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Subject: FAQ: intro and band history
From: Henry Potts 
Date: Wed, 08 May 1996 21:17:59 -0700

Authorship: This FAQ (version 1; 2.2.96) was written by Henry Potts, with 
additions, corrections, help, moral support and suggestions from many 
others on alt.music.yes, particularly Steven Sullivan and Anthony Hobbs, 
but also Jeremy S. Weissenburger [Yesoteric section], Paul Rogers, 
Diane197, Impman, Joe Brasfield, Machete Bug, Matt Revell, Mike Lord
and Jimmy Clutter. Finally, thanks to Adrian Wrigley for first 
introducing me to _90125_. 

Last updated 8.5.96. 

Amy (alt.music.yes) is for the discussion of all things to do with the 
group Yes in its many incarnations (some of which weren't even called 
Yes). Discussion about the various Yes members' activities outside of the 
band are also frequent (although rec.music.progressive may also be 
appropriate). 

Yes music is very varied and so are Yes fans' responses to the music. 
While many fans passionately love some Yes music, they may well 
passionately hate other Yes music. (Something is all the more 
disappointing when it fails our expectations.) However, everyone has 
their own views on which music falls into which categories. There will 
always be someone who shares your views somewhere on a.m.y., as well as 
many who don't! 

Every released Yes song is available on one of the albums. There are now 
no titles that were only released on single, although there are a number 
of alternative versions (particularly of YesWest songs) which were. 
However, there is one ABWH piece ("Vultures") that has only be released 
as a b-side. 

A short history of the band:

Chris Squire and Peter Banks had been in a band called The Syn, which was 
to mutate into Mabel Greer's Toy Shop. One night, Jon Anderson met Squire 
after a gig and the core of Yes was born. Anderson sang with Mabel 
Greer's Toy Shop a few times but a new band was to emerge of Squire, 
Anderson and Banks (who picked the name Yes), as well as Bill Bruford and
Tony Kaye. As well as their own material, the early band also played 
numerous covers, some of which would later see release on _Yes_, _Time 
and a Word_ or _Yesterdays_; The Beatles and Stephen Stills were 
particular favourites. This line-up released _Yes_ (1969), which was well 
received in the music press. With the addition of a string section, the 
same line-up recorded _Time and a Word_ (1970). Eddie Offord was brought 
in by the producer as engineer, the beginning of his long association 
with the band. The original album cover was deemed too risque for the US 
(featuring a drawing of a nude woman) and it was replaced by a band 
photo. By that time, however, Banks had been replaced by Steve Howe, who 
had nothing whatsoever to do with the album. This cover was preserved for 
the CD. 

Now with Howe, the band recorded _The Yes Album_ (1971). Kaye was the 
next to leave, forming Badger with David Foster, Anderson's partner in a 
band before Yes (The Warriors) and co-writer of some songs on _Time and a 
Word_. Both Kaye and Banks had had musical differences with the rest of 
the band and seem to have been sacked, although they were quite
willing to go. Kaye was replaced by Rick Wakeman and the band recorded 
_Fragile_ (1972). _Fragile_ included solo pieces from each member, 
although, for contractual reasons, Wakeman was only able to contribute a 
'cover' of a piece by Brahms as "Cans and Brahms". The same line-up next 
recorded _Close to the Edge_ (1972). Bruford left before the associated 
tour, to join King Crimson, feeling he could go no further with Yes. His 
replacement was Alan White. 

The double album _Tales from Topographic Oceans_ (1974) followed. 
Wakeman, publicly outspoken against the album and the direction the band 
had taken, left after the tour. Anderson, Howe, Squire and White started 
work on the next album, to be joined by Patrick Moraz. This produced 
_Relayer_ (1974). At Anderson's suggestion, each band member then 
produced a solo album in 1975/6. Anderson made _Olias of Sunhillow_, a 
true solo album in which he played every instrument. Squire's
_Fish Out of Water_ saw the return of Bruford, plus Moraz on keys. Both 
also guested on Howe's _Beginnings_. For _Ramshackled_, White turned to 
an old band of his, though Anderson and Howe guest on one track. Moraz 
made _The Story of i_. Some solo pieces were tried out on the subsequent 
Yes tour, but were soon abandoned. 

Moraz then left the group (possibly sacked) and Wakeman returned for 
_Going for the One_ (1977). (Moraz would later record two albums with 
Bruford as Moraz - Bruford.) The line-up remained unchanged for _Tormato_ 
(1978). The band recorded two sets of sessions after _Tormato_, the 
so-called Paris and Golden Age sessions, but they were unhappy with the
results. Anderson and Wakeman decided to leave; Anderson re-using some of 
the material in his subsequent solo album _Song of Seven_. One another 
piece would be re-used, much changed, as "Run Through the Light" on 
_Drama_ by Squire. 

