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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2327 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars I didn't read all of the 4 & 5 star reviews posted (there are just too many), but I'll bet there isn't one of those reviewers who was already a big Yes fan, expecting another masterpiece, when this album first came out in 1974. My friends and I loved "The Yes Album", "Fragile", and "Close To The Edge", and had great expectations for this new double-LP set with the great cover art. None of us liked it, even after listening to it for months on end. The radio stations stopped playing it after a couple of weeks, and the consensus was that it was a complete dud. I tried getting into it several times over the years, with no success. The problems? An almost complete lack of melodicism; there are a couple of pretty good songs mixed in with a whole bunch of noodling. Also, Alan White was, and still is, a competent but unoriginal drummer. Bill Bruford remains, to this day, one of the best drummers in any style, and Alan White sounds like a session man. In addition, the four tracks should have been broken up into listenable chunks, especially on CD. Jon Anderson's lyrics are "hook"-less here; where before his word stew was evocative and inventive, here we have nothing better than "What happened to this world we once knew so well?" Once again, if this had been their debut, or if the three previous albums had never existed, this would have seemed like a breakthrough effort, worthy of praise. And they did some great stuff afterwards, so it's not like they ran out of good material.
soundsweird | 1/5 |


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