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5.0 out of 5 stars Wakeman Returns
This is probably the best Yes CD with members Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman (who had returned to Yes after leaving in 1974), Chris Squire, Steve Howe, and Alan White. With the exception of 2 songs, the shorter song format is favored here for the 1st time snce "Fragile". It starts with the title track with Howe playing a raucous steel guitar (definitely not like...
Published on Feb. 6 2000 by W. Langan

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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Wakeman Returns, Feb. 6 2000
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W. Langan "take403" (the end of the world to your town!) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Going For The One (Rm) (Audio CD)
This is probably the best Yes CD with members Jon Anderson, Rick Wakeman (who had returned to Yes after leaving in 1974), Chris Squire, Steve Howe, and Alan White. With the exception of 2 songs, the shorter song format is favored here for the 1st time snce "Fragile". It starts with the title track with Howe playing a raucous steel guitar (definitely not like your typical country music!)! The next song "Turn of the Century" is a rare love song which is about as Victorian as you'll ever hear (also features some unique percussion work by Alan White). The next song is Chris Squire's motivational "Paralells", with Wakeman's bold procession on the church organ and Squire's melodious bass lines that follow. "Wonderous Stories" is the most peaceful song with Anderson's imaginative lyrics and Howe's acoustic guitar work. Finally, the masterpiece "Awaken" (this is the only song on GFTO which is over 10 minutes) features Anderson playing harp, Wakeman on the church organ (his playing makes you feel as if you're in a Cathedral yourself!), and Anderson closes the song with his spiritual epitath: "Like the time I ran away and turned around and you were standing close to me."
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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
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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 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes's commercialized, yet musically refined masterpiece, March 23 2004
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This review is from: Going for the One (Expanded) (Audio CD)
Going For The One(1977). Yes's eighth studio album and the return of former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman.
At the dawn of the 70s, Yes was a young band looking for an identity, and they managed to find it through the success of their third album, The Yes Album(1971). They combined the 60s pop rock sensibilities of the Beatles with a strong experimental jazzy prog rock influence and became one of the finest and most innovative prog rock bands to come out of the 70s. Other compeditors like Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Emerson Lake & Palmer were still toying around for a proper sound, and others like Rush and Marillion were years away from starting out, but Yes as well as King Crimson were already well under way to jumpstarting the prog rock movement. They continued to impress new fans and critics alike with timeless classic albums like Fragile(1972) and Close To The Edge(1973). However, the band took on a much more experimental route with the followup releases Tales From Topographic Oceans(1974) and Relayer(1974) which were praised by all the die-hard fans, but were lamented by the critics. Though drummer Bill Bruford and keyboardist Rick Wakeman left around this time, the two albums still served as Yes's creative peak which they would never repeat again.
Nearly two and a half years after Relayer, Yes finally unleashes another amazing album, Going For The One. The band decides to forge on ahead with some notable changes, mainly that there are more songs now and they're much shorter than they used to be. Also, Rick Wakeman decided to rejoin because as quoted in the linear notes, he believed that Yes, "...were writing songs again." Keyboardist Patrick Moraz was booted out of the band due to his over-inflated fame ego. GFTO is to Yes what Permanent Waves later was to Rush: simply a transitional album between periods displaying many qualities of the past while treading onto new territory. Most Yes fanatics have lamented this release because of the shorter lengths of the songs. I say, So what?. Most of the tracks still average around the 5-6 minute mark and there is still a 15-minute epic right at the end, so there's something for everyone. Besides, GFTO showcases some of the best songwriting Yes had ever done. So if more albums were released consisting of nothing but long structures people would start growing tired of them. Yes managed to keep fresh and retain certain qualities which make the band so great. Vocalist Jon Anderson is still at the top of his game, as well as guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, and Alan White on drums. There is really no need for Yes fans to worry here.
The album kicks off with the soaring title track, grabbing the listener first with a classic oldies guitar riff, and then letting the other bandmembers joining in to create a catchy rocker. The song works well as a commercial radio single. The band brings the excitement down a bit in the beautifully melodic 'Turn Of The Century', which builds up gradually with accoustic guitars, atmospheric keyboard melodies, and then ending on a powerful note with booming orchestrations and electric guitar melodies. Definitely one of the greatest ballads I've heard in a long time. Next is the steady rocker 'Parallels' which is constantly carried along by a pipe organ melody. Very commercial also, but it never fails to please. Afterwards, the album tones down again with another softer rocker, 'Wondrous Stories'. It harkens back to earlier Yes albums in its sound, and is dominated by accoustic guitar and keyboard overtones. It's actually quite a pleasant and memorable song. The fact that it is my least favorite track on here really tells you how excellent I think this album is. The original album ends on a real high note with the 15-minute epic 'Awaken', starting off with a short piano intro and then gradually becoming more melodic until the pace picks up later on. It's certainly one of the best tracks on the album, and in all of Yes's career.
