Going for the One
|Going for the One|
|Studio album by Yes|
|Released||15 July 1977|
|Studio||Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland|
|Singles from Going for the One|
Going for the One is the eighth studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes, released on 15 July 1977 by Atlantic Records. The album was recorded in Switzerland after their extended break for each member to release a solo album and their 1976 tour of North America. It marks the departure of keyboardist Patrick Moraz and the return of Rick Wakeman, who had left to pursue his solo career after differences surrounding Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973). Formed of five tracks with no unifying theme or concept, Going for the One saw Yes produce their shortest songs since Fragile (1971), except for the fifteen-minute track "Awaken".
Going for the One was a commercial success and received a mostly-positive critical response. It topped the UK album chart for two weeks and peaked at number 8 in the US. Two singles were released, "Wonderous Stories" and "Going for the One," the former peaking at number 7 in the UK. Going for the One is certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. A remastered edition was released in 2003 that contains several previously unreleased tracks from the album's recording sessions.
In August 1975, after touring in support of Relayer (1974), Yes took an extended break so that each member could record and produce a solo album. The band's lineup during this time consisted of singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, and keyboardist Patrick Moraz. Yes then regrouped and completed a 1976 tour of North America, after which they relocated to Switzerland on tax exile to produce a new album.
During the early recording sessions, Moraz was let go from the band unexpectedly. Anderson thought he "just wasn't playing like he was involved" and that his sound was not "too good, and that affected his vibe ... it was obvious that he just wasn't getting off on what we were doing." Moraz commented on his exit: "I had to leave because of the enormous psychological pressures at the time within the group ... I felt there were a few things going on that I didn't know ... Unfortunately some people did not play the game fair, although the final decision was taken by all members." The decision was made after Rick Wakeman, who left Yes in 1974 over differences surrounding Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973) to pursue his solo career, was invited to contribute to the new album as a session musician by Alex Scott, a business partner of Brian Lane, the group's manager, who also met with Wakeman about the idea of his return.
After Wakeman agreed to see the band in Switzerland, he was surprised how much the band had changed since his departure. "To my surprise ... I found that they had changed drastically ... the health-food kick had also changed ... we began relating to each other for the first time. I think we had all grown up and became much more mature. Maybe I had to grow up more than them."
Recording took place at Mountain Studios in Montreux with engineers John Timperley and David Richards. In a departure from their previous four studio albums, engineer and producer Eddy Offord was absent for Going for the One. The album's production duties were completed by the band itself. After constructing extended tracks since 1973, Yes decided to scale things back and record songs that critic and author Chris Welch described as "user friendly". As Anderson described the album's direction:
The album is a kind of celebration [...] Over the last two or three years we've been experimenting a lot and we're happy to have been given that chance. Any musician should be given the chance to extend his horizons and luckily we've been successful enough to do so. But generally we think of this as a more eventful album. We've come back to a happier medium. It's something we felt we wanted to do at this time. If we wanted another 'Tales' concept we would have gone in that direction, but we needed to relax for a while—a little more laughing and jive.
Wakeman plays the pipe organ at St. Martin's church in Vevey, which was simultaneously recorded through high fidelity telephone lines while the rest of the band played in the studio in Montreux. Wakeman described the experience as "absolute magic." "Awaken" features choral passages performed by the Richard Williams Singers, whose musical arrangement was directed by Wakeman.[nb 1] Wakeman changed his sound on the album with the use of a Polymoog, a polyphonic analogue synthesiser, which replaced his traditional use of the Mellotron, Hammond organ, and RMI Electra Piano.
Side one begins with "Going for the One", a track written by Anderson. He explained the song's meaning derives from sport: "Part of the song is about horse racing and there's a little bit on a film I saw about going down the Grand Canyon river on one of those rubber dinghies and there's also a bit in there about the cosmic mind". Howe plays a pedal steel guitar throughout the entire song. "Turn of the Century" is the only track on the album that credits White as a writer. It was originally "a short song", but as rehearsals developed, Anderson "started thinking, 'Let's try to musically tell the story without me singing it,' and then when I do sing it, it'll sound even better." "Parallels" was a track Squire originally wrote for his solo album Fish Out of Water (1975), but it was left out due to time constraints on a vinyl record and that it did not fit with the style of the other tracks.
Side two opens with "Wonderous Stories", a track written by Anderson. The album closes with the fifteen-minute track "Awaken". Anderson gained inspiration for the song after reading The Singer: A Classic Retelling of Cosmic Conflict by Calvin Miller and a book about the life of Dutch painter Rembrandt, which he said affected him "quite significantly".
