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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Yes
This album was my introduction to Yes way back in 1977. I owned the vinyl, I own the recent remaster, but this edition completely and utterly makes them obsolete. I hoped the new mastering would be good, but not this good! I actually heard noises and sounds in the songs that I never heard (like Jon humming along to Howe's solo in "Parallels").
The sound...
Published on Sept. 4 2003 by Gerard Sparaco

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back To Doing Songs Again
The title for this review is the reason keyboardist Rick Wakeman gave as his reason for rejoing Yes. Although I realize that Rick wasn't into what he considered Yes's "avante garde" direction post Close To The Edge, I personally feel that the more streamlined approach to song making on Going For The One is less interesting. It always seemed to me that Yes never...
Published on April 8 2004


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back To Doing Songs Again, April 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
The title for this review is the reason keyboardist Rick Wakeman gave as his reason for rejoing Yes. Although I realize that Rick wasn't into what he considered Yes's "avante garde" direction post Close To The Edge, I personally feel that the more streamlined approach to song making on Going For The One is less interesting. It always seemed to me that Yes never did do "songs", in the sense that their compositions were creatively elongated while usually remaining impressively cohesive. Certainly there was some loss of form on Topographic and Relayer due to overextenion of motifs, but that's the downside to ambition. The upside is that because Yes pushed themselves so hard, I believe the successes on those albums outweighed the flaws. I'm inclined to think the best stuff on GFTO also wins out, its just too bad that by this time the band members seem to be trying a bit too hard to recapture the balance between accessible, hook-layden melodies and expansive instrumental probing. For instance, the epic 'Awaken' strikes me as having been built to sound epic, whereas 'Close To The Edge, Yes's first epic, had a sense of discovery about it simply because, as former Yes drummer Bill Bruford put it, "...as we were making it I don't think anyone really knew how we were going to finish it." By now, in revisiting their own musical past with Wakeman, Yes, in effect had formalized their own secret to success, which was that their synergy was of unplanned intent. They had a naturally occuring synergy together, and the more they tinkered with it, the more they lost, as the album after GFTO, Tormato, demonstrates. Still, 'Awaken' has enough inspired playing and intiguingly "cosmic" lyrics that it still is quite good in its mysterious way, and it does have perhaps Yes's most grand climax ever. Even though keyboardist Patrick Moraz (whom was going to be on the album, but wanted to experiment in ways that was not in keeping with Yes's new "economical", as Moraz saw it, approach) wanted to make the end of 'Awaken' different, I'm not so sure his wanting to use the cycle of fifths approach would have bettered it. We'll never know, so its besides the point. It is what it is and that's that. Certainly 'Turn of the Century' is exquisite, musically and lyrically poignantly poetic. Perhaps I could go for a bit less busyness in the build up later on, but its all very uplifting, that's for sure. The title track is catchy fun with searing Howe slide guitar and spacy Wakeman synth. The lyrics are way out but also amusing. The ending goes on to much for my tastes and is a bit overblown, but the song, overall, is a nice return to a more streamlined, accessible sound. 'Parallels' features rockin' organ and guitar riffing, plus Squire's, swooping, animated bass work. Howe is rather needlessly busy in his soloing at the end, but aside from that, I think its an invigorating, if a bit repetitive, piece. 'Wondrous Stories' hit no.7 in the U.K. during the summer of punk! Go figure that one out. Its as gentle a piece as you can imagine melodically, though texturally there's enough depth to keep it from sounding too light weight. It reminds me of 'Your Move' in feel, but I prefer the more open production of 'Your Move'. Somehow, the mix on GFTO is too compressed with the instruments too clustered together. Former producer Eddy Offord's objectivity could have lent much needed sense of spacing here. The reverb is a bit too much as well. Despite all this, this remastered cd is very clean sounding and bright. It sparkles as much as the original mix allows it to, anyway. The bonus tracks are run throughs and early versions, probably of interest only to the hardcore fans. Still appreciate that the record company bothered to put them on. The liner notes are very informative and well written. So, had Yes encountered musical entropy on GFTO? I think so, but what band that has been around for awhile doesn't? I don't think Yes could have pushed more as Moraz wanted, though. It would seem that Yes went as far with their music as they could go on the previous album Relayer. Had Yes pushed further into the progressive atmosphere they probably would have went to far into technical overdrive, which was the concern Jon Anderson expressed. Yes were about melody first, only using virtuosity to plateau melody, and at their best, that's what they did so impressively. On the 'Going For The One' album, melody is first(and there are some good, even great ones), but the individual concerns of having ideas that should get heard, despite whether or not it crimps on the song itself, were symptomatic of being told how great you are over and over. The "big festival of egos", as Moraz descibed it, was what was increasingly getting in the way of the interplay of the group. That's just what happens, and what happened on a bit too much of GFTO was that Yes's music became a prepackaged formula that the songs were straight-jacketed into. A good formula, for sure, but no longer as fresh. It was an inevitable, for Yes, as Wakeman felt two years later, had reached the limits of their possibilites.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Yes, Sept. 4 2003
By 
Gerard Sparaco (Phoenix, Arizona) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
This album was my introduction to Yes way back in 1977. I owned the vinyl, I own the recent remaster, but this edition completely and utterly makes them obsolete. I hoped the new mastering would be good, but not this good! I actually heard noises and sounds in the songs that I never heard (like Jon humming along to Howe's solo in "Parallels").
