Yes Lineup Evolution Through The Years

via Kevin Bernardo / Youtube

Yes, the iconic progressive rock band, has had its fair share of lineup changes throughout its long and storied career. From the departure of original members to reunions and side projects, here is a complete guide to the lineup changes of Yes.

Yes’ lineup changes reflect the band’s dynamic nature and their continuous exploration of musical boundaries. Despite the numerous shifts in personnel, the spirit of Yes has endured, captivating audiences with their intricate compositions and virtuosic performances. From the early days of progressive rock to their contemporary endeavors, Yes remains a force to be reckoned with in the world of music.

The multitude of lineup changes, showcases the band’s adaptability and willingness to evolve musically. Despite these transitions, Yes has remained a progressive rock powerhouse, leaving a lasting impact on the genre and captivating fans with their complex compositions and skilled musicianship.

The Early Years (1968-1970):

Peter Banks was the original guitarist but departed in 1970, and was replaced by Steve Howe.


Classic Lineup (1970-1974):

This lineup, often referred to as the “classic lineup,” is widely regarded as the most influential and successful period for Yes. They released acclaimed albums like “Fragile” (1971) and “Close to the Edge” (1972).


First Departures and Additions (1974-1976):

Bill Bruford left Yes in 1974 and was replaced by Alan White. Rick Wakeman, who had previously been with the band, returned as the keyboardist, replacing Tony Kaye.


The Drama Era (1980-1981):

Jon Anderson departed the band in 1980 due to creative differences, and was replaced by Trevor Horn as the lead vocalist. Geoff Downes joined as the keyboardist.


Big Generator Era (1983-1987):

Trevor Rabin joined Yes as the guitarist and contributed to the band’s more commercially successful period, particularly with the release of the album “90125” (1983) and its hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”


Union (1991):

Union was a special project that brought together members from different eras of Yes, including Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Alan White, and Bill Bruford.


Open Your Eyes Era (1997-2000):

Billy Sherwood, who had previously worked with Yes on various projects, became an official member of the band, taking on guitar and vocal duties.


Magnification Era (2001-2004):

Yes released the album “Magnification” in 2001, which featured the addition of Tom Brislin as the keyboardist.


The Drama Reunion (2010-2014):

Geoff Downes returned to Yes in 2010, reuniting with Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, and Alan White. They embarked on a successful tour and released the album “Fly from Here” in 2011.


Current Lineup (2015-present):

Following the passing of Chris Squire in 2015, Billy Sherwood took over as the bassist and joined the lineup consisting of Jon Davison (vocals), Steve Howe, Alan White, and Geoff Downes.