Ranking the Discography: Yes Part VI: Tales From Topographic Oceans (1973)

Tales From Topographic Oceans is Yes’s first double album, and their first concept album, based on the four shastras of Hinduism: the sruti, the smriti, puranas, and tantras. It was the first studio album to feature Alan White, who replaced Bill Bruford during their tour for Close to the Edge, and some of his performances were included on their first live album, Yessongs. Rick Wakeman left the band due to frustration during the recordings, beginning his solo career with Journey to the Center of the Earth. The album went to #1 in the UK, and #6 in the US.


Jon Anderson: vocals, harp, percussion

Steve Howe: guitar, electric sitar, lute, backing vocals

Chris Squire: bass, backing vocals

Rick Wakeman: keyboards

Alan White: drums, percussion

The Tracks:

  1. “The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)”: Six minutes were originally cut from this song to make it fit on the vinyl. It’s got some awesome soloing from Howe.
  2. “The Remembering (High the Memory)”: Some beautiful lute and sitar passages on this, and great bass pumps.
  3. “The Ancients (Giants Under the Sun)”: Howe and Wakeman rule on this track.
  4. “Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soleil)”: This is White’s time to shine, with some great rhythmic flushes.

Review: I don’t get the reception for this album. I agree with Rolling Stone, but seriously, a paltry 2.2 from Pitchfork? (What kind of rating is a .2? ) The album is definitely among Yes’s best, and I love Dean’s stunning artwork.

Grade: A


Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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