Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans, Steven Wilson Remix


Well, here we are at last! This nearly never happened. After the last Yes Steven Wilson remix, the news was that was to be the last. SW had been working on a remix of TFTO, but the decision was made to put it on ice for now. That left a big gap in the Yes remix series which upset fans so much as they really wanted to hear what SW could do with this album. But after much lobbying by fans in various forums, the project was completed and here we have it.

Word is the surround is pretty good, but I can personally say I love the stereo mix very much indeed. I always felt the original mix lacked dynamics and buried Squire's bass way too much. Wilson's remix has really opened up the instrumental detail and highlights the intricacies, dexterity and punch in Squire's bass playing at last. You can really hear all the metal bashing going on in The Ancient and I am particularly pleased that Howe's guitar figure at the end of The Revealing Science of God is brought to the fore, adding real impact to the end of the piece.

As usual there are lots of extras spread over the 3 CD's and Blu-ray Disc. All packaged in the customery min-vinyl sleeves. However, I feel for this release something extra special should have been done, as the CD format does not do Roger Deans spectacular artwork any favours at all. For one thing you cannot read the original album notes and lyrics at all! Maybe a super deluxe box set could have been produced, including the vinyl edition with the discs and a large format booklet. I really feel with TFTO especially, that only the 12 x 12 format does justice to the artwork which is such an integral part of this album. However, I am griping as the work that has gone into the sonics is quite spectacular and I am just glad this has been released at all!

It may be the last in the series of SW remixes, but from The Yes Album up to Relayer, we have a wonderful set of remixes, which give us such a complete insight into how original and inspired these recordings are.



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