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Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2416 ratings

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5 stars Close To The Edge is perfect. Even if Yes had stopped making music right there, they would still be one of the top few best bands ever and could already lay claim to some of the greatest albums to ever come out of rock. But what firmly cements Yes' status as the farthest-reaching band of all time are the two albums that came next: the unsurpassed twin peaks of TALES and RELAYER. Each exponentially deeper than CTTE in terms of both scope and musicianship, it's only natural that many fans (and even certain band members) will begin to fall off at this point, and thus never behold Yes in their true splendor and forever be confused at the ardor of those who have. Simply put, Tales From Topographic Oceans is one of the most magical and beautiful recordings of all time, and the empty critiques of the unknowing can never reach it. Musically speaking, what we have here is over 80 minutes of Yes' most daring and sophisticated explorations yet: deliberately recapitulating themes, carefully arranged instrumental sequences ("extended solos" to the musically deaf ear), breathaking vocal harmonies, oceanic soundscapes (thanks mainly to Rick Wakeman, the bewildered oaf), classical-worthy acoustic performances... needless to say, this is not a "one listen" album -- this an album that grows with you in time, becoming an ever more rewarding musical experience as you gradually come to terms with its immense magnitude over repeated listens. We are in a completely different territory than the Bruford days: the climb may be rougher for some, but the peaks are higher beyond compare. If you want to begin to explore the true pinnacle of Yes music, invest some time in appreciating this vast and immortal masterpiece, then brace yourself for the utter transcendence which is RELAYER. Happy listening.
corbet | 5/5 |


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