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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 3130 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the album with the largest number of reviews here in ProgArchives. That fact reveals two things to us:

One, this album must have a special significance and importance in the history of progressive rock music.

Two, there's no need for me to try to reveal what's that makes this album so important and significant, as it's obvious that everybody already knows it.

With that in mind, I'll just say a few words about the songs:

Close to the Edge (10/10.) There's no other option but to give this track a perfect rating. If today, more than 30 years after its release, it still sounds fresh an innovative, imagine how it must have sounded for people hearing it for the first time in 1972! For my particular taste, there have been a few other long epics that have surpassed this track as the best in that category of song. But, on one hand, this was one of the first, and it's still one of the best, and on the other, many if not all the bands that have recorded long symphonic-style epics since 1972 have used this especial track as their primary point of reference and guidance. And there's no need to discuss how brilliant the music is, especially, for me, the magnificent opening of the song, which sounds like chaos organized to perfection, a superb juxtaposition of elements in the ultimate rock canvas, with so many colors and textures floating around at the same time and in such incandescent way that one can only surrender at the pure genius of it all. Squire plays unique, perfect bass, revolutionizing the instrument; Howe is an artist with a brush full of colors; Wakeman plays around like the genius who tries to come up with the right formula; Bruford acts like the timekeeper, the final judge that gives music its direction. When Anderson appears it's not to annoy us with his unusual voice like in "The Yes Album" but to soothe us with a magnificent display of melodies and vocal harmonies, in what might be his shiniest performance ever, even if we don't have a single clue what he's singing about. All clicks in this song, from the brilliant structure that is never predictable but always coherent enough so that it never confuses us, to the alternation of dazzling technique and soft melody. One of the highest points in progressive rock's history.

And you and I (8/10) This track really pales in comparison with the preceding one but it's still very good. Pretty much any song that would've taken this position in the album would have suffered. But maybe it was the best choice, as it leaves room to breathe with a simpler (if still long) piece of music that showcases the talents of the musicians involved. I think the melodies are lacking.

Siberian Khatru (9/10) We're back on the right track with this semi-monumental track that is actually the most "traditional" of the three that make this album. The middle section (the longest one) is good (even if I don't particularly love the chorus-like section) but it's the opening and the closing parts which really catapult this track to a higher status. The energy, the ferocity of the riff and the ideas, the playing by Howe and Squire, the textures, the excellent singing by Anderson, all of that combined plus the inherent uniqueness of this song help make it an excellent closer for this seminal album.

YES released, in my opinion, one better album than this one ("Relayer"). But that notwithstanding, the importance of "Close to The Edge" for progressive rock and the absolute brilliance of its title-track guide me to give this album the highest possible rating.

This was rock really pushed close to the edge.

The T | 5/5 |

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