|Song by Yes from the album Going for the One|
|Genre||Progressive rock, symphonic rock|
|Composer||Jon Anderson/Steve Howe|
|Going for the One track listing|
"Awaken" is a song by the British progressive rock band Yes released on their 1977 album Going for the One. At 15 minutes and 31 seconds it is the longest track on the album, occupying most of the second side of the LP.
Many Yes fans, as well as lead singer/songwriter Jon Anderson himself, consider this song to be the best track in the band's recorded output. To quote Anderson: "We had a hit record! I loved listening to 'Awaken', at last we had created a Masterwork." Like many extended Yes pieces, the song has a complex chord and rhythmic structure as well as enigmatic lyrics.
Along with the track "Parallels" on the same album, the song features a church organ played by Rick Wakeman. According to the booklet of the 2003 CD reissue, these parts were recorded at St. Martins Church, Vevey, Switzerland. In addition, the track features a harp played by Anderson, especially prominent in the quiet middle section beginning at 6:38 in the song.
An embryonic version of the song known as "High Vibration" had already been played at some concerts in 1975 when the band was promoting their previous album Relayer. Lasting something over one minute, it only featured the starting lyrics (up to "Where Can I Be") and melody by Anderson with a gentle layer of Steve Howe's guitar and Patrick Moraz's Mellotron. At that time the tune was used as a melodic announcement to "The Gates of Delirium".
After 1977, the song in concerts featured Chris Squire playing a triple neck bass guitar with two fretted necks (6- and 4-string) and a 4-string fretless one. From the first verse on up to the short bass interlude, he played the fretless bass using a pick. For the "Master of Time" parts (both before and after the long organ solo), he fingerplucked the fretted 4-string, while the 6-string one would be picked during the organ solo. The instrument had originally been commissioned by Wakeman for Roger Newell, the bass player in his solo band English Rock Ensemble, but was handed over to Squire, much to Newell's irritation. The original instrument was a Wal, built by Electric Wood in England, and it is currently on loan to the Hard Rock Cafe in New York. The instrument Yes has been using for many years is a Japanese-made replica.