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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3078 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars TALES is literally an ocean of music -- expansive, deep, immense as the sea itself. Over the course of 4 album sides, it explores more beauty and intensity than many people are willing to contend with, and it certainly is not forgiving of those with short attention spans. In its wake, RELAYER gathers all the band's mounting energy at their volatile and explosive creative peak, and blasts it out into space in one supercharged musical rush. I would liken it more to a sun going supernova. In these three pieces of music, there is more fury and beauty than most other "prog bands" could muster throughout their whole careers, and certainly the musicianship of RELAYER has yet to be challenged by anyone. Steve Howe's guitar work throughout is unparalleled within the entire progressive canon, period -- no other guitarist is capable of evoking the range of tones and emotions Steve does in even a single piece such as "The Gates of Delirium". Stinging scalar runs, dive-bombing pyrotechnics, cosmic sustain leads, the most beautiful slide-guitar tones ever -- it's all here. Patrick Moraz replaces Wakeman on keys and proceeds to rip out glorious synth excursions which carry the band beyond the confines of their previous classicism, while CHRIS SQUIRE and ALAN WHITE submit possibly the greatest rhythm section performance of all time. "Sound Chaser" pretty much sets the bar for guitar-driven virtuosic prog, while "To Be Over" manages to be as intensely beautiful as the previous two tracks are aggressive. Although Yes had quite a few more masterpieces ahead of them, never would the otherworldy plateau of TALES/RELAYER be fully revisited.

(Note to readers: the newly remastered 2003 release of this album is a VERY poor representation of the sound, and should be avoided. Whoever did the remastering should get his ears checked, and get another job. For discriminating fans the version to own is the HIGH-DEFINITION CD JAPANESE MINI-LP release which came out a few years prior and which features a crystal clear transfer straight from the master tapes. The greatest music ever recorded never sounded better than it does here.)

corbet | 5/5 |


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