Yes Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of ‘Tales From Topographic Oceans’


Yes is idle, at least publicly, right now, but December has been a time of celebration for the veteran progressive rock band. It marks the 50th anniversary of Tales From Topographic Oceans, the band's ambitious sixth studio album. Having released a side-long composition as the title track to its previous album, 1972's “Close to the Edge,” on “Tales” Yes constructed just four pieces, one for each side of the double-album (on vinyl), with the shortest clocking in at 18 minutes and 32 seconds. It was a work of acknowledged creative indulgence, but guitarist Steve Howe tells us he's pleased that “Tales” holds up well five decades later:

“I've listened to it quite recently and, y'know, I'm still very proud of it and very pleased with it. There’s things in there you never would've thought Yes would do, particular on Side Two — some beautiful, unusual, folk-like almost Jethro Tullish things. And then we got really out there on Side Three with time signatures and crazy stuff.” :23

The four pieces on “Tales” were titled “The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn),” “The Remembering (High the Memory),” “The Ancient (“Giants Under the Sun)” and “Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soleil).”

“Tales” reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the U.K. albums chart upon its release. It was certified gold in the U.S.
It was Yes' first studio album to feature drummer Alan White, who replaced Bill Bruford in 1972 and would remain with Yes until his death in 2022 at the age of 72.

Yes celebrated “Tales'” anniversary during its Classic Tales of Yes tour this past fall with a medley constructed from elements of all four of the album's songs.

Yes will be back on the road, in Europe, starting April 30 in Portugal.