Yes Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)
Yes are an English prog rock band formed in London in 1968 by Jon Anderson (lead vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Peter Banks (guitar), Tony Kaye (keyboard) and Bill Bruford (drums).
They have undergone numerous changes in their line-up over the years, and have clocked up 20 full time musicians during their 55 years as a band.
As of February 2023, the band consists of Steve Howe (guitar), Billy Sherwood (bass), Geoff Downes (keyboard), Jay Schellen (Drums) and Jon Davidson (vocals).
Even though Yes have explored many musical styles over the years, they are most widely regarded as pioneers of the progressive rock genre.
Table of Contents
Best Yes Albums Of All Time
Yes has released 23 studio albums and as always we will rank them as we see them from the rest to the best.
23. Talk (1994)
“Talk” was the band’s 14th studio album which was released on March 21st 1994. It was their last album to feature Trevor Rabin (guitar) and Tony Kaye (keyboard).
It was one of the first albums ever to be digitally recorded and edited in its entirety without using traditional audio tape. The album sleeve had the message “dedicated to all Yes fans, P.S. Caution Extreme Digital Dynamic Range”.
They released 2 singles from this album which were “The Calling” and “Walls”. The album peaked at number 20 on the UK album charts and number 33 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
22. Heaven & Earth (2014)
This was the band’s 21st studio album which was released on July 16th 2014. It was their first album with Jon Davison (lead vocals) and their last with Chris Squire (bass) who died the following year.
Billy Sherwood (who later became a band member) assisted in the mixing of this album.
The album peaked at number 20 on the UK album charts and number 26 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US.
21. Open Your Eyes (1997)
Released on November 22nd 1997, “Open Your Eyes” is the band’s 17th studio album. The majority of the material on this album was originally destined to be released for Chris Squire and Billy Sherwood’s other band “Conspiracy”.
This meant that the other members of the band had little contribution when it came to creative and writing duties.
Rick Wakeman left the band after the completion of “Keys To Ascension 2” due to solo commitments which led to keyboard duties being undertaken by Sherwood on some tracks and Igor Khoroshev on others while the keyboard on the title track was played by Steve Porcaro.
20. Union (1991)
This is the band’s 13th studio album which was released on April 30th 1991. It marked the conjunction of 2 separate bands; Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe and Yes which at that time consisted of Chris Squire (bass, vocals) Trevor Rabin (vocals), Tony Kaye (keyboard) and Alan White (drums).
The 8 musicians signed with Arista records and used a combination of unfinished tracks by both bands to fill this album.
This led to problems from the start with arguments as to just how the 2 bands could successfully merge into Yes.
Despite the internal friction of the band, the album did quite well commercially, reaching number 7 in the UK and number 15 in the US.
19. The Quest (2021)
This is the 22nd studio album released by Yes on October 1st 2021. It is their first to feature Billy Sherwood since 1999s “The Ladder” as he replaced Chris Squire who died in 2015.
It is also their first album without any of the original band members and their last to feature Alan White (drums) before he died in 2022.
The album was recorded in California and England with orchestral arrangements by Paul K. Joyce performed by the FAMES orchestra.
The main lyricist was Jon Davison (vocals) and the album peaked at number 20 in the UK.
18. Big Generator (1987)
Released on September 21st 1987 this was the band’s 12th studio album. They released 2 singles from this album which were; “Love Will Find A Way” and “Rhythm Of Love”.
This was a far more radio friendly album than any of their previous work and despite some mixed reviews, it peaked at number 15 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US and number 17 on the UK album charts.
17. The Ladder (1999)
Released on September 20th 1999, “The Ladder” is the band’s 18th studio album. It is their only studio album recorded with 6 full time band members.
They were Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Steve Howe (guitar), Alan White (drums), Billy Sherwood (guitar) and Igor Khoroshev (keyboard).
They released 3 singles from this album which were; “Homeworld (The Ladder)”, “Lightning Strikes” and “If Only You Knew”.
“Homeworld (The Ladder)” was used in the 1999 PC game “Homeworld”.
