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Patrick Moraz

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Patrick Moraz The Story of I album cover
3.47 | 135 ratings | 29 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Impact (3:31)
2. Warmer Hands (3:31)
3. The Storm (0:52)
4. Cachaca (4:07)
5. Intermezzo (2:49)
6. Indoors (3:44)
7. Best Years of Our Lives (3:59)
8. Descent (1:43)
9. Incantation (Procession) (1:51)
10. Dancing Now (4:38)
11. Impressions (The Dream) (2:49)
12. Like a Child Is Disguise (4:05)
13. Rise and Fall (5:34)
14. Symphony in the Space (2:56)

Total Time 46:09

Bonus tracks on 2006 remaster:
15. Cachaça Variations (6:14)
16. Cachaça's Children's Voices (4:28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrick Moraz / vocals, piano, Hammond C3, synths, Mellotrons, Fender Rhodes, clavinet, harpsichord, marimbaphone, Taurus bass pedals, sequencers & assorted keyboard instruments, gong, cymbal, alpine horn & addit. percussion, arranger, orchestrator, conductor & producer

- John McBurnie / lead vocals
- Vivienne McAuliffe / lead vocals
- Veronique Mueller / French vocals
- Children of Morat, Switzerland / chorus vocals
- Ray Gomez / lead & rhythm guitars
- Auguste de Anthony / acoustic & electric guitars
- Jean Ristori / cello, double bass
- Jeff Berlin / electric bass
- Alphonse Mouzon / drums (1-7)
- Andy Newmark / drums (8-14)
- Jean-Luc Bourgeois / gong, tom-tom
- Phillippe Staehli / timpani, percussion
- Rene Moraz / tap dance, castagnets
- Percussionists of Rio De Janeiro (Paulinho Braga, Hermes, Chico Batera, Gordinho, Claudio, Bezerra, Doutor, Nenem, Jorginho,
Wilson, Geraldo Sabino, Risadinha, Jorge Garcia, Marcal, Luna, Elizeu) / Brazilian percussions
- Gilson de Freitas / percussionists' leader

Releases information

Artwork: John Pasche

LP Atlantic ‎- SD 18175 (1976, US)

CD Virgin Japan ‎- VJCP-2544 (1990, Japan)
CD TimeWave Music ‎- IDVP003CD (2006, UK) Remastered by Jean Ristori and Patrick Moraz with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PATRICK MORAZ The Story of I ratings distribution

(135 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

PATRICK MORAZ The Story of I reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Released while he was a member of YES, this 1976 solo album from Patrick Moraz is, today, a relatively unknown gem. I remember the full-page ad and glowing review in Melody Maker, yet in later years it sank into obscurity. Nevertheless Moraz had created an innovative album: a truly progressive fusion of rock and ethnic Brazilian music. The tracks on this concept album all segue together to take you on a complex and unusual musical journey.

Moraz managed to use synthesiser, piano, electric and acoustic guitar and bass, cello, gongs, marimbaphone, castanets, tap dance, Brazilian percussion instruments (cuica, berimbau, tam-tam, agogô, surdo, reco reco, repique, tamborim, pandeiro, frigideira, tumba, ganzá etc.) plus some talented female and male singers (not to forget children too) to create a Progressive Rock masterpiece. The album is a symphonic aural feast, varying from heavy to light, from upbeat to romantic. Moraz coaxed some amazing sounds from the synthesizers and from his fellow musicians.

The synthesizer work is immediately impressive on the instrumental 'Impact', which starts with a cacophony from an alien jungle and what one ProgArchives forum member described perfectly as the sound of a hundred monks saying "DOH!" in unison. The Brazilian percussion works amazingly well with the synthesizers and other instruments. After the surreal start the track turns into a Progressive batucada that I defy anyone who understands percussion to dismiss.

The batucada segues into 'Warmer Hands' that, halfway through, turns into more normal Progressive Rock with some good singing by the talented John McBurnie. This track segues into 'The Storm' using yet more amazing synthesizer sounds reminiscent of a huge thunderstorm with the cacophony of the jungle, then segueing into 'Cachaça (Baião)', which uses agogô and other percussion instruments to create a sunny, Brazilian-sounding instrumental with children providing vocalisations. Moraz weaves his synthesizer expertly into this musical tapestry.

The start of 'Intermezzo' is beautiful - the simultaneous female singing in English and French over piano gives me the shivers. The clarity and sheer femaleness of the two voices is always striking to me. Then Moraz launches into grandiose piano and castanets before bringing in frenzied synthesizer and almost turning the piece into a tarantella. Segueing into 'Indoors' without you even realising it, guitar, bass and synthesizer continue to dance feverishly together, with a little of John McBurnie's singing. Suddenly the music slows and turns melodiously into 'The Best Years Of Our Lives' with John McBurnie's tremulous, pleasant singing and Moraz' synthesizer whistling in the background with some good piano. The lyrics are moving and this song always gives me a lump in the throat. What a great melody. And then Moraz goes and makes the song even better with some fantastic piano. The tinkling ending of the track fades to allow the listener to turn over the LP, thankfully no longer a necessity for CD owners.

