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5 stars What can one add about this seminal album? The sound is remarkably clean, Bruford is busy and technical on the drums, Wakeman is majestic and the musical composition is amongst the best Yes ever managed. Siberian Khatru is a great track, but is the weakest of the three on the album! This work stands the test of time and is an absolute must-hear for any fan of progressive rock music.
Report this review (#12971)
Posted Thursday, December 18, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars A masterful album, and for most people this will probably stand out as the most solid and best of the band's offerings, especially at first. However, to my tastes, Yes were just getting started on Close to the Edge... next comes Tales, which is the kind of album that can take you years to appreciate (in a GOOD way), and then:


For those listeners seeking the more conventional, less demanding Yes masterpiece, with endless accolades to back it up... look no further, Close to the Edge is it. If you are curious as to how far the band could stretch their musical imagination with no holds barred... skip ahead an album or two. (Skip ahead two, to be precise.)

Report this review (#12937)
Posted Saturday, January 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars A Greener Shade Of Pale

I think everyone talks about fine enough, that I could not bring anything new. The ultimate Yes statement, most fans will agree but not my favorite, even if it is in my top 5. A rather bland but intriguing shades-of-green gatefold artwork with the classic Roger Dean logo, the innerfold takes the spotlight with a stunning edgy illustration. Wakeman is now fully integrated in the band and this is Howe's best showing (IMHO), but unfortunately it will be Bruford's last album with the band, as he's lured away on the second try by a Frippian Crimson.

Well I won't spend much time and keyboard wear to describe the sidelong title track, because there are hundreds or review below mine that will (and probably make a better job than me). Actally I prefer the 10-mins+ And You and I on the flipside as I find it less complex and the slow start is delicious. Only Siberian Khatru (whatever that is, I'm afraid to ask Jon, even if I want one for my windowsill) is slightly weaker, but it's nothing worth throwing the album away.

I have had to defend this album above all and all too many times, because CTTE was always used as a target for anti-prog jerks, not realizing that if they had taken a legitimate shot at the next one (Tales of Topographic Ocean) , I would have had a lot more problems defending our cause. Give another halfstar at this one

Report this review (#12936)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
5 stars Any one who call himself "prog-fan" must know this unreached milestone! At the time as keyboard-god Rick Wakeman joined the band, Yes was the best band at this time. I think "Close To The Edge" and "Fragile" are two of the best albums ever recorded and it's impossible to make a better album than this, because it contains the best musicianship ever seen and the most important music ever heard and played! What would the world be without timeless classics like "Close To The Edge", "And You And I" or "Siberian Khatru"? Far more cheaper and without some great prog-bands we know and love today (Dream Theater, Threshold). Think what you will, but that's the fact!
Report this review (#12947)
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Close to perfection

I know it's all been said before, but this really is the pinnacle. The title track in particular is pure prog perfection. Wakeman especially never sounded better, but the whole band excels both in terms of composition and performance.

I have heard it said that it was Eddie Offord who took the various pieces Yes were working on, and spliced them together to form the track we all now know so well as "Close to the edge". If that is true, it is time his vision was recognised properly. The structure of the track stand as an example, followed by many but never surpassed, of how to put together the ultimate prog epic.

"And you and I" is the only track worthy of following CTTE. The power here can be almost overwhelming. By the way, if you have yet to hear the Yessymphonic version, you should do so without delay.

"Siberian Khatru" rounds off the album superbly, being a slightly simpler up tempo number, but with a sting in the tail(fly?).

Anderson is at his most lyrically obscure here, the words being selected because of their sound rather than their meaning. In most cases, this might point to a potential lack of coherence, but in this case more simplistic lyrics would somehow seem trite and unworthy.

The expanded remaster includes the single version of Yes' interpretation of Simon and Garfunkel's "America", an alternative version of AYAI, a single(!) version of Total Mass retain (which sounds completely out of place on its own), and a studio run through of "Siberian Khatru".

Report this review (#13027)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the greatest prog rock album of all time. I bought it on vinyl with my hard-earned paper-round money when I was 14 and it blew me away. It sounded like Jon Anderson was 'word-painting' to me. I liked that. It seemed like he just played with words that fitted the way the music was flowing. It was a musical whole...not just songs with words. I had never heard rock music where the members of a band were so in tune with each other. No wonder Bill left after this one. He must of felt he couldn't do any better with Yes than this. They made some great music after this too, but to my mind they never sounded quite this good again. So much is said about how good Wakeman was on this, but it's Bruford and Squire who really kick arse. I'm 42 now and I still listen to the CD regulary. This is simply essential for anyone who likes good music.
Report this review (#13031)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars For most of you I am sure you would agree that this is perhaps YES' most crowning achievement. "Close to the Edge" is a masterpiece and brings out the best musicianship of the members of YES. Each song is well written and delivered with pure beauty and energy. From a song writing stand point this is yes' greatest work. This is pure magic and is absolutely essential is your collection. "And You and I" still remains of the the all time greatest prog tracks ever in my mind.
Report this review (#13051)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars CLOSE TO THE EDGE is a masterpiece ! Out of my entire collection this is one of my top ten albums.Their following album :FRAGILE is also in my top ten and I'm not even a big YES fan; this just to tell you that these two albums are a must to listen to.There is no doubt of their quality as others will attest, so the question is: Are they to your personal taste ? Because not everyone enjoys Anderson's high voice or the sometimes less melodic and jumping around of themes. The best song is the title track "CLOSE TO THE EDGE" .It starts off eclectic, jabbing here and there and then the beauty appears transporting you on an 18 minute journey into a surreal variety of themes. The second song "And You And I" is a 10 minute slower, smoother song with nice synthesiser textures and acoustic guitars. The third and last song "Siberian Khatru" is a "funky" rythmic song with some real nice vocal harmonizing. All The musicians perform top notch on all the songs.

YES at their BEST ! Highly Recommended

Report this review (#13054)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the first record as a group, Fragile is an example of virtuosity and Close to the edge define the path to greatness. A very simbiotic music, notes flying in awe creating a mesmerazing environment for the perfect change to choruses and rhythm. You must hear this album at least 5 times to get into it, the drums, guitars, basses and keybords joining into a fine sample of voices!; the brand new reiussue, contains an alternate take of "and you and i", the single version of "total mass retain" and the song "america", plus the original artwork from the 70's album, an excellent album from an excellent band, it's a sad thing that this was the last album with this line-up. go and get it now!!!
Report this review (#12961)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album that got me hooked. It was about half a year ago. My mom got out her old record player and popped in CTTE. The whole album is great start to finish, but what really took me away is the opening guitar of the title tracked. FREAKIN' AMAZING! Howe's seemingly chaotic sliding up and down his guitar neck backed by Squire's pounding bass notes were enough to make this guy who previously did not even know there was a band named Yes to go out and get all of there albums (besides greatest hit albums which I hate). The title track is my favorite momement, as if the opening solo is not good enough to be a song alone, the listener is treated to four more sections, I Get Up I Get Down being the best. Siberia and AYAI are masterpieces just as well, they are not as good, but one of the had to be the best, they couldn't all. The three tracks are in the perfect order with eachother as well. This is my third favorite album in the world only second to Abbey Road and the White Album. Get it, and then get Fragile, The Yes Album, and Tales.
Report this review (#13018)
Posted Saturday, April 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probably the best album by YES and an essential album from every point of view!! Siberian Kathru is their most famous track here; instead the title track is the most complete mini-suite They have ever arranged (the intro by Steve Howe, well supported by such Wakeman's loop with birds, in his introduction emulating Stravinsky just a little bit, is fantastic). Then the leading theme of guitar stands alone and so much memorable like a few other themes by Steve Howe...of course the importance of this work -due to their search for perfection ("Chord of life",along with the sensible voice by Anderson, is another example), brings us to the edge of pleasure!! All these features make this album another must- have epic number (without forgetting the ballad "And you and I", containing the famous crescendo at the Cathedral Organ by Wakeman, along with such a great portamento at his Mini-Moog,being another essential number during their performances live!!)
Report this review (#13019)
Posted Sunday, April 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is one of the best YES' albums. Some parts are really complex and rhythm changing. The epic track "Close to the Edge" contains outstanding lead & backing vocals; the airs are very catchy and addictive. Squire's bass is very bottom and loud. Wakeman's keyboards can be floating, rhythmic and melodic: there is a very vibrant church organ part. Howe's electric guitar is very good, and Bruford's drums are quite elaborated. Nobody steals the show here: the musicians play together and the good cohesion is obvious. The weak point of the album: the 3 first minutes on "Close to the Edge" are a bit irritating and Howe's guitar sound VERY coarse and goes nowhere!

"And You and I" has more acoustic elements. Wakeman's floating mellotron and Howe's spatial guitar are very impressive. "Siberian Kathru" is the most accessible one: great vocals arrangements, the bass is very bottom, loud and complex, as always. This record really sounds like the prog band STARCASTLE!


Report this review (#13043)
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars CLOSE TO THE EDGE is my favourite Yes album, and easily one of my all-time favourite progressive rock recordings in general -- a genuine "desert island" selection!

There are no false notes in this magical, mystical masterpiece. This 1972 high watermark of the genre was perhaps the finest hour (well, near forty minutes) of the lineup that most Yes fans consider to have been the definitive one: the angel-voiced Anderson, the superlative Squire, the wizardly Wakeman, the brilliant Bruford, and the heroic Howe. On CLOSE TO THE EDGE, the Yes-men create music that is near-spiritual in the depth of emotion it can evoke.

To immerse yourself in the opening title track is to be transported to a beautiful, unspoiled and fertile alien world. For me, listening to this masterful, near-nineteen minute suite is akin to being "front-pew-center" in some otherworldly church of prog -- a moving, quasi-religious experience. It's just that good!

Though it would hardly seem possible, I enjoy the second track, "And You And I," even more. Howe introduces the song on acoustic, before being joined by Squire and his Rickenbacker, in what is perhaps my favourite opening in all of prog -- please PLAY IT LOUD! The remainder of this great number easily lives up to the tremendous promise of the beginning, and Anderson and Wakeman, in particular, really shine here, with majestic, powerful vocals, and sweeping mellotrons and spot-on synths, respectively. I absolutely LOVE this song!

You'll want to keep the volume pumped for the final piece, because "Siberian Khatru" really rocks! This was the first Yes song that I ever got into as a young teen -- it's an infectious, multi-faceted and diamond-edged gem that is a wonderful showcase for Squire's thundering bass, Howe's unique guitar style, Bruford's precise drumming, and the group's terrific harmony vocals. "Khatru" is a magnificent musical motivator, a great Saturday starter, and a likely choice to put your subwoofer "through its paces," and really get your heart pumping and your house shaking!

If you are already a Yes fan, you almost certainly have and adore this disc. If you are new to progressive rock, and want to discover one of the very best classic, defining works of the genre, you really can't go wrong with CLOSE TO THE EDGE. A must!

Report this review (#13058)
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars YES took their sound to even more epic proportions on "Close to the Edge", arriving at a plateau that found their ambitious individual styles comingling in a profoundly organic setting. "Close to the Edge" may well be the band's finest moment: surely its succession of brilliantly rendered musical themes is one of progressive rock's crowning achievements. The side-long title track returns to the elastic and acrobatic sound of "The YES Album", forsaking the heavier sound of "Fragile" for a fluidity and clarity that brought all of the instruments into play. The vocals of JON ANDERSON have rarely sounded so angelic, the guitar histrionics of STEVE HOVE intermingle madness and lucidity, RICK WAKEMAN's arsenal of keyboards effervesce throughout the arrangements, and CHRIS SQUIRE's bass slides in and out of the melodies with often fantastic consequences. (BILL BRUFORD, while seemingly incapable of being less than creative and unconventional in his rhythms, is called upon to play the musical straight man through much of this music.) Open space, something that "Fragile" had little need for, plays an even larger role on "And You and I." The song starts with an acoustic introduction from HOWE, and the magical journey is soon underway, invoking moments of sublime beauty with uncanny ease. By comparison, the muscular "Siberian Khatru" is perhaps too heavy handed, although the broad lexicon of sound at the disposable of HOWE and WAKEMAN is again amazing.

"Close to the Edge" is easily the tightest tapestry of music that YES has woven, and a culmination of the styles explored on their last two albums. Sadly, BRUFORD left to join KING CRIMSON before the album was released, effectively ending what many still consider to be the band's "classic" lineup.

Report this review (#12927)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars i'm 16 and from england and i'm an intense fan of prog rock for many years since i got into tool (why aren't they on this site???) and i recently got into yes and quite frankly they are the best thing i've ever heard. before i was into similar bands like pink floyd, the mars volta, dream theater and king crimson but this took the elements of all my favourite prog rockers and i was just so amazed by their music that i cant stop listenening to them. i am currently on a mission to get all their best cds. so far i only have fragile, the yes album and close to the edge and they are all masterpieces. i just read all the good reviews on this site and had to get into them and it payed off brilliantly

anyway... less ramble, onto the review.

close to the edge is a masterpiece. the best i've heard so far yet the yes album and fragile are just as good. The first thing that attracted me to listen to this album is that i just love long songs. and one album consisting of 3 tracks felt like heaven to me so i just had to get it. and it was actually one of the best things i've ever heard and loadsa my friends love yes just as much now.

The title track is what defined the amazingness of yes for me. an 18 minute prog rock opus which unlike most prog rock songs that demand patience, really grabs you by the balls and never fails to please. a four minute intro with intense solos and multi layered music feels revolutionary and the bit two minutes in where they stop playing and and go "aaaah" is a classic. The way the song starts off with amazing singing yet try not to give it all away right at the begining is truely amazing. "not right away" sums it all up. the continuous reprisal of the "close to the edge" chorus is always a treat and unlike most chorus, each one is different every time so it never fails to impress you and never gets old.

when the track progresses into the mellower "i get up i get down" is so emotional and beautiful its untrue. and the battle between jon andersons vocals and rick rakemans intense organ piece is unbelievable. the sheer power of this piece never fails to move me. and just when you think its over it goes back into the funky guitar riffs and powerful vocals again and multi layered vocals and guitar riffs, proving that yes have what it takes to provide one of the best rock classics of all time.

and you and i is also a tremendous effort from the band although personally close to the edge remains the best song i've ever heard. track 2 on the album keeps the musical godliness going strong. Starting with the classic acoustic guitar which goes on for just the right amount of time to pull the listener into the song as it progresses into one of the most powerful and apocolyptic pieces of all time after jons long "caaaaallllll". This piece is able to match the first track and it would be an insult if i described this as any less than perfection. this defines progressive rock. with this album yes proved that they can take classic albums like the yes album and fragile and progress even furthur and provide something even more powerful, moving and lyrically flawless.

Siberian Khatru is another masterpiece which offers a funky vibe with the explosive intro and amazing guitar work. This song never fails to please and progresses amazingly throughout. close to the edge is a masterpiece. it actually amazes you to think that it only takes 5 musicians to produce something this good. what god would allow humans to be this amazing!

Although i've only been listening to yes for a month now i am positive this is the best band i've ever heard, even if their other work after "relayer" cant quite match up to anything previous, the early albums are just that good that they prove yes to be one of the most original and talented bands in existance.

i am usually quite harsh at the rating system as i review a lot of records but do not usually give away the 5 star rating. but close to the edge deserves every bit of praise it recieves. Yes have an original compelling sounds that very few bands have been able to match. rock on lads!

Report this review (#13029)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a progressive essential in any collection.After the Yes Album, the band took a step ahead in creation , experimentation and arrangements. In my oppinion this is the highest level of the criativity of Yes, and this is the best formation of Yes .The record opens with "Close to the edge" , a suite of 18:50 minutes ; the chromatic scale of the first part is exciting, and in the climax, brings a beautiful theme, linking with the first singing part.This song is so full of different moments, that really bring us into a voyage, closing with the main theme. The second song, " And you and I " works with a synphonic theme that repeats itself along the music. The main themes in this record are so fantastic that bring excitment and tears to my eyes." Siberian Khatru" close this masterpiece with geniality and virtuosi moments. Best moments: Steve Howe solos and hiffs and Chris Squire bass.
Report this review (#12929)
Posted Friday, May 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Almost perfect. Easily the best Yes album and one of the best progressive albums ever. Side one is their first 20-minute epic and one of their best really long songs, rich and evocative. Side two is even more inventive and full of beautiful things. And you and I is lagely accustic and poetic, Sibirian Kathru is really powerful rock. The band has merged to a great whole here. They may play even better on some of their later offerings but the power of the compisitions has never been surpassed. Also, they sound like they really believe in the importance of what they do.
Report this review (#12930)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, this one is considered to be the finest moment of YES carrier and I may surely agree with that. But when I compare it with "Fragile" I think that "Close to the Edge" is a bit pompous and a little too ambitious. The lengthy title composition had always had some boring moments for me, despite wonderful suite-like concept. On the other hand "And You and I" (I remember having this as an incredible B-side to a single "Roundabout", issued some time 70s in ex-Yugoslavia!) and "Siberian Khatru" were among my favourites YES tracks.
Report this review (#12963)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Unbelievably brilliant and thoroughly beautiful, this is truly the band's finest hour (well, finest 38 minutes). The players never sounded better, the music is perfectly conceived and realized, and the mood is by turns joyous and reflective, mystical and earthy, groovy and pastoral. Put on the title track and close your eyes...seldom has music had the power to sweep me away so totally from start to finish. The lovely ambience slowly fading in, setting the natural and yet exotic mood, building to a peak and then bursting as the frantic first movement scatters around you like surprised birds. Ultimately the chaos resolves as Howe establishes the musical theme, and the band follows in complimentary permutations until the 'song proper' begins with Jon's yearning vocals. I have a slight stirring of discomfort sometimes during the big echoing organ part in the "I get up, I get down" section, but its grandeur works nicely to counterpoint the quiet simple beauty of Jon's little-boy refrains, also to set up the big crashing return to the opening theme, which in turn drives inexorably to the exultant climax ( I'm not ashamed to say this has given me tears of joy from time to time). Then we have the lovely "And you and I", a pastoral ode with 12-string guitar and subtle leslie-filtered electric sliding luxuriously into a soaring mellotron and synth climax. To me, this is the best-sounding Rick Wakeman ever; he comes the closest here to blending his synthetic tones with the more organic mix of the rest of the band. Finally we have "Siberian Khatru" which ends the album on a mystical but driving (almost funky!) note. In a perfect world, there should have been another song afterwards to bring the album full circle, as it is sadly just a little too short, but as it stands this is an almost flawless musical achievement that I will very likely love deeply for the rest of my life.
Report this review (#12976)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The band: Yes The album: Close to the Edge Need I say more?

Well actually i could. The title track is probably the most representitive track of Yes's 'Classic' line up. The only thing i do not enjoy about this song is the fact that the section entitled 'I Get Up, I Get Down' seems to go on for longer than it really does (I had to strech to reach thet conclution).

My favorite track here is 'And You and I'. Jon's vocals on this song are really beautiful.

'Siberian Khatru' is my least favorite song here but still great.

Sence i own the remastered version i will also reiview the bonus tracks. 'America (single edit)' is good, but not as good (or long) as the original. Ditto for 'Total Mass Retain'. The alternate version of 'And You and I' Is very different fron the regular version but (luckally) manages to hold on to the same feel. Ditto for the studio run-through of 'Siberian Khatru'.

Main album: 5 stars Bonus tracks: 4 stars Overall: 4 1/2 stars (but the main music is so good it warrents a 5 star overall rating)

Recomended. VERY recomended.

Report this review (#12978)
Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I would have to disagree slightly here. This album while fantastic and still essential just dosen't have the energy that "Fragile" had. It has all the same creativity and pomp but the energy just isn't as prominent. While I like complicated and tightly performed songs as much as anyone, it seems like they are trying to show off instead of letting their natural energy show through in some places. 4.5 stars
Report this review (#12983)
Posted Monday, September 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars After thinking awhile, I decided to scrap my old review in favor of a newer one. My nievety really plagues me when I read my old material, especially if it shows up in a review of one of the greatest prog rock albums ever (or for that matter, one of the best albums of any genre). It's greatness is such that a non-progger can appreciate it, and proggers alike. It is not commercial in the least, at 18 minutes, however, and is just one of those rare great songs that anyone can enjoy.

It opens with silence, building with a sparkling keyboard run and sounds of nature, then flying headfirst into an intense, fast, insane, driving and building instrumental introduction. The guitar is flying everywhere, held down only by a repeated bass and keyboard run with the drums along for the ride. Utter musical chaos, flying straight upwards. Three times everything stops and pauses for a heavenly chorus of "aaaaaaa"s, then it's turned loose once more. At the third "aaaaaa," it tumbles into a second introduction theme, a more melodic and mid-tempo peaceful joyous victory-over-all-earthly-troubles anthem. We have just witnessed the peaceful sounds of nature, contrasted with the intense struggle of life, with both toppled by the third part. And that's just the unlisted introductory movement.

Everything quiets down, and we are set back at square one for "The Solid Time of Change". The electric sitar of HOWE starts up over SQUIRE's odd slide beat, and the vocals begin. It becomes clear through ANDERSON's lyrics that the protagonist of the song is spiritually bankrupt, and that it would take "a seasoned witch" to restore his grace. This song is based on the book "Siddharta," and is heavily based on Christian and Buddhist imagery. The movement goes through a few verses, then a chorus in which the protagonist is called to begin a spiritual quest, but at first resists, saying "not right away." After some more verses, the hero finally accepts and begins his journey for "Total Mass Retain." More verses follow over the same musical background, with some key changes such as the fact that Chris's bass now plays an uneven, chaotic hammer-on riff and we have changed key. The hero climbs through the strange world of his inner mind, a land I imagine to be like the fantastic world on the inner sleeve of the album, painted by Roger Dean. He (or she, really, you never know) battles his way up, learning as he goes, but he can only take so much at once, retaining all he can. He is now lost once more, and the only way to go further is to take what he now knows and reflect on it, so the music descends into a quiet movement.

"I Get Up, I Get Down," begins with no heralding, only a soft, beatiful cavernous and aural, ambient keyboard and some tweaks on the sitar and some other small additions, such as water dropping occaisionally to put us into the darkness completely. The protagonist makes some profound observations and wonders what to do. A simple keyboard beat emerges silently, with reflective, pondering three-part vocal harmonies appearing soon after. Then it all builds up into a majestic organ crescendo, stopped only once for a reprise of the movement's chorus, then restarted once more. Then WAKEMAN does a sharp, triumphant herald on his Moog, and we are plunged into the most chaotic section yet. The music is a reprise of the third theme of the intro, but distorted, twisted, and unbalanced. My favorite part of the whole thing.

WAKEMAN follows with a keyboard solo, then we re-enter the verse section and hear some of the music last heard in the first two movements. The protagonist has reached spiritual heights, a journey ended and knowledge found. Peace. Simply beatiful. The whole thing builds up with a final chorus, then silently fades into the sounds of nature heard in the beginning, reversed.

"And You and I" is a more acousticly oriented song, starting with the sound of Steve HOWE tuning his 12-string, and saying "okay" to a faintly heard "we're rolling now" from the guy recording. It starts us off firmly on the ground, in a studio, but soon the rest of the band joins and we are yanked from reality and into a warm world. The lyrics could be interpreted in many ways, as a simple love song, as praise to God, as a song of friendship with others, all centered on "you," which could be any of these. Soon we are pulled further as the keyboards come to prominence for "Eclipse," then utter silence. Then we hear HOWE re-starting the song, differently this time, again in an acoustic setting for "The Preacher the Teacher." This is my favorite part of the song, it seems very nostalgic for me for some unknown reason. It slowly builds back up to the heights of "Eclipse," then falls into another simple epilogue, ending beautifully.

The oddly named "Siberian Khatru" follows, much more hard-rocking but another grade-A song. The lyrics seem more oriented towards evoking images rather than telling a story, and the instruments are very varied. Between the traditional drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards, you'll hear some harpsichord and electric sitar as well. Toward the end is a traditional YES vocal harmony section, without which it just wouldn't be a YES album.

The greatest album ever. Go buy it right now. NOW!

Report this review (#12985)
Posted Sunday, September 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you could only but one Yes album you should buy this one. All Yes virtues (but not all defects) are present here. "Close To The Edge" is, almost certainly, the best one-sided suite ever made by a prog rock band. There's no filler everything is needed and sounds natural. The song couldn't be shorter, shouldn't be longer. And the music is really beautiful. But the peak is into "And you and I". When the second segment arrives ("Eclipse", I guess), the music turns simply celestial. I never enjoyed Jon Anderson's voice better than here. And "SIberian Kathru" closes the album in a riffy style in wich Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman show their talents.

This is Yes' masterpiece, and maybe prog-rock's too.

Report this review (#12986)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This write-up serves two purposes. As far as the album concern, I just want to express my appreciation towards this seminal work of YES from the best line-up they have ever had in their more than 35 years in music industry, ie. Bruford, Wakeman, Anderson, Howe and Squire. As far as release concern, I just want to give e some words on the 2003 release of the album by RHINO in the expanded and remastered digipak vesion that includes additional 4 bonus tracks : America, Total Mass Retain, And You and I, and Siberia. The reason of preparing this write-up is to commemorate "the dream came true" event that happened exactly one year ago: 25 September 2003 when my prog friends in Indonesia and I were attending YES Second Leg tour in Singapore. What a magic moment that we experienced at that time - it was 29 years in waiting for most of us. Today, some Yesmania in Indonesia play YES music to commemorate the event. Rizal plays "Fragile" DVD audio version and Teguh opened the day with "Siberian Khatru". And I'm writing this review.

The album opens stunningly with an excellent epic track CLOSE TO THE EDGE. It's a long track and structured into four sections of captivating music: i. The Solid Time of Change, ii. Total Mass Retain, iii. I Get Up I Get Down, iv. Seasons of Man. The track starts with a nature sounds of birds created from keyboard and flows into full music with a very complex arrangement: dazzling bass line, dynamic drumming, complicated guitar fills and keyboards. It's interesting to observe at the beginning part of "Solid Time of Change" section where guitar and keyboard do not seem to go in the same direction yet it produces fascinating music. It's brilliant! Vocal line adds up with "aaaaaa" produced by Anderson and Squire voices. This complex beginning is one that makes this track so attractive. When it reaches minute 3:00 the music starts to unite in a more melodic structure led by electric guitar work (the part where people emulate the melody because it's rather simple) and then moves to lyric-based vocal. The music turns to a rhythm section with great drumming, bass line and guitar rhythm in an upbeat mode. I would say that this part is really fascinating and will not erode by the passage of time or by other measures of music advancement.

The transition from first section to second "Total Mass Retain" happens smoothly, marked by lyrical melody in higher tone followed by a transition bar. This second part flows alike the first part but in a relatively higher tone until it reaches lyric part that spells "I get up. I get down" and the music goes silent with keyboard solo. This part remarks the beginning part of third section. The arrangement of vocal line, be it as single voice or duo (Squire and Anderson), coupled with stunning solo keyboard has made this part is really memorable. This is the part where listeners experience their ultimate orgasm enjoying this album, especially the part where the drumming part enters back to the music and Wakeman keyboard creates a fascinating sound.

The experience moves up to the concluding section "Seasons of Man" where all the music and vocal line sum-up in a cohesive way, create an ultimate climax of this epic. No one would argue that the ending part of this track really creates a true climax. It is well composed and skillfully performed by the band. "Seasons will pass you by - I get up. I get down ." is really a true encore. Overall, CLOSE To THE EDGE is a track with great structure and composition - it brings the listener through the waves of musical enjoyment. The more we listen to it, the more we enjoy the track.

