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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2347 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars Definitively over the edge and sunken in the depth of the ocean

Well it appears that most big prog groups were bound to make a big blunder, and this double album is certainly their first one, but hardly their last. Obviously the group's success with their previous two opus went straight to inflate some member's ego, and certainly Jon Anderson's. He was already guilty of that esoteric crap in the group's lyrics, but here he goes way overboard with his tantric BS. I guess that Howe got cornered and stuck to develop music around the lyrics, which is probably why the music sucks as well, even if not as badly as the that sung guru smut. Apparently, the only one keeping his head (not for long since he's gone after this disaster, is Wakeman, although in terms of embarrassing crappy projects, he's got no lessons to take from anyone. The newcoming Alan White (ex-Yoko Ono Plastic Band) hasn't got much to say in the group's direction, and he's got much to do to fill Bruford's shoes.

Four sidelong tracks expressing four state of minds or awareness, season, elements or dimension (who cares, really??), but AFAIC, they all suck the big one. Sounds a bit harsh??. Well imagine the headaches I had to suffer after just one side of this album?. Coz, aside Ritual, there is hardly breathing space or slower moments and these "things" are way to wordy, and Jon's irritating vocals are overly present and tend to hide whatever interesting (if any) musical ideas behind them. The only redeeming quality of this album is the outstandingly superb Dean gatefold artwork (clearly my fave of the band), but it's definitely nowhere near close enough to save this dreadful dreck.

Too demanding for the listener to be regarded this as good stuff, I simply don't know anybody who admitted listening to the whole two records in a row (let alone to two separate sides in a row). This is tedious at best, boring certainly and annoying at times. This is the drop that filled the bucket for a lot of casual prog amateurs back then and Works from ELP, made it overflow.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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