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Studio album by Yes
Released 20 September 1978
Recorded December 1977 – June 1978 at Advision Studios
(London, England)
Genre Progressive rock
Length 41:35
Label Atlantic
Producer Yes, Brian Lane
Yes chronology
Going for the One
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (3.8/10)[2]
Rolling Stone (unfavourable)[3]

Tormato is the ninth studio album from the English progressive rock band Yes, released in September 1978 on Atlantic Records.


Tormato is Yes' last studio album to feature both singer Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman in the band's line-up before Yes disbanded in December 1980.

The album received a mixed response upon its release;[4] the main subject of criticism for the album is the quality in production, which led to a compressed and dull sound.[5]

Rick Wakeman has said that Yes never got the best out of some of the material on Tormato, while Steve Howe admitted that Yes were unsure of themselves musically at the time. It would be the final studio album to feature Rick Wakeman until his return in 1991 (on the Union album), and the last to feature Jon Anderson until the band's 1983 reformation.

Nonetheless, Tormato – which was the subject of another Hipgnosis cover design – was still a Top 10 hit worldwide, and produced the minor hit single, "Don't Kill the Whale".

The original album title was to be Yes Tor, referring to a geological formation in southern England. The photographs taken by Hipgnosis for the album cover were seen as so unimpressive that Rick Wakeman, in frustration, threw a tomato at the pictures. The cover and title were adjusted accordingly.[6][7]

Chart performance[edit]

Released on 20 September 1978, Tormato peaked at number 8 in the UK and number 10 in the US.


  • UK-Silver [8]
  • US-Platinum [9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Future Times/Rejoice"   Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Alan White ("Rejoice" by Anderson alone) 6:46
2. "Don't Kill the Whale"   Anderson, Squire 3:56
3. "Madrigal"   Anderson, Wakeman 2:25
4. "Release, Release"   Anderson, White, Squire 5:44
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
5. "Arriving UFO"   Anderson, Howe, Wakeman 6:07
6. "Circus of Heaven" (featuring the voice of Anderson's son, Damion) Anderson 4:31
7. "Onward"   Squire (arrangement and orchestration by Andrew Pryce Jackman) 4:05
8. "On the Silent Wings of Freedom"   Anderson, Squire 7:47

Reissues and bonus tracks[edit]

  • 1991 – Atlantic – CD
  • 1994 – Atlantic – CD (Remastered )
  • 2004 – Rhino – CD (Remastered with bonus tracks )
  • 2013 - Rhino - CD as part of The Studio Albums 1969-1987

The 2004 reissue includes several bonus tracks. "Everybody's Song" is an early version of what became "Does It Really Happen?" on Drama. A solo on the piece sounds more like the work of Patrick Moraz than Wakeman, dating the song to sessions from before Going for the One; in a 2006 interview for Notes from the Edge, Moraz agreed that it probably was him. "Days", an a cappella recording, and "Some Are Born" would later be re-worked by Anderson for his solo album Song of Seven. "Countryside" would be re-worked by Howe as "Corkscrew" for the album Turbulence. "High" would be re-worked by Howe as the instrumental "Sketches in the Sun", later released on GTR. "Money" was previously released on Yesyears. It features a satirical voice-over by Wakeman pretending to be Denis Healey, Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer 1974–9 and disliked by more than one successful rock musician for his policies of high taxation rates for the wealthy. "Picasso" is a song about famous artist Pablo Picasso and would later be re-worked for Anderson's yet to be released musical Chagall. This reissue was released again 9 years later (on 2 December internationally and 24 December in the US) as part of the box set The Studio Albums 1969-1987.


  • Arranged & produced By Yes
  • Recorded & engineered By Geoff Young & Nigel Luby
  • Additional engineering By Peter Woolliscroft & Pete Schwier
  • Disk cutting by Sean Davis at Strawberry Studios, London
  • Mixing and additional recording at Rak Studios, London
  • Executive producer-Brian Lane
  • Sleeve design by Hipgnosis
  • Photography by Hipgnosis/Brimson Graphics-Colin Elgie
  • Yes logo designed by Roger Dean


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Pitchfork review
  3. ^ Emerson, Ken (28 December 1978). "Yes: Tormato". Music Reviews. Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 20 December 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Emerson, Ken (28 December 1978). "Yes: Tormato". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  5. ^ Chris Welch, Close to the Edge: The Story of Yes, pg. 174, Omnibus Press (2003), ISBN 0-7119-9509-5
  6. ^ Wright, Jeb (May 2002). "Rick Wakeman of Yes". Classic Rock Revisited. Archived from the original on 6 January 2004. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  7. ^ Tiano, Mike (3 September 2008). "Conversation with Roger Dean (nfte #308)". Notes From the Edge. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  • Tormato, CD booklet essay, Tim Jones, c.2003
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c.2002
  • Yescography entry