Album of the Day: Yes (7/7/77)

51XPGKSRD5L._SL160_Yes released their eighth studio album, Going For The One, on July 7, 1977 at the height of punk-rock backlash against (among other things) the excesses and pretention of the progressive rock genre. Punkers openly disdained the self-absorbed, artsy proggers and vowed a return to the basics of rock ‘n roll. Punker views notwithstanding, progressive rock’s heyday in the early 70s was rapidly waning anyway. Top shelf art/prog-rock groups were dead or dying (Soft Machine, King Crimson, Uriah Heep) or shifting to a more audience- and radio-friendly sound (Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd). Going For The One mostly bucked the trend.  The album reached backed to the more concise, shorter tracks in earlier Yes albums like Fragile (although “Awaken” is the lone hold-out at over 15 minutes). Given the music landscape of the time, it is remarkable but not surprising that Going For The One reached into the Billboard Top 10 and includes the Top 10 single, the flowing ballad “Wondrous Stories.” Going For The One is a necessary addition to any serious Yes collection and is recommended for even a casual Yes fan. The album is available as a CD and mp3 tracks on Amazon and iPod tracks on iTunes, and a Yes playlist is in my Playlist Vault.

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