The sound quality alone should enough to convince you to replace any previous version. But the extra tracks and the insightful liner notes are icing on the cake. "Montreaux's Theme" and "Amazing Grace" were previously released. "Vevey (Revisited)", released in an edited form in the past, in here in full. The rehersals, especially for the vastly underrated "Turn of the Century" are really great.
It's about time that we have a Yes renaissance, and picking up the original studio albums with this quality (and at this price) are a great way to begin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm thinking I should go and write a punch line..., Sept. 21 2003
By 
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
1977's Going For The One, in my opinion, was Yes's least "progressive" and most "artsy" work of the 70's. And even though the album consists of mostly 4-8 minute songs (hardly the norm for Yes) it still takes as many listens to fully appreciate as albums like Close To The Edge or Relayer. But with the addition of seven (!) bonus tracks and a much, MUCH crisper sound than any previous edition, this remaster deserves to be in the collection of any self-respecting rock fan.
The least dissonant and most accessible songs on the album are 'Turn Of The Century' and 'Wonderous Stories.' Both songs feature Steve Howe's remarkable prowess on the acoustic guitar. 'Turn Of The Century' features exceptionally moving performances from Howe and singer Jon Anderson- in fact it's probably Anderson's most emotional vocal in the entire Yes canon. I don't listen to this track much, mostly because of its 8-minute length, which is quite prodigious for a song that's 90% acoustic. 'Wonderous Stories' is a good indication of what The Yes Album might have sounded like had keyboardist Rick Wakeman performed on it (it's also a good indication that Jon Anderson doesn't know how to spell *wondrous*). Wakeman's Moog washes over the chorus are very cool. The song features the vachalia, which Howe used on TYA's 'I've Seen All Good People.' It's a pithy, pleasant little ditty.
The title track is a wonderful tune, and next to 'Tempus Fugit' (from 1980's awesome Drama) it's my favorite short-form Yes song. It's very artsy and dissonant, but definitely grows on you after two or three listens. There's not much "progressive" about the song, other than Howe's use of a steel guitar all the way through. He gives one hell of an awesome solo from 2:05-2:40, which is the highlight of the song for me. Bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White provide a perfect backbeat to the song.
The Squire-penned 'Parallels' took a long while to grow on me, and in fact I didn't even like the song until I heard it performed live on the Yesshows album, which is a good context for a song such as this. It's even more cacophonous and harsh than 'Going For The One-' I figure this is because of the song's nature as a straightforward hard rocker with the addition of a massive church organ backdrop. This new remastered edition is much better, as previous CD editions have the church organ drown out most of the rest of the song. I don't blame you if you don't like this song, but at least listen to it more than a couple of times.
