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 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 2 February 2004
At last we get Yes's greatest creation, the soaring pagan hymn 'Awaken' (Track 5), on a superb hiss-free remaster. This track contains the greatest double-crescendo in (rock) music; dynamics are all important as the change-up after the cosmic drift of the middle section builds and builds again past the point mere amplified instruments can reach and upward to the crashing power chords of Wakeman's Vevey church organ. Spine-tingling!
The bonus tracks are interesting, including a sketch of 'Awaken' itself that shows how beautifully crafted the final version really is. However, you have to remember to program them out so they don't intrude into the afterglow of 'Awaken'. This is the fourth time I've purchased this album, but this remaster is definitively the one to take to the proverbial desert island.
on 18 September 2003
Rock music was always about more than just drums, screaming and wailing guitars. And this album proves it. Following their 1972 landmark release "Close To The Edge", Yes re-emerged five years later with a fresh stripped down sound and a cover that wasn't a painting by Roger Dean. Punk Rock had already started in 1977, but the title track on "Going For The One" had such bite and incessant drive it gave even them a run for their money. "Parallels" was in the same straight rock vein, but "Turn Of The Century" with beautiful acoustic guitar and piano, and the cascading "Wonderous Stories" showed their more reflective side also. All of these elements come together on the longer "Awaken", coupling dense choral and keyboard textures with brilliant hard-edged electric guitars and drums. And then there was that voice - Jon Anderson's expressive singing and painted lyrics gave Yes a unique presence. If you like rock music with a spiritual or mystical leaning, this is something you should listen to.
The re-master by Rhino has good sound clarity - the high end is a bit trebly but this was the same on the original LP recording. It also offers six bonus tracks of rehearsals and outtakes from the recording sessions. The most interesting of these is "Eastern Numbers" which gives an insight into the creative process of the band. The only disappointment is the standard jewel case packaging, but the booklet is good. This must now be regarded as the definitive version of this album to have, unless you already own the Japanese HDCD with the dinky miniature original LP card sleeve.
on 29 December 2011
At 17 I was exposed to YES with their first album. Having followed them throughout the years, they have produced some spectacular songs. I purchased this album to complete my collection, having lost a lot of it, with several moves around the world and back.
This in my opinion, is the album which shouts YES all over it. If I was only allowed to take one CD to a desert island, it would be this one.
Buying it from Amazon in download format, I was able to elect to make copies onto my Mobile phones, make a CD and copy to my MP3 player. It was also cheaper than the original vinyl I purchased all those years ago. Now I go out walking with my 'Pop-In' headphones and relive the concerts of the 70 and 80's.
on 25 September 2003
... the other two being Fragile and Close to the edge. This one had a more acceptable face. It had a long "suite" for hardcore fans but it also had a rocker (the title track), something like a ballad (Yes-style, mind you) and an obvious single (Wonderous stories). If you put in the mix an awesome triple gatefold cover and a good sound you had a winner. But 1976 was not a good year for "complicated" music as Punk rock was getting there fast. This is not only a worthwhile buy (and at this price and with this extras is like a steal) but also a thoroughly enjoyable work of musical art. If this is your first time with Yes it's also the best entry point you could choose.
Released in 1977, `Going for the One' saw the return of Rick Wakeman to the band (absent since 1973's TfTO project) and is considered by many fans to be Yes' last truly great album.
The original album contained just 5 tracks: all good, tight pieces in varying styles. The title track is classic Yes, an uplifting rocker with eccentric rhythm and time-changes delivered with gusto and virtuoso playing from the whole band, particularly Steve Howe on slide guitar as a counterpoint to Jon Anderson's soaring falsetto. Other highlights are the hit-single `Wondrous Stories' (not all Yes fans like WS, but it's a great, memorable song which has proved popular through the decades) and the long closer `Awaken', a classically ambitious extended Yes number complete with huge organ, church choir harmonies and multiply-layered melodic & rhythmic motifs.
The Rhino `expanded & re-mastered' edition offers an extra 7 tracks, 4 of which are less-polished studio run-throughs of the album tracks. The remainder are instrumentals which didn't make the final cut of the original 1977 Atlantic Records release, and include Chris Squire's inventive rendition of `Amazing Grace' on bass guitar which he often performed live on stage during this period.
The Rhino edition has an excellent sound mix, a 20-page colour booklet insert with all the song lyrics and 80 minutes of great music. If you don't have this classic Yes album in your collection, it's the One to Go for.
on 21 July 2012
The start for me of the decline of Yes as a creative musical force begins with this uneven album. The opening, 'Going For The One" is great, but the subsequent pieces with the exception of the flawed 'Awaken' are an indication that the band were starting to flounder. It is also a return to Chris Squires contribution on the song writing front, with 'Parallels' being a riff and little else. 'Wondrous Stories" heralds Anderson's loss of connection with the world and points sadly to his decline as an innovator. What Yes clearly lacked was the capacity to go to the next musical level. In the biography attached to this page, criticism is leveled at King Crimson and Genesis for changing too much and losing their fans while Yes remained true to themselves. However, that assumes that Yes fans were inclined to be stuck in a time warp. I was a Yes fan, but engaged very much with the music of the late '70's. Fripp, Gabriel, VDGG and others also moved with the times, not out of cynical commercial reasons but because they recognised the need to 'progress'. Yes however, clung to their hippy roots and naive world view and failed to grow up. I actually believe that they could have continued to be a force to recon with had they had the vision, but clearly they did not. The world was a darker place post '76, and it required music that not only reflected that but inspired innovation and change. Progressive music for a brief period had that potential and indeed laid down the principles. However, it was the subsequent generation who had read Kafka, Dostoevsky and Camus, had delved into the theatre of Brecht and listened to the music of Bowie, Eno, Reich and Glass that heralded true progress in music. Yes lost their place in music post '76 and instead capitulated to American AOR. Now they are their own tribute band and are in a creative hole they seem incapable of acknowledging is there. I remain sad about this, because I can trace so much in my own musical development back to the mind-blowing music they created from 'The Yes Album' through to 'Relayer'. My appreciation of just what five musicians could do with electric music was completely expanded by that set of albums and the sonic splendour contained within the grooves of those records. I have been asking, less so these days, what went wrong? The answer is....I no longer care.....
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.