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YMMV / Yes

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  • 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.)
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    • Yes mixed 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).
  • Award Snub: For years was one of the most infamous examples among this for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yes received a nomination in the early 2000s, but was never considered again until The New '10s; even then it took until 2017 for them to finally get in.
  • Broken Base:
    • Many fans would count the portions of the tour with 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...
    • Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman vs. Steve Howe, Alan White and company: both bands have been allowed to claim the Yes name from 2017 onward, but some fans may only see one of those bands as the "real" Yes.
      • The version of Yes with Howe and White is linearly the same group as all those years ago, but "Yes featuring ARW" (Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman) has as many members (two) from Yes's 1970s glory years as the other group and adds the guitarist from the "Yes West" 80s lineup, which scored several hits. Both groups have legitimate claims to be the real McCoy.
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    • Fly From Here - Return Trip has gotten a wide variety of reactions from fans, such as:
      • It's a fun reversion of the album, and both of them are good for different reasons.
      • It isn't bad, but it's nothing more than a novelty; the original version was good as is.
      • The re-imagining is fine on the songs that originated as Buggles songs, but having Horn sing all the songs and basically making Benoit David an Un-person in the band's history is going too far.
      • It's bad, has no reason to exist, and Trevor Horn is a hack for making it.
      • It's better than the original album, finally unlocking the full potential of the Drama lineup after all the wasted years.
  • Creator Backlash: Both Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman have slammed Union in the decades following its release, with Bruford saying he's ashamed to have played on it and Wakeman referring to it as "Onion" because listening to it makes him cry.
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  • 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", "Changes".
  • Face of the Band: Jon Anderson. Chris Squire too, to some extant, as a Lead Bassist and the only constant band member until his death.
  • 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.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Rick Wakeman said he loved playing in the U.S. because American audiences genuinely appreciated the band's musicianship, in contrast to the Tall Poppy Syndrome mentality of the British press who called the band and other progressive rock acts "pretentious".
  • Growing the Beard: After two albums of which roughly half the material was covers, Yes hit their stride with The Yes Album.
  • 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...
    • Evidently "Khatru" means "As you wish" in the Yemeni dialect of Arabic. This would become Hilarious in Hindsight with the release of The Princess Bride in 1973 and its film in 1987; the phrase "As you wish" serves as Arc Words in both.
  • 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.)
  • Memetic Mutation: The guitar fill from "Roundabout", thanks primarily to the song's usage as the end credits music in the first two arcs of the anime adaptation of Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
  • Narm: The infamous "I eat at Chez Nous" line in "Love Will Find a Way".
  • Never Live It Down: The band's constant lineup changes.
  • 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 Arista'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 Rick Wakeman and Geoff Downes. Some fans call him "Can't play" for this reason.
    • Jon Davison has actually gotten flak from some fans for having too high of a voice, as well as not singing the material as well as Mr. Anderson, even though most people would get that.
  • 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 line-up, 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-renowned 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".
  • 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 last 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, many regarded Heaven & Earth as disappointing. Unlike some other albums, its reputation hasn't gotten better over time.
  • 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's reputation has improved, mostly after the backlash over the meddling has faded and 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.
    • Fly From Here was seen by fans in a new light after the relative disappointment of Heaven & Earth. The Return Trip reversioning has also helped, with some considering Trevor Horn's redone vocals plus some rearranged songs as an improvement.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: For those who don't like Yes' new-wave inflected sound of the '80s, Drama, 90125 and Big Generator can come across this way.
  • 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.
    • This was the reaction of the fanbase for having The Buggles joining the band for Drama, though the album has since been Vindicated by History as one of the classic Yes albums.


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