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Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 2482 ratings

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4 stars Tales From Topographic Oceans is somewhat of a flawed masterpiece. Yes stretching too far. But would we have it any other way ? I loved this album when I first heard it back in 1974, and despite it's obvious weaknesses, you have to admire the guys for attempting something like this. Structurally the songs ramble too often, lacking the clear focus typical of many other Yes compositions. Yet it's this creative looseness that allows the project to possess a certain charm. During it's recording Anderson insisted on having the studio outfitted with assorted props like cardboard cut-out cows, and hay bales. Was it an effort to impart an organic essence to his vision, or just some loony extravagance ? Only he really knows. In the end Tales From Topographic Oceans was not a success , but something unique was certainly achieved. Not really a musical interpretation of the Shastic Scriptures, which was it's original inspiration. The music does have soul and spirit, because Jon does MEAN what he sings, even if a good part of it is incomprehensible. The playing on the Album is fine, with notably excellent and passionate guitar work from Steve Howe. Even Wakeman's keyboard-work shines in many parts, though he has been a very vocal critic and quit the band after the subsequent tour. Not perfect, but definitely not average. An important work of art from the Yes canon.
Progfan1958 | 4/5 |


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