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Dick Greener
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Dick Greener

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Yes was already a going concern when Rick Wakeman jumped ship from Strawbs to come on board, the mighty Yes Albumfeaturing Tony Kaye's keyboards still to this day providing many of the staple tracks for any Yesshow. Starting out in 1968 along with Tony, Yes were originally Jon Anderson (vcls), Chris Squire (bs), Peter Banks (gtr), Bill Bruford (drums); one of their earliest breaks was opening for Cream's historic farewell gig at the Royal Albert Hall. Banks was replaced by Steve Howe in 1970 in time for The Yes Album, and then in July 1971 Rick replaced Kaye. That line-up, which recorded Fragile, is one which many regard as the seminal Yes line-up over the band's career, one that recurred near as dammit in the spin-off outfit Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe; equal claim are pressed for the next line-up, where Bruford split to join King Crimson and was replaced by Alan White, which recorded Close To The Edge.

A triple live album Yessongs followed, but Wakeman was less than enamoured of the band's next 2LP extravaganza Tales From Tobergraphic Oceans - he legendarily ate a takeaway curry onstage during one of the bits he found tedious - so he left the band for a few albums, replaced by Patrick Moraz, returning for 1977's Going For The One and the follow-up Tormato.

Wakeman departed again, so did Anderson. After a couple of years with the pop band The Buggles (Geoff Downes and later super-producer Trevor Horn) grafted onto the remains, a version of the band which clocked up substantial chart success with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"the next few years saw various legal disputes over ownship of the name Yes, resulting in the ABWH formation - all but Squire, and Yes in all but name. These disputes resolved in 1991 and Union features pretty all the line-ups and members to date. Union turned out to be temporary and there was another Wakeman-free period from 1992 (Tony Kaye popped back in) through to his third return in time for the Keys to Ascension projects. Yet again there was friction, this time over touring, and Rick once again left the band, to be replaced by Igor Khoroshev. More recently he has recently been back with the band, both recording and touring (I caught them for the first time at Wembley Aren - a stunning show). The end ? Surely not ....

For an excellent full biography of Yes, detailing all the myriad twists and turns, see "Close To The Edge" by Chris Welch.

See also Rick Wakeman & Dave Cousins, Rick Wakeman/Adam Wakeman

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Fragile coverAlbums

  • Fragile, 1972
  • Close To The Edge, 1972
  • Yessongs, 1973
  • Tales Of Topographic Oceans, 1974
  • Going For The One, 1977
  • Tormato, 1978
  • Yesshows, 1980
  • Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe, 1989
  • Union, 1991
  • Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe: An Evening Of Yes Music, 1994
  • Keys To Ascension, 1996
  • Keys To Ascension 2, 1997
  • Keystudio, 2001
  • Full album details (for albums involving Wakeman only) and more album cover pictures on Album details page.


  • YesWorld
  • Rick Wakeman Communications Centre
  • Jon Anderson's website
  • Chris Squire's website
  • Steve Howe's website
  • Bill Bruford's website
  • Alan White's website
  • Back to main Related Bands page

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