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Tony Kaye (born January 11, 1946) is a British musician born in Leicester, England with the name Anthony John Selvidge (some mistaken authors spell it "Selridge"). He was the original pianist and organist for Yes.

Kaye was only four years-old when he started to receive piano lessons. At twelve he started to play in local concerts and he attended the London School of Music, aspiring to be a concert piano player. Later on, when Tony was fifteen, he discovered he preferred the music of both the Dixieland and modern jazz as well as the modern youthful sounds of the Beatlemania days. He played in one jazz band when he was still a schoolboy and at 15 he joined the Danny Rogers Orchestra. Three years later he abandoned his classical music lessons definitely.

During the 1960s he played with Johnny Taylor's Star Combo and later recorded a handful of singles with at least three different rock groups (The Federals, Jimmy Winston & His Reflections a.k.a. Winston's Fumbs and Bittersweet) before being invited by Chris Squire to join a new band called Yes. It was 1968, the post-psychedelic era. The original lineup of Yes featured Tony Kaye on keyboards, Peter Banks on guitar, Chris Squire on bass guitar, Jon Anderson on vocals and Bill Bruford on drums. These five musicians put Yes on the English music map and released two albums: the eponymous Yes (1969) and Time and a Word (1970), and a few singles. The second album featured an orchestra joining the band and stealing much of Kaye's and Banks' parts. In 1971, Yes released The Yes Album with guitarist Steve Howe replacing Banks. The opening track, titled "Yours Is No Disgrace", was the first song featuring Kaye as (co)composer. But after a last concert that year at The Crystal Palace, Kaye was asked to leave the group. Some apparent reasons were the animosity Steve Howe showed to him during the first US tour of the band (among other things, they had to share the same bedroom), musical disputes with Howe over solo spots in the new songs, and Kaye's unwillingness to employ synthesizers and Mellotrons. Kaye had even rehearsed with the group some songs that would appear later in the album Fragile, such as the epic "Heart of the Sunrise", with his keyboard parts being rerecorded by Rick Wakeman.

While Yes went on with other keyboardists (Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Wakeman again and then Geoff Downes) until 1981, Kaye went in and out of quite a few groups as well. In 1972, he guested with ex-fellow bandmate Peter Banks on the (eponymously titled) first album by Flash; and then formed his own group: Badger, together with bassist David Foster (who coincidentally played with Anderson some years before in The Warriors and who co-wrote at least two Yes songs from the early era). Badger released only two albums: "One Live Badger" (1973, with co-production help from Jon Anderson) and "White Lady" (1974). Meanwhile, a Yes compilation of its two first albums, called Yesterdays (1975), hit the stores and all sold well.

After a brief period touring with David Bowie during 1975-1976, Kaye joined Detective, a band with slightly funky arrangements, releasing three albums: "Detective" (1977), "It Takes One To Know One" (1977) and "Live From The Atlantic Studios" (1978). Living in Los Angeles, Kaye then moved on to join Badfinger in 1981. He was making up his mind to record a solo album when he met accidentally with Chris Squire in a party and was invited to join him in some free studio sessions. This encounter led to Kaye joining "Cinema," a new group formed by Squire, drummer Alan White and South African guitarist Trevor Rabin.

Some sessions were produced by Trevor Horn (who had been the Yes singer on the Drama album and tour, in 1980) and an album was prepared. In the final stages of production, the name Cinema was discarded when Jon Anderson was invited to sing and Yes was, again and unintentionally, reborn.

Kaye was absent for the latter part of the 90125 recording sessions, so Rabin played some keyboards in the recorded songs as well. He was also absent in the video for "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (replaced by Eddie Jobson), but returned to the sessions before the resulting album was released. That album was 90125, the top-selling album by the band (including its only Number One single, "Owner of a Lonely Heart", as well as the track "Cinema", which was awarded a Grammy as Best Instrumental), and the tour that followed was the best grossing ever for the group, ending in February 1985 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In January 1985 Yes played in front of hundreds of thousands of fans at the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro (and transmitted live all over the world). An EP, 9012Live and a couple of singles were all the live material that was released from this successful tour, but a video of the same name was a commercial success and was nominated for a Grammy.

In recent years, Kaye has largely retired from the music business, although he does appear on a number of archival Yes releases, including The Word is Live. He has been involved with occasional projects, such as a Neil Young tribute band called The Neil Deal and a number of sessions with former Yes colleague, Billy Sherwood. Kaye and other past and present Yes members appeared on three Pink Floyd tribute albums. He is now in Circa: with Sherwood and White from Yes.

