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    To what extent has the changing lineup helped or hindered Yes?

    Now for me, part of Yes's charm has been the variety it has provided over the years. I love what the classic members did; but also what Patrick brought to Relayer, what the buggles brought to Drama and Fly From Here, what Rabin brought to all those projects and the freshness of albums like the Ladder.

    However, I imagine that the constant changing lineups would have had an impact on people's support for the band over the years, we know what Rabin's inclusion did to the fans, as well as the No Jon No Yes fiasco. Rush for example were a band which constantly built up support and perhaps part of that was their unwavering cast of characters for the audience to enjoy. What do you think, what impact did the lineup changing have and do you wish Yes had been more stable, or do you prefer the variety of members over the years?
    The Definitive YES Albums

    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

    #2
    There is something that I have been wanting to say but almost to afraid to say

    I think the reason certain members get slack (Downes Sherwood Schellen etc) is they never did an album with Jon Anderson

    and yes I know about the various albums Billy did with Jon but not as the sole bassist

    as for when it helped when I see threads about what if Jon and Rick never left yes

    I just don’t think yes would still be around.

    let’s talk about the 80’s specifically.. sorry to say but yes needed a keyboardist like Tony Kaye in the band. The 80’s were all about flashy guitar and minimal keyboards…

    could yes be popular in the 80’s with say

    Steve howe
    Alan White
    tony kaye
    chris squire
    Jon Anderson


    Yeah absolutely howe had hits in the 80’s with heat of the moment


    but could the late 70’s lineup be popular in the 80’s nope sorry I just don’t think so..

    Tormato sold less then going for the one and I believe less then drama and there is an obvious reason for that. I love that album but even I have to admit the constant battle between Rick and Steve can get tiring after a while…

    and Paris it is even worse


    honestly yes is only still around because of the lineup changes


    really the only issue is as Frum and others have pointed out they went with a lot of shitty record labels in the 90’s that basically didn’t market their albums…

    I mean lighting strikes was done right in the middle of the Latin infused rock scene that ended with Santana supernatural album (that is 21 years old now feel free to feel old) it should of been a number one hit for Yes

    did anyone besides us hard core members know that song or album existed….. nope

    i mean homeworld in a video game was a good start (I did meet someone who only knew yes from that song because he loved the game) but yeah marketing more then lineup changes killed yes’s popularity in my opinion

    Comment


      #3
      Unless your absolute favorite version of Yes is the original band with Anderson, Squire, Banks, Bruford and Kaye then you pretty much have to concede that lineup changes are good. The caveat I will add is that I think the most successful lineup changes are the ones that replaced talent with equal or greater talent, revolutionized the band and catapulted them to greater, different, exciting musical heights. The less successful ones are the ones that just allowed the band to continue kinda trudging along, only not as good as before.
      “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

      Comment


        #4
        Greatly. After Tormato, Yes music overall started a slow descent. Some would argue, after GFTO, as I might. So, Jon and Rick leaving the band got that ball rolling downhill.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Frumious B View Post
          Unless your absolute favorite version of Yes is the original band with Anderson, Squire, Banks, Bruford and Kaye then you pretty much have to concede that lineup changes are good. The caveat I will add is that I think the most successful lineup changes are the ones that replaced talent with equal or greater talent, revolutionized the band and catapulted them to greater, different, exciting musical heights. The less successful ones are the ones that just allowed the band to continue kinda trudging along, only not as good as before.
          Clearly, in the history of Yes, the only thing worse than a lineup change is *no* lineup change… Very rarely has a *continued* lineup really paid off; it seems like Yes would, with rare exception, get a real boost out of a change, but not be able to capitalize on that second time around:

