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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 3095 ratings

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imoeng
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Close To The Edge

Yes's fifth studio album and was released in 1972. The album itself is considered as Yes's best album, moreover, is the best album in progressive rock history. The album consists of three songs, Close To The Edge, And You And I and Siberian Khatru. I have the remastered CD, so it has four bonus tracks, America, Total Mass Retain (single version), And You And I (alternate version) and Siberia (studio run-through of Siberian Khatru).

Just for your information, my favorite genre is progressive metal, and indeed, Yes's songs are different with Pain Of Salvation, Dream Theater and even Opeth. Being a boy in recent days, I think its kinda hard to appreciate symphonic progressive rock, especially after listen to many newer progressive metal bands. However, I found that this album is just very amazing. Moreover, at that time, 1972, this kind of album was really a breakthrough in music world.

It is such a shame that after the recording of this album, Bill Bruford, the drummer on the album left Yes to join with King Crimson. The next album was with Alan White.

The first song, Close To The Edge starts with birds and water sounds, very calming, followed by great guitar line from Steve Howe, its more like a jamming and improvisation line actually. But its what progressive rock about, improvisation and experimental. The overall music is pretty strange, strange in a good way. The time signature in the beginning of the song is really weird, probably they made it without any time signature. The "jamming" session ends with "aaaa" sound then the song changes to be more melodic and calming with obvious beat. When the vocal starts, the music changes again to be groovier with great bass line, very dynamic. Overall, the guitar part on Total Mass Retain is somewhat same throughout the sub-song. The bass line and drum dominate the song which is very dynamic and amazing. I Get Up I Get Down is a slow song, without much instrumental part, showcases Anderson, Howe and Squire's vocals, the keyboard part at the ending of the part is also great. The last part has pretty much the same structure as the first part, with many improvisations on the instruments. The lyrics are also the same with the first part. The song ends in the same way as it started, with birds and water sounds.

And You And I, another great song. Every time I listen to it, I just remember one of Dream Theater song, Solitary Shell. Probably because of the 12 strings guitar rhythm and beautiful keyboard part. These are amazingly the same with Dream Theater's solitary shell. The song was divided into four parts, Cord Of Life, Eclipse, The Preacher The Teacher and Apocalypse. One of the things to look at is the transition between Cord Of Life and Eclipse's lyric, very beautiful and seems very "elegant", great background sound from the keyboard. The next melody after Eclipse is just gets even more beautiful, nice rhythm with Solitary Shell's keyboard (sorry if I keep talking about Dream Theater song!! : ) ). The last part is more like the first, pretty much like Close To The Edge, so its like return to the first part. "And you and I called over valleys of endless seas." Too beautiful.

Now, the famous Siberian Khatru, it has very dynamic and groovy intro. The guitar and bass line on the first verse are very funky, I remember a song from a band called Extreme. This song is somewhat different from the other two songs, because it has no any cool or calm moment, dynamic throughout the song.

There are two things why you should buy this album. First, is because the songs are just simply amazing. Two, because its really a great living history in progressive rock world that you wouldn't dare to miss. Moreover, if you prefer newer progressive bands, just try to listen to a song on this album first, I believe you will fell just like I feel now, the greatest album. Five stars

Keep On Proggin' In The Free World!!

imoeng | 5/5 |

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