YES – Tales From Topographic Oceans Definitive Deluxe Edition

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Forty three years after its original release, the controversially divisive ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ has just been released by Panegyric in two different deluxe formats. A 3 x cd/ 1 x blu-ray disc version – reviewed here, and a 2 x cd/2 x DVD-A version. Review and pictures by Tim Darbyshire…….

‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ is the fifth Panegyric release in the series of expanded YES editions including Steven Wilson 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes and high-resolution stereo mixes of the original music. There’s a wealth of extra material on blu-ray edition (see full track listing below). Steven Wilson has produced the new mixes with the approval of the band and previously unseen restored artwork (overseen and approved by Roger Dean ) adorn an expanded booklet which contains new sleeve-notes  (including a new essay from Sid Smith), and archive material.

The package is superb, and of course the sleeve must be one of the best album covers created by YES’ unofficial sixth member Roger Dean. But what about the music?

After the high of 1972’s near perfect ‘Close To The Edge’, ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ is the sixth studio album by YES, released in 1973 on Atlantic Records. Presented as an 80 minute double vinyl album with one track on each side, its concept is based on singer Jon Anderson’s interpretation of four Shastric scriptures from a footnote in ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda – a book he was introduced to by ex-King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir at Bill Bruford’s wedding.  This footnote described four bodies of Hindu text, collectively named the shastras, that Yogananda described as “comprehensive treatises” that cover “every aspect of religious and social life, and the fields of law, medicine, architecture, art, etc” that “convey profound truths under a veil of detailed symbolism” This fitted Jon Anderson’s quest for a big theme for the next Yes album. He wanted a limitless large-scale composition.

Ambitious, stellar and triumphant? Or overblown, pretentious nonsense?  ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’ is loved (mostly by fans) and loathed (by music critics) and has sometimes polarized the YES fan base, as well as the band itself.

Jon Anderson and Steve Howe thrashed out the structure and themes of the double album while on tour in early 1973, and understandably remain supportive of the music. They had the task of ‘selling the concept’ to the rest of the band. Chris Squire and debutant drummer Alan White knuckled down, but Rick Wakeman left the band after never really embracing the wide-ranging themes of the album and the direction the music was taking the band.  Despite this, Wakeman’s contribution to the album are stellar, providing colour and atmosphere throughout and of course the minimoog solo towards the end of ‘The Revealing Science Of God’ remains one of the highlights of his contributions to any YES music.  Squire in particular comes to the fore during ‘Ritual’, which rounds off the album and includes some of the most beautiful parts of any YES song in the  ‘Nous Sommes Du Soleil’ sections.

Steven Wilson remains a strong advocate: “I worked on and off for about 3 years on this new mix in my quest to do it justice. I hope it will satisfy the people who agree with me that it may just be Yes’ pre-eminent masterpiece.”

Sonically I’d say it’s one of the best new mixes Steven Wilson has done for YES. There’s a new clarity and increased depth to all the instruments making this definitive edition a joy to revisit. As with all the Wilson 5.1 surround mixes, additional instrumentation can be heard, sounds that used to be lost in the muddy original mix. For those who continue to be put off by four twenty minute pieces of music, there are five ‘single edits’ – sections chosen by Steven Wilson to highlight the strength of the song writing on the album.

To my mind,  time has been kind to ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’. Although controversial in 1973, YES was always pushing boundaries and refusing to bow to corporate record company pressure to repeat the formula of past successes. Today it seems like no big deal for a band to produce long form pieces.

The point of this reissue probably isn’t to win new fans, but rather to reward existing fans. The blu-ray disc is stuffed full with different versions of the album and interesting extras (see below).  I’ve always ranked this album just outside the Top 5 best YES albums – after ‘Close To The Edge’, ‘Relayer’, ‘Going For The One’, ‘Fragile’, and ‘The Yes Album’. My mind still tends to drift a bit in the first half of ‘The Ancient’, but ‘Tales’ is clearly part of the hot streak YES was on between 1970 and 1977.

YES played Side 1 (The Revealing Science Of God) and Side 4 (Ritual) live to enthusiastic US audiences in 2016 – see my reviews here and here.

