(Authors Photos from CD Collection)
Some interesting developments have taken place in recent days at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame regarding induction nominees for the Class of 2017. This years ballot includes: Journey, The Cars, Pearl Jam, The Electric light Orchestra, The J. Geils Band and for the fourth time in as many years, the progressive rock band from England: Yes.
An announcement to this effect was made on Volume, the new Music/Talk station originating on SiriusFM, by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation CEO Joel Peresman and Steven Van Zandt. Incidentally, some of you will recall Steven as a 2014 inductee with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
Additional nominees include: Bad Brains, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, Jane’s Addiction, Janet Jackson, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, MC5, Steppenwolf, The Zombies and Tupac Shakur.
Sadly, bassist Chris Squire of Yes died last year.
L-R: Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, producer Eddie Offord, Chris Squire and Steve Howe.
For the uninitiated, Yes is a pioneering progressive rock band from England that was formed in 1968. They are well-remembered for their Top 10 hit “Roundabout”.
If one were to add up the number of personnel changes that have taken place within this band, nineteen musicians and an adoption of several different musical directions have characterized their history. But overall, they infused elements of classical music with hard rock and have sold 13.5 million RIAA-certified albums in the United States.
Originally formed by singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire, their dramatically rearranged covers of genre’s initially involved pop, rock, blues, folk (Paul Simon’s ‘America’) before a change in 1970 to a series of commercially successful progressive and art rock albums. Considered classic albums today are “The Yes Album” (1971), “Fragile” (1971) and certainly “Close to the Edge” (1972). The Top 10 hit single “Roundabout” emanated from their “Fragile” album.
The core band (in the opinion of this author) has consisted of singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Alan White. A number of personnel changes led to disbandment in 1981, then a reformation only to be interrupted in the early 2000’s before resuming again. Traditionally, the band employed elaborate stage sets and used Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” to emerge onstage in dramatic fashion wearing equally elaborate capes consistent with artist Roger Dean’s album jacket covers of outer space. Yes continues to be discovered today by new audiences.
A masterpiece that required exhaustive studio work, the LP “Close to the Edge” is highly recommended for any listener. The author wishes Yes a most successful induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2017.