Yes
Relayer


5.0
classic

Review

by e210013 USER (169 Reviews)
February 5th, 2018 | 70 replies


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Relayer is a unique album in the Yes’ catalogue and represents the darker counterpart to Close To The Edge. It remains as one of the best and most influential prog albums ever.

“Relayer” is the seventh studio album of Yes and was released in 1974. The line up on the album is Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Patrick Moraz and Alan White.


“Relayer” is the successor of the majestic and controversial album, “Tales From Topographic Oceans”. However, it has very little resemblance to that particular album. In fact, it’s almost diametrically opposite being as it as far more free in its structures, tone and timbre. The lush orchestrations are still there but seldom have Yes sounded so primal and raw.

“Relayer” came at a difficult time for Yes. After the furore surrounding “Tales From Topographic Oceans”, Wakeman left the band for the first time but not for the last time. People thought Yes was about to collapse. People were very wrong. To replace Wakeman, Yes pulled out the keyboard player Patrick Moraz, a Swiss keyboardist formerly of a band called, Refugee. Refugee is basically the remnants of The Nice after Keith Emerson left the group to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Refugee had made a respectable self-titled debut album that clearly displayed Moraz prowess and his liking for a jazzy style. So, Moraz was a very well respected fusion keyboardist who would add a completely new dimension to Yes’ sound. It’s very hard to compare Wakeman with Moraz since their styles are so different. But when I take into account stylistic differences, I find it very difficult to choose one over the other. Anyway, “Relayer” certainly wouldn’t have been the same without Moraz and it was the only studio album that he recorded with the band remaining his solo contribution to the Yes’ legacy. However, he recorded a few live tracks on their second live album, “Yesshows”.

“Relayer” is a unique album in the Yes’ catalogue. For many purposes it’s, in a certain way, a darker counterpart to “Close To The Edge”. That album is lighter and more delicate in tone and “Relayer” is brash, harsh and at times discordant and raw and it remains as the heaviest album ever made by Yes. The final result is that “Relayer” must be considered one of the absolute high points of Yes’ career, even though it’s a slight aberration from their normal sound.

And now, reporting to the tracks, the opening piece “The Gates Of Delirium” has quite a lot to process. It’s based on the Leon Tolstoy’s “War And Peace” and it’s divided into three parts: “The Introduction”, “The Battle” and “Soon”. This masterpiece is intense, beautiful, epic and daring. The first two thirds of the track are incredibly dense and feature some of the Yes’ most complex musical structures. However, subsequent listens reveal the elegant beauty of what is easily one of their greatest masterworks, probably the best. Unlike the tracks on “Tales From Topographic Oceans”, this piece is devoid of filler and, despite first impressions, actually follows quite a classical structure with its three acts. “The Gates Of Delirium” is a blinding track, and has easily stood the test of time, remaining an inspiration to bands on that side of the genre. The second piece “Sound Chaser” is really a surprising track. The music listened on this piece is unlike anything Yes have played before or since, as they explore far outside the realms of the conventional jazz rock, chasing those elusive sounds that so inexplicably strike a chord with lovers of the real music. Nothing can be expected of this piece, except pure unorthodox genius. I can only begin to imagine the absolute shock received by fans and critics listening to it for the first time. The closing piece “To Be Over” is a really strange piece in relation to the rest of the album. It’s not exactly a ballad or anything like that. But, perhaps was taking inspiration from “And You And I”. This track focuses on melody and harmony, rather than the discordant exercises of the previous tracks. It really provides an image of sailing down a stream, passing waterfalls here and there. “To Be Over” is the most familiar style of a Yes’ piece here, but even so, there are several new twists on the classic Yes’ sound employed mainly by Howe. This track has really another very complex guitar work by him and represents a fantastic conclusion to such a brilliant album.


Conclusion: One of the things I love most on the album is that it’s not simply an album. It’s a dynamic amazing piece of art. From its fantastic storytelling through some of the most impressive, beautiful, and intricate music you’ll ever listen, to its incredible dense lyrics about the futility of warfare, and battles between good and evil, it comes to my mind “The Lord Of The Rigs”. This is one of the greatest albums I have ever listened to into my life. This album stands out as one of the most remarkable Yes’ albums ever released for its experimental jazz influenced pieces. Certainly the presence of Moraz wasn’t strange to that, as well as its dark and difficult execution. “Relayer” is one of the oft overlooked albums in the Yes’ career, despite be very important, sadly the only one from Yes to feature Moraz on board. It shows a young band that aren’t daunted by taking huge risks and making significant changes into their sound, thereby asserting themselves as one of the progressive best acts. I strongly recommend it to all who loves classic and progressive rock.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



Recent reviews by this author
Tantra Mistérios e MaravilhasMother Turtle Mother Turtle
Fabio Zuffanti La Quarta VittimaUniversal Totem Orchestra Mathematical Mother
Ingranaggi Della Valle Warm Spaced BlueSammal Suuliekki
user ratings (1028)
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nagrarok (4.5)
Despite lacking both Bruford and Wakeman, Relayer is one of Yes' very best efforts, and marks the en...

clairvoyant (4.5)
Yes's 1974 effort brings new life to the band with a very jazzy feel, unlike anything that the "big ...