          Yes -> Time and a Word - maybe the orchestrations, I don't know, but I find TaaW as a slight regression over the debut. "Astral Traveller" and "The Prophet" point the way forward, though…
          The Yes Album
          Fragile -> Close to the Edge - the exception that maybe proves a (admittedly very thin) dataset
          Tales from Topographic Oceans
          Relayer
          Going for the One -> Tormato - not too many would argue for the latter, although there are some…
          Drama
          90125 -> Big Generator - BG has its fans, but I'd say by and large, 90125 gets the nod.
          ABWH
          Union - while it's hard to judge, it's really hard to see what comes from ABWH2 as an improvement over ABWH…
          Talk
          Keys to Ascension -> Keys 2 - I don't know, I might be the only one who takes 1 over 2?
          Open Your Eyes
          The Ladder
          Magnification
          Fly From Here
          Heaven and Earth
          The Quest

          So yeah, while lineup changes lead to Open Your Eyes, they also lead to The Ladder, and while continuity leads to CttE, it also brought us Tormato. Call it 50/50 in the end?

          Comment


            #6
            They are still going. People/musicians have come, gone, come, gone, come, gone, bitten security person, branched off on their own, done s ton of stuff on their own, and we're actually over when I truly discovered them, and then all the off-shoots. Win/win for all of us. The band needs us, and we need the band. Unbelievable ride. So much joy over the years. One of the few consistents in my life that hasn't been family. Some of you folks are actually more loved than some of my family. ;-) Oh the improbability of YES still going, and the opportunity of seeing YES in one flavor or another still; is fucking crazy. Something you could never type in the old site. And for you offended kids and geezers, fucking is a German adjective. :-)

            Comment


              #7
              I think the lineup changes damaged the band's credibility and undermined its commercial prospects, particularly the period 1988-1996, with Jon and Chris mostly to blame.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Yesed View Post
                Greatly. After Tormato, Yes music overall started a slow descent. Some would argue, after GFTO, as I might. So, Jon and Rick leaving the band got that ball rolling downhill.
                Well, after the initial shock of such a bizzare band, I came to like Drama a lot. I still do.
                (Even 90125, though this is where I feel I started to detach a little more - mostly because of the lyrics.)

                Comment


                  #9
                  For me, the lineup changes were always part of the Yes package. The first 5 albums I bought were Drama, Fragile, 90125, Yesshows and Close To The Edge - in that order. That sequence has served me right as a Yes fan. So right off the band I knew that not only did they change people, they changed their sounds without changing their sounds. That's why I remain not very lineup-specific. Yes is what they are: Yes. They do the members quit and rejoin years later thing. Several times over. Yes have never had three albums in a row with the same people. If a complete lineup comes back together it's years later after their era ended and by then things are a bit different. So I was never hung up over any lineup, including ones without Jon Anderson. No Chris requires a bit more of a leap of faith, but I'm still all in.

                  But as for the question of did the fact that Yes never had a stable lineup like, say, Rush affect their commercial success or far/media support, I'm not sure I can say. I'm attuned to the ever-changing nature of the band, and I would say that having the same lineup for any more than two albums in a row would perhaps result in more stale material maybe? The only time they almost went for a third album in a row with the same team was Paris demos in 1979, and despite some ok songs they failed for the most part. I'm not sure I would have wanted 18 albums from the Anderson/Squire/Howe/Wakeman/White lineup. That incarnation was best when they disbanded and came back two lineups or so later. So I say no, having a constantly changing roster did not really affect them too much. Yes is known for the unpredictable lineup shuffle. It's one of their ingredients.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Susanne View Post

                    Well, after the initial shock of such a bizzare band, I came to like Drama a lot. I still do.
                    (Even 90125, though this is where I feel I started to detach a little more - mostly because of the lyrics.)
                    I think Jon pretty much kept true to a poetic painting with lyrics throughout his time with Yes.
                    There is so much great Yes music since Tormato, imo. Whether it's only great with a small g. Great Yes music is rather subjective, as the lineup changes affected the music.

                    Coming from a classic perspective, Jon and Rick leaving disturbed a momentum, even though, as a band, it it was clear that substitutions, at least, at that point were to be the norm. The Paris demos, for all their simplicity and fault deviations, could have resulted in an album at least on par with Tormato, Yes was first class in album production, and demos are deceiving, but show potential. They would have put out a first-class album with Jon and Rick still in the band.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My opinion only.... but yes and no.