 

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TRACK LISTING:
New Steven Wilson Stereo Mixes:
CD 1:
1. The Revealing Science Of God (Dance Of The Dawn) 20:18
2. The Remembering (High In The Memory) 20:32
3. The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun) 18:41

CD 2:
1. Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) 21:44
2. Dance Of The Dawn (extended version of The Revealing Science of God) 22:36
3. Dance Of The Dawn (Studio Run-Through) 22:23

CD 3 (Blu-Ray set only):
1. High the Memory (studio run-through) 20:36
2. Giants Under the Sun (studio run-through) 17:18
3. Ritual (live, Zurich, April 1974) 23:11
Bonus single edits:
4. The Revealing Science of God (single edit) 3:54
5. The Remembering (single edit) 2:50
6. The Ancient (single edit) 3:26
7. Ritual (single edit I) 4:20
8. Ritual (single edit II) 3:47

2016 full album mix, plus an extended Dance of the Dawn and 5 single edits, all mixed by Steven Wilson.

Blu-Ray and DVD-A #1 (Region 0, NTSC):

New Stereo Mix (24/96 LPCM):
1. The Revealing Science Of God (Dance Of The Dawn) 20:18
2. The Remembering (High In The Memory) 20:32
3. The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun) 18:41
4. Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) 21:44
5. Dance Of The Dawn (extended version of The Revealing Science of God) 22:36

DVD-A #2:
5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround (24/96 LPCM):
1. The Revealing Science Of God (Dance Of The Dawn) 20:18
2. The Remembering (High In The Memory) 20:32
3. The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun) 18:41
4. Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) 21:44
5. Dance Of The Dawn (extended version of The Revealing Science of God) 22:36
Flat Transfer from original master tape source (24/192 LPCM):
6. The Revealing Science Of God (Dance Of The Dawn) 20:18
7. The Remembering (High In The Memory) 20:32
8. The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun) 18:41
9. Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) 21:44

Exclusive to the Blu-ray version only:

New Stereo Mixes (24/96 LPCM):
The “alternate” album:
1. Dance of the Dawn (studio run-through) 22:23
2. High the Memory (studio run-through) 20:36
3. Giants Under the Sun (studio run-through) 17:18
4. Ritual (live, Zurich, April 1974) 23:11
Single edits:
5. The Revealing Science of God (single edit) 3:54
6. The Remembering (single edit) 2:50
7. The Ancient (single edit) 3:26
8. Ritual (single edit I) 4:20
9. Ritual (single edit II) 3:47

New Stereo Instrumental Mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio (24bit/96khz):
1. The Revealing Science Of God (Dance Of The Dawn) 20:18
2. The Remembering (High In The Memory) 20:32
3. The Ancient (Giants Under The Sun) 18:41
4. Ritual (Nous Sommes Du Soleil) 21:44
5. Dance Of The Dawn (extended version of The Revealing Science of God) 22:36

Vinyl transfers (24bit/96khz):
UK needle-drop:
1. The Revealing Science of God 20:27
2. The Remembering 20:38
3. The Ancient 18:34
4. Ritual 21:25
US banded promo needle-drop*:
1. The Revealing Science of God 20:27
1a. 3:30
1b. 6:17
1c. 3:21
1d. 4:30
1e. 2:55
2. The Remembering 20:38
2a. 4:40
2b. 3:06
2c. 8:10
2d. 1:45
2e. 3:06
3. The Ancient 18:34
3a. 3:15
3b. 4:19
3c. 2:17
2d. 3:56
4. Ritual 21:25
4a. 5:25
4b. 6:42
4c. 5:20
4d. 4:18

*the “banded” US promo album had the songs divided into shorter and more “radio friendly” segments in the hope of airplay from DJ’s and radio programmers adverse to 20-minute songs……

Band Members:
Jon Anderson – lead vocals, harp, cymbals & percussion
Steve Howe – electric 6- & 12-strings, steel and acoustic guitars, electric sitar & backing vocals
Chris Squire – acoustic & electric basses, timpani & backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – grand piano, RMI Electra-Piano, MiniMoog, Mellotrons, Hammond C3 & pipe organs
Alan White – drums, piano (Track 4), vibes, Mini-Moog, Moog drum, tubular bells & assorted percussion

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Steven Wilson ‘Happy Returns’ Video released ahead of US Tour

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Ahead of Steven Wilson’s US Tour Dates next week, the video for “Happy Returns’ from the ‘Hand.Cannot.Erase.’ album has been released.

Directed by Lebanese director Youssef Nassar, it will be familiar to anyone who has seen Steven Wilson live in concert on his extended ‘Hand.Cannot.Erase’ 2015/2016 tours.