Second track AND YOU AND I comprises four sections as well: i. Cord of Life, ii. Eclipse, iii. The Preacher The Teacher, and iv. Apocalypse. As compared to the first track, this one is rather mellow and has relatively lesser high and low point variations. It starts with a stunning acoustic guitar fills followed by vocal line that marks the "Cord of Life" lyrical part. The music flows smoothly with acoustic guitar rhythm at the background till the end of first. The most interesting musical piece is the transition to the second section. The second section is relatively short and it ends up with an acoustic guitar cast in the vein of intro part of the track. But t this one is then followed with a soft keyboard solo that marks the beginning of third section "The Preacher The Teacher". In this section, Wakeman demonstrates his excellent keyboard solo accompanied with dynamic drumming style of Bruford. The music flows to the end section "Apocalypse" that melody-wise is exactly the same with the end part of first section. I don't know why the band names it differently. In another words, it returns to the orginal tagline melody of the track "And you and I called over valleys of endless seas".

Third track is well-known track SIBERIAN KHATRU that used to be an opening track of any Yes live performance (except YESshows that used "Parallels" of "Going For The One" album). It's an uplifting track with relatively fast tempo. It's really a great track for opening the show. All instruments are played dynamically in this track, and the tagline melody of the track is really stunning.

The expanded and remastered version of the CD (RHINO) has an excellent package with colorful booklet including photographs of band members. The design is really good. I enjoy the story in the booklet - it provides great nuances when this great album was created. This was the major reason why I need to own this version. The price was relatively cheap (Sing $ 16.95), I purchased it during the time when I attended Singapore for YES 35 Anniversary Tour (second leg) last year. For those of you who enjoy "the evolution of music" before was made commercial, you might enjoy this version because it has 4 bonus tracks of which 2 were previously unissued ("And You and I" and "Siberia"). However, despite a note of "re-mastered", the sound quality is worse than the original CD version remastered by Eddie Offord. That's why, I still keep the previous version even though I have got this new (2001) version. Overall, I rate this album 5/5 - it's a true MASTERPIECE. Long Live YES! - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Report this review (#12987)
Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an era for Yes enthusiasts, what an era for Yes....period. Close To The Edge probably the fans overall favourite. I would not quite put it up there with Fragile but it is excellent all the same.There are areas of the title track that just wander a bit. ' And You and I' and ' Siberian Khatru' are simply superb played live as well. This is progressive music as a genre goes but I am sure in years to come will be relabelled under classics! Now that is an interesting debate:-) Steve Howe for me the wizard musically on Close To The Edge.
Report this review (#12988)
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I agree with most previous reviewers: this album deserves a 5 stars rating. I consider this album as YES` first "Masterpiece", and one of the most representative albums in Progressive Rock music. I also consider this album a "musical journey" which creates fantasy images in the listener. The song "Close to the Edge" starts with the sounds of birds over a background with water sounds and a keyboards background maybe created using a mellotron. (After listening to this album for the first time, for me YES was associated with "nature images and sounds", this idea also augmented by Roger Dean`s cover paintings). The birds and nature sounds give way later to a heavy part ("The solid Time of Change") in which Squire and Bruford play the structure of the song, with keyboard sounds and Howe`s guitar, until a pause with vocals after which Howe plays a melody which is the "signature" of this song (later played again by Howe in Topographic Oceans `s "Ritual"). In the second part of the song , "Total Mass Retain", Squire and Bruford again lead the musical piece with several chord changes by Howe and "keyboard effects" by Wakeman.The "signature" melody is played again at the end of this part, but now by Wakeman in the organ. The third part of the song ("I Get Up I Get Down") is predominantly played by Wakeman`s keyboards, with vocals by Anderson (singing a part of the lyrics) and Howe and Squire "answering" with their vocals to Anderson`s vocals. I don`t know if Wakeman used a real Church organ here. The next part of the song (and the last, called "Seasons of Man") maybe begins with the reprise of the "signature melody" again played by Wakeman, followed by a very good Hammond organ solo accompanied by the band, and after this the last part of the lyrics is sung, unitl a great finale with again the appearance of the birds and nature`s sounds supported by a keyboards background. A great song, really. "And You and I" starts with Howe`s tuning his acoustic guitar, playing "harmonics" in the strings, supported by a keyboard. This song has very good arrangements, and it is one of the best songs from YES. Wakeman and Howe play melodies, Wakeman creates "musical atmospheres" with his keyboards. "Siberian Khatru" also has very good keyboards by Wakeman (and it was the first time that he had a songwriting credit in YES). This is YES most solid album with Bruford. Wakeman is more integrated to the band than in "Fragile". Squire and Bruford worked in this album as a more solid rhythm section. In his website, in the FAQs section, Bruford says that he left YES, among other things, because his next album with YES could have been very similar to this album, and that he needed to explore new musical things with other musicians. But Bruford considers this album one of his favourites among the albums he has recorded since his musical career started.
Report this review (#12989)
Posted Monday, September 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well..It's Close To The Edge... to me, it's like an incredible trip to a mystical, wonderful world in just 37 minutes (that's a paradox: today, punk rock records use to last 40 minutes...) OK, I've only listened to 2 of their records (Fragile and this), but I can barely imagine something better than CTTE... it's so cohesive, touching, powerful... The review:

First than nothing I shall say all the band members were clearly at their finest hour when CTTE was made. You'll see why. Now let's go song by song:

The title track lasts almost 20 minutes, inaugurating a tradition in Yes (as I noticed on "Tales.." or "Relayer") and it starts with some cool jungle-like sounds, just to blow at one minute mark with an impressive melody... I won't get too detailed about its four parts, I'll just generalize a bit: the instrumental work here is absolutely amazing!!! listen to the pianos, organs, basses, guitars, synthetizers, drums, and whatever is in there!... the ryhthm and tempo change several times, acording to the "mood" the song is in (RICK WAKEMAN'S main duty in this album) and I personally found the drum-n-bass work impressive, listen to those drums!. A part that deserves a mention: 8:00 to 14:00, that church-organ! I found incredible how they could put that kind of instrument in the middle of a song and make it all seem cohesive! The backing vocals between the church organ solos, along with JON ANDERSON's powerful voice (yet he has undecifrable lyrics... believe, that ain't a problem) are jaw-dropping. Towards the end of the song, ANDERSON starts singing on higher notes, giving the idea of a "grand finale" and the instruments stop playing around the 17:30 mark, returning to the jungle-like sounds.

Then comes what I consider one the best songs ever made, and clearly the best in prog-rock: And You And I... it's beyond any explanation. A 10-minute ballad, it is also divided in 4 parts, but I won't get detailed about it either... in a few words: everything at its best. It starts with Howe fooling around with harmonics, then bass and drums come in, and the 12-string delivers a stunningly beautiful ring. To complete, WAKEMAN's synths (simulating some kind of flute) as a nice compliment to all of the instrumentation mentioned before. Then, ANDERSON's lyric start. That maybe the BEST intro to a song ever made, I still can't tell you why, you must listen, it is so beautiful it can't be described... this one doesn't have as much tempo changes as the title track, it's quite mellow and kinda "simple"... check out for example the perfect ending (part 4, "Apocalypse"). That's the key word to define it: Perfect!!!

Finally, closing the album, last but not least, "Siberian Khatru"... Yes rocking out!! yeahhhh that's right... a very cool one, last almost 9 minutes, and it's fast and rocking, with some slower parts, with an acoustic guitar, among the fast parts (like I said before, maybe Yes major virtude, cohesion). It features an eletric sitar, a Chinese-like hapsichord and an almost funky guitar!! the bass and drums, like always, marking the pace and doing one stunner of show... It's a great ending for the album, and it has such a positive feel it's almost certain you're gonna turn off your CD player smiling...

Well, that's about it... a few listens should work. A desert island album? Definitively! So far it beats every album I know from my favourite bands.. It's probably Yes' pinnacle as a prog-rock band...

Report this review (#12992)
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am the 100th one to rate this album, and it is the basic (if not the only) motivation for me to do so! Like Bryan Adair, I also wonder why some guys rated this album less than 5 stars! (well, I can understand rating 4, so I'm not condemning them...) Man, this is the album that "really" opened the doors of progressive rock to Yes, and includes their first side- length suite, which is superb. If you don't like the music at all, at least consider its historical perspective... That's what I do now, though I think the album has some dull moments (not on the title track, it's completely flawless), I think the album as a whole is an essential masterpiece for every prog fan to own. (Who am I talking to, all Yes fans and serious prog lovers already have it!!!) As for the dull moments, I really get bored in (just some) parts of and you and I, and I do think Siberian Khatru is a bit too long... They could have shortened it, and inserted something else (maybe an edited version of America, or if it's too diverse from the concept, an outtake) to the gap. Nevertheless, this stands out as one of the absolute masterpieces of progressive rock. I already had the MP3 version, but when I saw the record on second hand stand, I couldn't help buying it (partly because of the wonderful Roger Dean painting inside...) Highly recommended.
Report this review (#12994)
Posted Wednesday, October 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say about this true masterpiece of Prog other than that it's really the masterpiece it's often regarded as? These three monster epics show YES at the peak of their creativity - although, at the end of the day, I prefer the live versions on "Keys to Ascension I + II" (ooh blasphemy, I don't care) because of the brilliant modern sound quality and the live energy. Anyway, no Prog collection can be called "complete" if it doesn't contain "Close to the Edge". It's not a lifeless monument that was only relevant in the 70s, but an exciting musical trip that fascinates me every time I listen to it.
Report this review (#12999)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
el böthy
5 stars You can not call yourself a prog rock fan and not have this album. It's like saying that you are an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan but you've never seen Terminator...ok stupid example. The point is that this is nothing but THE masterpiece of masterpieces, the best album EVER in progressive music. "Close to the Edge" is a 19 minutes rollercoaster ride, which, just like the album, I consider it to be the best epic song ever in the genre. It's sometimes breathtaking for me to listen to this song, it's the absolute manifestation of perfection in music, and I donīt say that from a fan point of view, subjectively itīs not my favorite epic, but objectively (if such thing does exist) it is the greatest piece of music of this genre. "And you and I" is the second masterpiece, a 10 minute acoustic based song where Anderson sings some of it's best melodies ever, while the rest do an excellent job without getting too virtuosos, every note is there for the right reason. Pure delight. And "Siberian Khatru" is well. the third masterpiece in this album. Howe shines here. they all do!!!

There is so, soooooo mucho more to say about this album, it all has been said quite some times so there is no need for me to repeat it all again. but I could write a book about how good, how unbelievable good this album is. It's that simple. get it and enjoy it, because there is so much to enjoy here.

Report this review (#13000)
Posted Sunday, November 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is undeniably a masterpeice and for me is Yes at the top of their game. The album is more self indulgant than Fragile and therefore requires a few listens before you can really "get it", but once you do......(salivating)....... The intensity picks up right from the start and doesnt let up until the closing notes of "Siberian Khatru". The album is absolutely fabulous lyricly, especially the "I get up, I Get down" section in "Close To The Edge" followed by Wakeman's beautifull suite on keyboard and return to intensity. "And You and I" is also a lovely song which showcases Steve Howes virtuoso on guitar and John Andersons voice used to perfection. The final track "Siberian Khatru" is more upbeat than the rest of the album, and although its arguably the least epic track on the album, the guitar hook is one of Howe's most memmorable and well crafted . Overall, the album can only be done justice by being called a masterpeice. For me this album IS Yes, and no record collection is complete without it.
Report this review (#13002)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Close To The Edge is a proggers dream. That and it is apparently Yes' finest hour. It came across much like The Yes Album but more mature and pompous. But I'm not sure how the traditional rock music fan, like myself, would accept it. I like the spontaneous feel and raw textures of Fragile and so assumed that this one would be better and even bigger sounding, especially the guitar. But it certainly does not grab me in the same way as Fragile did. In fact Fragile was closer to the edge while this one ( Close To The Edge) was a little more fragile. I'd even prefer if they could have changed the album covers around. In my crazy mind they would fit better to the concept, or some of the concept. I spent much of this album switched off. Like having a conversation with somebody who is so [%*!#]ing boring that you get a pain in your face from pretending to laugh at their dumb jokes whilst nodding all the time wondering if the oven is left on and such mediocre thoughts, anything to take me away. OK maybe I 'm being a little harsh but there is nothing on Close To The Edge that brought a sense of wonder that "Roundabout" and the sublime rapid fire guitar fest that was "Heart Of The Sunrise", songs that were the highlights of the previous album. Consistently this album is fine but the themes never rose above the equation of excitement while briefly flirting with it whilst frustrating the [%*!#] out of this rockist arsehole. What I would love to do with this album is mix out Jon Anderson's annoying [%*!#]ing high pitched wail and inject some nicely distorted guitar along to the same melody, just for fun. Close To The Edge has gained its place in progressive rock history but I am still on the outside of that party not knowing what the hell is going on.
Report this review (#13003)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars THEE prog album of the century, PERIOD. If one wants to find out what prog rock is all about, they must check into CLOSE TO THE EDGE. The long four chapter epics, the mind blowing artistic keyboards, the poetic and sometimes ambiguous lyrics; all are featured here. Thirty-eight minutes of ecstacy. I do think Close to The Edge (the song) has a couple of weak parts, but totally prog nonetheless. And You And I and Siberian Khatru are 100% perfect throughout. These tracks were never big on Pop radio (at least in the States) and that's good, because it doesn't appeal to simple minded poppy audiences. This album is like a Da Vinci or Michaelangelo piece of art. Magnificent!!!
Report this review (#13005)
Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars 5 stars, of course !!! The title track takes you into a new dimension of music : intensity speed, harmony. Difficult to get in at the first listening : too much things you're not used to. Don't be afraid : "And you and I" is a beautiful balad with some inventive music. The must surprising is maybe "Siberian Kathru" : powerful speed riffs, complex rythms. It took me years to get in this one, but i'm still discovering things when listening !
Report this review (#13006)
Posted Monday, November 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars CTTE was released when I was in my early to mid teens and it was definitely a favorite back then. Vinyl being the only option back then, I replaced this and 'TALES" more than once, coming home from school and having to throw them on the turntable almost daily (or more than once a day). Since the early 80's I haven't played either of the albums very often but every once in a while I do and am reminded of why they meant so much to me back then. In the last few weeks I've kept hearing CTTE in my head, but had not gotten around to playing the album. My wife is not a big Yes fan (although she likes some Yes songs, especially "All Good People") and after her having had brain surgery a year and a half ago I'm tentative about playing any loud music. This week she had a second brain surgery (which has left her hopefully rid of her tumors) and I utilized the time alone (after coming home from visiting her in the hospital) to crank up the old Yes tunes. Unfortunately, having moved in the last year, much of my CD collection is still in boxes and I couldn't find either CTTE or Tales unpacked. Luckily, I remembered that I had bought the "Keys to Ascension" DVD about three years ago and all of CTTE (and some of Tales) were on the DVD. So I've spent the last couple of hours cranking it up (and finding this website). My wife keeps on telling me how her surgeon told her that having this last surgery was a "no brainer". Rating CTTE a 5 star is also a no brainer. While Tales is my favorite Yes album, and Peter Gabriel my favorite single performer, this is defintely one of those top 5 desert isle albums. And as someone previously mentioned on this forum, I am not ashamed to say that the climax to CTTE (or "Revealing Science") has driven me to tears. Peace all. PS - sorry about Bush (
Report this review (#13008)
Posted Saturday, December 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars To my mind, "Close to the edge" is a great record, the best of Yes - better than "Fragile", the second best record. The first song - "Close to the Edge" -, like Pink Floyd's "Echoes" or King Crimson's "The court of the Crimson King", is a an example of what could be great in progressive music. The two others are interestings, but a little less deep and unbelievable than "Close to the Edge". The John Anderson's voice is in symbiosis with the music. The Rick Wakeman's work on the keyboards is an model to follow. At last, "Close to the Edge" is an album which each one must got.
Report this review (#13009)
Posted Monday, December 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes released Close to the Edge back in 1972, following the very successful "Fragile" album which yielded a bona fide top 40 hit, "Roundabout". But Yes has never really been about hit singles ("Owner of a lonely heart", notwithstanding), and Fragile fits nicely into the prog rock mold. With Close to the Edge, Yes hit their absolute peak. That doesn't mean that they didn't produce anything good after this, but this album marks their highest pinnacle. They are clearly in their creative prime both individually and collectively with this album. There are three songs on the album: the marathon "Close to the Edge", and the "shorter" (but still quite long) songs, "And You and I", and "Siberian Khatru". I have probably listened to this album about one hundred times, and I think it just gets better and better with repeated listenings. This is the album where Wakeman really makes his mark. His Keyboards are nearly awe-inspiring. Bruford's jazzy drumming fits in beautifully with the music here. Steve Howe is his usual masterful self on the guitar, while this is the album that convinces me that Chris Squire is one of the best bassists in rock. All in all, a great display of musicianship, and a great album.
Report this review (#13010)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definitley the album that would define them, Pink Floyd had Echoes, Focus had their Eruption suite, Now Yes begins with their 20 minute Opus, This is a great album and put them on the map in the Progressive Genre, The title track set the standard for other prog outfits, plus it had the song that would be the opener Yes shows in the future. Got to admit, Bill Brufords style of drumming was not suitable for this particular type of music, granted, he was great for the first 3 Lps but after that, he had little to offer because the band itself was changing, He definitley turned in his sticks for a more suitabe Alan White at this point.
Report this review (#13012)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I had to give this 5 stars. The title song is the second best song I have heard, after a song off of Genesis' Nursery Cryme. It never fails to bring emotion to me and the technical skills are amazing. Close to the Edge alone could have made this a 5 star album, but then throw in And you and I, with the melodic, emotional steel guitar work of Howe and Squire's technical masterpiece in Siberian K., this album is something everyone should try.
Report this review (#13014)
Posted Saturday, December 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really won't elaborate on countless reviews already here, but I'll bring out some of the highlights quickly. Rick Wakeman. This is his best album with Yes. From the majestic organs to the spellbinding Moog's he plays, he really fleshes out the sound, and can be heard throughout (not to mention a delightful Harpshichord Solo in "Siberian Khatru"). The Band really clicked on this one. Their masterpiece for posterity, from the grandeur and bombast of CLOSE TO THE EDGE, to the acoustic, emotional beauty of AND YOU AND I, and the quirky finale SIBERIAN KHATRU, this one is a keeper. My only complaint is the awful lyrics. Despite this, one can't deny the extreme technical and composition talent of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe, and Squire, at least for this one.
Report this review (#13095)
Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A progressive Rock milestone. "Close to the Edge" represents all that Prog-Rock stands for. It's definetly a masterpiece and is more or less perfect, the title track especially. "Close to the Edge" defined the Yes sound even more than on the previous "Fragile" album and it's possibly the most "perfect" sounding album in their discography. Polished, well-produced and performed etc. There is very little I can say about this album that haven't been already said, but I can add that If you don't own this, then go buy it as fast as you can! While it's not as good as Genesis' "Foxtrot" or Gentle Giant's "Octopus", it really comes close!


Report this review (#13035)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My first thought when I think of Yes music is "musical genius." Their music has always pulled me out of my reality and right into a completely different zone, and I like that.

Rhino Records has been steadily remastering and reissuing the Yes catalog with bonus tracks and insightful liner notes that put each period of time the band recorded a particular album into proper perspective. Close To The Edge is no exception when it comes to the consistency of excellence that the label demands of itself. The sound on this CD is quite simply, magnificent.

This album is arguably one of the first true progressive rock albums ever recorded. It was 1972 and music was on the brink of many changes and Yes was right in the middle of it all. The opening suite "Close To The Edge: I. The Solid Time Of Change II. Total Mass Retain III. I Get Up I Get Down IV. Seasons Of Man," which lasts for nearly 19 minutes, set the precedence for this genre of music and for the band for many years to come. Their ability to record such complex compositions such as the title track and release a pop flavored single such as the bonus track "America," gave them a cross over appeal that most bands that played music along the same lines simply could not hope to accomplish. How can you go from one distinctly intricate symphonic prog-rock piece of music and switch over to a rock-pop format with songs that had a hit single appeal and still sound the same but different all at the same time? It sounds crazy but that is exactly what this band has been doing for over thirty years now. With Jon Anderson's one-of-a-kind vocals, Steve Howe's striking guitar, Rick Wakeman's built in orchestra with his keyboards and Chris Squire (bass) and Bill Bruford (drums) the anchors of the ship, they were ready to set sail. The good ship Yes would get underway time after time but some of the sails would change as each album was recorded, which never stopped their creative flow. This album kept the stream of creativeness going that the two previous albums The Yes Album and Fragile had begun. The best part about it was that there was a lot more to come.

Report this review (#13036)
Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first album of YES I heard and I instantly got caught by the magic of the music by this band. I simply love it. I enjoy every track, every note. Close to the edge takes me to another dimention. Siberian Khatru exactly at 1:47, you can hear a siblime note which lasts 13 seconds, extraordinary beautiful. It's hard to express what I feel when I listen to this album unless you feel the same for the YES music. Last year they came to Mexico. Well, they just leave to say I can die in peace. Must, I say Must own it... Regards!!!
Report this review (#13038)
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is YES putting the symphonic into Symphonic Progressive Rock. From the jungle cacophony at the beginning and end of the title track, to the guitar ostinato and mantra of 'Siberian Khatru', the music is very good. This album is one of the archetypes of the genre. Of the three lengthy pieces on the album I prefer the first two, as I especially enjoy Wakeman's keyboards - particularly the ecclesiastical organ on the ambitious title track - and Howe's guitar work on those. The oft-quoted lyrics are total nonsense, but are pleasant nonetheless, and Jon Anderson's singing is very much a necessary hue in the overall picture the band paints.

Although this album is often referred to as the band's magnum opus I have to say that I prefer "Fragile" to "Close To The Edge", although I would not be without either, and they were two of the first CDs that I bought to replace my long-gone LPs. The sound is very good on the digitally remastered version I have (Atlantic 82666-2) and it seems to have more detail than I remember from the LP.

If such a thing were possible I would award 4.5 stars, but will settle for 4 stars (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection).

Report this review (#13039)
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars It's always a challenge to review an album that's considered an icon by most Progressive Rock fans, especially when you have venerated it for more than 20 years, but I'll try to be objective if this is possible when writing about Close to the Edge.

I know many people don't like song by song reviews, but in this case the three are so individual that I find no other way to do it.


The opening track Close to the Edge represents what Progressive Rock is, the band has divided it in several parts but I find really three clear divisions. The first part is chaotic and dramatic, the instruments seem to fight one with the other, guitar and keyboard seem to go through different paths and that's exactly where the beauty of the song relies, around the third minute the song begins to show a perfect structure that is often interrupted by another confusing and brilliant passage.

Around the tenth minute the music starts to fade and with delicacy prepares the listener for the climax which is IMO the second clear part of the track, I'm referring to the famous Rick Wakeman keyboard solo that transports us to another dimension using a sound created by Johan Sebastian Bach 300 years ago, a beautiful conflict between modernity and classic Baroque, simply extraordinaire, absolute perfection.

The third part of the song is more structured, keyboard, guitar and bass complement each other perfectly and Wakeman takes the lead role by moments joining the central melody. Bill Bruford deserves a special mention because combines styles using by moments jazzy beats that change the timing of the track.

I know I'm probably wrong but I see this three parts as an almost religious epic totally different to what the lyrics say, the confuse beginning is like a chaotic world or society, the keyboard solo is like a divine intervention that changes that chaos into a more structured and organized world or society.


After a great epic as Close to the Edge the band had a difficult task, to compose a song that won't sound out of place after the first one, so instead of starting a competition to see which one is more complex, they created a more melodic and softer track with a perfect structure and order.

And You And I starts with a soft intro with all the instruments taking exactly the same path and a very defined rhythm marked clearly by Steve Howe and Bill Bruford, no chaos or confusion, everything fits perfectly in it's place, especially when Jon voice joins to complement them.

After this intro comes a beautiful and complex vocal work perfectly done by Jon and very well complemented by Steve Howe (Believe it or not) and Chris Squire who is an expert with backing vocals.

Then comes the explosion of power where Jon and Rick take the lead again complementing perfectly Chris Squire's bass, until a soft guitar passage leads to a very beautiful section where the soft keyboard blends again with Jon's voice.

Of course the needed a keyboard solo but Rick's approach is totally different, instead of the Baroque one from Close to the Edge he does a softer and more melodic, somehow more modern than in the previous song but not exempt of drama that leads to the final section where Jon and Steve close the track. As soft as it started.


One thing I love of this album is the perfect balance, Close to the Edge is complex, Baroque and clearly Progressive, And You And I is melodic so they needed something harder or heavier to close the album, and this is Siberian Khatru, which starts as a rock song. powerful and dynamic, but progressively the hardness turns in a more melodic track where the vocals are delightful.

Again Rick's work with the keyboards is outstanding using semi baroque passages that suddenly change into explosive sections where Steve How takes the lead and again to melodic parts where Jon sounds more comfortable than ever.

This sudden changes are repeated several times to keep the dynamic of the song, and I like specially the hard and complex vocals at the end of the track that lead to a powerful finale.

Again Chris Squire does a perfect work with his bass and the outstanding backing vocals, a great closer for a great album.

This is one of the few occasions when I don't have any trouble rating an album, there's no way I could give Close to the Edge less than 5 stars, an absolute masterpiece essential for any collection.

Report this review (#13040)
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars So that's the picture how I see it: take an experimental musical genre at its peak; take a band from that genre which is always releasing records evolutioning its concepts from its predecessors. Now, that's the interesting question: how long can this band do that?

I would say 3 or 4 records tops. The fact that this band released the good 'Time and a Word', then had an incredible evolution with the excellent 'The Yes Album' and then released the great and different 'Fragile' is already something remarkable. Besides having an increasingly complex concept, YES were playing tighter on each record.

It would be completely understandable if their next record were not as good as 'Fragile'.

It's hard to define 'Close to the Edge'. I read many reviews and opinions about this record, but the best one I saw is on Bill Martin's book, 'Music of Yes'. That's how he starts the chapter which discuss the album:

"... and then perfection came ..."

YES did an amazing job on 'Close to the Edge', once again showing an even more incredible evolution on concept and playing. I am not a big fan of long songs, I think most of them tend to loose themselves, but that's surely not the case of the title track. This 18 minute opus, the first of this length delivered by the band, is a musical journey that has a blowing beginning, turns things slower with an exquisite middle and reaches its climax with a wonderful end. More than that: its high complexity and arrangements are played masterfully by all the musicians.

'And you and I' is an emotive song, very different from the title track. And it's also wonderful: once again, its structure is amazing, and the orchestral-type arrangements are perfect.

'Siberian Khatru' is more of a rock song, but in this case too all YES trademarks are present: great playing, great structures, great arrangements.

All in all, this is a perfect record to me. There are very few records I would rate 5 stars, but this is surely one of them. It's original, ambitious and still fresh. I wrote this review as a tribute to this masterpiece as I think most readers already know it. But if you still don't, go listen to this and enjoy it! And again, and again, and again...

