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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 1713 ratings

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ProgMetaller2112
5 stars What to say about this odd recording at times I absolutely love it and other times it baffles me????, So Bill Bruford decided to leave Yes to join the great Crimson King(see my reviews on that great band, haha), he was replaced by Alan White formerly of the Plastic Ono Band and John Lennon's solo stuff. So the line-up was now Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Alan. Rick was not 100% behind this project but believe me there are moments to blow your socks off on this album. Jon and Steve really loved that autobiography of that Yogi guy and they decided to make a concept album about it and the result was Tales From Topographic Oceans, they decided to take this even further than Close To The Edge it's all epics on this record nothing short of 18 minutes here, but do the epics translate over to great, well most are on this album in my opinion I'll have to dissect it for you as I go along, I think this album has elements of what I define as the best and worst moments of Prog Rock. I will talk about these epics in a dissected manner, I love the album cover it goes with the album and the visuals it created(more of that great and legendary Roger Dean art work!!!!!)

Here is the track listing for this wanker of an album:

1. The Revealing Science Of God - Dance Of The Dawn- I really love when this song gets going though it takes a while with them babbling on about the dawn of light, it's clearly well thought out and well rehearsed, Alan brings a different approach to the drums than Bill Bruford but it's still good, this song goes through many mood changes it's sounds rather happy at times then it strikes and its sounds evil(and I love evil, haha), I love this song it's Yes taking you to the heavens with it, you must be very attentive when listening to this album or else you won't get it at all, it's a very complex first part of Tales From Topographic Oceans, it is yet another spiritual experience from this great and poignant band 10/10

2. The Remembering - High The Memory- I also love this song quite a bit even though for some it takes a while to get going I prefer the slow parts to it because they are rather poignant and emotional it makes me think of life and how fragile we really are as human beings, it's really good and when it gets going, it's a piece for the ages "we relive in seagull's pages" (chills!!!!), song is sort of like a merry -go round or roundabout(haha get it) it goes through the slow parts then picks up then goes to the sort of poppy "school gates remind of us of our class" to the folky "we relive in seagull's pages" to the "relayer" and back again, it's quite brainy actually and well thought-out. I love this song, listen for Chris Squire and his melodic bass playing matching with the vocals and the melody of the song early on in the piece, it's pure genius( wink wink!!).10/10

3. The Ancient - Giants Under The Sun - This piece is the one on the album is the one that displays everything wrong with Prog Rock it's just got some gibberish with a few good moments in between with a little guitar reprisal of Siberian Khatru( I thought that was kind of neat!!), the Leaves of Green passage saves this from being a disaster, I love that legendary acoustic sound from Steve Howe( I love it!!!!!), with all that in mind this piece is still worth a listen and it deserves some love for trying to be something different. 8/10

4. Ritual - Nous Sommes Du Soleil- This song has become tradition for me when I come back home from School I love the "going home" part but I will go into detail a little later here. Would you take a listen to that Close To The Edge melody reprisal it's perhaps a tinny bit too clever. I will need to talk about this piece now, It starts off rather legendary and it creates that atmosphere immediately, during those first few verses I feel like I'm listening to the Beatles only better(shocker!!!), I love how happy it sounds, "dadada"(you know what I mean), then there's a great solo from Steve before a fantastic drum solo by Alan White which leads back to Steve and his poignant little reprisal of earlier in the song "We love when we play". I want to sing this part because it ends the concept album with a bang. Here are the lyrics:

"Hold me my love, hold me today, call me round Travel we say, wander we choose love tune Lay upon me, hold me around lasting hours We love when we play We hear a sound and alter our returning We drift the shadows and course our way back home Flying home, going home Look me my love, sentences move dancing away We join, we receive As our song memories long hope in away Nous sommes du soleil Hold me around lasting hours We love when we play Nous sommes du soleil Nous sommes du soleil Nous sommes du soleil Nous sommes du soleil"

Then we hear that bone chilling guitar solo by Steve Howe to end the album(I think he's a musical madman, hahahaha). This might be my very favorite Yes song(but I have many of them, haha). I have a story about this song that you guys might like, Here it is: I was going back home for my Thanksgiving holiday break after a painstaking few weeks at my University, I took the train back home listening to this record then I heard the "going home" part right on the train ride home and the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand then of course that solo, you have to remember that I've been away from home for a while and then to go back home it created that mood of 'Wow, this is really happening, it felt surreal" I have to give the song a perfect 10/10

Overall, I find this album to be yet another spiritual experience for the four pieces it's an overall 38/40 which out of 10 equates to 9.5 out of 10. the last song is making me wanna vote it 5 stars, it's just so memorable, that I'll rate it a 5 stars. Peace out!!!

ProgMetaller2112 | 5/5 |

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