'Descent' kicks in like thousands of screaming birds, slowing into the well-named 'Incantation (Procession)': a slow, fat synthesizer procession with a heavy Brazilian macumba beat which briefly fades to pure percussion and macumba chanting before fading back in and picking up speed to segue into 'Dancing Now', an infectious, up-tempo fusion of batucada, bossa nova and rock. Again McBurnie's lyrics and singing are the business. This segues into the gorgeous piano of 'Impressions (The Dream)' with synthesizer in the background sounding like surf on the night shore. There is some piano on this track that again gives me a lump in the throat, before segueing into 'Like A Child In Disguise', another good song from McBurnie. This song is both happy and sad at the same time: apparently the story of a puerile male who starts the weekend with high hopes but then seems to have blown it yet again with his unrequited love. The lyrics might sound corny to some, but I like it a lot.

The instrumental 'Rise And Fall' again uses batucada percussion but with some heavy electric guitar, synthesizer and bass intertwined. The frenzy segues into the calm of 'Symphony In The Space': the synthesizer sounding like the strings of a classical orchestra and the piece itself like the ending to a classical symphony.

In summary, a unique album. Moraz and the other talented musicians he gathered achieved something difficult: the successful fusion of progressive rock with Brazilian musical themes and instruments. They also made some very good music. Don't let the relative obscurity of this album put you off: it's special. Five stars.

Review by hdfisch
2 stars Keyboardist Patrick Moraz, well-known from his work in the band YES during Relayer era was releasing with The Story of I his first solo album after his demise from YES. It's a piece of work that is regarded as masterly by some people whereas others including me cannot really appreciate this stuff presented here.

Actually this record is starting quite good and promising: dark mellotron tunes, piano lines and bass interludes, whistling synths and some latin percussion in the back. This quite unique blend seams to work still in the first track Impact. But after this one the album really starts to become annoying. Obviously Patrick Moraz used to love a lot latin american rhythms and so he was trying here to integrate a complete brazilian percussion group into this album with the result of a catastrophic failure. Just because most of the music is rather rooted in the western "white" pop-rock style, so the whole album is sounding in some way not coherent at all, more like an arbitrary patchwork. Moreover many parts are very much reminiscent to Broadway music.Nevertheless there are a few positive moments, like Intermezzo in the beginning quite reminiscent to RENAISSANCE, then the song is shifting to a latin rhythm section followed by a rather complex final part a bit similar to parts of Gates Of Delirium. Indoors is a rather good jazz-fusion track , Impressions has a nice piano solo and Rise And Fall has some nice parts and tunes as well.

Musicianship is in fact very good throughout, especially bass player Jeff Berlin is showing a great effort on his very first record. But due to the incoherent and failed composition (at least in my view) this album cannot be regarded as a worthy recommendation. Don't expect anything similar to any releases made by YES from this one! I can't rate it higher than with 2 1/2 stars!

Review by Matti
1 stars If you want a deeper view on this album, read Fitzcarraldo's 5* review. Bought it very cheaply as a used LP, but I never learned to like it - I actually gave it away for free - even if I was already convinced that Moraz (keyboarder appearing on Yes' Relayer) is a skillful player. Hopefully his other albums are more coherent. I can't stand an album that jumps in its quite short tracks from one musical style to another. Or at least I don't like many of the styles he does here (e.g. ethnic Brazilian, heavy synths, etc). Not even the most calm song with guest singers pleased me. And the concept story: frankly it didn't make any sense to me at all. Some obscure transcendental adventure that seems to be totally loose from the musical cacophony. Pooooh.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Patrick Moraz was the keyboards player on Yes' Relayer. The record here has different textures of keyboards. Patrick Moraz definitely has a Latin influence. The songs are varied, and I prefer the more experimental and progressive ones. The other songs are pseudo pop or almost dull hard rock, and they are neither addictive nor catchy. The piano parts are very good: Moraz on piano is really a reference. Some Latin percussions, some vocals, drums, guitars and bass complete well the ensemble. There is a side that is excellent, but the other one has some not convincing short songs. It is all the same his best album.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I have owned this album for some time now but have never really had the desire to write a review until relistening to it recently. It is in short a very temperamental work with flashes of keyboard brilliance as in the the Realyer type mould and then some extremely tame and poor vocals presumably from John McBurnie and Moraz himself. Which is a shame. One musn't forget though the very ' progressive' era Yes were in at the time and I feel almost Moraz was quite bombastic in his approach, not disimilar to Keith Emerson in the late 70's. There is clearly a latin/ South American feel in parts on the album. Overall a must have to any ardent Yes collector as Moraz was as much a member as was Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn albeit briefly. The work in itself is mediocre but the second side is definitely the stronger effort. Comparable to some other debut albums from some of his peers, not a bad album. Recommended songs being " Like A Child In Disguise" and " Rise and Fall"
Review by Guillermo
4 stars A Progressive Rock album which also mixes some Jazz-Rock music with Brazilian music influences from Samba. The music is complex, dominated by the keyboards and the Brazilian percussion and vocal arrangements.Sometimes the album sounds like recorded during a Brazilian "Carnivall". It is a concept album about the history of an hotel. The sound of this album shows how far some musical ideas by Patrick Moraz were from YES`music when he was a member of the band, and this album was recorded during that period of time. Maybe that was the main reason why he left YES in late 1976.
Review by Chicapah
1 stars Okay, here's the concept. "I" is a hotel controlled by a sphere hovering above it. People are drawn to the hotel because it promises to fulfill their dreams as they advance and climb slowly but surely floor by floor to the top where they dive off, hit the ground and are reduced to atoms. Somewhere in this hotel two people fall in love and become the first to reach the roof as a couple. Instead of diving off they are carried by their love upward into the skies where they vanish. (I'm not making this up, the story is written out in detail inside the LP cover and it's much, much weirder than that.) All I can say is that the only thing amazing about this project is that Patrick Moraz was able to cajole the execs at Atlantic into financing this fiasco. Not only that but he was able to make them contract top of the line musicians like bassist Jeff Berlin and drummers Alphonse Mouzon and Andy Newmark to play on it. He also coerced the label into flying his entourage to Brazil and Switzerland for sessions. On top of all that he got them to spring for a fancy art design and a full page green picture of himself (where he looks uncannily like the wicked witch of the west) on the inside of the expensive fold-out packaging. I guess being the keyboard man for Yes gave him emperor status in the mid 70s and he got whatever he asked for without condition or questions asked.

