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If you are looking to try out Yes for the first time, then I would recommend that 'Going for the One' be the first one you go for, if you pardon the pun there! After the self-indulgence of Tales from Topographic Oceans, 'Going for the One' is a more 'together' album and is full of truly excellent songs. Whereas a lot of Yes albums can have a handful of truly great songs and a few, well not so great, this one is pretty much complete.
'Going for the One' heralded the return of Rick Wakeman on keyboards and what a difference he made!
The full line up:
Jon Anderson: vocals, percussion, harp
Chris Squire: bass guitar, vocals
Steve Howe: electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
Rick Wakeman: piano, organ, Polymoog and Minimoog synthesizers, church organ
Alan White: drums, percussion
We begin with what Yes would probably deem their heaviest song. A great intro followed by such energy, the title track 'Going for the One' is full of loud, yet harmonic guitars and passionate, yet gritty vocals. Next up has to be my most favourite Yes song, but I suspect I might have said that about other Yes songs in the past. It has a slow build up of acoustic guitar and wonderful vocals by Anderson. It is a very passionate build up too and full of emotion. It is a grandiose song and epitomises what Yes are all about.
The next song is the intense Parallels. After an intro by Wakeman on a church organ (he actually played it in a church!), things pick up speed to create a great little toe-tapper of a song. It is quite a pop-esque song too, very AOR inspired, a forefront to later albums I think. After this we have the hit single Wonderous Stories, which is a gentle and poignant little song which cannot help to be liked. The album's epic song is the last song on the album, Awaken. This song twists and turned from quiet to full with lots of solos and lots of instrumentals. A fine piano intro, that shows just how good a keyboardist Wakeman is.
Full list of songs:
1. Going for the One" (Jon Anderson) - 5:32
2."Turn of the Century" (Anderson/Steve Howe/Alan White) - 7:56
3."Parallels" (Chris Squire) - 5:53
4."Wonderous Stories" (Anderson) - 3:49
5."Awaken" (Anderson/Howe) - 15:31
This is a great album. As I have said, if you have not heard much Yes and you fancy a taster, this is highly recommended. Those of you who already like Yes, then you really ought to have this one in your collection. The band have had their ups and downs and fallings out, but when they get it right song-wise, they really get it right, and on this album they do that just find.