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Tormato: Mixed Feelings

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    Tormato: Mixed Feelings

    I gave this album a listen recently and whenever I listen, I am always torn. I enjoy Future Times/Rejoice well enough but it never blows me away. Don't Kill the Whale is a fun track, always a blast, Madrigal is beautiful a definite highlight. Release Release has great energy and I particularly enjoy Alan here. Arriving UFO and suddenly things get WEIRD, never could get my head around this one, Circus of Heaven is twee but I like the ending section of the song, great Anderson vocals throughout. Onward is another highlight, (even better on Keys to Ascension with the acoustic guitar). On the Silent Wings of Freedom, the best track, a great prog powerhouse.

    Overall, the rhythm section saves the album for me, Chris and Alan are amazing, Steve and Rick, are not always at their best especially Steve. The instruments seem to crowd each other somehow. Jon as always sings well but the quality of songs is below their usual in the 70s, still very enjoyable in its own way, more edgy than usual Yes, it will forever be a quirky ending to a stellar period in the band's history to me. 7/10
    The Definitive YES Albums

    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

    #2
    Future Times/Rejoice and Arriving UFO are two of my favorite Yes songs. After reading how poor this album was for four years, I was amazed at how much I liked when I finally found it in 1991.

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      #3
      My gateway album to YES. I was at rooftop, bonfire party, in Amman, Jordan, in 81 or 82. Would have been my first half of my junior year in high school, but I was taking correspondence school. Everyone was asleep, or passed out, except for me, and my German friend, Acky Shultz. There was nothing left to drink but gin-yuck. Two cassette left, he told me to pick one, and I choose Tormato. The sun was about to break the horizon of an over two thousand year old city, when I first heard Chris Squire's unique sounding bass, and bass-playing, and all the other unique instruments, including Jon's voice, playing unique songs. I was instantly hooked. Somehow, being the oldest, and living in the states, Austria and Japan, I had missed YES. I had to find out more but then I was sad that they were already over as a group. I did not know how musicians and groups worked. It's been a real satisfying experience having everything YES,, and YES related, and hanging out with these guys, from hearing a cassette tape from all those years ago.

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        #4
        Originally posted by luvyesmusic View Post
        My gateway album to YES. I was at rooftop, bonfire party, in Amman, Jordan, in 81 or 82. Would have been my first half of my junior year in high school, but I was taking correspondence school. Everyone was asleep, or passed out, except for me, and my German friend, Acky Shultz. There was nothing left to drink but gin-yuck. Two cassette left, he told me to pick one, and I choose Tormato. The sun was about to break the horizon of an over two thousand year old city, when I first heard Chris Squire's unique sounding bass, and bass-playing, and all the other unique instruments, including Jon's voice, playing unique songs. I was instantly hooked. Somehow, being the oldest, and living in the states, Austria and Japan, I had missed YES. I had to find out more but then I was sad that they were already over as a group. I did not know how musicians and groups worked. It's been a real satisfying experience having everything YES,, and YES related, and hanging out with these guys, from hearing a cassette tape from all those years ago.
        Great story Rob!

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          #5
          Always enjoyed the album, although i too thought it had that bit of a thin sound to it. I remember always over compensating the equalizer for more bass to make it full, home and in the car, but then having to go back to a more normal setting for OTSWOF or it was too much bass. 😂. Best tune on the record.

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            #6
            Rick and Chris both laying it on pretty thick with their respective instrument gimmicks (Birotron and flanged bass) spoil it for me. OTSWOF is undeniably a great song, and I hope they deliver it in the live set this year as hinted. As is Onward. I have mixed feelings about Rick in general--his playing verges on Vaudeville at times. Particularly here.

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              #7
              I think Onward is a bit of a snooze-fest and Madrigal while pretty, is also pretty lightweight. Arriving UFO has moments of genius and the musical climax section is among the most viscerally exciting in all Yes music. I really like the album over all, but OTSWoF is the one track that stands among the band's great songs.

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                #8
                Tormato certainly isn't an incredible classic like Close to the Edge but it's a little gem considered on its own instead of in comparison to the classics.