Report this review (#13041)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is considered by many to be the greatest progressive rock album ever; an example for which to judge every progressive rock album after 1972. I am one of those many. This album is simply perfect. Nothing wrong at all, except that it is too short. "Close to the Edge" is a musical journey through the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic prowess of every member of the band. Quiet rainforest sounds and Rick's ambient keyboards bring the listener to an erupting start unlike most of which on Yes' catalog. After a massive climax into harmonies, the actual song starts. I'll keep it short. The first part is the theme, the second part restates the theme in a more raucous and suspended manner. The third is a more soft and beautiful passage with mellow fills. A massive organ brings it back around to the theme. From there a climax builds to epic proportions, explodes, then comes back to earth with the same rainforest sounds from the beginning. "And You And I" is a beautiful slow song with a warm 12-string guitar fill at the beginning. Jon once said he considers this song the greatest on stage because they gel real easy. "Siberian Khatru" is more of a rocker than the others. A great way to end an album; a rock base with orchestral fills from Rick kicks off the song. Then the near-funky theme from Bill and Chris, (awesome rhythm section). More rock, more classical-sounding fills, and they bring it around like the beginning. Truly a masterpiece to be beheld by all. And a comment from one of the reviewers for "Dark Side of the Moon". Why can't good songwriters and composers exist nowadays? A Mahler Symphony is a grand piece of work, but there are composers around today using different instuments, simply. Don't downcast today's composers like that.
Report this review (#13042)
Posted Friday, January 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars As a young Puerto Rican kid living in the Bronx in the late 70's I was listening to some prog but I didn't discover YES till recently. In the 80s and 90s I was all about punk from the Pistols to Black Flag to Sonic Youth to Nirvana. Now I've gone and discovered a band I pretty much ignored back in its heyday. I guess in an age where Avril Lavigne and Ashley Simpson can call themselves's hard not to despair. Anyway...this is the one folks...the SGT. PEPPER of the Prog era. What amazes me is the sheer accesability of the tunes within this album. The title track is as catchy and pop as anything The Beatles ever recorded. "And You And I" is effortlessly majestic in a way that Zeppelin in all their jackhammer vulgarity would try and capture in "Kashmir". "Siberian Khatru" is the lesser song but the first two are rock miracles. There are no annoying fusion moments and no extended instumental forays into the stratosphere. Just good make that great music....A 70's masterpiece.
Report this review (#13045)
Posted Sunday, February 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars OH MY GOD....It's as if God looked down upon earth and said, " shall make the greatest progressive rock album ever...."

This album has it all. It has every single important quality of being an amazing album. The first time I heard it from the first track, and in some aspects, one of the greatest songs ever written, "Close To The Edge", I knew the rest of this thing would be amazing. The opening drum patterns that Bill demonstates gives a new meaning of progressive drumming, more like "can he do that drumming"? I love the fact that the main theme is cast in and out of the song itself a number of times. The orchestral section simply adds to the songs intelligence. And the resprise at the end gives anyone the feeling that, wow, this is inspiring. Along with the amazing vocals on "Close To The Edge", the harmonies are perfection at it's best. The fact that they rock and put in effort to make the words sound beautiful only adds to it's amazement! But Yes....what an album....

Report this review (#13047)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A fantastic musical work and a genuine artistic statement. It is difficult to find fault with any of the three tracks on offer here. The opener and title track runs the gamut of emotions as well as featuring great musicianship from each member. For me the highlight is the organ interlude in the middle of the track...simply awesome. The other tracks are also of an extremely high standard, "And you, and I" contains so many memorable vocal hooks...a very infectious piece of music. Siberian Khatru the albums closer, continues the high compositional standard with Steve Howe delivering, in my opinion, some of his finest riffs/melodies.

You owe it to yourself to own this album, a thoroughly deserved 5 star rating.

Report this review (#13049)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the absolute greatest albums ever to my mind, "Close to the Edge" is an unrelentingly complex and enjoyable song, the themes all merge so well. The classical influences are never so clear as they are here, yet so is the rock element. "And You and I" is one of those songs that never fails to cause some emotion in me, happy to sad. Powerful. "Siberian Khatru" is lyrically unfathomable, but that adds to it's appeal. I suspect that most people who are even slightly fans of Yes will already own this album, but if you don't, and you like Symphonic Prog at all, buy it. It'll echo in your mind forever if you listen to it just once or twice.
Report this review (#13050)
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm sure most of you have heard this album and know that it would take a lengthy essay to fully critique this album and really get at why it is such a powerful experiece. Edward Macan does a good job of this, by the way, in his great prog rock work "Rocking the Classics."

Of course, there's no disputing the artistry all five member contriubte to bring about the music in this masterpiece, but one aspect that I haven't seen discussed much is the important part Anderson's lyrics play in creating the musical magic, esp. the piece "Close to the Edge."

Unlike earlier Yes songs, Anderson has crafted lyrics that are not a narrative (like in "Harold Land," for istance) but rather a poem of words and phrases that evoke abstract concepts that, taken together, suggest a personal transformation of some sort. The lyrics and concepts are abstract and difficult to make sense of, but it is this abstraction that gives the lyrics their power and allows them to hold their own with the power of the music. Merely telling a straight-ahead story would have weakened the piece (and this is why some prog rock can be powerful musically but is ultimately brought down by an inferior lyrical approach).

Beginning with "Fragile," one can see Anderson beginning to move in this lyrical direction and moving away from it after "Going For the One." Part of "Tormato's" weakness, in my opinion, is a shift away from this mystical sort of poetic vision on Anderson's part.

But with Close to the Edge, the band achieved what few others have ever done: a musical work that engages the listener's emotions, intellect, and imagination so completely that it truly qualifies as a religious experience.

Report this review (#13064)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Even you may have already surfed through dozens of similar reviews about this album, I might as well offer my view on it. "Close to the Edge" is, for me, definitely the best YES album. "Fragile" is up there fighting for the podium, but doesn't achieve the consistency of this one. Granted, it might sound not so complicated to achieve consistency when you only have 3 songs (wish there were more though, if only for the sake of diversity) but these long tracks have a lot to offer. The title song is one of the best "longer-than-15-minutes" songs I've ever heard, and it's also one of the few that does not feel like a series of short songs joined together (like Genesis' Supper's Ready) but like a consistent, multi-part rock opera. Then comes the beautiful "And You And I" which is one of the more gentle melodies that YES ever came up with (Check the "Soon" segment of Gates of Delirium for THE MOST beautiful one), and "Siberian Khatru" is a most needed up tempo song that features one of the best bass guitar-keyboard interaction I've stumbled upon in my life. By the way, Wakeman's presence is better utilized here that in many other YES albums, while the other members do their usual excellent job. My biggest "complaint" might be the final 3 o 4 minutes of "Khatru", which irritate me enough to want to stop the record before it finishes... but anyway it's been a remarkable journey up to that point.
Report this review (#13069)
Posted Sunday, March 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars the best of the best. the greatest album ever made. Everything on it itīs fantastic, nothing to compare with. Long songs that keep you listening all the time, it brings a new surprise in every musical arregament, in every guitar, every keyboard, the voice, the drum, the bass, itīs just out of this world. As a yes fan, this is an album you should have and listen, the years will pass and it will sound better to you everyday. Inmortal record.
Report this review (#13072)
Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was the second Yes album I bought, not long after I purchased Fragile. This is undoubtedly one of the top Yes albums, and many fans will rate it their finest. I still find it hard to choose, however, between this, Fragile, Relayer or Going For The One. Hence the four stars. I can't say any of the above stand out from the others in the group. All are tremendous in composition, technical skill, melody and Yesness! You can't mistake this band for any other, thanks to Mr Anderson's unique vocals, even though, as I have said in another review, he is the weak link in the band. But that is simply because the rest of the musicians are simply breathtaking. As usual here, his lyrics wind down dark and mysterious labyrinths in search of some meaning or another, but, if you take them with a pinch of salt and just enjoy the music, then this is a must have for most prog fans. The title track, with its varied changes in tempo and style, is of course, well known, also 'Siberian Khatru'. Probably the least mentioned epic is 'And You And I', relatively speaking, yet this one is just as good as the others, packed with melody and mellotron! Steve Howe's guitar is dominant on all the tracks, and he trades niceties with Mr Wakeman's also dominant keyboards. Bill Bruford shows why he is one of the top two or three tub thumpers in prog, and Chris Squire is Chris Squire, driving and creative, 'nuff said. I doubt any serious prog fans will not have heard this, or at least part of this at some time in their lives, but if you haven't, then hurry up and rectify this aberration immediately! An album to listen to whilst dreaming of other times and landscapes, especially effective, as far as I am concerned, through headphones. Remastered it is even better! Those who don't own it, treat yourselves and nip down to the local record shop post haste! A brilliantly symphonic, modern piece of music to be listened to repeatedly.
Report this review (#13075)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony Fisher
4 stars Close to the Edge is the first genuine attempt by Yes to branch out into really extended tracks and the title track is an utter masterpiece. It is full of tremendous melodies and instrumental virtuosity, particularly by Chris Squire who shows why he's the daddy of them all on bass. Wakeman's keyboards avoid the overblown excesses of later albums and Anderson sings with real feeling. The second side is competent enough but pales by comparison; I almost never bother with it, though And You and I has some memorable moments. Sadly, they seemed to take the praise so generously and justifiably heaped on this album to mean that they had to try and outdo it on subsequent releases, resulting in some utter rubbish such as Tales from Topographic Oceans. They should have left this album as a one off and testimony to how good they really were at their peak.
Report this review (#13077)
Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Most prog fans just llove to analyze their music. This is the reason CTTE stands up so well and is the genre's most precious album. Once you've finished determining how perfect every note of every song is, how the structures are impeccably crafted to take you far far away, and how all the musicians' virtuosity is performed here so eloquently, once you've done that, you just sit back. Close your eyes, stop thinking, and just absorb the music. And you're swept off your feet! There are few bands out there that can touch your insides as well as Yes does. The most moving, blissful, out of body experience a piece of music can give you!
Report this review (#13078)
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Good, but non-essential"... That's it... One of Progressive Rock most superestimated album ever... Don't misunderstand me... It's really, really good... The indroduction of "Close To The Edge" is the best thing Yes ever did... When Anderson come in singing, the song lose a bit of energy, but manage to continue with a well played tradicional Prog Rock... The "I get up, I get down" part is the most boring thing I EVER heard... When the music come in again, it reaches a REALLY amazing moment. "And You And I" is exaggeratedly prolonged... It's a fine theme, with Anderson's vocal at it's best... But, the song could really last about two minutes less... The same thing on "Siberian Khatru"... "Siberian Khatru" goes well till 5 minutes... Then sounds a lot of boring... Do you want long stuff without being boring? Go for Can's "Tago Mago", or Faust's "Clear Album"... Good, but Yes' best would come with Relayer...
Report this review (#13080)
Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a really fine record, the second album I heard from YES. Many think that it's under- or overrated, but I think that it a great album deserving five stars, nothing less but neither nothing more. Even the master BILL BRUFORD is still there, though he self wasn't happy about this album. And though this music is great, he managed to do even better stuff with KING CRIMSON where he departed. The title epic has created a strong association to my head from the time I listened to this. The sound of birds which introduce the growing humming of synthesizer lead to the jazzy maelstorm, which hurls the listener further towards the beautiful and imaginative world of YES, which is visualized by the paintings of Roger Dean. This time the front cover is simply full of mystical green space, and the detailed natural landscape is within the gatefold sleeves. I think this represents that the pretty details and feelings are hidden within the mystical core, which you have to break with concentration. I recall Roger said in an interview, that he first wanted to place the picture to the inners side of the card, so you should have needed to open the glued cards to see the picture! The ballad on the B-side, "And You and I" is very beautiful and emotional small epic, and the closing number "Siberian Khatru" is a bit more dynamic rocker. I recommend you listen to this, if you still haven't!
Report this review (#13082)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definitly one of the best cds in it's time. It shows the complexity of the band as well as its strenths. I think that Anderson is a wonderful singer in every song with his far out lyrics that help you visualize the music itself. Wakeman, who inspired me to play keyboards, helps the songs tremendously with his unusuall methods of playing which only increases the songs quality. Steve Howe, an amazing guitarist, shows his rang of playin, from weird distinctive chords, to extreme soloing. Chris squire, who I think is the man, has a strong baseline and i think makes up most of the song close to the edge. Brueford, has complexed beats, yet steady and storng. SO i have to say this album was amazing. I love Yes and I think they are very talented, and skilled. There definitly my favorite band of all time.
Report this review (#13083)
Posted Thursday, April 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has been reviewed many times so I'm not going to waste too many words on it. At that time the band was reaching it's peak and they created one of the timeless masterpieces of symphonic prog. The title song quickly passes by despite it's epic lenght. Not a dull moment here. "And You and I" has a nice acoustic intro, a memorable main theme and a rich sound. "Siberian Khatru" is also notable and more rocking than first two tracks. Overall, the music is well developed with a lot of diversity, variation and subtleness in sound. Squire's excellent bass melodies are remarkable but all musicians joined their forces in a balanced collective playing. I can't find a weak spot on this album. Absolutely essential!
Report this review (#13084)
Posted Sunday, April 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Incredible album, that almost any fan of prog rock would be able to appreciate. Yes are musically one of the greatest bands ever if not the greatest, and this album really displays all they're capable of. In my opinion, "close to the edge," and "and you and i" are two of the greatest rock tracks ever recorded.

however, Siberian Khatru doesn't really end the album as perfectly as i wish it would have and the album doesnt really give you a satisfying ending, but it doesnt lower the album on any scale.

this is an essential album, and if you dont give it a chance, you're missing out.

Report this review (#13085)
Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah YES! The quintessential prog album. This was Yes's first attempt at the magnum opus and it's incredible. Everything was just right when these guys got into the studio to record this. Not a slacker in the bunch. Steve just goes into hyperspace at the start of the title track with Bill (I still say he's their best drummer) flying along with his jazz riffs. Chris's bent bass lines during the opening vocal section just about kick you in the head. Jon (the member I've been the most critical of) carries this track beautifully. And, of course, let's not forget Rick's mesmorizing middle section tour d 'force. The other 2 tracks are great too, but it's the title track that just grabs you. No matter how much beer or wine you drink before listening to this, believe me you're going to be sober when it ends.
Report this review (#13086)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars CttE is one of the pieces of music, in the tradition of Rchard Strauss 'Alpine Symphony', that evokes a sense of ascending and descending mysticism that only comes from climbing mountains and religion. The beginning puts you immediately in nature and the ascent begins. The climbing base the guitair working hard upwards culminating in a rest midway in a cave with dripping water, perhaps a place of contemplation. Finally you reach the top looking down at the silence of the valley, and with the synthetic strings pulled towards the father reaches of where sound travels, like seeing the far vista of distant peaks. Ending, as Strauss does in a quiet reflective mood, here back at the start, down by a river, close to the edge.
Report this review (#13087)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is truly a great album. The powerful symphonics of "Close to the Edge" really define the basis of the next three studio albums. As if that wasn't enough they then produce the wonderful sounding "And you and I" and the quick rhythm of "Siberian Khartru". This is the second best album made by Yes. In was really disappointed when I went to see the 35th anniversary tour and they didn't play "Close to the Edge".

Close to the edge has a great beat and great vocals. This 18 minute piece would sound great with an orchestra working with yes on it as well. The addition of Rick Wakeman on this song (who is the genius behind most of yes's success) really makes this song stand out among greats of prog rock.

Report this review (#13090)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album couldn't be better. It is like sugar on top of sugar. This is the cream of the crop, kids. This has classical, free-from, vocal harmonies, blues, and rock all mixed into a scruptuous amalgam of beauty that could easily be the tablepiece next Thanksgiving. Sweet Lord, I love this record!! If it were at all feasible, even uncomfortable as it may be, this record would be the sheets on my bed; the chair in my cubicle. I can't believe a thing of such beauty was made by mere humans. This record is what Genesis and Gentle Giant wish they could have made. Buy this album!! You don't want it---you NEED IT!! Forget your ITCOTCK and Aqualung; this album is THE album.
Report this review (#13105)
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Is this the best prog album ever known to the genre? That's a question that's been raging in my head ever since I submitted my first review for this album, giving it 4/5. I quickly changed it to 5/5, mostly because I didn't want to seem foolish. However, now I must change it once more, because after listening to other Yes albums and many more prog classics, this doesn't quite seem up to par with other masterpieces of symphonic prog. Albums like TAAB, Fragile, Red, Lizard...those are the true masterpieces to me that I've discovered thus far. And this...just doesn't touch them. I'm just waiting to get burned but hey, afetr giving SEBTP a 3/5 and ITCOTCK a 4/5 I figure I'm already way past the point of no return.

This album is obviously only three tracks, the first one being the colossal title track, 18 minutes long. For many prog fans, this along with Foxtrot is THE prog epic, never to be topped, but I quite disagree. It is a great piece of art, but after having listened to it straight through at least 20 times, I find that it suffers from a couple things. First of all, it takes itself too seriously. The thing that made Fragile so great is that all throughout, even during the emotional parts of Heart of the Sunrise, it never felt like Yes was taking themselves too seriously. With this song though, it just feels like they are doing this to make a classic. And classics are not made when when the artist intends the song to be a classic. Classics are made when things come naturally, they evolve, and come from the soul. That's a classic song. See Heart of the Sunrise. Secondly, that middle portion is horrendously boring. It goes on about three minutes too long, consisting of dripping water, minimalistic melodies, pretty good singing...just nothing. Some people deem this part a neccesary evil so that when the main melody comes in, it seems fabulous, but that part near the end also takes itself too seriously. Overall, this song just reeks off too much polish. It's not fun, it's not soulful, it's just by-the-books a prog epic. I realize Yes were one of the first to attempt something of this magnitude, but it still suffers from the thing that TFTO was destroyed by. BUT! Don't get me wrong, this is still a pretty good prog epic. To put it in perspective, I would give this piece alone a 3/5. I like it, I really do, it just could've been so much better.

The next track is And You and I, which is a nice song. It really is. It's also boring. It doesn't go anywhere, and the main melody is bleh. The acoustic is very nice, and Anderson's singing is nice. If it was about six minutes long, I'd probably like it a lot more. There are a couple nice moments, like at 6:30 and the end itself, which are incidentally similiar in structure. The yare both pretty soulful parts and very well done. I'd give this song a 3/5. Siberian as hell piece. This is Yes snapping out of their pseudo-pretentious/trying overly hard state of midn and going back to the fun and soulful Yes I like. This song feels like it wasn't forced, it just came to them, and they jammed. Lots of fun. I'd give it a 4/5, as it isn't anything above and beyond, but it is good.

I feel like some of you might call me a hypocrit, saying the title track tries too hard and Siberian Khatru doesn't do enough. So let's put it this way. I wouldn't give Roundabout a perfect score, cause all it is is a fun track. Meanwhile, I would give SSOTS and HotS a perfect score because they have some fun but still go above and beyond. And CttE...just tries too hard.

So, to sum it up, as I've put a lot of words around this but haven't really tied it together in a way that makes sense, this album tries too hard. It feels like Yes set out with this one too make a prog masterpiece, no compromises, and pulled out a damn prog encyclopedia and looked up every single thing that prog fans love and tried to put it into this album. It's pompous and overdone and it shows that they wanted to get the prog dorks on their knees. And it worked; so many people praise this album. And not for a bad's a great album. Great addition to any prog collection. Is it a must have? No. It lacks the enrgy of Fragile, the creativeness of Relayer, the fun of The Yes just takes little snippets of that energy, creativity and fun and put that in last after putting in a lot of pompousness and by-the-books...well, prog stuff.

I love Yes cause of that fun and creative energy, and this album just doesn't have it enough. 3/5.

Report this review (#35159)
Posted Friday, June 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first review, and as a relative newcomer to the world of prog rock I write this with some trepidation. Indeed the warning to use the 5 star rating sparingly made me think for some time about whether Close to the Edge is deserving of 5 stars. Is it a masterpiece of progressive music? Well, and no pun intended, yes, it is.

Yes at the time consisted of some of the most talented musicians around, and it shows. The opnener, Close to the Edge is an epic, from the tantilising intro to somewhat trippy guitar and then the calm, yet somewhat ominous 'I get up, I get down', it is close to the edge. And when we go over it, an explosion of sound and colour, Rick Wakeman is here at his best, a multi layered keyboard workout which surely asserts him as one of the great keyboardists. Despite its length and changing tempo and mood, Close to the Edge is surpsrisingly easy to get into, and even if your relatively new to prog, its still something very easy to listen to.

Siberian Khatru is also instantly likeable, a somewhat snazzy intro as well combined with a steady, catchy riff keeps the song flowing and wonderfully listenable.My only criticsim is here that this perhaps becomes overworked, but nonetheless one of the best yes songs. Again we see good work from Wakeman and Howe, and again this is an easily accessible, track yet, deep enough for even a hardened prog fanb to appreciate.

And then and you and I. Personally I find this my least favourite track, although I still love it! An somewhat grand intro leads to an agreeable. At a slower pace than a lot of the album, it is the sort of song that, and I don't know if this is something that I'm alone here in doing, makes you want to just open your arms and sing your heart out. A ballad perhaps? Criticisms? Again very few, other than that it perhaps moves too slow for me, yet this is down to preference, I know many people who think this is a wonderful song, and to be honest, I still agree.

So anyway, apologies for the length, but I hope this helps. Close to the Edge whether you are new or not to Prog Rock is one of THE albums of the genre from one of THE bands. If you don't have it BUY IT!

Report this review (#35186)
Posted Friday, June 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply put, one of the best Prog Rock albums ever! This is Yes at their absolute finest, with their most innovative and collaborative lineup, and their best production team.

The title track is literally Prog-Rock at its best: virtuosity, innovation, and versatility wrapped up in a sophisticated, mature production. The range from mellow to rockin' is here, and the themes are woven well throughout the whole track. An amazing composition that truly takes 18 minutes of varied, complex-yet-simple music, and never has a dull moment.

"And you and I" is less versatile, but that's because it is more of a ballad. It still has an excellent and dynamic nature, and explores different aspects of the band's talent.

"Siberian Khatru" is also simpler than the title track, but behind it's simple themes is a remarkably robust and energetic performance. This is Yes at their tightest, and man, do they hang together!

The only earlier album that comes close is "Fragile," which, while excellent, lacks the revolutionary spirit and maturity that makes "Close to the Edge" a true masterpiece. After "Close to the Edge", Yes became too self-indulgent and less collaborative, perhaps carried away by the ego-trip of making what could be called Prog-Rock's signature album (if that isn't a contradiction in terms). "Tales from Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer" both have excellent Prog-Rock ideas and themes, but neither are woven together as seemlessly as "Close to the Edge."

So if you want the quintessential Yes, this is it. This is Yes at their peak of maturity, and working together as a whole, rather than a collection of remarkably talented individuals.

Report this review (#35696)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Beginning with a gentle ambient mix of natural sounds, instruments begin to imitate, building a crescendo to a slightly lumbering then temporarily chaotic wall of sound halted by short sporadic vocal interludes before resolving into an orderly melodic/rythmic bridge to the first verse of the lyric narrative content of the album. As side one settles into the central theme of the album it ebbs and flows with cascading walls of sound with beautiful vocal/instrumental arrangements til it ascends fading back to the stream and singing of birds.

Hearing this in the early 70s, it was both weird and wonderful. Along with the beautiful song And you and I and finishing with Siberian khatru, the compositional arrangements allowed all the musicians to excel without excess. An eclectic mix of classical, folk and rock with its own unique elements, fused to their unique sonic textures, Yes played with dexterity and the confidence of classically trained musicians. This was Yes in full flight; a celebration of a watershed in music history that satisifed the yearning nature of musical ears longing for a fusion of their favourite sounds, with challenging compostions, musical arrangements and instrumental competence. It was a refreshing disembarkation from the traditional formulas and it said to the world, we are going to do it our way. Jumping in the face of the powers and authorities who wished to conrol and direct the shape and fortunes of music in the modern era, Yes's album, Close to the Edge', may owe some debt to earlier innovators of progressive music, but simply put, this album was one that helped to consolidate the genre.

A watershed album and catalyst for the future of progressive rock music.

Report this review (#35844)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the best prog rock albums ever! Not many albums comes even close to this masterpiece, it is yust as the title say very close to the edge indeed. Well there is only 3 songs on here 3 masterpieces of prog (If you dont buy the new remastered edition from rhino with some great bonus tracks, very recomended) Close to the edge the song is yust simply one of the best prog rock songs ever writen it has everything that is great about prog mixed to gether and it stands as one of progrocks bigest triumfs over all ather music it yust dont get much beter then this it has no flaws yust perfect music. And you and i one of the best ballads ever written very moving and imposible beautiful, and the last track Siberian Kathru is the albums rocker and it rocks hard and the ending of it is fantastic, thats it there realy is not much more to say this is more then an essential album, prog rock does not get much beter then this if you dont have this you know what you have to do, and dont belive anyone who say anything bad about this album or give it less then 5 stars, This is the music of your life.
Report this review (#35886)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge, some consider it the Hymn of Progressive Music, and probably it should be.

I recently purchased this album, not only because it was 9 bucks (special edition packaging), but because i had downloaded the song and began to like it more and more. After listening to the whole album in my car stereo several times, analizing each song extensivly, i decided to write my review on one of the songs ever with two very good songs atached to it.

The album gets five stars mainly because of the title track. The other two songs while good, maybe great, dont go near the masterpiece that Close to The Edge is.

When i first listened to the song, i was kind of annoyed by the introduction, i hate pointless noise, and long intros, and this one has both of them. I didnt understand what i was hearing, and then suddenly the "aahhhh!!" from the vocals, wow, it totally changed my view of this "pointless noise", it all started to make sense. Once the main melody came in, changing from major to minor tones, going in diferent direction, progresing i might add, it became obvious that i was hearing a much much better song that i anticipated. Lyrics come in, in a very interesting manner, with very very nice singing and nice music in the background, let alone complex. Once the second verse comes in, the music evolves to a much deeper story. The chorus comes in and the way its structured makes you think that something big is happening. After all of this is repeted in different ways, we go to the middle of the song, a very very athmospheric sound by a sitar, background vocals, and a great " I get up, i get down" repetition that gets in your head. The organs that come at the end of this part make you feel very strange. Man, this song is full of emotion. Next comes the instrumental part, wow, one of the best keyboard solos you'll ever hear. It all builds up to the gran finale, where we hear the same parts as before but with greater emotion and full of musical genious, ending with an i get up i get down that brings chivers to your skin..

An epic that makes the three song album a masterpiece.