The music is flying all over the place and it never stays in one style long enough to make an impression. There are 14 tracks but they sound like a different amateur composed each one. There is absolutely no continuity to be found. "Impact," the first cut, starts with some intriguing rhythms but you just keep waiting and waiting for something to happen while Pat makes all kinds of strange synthesized sounds. "Warmer Hands" has some group vocals but it comes off like a really bad Broadway tune. I mean REALLY bad, too. "Cachaca" presents you with the first decent melody layered over a peppy Brazilian groove but there's no depth to the production and it comes off flat as a paper plate. "Intermezzo" is a neo-baroque piece that features 2 separate female voices singing in stereo. Except one is singing in English and the other in French. At the same time. It's asinine. "The Best Years of our Lives" is a pitiful attempt at creating a pop ballad, "Descent" is described as electronic progressive but it's a mess and "Incantation" is something Pat calls ethnic funk. Right. "Dancing Now" actually has some cool percussion and a rumbling rock and roll riff to stir things up but the vocal by John McBurnie is appalling as he tries to inject soul into lyrics like "There's nothing new except what has been forgotten." By now it's painfully obvious that Pat can't write a good song but he's definitely a virtuoso as he readily demonstrates on "Impressions," a solo piano piece. "Like a Child in Disguise" is another pop ballad that doesn't come close to working and then the rest of the album is a mish mash of jagged instrumental shards thrown together and some sappy synthesized strings. It's only been about 46 minutes since the first note but it feels like hours have passed.

If you are tempted to buy this because you are impressed by Moraz's fine work on Yes' "Relayer," please save your money. This is a great example of someone being loaded with talent but very limited in composing ability. You might also say it's yet another case of an emperor having no clothes.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Not an autobiography!

Moraz first solo album was released subsequent to his departure from Yes. He had gained considerable credibility through his stepping into Rick Wakeman's shoes, and his contribution to the excellent "Relayer" album. Prior to joining Yes, Moraz had effectively replaced Keith Emerson in the Nice, although they chose to use the Refugee name for the band during his all too brief stay. Whether the fact that he only recorded one album with Refugee and one with Yes tells us anything is a matter for conjecture, but he has since offered a steady flow of solo albums, and also recorded and toured with the Moody Blues.

"The story of !" is a concept album consisting of 14 tracks which link together to form a continuous piece. That said, each track is quite distinct and self contained. The detailed notes on the inner sleeve (of the LP) are hand written and illustrated by Moraz himself. They help the listener to understand how each piece was constructed. The "!" (it is not a letter I, this is not the story of Patrick Moraz) is an exclamation mark like symbol along the lines of Prince's more recent squiggle; Moraz give no hints on the correct pronunciation but all the words it represents start with the letter "i" (initiation, identity etc.). It actually looks more like a golf ball sitting on a tee. "!" is a "hotel offering people of all creeds colours and sexes the realisation of their impossible dreams". The ensuing tale is a work of science fiction which might well have been developed into a short story or novel.

Moraz is entirely responsible for the compositions, but calls on lead vocalist John McBurnie to provide the English language lyrics.

The music flows delightfully though the various sections, ranging from a Brazilian Baiao to a "neo-baroque" intermezzo featuring two female voices singing simultaneously in French and English. The jazz influences Moraz displays so clearly in his style of keyboard playing are of course present but kept largely in check, the album being more rock based. "Indoors" has distinct echoes of the battle section of "Gates of Delirium", Moraz using two different synthesiser, one in each channel, as the adversaries.

Always a sucker for a good ballad, "The best years of our lives" closes the first side of the album delightfully with a delicate vocal delivering emotive lyrics. After brief flourish, the second side opens with a jungle funeral, where tribal and ethnic influences are brought to the fore.

Things pick up again for "Dancing now", which includes a rather irritating chant of "There's nothing new except what's been forgotten". As we approach the conclusion, the themes become even more dynamic until we soar effortlessly on the "Symphony in space", a melancholy recapturing of some of the earlier themes.