The zenith of Going For The One comes in 'Awaken,' and at 16 minutes it's nearly as long as the rest of the album combined. Many, if not most, Yes fans think this is the best song the band has ever done. I don't agree, but it is a very moving piece. It opens with lightning-fast piano courtesy of Wakeman (which sounds uncannily like Queen's 'Seven Seas Of Rhye' if you ask me). The song is very good, if also very overlong. Steve Howe adds some very nice hard-rock guitar stylings that foreshadow his work on Drama three years later. Alan White gives a great performance as well, but Chris Squire's bass is buried under the fury of the song. Not that it detracts much, because it really doesn't, but I think his bass would have added a great element to the song. The harp section of the song is great at first, but becomes very drawn out as it continues. The highlight of the song is the final two minutes. When Jon Anderson sings, "Like the time I ran away, and turned around, and you were standing close to me," I almost break down in tears, it's so beautiful. Howe's final little guitar outro is the clincher for me- it's the best finale of any Yes song, ever.
The bonus tracks are anything but essential. However, they are very pleasant, especially 'Montreux's Theme.' 'Vevey (Revisited)' is nice but overlong. And you know, it may be a very clichéd song, but I just love 'Amazing Grace' and Chris Squire's version is very cool (even though it sounds like it was done as a warm-up exercise). The rehearsals of 'Going For The One,' 'Parallels,' and 'Turn Of The Century' are kind of asinine, but it is cool to hear 'Turn Of The Century' done with an electric guitar. The same applies to the early version of 'Awaken,' 'Eastern Numbers.' The intro is very cool but it really sounds unfinished, like the rest of the rehearsals. Interestingly enough, the running time of the bonus tracks is longer than the running time of the album proper- that makes the CD come in at just a few seconds under the 80-minute mark. Hey, if you're going to add some bonus tracks, you may as well pack as many in as you can.
This, along with The Yes Album, could serve as a very good introduction to Yes for the novice. It takes a while to absorb, but it pays off very well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, this is one of the best remasters I've ever heard, Dec 18 2003
By 
Gregory J. Bendokus (Lansford, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
Other people have done a fine job here explaining why this album is essential, so I won't even go there. Atlantic released this album on CD three times and none of them even come sonically CLOSE to this version. Even if you have multiple copies of this on CD already, this one is the goods. Listen to the title track through headphones and you'll quickly realize that even the best Atlantic CD version of this album sounds like a cassette. On this version, all the grunge is gone, the bottom end is much tighter, and there is actually air around the instruments now. I don't know how Rhino does it, I'm just glad they did. Can't wait for Drama!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wonderous" Album, May 3 2004
By 
Matt Poole (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
Going for the One is a comeback album for Yes, and not just because the band hadn't recorded an album together in 3 years. Keyboard whiz Rick Wakeman comes back, shorter songs come back, and church organ comes back. They all went to Switzerland, had a great time skiing and holidaying, and somehow recorded this excited album in between.
Yes augmented their progressive sound on Going For the One, particularly by incorporating a lot of eurorock elements. They add lots of echo and polymoog to this strong set of songs, creating an airborne, heavenbound atmosphere. It's great for reading fantasy books to. The harmonies between lead singer Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe and bass player Chris Squire are particularly good on this disc, often complex but still sounding easy on the ear.
"Going for the One", the title track kicks things off with a rockabilly style guitar lick from Steve Howe, leading into an energetic piece with swirling synth and a ecstatic chorus. It gets more and more enthusiastic as it goes. Great opener. Love it!
"Turn of the Century" is the sort of song I'd expect to hear playing in the background of a bookshop. It was probably a big inspiration for all that new agey music. Relaxed guitar, sweeping synth, gentle drums, lots of echo, and once again energetic, enthusiastic singing from Jon Anderson.
"Parallels", a song written by Chris Squire, is powered by Rick Wakeman's church organ funnily enough. It's right in front of the mix, and given plenty of space for showy solos. Yes's harmonies are at some of their most complex here. Listening on headphones makes it all the sweeter, as you can hear Steve Howe on one side, Chris Squire on the other and Jon Anderson in the middle.
"Wonderous Stories", the hit single from this album, is a piece about the joy. As a big fan of sci fi and fantasy books, I can appreciate Jon's feelings on the subject. It takes everything great about this album's atmosphere and condenses it into a three minute song. It's worth pointing out that this is the first song of Yes' to feature Rick Wakeman's infamous "chipmunk" synth.
"Awaken" is one of Yes' epics, and what a fine closer it is. It takes "Tales From Topographic Oceans" themes of God and spirituality one step further. It's a song that goes through many moods, building and building as it goes. When the church organ and choir kick in, it's truly incredible.
