By now, Amon Düül II had settled into what would be the classic lineup of Chris Karrer on guitar and vocals, Renate Knaup on vocals, John Weinzierl on lead guitar, Lothar Meid on bass, Falk-Ulrich Rogner on keyboards and Peter Leopold on drums, with the ever-present Olaf Kübler producing. Here the band is assisted by Karl-Heinz Hausmann on keyboards, and the more permanent arrival of Daniel Fichelscher as a second drummer.
If both prior Yes albums had any shortcomings (and they had very few), it was due to growing pains. The Yes Album brought out the extended, epic composition, but suffered, perhaps, in execution. Fragile was well-executed, but only contained a half-hour of music—solo tracks notwithstanding. However, by the time their next album was recorded, the band had remained stable for almost a year. In the interim, Yes issued a massive arrangement of Paul Simon's "America" (similar to that of the pre-Clouds band, 1-2-3).
Originally known as Kluster, the group was founded in Berlin at the Zodiak Free Arts Lab in 1969 by Conrad Schnitzler and Hans-Joachim Roedelius; the two were older art students who envisioned a space for their radical and decidedly non-western "Gerausche," or noises. Most every group that would be associated with the so-called "Berlin School," including Tangerine Dream, Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel and Klaus Schulze, played their earliest gigs there.
Uriah Heep, named after the Charles Dickens character, was one of the more critically-derided bands of the era. The classic quote is this: "If this band makes it, I'll have to kill myself" (Rolling Stone, Melissa Mills, 1970). Sadly, a few of the members did pass away too early: New Zealander Gary Thain in 1976, while David Byron (born David Garrett) died in 1985. Lead singer Byron and guitarist Mick Box had previously been in the Essex-based band The Stalkers, which mutated into Spice in 1967.