Monday, July 25, 2016

Yes' "Tales of Topographic Oceans" to Be Released as a 3-CD/1-Blu-Ray Set

by VVN Music

Yes will release a new version of their 1973 set Tales of Topographic Oceans as the fifth in a series of remixed and expanded albums by Steven Wilson.

Tales was the sixth album by the band and was a concept album based on Jon Anderson's interpretation of a footnote from the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. The music was written by Anderson and Steve Howe and recorded by one of the classic lineups which featured the two songwriters plus Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.

The album took five months to arrange and record in a story of excess with the studio extensively decoragted in a farm setting. Wakeman disagreed with the concept as a whole and the lengths that the band was going through to create "ambiance" and spent much of his time in the next door studio where Black Sabbath was recording Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. He eventually left Yes after the tour in support of Tales.

The reception for the album was mixed with some praising it for its concept and symphonic feel while others pointed to it as an example of the excess to which progressive rock sometimes strayed. Nonetheless, the album sold well, going to the top of the U.K. Albums chart and reaching 6 in the U.S.

For the new edition, Wilson has remixed the album in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound from the original multi-track tapes. Along with the stereo mix, the first two CDs also have an unedited / extended version of Dance of the Dawn (side one), and 5 newly created “single” edits focusing on the song sections of the extended pieces.

A third CD has an alternate version of the album using live tracks and studio run-throughs. Of these, High The Memory (a studio run-through of side 2), and Ritual (live in Zurich, April 1974) are previously unreleased.

The fourth disc, a Blu-Ray, has:

  • 5.1 PCM Surround Sound (24bit/96khz) and in DTS-HD MA 5.1 (24bit/96khz)
  • Hi-res (24bit/96khz) 2016 stereo mix
  • Original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from an original stereo master tape source (24bit/192khz). It is believed that this is the earliest master of the original mix to be issued in the digital era.
  • Extended Dance of the Dawn in stereo and 5.1 surround sound + 5 single edits (stereo only), all mixed from the multi-track tapes by Steven Wilson.
  • Instrumental mixes
  • Full alternate album featuring: sides 1 and 3 from the 2003 Rhino CD, a previously unreleased studio run-through of Side 2 and previously unreleased live version of Side 4.
  • Full album needle-drops of an original UK vinyl pressing and US banded promo pressing.