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Tales from the Topographic Oceans [Original recording remastered, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued]

Yes Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 23.33 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Tales from the Topographic Oceans + Close to the Edge (Expanded) + Relayer (Expanded)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 50.89

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Product Details

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
3. Giants Under The Sun

Product Description


This album is very much like Moby Dick, more talked-about than actually seen or heard. Even at the time, in the full flush of prog-rock's mania, the sheer scale of Yes' venture--a double album based on Parmhansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, divided into four separate "suites" with names like "The Ancient"--seemed a little much. (A disgruntled Rick Wakeman once said, "it's like wading through a cesspool to get to a water lily.") Today, it seems like the defining gesture of an entire strand of English art-rock: lofty, narcissistic, utterly self-absorbed. One could argue that time has not been kind to Jon Anderson's lyrics, a cockeyed melange of hippie mysticism and fourth-form poetry; on the other hand, the intricate arrangements showcase the band's real strengths: its instrumental prowess and (at rare moments) a surprising sensitivity--the final section, the "Nous Sommes du Soleil" theme, is remarkably delicate and lovely. Bloated, over-extended and ultimately insubstantial, this is, for better or worse, a true one-of-a-kind. --Andrew McGuire

Product Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes at their best in spite of the flaws Dec 25 2004
Format:Audio CD
I've been revisiting the prog rock classics that I listened to in my adolescence. As a classically trained professional musician, I was wondering if any of these recordings would thrill me the same way as they did back then. I'm happy to report that they do. I can't imagine anybody with an ear for music not being blown away by the superb musicianship of the members of Yes, ELP and Genesis. (I've also had a chance to listen to Brand X so add them to the list as well!).
Which is a longwinded way of getting to Tales from Topographic Oceans. I bought this album back in the 70's and never listened to it more than a couple of times. It left me cold. I guess I was expecting it to really kick ass like Close to the Edge. (Since I've returned to Tales, I have to admit that, at first, I missed the the punch that the bass and drums had on the earlier Yes recordings).
Given the dearth of interesting pop music over the last twenty years, I got the CD to give Tales another chance. Now that I have had the opportunity to listen to it a few times, I have to say it is an extremely moving listening experience. Yes, the flaws are well documented (lots of great sections but nothing that holds together overall as well as Close to the Edge, lots of padding, too much of a Steve Howe vanity project, not enough Wakeman, experimental bits that sound way out of place). Now let's talk about the strengths. This album has the most beautiful music that Yes ever made, bar none. For example, is there anything in all of Yes's recordings that compares to Wakeman's Mellotron and Moog episodes in Remembering? How about the last 5 minutes of "Ancient"? Steve Howe and Jon Anderson are at the top of their form throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better after aging 20 years (me, not the album) April 28 2004
Format:Audio CD
I'm not going to get in the debate over where this album fits in the "officially sanctioned" order of Yes's albums. Each and every one of us puts that in a different order - heck, I put them in a drastically different order now than I did 20 years ago. And that'll probably change in another 20 years, God willing.
My brother introduced me to Yes in the late 70's - Close to the Edge in its entirety and Roundabout were far and away my favorites then ('course, they were his, too -- hmmm). In '82, in the midst of my punk & new wave phase, I bought Fragile on a whim. Within 3 weeks, I had EVERYTHING they'd ever released. WOW!! It was all fantastic and I couldn't get enough of them. Thankfully, I was single and in the USAF so I could blow every $$ and still have room&board :-)
Years went by, I lost most of my album collection in the late 80s, and I didn't listen to any Yes until a year ago, when I started buying the CDs (CTTE first). As I build my collection again, I find that TFTO is now far and away my favorite. If it were possible to wear out a CD, it'd be trashed after only 4 months! (BTW, Fragile, Relayer, and Tormato have all taken a precipitous slide in my ordering - some good but much not good).
I am absolutely astonished how good this is. As many others have pointed out, its long songs do demand much of you to listen carefully throughout. But I find that the best part. My life is so busy these days (mid-40s, mid-career, mid-kids, mid-life). To take the time and sit quietly throughout this whole album is a beautiful break in my life. I find much of it very uplifting and re-energizing, and very little of it that is not fascinating. I play it over and over at work (thank goodness for wireless headphones and relaxed management!).
