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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.68 | 5078 ratings

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5 stars Studio as Instrument.

What can I add that other haven't about one of the clearly best albums ever made? I think an important point about this album is that it is among the albums that established the recording studio as a compositional instrument in itself. Before the multi-track studio existed, composers worked at home and developed a piece through live rehearsal. Even on the 'Yes Album', the band wrote the songs and developed them at home, while the only studio-written song ("A Venture") is the weaker one on the record. But with 'Fragile' and especially 'Close to the Edge', the band was writing in the studio and using the studio itself as an instrument. By the latter, I mean that the studio allowed the band to play something, listen back, and then decide whether it needed additional instruments or parts, and where it might fit into a song. Also, they would record a section of a piece, stop, and then try out a number of alternate new sections that might fit with the first bit, and then record and graft it on (with producer/engineer Eddie Offord sorting through splices taped across in the control room). This was not possible before the modern recording studio. Bill Bruford has written he remains in wonder of how well the whole thing worked out, given how disorganized the band was when they began. But, like Mike Oldfield's early work, I think this album shows just how important the multi-track studio has become (particularly now in the digital age) and how much it improved, or at least facilitated the improvement, in song-writing capacities. In the case of this album, writing in the studio with the studio as instrument helped produce progressive rock music as we now know it. The evolution and development of the studio is part of this history. At any rate, a wonderful musical album that has retained its integrity and musicality over decades of listens, and it still shines just as bright. I give this album 9.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, up there among the highest of my ratings.

Walkscore | 5/5 |


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