Going for the One marked a change in the band's style of artwork which was designed by Hipgnosis; they had commissioned artist Roger Dean for the role since Fragile (1971). The front cover depicts a standing nude male figure, with the Century Plaza Towers in Los Angeles, California positioned in the background. The band's "bubble" logo, designed by Dean, is still used. The design represented a new, revitalised attitude within the band.
Going for the One was released on 15 July 1977 and was a commercial success for the band. The album topped the UK Albums Chart for two weeks in August 1977 and peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard 200. The album spawned two singles released in 1977; "Wonderous Stories" was released with "Parallels" as the B-side[nb 2] which peaked at number 7 in the UK singles chart. The second, "Going for the One" with "Awaken Pt. I" on the B-side,[nb 3] reached number 24 on the same chart.
In October 1978, Circus magazine reported that the album had sold one million copies. It was certified Gold by the Record Industry Association of America and Silver by the British Phonographic Industry.
In his review for Los Angeles Times, Steve Pond believed the album succeeds because the band had "lowered rather than raised its sights. By going back to basics rather than trying to top its previous 'extravaganzas', Yes has produced its most appealing collection" since Close to the Edge (1972). He praised the "refreshing energy" the album brings, but noted their "kitchen-sink approach to song-writing, throwing everything into a composition but sometimes failing to smoothly integrate the disparate elements". Doug Graves, in The Daily Tar Heel, welcome the band's return to more concise music with an album that is not as "grandiose and overproduced" as their previous two, and resembles the sound of The Yes Album and Fragile. He thought Wakeman plays his keyboard arrangements "with some taste" and praised Anderson's return to more abstract lyrics "rather than preachy". As a result, the band "made itself interesting again". The Independent published a more positive review by Tim Grobaty, who thought the album was the group's most accessible since Fragile and contains the best line-up. However, he deemed "Parallels" the "most boring and incoherent" track on the album, but the rest are "light and entertaining". Grobaty rates the title track and "Turn of the Century" as "excellent". Tony Ciarochi in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner wondered if Yes could return to better form after the poor Relayer, and believed they did, ranking the album as one of the band's better works. "Turn of the Century" was an "outstanding ballad" and "strangely beautiful", but is "unnecessarily long" which does become monotonous. Ciarochi picked out "Going for the One" and "Wonderous Stories" as standout tracks, though "Awaken" a mixture of good and tedious sections. A review from Chris Cobb for The Ottawa Journal thought the album is "typically ponderous and riddled with complexity" with vague lyrics. Cobb thought "Awaken ... stretches the band to the limites of its imaginaion" and contains "beautiful" organ playing from Wakeman, and concludes the album is at times too self-indulgent coupled with its abstract lyrics and meandering music "more than it should".
In a retrospective review, biographer and reporter Chris Welch welcomed the album after the more complex material on Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer, citing its "melodic simplicity" which was "a breath of fresh air" and still stands up strong today. He praised Wakeman's performance and the band's choice in incorporating his talents into the music more effectively, which was not the case on Tales. He praised every track, calling "Wonderous Stories" a tune that allowed the group "to fly without really trying" and the closing moments of "Awaken", in particular, "quite beautiful ... the kind of music making now almost a lost art". Ross Boissoneau, for AllMusic, gave the album three stars out of five. He described Going for the One as "perhaps the most overlooked item in the Yes catalog ... In many ways, this disc could be seen as the follow-up to Fragile (1971). Its five tracks still retain mystical, abstract lyrical images, and the music is grand and melodic, the vocal harmonies perfectly balanced by the stinging guitar work of Steve Howe, Wakeman's keyboards, and the solid rhythms of Alan White and Chris Squire". He calls "Awaken" an "evocative track" with lyrics "spacey in the extreme", but praises Anderson and Squire's vocals and the addition of Anderson's harp and White's tuned percussion.
Going for the One was first reissued on CD across Europe in 1988.[nb 4] A digitally remastered CD followed in 1994 made by George Marino at Sterling Sound studios.[nb 5] In 2003, Rhino and Elektra Records released a new digitally remastered CD with seven bonus tracks.[nb 6] 2013 saw two remastered "audiophile" versions put out, one by Audio Fidelity for the Super Audio CD format[nb 7] and the other by Friday Music releasing a 180-gram LP using the original tapes.[nb 8] The 2003 remaster was reissued 10 years later (on 2 December internationally and 24 December in the US) as part of the box set The Studio Albums 1969-1987.
