After the first two albums by Yes it was time for a change. Since the first two albums were not very succesfull their record company considered droping them. Tony Banks was replaced by Steve Howe on guitars which led to the change in sound. Steve could play folk and country and both electric and acoustic guitar. He was very talented and exactly what Yes needed to continue improving their sound. 
They moved to a cottage in Churchill (Devon) to work on new material but were very restricted because they were not allowed to make noise after dark. So they moved to Langley Farm in Romansleigh. Steve Howe enjoyed working at the farm and later bought the farm. Then they moved to Advision Studios in London with producer Eddie Offord and spent the autumn recording new material.

Album cover photo shoot
Setback 1:

Their manager Roy Flynn left the band and took some money he believed he was owed. This led to financial stress for the band with their live performances being the only source of income. Flynn owned 5% of the band's publishing revenues that was later terminated. It resulted in a song "Five Per Cent For Nothing" on the album Fragile in 1972. Brian Lane became their new manager.

Back album cover
Setback 2:

In November 1970 the group was involved in a head-on vehicle collision at Basingstoke (Hampshire) leaving a live performance which left the band in a shock. Tony Kay fractured his foot due to the accident and had to do a photo shoot which his foot in plaster.

Your Is No Disgrace (single cover)
The songs:

On the new album they moved away from covering songs as they intend to do on their previous albums and came up with their own material written by each band member. A procedure they would continue throughout their career. Also the songs were much longer. The album is produced by Eddie Offord.

Your's Is No Disgrace
This was written by Anderson with his friend David Foster. It is one of the best songs of the band! A real classic that is always played live.

Clap (live)
Howe came up with "Clap" which was influenced by Chet Atkins and Mason Williams'"Classical Gas". He wrote it to celebrate the birth of his son Dylan on the 4th of August 1969. A live version was released on the album recorded at the Lyceum Theatre in London on the 17th of July 1970. Howe's son Dylan became a jazz drummer and also temporary drummer on live performances of Yes.

Starship Trooper
Anderson wrote the first part of the song titled "Life Seeker" while Squire wrote the middle part "Disillusion". The closing part of the song "Würm" is based on the song "Nether Street" by Howe's earlier band Bodast.

I've Seen All Good People
This song was by Anderson and was based on two tunes. It also became one of the best Yes songs out there.

A Venture
Written by Anderson and arranged by the whole band.

Perpetual Change
Anderson was inspired to write the lyrics for "Perpetual Change" by the view of the countryside from the cottage at Churchill where they started rehearsing. 

Yes in 1970

The picture on the front was taken by Phil Franks. A day after the Basingstroke accident the band appeared late at Phil's home after they visited the hospital. Phil grabbed a polystyrene mannequin head from a bin, put a 1,000 watt bulb in the kitchen light fitting, and improvised the whole shot. Rolling Stone art director John Goodchild improved it for the record sleeve and was credited for that.


The Yes Album was finally released on the 19th of February 1971. It would become their breakthrough album reaching #4 in the UK, #7 in the Netherlands and #40 in the US. Two singles were released in some countries especially "Your Move" / "Clap" which reached #40 in the US just like the album and another "Yours Is No Disgrace"  / "Clap" was released in the Netherlands but didn't chart.


Jon Anderson / Chris Squire / Steve Howe / Tony Kaye / Bill Bruford

Original album cover
The Yes Album (1971)
Yours Is No Disgrace / Clap (live) / Starship Trooper: a. Life Seeker, b. Disillusion, c. Würm / I've Seen All Good People: a. Your Move, b. All Good People / A Venture / Perpetual Change

Yours Is No Disgrace (live at Beat Club)
I've Seen All Good People

Starship Trooper