Steve Howe did. I mean, there really is no question, in my mind. Steve and Rick brought equal musical skills, but Steve was a principal songwriter in the band whereas Rick was only an occasional songwriter in YES.
Um, I dunno.
That's an interesting way of looking at it. There seem to be a lot of folks who pick "Close to the Edge" as their favorite Yes album, and a lot who pick "Relayer", for example. Steve was on both, but Rick was only on one. So who had the greater influence?
Read an interesting comment from an interview with Bill Bruford in Modern Drummer mag
Bruford said in response to a question on whether or not Wakeman "raised the bar" for Yes:
MD: [Yes keyboardist] Rick Wakeman was a Royal Academy trained musician. Did that raise the bar of everyone in Yes?
This raised an interesting thought as an Yes e mail lst is currently discussing Wakeman's contribution to Yes.. (Now I am no musician so I may have no idea what I am saying here)......many making to he point that much of his impact is unknown due to his arranging skills and that he may have had an impact on the preparing *just before ( edit) * Relayer, and that Tales may have been a mess without his arranging and other skills.Bill: Absolutely. Suddenly you had a guy who could make all kind of modulation tricks and fancy harmony stuff, which made things sound much better. We were no longer an amateur band. [Yes vocalist] Jon Anderson surrounded himself with technicians who knew how to make something out of those melodies he invented.
This thread has been way slanted towards Howe, but I think these thoughts bring it closer to the middle.
Last edited by YESOLA; 08-12-2008 at 04:33 PM.
Listen to Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio (www.deliciousagony.com).
"Name one band who only plays their new album, and no old songs from their past catalogue - I can't think of one. Didn't Yes play Roundabout as an encore on the Tales tour?" - BillGuitar
Howe may have gotten more songwriting credit, but Rick was very heavily involved in the arrangements, which you don't generally get songwriting credit for, but nonetheless are just as important if not more so.
..were we ever colder on that day a million miles away..
I agree about the arrangements. I'm sure Rick had a hand in employing those fancy academy tricks in getting things to flow as well as they did.
Not only that, but according to Rick, he did not get nearly the writing credits he deserved in the first place, due to contractual crap. He was contracted to another label and always appeared "courtesy of" them.
It's lie asking someone who their favorite grandchild is. It's an agonizing question. Voted for Steve. Not sure why. I would have felt bad either way, though.
Howe's work on the Yes Album (as well as the overall improved song quality vs. the Banks recordings) helped to propel the significantly higher sales demanded by Atlantic from the band. As I have understood it, The Yes Album was going to be the proverbial third strike in terms of a continued relationship with their record company. So, I would argue that without the success of The Yes Album, there may have never been a need for Rick Wakeman in Yes. Of course, the addition of Wakeman, and his huge input to both the band and Fragile, resulted in superstardom for the band.
They're both superb musicians. The sum is greater than the parts.
The Current lineup is Chris Squire Alan White Geoff Downes Steve Howe and Jon Davison and according to Geoff Downes who told me personally they WILL RELEASE A NEW ALBUM NEXT SPRING. END OF DISCUSSION
Howe hands down!
The mind is like a parachute; it works much better when it's open.
No question, Steve Howe. I think Rick Wakeman is maybe the most overrated Yes-musician. And the Yes-sound was already perfect on The Yes-Album, from there on it got only modified, expanded, refreshed.
I think it is a mistake and hugely unfair to attempt to denigrate Ricks contribution - he took Yes a huge step forward when he joined and set the bar very high for those that came after. His distinctive playing and superlative arrangement skills, not to mention sense of humour were vital.
I had to think long and hard before voting against him, but I had to go with Steve, whose unusual playing style and writing is still shaping Yes music.
Soon oh soon the light, Pass within and soothe this endless night, And wait here for you, Our reason to be here...
... actually, if one would ask me, who had the greatest impact and who never should be missed in Yes, I would say, it was/is Chris...
... nevertheless I am Looking forward to that AWR or AWRBS or whatever... it can work...
Steve, I think.
Wakeman moved the keyboard role into virtuosity, but Steve re-shaped the band for good starting with The Yes Album.
By virtue of the amount of time he has been in the group, and his co-writing of some of the absolute classic "progressive" pieces with Jon in the 1970's, I would certainly go with Steve.
"He who binds to himself a joy doth the winged life destroy. But he who kisses the joy as it flies lives in Eternity's sunrise..." - William Blake
Um, I dunno.
They both had considerable impact on the band, but not only is Wakeman overrated (that's NOT to say he's bad - - on the contrary, he's an excellent keyboardist), but his compositional contributions to the band are practically non-existent, except for the albums where they credited all band members for all of the songs.
Howe is widely regarded as a guitarist with far reaching impact, but he's contributed to the band's compositional output for decades.
I'd like to change my vote from Um, I dunno to Howe.
With regard to impact, Wakeman easily. He came in classically trained and could read music.
He took them beyond where they were going. Howes sound was influenced by Banks. But he took the lead
in writing with Jon and his versatility shaped the classics I think into what they became.