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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tales From Topographic Oceans
    Posted: June 28 2005 at 07:44
It took me a long, long time to get into TFTO, then one day, it just clicked.

The album takes a bit of committment, as it's not an album I find you can listen to a single track (side?) at a time - it works best when listened to as a single piece of music.

Sure, there are production value issues (what early 1970's album did not have these at one stage or another?), and yes, there is enough padding to fill several large cushions, but it has all the hallmarks of a progressive rock masterpiece:

1 - No tracks, just 'movements'
2 - Ridiculous time signatures
3 - Lyrics that even 4/5's of the band didn't understand
4 - Solos for everyone
5 - Central concept based on obscure eastern text

How can you not like that?

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2005 at 21:44

Yes 71-77 =  Pure Greatness

And that includes TFTO.

Nuff said.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2005 at 20:38

There is a reason why the Tales artwork hangs on my wall. It remains one of my most beloved albums. When I am in a Tales mood, I love sitting down with it, having one of those funny smelling cigarettes and just becoming wrapped up in it. Moments of such incredible beauty from a band who were in the middle of a creative spurt that lasted for several years. And really, how incredible is the "Leaves Of Green" section of "The Ancient"? In short, an album that divides the fans right down the middle and I am happy to be on my side.

"And I do think very well... that the evenings take you silently..."

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2005 at 11:30
Do you Swedes actually put together logical points to support your sycophantic endorsements, or do you just spam approval of each-other?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 21 2005 at 07:19
Originally posted by Syntharachnid

Originally posted by flowerchild

 My dear!

"Tales from Topografic oceans" is IMO the best recorded piece of art in any genre EVER! It is in EVERY way far SUPERIOR to "Close to the edge" and I think "Close to the edge" is one of the best albums I've heard. That is how fantastic "Tales from Topografic oceans" is to myself and many with me, it's simply the ultimate progressive piece of music ever written. Can probably never become better!

Thanks

Agreed.

Agreed!!!   

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2005 at 11:41
Originally posted by Syntharachnid

Originally posted by flowerchild

 My dear!

"Tales from Topografic oceans" is IMO the best recorded piece of art in any genre EVER! It is in EVERY way far SUPERIOR to "Close to the edge" and I think "Close to the edge" is one of the best albums I've heard. That is how fantastic "Tales from Topografic oceans" is to myself and many with me, it's simply the ultimate progressive piece of music ever written. Can probably never become better!

Thanks

Agreed.

Let's state that as an objective fact!!!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 17 2005 at 10:20
Sometimes I think that many devotees of progressive rock are fairly non-discriminating in some ways; the more experimental an album is, the better it is.  By this standard, TFTO is indeed one of the greatest albums ever, because there is a lot of experimentalism and novelty in there, that's for sure.

But that ignores that it has arguably the worst production/engineering of any Yes album (other than the beginning two).  It also ignores the frequent clumsy transitions between themes or sections in songs.  It also ignores that there are long sections that ramble on for FAR too long, and some themes that are frankly substandard are caried to their full, and unfortunate, fruition.  Add to this that there is an excessive amount of what I like to call "w**king," primarily by Steve Howe (witness his interminable pedal steel "solo" on "Ritual."  My God.).  In general, while the lyrical conept of the album is innovative and intersting, the specifics of the lyrics often fall flat (witness my "Nous somme du soleil/we love when we play" comments in the lead off post.)

So if what floats your boat is original concepts and sheer compositional balls, then I'll grant you TFTO as a masterpiece.  If you ask that bands execute their brilliant ideas well, like I do, then you'll look at Tales as a clumsy face-plant.  In other words, brilliance ain't worth crap if it is clumsily executed.

My gut feeling is that Yes got far too ambitious after CTTE.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, if they had put the time and work into TFTO that they put into CTTE.  But TFTO contains twice the amount of music with FAR more ambitious composition, and from what I hear they spent a fraction of the time actually rehearsing and recording.  Well, it shows.  What could have been genius ended up being quite mediocre.  And I give it that high a rating only because of the bravery and creativity in the ideas expressed there.  Like I said, the execution stank.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2005 at 20:08
Originally posted by flowerchild

 My dear!

"Tales from Topografic oceans" is IMO the best recorded piece of art in any genre EVER! It is in EVERY way far SUPERIOR to "Close to the edge" and I think "Close to the edge" is one of the best albums I've heard. That is how fantastic "Tales from Topografic oceans" is to myself and many with me, it's simply the ultimate progressive piece of music ever written. Can probably never become better!

Thanks

Agreed.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 15 2005 at 00:56
Originally posted by Zargus

Tales From Topographic Oceans is the best prog album ever! if you dont like it you dont like prog, it has everything that a great prog album shuld have. Prog yust dont get any beter then TFTO!  

