Episodes YMP Classic Feed

What did they do next? Part 3a – Bill Bruford – 386

Bill Bruford - Larks Tongues in Aspic
Bill Bruford – Larks Tongues in Aspic

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier, Bill Govier and VR Hoisington

This week we have the first part of our next what did they do next series and we’re considering Dr Bill Bruford and his unexpected move to King Crimson to record Larks’ Tongues in Aspic.

Listen and let us know what you think!

  • Why did Bill leave Yes just before they had their greatest success?
  • Was the grass greener – or Crimson-er?
  • How did the rest of the band react?

If you would like to support the Yes Music Podcast financially and also have access to exclusive activity and opportunities, there is a special page you can use to sign up and 2019 is the time to join us:
Become a Patron!

Show notes and links

YMP Patrons:


  • Jeffrey Crecelius
  • Preston Frazier
  • VR Hoisington
  • Bill Govier and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman
Dave Owen
Mark James Lang
Paul Tomei
Joost Maglev
David Heyden
Martin Kjellberg
Paul Wilson
Bob Martilotta
Michael O’Connor
Peter Hearnden
Brian Sullivan
David Pannell
Miguel Falcão
Lobate Scarp
Chris Bandini
David Watkinson
Neal Kaforey
Rachel Hadaway
Craig Estenes
Paul Hailes
Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs
Doug Curran
Robert Nasir
Fergus Cubbage
Scott Colombo
Fred Barringer
Scott Smith
Geoff Bailie
Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason
Stephen Lambe
Guy R DeRome
Steve Dill
Henrik Antonsson
Steve Perry
Hogne Bø Pettersen
Steve Rode
Steve Scott
Jamie McQuinn
Steven Roehr
Ken Fuller
Terence Sadler
Jeremy North
Tim Stannard
Todd Dudley
John Cowan
Tony Handley
John Holden
Joseph Cottrell
John Parry
Keith Hoisington
John Thomson
William Hayes
Barry Gorsky

Robert and David

Please subscribe!

If you are still listening to the podcast on the website, please consider subscribing so you don’t risk missing anything:

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Google Podcasts

Subscribe with RSSSubscribe on Android
Listen on Stitcher

Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

4 replies on “What did they do next? Part 3a – Bill Bruford – 386”

Another fantastic episode and it rang a lot of bells for me. I came to Crimson because of Bruford, Greg Lake, Judy Dyble and John Wetton’s names appearing in various Melody Maker reports about the band. I loved Yes, liked ELP, knew the Fairports from the support film to “Pink Floyd Live At Pompeii” and to me John Wetton was the musician who had replaced poor old Gary Thain in Uriah Heep (whose Live album I loved).

So I ended up buying “A Young Person’s Guide To King Crimson” when it came out in the spring of 76. expecting a greatest hits survey of a gold plated Prog super group. Which it is and also isn’t.

IIRC it was £3.25 for the 2 lp set which was definitely a factor in the decision to buy it. I always looking for a bargain when I was 14. I still have my copy and it has fantastic artwork and sleeve notes so I would recommend picking that up to anyone looking to dip a toe into the Crimson of the 60s and 70s and with access to a turntable

That purchase was a “gateway drug” to all sorts of things I went on to explore, especially in the jazz realm. Oddly 21st Century Schizoid Man doesn’t make the track listing. though given it is a Fripp product it is probably quite predictable that his band’s best of should be missing their most famous song.

As for Jamie Muir and Bruford’s musical relationship I don’t know this for gospel but I believe they might have been influenced by a jazz group called the Art Ensemble of Chicago who mixed what critics would now call “world music” with all different (and most challenging) strands of the jazz tradition and occasionally some pop influences. I saw them a few times in the early 80s and they customarily had long improv sections where all the band were playing percussion instruments and the music they made was very similar to what you hear in some recordings of that Crimson line up. I would highly recommend their Urban Bushmen live set on ECM.

This is a percussion based improv with whistles and such

This is them at their most accessible with electric bass


Bill Bruford. Dazzling drummer that truly defined “beating my own drum”, when it came to creating truly virtuosic and stunningly creative music. Although Bill left an unparalleled mark with the music he crafted with YES as a founding member. One can only imagine the music that he would have made if he stayed in the band. Perhaps just as much as King Crimson is considered experimental and avant garde. I think maybe YES would have been more experimental on “Tales From…”, and “Relayer”. Not to discredit the prowess of the great Alan White. I think initially Bill’s involvement with King Crimson as a jazzier front was to be expected.

Like Kevin and Mark had mentioned, Bruford came from a jazzier background. Even becoming an attendee of jazz shows during his years at college. As mentioned in his autobiography. As always a truly fascinating topic as this episodes discusses the third member to leave YES.

Once again thanks to Kevin, Mark, and the respective producers and Patreon supporters!

Great episode – one question I have is Chris Squire’s reaction to Bruford being replaced by White. Didn’t he say that he liked playing with Alan better than playing with Bill? Was it the Jazz bs. Rock thing? I’d love to hear from those who know more.

Love the ‘What did they …’ concept as I never heard this album.
I had in New Zealand a book of ‘great album covers’ and KC’s first album was on it (In the court…’) and 10 years ago I just bought it based on the album cover and also knowing Robert Fripp of Bowie’s amazing albums, esp ‘Scary Monsters,’ fame was on it. I liked it a lot so then saw a KC album with Fripp, Bruford and Tony Kaye on it so bought that. It was the album ‘Beat’ which I have to say is a ‘be in the mood’ to enjoy it – so worlds apart from the first (well 60’s vs 80’s will do that) that I gave up on KC until a few years ago there was a ‘greatest Prog albums’ poll in some magazine. I think ‘Close to the Edge’ was No.3 and Genesis ‘Selling England’ was No.1 and I think KC ‘Red’ was 2 or 4 – seeing that had Bruford and Fripp I thought I would try that….Success!! – A truly great album, just the stuff I like – so good in fact I didn’t want to tarnish my love of that album by buying another one and left it at that …until this latest eps. I bought ‘Larks, Tongues…’ and I love it, all of it. Some of it is similar to ‘Red’ in that I feel ‘Easy Money’ sounds like ‘Starless’ in the build up way.
I recognised the last song being ‘Part ‘2’ – and then remembered it was a cover version on (controversial) Dream Theaters last great album as a bonus track…no wonder they did it.
So thank you for expanding my mind again…I wonder if ‘Starless and Bible Black’ is any good?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 300 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.