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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2348 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

We are in 1974. YES is at it's peak musically and commercially! Concerts are sold-out. Each memeber (less newly arrived Alan White) is on top of any music poll for favorite artist in their own category. They are on the cover of every music magazine in the world! They are the face of prog! So what can go wrong with them??

With the release of TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS, the first critics will appear and the attacks against the once invulnerable mighy YES will shake a little bit the foundations of this great band. What is the cause of this uproar? YES have gone too far, to keep it simple; they have supposedly become fat, indigest, pompous, pretentious and other nice names. For others, TFTO is the pinnacle of music and a major prog achievement.

So who holds the truth? Let's find it somewhere in between. I think this is the story that 4 20mns long ''epics'' that could have been 10 mns each long and would have produced another masterpiece, or better some songs could have used some editing, but it would have made more of a 3 sides album.

I don't agree with the critics saying it's pompous or pretentious as if there is one thing prog music is allowed to is to be pompous. Otherwise, listen to Sex Pistols. a lot of classical composers can also be classified as ''pompous'' if we go this way .

Let's start with the good one: THE REVEALING SCIENCE OF GOD. this song is as good imho as CTTE or GATES OF DELIRIUM or AWAKEN! great intro,nice melody. great Wakeman parts , nothing to modify. THE REMEMBERING: that's a great song, delighful singing, nice musical breaks (Wakeman again) BUT definitely could have been shortened. I didn't count how many times ANDERSON sings the main theme, but i know quite a lot. THE ANCIENT is the song which carries the most blame, i think. I don't care much for experimental HOWE and YES, but the second part is better. RITUAL is another fine song, not as good as THE REVEALING SCIENCE, but stands by its own merits, especially the wild part at the end when everybody gets excited; another classic YESmusic tune.

So to resume, i have 3/4 of the album i really enjoy, and so it's is an excellent addition to the YES collection with all its strength and a few weaknesses.

Because of those weaknesses, i cannot give the full 5 stars as it's not perfet, nonetheless it's a great album, thus i give 4 stars.

PS: When Big Generator or Talk were released back then, who wouldn't have prefered something like TFTO. Let's be honest!

febus | 4/5 |


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