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Yes — Beyond and Before - BBC Recordings 1969-1970
(Purple Pyramid CLP 0246-2, 1970/2011, 2CD)

Yes — Something's Coming - BBC Recordings 1969-1970
(Purple Pyramid CLP 0246-2, 1970/1997, 2CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1998-07-01

Beyond and Before - BBC Recordings 1969-1970 Cover artSomething's Coming - BBC Recordings 1969-1970 Cover art

Early Yes has always been a mystery to most fans. Who would've imagined that this hodgepodge of psychedelia, jazz, and vocal pop would become the leading English progressive band of the 70s? Something’s Coming, a two-disc set, and its American-release counterpart Beyond and Before, shed much needed light on a dimly-lit era. The source tapes come from the band's first guitarist Peter Banks' personal archival recordings from 1969-70, which were glossed over in the Yes box set. Considering the liner notes are from the least recognized Yes member, the attention to detail and historical perspective is outstanding and insightful. Stylistically, the band seems to be struggling for a strong identity, doing mostly covers and extended versions of pieces from their first two albums. Disc one contains the only version of the Anderson / Squire song "For Everyone" available on CD, while disc two contains a rendition of "Beyond and Before," featuring guitar licks later incorporated into the Flash track, "Small Beginnings." The early Yes was clearly a hot club act relying on jazzy extended guitar solos and weak three-part harmonies (a la the Byrds). But though it was somewhat underdeveloped, it was inventive, dynamic, and optimistic. There are some reports that this is not an official release, since there has been little feedback from the current Yes camp. But it is certain that Banks loved this band, which may explain why he modeled his first post-Yes band after it, and absolve his bitterness for his loss of the group's name and logo he originated. Recognition does have its just rewards. Just hope this disc stays in print and is not retracted after a royalty dispute. (Note that US version on Purple Pyramid contains the same songs although in a different order.)

Filed under: Archives, Issue 15, 2011 releases, 1970 recordings, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford / Earthworks, Chris Squire, Yes, Tony Kaye, Peter Banks

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