SEE ALSO: What Guitar Does Steve Howe Use?
16. Mirror To The Sky (2023)
Released on May 19th 2023, Mirror To The Sky is the band’s 23rd studio album. It is also their first with drummer Jay Schellen as a full time band member after the death of Alan White in 2022.
Steve Howe produced this album and the FAMES Orchestra provided orchestral arrangements on some tracks.
In October 2021, they released “The Quest” and at the time of that release, they were already planning this album.
There were 2 singles released from this album which are “Cut From The Stars” and “All Connected”.
15. Keys to Ascension 2 (1997)
This is the band’s 5th live and 16th studio album which was released on November 3rd 1997.
It was released as a double album and comprises the second half of the live set recorded at the Fremont Theater in California in March 1996 as well as 5 new studio tracks.
The Fremont shows marked the return to the band by Steve Howe (guitar) and Rick Wakeman (keyboards) along with Jon Anderson (vocals), Alan White (drums) and Chris Squire (bass).
14. Keys to Ascension (1996)
Released on October 28th 1996 this is the band’s 4th live and 15th studio album.
Released as a double album this album consists of the first half of the Fremont Theater shows as well as some new studio tracks.
The album received mainly positive reviews and charted at number 48 on the UK album charts and number 99 in the US.
13. Fly From Here (2011)
This is the band’s 12th studio album which was released on June 22nd 2011. It is their only album to feature Benoît David (lead vocals) and Oliver Wakeman (keyboard).
The band reformed in 2008 after a 4 year break with Steve Howe (guitar) Chris Squire (bass) and Alan White (drums) completing the line up. Wakeman was replaced by Geoff Downes who co-wrote much of the new material.
The album peaked at number 30 on the UK album charts and number 36 in the US.
They released the track “We Can Fly” as a single which is a shortened version of the track “Fly From Here”.
12. Tormato (1978)
This is the 9th studio album by Yes which was released on September 22nd 1978. It was their last album with Jon Anderson (vocals) and Rick Wakeman (keyboards) before they left in 1980.
Despite mixed reviews the album became a commercial success reaching number 8 on the UK album charts and number 10 in the US.
The single released from this album; “Don’t Kill The Whale” peaked at number 36 on the UK charts.
11. 90125 (1983)
Released on November 11th 1983, “90125” is the 11th studio album by Yes on Atco Records. The album was named after its Atco catalogue number.
They released 3 singles from this album which were; “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”, “Leave It” and “It Can Happen”.
The album peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US and number 16 on the UK album charts.
10. Magnification (2001)
This is the band’s 19th studio album which was released on September 10th 2001. It is their only album recorded as a 4 piece band (with no keyboardist).
It is also their final album to feature Jon Anderson on vocals. After Igor Khoroshev left in 2000, the band decided to record a studio album with orchestral arrangements for the first time since “Time And A Word” in 1970.
The album received mixed reviews and became their lowest charting album peaking at number 71 on the UK album chart and number 186 on the Billboard 200 chart.
9. Time And A Word (1970)
Released on July 24th 1970 this was the band’s 2nd studio album. It includes original material as well as cover versions of songs by pop, folk and jazz artists.
The album features a small orchestra including brass and string session musicians on most tracks. Guitarist Peter Banks wasn’t in favour of the inclusion of an orchestra which led to him leaving and being replaced by Steve Howe.
It was their first album to chart in the UK where it peaked at number 45.
8. Yes (1969)
Released on July 25th 1969, “Yes” was the band’s debut album. The album contains original recordings as well as rearranged covers of The Beatles “Every Little Thing” and The Byrds “I See You”.
The album was received positively by music critics but failed to become a commercial success.
There were 2 singles released from this album which were; “Sweetness” and “Looking Around”.
7. Drama (1980)
“Drama” is the 10th studio album by Yes which was released on August 18th 1980.
It was the band’s only album to feature Trevor Horn on lead vocals until “Fly From Here-Return Trip” in 2018. It was also their first album to feature Geoff Downes on keyboards.
