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YES Going For The One Album Review

Updated on May 3, 2013

For us Yes fans the 1970's were a whirlwind of tours and outstanding albums. As is the bands’ custom and personnel changes being the norm, Going For The One features Keyboard player Rick Wakeman’s physical, as well as spiritual return to the group. This is the classic Yes lineup of; Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White and Wakeman. Recorded at Eglise des Planches in Montreux Switzerland it is an interesting time piece showcasing the subtle, yet definite differences and advancements of progressive rock during that decade.

The original release of 5 songs at a bit over 38 minutes long has these outstanding highlights:

Going For The One; The open track on this album by the same name. I remember driving in my car and hearing it for the first time and thinking “what the heck is this song ?” But with repeated listening this song has all the trademarks; Jon’s harkening vocals, Steve’s guitar playing darting in and out, Chris’s bass plugging along with Alan’s outstanding drumming and Rick’s keyboards wrapping the song up tight at the end. The depth of Rick’s playing is accented by his use of the Polymoog synthesizer. It was the opening song on a show I saw during the 2004 35th Anniversary Tour. Outstanding rendition of it that evening, Steve’s steel guitar playing being the highlight of the song.

Turn Of The Century; Here is a song that the first time you listen too it you’ll be hooked. What Yes has the ability to do on this song is to take every band members performance on the song- which could be an outstanding solo performance by each member on it’s own and jell it into a wonderful Yes listening experience. Steve’s soft guitar work, Chris’s bass only noticeable when needed, Alan’s drumming providing the accents with Rick’s keyboards leading to a late song jam, almost violent as Yes does not do it on purpose, it’s just their passion coming through the music. As Jon’s sings “As Autumn calls we’ll both remember All those many years ago...” How fitting...

Parallels; Another song any Yes fan loves. Driving from Rick’s keyboards from the start. The guitar work exhibited by Steve on this song is an example of his finast playing of that period. His guitar meshes with Chris’s thunderish bass in tandem with Alan’s drums and percussion. Played fast, the song is what Yes is about. Rick’s organ part was recorded at St. Martins Church in Vevey Switzerland. Can’t you just picture him jammin when he recorded the song !

Wonderous Stories; Although the title of the album is Going For The One, the song Wonderous Stories embodies this albums, feelings or perhaps better put the fabric of the late 1970's Yes feel and for that matter progressive rock for that time period. Wonderfully woven, a song that transports you where ever you want to go for 3 minutes and 45 seconds. As Jon sings; “ I see deeply into the future..” We all know it wouldn’t have brought us to where we are now, as life with Yes got better than we ever expected.

Awaken; In 1977 Yes gave birth to the song Awaken. Any Yes fan knows that Yes is at their best in the classic longer songs and this is one of their best. Seeing them play it many times in concert, I think Jon summed it up best over the years saying that the song is like a dream.

As a Yes fan for many years this album never gets dull. It’s not a time piece standout the way some other bands recordings are. Being their first studio album with Wakeman since Tales From Topographic Oceans in 1973, this recording delivered what Yes fans wanted after 4 years. Progression. Yes had grown up since Close To The Edge and it showed.

Going For The One reached it’s high of number 8 in the USA on The Billboard 200 Albums list on July 20, 1977. Also it reached number 1 in the UK being in the top 40 for 20 weeks there. The classic Yes lineup was at another highpoint !


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    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 6 years ago from New Jersey

      A great article about a great album. Awaken is perhaps their greatest achievement as a band, and a great song to see live.

      Check out the new extended version of Going For The One. Some interesting material that did not make it on the original album. Also, some very different versions of the songs that did make it on the album. Worth a listen.