Tony was engaged to Chris Squire's daughter, Carmen Squire, but the marriage did not happen. He began a series of small businesses apart from music (such as a pizza restaurant in L.A.). He has been involved in a number of legal actions against Brian Lane (Yes' former manager) and Yes over unpaid royalties.

Discography[edit | edit source]

Badger[edit | edit source]

Detective[edit | edit source]

Members Current: Steve Howe · Alan White · Geoff Downes · Billy Sherwood · Jon Davison
Former: Chris Squire · Jon Anderson · Peter Banks · Bill Bruford · Tony Kaye · Rick Wakeman · Patrick Moraz · Trevor Horn · Trevor Rabin · Igor Khoroshev · Benoit David · Oliver Wakeman
Studio albums Yes · Time And A Word · The Yes Album · Fragile · Close To The Edge · Tales From Topographic Oceans · Relayer · Going For The One · Tormato · Drama · 90125 · Big Generator · Union · Talk · Keys To Ascension · Keys To Ascension 2 · Open Your Eyes · The Ladder · Magnification · Fly From Here (Return Trip) · Heaven & Earth
Live albums Yessongs · Yesshows · 9012Live: The Solos · Keys To Ascension · Keys To Ascension 2 · House Of Yes: Live From House Of Blues · Symphonic Live · Live At Montreux 2003 · Union Live · In the Present – Live from Lyon · Songs from Tsongas · Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome · Like It Is: Yes at the Mesa Arts Center · Topographic Drama – Live Across America · Yes 50 Live · The Royal Affair Tour – Live From Las Vegas
Compilations Yesterdays · 2 Originals Of Yes · Classic Yes · Yesstory · Affirmative: The Yes Solo Family Album · Highlights: The Very Best Of Yes · Symphonic Music Of Yes · Yes Active · Tales From Yesterday · Something's Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969-1970 · Keys To Ascension Volumes 1 And 2 · Yes, Friends And Relatives · Astral Traveller · Yes, Friends And Relatives Vol. 2 · The Masterworks · The Best Of Yes · Sweet Dreams · Keystudio · Yes-Today · Roundabout: The Best Of Yes Live · The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection · YesFamily - Owner Of A Lonely Heart · Topography · The Solid Gold Collection · The Definitive Rock Collection · Greatest Hits Live · Roundabout & Other Hits · Introducing Yes · Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes · Wonderous Stories: The Best of Yes (reissue)
Box sets Yesyears · In A Word: Yes (1969 - ) · The Word Is Live · Essentially Yes · Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two · High Vibration · The Studio Albums 1969–1987
Remixes Twelve Inches On Tape · Yes Remixes
Promos and Rarities Yessolos · ABWH Sampler · Eight Cuts From Yesyears · Symphonic Music Of Yes Promo CD
EPs Yours Is No Disgrace · Roundabout · Owner Of A Lonely Heart · From a Page
Singles "Sweetness" · "Looking Around" · "Time and a Word" · "Sweet Dreams" · "Your Move" · "Roundabout" · "America" · "And You and I" · "Roundabout (Live)" · "Soon" · "Wonderous Stories" · "Going for the One" · "Don't Kill the Whale" · "Release, Release" · "Into the Lens" · "Owner of a Lonely Heart" · "Leave It" · "It Can Happen" · "Rhythm of Love" · "Love Will Find a Way" · "Lift Me Up" · "Saving My Heart" · "I Would Have Waited Forever" · "Make It Easy" · "The Calling" · "Walls" · "Open Your Eyes" · "Lightning Strikes" · "We Can Fly"
Videos and DVDs Yessongs · 9012 Live · Live At Q.P.R. 1975 Vol. 1 · Live At Q.P.R. 1975 Vol. 2 · Yesyears - A Retrospective · Keys To Ascension · Musikladen Live - Yes · House Of Yes: Live From House Of Blues · Symphonic Live · Live In Philadelphia · Fragile · YesSpeak · Greatest Video Hits · EP · Yes Acoustic · Inside Yes: 1968-1973 · 35th Anniversary Edition: YesSpeak/Yes Acoustic · Songs From Tsongas: 35th Anniversary Concert · Live At Montreux 2003 · Classic Artists: Yes · Yesspeak Live: The Director's Cut · The Lost Broadcasts · Rock of the 70's · Union Live · In the Present – Live from Lyon · Live Hemel Hempstead Pavilion October 3rd 1971 · Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome · Like It Is: Yes at the Mesa Arts Center
Books The Extraordinary World Of Yes
Appearances 1970 TV Special
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