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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2354 ratings

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The Ace Face
3 stars The most controversial album in prog history, and here I am reviewing it at 330 in the morning. Ok well here it goes. Conceived during the tour for Close to the Edge, John Anderson and Steve Howe would get together at 1 in the morning, after the concert was over, and have candlelit sessions stretching into the morning. Between the two of them, they laid out the structures of it all. When they brought it out to the rest of the band, Wakeman didnt like it much, and it showed as he soon left the band. Ok, enough background, on to the music.

Revealing Science of God: Highlight of the album, too bad it came first and not last. Great spacey opening and chanting vocals building into a hard rocking climax. The many changes this song goes through are so smooth and great that its over too soon, and you wish it would last longer. theres some great piano and synth work from Wakeman, even though he was disenchanted with the album and its music. The rocky-rolly part from the beginning climax is revisited near the end, and the outro is a reprise of the chanted opening section.

The Remembering: Great Lute work from Howe, reminiscent of Ive Seen All Good People. very good overall, with a pick up in the music leading us back into classic Yes style, a lot like the revealing science.

The Ancients: A lot of people dislike this song, and its true the slide guitar solo accompanied by seemingly primeaval drumming is too long and noisy, but the ending acoustic part, for the last 6 minutes or so, is incredible. I dont see why they didnt make more of the song like that. Sadly, this song falls flat on its face.

Ritual: A step up from Ancients, but still not on par with disc 1. The Close to the Edge theme is revisited for a brief moment, and this whole song is filled with Steve Howe. The chorus, however, is great. The ending is a little inconclusive, and Serves as a kind of, "What will happen now?"

Overall, an ok album, it would have been better with just disc 1, and the last part of Ancients thrown in there somewhere. The one time in my opinion, that a double album went overboard (excepting the Flower Kings and their excessive use of the double album).

The Ace Face | 3/5 |


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