Report this review (#35911)
Posted Thursday, June 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars - Well now close to edge its the super epic and very well composed full of energy passion and inspiration song. And also its Bruford here so what else you want??. I have the remastered version and runs up to the 72 minutes and still fills my imagination with amazing things. I try to understand how this super artists made this majestic work. But i cannot imagine it, maybe gods' thing went here. Everything here fills in the right place. Nothing of lack and pretentious just plenty of beautiful and impressive sounds. Steve howe its in his very sentimental and full of soul tempos. Bruford is always a guarantee, and well used "bass-drum" sounds always surprises me. And squire as always a virtuoso full of inspiration and feeling that combines with the genius of Bruford. Jon Anderson with his particular and sharp(acute) voice that does that everything seems to be eternal. And Rick Wakeman also to be remembered contributes here and know it. Makes notice of the best way. There is a part of tranquillity that is followed by a game of voices that ends in a glorious organ; this is heaven. If you want to know and to enjoy a real main work of the progressive symphonic, you must acquire this album to the possible briefness. The best.
Report this review (#36618)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars 2.75-- These songs have some amazing parts capable of evoking intense emotion, but I fail to see why it is so revered. Some serious editing was needed here. Instead we get interminable passages at the end of which one is left reaching for the snooze button.
Report this review (#36620)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Anyone who gives this album less than 5 stars does not understand Prog. Prog is about music not having a resolution. It is about discontent. It is about people with creative aspirations becoming disappointed (Syd is a Prog ICON). It is about showing the flip side of the coin. It is anti ego. It is about there not necessarily being a light at the end of the tunnel. Don't blame Yes, blame Beethoven & his 3rd Symphony. Prog is about the freedom to be unhappy & let it out(Freakout as Frank put it) & stuff convention. CTTE an album by 4 of the best ever musicians having a good time.
Report this review (#36651)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a masterpeice, and I can't and won't attempt to add to the eulogies that are given it in other reviews. So just a few personal comments; it does take a number of listenings before you get into it, but once you do, it's well worth it; my only small criticism is that the pipe organ risks getting a little too er..pompous? on CTTE - but that's not enough to reduce my 5 star rating; and after years of listening to this album the track I have come to enjoy most, the one sometimes considered to be a little lightweight, is Siberian Khatru; it has haunting melodies, driving rhythms, and of all three tracks (or should I say parts - the album really needs to be listened to as a whole), it is the one that pointed Yes in a direction they never followed; instead we got Tales from Topographic Oceans.

I would agree with those that rate this the ultimate prog rock album (or indeed, the ultimate album period!)

Report this review (#36730)
Posted Friday, June 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars What is the point on another review of YES's masterpiece? Please! CLOSE TO THE EDGE!!! If you don't have it or never heard of it, you're probably not a prog fan at all, or just a begginer. Few of YES's records can rival this one. Probably only TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS, that would be a spare. The tittle track it's the best YES song ever. That already gives the album its value, huh? "The best YES song... I can't even imagine how the rest of the album will sound". Is that what you prog-begginers are thinking right now? The other two songs are also great. Great no, perfect. AND YOU AND I it's a classic acoustic suite. Jon Anderson kicks ass. Steve Howe kicks more. Chris Squire completes it with a bass guitar blow. SIBERIAN KATHRU it's another classic show-oppener. Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman are perfectly ligned up. Wakeman's solo is so beautiful... Howe's solo is so marvelous... Classic, classic.

-Guilherme Baldin

Report this review (#37094)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Yes's best album, mostly because it's the most consistent. It's also much better than the highly overrated Fragile. It starts of with the enigmatic title track, which rocks pretty hard for Yes, then towards the middle it slows down, then after Rick Wakeman's crazy organ riffing, it starts rocking again. Not a boring moment in the whole song. The second song on the album, And You And I, is fantastic. It starts of kind of mellow with the first section (whose name escapes at the moment) then it all of a sudden goes all awesome and spacy with the second section titled 'Eclipse' which has all kinds of synths and mellotrons I think. Then it goes mellow again for the third section, 'The Preacher The Teacher.' After some great singing and acoustic guitar arrpegiating, it goes into the fourth and final section, titled 'Apocalypse' which is similar to Eclipse, in that it features all kinds of synths and mellotrons. Then the song ends all mellow like it began. The third and final song of the album, Siberian Khatru, really rocks. It starts off with a bluesy/jazzy-rock guitar lick, then the organ joins in, and the riff it plays over the lead guitar really makes me think of the remote snowy regions of Siberia. The verses are very Melodic, whilst rocking hard the whole time. The chorus features some bluesy- Hendrix style licks, and after another Verse and Chorus, everyone starts going crazy. Steve Howe freaks out on an electric sitar, Wakeman dominates the harpsichord, and then Steve Howe plays a wicked guitar solo which also reminds of Siberia. The song ends playing that same organ riff from before, and it is truly glorious. So the whole album is fantastic, and Yes has a sound which is all their own. Yes's best album.
Report this review (#37344)
Posted Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I must say I prefer the live versions on Yessongs of every song on this album. Much more intense and focused and not seeming so much like they were cut and pasted together (which they actually were). I wonder if I would not be agreeing with the 1 and 2 star reviewers of this album had this been my first introduction to Yes. Probably not, as this is still a very good album for its time. I suspect the poor reviews come from people who grew up listening to 90's and beyond production values, and to them, this probably does not sound so great. Or, they simply don't care for Yes in general. I am a rare person in that I prefer Tales to this one, and Relayer over both of those. But I can not discount the historical significance of this album, which is considerable. To be honest, for many years I never bought this album because I had Yessongs and felt there was no reason to own what I consider inferior versions. With the last batch of remasters, I picked it up and now I wish they would remaster Yessongs because CTTE now sounds much better than I remember. Anyway, I still think this is essential prog, for historical value if nothing else. After all, if it doesn't appeal to you I guarentee you can sell it on Ebay :)
Report this review (#37487)
Posted Friday, June 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Wow! I Canīt believe this album is at the top of the ranking. Ok, I understand that this was a very good band...but this album sometimes get boring. Maybe it is a materpiece for a lot of fans of this band, but really...I like very much prog music and I must say that this album is good, but non-essential. The first time I listened to it...I couldnīt listen to the entire album because the first track is very long and is not a master piece. Later, I listened to the entire album but I feel empty...I thougth: "Itīs not perfect, I donīt undertand"..and really..that is my last opinion.
Report this review (#37998)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have worked in the professional music industry for the past thirty years and I owe it all to the inspiration I received from this masterpiece so many years ago. In my opinion, "Close to the Edge" is THE best piece of music ever written, performed or recorded by anyone - ever!

If you have never heard it, go and buy it and listen to it immediately. Every minute you wait is one less minute you have in your life to savour this beautiful work. Nobody deserves to die without having experienced these amazing pieces of music.

When Voyager was launched, it should have taken a copy of this album with it so alien civilisations may experience what heights of creativity the human race is actually capable of.

In case I have not made myself clear, I REALLY like this album. :-)

Report this review (#38218)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Taking the expected to be dry pen out of my fellow reviewer's hands, I write this with the highest regard. The fact that this album is the number one slot on the site's Top 100 is enough to spark any visitor's attention, but when you read the reviews for this masterpiece (the majority, which have granted this album an all-deserving 5 out of 5), it should become a high priority for you to check this album out. Here's my written devotion to this album, thrown with the others into the prog listener's Christmas stocking.

The title track Close to the Edge is, in essence, a song that could probably hit someone as hard as a great novel. The structuring of this song is approached similarly to a book. The beginning, rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion transmitted through the medium of instruments is something to behold. The nature sounds ascend into the frantic guitar and keyboard intro, weaving in and out of Bill Bruford's drum creating a tone of desperation. Some might think of Howe's guitar work as aimless in this point of the song, but you look at what the tone of the song is trying to portray here, and you'll realize how the setting of urgency is displayed all-too-well. Into the melodic part of the song, Jon Anderson patterns with Chris Squire in the verses and choruses of I Get Up I Get Down and the majestic setting of Anderson's voice and messages work brilliantly with the excellent melody. Heading into what I call the "choir" part of the song, Howe and Squire set a backdrop to a multi-part vocal harmony set by Jon Anderson, being an awesome atmosphere for the song at this point. Rick Wakeman takes the song under his flamboyant cape working with Jon Anderson to wheel the song into the next segment with a fine breeze. The climax to the song brought in by Bruford and the gang after they return is absolutely breathtaking, and this is so from Rick Wakeman's amazingly virtuosic keyboard solo. Brilliantly executed and melodically gut-wrenching, that moment proves that Wakeman deserves the high recognition that he has. Returning to the main theme of the song effortlessly is once again monumental, continuing with fine intricate playing and wonderful vocal harmony. The last verses and choruses take you to the finish line of a prog rollercoaster and leaves you yearning for more. The song Close to the Edge is what prog is all about and definitely sets a standard if there are to be any. (10/10)

And You And I works levels after the tour de force that is Close to the Edge, the acoustic guitar and sense of raw performance (you can hear studio talking in the beginning) elevating into an epic track makes And You And I makes Yes look like superhumans. The jump into the song with Chris Squire and Bill Bruford following Howe is incredible, finally merging into one of the most tasteful and melodically beautiful choruses made. This song also features a sense of strong improvisation combined with strong structure, you can hear this in Steve Howe's and Rick Wakeman's deviations from the melody while retaining it and switching it off. When Howe re-enacts the beginning of the song and enters the incredibly nice melody with Wakeman following, the song reaches an intense creative peak with Jon Anderson entering with emotionally proficient and beautifully setting lyrics, only to hear Squire enter in and bring a flowing atmospheric change to the song, working beautifully. Finishing, you'll realize how distinct this song's tone and atmosphere is from the last track, you get the sense of consistent impressive songwriting in the album with excellent variety. This point is only strengthened by the next track. (10/10)

Excuse me if I sound like a nerd here, but the intro to Siberian Khatru is like opening your eyes and finding yourself flying over an area remeniscent of a Roger Dean painting. What a fantastic atmosphere to the song and excellent melody and pacing as well. The musical interplay and intricate playing and improvisations along with the wonderful structuring of the song is truly something to be heard by anyone. The transitions and harmonies in this song sent shivers up and down my spine, especially Bill Bruford's ride entering Rick Wakeman's key solo, and then stepping up even further into a slide solo by Howe, amazing! Howe's fill back into an electric guitar solo after that is nearly too much excellence in a song. The particularly upbeat atmosphere of the songs next few parts work wonders with the intense section preceding, once again masterful play on melody and harmony by the entire band. The intricate vocal harmonies and Bruford's snare polyrhythms following leap in and out of a final play on the song's main theme taking you out of the trance-inducing dimension that is Close to the Edge, Howe's guitar acts as the keeper of this sacred place, literally saying goodbye. (10/10)

Personally I have not heard a more engaging or powerful album in my entire life, and I'm safe with the fact that this is my favorite album. Haha, now all I have to do is stop naturally comparing every album I hear to this one... [Reviewer's tilt (10/10)]

[OVERALL SCORE: 10 out of 10, or 5 stars]

Report this review (#38307)
Posted Sunday, July 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes was running by the time Fragile had become such a hit, but it was Close to the Edge that brought them to their creative peak. I have to agree with most of the reviewers that this is a progressive masterpiece in the finest sense. The "essential" lineup of Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Rick Wakeman is top-notch musically. Anderson's vocals appear to be at their most emotional on this album, and the times where he harmonizes with the lower register of Squire and Howe (not to mention the higher register of himself) are outstanding. I don't consider him to be irritating, because most of his falsettos are harmony lines to his own tenor in the forefront of the mix, which makes this much more listenable. The production and arrangements are smooth, and it actually makes Fragile seem overpolished. Anyway, it all begins with the fading in of a nature scene, which leads us into the title track and Howe wailing away on his guitar for three minutes before the melody kicks in; I always air out to that opening solo. During the verses, listen for Squire's bass and the verb coming from his Rickenbacker (owed to his still using a pick). The near-19-minute epic features a middle section with tranquility and excellent harmonizing, until Wakeman's church organ takes over, and that leads into an insane rhythm by Squire and Bruford, and Wakeman's organ solo. Overall it is one of those pieces that will captivate you almost instantly. The next side has the Yes "love song," that being "And You and I." Often no one knows exactly what Anderson is saying in his lyrics, but there's fun in trying to figure it out. This is a ten-minute romantic plea, with various allusions and acoustic guitar excellence from Howe driving this piece home. I really noticed how good Bruford's percussion techniques truly were by listening to his slower melodic playing on the number, comparing this to the Alan White takeover (don't get me wrong, Alan White is no slouch, but Bill Bruford is Bill Bruford). Bruford and Squire wrote the musical score here, and it seems to fit as a complex tale. Then it all wraps up with what might be my favorite Yes number EVER, "Siberian Khatru," opening with bluesy guitar, then joined by Squire' pounding bass (which is very dominant here), and all instruments are in full gear with the keyboard melody and really catchy guitar riff. I actually think it's like Rush's "The Spirit of Radio" as the opening notes make for a great beginning to an album or concert, but the closing notes for a great finale to the said musical situations; so thus the song can work both ways. Howe and Wakeman synchronize so well on this number, and Wakeman's harmonium solo (about three minutes in) is astounding the way he moves so fast. "Even Siberia goes through the motions," Anderson sings, which we may not completely grasp, but as I said earlier he is often open for interpretation; speaking of which Anderson's vocals seem slightly more dense on this rocking finale number, but he doesn't go very high at all. I especially love the final three minutes, where it builds up and returns to the original melody, which becomes a BOMBASTIC fadeout end as Steve Howe overdubbs with one of his best solos (not as much for fast fingers as much as emotional playing). It's also a nice, yet bittersweet, exit for Bruford, who we all know left around the time of release. If the term 'musical orgasm' exists, then this is it. I was obsessed with this album after hearing it a few times, and only maybe five albums have ever done that to me (at least three of them are prog albums on this website). Close to the Edge is such a great mindtrip; it makes you think. If you appreciate complex arrangements, you practically see all the good things about progressive rock come out here. Believe the hype; it's superior.
Report this review (#38676)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars this is one scary album.

listening to this for the first time, i cant quite understand how it has managed to evade my ears for so long. KING CRIMSON and TOOL opened the door for progressive music to me, so i guess it was inevitable that i would hear this somewhat unassuming 3 song album.

after hearing the song "close to the edge" for the first time, i nearly had to stop listening to it because it was that good. im serious. the complexity and overall "tightness" of the song is quite hard to take in at first listen. at nearly 19 minutes, its a behemoth of prog bliss.

rarely are the reviews 100% accurate, and until i had heard this album, i often shook my head wondering how such a camp-sounding band could hold the number one position in ProgArchives. but now i completely understand.

this is probably the best progressive album of all time. thats not to say its my favourite - but if you dont have this beast in your collection, you cant claim to be a true connoisseur of progressive music - or indeed, of any genre.

Report this review (#38806)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Bill Bruford left yes after this album citing Chris Squire's irrating tendency to lateness and the thought that where do we go from here.Bruford explained that he did not want to do "son of Close to the Edge". And while Yes did manage son of Close to the edge twice more in Gates of Delirium from Relayer and Awaken from Going for the one this album and title track are a pinnacle of yes' achievements. The Rhino reissues are also slightly better to listen to than the original. Yes usually start live shows with Siberian Khatru one of three tracks on the album and it is a great jaunty ride through Howes warm guitar Squires funky bass and one of Brufords more rock like efforts on the drums. Wakeman provides a simple counterpoint on the keys which almost sound like a backward recording whilst Andersons lyrics and voice are suitably ethereal. This is a crowd favourite thirty years later. And You and I is a folksy anderson/Howe tune which has been given epic colourings from its extended composition which allows Howes guitar work to paint many hues whether acoustic or Steel. This song is usually outstanding live, and was given a 5 minute standing ovation in Madison square last year. Unfortunately or fortunately the song had not finished much to the perfectionist Howe's irratation but showed the love of this song. AYAI can bring a tear to your eye at the best of times but Live ...well, it is special never more so than on Yessymphonic. Close to the Edge is a killer anthem of this genre.Pieced together by Eddie offord from bitsof tape it sounded like a nightmare to make but what glory in its sound no one could imagine that it is anything other than an inspiration from the Soul of the Earth.The best version live is from ABWH where Bruford adds colour with his drumming which is not on the album. The symphonic version is different, warmer and detailed but seemingly slightly slower. The abwh version seems to rip along. oh and 5 stars what else.
Report this review (#38809)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Essential - masterpiece - classic. Some of the most overused, and wrongly used, words in the English language. But, seriously, do they all apply here in spades or what? I remember buying this album back in '72 having enjoyed The Yes Album and Fragile, and being thoroughly confused - the first few times I played it, I just didn't know what to make of it all (only three tracks??!!), and would scurry back to my Wishbone Ash and Deep Purple albums in order to recover some sense of reality. But something kept drawing me back to it, and when the penny did finally drop, it turned out to be a life-altering experience (music-wise).

I became convinced that this was not only the best Yes album, but the best album in the history of the Universe and all of it's peoples (cosmic!). Hyperbole? Perhaps, but to this day nothing I've heard surpasses it. Or even comes close.

The title track is, in my view, Prog's Meisterwork, from the opening dawn chorus through to the blistering Hammond solo backed with Bruford's stunning percussion and the back-to-nature conclusion. And if AYAI and Khatru pale by comparison, it's only because they're just near-perfect.

Make your arguments for "Selling England" or "Dark Side" or "Crimson King" if you will - it would, after all, be boring if we all thought the same - but for me this is THE one against which all others should be judged. Five stars? And the rest ...

Report this review (#38894)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is my first Yes album, and I must say that I'm very impressed. My favorite song would probably be "And You And I", but the title track is a very close second. Siberian Khatru is nothing to scoff at, either. I can't really give a technical analysis of the album, but I can say that there where no weak points; no filler, and some really awesome riffs. I wouldn't call it a "Masterpiece", but I would definately recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of music.
Report this review (#39056)
Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars In general this album is considered as the best Yes album ever released (looking at the ratings from my fellow reviewers, it's almost a five star party!). I always thought that the music was mainly very spontaneous but when I read several books about Yes, I was astonished when I discovered that most material was recorded in a seemingly endless serie of bits! But despite this, the music remains legendary and pivotal progrock, on side one the titletrack contains captivating shifting moods and one of the most compelling progrock moments ever: halfway Jon Anderson sings "I get up, I get down.." and then, after a short silence, the music erupts with a sumptuous Hammond that delivers a majestic, church- organ-like sound, followed by fat Minimoog synthesizer flights, this is progrock at its best! Side two contains two long compositions: the beautiful build-up "And you and I", featuring Steve Howe on a wide range of guitars (from the Portuguese 12-string to the Fender Dual steel guitar) and Wakeman with great Minimoog runs and the swinging "Siberian khatru" including wonderful Mellotron waves and a powerful Rickenbacker bass sound. I admit that giving the album "Fragile" and this masterpiece the same rating is a bit weird but the problem should be solved by Prog Archives, they have to create a 6 star rating for a kind of 'Champions League Division Of Progrock Albums', OK?

Report this review (#39094)
Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 83% called it a masterpiece, I don't understand how can anyone here can give this album less than 4 stars! This is an absolute masterpiece, and I think it is one of the best progressive albums of all times

Close to the edge A+ : 18 minute long classical jazz-rock masterpiece in a pop structure. Starting as a complex wall of sound of nature, it explodes into the most intense and impressive jazz-rock jam I ever heard. The drumming is something to pay attention to, as well as the faint keyboard riff and of course the guitar soloing. Later it gets quiter with a pretty melody, and the vocals start in a weird rhythm (verse), it leads to the 'close to the edge down by a river , not riiiiiight away' majestic chorus, then the verse and chorus repeat again with a different musical style and loud bass riff, until it fades in the middle of a string instrument solo. After that, a very beautiful ambient section takes you to a musica journey and the bridge of the song starts with a church organ theme and 2 vocalists singing 2 completely different things but with great results. After a church organ solo that gives imagery, there's a fantastic keyboard solo. Afterwards, the verse/chorus repeat again and the song fades out with the sound of nature

And You And I A+ : Starting with a mellow guitar introduction, it then progresses into a simple, yet gorgeous guitar theme (Just a D chord traveling around the fretboard) and after having many changes , it reaches its climax containing soaring mellotron melodies with steel lap guitar runs.

Siberian Kathru : 10/10 : This is a great (and strange) rock&roll song that ends the album very nicely. I feel so happy and bouncy while hearing this track. I think it is a great track to play to a kid since it sounds so innocent and fun.

Conclusion : this is the album that should represent progressive rock. The best album of all times.

My Grade : A+

Report this review (#39172)
Posted Monday, July 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Simply a masterpiece. I keep listening to this album every day. I even used And You and I to propose to my wife. Most everything has been said about this album already. The title track was their pinnacle, the climax of the years. And You and I is majestic and is the moving track on here. Siberian Khatru simply rocked my face off when I heard it; I grew into that number. CTTE is just that amazing.
Report this review (#39520)
Posted Friday, July 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars So much has been said about this album that I really don't need to add anything except this: this is one of the best albums ever made, period. Not one of the best Yes albums, but truly one of the best albums ever made by anyone anytime. Of course, I'm preaching to the choir here. I doubt that anyone who is reading this has not heard and appreciated CTTE in it's entirety. But if you haven't, go out and get a copy of it!!! "And You and I" is the most magical song that Yes ever released. "Close to the Edge" is a symphonic work that can stand proud even in the company of classical pieces by the greatest composers. And "Siberian Khatru" is an extended prog hard rock piece in the style of "Heart of the Sunrise," but so much better. Truly, this is one of the best albums ever released by any group.
Report this review (#39559)
Posted Friday, July 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's maybe the most beautiful Yes album that I ever heard. Totally symphonic, powerful, even nostalgic... great vocals by Jon, excellent guitar solos by Steve and awesome keyboards by Rick. I think that "Close to the Edge" it's the real masterpiece of the golden era of prog because the music can shock every sense. Special mention fos "And You and I", a delicate piece that contains the best of every band member.
Report this review (#39797)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have been trying to listen to this album over and over- trying to grasp the 'essential' qualty that this site proclaims. And after 12 or so listens, i fid nothing more than a medi-orce album. The 1st and title track, "Close to the Edge" is supposed to be the masterpiece- but I find the 1st few minutes nauseating- and very messy. When the vocals start, the song gets better- but I find the lyrics repetitive and uninspiring. The rest of the album shows some moments- but I feel you have to be a yes fan to enjoy this album- hence the 2 star rating, collectors, fans only.
Report this review (#41123)
Posted Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars well, this album is surely great, i like it. But this album is not the best ever, even not in the yes discography imho. I prefer Relayer, that album has a lot of melodic moments, especially gates of delirium is pure masterpiece. CTTE has nice romantic song you and I, great opener close to the edge, but there are still repeating moments, so i give 4 stars.
Report this review (#42332)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm probably like a lot of people, I discovered Yes through this album and haven't stopped listening to them since. CTTE is most definitely their highlight. It is their most complete record. Relayer has The Gates or Delirium and Fragile has Heart of the Sunrise, but CTTE has 3 amazing songs which work perfectly and to produce the epitome of progressive rock music. The musicianship is superb; the drummer Bill Bruford has a natural talent for prog- rock, even though he is primarily a jazz drummer and Steve Howe shows you "howe" a guitar should be player. Overall, if you want to find out about prog-rock and Yes, then CTTE is the album for you. It will make you want to listen to more Yes records, while ultimately being delighted by his sublime songs.
Report this review (#42334)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Water. Singin' birds. It seems the heaven. Then Wakeman starts with his keyboard following the sweetness of the beginning. But the situation is been growing. "The solid time of change" is beginning. In fact the volume grows since a powerfull attack by Howe guitar, Squire bass, Bruford drums and, of course the throbbing synth of Wakeman who plays a fast riff without problems. Howe is really great in his wah solo. Really only a few guitarists are great like him. Then the first change of time, with a sweet moment guitar leaded that brings us in the singing moment of the song. The wonderful voice of Ion Anderson reaches expressive in harmony with the beautiful instrumental part. Then the rhythm changes again, more slow but also great in voice and instrumental parts. Then follows a really prog moment called "Total Mass Retain" with Bruford and Squire that plays in countertime in wonderful way. Rick Wakeman is so silent since here, but will explain soon what he have to say. Continue changes of rhythm caracterize the song. The third part is "I get up I get down" finally keyboard leaded. This is a sweet ballad with extraordinary vocals by Anderson. Unexpected screams Wakeman organ after a growing in pathos. But all returns like before, more slow than before, but only to became another time the beautiful organ by Rick Wakeman. Synths joins the song in this moment and all becames so psychedelic, with great drums and bass. Finally Wakeman has his space to "destroy" the organ in a wonderful solo. "Seasons of man" begins with a returning of the beginnig chords and melodies. But all more sweet then before, thanks to the great performance of Anderson and the beautiful chords by Wakeman. It ends like the beginnig. Water. Singing birds. Ladies and Gentleman this is "Close to the Edge", the song who named this masterpiece by Yes. But also the other two songs are great, but not to the same level of the first.

"And You And I" is the second track, with wonderful Howe acoustic guitar arpeggio. The beginning is sweet and Anderson great voice emphasizes the moment. But all becames a little more fast afrter three minutes, maintaining to the sweetness and the perfect harmony it begins them. Then Wakeman mellotron joins the melody with a perfect taste and choise of the moment. The rhythm becames more majestic and powerfull, since Howe's acoustic guitars plays alone again, but caught up soon by synth and voice. The melody is the same of the beginning, but with different chords and the result is wonderful. The sweetness becomes majestic and returns acoustic for the end of the track. A Masterpiece.

Steve Howe guitar introduces "Siberian Khatru" but soon the sound will be full of instruments. Then the time becomes 13/8 and, after a little introduction, Anderson begins to sing. The rhythm is fast and lively. Really a good song, with great vocals harminies and clavinet solo by Wakeman. The composition is good, but not so progressive like the previous two song. Is more a rock sincopato song, like in "The Yes Album" record: is prog but not so experimental.

To conclude, this is truly a masterpiece. Buy this album.

Report this review (#42377)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have a question to impose upon ye all: WHAT is the big deal with this album? If anything is deserving of the term overrated, this is it. I just don't understand the obsession with this album. To start off, I'll mention the 2nd and 3rd tracks, which I think are great, and its sad that these two songs get lumped in with the mess that is Close to the Edge. And You And I is a mostly beautiful song and Siberian Khatru is a fun sort of dance song. These two tracks deserve to be on an at least 4-star album, and I feel sorry for them, I really do. All the while they have to stare into the face of a needless 20 minutes of filth (I use that term lightly). Now onto the "epic" (which is most likely about nothing). First of all, I must say what is the need of the separately named parts? Three of them are the EXACT SAME THING, disguised as different tunes because they have different bass lines (the bass lines are one thing that I like in this song). Most of the song is spent with Jon hardly singing, just pretty much talking with a change of pitch here and there. A four-year-old could do that. Then at the end of the first part, after he says his annoying little "Not right away" part (which the hilarious, pretentious liner notes call a stroke of genius), the 2nd part starts, the...first..part. What a stroke of genius. They must be Gods, at least the liner notes hint at that (the ones for TFTO are even funnier). After the O.K. third part ends, Rick Wakemen's "amazing" keyboard solo of nothingness begins. There's certainly no feeling put into it (at least Yes were consistent in this song), and I shouldn't be one to judge but it doesn't sound like it's technically brilliant either. After this little ditty from Rick Wakemen's "Godly" fingers ends, I either turn the damn thing off or the 4th part begins, and guess what? It's note for note the same as the 1st and 2nd parts! Then the song ends and I do a little jig because it's all over. Sometimes I feel like Yes is a parody of other prog-rock bands, with Jon and his annoying, cheesy vocals and Rick and his dull, overrated keyboards. Chris and Steve are what make me like this band, and sometimes even love it (like on Relayer, where most of the time Jon is shoved off to the side so the real masters can do their work). In the End CTTE= 2.4 stars, AYAI & SK= 4.3 stars.
Report this review (#42382)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I hate to even open the submit window on this one for two reasons one it has been reviewed so much and two I don't feel the same way about as the majority. Yes, to me is an enigma. Brilliant musicians with good songwriting skills, great live show and yet the music or what they are trying to say sometimes seems so empty.