Squire, Howe and White continued as a trio. Meanwhile, Trevor Horn and 
Geoff Downes were in a band called The Buggles (best known for "Video 
Killed the Radio Star"). They approached Yes hoping to sell them some 
songs, but were invited to join the band instead. This new line-up 
released _Drama_ (1980). The tour, which saw two further new pieces ("Go 
Through This" and "We Can Fly From Here"), ran into problems with 
resistance to Anderson's departure. Horn was very uncomfortable
about live performances and having to fill Anderson's shoes, and retired 
to concentrate on producing. (He also finished The Buggles' second album, 
_Adventures in Modern Recording_, which includes a different version of 
_Drama_'s "Into the Lens" as "I Am a Camera".) Yes went into dissolution. 

Howe and Downes formed Asia with John Wetton (a former colleague of 
Bruford's in King Crimson and UK) and Carl Palmer (of ELP). Squire and 
White joined Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin to from XYZ (ex-Yes and 
Zeppelin). Demos were recorded but the band folded before any releases. 
(Squire has said that Page has re-used some of Squire's XYZ material in 
later projects.) Squire and White also released a single "Run with the 
Fox" (b/w "Return of the Fox", an instrumental version of the same 
piece), later released on _YesYears_. The duo were next joined by Trevor 
Rabin to form Cinema, with Tony Kaye later joining as well. 

Cinema recorded some demos, re-using some material Rabin had recorded as 
solo demos. Horn came back to produce and Anderson then joined the band, 
leading to a name change (back) to Yes. Finally, _90125_ (1983) was 
released, containing the hit single "Owner of a Lonely Heart". Still with 
Horn producing, the band started on their next album. Horn soon left 
(possibly having been fired) and after years of further production work, 
_Big Generator_ (1987) eventually emerged. 

Anderson then left the group and attempted to re-form the _Fragile_ band. 
The result was Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, or ABWH. Squire took out 
legal action to prevent them calling themselves Yes, further deepening 
the schism between ABWH and what is usually known as YesWest (Squire, 
Rabin, White and Kaye). ABWH released _ABWH_ (1989), on which Downes also 
receives a writing co-credit for some material re-used by Howe from his 
time working with Downes. Similarly, Vangelis' credit is for an 
unreleased Jon & Vangelis Anderson recycled. On bass, ABWH recruited 
Bruford's colleague from King Crimson, Tony Levin. 

YesWest continued in name, although little was recorded. The exact course 
of events is unclear. Rabin was busy with a solo album (_Can't Look 
Away_) and seems to have actually left the band. Squire recruited Billy 
Sherwood and Bruce Gowdy from World Trade. Sherwood, Squire and White 
went on to form the Chris Squire Experiment, a band that only played live 
a few times. Sherwood continued to have peripheral involvement with Yes, 
while some Squire/Sherwood material eventually surfaced on World Trade's 
second album, _Euphoria_ (1995). ABWH, meanwhile, started work on a 
second album, to be called _Dialogue_, and recorded lengthy demos. The 
record company being desirous of 'hit' material, Anderson approached
Rabin to write some songs for the album. Thus was the Union born. _Union_ 
(1991) consisted largely of ABWH material (mostly new as compared to the 
_Dialogue_ demos) combined with a few Rabin tracks and one 
Squire/Sherwood track, on which the YesWest band played. Anderson added 
his vocals to the YesWest material and Squire added backing vocals to the
ABWH material. The ABWH material had an extensive input from producer 
Johnathon Elias. He brought in session musicians to re-record some parts, 
much to the distaste of Wakeman and Howe. A tour followed, seeing all 
eight playing on stage together. 

The Union soon revealed itself as a marketing ploy. Bruford left 
immediately after the tour and Howe soon followed. Wakeman remained 
associated with the band, but his own solo career precluded active 
involvement on the next album. This left the same line-up as _Big 
Generator_ to release _Talk_ (1994). 1994 also saw Howe and Bruford, with 
Anderson guesting, work on David Palmer's _Symphonic Music of Yes_. 

Rabin and Kaye then left the band, clearing the way for Howe and Wakeman 
to return, which is the current state of play. The next album, due this 
year, will be a douoble album consisting of half an album's worth of new, 
studio material with the rest being live material from concerts at San 
Luis Osbispo. Anderson, Squire, Howe and White are all committed to the 
band, but Wakeman's involvement beyond _The Keys to Ascension_ is 
uncertain. 


Henry

This FAQ is at

http://sable.ox.ac.uk/~some0280/amy_faq.html

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