Your occasional source for heavy metal, progressive rock and hard rock coverage. Whenever I feel like it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Total Progressive Rock Indulgence (from Topographic Oceans)

The album cover from Tales from Topographic Oceans. Painting © Roger Dean/Rhino Records
Just for the hell of it, I'm posting all four parts of Yes' super-epic Tales from Topographic Oceans. Released in 1973, this double album (with one song on each side) is the epitome of progressive rock excess. However, the following tour (which featured the band playing the album's 90-minute length in its entirety didn't exactly catch fire with Yesheads wanting to hear "Starship Trooper" or "Roundabout."

I'll even admit that my first copy of Tales, (a cassette, and my last-ever purchased at the late lamented Village record store It's Only Rock & Roll) was difficult for me to understand. I'd listened to albums like Relayer and Close to the Edge, but the soundscapes and musique concréte of Topographic befuddled, confused and irritated.

What helped me finally understand Yes' biggest album was a live performance by Steve Howe from his album Not Necessarily Acoustic. Playing acoustic and electric excerpts from this magnum opus, the Howe recording gave me a "crib", a "cheat sheet" if you well to help understand the larger album. Today, careful listening reveals glorious melodic writing and some of the best work this classic line-up of Yes ever recorded. Enjoy.

Part I of "The Revealing Science of God"

Part II of "The Revealing Science of God"

Part I of "The Remembering (High the Memory)"

Part II of "The Remembering (High the Memory)"

Part I of The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)"

Part II of The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)"

Part I of Ritual (Nous sommes de soleil)"

Part II of Ritual (Nous sommes de soleil)

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I cannot thank you enough for the Topographic Ocean image. I've searched for it, high & Low. A billion Thankyous. Hope Summers Good.