For the next month or so, this blog site is going to be the mother-ship for all my re-mastered YESLOGS. These originally were a series of blogs I started roughly a decade or so commemorating the 2003-2004 reissue series of the entire Yes catalog on Rhino Records culled from all the previous Atlantic/Atco Records labels albums from the first Yes release in 1969 to 1983’s multi-million platter seller 90125 that featured rare and bonus tracks. So in addition to hearing the pops and hisses getting cleaned up, you got a couple of juicy aural enhancements added such as single b-sides, demos, studio run-throughs, and almost entire unheard of secret albums such as the ill-aborted Paris sessions produced by Queen/Cars/Foreigner’s Roy Thomas Baker, who will be featured in a brand new entry, now that the majority of the band have come full circle in finally legitimately working with him. The reason for wanting to re-master these blog re-mastering is quite simple, they sound quite dated (not to mention they were written under my sex-crazed nom de plume of the Purple Pinup Guru, aka PP Guru) and lots and lots more updated history or behind the scenes gossip has emerged since they were originally posted- but there have been some major changes in the band for the past decade or so, including original singer Jon Anderson’s brush with ill health leading the band to replace him with two lead singers on two separate studio albums, a return of a major keyboard player, a passing of a founding member, and some innovative concerts that are still enabling them to pack the houses the whole world over to this very day. I just happened to have saw them last month here in Los Angeles and to me, they show no signs of ever slowing down
Most importantly, I’m representing these blogs as a testament to one of my all-time idols and a big influence of how I truly see the world through the reading of his words and currently living as a true testament to a tremendous force of creativity – former lead singer and prolific catalyst of the band (not saying that the others were no slouches themselves), Jon Anderson will be turning 70 this late October.
So what better way to acknowledge his achievements through a special series of blogs?
This is the concept of how a Yes Log works: for the next thirty days or so – every Monday- Friday, I will be talking about each Yes studio album in chronological order and whatever special occasion that happened to have occured on each one, and then I’m going to delve into my own personal history in association with each studio release and talk about the events that influence my own life as I was growing up.
Perhaps reading these mostly reprinted entries from my original blog, http://www.purplepinupguru.blogspot.com will inspire those to maybe do their own diary/discography of their favorite band that will inspire them to share and shape events that happened in their own life.
Could be fun, no? Well, at least it will be for me.
There are going some brand new entries scattered in here as well. I haven’t contributed entries such as the Paris sessions of which bits and pieces of its’ official release had spread across three studio projects: the re-mastered editions of Tormato and Drama, along with the 2002 box set, Yes, In A Word… . A recent article in Prog Magazine had shed some new light on those aborted RTB sessions and what really happened behind the scenes to the original follow up to Tormato. I’ll also be expanding the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe portion of the series to talk about the songs that could’ve formed the second album but instead were scrapped for the marvel team up edition of 1991’s Union. Two new entries for the recent released albums of Fly From Here and Heaven & Earth will also be contributed to the new mix. And along the way, there will be a tribute to the passing of my best friend, Harry Perzigian – whom I first met while waiting in line for Yes tickets and a record store signing which I hopefully will make the local news outlets. Hopefully this will all accumulate by the time Jon Anderson’s birthday comes around on October 25. Although it probably would be wise of me if I saved the final two releases until after his birthday since he didn’t have anything to do with them
So without further ado.
YES LOG 1969
Hey, just curious – what were you all doing back on … July 25, 1969?
It was the day when Atlantic Records released the first Yes Album. In celebration of the new Yes: And the Word is Live box set being released tomorrow, we’re going to go through a literal trip through time by listening to every Yes studio album in chronological order for the next 3 three weeks and wants to know what the hell were you doing on that day of the album’s release or what were you doing the day that you first sat down and listened to it. The band’s personnel were Jon Anderson, vocals, Chris Squire, bass and vocals, Bill Bruford, drums, vibes, Tony Kaye, organ and piano, and Peter Banks on guitars. Best songs: Harold Land, Beyond and Before, Looking Around, Every Little Thing (tribute to the Beatles- listen to Banks squeaking out the theme to Day Tripper before Anderson starts singing the first verse), and the second edit of Something’s Coming (available on the 2003 re-mastered version, which also has been re-released in 2013 as a box set of all the original first 12 studio albums) which went on to prove that it was hip for young cats like me to be listening to Sondheim and Bernstein.
And what were you doing that day, you may ask ?
He was probably watching man take his first step on the moon, although it technically happened five days before the album was released.
1969 was also the year that I had enrolled in Northvail Elementary School, in Parsippany, NJ to attend kindergarten classes in the fall. Not one particular shenanigan I pulled particularly stands out other than I let a hamster let loose at my Vail Garden Apartment bedroom and that it ate my drapes and I got a serious beatdown from my stepfather about it.
Diahann Carroll was still melting male hearts as the most alluring beautiful African-American sweetheart actress of her era, and one that was real classy to boot, not like that race baiting trash talking with cum on her breath Daniele Watts that we have today.
And on July 25 1969:
- – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This starts the “Vietnamization” of the war.
Squire formed Yes in 1968 with singer Jon Anderson. Squire and guitarist Peter Banks had played together in The Syn and then Mabel Greer’s Toyshop. Anderson and later drummer Bill Bruford joined a line-up of Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, which evolved into Yes. Keyboardist Tony Kaye completed the first Yes line-up. Their early sets were a mix of original material and cover versions.
Track listing for the first album
Beyond & Before Chris Squire/Clive Bailey 4:58
I See You Roger McGuinn|Jim McGuinn/David Crosby 6:54
Yesterday and Today Jon Anderson 2:53
Looking Around Anderson/Squire 4:18
Harold Land Anderson/Bill Bruford/Squire 5:45
Every Little Thing (Beatles song)Every Little Thing John Lennon/Paul McCartney 5:46
Sweetness Anderson/Bailey/Squire 4:35
Survival Anderson 6:23
2003 remaster bonus tracks
Everydays (Single version) Stephen Stills 6:23
Dear Father (Early version #2) Anderson/Squire 5:51
Something’s Coming Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim 7:09
Everydays (Early version) 5:18
Dear Father (Early version #1) 5:31
Something’s Coming (Early version) 8:02
In a news/blog post on 20 September 2010, Bill Bruford commented about the track “Harold Land” – “Harold Land was a hard-bop tenor saxophone player, dead now, but quite why we named a song after him I can’t remember”. The song is about the effects of war on the named character, and bears no relation to the life of the sax player Harold Land.
Favorite lyric line: Don’t doubt the fact that there’s life within you/ yesterday’s endings will tomorrow’s life give you/ all that dies dies for a reason/ to put its strength into the Season, – Survival by Jon Anderson
Tomorrow: Time and A Word and 1970.