I always felt outside the conversation with Yes. I love the organ in I get Up/ I get Down the guitar intro by Steve Howe on you and I and on Siberian Khatru (I find fascinating that Bill Bruford wrote this according to the liner notes in the re-mastered version), The chorus on And you and I and other such tidbits. What I don't like is the droning vocals throughout Close to the Edge. It just does not fit the rest of the song. It is like having a rock in your shoe. And You and I drags a bit in the middle. Trying desperately to say something it gets lost in the words. Funny, I like Siberian Khatru more than the other two. It has some spirit and energy. One other positive is Bruford's drumming. The man is a rock icon in every way.

OK so what's the bottom line? I am sorry but this obne does not touch me the same way it touches most of you. Still great musicans and some unbelievable tight playing and arrangements. 4 solid stars and not a twinkle more.

Report this review (#42390)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars All right, I have this one on vinyl. Not a first pressing, but that's ok. Personally, I think Yes is a little over rated, but they're still pretty good.

Close To The Edge - 10/10 - This is the only reason you should buy this album, it alone is a masterpiece. The band does a great job at executing the sonata-allegro form. Wonderful musicianship. You pretty much will listen to only this track.

And You And I - 7/10 - This one is all right. Musicianship is good, but the music is kind of boring..nothing special here really. It isn't very interesting..they should've cut this one down..

Siberian Khatru - 8/10 - Nice rocking tune. I really like the guitar in this song. Overall musicianship in this song is really wonderful. Nothing bad here except it's too long. Long length isn't a bad thing at all, hell, the title track is 18 minutes and 50 seconds of awesome. Who cares how long something is as long as it stays interesting and isn't long for the sake of being long. That's why GOOD classical and jazz pieces are normally long. That's my point I guess.

Final score - 25/30 - 4.17 stars - Final rating - 4 stars.

Report this review (#42399)
Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is groundless to question this album integrity as a masterpiece. In terms of songs, musicianships, performances, and also production, it is flawless.

The title track, an 18-plus-minute epic, serves marvelously as an opener. A long composition yet well-structured, it is perfectly showcasing the musical, lyrical and sonic culmination of all that Yes had done previously. The song flows seamlessly, starting from the very short water-ripple-singing-birds segment within the intro to the ending part where, after Jon Anderson sings "I get up I get down", (again) enter the water-ripple- singing-birds accompanied by Rick Wakeman's synthesizer/organ screaming. The movement is so intense and tight, building up ever-quirky moments, while the interplay of each instrument runs fiercely.

Two relatively shorter songs follow, the majestic "And You And I" and the lively "Siberian Khatru", both mercilessly extend the musical orgasm one already experienced from previous track. Again, the instruments -- Steve Howe's guitars, Wakeman's keyboards, Bill Bruford's drums and Chris Squire's bass -- played masterfully with the intention of creating dense, multi-layered sonic collage, while the vocal harmonies provide wonderful sketches along the way. These facts leave no traces to which critics or skeptics would gladly attack.

While admitting that taste differences will lead to different conclusions, all remarkable elements mentioned above are so clear for everyone to capture of and agree upon, accordingly, that this album is a work of geniuses.

Report this review (#42477)
Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Do not ask me why it took so long for me to write this review. Close To The Edge is one of my favorite albums of all-time. So why wasn't it one of my first reviews? I'm not sure. Probably because I didn't want to give out too many 5-star ratings too early. I wanted to balance it out first. But, I just feel that it's time to review it for me. Seeing as it is one of my favorite albums. Period.

Close To The Edge is one of the two Yes studio album masterpeices, the other being Fragile. Yessongs, I believe, is also a masterpiece, but that'll come later. As for CTTE, while it has the same rating as Fragile, it does beat out their previous album. This, of course, is the "classic" line-up of Yes, and on this album, they all play in the best form of their career (Jon's "playing" being his singing). Of course, his voice is heavenly here. Wakeman is able to prove on the song Close To The Edge that he doesn't always have to have the limelight, proving his virtuousity in the background when he needs to. Howe shows that he is one of the best guitarists in all of prog, simple as that, along with others like Fripp, Gilmour, Hackett, and, if you're into him, Barre. Anywho, Squire proves that he's the best bassist in prog. Total Mass Retain shows this. Actually, I could list almost every song by Yes to prove this, but I won't. And, Bruford show's that he's arguably the best drummer of all-time. However, he isn't good like Mike Portnoy good. He's good in his phrasing, how he's able to play an eighth of a beat behind everyone else, how he can detach himself from the music and go crazy, still keeping the tempo and the time clock in his mind, and how he comes right back in with the rest of the band after he's done.

Close To The Edge: There are, in progressive rock, the epics. There are the towering epics. There are the classic epics. There are the epics that are, simply, better than the others. They are the classics, the milestones. They include, in no order, (IMO) Tarkus, Karn Evil 9, Thick as a Brick, Supper's Ready, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, and, of course, Close To The Edge. Sure, there's songs like Lizard, all of Tales, Dogs, etc., but I believe that those listed above are the all-time classic epics. I believe that CTTE is one of them because... hmmm, you'll find that if you can fully appreciate a song like Close To The Edge, then you can't put it into words. Our language restricts us here. It doesn't allow us to express ourselves to the degree that we would want to. I could use words like "magnificent", "fantastic", "outstanding", "mind-blowing", "majestic", and "beautiful", but I would still fall short of what I would want to say, the message I want to get across to you, the reader. The second section, Total Mass Retain has one of the best and most complex themes of any song or section of one. The bass, the keyboards, and Jon are all doing separate things. I Get Up I Get Down, the third section, could be the most beautiful sections of a song in prog. And, Yes knows how to close out a song. Seasons of Man brings it all back together, in a way that only Yes can. It is here, on this song, that Yes shows that it might be the best band in prog.

And You And I: So, how do you follow a song like Close To The Edge? Seemingly impossible. Then you put on And You And I to hear Howe tuning his twelve-string. Then, Bruford comes in in the background, with the acoustic soaring above it, and there's no turning back. Eclipse, the second section, for me, is so emotional, so mind- blowing, and Apocalypse brings back the acoustic and Jon's voice to close it out. And You And I is one of those songs that will leave the impression of "Yeah, good song." for a long time. It is one of the largest but yet most rewarding grower songs. It sounds weird though for me to say that. Usually, when someone calls a song a "grower" song, it means that the song is weird or perhaps unlistenable at first, but then it gets great over time. And You And I is neither weird nor unlistenable at first. It's, simply, as I said, a good song. The beauty that lies within is the final reward.

Siberian Khatru: The most upbeat song on the album, probably the best choice for closing this album out. Right from Howe's opening, you realize the contrast it holds to the rest of the album. Then, Wakeman's soaring (there's no other word for it) keyboard riff comes in, and of course, that legendary guitar riff, supposedly written by Bruford, actually. Howe gives him credit for it. Anywho, this is a song that holds some, dare I say it, weird sections. Or so it would seem. As always, and I always say it, it comes full circle once you listen on and on. For instance, the section that begins right around the 7:00 minute mark. That doesn't sound in the least bit normal at first, even at second or third or fourth listenings. But, of course, it is, in a word, perfect.

One will notice that I didn't mention Squire specifically in any song here. That's because I can't. I'd say the same thing in each song. "His bass is perfect." Because that's all I can say. He absolutely proves, here more than any other album, that he is the best bassist in progressive rock. End of story.

Now, this, in the last paragraph of the review, is where I normally go through my recommendations. Like, "If you're a fan, get it, if you aren't, don't start here" and stuff like that. It's tough to do that for this. If I were to try, it would go like this: If you're a fan of Yes, then you already have this, and there's no point in you reading this. If you aren't a fan of Yes, then you should still have this, because you should be a fan of Yes to begin with. So, you see, no matter who you are, you should have this. That's what makes it tough. Every person should have this album. That's how good it really is. Once you have it, I dare say that you will know what I mean. It gives me great pleasure to say 5/5 stars. So I will. 5/5 stars.

Report this review (#42612)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The last time that I heard this album I felt the same feeling that I found In love whit my girlfriend, the sounds of this record are amazing an pioneers (nobody made this before 1972), Is a masterpiece that contains sounds of nature and "celestianīs sounds", I think that this album is indispensable for understand the progressive rock.
Report this review (#42885)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This, more than any other, was the album Yes was working up to. With the full cast of characters in place on FRAGILE, this is clearly the next step upward.

I don't use the term "all-time classic" lightly, but it definitely applies here. The title suite set a new standard for "side-long" pieces, the transition from the pipe-organ centered "I Get Up, I Get Down" section to the energetic synth-led grand finale is one of the pinnacles of progressive music. "And You And I" opens with solo acoustic guitar, but it's not merely "Roundabout-The Sequel". The transition into the "Eclipse" section, with its dramatic Mellotron strings and cascades of slide-guitar, still has the power to get me all choked up even after all these years. Capping things off is "Siberian Khatru", one of their best rhythmic rockers, spotlighting Howe's guitar and Wakeman's organ to stunning effect.

I can think of few other albums that are such a textbook, even a guidebook, for progressive rock. So many other bands used this album as a point of reference, applying the ideas pioneered here as a template for their own music. But Yes did it first, and did it best.

Report this review (#42904)
Posted Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, it's hard to follow up something like Fragile. This is especially so when members of the band had stirred up a bit of tension in the studio. However, this is the level that Yes has been trying to achieve and did. This is as close to a perfect album as you can get, and only with 3 tracks. It's safe to say that an album as monumental as this would definitely cause a band to put out records that didn't quite match up for years to come, and sadly this is the case. Perhaps the greatest band in prog rock, this is their greatest and best album, and a must-hear.
Report this review (#44054)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well...what can I say...the truth is that I learned all I know through this site, and have listened to most of the big recommendations in various reviews. But this's just flawless, and surely defines progressive rock. When I first listened to Close to the Edge(the actual song), I couldn't believe the complexity and harmony this group had achieved. This album really opened my eyes,when it comes to progressive rock.
Report this review (#44960)
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Well, here is is folks- the MOST OVERATED ALBUM ON THIS SITE. doubt about it. The "epic" close to the edge- starts as a headache- the 1st 3 minutes sound like a truck filled with musical instruments colliding with a wall- its horrible- not untill the femanistic vocals come in does the song take a slight change for the better. Yes- he sounds like a woman. The lyrics are not as 'deep' as everyone says- instead, they are rather basic- most liekly sophistcated to an 8th grader. Dont try to analyze "Seasons Change..I get up..I get Down" ust meaningless lyrics. The rest of the album is DULL- nothing great here at all- but a headache, and an oveerated pile of trash.


Report this review (#45077)
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Truly, this album defines progressive rock, no matter what anybody else says! I bought this originally on vinyl from a hole-in-the-wall record shop when I was 15. Man, it blew my $&%#@* mind. The title track, alone is the centerpiece of the entire album. At a whopping 18+ minutes, Yes clearly shows their talent at crafting musical styles ranging from classical to even Indian influence (the first track was actually based on the Herman Hesse novel Siddartha). The song still bring shivers up my spine during the I Get Up, I Get Down section as Rick Wakeman's organ magically flourishes. The transitional And You And I showcases Steve Howe's guitar work (note the first minute sounds like he's tuning up during tape roll) as well as Rick's symphony of keyboards. Oh! And let's not forget Jon Anderson's numerous angelic voices in the final track Siberian Khatru. The CD has a couple of bonus tracks, too. I wasn't too fond of them adding the single edits of America and Total Mass Retain (from Close To The Edge). These two could've been switched for an alternate Close To The Edge version. Stick to the original version of America found on Yesterdays or the expanded Fragile album. All in all, this is an essential album for prog- rock fanatics.
Report this review (#46885)
Posted Friday, September 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars My only complain about this album is it finishes too fast-- leaving me to desire for more. The title track feels like the shortest 18 minute piece compared to many other prog rock pieces of similar size. Its beauty lies in its ability to appear simple when the actual works are very complex. There is another issue with this album. The recording of this album, the balance of the sounds beat most of the contemporary recordings. The sounds of all the sections-- the guitars, drums, bass, mellotron and keys and voices are crystal clear. Compare this with most other albums of 1972- 73, this was really great. In fact the recordings of CTTE, Fragile & Tales were fantastic. In contrast, both of Genesis' Selling England by The Pound and the Lamb could sound even better if they adjusted the sounds of Hackett's riff & rhythm parts. I have tested Close to the edge on non-prog rock listeners who would pick the rhythms very easy and would not get bored (they seem to percieve I get up as a different song). this convinces me of the universal appeal of this masterpiece. This is a must have for anyone who really loves cross-cultural music.
Report this review (#47025)
Posted Sunday, September 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This one is overrated to no end...just like Aqualung and Brain Salad Surgery (the EL&P one being really awful). I don't get how people prefer this to Relayer, but i was never a huge lover of YES so that may explain the fact that this album does almost nothing for me.

The title track sure is very worthy of attention, but it gets a bit repetitive when the vocals appear. I love that guitar intro, though. It is the album's best moment though it lasts just a little. The vocals go getting more chaotic as the time passes, and then we have a cool organ solo leading to the song's climax with the same style as before. The song is good, but i think that a 19- minutes epic should have more variation, and not follow the same rhythm during almost all its lenght. "Gates of Delirium" is 145,678 times better than this, though this one doesn't disappoint, it just gets very dry with the time (as the rest of the album). "And You And I" is a prog number that doesn't move me as, say, the "Soon" single. I am not a fan of this song though i admit it is a nice effort by the guys. "Siberian Khatru" is a cool song with a cool intro and an even cooler slide guitar solo but i got bored of this song pretty fast after some listenings, but again is a nice effort that opens most of YES' shows.

They make good upbeat songs to cheer our moods up, but their kind of music doesn't interest me too much and i get bored of their albums very easily. The only one i still listen from YES is Relayer, which remains amazing in my opinion, but i honestly could live without the rest.

3 stars, and just that.

Report this review (#47235)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes at its peak.

The first song, Close to the Edge, was the first epic by Yes, and they never reached that perfection again. And you and I is a wonderful ballad. Siberian Khatru, one of my favourites songs of them.

It's difficult to find another album so solid, so cohesive, and so clear in the ideas, and with all the ideas at the maximum level. Without any doubt, the best work of Yes, and again, without any doubt, a truly masterpiece, immortal and inevitable.

Report this review (#48775)
Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.4/5.0

This album is widely regarded as the best progressive music album ever. I disagree; this is a huge album, but there is so many different styles of progressive music that at some point it's non-pertinent to compare a progressive rock album like this one to Canterbury or symphonic albums. At some point, it's only a matter of taste and it's difficult to tell what album is the best of all!

Close to the edge is an absolutely fascinating rock-prog album: its repetitive structure helps creating a climax with some counter-tempo breaking and re-breaking the rhytm again and again. Is this weird music for the genius or genuis music for the weird? That's what this album is all about. As some people noted, "Close to the Edge" is a killer anthem; Anderson's voice stays in your head, not leaving you, and you start wondering: "Am I crazy or is this really what's all about?"

This is very complex music, not always very symphonic. I personnaly prefer symphonic music, but I enjoyed this album a lot. This is a masterpiece in its style, but at some point if I could only critic something on that album is maybe... somehow some lack of emotion and some "over-technique".

"And You and I" is a great song too, much more harmonic than the first song. "Siberian Khatru's" ending is really the best thing on this album. It's somehow a reminder of the beginning of the album, completing the circle, and this is why this album should be listened from the beginning to the end. Because this is all what progressive music is all about... Isn't it? 4.4/5.0

Report this review (#49774)
Posted Sunday, October 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Very hard for me to see why this album is held so highly- The title track is decent- but the 1st few minutes of the song sound HORRIBLE.

The music gets decent when the vocals come in- but Anderson's voice fails to satisfy.

Musically- this album is pretty sloppy- they have some talent, but I don't think they show it in this album. I would have liked to hear some more PRECISE playing. Much of it us undefined.

Lyrically- I like this album- its thought provoking- and worth many listens.

Overall- Decent album- HIGHLY overrated, I don't reccomend CTTE for your 1st YES album-

Report this review (#52874)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Seriously. I can't believe how overrated this album has become. The singer of YES isn't imparticularly talented, the lyrics were written somewhere between recess and lunch and the some of the sounds that are in it are completely obnoxious! I really don't understand how this is someone's favorite YES album and especially how it is THE BEST PROGRESSIVE ALBUM EVER!!1one It isn't. However, this is not to say that I don't like and respect it. I feel that it is good in it's own respect, maybe somewhere on the level of Discipline by King Crimson but certainly not the best.
Report this review (#53252)
Posted Monday, October 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album still amazes me each time i hear it. I feel the same sensations i felt when i heard it for first time but once i find something different. The complexity of the album doesnīt fight with emotion and that is the secret of this album. The song "Close to the Edge" is one of the topics of all history of progressive rock. Chaos and harmony mixed, torment and peace. Sometimes it seems like each musician was playing a different song, but when i pay attention, i find there is an incredible harmony in all that "madness". Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford, all of them are terrific playing their instruments and the voice of Jon Anderson sounds as one more instrument. "And You and I" is another incredible song, with not the complexity of "Close to the Edge", this songs shows the "other side of Yes", coz if something sounds like a mark of the band, it has got to be with fast changes... graduality is not a word in the music of Yes. "Siberian Khatru" is a strange but magical piece: the guitar of Steve Howe sounds sometimes funky and that shows how open-minded were the musicians of the seventies.
Report this review (#53262)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars A little under 40 minutes of sheer progressive bliss - this is "Close to the Edge", undeniably Yes' finest hour and one of the undisputed milestones of the genre. I am one of the lucky people who, being older than others on this website, own the original vinyl recording enclosed in Roger Dean's gorgeous gatefold sleeve. But what you can find inside is even better than those magnificent, green-hued images of falling water...

There are only three tracks on the record, but they're worth more than many double albums full of dross. As everyone here knows, Yes have been through innumerable lineup changes, but the one performing on CttE represents without any shade of doubt the cream of prog aristocracy: a rythm section other bands can only dream about, Jon Anderson's inimitable vocals and wonderful nonsensical lyrics (which, by the way, complement the music quite perfectly), Steve Howe's jaw-dropping guitar skills and, of course, the Caped Crusader himself, Mr Rick Wakeman.

As to the music, it is not something you put in the background when you're doing the housework (although I've been known to do that from time to time). It is music you have to listen to if you want to appreciate it in full: Chris Squire's monstrous, rumbling Rickenbacker bass sound, Bruford's crisp, perfect drumming, Wakeman's whistling synths or majestic organ, Howe's razor-sharp electric guitar and lilting, wistful acoustic playing and, over all that, Anderson's soaring vocals create a progressive symphony which the band have never again equalled.

The title-track begins with distant birdsong, then Howe's guitar slices through the peaceful atmosphere. Frantic, bass-driven sections alternate with quieter moments, like "I Get Up I Get Down", where Wakeman's organ playing takes the lion's share, providing a background for Anderson's graceful vocal delivery. "And You And I", a track still very often played live by the band, starts with a beautiful acoustic melody by Howe and features wonderful singing by Anderson. However, strange as it may sound, my favourite track is the closing "Siberian Khatru", with its opening heavy-metal-style riffing and the absolutely marvellous, nonsense-filled ending, "Outboard river/Blue tail/Tail fly/Luther/In time....", where the beautiful vocal harmonies merge with Howe's driving guitar strains.

As everything else in life, CttE may not be to everyone's taste, but if you really want to understand what vintage prog is all about, do yourself a favour and get it at once!

Report this review (#53352)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll try and put it simply. My first Yes album was Time and A Word. To me, fun and easily accesible. Number two was THE Yes Album. Mind blowing music. I couldn't get enough of it. Three-Tales From Topographic Oceans. You can be harsh on it, but I fell in love with it from the moment 'The Revealing Science of God' got into the main song. And I thought 'Tales' was a pretty damn good album. Then came Close To The Edge. Now I understand why people complain about Tales so much. Tales, being a great album in its own, was simply overshadowed by an UNBELIEVABLE album before it. Those who bought Tales expecting another 'Edge' would easily be let down. And I actually don't like Tales much anymore since I got this album. Bill Bruford is crisp and precise on drums, and, as always, pleasureably unpredictable in his drumlines. Chris Squire's bass is heavy and impactful while still retaining grace and it simply pushes the music along. His bass is really the motor of the group-and it shines here more than any other album. ALlthough I will always prefer Tony Kaye's dirty Hammond, Wakeman does another virtuoso job with Moogs and Mellotrons, a few Hammonds here and there and even a fantastic church organ. Really cool. Steve Howe's itchy guitar work sporatically spices up the entire album and is just a fantastic privelidge to hear. The songs are great too. The sound effects at the beginning of the title track misleads one to think of a gentle opener, but leaves you being whammed against the crash of cymbals and an effusion of music in its purest form. The song moves through well crafted movements ranging from bellowing rock to humbler ballads, but it's all pulled off perfectly. And You And I has both excellent writing and performing. A soulful delivery by everyone in the band and another fantastic song. Siberian Khatru is the most incoherent piece, but the quality of it is redeeming. I find 'refrain' bit that comes in at about 1:03 makes the song a fantastic listen. No collection period is complete without this. It's the 'Led Zeppelin IV' of Yes.
Report this review (#56094)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is ranked #1 on PA, and for good reason. This album is flawless, beautiful, and just about as close to perfection as I've seen in music. It's one of the few albums I own that, even after many repeated listenings, never grows tiring to me.

So now, why exactly is this album essential? That's simple, the music. All three songs here are some of Yes' best and I'd give them all 5/5 stars.

I know you're probably all tired of the CttE reviews, and I'm sorry. If you visit this site and don't own this album, then do yourself a favor and get your hands on this masterpiece ASAP. You won't be disappointed.

After this, I recommend Relayer and Fragile. I really enjoyed Tales from Topographic Oceans, too, but I wouldn't recommend that until you get the three mentioned above.

Report this review (#56333)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the quintessential prog album, whether prog rock, pop, electronica, what have you. This is the sole album where every single song has me compeltely captivated the entire way through, trumping my desire to lsiten to anything else if I have the capability. That really says alot, especially when it is placed in the company of such greats as Selling England by the Pound, Mechanik, Gentle Giant's self-titled, Pawn Hearts, etc. I ahve been around this album for years, but I have not yet written a review for it. This is thoroughly compelling all the way through and it was time I gave my nod to it.

Close to the Edge - Almost 19 minutes of sheer bliss. This song has me reaching to the sky every time I hear it. I drop whatever I am doing to sing it and listen intently. The basis in Siddhartha (a fantastic book, by the way) only heightens to intellectual slant the music takes by adding complementary intelligent lyrics. This IS progression.

And You And I - The most soothing song I have yet to hear. There is nothing more to say. This is the lullabye of the heart and mind that could still a tempest.

Siberian Khatru - A fitting end to the album. THis brings the rock back, but keeps the calmer, more spiritually-enlightened tone that is extremely desirable to those of us who actively study theosophy.

There is something that has to be said about an album that has retained itself in its entirety in their live show since it was released. This album exutes nothing but love and serenity. Close to the Edge is prog, and any who do not see this are blind.

Long live Yes. Long live prog.

Report this review (#56480)
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has been rated too many times, but I still wanted to do it!

Firstly I have to say that the album's best thing is, that it is fairly balanced, only few bad moments (notice the beginning of CTTE). And the worst thing: It's too god damn short so I wouldn't take it to the desert island...

Close to the edge: 10/10 - "The best song of prog", well not to me, but still this deserves high ratings because of Jon's, Howe's and Wakeman's teamplay. Everything is in balance.

And You And I: 9.5/10 - A beatiful beginning, a slightly boring moments in middle and great end. This is the "calm-song" in this album.

Siberian Khatru: 9.5/10 - The guitairing and Jon's voice are something to remember here! Wakeman also has some moments here but they are not very impressive.

Still "The Yes Album" is the best of Yes<3

Report this review (#57182)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
con safo
5 stars What else can be said? This is a true masterpiece of progressive rock, through and through. The album's centerpiece "Close To The Edge" is a brilliant composition featuring outstanding performances by all involved. Classical influence pours out of this piece, and all the themes flow perfectly throughout. From the slow building intro to the atmospheric, ambient section in the middle, the band was overflowing with fresh musical ideas. Though the lyrical subject matter is completely ambiguous, the quality of the music more than redeems it. Jon Anderson, while definitely not the deepest of lyricists, still manages to create some suffice mental imagery. After the calming ambient section, we find ourselves arising from the deep caverns of sound and are jolted by Wakemans thundering organ, and soon enough are treated to one of the finest keyboard solos ever committed to tape. The song then returns to the main theme and ends this gloriously epic piece the same way we began. A classic in every sense of the word.

Side 2 begins with the gorgeous "And You And I" opening with Howe's elegant acoustic guitar, the song follows a simple progression but reaches crushingly beautiful peaks. Howe's soothing slide guitar floats softly above Wakeman's atmospheric keyboard, creating a rich and grandiose musical atmosphere. The final song on the album, the fast paced "Siberian Khatru" is a wonderful song. Squire lays down some excellent bass, weaving in and out of Wakeman's harpsichord, and not to mention the superb guitar solo. After some complex vocal harmonies the song returns to the main musical theme, and brings this masterpiece of progressive rock to a close. Simply put, this is one of the most important 37 minutes of music ever recorded. 5/5

Report this review (#57326)
Posted Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is truly timeless. It is as impressive now as it was back in the early 70s. But despite that, I am not willing to give it the full five stars. I am stingy with my stars and I really have to be BLOWN AWAY by an album in order to label it "essential." (I have been told to have quirky tastes anyway, but I digress.)

"Close to the Edge" is a mesmerizing composition in many ways. It ebbs and flows and sucks you in before you know it. (Having spoken American English all my life, what in the world does "total mass retain" mean? Again, I digress.) Obviously, this first track is considered to be one of the cornerstones of progressive rock and rightfully so. Stunning guitar work layered on top of keyboard riffs combined with Jon Anderson's entrancing vocals create an auditory feast.

"And You and I" really is a wonderful song, but often gets overshadowed by its greedy predecessor. Do not overlook this tune as it has all of the great components of "Close to the Edge" but isn't quite as catchy.

"Siberian Khatru" is my least favorite song on the album, but I still think it is a decent song. However, compared to the first two, it is easy to forget. In fact, I would be willing to bet that if this song were on a different album, it would be a great song. But it always leaves me feeling disappointed after relishing the first two tracks of the album.

To summarize, I think this is a very strong album and would certainly be considered a classic of the genre. However, at no times am I "blown away." For that, I give this album 4 stars and highly recommend it.

Report this review (#57477)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's about time for me to contribute my review of one of the most important albums in the history of prog music. I must admit that I have never been a die-hard fan of YES, In my opinion much of their music has been to much pomp and circumstance. But as a true progressive music lover I gladly rate this album with four stars, no more, sorry. It's easy to hear where many of today's prog bands have got their influence. E.g. THE FLOWER KINGS. I believe some of the other albums from YES is more easily to like and access, and don't find this one as their best although it's rated very high. I believe prog music also is about to get a hold of the music you are listening to and somehow I find that sort of difficult on this album. I very much like long compositions but the ones here within is difficult to get a grip on. In my opinion...
Report this review (#58827)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I must admit, YES was not on my radar as a "must have", although I really am into prog rock. I have Genesis and Dream Theater CD's ("Awake" is an all time fav), but since I kept seeing all the glorious reviews for Close to the Edge, I decided to order it up, and after several listens, I must agree.........this is an outstanding record. I have the remastered, expanded version, and I'll tell ya, the "bonus" tracks are awesome. America and the studio make of Siberia really kick some major #$%. 4 stars easy.
Report this review (#58843)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, I guess everybody who wants to write reviews has to hit this one at some point.

