Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2220 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have to confess that I just bought this double album recently and before that only knew it slightly. And the most I knew about was what others told about it on PA. I'm not the biggest Yes fan thinkable even though I like their music a lot and then mainly their two famous epics. And since there are no less than four epics on this one, the least you can do is give it a try.

It's not exaggerated to say this is one of the most controversial of the more famous albums in prog history. If I look at the reviews and ratings on our site this is obviously proven and this album divides the prog reviewers in either love or hate it. But of course there are also proggers that feel it's right in between both options and give it three or four stars. To be honest I think I fit in third category.

I gave the four epics every chance to grow on me and I have to say they all did, though not all in equal sense. Thanks to Symphonic Live I already knew Ritual and I think it's a very good epic except for the strange switch towards the end to the "tubes percussion" which is at least original and works really surprising compared to the rest of the epic. Of the other three epics I can say they all have their charm but are none of them truly impressive all along. The most impressive (small) part I can think of about all four lengthy songs is the great outburst by Wakeman near the end of Dance of the Dawn.

The rest mainly consists of careful and subtle compositional performances and can be called essential progressive works as far as I'm concerned. I don't understand though why this is controversial. To me this is quite common music and I had expected much more profound and intricate stuff to be honest. As I said Tales seems to be an essential progressive effort to me but not quite a masterpiece in the sense of beauty and greatness/brilliance of the music itself. I think their two most famous epics (CttE and Gates) and maybe even Awaken are better examples of that. Still I like and respect Tales a lot and believe the 3,85 average it has right now is the least it deserves.

progrules | 4/5 |


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