This is undoubtedly Moraz's best and most progressive solo album. His later work would see him moving into much more pop related territories, but here he weaves a hundred and one themes into a wonderful whole. His sleeve notes insist that the piece be heard from beginning to end, and indeed that is the best way to listen to it. Individual tracks or sections are easily distinguishable, with some standing well in their own right, but this is a well constructed work, and should be heard as such.


Review by fuxi
4 stars Opinion is sharply divided on this one. Folie de grandeur or 'fusion' masterpiece? Much of the album certainly sounds like folly to me. The lyrics suck, the concept doesn't make sense, the tracks featuring a male solo singer ('Best years of our lives', 'Dancing now' and 'Like a child in disguise') sound like typical 1970s Eurotrash. Give me Elton John any time! Whatever else P. Moraz was able to do, he COULD NOT write a proper song.

How about the instrumental bits? These can roughly be divided in two categories, the first of which is "romantic pastiche". 'Impressions', for example, is a three-minute excursion on grand piano which reminds me of Franz Liszt (it also seems to prove that Moraz is a more skillful pianist than Rick Wakeman) and 'Symphony in the [sic] space' is an attempt to create a Mahler-type symphony movement using only electronic keyboards.

The second category, let's call it 'manic fusion', can be heard on 'Impact', 'Warmer hands', 'Cachaca (Baiao)', 'Indoors', 'Descent' and 'Rise and Fall': about twenty minutes altogether, or roughly half the album. For my money, these are the most exciting parts of THE STORY OF I. Moraz executes some astonishing solos on moog, some of them double-tracked. If you enjoy his contributions to RELAYER, you'll definitely enjoy these as well. Moraz also duets briefly with lead guitarist Ray Gomez and bass player Jeff Berlin, and many of his orchestrations for keyboards are masterly. He effectively uses female voices and a Swiss children's choir. Most of the instrumental tracks are supported by Brazilian percussionists, who were recorded separately in Rio.

Last of all, let's not forget the notorious 'Intermezzo', on which (after a cod-baroque opening reminiscent of Walter Carlos) Vivienne McAuliffe sings English lyrics while Véronique Müller tackles French ones at the same time, so that the listener enjoys neither! Yet another example of Moraz' misguidedness, you might think, but our Patrick immediately develops the melody, turning it into an exciting flamenco-style piano excursion (accompanied by a certain René Moraz on castagnets) - you have to admire his pluck!

Summing up, listeners of a puritan bent may curse the record company for ever allowing Patrick M. near a record studio; others will probably enjoy the fun parts of THE STORY. When I bought the original LP back in 1976, it annoyed me no end that some song titles sported ugly typos (e.g. 'Like a child is disguise'). Sure enough, on my Virgin Records CD reissue all the typos were perfectly reproduced. I suppose we ought to be grateful...

P.S. I update this review in 2023, after having heard Esoteric Recordings' 2019 remaster of the album. I must admit the remaster was quite an eye-opener. Compared to the old Virgin Records release, all of Moraz's moog solos (many of which are double-tracked) now sound spectacularly clear, and (with lead guitars, grand piano and funky bass well to the fore when required) even vocal tracks such as 'Best Years of Our Lives' and 'Dancing Now' manage to convince. I'm sure you could call THE STORY OF I overproduced: on side one there's such a plethora of synths, other keyboards, rhythm guitars and percussion instruments that Alphonse Mouzon's drums tend to get buried in the mix. On the other hand, instrumental tracks such as 'Impact', 'Indoors' and 'Rise and Fall' sound so dramatic - and cinematic - that I wouldn't hesitate to call them visionary. I started wondering if THE STORY OF I is better than any of Rick Wakeman's solo-efforts except perhaps THE SIX WIVES. I even considered awarding the album a full five stars but finally decided to limit myself to four, as there's no trace of any truly epic, heart-warming track along the lines of 'Firth of Fifth' or 'And You and I'. Indeed, the album's most unforgivable characteristic is that its final vocal piece ('Like a Child in Disguise') is a damp squid, with some of the most terrible lyrics I've ever come across. (Fortunately it's immediately followed by the two astonishing instrumentals that conclude the album.) Summing up: 'visionary' has to be the right word! Apart from Patrick Moraz, who else would have thought of combining numerous synths, Brazilian percussion, marimba, outstanding bass lines AND a jaunty Swiss children's choir in one jolly tune that just bounces along? (That tune even turns - temporarily - into a fairground waltz.)

