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Happy 40th! "Tales From Topographic Oceans"!

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cstack3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Happy 40th! "Tales From Topographic Oceans"!
    Posted: September 13 2013 at 10:58
Remarkable how time flies!   Please read Jon Anderson's extensive thoughts on TFTO and Yes in this fine interview:

http://www.examiner.com/article/jon-anderson-of-yes-raids-rock-vault-talks-topographic-oceans-40-years-on

He reveals many things about the band, composition and his interests that I had never known! 

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Moogtron III View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Moogtron III Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2013 at 11:40
Well, it's really nice.
Thanks for sharing!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Metalmarsh89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2013 at 12:03
That was a good read. Thanks for posting.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2013 at 12:50
Thanks, I really enjoyed reading about specifics of one of my favorite albums.

Love the story about the Remembering keyboard solo and Jon having to coach the wizard.  LOL


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cstack3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2013 at 18:12
I'm glad you liked Anderson's tales!  He's a lovely chap, very brave about trying new things all the time! 

Since it is the 40th Anniversary of Tales, this Wakeman interview is a classic - he reveals that key scenes of the movie "Spinal Tap" were inspired by actual events during the TFTO tour!

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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2013 at 23:03
Originally posted by cstack3

I'm glad you liked Anderson's tales!  He's a lovely chap, very brave about trying new things all the time! 

Since it is the 40th Anniversary of Tales, this Wakeman interview is a classic - he reveals that key scenes of the movie "Spinal Tap" were inspired by actual events during the TFTO tour!


Great article!  Reminds me of the bio I read of Yes in a book called "British Beat Groups of the 60's".  It was describing the press conference where Patrick Moraz was introduced as the new Yes keyboardist:

"The press asked Moraz if he was vegetarian.  Patrick replied 'if necessary'.  Such unprincipled groveling did him no good and he only lasted one album." 

LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2013 at 23:51
read it a few days ago--Jon has lot's of stories which come across as embellished after the passing of so much time-----probably hard to remember everything that happened 40 years ago--I can see how he came up with the line--high the memoryLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote doctorphil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2013 at 02:26
Many thanks for posting these two great articles. Thoroughly enjoyed them both.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2013 at 03:31
Originally posted by The.Crimson.King

Originally posted by cstack3

I'm glad you liked Anderson's tales!  He's a lovely chap, very brave about trying new things all the time! 

Since it is the 40th Anniversary of Tales, this Wakeman interview is a classic - he reveals that key scenes of the movie "Spinal Tap" were inspired by actual events during the TFTO tour!


Great article!  Reminds me of the bio I read of Yes in a book called "British Beat Groups of the 60's".  It was describing the press conference where Patrick Moraz was introduced as the new Yes keyboardist:

"The press asked Moraz if he was vegetarian.  Patrick replied 'if necessary'.  Such unprincipled groveling did him no good and he only lasted one album." 

LOL

that was a brilliant answer from Moraz .Didn't know he was funny as well a superb keyboard player. Wakeman had serious competition indeed.CoolBig smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2013 at 02:44
Originally posted by cstack3

Remarkable how time flies!   Please read Jon Anderson's extensive thoughts on TFTO and Yes in this fine interview:

http://www.examiner.com/article/jon-anderson-of-yes-raids-rock-vault-talks-topographic-oceans-40-years-on

He reveals many things about the band, composition and his interests that I had never known! 


Cool article...a couple errors in the intro...

1) Yes performed at least two of the epics every night of the tour.

True...but they actually played the entire album for most of the tour...I wish I could've seen that!

2) Yes retired the Tales songs after that tour and didn't revisit them until decades later.

Not true.  Yes continued playing The Ritual on the '74/'75 Relayer tour as well as much of the '76 solo album tour (they also played The Remembering on some of those dates).  You can see this on the "Yes at Queens Park '75" youtube video and I saw it firsthand on the '76 tour.

3) Steve Howe played pedal steel on The Ancient.

Not true.  This is a common misconception about Howe's instrumentation.  He played steel guitar not pedal steel on this, Close to the Edge, Relayer, and Going for the One.  He never played pedal steel live, when you see him standing up playing with a slide, that's a steel guitar (or in some cases, a multiple necked steel rack).  In later years, when he sat down and played slide, that was a lap steel not a pedal steel (you can see this at the 1 minute mark on the youtube video for his song "Ram").  You can identify pedal steel by the unique sound of hearing multiple notes where some of the notes stay the same while others change pitch at the same time.  That's what the pedals on a pedal steel do...they change the pitch of selected strings while leaving other strings unchanged.  Pedal steel is hugely popular in old country music and country rock hybrids (Jerry Garcia was a fine pedal steel player though the Dead brought in a "real" country pedal steel guy for "Pride of Cucamonga").  I always thought Howe's solo on "To Be Over" might have been pedal steel, but in an interview he says it was just steel guitar (probably multi-tracked).  He does own several pedal steels (which can be seen in "The Steve Howe Guitar Collection" book and I believe he bought his first one touring the US South on the Fragile tour) but I don't believe he's ever played pedal steel (and actually employed the pedals and used it for more than a steel guitar) live or on record.

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Edited by The.Crimson.King - September 15 2013 at 02:45
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eetu Pellonpää Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2013 at 05:55
Great articles and anecdotes, thank you all. Smile

Got quite strong personal relation to this album, as I learned to listen longer suites with this album whilst discovering some symphonic classical music similarly.
I think the album is great though bit unbalanced, mostly on some arrangements on the third song, but the concept is adorable.
Many live versions of the songs I have heard grow yet greater, and the edit on some remaster of the start with ca. 1 minute indroductive soundscape is interesting also - both original studio mix and this extension being beautiful.

