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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2062 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Exit Wakeman, welcome Moraz ! This is the second earthquake in the line-up (the first being Bruford's one when he left the band between the release of "Close" and the supporting tour for it which will lead to "YesSongs". This YesAlbum starts with a YesEpic : "Gates Of Delirium". Of course, after the Topographic adventure (which I quite liked by the way), the number of epic YesSongs had significantly increased, reaching now the number of six (at least in lenght since "The Ancient" from TFTO was quite weak and dull).

"Gates" is one the best though : complex and difficult to enter into during the first listenings if you are not a die-hard Yes fan (but I am since November 1973 and my discovery of their wonderful repertoire thanks to the wonderful "YesSongs"). Rick's departure could have been a disaster but it isn't : the whole band is just wonderful. Moraz holds the keys like a master. Steve does a fantastic guitar job and needless to say, the rythmic part of the band with Squire and White is on par. Vocals from Jon are good but scare on this lenthly and almost instrumental track. It ends with one of the most beautiful YesMoments : "Soon" : a shivering five minutes closing section full of harmony, beauty, melody and tranquility. One of the most emotional YesSection ever written. The first time I listened to this track (back in ... 1974) I was almost crying (physically) when hearing to this part and I spinned it an awful lot of time on my pick-up (lifting and dropping the needle on the colour change in the vinyl showing where it starts).

"Sound Chaser" is even more complex to enter into. It sounds quite jazzy during the intro and closing section but the middle part is really good. Great guitar work from Steve (a bit of flamenco, a bit of classical influence starting from 3'30"). I had a hard time with this song : it took me quite a long time to be able to appreciate it as it deserves. The third and ... oops already the last song, is my favorite one here. The most accessible, definitely. I always have appreciated this side of the band : melodious vocals, tranquil intrumentals. It is not so often that a whole YesTrack is built on a quiet tempo ("And You & I" and "Time & A Word" are the only example I can think of). With no "weird" solo nor break. It is the case with "To Be Over". Little performed in their live sets, I like it very much.

There is a fantastic remastered version of "Relayer" including three bonus tracks of which an alternate version of "Gates" which is IMO superior to the original one. Specially the "Soon" section which is quite different and even more beautiful (is this possible ? YES ! it is). The other two are very interesting as well : an edit for "Sound" which makes it more bearable for the average Yes fan (does this exist by the way ?) and the single version for "Soon" which allows you to avoid what I was doing more than thirty years ago : play with your needle (the one of your pick-up of course) to listen to this portion of "Gates". It is a solid YesAlbum, but definitely not the one to start with if you are new to the band. It is also obvious that the band tried to reproduce "Close". The format : three songs. A long epic ("CTTE" / "Gates"), a rocking tune ("Siberian" / Sound") and a melodious one (&Y&I / To Be Over"). My judgement will be the same. Five stars for the remastered edition (I would only rate the original vinyl LP four stars though).

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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