Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

They got a lot of exposure opening for Cream at their farewell concert and by appearing on John Peel’s BBC program Top Gear.

From 1981-1982, they took a hiatus to work on solo projects. When they came back, they returned with 90125, which veered away from their prog sound but became their best-selling album. It also got them on MTV.

Trevor Horn and Geoffrey Downes were members of the Buggles, whose song “Video Killed The Radio Star” was the first video played on MTV.

In 1989, Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe released an album under the name Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. Due to legal issues, they weren’t allowed to call themselves Yes.

Howe and Downes were both in the supergroup Asia.

Yes holds the record for the most performances at New York City’s Madison Square Garden during the 1970s.

Founder member Peter Banks played with Yes for their first two albums, ‘1969’s Yes and 1970’s Time And The Word, but a disagreement about the direction of the band led to his dismissal before the release of the second LP. Banks was found dead in his London home on March 8, 2013 due to heart failure. He was reportedly discovered after failing to show up for a recording session.

The band’s name came from their first guitarist Peter Banks because it was “Short and sweet.”

Prior to Jon Anderson rejoining Yes for the recording of 90125, the other bandmembers Chris Squire, Alan White, Tony Kaye, and newcomer Trevor Rabin had formed as a new group and called themselves Cinema. This lineup is also known by Yes fans as Yes West, because their recordings were held in Los Angeles.

One of their first gigs was opening for Cream at their Farewell Concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1968.

Rick Wakeman has left and rejoined Yes six times. He told Kerrang!: “Somebody once said Yes and myself were like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor: couldn’t live with each other, but couldn’t live without each other. And I said, ‘That’s absolutely fine – as long as I’m Richard Burton.'”

In 2008, the group replaced Anderson, who was dealing with health issues, with Benoît David, a Canadian singer who was once part of a Yes tribute band. Two years later, Anderson teamed up with Rabin and Wakeman to form Anderson Rabin Wakeman (ARW), which later used the name Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman.

So ever since 2010, there have been two versions of the group, each with a claim to the name and lineage. They came together when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, but diverged again after the ceremony. The version of the group led by Howe and White use the name Yes, along with the logos.

During a quiet section at a Yes gig in 1973, Rick Wakeman ducked behind his keyboard and tucked into a vindaloo that had been handed to him by a roadie.

“Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind”

Live albums were a huge deal for many bands in the 1970’s. In general, double albums featuring cross sections of an artist’s career were big business for lots of acts of that era…some (Peter Frampton, Kiss) launched massive sales on their debut live discs after relentless touring. Progressive English bands Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer upped the ante by putting out TRIPLE live albums! I was a member of the Columbia House record club back then, and Yessongs was the feature release one month in 1973. I had never heard the band at that time, but loved the cover art that Roger Dean designed for their albums, so I decided to order this magnum opus and work towards fulfilling my obligation to the club at the same time. Needless to say, I played the entire six sides of this record in one sitting and fell absolutely in love with this band. Jon Anderson’s glorious voice, the majestic and massive tone of Chris Squire’s bass, the keyboard wizardry of Rick Wakeman (complete with a cape…yep, a CAPE!), and Steve Howe’s incredible guitar skills, combined with both departing drummer Bill Bruford and his replacement, Alan White, and I was mesmerized. The songs were all full of intricate musical and vocal harmonies, complex rhythm and time changes, and epic structure. Just magnificent from start to finish. This was the sound of a band at their absolute peak, and I for one am glad that they chose to make their live album longer than most of the others. I am a child of the ’70’s and I’m proud to say that my decade ROCKED!

Written By Braddon S. Williams

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