I wonder if there will be some sort of 40th anniversary release on this...? I would be happy to see similar bottlegs to official transitions from the related live gigs as King Crimson and others have done.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2013 at 07:35
It's a pretty long time ago I listened to Yes, unfortunately I don't remember much from TFTO as well as I do CTTE or Fragile. I'm not that terribly much into the classic British symphonic style of progressive rock as I used to, though, but this kind of over-ambitious record has me intrigued almost by default.
Rejecting heaven, spurning the high ground, they stood in the way of demons and damnation... defending themselves alone.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cirrusminor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2013 at 14:38
Happy Birthday, Tales!!
As a birthday present for you, I was humming "Do the leaves of green stay greener..." all day long.
Remembering - High the Memory
Nous sommes du Soleil
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2013 at 14:59
I will pay homage to this album this week. I've got a lovely 2 disc set with expanded artwork of the great Tales and I'm glad to have it. :) can't believe it is 40! Wow. 7 years Older than myself. ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Moogtron III Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2013 at 15:05
Originally posted by cstack3


Since it is the 40th Anniversary of Tales, this Wakeman interview is a classic - he reveals that key scenes of the movie "Spinal Tap" were inspired by actual events during the TFTO tour!


LOL

Oh, that one is priceless, once again thanks for sharing!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2013 at 10:08

Hi,

To this day, I think that TFTO is the best piece of rock music ever written ... and it is the perfect "rock symphony" ... and I like to compare it to Beethoven's 5th and 9th ... every day of the week.

It's how valuable it is to my imagination, that folks from my generation can create magnificent work, that stands up to the test of time, as important.

IF, there was a mistake, which Pink Floyd did not allow themselves to fall to, was to let the rock press tell them what to do. And YES, by their 4th album, liked the attention and became the rock press darling, though CTTE did not exactly get all the acclaims that we think ... it was originally thought of as pretentious ... but when the subject matter of the piece, was not pretentiousness, Rolling Stone had to eat its very stupid words about it! It just showed who was pretentious, instead!

I always thought that Rick Wakeman, was not being fair with his words, and that in fact, compared to what he did later, he was actually lazy, and just doing conventional stuff that had a lot less talent in its creation, than what he had done with YES altogether. In the past few years he has softened his stance, but if there is a tribute to be played to the band, a major orchestra should do Tales From Topographic Oceans, and invite the 4 (5 with Alan White)  folks to the premiere ... now that would be a treat to see the NY Philharmonic, or the London Symphony pull this off, and it would be the beggest sell out that those orchestras ever had ... and recording bootlegs will be over the net within 5 minutes of the performance! And I want one!

It's a sad thing, that we do not have respect for our own work, and always have to compare it to history and everything else ... and that because it was done with rock instruments ... the orchestra of the future, it is not accepted, and specially so by a rock press that is not musically educated or interested in the subject, and is only capable of kissing stars and the songs they like!

It is nice to see this appreciation, and I am proud of my generation ... we didn't sit still ... we created music, art, books, movies ... and we will be remembered. As you can tell!



Edited by moshkito - September 16 2013 at 10:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2013 at 14:10
^ good post

Tales is the ultimate prog album , Yes were the ultimate prog band .Amen.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Moogtron III Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2013 at 14:24
I also appreciate Moshkito's post quite a lot. Clap
It's really a heart warming Heart homage to compare Tales to Beethoven's 5th and 9th, and if there's one Yes album that can be compared with a symphony on a grand scale, it's this one, and not only because this work of art has 4 movements as well.

I could say that Yes 5th (Close To The Edge) is more like Beethoven's 5th, tightly composed and powerful in its execution, and that Yes 6th (Tales) is more like Beethoven's 6th (Pastoral Symphony), but apart from the fact that the lyrical material of Close To The Edge ("Close to The Edge, just by a river") embodies in fact the pastoral theme, it would miss the point (but I couldn't keep myself from stating this anyway Wink ). Fact is, if there's a true prog symphony, there are little other candidates than Tales From Topographic Oceans. 

Although I can imagine that many people see Close To The Edge as Yes' crowning achievement, I myself prefer Tales, for the simple fact that the music takes its time to unfold itself. The slow execution of the music, with all its spheres coming and going like waves, gives the music a certain timelessness. Indeed, the album is like a world where you can dwell in, and wonder at the sights and sounds. A true visionary masterpiece.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The.Crimson.King Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2013 at 00:49
Originally posted by moshkito

...but if there is a tribute to be played to the band, a major orchestra should do Tales From Topographic Oceans, and invite the 4 (5 with Alan White)  folks to the premiere ... now that would be a treat to see the NY Philharmonic, or the London Symphony pull this off, and it would be the beggest sell out that those orchestras ever had ... and recording bootlegs will be over the net within 5 minutes of the performance! And I want one!

My favourite interpretation of Tales is on Steve Howe's live "Not Necessarily Acoustic" album.  He opens with the intro to The Revealing Science of God and continues from there playing excerpts from the album on classical - singing in his inimitable style.

Arnold Schoenberg when asked to define "good" music: "If you arrange a piece of music for zither and it still sounds good".  Tales on zither?  Count me in Thumbs Up
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote twosteves Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2013 at 08:27
agree with moshkito----had a classical musician not into prog listen to a bunch of Yes albums and Tales stood out for him as his fav and was most impressed by it.
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