There are a number of “Supergroups” which produced dozens of records and at some point I will need to tackle and decide on one album to put on the list of my top 100 albums to listen front to back, groups like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Genesis, and Yes is one of them. I absolutely LOVE Yes, and I can proudly say I own all of their 1st pressings in both U.S. and U.K. version and so the choice is very difficult, but in the end, I must look at myself in the mirror and be honest about my choices and while a critic will most likely pick “Close to the Edge”, or “The Yes Album”, or “Fragile”, “Relayer, or even “Yessongs” few would pick “Tormato” as their top albums, well, I DO! And I chose it without hesitation.
Tormato is a journey, and the ONLY Yes album that I can listen to it in the exact order it was published or I will not listen to it at all. There are absolutely NO hits here, just songs that build on each other, songs that take you through a musical journey . Take Side A, we begin with Future Times with the vocals of Jon Anderson setting the stage, soaring, flying high above, making you dream, imagination running wild and and leading you into Rejoice, like a Medieval minuet, dancing notes giving you peace and serenity, and while you settle into this state of mind, little by little it leads into “Don’t Kill The Whale” and finally into “Release, Release” and musical world of complete madness.
Every-time I come close to the end of Side A I reach a point of insanity, the music takes me to a place where I cannot stand it anymore, like being on the edge of your chair, tilting backwards on two legs, and as you are about to fall…. you grab a hold of your desk and return to safety. This to me is Side A, slowly cooking you into this state of mind and finally saving you, and none of it could be achieved unless you traveled through the entirety of Side A.
NO other Yes album gives me this feeling and provides these emotions and so while other records have better composition, better musicianship, better production, recording, graphics, covers, you name it, Tormato remains my favorite and the ONLY album of Yes that I don’t tire of it over time and could listen to it back-to-back-to back.