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Presented here are nine vibrant tracks from the early days, recorded in 1969 for TV and radio as Yes promoted its first LP throughout Europe. A blend of original material and cover versions, these songs demonstrate the onstage power and drive of the band's very first line-up. The LP comes with full recording details and liner notes. The recording quality varies from very good to soundboard.


1. Every Little Thing
2. Somethings Coming
3. Looking Around
4. Everydays
5. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed
1. Something's Coming
2. Every Little Thing
3. Looking Around
4. Survival


Recording Details

All tracks recorded live in 1969 as follows:

Side One

Tracks 1 & 2 German TV WDR, Big Apple, Wiesbaden, August 26th

Track 3 BBC Radio The Johnnie Walker Show, June 4th

Track 4 BBC Radio Symonds On Sunday, August 4th

Track 5 Radio Bremen, Germany, November 29th

Side Two

Tracks 1 & 2 BBC Radio Symonds On Sunday, August 4th

Tracks 3 & 4 Radio Bremen, Germany, November 29th


John Anderson – vocals and percussion

Peter Banks – guitars and vocals

Chris Squire – bass and vocals

Tony Kaye – organ and piano

Bill Bruford – drums and percussion



1969 was a crucial year for Yes. Having released their first LP in July they were keen to promote it across Europe through a series of live TV and radio performances. Some of these were included on the 2CD set Something's Coming (1997). This LP brings together a selection of high quality recordings designed to complement those previously released.

The members of Yes served their apprenticeship in the UK mid-sixties beat boom. Guitarist Pete Banks and bass player Chris Squire were both in Deram-recording artists The Syn. They hooked up with Warriors vocalist John Anderson  – he would not become Jon until 1970 – to form Mabel Greer's Toy Shop together with guitarist Clive Bayley. The addition of keyboard player Tony Kaye (ex-Bitter Sweet) and drummer Bill Bruford (Melody Maker ad) together with the subtraction of Bayley resulted in the first Yes line up. In September 1968 Yes performed at Blaise's club in Kensington as last-minute replacements for Sly and the Family Stone. They were well received by both the audience and the host Roy Flynn, who became the band's first manager. After an audition for Ahmet Eretgun at the Speakeasy, Yes signed to Atlantic in March 1969 and began recording their first, self-titled LP.

The songs recorded were a combination of original materials and covers designed to highlight both the instrumental prowess and the harmony singing of the band.

If you are only familiar with the music made by the later versions of Yes, these live recordings will be a revelation. The band play with power and aggression to the point where the opening Every Little Thing recorded for German TV sounds like The Who, thanks to Banks' Rickenbacker slashes and Bruford's exuberant drumming. Something's Coming is played in a version very different to that found in West Side Story, Kaye's organ flourishes are very Nice.

Looking Around was an unsuccessful single from Yes, this BBC version recorded for The Johnnie Walker Show highlights the band's lush harmonies and more instrumental interaction between Peter Banks and Tony Kaye. The Symonds On Sunday version of Stephen Stills' Everydays loses the swinging jazzy feel heard on Buffalo Springfield Again, replaced by a more start-stop arrangement featuring Banks fuzzed guitar and Kaye's Hammond plus an incongruous snippet of I Do Like To Be Besides The Seaside. Everydays would eventually appear on the second Yes LP, Time And A Word (July 1970). The band's cover of Richie Havens No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed would also appear on Time And A Word. Recorded in the TV studios of Radio Bremen for the venerable Beat Club TV programme, this version contains an instrumental reference to the theme from 1958 Western The Big Country.

Two more supercharged cover versions open Side Two, both recorded for the BBC's Symonds On Sunday. This lengthier version of Something's Coming opens with some impressive Bruford drumming before the melody gradually becomes discernible, interspersed with snatches of America and Tonight. On Beatles For SaleEvery Little Thing was a melancholy number with a delicate arrangement. Yes completely overhaul the song, even slipping in the riff from Day Tripper. Finally two further tracks recorded for Beat Club. Looking Aroundbenefits here from Chris Squire's  distinctive bass. Survival moves through different moods – lively, pensive, optimistic – with a catchy riff, ecological lyrics and more of those fine harmonies.

Yes would break through internationally in 1971 with their third LP The Yes Album. By then Peter Banks had been replaced by Steve Howe: Rick Wakeman in a glitter cape and concept albums would follow. As both musical virtuosity and song lengths increased, some of the enthusiasm and freshness of this first Yes line-up would be lost. Lester Bangs described Yes in Rolling Stone as "a totally unexpected thrust of musical power with a sense of style, taste, and subtlety". This LP shows what he was talking about.


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