Close to the edge - I'm one of the few who gets annoyed by the "I get up, I get down" section. I think the other four parts are all fantastic, but that one hauls the title track from getting a perfect score from me. The first section is my favourite, for comparison. 7/10 for section three, 10/10 for the others, 9/10 overall.

And you and I - Some of the pieces of this can get annoying from time to time, but overall it's a wonderful composition. It's too bad they hurt it on Yessongs, but it's still in its full magical form here. 10/10.

Siberian khatru - While the previous two songs put this album on the path to perfection, I believe this is the one that carries it over the threshold. I believe this is the best song that has Yes ever done and very few songs can top it. An easy ace, 10/10.

I don't think this is the best album of all time. I think it's in the top ten, but not quite number one. Still worth the "masterpiece" score, though.

Report this review (#58977)
Posted Friday, December 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes's best album, although "Tales..." and "Fragile" are not too far in comparison. This one of the most essential progressive rock albums which one could possess and I'm not hesitating at all to reward this a masterpiece rating.

"Close to the Edge" 10/10 This is my favorite Yes song and completely blows me away each time I hear it. I could not describe this song in words.

"And You And I" 10/10 A spectacular subsequent composition; Wakeman and Howe are shining here but the whole band contributes and helps to create another one of their best songs. Fantastic.

"Siberian Khatru" 9/10 This was the first Yes song I ever heard and is the most accessible at first listen; it is a great song but sitting next to the other two songs cannot be awarded a 10/10. Although that is true, it is a great finishing song which wraps the imagery put forth by the mood and lyrics.

Report this review (#59687)
Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Some songs want me to go downstairs to the basement and make my own music. This can be in a positive way, as is the case with this album, or in a negative way (when I walk into the living room and my sister left the TV on on the MTV channel).

Close To The Edge is marvellous. The opening and title track is basically four parts of which three are based on one structure, but it's done in such a terrific way that it's not boring at all. Near the end, the vocals become so beatiful that I get a swelling feel in my throat and want to sing out (Sea-sons will pass you by, I get up, -bass line going down here-, I get dooooown) along with this song. There is not any moment of this that I want to miss. Well, on a rare ocassion the intro and outro. 5/5

Next comes And You And I, with a charming intro which is followed by a fitting chord progression on guitar. The singing seems a bit uncaring at the start, and then again there's Jon Anderson with "Watching the world, watching a-a-all of the world" who then starts with the mellow chorus. Then, the keyboards come in. After this, though, I find it rather boring, but still worth listening too. 4.5/5

And then it finishes with Siberian Khatru (unless you have, as I do, the 7-track version with 4 bonuses). The intro is great. Just, great. Really catching. Then there's something that's "okay", and right when you start losing interest the Sitar comes in, followed by Wakeman's harpsichord solo. The guitar work afterwards isn't bad either, and then I recently started skipping the song because there isn't much else to it. 3.5/5


A must-have.

Report this review (#59732)
Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars In 1972 I was a young 15-year-old BEATLE manic (inherited from my older brothers) and thought that Sgt. Pepper was the Ultimate rock statement. A friend of mine who was much more musically astute than I had just joined the Columbia Record Club and had a pile of new albums that we started going through with great enthusiasm. There were records by Cream, Elton John, and Led Zeppelin. But buried under the pile was FRAGILE from YES. I had never heard of them and my friend teased me because Roundabout had just been a hit single. We listened to a little bit of it but I was not impressed. A few months later my parents allowed me to join the record club and while making my selections I found a record by YES called CLOSE TO THE EDGE. I remembered my friend's endorsement and I liked the green/spacey cover so I ordered it. When my records arrived, I opened all of them (none of which I remember now) and finally I out CTTE on the turntable. Instantly I was transformed by the music. I had never heard anything like this before. The tile track was like a movie in my head. The lyrics whispered things that I had only dreamed about. The soaring finale of the title track nearly brought me to tears when I first heard it. Never before had I been so affected by anything. A 30-plus year love affair was born that day and I still think that this album is one of the great works of the progressive rock era. I have purchased everything that YES has produced over the years and I have also explored many other progressive groups and other musically genres but nothing can compare to the feeling a young man had when listening to this album in 1973. If YES had not produced another album or progressive music stopped on that day, it would be enough. It opened worlds to me that I never could have otherwise imagined. Isn't this music should be all about. After 30+ years this album stands up to anything produced before or after. I highly recommend it.
Report this review (#60220)
Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Best of all-time? Relative.

I'm not here to say how good this record is. I won't comment the legendary sonical performance nor the fantasmagoric aura it radiates.

I'm only telling you that Yes shares a lot with the Beatles. How? Remember when Sargent Pepper, the White Album, Magical Mystery Tour or Abbey Road went out...there wasn't much space for anybody else. The Beatles pumped all the air around, grabbing so much space and emotion, it lead other talented bands into obscurity and commercial disaster. Who knew that Pink Floyd were recording in the next studio in the Pepper epoch?

Yes, in the same way, is an amazing core of talent and creativity. But not THAT much. Yes had their dayz, but they stealed a lot of sunshine from other bands throughout their career (Jethro Tull, Camel and Gentle Giant being my biggest examples). Honestly, I always thought that Yes' ego was their biggest ally and enemy. When you're proud, you want quality and here, you got it. Every band member gave everything they could on the record, and the result is actually a very mature record but spotted with the shadow of pride. Indeed, Yes is a very pompous band that takes itself seriously at extreme proportions; pride and cockyness represents to me that era.

Historically undeniable, but don't stop exploring here...Because there's better stuff out there.

Report this review (#60350)
Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm ashamed to admit this, but when I first heard the title track (thanks to the free streaming on Prog Archives), I thought it was drawn-out and boring. But, knowing that truly good music often requires many listens to appreciate it, I gave it a few more tries. Somehow it opened up to me. I can't put it into words. I knew I needed to get this. I've never heard, and I'm sure I never will, hear anything like this anywhere else.

You can see some elements from King Crimson and other groups from the time riddled throughout, but Yes has created a style here that no one else could successfully imitate. I know it's all been said, but just in case you had any doubts whatsoever, let them be dispelled. Get this album.You will not regret it.

Yes. Close to the Edge.

Report this review (#60505)
Posted Friday, December 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the 100th or so review for Close to the Edge, so it may not make an incredible impact, but at least I'll get my opinion out there. Close to the Edge is Yes's best album. Every second of it is euphoria. The members of Yes are truly at their peak on Close to the Edge, and the note-perfect musicianship and clever and catchy songwriting is evident of this.

To begin, the title track is gorgeous and sprawling. It begins in with the solitude and sounds of nature. Soon, an eruption of random notes and jarring rhythms comes about and leads into a challenging and galloping verse. A beautiful middle break emerges, and once again the peace and solitude of the first minute is restored. The verse is ushered back in by a majestic organ and the song ends as it began, with a swirling, misty peace emerging from verse's tumultuous thunderstorm. Certainly the lyrics can be a big attraction and one can speculate on their meaning forever. And they are very good, by the way.

"And You And I" is next, and is the best song on Close to the Edge, perhaps even Yes's greatest song. The introductory acoustic guitar harmonics bring a soothing mood and set the pace for the track. A simple acoustic pattern is repeated throughout the verse giving the bass a bit of room, while Jon's voice is the main draw. But truly, the instrumental break is the best part and is one of my favorite few minutes in all of prog. Wakeman is superb and always plays what is necessary, nothing more, and Howe's slide guitar effectively supports the melody. "And You And I" is the better resolution to the epic chaos of "Close to the Edge."

Whereas "And You And I" was meditative and subdued, "Siberian Khatru" is joyous and rollicking. Yes get even more adventurous, using a sitar and harpsichord! Well, they work surprisingly well, and only serve to enhance the experience. To be honest, I have no idea what "Siberian Khatru" is about! The lyrics are seemingly nonsensical, but perhaps there is a deeper meaning I'm not getting. No matter, the music is excellent and that is what matters the most (to me).

Well, there you go. Close to the Edge is Yes's best album, and quite likely the best in all of progdom. Listen and enjoy.

Report this review (#61571)
Posted Sunday, December 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the edge was my introduction into progressive rock, this album led me into the world of yes and later on, other prog giants such as Jethro tull, ELP, Genesis etc. but nothing, nothing! has ever come close to this record. Made up of three very balanced pieces, every track has its own unique identity and overall this record is widely believed to be the pinnacle of yes' career and even the pinnacle of progressive rock in general. I cannot disagree.

There is not much more I feel I can add to what has already been said about this record, but every track on this album could be described as "epical". It is hard to put into words what yes do on this record, close to the edge is an experience, it just demands your attention, its raw power, blistering energy and its otherworldly atmosphere make it a pleasure that is beyond almost everything in the genre.

Side A consists of just one track, the constantly changing, frenetic musical interplay of the same title as the album. Powerful guitar lines from Howe, wonderful organ and keyboard work from Wakeman, Squires usual propulsive bass, Bruford being the usual jaw dropping Bruford, and some of the best vocal harmonies put to record. Sure if you were to analyse Andersons lyrics you would probably end up lost in another country, but just the flow of the unusual lyrics he uses just seem so perfect, so enjoyable to listen to, it is one of the most unique tracks ever created, and more importantly, has stood the test of time.

Side B is just as innovative and wonderful. Again, it is difficult to put in words what yes accomplished and how they work but there are moments that are just beautiful. There is rich acoustic guitar on "And you and I", separated into four different sections, the song never seems to go over the top and never loses its spark, in fact I believe that this track is a great spirit lifter, there is a lot of emotion in and you and I, as can be seen in Andersons lyrics "And you and I climb clearer towards the movement, And you and I called over valleys of endless seas", It is one of yes' finest tracks. The closing track on the album "Siberian khatru" almost comes as a bit of a surprise, the track is much livelier than the two beforehand and sees yes in an almost funky, less serious mood, and it may just contain Howes greatest riff, it also has an excellent rhythm, its a one of a kind type track, at least in progressive rock.

This album recieves a lot of scolding from critics and music listeners, something this ambitious and this powerful will never be accepted by everyone, but when it clicks, it clicks. A true masterpiece and a highlight among the greatest records of the progressive movement of the seventies. A five star classic.

Report this review (#62237)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Reading the previous reviews I discover quite some controversies. It's rated from brilliant to a piece of trash. For me the album is brilliant, my wife considers it a piece of trash (but she likes the Carpenters, and they are not my thing). So it seems that people have different tastes. And this album is certainly controversial. Now, not all controversial albums are brilliant, but most brilliant albums are controversial. The interesting thing is that most of the people that rate the album three or less stars like "And You And I" but dislike "Close to the edge". AYAI is indeed a song with heavenly sounds, probably much easier to appreciate than CTTE. But it lacks the complexity and - to my opinion - geniality of CTTE. It's "just a beautiful song". The concept and style of CTTE were, certainly at that time, a novelty. Now there are plenty of bands that have made albums and songs in the same way. Maybe there are even better songs but to start with something new requires creative minds. And therefore I think this is a classical album, a must-have, and a milestone in progressive rock music. And that has not so much to do with taste. Siberian Kathru is another beautiful song, more complex than AYAI but also with more energy. With these three songs the album is also in balance: the controversial CTTE, the enrgetic SK and the evrymen's friend AYAI (even my wife likes it!) So, five stars, first because it's a classical and second because it's my taste.
Report this review (#62321)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I will not DARE use the word OVERRATED, because it is one of the best known PROG albums ever released, even the remastered CD version says and I quote "Broke Rock Boundries".

Sadly it would be the last album to feature the might sticksman William Bruford who would later on collaborate with King Crimson, Genesis and Earthworks.

But hey why feel so down whilst we have the talented ex-John Lennon drummer Alan White on board, and he has not left the band once, a passionate YES drummer who has remained with them since 1972.

Close to the Edge is now one of my favourite PROG albums, and who cares it is one of their most best known album IMO, because it has wonderful landscapes and epic tales and that's the music on the album I'm describing, the cover design is not exactly the best one, however the YES logo is timeless.

Close to the Edge: This is the opener of the album and is the second best track on the album, the Rick Wakeman church organ solo was a suprise for me, each member professionally does their thing on the song, and is a well crafted track.

And You and I: Probably the most beautiful YES track ever made, and is my most favourite track on the album, the acoustic guitar works is fantasic, the bass line grunt is really cool sounding, especially on a HI Fi speaker system, the Moog solos also give it that epic sound.

Siberian Khatru: Another great track, and to me the main riff is always recognisable, and is a great track, not my favourite, but still a classic.

The CD remaster features bonus tracks, a single version of America an alternative version of And you and I and a studio runthrough of Siberian Khatru.

I strongly recommend this album, and any PROGGER will also do the same too, 100% recommended, 5 out of 5.

Report this review (#63356)
Posted Friday, January 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my opinion, the most memorable alignment of British band YES is the integrated one by Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Chris Squire; and its masterpiece, "Close to the Edge". Considered by many like one of the best expressions of the Symphonic Prog, in fact some is no guarantee with which you fall in love with this album.

Perhaps the voice of Anderson is too acute for your taste, or perhaps the letters are very "cosmic" and with little literal sense (in fact are inspired by the book "Siddartha" of Herman Hesse), but many we recognize that it is an impressive work, owner of a majestic symphonic sound that combines the sensitivity of the Rock with the virtuosity of the Progressive one. At the same time, he is one on the first attempts to make a work huge, combining several subjects in a species divided épico story in several parts.

Why I consider its masterpiece? Perhaps because it is the culmination of the sound that began to develop in "Fragile" and "The Yes Album", whereas both following albums, "Such from the Topographic Oceans" and "Relayer" I feel that already the hand goes to them just a little bit. The album consists of only three pieces, the épica and symphonic "Close to the Edge", the rockera "Siberian Khatru", connected to each other by the beautiful "And You and I". "Close to the Edge" is divided in several sections, of way similar to a classic sonata where each member of the band puts the best thing of himself to obtain that the result is greater to the sum of their parts. Wakeman creates the atmosphere with the use of the Melotrón and in individual, the organ of Church, whereas the cash under Squire serves as reference while music changes and changes. The sincopadas notes that touch, particularly during the second movement, contribute much in creating the emotion contained in the piece.

Howe has several impeccable appearances with its guitar, all guidance by the voice characteristic of Jon Anderson. If you are a lover of the progressive rock and not yet you have this disc, better it lets read this review and consíguelo, because you are losing yourself of a great work. This album, independently of which you like or no, is one of the pre-requisite to understand of what the progressive one treats!

Report this review (#63789)
Posted Sunday, January 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I had been going through life thinking to myself "there are no bands left that apply music theory, it's all just a bunch of 4/4 beat songs with no true depth or meaning." Then I came across this band, and this CD because of a friend. I still say that most music today is mundane at best but knowing bands like this existed gives me great hope, never have I heard such great music with so much meaning or depth before, I never even knew music like that which is found on this CD existed before. You can feel the music throughout you, and just wehn you think one thing about the song the feel completly changes on you. The title track from this CD is by far the greatest song I have ever heard in my entire life, nothing can ever even compare to how great this band is, they are THE essential prog band if there ever was one. I just wish more people could understand this kind of music so that too they may hear the absolute genuis and beauty of this song. In spite of all the mixed ratings I give this CD five stars, of course it is the diversity of this genre that makes it so great though. This is just my opinion about the band and CD. Everyone here is entitled to speak freely about how they feel about this CD but in my opinion it is the greates thing I have heard in the entirety of my being. Thank you for your time and attention.
Report this review (#65026)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A great album, no doubt. All three tracks are strong. To the credit of Yes, each song has at least one part that blows me away. My only concern is that all the tracks could be shorter. Repetition is difficult, and Yes uses it effectively most of the time. But I'd still prefer if the three tracks had some of the padding removed from them and instead they'd offered a completely different composition.

I also have a love hate relationship with Yes choruses. They get stuck in your head which reflects they are catchy, but I get frusterated having to try so hard to remember other parts of the song. Especially true on Close to the Edge track and And You and I.

Siberian Khatru does have one of the finest keyboard solos I've yet heard in prog. I love comparing it to the solo of 'In the Cage.' Normally prefer In the Cage, but there are those times that Siberian takes the gold.

A great album, certainly a great addition to a prog collection. It is certainly Yes' best work.

Report this review (#66768)
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll keep this short, as there's been told so much about the record already that I don't need to bring in anymore. Anyway, all the three songs are true classics. So much variety in the instrumentation, virtuosity and catchy songwriting, yes, it's not difficult to listen to. This Yes album was a piece of cake to listen to for me, and I like that. The hammond-solo on CTTE is brilliant (my fav. part) and And You And I is my favorite Yes-song. The part "Eclipse" reveals true revelations to me, it's extremely beautiful. Siberian Khatru is strong, although not a favorite of mine. I like the guitar work and some theme's from Rick and Steve, but I believe this track would have been more impressive if it was about 4,5 minutes long instead of 8.

Tales From Topographic Oceans is my favorite Yes-album, but this one truly belongs to the few highlights in their entire career.

Report this review (#67084)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close To The Edge is one of my favourite Yes songs...I never felt this album actually flowed as well as their previour two. But the song Close To The Edge is abolutely amazing. That Coltraney guitar at the beginning, those keyboards, then it erupts into that rewarding beauty. The lyrics and vocals...oh its all magical. I can see why Bill Bruford left though... must have been pretty boring for him as a kindof raw jazz drummer to have to sit around for so long...but he plays a blinder on this record.
Report this review (#67110)
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Close To The Edge" is the third and last album of the most classic Yes trilogy that started with "Yes Album" and continued with "Fragile". The band would never more have such a fertile and productive period however they released some awesome albums in years to come - that's the reason I call 'trilogy' the ensemble of these 3 works. Now, Yes gift us with an album composed of only 3 parts which put them into a dangerous position in the case one of the tracks was flawed (not the case, fortunately).

I listened to "Close To The Edge" for the first time after being exposed to other epic albums by Genesis, Jethro Tull and EL&P and thence it caused me no surprise; instead I could make a more accurate (and critical) hearing just to perceive that amidst the great production, the astonishing musicianship, the excellence of the songs, John Anderson's voice is sometimes bothering, not only for its crystal-breaking tone, but also for its many times cheesy appeal. Anderson singing influenced little in the 2 previous albums when he seemed contained, but here he apparently tried to show another band instrument and the final result was almost disappointing. One may say that the songs of the album were fitted to his voice and the way he sang them, a kind of conformism I do not agree; others could do better or even him, singing more similarly like he did in "Fragile" - Anderson really performed close to the edge.

'Close to the edge', the opening track, shares with 'The gates of delirium' (from album "Relayer", released 1974) the honor of being the greatest Yes epic, consequently due to the highest position the band ranks in the progressive scene, this song shall be listed among the greatest progressive epics, and it is well deserved; the music is catchy, easy-flowing with great musicianship by band members, specially the drumming work: steady, ever-present, powerful. Also amazing is that 'Close to the edge' is truly a unique song - not a bunch of songs gathered together, with the main theme being observed across the song, although with variations, but never boring or weary; the mentioned variations respond for giving the song its overwhelming charm and shine.

'And you and I' is a great sample of how a romantic song may sound in the progressive rock genre; the rhythm and the lyrics are there but there is no concession to cheesiness or weeping, only a story to be told. Now guitar and bass are responsible for creating an impressive atmosphere; the music goes in a crescendo until a fabulous and majestic ending. It is no surprise why many people consider this as their favorite Yes song.

'Siberian Khatru' bears with softness the album closing keys but it is less brilliant than the 2 preceding tracks. The rocky beat is great and the choir in a Beach Boys' style is fair and pleasant, otherwise the moog played in a pseudo-oriental manner and the pretentious vocal effects add few to the song - but again guitar and bass come to rescue the correct musical stream and keep this track above the average.

"Close To The Edge" is a more than recommended album not reaching masterdom due to the moments of vocal annoyance and the unbalance status between the first 2 tracks and the final one. Doubtlessly it is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Total: 4.

Report this review (#67226)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the best album ever because I found a lot of interesting sounds of many advices like mellotron, the minimoog keyboard, we have five musicians whit diferent talents and a beatiful cover by roger dean I thin tha its the best team in the best time to make the best record I donīt have words to describer this album.
Report this review (#69025)
Posted Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was 11 when this album was first released. I was'nt a Yes fan at that time - but my hot looking cousin had this album and I heard it in her bedroom. I'm 44 now and today I bought the newly remastered CD - I have owned it in previous formats obviously. Now I'm not here to tell you what to expect when you hear this for the first time because that would spoil the surprise. What I will say is that in my opinion (and that of many others) this is THE ultimate prog album. Primo numero uno, the pinnacle of prog, the top of the heep (ha) - I'm sure you get the idea. Now its probably not the most controversial review I have ever posted but I feel I have to stand up and be counted. I slaughtered Drama and the reasons for that are personal - however this album is just perfect. There is nothing that would improve this - it will be listened to in years to come and marvelled at. Perfection.
Report this review (#69252)
Posted Monday, February 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is certainly the one Progressive Rock album which has made its way into everyone's collection. I say it was a recording that was made in heaven!, is not only regarded as one of Yes's masterworks, but one of the most influential albums in the history of Progressive Rock. Recorded mostly in one month, Jon Anderson says that "It was around this time Steve and myself spent a lot of time writing, great times... "Close to the Edge' is born.". I think that itīs a good, perfect, cool and amazing record.
Report this review (#69811)
Posted Friday, February 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an epic album and the best of the three albums Yes produced in 1971-1972, when the Progressive Rock band founded by vocalist Jon Anderson was at its creative peak. The title track "close to the edge" was the entire first side of the album and represented the group's formulaic pattern at its best: a nice long instrumental introduction that leads to the song's main figure which everyone in the band takes turns playing. With Anderson the thing is to always enjoy his soaring tenor voice and forget about the inane lyrics; trying explaining "A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of yoru disgrace/And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace/And achieve it all with music that came quickly from afar/Then taste the fruit of man recorded losing all against the hour." Compare that with how the "I get up, I get down" from the end of "The Solid Time of Change" works a lot better because what matters are not the words but the sound. Anderson's voice and the falsetto harmonies he creates with Steve Howe and Chris Squire are as much an instrument as Howe's guitar or Rick Wakeman's keyboard. Howe's acoustic guitar work is featured on "And You and I," while "Siberian Khatru" features a nice musical duel between Howe on electric sitar and Wakeman on harpsichord. The promise evidenced by "The Yes Album," and developed further on "Fragile," reaches full maturity on "Close to the Edge." Listen again and you will reach the conclusion that this is Yes' best album.
Report this review (#70039)
Posted Monday, February 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After 3 years, directly after Fragile, Yes released their masterpiece "Close to the Edge". In the Top 100 of the prog-archives it's on place 1 and it's overall a very well-appreciated album. Like "Relayer", the album only consists of 3 tracks, reaching a total length of 38 minutes.

The first song, "Close to the edge", the title track, a masterful Yes-epic, set new standards in the progressive world and is musically well-thought. The track starts with a soft stream and some bird sounds besides. After one minute, the intro section begins with an ascending bass scale, afterwards bass ostinato (nine times until fermata), then guitar and bass ostinato (two times until fermata). For the last part of the intro section another bass ostinato is played and another ascending scale to lead-in the fermata. At the end the instrumental main-theme follows continuing until the 4-minutes edge! The whole intro passage fades and some soft synths are left, a short drum interlude introduces the first part (A), another short intro for the verse and finally the first verse begins, slit up into two parts. Afterwards the first chorus (chorus 1) begins, followed by a short bridge and verse 2, repeated two times. Chorus 1 is replayed and the wonderful atmospheric "I get up"-section is added, reducing the tempo, but increasing the feeling and introducing the second part (A'), a bit varied from the first part: The structure is the same, but the surface (e.g. the bass) has been modified a bit and some extra- ads arrange for keeping the eagerness and the longevity. Chorus 1, is replaced by chorus 2 and after the "I get up"-part, a fugato follows. The third part (B) starts off with a static, slow and soft interlude and three verses. The first verse is accompanied by a staccato synthesizer and closes with "I get up", several voices are joining, creating the feeling of a choir and increasing the atmosphere. The second verse is generally the same, but another synthesizer joins, a fluent one to support the staccato rhythm. The second verse ends up with "I get up" as well, this time a bit more powerful, but at the end on the third verse this part gets very powerful and atmospheric, to introduce the mighty and atmospheric church organ interlude. But it stops jerkily and another time the "I get up"-part is replayed, shortly and soon followed by another church organ interlude. At the end of this interlude some fanfares join and afterwards the main theme is reset. The next part begins (A''), starting off with the verse, chorus 2, verse, chorus 2. But here, the vocals are replaced with another synthesizer. After that, two verses follow, introducing a bridge opening the chorus 1 and an extended, varied version of the "I get up"-part. The song fades with a stream and finally some bird sounds. Definitely one of the best songs of the whole progressive rock history.

"And You and I" is basically an acoustic-guitar-driven track with some symphonic interludes, where the synthesizer are used. Also a good song but not in the same level as "Close to the Edge".

The third and last track is "Siberian Khatru", featuring a great guitar riff at the beginning. The track is typical for Yes and is also nice, complex and symphonic song, with a wonderful guitar work.

The album is technically, every musician is great, and melodic with the typical Yes- music, but if you don't like Jon Anderson's voice it won't please you. For me the album is too short, 1 or 2 tracks more would have been wonderful, but those 3 are really good and I think it deserves the rating "masterpiece". 5 STARS!

Report this review (#70161)
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's hard to look at these "1-star reviews", cause this album is just so stunning. Maybe the idea of only 3 tracks and time of 37+ minutes is not very inspiring in the beginning. But after listening it to few (20?) times. I canno't even think of putting 4― stars to this absolute masterpiece. Well anyway, about 'Close To The Edge':

The first track might be Yes' greatest achievement. It is mindblowing, from the chaotic intro to the climax in the end, I find no bad spots. Andersons voice couldn't get any better (well the sound quality is quite amazing here for a -72 album), Bruford is crazy, I mean, I've tried to play CTTE with my drums but in the end my hands starts to ache and I propably miss half of the hits anyway :). Howe is as great as always and Wakeman is Wakeman. I wish I could see these guys playing this song live someday. (Keys to Ascension DVD is amazing). And Squires backing vocals gives spooky feelings.

Then And You And I, in one word: beautiful. The intro riff is beautiful, Anderson's voice, even the drums. Damn I love this song. After the climax of CTTE its so nice to hear this song. It has only one boring moment, which lasts for a 30 secs, but I can take it. A masterpiece in overall.

Then Siberian Khatru, the rocker. After the pure-prog-song CTTE and calm ballad And You And I, Siberian Khatru is damn good ender. It reminds me a lot of Roundabout, the riff is catchy, there is not really any bad moments.

5/5 in overall. The only bad thing is that it lasts for 37-minutes :(

Report this review (#72204)
Posted Saturday, March 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What an album. Never get tired of hearing it. The title track has so much intensity, so much power. It is a musical journey in every aspect. And You And I is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Siberian Khatru is a great example of the talents at the time. This album opened the door for me. It has shown me and still does show me what progressive rock should be. All of my friends, including me, have been trying to make something close to the album. We always fail though, for it is unimitatable. This kind of album doesn't come around too often. So if you don't have it and you love music in general, buy it. It will be the best $10 you will ever spend.
Report this review (#72504)
Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars There's been a lot of talk regarding CTTE as an overrated album. I completely disagree. This album is one of the top masterpieces in prog rock and it will forever hold that position. I think most people are looking into the album too much and are expecting too much from it due to its immense reputation. I'm always reminded of how amazing this album is when I listen to it from start to finish. It reminds me of the first time I ever heard it... I was completely blown away and was immediately floored.

