What If…Rick Wakeman had joined Yes before The Yes Album? 463

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier and Bill Govier

This is our first episode in the YMP’s 10th Anniversary year and it’s a real epic. I asked Patrons and a few others for their contributions to this week’s topic and the response was amazing. So this is another episode you might want to listen to in parts. It may well be the longest episode ever but I also think you’ll really enjoy hearing everyone’s thoughts on Rick Wakeman and The Yes Album. Incidentally, if you sent me a contribution but I haven’t included it, please do let me know and I’ll apologise and add it to next week’s show.

  • Was this the right time for Rick Wakeman to join Yes?
  • Was Tony Kaye’s style not right for the band?
  • How different would it have sounded if Wakeman had been there?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

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Bag yourself a fabulous piece of YMP history before it’s too late…

Head over to the YMP Emporium to…

  • Pre-order a YMP Trivia Card Game ‘The Answer Is Yes!’ – going into production very soon
  • Order the unique Full Union art print – available now
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The Full Union! Available now.
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Artist’s impression of The Answer Is Yes! card game. Pre-order now.

Show notes and links:

Join us in August to record episode 500 here:

Lewis Clarke / West Devon : Yes Tor / CC BY-SA 2.0

Lots more details to follow…

YMP Patrons:


  • Jeffrey Crecelius
  • Preston Frazier
  • Bill Govier and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James Lang

Paul Tomei

Joost Maglev

David Heyden

Martin Kjellberg

Paul Wilson

Bob Martilotta


Michael O’Connor

William Hayes
Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

Miguel Falcão

Lobate Scarp

Chris Bandini

David Watkinson

Neal Kaforey

Rachel Hadaway

Craig Estenes


Paul Hailes

Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs

Doug Curran

Robert Nasir

Fergus Cubbage

Scott Colombo

Fred Barringer

Scott Smith
Geoff Bailie

Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason

Stephen Lambe

Guy R DeRome

Steve Dill

Henrik Antonsson

Steve Perry

Hogne Bø Pettersen

Steve Rode


Steve Scott

Jamie McQuinn

Steven Roehr

Ken Fuller

Terence Sadler

Michael Handerhan

Tim Stannard


Todd Dudley

John Cowan

Tony Handley

John Holden

Joseph Cottrell

John Parry

Keith Hoisington

John Thomson

Barry Gorsky

Alan Begg

Robert and David

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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

4 replies on “What If…Rick Wakeman had joined Yes before The Yes Album? 463”

I love that album exactly theway it is..
I learned to play bass off it,
The keys are spot on in my opinion-, the songs carry themselves, no need for 16 th notes All over, such a great vocal album,
Starship Trooper is a masterpiece as are y i n d , and perp change. Love you guys! Still!
Been listening, but not typing!! Godbless you both be safe!

I love ‘The Yes Album.’ One of my top favorite Yes albums. IMO it’s Tony’s high point on record with Yes. I played songs from it often on my radio shows in the 70s, especially “Perpetual Change,” as it was not played nearly as often as other tracks on the air. Here is my band signed US album.

Okaaayy… If we’re going to play this game, here’s some suggestions for future discussion…

WHAT IF… Bill Bruford had decided to depart the band after recording Fragile, instead of Close To The Edge? (interesting thought: Neil Peart was in London looking for gigs at this time).

WHAT IF… Rick had bailed out before (or even during) the Tales sessions? (which he kinda did, anyway…)

And, of course (for Kevin), WHAT IF… as Rick once commented “…we had been allowed to finish…” Tormato?

WHAT IF… The Buggles HADN’T been working in the studio next door?

We could go on and on with this, I suppose, but it’s fun writing alternate history.

Great episode guys. I loved the question – very open. Some of us explored what might have happened to Yes (would there even have been “The Yes Album” if Rick had joined before?) whilst other took the very specific “What would each track have been like if Rick played on it?” approach. And everything in between. Lots of well considered speculation – and great fun.

I spent nearly all the podcast fearing I was the only person who liked the decending fadeout at the end of “I’ve Seen All Good People” until Daniel Khron came to my rescue in the final contribution, mentioning Amanda too likes it! Great taste Amanda!

Yes, please. Let’s do more of these, but not too often so it doesn’t lose its novelty.

(And there’s a 2p for you: Should all recrdings have a written ending or are there situations where a fade out works best?)

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