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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2348 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The most misunderstood album in the history of music? I wouldnt doubt it. This is the point in Yes history where J Anderson says the band was high in creativity and low in energy, which is basically the description of tales in a nutshell. Remember this is after the extensive and exhausting tour of CTTE and Fragile, and additional touring for Yessongs, so everybody in the group is probably sick of each other or wants to take a break, but fans wanted som new stuff so they went in the studio to record tales from topographic oceans.

The music of this album is definately the most spacey Yes will ever get, with Wakeman experimenting with more synthesizers and the new member Alan White with his mellower drum style than the very energetic Bruford. This album is a major breakthrough album for Steve soloing wise. In earlier studio albums Steve has never really been able to show off his real skill in his solo's, Starship trooper he has a typical classic rock solo, in Fragile he shows his skill with a classical guitar, and in close h the edge he has a very bad electric solo on siberian khatru. On this album though, he has a very descent solo on each song without him being rushed to get it over with, and not too long and drawn out, but his best song electically is obviously The ritual. Besides Steve, everyone in the bands gets a very nice lead line at least once. Wakeman has one on the opening track that is awesome and for once isnt an organ solo, but this is his only one on the whole album... probably the reason he quit afterwords. Chris and Alan each get some solo time on the ritual, making the song the most pretensious.

The songs themselves are very mellow and melodic, occasionally building up into an exciting climax, but dont get your hopes up for an aggressive album if you catch my drift. The opening song, the revealing science of God, is excellent, with a really cool vocal opening, then an awesome keyboard riff, this song probably is the most uh... radio friendly, even though this album got no radio attention at all. The next song, the remembering, is my favirote, it's very easily the most laid back and most resticted, barely more than an easy keyboard ebb and flow keep this song moving, absolutely awesome, this just shows that Yes can get away with awesome music without being overly pretensious. The second half is obviously more experimental and aggressive. Starting this second song is the ancient giants under the sun, probably the most experimental, and my least favirote with the first twelve minuetes being an ear piercing slide guitar and caceman drums. The song does eventually save itself with a beautiful second half of Steve Howe classical guitar and Jon Andersons amazing flowing voice preaching anti war and vegitarianism. The last song, and certainly not the least is the ritual, basicall all it is is a pattern of solo's with some singing here and there. Myfavirote solo is probably Squires first solo on the fourth minuete.

A good album that would set the dividing line between early seventies Yes and ltter seventies Yes. This poor album was beaton to the point of where it was considered the reason why prog left the mainstream. I dont think that way though I rather think it's a solid...


Dim | 4/5 |


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