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                  #9
                  Over on Progears, there's a lot of love for Release, Release. Dedicated thread. 39 posts.

                  Rereading my Uncut YES special magazine, Squire was most upbeat about the record in NY interview. Think in retrospect lifestyles were making members drift apart. Anderson was looking for reinvention.

                  Very fond of the album. Quirky. Diverse. Odd sounds for sure. Birotron? Flanged bass? Damion?

                  Spinning in different directions but had a certain English whimsy and eccentricity. The songs are fun and have energy but spose 10 years together was enough.

                  After all we get The Ladder and Mag, FFH and TQ. It wasn't the end. Just a fork in the road.

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                    #10
                    Adding to my previous post...

                    All that being said, I will take Tormato over every other studio album made after that. Only close contender being Drama.

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                      #11
                      It wasn’t the, but certainly one of the gateway Yes albums for me. The only one I knew was Relayer. I distinctly remember putting on the Tormato cassette and hearing these incredibly dense, trebly, light sounds. But hey, I was a fresh fan, and willing to explore it, like I had done with Relayer.
                      Last edited by Ceasar’s Palace; 01-27-2022, 07:19 AM.

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                        #12
                        Rather less keen now than I was. Eagerly awaited at the time. Very uneven in quality of material. From Relayer onwards (no pun intended) I'd hoped they'd head into progressively-more experimental, even avant-garde, areas of musical expression but they went the other way. A sign of those times I suppose: record companies with diminishing returns unwilling to indulge bands they way they once had, and demanding 'hits'. A bit of a sorry state all round.
                        Still, back in 1978 I was 19, a staunch 'boring old fart' Yesfan in the face of the vulgarity and ineptness of punk, as I thought of it then, and still championing the cause.
                        With over 40 years of hindsight, however, only Future Times/Rejoice, and On The Silent Wings Of Freedom really stand out for me now, and I still think Future Times would make for a great concert-opener!
                        The tracks I like least are the Whale song, Release Release and Arriving UFO. Madrigal and Onward are pleasant and appealing songs, and I retain a fondness for the apocalyptic Circus of Heaven which, I remain convinced, is exactly that: a sugar-coated, wry and ironic vision of the End of all Things, so as not to frighten the children....
                        But the overall impression for me now is of a band tired of each other and worn down by the treadmill, competing with each other rather than playing together, fighting over the faders, too much partying, tax-exile-lifestyles, in debt, drugs, selling off the rashly-bought big houses and trophy cars... The end of Silent Wings is redolent of cocaine and animosity....
                        Well, I'm not 19 anymore, and now I really am a boring old fart, in the true sense, whether I wish to be or not: cynical, disappointed, wearied, but at least I no longer feel it incumbent upon me to fly a flag for a progressive counter-culture that no longer exists, if it ever really did, and blindly, fanatically defend against all naysayers that which cannot defend itself.
                        I remain,
                        Etc, etc, etc...
                        Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                        Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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                          #13
                          Tormato is probably the album that grew on me the most. My main problem: I could not stand the birotron/Polymoog sounds for a long time, found them cheap, but I learned to love them, now I dig them as kind of a fururistic-high-tech-accordeon. I like the airy atmosphere of the keys, too, they seem to hover inbetween the rest of the music.

                          All in all the album was kind of a diffuse reaction on what was going on in the music scene, kind of a domino reaction after punk and new wave and stuff. Prog- and artrockbands got more or less rougher as well, like Floyd with Animals, or just simpler like Gentle Giant.

                          I love the dynamics in Tormato and the quirky atmosphere, most of all in my two favourite tracks Future TImes/Rejoice and Arriving UFO, that lovely wild retro-futuristic-sci-fi-comic.

                          Most traditional Yessong is the still majestic On The Silent Wings Of Freedom, a shame that this one and Future Times have not ben become classic-Yessongs. I also like Circus Of Heaven, the still complex playing saves it from being kitschy. In all songs by the way there ist still so much going on, every moment is intensive and detailed. So - Bravo!



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                            #14
                            Most of the songs are mediocre to horrible, but the last three tracks make up for it a bit.

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                              #15
                              Absolutely love it, only weak link for me is Onward.

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