Kaden (5)
...



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

After "Close To The Edge", the natural follower for my Yes' reviews, should must be "Tales From Topographic Oceans". However, I've reviewed this album already. Actually, it was my third review on Sputnik. So, if you're interested to konw what I think about it, you can read my review. So, let's go to "Relayer".

"Relayer" is a very special and unique album in Yes' discography. It's an album with a different keyboardist, the only album of Yes with him, and an atypical album, the most heavy album ever released by them, too much heavy for Yes' usual standards. We can even say that "Relayer" is the oposite to "Close To The Edge". "Close To The Edge" represents the bright side of Yes' music and "Relayer" represents its dark side. By the other hand, it became in one of he most influential albums on prog. "Relayer" is with "Red" of King Crimson two of the most influential prog albums in what became to be the prog metal genre. Many artists, like Mike Portnoy, sustained that.

So, enjoy with it, if you can. I hope you like it.

Cheers.

Digging: Pallas (UK) - Beat the Drum

Divaman
February 5th 2018


11813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Way to go e, following up my review of a The Moody Blues album a couple of minutes later with a prog-rock one-two punch of Yes.



I don't love the whole album as much as you do, but "Gates of Delirium" is something of a masterpiece. Nice job as always.

Digging: Sweet Trip - A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals

Divaman
February 5th 2018


11813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

By the way, I'm doing a special project this year, working my way back through the discographies of some of my favorite classic bands. I'm working on Jethro Tull now, but I'm planning to hit Yes late in the year, so I'll be keeping some of your points in mind when I re-listen to albums like "Tales of Topographic Oceans" and this one. Maybe you'll get me the raise my scores on those two.

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Diva.

I only saw right now that you've reviewed "Seventh Sojourn", one of the best albums and one of my first contacts with The Moody Blues too. I'm going to read your review soon as I can and I will tell you something later.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 5th 2018


19429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

sweet

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

About your project Diva, it's nice to see that someone has a project for this year, like me. It's very important to keep this site alive with great music proposals. And especially if it come from you. It's always a pleasure to read what you write.

About some points om my reviews of Yes, I'm very flattered by the idea that you can follow some of them. But, above all, I'll be happy if they could be useful to change your opinion about two of my favourite albums ever.

Cheers to your work.

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Fripper.

Friday13th
February 5th 2018


7383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. Definitely a prog classic!

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Definitely a prog classic, indeed!

Thanks Friday.

MrSirLordGentleman
February 5th 2018


14291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review dude! pos'd



I prefer Gates of Delirium over anything on CttE

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, dude. It's understandable your option. For many "The Gates Of Delirium" is the most paradigmatic track of Yes. Whatever, it's definitely one of the best suites ever written in any kind of music and by any musician.

Ocean of Noise
February 5th 2018


10935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

loooooooove this album.

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for your comment Ocean.

Veldin
February 5th 2018


4424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Relayer and Topographic Oceans are my favorites by Yes, because they feel very specific, like voyages to undiscovered lands. Perhaps ToTO is the journey to Relayer and when you arrive you're at the Gates of Delirium

Veldin
February 5th 2018


4424 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd! Great review, cheers

Jethro42
February 5th 2018


16626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My personal favorite Yes song is definitely Close to the Edge, followed closely by Gates. CttE is more varied, more intriguing, more enthralling and it has more meat. Gates contains the best parts of the two, It's only more repetitive. But repetitiveness is somehow alright when it's beautiful. ''Soon'' part is so effective, so poignant. Sound Chaser is a great, intense jazz rock track. I could live without its ''tcha tcha tcha'' parts though. To Be Over is a nice mellow one, but I wish it had more substance for that 10 min closing track. Album would have deserved a powerful ending.

This is a great review, dude. Glad to hear about Refugee. There was a time I had their album in my vinyl collection.

Sabrutin
February 5th 2018


7750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad to see another 5.0 review for this album, I used to have it at 5.0 too but lately I've been drawn to CttE's more pleasant sound

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Veldin. It's very uncommon to see someone saying that "Relayer" and "Tales From Topographic Oceans" are his favourite albums of Yes. But that pleases me very much, especially due to the second one. As you know, many people dislike that album saying that it's too much pretentious. Nice. My top three of Yes are "Close To The Edge", "Relayer" and "Tales From Topographic Oceans", by this order.

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Jethro. I can see what you mean. I always loved "Relayer", and for me it's very, very close in my preference order, as the best of Yes' album.

Yeah, I needed to mention "Refugee". I always loved it. I have yet my old vinyl copy and my new CD copy. Besides, it will be one of the many albums to be reviewd here on my prog journey about "Yes and Friends".

e210013
February 5th 2018


3507 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Glad to see another 5.0 review for this album."

Yeah Sabrutin. I couldn't do anything different about it.

"CttE's more pleasant sound."

Of course it is, undoubtedly. But as you know, I like very much the dark side of prog, too.

Thanks, man.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy