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Yes - Awaken (Keys to Ascension I)

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Uploaded on Feb 29, 2012

Awaken is a song by the British progressive rock band Yes released on their acclaimed 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 entire recorded output: "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 very complex harmonic and rhythmic structure and enigmatic lyrics.

Along with the track "Parallels", also released on Going for the One, 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 Jon Anderson. An embryonic version called "High Vibration" had already been played at some concerts back 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 Jon 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".

Since 1977 the songĀ“s staple in concerts has been Chris Squire playing a triple neck bass guitar featuring 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 would be playing the fretless bass using a pick. For the "Master of Time" parts (both before and after the long organ solo) he would be fingerplucking the fretted 4-string, while the 6-string one would be picked during the organ solo. The instrument had originally been commissioned by Rick 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.

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