Yes
Going for the One


3.5
great

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
December 21st, 2010 | 12 replies | 4,847 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Marking the beginning of a new era for Yes, Going for the One begins making the transition from progressive to pop.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

After 1974’s Relayer, Yes had finally passed their prime. In what was the longest period between albums for the group so far, 3 years, members took their time to focus on their respective solo careers. Rick Wakeman eventually returned from his absence following Tales From Topographic Oceans, re-completing the classic line-up (minus Bruford), and in ’77, Yes released Going for the One, an album that would forebode a transition into a sound more accepted by the mainstream, during a time when progressive music was getting less hip. Even the cover, the work of Hipgnosis, was a break from their classic, artsy designs from Roger Dean.

Mainstream is hardly the term that can describe Going for the One yet, but clearly, the focus is shifting. There’s only five tracks, but the album isn’t that long; three of them clock under six minutes. The real epic here is closer Awaken, on which Wakeman is, as well as on the organ-dominant Parallels, seems extremely eager to make his return clear. It’s a classic Yes epic, though even more focused on Anderson and Wakeman than most. This is the immediate reason it doesn’t hold up to their greater achievements: like any band, Yes has, again and again, proven to work so much better when it becomes the sum of its parts. This is true for the entire album. It features enough excellence on the part of the musicians, it does not quite abandon the classic Yes feel, and while it may work quite nicely overall, it certainly does lack the same passion heard on previous records.

One of the album’s greater flaws is found in the opening title track, an unusually rocky affair that, while on itself not particularly bad, simply does not fit in very well with the rest of the record. It is on this track that Yes first really started to make a compromise with the new sound that was taking over. As the future showed, this wasn’t necessarily a bad development, although it did eventually destroy the quality of the band’s music in the latter half of the 80’s. Going for the One's weakest track remains Wondrous Stories, aiming to be a short 'break before the epic' with a mystical atmosphere, but turning out dreary and uninspired. The one track that actually gets everything running smoothly together is Turn of the Century, an And You and I-esque song: sprawling, soft and melodic. It is here Yes comes closest to their heyday.

Let’s be honest: Going for the One has absolutely nothing on Yes’ classic era. This is, of course, why that era ended before this album. That isn’t to say it’s bad. It’s just a tiny bit more suited to the mainstream, and it lacks focus and direction that is on a level comparable to say, Fragile and Close to the Edge. The moments of brilliance are still here, only not as easily found. Recommended for the more-than-average Yes fan.

Going for the One’s Yes was:

- John Roy Anderson ~ Lead Vocals, Percussion, Harp
- Stephen James Howe ~ Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Christopher Russell Squire ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Richard Christopher Wakeman ~ Piano, Organ, Synthesizers
- Alan White ~ Drums, Percussion


TO BE CONTINUED...




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user ratings (326)
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3.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
December 21st 2010



8197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't been feeling like reviewing all that much lately, but I promised you more Yes, after all. Maybe this'll help me get the drive back.

Nagrarok
December 21st 2010



8197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As in Owner of a Lonely Heart, amirite?

Nagrarok
December 21st 2010



8197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mostly they just had to. Prog didn't sell anymore. KC and Rush survived, but they still had to make some serious changes.

LepreCon
December 21st 2010



4002 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Genesis was an exception, they didn't burn out until the 90s

Digging: Overkill - White Devil Armory

NeutralThunder12
December 21st 2010



8742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

genesis wasn't good in the 80's.....KC actually handled the whole progressive rock to artsy pop transition well, other bands failed. YES wasn't horrible as a pop band, but they certainly were not on the level that they were on in the mid 70's. Great review Nag, underrated album. YES truly did suck a lot in the 80's but throughout most of the 70's they made good stuff.

Jethro42
December 21st 2010



12402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

K. In order to survive, every classic and non classic prog bands of the 70's had to take the virage of the ruthless Dark Age of the 80's. At that time, bands were both forced to sound more radio friendly in order to gain more and more popularity on the map. Obviously, none of those bands were naturally disposed to create pop rock songs, and in trying to do so, most of them failed, with few exceptions like Genesis, Supertramp, Jethro tull, Camel, Pink Floyd and aformentioned KC and Rush who have always tried to be faithful toward their roots, even if an evident compromise in their 'obligatory new sound' was apparent.

Progressive rock have never really died though, saved by jazz fusion, Steve Hackett, Peter Hammill, Rick Wakeman, John Wetton, Steve Howe (Asia and solo), Steve Hillage, Robert Wyatt, Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel and plenty of artists like them who went solo in willing to somehow resist to the Dark Age, and to keep the good old prog thing alive, to each their own way. Part II of the story coming soon in a thread near you.
Good review Nag. Turn of the Century and Awaken are the tits.

Nagrarok
December 22nd 2010



8197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

On the subject of Genesis, many disregard their 80's work because it's nothing like their classic era with Gabriel. Yes and Genesis both went pop eventually, but Genesis certainly did it better during the later part of the 80's. Supertramp didn't have to change all that much compared to many others, they always had pop in the prog by nature. King Crimson definitely made the transition best, as said by sonic above.

Also I woulld like to add Marillion to that list Jethro, as they were actually a new prog band in the 80's.

Thanks guys.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 22nd 2010



7177 Comments


Amazing review. The ensuing discussion is equally as epic and informative. Pos.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Jethro42
December 22nd 2010



12402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also I woulld like to add Marillion to that list Jethro, as they were actually a new prog band in the 80's.

You beat me in my part II of the story =P
To make a long story short, a new category of prog rock called neo progressive saw the day in the 80's. The genre was more or less well received by the prog fans of the 70's and was strongly influenced by the classic 70's prog bands. While neo prog is a more sober form of prog, it still exploits epic multi-parts compositions and 'Myths and Legends' kind of lyrics, the main difference being both an overall much less adventurous approach than their predecessors, and a typical 80's sound characterized by a new exploration of the modern synthesizers used in a more popish way, and makes them instantly recognizable by their similar and/or common structures and a trademark sound.

Marillion, Fish, I.Q., Saga, Pendragon and Pallas are the essential acts of that kind of prog. Generously snubbed by the classic 70's prog lovers, these bands gave nonetheless a little boost to allow the genre to regain a new energy for the 90's to come...until nowadays. Long live prog rock!



Nagrarok
December 22nd 2010



8197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Amazing review. The ensuing discussion is equally as epic and informative. Pos.


Now now, just calm down. It isn't a masterpiece.

You beat me in my part II of the story =P


I already had the feeling after I posted, haha.

Jethro42
December 22nd 2010



12402 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No half-measure haha. Also, I just edited my part II for its tautological passages.

sonictheplumber
July 17th 2013



4445 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good ass album tho



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