 

Don’t miss this last chance to see this album performed in full:

11/3 — Roseland Theater | Portland, Ore.
11/4 — The Masonic | San Francisco, Calif.
11/5 — The Belasco | Los Angeles, Calif.
11/6 — Belly Up | Solano Beach, Calif.
11/9 — Celebrity | Theatre, Phoenix, Ariz.
11/11 — In The Venue | Salt Lake City, Utah
11/12 — Gothic Theatre | Denver, Colo.
11/15 — Majestic Theatre | Dallas, Texas
11/17 — Center Stage | Atlanta, Ga.
11/18 — The Plaza Live | Orlando, Fla.
11/19 — State Theatre | Tampa, Fla,
11/20 — Culture Room | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Steve Hackett – US/Canada 2017 Tour Dates Announced

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Hot on the heels of last week’s UK Tour announcement, Steve Hackett has released details of US/Canadian dates next February and March.

Dates revealed so far are:

7 – 11 February  – Cruise to the Edge (Tampa, Cozumel, Mexico)

17 February – Victoria Theater, NEWARK, NJ, USA

22 February – Ridgefield Palyhouse, RIDGEFIELD, CT, USA

23 February – NYCB, WESTBURY, NY, USA

24 February – Santander PAC, READING, PA, USA

25 February – Playstation Theater, NEW YORK, NY, USA

2 March – Oakville Centre, Oakville, ONTARIO, CANADA

3 March – Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, USA

Ticket pricing and availability can be found on HackettSongs.com .

Details of the new show taken from Steve’s website:

Former Genesis guitarist and prog legend Steve Hackett is returning with an exciting new show for a 15 date UK tour next spring after his outstanding performance at this year’s inaugural Stone Free Festival.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering, Steve and his band will be performing several tracks from the album as well as fan favourites such as ‘The Musical Box’ and other Genesis numbers never performed before by Steve’s band such as ‘Inside & Out’ and ‘Anyway’.

“I’m excited to bring my latest show involving a new set of Genesis and Hackett numbers to the UK in 2017!” – Steve Hackett

With an established solo career spanning over 40 years, Steve will also be performing some of his popular hits such as ‘The Steppes’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Every Day’ and the first ever live performance of ‘Rise Again’ from his 1999 album Darktown. Steve will also be introducing fans to new music from his forthcoming album, which is due out early spring 2017.

Joining Steve on the tour are musicians Roger King (keyboards), Gary O’Toole (drums/percussion), Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes), Nick Beggs (bass, stick & twelve string) and Nad Sylvan on vocals.

Since the 1970’s Steve has had a remarkable musical career, releasing more than 30 solo albums, seven Genesis albums and working alongside Steve Howe of YES with supergroup GTR. Renowned for being one of the most innovative rock musicians of our time, in 2010 he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.

Continuing to impress with his outstanding live shows ‘Genesis Revisted with Classic Hackett’ is a tour not to missed in 2017.

The 2017 Touring band:

Steve Hackett: Guitars, Vocals
Nad Sylvan: Vocals
Nick Beggs: Bass
Roger King: Keyboards
Gary O’Toole: Drums
Rob Townsend: Saxes/Flutes

Anthony Phillips – Private Parts & Pieces V-VIII: 5CD Deluxe Box Set

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The latest instalment of Anthony Phillips reissues – courtesy of Esoteric Recordings (Cherry Red) – features the more obscure ‘Private Parts & Pieces V – VIII’ and include a bonus 5th cd – ‘Private Parts & Extra Pieces II’.  All the albums have been newly remastered and are housed in a high quality clamshell box.  The package is once again adorned with stunning  artwork by Peter Cross and an informative 24-page booklet with insight from Ant in conversation with Jonathan Dann. …….Review by Tim Darbyshire.

The albums included are ‘Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve’ (1985), ‘Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon’ (1986), ‘Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ (1987),  and ‘Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England’ (1992).

‘Private Parts & Pieces V: Twelve’ is the first cd in the ‘Private Parts & Pieces’ series to feature just one instrument. All twelve pieces, named after the months of the year, are performed on  12-string guitar. There’s some lovely parts of course, but ‘Twelve’ was never a favourite of mine back in the day due to its one dimensional approach, and listening to it again now after a long absence, my feelings haven’t changed.

