YES

Yes - Debut
YES‘ debut album, released on July 25th 1969, is considered to be one of the first progressive rock albums. Vocalist Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire formed YES in 1968, with their former bandmates guitarist Peter Banks (who came up with the name), keyboardist Tony Kaye, and drummer Bill Bruford recruited from an ad in Melody Maker.

The record presents the early development of the sound that characterises the band’s later records; impeccable high harmonies; clearly defined, emphatic playing; and an approach to music that derived from folk and classical far more than the R&B from which most rock of their contemporaries drew their inspiration — but it was much more in a pop music context, featuring covers of Beatles and Byrds songs. Also present was a hint of the space rock sound (on “Beyond and Before”, a song inherited from Mabel Greer’s Toy Shop) in which they would later come to specialise.

Anderson’s high-pitched lead vocals lend the music an ethereality, while Banks’ angular guitar, seemingly all picked and none strummed, drew from folk and skiffle elements. Squire’s bass had a huge sound, owing to his playing with a pick, giving him one of the most distinctive sounds on the instrument, while Bruford’s drumming was very complex within the pop song context, and Kaye’s playing was rich and melodic.

Lester Bangs said of YES’ debut album in Rolling Stone 1970: “This is the kind of album that sometimes insinuates itself into your routine with a totally unexpected thrust of musical power. Because all of it is excellently done: brisk fuzz leads, whirring bass, a bit of the Beatles vocally, a touch of Wes Montgomery in the guitar solos—a definitive album, in fact, in the prevalent style of “hip” groups over the past two years.”

Personnel

Jon Anderson
Vocals

Peter Banks
Guitars

Bill Bruford
Percussion

Tony Kaye
Keyboards

Chris Squire
Bass, Vocals

Recommended Versions

Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music UK/USA

Yes - Debut
Yes Remastered in 2003 from the master tape of the original 1969 mix by Gerald Chevin.
Available as:
HD 24-192 or 24-96 Downloads (no extra tracks) at HD Tracks
Gatefold CD at Amazon
Vinyl LP as per original release at Amazon
MP3 Downloads at iTunes (Standard Edition, Mastered for iTunes), iTunes (Deluxe Edition), Google Play, 7 Digital, Microsoft Store
Streaming at Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Tidal
This Remaster of Yes is also available as part of the ‘Studio Albums 1969-1987‘ Box Set at Amazon.
The Box Set contains the following remastered albums and their original track listing (ie no bonus tracks): 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. Each individual album comes in a gatefold sleeve that replicates the original LP packaging.


Isao Kikuchi 2013 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music Japan

Yes is also available as part of the High Vibration SACD Box Set at Amazon.
High Vibration is a 16 x Hybrid SACD Box Set made for the Japanese fans, containing their first 13 albums on 15 discs plus a bonus disc of extra tracks. All Remastered by Isao Kikuchi at 24-96 & 16-44.1 with a 220 page book in Japanese.
Albums: Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator and a Bonus Disc.
Bonus Disc: Something’s Coming, Dear Father, Roundabout (Single Edit), America, Total Mass Retain (Single Version), Soon (Single Edit), Abilene, Run Through The Light (Single Version), Run With The Fox, Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Move Yourself Mix), Leave It (Single Remix), Big Generator (Remix).


Listen

Spotify

Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters

The Survival Years 1968-71 - From Perpetual Change by David Watkinson

As with most bands in their early years, it was a constant struggle to obtain a gig, transport the equipment and then earn money from it. YES would travel to and from gigs in their Ford Transit van, everyone’s equipment vying for the best spot in the back. Micky (Michael) Tait, the long-serving YES sound and light man was with the band from the beginning, starting as their driver and then helping out with equipment development. ‘They were amazing days,‘ recalls Micky. ‘When I look back and compare them to today’s tours with eighteen trucks and nine buses, I don’t know why anyone would want to do it now, because it’s just a job. Then it was an adventure. I did that consistently with YES on the road for fifteen years and they were incredible days, something I would never trade.’

The band would check out the bar first and then in no particular order, the size of the stage, electric points and quick exit routes (just in case). It would be all hands on deck for a quick set up, carrying in six or eight speaker cabinets and about four amplifiers. If they were lucky, they may have had time for a tune up, a sound check, a quick practice, and maybe even a beer or two, but pulling the whole operation together would have been a last-minute job. For the fans themselves, attending a Yesshow way back in the beginning was a pretty basic event. The lighting was of a very simple nature and the only special effects used on stage were the oil projectors, the simple but effective device popular in the seventies that projected fluid images onto white sheets hung from amplifiers.

