Yes Going For the One
Studio album, released in 1977
1 Going For the One 5:30
2 Turn of the Century 7:58
3 Parallels 5:52
4 Wonderous Stories 3:45
5 Awaken 15:38
Released on July 22, 1977. Yes Going For the One was their first studio album in three years. This time the sound of Yes had changed dramatically (pun intended), but that didn’t matter, as fans of the band made ‘Going For The One’ a huge commercial success. The album topped the album charts in their home country and reached the top ten in the United States.
Rick Wakeman had returned to the band after Patrick Moraz’s tenure had lasted for just the one studio album, their previous release, ‘Relayer’. Moraz, moving on to find success as a member of The Moody Blues for 13 years.
So with Wakeman back in the gang ‘Going For the One is anything but a traditional ‘Yes’ album. Gone is the Roger Dean fantasy cover, synonymous with the band since 1971’s ‘Fragile’. In is a design from Hipgnosis depicting a nude male, with Los Angeles’ Century Plaza Towers positioned in the background. Also gone was engineer and producer (of the last four albums) Eddy Offord. The band choosing to produce ‘Going For the One’ themselves.
Side one begins with the Anderson penned ‘Going For the One’ a song that Jon Anderson has revealed is about sport, partly horse racing and partly riding through the Grand Canyon in rubber dinghies. Steve Howe’s pedal steel guitar is all over this one. Then we have the glorious ‘Turn of the Century’ co-written between Jon Anderson and drummer Alan White. This song is about love on so many different levels. ‘Parallels’, written by bassist Chris Squire was originally intended to be on Squire’s 1975 solo release ‘Fish Out of Water’, but was omitted due to time constraints. Wakeman plays the pipe organ at St. Martin’s church in Vevey on this track. An experience that he remembers as “absolute magic”.
‘Wonderous Stories’, another Jon Anderson composition, is a controlled melodic ballad that reached number 7 in the UK charts. The final track is the fifteen minute ‘Awaken’, which remains as one of the band’s best creations. Wakeman’s piano intro is sublime and the track moves through emotions as only an Anderson/ Wakeman track can. The whole band plays to such a technically adept level that this has to be the ‘bench-mark’ of their brilliance.
‘Going For the One’ is essential listening to any fan of progressive music. The playing is masterly and the whole feeling of the album is one of confidence and of a band that had rediscovered themselves.
Pete Devine September 2016