Rhino have remastered this well, the clean, crisp sound suiting the airy, eurorock atmosphere. This new remaster contains three extra tracks, and four rehearsal tracks. "Montreux's Theme" and "Vevey Revisited" are two gentle instrumentals, well placed to bring things down after the heights of Awaken. One case where some people might say the bonus tracks add to the album! "Amazing Grace" is Chris Squire's take on the classic hymn, a buzzing, distorted bass solo.
The rehearsals are fairly different from the originals, the production sounds more like a raw rock band rather than angels ascending into heaven. The "Going For the One" rehearsal has no words, so if you feel like singing some karaoke, feel free. "Parallels" is a lot less grandiose in it's rehearsal form, sounding similar to the production used on "The Yes Album", with Steve Howe's jangly, phased guitar and Jons echo free vocals. "Turn of the Century"s rehearsal has a different intro, and uses an electric guitar rather than an acoustic. Without the choir and Rick's keyboard work, the "Awaken" rehearsal has nowhere near as much impact as the original, but it's still interesting to listen to.
Packaging wise, it's back to basics after the lavish foldout cases of "Close to the Edge", "Tales From Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer". Standard jewel case and booklet, with a folding out first page showing the original inner LP sleeve photo. There are quite a few pics of the band inside (I love Rick Wakeman's look during this era), lyrics, and an enthusiastic essay by Tim Jones, who discusses the fall of progressive rock and the rise of punk. Pretty interesting, some of the statistics he puts forward. Worth a read.
Newcomers to Yes could start here, I don't see why not. It's accessible and shows a lot of the different sides to Yes. Fans of progressive rock should give this a listen, and those who enjoy powerful, inspirational music. I'd even recommend it to those who like that Wings song "With A Little Luck" and want to hear songs with a similar atmosphere but with a bit more substance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked Gem, May 1 2004
By 
This review is from: Going For The One (Rm) (Audio CD)
Yes released this magnificent, often overlooked gem in 1977: a time when art rock was being scoffed at as pretentious and overblown. Punk had surged forth, and Johnny Rotten & Co. had a field day ripping Yes, Pink Floyd, Queen and others. It would appear during that time (at least during the making of this album), the members of Yes didn't give a darn about the trends of the day, as their usual cosmic, soaring, mystical aesthetic pervades the album in a big way (which is a good thing.)
The music on here is splendid - soaring, lush, illuminating -- an orgasm for the soul. Jon Anderson's vocals soar high, Steve Howe's guitar playing stuns as usual, and is very fluid, Chris Squire's (and Steve's) backing, majestic vocals blend magnificently with Jon's (and not to mention the man's bass playing), Rick Wakeman (who makes his return with Yes for the first time since 1973's _Tales From Topographic Oceans_) supplies his virtuosic, classically-oriented flourishes not just through synthesizers, but also a church organ, and other types of keyboards.
Alan White is possibly one of the most underacknowledged drummers out there. His drumming skills possibly go largely unnoticed due to the overpowering cosmic front brought on by the other members of the band. With this powerfully compelling, lush exterior Yes possesses, how could one possibly be fully aware of subtle nuances that are arguably beneath the surface? While many of us are being lifted higher to some heavenly place, it is all too common to miss the technical brilliance that is going on. Alan's drumming is the perfect example for this. While all of the cosmic stuff is knocking us sideways, Alan is in the background doing all sorts of creative and impressive things on the kit: his sense of time, the creative use (and placement) of the cymbals and snare hits during a certain meter, and other subtle things should not be taken lightly. This is just one of the many, many, many reasons why I think Yes are special: they possess technical brilliance, but they have something else as well -- something that's arguably even more powerful and intangible than their technical abilities.
The title track, while cosmic and grand, is quite raucous, mostly due to the steel guitar musings from Steve Howe. It can be grating at times, but it also helps to give the track a harder edge. The rhythmical quality of the vocals during the bridge (repeated once more before the ending) is quite creative and seductive. This, and more, help to lead up to the orgasmic, goosebump-inducing climax of the song, which feature choral effects from the vocal harmonies.
