Listen: Yes Tales From Topographic Oceans Gets Expandedby Best Classic Bands Staff
2016 continues to be a busy year for Yes and its members past and present. The band officially billed as Yes is on a U.S. tour performing their album Drama and Sides 1 and 4 from Tales From Topographic Oceans. Meanwhile the group’s original lead vocalist Jon Anderson has teamed with former band members Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman to form ARW. They’re recording a new album and begin their own U.S. tour this fall.
Related: Anderson-Rabin-Wakeman tour details
Fans of their 1973 classic rock opus, Tales From Topographic Oceans, will be delighted to learn that the album is becoming the fifth in a series of expanded Yes editions to be reissued on DVD and Blu-ray including 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes and High-Resolution stereo mixes of the original music. Additionally, both sets add extra material mixes on CD, while the Blu-Ray edition adds a wealth of extra audio material.
Steven Wilson has produced the new mixes with the approval of the band. (Have a listen to the preview below.) Both editions feature restored artwork overseen and approved by Roger Dean with an expanded booklet containing new sleeve-notes, photos and archive material making this the definitive edition of the album.
The progressive rock titans had released albums with lengthy songs before. 1971’s Fragile included the 10:34 “Heart of the Sunrise.” The title track of 1972’s Close To The Edge occupied the entire Side One of that album, clocking in at 18:50. But Tales took that scope even further with its four compositions ranging from 18 to 21 minutes each.
The sixth studio album by Yes, Tales was presented as a double album with one track on each side, its concept is based on Anderson’s interpretation of four Shastric scriptures from a footnote in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, that Anderson and Dean discussed on a long flight to Japan (see link below). It was the first studio album to feature drummer Alan White, who replaced Bill Bruford in 1972. White joined Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Wakeman for this lineup.
It’s hard to fathom now, but no songs were released from the album as edits to pop radio, including Anderson’s beautiful vocal on the “Nous Sommes Du Soleil” portion of Side Four’s “Ritual.”
Related: Our interview with Roger Dean
Highlights of the Tales From Topographic Oceans Reissue:
• CDs features a completely new stereo album mix by Steven Wilson, a new mix of “Dance of the Dawn” and five new single edits (both editions).
• Hybrid DVD-As feature 5.1 Surround mixes and High Resolution Stereo mixes of the album mixed from the original multi-track tapes along with the original mix of the album – all at 24/96.
• Blu-Ray features all of the above – 5.2 mixes in DTS-HD MA, new mixes at 24/96, original mixes at 24/192 in LPCM Stereo + additional music including new instrumental mixes, new single edits, a complete album of alt takes (including two previously unreleased sides – one studio, one live) and needle-drops of an original U.K. vinyl pressing and a US banded promo album pressing.
• Special packaging for both formats, CD/DVD-A set in two double digi-packs in slipcase, CD/Blu-Ray in two mini vinyl replica gatefold card sleeves in slipcase.
• Additional CD in Blu-Ray edition allows for the inclusion of the complete alternate album takes on CD.
Tales became the first album in the U.K. to earn a gold certification prior to its release. It reached #1 on the U.K. Albums Chart for two weeks and peaked at #6 in the U.S.
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