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Yes - Going For The One CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 1955 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Going for a comeback.

One of the most controversial ''classic'' Yes albums, Going For The One's unique style of play has won over the ears of many prog-listeners while turning off others. This album definitely has a heavier edge than it's predecessors; this is likely due to the punk bombardment and the subsequent ''Death'' of the progressive genre in the mid to late 70s. Wakeman is back along with the band after a 3-year hiatus since Relayer and they're ready to make some very new stuff. New and familiar tones are abundant as the YesMen make their comeback album, even featuring their first No. 1 [UK] hit single, WONDEROUS STORIES. However, the world was a very different place from when they'd made their last album, and it's very clear that they were about to adapt.

Starting off the album is the heavy-blues inspired riff from Mr. Howe that gives way to the title track, GOING FOR THE ONE. A catchy, rough edged song that often takes flak for those exact reasons; this is the less polished side of the band. Where as a riff off something like ''Close To The Edge'' was buffered and cleaned to the point of perfection, here Howe actually uses the grungy sound to his advantage. Jon Anderson's vocals hit new heights as he screams out the chorus at the top of his lungs as Yes prove to the punks that even the ''Dinosaur'' bands can still rock.

Toning it down several notches is the emotional TURN OF THE CENTURY. Quiet and low-key this is certainly a change in pace from the opener. A sad love story that's both lovely and depressing at the same time this is a track that makes great use of emotion in all the instruments and especially in the vocal department. Long and pretty, this is one of Yes's better compositions, and excellent when performed live.

Between this point and the looming epic that is the album's coda are a few more tracks. There's often mixed opinions about each of them, so what exactly do they sound like? Well. Wakeman is clearly back, of that there's no doubt - PARRALLELS opens with a synthesizer blast and starts on it's way. Often seen as one of the weaker compositions on the album, I've always found that it's on the same plane as the title track. Heavy and straightforward, this is a prog-rock track to be remembered (even if it's rock side is more clear than it's prog side). Then there's the track that made this comeback a comeback. WONDEROUS STORIES is a nice little ditty that's very pleasing and accessible. In my opinion, however, for the average prog goer: This is the weakest track on the album. It's quiet, short and has nothing spectacular in the way of musicianship. However, as stated before, there's nothing unenjoyable about it.

But of course, Yes wouldn't be Yes without making a long track to blow some minds. On this particular outing that track is AWAKEN. Starting with some quick keys and a brief a-cappella bit by Jon the song quickly starts to suit the style that the rest of the album has taken. This stuff is rough, heavy and rebellious. A driving drum and bassline coupled with some excellent riffs by Howe make this song one of the most interesting in the Yes catalog. Perfect changes in pace and tone over the course of the song make for some interesting pieces of work, especially for ''rough'' Yes. True, this song does have more polish on it than some of the previous songs, as evident in the soloing, but this song is still one of the more aggressive songs that Yes has done. Granted, the song does slow down tremendously, if only to let the audience take a break, as White gently taps the bells and cymbals nearing the center of the song. This song is truly a Yes classic, and there are some wonderful live renditions of it later on in the band's career. Don't miss it!

AWAKEN finally comes to a close with the album leaving the listener with only a chill in their spine. This is one of Yes's best works, and their last great effort for about a decade afterwards. Recommended for all, just so long as they don't expect the exact same band that was so present on Close To The Edge. 5 stars, they earned it.

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |


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