"Turn of The Century" is a smooth, mystical, ballad with a new age aesthetic. The lyrics on here are touching, and the soundscapes are ethereal and image-inducing as ever. Jon's vocals are outstanding as always. Sonic textures mostly brought on by Steve's musings during the middle of the track give way to the ethereal, majestic climax near the end of the song.
"Parallels" is written by Chris Squire, and is grand and soaring as ever. Rick's use of the church organ here certainly adds more of a mystical, spiritual and regal quality to the track. This track, while cosmic on the outside, is quite busy underneath it all. Check out the time changes, the multiple vocal layers, and the instrumentation that is going on all at once -- Rick's keyboard lines, Steve's guitar lines, Chris' basslines, and Alan's drumming.
"Wonderous Stories" is much like "Turn of The Century" -- a ballad with a mystical, new age aesthetic. Jon's vocals, as always, are precious and moving. Steve's guitar lines here are quite melodic, and what's impressive are how well they blend in with the rest of the instrumentation.
"Awaken" is classic. Like the rest of the album -- but more specifically, here -- is it almost impossible to put into account the effect it has on me. It's the 15-minute closer of the album, and boy, is it ever so good. Grand, lush, soaring, illuminating -- this track soars, and it shines as bright as the sun. The massive bed of sound just smothers your senses, and does not let go. Yes even got a church choir to add their voices in certain parts of the track. It is the most goosebump-inducing song on the album, and is also my favorite Yes song. There is quite a bit of stuff going on here -- the vocal harmonies are penetrating, the basslines tasteful, Steve's solos orgasmic. On a different listening session, when you're not being seduced by the powerful cosmic aura of this music -- or when you're trying your hardest not to be -- pay attention to the technical stuff going on in these songs. In this track, one of the many things I'd like to talk about is Alan's drumming: pay special attention to what Alan is doing on the drum kit, especially during the "suns high streams thru," "strong dreams reign here," and "star, song, age, less" sections of the track. It's quite nifty.
This is an excellent album from Yes. Highly recommended -- that is, if you are a Yes fan, own (and love) all of their studio albums, particularly from the 1971-1974 period, but do not own this. Don't pass it by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear remaster. Terrible offset art cover printing, Sept. 3 2003
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
The color printing of the cd's booklet is quite innacurate , very intense but the body of the naked guy looks yellow on the side. Nothing like the LP
The cd itself is beautifuly pressed and designed. Pretty better than the japanese replica cd body.
On the other hand, the japanese replica's three fold is beautiful, with perfect color. Did i tell you this japanese replicas have very painful mini sound drop-outs? dont buy them, you are warned, just the package is perfect.
Returning to this rhino remasters they are the best ia have listened to. Really clean sound.
The bonus extra songs are only for very insistent yes- core fans. Some interesting passages, different soloing, etc. and some [weak] soundscapes too.
Recommended only for real hard core fanatics or newcomers. The 90's Gastwirt remasters sound pretty decent for the casual fan.
A final comment: 1 star for the terrible art cover. 5 stars for the music. Musically, this CD is in m opinion in the top ten prog rock cd's ever. A gem for symphonic rock fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awaken is incredible!, Feb. 18 2003
By 
This review is from: Going For The One (Rm) (Audio CD)
Classic Yes, for sure. I think I would actually rate this a 4.5.
Turn of the Century is one of the most beautiful pieces in their whole catalog. It is a unique love story, and always reminds me of the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Jane Seymour. It is haunting, lovely, sad, uplifting, melancholy, and graceful, all at the same time. Also some of the most beautifle guitar work ever. Jon Anderson puts so much emotion into this one, I can easily be moved to tears hearing it. Wondrous Stories always makes me feel like I am drifting peacefully along on a summer day. And Awaken, to me, this is one of those life affirming pieces of music. Certainly it is hard to undestand the exact meaning, I have heard it is based on the Christian "The Singer The Song" stories, but in any case, it can transport you away. It is beautiful, majestic, and the way the music is performed it makes me feel like I am floating up toward the sky every time. I am not sure how they did it, but wow. I had the pleasure of hearing this performed live last year, and the vibe, the energy in the room was incredible. Awaken does something to me everytime I hear it. As far as the title track and Parallels are concerned, I enjoy them, the rocking of GFTO, and the majestic playing of Squire and Wakeman on Parallels, but the other three songs are my favorites on this record. Give this one a try if you can, you will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Expanded and Remastered" Edition is Awesome, Nov. 30 2003
By 
Paul Allaer (Cincinnati) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
"Going For The One", originally issued in 1977, is overlooked in the Yes catalogue (the same goes for 1978's "Tormato" for that matter). It finds the band in between the truly prog-rock early years and just before the less-then-thrilling foray of Top 40 ("Owner of a Loney Heart"). I personally am very fond of this album. The album includes the hard rocking "Parallels" and the majestic "Awaken", not to mention "Wonderous Stories", still one of the band's most popular tracks after all these years.
