Tales from Topographic Oceans [Bonus Tracks]

( 9 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
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 The producers have also retained an extension to the opening of "The Revealing Science of God" that was originally made for its inclusion on the In a Word box.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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2003
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 081227379124
  • Catalog Number: 73791
  • Sales rank: 24,316

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, Remastering
Eddy Offord Audio Production
Bryan Lasley Art Direction
Mike Tiano Liner Notes
Daniel Hersch Remastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Well Told Tales

    To understand my opinions and thoughts about this album you must first understand how I came to be listening to "Progressive Rock". About a year ago I purchased Pink Floyd's incredible " The Dark Side of The Moon" I then purchased " Wish You We're Here" and then started buying just about every PF album I saw. It wasn't till a few months ago I decided to explore as a Genre Progressive Rock, Pink Floyd is without a doubt the most well know "Prog Rock" act but there are others. And I figured if they're half as good as Pink Floyd they'd be worth spending some money on. Whether Pink Floyd is the best of the Genre is a question hardcore fans will debate till the end but their are others, amongst them, Yes. Out of Progressive Rock however " Tales from Topographic Oceans" stood out. Sure Prog Rock has done Double albums before but 4 twenty minute long tracks that combine into an eighty minute album? definately one of the most ambitious pieces, up there with " Thick As a Brick" ambition wise. With a name like " Tales From Topographic Oceans" it's hard to resist. I listened to about 10 minutes of the first track on YouTube and was sold. Now I've possesed the album for 4 days or so and I've been listening to it constantly. The album is in a word Incredible very rarely do such well done tunes come together, even less on a scale like this. The album is brilliant it's very hard to describe it has power, little music has the ability to move one emotional but this does trust me. I dont want to spoil anything but this is my best spoiler free review. 1: The Revealing Science of God, this version of the album comes with a lengthy booklet describing the philosophical hodgepodge behind this song considering it merely on it's own merits its a great song it begins with a few guitar cues and a sound like that one when you put your ear under water, then a strange almost mystical sounding chanting begins it goes on and on getting louder and louder and then, when it's almost unbearable the song explodes with Revealing's main theme and a great theme it is. The song changes throughout but always gets back to it's roots. My favorite parts are the main theme, the "Glory to sons" part, the "Overhanging trees" part and the " what happened to this song..." overall one of my favorites off the album. 5/5 2: The Remembering, I love the theme this song starts off with it's feels so light and happy and I also like the " I do think very well" my other favorite part is the " Relllayyyyyerrr" part a word that would become the title for Yes's next album. 4/5 3: The Ancient, all these songs are great but of all of them this one is kind of boring it just drones on in parts I love the " without You" refrain but aside from that and a few other select parts this is at the bottom of the album IMHO. 4/5 4. Ritual, definatley my other favorite this brings the album to a close and in an incredibly epic way trust me the guitar is insane my only disapointment is the last minute or so that forces the album to it's funeral dirge like ending with a few solemn strings being plucked. Now I realize this is suppose to be thematic but the effect is lost on me, it should've have ended with the " We Love when we playyyy" theme aside from that a great track and worthy finale to the album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A part we offer...

    I paid $5 to see Yes at Madison Square Garden circa 1973/4?, and that's where I heard "Tales" for the first time. I have had multiple versions of this album, on 8-track and Lp and cassette, CD, etc, but this one truly reveals what the musicians meant to put out. As previously stated, unless you understand this work, you'll probably hate it, but then again, I hated beer the first time I tried it.... I'm sure Rick hated it too. Give it a serious spin, and in a few hearings, I think you'll begin to get it. Think of "Tales" as a daytrip in the development of humankind, starting with the dawn, waking up and going through morning, school, afternoon at the beach, early evening reflections, and then night and darkness again. This is the cycle of life exposed in this marvelously underrated masterpiece. Listen to the Mellotron craftfully framing Steve Howe's mellow phrasing, against a magnificent bass line and superb drum work. Rick Wakeman's ocean comes alive on disc 2, and this is about the time when it all makes sense. Of course, who could forget the Vedas, whence this idea sprang forth in the words of Yogananda, and captured by the brains of Anderson?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    YES YES YES!!!

    This is absolutely a great album. For the drummer enthusiasts, Alan White offically joins Yes as their permanent drummer replacing founding drummer Bill Bruford. People may think that there is a symphony orchestra performance on this album, but it's Rick Wakeman on keyboards, which is making the sound of a string section of a symphony orchestra, and speaking of Rick Wakeman, this album makes his last album with Yes, because he continued his solo excursion, with his 1974 album of Journey To The Center of the Earth, but then 1977 he returns to Yes with their album "Going For The One". One thing about this album, is that everything on it is great, and every Yes fan would enjoy this album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Try this album out for size

    Yes are a band that are terrific. I would easily say that they are one of my favourite bands. I will say this though, they have an appeal like that of sci-fi movies (the whole of prog rock does really)and being a Yes fan in the musical universe is not unlike being a trekkie. Die hard trekkies love every movie- and pour over the contents for hours. I'll admit my guilty pleasure now- I like Tales From Topographic Oceans. And, reading the reveiws above, I am ultimately very pleased to find I am not alone. If you are reading this reveiw and havn't heard Yes, I suggest you start with earlier Yes albums. But, if you don't mind being laughed at by the punks who rate the album as "worst ever", have an hour and twenty minuites of your evening spare and like an adventure, Tales could just be your album. Pour yourself a drink, put the headphones on, and get transported through four very differing musical landscapes, that will always throw up a suprise or twenty, plus some awesome focused musicianship and genuinely beautiful music. Nobody will know.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sublimely Yes

    This much-maligned album has always been YES at the apex of their creative and musical gifts. With a lyrical depth and musical risk-taking, this was the last recording where they dared to challenge themselves without a glance at the reviews and sales quotas. With an ebb and flow, creating a tension and release within each song, there is more depth to the music than almost anything else under the umbrella of rock. I still listen to Tales From Topographic Oceans, for the nostalgia and the insight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Well...

    The first time listening to this album, I was disgusted that I had spent money on the most over-pretentious piece of music I'd ever heard. But another listening proved at least the first and last tracks to be classic Yes. The middle two are, in my opinion, the hardest to get through, especially The Ancient, but if you stick with it, and you really like Yes, you'll find its virtues among the double-disc four-track monstrosity. Still, start with Fragile or Close to the Edge, or even The Yes Album

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You either love this album or you hate it

    There's no middle ground with Yes' 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' - either you're a serious Yes fan and appreciate the intricacies and nuances that are all over the four side-length (on LP that is) pieces, or it's a bloated, unlistenable slab of the most excessive prog-rock ever. An amazing piece of work for Yes, not their best album but their most polarizing to be sure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews