Juvenilia is the Star Wars prequels of the music geek universe. Listening to pre-fame songs recorded by our favorite artists provides a little insight into their development, sometimes demonstrating their latent genius and others revealing just how much work they put in to reach the summit of Mt. Rock Star. David Bowie explored countless styles of both music and vocal delivery before landing on the iconic Bowie; recordings exist of Hendrix backing up the Isley Brothers and King Curtis, none of his guitar pyrotechnics on display. You don’t even have to work that hard to find the Beatles backing up Tony Sheridan.
Here we have a pre-Yes, 21 year-old Steve Howe laying down guitar tracks for a British psychedelic band named Bodast. The band had a short life–only about a year–in which they managed to record an album’s worth of material before their label went broke and left the band hanging. It’s pleasant enough psych and Howe’s guitar mastery is already on display, so it’s no wonder that within months of Bodast’s demise he was playing with Yes.
Howe clearly wasn’t embarrassed by the tracks, nor should he be. Unlike, say, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, who bought back their Wicked Lester masters in an effort to bury them (though they eventually did release a few tracks on a KISS box set), Howe purchased the Bodast masters, remixed them, and released them, and thus Yes fans got their version of a Star Wars prequel.
This one usually trades in the 5-10 dollar range, but I can probably add a couple of bucks to mine for the Steve Howe autograph. Happy Hunting.