P.P.S. Of the remaster's two bonus tracks, the first one is especially interesting. It features Moraz in great form on grand piano, accompanied by his trusted Brazilians, and seems to prefigure the duo improvisations he later recorded with drummer Bill Bruford.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is one of the very best solo efforts to be released during the hiatus between Relayer and Going for the One, masterfully crafted and solidly elaborated throughout its inherent diversity. This was also the solo effort that was released last, which came out ot be the relevant reason for Moraz not being present at the GFTO sessions. Another Yes collateral gem from that era is Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water, in which the bass player decided to further the symphonic side of his musical vision with some hints to The Beatles and jazz-rock. In comparison, Moraz's The Story of I delivers a wider sonic spectrum that comprises symphonic prog, jazz-fusion (heavily based on Brazil's carioca folklore), chamber music, AOR and spacey ambiences (mostly based on abundant cosmic nuances on mellotron and synth). One major factor in the isntrumentation is the featured presence of grand piano: Moraz didn't really have much room for this particular keyboard in the Relayer album, let alone display his love for classical music (Baroque and Romanticism). In this album he does both things in many passages. The fact that the repertoire is linked is explained by it being a concept-labum revolving around a theme of love, rebellion and afterlife redemption in a futuriscit tyranny. The album kicks off with a powerful intro organized around two poles: the keyboard layers and the percussion section. This one fluidly leads to the first track with vocals, a very dynamic and catchy jazz-rock piece. Moraz is so vversatile that he feels really comfortable delivering his Corea-inspired Moog phrases among the guitar adornments and singers. The synthesized explosion of 'The Storm' is an effective bridge toward 'Cachaca', which happens to be the most explicit homage (not the only one) to carioca festival music. The easy-going, simplistic colorfulness of this piece is succeeded by a pair of more solemn, academic tracks. First, 'Intermezzo' brings a beautiful dose of Baroque airs with a noticeable addition of Flamenco-inspired adornments; the dual female vocals are just captivating. Then, after the climax gets really loud, comes 'Indoors', which expands the symphonic prog journey all the way. Side A ends with the first ballad 'Best Years of Our Lives', a moment of soft meditation, with featured piano and soft ornaments on synthesizer. The pair of 'Descent' and 'Incantation' brings an attractive mixture of symphonic prog and jazz-fusion, including yet another excerpt of Brazilian percussions. Tracks 10 and 12 (the former, a jazz-pop mid-tempo, the latter, an AOR ballad) bring more of the accessible side of this album, yet with a distinctive touch of elegance that make them stand above the standard of merely commercial rock. Sandwiched between the two is 'Impressions', a lovely piano interlude forged in a late-XIX Century fashion. 'Rise and Fall' is a very intense instrumental epic that retakes much of the musical power of 'Indoors', but also incorporating many jazz-rock textures and perucssion-dominated passages: something like a recapitulation of the band's three main elements. Very properly, the album ends on a cosmic tone - 3 minutes of sheer, slightly dense layers performed on mellotron and synth, as if Moraz had stopped looking at the sunny landscapes of Brazil and decided to look the other way at the atmospheres of German's electronic krautrock. The Story of I is an excellent prog item, indeed: this is Moraz at his most ambitious from a progressive standpoint. Later works will find him exploring other musical sources that won't be reviewed or analyzed here.
Review by debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Patrick Moraz - the relief pitcher of prog music ? Rick Wakeman takes five, Moraz steps in and helps Yes deliver a masterwork. Mike Pinder says enough, see ya, Moraz comes in and the Moody Blues are rejuvenated and once more relevant to the day's music scene. On his own ... I'll quote myself from a recent thread for Chris Squire's Fish out of Water - Both Squire and Moraz have put out decent works, but none show that extra spark that their group efforts (Yes for both, Moody Blues for Moraz) showed them to be a big part of. I.E. they help make the whole greater than the sum of the parts, but when apart on their own, the hole left by the others is too big for them to fill. The difference with Moraz - a bit more variety in styles to be heard. But still no spark to make the music special. O.K. to pick up if you find it a great price - I got the LP at Spin-It for $4. So I have no regrets at having bought it. And I'll have none when I trade it back for $2.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars This album is very different and quite unique. It is therefore not very helpful to compare it to any previous work Moraz had been involved in up till then, like the Mainhorse and Refugee albums or Yes' Relayer album. Being a member of Yes at this time, when all the members released solo albums, Moraz had also helped some of his band mates out on their first solo efforts - we can hear Moraz on Steve Howe's Beginnings and Chris Squire's Fish Out Of Water. But The Story Of I is an all together different beast, together with Jon Anderson's Olias Of Sunhillow it is the least Yes-like of all their solo albums released at this time (though, I have not yet heard Alan White's effort).

The Latin/Brazilian percussion dominates almost all the tracks and is a bit hard to get into at first. However, if you can get over this there is a lot to enjoy here. There is male and female vocals on some parts, but it is mainly instrumental. The best thing about the album is how well it flows from track to track. You get the feeling that this is a complete work. So even if no single part sticks out as great, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and this helps to keep it interesting throughout.

This is hardly my favourite of the Yes members' solo albums, but it holds up quite well, I think. Recommended for all Moraz fans, and serious Yes fans.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars First Patrick Moraz solo album is his intervention to jazz-fusion firld. If you still can hear in some moments echoes of his keyboards work in Yes, music here is mostly synthesizer based jazz fusion. Some graet musician are participated, including great Brazilian fusion drummer Alphonse Mouzon, great prog bassist Jeff Berlin and drummer Andy Newmark.

Album's music is not of one style, but contains some groups of songs. There are some songs,played with classic keyboards on it.And some songs with Latin rhythms and Patrick's keyboards playing fusion in Corea's style. And at least there are some songs with pop arrangements ( this direction will be used as basis for his second ,disappointing, solo album).

Album looks more as collection of songs, but in total isn't bad at all. It will disappoints fans, who are awaited from Moraz music in Yes style. But for latin-fusion or pop-fusion lovers this work could be interested. At least, I think this album is best Moraz work for years.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I remember when this album was released and how it was hailed by the music press at the time as a masterpiece. By the next year it was completely forgotten (the hot news were Rick Wakeman back to Yes). In Brazil there was a lot of talk about it since he was probably the first artist to use brazilian percussionists on a prog record. So I guess me and my friends had a lot to talk about those days. Moraz even lived here for a while.