For all those who have never heard this masterpiece, you must get it. Go somewhere quiet where you can be alone and put all of your expectations aside. Forget all the reviews you've read and all the comments you've heard. Just listen to the music with an open mind and let it consume you.

Trust me, you won't be dissappointed... I wasn't. I give this album a 5/5 without a doubt. Truly amazing!

Report this review (#72563)
Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I bought this album today as a newcomer to both Yes and classic prog. After listening to the entire Album I must say I thought it was really great. Sections in Close to the edge really stick in your mind like "Total Mass Retain". Every bit of this album is well thought- out and organized. Close to the edge has great melodies and passages not just to fill space, but to create great effects. I find Jon Anderson's odd lyrics very good. "And you and I" is a great song which is solfter and features great acustic guitar at the bginnning and throughout. Siberian Khatru starts off with a cool guitar riff and then a small section of great instumentization with bass guitar and keyboard leading into great vocal melodies. I'm a new fan of progressive rock and am not familiar to Yes, so I'm not sure my opinion is really very valid. I give this Album 4.6 stars because I don't know enough to realize it's importance, so I gladly give this the 5 stars it deserves.
Report this review (#72581)
Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What Yes did in this album is similar to what the Beatles did in the ī60...use the studio like no others did in their time. Yes had already done two excellent albums (The Yes album 1971, my fav and Fragile 1972) and they both sounded fantastic. But here itīs not only about sound, but also about the perfection which was put into it by all 5 members of the band and Eddie Offord the producer (whose job was so important in this album, they even show a picture of him in the back along with the rest of Yes). Really, this album couldnīt be better and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for them to make it, specially with the technology from the seventies. I talk so high about the production, because I have heard Close to the edge live...and it doesnīt come close to the album version, something is missing...and I canīt quite put my finger on it...but I know itīs because the lack of the studio. A marvelous song, perfection in every sense of the word. The rest of the songs are also top notch. And you and I is a very, very nice song...with Andersons sweet voice and Howeīs acoustic playing. This song however doesnīt suffer from "not sounding good live"...on the contrary, I have two live versions of the song...and they both sound amazing!!! And last but not least Siberian Khatru is...great!! Maybe Yes most accesible song in this album...yet I can hear new things with time...nice work, extremly nice work!!!

Well...itīs the peak of prog!!! Itīs unbeatable!!!...(at least in my book).

Report this review (#72590)
Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This has to be my most favorite album of all time by my favorite band, after Pink Floyd. Everything about this album is great. Close to the Edge is great song to start it out, my favorite part of it has to be the organ solo, it gives me chills everytime! And You And I is a great follow up song, very nice and well composed. Then Siberian Khatru is also a great song. ONLY bad part is the keyboard repeating itself, but thats *hardly* anything. Everything in this album "works" for me.

5 Stars! Highly recomend this album to anyone. Easily one of the best prog-rock albums.

Report this review (#72592)
Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perfection is not possible on this mortal coil. However, Yes came damn close with this album. Those who don't understand what all the fuss is about must take several things into consideration. This was the culmination of years of progression by the greatest lineup in the band's history consisting of Anderson, Squire, Howe, Bruford and Wakeman. The Yes Album and Fragile were both very good but uneven in places. But you'd be hard pressed to find a flaw in this one. Another thing to ponder is the fact that this recording did and does sound so freaking GREAT! Eddie Offord's production from the engineering to the mix was light years ahead of its time. It made even the simplest, cheapest stereo sound better than it had any reason to. From the mysterious intro that sounds like you are approaching an uncharted island in the mists of your imagination to the fascinating interplay between Squire and Howe as Siberian Khatru fades away, this album achieved what all progressive bands had probably thought impossible. An indelible masterpiece that would hold up for centuries to come. As Jon sings, "Seasons will pass you by," be reminded to take in the everyday wonders that cross your daily path and don't miss out on taking the time to absorb and enjoy this near-perfect specimen of progressive rock music.
Report this review (#72626)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you listen to prog music, you know that it this album is a very important one. Whether you're a King Crimson fan, a Genesis fan, or whatever, you simply cannot deny this album is the best prog album ever made. The title track is beyond mind-blowing and will assure you this is the pinnacle of music. The other two songs are great and have supreme emotion and melodics, but nothing compares to the album and the song: "Close to the Edge"

IF you want to start with Yes and want to get into prog rock, get this on CD remastered and then go whichever direction thereafter. This is essential and no one should be without this album.

Report this review (#73355)
Posted Wednesday, March 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Robert Fripp was definitely wrong claiming that prog rock should dissolve after breakup of King Crimson in 74. Actually it should happen in 72, because after release of Close To The Edge nothing better or even similar was recorded by any rock band (Yes, Selling England By The Pound, Red and Dark Side Of The Moon including). Here Yes are exploring the spiritual heights which Genesis, King Crimson or Pink Floyd barely touched on their best efforts, and Yes only came close by recording Soon or Awaken... Only Genesis (Lamb), King Crimson, Floyd (The Wall) and first of all Van Der Graaf Generator explored the hell within a man at the same level Yes explored spiritual highness on this album. Rick Wakeman keyboards play beats Keith Emerson here (and he utilises moogs and mellotrons here, creating celestial mood), Steve Howe is overwhelming, Robert Fripp could play like that only in his wildest dreams, Chris Squire - well, I say only that forget Geddy Lee, Greg Lake and Les Claypool, Bill Bruford plays like he is going to ask who is Carl Palmer?? And Jon Anderson is at his peak, his voice of an innocent pilgrim blends with the music. The title track is perfect mixture of psychodelia (especially inspired by indian music) and symphonic/church music, constructed on a plan of sonata. From the panteist song of birds, through the indian chaos, to the harmonical choruses (vocal harmonies beats some works of Moody Blues and Gentle Giant, although they are less sophisticated) and church - like Hammonds in the climax of "I Get Up I Get Down". Yes, in fact in terms of spirituality we are only close to the edge and always go through hills and valleys. "And You And I" begins as simple folk song, although the great keyboards of Maestro Wakeman develops the tune to the spiritual heights, which reminds of the first track. Mellotron and moogs are crucial and please forget about Tangerine Dream or Jarre.. "Siberian Khatru" (which is not a race of dog) again is in completely different mood, this time it is a mixture of hard rock and jazz rock, which would be gem on any Soft Machine or Hatfield And The North Album. Sadly the album ends here. Definite masterpiece.
Report this review (#75116)
Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Currently number one on the album chart, with 430 ratings and a huge number of reviews. What can I add?

This is probably the album first referenced when defining progressive rock. Unlike earlier YES albums, there are no space fillers in this album, just three songs. Each of the three songs defines a different view of YES. Close to the Edge is basic YES, And You and I is a soft love song, while Siberian Khatru is YES rocking out.

A perfect progressive rock album.

(It's interesting going back to these albums from my youth and listening to them again. Close to the Edge was one of the albums which didn't make the transition from vinyl to CD in my library. I just relied on my memories. Recently I've decided to replace my memories with actual recordings that I can play (thank you eBay for keeping it cheap). My memories had failed over the last couple of decades. This album was better than I remembered.)

Report this review (#75165)
Posted Sunday, April 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the edge is one of Yes' best albums and has been a mainstay of progressive rock for more than 30 years, Any new fans of the genre should get this new rhino disc and discover progressive rock for what it truly is- thoughtful and intelligent compositions executed by some of the best musicians in rock. However, most of the prospective buyers for this disc are probably seasoned Yes fans who love "close to the edge" and already have this album in one form or another. Most of your classics have been out 3 or 4 times... just reissue it, say its better than ever and sales are a sure thing (and easy money). As far as the artwork, notes and lyrics go, this is an excellent package- as close as you'll come to the Lp experience in the cd format. That leaves us with the bonus tracks and the sound quality. As mentioned, the bonus tracks alone don't really add much of substance- the "And you and I" alternate is good, Wakeman does some interesting things. The "Siberian" is just what it says, studio run through. I got this to replace my worn out Lp and the 1st cd version, so I can't speak for the 2nd Cd version done by Joe Gastwirt. I can speak for the YesYears box Gastwirt did in 1991 which has the best sounding version of "Close to the Edge" on cd, and contains the best sounding material from "Fragile" and the "Yes Album" on cd. It also has the best sounding version of "America". To my ears it would be pretty hard for Rhino to outdo, and they did'nt. Gastwirt had the analog master tapes that were then around 20 years old, but probably still in decent shape, and he did a superb job. The sources for this project were either extremely old analog tapes or digital copies. Rhino did a very good job, but don't expect sonic miracles- despite their "remastered for better than ever sound" statement. The main difference between this "close to the edge" and the one on YesYears box is the Rhino disc is a bit brighter and very slightly more distorted than the YesYears version. The box version is also more dynamic. In terms of the spacious middle section (bring on the dry ice), the vocal arrangement sounds more natural and lifelike on the Yesyears disc. I got the rhino disc for the 2 "And You and I" and "Siberian Khatru". If you are considering this mainly for the Title tune and you have the Yesyears box, you might want to pass. Everybody else jump on it. "Tales from Topograhic Oceans" seems to be the main one to get of all the rhinos.
Report this review (#75238)
Posted Monday, April 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Close to the Edge is generally regarded as the most credited prog album. I had read many marvellous reviews about it and seemed to me that this album must be the best thing on the Earth. When I finally heard it for the first time I wasn't worried about the fact that I didn't like it very much. I thought "Hey, this is a prog album, it's normal that I don't love it from the first listening!" I kept listening, still hoping that it finally unfolds it's treasure. At the present time I don't hope in particular anymore. I think it generally lacks fluent melodies, even though there are some beautiful examples in title track and in "And You and I", it is repetitive, it has too much struggle in it with no apparent purpose. I'm not saying it's a bad album, all tracks contain truly appealing moments. I would rank it higher if it were an option album by a prog band, yet it is supposed to be THE album by THE prog band. 3.5 stars really.
Report this review (#75383)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I own this on vinyl and CD because it's THAT awesome! I knew I was going to love it starting from the first listen I gave it. What I didn't know was that I could love it even more with time! All of the subtleties the guys in Yes put into this album make it worthy of most any price. It's one of the the most reviewed albums on and for good reason, too. The whole thing is simply marvelous and stunning to the ear. I've been meaning to write a review on this for a while, but every time I try, I can't think of anything that hasn't already been said. To non-prog listeners, this might not be your thing, but this is meant for ANY prog fan who wants to hear an amazing album!
Report this review (#75396)
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4.9

As the general favourite, this is definitive Symphonic Progressive Rock, incorporating brilliant melodies and mesmerising bass. Every track is composed, crafted and expressed with awesome power and attention to detail. 'Close to the Edge' and 'And You and I' are those tracks that you can just play over and over again, each time picking out another little delight that you may have missed the time before.

'Close to the Edge' has some brilliant transitions and sweeping Wakeman interludes, using harsh dissonance, skilfully relieved leading to the cascading development into the next section of the song. Simply brilliant. 'I get up, I get down' and 'Seasons of Man' are my favourites of the track, leaving me breathless. Wakemans majestic organ leading to the bombastic synthesisers and drumbeat and the seamless but evident stride into the next passage. A brilliant end to this awesome exemplar of progressive music.

'And You and I' is possibly even better than 'Close to Edge', taking a slower more relaxed approach to effortlessly create another foundation in the prog tower. Starting with acoustic guitars leading to a progression where background moog is introduced and soft vocals veiling the raw music. About half way through - a choking extended note relived by a Wakeman with a beautiful tone from his moog, sweeping, elegant and flowing over the crashes of the drums. This is again developed, setting you solid in your chair, to the powerful vocals of Anderson. After an acoustic 'calming period', the main stream is again present, with bass, moog and drums, leaving Anderson and an acoustic guitar to counterbalance the swelling moog and finish yet another masterpiece.

'Siberian Khatru' is a less notable track in my opinion, although has my favourite minute of the album - Wakemans tremendous harpsichord solo and penetrating bass.

A must have in any prog rock collection. This is not just 37 minutes of entertainment; it is a lifetime achievement.

Report this review (#75946)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
Peter Pan
5 stars This is a review of the remastered version of "Close to the Edge".

The merits of this album as one of the crown-jewels of progressive rock are undoubted, though its spherical mood in both music and words has brought it more out of age than its prog-rock kin of the years 71/72 like "Tarkus", "Three Friends" or "Pawn Hearts".

Still "Close to the Edge" has some kind of magic and its melodies and riffs stay in my head for days once I heard the album again. To enjoy the new remastered release of Rhino from 2003 to full extent you will need a modern equipment. You can hear details you never thought were there especially in the guitars. Gained transparency compensates and may even exceed losses in harmony and balance of the original vinyl LP. What you like more depends on your taste.

At least it's very interesting to study how the musicians on their now clearly separated instruments did their job to contribute to the unique sound of Yes in this era. I found the basis of the sound of "Close to the Edge" is the playing of Steve Howe.

Report this review (#75984)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's okay Close to the Edge has it's moments, but overall is long and boring. It's interesting the first few listens, but seems to be mostly unpleasant sounds. 6/10

And You and I is the worst album on the track. It just outright boring. There is maybe a minute total in this song this is interesting to me to hear it. The first few times I heard this album this song just got tuned out. When I actually seriously listened to it a few times, I was in shock that this album was #1. 3/10

Siberian Khatru, on the otherhand, is one of the best ever Yes songs. Its a good listen, also the shortest song on the album unfortunately. The complexity is there, as it is in the first two tracks, but this time the song sounds good. 9.5/10

total: 18.5/30

Fragile & The Yes Album are better listens. But this is a must listen for any prog/Yes fans.

Report this review (#76006)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was 14 years old when I got Close To The Edge. Ireally loved the song Roundabout, especially when it was played on a real stereo. Not AM Radio. It has taken 10 years to fully understand it. So much structure with wicked changes in tempo and mood. A brillliant epic, love song and an all out rocker(in Yes Fashion) Of all progressive rock ( Every Genre ) this is the king. I just wish Bruford and Squire had more time together. I dare anyone to compare this rhythm section to anyone else. If I could take one album out my many hundreds, this is the one. Too bad they're so hard to understand, many people abandon Yes before letting it set in. I know I almost did, but glad I didn't.
Report this review (#76021)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the edge is one of Yes' best albums and has been a mainstay of progressive rock for more than 30 years, Any new fans of the genre should get this new rhino disc and discover progressive rock for what it truly is- thoughtful and intelligent compositions executed by some of the best musicians in rock. However, most of the prospective buyers for this disc are probably seasoned Yes fans who love "close to the edge" and already have this album in one form or another. Most of your classics have been out 3 or 4 times... just reissue it, say its better than ever and sales are a sure thing (and easy money). As far as the artwork, notes and lyrics go, this is an excellent package- as close as you'll come to the Lp experience in the cd format. That leaves us with the bonus tracks and the sound quality. As mentioned, the bonus tracks alone don't really add much of substance- the "And you and I" alternate is good, Wakeman does some interesting things. The "Siberian" is just what it says, studio run through. I got this to replace my worn out Lp and the 1st cd version, so I can't speak for the 2nd Cd version done by Joe Gastwirt. I can speak for the YesYears box Gastwirt did in 1991 which has the best sounding version of "Close to the Edge" on cd, and contains the best sounding material from "Fragile" and the "Yes Album" on cd. It also has the best sounding version of "America". To my ears it would be pretty hard for Rhino to outdo, and they did'nt. Gastwirt had the analog master tapes that were then around 20 years old, but probably still in decent shape, and he did a superb job. The sources for this project were either extremely old analog tapes or digital copies. Rhino did a very good job, but don't expect sonic miracles- despite their "remastered for better than ever sound" statement. The main difference between this "close to the edge" and the one on YesYears box is the Rhino disc is a bit brighter and very slightly more distorted than the YesYears version. The box version is also more dynamic. In terms of the spacious middle section (bring on the dry ice), the vocal arrangement sounds more natural and lifelike on the Yesyears disc. I got the rhino disc for the 2 "And You and I" and "Siberian Khatru". If you are considering this mainly for the Title tune and you have the Yesyears box, you might want to pass. Everybody else jump on it. "Tales from Topograhic Oceans" seems to be the main one to get of all the rhinos.
Report this review (#76521)
Posted Friday, April 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes is one of my favorite bands of all time, and this album is not only one of their best albuns, it is, in my opinion, the best symphonic prog album ever!

It starts with the title track, and it's really close to the musical edge! If there's one band that almost did the perfect music, this band is Yes.

Then we have "And You And I", another wonderful music! It starts with a acoustic guitar intro and then solos that just Yes could do... Amazing!

The third and last song is "Siberian Khatru", there's a beautiful main riff with the guitar and keyboard doing a very good rhythm. Just amazing as the last song.

A must have for any music lover!

Report this review (#76580)
Posted Friday, April 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is totally mind blowing. I love this album, it was one of my first progressive rock albums along with Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick. Although it is only 3 songs long the three songs are some of the best ever composed by a progressive rock group. Close to the Edge is the definite prog masterpiece clocking in at around 20 minutes of amazing melodies and perfect musicianship. And You and I is the soft track of the album and I don't like it as much as the other two songs on the album but it is still a masterpiece, Howe is great on this song. Siberian far my favorite Yes song ever. Very catchy song, the chorus is amazing, and really complex time signatures. It's just so amazing, I always sing this song and hum its melodies while walking around on the street.

Buy this as soon as you's a masterpiece.

Report this review (#76805)
Posted Monday, May 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars By Tarby

This is the first album I ever bought from Yes. When I was around 12, my dad took me to see yes in concert and it blew me away at even that age so since then I have become a huge yes fan. When I first bought this album I admit it took me a while to get into it but after a while I got hooked. The intro still bothers me a touch because it gets fairly tedious after the first 4 minutes but then on the opening track is amazing. Howe is amazing on guitar where he plays many modal runs behind Andersons amazingly powerful vocals on this album. My favourite drummer next to John Bonham, Bill Bruford, is very good on every track. Here is a run down of every song on the non- updated cd with the unreleased tracks such as And You and I (alternate version) and America.

Close to the Edge: The title track starts off calmly and picks up throughout the intro. The song then slows down and Anderson begins the vocals. The song then progresses into a section with Anderson singing "I get up, I get down" which is extremely amazing and always gives me goosebumps. As cheesy as that sounds. But its true.

And You and I: This track starts off with Howe tuning his guitar with harmonics and the band later decided to keep that little section as part of the real song. It then moves into a very similar style song as Close to the Edge. Rick Wakemen really shines on this song and play some amazing keys throughout.

Siberian khatru: meh, an okay song that really cheers you up after the first two songs as they are not sad but not very happy as well.

Overall, this is my favourite album of all time and never get bored of it. It takes a few listens, as all prog music does, but it really pays off in the end. I personnaly bought the updated cd put out by Rhino records but i havn't really listened to the unreleased stuff. Take my word for it this is an amazing album.

Report this review (#76967)
Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Seen by many as the definitive progressive rock album, 'Close to the Edge' continues where Yes left off with 'Fragile.' The classical, symphonic influence is still very prominent, but mostly restrained to Rick Wakeman's legendary keyboard solos in the centre of songs.

The timeless popularity of this album, first released in 1972 and re-issued several times on CD, likely stems from its excellent and arguably perfect structure: the title song, lasting for an entire 20-minute side of the original LP, emphasises epic, bold progression, while the less intensive second half is balanced with the blissfully melodic 'And You And I' and the catchy rocker 'Siberian Khatru.'

Yes were at the peak of their creativity and career with 'Close to the Edge,' finding the middle ground between the band's desire to be proggily experimental and the record buyer's desire to hear some nice, ultra-modern music. 'Close to the Edge' is historically noteworthy for pushing forward the use of synthesisers and sound effects in popular music.

As usual, Jon Anderson's lyrics mean nothing whatsoever, but are infectiously pleasant in that androgynous seventies way. It's the sound of the words that matters, and the way they skilfully blend with the backing instruments in every instance. The line-up of Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, drummer Bill Bruford and keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman works brilliantly in crafting the three long songs on this album. Each instrument is integral to the songs at many points and all of them create perfect harmony, even when that harmony involves going completely against rational song structure.

1. Close to the Edge .a) Solid Time of Change .b) Total Mass Retain .c) I Get Up I Get Down .d) Seasons of Man 2. And You And I .a) Cord of Life .b) Eclipse .c) The Preacher, The Teacher .d) Apocalypse 3. Siberian Khatru

Sampled sounds of nature open 'Close to the Edge.' It's a bit of a clichéd 'dawn chorus' type introduction, but this is Yes after all. An oppressive bubble of indistinct noise slowly expands to drown out the chirruping, before bursting into the sound of Yes playing around on instruments and veering all over the place for two minutes of lovely zaniness. This section is interrupted several times by 'ahhhs' and 'bap-baps' from Anderson, until his heavenly voice provides the other musicians with divine insight and the song's leading, classic riff suddenly finds itself. Or something like that anyway.

This song is divided into four sections, each sounding very distinct, but the bridges between sections not always being quite so clear. The song begins a more familiar rhythm 4 minutes in, although Anderson's vocals refuse to be pinned down to a beat anywhere but the chorus. This section is very upbeat and enjoyable, even if the high voice of the chorus becomes a little irritating towards the end.

The third section is Wakeman's time to shine, his soft, ethereal keyboards gradually rising to an overpowering church organ display interspersed with more spacey vocals from Squire and Anderson. This is the part of the song that the drug fans enjoy. After a few minutes of this, the song becomes suddenly unsure of itself and the discordant return of the repressed riff leads us back into familiar ground to round the song off nicely. It's not perfect, but it's coherent and strong throughout, without once becoming dull or seeming overlong.

'And You And I' wisely refrains from trying to outdo the previous song, taking a relaxed acoustic attitude. Anderson's vocals are at their best in this easy-listening song, released (in an edited form) as a single, and despite becoming more complex as it goes along, it thankfully isn't particularly noticeable. A smooth, popular song in which even Wakeman holds back from his bombastic baroque, giving us a pleasant and much lighter solo instead.

The album rounds off in fun style with the excellent 'Siberian Khatru,' a live favourite that seems deceptively simple with its more straightforward (yet still incomprehensible) title and opening riff, but that soon becomes just as intensive and complicated as the previous songs. It does drag on towards the end, and while the verse sections are fantastic, the slower in-between parts are a little unnecessary. Howe's guitars are at their peak here, and remain very memorable.

Casual listeners may find Close to the Edge a little pompous and extravagant for their tastes, but for prog rock fans it's an essential album for just those reasons. The song balance is excellent, but I do find the album hindered by some unnecessarily off-putting touches (such as the pointless division of 'And You And I' into four fairly indistinct sections) and what always seems like a very short running time. The primary delight in this album is that it strives for excellence and really achieves that. The songs have dated somewhat, especially in their reliance on prog rock tropes, but this stands up far better than the band's other early releases.

Anderson's pleasant voice may be enough to attract wary newcomers, but every musician really pulls his weight on all of the songs here, creating a real depth and intricacy that's rarely heard. The oddly iconic album cover, a minimalistic background of green fading to black with hippy bubble writing title, allows each listener to make up their own mind on what the songs are actually about. Or to simply give up and enjoy the happy guitar parts. They're good.

For a more classically-tainted album, 'Fragile' is the other common favourite. But those put off by the song divisions and lengthy keyboard experiments should avoid the ego- overload 'Tales from Topographic Oceans' like the plague. Yes.

Report this review (#77346)
Posted Saturday, May 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Being a prog fan you cant help but here people rave about Close To The Edge as not just being one of the best albums but possibly the best album that has ever been produced. Sadly after listening to this album I'm afraid I cant share that view.

CTTE starts of with a pounding intro but I find it quickly settles down into a dull song that lacks some spark for me, this holds all the way until the final few minutes were it picks up to finish on high. Personally I think if this song was cut down to about 10 minutes it would be an amazing masterpiece but from the 4th to the 14th minute (roughly) this song is uninspiring.

And You And I has a lovely acoustic start to it that I find sets the tone for the rest of the song really well. Again though I just find this song a bit cold and lacking in the "spark" department. That is until you reach the last 3 minutes of this song witch is very nice and generates a bit more interest from me, sadly though more than half the song has already past and as before it could have done with being a bit shorter, but this song is generally very dull and is forgotten after only listening to the next song.

Siberian Khatru grabs you from the opening notes and never lets go, its fantastic, I love it and for me its the highlight of the album. Its an uptempo song that never fails to bring a smile to my face. Pefect atmosphere for the entire song and one of the best that Yes has ever created.

The only other gripes that I have with this album is that the sound of Chris Squire's bass is particularly annoying to my ears, more so on the title track than the rest of the album with the supprising exception of SK. I'm also no fan of Jon Andersons lyrics and find them annoying, but the same cant be said for the sound of his voice, hes definatly a good, solid singer if nothing special.

Of the four bonus tracks on the 2003 Rhino/Elektra remaster, America is the only song that holds any interest for me. Its an OK song considering that it was ment to be a single, it holds all you would expect from Yes. This is followed by the Total Mass Retain single, and this I dont like at all, I am very much against cut parts out of epics to use as singles as they lose context without the rest of the song. I have to admit I dont find to much different in the alternate version of And You And I, so you already know what I think of it. The same pretty much goes for the studio run-through of Siberia (would be renamed Siberian Kahtru on release) although it does sound like it has lost some of its energy compared to the official release.

Overall I think this is a dull album, nothing special, but with a few really good moments, some of witch can last for minutes, a bit dissapointing really. It just gives me the impression that their warming up to something and as a result this album leaves me cold, witch is very supprising considering the line up. The extra tracks I find very pointless and I personally end the album after Siberian Kahtru. I'll give it 2.5 stars, so round that up to 3 stars from me.

Report this review (#77865)
Posted Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a solid Yes album, but I have to say that it is definitely overrated. I love Siberian Khatru but Close to the Edge and And You And I don't do anything for me. This a good album, but definitely not worthy of being rated #1 on all of I would recommend Fragile over Close to the Edge to a prog fan trying to get into Yes.
Report this review (#78072)
Posted Saturday, May 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definitely a true masterpiece of progressive rock. Totally original and very creative. I'm so glad the fans here have rated this #1 for so long. Beautiful compositions and playing. The fans here have very good taste!

This is THE album, when i first heard it in '74, that introduced me to Bill Bruford and turned me onto off-beats and a rewarding listening experience of complex time signatures. I had no idea that any human was able to translate pure musical magic into a way that we could all enjoy. I owe this album to filling a musical void in me that the other early 70's classic rock bands could not fill (and also bands of today). This album led me onto my quest of digging for more prog music up to this day so many decades ago.

This is truly a masterpiece. In this fast pace world that we live in, where technology advances every 18 months, it's easy to miss the beauty while we pass by so fast but for those people willing to take the time to listen and absorb are the winners and get the reward of continued soul fulfillment, with every listen, that this music has to offer.