Roy Flynn’s next breakthrough was engineering YES‘ appearance of the year, playing Cream’s farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 26 November 1968. Cream were the first real supergroup at the time and they would be playing in front of 5,000 people that night, so it was easy to think that, finally, YES had hit the big time. It was a significant event for YES – from then on they were perceived as pioneers of progressive rock music, as if Cream were passing down the mantel to the band of the next decade. The press were right behind YES and, following the Albert Hall gig, maintained that they were the band to watch out for. Within a few months, in January 1969, YES had an offer to record sessions at the BBC for John Peel’s show Top Gear, which was aired on 23 February. Among the four numbers they performed was the one which became the first YES single, entitled ‘Sweetness’/’Something’s Coming’, released on 4 July 1969.

The early YES years between 1968-71 were documented by handbills for gigs where the band played as support. From 1973 onwards, YES had their own programmes and tour merchandise, pioneering the use of mass-produced rock-tour memorabilia. The earliest piece of YES live memorabilia is a flyer for their appearance, accompanied by the Nite People, at the Marquee on 5 August 1968. A YES gig in 1968-69 would be listed on the monthly club handbills or flyers, most likely to be A5 in size and cheaply produced. The Marquee flyers were double sided, black and white, and vaguely resembled the design layout of a newspaper. The front usually carried details of who was appearing in the coming month, admission prices, a review of last month’s gigs, any special events, membership details and a stop press section – very comprehensive for such a small flyer. The back stated the date and a complete monthly programme of all acts and support bands.

For the first six months of 1969, YES spent their time in residency at the Marquee Club, only venturing outside the UK on a couple of occasions. As the attention on the band increased, Roy negotiated and secured a record deal with Atlantic records. ‘The band was doing really well in London, getting a real good name for itself,’ explains Jon. ‘It toured England twice. We were ready to do some recording. We didn’t know very much at that time about getting the right engineer/producer so we went and just recorded for about three or four weeks… At that time, there was an internal decision that we wouldn’t specifically try for singles. There were enough people doing that. We wanted to formulate some style of music and package it as an album. That gives you a better chance of staying around.

YES‘ first venture into the studios for Atlantic wasn’t hugely successful, however. The band were a little taken back with Advision’s studio equipment and felt that, although the music they had was definitely worth recording, they desperately needed a producer to help them pull it together. The one they secured, Paul Clay, had produced film soundtracks but never produced a band before, so it was a learning experience for all concerned. The band recorded their set list from the previous months’ gigs and added some new compositions. It consisted of a good mixture of cover versions like Lennon and McCartney’s ‘Every Little Thing‘ and Roger McGuinn and David Crosby’s ‘I See You‘ complementing new tracks by Anderson, Squire, Bailey and Bruford. A couple of songs from the album – ‘Survival‘ and ‘Looking Around‘ – would become YES standards.

The self-titled first album Yes came packaged in a gatefold sleeve with the original YES logo emblazoned upon the front. Inside the liner notes, a leading journalist for Melody Maker, Tony Wilson, predicted that YES would become one of the most significant bands of 1969.

The album Yes and first single ‘Sweetness‘/’Something’s Coming‘, were released in July and received good reviews and the album didn’t even enter the charts due to lack of airtime exposure. Nevertheless, the band themselves were just happy to get their first album out to the public and to work hard to improve their playing, arrangements and writing. Although Yes was a tentative start, it cemented a real home for all the members of the band. Bill Bruford described the band as a warm and cosy place: ‘I was an eighteen year old virgin, she was my first girlfriend.

The band supported the album with more concert dates in the UK and then went to Switzerland and Germany later in the year to play clubs and festivals. For the most part, 1969 saw YES touring, establishing a following in London recording another session for the BBC and gaining encouraging reviews in the press.

Early praise for the band was featured on the front page of the March 1969 Marquee flyer, which commented: ‘Finally, a reminder that the original sound of YES can be heard on Wednesday evenings in March and should be meeting with bigger audiences than they have been getting of late.

Excerpted from David Watkinson’s ‘Perpetual Change‘.

Lyrics

Click on the song title to view the lyrics.

