1983 #1 hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart". Despite many lineup changes, occasional splits and the influence of the many changes in popular music, the band has endured for 40 years and still retains a strong international following. Their music is marked by sharp dynamic contrasts, lush harmonies, often extended song lengths and a general showcasing of members' instrumentalism. Arguably one of the most musically ambitious bands of their genre ('progressive rock'), Yes manages to use symphonic and other so-called "classical" structures with their own blend of musical styles - including some innovations - in a happy constructive "marriage" of music.
The original line-up consisted of Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass, vocals), Peter Banks (guitar, vocals), Tony Kaye (keyboards), and Bill Bruford (drums). Personnel changes brought musicians Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman into the group in 1970 and 1971 respectively. Steve Howe appears on the cover of 'Time And A Word', even though soon-to-be-ousted Pete Banks is the guitarist on the album. Alan White then replaced Bill Bruford in 1972. These changes had arguably the biggest influence on their music and subsequent success. The early 1970's saw Yes as one of the few influential mainstream progressive acts.
For some fans, the double-album, four-track 1973 recording 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' - symphonic and oddly mystical, marked a point of departure. It generally received a critical mauling in the press. Those listeners taken by the 'Tales' album would be enthralled by 1974's 'Relayer' - the only album that Patrick Moraz played keyboards on - which mixed progressive rock and a jazz fusion style that at times was very free in tunes such as the 'Gates of Delirium'. Far from their pop beginnings, this album marked a milestone for the band and for progressive rock as a whole.
During the rise of the progressive genre, Yes pioneered the use of synthesizers and sound effects, gaining large popularity with their unique brand of mysticism and grand-scale compositions. "Fragile" (1971) and "Close to the Edge" (1972) are considered their best works - symphonic, complex, cerebral, spiritual and moving. These albums featured beautiful harmonies and strong, occasionally heavy playing. Also, "Fragile" contained the popular hit song "Roundabout". With the advent of punk in 1977, many considered progressive rock dead in the water. Yes, however, proved them wrong by releasing one of their most successful albums - "Going For The One", which contained "Awaken", a rhythmic tour-de-force.
In the 1980s, Yes moved away from progressive rock toward more mainstream rock. The group split briefly in 1981, reforming in 1983. The personnel of Yes took on many incarnations in the 80's and 90's, including at various points Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes (from the new-wave band The Buggles of "Video Killed the Radio Star" fame), guitarist Trevor Rabin, a brief return of their original keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford, Billy Sherwood, and Igor Khoroshev.
During the 80's, Yes championed digital sampling technologies and sold millions of records, influencing a generation of digital musicians with hits such as "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" and "Rhythm Of Love". Moving through the 1990s and into the new millennium, the band has moved back towards progressive influenced music and today keeps pushing the boundaries by using the latest hard-disk recording techniques and, most recently, working with a full orchestra to create their genre-defying music ("Magnification")
In 1999 they worked with "Relic Entertainment" providing a song "Homeworld (The Ladder)" for the PC game "Homeworld". Although "Sierra Entertainment" later released a CD with the soundtrack they, for no apparent reason, chose not to include this song on the CD. It can however be found on the 1999 album "The Ladder"
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