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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2353 ratings

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harris5
4 stars I've read most of the reviews here of this album and can tell that this album is no less controversial today - even amongst YES's most ardent fans - than it was when it was released. I'm sure I can't add much of value to what's already been said about this album and I'm not going to try to win any arguments, but I have to say that this album was one of the most important steps along the way to me becoming a die-hard YES fan.

It was some friends in college who first introduced me to YES. I didn't yet own any of their albums, but whenever I was over at their place we would listen primarily to YES (ELP's Brain Salad Surgery and Vangelis' La Fete Sauvage were other favorites). And pretty soon, whenever I was over there, I would specifically ask to listen to Tales (I used to mistakenly call it Tales from "Topographical" Oceans). I sensed there was not so much enthusiasm for this album, although none of them would ever admit to not liking it.

But this album truly fascinated me. The music was not easy to appreciate on the first couple of hearings, but I sensed that there was something there worth paying attention to and trying to dig out. And when I did finally buy the album, I often made it a point to listen to the whole album from beginning to end, often replaying certain parts that seemed odd, meaningless or even fatiguing to me.

A lot of people here have used the word "pretentious" to describe this album. I can't completely disagree with that. Especially now that I'm in my mid-40s and have broadly experienced life, some of the ideas in this album seem less deep than they once did, and to commit nearly 80 minutes of music to those ideas does strike me as either pretentious or self-absorbed. But I think the album does deserve a good, thorough listen from anyone who considers themself a YES fan.

I give it 4 stars and a recommendation to everyone who has not listened to this album for a long time to go back and dig more out of it.

| 4/5 |

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