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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4151 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 16

This is my second review of a Yes album. The first was "Tales From Topographic Oceans". I bought my vinyl copy in the year of 1976, and so, this LP became as one of the first albums to make part of my vinyl collection. In spite of being a modest collection, it has some great progressive gems of the 70's.

Yes, is an English symphonic progressive rock band formed in London in 1968 by Jon Anderson (vocals), Chris Squire (bass), Peter Banks (guitar), Tony Kaye (keyboards) and Bill Bruford (drums). Yes, was one of the most important bands to emerge in the 70's, together with Genesis and Pink Floyd. These three bands are, for me, the bands that most contributed to the rise of the movement of the progressive rock music. They are probably the three bands that more progressive groups have influenced, until today. Although, many line up changes, occasional splits within the band and the ever changing trends in their music, the group have continued always on, for more than forty years until today, still keeping a large following number of fans, and still being a symbol in the progressive rock movement.

"Close To The Edge" is their fifth studio album and was released in 1972. It's in generally regarded as their best musical work and one of the best progressive albums ever made. It reached number 4 in the UK and number 3 in USA, during a chart stay of thirty two weeks. In Netherlands it reached number 1 on the Dutch Album charts. The album is listed in the book "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". On Progarchives, it always rivals to be the number 1 with "Selling England By The Pound" of Genesis, "Thick As A Brick" of Jethro Tull and "Wish You Were Here" of Pink Floyd. All these albums were already been reviewed by me on Progarchives. So, what more can we ask for an album?

The line up on "Close To The Edge" is Jon Anderson (vocals), Steve Howe (vocals and guitars), Rick Wakeman (keyboards), Chris Squire (vocals and bass) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). I confess that this is my favourite line up of the group. I'm a great fan of Wakeman and Bruford. Rick has a truly unmistakable sound on his keyboards and Bill, simply is, in my humble opinion, one of the best drummers ever.

The art cover of the album was made by Roger Dean. He is the most famous artists of album covers in the world. He also made covers for many other artists. Some of the photography work on the album was influenced by Squire.

"Close To The Edge" has three tracks. The first track "Close To The Edge" written by Anderson and Howe, is the title track and is divided into four parts: "The Solid Time Of Change", "Total Mass Retain", "I Get Up, I Get Down" and "Seasons Of Man". It's the lengthiest track on the album and is, for me, the best ever song of the band with "Gates Of Delirium", which was released on their seventh studio album "Relayer". It's a truly massive 18 minutes epic track of unbelievable musical proportions. It starts rather quietly with nature, which eventually carries into the bombastic of the rest of the song, and bringing to the song in the end, the nature heard at the beginning of it. The second track "And You And I" written by Anderson, Howe, Squire and Bruford" is also divided into four parts: "Cord Of Life", "Eclipse", "The Preacher, The Teacher" and "The Apocalypse". It's a more melodious track with less musical variations, and is probably, the most commercial song on the album. It's shorter but still has 10 minutes. This is a quite different piece of music and serves an excellent position as a middle piece, relying less in virtuosity and more on musical atmosphere. The third track "Siberian Khatru" written by Anderson, Howe and Wakeman is the most powerful and dynamic song on the album and became as a great song to opening any live show of the group. It was featured as the concert opener on the 1991 Union tour. It opens with a strong guitar riff by Howe, and then, it enters what is probably the most rocky part of the album with a strong and dominant drumming by Bruford and a great bass work by Squire. Wakeman's keyboards are more on the background, adding to the sound and rather dominating it. It's a great closing to the album.

Conclusion: "Close To The Edge" is, in my humble opinion, not only the best studio album of the band but also represents a giant step from their previous studio releases. "Close To The Edge" starts their golden musical age, followed by "Tales From Topographic Oceans", "Relayer" and ending with "Going For The One". However, this is not only Yes hitting their musical peak, but it's also one of the best examples of how a truly inspired progressive musical work can be. Like all the genuine classics, it's an album that gets a little better each time we listen to it. That makes us realize why it deserves its reputation as one of the cornerstones of the progressive rock music. With this album, Yes has created a masterpiece that was very appreciated in its time, and still stands today. It can probably be the band's finest musical moment and is surely one of the finest progressive musical moments ever created.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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