“Look!” said Jon. “An elf on a hollow log!”
Listen – Yes – Everydays – MP3
I hope the beginning of a new week, in which we appear to have been gifted by some (so far) lovely and unseasonably toasty weather, finds you all well.
The tune I bring you today is something that I ought to have known, but didn’t hear for the first time until very recently.
If you follow the goings on hereabouts, you’ll already be familiar with the fact that I’m a huge fan of the Buffalo Springfield (my favorite US 60s band next to Arthur Lee and Love). My favorite tune from their unfortunately brief discography is a hazy little bit of sunshine called ‘Everydays’.
I featured the BS version in this space a little less than a year ago, at which time a regular reader hepped me to the fact that the song had been covered on one of the early Yes albums.
If you’re not already aware, Yes recorded a few interesting psych on the way to prog albums before they jettisoned Peter Banks and Tony Kaye and replaced them with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman for that full on, sequined cape, Escape to Wizard Mountain vibe so beloved of a generation of the more pretentious members of the stoner community.
Well, after ingesting the Yes/Buffalo Springfield factoid, it was shuffled away into one of the many cobweb infested corners of my memory, where it sat idly until a month or so ago, when something (which I have since forgotten) led me to check out the Yes LP ‘Time and a Word’ (it was probably something to do with the Byrds/Beatles covers from their 1969 debut), where I discovered that they had in fact covered a Buffalo Springfield tune. I went out onto the interwebs, picked up a cheapo copy of the Yes album in question, digi-ma-tized the song, and here we all are today.
The Yes version of ‘Everydays’ manages to remove a certain amount of the SoCal sunshine from the original, replacing it (successfully, I think) with a sort of delicate, UK hippies in a cathedral nave feeling, in which the group sound is layered with a string section. Naturally, this being Yes (and more importantly 1970), things take a sudden turn into the stormy seas of unusual time signatures, and for a moment veer dangerously close to ‘Spinal Tap in Jazz Fantasy’ territory. It’s an especially jarring transition when you consider the gentle feeling at the beginning of the song. However, the bombast only lasts for about two minutes, returning once again to the land of hashish and unicorns at the 4:40 mark.
I suppose you’re affinity for the track may have a lot to do with your tolerance for Yes. I happen to like a lot of their stuff, going as far as to have listened to most of ‘Yessongs’ while reading the other night. No matter, it’s a wonderful song, and you can always edit it down if you’re feeling creative.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back later in the week with something very unusual.