Steve Howe's recording career began as early as 1964 under the production of Joe Meek when he was the lead guitarist of the savage R&B outfit The Syndicats. He then joined The In Crowd, who soon became Tomorrow, legendary pioneers of UK psychedelia who along with Pink Floyd and Soft Machine changed the face of pop music forever.
When Tomorrow's singer Keith West's first solo single became a huge success (it was a part of the "lost" Teenage Opera project by Mark Wirtz) all band members went their separate ways. Drummer Twink joined The Pretty Things and then formed The Pink Fairies, bassist Junior Wood -along with Twink- tried luck in Aquarian Age and Steve Howe accompanied West on tour before finally giving birth to Bodast in 1968.
Bodast was formed by Steve Howe (Guitar), Dave Curtiss (bass, vocals) and Bobby Clark (drums). The name was creatied by taking the first two letters of their names (BObby, DAve, STeve). Curtiss and Clark where veterans of the early UK scene, having been members of Screaming Lord Sutch's Savages or Vince Taylor's Playboys, and they had also worked in France backing Françoise Hardy.They were soon joined by Clive Skinner (vocals) and Bruce Thomas (bass), and also acted for a while as Canto.
While back in the era no recordings of Bodast saw the light of day, the fact is that they did record a whole LP under the production of Keith West. Ten incredible songs that are the missing link between Tomorrow and Yes, a stunning progressive opus which still has it's share of psychedelia, and which should have been a classic since day one but, sadly, the album was filed and left unreleased, and Bodast finally disbanded. Howe got some offers to join other established groups. He took the one from Yes, with whom he soon entered the studio to record The Yes Album, to which he added parts of the lost Bodast compositions (the most evident being Nether Street, an important part of it ended up in Starship Troopers). And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Bodast LP finally saw the light of day in 1981, when Cherry Red issued 8 of the recorded songs as The Bodast Tapes. The original tapes had been newly remixed by Steve Howe himself. It was, again, issued in the 1990s by C5, same remix, with the addition of two extra tracks. That version was also available on CD. In 2000 RPM released a new CD version, this time rescuing the original 1968 mixes, and with the addition of four tracks by Canto (essentially the same band, who changed the name for a while).
Much of this material has been around before in other packages, but this is the most comprehensive roundup of Bodast- and Bodast-related tracks likely to be done. Ten of the 16 songs comprise all of the masters recorded by Bodast for MGM in 1969. These have been previously reissued by Cherry Red and See for Miles, but the versions on these CDs are the original mixes by Keith West, whereas on other releases the mixes were done by Steve Howe in 1981.
In addition, there are four previously unreleased 1968 songs by Canto, who were comprised of the trio of Steve Howe, Bobby Clarke, and Dave Curtiss, and evolved into Bodast around the time Clive Maldoon rejoined. And, finally, there are previously unreleased alternate takes of the Bodast cuts "Beyond Winter" and "Do You Remember."
The music is a link between British flower-power psychedelia and progressive rock, full of intricate song structures and harmonies, yet also lacking the arresting melodies and direction of Howe's previous and subsequent bands (Tomorrow and early Yes), though it's closer to Tomorrow than Yes. It's more historically interesting than musically significant, but its historical value is considerably enhanced by Jon Newey's lengthy liner notes. The highlights remain the occasional times at which they recall early David Bowie, particularly "1,000 Years."
1. Power of Music
2. The Spanish Song
3. Come Over Stranger
4. Nether Street(demo instrumental)
5. Nether Street
6. Mr Jones
7. Tired Towers
8. Do You Remember
9. Beyond Winter
10. Once in a Lifetime
11. Black Leather Gloves
12. I Want You
13. 1000 Years
14. Nothing to Cry For
15. Beyond Winter(alternate take & mix)
16. Do You Remember(alternate take & mix).