Ok, more than 30 years after, there is still little fuss about The Story of I, even in prog circles. I never had the original record (I was just another teenager who had no money) and what I heard it was from my colleagues who did have some. Only recently I had the opportunity to buy a used copy in a sales bin. I was really curious of how it would sound today, specially when I saw so many conflicting ratings here on PA. But after several days listening to the album at every opportunity I had I did not find it to be neither the masterpiece some claim nor the crap others labeled it. The story may be naive or too confusing for some, but I like i: it was quite innovative for the time and the whole concept seemed interesting enough.

The record has some fine moments: the mix of synths and the samba percussion is a novelty and works after a while. Some songs are quite beautiful like The Best Years Of Our Lives, a unexpected ballad. The main problem with The Story of I is the fact that those moments don´t hold together well. It´s hard to enjoy it fully and it lacks cohesiveness. When you start to like one part then there is a shift for another thing entirely different, then it goes in a different direction and so on without much continuity or build up. It may works with the story line, I guess, but doesn´t sound pleasant for my ears. it´s like a mosaique of musical fragments: most of them look nice separately, but not as a whole. The overall musicianship is nothing less than superb of course, with some really outstanding ones like drummer Alphonse Mouzon and bassist Jeff Berlin. Yet,the whole suffers from the lack of cohesion.

Conclusion: The Story Of I is more interesting than really good nowadays, in my humble opinion. It has some good parts and it was a valid experiment then, but it dated somehow and does not work as a whole. If you´re a fan of Yes around the time of Relayer you should give it a try. final rating: 3 stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I had been thinking FOUR, but I've just realized that it should be FIVE stars...

This morning I planned to post a discussion about Patrick Moraz in my personal prog blog. I usually started the discussion by posting the review that I made before on this site. But I was shocked knowing that I have NOT reviewed this excellent (?) album yet. How come? I have known this album long time ago, in fact when this album was released I purchased the cassette version and it blew me away musically. Don't get surprised that the ballad 'Best Years of Our Lives" was once a major hit in Bandung City when I took my engineering degree. Well, it's not really major but one famous radio kept playing this song in 1979 - 1980 so this song became quite popular at that time.

Is it an excellent album?

In fact, it's been years I assume that this is an excellent album of progrock and the best that Moraz has ever made. But this morning, as I play this album back again I come to realize that it's not just excellent, but it's a masterpiece album - or five stars album. Why? Let me explain in detail as I have robust reasons to support my conclusion.

First off, look at musically.. You would never find any band or artist that had made the kind of music Moraz made with this 'The Story of I'. You cannot call it simply symphonic nor jazz-rock fusion. There are many components and styles that Moraz has masterfully made this album as a masterpiece creation. Yes, there are extensive uses of percussion throughout the album but try compare the style! You would find your efforts useless as there had never been any music that is similar with this album. There are components of space music here, with some latin flavor and of course jazz-rock fusion plus classical music influences. I have never been able to manage listening this CD half-way through as it has always been the whole album - in its entirety! Why? It's because of the experience that I feel, listening to this album is like listening to one long-duration song as all the songs form a cohesive whole. So, the music of this album is so UNIQUE that no one is able to emulate.

Second, the album delivers a solid storyline from start to end with varied compositions that encompass many different songs - most of them are instrumentals but Moraz has successfully composed some shots of vocal line in some songs. As this album was made when the recording format was vinyl so it has its limitation as 'Best Years of Our Lives' is the last song at the A side. The next songs are basically occupy the side B of the vinyl. So, listening to this album is like reading a solid novel where you cannot pick certain pages. Every piece of music presented here are absolutely excellent!

The third reason is the composition: brilliant! From the five dimensions that I usually use in reviewing a composition, this album stands really high. The melody ? i.e. the degree to which the main melody of the song is constructed from a combination of notes; this album is really excellent. The harmonies ie. how each instrument contributes in creating sounds and notes, especially the combination of dynamic percussion work and keyboard it's really fabulous. The complexity of the arrangement i.e. the degree in which the instrument (including vocal) being played by the musicians and how they generate a piece of music stream or segment of the music is also an excellent one. The album also provides a frequent change of style which includes tempo changes and/ or heavy or soft musical sounds. The last one is the structural integrity i.e. the degree to which all musical segments, including changes of style, form a cohesiveness of the music as a whole from start to end. The five components are very fundamental for me to assess my rating towards the music, especially progressive music.

There is no reason for NOT liking this album! You MUST have it ...!!!

Keep on proggin' ...!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by progpositivity
5 stars Getting a little bored with the 'same old thing'? Are you genuinely looking for something unique? Then this unusual album from the 1970's just might be for you! Then again, there is a proverb about being careful what you wish for...

What should we even call this music? Jazz-Samba-Brazilian-Prog? World-Music Prog? Jazz Rock/Fusion? No - those descriptions all seem woefully inadequate to me. This is something you really must hear for yourself.