And i have never hade any problems geting in too any of yes albums it will take some lisen to understand all its greatness, but like me you shuld love it right away. 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 13 2005 at 05:57
Originally posted by HeirToRuin

...but in all honesty...


The Gates of Delirium is my top Yes track.


Hey! Looks like I'm not alone in this world!

Listen your friends have been broken
They tell us of your poison
Now we know

Kill them give them as they give us
Slay them burn their childrens laughter
On to hell


strangely non-Anderson-like lyrics, aren't they?
A flower?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 12 2005 at 11:15
...but in all honesty...


The Gates of Delirium is my top Yes track.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 12 2005 at 11:15
One afternoon while I was (not sober),  I heard The Ancients-Giants Under the Sun on Internet radio.


I was hooked after that.  Revealing Science and Ritual are magnificent tracks.  The other 2 each have their strong sections as well.  It helps if you sing along with Jon in the first track to get you going.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 17:40
Originally posted by marktheshark

Originally posted by Tony R

Originally posted by The-Bullet

In you call playing the whole of both Ritual and The Revealing as "excerpts" that is ...


when......



Hey Tony, who are these 2 wingnuts you got pictured here? Relatives?

No,they appear in the final installment of Star Wars. The are the bastard offspring from an illicit union between Amidala and Jar Jar Binks!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 14:28
Originally posted by Zargus

Tales From Topographic Oceans is the best prog album ever! if you dont like it you dont like prog,


And you don't find this to be a little condescending?
 

it has everything that a great prog album shuld have. 


Well, if you include bad production values, sloppy composition and inability to transition convincing between themes "everything that a great prog album shuld have," then perhaps I should stop listening to prog....


And i have never hade any problems geting in too any of yes albums it will take some lisen to understand all its greatness, but like me you shuld love it right away. 


I'm into most of the Yes albums, at least up to GFTO.  And I've given it plenty of listens.  I come away with the same impression: that it was an admirably ambitious project that they couldn't pull off.

Look at it this way: CTTE supposedly took a hugely long period of rehearsals to get together.  TFTO, a MUCH more ambitious album, took far less rehearsing?  Something is wrong here...

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 14:16
Originally posted by tuxon

Maybe they should have called it "Over The Edge" but I still like it.

 


(4 stars in my rating, one for each part)



One star for each part is about right...

Great musicianship and composition isn't worth much if you can't pull it together and produce a coherent whole.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 08:25
hmmm...I'm the one who likes Gates of Delirium best among Yes long pieces.

That said, I believe Close to the edge to be a far more intriguing listening experience than TFTO.
Of the latter, anyway, I like very much The remembering and (the last 6 minutes of) The Ancient
I must say that of the four, the one who struck me less (and in fact I can't remember the tune except for the chorus) is Ritual...I think that in 15 years I must have listened to it 3 or 4 times in all...
Especially because when I come to it I'm already tired of listening...
A flower?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 08:23

It has its moments. Revealing Science of God is pretty good.

I like prog rock, so it follows that I likw or at least have no problem with long tracks, but this album is twice as long as it needs to be IMO. There is lot of filling and f*cking about. It could have been condensed, infact it should have been scrapped and re-recorded in a more listernable form.

Close to the Edge is better. It's a masterpiece IMO, and the best album they ever done by a long way.

Ultimately bored by endless ecstasy!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 08:16
I usually find that the best music is the stuff that takes a while to get into anyway. so i'm not worried.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 07:51

Tales From Topographic Oceans is the best prog album ever! if you dont like it you dont like prog, it has everything that a great prog album shuld have. Prog yust dont get any beter then TFTO!  

And i have never hade any problems geting in too any of yes albums it will take some lisen to understand all its greatness, but like me you shuld love it right away. 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 07 2005 at 07:49

In Reply - I didn't like all of TFTO on my first listening - Circa 1980/81 - But over the years I have come to love the whole.

It is Better than CTTE (although CTTE & and You and I are fantastic) - The length and complexity and the whole concept works for me ! - There is so much to be gained by listening in a darkened room with no distractions - This music is not easily accessible - It's possibly one of the hardest prog masterworks to get into.......

This is about opinions - I find Wakemans' "Toby's graphic go-kart" jibes to be absurdly hypocritical since he calls it OTT self indulgence and this on the back of the brilliant but certainly over-indulgent solo albums he producesd at roughly the same time ! His gripe is probably that most of it was written by Howe/Anderson............

Toys out of pram Mr Wakeman !!!!

I can understand people not liking this materpiece but I am supriised if these people are 70's Yes freaks.......

If Music be the food of Love, Play on.......
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