YMMV / Yes

  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Tales from Topographic Oceans. Someone who isn't a fan of progressive rock is simply not going to listen to an album with four 20-minute songs. The album even tested the patience of fans of the band and progressive rock. Melody Maker magazine simply reviewed it with the word "No", while other critics questioned the idea of basing an entire album around a footnote in the autobiography of a yogi. (It described the four classes of Hindu scripture, known as shastras.)
  • Awesome Music: They have quite a bit.
  • Broken Base: Many fans would count the portions of the tour w/Benoit where Jon was not ill as such. Still others disregard the first two albums, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Tormato, Drama, pre-90125, 90125 to Open Your Eyes, the list goes on and on...
  • Epic Riff: "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Love Will Find a Way", "Starship Trooper", "Awaken", "The Gates of Delirium", "Siberian Khatru", "Yours Is No Disgrace" (bass), "I've Seen All Good People" (bass), "The Fish" (bass), "Heart of the Sunrise" (bass), "Parallels" (church organ), "Machine Messiah", "Into the Lens", "Tempus Fugit" (bass), "Roundabout" (bass), "Going for the One".
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, it's not Yes unless Jon Anderson's singing, though Drama was vindicated by history and Fly from Here was well-received (Jon even gave praise to David's singing on the title track). Other fans will disregard anything without Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, or (insert other name here). Given the huge number of people who have been in the band, it's probably not a surprise.
  • Growing the Beard: After two albums of which roughly half the material was covers, Yes hit their stride with The Yes Album.
  • Heartwarming Moments: They have quite a few.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: "I've Seen All Good People" gives a Shout-Out to "Instant Karma!", which featured future Yes drummer Alan White.
    • Trevor Rabin was considered for a spot in Asia, but declined because he felt a two-guitar partnership with Steve Howe wouldn't work. When ABWH was absorbed into Yes, however...
  • Hype Backlash: Union suffered greatly from this. It was marketed as the reunion of the classic Yes lineup and successful '80s pop lineup to form an album featuring the best of both. Against this kind of hype, the amount of backlash it got from fans of both eras is unsurprising. History has been kinder to it, but its always been tainted by the failure to live up to the lofty expectations.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: It is not that Big Generator is a bad album by any means, but the biggest problem with it was Yes trying too hard to get their next number one hit from this album and repeat the success 90125 had. (See Tough Act to Follow below.)
  • Love It or Hate It: Tales from Topographic Oceans rarely gets a neutral response it's either regarded as brilliant or terrible, with little in between.
  • Narm: The infamous "I eat at Chez Nous" line in "Love Will Find a Way".
  • Nightmare Fuel: Perhaps surprisingly, they have some examples.
  • Old Guard Versus New Blood: "Troopers", old school fans who love the progressive rocking, and "Generators", new school fans thanks to their accessible eighties period. There's way more who love both periods just fine.
  • Periphery Demographic: The complex vocal arrangements in "Leave It" are popular with youth choirs to do a cappella. College kids today won't buy Tales from Topographic Oceans.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Alan White, if you're a Bill Bruford fan.
    • Any guitarist who isn't Steve Howe, keyboardist who isn't Rick Wakeman, and singer who isn't Jon Anderson. Howe and Wakeman invert this, being more popular than the people they replaced.
    • This is one of the things that led Horn to leave the band after Drama, as he was sick of being jeered at by "fans" at shows in the UK (in America, Yes had much more favorable reception) that blamed him for Anderson leaving (when in reality, he had nothing at all to do with Jon leaving; it was Creative Differences and Anderson had left several months before Horn was tapped to replace him).
    • To a lesser extent, this was one of the reasons Rabin was not happy with changing Cinema to Yes, as he didn't want to be perceived as a replacement for Steve Howe.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Jonathan Elias, Union's producer, tends to get most of the blame for the album's lack of cohesiveness and the heavy use of session musicians. In truth, with the lack of communication between the ABWH and Yes-West halves (as well as the vastly different musical approaches between the two), there was little chance Union was ever going to turn out well. Likewise, the use of session musicians was due to the need to meet the record label's deadlines (though he could have had the courtesy to tell them what was going on).
    • Trevor Rabin gets almost all the blame for the poppy sound of 90125, Big Generator, and parts of Talk from their detractors. In reality, Rabin, Squire, and White had decided to make a prog-leaning pop album as Cinema before Jon Anderson rejoined the fold and Executive Meddling made them to change the name to Yes. While having a drastically different style from Steve Howe, Rabin is still an incredibly talented guitarist (and keyboard player; that's him playing the intro to "Endless Dream"), and it was certainly never his intention to "ruin" Yes.
  • The Scrappy: Tony Kaye to some fans for his restrained keyboard style compared to the flashier players like Rike Wakeman and Geoff Downes. Some fans call him "Can't play" for this reason.
  • Signature Song: "Roundabout" from The '70s, "Owner of a Lonely Heart" from The '80s. Yes have had plenty of hits, but everyone knows these two.
    • Surprisingly averted within the material released by what many consider Yes' signature lineup, the one with Wakeman and White (although said lineup would make cult classics instead). "Roundabout" had Bruford on drums, Wakeman on keyboards, and Howe on guitar. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" had White on drums, Kaye on keyboards, and Rabin on guitar. Most of Yes' other radio staples also do not contain the Wakeman/White lineup. While Yessongs was a hit and showed they were capable of performing Kaye and Bruford's earlier material, it wasn't until Tales from Topographic Oceans that they recorded in studio together on a Yes album.note 
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Alan White, an excellent drummer who can drum whatever complex parts that are needednote  would have far more praise if he wasn't the successor to Bill Bruford (always regarded as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, drummers in progressive rock). Thus, much of the fanbase constantly praise Bruford and regard White as simply his not-quite-as-renown successor.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The endings of "Ritual", "To Be Over", "Awaken", "Hearts", "Children of Light", and quite a few of their other album closers. Other examples include "Mood for a Day", "And You and I", and "Onward".
  • Tear Jerker: They have some examples.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Some fans feel that if Tales from Topographic Oceans wasn't the follow-up for Close to the Edge, it would've been much better-received. (Close to the Edge could arguably be considered an example of this for the entire Progressive Rock genre, as it is the highest-rated album on Prog Archives and has been for at least most of the five years, if not longer).
    • Big Generator, while having a few Top 40 hits, going platinum, and getting good reviews, came nowhere close to matching the success of 90125. The Troubled Production delaying it for two years didn't help.
    • After Fly from Here, Heaven & Earth was regarded by many as disappointing. Time will tell if its reputation will improve down the line.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • Tales from Topographic Oceans is slowly but surely gaining fans, and now seen as vastly underrated and unfairly lambasted.
    • Tormato has many fans and plenty of favorable reviews on Amazon as well.
    • Drama has had similar reappraisal. Classic era fans now cite it as a favorite.
    • Union isn't a favorite for most fans, but its reputation has still improved, mostly since the backlash over Arista Records' meddling has faded and it now being judged more on its own merits.
    • Talk has new appreciation also, particularly "Endless Dream"; its often regarded as the fusion of '70s Yes and '80s Yes that Union tried and failed to be.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: A minor example with current drummer Alan White over succeeding the jazz-influenced Bill Bruford in 1972. White previously played with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band prior to drumming for Yes. Justified because Lennon had an influence on Yes's music, and White has stuck with them ever since.

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