on 20 September 2008
I wish Rhino had released this in digipack form as they did for some of the other Yes albums, as the original triple gatefold cover was fantastic.
Yes sound very different on this album, much more like a conventional Rock band (I'm talking strictly about the sound here, this is still Prog). Squire's bass in particular is softer and deeper than usual, Howe's guitar has a dirtier sound and White's drumming stays resolutely on top of the beat. The sound quality has always been a little bit of an issue on this album, as the production style has made extreme use of multi-tracking, and consequently sounds a little muddied. There was also a lot of hissing in some of the quieter passages. This new Rhino release is noticable better than the older versions and many may find replacing their old CD worthwhile.
This is considered by many to be Yes' last album from their classic period, and it is of a very high standard, all of the tracks are exceptional. The title track and "Parallels" are huge, fast paced rockers - they have an "out of control" quality which I really like, the entire band playing in a virtuoso, flat-out manner, as if they are trying to win a competition or something. "Going for the One" in particular has so much happening towards the end of the track, it becomes pleasantly overwhelming.
"Turn of the Century" is a complete contrast. This is a very gentle composition, led by classical guitar and Anderson's ethereal sounding vocals (the Pygmalion style lyrics are quite pleasant too). From start to finish it is dripping with otherworldly atmosphere. The relatively successful single "Wondrous Stories" is the other lighter track on the album.
"Awaken" along with "Turn of the Century" is one of the best tracks in the entire Yes catalogue. It is quite long at around fifteen minutes, but the time flies by whilst listening to it. It sounds very classical, and has a powerful Cathedral Organ in the arrangement throughout. Anderson's Obscure eastern style lyrics may not make a lot of sense, but they seem perfect here somehow.
After the gruelling task of writing, rehearsing, recording and touring for 'Tales from Topographic Oceans', Rick Wakeman called it a day, and some argued that Yes would never be the same again. And despite a valiant attempt by Patrick Moraz to fill the gap, there was only one way that Yes were ever going to be able to put together an album anything like as good as their 'golden years' albums of 1971-1973, and that was to get Wakeman back.
In 1977, that is exactly what happened. The band collectively re-discovered themselves, and the result is this magnificent album that ranks as highly as any prog-rock album can. Just as 'progressive rock' was about to bite the dust forever, Yes demonstrated that the genre was capable of producing some seriously brilliant and lasting music.
The five tracks on this album represent the highest degree of variety seen on any Yes album, from the out-and-out rock of the title track, to the dreamlike 'Wonderous Stories', and the simply awesome 'Awaken'. Indeed, the 15-minute epic 'Awaken' is thought by many (including me, and a certain Jon Anderson..) to be the finest piece of Yes musicianship of all. Each member of the band truly excels themselves, but it is Rick Wakeman who really steals the show. It is almost as if he is making up for lost time after his own personal disappointment with 'Tales From Topographic Oceans'. It is amazing to compare the lethargic Mellotrons of that recording to the furious (and beautiful) piano and pipe organ on this one...
The album deserves a 5 star rating as each track (with the possible of exception of Chris Squire's 'Parallels') should get a star each, with 'Awaken' earning 2 stars all by itself. Sadly, after this album, Yes really were never the same again...
on 2 February 2009
This is, in my opinion, the last great Yes album - great though not quite the equal of "Close to the edge" or "Relayer". Wakeman returns to the fold and does an excellent job - particularly on the epic closing track "Awaken". Though in a way it was a shame to lose Moraz after his inspired perforamnce on "Relayer"
All the band are in great form. The title track is a superb burst of energy - a song about sport - and you don't get too many of those on a Yes album! "Turn of the century" is a lovely song with excellent guitar work from Howe. I remember a reviewer calling Howe's guitar on this track as "poetic" - an accurate description. Chris Squire's "Parallels" is another good rocking song with both Squire himself and Wakeman (on Chruch organ no less) particularly excelling.
The hit single "Wondorous stories" is a pretty tune but nothing compared to the album's highlight "Awaken". Said to be Jon Anderson's favourite Yes song, it has a number of different themes that merge so effectively together - a trademark of the band. "Awaken" is an ideal track to play in the garden with decent headphones on a Summer's day - the song's ending has a real dream quality about it. So don't let the less-than-inspiring bounus tracks spoil it!
The only sad thing about this album is that it ended a series of albums of such quality which started with "The Yes Album" (and that does include "Toporgraphic Oceans - well most of it anyway!). The massively disappointing "Tormato" was only a year away, but in the meantime this album made my Summer of 1977.
on 6 August 2007
After the three large scale epic works that Yes had made prior to this record, Close To The Edge, Tales From Topographic Oceans and Relayer, Yes finally returned to more earthy territory with Going For The One.
