Yes Album Listening Guides – Tales From Topographic Oceans Part 3 – Chris Dale talks about the keyboards on Tales – 594

Produced by Joseph Cottrell, Jeffrey Crecelius and Ken Fuller

This week Mark and I welcomed the knowledgeable Chris Dale back onto the show for the third time. If you haven’t listened to the episodes where Chris talks about the Birotron (the infamous rarest musical instrument in the world) and the other keyboards on Tormato, then you may want to catch up with those before listening to this latest installment.

The Birotron – episode 503

The other Tormato keyboards – episode 531

This time the focus is the keyboards on Tales from Topographic Oceans and, as usual, Chris uncovers some truly amazing facts and insights. After all, he does own Rick Wakeman’s double mellotron, so who coud be better placed to share the sectrets of that instrument and its unique contributions to Tales?

  • What keyboards did Rick Wakeman use on Tales?
  • What makes that double Mellotron unique?
  • Which aspects of Tales does Chris think are great?

Let us know if you agree with us!

Chris Dale’s double Mellotron, made for Rick Wakeman

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  • Joseph Cottrell
  • Ken Fuller
  • Jeffrey Crecelius


Jim Morrison Jon Pickles Declan Logue
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Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from:

16 replies on “Yes Album Listening Guides – Tales From Topographic Oceans Part 3 – Chris Dale talks about the keyboards on Tales – 594”

Excellent episode chaps. I like many have wondered about that certain Topographic soundscape that never seemed to be repeated so how ironic that a key ingredient to that would be Rick Wakeman and his choice of keyboards. Not only that but his deep knowledge of the instrument at hand and his magnificent dexterity and playing skills.

The Mellotron work aside, that Moog solo on side one has to be right up there as the perfect example of everything coming together at once to create greatness.

So I’m interested in finding out how did they manage to reproduce the sounds live? From what I understand it took a lot of tweaking of the mellotron to get the sounds in the studio, how did they reproduce it live?

It’s a great question and one which I have added to the list to find out for the forthcoming book. Thanks!

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