Will you *like* it on first listen? Perhaps. Perhaps not. It is certainly more listenable than many modern classical compositions. It has no shortage of melody and energy. And at the right moment, this one has the potential to flood into your consciousness as a glorious epiphany. Yes, this album has "grand slam" potential in terms of vitality, vision and creativity.

Yes, the production is a little dated. This is a 1976 album we are talking about after all. And everything from the arrangements, the mix, the vocals can be so unexpectedly quirky, even a tad jarring. But therein likes the genius!

This album gets criticized for lack of continuity. Yes, it jumps from "here to there" and back again. But should we really carry pre-conceived notions about stylistic "continuity" into every album? This can become a problematic limitation in my opinion. I'm very familiar with the commercial rock marketing "rulebook" in which an artist is supposed to "color within the lines" of certain stylistic expectations. But I must have somehow missed the Prog-Rulebook that decrees one must not have too much diversity on any one album!

Is there not something adventurous about being jolted out of your comfort zone in the middle of a listening session every now and then? Is there not something exciting about not knowing whether you will float upward or fall off a musical cliff at any given moment?

I'm not saying that I embrace totally *random* changes for the sake of change. But when an artist has a vision of where he is taking you and why he is taking you there, and when the changes fit into the storyline, should he be expected to pause and ask himself whether he might be getting too stylistically diverse? No! I say he should boldly blaze the trail wherever it leads him and leave the work of art for others to dissect and critique many years after the fact!

This is exactly what Patrick Moraz did. Is there any doubt he blazed a brazenly ambitious trail? Here we are. Over thirty years after this album was released. With over forty ratings at ProgArchives, more than one-quarter of them rate "The Story of i" as an "essential masterpiece" of prog. No small feat I assure you.

Don't miss this album! If you don't like it at first, pack it away for a year or two and pull it off the shelf again. For when you "get it"... (if when it "gets you") this album has the potential to "wow" you in a really special way. How can a progger possibly resist such potentiality?

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Matrick Moraz' contribution to the five individual solo albums that Yes was touting on their 1976 tour (I was there), is not a great album, but it has it's moments. And despite having no other members of Yes, it actually has captured quite a bit of the Yes sound. Well, maybe the early (original lineup, without Wakeman and Howe) Yes, mixed with some Starcastle. But also, throughout, there is Moraz' very fine keyboard playing. There are moments of brilliance from him, but not that approach his amazing work on Relayer.

The music is primarily Yes-like prog, with some French and Brazilian flavors scattered about. Forgive me if I don't name tracks, but my copy is a cassette (since ripped to a CD), the tracks run together, and I can't, for the most part, tell where one song ends and the next begins.

So this is not a bad album, but no way would I call it essential.

Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 446

Patrick Moraz is a Swiss progressive rock keyboardist with a classical musical education acquired at the Conservatory of Lausanne, in Switzerland. He also played jazz primarily before entering into the progressive rock world and he has also been highly acclaimed for his musical virtuosity. However, he is best known as the keyboardist of Yes, which happened between 1974 and 1976. With Yes he wrote some of the best Yes' pages on their album "Relayer".

Moraz moved from Switzerland to England in 1973 when he met Lee Jackson and Brian Davison and formed Refugee. Refugee was the band that replaced The Nice, when Emerson left the group to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With Refugee, Moraz performed on two albums, the studio album "Refugee" and the live album "Live In Concert". In 1974, he had the chance to replace Wakeman in Yes and performed on their album "Relayer". He also played in the world tour of that album. He appears on some Yes' tracks on their live album "Yesshows", too. In 1978, he began touring with The Moody Blues on their album "Octave" tour, replacing their former keyboardist Mike Pinder, and became a member of the band till 1991. Since then, Moraz has primarily concentrated on his solo works, particularly on his solo piano pieces.

"Story Of I" is the debut solo studio album of Moraz and was released in 1976. After the release and the world tour of "Relayer", Yes took the decision to do a break with the intention of each band's member can be able to make a solo album. However, at the time that "Story Of I" was released Moraz was no longer a member of the group. Wakeman had returned to Yes. The "I" of the title of the album is in reality a Moraz's personal logo, a kind of an inverted triangle shape with a sphere above it. But, the album isn't a self-titled album and its story isn't properly an autobiography of him.

"Story Of I" is a conceptual album based in a romantic story of a massive tower in the middle of a jungle. The tower lures people from all over the world because inside it, people are able to live their desires and fantasies. The only problem is that the people inside the tower can't be in love with each other. However, two persons inside it do so, and since the tower acts like a prison because the people are slaves of their own desires, both decided to escape from it.

It's interesting to say that Jon Anderson was involved with the concept of "Story Of I". When Anderson and Moraz were on tour with Yes, they saw a massive tower and they began to think what was inside of it and invented many theories about it, which they shared with each other. Anderson encouraged Moraz to make his solo work with a tower's concept.

"Story Of I" has fourteen tracks. All music was written by Moraz and all lyrics were written by John McBurnie. The tracks are all joined into each other and flow like a single piece. The only exception is between the seventh track and the eighth track, due to the technical impossibility of the 70's to go from side A to side B on a LP without a break.

