November 24, 2010 – 5:13 pm

Indistinct, hesitant steps to prog rock.


Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

The Goddess Of Mercy - 1963-1968 [Highland HL405/6, 2CD]

Pre-Yes songs of different group members. Sound quality varies from A to B-.

We all know the sound of Yes. Epic songs that stretch an entire side of a vinyl album. Incoherent but thoughtful lyrics. Choir boy singing with a high pitch. And, of course, guitars, bass and drums as tight as any blues rock band.

But venture further back to pre-Yes times and you’ll be perplexed to explain the origins of that Yes sound. A fascinating bootleg emerged from Japan in 1999. Highland, a Yes specialist label, released The Goddess Of Mercy, that handpicked long forgotten demos and single releases from 1963 to 1968. In particular, they focused on Jon Anderson, drummer Alan White and guitarist Steve Howe.

The best clues offered are Anderson’s and Howe’s early works. Back then, Anderson ran under the band name[?] Hans Christian (sic Anderson) and sang bombastic pop songs. The one that stands out is his cover of The Association’s Never My Love. This practice of making cover versions would later extend to Yes covers of The Beatles’ Every Little Thing, the West Side Story song Something’s Coming and Richie Havens and Stephen Stills.

Howe’s fretworks for Brit pop stylist Keith West showed intricacy and complex riffs. West’s own brand of pop was not particularly popular, lacking in hooks and choruses. Howe worked with West in the psychedelic band Tomorrow as well as on solo singles and other sessions.

Alan White is a rock drummer and blends well with whatever style is required. His drumming for Paul Williams [not the American singer-songwriter], Giffin, Happy Magazine and Balls are featured here.

These recordings are more than 40 years old. They have been sourced from vinyl and acetates. If you can bear with the audible clicks and pops of a worn out record, you might find clues to that Yes sound.
- Professor Red

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. The Syndicates (feat. Steve Howe) “Crawdaddy Simone” (3:14) (5.1MB)
Track 102. Warriors (feat. Jon Anderson) “You Came Along” (2:07) (3.6MB)
Track 103. Warriors (feat. Jon Anderson) “Don’t Make Me Blue” (2:08) (3.4MB)
Track 104. Hans Christian “Never My Love” (2:27) (3.9MB)
Track 105. Hans Christian “All of the Time” (2:13) (3.5MB)
Track 106. Hans Christian “Autobiography of a Mississippi Hobo” (2:36) (4.1MB)
Track 107. Hans Christian “Santa of Love” (2:57) (5.0MB)
Track 108. Hans Christian “Out of My Mind” (1:05) (1.7MB)
Track 109. Hans Christian “Someone in Heaven Knows” (1:32) (2.4MB)
Track 110. The Federals (feat. Tony Kaye) “Marlena” (2:06) (3.5MB)
Track 111. The Federals (feat. Tony Kaye) “What I’d Say” (4:12) (7.1MB)
Track 112. The Wild Ones (feat. Rick Wakeman) “The Only Ones” (2:54) (4.9MB)
Track 113. The Wild Ones (feat. Rick Wakeman) “Pageing Sullivan” (2:38) (4.2MB)
114. Keith West & Mark Wirtz (feat. Steve Howe) “Shy Boy” (2:42) - Omitted*
Track 115. Keith West & Mark Wirtz (feat. Steve Howe) “Engel fallen nicht vom Himmel” (Angels Don’t Fall From Heaven) (3:00) (4.8MB)
Track 116. Paul Williams (feat. Alan White) “My Sly Sadie” (2:28) (3.9MB)
Track 117. Paul Williams (feat. Alan White) “Please Stop the Wedding” (3:55) (6.3MB)
Track 118. Paul Williams (feat. Alan White) “Freedom” (3:00) (4.8MB)
Track 119. Paul Williams (feat. Alan White) “I Don’t Need No Doctor” (3:15) (5.5MB)
Track 120. Giffin (feat. Alan White) “I’m the Noisy in My Head” (4:01) (6.8MB)
Track 121. Giffin (feat. Alan White) “Don’t You Know” (2:32) (4.3MB)
Track 122. Happy Magazine (feat. Alan White) “Satisfied Street” (2:48) (4.5MB)
Track 123. Happy Magazine (feat. Alan White) “Do Right Woman Do Right Man” (3:21) (5.6MB)
Track 124. Happy Magazine (feat. Alan White) “Who Belongs to You” (3:04) (4.9MB)
Track 125. Happy Magazine (feat. Alan White) “Beautiful Land” (2:12) (3.5MB)
Track 126. Alice Cooper “Mary Ann” (1:53) w Rick Wakeman (alternate?) (3.0MB)
Track 127. Alice Cooper “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (3:06) w Chris Squire (diff mix?) (4.9MB)

Note: Both Wakeman and Squire are not credited on Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies from which tracks 26 and 27 are found. These are possible earlier sessions listed on the artwork as from Kingsway Studios, 1971.

