Yes: Steve Howe talks challenge of revisiting Tales From Topographic Oceans

Steve Howe
Steve Howe (Image credit: Getty)

Yes guitarist Steve Howe has spoken of the challenges he and the band faced while revisiting their classic 1973 album Tales From Topographic Oceans for their live shows.

They’re gearing up to launch Topographic Drama: Live Across America on November 24 via Rhino Records, which was recorded across 12 dates on the band’s US tour in February.

The performances saw Yes play all six tracks from 1980’s Drama, along with fan favourites and sides one and four from Tales From Topographic Oceans.

And in a new video interview, Howe goes into detail about how they prepared for the live shows.

He says: “It was fairly ambitious to learn two 20-minute pieces that the band hadn’t played in a long time, but that makes it fun and makes it a challenge. I think that’s what Yes are mainly about.

“Yes without challenge is fairly lame, but Yes with a good challenge to bite on to and go forward with brings the best out of us.”

Watch the whole video interview below.

Last month, Yes announced a 2018 UK and European tour to mark their 50th anniversary.

Howe, Alan White, Geoff Downes, Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood will again perform sides 1 and 4 of Tales From Topographic Oceans and will also play an excerpt from side 3, along with other tracks from their back catalogue.

Howe said: “We want to mark this anniversary with a tour that encompasses some of our best loved work – we want to play things we enjoy, maybe songs we haven’t done in a while.”

Find a full list of tour dates below.

Yes 50th anniversary tour dates 2018

Mar 13: Bristol Colston Hall, UK
Mar 14: Sheffield City Hall, UK
Mar 16: Glasgow SEC Armadillo, UK
Mar 17: Manchester Bridgewater Hall, UK
Mar 18: Gateshead Sage, UK
Mar 20: Birmingham Symphony Hall, UK
Mar 21: Brighton Centre, UK
Mar 23: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, UK
Mar 24: London Palladium, UK
Mar 25: London Palladium, UK
Mar 27: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
Mar 28: Antwerp De Roma, Belgium
Mar 30: Paris Olympia, France

Yes: The Real Story Behind Tales From Topographic Oceans

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.