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Yes - Going For The One CD (album) cover

GOING FOR THE ONE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 1806 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
Prog Reviewer
4 stars For the longest time, I had a hard time appreciating this album. I thought it was too dense and it never really left an impression on me after I would listen to it. But I kept at it because I love Yes so much and I wanted so bad to love this album. I would listen to other people talk about how great of an album it was, and I just couldn't agree. To me, it didn't have the greatness of Fragile, Close to the Edge, Relayer and even Tales...I even grew to love some of their later albums like The Ladder and Gates of Ascension before I actually grew to understand this album. Somewhere along the way, I can't quite pinpoint where, I fell in love with this album. Now, I don't understand why I didn't love it like I do now. It is true that it is very dense. It is almost like the amazingness of the album is buried a little deeper on this one. But now I rate it up there as being almost (not quite) as good as the other albums I've mentioned. There is only one track on here that bothers me and that is "Parallels". I still can't get that one to leave any impression on me.

So, I think the understanding of this album came when I really listened to the title track, the one that starts of the album. It starts with a very straightforward rock and roll guitar hook with a boogie bass. The first time I realized this, I thought, wow, I've never realized this before. It was like the little bit of light that had to shine through the density of the album that admitted me into it's embrace. It is a heavy song and the straightforward rock sound is quickly replaced with the true progressive sound of the band. I just love the pedal steel guitar that drives the song throughout. At first that sound was annoying to me, before my ears were opened to the album, but now I can't imagine the song done any other way. Anderson says the song is about sport, mostly inspired by horse racing and also by a trek down the Grand Canyon in "a rubber dinghy" as he puts it. Next comes the emotional and exquisite "Turn of the Century". I really don't know how this song slipped past me for so many years as being one of the most beautiful tracks sung by Anderson. It has suddenly become one of my most favorite Yes tracks, of which there are many, but it's amazing how it just seemed to spring out of nowhere when I was let in to the understanding of this album. The 3rd track is "Parallels" and for some reason, this one just refuses to pierce my soul like the other songs on the album have been able to. It was written by Chris Squire for his solo album "Fish Out of Water" but it was left off because of time constraints. Yes performed it for this album and so it was included here. But, unfortunately, for me it weakens the album and is the reason why the album only garners 4 stars from me. No matter how I try, I just can't find the love for this track.

The 4th track is "Wonderous Stories" which, even though it was written as a single, still manages to carry the magic of the great Yes songs. It is the least dense of the songs here being mostly acoustic and also a testament to Jon Anderson's vocals. Short and sweet. The final track on the original album is "Awaken" which is the epic song of the album at over 15 minutes. The band had decided to make shorter tracks for this album to make it somewhat more accessible, which I don't really consider it accessible any more than any of their other masterpieces. I don't know if the production made this album more dense, but it was still a big seller despite this, but to me, and also in my personal experience, it was very inaccessible for the longest time. Anyway, back to the last track....This one is more similar to the epic works that came before this album. There is time on here for each member to shine through, but the person that shines through the most here is Rick Wakeman, who, Thank the Gods, came back to the band for this album. Wakeman plays the keyboards, specifically the organ, from a remote location and it was recorded over high definition telephone lines. It is simply amazing that they were able to get the sound they did from this recording technique, because the sound is excellent. The Wakeman solo here is beautiful as you would come to expect from him. He also leads the choir that was put together for that part of the song. How in the world did I miss this before?

Wakeman was originally only going to be a session musician for this album, but, after firing Moraz because, according to Anderson, he just wasn't "playing like he was involved". When Wakeman returned to record with the band, he was amazed that the band had lightened up so much, that he felt that he had more in common with them than before and that they were easier to work with, plus the fact that they had moved past the health food kick they were on previously. He said that they all had done some growing up to do, probably even himself more than any. Anyway, it was good, at least for a short time, to have him back again.

The other complaint I have about this album is one that also made it hard for me to understand the album and that is Chris Squire's amazing base is underplayed in the album, it's not pushed to the front with the other instruments as it had been in the past. I miss that a lot. I think it's interesting that the reason for one less star here is both because of Squire, one from the track that he wrote (too much involvement) and the other because there isn't enough of him in the mix (not enough involvement). Be that as it may, I at least now consider this an excellent album not where before, I even had a hard time calling it good. There are some excellent tracks here that, despite the flaws, make this close to being essential, but not quite. But at least now I appreciate the album and even love hearing it where before I could barely tolerate it and only listened to it because it was Yes and I only wanted to understand it. Now I do. At least I can give it the 4 stars it really deserves, but there are places where it is 5 star material, just not consistently enough.

By the way, the bonus tracks on the reissue do not really add to the album as far as making it better or worse. The tracks are interesting however because you can hear the development of the music and they can be fun to listen to once in a while, but only once you are more familiar with the official versions that they represent.

TCat | 4/5 |

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