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Tales From Topographic Oceans

YesAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (415 customer reviews)

Price: $18.50 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Yes are an English rock band who achieved worldwide success with their progressive, art, and symphonic style of rock music. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the progressive genre, Yes are known for their lengthy songs, mystical lyrics, elaborate album art, and live stage sets. No fewer than 18 musicians have been a part of the band's line-up, with its current form comprising singer Jon ... Read more in Amazon's Yes Store

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Tales From Topographic Oceans + Relayer + Close to the Edge
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 26, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Rhino/Elektra
  • ASIN: B00007LTIA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (415 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,020 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. The Revealing Science Of God Dance Of The Dawn
2. The Remembering High The Memory
3. The Ancient Giants Under The Sun
Disc: 2
1. Ritual Nous Sommes Du Soleil
2. Dance Of The Dawn (Studio Run-Through)
3. Giants Under The Sun (Studio Run-Through)

Editorial Reviews

2-CD set with two bonus tracks: previously unreleased studio run-throughs of Dance of the Dawn and Giants Under the Sun !

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
251 of 267 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales Revisited March 29, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I reviewed the original version of "Tales from Topographic Oceans" back in October 2002. More recently I purchased this expanded two CD version from Rhino that includes not only the original four tracks, but a studio run-through of "Dance of the Dawn" and "Giants Under the Sun." Jon Anderson's vocals sound a bit thready and weak in the studio run-through, and the harmonies have yet to be added, yet, there is a certain charm to these run-throughs and the music is powerful.

"Tales" is a deeply philosophical album that is not for the meditative faint of heart. While much music is created to be toe-tapping and easy to sing to, "Tales" is in that genre usually called progressive rock, in a sub-genre that requires intense analysis to understand. The result is an album that is inaccessible and incomprehensible to a casual listener. In order to understand this music you must read the lyrics and listen, and listen, and then listen some more. Even then you might fail to gain a glimmer of Yes' intent.

"Tales from Topographic Oceans" would have to qualify as one of the most if not the most deeply complicated rock music ever created. Again, if you are a casual listener the complexity of the music can be frustrating or boring. However, if you consider that classical music is often complex, and to be understood requires extended focused listening, it should be of little surprise that Yes took that complexity for its own in the development of this music, creating a symphony in four movements.

