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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2348 ratings

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Tony Fisher
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Loved The Yes Album, liked Fragile and Close to the Edge, bought this expecting more of the same. Result: bafflement. I listened to it again and again (NEVER in one go!!) but I simply cannot understand how five extremely talented musicians could fail so badly at the composition stage and press on anyway. It's everything that makes some people hate prog rock; a pretentious, overambitious concept with far too much complication and no soul. Even the title is pretentious - what the hell is a "topographic" ocean (it can't exist!)? Sure, they play it well (which is why it manages 2 stars) but that's not enough. It's more a technical exercise in flashiness and self indulgence than an attempt to make real music and Wakeman was wise to get out. Ironically, their next album (Relayer) was a lot simpler and a huge improvement so perhaps they learned from this. Greatest album ever? Please don't make me laugh!
Tony Fisher | 2/5 |


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