Something’s Coming: The BBC Recordings 1969–1970 is a compilation of live recordings by YES. They are the only live recordings to feature the band’s original lineup. The recordings are of YES‘ early performances on BBC radio. The two-disc set features liner notes from original guitarist Peter Banks, who left the band shortly after these recordings were made.
If you mention the name YES to most people it will conjure up images of albums and stage shows on an epic scale with unearthly Roger Dean images. They were undeniably one of the most successful British bands of the seventies and have continued, with something of a revolving line up, to the present day.
This album goes right back to the beginning of the story and finds the band Still in a formative stage but with many pointers to the unique YES sound that would later develop. YES played their first gig at East Mersey Youth Camp in Essex, on August 4th 1968 and their second at The Marquee the following night. The original line up consisted of Chris Squire on bass, Jon Anderson on vocals, Peter Banks on guitar, Bill Bruford on drums and Tony Kaye on organ.
Anderson had spent some time in a band called The Warriors and had also released a couple of sugary singles under the pseudonym of Hans Anderson. Squire and Banks were in a band called Syn and then later joined Anderson in a short lived outfit called Mabel Greers Toyshop. Jazz drummer Bruford was recruited from a Melody Maker ad and Kaye came after a bid spell with a band called Bittersweet. All the recordings on this album feature this original line up. They are typical of the mixture of songs that the band played at the time.
‘Something’s Coming‘ is a radical reworking of the standard from “West Side Story” and was only ever to appear as the b-side of the band’s debut single “Sweetness” released in July 1969 shortly before their debut album “Yes“. The other two tracks from that first session are “Everydays” a Steve Stills track (again drastically altered in true YES style) & “Dear Father,” an Anderson/Squire original. Neither of these tracks would appear on vinyl until the band’s second album “Time And A Word‘ which was not released until July 1970, some 18 months after these sessions were recorded.
The other tracks on this album come from BBC sessions in mid 1969 and early 1970 and a couple are taken from TV performances for Top Of The Pops and for French & German TV. All these tracks were to appear on one or other of the first two albums with the exception of “For Everyone” of which this appears to be the only recording. The familiar pattern of early YES is maintained with dramatic versions of The Beatles “Every Little Thing” and a further take on Stephen Stills’ “Everydays” alongside evolving YES originals such as “Astral Traveller“, “Then“, “Beyond And Before” and “Sweet Dreams” (co-written by Jon & David Foster who was the bass player in The Warriors).
– Ian Rowe, 13th August 1997
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