Legendary Musicians Who Played With Yes

YES was known for their distinctive sound, featuring Anderson’s delicate vocals, Banks’s angular guitar picking and Bruford’s intricate drumming.

The music of The Who combined elements from classical, psychedelic, heavy metal rock and Eastern religion into songs often lasting over 22 minutes long. After Alan Wakeman left in 1974, Patrick Moraz joined as keyboard player.

Chris Squire

Chris Squire was a British bassist and co-founder of progressive rock group Yes. He performed on all their albums and appeared in all thirty or more live recordings by them; unfortunately he died of acute erythroid leukemia at an age of 67 in 2015.

Squire was born in London’s Kingsbury suburb in 1948. Although initially he joined Cub Scouting, he soon realized it wasn’t for him and quit to pursue music full-time through joining choirs – here he learned to listen to his voice more closely, leading him to discover music as his calling and finally find the ideal vehicle for it in form of a Rickenbacker bass bought after landing a job selling guitars at music store.

He soon took up bass as his primary instrument, developing an intuitive style of playing songs on it. Early influences included Paul McCartney and Jack Bruce but John Entwistle’s signature sound of trebly roundwound tone really lit him up – his approach being refined through his intuition as well as an acute sense of classical harmony learned during choir singing training.

After numerous personnel changes in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Squire and Anderson eventually found each other and recruited drummer Bill Bruford (from R&B band Savoy Brown), keyboardist Tony Kaye and guitarist Peter Banks to complete their lineup. Album releases soon followed, and by 1968 they had performed for the first time at East Mersea Youth Camp in Essex.

After the release of their albums Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973) and Relayer (1975), creative differences began to cause division within the group, leading to their breakup and Squire’s release of his solo record Fish Out of Water (1975).

Steve Howe

Steve Howe is an esteemed guitarist who was an integral member of progressive rock band Yes from 1970 until their musical transformation in 1974. His style combined elements from classical music and jazz genres – and has even inspired other guitarists through instructional videos and instructional books.

Yes toured worldwide during the late 1960s and early 1970s, performing iconic songs like Roundabout and Owner of a Lonely Heart. They earned a reputation for taking songs by other musicians and expanding them into extended, progressive compositions; at times even filling in for Sly and the Family Stone when one member was out due to illness or absence. Their debut album included an energetic rendition of Paul Simon’s America that showcased all elements that would define their sound.

After their subsequent albums’ success, Yes established themselves as one of the premier progressive rock groups of the decade. Touring and releasing new material remained critically acclaimed; during this time Chris Squire suffered acute erythroid leukemia, forcing him to miss certain concerts; bassist Bill Bruford then filled his spot in the group until 1991.

Howe has expanded his repertoire beyond Yes to include touring with Asia and GTR as well as producing multiple solo albums and participating in several successful reunion tours.

Howe spends his spare time gardening and fishing. He lives with two children in a small town in England’s southwest region. Howe’s passion for nature led him to pursue conservation projects; he’s an environmentalist dedicated to seeing it preserved for future generations.

Geoff Downes

Geoff Downes has long been one of the core members of Yes, yet also has an impressive list of side projects. These include serving as producer and songwriter for Mike Oldfield and Thompson Twins bands respectively; co-writing on Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe by former members of Yes; as well as being involved with Icon (releasing three albums and a live DVD).

Downes was born at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport and studied music at Leeds College of Music before undertaking session work and writing advertising jingles for various clients. His distinctive keyboard playing has helped him find success both within new wave and progressive rock genres; as well as several different bands including his notable collaboration with Trevor Horn in The Buggles.

As it became clear with the release of their second album DRAMA, vocalist Jon Anderson proved unfit to perform their songs effectively, leading them to disband while Geoff Downes joined 70s prog rock pioneers Asia where he enjoyed much success and achieved one of MTV’s first top-10 hits with Video Killed the Radio Star (the first music video to appear).

Downes’ career continued after Asia with UK, Uriah Heep, and eventually teaming up with John Wetton of Survivor, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes fame to form Icon. Downes also worked closely with Glass Hammer drummer Alan White during tours around the globe with them; recently, Downes and Wetton collaborated again for Icon.

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson was an exceptional musician with an expansive musical vocabulary. He wrote and sang hits such as Roundabout, Close to the Edge, and Tales from Topographic Oceans; performed solo performances; collaborated with other artists; and even was an accomplished painter!

He currently resides in San Luis Obispo, California and maintains a studio within his home. Working closely with local musicians on numerous projects. Max Hunt (ex-Fragile, Tantalus and Fish) has informed Anderson via his MySpace blog of their plans for collaboration on one project or another.

Anderson first gained fame touring with Yes and releasing four successful albums during this era: Fragile, Yessongs, Close to the Edge and Tales of Topographic Oceans. They later reunited to record Magnification.

Anderson has collaborated with former bandmate Rick Wakeman on various occasions. He played on Talk (1994) and participated in their live tour as Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman (ARW). Furthermore, Anderson recorded an album with Oscar-winning composer Vangelis as part of Jon & Vangelis and performed live shows alongside them both.

In 2021, he collaborated with drummer and percussionist Mike Portnoy to record an album. Additionally, he has performed with Paul Green School of Rock Music’s ensemble for concerts at Accrington Stanley Football Club as part of their ensemble concert in 2022. Additionally, he provided vocals for Sadness of Flowing for Peter Machajdik’s album Namah while contributing similarly in remastering Tommy Zvoncheck’s ZKG album.

Alan White

White was a masterful percussionist, having played with two of the Beatles by age 21, before going on to join progressive rock band Yes and become legendary as part of its drumming section. His technique had an immense influence over generations of drummers; yet, he remained an honorable gentleman who brought that same level of professionalism even for small charity performances or arena-sized Yes shows.

White joined Yes in 1972 after meeting Jon Anderson and Chris Squire during a tour with Joe Cocker, learning their entire repertoire in three days despite any obstacles. White proved an ideal complement to Bill Bruford’s jazz-influenced approach and began touring extensively soon after joining; his work would eventually be preserved on their triple live album Yessongs (1973).

After Squire’s death, in 1983 the band recruited multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood as his replacement, with White taking on more bass duties. White and Sherwood quickly formed an important musical relationship; White even appearing on most of Sherwood’s solo albums and touring as Circa, featuring White on bass and Sherwood on lead vocals.

White maintained a rigorous touring schedule with Yes in the 2000s despite health problems, sometimes missing shows but always rejoining for the final few songs of every set. He was honored by induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes, then passed away peacefully at his Seattle area home at age 72 on May 26, 2022; leaving behind his wife Gigi and several children.