Sales chart performance
|1977||UK Albums Chart||1|
|Norwegian Albums Chart||7|
|U.S. Billboard 200||8|
|1.||"Going for the One"||Jon Anderson||5:30|
|2.||"Turn of the Century"||Anderson, Steve Howe, Alan White||7:58|
|2003 reissue bonus tracks|
|6.||"Montreux's Theme"||Howe, Squire, Anderson, White||2:38|
|7.||"Vevey (Revisited)"||Anderson, Wakeman||4:46|
|8.||"Amazing Grace"||Traditional, arr. Squire||2:36|
|9.||"Going for the One (Rehearsal)"||Anderson||5:10|
|11.||"Turn of the Century (Rehearsal)"||Anderson, Howe, White||6:58|
|12.||"Eastern Numbers (Early Version of "Awaken")"||12:16|
Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.
- Jon Anderson – lead vocals, harp
- Steve Howe – steel guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, vachalia, pedal steel guitar, vocals
- Chris Squire – bass guitar, vocals
- Rick Wakeman – piano, electric keyboards, church organ at St. Martin's in Vevey, Polymoog synthesizer, choral arrangement on "Awaken"
- Alan White – drums, percussion, tuned percussion
- Additional personnel
- Ars Laeta of Lausanne – choir on "Awaken"
- Richard Williams Singers – choir on "Awaken"
- Yes – production
- John Timperley – recording engineer
- David Richards – assistant recording engineer
- Sean Davis – disc cutting
- Paul Van Der Sonckheyd – disc cutting
- George Hardie – graphics
- Alex Grob – photography
- Jaques Straessle – photography
- Hipgnosis – sleeve design, photography
- Roger Dean – band logo design
- Brian Lane – executive producer
Notes and references
- Atlantic K 50379
- Atlantic K 10999
- Atlantic K 11047
- Atlantic 250 379
- Atlantic 7567-82670-2
- Rhino R2 73793
- Audio Fidelity AFZ 157
- Friday Music FRM 19106
- Hedges, p. 108.
- Bladow, Janel (8 December 1977). "Moraz Gets Jazzy". Circus.
- Hedges, p. 114.
- Wooding, pp. 176–177.
- Hedges, p. 119.
- Farber, Jim (8 September 1977). "Yes Is Going for the Big One". Circus.
- Kirkman, Jon (2007). "Interview With Chris Squire". In Fish Out of Water Deluxe Expanded Edition (Disc 2, track 3). Sanctuary Records Group Ltd.
- Hedges, p. 120.
- Welch 2008, p. 165.
- "British album certifications – Yes – Going for the One". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 August 2016. Enter "Going for the One" in the field 'Keywords'. Select 'Title' in the field 'Search by'. Select 'Album' in the field 'By Format'. Click 'Search'.
- "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- Loder, Kurt (17 October 1978). "The Yes Decade". Circus.
- "Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 May 2009. Note: User must define 'Artist' search parameter as "YES".
- Boissoneau, Ross. Going for the One – Yes at AllMusic. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Christgau, Robert. "Yes". Consumer Guide. Robert Christgau. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Dahlen, Chris; Leone, Dominique; Tangari, Joe (8 February 2004). "Yes: The Yes Album / Fragile / Close to the Edge / Tales from Topographic Oceans / Relayer / Going for the One / Tormato / Drama / 90125". Album Reviews. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Swenson, John (8 September 1977). "Yes: Going For The One". Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Pond, Steve (15 June 1977). "Yes Album Getting Back to Basics". Los Angeles Times.
- Graves, Doug (25 August 1977). "Going for the One – (Yes Atlantic)". The Daily Tar Heel. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. p. 24. Retrieved 28 September 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Grobaty, Tim (22 July 1977). "Record Review: Yes gets it 'going' with latest release". The Independent. Long Beach, California. p. 72. Retrieved 28 September 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Ciarochi, Tony (6 August 1977). "Records". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. p. 52. Retrieved 28 September 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Cobb, Chris (12 August 1977). "Just for the Record – Complex listening". The Ottawa Journal. p. 33. Retrieved 28 September 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Yes – Going for the One". Retrieved 11 December 2013.
- Hedges, Dan (1982). Yes: An Authorized Biography. Sidgwick & Jackson. ISBN 978-0-283-98751-9.
- Welch, Chris (2008). Close to the Edge – The Story of Yes. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-1-84772-132-7.
- Wooding, Dan (1978). Rick Wakeman: The Caped Crusader. Granada Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-0-709-16487-6.
- Official Yes website at YesWorld
The Johnny Mathis Collection
by Johnny Mathis
|UK Albums Chart number one album
13 August 1977 – 27 August 1977
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