Yes Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide
For years, as the above guide to Yes lineup changes shows, Chris Squire provided a steady (and steadying) presence in the band. His 2015 death after a battle with cancer meant the group no longer had any original members – and, it seems, the center of Yes couldn’t hold.
Yes righted themselves after this loss by adding a contributor from the recent past: Billy Sherwood, an ex-band member from the ’90s, took over as Squire’s hand-picked successor in Yes. That completed a lineup led by ’70s-era veterans Steve Howe and Alan White, Geoff Downes (who had an earlier turn-of-the-’80s stint) and singer Jon Davison, a newer recruit.
The absence of Squire, however, also spurred original singer Jon Anderson to exercise his rights to the band name.
Less than two years later, Anderson announced that he’d rechristened his offshoot group as Yes Featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman. Wakeman had been part of five previous eras with Yes; his initial tenure included a pair of progressive-rock milestones in 1971’s Fragile and 1972’s Close to the Edge. Rabin, meanwhile, led Yes to new platinum successes in the decade that followed.
How did Yes get to this point? Well, it took a village. As their sound continued to develop, Yes’ personnel shifted – often. A series of key side projects also helped shape the band’s direction – from Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe to Conspiracy to XYZ. They all find a home in this complete guide to Yes lineup changes.