‘Private Parts & Pieces VI: Ivory Moon’, subtitled ‘Piano Pieces 1971-1985’ is a collection of piano based material gathered over the years. Interestingly, these include ‘Winter’s Thaw’ and ‘The Old House’ from 1971 which were among the demos Ant played to Mike Rutherford in 1972 with the view to making a solo album. Also included is a version of the Genesis song ‘Let Us Now Make Love’. The band never recorded the song in the studio, but a radio session version from 1970 has subsequently appeared on two Genesis box sets.

‘Private Parts & Pieces VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ reverts to the more broader palette commonly associated with Ant’s ‘Private Parts & Pieces’ series. ‘Slow Waves, Soft Stars’ includes a number of improvised synthesizer soundscapes – partly due to the acquisition of a Roland Jupiter 8 – and the album did generate some interest in the emerging New Age  genre. It’s an atmospheric collection, but a more pleasant and balanced collection than the previous two with guitar and keyboard sharing the workload.

‘Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England’ was originally released in 1992, 5 years after ‘Private Parts & Pieces VII’. This is – in my opinion – the best of the albums in this set. It’s more like a traditional solo album, with two tracks containing vocals – ‘Unheard Cry’ and ‘Sanctuary’ – and saxophone complimenting the guitars and keyboards.   Ant’s career at this stage had been bolstered by his signing to Virgin Records. Virgin were issuing his entire back catalogue on CD for the first time and the impressive ‘Slow Dance’ had just been released.  ‘New England’ also differs from other ‘Private Parts’ releases in that all the material was written specifically for the project.

This set is completed by ‘Private Parts & Extra Pieces II’, which once again sees Ant delving into his seemingly endless archives. All 19 tracks on this cd are previously unreleased, and are a nice mix of guitar and keyboard pieces.

‘Private Parts & Pieces V-VIII’ is available now from Burning Shed.

Hopefully ‘Slow Dance’ will be the next in this excellent reissue series……..

My review of ‘1984’ is here.

My review of ‘Sides’ is here.

My review of ‘Wise After The Event’ is here.

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Tracklisting:

DISC ONE:PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES V:
TWELVE

1. JANUARY
2. FEBRUARY
3. MARCH
4. APRIL
5. MAY
6. JUNE
7. JULY
8. AUGUST
9. SEPTEMBER
10. OCTOBER
11. NOVEMBER
12. DECEMBER

DISC TWO:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VI: IVORY MOON

SUITE: SEA-DOGS MOTORING:
1. (I) SUNRISE OVER SIENNA
2. (II) BASKING SHARK
3. (III) SEA DOG’S AIR
4. (IV) SAFE HAVENS
5. TARA’S THEME (FROM MASQUERADE)
6. WINTER’S THAW
7. THE OLD HOUSE
8. MOONFALL (FROM MASQUERADE)
9. RAPIDS

BONUS TRACK
10. LET US NOW MAKE LOVE

DISC THREE:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VII: SLOW WAVES, SOFT STARS

ICE FLIGHT:
1. (I) FLIGHT OF THE SNOW PETREL: GLACIER BAY
2. (II) FLIGHT OF THE WHALE-BIRDS: BLIZZARD MOUNTAIN
3. (III) FLIGHT OF THE ALBATROSS: ICE ISLAND
4. (IV) WHITE HEAVEN
5. (V) CATHEDRAL OF ICE
6. BEACHRUNNER
7. END OF THE AFFAIR
8. THE GOLDEN PATHWAY
9. BEHIND THE WATERFALL
10. CARNIVAL
11. THROUGH THE BLACK HOLE
12. PLUTO GARDEN
13. SOSPIRANDO
14. ELEVENSES
15. GOODBYE SERENADE
16. BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
17. VANISHING STREETS
18. SLOW WAVES, SOFT STARS

DISC FOUR:
PRIVATE PARTS & PIECES VIII:
NEW ENGLAND

1. AUBADE
2. INFRA DIG
3. SANCTUARY
4. LA DOLOROSA
5. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (I)
6. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (II)
7. NEW ENGLAND SUITE (III)
8. LAST GOODBYES
9. SUNRISE AND SEA MONSTERS
10. IONA
11. CATHEDRAL WOODS
12. IF I COULD TELL YOU
13. JAUNTY ROADS
14. SPIRALS
15. PIECES OF EIGHT (I) PRESSGANG
16. PIECES OF EIGHT (II) SARGASSO
17. PIECES OF EIGHT (III) SEA-SHANTY
18. IN THE MAZE
19. UNHEARD CRY
20. NOW THEY’VE ALL GONE

