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Yes - Going for the One CD (album) cover

GOING FOR THE ONE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 1402 ratings

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thehallway
Prog Reviewer
4 stars AWAKEN GENTLE MASS TOUCHING

'Going for the One' marks the end of a Yes era, but also the start of the next one. It is a transitional album (not a bad thing!) and this is reflected in the tracks. There's a mixture of quality and "cringe-worthy" material, a blend of proggresiveness and commerciallity. And the sound is busier than ever (again, not a bad thing on this record). The enthusiastic overdubbing is what gives this album it's trademark sound; every song sounds bright and full, sometimes processed, but with a smart continuity that effectively seperates it from the past baggage of the apparently unpopular 'Tales from Topographic Oceans'. 'GFTO' was Yes opening up to new audiences without forgetting that they are a symphonic prog band.

So the title track is commercial, but no one can deny that it IS catchy. And due to it's boogie woogie sections and fantastically busy climax, it's one of my favourite songs on the album. 'Turn of the Century' is beautiful all over (second only to 'And You And I' in terms of soundscapes). 'Parallels' sounds to me like a left-over from Squire's 'Fish Out of Water' album, but the church organ work rescues it from the depths of boring riff-rock. I'm not sure about the way this tune is produced though, there's something fishy about it (and I'm not reffering to Chris himself!). The frequently mispelled 'Wonderous Stories' is the single from 'GFTO'. I like it but I don't love it. And then there is Awaken.

This song has been universally praised, not only by fans, but by the band themselves, who describe it as their best masterwork. I thoroughly agree. This song is a journey. A 15-minute adventure into the land of "Eastern Yes". The main riff is breathtaking, as are Howe's spiralling guitar scales that warp around it. His soloing is the best demonstration of combining frantic frenzy with melodic beauty I have ever seen. Speed and divinity have never gone hand-in-hand so well. And when the church organ comes in the listener is once again swept away into lofty, angelic passages of virtuosity and speed. The calmer middle section showcases Rick's (did I mention he was back?!) improvisational skills, where organs, guitars, and percussion instruments are overdubbed, and slowly build into a heavenly ostinato. Then comes the climactic moment when the enormous chord progression of the verses returns (it cycles through the circle of fifths with steady rhythm, ensuring every major chord makes an appearance). And before you know it, the etheral intro/outro theme is fading out to one last guitar phrase, and 'Going for the One' is over. My only complaint with 'Awaken' is that the overdubbing is essential to the pace of the song, and so it sounds rather empty and unenthusiastic when played live.

Buy this album! -Especially if you are more of a 'Starship Trooper' than a 'Sound Chaser'.

thehallway | 4/5 |

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