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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2348 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Although Tales from Topographic Oceans received an absolutely horrendous reception from critics, and is often defended by prog fans as a result, I can on the one hand see where the bad reviews came from - and it's got nothing to do with the actual music. The fact is that that Tales is one of the most incredibly uncommercial albums that Yes had produced at the time - not just in the format, although any double album comprising four side-long tracks is a daunting prospect, but in terms of the music presented therein.

This is an album which absolutely demands to be heard in its entirety - from the first and last tracks, which fit in nicely with the sound of Close to the Edge, to The Remembering/High The Memory which shows Yes turning their hand to Genesis-influenced pastoral prog and absolutely conquering that territory, to the complex and avant-garde The Ancient/Giants Under the Sun, the four sides form one cohesive whole which is almost impossible to grasp on a single listen, and still yields new secrets on patient relistens to this day.

This is all wonderful, but it's also extremely hard for any rock critic to sit down and give such an album a full listen before writing down their impressions - and thus the critics wrote their reviews without giving the album a chance to win them over, and thus the album got a bad reputation on release, and it all snowballed from there. This is a terrible shame, because it really is a grand achievement, and deserves to rank alongside The Yes Album or Close to the Edge as one of the band's greatest accomplishments.

Warthur | 5/5 |


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