I won't claim the first record by Yes is the best record by Yes. I am not that guy who only likes Led Zeppelin's first, gave up on Clapton after the Bluesbreakers, and thinks "Quadrophenia" stinks. No, I think "Close To The Edge," the record that is universally thought of as the Yes masterpiece, is in fact their best. But man, do I love their debut! I had written about it before and what I had written had somehow found its way to Bill Bruford's eyes, which prompted him to expound on it a bit more. That was certainly a Burning Wood highlight.
While searching for one thing, I stumbled across a listing for an early live recording that featured Yes covering the Buffalo Springfield's "Everydays," which eventually was recorded for "Time & A Word," The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," which I assume was left unrecorded in favor of "Every Little Thing," which made its way to the debut, and The Rascals' "It's Love," which was news to me! The bonus material on this bootleg CD, included a BBC version of my favorite Yes song of them all, "Beyond & Before," the opening psych/pop gem from their debut. I had no idea this was ever performed live, so I dug a little deeper and found what is posted above--"Beyond & Before" as performed by Mabel Greer's Toy Shop, the pre-Yes band that morphed from The Syn with Chris Squire into Yes.
As I said mentioned above, I think "Close To The Edge" is a masterpiece, all three songs of it. But there is something about "Beyond & Before" that really does it for me. The whole of that debut really does it for me. This is what I wrote in 2010:
The songs are relatively short, with nothing clocking in over 7 minutes, and most less than 6. The band hasn't yet employed two of its most infamous members, Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman, so the guitar and keyboards are played by Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, respectively. Musically, it leans more towards the heavy, psych-rock of early Deep Purple, as well as, dare I say it, the Airplane and, like this song here, "Beyond & Before," later Move.
I still agree with what I said.