BEYOND AND BEFORE

Sparkling trees of silver foam
Cast shadows soft in winter home
Swaying branches breaking sound
Lonely forest trembling ground

Masquerading leaves of blue
Run circles round the morning dew
Patterns understood by you
Reaching out beyond, and before

Time like gold dust brings mind down
To hidden levels underground
Say a few words to the wind
That’s all that’s left of winter’s friend

Reaching the snow
In the days of the cold
Casting a spell out of ice
Now that you’re gone
The summer’s too long
And it seems like the end of my life
Beyond, and before

Sparkling trees of silver foam
Cast shadows soft in winter home
Swaying branches breaking sound
Lonely forest trembling ground

Masquerading leaves of blue
Run circles round the morning dew
Patterns understood by you
Reaching out beyond, and before

Reaching the snow in the days of the cold
Casting a spell out of ice
Now that you’re gone
The summer’s too long
And it seems like the end of my life
Beyond, and before

Time like gold dust brings mind down
Time like gold dust brings mind down


WRITTEN BY

Chris Squire & Clive Bailey


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


I SEE YOU

I see you la la la la la la la la la la la la I see you
I see you la la la la la la la la la la la la I see you
I see you la la la la la la la la la la la la I see you

Sun smiling sun through the cave of your hair
Wind washing tulips out of space sitting there
I love you
At your door, second floor, First World War
I love you
Who listens
Tell your friend I’m aware, that she care
Who listens
Green specks bright spiraling out in the sky
Catch my eye turn my head have to look don’t know why
I see you
Everywhere, behind your hair, over there
I see you
I see you
Though your eyes can tell lies, I sympathize
I see you
Sun smiling sun through the cave of your hair
Wind washing tulips out of space sitting there
I love you

I see you
Everywhere, behind your hair, over there
I see you
I love you
At your door, second floor, First World War
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you


WRITTEN BY

Jim McGuinn & David Crosby


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Why is there you
When there are few
People around making me feel good
Why is there me
When air is free
Some I can see better than I should
There’s only us
Simply because
Thinking of us makes us both happy
I think of you every way, yesterday and today
I think of things that we do, all the way, every day

Stand in the sea
Sing songs for me
Sing happily, making me feel good
Watching your eyes
Feeling your sighs
Saying goodbyes better than I could
There’s only us
Simply because
Thinking of us makes us both happy
I think of you every way, yesterday and today
I think of nothing but you, things we do, things we do


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


LOOKING AROUND

Looking around me
There’s not so much in life I miss
Things that I can’t see
I’ll touch and I’ll feel then I’ll kiss

Then I saw you standing there
With a smile I couldn’t share
Just looking around everywhere

Tunes that I can’t hear
Would take me for a while my smile
Fares that are too dear
I’d rather walk out another mile

Then I heard a tune so right
It was in the light of night
Just listening around everywhere

All the things I’ve wanted to do
Take so much time to get around to you
Just reach out and catch and hold on
Leaving trails of dust and lust
Never even lying or trying
Keep on moving, never dying

Smiles that I don’t see
I’ll make them up as I go on
Laughs that just can’t be
I’ll make and laugh at every one

Then I saw you in your place
With a laugh upon your face
Just looking around everywhere

All the things I’ve wanted to do
Take so much time to get around to you
Just reach out and catch and hold on
Leaving trails of dust and lust
Never even lying or trying
Keep on moving, never dying

Looking around
With my feet on the ground
Full of words and of sound
Bringing smiles all around

Satisfy me
With your words that can be
Full of sound and I’ll see
I’m just looking around


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson & Chris Squire
Atlantic [UK] single (10/69)


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


HAROLD LAND

Harold Land with a wave of his hand
Said goodbye to all that
He paid his bills and stopped the milk, then put on his hat
He tried to say his last farewells as quickly as he could
Promising that he would return, but doubted that he would
(Doubted that he would)
Doubted that he would
(Doubted that he would), doubted

Now he’s marching soldiers in the rain
As on to war they rode
A long thin line of human mind
Damnation as their load!
In the mud in coldness dark, he’d shiver out his fear
What disappointing sights he’d seen, instead of ones so dear
(Instead of ones so dear)
Instead of ones so dear
(Instead of ones so dear)

(Going home)              
He’s going home to the land he loved so well
(Going home)                               
He fought for two whole years he never fell
(Going home)
He’s going home
(Going home)                                                     
He’s going home

Harold Land with a wave of his hand stood sadly on the stage
Clutching red ribbons from a badge but he didn’t look his age
Only two years had passed between his leaving home and back
He had lost his love and youth while leading the attack
(Leading the attack)
Leading the attack
(Leading the attack)

