Yes, “Sound Chaser” from Relayer (1974): YESterdays

Share this:

“Sound Chaser,” from 1974’s Relayer, is the closest Yes gets to sounding like the jazz-fusion of Mahavishnu Orchestra, rather than simply the world’s greatest progressive rock band.

Patrick Moraz, the Swiss-born keyboardist who was with Yes from 1974-76, provides a jazz-laden flourish of electric piano, which is punctuated by Alan White’s jazz-rock drumming. “Sound Chaser” then proceeds at breakneck speed, fueled by Steve Howe’s Fender Telecaster playing. Along the way, “Sound Chaser” gives every Yes instrumentalist a chance to shine, but Howe in particular is given space to improvise over Moraz’s Moog string ensemble.

Jon Anderson’s lyrics compliment the fray, transcending both time and space. Two-thirds into this song, the mood shifts, punctuated by Chris Squire’s ringing bass and Howe’s volume pedal guitar and a touch of pedal steel. “Sound Chaser,” written by the entire band, seems to play with time signatures as if they were almost an afterthought. Yet, the track proves again that Alan White is the master of his domain, tackling jazz and rock effortlessly within the same song.

Patrick Moraz comes back with a restrained Moog solo, before Anderson and Squire provide a rather unorthodox vocal breakdown. Just when you think Yes have finished, Moraz unleashes yet another Moog solo to wrap up “Sound Chaser,” and leave the listener breathless.

Preston Frazier’s YESterdays is a song-by-song feature that explores the unforgettable musical legacy of Yes. The series runs every other Tuesday.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
Share this:
Close