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Yes - Going For The One CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 1955 ratings

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3 stars There was an all-too-brief period when YES was the best band in the world. They created wonderful music, each musician excelling but the music still crystal-clear and compelling, underlined by CHRIS SQUIRE's thunderous bass. That period may have ended with 'Tales' or 'Relayer', depending on your taste, but most would agree it was well and truly over by 1977 when 'Going For The One' was released.

'Going For The One' is regressive. It returns to the pre-'Yes Album' days, evoking 'Time and a Word'. Retreating from the complex, multi-part epic, YES present us here with four unconnected songs and one epic of sorts. The themes in each of these four songs are not without merit, but instead of doing the extra work to weave them together, they merely send them marching towards us, one after the other. We get the title track, a sort of Zeppelinesque guitar job, HOWE masquerading as a rock'n'roll axeman rather than the sweeping sound technician he is. After that's over we get an acoustic number, 'Turn of the Century', a pleasant workout in search of something memorable. WAKEMAN shows us his organ in 'Parallels', which really does sound like a part from an epic taken out of context. This is followed by 'Wondrous Stories', a beautiful vignette that would have made a glorious centrepiece to what YES do best, extended multi-layered compositions.

Why would they take this step backwards? After all, they didn't after the critically lambasted 'Tales From Topographic Oceans'. No, it was the relative commercial failure of 'Relayer' (it sold well, to be fair, but commercial success is measured by the percentage of the print run sold, and in this area 'Relayer' failed) that prompted an extended hiatus, followed by this rather average rock album.

Something was clearly going on behind the scenes. The awesome power of SQUIRE's bass is deliberately repressed: had he done something to offend HOWE and ANDERSON? Had the band become tired of their trademark powerful sound? Or were they frightened of repeating themselves, of becoming irrelevant? I doubt it, or they wouldn't have come up with 'Awaken' which, although a pale facsimile of their earlier epics, at least contained more than one idea. Enjoy it, because it's the last one you'll be getting for many long, cold years.

russellk | 3/5 |


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