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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.98 | 1398 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is by no means a Yes classic, but I do also feel that it is a little underrated and unfairly vilified. There is still a great deal to enjoy on this album, made, of course, at a difficult time for many bands in the genre.

What doesn't help is the production, which is shocking and makes the band sound as if they are calling from a phone box in deepest Papua New Guinea. I also hate the album sleeve, and (sorry) the Amercanisation of the title itself.

As I said, though, there is still a lot to enjoy on the album. When Anderson soars with See it All, See it All, 'till Tomorrow, accompanied by Howe's guitar, you remember just why you love the band in the first place.

I really like Don't Kill the Whale, and not just because of the ecological message which now seems somewhat ahead of its time. It's simply a catchy tune well executed.

Madrigal sees Wakeman on form with a pleasant accompaniment to a slightly throwaway Anderson lyric. Release, Release, though, is a mess, almost as if the band were , ill advisedly, trying to jump on the revolutionary punk bandwagon. It doesn't work at all, sounds dreadful, and is utterly misplaced.

Arriving UFO starts the second side off, and is a particular obsession of Wakeman's. It is by no means a Yes classic, but I do like the Reach Out sequence at the end.

Circus of Heaven is, to me, the finest track on the album, even though it really is untypical of most of the band's output. I just love the concept of a little boy (Anderson's son contributed to the vocals and was probably no older than my son is now) seeing all of the wonders of the universe, beautifully sung by Anderson, parading past him and then expressing disappointment that there was no candy floss, toffee apples, or clowns! Who said that Jon didn't have a sense of humour?

Onward I find to be a fine love song, very much enhanced by the brass element augmenting Squire's gentle and fluid bass line. It is also a great track live.

And so to the last song, On the Silent Wings of Freedom, which is somewhat more in the vein of epic tracks of yore. The trouble is, though, it's a poor epic, far too messy and bitty to have a coherent whole around Squire's bass, Wakeman's somewhat lazy keyboards, and an understated vocal performance by Anderson.

This line up of the band disintegrated shortly after the resultant tour (when I saw them for the first time in the round), very upset and disillusioned with each other and the music business as a whole. Personally, the LP sounds to me as if they needed a break from each other, but I wish it hadn't taken quite so long for this lineup to come together again. However, the breakup did absolutely usher in a completely new era for the band, and one that would, eventually, augur in a completely new direction and success. That, however, is for another review!

Three stars - absolutely good, but non-essential.

lazland | 3/5 |


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