"The Story Of I" was partly recorded in Geneva and partly in Brazil, where it fused progressive elements with Brazilian music. Several Brazilian percussionists and singers appear on the album along with more famous musicians. Musically, the material here is a blend of Jazz and Classical Music with certain references to percussion driven acoustics and Brazilian rhythms, based on Moraz's keyboard capabilities, from tricky, complex instrumental pyrotechnics to soft Folk Fusion affairs on keyboards and hand drums and light piano driven Classical introductions. There is a definite Fusion flavour throughout the album, especially on the synthesizer/guitar parts and the regular drumming, but the stylistical diversity allows the listener meet with Moraz's unique and wide musical taste. We have lots of cinematic interludes and heavy instrumental stuff, only interrupted by occasional vocal pinches. This is an album with a very complex music.

The list of the musicians on the album is particularly extensive and beyond Patrick Moraz (keyboards, piano, synthesizers, marimbaphone and additional assorted percussions), and the usual performance of vocalists, guitarists, bassists and drummers, it has also the addition of sixteen Brazilian percussionists of Rio de Janeiro.

Conclusion: I know "Story Of I" since it was released in the 70's, but I only bought it some years ago. "Story Of I" is usually accepted as Moraz's best and most progressive solo album. He is a very talented and virtuoso keyboardist that unfortunately always was underestimated. He had the serious problem to be always the number two. He was number two of Emerson of The Nice, Wakeman of Yes and Pinder of The Moody Blues. "Story Of I" is a unique album in the panorama of the progressive music of the 70's. It's an album of fusion progressive music with many influences from several styles that ranging from pop, rock, jazz, classical, oriental and electronic, with a very special touch of Brazilian traditional music, samba, which made of it a very special work. It's an incredible album that flows like a single piece with many musical changes. "Story Of I" is unfortunately an underrated, and in a certain way, a misunderstood album that deserves to be known because it's a very special and unique progressive masterpiece. It's highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars The Story of Ay Caramba! 43 years on it still looks like a giant radioactive golf tee but in mitigation, what other jobs apart from golf pro and 70's Prog muso give white guys a chance to dress like black pimps at Halloween? Patrick must have felt like he was playing with house money at this poin ... (read more)

Report this review (#2277812) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Sunday, November 3, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After hearing Yes' Relayer with Patrick Moraz on keyboards I felt obliged to listen his first studio album, which I found was in my lp collection. What I got was an obscure, heavily Brazilian influenced album, full of changes and madness. It's full of Brazilian percussion (just see the musicians lis ... (read more)

Report this review (#542138) | Posted by Quirky Turkey | Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Steve's Album of the day: "The Story Of I" by Patrick Moraz. I bought this record the day it came out in 1976. At the time Patrick was a member of Yes, and my appetite for anything related to the band was huge. Wakeman had left the band in 1974, and in stepped the amazing Swiss keyboard player ... (read more)

Report this review (#291571) | Posted by Progfan1958 | Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Say WHAT?!? The Story of I is the first solo-outing of ex-Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz, and it's a shameful album, really. This album tries to be Fusion-like, but all it sounds like is a cheap copy of Fusion-Yes, which is not a happy listen. Every instrument here has an effect on it in som ... (read more)

Report this review (#238064) | Posted by The Runaway | Tuesday, September 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I listen to this album 25 years after the last time... Incredible, isn't it ? I though I could be desappointed. The sound looks a bit old. Not so "performing" as today's sounds. Some song looks like Elton John's... Maybe it is not up-to-date. But the emotion is still there. And what a creativit ... (read more)

Report this review (#127316) | Posted by prorock | Monday, July 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Some people hate this album, but I like it. Moraz has a passion: the Brazil. The influence of african descendents is very big here, and it is natural that Moraz use the brazilian's musical culture in the album. Some tracks we can hear songs from the "rodas de capoeira", music that is singed ... (read more)

Report this review (#75155) | Posted by sam_loyd | Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I remember when this album came out liked it a lot, but didn't really get the use of Brazilian rhythms. This was a time before "World Music", when nobody was really mixing styles like that, or paying much attention to Brazil. Since then I've studied music from there intensively, and was ... (read more)

Report this review (#51897) | Posted by RoyalJelly | Saturday, October 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For most of those prepared to listen intently and with patience, this mammoth album will bring years of lasting pleasure. The first time I listened to it (on headphones) I was in shock. The stunning musicianship and inventive ideas were too much to take in in one listening. And it was too much ... (read more)

Report this review (#46346) | Posted by | Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars As a Prog fan if some of the reviews have put you off this album then I say think again. This is 100% Prog from beginning to end. The first 5 minutes will blow your mind. Don't pay to much attention to the story. Basically the idea of the music is to take you to another world. At times the musi ... (read more)

Report this review (#43422) | Posted by | Friday, August 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I really, really wanted to like this album when I first bought it, I thought Yes' "Relayer" was so good and that Patrick Moraz had made such a great contribution to it (I'm a big Wakeman fan but he could not have brought the same electric, frenetic-jazz style as Moraz did), but despite repeat li ... (read more)

Report this review (#41989) | Posted by Phil | Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Sorry, I don't agree with Dieter Fischer. Of my complete collection (more than 1500 Lps and CDs)"The story of I " is one of the 10 albums I would take on a desert island. I found it was a masterpiece when it came out about 30 years ago, and now I find it still incredible. The strength of the pi ... (read more)

Report this review (#33315) | Posted by | Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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