Yes had gone as far as they could with their massive symphonic works, and instead went back to the kind of music they were making from 1969 to 1971.
Happily, Rick Wakeman approved of this ideology and duly returned to the band.
It has to be said that there aren't too many Yes albums that can top Going For The One. In fact, I would go as far to say that it is perhaps the perfect Yes record.
'Parallels' and the title track are good straight ahead rock numbers with Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman interplaying superbly together with Chris Squire and Alan White providing a steady rythmn section.
'Turn Of The Century' is a gorgeous track that shows the band using 'real' instruments and coming up with a fusion of folk and classical music in a stupendous piece. Steve Howe plays some outstanding acoustic guitar, and Rick Wakeman uses all his classical nous to give the song some real majesty. Special mention has to go to Jon Anderson here as well who puts in one of his finest ever vocal displays.
'Wonderous Stories' is another quite lovely track. At three minutes plus, it probably ranks among Yes' shortest ever group compositions, but like 'Long Distance Runaround' on the Fragile album, it shows that Yes can come up with a simple, catchy, melodic pop tune when they want to. Wakeman throws in some top keyboards too.
The major track on Going For The One has to be Awaken. At fifteen minutes plus it's the longest track on offer here, but unlike some of the songs on the previous two albums, Awaken is beautifully structured and expertly played by all. It's the ultimate 1970's Yes track in that it seems to draw on everything that Yes had done up to that point in their career. It's a fantastically mature piece that closes the album perfectly.
The production of the album is crisp and fresh and you get the feeling that recording in Switzerland, among the dramatic scenery, and good clean air, really gave the band a lift when recording these songs.
What's fascinating about Going For The One is that it was released in 1977 when punk had arrived. The fact that Yes had a UK number one with this album and top ten and top thirty singles with 'Wonderous Stories' and the title track respectively, proved that quality music and a solid fan base was more than a match for media hyped guff, played by tone deaf tossers.
Absolutely splendid stuff.
on 30 December 2001
This is possibly the Yes album of them all. If you know this one then you must agree: hugely expansive musical ideas executed with grace and detail, gargantuan in their reality. A humbling musical experience for all of us who try to understand the true beauty of Yes music: just listen to Steve Howe's closing guitar work after the vast sound scape that is Awaken, (reminiscent of "The Nature of the Sea" from Beginings)."Turn of the Century", is one of those tracks which never fails to engage the higher emotions; one comes out of it dazzled by its intensity; from its delicate guitar opening through to the final climactic cadence, breath-taking. Rick Wakeman's powerful organ presence on "Parallels" adds a depth and dimension which at times seems "classical", almost Baroque. "Going for the One" is a soild track; its fast harmonic rythym matched by Jon Anderson's equally rapid lyrics. That leaves "Wonderous Stories", well, it must be the light-weight of them all; but there's nothing wrong with experimenting: as Yes continue to prove.
on 1 September 2004
Yes are back with another fantastic album. The last album which was not a compilation of Yes songs was Relayer - a point in Yes's history that was the "peak" in my opinion of them writing great music. Going for the One will never compare to Relayer, but it is still a very good album. Some songs are shorter than what you may expect from Yes - Going for the One (track one) - is an example. However, this song has powerful guitar sections by Chris Squire, together with Jon Anderson's clever yet mystical lyrics; Rick wakeman is present, and it's evident. His electric piano sections and piano sections and keyboards are all arranged to an excellent standard, and along with Alan White's consistent, very fine drumming and Chris Squire's excellent skills on the bass guitar, track one is certainly a great song - although I'm sure you will be surprised when you compare it to music off the other albums. Track 2 - Turn of the Century - is a wonderful ballad, where Rick Wakeman especially "shines". It is a beautiful ballad to listen to, and makes good headphone material. Track 3 - Parallels - has been used to open up many Yes concerts, and has great guitar sections from Steve Howe within. Alan White's drumming is excellent. Track 4 - Wonderous Stories - was released in the UK and in the US. It is a fantastic ballad, the way only Yes can do them. Excellent lyrics and singing from Jon, that sends shivers down your spine (which is not unusual for Yes). Track 5 - Awaken - is a 15 minute track - an excellent track. It has a great organ section, and each member of Yes is able to show their talents to the listeners. I admit this album may not have the same level of musical consistency that Sound chaser or To BE Over had - but it's close. I think there is a different sound to the earlier albums present in this album. But the best line-up is present, with Rick Wakeman playing as well as he does - VERY WELL! I would reccomend this album, as you can see how the changes in Yes's music have still inspired you to listen.
