About the book – from the publishers

Prog. rockers Yes probably polarize opinions more than just about any other band. To their army of fans, they are visionaries who have consistently raised the musical bar. To their detractors (and there are many), they represent all that is bad about progressive rock – bloated, self-indulgent and not connected to the real world. It is doubtful that Yes are bothered by this opprobrium having sold over 30 million albums and played to packed audiences in a career that started in 1969 and continues to this day (with a very fluid band membership). Martin Popoff is renowned for his metal musings but let the truth be told, he has been a closet Yes fan since the 1970s and was delighted to be asked to write this book. That fact alone will raise eyebrows. The book follows the tried and trusted Timeline format, with key events from the birth of Jon Anderson (1944) to the present day. Recorded in painstaking detail, no stone is left unturned. If you’ve ever wondered how the Close To The Edge Album got its name, you’ll find out here. You’ll also learn why Anderson and drummer Alan White spent a lot of time in junkyards. Popoff secured interviews with Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Wakeman and the late Chris Squire (in one of the last interviews he gave) along with other actors in the drama. He also got the views of contemporaries such as Steve Hackett (Genesis), Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) and John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia et al) to provide a rounded view of the prog movement. This book will appeal to Yes fans old and new. There are plenty of both.

New book out Feb 29th – PREORDER NOW


About the Author

Martin Popoff is one of rock’s most prolific writers. This is his 50th book. Previous books have included studies of Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest … you get the picture! As a journalist, he has written for a number of diverse magazines including Record Collector, Goldmine, Guitar World, Metal Hammer and a BBC TV programme on metal. He lives in Toronto


January 8, 1971: Yes begin an extensive tour of mainland Europe supporting Iron Butterfly. The bands get along great, jamming into the night. Yes is hugely impressed with the American band’s modern and sophisticated PA system and vow to get one of their own, winding up buying Iron Butterfly’s, given that the band was in the process of breaking up. Management and Atlantic’s Phil Carson conspire to finance the equipment, but, in the process, Yes cede some of their publishing monies to their management company.

January 16, 1971: Future Yes vocalist Jon Davison, is born.

Early 1971: Patrick Moraz’s progressive rock band Mainhorse issue their only album, a self-titled, on Polydor.

Early 1971: Osibisa issue their debut self-titled album. An, as yet, undiscovered Roger Dean is the cover artist of choice, Dean also illustrating the band’s follow-up, Woyaya, issued the same year, in his signature style. It is his Osibisa work that Yes had seen, prompting a call to Roger from Steve.

March 5, 1971: “Your Move” is issued as a US single from The Yes Album, backed with “The Clap.” The single reaches #40 on the charts. Jon Anderson, on learning to play an instrument around this time: “I didn’t really start until I was 27, 28, when I started playing piano and guitar at home. But it was very lame at the start, and then I met Vangelis who was a mentor for me. I used to watch what he played and how he played. Then I got home and tried to be a ‘sort of Vangelis.’ It’s impossible, but I was trying to imitate his work and learn more about technology. And now I have a very beautiful studio; I have some very fine equipment, so I can compose every day, some symphony or some other music. Over the years you grow into your own style.”

March 19, 1971: Yes issue their third record, The Yes Album. The band hang onto their Atlantic deal when Phil Carson convinces Ahmet Ertegun to rescind his notice to drop Yes from the label. The album would reach #40 in the US and #4 in the UK, a lofty position that Chris attributes to a British postal strike ― sales results to be tabulated were limited to the Virgin store in London, where the band’s fan base was strongest.