Going for the One
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|Going for the One|
|Studio album by Yes|
|Released||7 July 1977|
|Recorded||1976–77 at Mountain Studios|
|Genre||Progressive rock, symphonic rock|
|Singles from Going for the One|
Going for the One is the eighth studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released on 7 July 1977 on 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 left over differences surrounding Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973) to pursue his solo career. 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 Onehas sold over one million copies worldwide, and was 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 asession 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:
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 a choir 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 guitarthroughout 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.