Complete List Of Yes Band Members

Yes Band Members

Feature Photo: Debby Wong /

Emerging from the vibrant London music scene in 1968, Yes established themselves as giants of progressive rock. Their music, characterized by complex compositions, virtuosic musicianship, and philosophical lyricism, transcended the boundaries of conventional rock, captivating audiences with its intellectual and artistic depth.

Yes’ influence extends far beyond chart-topping hits and critical acclaim. They redefined the possibilities of rock music, pushing creative boundaries and inspiring countless artists to explore new sonic territories. Their innovative approach earned them five Grammy nominations and a loyal following of dedicated fans, solidifying their place as one of the most influential bands of their generation.

The band’s story began with the release of their self-titled debut album in 1969. Throughout their career, they amassed an impressive discography, releasing 22 studio albums, numerous live recordings, and compilations. Their sound drew inspiration from a diverse range of artists, including The Beatles, The Moody Blues, and classical composers like Stravinsky and Debussy. In turn, Yes’ groundbreaking work paved the way for countless progressive rock and art rock bands, influencing artists like Rush, King Crimson, and Dream Theater.

Despite internal conflicts and lineup changes over the years, Yes continued to evolve and experiment, leaving behind a rich musical legacy. Their iconic album, “Close to the Edge” (1972), is considered a landmark work in the progressive rock genre, showcasing their musical virtuosity and commitment to artistic exploration.

From their early days as pioneers of progressive rock to their enduring influence on generations of musicians, Yes’ legacy remains one of innovation, artistic ambition, and lasting musical excellence.

Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson was a founding member of Yes and served as the lead vocalist from 1968 to 1980, 1983 to 1988, and 1990 to 2004, with a one-off show in 2017. His ethereal vocals and mystical lyrics became a hallmark of Yes’s sound. Anderson played guitar, percussion, harp, keyboards, and cuatro on albums from Yes (1969) to Tormato (1978), and on all subsequent releases up to The Lost Broadcasts (2009).

Chris Squire

Chris Squire, a founding member of Yes, was the band’s bass guitarist from 1968 until his death in 2015. Known for his distinctive use of the Rickenbacker bass, Squire’s complex counter-melodies and harmonics underpinned Yes’s music. He also contributed backing and lead vocals, piano, harmonica, bass pedals, and timpani to every Yes album from their debut in 1969 to Like It Is: Yes at the Mesa Arts Center (2015).

Tony Kaye

Tony Kaye was Yes’s original keyboardist from 1968 to 1971 and returned for stints from 1983 to 1995, with guest appearances in 2018 and 2019. His organ and piano work featured on albums from Yes (1969) to The Yes Album (1971), and from 90125 (1983) to Talk (1994). Kaye’s style was rooted in blues and rock, providing a stark contrast to the more classical and complex styles of his successors.

Bill Bruford

Bill Bruford was Yes’s original drummer, playing from 1968 to 1972 and returning for the Union tour from 1990 to 1992. His innovative drumming can be heard on Yes’s early albums from their debut up to Yessongs (1973). Bruford’s work is known for its technical proficiency and complex time signatures, contributing significantly to the band’s progressive sound.

Peter Banks

Peter Banks was Yes’s original guitarist from 1968 to 1970. His jazz and rock influenced guitar work featured on the first two Yes albums, Yes (1969) and Time and a Word (1970). Banks’s style was foundational in developing Yes’s early sound, blending rock with symphonic elements.

Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman, renowned for his virtuosic keyboard work, joined Yes in 1971 and had multiple tenures with the band until 2004, including a one-off show in 2017. Wakeman’s classical training and flair for dramatic, complex arrangements were pivotal on albums from Fragile (1971) to Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973), and on subsequent albums like Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978).

Alan White

Alan White took over as Yes’s drummer in 1972 and remained with the band until his death in 2022. White’s powerful yet nuanced drumming is featured on all Yes releases from Yessongs (1973) to The Quest (2021), contributing to the band’s evolving sound across five decades.

Patrick Moraz

Patrick Moraz was Yes’s keyboardist from 1974 to 1976, playing on Relayer (1974). Moraz brought a jazz fusion sensibility to the band’s sound, his only studio album with Yes showcasing a more avant-garde, complex style that expanded the band’s musical boundaries.

