Yes Album Listening Guides – Tales From Topographic Oceans Part 6 – Alan White’s drums with Joe Cass – 603

Produced by Joseph Cottrell, Jeffrey Crecelius and Ken Fuller

This week we are back to the epic in-depth study of Tales from Topographic Oceans. We asked the ever-generous drummer of Yes tribute band Total Mass Retain Joe Cass to join us to talk about Alan White’s contribution to the classic album. You won’t be surprised to hear that Joe managed to help us to uncover a wealth of detail about the percussion on the album and the musical and personal character of the late deeply missed Yes stickman. Thank you to Joe for his insights.

I’ve had no time to do a proper update on all that’s happened over the past week but please do visit the YMP Discussion Group on Facebook and the @yesmuispodcast feed for all the details. However, it’s worth wishing Jon Anderson a very happy 79th birthday and noting that Steve Howe’s damaged finger seems to be sufficiently healed to allow him to play again this evening after having to cancel some shows on the US tour.

  • What did Alan White contribute to Tales?
  • Is that him singing backing vocals?
  • What do we mean by ‘melodic’ drumming?

Let us know if you agree with us!

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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:

6 replies on “Yes Album Listening Guides – Tales From Topographic Oceans Part 6 – Alan White’s drums with Joe Cass – 603”

Fantastic episode; I was expecting a more gear/technical-oriented discussion but Mr. Cass lucidly spelt out Alan’s extensive musicality! Alan was indeed a musical genius with a heart of gold! And nice to see some love given to The Ancient!

Yet another brilliant interview. Joe’s insight and passion are breathtaking. One of your best guests ever! He totally agrees with me about The Remembering 🙂

Great insights about Alan. Thank you.

My son and I enjoyed YES in LA 10/30. Their commitment to great shows amazes.

Regarding the Tales medley: my son’s commentary when I asked rang true to me. “The transitions are a bit jarring, and overall it feels like you didn’t earn the high passages.” Obviously, for some of us, it is still a great work that needs the time to build provided by all ‘4 sides’. Sorry Mark:)

Thank you! As a long-time admirer of Alan White’s contributions to Tales, I was especially looking forward to this episode. (For me, Tales is some of his best work anywhere.) Joe Cass was excellent! He offered so many insights and details, both technical and musical, in these jam-packed fifty minutes that I have already listened three times.

The Japanese version of the “An Evening of Yes Music Plus” boxed set is the one to have, because it adds a bonus double-CD of ABWH “Live in Japan” recorded 4th March 1990 at NHK Hall, Tokyo (with Tony Levin on bass). All the other features are the same as in the standard U.K. version of the boxed set.

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