on 26 February 2000
As a rock fan during the '70s I sort of lost my way from around 1976 till the end of the decade. I'd really got in to classical music, with the result that it must have been around 3 years after GFTW was released when I heard it for the first time.The result of this was, classical became replaced with what I'd known and loved - Yes!The album is beautiful, nothing else. The title track is misleading: it would have you believe that Yes had moved in to hard rock, with Howe's excellent slide guitar riffs dominating the song. 'Turn Of The Century' however, dismisses this and in turn demonstrates Yes's capability in maintaining the perfection achieved with 'Close To The Edge'.When I listen to the stuff being pushed out today I still like to withdraw in to my headphones and ...'remember all those many years ago'.Squire's base lines, complimenting Wakeman and Howe's melodies makes your spine shiver, even now. 'Parallels' could have been taken from 'Fragile', 'Wonderous Stories'let us know that Yes were still around and very much alive. 'Awaken' is something else altogether. It's an absolute classic, a prayer, a 16 minute symphony. It's simply the best piece of music Yes have ever scored - even better than 'Close To The Edge'or 'And You And I'and anything that followed. Each band member, in turn, and Yes collectively, take musical ingenuity on to another plateau altogether. Yes really missed Rick Wakeman, even though 'Relayer' was in itself an excellent album.The rest of the band couldn't have done this without RW, even although he really rejoined Yes as session man for this album.GFTW is definitely one of THE greatest albums of all time. Make no mistake about that!
on 20 February 2000
After the criticism received from fashion-conscious rock journalists of the time, Yes moved away from their most ambitious musical forms (e.g. Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer)and produced a musically simpler album, featuring some shorter tracks. The production seems muddy by today's standards, but the album is worth listening to for one track alone: Awaken. This sublime 15 minute piece, one of Yes's live highlights, combines rock themes, classical intricacy and, above all, that quintessentially uplifting feel that has always characterized Yes music. Rick Wakeman really shines in this piece, both in the opening bars and in the central "quiet" section which build to a tremendoud climax. Other tracks are less convincing and could be seen as an overreaction to criticism that Yes's music was becoming just too pretentious and overblown. Even the album cover broke with the past The band were just past their best when they made this album and internal tensions may reveal themselves in the music, but if you enjoy progressive rock you will reap great rewards from this rather forgotten gem.
They really were going for the one weren't they ? What an album, two brilliant acoustic numbers, A fantastic opener and to finish up; `Awaken,' one of Yes's best ever songs!
On this record Rick Wakeman makes a welcome return, and `Awaken,' has some of the best keyboards ever laid down on a single Yes song; not to mention how amazing it is anyway!
The brilliant `Turn of the century,' also deserves a mention, a haunting and beautiful number (over seven minutes long but it flies by) with astounding Vocals and great lyrics, and brilliant backing Bass and Keyboards, that never overstep their mark until the 5 minute mark, when it all kicks off and you're lost in a cascade of epic music, showering down around you; the depth and space from this point onward is frankly amazing.
And then there's the opener, the Title track; which put simply rocks! A great tune you'll have stuck in your head for months on end, with its brilliant sliding intro and catchy chorus.
The overlooked tracks on the album; `Parallels,' and `Wonderous Stories,' are of similar quality. Overall this is one great buy, and for the price? forget about it! Buy Now!
on 28 September 2012
Yes made many, many fine albums in the "Classic" era, but not even the mighty "Topographic Oceans" reached the ultimate status of this one perfect statement. It was as if they took a whole load of carbon and just pressed it down until it underwent a total phase shift and became a scintillating diamond of clarity, beauty, shining refraction, and was, simply, perfection. You want rock? The album kicks off with Jon counting the band in, and "Going for the One" erupts with ferocious pedal steel, bouncing bass, kicking drums and squealing keyboards. Jon's vocals are higher than even he can normally manage, and the band tears off down the tarmac like a drag-racer, flames ripping out of the speakers. You want beauty? "Turn of the Century" is a deep BLUE mini-libretto with cascading guitar, piano and Jon singing like a limpid bell. Slowly the tracks builds, erupting into a chiming climax before sinking back into its echoic oceanic swell. You want da Blooz? Chris grabs his bass, Rick climbs on his church organ and the band pound away on "Parallels" like good'uns! You want Pop? "Wonderous Stories" manages to be both glittery and fluffy at the same time, sweet and spiritual, soaring and reflective. Oh, and only a couple minutes long! You want one piece of music that sums up Yes in 16.5 minutes? We have "Awaken", without doubt Yes' finest piece EVER. Lilting with Jon's harp, soaring with Rick's church organ, chiming with sleigh bells, crying with Steve's guitars, thundering with Chris' bass, oh, and Alan's drums being used like a symphony orchestra percussionist. As I said before, everything being pressed and concentrated into one glittering jewel of an album, and a jewel of a track. If you have a soul, you will find it jumping to this album. If you have a smile, it will be wrapped around this album. And if you don't, well GFTO will help you find them both!