                      Steve was the right move for where the band was going when Peter left

                      Rick was the right choice for same reasons as above

                      Patrick was the prefect choice for Relayer
                      I would have liked Patrick to stay on for GFTO and Tormato as Rick was really a hired gun at that point. He has always considered his solo stuff equal to or more important than the band

                      Trevor and Geoff was like catching lightning in a bottle for Drama
                      wish they would have stuck it out and finished Fly From Here

                      Rabin coming into the fold gave then new life and has prolonged their career to this day

                      After talk it's a bit ridiculous other than the classic lineup tours (Keys studio tracks are terrible) and the Benoit years most everything else is forgettable

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have sometimes cried and other times was overjoyed by band members coming in and out of the band. It yielded a freshness and new creativity to Yes (e.g. Patrick Moraz for Relayer, Trevor Rabin). I have now seen the various lineup of Yes (and ABWH and ARW) at 58 concerts.

                        Last night, I attended the 50th Anniversary Tour of Close to the Edge (my Atf Album). Steve Howe has not lost a step after all these years, and I heard the shy one speak for longer time periods acting as MC than over the entire span of his career. Billy Sherwood is outstanding. I do miss Jon Anderson's vocals - he will always be the voice of Yes, but Jon Davison does an excellent job in his stead. The loss of the world class Alan White was quite noticeable.

                        The only criticism I have for the show was Geoff Downes. He totally lacks the chops to play the keyboard parts that Rick Wakeman created. It was particularly obvious during segment when the band played the entire Close to the Edge album. Downes used pre-recorded keyboards to supplement the show. Definitely detracted from the show. And I can't imagine how a 2023 tour featuring Relayer can come to any good with Downes. Either of Wakeman's two sons would be a major enhancement to the band, or another amazing keyboard player. Just IMHO.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by rabin105 View Post
                          I mean lighting strikes was done right in the middle of the Latin infused rock scene that ended with Santana supernatural album (that is 21 years old now feel free to feel old) it should of been a number one hit for Yes
                          Or, you could posit that there was only room for one Latin rock crossover hit in 1999 and so they went with the one that was more Top Forty-sounding.
                          Rabin-esque
                          my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                          rabinesque.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Overall IMO they illustrated the inability of the core classic 5 to work together and after Tormato it was basically downhill. 90125 was a savior but that lineup did not last. ABWH was nice but that did not last.

                            The history of this band was personality conflicts along with a player or 2 having personal problems or other problems

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Yes Fanatic View Post
                              I have sometimes cried and other times was overjoyed by band members coming in and out of the band. It yielded a freshness and new creativity to Yes (e.g. Patrick Moraz for Relayer, Trevor Rabin). I have now seen the various lineup of Yes (and ABWH and ARW) at 58 concerts.

                              Last night, I attended the 50th Anniversary Tour of Close to the Edge (my Atf Album). Steve Howe has not lost a step after all these years, and I heard the shy one speak for longer time periods acting as MC than over the entire span of his career. Billy Sherwood is outstanding. I do miss Jon Anderson's vocals - he will always be the voice of Yes, but Jon Davison does an excellent job in his stead. The loss of the world class Alan White was quite noticeable.

                              The only criticism I have for the show was Geoff Downes. He totally lacks the chops to play the keyboard parts that Rick Wakeman created. It was particularly obvious during segment when the band played the entire Close to the Edge album. Downes used pre-recorded keyboards to supplement the show. Definitely detracted from the show. And I can't imagine how a 2023 tour featuring Relayer can come to any good with Downes. Either of Wakeman's two sons would be a major enhancement to the band, or another amazing keyboard player. Just IMHO.
                              I’ve seen Geoff play CTTE (the song) four times (2013, 2014, and twice in 2018) and he’s perfectly capable of playing the parts, although he doesn’t play the Hammond organ solo part like the album. Some people may not like that. In terms of pre-recorded parts, there’s only a few sound effects pre-recorded. Some effects he triggers with a foot petal. They are only one note. It’s not like he’s pressing a button and playing sound of Rick Wakeman performing a solo or something like that.

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