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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2348 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

chiang
5 stars .I was born on 1954 and grew up listening to rock&roll. Like all my coeval, most of my music development was due to The Beatles, with them I went from "Love me do" to "The walrus". Early 70's I was living so far away, down south. That allowed me to just listen to the music, not knowing about critic's opinions. I simply listen each new L.P. and feel it good (or no) My favorite bands on 1973 where Pink Floyd, ELP, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa & Yes. I (still today) absolutely love "Close to the edge", "Thick as a brick", "Trilogy", "Meddle" and "Chunga's revenge". Long songs and conceptual albums are my all time favorites. When "TFTO" came along I was absolutely happy, I really love this one from the very beggining. "Four long songs, each one 20 minutes long!!!!" I bought the album, enjoyed the cover artwork and absolutely loved all the songs. I thought (and still think) the whole idea is great: Four sides of conceptual album!!! I never get tired of listenig to it.

A long vocal introduction (without much noise) and then came both Wakeman's keyboards and Steve Howe's guitar. Great melodies, time signature changes, good solos, and alternation between hard and pleasant moments, all that I love and could want on a YES L.P. I nearly didn't notice that twenty minutes had passed. Side Two begins with an ever-changing melody that even 40 years later Iīm not able to sing properly. Then ethereal long keyboard notes that lead to a fast new melody and again time-signature changes, etc. Side tree is kind of strange 2/3 wild distorted guitar (except a short brake) and then 1/3 of nice acoustic guitar plus the beauty Anderson's voice Finally side four, beginning with a long instrumental introduction directly inspired on the 4th movement of Beethovenīs Ninth Symphony (a basic melody repeatedly interrupted by excerpts of the previous "movements") leading to Anderson singing "Nous sommes du soleil", then Squire's solo and my only complaint: Alan White's drum solo (I'm a hardcore Bruford fan), but itīs just two minutes long in between 80 marvelous minutes of joy. Finally Anderson singing the ending melody leading to the great finalle.

I think I didn't need any review to tell me if I must love or hate this work of art. In that time I discovered Gentle Giant's "In a glass house", Genesis's "Foxtrot" and Magmas's "MDK". Nothing (no one) in my life said there was need of other kind of music. In fact I went well into the 80's before listening about a "change" in music. Late 70's was UK (Bruford's and Bozzio's) to me, and then came King Crimson again (Discipline ? Beat ? Three . .).

When I (finally) heard about "Tales . ." being pretentious, I didn't understood what were they talking about. In fact, "pretentious" may be different kind of music To me, pretentious is being a limited guitar (bass, drums) player and just because you enjoy doing it, suppose that other people must listen to it and buy you music. (Anyone can play what he wants, but I don't have to listen to it or think it is worth , this is what I feel is "pretentious") Today when I find a video of any part of "TFTO" on Youtube I can look at it again and again enjoying it absolutely, the same way I enjoy a Gentle Giant, VDGG or ELP show video.

I never understood why so many people doesn''t like it, to me is almost perfect., it's maybe my second best Yes Album.

chiang | 5/5 |

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