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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2347 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I might as well wade in on this controversial album and place my two cents down on the progressive rock counter. It's a flawed masterpiece, to be sure, but what an aural adventure! After CTTE I think they couldn't help themselves but to follow the side-long opus trail that they had been so encouraged to follow by the voracious audience that was eating up everything they put out. Me and my friends included. By then we all worshipped at the Yes altar with good reason. Their music was innovative, courageous and inspiring at a time when top 40 radio was still in command of the biz. When this came out we couldn't wait to plop it on the turntable. It was, with the help of mellowing agents (If you know what I mean and I think you do), a religious experience. When I think of this album I recall driving through the Rockies in a funky Audi with a friend on the way to a gig in Estes Park and this cassette blaring through the speakers. If this music is pretentious then so are the mountains in Colorado. All I know is that it fit the scenery (and age) perfectly. Was Yes full of itself? Probably. Did they do the best they could? Definitely. Did they go too far and veer "over the edge?" Well, that's up to the individual listener. To me it's light years better than Tormato, which is when I lost interest in what they were doing, but that doesn't redeem it totally. That being said, the reissued version from Rhino is excellent and makes up for many of the original pressing's shortcomings on vinyl and fans might want to invest in it if they haven't already. "The Ancient" grates on my nerves a bit but once you get through the strange first half of the song it mellows considerably yet it still remains the weakest of the four. But there are moments on "The Revealing Science of God," "The Remembering" and "Ritual" that continue to amaze my ears even after all these decades. TFTO still pales in comparison with the three albums that preceded it and doesn't hold up as good as Going for the One or Relayer but it will forever hold a place in my prog heart as being the right album at the right time in my life.
Chicapah | 4/5 |


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