Jon Anderson’s Five Favorite Yes Albums

Jon Anderson
Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson may have departed Yes in 2001, but given the amount of time he served as the voice of Yes, the question was which albums proved to be the ones that have a special place in your heart. Here he shares the what and why with you good reader.


1. Fragile (Atlantic) [1971]

“It was a very magic time and that wound up being a very inventive album.”


2. Close To the Edge (Atlantic) [1972]

“It wound up being an extension of Fragile.”


3. Going For the One (Atlantic) [1977]

“‘Awaken’ is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever for me.”


4. 90125 (Atlantic) [1983]

“It was very revolutionary sounding.”


5. Magnification (Beyond) [2001]

“It’s the last album I did with Yes and I think it was very beautiful.”

Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of theNassau Observer, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI), New York Press Association (NYPA) and Fair Media Council (FMC).


  1. Strange choice coming from Jon, I would have thought that an album like ”Relayer” would have been part of his 5 favorites. I saw the ”Yesyears” DVD and in it, he explained how he composed most of the ”Gates of delirium” suite on piano, with such passion and feel in it, so I’m a bit disappointed not to see that album in his 5 favorites. As well as the ”Tales from topographic oceans” album before it, knowing that the inspiration for this album came to him after reading the book ”Autobiography of a Yogi” from Paramhansa Yogananda. But people change through the years, his choices changed as well with him so… My own choices would certainly be the first two albums, plus ”Close to the edge”, ” Tales from topographic oceans” and ”Relayer’, Those last two albums to me were the highlights of progressive rock, they went as far as they could with those two albums. And since then, never have they produced anything as beautiful and complete as ”Tales” and ”Relayer”. And after that, punk rock came in and nothing would be the same anymore, and that’s too bad…

  2. I honestly can’t believe that there is no mention of the Peter Banks albums. To me, they are so dynamic and the production on them is sensational. There’s no doubting Wakeman and Howe are better musicians but the first 5 albums do it for me

  3. Jon’s departure from Yes was in 2008, when he got sick, a scheduled tour was canceled (I had tickets), and then the others chose to recruit another singer and tour without Jon.

  4. I shake my head at the comments that start with “Jon forgot….”. Hang on. These 5 are JON’S SELECTION. He didn’t forget anything. He was there when these albums were being made. If they’re Jon’s favourites, then that’s what they are. He hasn’t forgotten anything.

  5. Awaken was a great song, but for me the best song on Going for the One was Turn of the Century… I still get goosebumps listening to that tune… Yes made so many great albums. How could you possibly pick just five?

  6. “I Think Jon Kinda Forgot 2 Of YES ALBUMS ‘RELAYER & TAILS FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS’ Which Reached A Very High Level Of Music The Instramental & His Vocal Range Is At An All Time High!!!” :/)

  7. Coming from Jon, his selection is very select, I agree with those as top favorites, for me, every Yes Album is Great, from Drama to Relayer, from Tales from the Topigraphic Oceans, to The Ladder or anything you mention, Yes is an Institution with a few incarnations

  8. I love all the albums cited by Jon, but from a musical history point of view, there is no question that Tales and Relayer took Yes into the stratosphere in regard to progressive sophistication, and on a personal level, into the Twilight Zone of miraculous art, without equal by any other music group. Only ELP’s Tarkus & Brain Salad Surgery coming close.

    I was honored to design Yes’ album cover for (Re) Union on BMG years back, being that Yes is one of my all-time favs and how much I admire Roger Dean’s beautiful art. Unfortunately the (Re) Union album has seemed to fade from memory. For those curious, it is here: That album also had some fine work on it.

  9. Actually 90125 was quite revoluttionary at the time. Nobody else was doing that kind of music. Owner of a lonely heart in particular was the first time a sample was used as a breakbeat.

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