Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chris Squire's 61st Birthday; Yes- OWNER OF A LONELY HEART

Today singer/bassist Chris Squire of the legendary band Yes turns 61. Chris has the distinction of being the only member of Yes to appear on every one of their records, and be the only "Yes Man" to be in everyone of their many lineups. On February 11th of this year he had to undergo surgery on his leg, necessitating the cancellation of the band's
In The Present tour. Here's wishing him a speedy recovery.

During the band's 40 plus years of recording and touring their have been many comings, goings, returns, hiatus, and "suspended animations". For a reasonably good full history of Yes, including a chart detailing "who played with who and when, click here.

Here's a very brief history of the band's highlights. They were formed in 1968 with an original lineup of Jon Anderson, vocals; Peter Banks, guitar; Squire, bass; Tony Kaye, keyboards; and Bill Bruford, drums.

By the fourth album, the classic Fragile (1971), the lineup consisted of Anderson, Squire, Steve Howe, guitar (replaced Banks in 1970), Rick Wakeman, keyboards (replaced Kaye in 1971), and Bruford (to be replaced by Alan White in 1972), drums.

The following years were very successful, millions of records sold, thousands attended their concerts , elaborate (ie, over the top) stage shows, and incredible album covers by artist Roger Dean. The period also saw Wakeman leave the band (replace by Patrick Moraz) only to return. In 1980 Anderson and Wakeman left the group, and were replaced by former Buggles Trevor Horn, vocals and Geoff Downes, keyboards. This lineup collapsed in 1981. Downes and Howe joined Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's Carl Palmer and former Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, and King Crimson bassist/vocalist John Wetton in Asia.

Yes remained disbanded from 1981 to 1983.

After their aborted group called Cinema failed to click, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Alan White, and guitarist/vocalist Trevor Rabin had Jon Anderson come in to the studio to help them with vocals. The result was the second coming of Yes. This lineup recorded the classic 90125, and remained together through most of the 1980's.

By 1988, the Yes camp fragmented yet again when Anderson left the band and became a member of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe, all former group members. After several contentious years, the two factions came together, and the eight members united to record Union in 1991.

There were more comings and goings in the 1990's and into the new century.

Currently, Yes consists of (official members) Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Alan White. Rick Wakeman's son, Oliver, has signed on to be keyboard player.

Because of illness, Anderson had to pull out of the group's 40th reunion tour in 2008. He was recently replaced on the road by Canadian singer Benoit David (who sang in a Yes tribute band) until the current tour had to be shelved by Squire's illness and recovery.

Below is a show from earlier this decade, featuring Anderson, White, Squire and Howe performing an acoustic version of Owner of a Lonely Heart.

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