Disc 2
Balls featuring Alan White & Denny Laine’s demos
Track 201. “Fight for My Country #1″ (6:05) (9.7MB)
Track 202. “Hound Dog Down” (5:24) (8.6MB)
Track 203. “Janie Slow Down #1″ (2:15) (3.6MB)
Track 204. “Fight for My Country #2″ (3:25) (5.7MB)
Track 205. “Janie Slow Down #2″ (2:01) (3.2MB)
Track 206. “Fight for My Country #3″ (2:58) (4.7MB)

Keith West (feat. Steve Howe)
Track 207. “Marshwood” (2:29) instrumental (4.0MB)
208. “West Country” (4:54) - Omitted*
Track 209. “Wherever My Love Goes” (5:19) (8.5MB)
Track 210. “Sad Song” (5:04) (8.5MB)
Track 211. “Leit Molit” (4:46) (7.6MB)
212. “The Visit” (7:33) - Omitted*
Track 213. “I Hope You Feel Better” (4:56) (7.9MB)
Track 214. “Company Going Home Song” (4:19) (7.3MB)
Track 215. “Wherever My Love Goes #2″ (5:47) (9.7MB)

* Both songs can be found on Keith West Groups & Sessions ‘65-’74 (RPM records) in much better quality.

The debut 1969 album, Yes, is the place to start your journey. This is Yes before Steve Howe and Alan White joined. Click on the link to order the album.

  1. 21 Responses to “THE SOUND OF YES”

  2. *würg*

    By Burkhard on Nov 24, 2010

  3. sweet fancy Moses!

    I am Thankful. I am Thankful.

    By Scott Brookman on Nov 24, 2010

  4. Thanks!
    Happy Thanksgiving

    By Emily on Nov 25, 2010

  5. Steve Howe joined The Syndicats AFTER “Crawdaddy Simone” was recorded. It is the group’s previous guitarist Ray Fenwick(later of Spencer Davis Group & Ian Gillan Band) playing guitar on “Crawdaddy Simone”, and Fenwick co-wrote the song. See the British CD “Ray Fenwick-Riding The Rock Machine:Groups & Sessions”(RPM 176), where it can be heard with pristine quality.

    By Philip Cohen on Nov 26, 2010

  6. Wakeman & Howe played on Lou Reed’s first solo album in 1972. I didn’t know about the Alice Cooper connection though.

    Happy Day of Turkey to all!

    By Sking on Nov 26, 2010

  7. Lettermen? The Association recorded Never My Love.
    Perhaps the Lettermen covered it?

    By Bob Eskin on Nov 26, 2010

  8. Hello Bob

    Thanks for your feedback. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Nov 26, 2010

  9. if u hunger for more pre yes steve howe look for mothballs its a great cd with much steve howe~~~

    By claycorn on Nov 26, 2010

  10. Actually Phillip, you’ve gotten a bit confused since it was the other way round regarding Steve Howe and The Syndicats. Steve played on all the singles tracks except “Crawdaddy Simone” - Ray Fenwick replaced him. The sole video material of The Syndicats from BBC TV’s “The Beat Room” features Steve live with the band in October 1964.

    The final Syndicats single came out in September 1965 and Steve had left in July or August that year. Ray Fenwick only did the one session in Joe Meek’s studio and the band broke up not long after.

    By Harold Michaels on Nov 27, 2010

  11. Harold,

    Either way(whether Steve Howe preceded or replaced Ray Fenwick in The Syndicats), we are in agreement that Steve Howe does not play on “Crawdaddy Simone”, and that it WAS Ray Fenwick playing on(and co-writing) “Crawdaddy Simone”.

    By Philip Cohen on Nov 30, 2010

  12. track 115 by Keith West & Mark Wirtz (feat. Steve Howe) is in german and should be “Engel fallen nicht vom Himmel” (angels don’t fall from heaven).

    By Walter on Dec 2, 2010

  13. Hello Walter
    Thanks for your feedback. Cheers.

    By bigozine2 on Dec 2, 2010

  14. Thanks for this…greatly appreciated.


    By steve gillett on Dec 5, 2010

  15. This is a treat. I’m looking forward to hearing it. Thanks

    By Matt on Dec 12, 2010

  16. …and Wakeman played on Bowie’s 1971 Hunky Dory album…

    By Sking on Dec 12, 2010

  17. Question about the Hans Christian tracks. Jon Anderson’s voice is identifiable in NEVER MY LOVE, SONATA OF LOVE and ALL OF THE TIME, but that track MISSISSIPI HOBO doesn’t sound like him at all. Can anyone confirm if it is JON on vocals or if that track is really AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A MISSISSIPPI HOBO???

    By Paulo on Jun 8, 2012

  18. I don’t know if it matters at this point, but none of the Keith West tracks feature Steve Howe on guitar. They come from West’s 1971 solo album “Wherever My Love Goes”. Guitar on these songs is credited to West, Ken Burgess, and Glenn Campbell.

    By Paul on Jun 5, 2014

  19. please be advised that link for 210 is dead. Love the site-thanks for everything!

    By D.W. Washburn on Oct 11, 2015

  20. The following tracks no longer seem to be downloadable: 107, 111, 112, 119, 120, 123, 210, and 215. Any help or suggestions?

    By Smitty59 on Oct 11, 2015

  21. Hello Smitty59 and D.W. Washburn

    Kindly refresh the page and try again.

    By bigozine2 on Oct 11, 2015

  22. That did it! Thanks!!!

    By Smitty59 on Oct 11, 2015

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