Steve Howe

Steve Howe joined Yes in 1970, bringing a distinctive guitar style that became integral to the band’s sound. His tenure spans from 1970 to 1981, 1990 to 1992, and from 1995 to the present. Howe’s work is featured on all Yes releases from The Yes Album (1971) to Yesshows (1980), Union (1991), and all releases from Live in Philadelphia (1995) onwards. Known for his versatility, Howe contributed not only guitars and backing vocals but also lap steel, pedal steel guitar, lead vocals, laud, mandolin, bass guitar, sitar, and banjo, showcasing his wide range of musical skills and influences.

Geoff Downes

Geoff Downes first became a member of Yes in 1980, contributing keyboards, vocoder, and programming. His initial stint was from 1980 to 1981, and he returned to the band in 2011, continuing to the present, including a one-off show in 2004. Downes’s keyboard work is featured on Drama (1980), The Word Is Live (2005), and all new Yes releases from Fly from Here (2011) onward. Downes, also known for his work with The Buggles and Asia, brought a modern electronic element to Yes’s sound, particularly during the band’s early 80s and post-2010 phases.

Trevor Horn

Trevor Horn served as Yes’s lead vocalist for Drama (1980) and returned as a studio guest in 2018. Known for his production work, Horn’s tenure as a vocalist marked a significant shift in Yes’s sound, incorporating more pop and new wave elements.

Trevor Rabin

Trevor Rabin joined Yes in 1983, contributing guitar, keyboards, and vocals until 1995, with one-off shows in 2004 and 2017. Rabin’s tenure coincided with a commercial resurgence for the band, his work on albums from 90125 (1983) to Talk (1994) introducing a more mainstream rock sound to Yes’s repertoire.

Igor Khoroshev

Igor Khoroshev was Yes’s keyboardist from 1997 to 2000. His contributions are featured on Open Your Eyes (1997), The Ladder (1999), and House of Yes: Live from House of Blues (2000), as well as live bonus tracks from the 2004 reissue of Magnification. Khoroshev’s tenure helped maintain Yes’s signature symphonic sound during the late 1990s.

Benoît David

Benoît David was Yes’s lead vocalist from 2008 to 2012. His work is featured on Fly from Here (2011) and In the Present – Live from Lyon (2011). David’s tenure saw the band revisiting and expanding upon themes from their earlier work, maintaining the classic Yes sound.

Oliver Wakeman

Oliver Wakeman, son of Rick Wakeman, played keyboards for Yes from 2008 to 2011. His contributions can be heard on In the Present – Live from Lyon (2011) and From a Page (2019), continuing the band’s legacy of intricate keyboard work.

Billy Sherwood

Billy Sherwood’s association with Yes began in 1991 as a session musician, evolved to a touring member in 1994, and he became a full-time member from 1997 to 2000 and then again from 2015 to the present. Sherwood’s contributions to Yes span bass guitar, keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals, with additional roles in lead vocals, timpani, and harmonica. His work is featured on all Yes releases from Open Your Eyes (1997) to House of Yes: Live from House of Blues (2000), and all new releases from Topographic Drama – Live Across America (2017) onwards. Sherwood’s versatility and multi-instrumental skills have made him a key figure in Yes’s later years, helping to carry forward the band’s legacy.

Jon Davison

Jon Davison joined Yes in 2012 as the lead vocalist, bringing additional talents on guitar, percussion, and keyboards. His tenure with the band has seen contributions to all new Yes releases from Heaven & Earth (2014) onwards. Davison’s voice has been noted for its similarities to original Yes vocalist Jon Anderson, helping to maintain the band’s iconic sound while contributing to its ongoing evolution.

Jay Schellen

Jay Schellen has been associated with Yes as a touring drummer from 2016 to 2017 and from 2018 to 2023, before becoming a full member in 2023. In addition to drums and percussion, he has provided backing vocals. Schellen’s work is featured on live albums such as Topographic Drama – Live Across America (2017) and 50 Live (2019), as well as studio albums including The Quest (2021) (as a session percussionist) and Mirror to the Sky (2023). His dynamic drumming has contributed to the band’s live energy and studio recordings in recent years.’

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