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Tales from Topographic Oceans [Bonus Tracks]
     

Tales from Topographic Oceans [Bonus Tracks]

4.5 9
by Yes
 

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This is still the least accessible album that Yes ever recorded and not the place to start listening to them, but Tales From Topographic Oceans also has considerable virtues (including many sublimely beautiful passages) that are brought out here as never before. This is actually the fourth

Overview

This is still the least accessible album that Yes ever recorded and not the place to start listening to them, but Tales From Topographic Oceans also has considerable virtues (including many sublimely beautiful passages) that are brought out here as never before. This is actually the fourth distinct CD version of this album -- the first was issued in the late '80s, a poor sounding version in a wide, double jewel box package; in 1996 came an upgrade in a narrow double jewel case that was an improvement, but even then it lagged behind the best audio quality of the time. In 2001 came a mini-LP-packaged edition from Japan that sonically ran circles around all prior versions; and now the Elektra-Rhino's slipcased, expanded version, which is different from all prior editions. The high resolution digital sound brings out nuances in both the electric and acoustic sections of the material that sound new. Internal detail in Rick Wakeman's keyboard parts, Steve Howe's guitar playing, and even in the layered vocal harmonies were all things that had always escaped notice but obviously mattered to the makers, as they were there. The producers have also retained an extension to the opening of "The Revealing Science of God" that was originally made for its inclusion on the In a Word box. The producers have moved the first three tracks of the four-track album onto disc one, leaving space on disc two for a pair of studio outtakes, early run-throughs of "Dance of the Dawn" (which became "The Revealing Science of God"), and "Giants Under the Sun" (which became "The Ancient") -- these present a looser, more relaxed side of Yes as they try to devise the final versions of each track, with Jon Anderson in particular finding his way around phrases that would later be broadened and more deeply layered. There are also several musical phrases and sections that were modified or dropped as the final versions of these pieces evolved. The annotation is extremely thorough, complete with a good performing history of the album.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2003
Label:
Elektra / Wea
UPC:
0081227379124
catalogNumber:
73791
Rank:
10896

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Yes   Primary Artist
Rick Wakeman   Keyboards,Moog Synthesizer,Timpani,Mellotron,Group Member
Jon Anderson   Vocals,Group Member
Steve Howe   Guitar
Chris Squire   Timpani,Fretless Bass Guitar,Group Member
Alan White   Percussion,Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Rick Wakeman   Composer
Jon Anderson   Composer
Steve Howe   Composer
Chris Squire   Composer
Yes   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Alan White   Composer
Greg Allen   Art Direction
Bill Inglot   Producer
Eddy Offord   Audio Production
Bryan Lasley   Art Direction
Mike Tiano   Liner Notes

Customer Reviews

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Tales from Topographic Oceans 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For me the first time I heard this album I liked it but not as much as the second time because maybe I paid more attention to all the details. My favorite songs are Revealing science of God, and Ritual, but the other two I consider also very good and are needed for the album to be whole. Ancient was considered the most avante-gard song of it´s time with all it´s crazy and primitive sounds. I just felt love in all the album, maybe because of my humanist nature and my curiosity for the unknown and wanting a more faithful life, I don´t know , being closer to God.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In classic Yes style, this album needs to be listened to and not just heard! Truly for the affectionado's of Yes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one probably qualifies as the most progressive prog album ever made. Four 20-minute suites featuring lengthy instrumentals and completely incomprehensible lyrics are the meat of this double disc set. Hardcore prog listeners and those with long attention spans will probably enjoy hearing it over and over, finding new harmonies and nuances each time. But frankly, most pop listeners will more likely find it boring and unintelligible.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a massive scale work much in the same vein as a four movement symphony. "Tales From Topographic Oceans" has generated a lot of controversy because of it's length and perceived self indulgence. The reality, this is a very good listen for the patience ear. I think if the album would have been recorded after the invention of the CD the length of the songs would be a little shorter and more concise. Nonetheless this album has some beautiful melodies and fine playing. 'The Revealing Science Of God' is my favorite track. The latter half of 'The Remembering' is very moving and 'Ritual' has a very memorable melody. Lay down for a while with a set of headphones and enjoy this piece of musical history. Yes must be commended for stretching the boundaries of music with this offering. This kind of recording doesn't happen anymore and not on a major label. The 70's, what a beautiful time for music and it's followers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the greatest pieces of music ever written. A true masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is not for those who prefer three-minute songs. That said, there is something in this album that should awaken and please the senses of most prog-rock fans, and everyone else who has an open mind for new music. I, personally, found it to be the most beautiful piece of modern music ever written, and I do not say that lightly; it showcases that within life that is good and joyous--without becoming overly preachy, while still allowing itself to be dark at times--without becoming overly heavy. The textures of the sound evoke everything from the scent of pine needles and green growing things on a sunny day to complete sorrow, while always reminding us that the 'days of summer, so long' complete with their evenings of dancing and happiness, will always and inevitably return. Mind you, this all falls short of the mark that the album itself sets in the eloquence department. I wish that I could describe it better, but as far as recommendations go...If you like Dreamtime, from Magnification, you will like TTO. If you like Roundabout, you will like TTO. If you liked Talk, you will like TTO. If you have never listened to Yes, try the Highlights album first, because twenty-minute songs with this kind of orchestration take some getting used to. Otherwise, enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was a young Yes fan back in the 1970's, this album was the one Yes album I could never wrap my head around. The songs were so long, with so many parts, that I was overwhelmed. It wasn't until college that many listens finally revealed to me the utter majesty of Topographic Oceans. When it finally came together for me, it was an epiphany. I consider this the crowning jewel in the Yes oeuvre, the most daring, audacious, challenging, and rewarding album they ever made. It truly is an ocean of musical achievement. Each band member rises gloriously to the occasion. I cherish every second of this album. Truly their finest hour.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't let the title fool you, I love Tales from Topographic Oceans. When I listened to it for the first time, I was angry that I had wasted money on such an inferior effort. The tracks, with the exception of Ritual: Nous Sommes du Soleil, were forgotten. Later, I decided that I should probably give it another chance. Boy, was I pleased. The Revealing Science of God is amazing, The Remembering is fantastic, The Ancient is...well, the Ancient is kinda weird. Spooky. I like it though. And of course there is the all important Ritual. I can't give this five stars - it's no Close to the Edge - but if you are a true fan of Yes, you will probably find something that you like here, as well as one part that you probably don't like quite as much.