In conversation it could be said
Well after war your heart is dead
Well it’s not hard to understand
There is no heart in Harold Land


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson, Chris Squire & Bill Bruford


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


EVERY LITTLE THING

When I’m walking beside her
People tell me I’m lucky
Yes I know I’m a lucky guy
I remember the first time
I was lonely without her
Can’t stop thinking about her now

Every little thing she does
She does for me, yeah
And you know the things she does
She does for me

When I’m with her I’m happy
Just to know that she loves me
Yes I know that she loves me now
There is one thing I’m sure of
I will love her forever
’cause I know love will never die

Every little thing she does
She does for me, yeah
And you know the things she does
She does for me

Every little thing she does
She does for me, yeah
And you know the things she does
She does for me

When I’m with her I’m happy
Just to know that she loves me
Yes I know that she loves me now
There is one thing I’m sure of
I will love her forever
’cause I know love will never die

Every little thing she does
She does for me, yeah
And you know the things she does
She does for me

Every little thing
Every little thing
Every little thing
Every little thing


WRITTEN BY

John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Atlantic single [b-side} (1/27/70)


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


SWEETNESS

She brings the sunshine to a rainy afternoon
She puts the sweetness in stirs it with a spoon
She watches for my moods never brings me down
She puts the sweetness in, all around
She knows just what to say to make me feel so good inside
And when I’m all alone I feel I don’t want to hide, hide, hide

Today she brought me in told me where she’d been
She put my mind at rest, put the sweetness in
I’ll ask her for some time to go and look around
She puts the sweetness in with a sound
She knows just what to say to make a sunny day
And when I’m all alone I really don’t feel that way

Tell me, how would you feel with no world of your own
and nobody to hold I just can’t see the way
I’m so glad it’s today and you’re here, you’re here

She brings the sunshine to a rainy afternoon
She puts the sweetness in and stirs it with a spoon
She watches for my moods never brings me down
She puts the sweetness in, all around
She knows just what to say to make a sunny day
And when I’m all alone I really don’t feel that way

Oh how I need her so I know she’ll never go
She’ll never leave me, believe me, no
She’ll never go, no no no no no no no no no no no no


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson, Chris Squire & Clive Bailey

Atlantic [UK] single #584280 (7/4/69) • Also issued as Atlantic single [edit] (1/27/70)


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


SURVIVAL

Sunshine is creeping in and somewhere in a field a life begins
An egg too proud to rape the beginning of a shape
of things to come
That start the run, life has begun, fly fast the gun

The mother flew too late, and life within the egg was left to fate
Not really knowing how the world outside would take
it when it came
And life’s the same for things we aim, are we to blame?

Don’t doubt the fact there’s life within you
Yesterday’s endings will tomorrow life give you
All that dies, dies for a reason
To put its strength into the seasons
Survival, survival
They take away and they give
the life that they live
(The living’s right to live)
It’s all that we need to show
(The living’s right to know)

The egg breaks all is out the crawling bird begins
To scream and shout
Where is the parent bird? A loneliness arose and heard its name
Ring in for lives begin, survival wins, survival sins

So soon the evening comes and with it runs the aching
Fear of hate could someone still remain who thinks he
Still could gain by escaping fate? It’s much too late
Don’t underrate, appreciate

Don’t doubt the fact there’s life within you
Yesterday’s endings will tomorrow life give you
All that dies, dies for a reason
To put its strength into the seasons
Survival, survival
They take away and they give
the life that they live
(The living’s right to live)
It’s all that we need to show
(The living’s right to know)

Survival, Survival
They take away and they give and the life that they live
The living’s right to live
(It’s all that we need to give)
The living’s right to know
(It’s all that we have to show)
And we’re all going (And we’re all going)
And we’re all going (And we’re all going)
And we’re all going somewhere


WRITTEN BY

Jon Anderson


PEFORMED BY

Bill Bruford: drums, vibes
Tony Kaye: organ, piano
Peter Banks: guitar, vocals
Chris Squire: bass, vocals
Jon Anderson: lead singer, incidental percussion


PRODUCED BY

Paul Clay & YES


Twitter & Instagram

Sorry:

- Instagram feed not found.
Tag your YES Instagrams #yesdebut to appear here.
We’d love to see your photos, t-shirts, ticket stubs and memorabilia etc.

Facebook Comments

Join in the conversation – sign in with your Facebook account to comment below.