|1. The Gates of Delirium|
|2. Sound Chaser|
|3. To Be Over|
|5. Sound Chaser|
|6. The Gates of Delirium|
It's been said before but I must confess that listening to this remaster of Relayer is like hearing it for the 1st time. Amazing! Wonderful! Beautiful!
In a nutshell the album is more dynamic, but doesn't deviate from the original recording.
The best track here is the 22 minute opener "Gates of Delirium", an epic song based on the epic novel "War and Peace". The introduction wanders peacefully through the main themes of the song, then the lyrics kick in. Patrick Moraz's crisp synths swoon and sing around. The song builds and builds, singer John Anderson's voice getting subtly louder, the drumming getting subtly more fierce and the melody becoming more and more loaded with tension.
Then, 8 minutes in, comes an intense piece of music that can only really be described as a sonic war. Drums going wild, each musician takes a turn at playing the lead melody, each sounding desperate to outdo each other. Backwards noises, clanging, applause and howling run across your headphones. It's paranoid, it's furious and it's probably one of the best musical equivalents of war there is. Eventually, the "war" grinds to a halt, leaving nothing but keyboard atmosphere, and out of the nothing emerges one of Yes' most moving ballads, "Soon", melancholy, loss and remorse all put to a weeping guitar.
Yep, the first track is up with classic. It's the last two tracks you've got to worry about.
It's not that their all bad. "Sound Chaser" features jazzy keyboard and rapid fire bass & drum lines, as well as a tribal "cha cha cha" chorus that sounds similar to "happy birthday to you", and the mellow lullaby "To Be Over" features some uplifting harmonies from Jon Anderson. However, all the good moments are scattered between less inspired stuff.Read more ›
Although "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" are their most perfect marriages of experimentation and accessibility, and "Going For The One" continued that tradition with spectacular results, "Relayer" is in many ways the greatest Yes album. With "Tales" the group attempted to push the boundaries of rock to their furthest limits but were hampered by a lack of energy, repetitious padding, impenetrable lyrics and sagging, even boring melodies. It had its moments, but I'm one of those who continues to agree with Wakeman's assertion that it could have been far better with some judicicious editing, since it did have moments of beauty and inspiration.
Although far different in sound and style (the group traded in its traditional symphonic prog sound for a more electronic and jazz-fusion oriented approach), "Relayer" is really the perfection of what they were trying to achieve with "Tales" in terms of making their music as dense, complex and experimental as possible.Read more ›
As for the bonus tracks, the single edits of "Soon" and "Sound Chaser" are somewhat superfluous, but the alternate version of Gates of Delerium is quite interesting. I won't give too much away, but I will say it's fascinating how much it varies from the album version.
With crystal clear sound and almost 30 minutes of bonus material all at a budget price, this re-issue of one of Yes' classic albums is a great value for any fan of progressive rock music.
By the time the 1970s rolled around, times were turbulently changing and so was the music. Read more