There were 2 singles released from this album which were; “Into The Lens” and “Run Through The Light”.
The album peaked at number 2 in the UK and number 18 in the US.
6. Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)
Released on December 7th 1973, this was the band’s 6th studio album. It was their first studio album to feature Alan White on drums who replaced Bill Bruford the previous year.
Released as a double album containing 4 side long tracks which range in length between 18 to 21 minutes.
During the recording of this album Black Sabbath were in an adjacent studio which led to Rick Wakeman playing synthesiser on the Sabbath track “Sabbra Cadabra”.
The album peaked at number one on the UK album charts and number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US.
SEE ALSO: What Guitar Does Tony Iommi Play?
5. Relayer (1974)
Released on November 28th 1974, “Relayer” is the band’s 7th studio album.
It is their first to feature Patrick Moraz (keyboards) after Rick Wakeman left after disagreements in the way the band were moving after the release of “Tales From Topographic Oceans” in 1973.
The album comprises 3 tracks, “The Gates Of Delirium”on side one and “Sound Chaser” and “To Be Over” on side 2.
“Relayer” peaked at number 4 on the UK album charts and number 5 in the US.
4. Going For The One (1977)
This is the 8th studio album by Yes which was released on July 15th 1977.
During the recording of this album Patrick Moraz (keyboards) left and was replaced by Rick Wakeman who returned after completing his solo projects.
They released 2 singles from this album which were the title track and “Wonderous Stories”.
Rick Wakeman played the organ at St Martin’s church in Vevey on the tracks “Parallels” and “Awaken” while the rest of the band played in the recording studio.
The album peaked at number one in the UK and number 8 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
3. The Yes Album (1971)
“The Yes Album” is the 3rd studio album by Yes which was released on February 19th 1971.
It was their first album to feature Steve Howe (guitar) who replaced Peter Banks in 1970. It is also their last album to feature Tony Kaye (keyboards) until “90125” in 1983.
The album peaked at number 4 on the UK album charts and number 40 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US.
2. Fragile (1971)
Released on November 12th 1971, “Fragile” is the band’s 4th studio album. It was their first album to feature Rick Wakeman (keyboards).
They released “Roundabout” as a single and it became a popular and iconic track.
The album’s cover artwork was the first time the band had used a design by Roger Dean who went on to design many of their future covers.
The album peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in the US and number 7 on the UK album chart.
1. Close To The Edge (1972)
This is the band’s 5th studio album which was released on September 13th 1972.
This was their first album to feature the band’s logo which was created by Roger Dean.
It is their last album of the 1970s to feature Bill Bruford (drums). The title track runs for 18 minutes and the album became their greatest commercial success at the time of its release.
Peaking at number 4 on the UK album chart and number 3 on the US Billboard 200 chart.
They released one single from this album which was ”And You And I (part 1)/(part 2)”.
All Yes Albums In Chronological Order
|Time And A Word||1970|
|The Yes Album||1971|
|Close to the Edge||1972|
|Tales from Topographic Oceans||1973|
|Going for the One||1977|
|Keys to Ascension||1996|
|Keys to Ascension 2||1997|
|Open Your Eyes||1997|
|Fly from Here||2011|
|Heaven & Earth||2014|
|Mirror to the Sky||2023|
Frequently Asked Questions
The best selling Yes album is “90125” which was released in 1983.
The newest Yes album is “Mirror To The Sky” which was released on May 19th 2023.
The first Yes album is “Yes” which was released July 25th 1969.
The most famous Yes song Is “Roundabout” which is taken from the album “Fragile”. It is used in a lot of popular internet memes.
Yes were formed in London, England, UK in 1968.
The genres ascribed to Yes are; Progressive rock, art rock and pop rock.
The current members of Yes are Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Billy Sherwood, Jon Davison and Jay Schellen. Past members are; Jon Anderson, Peter Banks, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman, Tony O’Reilly, Patrick Moraz, Alan White, Trevor Rabin, Trevor Horn, Igor Khoroshev, Eddie Jobson, Oliver Wakeman and Benoît David.