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Music / Relayer

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Listen, should we fight forever? Knowing as we do know, fear destroys.

"Soon, oh soon the light
Pass within and soothe this endless night
And wait here for you
Our reason to be here"
—"The Gates of Delirium"

Relayer is the seventh album by English Progressive Rock band Yes, released on 28 November 1974 through Atlantic Records. After the departure of Rick Wakeman following creative disagreements regarding Tales from Topographic Oceans, Yes convened in Chris Squire's Surrey home to start rehearsals and audition for a new keyboardist. After going through eight candidates (including Vangelis, who Jon Anderson was a big fan of), they found their replacement in Patrick Moraz, a member of the Swiss Jazz Fusion group Refugee. It sold well, being certified gold by the RIAA the following month. Moraz departed from the band upon the return of Wakeman for Going for the One, and he would join The Moody Blues as a touring musician before being formally incorporated in the band by 1981.

Supported by the single "Soon", the third segment of "The Gates of Delirium".


Side one
  1. "The Gates of Delirium" (21:55)

Side two

  1. "Sound Chaser" (9:25)
  2. "To Be Over" (9:08)

Principal members

  • Jon Anderson - vocals, acoustic guitar, piccolo, percussion
  • Steve Howe - guitars, pedal steel, electric sitar, backing vocals
  • Patrick Moraz - piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron
  • Chris Squire - bass, backing vocals
  • Alan White - drums, percussion

We go sailing down the calming tropes:

  • Design Student's Orgasm: The fourth Yes album to feature artwork by Roger Dean, and the last before 1980's Drama
  • Epic Rocking: Side one is the 22-minute long "The Gates of Delirium", while the remaining two tracks making up side two both take up more than nine minutes. Prior to the 2003 re-issue of Tales from Topographic Oceans (with the inclusion of the omitted instrumental opener of "The Revealing Science of God") and the release of the 2011 album Fly From Here, "The Gates of Delirium" was the longest song Yes released.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: "The Gates of Delirium" notably features a percussion rig created by Jon Anderson and Alan White out of discarded metal parts. It can be heard in the direct center of the song, including said rig accidentally being pushed over.
  • Last Note Nightmare: The ending of "Sound Chaser" alternates between dissonant yelling from the band members and frenzied keyboard solos. These get faster and faster until the song ends abruptly. In the album though, it segues into a more tranquil "To Be Over".
  • Longest Song Goes First: The side-long epic "The Gates of Delirium" starts off the album.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "The Gates of Delirium", whose first section features excited, even triumphant music alongside lyrics about preparing for a battle, with such unnerving lines as "Kill them/Give them as they give us/Slay them/Burn their children's laughter/On to hell".
  • New Sound Album: Patrick Moraz brought a more jazz fusion sound through his role as keyboardist.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "The Gates of Delirium" and "Sound Chaser". In the case of the former though, the third part of it was released as a single as "Soon", which does appear prominently.
  • War Is Hell: The theme of "Gates of Delirium", based upon War and Peace.