Give it a good listen - give it a 100 good listens - I think it's worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happened to this song we once knew so well? Jan. 27 2004
Format:Audio CD
I'll tell you what happened: This fellow Bill Inglott remastered it to absolute perfection! It truly is like hearing it for the very first time (and I've been listening to this album at least once every couple of months for the last 25 years). And the new 2-minute intro to RSOG really brings the album title into perspective.
I've always been a huge fan of Yes. It's always amused me how members of the music press have felt almost duty-bound to create new and creative ways to slag this band, and particularly this album. The most ridiculous ones that I've read is that TFTO is "inaccessible", "elitist", and "exclusionary". However, the simple fact is that anyone with 20 bucks and a stereo has access to this album. There is no conspiracy to exclude certain people from hearing it! And, the best kept secret about TFTO is that: IT ROCKS!
I love most of the Yes albums, but this is the one I always go back to.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
First of all, and it's not incredibly important but here it is anyway, "Tales of Topographic Oceans" boasts the single greatest cover in the history of albums, period, end of story. You can stare at it for hours and find new bedevilments, and you don't even have to be high. An album cover, when it's not just a perfunctory photo of the band staring moodily into the camera, can be a powerful aphrodesiac and a clue, giving you a taste of what you're in for if you buy the album...and that is exactly what Roger Dean's absolutely magnificent cover painting does. You know what you're looking at...and yet you DON'T know what you're looking at, and that's exactly the sensation you feel listening to "Tales".
Okay: check this out. Trek back to the 1970's, when there were no such things as CDs, just vinyl albums with two sides, about 20 minutes each side. Throw on 5 or, if you're daring, 6 songs on each side, each track about 3 minutes long, and you're done. Blah blah blah. Then...along come bands like Yes and Genesis and King Crimson, encouraged by the likes of Dylan and the Beatles, and they say, "To HELL with the accepted norm...and not just song length, not just song subject matter, not just instruments...but to hell with EVERYTHING you ever told us we could do. Why can't rock music fit onto a jazz platform? Why not a classical music platform? Why not try something different? Why not try EVERYTHING???" So try they did, and those who must name every new thing called it Progressive Rock, and it was good. Then came the ultimate Prog Rock album, Yes's "Tales of Topographic Oceans", a double album with just FOUR songs, each 20 minutes long, each filling one album side, the single ballsiest move in rock and roll since "Sgt. Peppers"...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes At Their Biggest
Yes fans are very fickle towards this album, and rightfully so. It is by far their toughest effort to swallow, leaving casual Yes fans sratching their heads. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2004 by Patrick Landry
5.0 out of 5 stars I've seen some deaf people who said this is a bad album
I found this album very enjoyable right after the first listening. I recommend it to anyone.
The songs are long, but I really don't care. They're just darn good. Read more
Published on July 19 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes' Epic Album Is Bloated....And Darn Good
Most progressive-rock bands have that one sweeping, 20-minute epic somewhere on one of their albums. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Alan Caylow
5.0 out of 5 stars Good pop album
I'm not especially a prog rock fan, but I like this album. Up to Fragile (included), Yes was rather clumsily (in a relative way) putting together different musical parts to form... Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by Belisarius
5.0 out of 5 stars Tantric Ritual
This is not only one of the great albums of all times, it is a cosmic mirror through which deep stages of consciousness can be perceived. Read more
Published on June 11 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Stinker
When this came out it was the first Yes album released that I didn't/wouldn't buy! I listened to it over at a buddies place and I'm almost certain the reason he bought it was to... Read more
Published on June 10 2004 by booboo bear
5.0 out of 5 stars BORING???!!
Im not gonna make this long. This is my favorite Yes album by far and one of my favorite albums ever. All the songs are absolutely stunning and beautiful. Read more
Published on May 26 2004 by tim
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!
Yes really shines when they do longer songs. I can't understand why anyone who is interested in music as a whole would not love this. Tales is one of their best. Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by Justin Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars The peak of humanity made WAY better by new remaster!
This album is so indescribably beautiful, spiritual, emotional, and, on the first 12 minutes of "The Ancient" and much of the second half of "Ritual," intensely... Read more
Published on May 5 2004 by Karl Meischen
5.0 out of 5 stars essential prog rock
essential prog rock. 2 cd's and 4 long trippy songs
Published on April 30 2004 by Ignaciocue
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