Relayer was the product of Yes once again in transition. Star keyboard player Rick Wakeman had left the band after his dissatisfaction over the previous recording, Tales of Topographic Oceans, and in comes Patrick Moraz, himself a virtuoso musician, who brought a lot to the table when joining the band. The resulting album is another tour-de-force for this legenday prog act, as they seemingly moved in a different direction from the rambling epic of Tales to a much busier, almost jazz-fusion style.
We know the tunes; "Gates of Delerium", a monstrous epic song with mysterious lyrics from Jon Anderson and loads of frenetic riffing from the band, "Sound Chaser", one of the bands most aggressive pieces that almost rivals Mahavishnu Orchestra in sheer intensity, and the emotional & moody "To Be Over." This was to be an album that really featured the talents of newcomer Moraz, whose lightning synth runs are just as spectacular as his gentle piano strains, and let's not forget the mercurial performance from Steve Howe, who plays with a ferocity throughout that he had never shown before. The rhythm section of Chris Squire and Alan White were extremely tight now that they had a few years of playing together, and Anderson's voice simply soars, especially on "Gates of Delerium" and "To Be Over"-in fact, he still sings the Soon section of Gates live to this day.
As always with the Rhino remasters, the packaging is superb, although I would have liked to see more Roger Dean artwork in the booklet. The sound is crystal clear, with increased audio output and a perfect balance of the hi and mid range. Bonus cuts are mainly single edits-it's a shame that no rare or unused tracks were left over from the recording sessions. Regardless, this is another must have for Yes fans, and easily one of the top recordings in the bands career.
1) The Gates of Delerium
2) Sound Chaser
3) To Be Over
4) Soon-single edit
5) Sound Chaser-single edit
6) The Gates of Delerium-studio run through