This "Expanded and Remastered" edition (12 tracks, 79 min.) has of course the original album, but is supplemented by 7 bonus tracks. "Montreux's Theme" is an instrumental from the same sessions. "Vevey" is a live instrumental (recorded in a church!) of Jon on harp and Rick on church organ, just beautiful. "Amazing Grace" is a studio recording of Chris' amazing bass-solo, performed frequently in concert. The remaining tracks are (early) studio run-throughs of the album's tracks, providing a fascinating inside look on how the tracks sounded in their embryonic stages. "Going for the One" is here as an instrumental. "Parallels" is heard without the towering church organ. Best of all, "Eastern Number" is a 12 min. early version of what eventually would become "Awaken".
Kudos to the fine folks at Rhino for putting together this exquisite reissue, and showing others in the industry how it's done. Excellent liner notes, great pictures, fascinating bonus tracks, it's all here. Essential for any Yes fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Go For This One..., Nov. 12 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
GFTO is aesthetically the most beautiful album YES has ever produced (although slightly less interesting compared to Close To The Edge). I surely think that YES in 1976 had stopped progressing (despite Wakeman's return to the band). Having said that, GFTO seems to mark the band's attempt to refine much of their former musical explorations already pursued from Fragile (1972) up to Relayer (1974). Sonically, GFTO introduces new sonic textures from the keyboard camp. Out are the traditional sounds of Rick's mellotron, hammond or minimoog. Enter the Polymoog...
Wonderous Stories, the opener, is a melodically beautiful ballad, reminiscent of Ýour Move'from The Yes Album. Much praise should go to Squire's weaving bass lines, and harmony vocals (which are astonishingly higher pitched than Anderson's).
The next track (GFTO) is a fresh and energetic rocker. It also contains, in my humble opinion, one of Squire's best composed harmony vocals (just notice on the chorus line how Squire sings a major seventh note on the word 'One'- a half note lower than Jon's - almost unnoticeable). Wakeman returned with different keyboard textures, most notably the bright textures of the Polymoog. Last note: nobody would have thought that a pedal steel could really chase so hard...
Much said about Turn of the Century. It is a beautiful song and craftedly arranged. If you listen close to Steve's nylon guitar and Jon's vocal, it appears as if they are playing two different compositions simultaneously, creating a wonderful dialogue between guitar and the vocal.
Parallels is a straight grandiose rocker, powered by Vevey's St. Martin's church organ. Again, great vocal and bass arrangements. However, the song ended up cluttered within the battlefield of the Howe - Wakeman wars (there just ain't enough room for a large church organ and endlessly jumping guitar solos draped over a busy rhythm section). A first hint at what would plague YES' next Tormato album....
Awaken is probably one of the better longer piece epics from YES' entire discography. It starts of with a typical Wakeman piano solo followed by a quiet other-wordly atmosphere, before it takes off violently. And just as you would think the rhythm and chanting would go on forever and ever amen, a surprising break of modulated chords played on the pipe organ takes the song off to a higher level. Awaken has one of the best epic climaxes YES has ever composed (comparable to 'Soon' which concluded 'The Gates of Delirium' on 1974's Relayer). Instead of building on majestic mellotron chords, they brought in a real choir for the song.
GFTO represents a band in mature form, capitalizing on everything it has learned from previous albums. Although first time YES listeners might like this album, it lacks the excitement and sense of discovery that really made Fragile or Close To The Edge such classic gems.
The only disappointment is the album cover. I thought Hypgnosis accidently pressed a Pink Floyd sleeve....
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