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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans
Rhino Records
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2003-09-04
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Artist: Yes (www.yesworld.com)
Title: Tales From Topographic Oceans
Label: Rhino Records (www.rhino.com)
Genre: Rock/British Psychedelia, AOR, Pop, Progressive, Art, Symphonic
Format: 2 CDs-Expanded and Remastered
Release Date: 1973/2003

Tales From Topographic Oceans is a remarkable album. It was in 1973 and it still is today. It seems that many Yes albums have attained that lofty status over the years. This one in particular was risqué in that it was such an enormous undertaking and so complex to record and mix. The result was a definitive progressive rock masterpiece that served as a benchmark for all other aspiring like-minded groups to follow.

This album marked the departure of drummer extraordinaire Biil Bruford and the emergence of Alan White. Did this all-important change affect the group? I dare say it did not. White was every bit adept with his drum kit as Bruford was. It is also interesting to note that this was not one of Rick Wakeman's favorite albums and hence his departure was eminent as well unfortunately.

Well, on to the brighter side of things. This beautifully remastered copy comes housed in a nice slipcase with the old-fashioned gatefold album sleeve style to emulate the original vinyl release, which I absolutely love. With the exception of one track, "The Ancient Giants Under the Sun," which clocked in at 18:37, the other three songs were over twenty minutes long! What a marvelous achievement. At the time critics surely must have thought it was a bit self-indulgent, but after all this was a band with a string of successes behind it and why not push the envelope one more time to see what would happen? Thank the good Lord they did, where would we be in progressive rock right now without pioneers like Yes, I shudder at the thought.

There are two very remarkable and entertaining bonus tracks on this remastered magnum opus, "Dance of the Dawn (Studio Run-Through) " and "Giants Under The Sun (Studio Run-Through)." They are both studio practice sessions. It gives you a glimpse of each composition in its infancy. I do not think I need to add anything else except that you should get all of these remasters, they are essential for any progressive rock collection.

Disc One
1. The Revealing Science of God - Dance of the Dawn - 20:23
2. The Remembering High the Memory - 20:35
3. The Ancient Giants Under the Sun - 18:37

Disc Two
4. Ritual - Nous Sommes du Soleil - 21:33

Bonus Tracks:
5. Dance of the Dawn (Studio Run-Through) - 23:10 (Previously Unissued)
6. Giants Under The Sun (Studio Run-Through) - 17:34 (Previously Unissued)

Lineup 1972:
Rick Wakeman - Keyboards
Jon Anderson - Vocals
Alan White - Percussion, Drums
Steve Howe - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Squire - Bass, Vocals
Yes - Arranger, Producer
Roger Dean - Design, Photography, Cover Design, Paintings, Logo, Cover Art


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