There isn’t a progressive rock fan on the planet Earth who hasn’t heard of the band Yes. They are often a young person’s gateway drug into the world of prog.
However, equally trivial are the following facts that should be completely obvious and even banal to all progressive rock fans who are even somewhat familiar with the band. This list will neither blow your mind nor shock you.
1. Yes is one of the small number of bands that has a 3-letter name.
You may be able to think of some others: REM, A-Ha, and so forth.
2. Yes albums are available in vinyl.
It should be obvious to you that Yes albums were once primarily pressed into vinyl records. However, it should also be obvious to you that Yes albums are still available in vinyl. Yes albums are also available in formats other than vinyl.
3. Yes features a guitar player.
There is a guitar player in Yes. Before, there was a different guitar player. The guitar player in Yes has changed.
4. A non-zero number of people really dislike Yes, but another non-zero number of people are huge fans of Yes.
There are people who like Yes, people who dislike Yes, and people who are generally disinterested in Yes. Some people don’t know about Yes. It may be helpful to think of a normal distribution curve, where most people have neutral or average opinions of the band Yes, but the extreme left and right of the curve represent the distributions of people who are either huge fans of Yes, or totally hate Yes. This may resemble the actual population, though it might not.
5. Yes fans are totally into Yes and often go to concerts.
The best place to find a group of Yes fans? Yes concerts. There, you will generally find the people in an area who are most into Yes, though there are exceptions.
6. Members of the band Yes like each other to varying degrees.
Some members of Yes are real friends and get along with each other. Some members of Yes find it harder to create a working relationship with other members of the band Yes.
7. Yes has a number of influences.
To create their signature sound, members of the band Yes were influenced by different musicians who recorded music prior to the creation of Yes.
8. When played backwards, Yes albums contain hidden cacophonous gibberish that only sounds like something significant when you are stoned.
This gibberish was not intentionally placed in the music, but is rather an artifact of the normal music encoding process. The altered state of consciousness that results from psychoactive drugs may cause a person to mistake these acoustic artifacts for something significant.
9. The logo of the band Yes is a stylized word. The word is “yes.” This is the logo:
10. Trevor Rabin is a fantastic guitarist and deserves just as much respect and admiration for carrying the Yes standard through the ’80s and ’90s as Steve Howe did for the ’70s and ’00s through today. In other words, the idea that Steve Howe is somehow the “definitive” or canonical guitar player for Yes, and Rabin was at best a fill-in, is a laughable parody of the true state of affairs. Rabin was not only capable of playing Howe’s parts live, he was also an accomplished singer, songwriter, and keyboardist. It’s not that Rabin is better than Howe, just that he should be considered a peer to Howe in the most relevant ways to the legacy of Yes.
As a huge Prog head myself people often find it very strange that the two bands I just can’t get my head in to are Yes and Genesis. Probably because when I was just cutting my teeth in to Prog when I was around 13 my older sister’s friends crammed them down my throat telling me that I HAD to like them and listen to them along with the Grateful Dead(of which I can not stand, they’re talented sure but I can’t do it) so I think it became a reverse psychological affect on me and I just turned it off from those two bands. I love Gabriel solo work and seen him live, it was great but even the Genesis period of him I can’t do. Yes is one of those bands that I always found a hard time getting in to Jon Anderson’s voice and I had a difficult time taking in their musical arrangements as well. Of course they are very talented but they’ve always been one of those Je ne c’est quoi bands for me. As well I agree with you on the regards to Trevor Rabin, a very talented guy and I will admit to being one of those radio friendly fans and like “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, it’s a catchy good guitar riff! I don’t deny Yes’ contributions to Prog and that they are multi-talented and have made some great albums in their own right, perhaps its my fault I just can’t get in to them even to this day.
I’m that way with Genesis but not with Yes. For some reason Genesis just never appealed to me even though I acknowledge how talented they are. I would say don’t force yourself – either it will come to you or it won’t! Yes is one of my favorite bands but I’m not offended if it doesn’t click for someone.
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I agree totally with you. They may come around and I’ll catch on at some point. Way back in the day i couldn’t understand why someone who was in to the genre didn’t like what i like or saw what i did in a band but growing up you discover and realize that it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. But they are absolutely Prog and have their place in the annals of the Prog Compendium !
Really amusing article! 🙂 Thanks, lol!
Thanks Iris! Prog fans can be a humorless bunch but Thomas and I definitely don’t take ourselves that seriously.
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