Thursday, July 25, 2019

50 years ago: Yes’ debut album released



Released: July 25, 1969

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, 38 AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: progressive rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Beyond and Before (Squire, Clive Bailey) [4:52]
  2. I See You (Jim McGuinn, David Crosby) [6:47]
  3. Yesterday and Today (Anderson) [2:49]
  4. Looking Around (Anderson, Squire) [3:58] (11/3/69, --)
  5. Harold Land (Anderson, Squire, Bruford) [5:40]
  6. Every Little Thing (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) [5:41]
  7. Sweetness (Anderson, Squire, Bailey) [4:31] (9/29/69, --)
  8. Survival (Anderson) [6:18]

Total Running Time: 40:36

The Players:

  • Jon Anderson (vocals, percussion)
  • Peter Banks (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Chris Squire (bass, backing vocals)
  • Tony Kaye (keyboards)
  • Bill Bruford (drums, vibraphone)


2.242 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

About the Album:

Yes formed in mid-1968 and released this, their first album, a year later. Among the tracks are two covers (The Beatles Every Little Thing and The Byrds’ I See You). The lead singer Jon Anderson wrote or co-wrote five of the other six songs. Bassist Chris Squire was a co-writer on four songs.

The opening cut, Beyond and Before, was written by Squire and Clive Bailey, who were in the psychedelic rock group Mabel Greer’s Toyshop. The group, active from 1966 to 1968, also included Peter Banks and later Jon Anderson, making it a precursor to Yes. Squire described the song as “one of those acide rock ind of songs.” WK

Sweetness marked the first time Anderson and Squire collaborated on a song together. That song and Looking Around were both released as singles, but failed to chart.

The Post-Crescent’s David Wagner described Yes as a “very promising” group. WK Rolling Stone’s Lester Bang said it was “the kind of album that sometimes insinuates itself into your routine with a totally unexpected thrust of musical power.” WK

Notes: The 2003 remastered edition of the album added two versions each of “Everydays,” “Dear Father,” and “Something’s Coming.” The latter, the B-side to “Sweetness,” was from West Side Story. “Dear Father” was a B-side to the 1970 single “Sweet Dreams.”

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 7/25/2021.

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