IMO, Rhino Records did an excellent job with the new 2004 remaster series. The album includes a booklet detailing extensive liner notes and many photos of the band during that time. My only gripe here is that Rhino Records decided not to continue the digifold slipcase packaging starting with GFTO. Oh well. Everything else is still there. The remastered album itself is jam-packed with LOT of bonus tracks, filling up the entire disc space and more than doubling the length of the album. You get a few instrumental jam pieces like 'Montreux's Theme' and 'Veyvey (Revisited)' as well as a bonus studio Steve Howe jam of 'Amazing Grace' and several early versions of four of the five studio tracks.
Overall, I am very impressed with GFTO and the remastering job, so it gets my full five stars. If I were to say anything bad about the album, it's the fact that the naked man on the album cover has got to go. Honestly, no one wants to see that, but I guess it must've been currently popular. Afterall, Rush did place one on their album Hemispheres around this time and it didn't stop fans from listening and loving the album. GFTO is one of Yes's high points and is essential to any true Yes fan. No Yes collection (or even prog rock collection) is complete without this album. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Other albums which sound like Going For The One:
-'Tormato' by Yes
-'Fragile' by Yes
-'Permanent Waves' by Rush
-'Hemispheres' by Rush
-'Trilogy' by Emerson Lake & Palmer
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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
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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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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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Remaster, Feb. 7 2003
By 
Steven C Crain (Moreno Valley, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Going For The One (Rm) (Audio CD)
I was very disappointed in the re-mastering of this album by George Marino. It was noisy and not up to the professionalism of the recent issued re-mastered Yes albums (of which I now have all). Very disappointing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could've Been So Much Better, Dec 15 2002
This review is from: Going For The One (Rm) (Audio CD)
I'm starting to think that Yes are never going to top their progressive masterpiece CLOSE TO THE EDGE. Though the only other Yes album I have -- 90125 -- comes close to it (and that's a commercial album for Pete's sake!), GOING FOR THE ONE does nothing to prove my theory wrong. This is Yes at one of their more weaker moments. The majority of this record is uninspired and unsatisfying. Though it has its share of beautiful pieces, as to be expected of Yes' music, GOING FOR THE ONE should have been renamed "Too Low for Zero."
The sole reason this album is any good is because of two songs: "Turn of the Century" and "Parallels." These two songs save the album from being a total disaster, and are two of Yes' finest tunes if I do say so myself. "Turn of the Century" is a lovely 7-minute ballad with some of the most poignant lyrics Jon Anderson has ever written. Telling the story of a sculptor who is making a clay statue after his dead wife, the emotional acoustic work of Steve Howe, melodic vocal harmonies, and triumphant ending reasonate through the song very well.
"Parallels" is a harder-rocking cut, with a bombastic yet cool organ intro from Rick Wakeman (who returned to the band for this album after a three-year absence), tasty basslines from Chris Squire, and a catchy chorus. Nicely done. Besides these two tracks, it's all downhill from there.
The opening title track starts with a rollicking country-esque intro from Howe and seems to be throbbing with energy, but the annoying chorus grows so damn repetitive and diminshes any quality the song had. Anderson's vocals are at their worst here. "Wonderous Stores" is a filler ballad, not very memorable at all. "Awaken" is the long epic of the album, reaching 15 minutes. Surprisingly, it lacks the scope and ambition of Yes' previous epics like "Close to the Edge" or "Starship Trooper." All that build-up for what? A repeat of the beginning for the last 4 minutes? Come on, guys. You could do better than that.
Before I close out, I must say that the production of this album is awful. Howe's guitar and Squire's bass are so loud during some of the songs that Wakeman's keys and Alan White's drums can hardly be heard. And Jon Anderson's usually high voice can't soar above the loud guitars. GOING FOR THE ONE is a disappointment from a band capable of so much more.
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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
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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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Going for the One (Expanded)
Going for the One (Expanded) by Yes (Audio CD - 2003)
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