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Going for the One (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

After two albums of increasingly diminishing returns, Yes bounced back from the brink with Going for the One, an album that might not, for the most part, have deviated too far from the band's traditional pastures but which, if you paid attention only to its attendant singles, at least suggested that Yes was over the worst. Both the almost-folky "Wondrous Stories" and the electric passion of the title track took steps that earlier incarnations of the band would never have braved — stark simplicity on the one hand, unadulterated electricity on the other. And, if one skips the other five LP tracks that open the 2003 remaster of this album, it is clear that Yes was simply sparking with ideas and enthusiasm once again. The first three bonus tracks, the delicate "Montreux's Theme" and "Vevey (Revisited)" and a snorting bass blast through "Amazing Grace," have all appeared aboard past Yes compilations, but how much more fun would it have been had they inserted all three into the original album, in the same way as sundry snippets were slipped into Fragile? Unanimously blessed with both humor and humility, they portray Yes as a band once again, as opposed to five virtuosos with too much time on their hands. Listeners then move into a series of studio rehearsals, including a surely early instrumental drive through "Going for the One," effected with little technical expertise but positively gallons of energy. Similarly sourced versions of "Parallels" and "Turn of the Century" are less remarkable, but they, too, remain enjoyable snapshots of the band simply kicking back and enjoying itself. The highlight, however, has to be the CD closer, an early version of the album's own final track, "Awaken," cut while it was still known as "Eastern Number." Bereft of the grandiose keyboard flourishes that establish the familiar version as a "traditional" Yes epic, "Eastern Number" has a delicate naïveté that is more reminiscent of the group's earliest flowering than anything else. With the best Yes album in five years appended by the best bonus tracks in the series so far, it seems churlish to complain about any aspect of the reissue. However, it's worth pointing out that the slipcased digipack format that housed the last four of the group's earlier albums, and which brought a genuine sense of occasion to each of them, has been abandoned for a return to the unadorned jewel case employed for the first three reissues. It's a shame — Going for the One, Rovi


Formed: 1968 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to be one of the lingering success stories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shift in its audience and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. Their audience remained huge because they had always attracted younger...
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Going for the One (Deluxe Edition), Yes
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