Yes - Going For The One

Yes – Going For The One

87 / 100

Some have called the Yes 1977 album ‘Going For The One’ the first ever neo-progressive album and that might be true since it certainly took prog in a new direction with shorter songs and *gasp* hummable choruses, and yes, it’s a brilliant album that’s stood the test of time.

Written by: Eric

ALBUM: Going For The One
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: SD 19106
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: John Anderson – vocals, percussion, harp * Chris Squire – bass, vocals * Steve Howe – electric & acoustic guitars, portuguese 12 string, lap steel guitar, vocals * Rick Wakeman – piano, organ, poly moog & mini moog synthesizers, church organ * Alan White – drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Going For The One * 02 Turn Of The Century * 03 Parallels * 04 Wondrous Stories * 05 Awaken



My god Yes was putting out some horrid music, before ‘Going For The One’ of course. Ever know anyone who sat through ‘Tales of Topographic Oceans’ in its entirety? I did and I wasn’t stoned out of my mind either. Believe me I wish I had been as it was an endurance test I won’t take anytime soon as the affects were long lasting, so much so it was close to a year before I played another Yes album – seriously.

The dense follow-up ‘Relayer’ had its moments and Patrick Moraz was a fine keyboard player, but the music was just too strange and ‘out there’ unlike their early psychedelic stuff and up to the remarkable ‘Close To The Edge’. I dunno, maybe their wake up call was punk or perhaps they really had distanced themselves a little too far from their audience.

Or maybe, just maybe all those boring solo albums were just enough of a break to see the light, their ‘come to Jesus’ moment if you will, finally figuring out no one knew what the hell they were playing at. In the winter of 1976-77 with Rick Wakeman back in the fold and tucked away in Montreux, Switzerland, the boys put away the past illusions of grandeur and laid down what was to become their best work of the 1970’s.

The Songs

Some have called ‘Going For The One’ the first neo-progressive album and that might be true since it certainly took prog in a new direction with shorter songs and *gasp* hummable choruses, but I know plenty of people who rank the album as the first sign of Yes as a Wal-Mart ready sell-out.

Whatever side of the fence you’re on, the musicianship is hard to deny and on the title track the results are dizzying with one of the rockiest tunes Yes ever produced. The ornate ‘Turn Of Century’ is simply heavenly, a near religious experience with Jon Anderson never sounding more angelic.

The cut still remains one of my favourite Yes songs along with the following Chris Squire penned ‘Parallels’. Wakeman’s church organ opening is epic in execution and the song’s soaring vocals matched with Howe’s scuttling lead guitar and Squire’s rumbling bass is truly one of the band’s finest hours.

On the flip ‘Wondrous Stories’ is classic Jon Anderson, a whimsical track that still sends shivers up my spine although it wouldn’t be Yes without at least one long track and ‘Awaken’ at fifteen minutes fits the bill and yet, as much as I like it, in hindsight it’s the album’s weakest moment.

In Summary

Yes deliver a brilliant album that’s stood the test of time although 1978’s ‘Tormato’ has not been so lucky. I pulled out the album a while back and enjoyed it more than I had in previous plays over the years. But it’s still something of a let down, living forever in the shadow of the milestone that was and is ‘Going For The One’.


Entire Album (Select Tracks)

Going for the One (2008 Remaster)

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