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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2354 ratings

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topographicbroadways
5 stars One of the most controversial albums from any sub-genre of prog. Over the years the most loyal Yes fans have been split over this album. Some Believe it to be a true masterwork and the peak of their creativity and others dismiss it as pretentious, self-indulgent and a monotonous listen. Well the idea of four 20 minute movements on 2 vinyls was bound too raise questions!

Well if you look at the songs individually you will find each track has the beauty of many genres starting off with The Revealing Science of God an instantly recognisable Yes prog classic with Jon andersons vocals slowly building too a climactic beginning of the song. The Revealing features all that people hold dear from this era of Yes unusual and beautifully performed chord based guitar lines, heavy use of Rick Wakeman's beloved Minimoog synthesisor and lyrics that bring out emotions that nobody quite understands.

The second song or movement, The Remembering, is a much slower building piece of music which starts off with a 12 string guitar folk based section with Jon andersons vocals once again a centre piece. This track features one of the most atmospheric uses of the Mellotron in Yes's catalogue with haunting chords which at about 9 minutes into this track build too an upbeat section which carries on into a climactic end too the second 20 minute track of this album. 40 minutes of music so far, is that enough? We're just getting started!

Side 3, The Ancient is considered the most accessible on the album, It adopts a much heavier guitar based Jazz-fusion style for the first half of the song with a heavy bass and organ battling underneath a very sinister chromatically played Lap Steel solo from Mr Steve Howe. Jon Anderson plays a much less key roll in this track sticking too playing extra percussion while Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe play a complex and always interesting instrumental section. For the final 6 minutes of this track Steve Howe switches too spanish guitar for the most famous section of this album "Leaves of Green" starts of with a classic steve howe solo reminiscent of Mood For a Day. This segues into one of Jon Andersons classic vocal performances with Steve Howe playing simple but beautiful chords underneath.

The finale of Tales from Topographic Oceans and one of only 2 tracks too still be performed even on recent tours, Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) features classic guitar solos, Chris Squire's famous bass guitar solo, a frantic Percussion section and a beautiful chord based song section. This track really encompasses all Yes and Tales From Topographic Oceans is about. After nearly 90 minutes of music a finale cannot disappoint, and Ritual gives the perfect conclusion with a soft Jon Anderson vocal section leading into the most atmospheric of guitar solos too end the Journey through Topographic Oceans.

topographicbroadways | 5/5 |

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