DISC FIVE:
PRIVATE PARTS & EXTRA PIECES II:

1. CATHEDRAL WOODS LINK
2. JONGLEUR
3. SANCTUARY (PIANO MIX)
4. EMERALD FOREST
5. UNHEARD CRY LINK
6. SKYLARKS OVER THE WATER
7. SIR ISAAC (FROM MASQUERADE)
8. ACROSS THE FORBIDDING HORIZON
9. END OF THE AFFAIR II
10. AUTUMN FALLS
11. BEACHRUNNER II
12. HIGHLAND DAWN
13. SANCTUARY LINK
14. UNHEARD CRY (GUITAR DEMO)
15. MOONFALL (FROM MASQUERADE) (DEMO)
16. PLUTO GARDEN (ALTERNATE MIX)
17. CATHEDRAL OF ICE (ALTERNATE MIX)
18. A PLACE TO REST
19. THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS

Steve Hackett Announces 2017 UK Tour

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Steve Hackett has announced a 15-date UK Tour to coincide with the release of his as yet untitled new studio album. 2017 also marks the 40th Anniversary of Genesis’ classic ‘Wind And Wuthering’ album – the last studio album to feature Steve – and several songs from this album will be performed by Steve and his band. Once again, the tour will consist of Genesis and solo material, and is being billed as ‘Genesis Revisited With Classic Hackett 2017’.

Further US/Canada dates are expected before the UK Tour, as Steve will be on the 2017 version of ‘Cruise To The Edge’ in February, and a date with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra on 3rd March has already been announced.

The full press release from Steve’s HackettSongs website is below:

Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett 2017 tour

Steve Hackett Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited with Classic Hackett 2017
2017 UK & Ireland tour dates revealed… other countries to follow!

Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited with Hackett Classics 2017 tour

Performing tracks from the classic album Wind and Wuthering

New album due spring 2017!

2017 UK & Ireland tour dates revealed…

Former Genesis guitarist and prog legend Steve Hackett is returning with an exciting new show for a 15 date UK tour next spring after his outstanding performance at this year’s inaugural Stone Free Festival.

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Genesis album Wind and Wuthering, Steve and his band will be performing several tracks from the album as well as fan favourites such as ‘The Musical Box’ and other Genesis numbers never performed before by Steve’s band such as ‘Inside & Out’ and ‘Anyway’.

“I’m excited to bring my latest show involving a new set of Genesis and Hackett numbers to the UK in 2017!” – Steve Hackett

With an established solo career spanning over 40 years, Steve will also be performing some of his popular hits such as ‘The Steppes’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Every Day’ and the first ever live performance of ‘Rise Again’ from his 1999 album Darktown. Steve will also be introducing fans to new music from his forthcoming album, which is due out early spring 2017.

Joining Steve on the tour are musicians Roger King (keyboards), Gary O’Toole (drums/percussion), Rob Townsend (saxes/flutes), Nick Beggs (bass, stick & twelve string) and Nad Sylvan on vocals.

Since the 1970’s Steve has had a remarkable musical career, releasing more than 30 solo albums, seven Genesis albums and working alongside Steve Howe of YES with supergroup GTR. Renowned for being one of the most innovative rock musicians of our time, in 2010 he was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.

Continuing to impress with his outstanding live shows ‘Genesis Revisted with Classic Hackett’ is a tour not to missed in 2017.

April 2017

  • 26 April – Vicar Street, DUBLIN, IRELAND
  • 28 April – St. David’s Hall, CARDIFF, UK
  • 30 April – Hexagon, Reading UK
  • 1 May – Symphony Hall, BIRMINGHAM, UK
  • 3 May – City Hall, SHEFFIELD, UK
  • 4 May – Colston Hall, BRISTOL, UK
  • 5 May – Bridgewater Hall, MANCHESTER, UK
  • 7 May – Philharmonic, LIVERPOOL, UK
  • 8 May – Guildhall, PORTSMOUTH, UK
  • 10 May – Cliffs Pavilion, SOUTHEND, UK
  • 11 May – Royal Concert Hall, NOTTINGHAM, UK
  • 13 May – New Theatre, OXFORD, UK
  • 14 May – Corn Exchange, CAMBRIDGE, UK
  • 16 May – Royal Concert Hall, GLASGOW, UK
  • 17 May – Sage, GATESHEAD, UK
  • 19 May – Palladium, LONDON, UK