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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.01 | 1793 ratings

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3 stars It may not be a coincidence I never play this album from beginning to end. Two reasons for that. First : 4 shorter songs on either side which is unusual for Yes ; Second : some songs seem out of place on this record. "Circus of heaven" is a Jon Anderson song, not a Yes song, an odd track which isn't bad at all but pointless on this album. "Release, release" is another misplaced song on Tormato, a desperate effort to adapt their sound to 78-rock. The ballad "Onward" is nice but doesn't seems to go anywhere. When Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson gather their forces, there's something magical going on. "Madrigal" is a track with wonderful sounds of the harpsichord and the Spanish guitar of Steve Howe. Eventhough I do suspect them to try to get in the charts again like they did with wonderous stories. "Future times and Rejoice" are pretty decent songs but they do sound as leftovers from "Going for the one". "Don't kill the whale" was the first single. In this song, Yes do succeed in making an accessible prog-pop song, nice one ! Also the lyric for this song is great, it's a statement against the hunting of whales. It's written in a period of time when consciousness of the environment was new. This kind of lyrics was new for the band, before this album Jon Anderson used to sing lyrics about abstract natural elements and religion. "On the silent wings of freedom" is the highlight of the album, this starts with mysterious bass lines, then turns into a wonderful atmospheric song and then every musician shows you his skills at the same time, typical Yes !

Every Yes Rhino remaster contains several bonus tracks. These bonus tracks are early versions of album tracks, single versions, b-sides or rough ideas for songs. The Tormato remaster has 9 extra tracks. "Abilene" is the b-side of a single. Not bad but forgettable and completely outdated. "Money" should have been called Going for the one part 2. The Yes version of "Some are born" is quite interesting, this would end up later on Jon's second solo album "Song of Seven" . But you can tell, it's not a finished song. "You can be saved" could be saved by a splendid guitar line which isn't there. The first guitars on "High" would suit as an nice intro but the rest of the song is rubbish. "Days" is just a nice lyric from Anderson without chorus or music. Too bad they didn't develop "Countryside", it has some nice melodies and vocal harmonies. This could easily have been a decent song. "Everybody's song" is also worthwhile checking out for being an early version of "Does it really happen" with Jon Anderson on the vocals. Those jams are interesting as you can get an idea of the writing process. Most interesting of the bunch is a hidden track, an orchestral version of "Onward" without the vocals. What a surprise it still sounds damn good !

For those who don't know Yes, please don't start with this album, you may not want to listen to their masterpieces of the seventies and that would be a shame. Don't judge them on this one, they can do better. This isn't a favorite album for Yes-fans but it has its moments. It's obvious Tormato is one of Yes' weakest albums from the seventies and hard to believe it was the same band who did "Going for the one", which is one of my all-time favorite albums by the way, a year earlier. But when compared to some of the stuff that would follow in the 80s and 90s, it's not bad at all.

Fishy | 3/5 |


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