Anything else you can tell me about these guys?
In 40 years, no more than two Yes albums in a row have had the same lineup. Despite all the changes, most people consider the "classic" lineup to be Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Steve Howe (guitar), Rick Wakeman (keyboards) and Alan White (drums). Their first studio album together was Tales from Topographic Oceans
, although White actually joined shortly before the Close to the Edge
and plays on most of the first live album, Yessongs
. Bill Bruford was the original drummer and was with them through Close to the Edge
, so the classic lineup for everyone else has Bruford on drums rather than White. Bruford left the band, on very short notice, to join King Crimson.
The 80's version of the band, led by Trevor Rabin on guitar and vocals, was not originally going to be called Yes. It was in fact a new project from Rabin, Squire and White and was going to be called Cinema. By time Anderson and (original Yes keyboardist) Tony Kaye were brought on board, the suits strongarmed Rabin into calling the band Yes, virtually guaranteeing it greater record sales. They were correct, but Rabin has since expressed disappointment with himself for not standing up to the suits. 80's Yes has a fundamentally different sound, and despite the name Yes and the fact that everyone except Rabin was a former member of Yes, many Yesfans even consider this a different band.Drama
is the only Yes album without Jon Anderson on vocals. Anderson and Wakeman had quit the band (again -- the band took a break the last time this happened) so Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes provide leads vocals and keyboards, respectively. Some Yesfans deride this album as much because of the lack of Anderson and Wakeman as for the fact that their replacements had previously recorded together as The Buggles, known for the song "Video Killed the Radio Star". I'm about as hardcore Yes as you can get, and I think Drama
is an excellent album.
After checking out Fragile
, Close to the Edge
, Tales from Topographics Oceans
, and Going for the One
, go back to The Yes Album
(the first album with Howe and the last one before Wakeman), then get Drama
. Get Tormato
for completeness only; it is the only 70's Yes album not considered at least very good by most Yesfans.