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.)
    • The rhythm section of Yes combined with The Buggles? This apparently bizarre lineup is one of the reasons Drama wasn't as popular as it deserved to be (However, both albums have been vindicated by history, see below).
  • 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), "Tempus Fugit" (bass), "Roundabout" (bass).
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For many fans, it's not Yes unless Jon Anderson is singing, though Drama has been Vindicated by History and Fly From Here was well-received.
  • Growing the Beard: After two albums top-heavy with covers, The Yes Album is where they hit their stride.
  • Hype Backlash: Union suffered greatly from this. It was marketed as the reunion of the classic Yes lineup and successful 80's 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 isn't surprising. History has been kinder to it, but its always been tainted by the failure to live up to those lofty expectations.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: While many fans of their '80s material think Big Generator is not a bad album by any means, many agree 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 its either regarded as brilliant or terrible, without much in between.
  • Magnum Opus: It's either the progressive rock masterpiece Close to the Edge, or the album that brought them back from irrelevance and reinvented them as a pop rock group, 90125. There is a massive Broken Base among fans regarding this question (though some fans Take a Third Option and regard them both as the high points of the band's two vastly different artistic periods).
    • Other fans cite The Yes Album, Fragile, Relayer, or Going for the One, amongst others, although Close to the Edge is probably the most popular choice. For individual songs, "Close to the Edge", "And You And I", "The Gates of Delirium", and "Awaken" are frequently cited contenders.
  • Narm: The infamous "I eat at Chez Nous" line in "Love Will Find A Way".
  • 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 who 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).
    • 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, the producer of Union, 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.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: Alan White, an excellent drummer who can drum whatever complex parts that are needednote  would receive far more praise if he didn't have the misfortune to be 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.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • This happened to Tales from Topographic Oceans. Some fans feel if it wasn't the follow-up for Close to the Edge, it would've been much better-received.
    • Big Generator, while selling respectably, did nowhere near the business of 90125. The Troubled Production delaying the album for two years didn't help.
    • After the very well-received Fly from Here, its follow-up Heaven & Earth has been regarded by many as a disappointment. 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 is now seen as vastly underrated and unfairly lambasted.
    • Tormato has plenty of fans as well; it has plenty of favorable reviews on Amazon.
    • Drama has had similar reappraisal. Fans of the classic era now cite it as one of their favorites.
    • Union isn't a favorite for most fans, but its reputation has still improved, mostly since the backlash over Arista's 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.