The first movement is titled "The Revealing Science of God: Dance of the Dawn". The lyrics have no meaning, and they also have meaning. Confusing? Oh yeah.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a listenable version of Tales September 14, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album is arguably the all time "whipping boy" of progressive rock. Hardcore Yes fans tend to love it and others tend to hate it. Also, due to its length and opulent title/artwork it falls prey to a multitude of Spinaltap-esque jokes.
Personally, I love it. Always have. I've owned this on vinyl and now 2 CD masters. This is the FIRST version that I've heard that actually sounds good. Its miraculous what Rhino have done with this. You can actually hear parts on here that were completely lost in the muddiness of previous masters.
I've always thought this was strong musically, but some will disagree. If you've already decided you hate this album, you might consider giving it a second shot with this master.
The ONLY complaint other than it taking 30 years to have this work properly mastered is that the artwork, while good for a CD remaster - is, well, its the size of a CD obviously. This cover is one of the strongest that Roger Dean did for Yes and it was meant to go on an album obviously - and BIG. I remember this hippy chick I knew bringing this over to the house with about 20 other records back in the 70's. This cover and Anderson's Olias album were two of the wildest things I think I'd ever seen!
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110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical and beautiful. March 18, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I can imagine the time when this album first came out. Yes fans must have praised the album for its daring, its ingenuity, its LENGTH. Now I can imagine things ten years later, with rock critics ridiculing the album for everything from its mystic lyrics, pompous songwriting, indulgent musicianship... everything for which progressive rock has been derided. Even Yes' diehard fans have decidedly mixed feelings regarding this epic work. To them, it could be the pinnacle achievement of Yes' estimable career, or it could the be the most grandiloquent album EVER.
Time and time again I've tried to empathize with those who dislike this album, thinking that perhaps their criticisms have some merit. Still, I can't get over the fact that this is truly excellent work. I think the music is simply sublime, many of the most wonderful passages that Yes ever recorded. Not as cohesive as the epics on "Close to the Edge" (still my favorite Yes album), but certainly more dynamic, it takes countless listens to fully appreciate. Even 25 years after its release, I'm still finding new elements to this richly absorbing work.
It's all anchored by that awesome rhythm section of Alan White's drums and Chris Squire's mammoth bass guitar, while Wakeman's lush synthesizers add ambiance and depth, and Steve Howe's guitar artistry is sophisticated and engaging. Jon Anderson's trippy lyrics and soulful, radiant singing are topnotch. Although the lyrics are mostly confusing, I believe their meanings are meant to be vague. They rely on surreal and romantic imagery to generate feeling in the listener in musical context. It doesn't really matter because the lyrics attain an emotional connection regardless of what they are actually about.
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84 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A major work of its time, but now increasingly timeless November 7, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Back in 1973, the target market for this sort of music -- 14 to 22-year-olds, mostly male, academic rather than sporty -- had time on its hands. You need to remember that:
1. There was no Internet.
2. There was no GameBoy, Playstation or other video game.
3. There were just three TV stations (for us in the UK), and they usually closed down before midnight.
4. There was no video-recording medium available at an affordable price.
As a teenager at the time, I remember sitting around a lot doing not much!
The one artistic medium that the consumer could really control was sound i.e. music, with radio, LPs and the compact cassette working together to enable the listener to enjoy the material whenever he or she wanted. People spent proportionately much more of their income on this one medium than they do now. (Indeed concert tickets at the time typically cost rather less than an LP.) So many artists put a lot of effort to get their recorded output as perfect as possible. Pink Floyd, for example, spent years getting 'The Dark Side of the Moon', also released in 1973, precisely right.
Other artists, such as Genesis and Yes, decided for one album each that more effort meant more length. Genesis produced 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway', while Yes created the controversial 'Tales from Topographic Oceans'.
I had been entranced by Yes, ever since buying a cassette version of 'Close to the Edge' the previous year, purely on the basis of a few colour photos! I had pre-ordered the new double LP from a mail order firm that believed it was called 'Tales from Tobergraphic Oceans'.
I have to admit that even in those days, you needed to be a pretty committed fan to defend the album.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Please Don't Listen to the Bad Reviews
There are WAY too many 1, 2, and 3 star reviews of this album from people who claim to love the 3 albums that preceded it and the one that followed it. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Strummer71
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes Tales.
Excellent vintage effort by Yes.
Published 27 days ago by Michael Lindblade
5.0 out of 5 stars YES fan, loves this album
Best album ever from my favorite band.
Published 1 month ago by Dan O'Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 1 month ago by gary b lojkutz
1.0 out of 5 stars Malware/fraud warning -- do not buy digital version of this album
I bought the digital version of this album and now, AFTER the purchase, with no prior warning, Amazon refuses to allow me to download the files unless I first install some malware... Read more
Published 2 months ago by no so-called
4.0 out of 5 stars BUDDHIST ROCK: ANDERSON & HOWE PLUS BACKING BAND
In Dan Hedges’ book (1980), Jon Anderson sums up the record pretty well as a mix “high ideals and low energy”. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Carlo Matthews
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes Hit Their Peak
I originally bought this record in 1974 and over the years it has become my favourite Yes album. Tales was a different type of rock album, and more ambitious than anything tried... Read more
Published 2 months ago by David Lindsay
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost At Si?
Lengthy and daringly ambitious. 4 side-long movements that all contain some of Yes's most sublime music ever. Read more
Published 2 months ago by sikarv
5.0 out of 5 stars I heard Yes play parts of this just months before the original vinyl...
I was mesmerized and some of the melodies stayed with me for decades. This is such fine music and if you've never beard it before, it's a classic and timeless. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul V. Beyerl
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales
This is one of my favorite albums from YES, LP's are in very good condition, good sound, nice packaging, arrived on time.
Published 3 months ago by Rudy
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Topic From this Discussion
Yes Albums: Where to find Live version of South Side of the Sky
There's one on Live at Montreux 2003. There are also performances of the song on the Yesspeak Songs from Tsongas, and The New Director's Cut DVDs, as well as the montreux 03 DVD of course

you can probably find most of 'em on youtube. here's that montreux one:... Read More
May 27, 2012 by David Frost |  See all 3 posts
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