It’s the time of year for saving money!
Some fans of prog rock superstars Yes consider the 1977 album Going For The One to be the band’s last
great work. I have too much respect for their subsequent recordings to make
that sort of judgement but I will say it is the last great effort from one of
the favorite line ups of the group. This album originally sounded very good on
vinyl with a rich array of electronic and acoustic sounds — church pipe
organs, classical guitars, harps and choirs going head to head with Moog
synthesizers, multi-layered electric guitars and special effects.
It was reissued on remastered CD about 10 years ago with bonus
tracks (outtakes, rehearsal sessions) and a great booklet featuring loads of
information on the back story behind this Top 10 album (US). Essential stuff
for this hardcore Yes fan, but the CD fidelity wasn’t good enough for me to
part with my LP.
HDTracks now offers high resolution downloads of this album and
audiophile Yes fans can rejoice. I checked out the 192 kHz / 24-bit version
(96/24 is also available) and the sound is wonderful. It sounds like the album
mix so I suspect this is taken off the LP master tape (compression ‘n all) as
opposed to a new remix; it sounds way better than the CD and even an original
U.S. promo LP pressing I have. There is a brighter high end, fuller mids and
the bass is more distinct.
Tracks like “Turn of the Century” shimmer with new
life, with Steve Howe’s nylon string classical guitar percolating playfully
amidst Rick Wakeman’s haunting pipe organ parts. Dense rockers like
“Parallels” boast a terrific clarity with new details popping out of
the mix — particularly Howe’s ripping guitar fills — that were easily lost on
LP (depending on your playback gear, of course). Lush radio hit “Wonderous
Stories” is lovely, especially Chris Squire’s melodic bass lines and
Howe’s exotic chiming guitars.
Someday I’d like to find a nice original UK pressing of this
album to compare and contrast. I would
also love to hear it in a surround sound remix. Until that time, this new
HDTracks download will be my go-to copy for enjoying this prog rock gem.
Mark Smotroff is a freelance writer and avid music collector who has
worked for many years in marketing communications for the consumer electronics,
pro audio and video games industries, serving clients including DTS, Sega,
Sony, Sharp, AT&T and many others. Mark has written for EQ Magazine, Mix
Magazine, Goldmine/DISCoveries Magazine, Sound+Vision Magazine and
HomeTechTell.com. He is also a musician
/ composer who’s songs have been used in TV shows such as Smallville and Men In
Trees as well as films and documentaries. Mark is currently rolling out a new
musical he’s written. www.smotroff.com