Yes Albums Ranked Worst to Best
The Yes discography can be a cumbersome beast. After all, we’re talking about an oeuvre stretching from 1969 to 2014 so far, by a band that’s had enough members to practically warrant its own series of trading cards. Yes has traversed an impressive amount of stylistic ground through the decades too, from the relatively raw, post-psychedelic sound of their beginnings to their classic ‘70s prog peak, their new wave-informed ‘80s reinvention, and beyond.
All the Yes eras have their adherents, but its pretty broadly accepted that the band hit its high-water mark with the early-to-mid ‘70s lineup of helium-throated frontman Jon Anderson, classical-influenced keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, high-register bass baron Chris Squire, freakishly fleet-fingered guitarist Steve Howe, and jazzy genius drummer Bill Bruford. This is the outfit that really put prog on the map, especially in the U.S. via Fragile and Close to the Edge.
But a lot went on before and after those twin peaks, both good and bad. There are unsung gems in the Yes catalog that are know only to hardcore fans, and there are utter disasters that ought to be avoided by any sentient being. In order to get the lowdown on the prog rock rulers’ entire output, we’ve conveniently organized them for you here, from the surefire stinkers to the indispensable triumphs, with lots of intriguing stops in between. Check out our ranking of Yes' 21 studio albums, from worst to best.