Going for the One is the eighth studio album by British progressive rock band Yes. It was released in 1977 after an extended break for solo activity, and is especially notable for marking the return of keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who had departed in 1974 in the aftermath of the Tales from Topographic Oceans tour. His re-entry was facilitated by the departure of Patrick Moraz, after having only played on Relayer, although Moraz is thanked in the credits.
After their extended break, the band regrouped in Switzerland, refreshed and ready to record in late 1976. The album was recorded at Mountain Studios by recording engineers John Timperley and David Richards. After constructing epic tracks for the last few years, Yes felt inspired to scale things back a bit and recorded some of their most direct and concise material since Fragile. Wakeman also varied his sound by largely forsaking his mellotron and experimenting with church organ to pleasing effect on "Parallels" and the sole extended track, "Awaken".
After many successive album covers with Roger Dean, Yes (who also produced the album entirely by themselves) commissioned Hipgnosis (Who were better known for designing album covers for Pink Floyd) to create the artwork for Going for the One instead.
Yes's return at the height of the punk movement was an unexpectedly successful one, with Going for the One reaching the pinnacle of the UK charts and even having a Top 10 hit single with "Wonderous Stories" - something that would have been considered impossible during the days of Tales from Topographic Oceans. The album was another U.S. Top 10 charting album for the band reaching #8 on the Billboard album chart in 1977.
With its confident and natural qualities, Going for the One is still generally regarded by most critics as one of Yes's finest, and many times, most underrated albums. In addition, the song "Awaken" is considered by many fans to be Yes' finest work, and Jon Anderson has said "We had a hit record! I loved listening to 'Awaken', at last we had created a Masterwork" and has indicated in some interviews that he considers it to be Yes' most complete composition.
Jon Anderson: Vocals, percussion, harp
Chris Squire: Bass guitar, vocals
Steve Howe: Electric and acoustic guitars, vachalia, lap steel guitar, vocal
Rick Wakeman: Piano, organ, Moog Synthesizer, pipe organ
Alan White: Drums, percussion
"Going for the One" (Jon Anderson) – 5:32
"Turn of the Century" (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe/Alan White) – 7:56
"Parallels" (Chris Squire) – 5:53
"Wonderous Stories" (Jon Anderson) – 3:49
"Awaken" (Jon Anderson/Steve Howe) – 15:31
Going for the One (Atlantic K 50379) reached #1 in the UK. It also reached #8 in the US during a chart stay of 21 weeks.