Thursday, November 13, 2014


Yes made an adventurous advance and breached the gates of delirium with the progressive jazz fusion of this symphonic sound chaser.  Although their double album 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' had been criticized as overindulgent, it still was a hit with the fans. After the tour, keyboardist Rick Wakeman left the group over creative differences.  The band auditioned several people to replace him, including Jean Roussel, Eddie Jobson, and Vangelis Papathanassiou before settling on Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz of Refugee.  

Moraz remembers:  "I had never met Rick before joining YES. However I had met some of the other YESmen, like Tony Kaye, Peter Banks, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Bill Bruford...Personal contact with Jon Anderson which had been arranged by my very good friend Ray Gomez, guitarist extraordinaire, also by Chris Welch, the main journalist for the music paper “Melody Maker” and also through a request by Brian Lane, YES’s manager at that time. Then through the request by the whole group. Apparently, it was a unanimous decision and the invitation came quite instantly. The day after I played with them for the very first time, I got a call telling me I was in the band as an equal-member, and my presence was being requested immediately!  Personally, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get into YES at the time because I was doing film scores, (I was working on two movies at the same time, one with my friend Gerard Depardieu) and I was still under professional commitment with REFUGEE. Although we were on the verge of splitting-up REFUGEE, we still had some concerts to do, promoting our first and only eponymous album “Refugee”, which had entered at #28 in the “Melody Maker” British Music Charts a few weeks earlier and was still climbing...When we started to record 'Relayer', some of the music had already been written and rehearsed by Chris, Jon, Steve and Alan. I contributed as much as I could to the overall picture of the pieces. However, it is a fact that Steve used quite a lot of tracks for his many overdubs everywhere on the album, except when there is no guitar at all, which is a rare occasion...We all participated in the compositions and the final arrangements, even if most of the “songs” were originally composed somewhat more by Jon, and Steve in some instances. I liked to work with Jon and Chris, especially. Alan was always contributing some very good rhythmic ideas. I also worked quite a lot with Steve during the whole time I was in YES."

'Relayer' was recorded at a converted garage in Squire's home in Virginia Water, Surrey with Eddy Offord engineering and co-producing with the band.  The sessions featured Jon Anderson on lead vocals;  Steve Howe on acoustic and electric guitars, and vocals;   Patrick Moraz on keyboards;   Chris Squire on bass guitar and vocals;   and Alan White on drums and percussion.   The album was mixed at Advision Studios in London.   As with their previous four albums ('Fragile', 'Close to the Edge', 'Yessongs', and 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' ), Roger Dean did the sleeve design and illustration.  

Squire says:  "Jon Anderson wrote most of our lyrics in the '70s. A lot of his lyrics were fairly abstract, anyway. They were based more on the phonetics and the way things sounded. They weren't rooted to one particular idea in one particular decade, so they're kind of fluid lyrics, and they seem to stand the test of time. People just like the sentiments and the way that it sounds...Our music has always run the gamut, borrowing from basic rock & roll and also from classical music and injections of various styles from different members, including country and blues, jazz. They've all been absorbed into the Yes history at one time or another. So, it's kept it interesting as a player, and it's kept life interesting for me. It's great to still go out on the road and perform this music, and people seem to be really fond of it."

'Relayer' went to number eighteen in Norway, fifteen in Australia, ten in the Netherlands, five in the US, and four in the UK.  

Anderson considers:  "A lot of fans would come along and really lock into Yes and realize that this is more to do with an experimental band, a very musical band, a very outgoing band, an adventurous band. We weren't really that concerned about having a hit record. We were thankful, but it wasn't something that we were going to be tied to. I didn't feel as part of the band we should ever try to make another "Roundabout" or make another Fragile record. That's why within a space of time, three years, the record companies got very upset with us, because we were doing diverse music and Topographic Oceans..."Gates of Delirium," the record company didn't know what to do with it, but we did, because we were performing it on stage and that was our legacy, to be able to go on stage and perform this music that would never be heard on radio ... “Gates of Delirium is a war song, a battle scene, but it's not to explain war or denounce it, really. It's an emotional description with the slight feeling at the end of 'do we have to go through this forever?' There's a prelude, a change, a victory tune, and peace at the end, with hope for the future…"

full album:

All tracks written and arranged by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Patrick Moraz.

side one
1 The Gates Of Delirium 0:00
side two
2 Sound Chaser 21:56
3 To Be Over 31:23

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