Yes – Tales From Topographic Oceans Review (Tidied Up From Its Original 2007 State)

Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans

Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans

Many people have criticized this album over the years. Hating this album became a meme in the Seventies when the music press had a bigger say than the fans themselves. It wasn’t just critics that hated it though, even Rick Wakeman who played keyboards on the album famously doesn’t like it very much. For everyone who has written off this album as pompous and overblown however, I say listen to it again.

The thing is, its absolutely incredible. It is the sort of album you can get lost in, unveiling new discoveries on every listen for years on end. A truly epic (in the actual use of the word) album with great atmosphere, great production values and fantastic virtuosic musicianship. It could almost be argued that this album is the embodiment of everything Yes had striven for over the years. This may even be my personal favorite Yes album, its equal in my opinion to any of the critically acclaimed albums like Relayer, Close To The Edge and Going For The One.

The whole affair is grand and majestic, the keyboard solos on this album are marvelous and the vocals are up there with the best that Jon Anderson has ever done. I understand that if you are impatient or not really interested in progressive music that this album would be symbolic of over-excess and lack of restraint, but sometimes it boggles my mind that anyone who already liked Yes wouldn’t like this album.

To any potential fan I would recommend that you ignore the stigma surrounding this album and give it a try with an open mind, as there is a lot of challenging and rewarding music contained within. To any old fan I’d say try it again and give it a chance now the smoke has cleared.

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