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Yes - Going For The One CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 2014 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After "Relayer" was released in 1974, YES had gone through five years of progressive rock superstardom and were completely burned out from all the recording, all the touring and most of all each other. They decided to recharge their batteries and take a lengthy break from each other so they could all focus on solo albums, thus during the time span between "Relayer" and this eighth studio album GOING FOR THE ONE, there were many solo albums released and a 1976 Solos Tour Of North America. Once again YES changed their musical vision and after the two super complex and challenging albums that preceded they decided to simplify a bit with shorter songs more akin to the earlier days of "Fragile" and "The Yes Album." The only exception is the monstrous "Awaken" that runs well over fifteen minutes.

After only one album with Patrick Moraz it was decided that his contributions no longer gelled with the band's overall sound and he was asked to leave. Originally asked to be a sit in session musician, Rick Wakeman returned only to find he and the band had come full circle and reached common grounds again allowing him to regain his seat as progressive rock's number one symphonic prog keyboardist. So the reunion of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Wakeman was complete and they headed off to Switzerland to record this wonderful album.

"Relayer" took me a long time to get into because of its complexities but GOING FOR THE ONE took me a while to get into for the opposite reason. I found this album to be too simple. It has much more accessible song structures compared to pretty much every that came before except maybe the very first two albums but somehow these melodic rockers managed to weasel their way into my head and wouldn't let me be, so i succumbed to their charm over time and now i find this to be a very satisfying album although this is truly the beginning of a decline because it doesn't come close to the magical era lasting from 1970-74. I now love every song on here except "Wonderous Stories" which is one that no matter how hard i try it makes me cringe!

Beginning with the raucous rocking title track that sounds a little country with all the slide-guitar action, the album starts off on a good note by keeping the tracks somewhat accessible while not jettisoning the progressive tendencies. This is a trend they would continue from hereon as the band adapted to the changing musical realities the world was experiencing, however this is still very much progressive rock and held its own against the new explosion of punk, pop, arena rock and disco that was conquering the world by this time. The album still sailed up the charts and loyal fans consumed it with glee.

While the first three tracks: the title track, "Turn Of The Century" and "Parallels" are somewhat catchy and poppified progressive rock songs that are guitar heavy with Wakeman eschewing his classical keyboards for more complimentary hard rock embellishments, "Wonderous Stories" is a whiney little ballad that totally rubs me the wrong way and is the first sign that the glory days of YES have waned. The highlight is the extraordinary "Awaken" that very much is a blast from the past with its long drawn out melodic developments showing the band doing what it does best, that is create blissful extended instrumental behemoths that segue into different styles and sections and that always work in tandem with the vocals. This track shows Wakeman conjuring some of the most beautiful church organ runs behind Squire's unique bass line walks up and down the scales. The song has an addicting chord and rhythmic structure and the lyrics are sublime. If the rest of the album was like "Awaken" this would be yet another masterpiece.

GOING FOR THE ONE was the beginning of a new era for YES. They would never return to the glory of their past and instead follow in the path of what is going on with the simplified song structures found here with mixed results. While this album blows away the gazillions of lesser bands of any era, it still comes up short as being one of the greats of the YES discography in my world, but for what it is and compared to what would come down the road in the 80s and 90s, it still ranks high in their discography but just shy from peaking into the classic era. Still though GOING FOR THE ONE is a unique little listen as it has a distinct sound from any other YES album and is one that can easily seduce you into its magical universe.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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