Yes continues expanded series of classic album reissues with Tales From Topographic Oceans
Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes had to overcome a generational shift in its audience—and the departure of prominent members at key points in its history—to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. Most telling is the band’s ability to remain relevant thanks to attracting listeners of all ages, who are consistently drawn to the group’s mix of “daunting virtuosity, cosmic (often mystical) lyrics, complex musical textures, and powerful yet delicate lead vocals.” Since 1971, Yes has released 21 studio albums, 14 live albums, 32 compilations, 34 singles, and 19 videos.
Yes roared into 1973 behind three career-defining albums that included The Yes Album (1971), Fragile (1971), and Close to the Edge (1972). The albums were further marked by the singles ‘I've Seen All Good People’ and ‘Roundabout,’ which were Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Album tracks and concert favorites such as ‘Yours Is No Disgrace,’ ‘Starship Trooper,’ and ‘Long Distance Runaround’ also helped establish Yes in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Tales From Topographic Oceans is the sixth studio album by Yes. The 1973 release on Atlantic Records was presented as a double album with one track on each side. The concept album is based on singer Jon Anderson’s interpretation of four Shastric scriptures from a footnote in “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. It’s also the first studio album to feature drummer Alan White, who replaced Bill Bruford in 1972.
Reviews were mixed, but Tales From Topographic Oceans was a commercial success, becoming the fourth straight Yes album in the U.S. to go gold, platinum, or double-platinum. It was also the first album in the U.K. to earn a gold certification prior to its release, topping the UK Albums Chart for two weeks and peaking at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
After Anderson pitched the idea to guitarist Steve Howe, the two wrote the themes and instrumentation of what became four side-length tracks based on each text. Keyboardist Rick Wakeman reportedly disagreed with the album's concept and the musical direction, prompting him to leave the band following the subsequent tour that ran from November 1973 to April 1974—a set that featured Tales From Topographic Oceans performed in its entirety.
A three-CD/Blu-ray edition of Tales From Topographic Oceans via Panegyric is now available as the fifth in a series of remixed and expanded Yes classics. The new reissue includes 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes, and high-resolution stereo mixes of the original music. Additionally, both discs have added extra material mixes on CD, while the Blu-Ray edition contains extra audio material.
Renowned progressive rock producer Steven Wilson helmed the new mixes with the approval of the band, and original artist Roger Dean oversaw the restored artwork on the CD and Blu-ray editions. What’s more, the Tales From Topographic Oceans package features an expanded booklet with new sleeve-notes by writer Sid Smith that include elements of new interviews with Jon Anderson, Steve Howe and Alan White along with rare photos and other archive material.
Watch Yes in a vintage live performance of ‘I've Seen All Good People.’
As A Matter of Fact…
* The English progressive rock band Yes was formed in London during 1968 by co-founders Jon Anderson (vocals) and Chris Squire (bass). An early incarnation called Mabel Greer's Toyshop performed covers of rock, pop, blues and jazz songs.
* A change in the band’s direction in 1970 led to a series of successful progressive and art rock-style albums including The Yes Album (1971), Fragile (1971), Close to the Edge (1972), and Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973).
* Yes has undergone numerous formations throughout its history, listing at least 19 musicians among its full-time membership. Since June 2015, Yes has consisted of guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, singer Jon Davison, and bassist Billy Sherwood.
* Yes toured as a major rock act, earning a reputation for their elaborate stage sets, light displays, and album covers designed by Roger Dean. The success of early singles such as ‘I've Seen All Good People’ and ‘Roundabout’ also helped establish the group’s global popularity.
* After breaking up in 1981, Yes re-formed in 1983 with a new lineup that included guitarist Trevor Rabin and a more commercial and pop-oriented musical direction. The result was 1983’s 90125 and the No. 1 single ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart.’
* Yes earned five Grammy nominations between 1985 and 1992, winning in 1985 for the track ‘Cinema’ as Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Since 1971, Yes has released 21 studio albums, 14 live albums, 32 compilations, 34 singles, and 19 videos. The group has sold 13.5 million RIAA-certified albums in the U.S. alone.