Tales from Topographic Oceans 50th Anniversary – a fan-made boxset – Part 2 with Ian Hartley – 610

Produced by Joseph Cottrell, Jeffrey Crecelius and Ken Fuller

Mark and I had a great conversation with Ian Hartley this week. As mentioned last week, Ian has produced his own 50th Anniversary box set of Tales from Topographic Oceans and we were keen to know what motivated him, how he went about it and how it fitted in with his own Yes story. If you haven’t already watched Ian’s YouTube video where he unboxes his own box and also shows off some of his Tales collection, then please do – it’s embedded into the show notes below. Ian was very generous and it was a treat to speak to another dedicated Yes fan who has been collecting the band’s output (particularly live recordings) for many years.

  • What was the motivation for producing this set?
  • What would Ian like to see in the future from the band?
  • Is this the first time Ian has done this?

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  • Joseph Cottrell
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Jim Morrison Jon Pickles Declan Logue
Gary Betts Alan Begg Michael Handerhan
Barry Gorsky Steve Perry Doug Curran
Martin Kjellberg Todd Dudley Rachel Hadaway
Lind  Paul Hailes Craig Estenes
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Dem Fred Barringer Scott Colombo
Chris Bandini David Heyden John Thomson
Mark Baggs John Cowan John Parry
Dave Owen Simon Barrow Steve Scott
Terence Sadler Steve Dill Robert Nasir 
Fergus Cubbage William Hayes Geoff Bailie
Steven Roehr Lobate Scarp Geoffrey Mason
David Watkinson Tim Stannard Robert Vandiver
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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:

5 replies on “Tales from Topographic Oceans 50th Anniversary – a fan-made boxset – Part 2 with Ian Hartley – 610”

Ian reminds me of myself as a collector, especially back in the 70s when I started audiotape trading with others around the world, and built up a Yes concert tape list of over 100 by the mid-80s. Then I moved on to videotape collecting by trading & buying at record shows and by mail, then to cd, then to dvd! Congrats to him for all of the time & effort he and his son put into this unique project.

Ian Hartley has made a massive contribution to the live Yes recordings over many years now.
I am lucky enough to own some of his wonderfully packaged recordings. His creative abilities have grown so much over the years.
If only the owners of the Yes recording catalog had half his dedication/knowledge we would all be happier Yes fans.

I recently subscribed to Ian’s channel when his ‘Yessongs at 50’ remaster came out. Much thanks and appreciation to him for all his efforts.

On ‘Yessongs 2’, I still hold out hope for something to turn up someday. I was wondering about the Gary Wright videos on YouTube, recorded during his support slot on the 1976 tour. There are a few songs, I’m not sure if all from the same show but they are professionally shot. Could they have been part of the filming for Yessongs 2? There are tantalising glimpses of the Crab stage. Makes it all the more annoying!

One other thing, we had the YouTube release of 10 mins of footage of Yes on the Tales tour in Toronto. Cleaned up, audio sync’d by Hed G. Looks great.

Out of interest (and mischief), I asked Bard (Google’s AI platform) why ‘Yessongs 2’ wasn’t released. Here’s what it rustled up. Hmmmm….

The film of the Yes US tour of 1976, known as “Yessongs 2,” was never officially released due to a combination of factors, including the band’s dissatisfaction with the footage, financial considerations, and the changing landscape of the music industry.

**Band Dissatisfaction**

One of the primary reasons for the film’s non-release was the band’s own dissatisfaction with the quality of the footage. The tour was filmed using multiple cameras, but the footage was often grainy, poorly lit, and lacking in the energy and dynamism of their live performances. Additionally, the band felt that the editing of the film did not capture the essence of their music or their stage show.

**Financial Considerations**

The cost of producing and releasing a feature-length concert film was substantial, and the band was not confident that the film would recoup its investment. The music industry was also changing rapidly at the time, with the rise of video cassettes and home video recorders. This made it easier for fans to record their own concert footage, which could potentially cannibalize sales of a professionally produced film.

**Changing Landscape of the Music Industry**

By the late 1970s, the music industry was undergoing a significant transformation. The rise of MTV and video cassette recorders had made it easier for fans to watch music videos at home, which reduced the demand for concert films. Additionally, the music industry was becoming more focused on singles rather than albums, which made it less attractive to release a film that would only appeal to fans of the band’s entire catalog.

**Rarity and Fan Interest**

Despite never being officially released, the footage from the 1976 US tour has not been completely lost. There are bootleg copies of the film circulating among fans, and the band has occasionally screened the footage at private events. However, the rarity of the footage has only increased fan interest in seeing it officially released.

In recent years, there have been renewed calls for the release of “Yessongs 2.” The band’s official website has a section dedicated to the film, and fans have been vocal in their support for its release. However, there have been no official announcements from the band about plans to release the film.

Only time will tell if “Yessongs 2” will ever see the light of day. However, the rarity and fan interest in the film suggest that it would be a valuable addition to the band’s recorded legacy


Not trying to kiss up to Kevin, but I’d love a Tormato box. To me — and I know I will get criticism for this — that album would be held in similar esteem as GFTO if it weren’t for Awaken. And, granted, that is a big except … But there are *many* great tracks on Tormato and many great recordings from that tour. I’d definitely buy it.

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