Report this review (#78080)
Posted Saturday, May 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the absolute peak of all progressive rock. 1972 was a great year in progressive music, "Close To The Edge" was a big help for that. Opens with the 18 minute title-epic. Masterpiece from start to finish, not much more to say that hasn't been said in earlier reviews. "And you and i", is a 10 minute epic, and it really feels like a looong road, even thought it's beautiful. "Siberian Khatu" closes the album, but in my opinion and surely many others, it would have been better as an opener. It has all the right ingredients to catch the listeners attention. 5/5
Report this review (#79104)
Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars WOW I CAN BELIEVE THIS ARE A HUMAN CREATION. This album had everithing in the music since i lisent the begining Iīl think i was in the lost paradise and all the album gets me crazy in the hard an perfect Close to the edge I feel like I was flyng withaout enithink only me and the wing in mi body i have only 13 years old when I listent that for first time, and believe me, now i have 15 years old and always i learn somethink diferent on this album. In the second song I listent the guitar and it was somethink sweet and beatiful but not whitaout technic. I almost remember in the 1997 when Yes come to Mexico mi mom take me to the concert and i dont realy can apreciate tht works and i get sleep in the concert. But now i buy the DVD of this concert it was Keys to Assencion, and i see wat a wanderful concert i see wen i have 5 years i go And now in Magnification Il feel sorry because wakeman are not there but same to relayer its a real god album of YES.I love this group and his lne-up the most part of the time are wanderful especialy in this album with Bill Bruford on percussion and Wakeman in the keyboards the music dont have eny limits, and especialy the prog music. I have a friend who plays the piano and she was a realy good pianist and love Wakeman for hes tecnic. And, as nietzche just to say, "Withaout the music the life are an error", the book of Siddartha was a realy masterwork of Hesse an this album are based on he. I think the Yes works can only be compared with the Beethoven works and Rachmaninov too, and in prog music only with Rush. Thank you for read this message, and sorry for my english i learn reding not in my school.
Report this review (#79134)
Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Out of all the classic rock and roll bands I've herd, out of all the most famous and decorated songs Close to the Edge has stood out way in front of the rest and it is not even that famous. The three songs on the album are amoung my favorite songs of all time, from the brillant and mystical And You and I and Close to the edge to Siberian Khatru, the whole album is a journey. There are some shallow points on the album, the most notacble is the lul in Siberian Khatru, but other than that there is no major probelm with the album. Rick Wakeman's organ solo is just so amazing and so heart felt. My favorite album and i highly reccomend it.
Report this review (#79166)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars fcoulter, April 16, summed up my feelings as well in a nutshell. Perhaps nothing is ever perfect, but this is the closest thing to perfection in prog (circa 1972!) that one can get. Whereas some have wondered about the musicality of the album, it is all there. Maybe synthesized birdsounds can get annoying, but it sure was novel for the day. Also, on the title track, Wakeman's Mander pipe organ solo is prophetic of the Swiss church organ playing yet to come on Going For the One (GFTO - 1977). 'And You and I' is not a boring song, and it is because of Bruford's inspired drumming (among other things), changing cadences with precision as one would adjust a metronome - truly amazing, and powerful. 'Khatru' captures the blues intensity of Howe's guitar playing, again a prelude to the blues inspirations that make 'Awaken' on GFTO my all-time favorite Yes song. Perhaps I err by not giving this album a perfect mark, but it registers 4.9 out of 5 for sure.
Report this review (#79174)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Does this album need another review to say how great it is?

Probably not. But "Close to the edge" is perhaps the greatest prog-rock jam fest in ever. "In the Court of the Crimson King" and "Echoes" are the only other songs that approach the greatness of the title track and still they are left in the dust. An essential album that you must have if you want a "prog-rock collection"

Besides the awesome title track the LP's other two songs "And You an I" and "Siberian Kathru" are also epics that are among the best ever

While the lyrics don't have the depths of many other great albums (Thick as a Brick, Tarkus, Dark Side of the Moon, etc), the vocals are excellent (yes, he does sound a bit like a woman, but does it really matter?

And the guitars and keyboards are amazing, despite the 18 minute title track, the incredible jamming makes the song an easy listen

Another reason for the essentialness (is that a word? it is now), is that Yes is one of the original Prog bands out there and there music inspired many bands to come (probably second to Pink Floyd as far as prog bands go)

For an over-analytical review, read one of the of the other four hundred reviews that tells how great this album is.

Report this review (#79220)
Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are many reasons why this album is considered the top prog album of all time on the prog archives top 100. The songwriting is taken to a point of near perfection. The musical virtuosity of the individual members of Yes are uncomparable, escpecially with Rick Wakeman and Chris Squire. The lyrics of the album, abstract as they may be, give each song an etherial quality that only prog should do.

But the real reason this album is usually number one is that it embodies what a prog album should be. It has all the elements that define progressive rock as a genre and places them into a brilliant 38-minute soundscape.

"Close to the Edge" is one of the most well-crafted epic tracks from Yes. It shifts moods from frantic to calm and back again seamlessly as Jon Anderson's voice takes you to places the human mind was never meant to go. "And You And I" is the best yessong I've ever heard. The sheer beauty of this song lifts my spirits no matter what mood I'm in. "Siberian Khatru" is a brilliant rocker, with wicked guitar licks and amazing bass.

Some people think this album is overrated. I see their point, but the fact remains that this is as close as we will ever come to seeing a "perfect" prog album.

Report this review (#79658)
Posted Sunday, May 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first four instrumental minutes of "Close To The Edge" are among the greatest achievements of the progressive rock genre. Mind you, the entire song itself is of historic importance for prog rock. It loses some steam at the "I get up, I get down" section, but not enough to diminish the song as a whole. You need this song in your collection.

"And You And I" is also essential for an historic progressive rock collection. The varying dynamics in the song, ranging from acoustic guitar to all out symphonic sections, are part of what makes progressive rock so interesting.

When I first started listening to this style of music, I didn't quiet get "Siberian Khatru", so I will assume that others just getting into progressive rock might not pick up on this song at first. After time however, it proves itself worthy to be on this album. The "Dood'ndoodit, dah, d't-d't-dah" vocals are perhaps a bit too dated sounding.

The album is a five star because it is "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music".

Report this review (#79868)
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is Close to the Edge. All the members are in their best, the vocal harmonies are excelent, more complexes than in Yes Album and Fragile, and the composition is the best there can be in prog. In the epic song, Yes managed to do perfect prog with weaker melodies, because the arrangements are so mind-blowing and complete that the melodies donīt matter at all(the vocal, because Howeīs melodies are very good). And you and I is in some ways the oposite: itīs not mind blowing, and the emphasis is in melodies. The part with "organ-backing vocals" is an absolute musical orgasmous. Siberian Kathru is closer to classic rockīnīroll, but with the complexity of Yes. I see it as a better version of Roundabout. Comploetely essential.
Report this review (#80088)
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars A masterpiece? I think not.

Before I begin, a note to fans new to Symphonic or prog in general: DO NOT BUY THIS ALBUM! New prog fans should get DSOTM by Pink Floyd instead, (see my review for the reasons why. If it is not up at the time you are reading this, I promise to finish it soon.) and new symphonic fans should get SEBTP by Genesis instead. In fact, i would recommend Relayer over this by far; it's not very symphonic, but it's a lot better than this. If CTTE had been my first prog album, I would never have gotten into prog. Also, I would like to point out to you that several albums in the Top 10 have a higher rating than this, but this is number one simply because it has more ratings than ANY other album on this website.

I know I am sort of adding to the problem by writing this long review, especially since my 2 stars can in no way affect its position since so many people have given it 5 stars, but I feel that what I am about to say should be said. I would give it one star, but I can not in do so in good conscience; there has to be something in this album that's worth inspiring such insane adulation even if I can't find it, and I do like parts of it. And I have listened to this album at least 12 times. I just don't like it. Maybe if I listened to it more I would like it more, but the pain of listening to it five more times is not worth the possible payoff of maybe liking it in the future.

And now, a personal story. Those who do not care can skip ahead, but I offer it as an explanation to the legions of Yes fans, whose fierceness rivals perhaps only that of Dream Theater's, as to perhaps why I do not like this album, and as a warning to others. At the time which I got this album, I had never heard a symphonic album; the main thing I had heard were Pink Floyd. I had also listened to Days of Future Passed from the library. My research of prog told me that Pink Floyd were different from the other "classic" prog bands, so I assumed that most of the other people regularly used an orchestra; even Floyd used an orchestra on Atom Heart Mother. So, knowing the definition of the word "symphonic" and not being exposed to much prog, I went into this expecting something similar to The Moodies (who I don't like, BTW) crossed with Pink Floyd; at the very least, something with STRINGS. This album has no orchestra, which I think the Symphonic page really needs to make more clear with a title as misleading as "symphonic." Just a warning. And it's the slightest bit possible that my dislike of this album stems from this surprise and disappointment, although I don't think so since I actually liked it on first listen.

Before I begin (I know that you're saying Who 4 paragraphs before beginning the review? I'm sorry; this review ran away from me with its length.), first I would like to give a word about the packaging: simply put, it's horrible. The stupid green box stands out when it is placed in a row of regular CDs; the CD itself is the super-lame standard Atlantic cover, showing the laziness or apathy of Yes and/or the marketing department; the cover is not very interesting, since gradients are boring; and the liner notes are nothing short of rage-inspiring. They breathlessly praise every second of the album as absolute, incredible, unbelievable, unparalleled genius. You know, Yes, other people put CRITICISMS in their album and let the music speak for itself, instead of trying to influence the listener's opinion with high praise. Many of the reviews in the King Crimson remasters say some negative things; the closest ELP comes to praising themselves in the Brain Salad Surgery booklet is calling Toccata "ferocious"; Pink Floyd don't even have liner notes in their albums.

CTTE--Ah, the title track of prog's most famous album. People praise this as a masterpiece, innovative, ahead of its time, the best song ever; the list goes on and on. Well you know what? It's not. This song is roughly nineteen minutes long, Yes' longest song at that time and has four parts. (three of which share the exact. same. theme.) Mind you, this was released after Pink Floyd's Echoes and Atom Heart Mother, Van der Graaf Generator's A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers, Caravan's Nine Feet Underground, Soft Machine's Moon in June, and Magma's Riah Sahiltaahk, to name the ones that I can find--and all of them are longer than CTTE. Now I am not saying that by 1972 epics were passe, but from the subsequent albums' formats it almost seems like that after Fragile Yes said, "Oh crap! We don't have any epics!" And then after CTTE they said, "We need to have more epics than anyone else so we can be more prog. I know, let's have a double album of epics! Then we can have more epics on one album than anyone else has in their entire career!" [obviously some other bands at that time had more epics, like Soft Machine, but they're so weird that they don't really count. ;-) ] And then after TFTO was a failure they retreated to one epic (ironically, their best one), and then once prog became out of style they said, "Oh no, prog isn't popular anymore! No more epics! We're pop now! Really!" with 90125. Obviously I exaggerate, but that is sort of the impression I get.

Now for the analysis of the actual song: the opening and closing 4 minutes are by far the best parts of the song. In fact, it kind of feels like a lot of the rest of the song (especially part 3) is there simply to extend the length of the song--so Yes can have an epic. The lyrics for this song, as with the whole album, absolutely infuriate me if I pay attention to them. However, I understand that Jon was stringing together sounds; but what I don't understand is why he has an ENTIRE SECTION (part 3) carried ENTIRELY by his voice and the lyrics. At least I can ignore the lyrics more or less for the rest of the album, but on part 3, almost everything drops out except for Jon singing the inane lyrics so seriously and Wakeman playing thirds on his keyboard. I'm not sure why, since other bands' nonsense lyrics don't bother me too much, but "I get up. I get down." on part 3 makes me want to smash and crush something. Maybe it's the voice. The lyrics, along with the packaging, are one some of the things that bring the score down to two stars.

By the way, the lyrics for this song are loosely based on Siddartha by Herman Hesse, but don't think the lyrics will make much more sense if you read the book; I did, and a few lines make a bit of sense; but the rest of it is still gibberish. You should still read Siddhartha because it is a good book. Moving on, like the rest of album, Wakeman's solos sound like he's fighting the rest of the band for dominance; as soon as everyone else relaxes for a minute, he's there with his solo, but then they have rested enough, it's over; and they push him back into the background. This is especially true on Siberian Khatru, where Howe actually cuts Wakeman off in what sounds like the middle of his harpsicord solo. Bruford's drumming is good, and it's unique that he hits the bass drum when Squire plays his slow bass notes, but I don't see why he's a legend; I've heard that his drumming with King Crimson is better, which may be it. I'm not saying he's a bad drummer, but don't expect any earth-shattering drumming on this album.

And You And I--My favorite song on the album. It features some nice guitar from Howe, and it's this song, along with the good parts of CTTE and Siberian Khatru that save this from a one star. The lyrics are slightly better on this one--at least I can tell that it's a love song--which is one of the reasons that I like this song more. And, more importantly, I think the music is much better than CTTE's.

Siberian Khatru--And then it goes downhill again. The intro to this song is good, but again Jon returns to the rage inspiring lyrics with the chorus, and again the music returns to the laziness of the title track. I counted; Wakeman plays that accursed keyboard riff over TWENTY TIMES! In a 9 minute song! It's not like it's that hard to play; if somebody showed me it, I could play it, and I've only played piano for less than a year. Now it would take a lot more practice for me to play it than for Wakeman, and I could never write it, but my point is that there's no reason for him to be repeating it that much, since it's not earth-shatteringly good and it's not nearly impossible to play, which would show off Wakeman's technical abilities. (I hate it when prog does things to show off, but that is for another time.) People say the end solo is great, but I think it is way too long and meanding, and seems to only be there to add length to an album which is already rather short. But maybe I only think that because I can't appreciate Howe's guitar properly because I am too busy internally screaming at Wakeman for playing that infernal riff AGAIN.

While on the subject of Wakeman, I would like to give my thoughts: he's really not that good, and I'm not sure why he's so famous. His damn cape is one of the reasons prog is ridiculed, and his compositions lack depth, even though he is technically quite good and he has a formidible working knowledge of synthesizers. I think many concert pianists (and perhaps even famous Jazz pianists) could outplay him, but Wakeman gets points for playing something he wrote, unlike the concert pianists. I think that the Google video which comes up when you search for Rick Wakeman (which I cannot link to here because the script does not like the link) explains what I dislike about Wakeman. On first listen, that solo is quite impressive, and he deserves credit for being able to play that fast. However, if you listen again, you'll notice that for a good portion of it that he is essentially playing the same thing over and over again. And then, instead of developing the calliope lead and piano ideas, he ends his solo with a completely out of place honky-tonk piano number. What!? Just a minute ago you were playing that flute thing, which has nothing at all to do with honky-tonk piano.

This concludes my review, which is, as far as I know, the only articulate negative review of this album on PA; but I'm not glancing through all of these reviews to make sure.

Now don't let my lone voice in the wilderness dissuade you from getting this, although I don't think there's anything I could say that would change someone's mind about buying this since it is so highly rated; almost everyone else seems to simply adore it, and you might too. But please, if you don't like it, don't let it scare you away from prog or the symphonic sub-genre.

Report this review (#81251)
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars An overrated album. Ok, there are really nice parts in the middle section of the first track and in the second, and also the guitar riff of "Siberian Khatru" is excellent. But it sounds like a weaker work than 'relayer' actually. "Relayer" is surely the best album I've ever heard, and the reason why I decided to know more about progressive music. So I'll give 2,5 stars to this record, even if it's more than quite good.
Report this review (#81720)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
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!!

Report this review (#83861)
Posted Sunday, July 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the album we point to as our milestone of excellence. This is our Beethoven's 5th. Is it the greatest progressive album of all time? Doubtful at best. The title track is a milestone itself, but there is better, more interesting and captivating music out there. However, given it's scope, it will be the greatest prog album for a long time.

Sounds found here are always imitated, but never will have the holding power that we find on this album. The soundscapes we find here are signs of genius, and for the time being, your world belongs to Yes. The downfall of this album is Siberian Khatru, which I find to be extremely boring and uninteresting, other than that it certainly is the highlight of Yes's career.

A wonderful blend of melody, intrigue, and emotion. Close to the Edge is an album that everyone should have, albeit, most already have it.

Report this review (#84025)
Posted Monday, July 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have mixed feelings about Close to the Edge. Certainly, it is one of the most important prog albums ever. But it has its flaws-especially side 2. The title track is definitely a masterpiece, aside from the kind of annoying "I get up, I get down" lyric. The two songs on the other side would be 3 stars on their own merit.

The Good: Great musicianship. Especially by Chris Squire.

The Bad: The second side is merely good, not great.

The Ugly: I have learned to tolerate, even like Anderson's voice, but not when he sings the "I get up, I get down" line.

So NEARLY an essential album, but I would put it in my top 50 favorite prog albums, not in my top 10. "Fragile" was a more complete album.

Report this review (#84555)
Posted Saturday, July 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is by far YES's greatest effort. If offers awesome musicianship, and superb arrangements.

"Close to the Edge" ifs my favorite YES song. Most people love the beginig section, but hate the "I get up, I get down" line. I seem to think it is a rather beautiful interlude. This song is a masterpiece, no doubt.

"And You And I" Is the weakest song on the album, but it is also one of YES's best. ALthough it is not has fast paced as "Close to the Edge" or even "Siberain Khatru," "And You And I" is a beautiful song nonetheless, and alone is worthy of a 5 star rating. Jon Anderson's vocals are lovely, and the guitar work is stunning.

"Siberian Khatru" is a great rocker with a catchy riff. It took me several spins to fully appreciate this masterpiece, but I have found it to be an awesome track. The lyrics leave me puzzled, but that is OK, since I would concider Jon Anderson's voice as another instrument.

In all, this album has everything any prog fan would ever want.

Report this review (#84573)
Posted Saturday, July 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yeah, this album is great, but I think is one of the most overrated as well.

Close To The Edge (the song) is a great epic, but is not THE epic, I mean it has some brilliant moments but it gets boring somewhere in the middle, anyway it's a classic. 4 stars And You And I is a good song, but nothing memorable in my opinion. 3 stars Siberian Kathru has one of the best beginnings I heard and is very enjoyable and well constructed, my fav track. 5 stars

Honestly I just don't see this as the best prog album, bout I can't deny its quality.

Report this review (#84655)
Posted Monday, July 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars My friend burned this for me ,and for a very long time I was quite skeptical of this album, any Yes album for that matter, radio favorites such as "I've Seen All Good People", "Heart of Sunrise", and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" have all drilled an unfixable hole in to my head, and I just wasn't willing to take the chance of dying from Andersons annoyingly high pitched vocals. So one day, I was just chilling out listening to Wishbone Ash's self titled on Itunes while reading a book, when suddenly I noticed the sound of birds chirping so I look over to my window to see if it's open, but I was locked tight, but before I could even sit back down I noticed the obvious sound of synths, so I sit down and just kind of relax, I figured the computer is 15 feet away and I'll see what this is when it's done, right away it explodes into one of the most insanely amazing things I've ever heard, almost random feeling vocal pauses, insane guitar leads, and then the insane music all evaporated into a beautiful melody. The verse was one of my favorite parts, very nice lyrics and fun chord progression, unbelievably catchy chorus, but in a not annoying way, and the beautifully emotional "I get up, I get down" toward the end of the song, As I listened to every part I just became more impressed and excited on what would happen next.

"And You and I"" is the soft track on the album, deep meaning, nice 12 string progression some nice leads by Wakemen, and a very beautiful chorus and after chorus, I feel like crying every time I hear it, I'm not sure why....

Ahhh good ole "Siberian Khatru" Very awesome intro that goes into some really nice chord changes, I cant really tell if its a string section or synth, but anyway. Great main riff/verse, and great chorus, this album just has alot of catchy nice choruses...but the best thing about this song is the solo section, nice sitar solo by Howe that helps it live up to its name, rocking' guitar solo by Howe as well, but the thing that really makes this song shine is it's...AMAZING! harpsichord solo by Wakemen, I thought this was the coolest thing for like 8 months.

That's pretty much all I have to say about this album, I was shying toward 4 stars, but I'm giving it 5 because there isn't anything I really dislike about the album.

Report this review (#84851)
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Let me just say this before I make any assessment of this album, essentially every opinion on this album has been stated. And if that weren't enough, I was actually strongly urged not to review this album. Still, though, what's one more opinion going to do? Anyway, Yes's 1972 opus is often considered to be the masterpiece of progressive rock. Throughout the three pieces on this album, the listener is taken on a journey through many emotions and atmospheres, and the musicianship is nothing short of great. Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford released their masterpiece in Fragile, and Close to the Edge, while being a very good album, isn't the masterpiece that everyone says it is.

The album opens with the side long epic Close to the Edge. Atmospheric noises break out into an all out jam with ascending bass lines, guitar noodling, and majestic keyboards. Interesting 6/4 vocal sections break out into a dynamic chorus. An interesting organ/synthesizer bridge with some disjointed multi harmonic vocals break way into the main theme of "I Get Up I Get Down". Rick Wakeman's organ solo towards the end is multi-faceted and dynamic building up the tension perfectly. I must also give mention to Chris Squire, whose technical and stabbing bass lines offer a perfect counterpoint to the soothing vocals. In the end, the song is the perfect balance of heavy and soft and really is a terrific piece overall.

And You and I opens up the second side with 12 string guitar harmonics and an interesting guitar motif. The acoustic guitar work on this track is impeccable with a great overall chord progression and some intuitive drumming from Bruford. Although I really like the track overall, it does seem to drag on a bit during the majestic section with the soaring slide guitar and the majestic mellotron. Siberian Khatru ends the album with an intuitive guitar riff from Steve Howe (written by Bill Bruford actually), and some more soaring synthesizers from Wakeman. This song, like And You and I, also somewhat suffers from a bit of mindless noodling and filler towards the end. Still, though, it ends the album nicely.

In the end, Close to the Edge is not in my opinion the true Yes masterpiece. Sure it has some superb moments and is a very good album, but I don't think it deserves the praise it always gets. In my opinion Fragile was the Yes masterpiece and there's no album that this group made that can really top that album. Close to the Edge, though, remains a stellar album and is highly recommended from me. 4/5.

Report this review (#84852)
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the album that made me start listening to prog rock. There are plenty of reviews (in fact, this is the 500th) to which I can't add anything more than the score. This is one of the greatest (if not simply the greatest) albums of all time. Perfect and beautiful in every note.
Report this review (#84861)
Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm sure that almost all of you think that this is a wonderful album for good reasons, but I simply cannot see what they are. Yes is often touted as being a very talented group of guys who made some very complex music that was at the top of the genre. However, I have to disagree. The songs on this album are polyphonic in the same sense that keeping an elephant and a tiger in cages at your house makes you a zookeeper. Yes...some of the elements are there, there are a lot of things going on at one time, but to me, they seem to have very little to do with each other. I have never been able to understand what people like about Anderson's voice, I think he sounds like a low-rent Geddy Lee. The only person on this album who is really performing well would be Squire, and even then, there are better bassists out there. I, speaking as a composer, do not get a single thing out of the music on this album. There is absolutely no form and no continuity between lines. I understand that some people like other parts going on that have nothing to do with the melodic line, and I sometimes think it's fun, but these songs simply do nothing for me. Now, if they were to trim out some of the extraneous parts and maybe give some of the instruments parts that actually have something to do with anything, this could be a fairly solid album (like The Yes Album). However, it really seems like some of the guys in the band, especially Howe, were feeling extremely confident when they wrote these tracks and wanted as many places to show off as possible. The guitar rarely does anything that contributes to the song at best, and at worsts draws my ear away from some of the tolerable melodic lines. And speaking of melody, Yes could use a few lessons from some more mature bands as to how to write a recognizable one. As for the songs...

Close to the Edge - this track is nonsense until the last couple of minutes, which I quite liked. There is hardly a recognizable melody, and all of the ... envy going on really detracts from the song and distracts the ear (by which I mean that every member of the band seems to always want to be the most important part).

And You and I - This track is a little more in their vein. I like the acoustic sound, and Anderson sounds less like a whiney little girl than usual. The melody is considerably better as well. The song is kind of static though.

Siberian Khatru - Why couldn't Howe play more like this all the time? This track is a far better example of polyphony. Until the keyboards (Wakefield never really gets into everyone else's groove for this entire album) come in, this sounds like it might be a fairly good track. Even with that, though, when the vocals come in, the track comes together quite nicely. I like the two-part voice bit a lot, and this track stays fairly well in line. One thing I prefer about this song over the others previous is that it is an actual 9 minute song, rather than a sad attempt at a suite. Yes isn't capable of more than two "sounds", and sadly it's that one has vocals and the other doesn't. This does not lend itself to a suite. This is really, I think, the best-composed track on the album and is the one I would most prefer to hear.

America - Very nice track, short and sweet.

As others have said, the last two tracks ALMOST redeem the album, but then you realize that the entire album really sounds the same, but some parts are more non- sensical than others. I quite liked The Yes Album, because they managed to make their "sound" seem polished and professional. This album really sounds like a bunch of testosterone-laden teenagers who can play their instruments fairly well. The big tracks on this album really are not put together very well, and they are cacophanous. This is not to say that I like soft mood music, I like music that rocks as much as the next metalhead, but this is not the good kind of craziness. I have tried to get into this album many, many times over a period of two years, and every time I listen to it (I've listened to it through a good twenty times), I can only find more things about it that I don't like. I have really never been much of a Yes fan, but I have tried to give this one a fair go and see if I could find what everyone likes so much about it. Sadly, I can't. I feel that I'm missing out on something big, so as much as it pains me to go against what so many other people have said, I really have to give this one a two-star rating. I think that if I had to pick out the things that I really dislike about Yes, it would be that their sound, and songs, are very static. They rarely feel like they have gone anywhere when the song is over. There are very few places in any song on this album that sound even moderately different from any other (in my opinion, of course). Additionally, I have never thought that the band members were very talented, and I don't think they even play together well. I feel that there are a lot of better albums out there, even in Yes's discography.

Report this review (#85091)
Posted Saturday, July 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Words simply cannot describe the wonder that is `Close to the Edge' (1972). Yes--at this point consisting of vocalist Jon Anderson, drummer Bill Bruford, guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman--were trying desperately to top their breakthrough release `Fragile,' also from 1972. The result was a bastion of musical synergy that had not been topped before then and would not be topped afterward by anyone, even Yes themselves (in any permutation of their lineup, which shifted several times after this album).

On this album, the band functions more as a unit than in any previous release. Gone are the individual showcase works, the indulgent solos, and the restraints inflicted upon the band by record producers. Now insanely popular and possessed of two very solid releases, Yes decided to shelve the mantle of popular expectation (something to which they never really adhered in the first place) and simply make music for music's sake. Instead of truncating their powers of musical expression into cookie-cutter formats (again, something which would not have applied to any other band, had they produced work on the magnitude of that of Yes), the band took their time on this album to say everything they needed to say, whether or not the music ever made it onto the radio.

It didn't, but that doesn't matter. Die-hard Yes fans, and just fans of profound music in general, fell for this album hook, line, and sinker. There is something genuine about this music that captivates; the length of the title track, for example, is not forced but necessary. The lyrics are presented more as an instrument in themselves than as the main vehicle of expression; the actual instrumentation serves as much or more to the effect of broadcasting just what the band were trying to say.

I could write a novel about this album, but now I will attempt to describe, in detail, each of the tracks on the original album. Significant of the time, there were only three.

1. "Close To The Edge" - Words fail me when trying to explain the appeal of this absolute masterpiece among masterpieces. I must warn prospective listeners that this track might not seem very appealing the first time you try it. Make sure you listen to it free of interruptions and distractions the first few times. By the third time, I assure you, something will click, and you will finally "get" it. Oh, I envy those who embark upon this journey on that magical time when it finally opens itself to them. Even the most complex minds will find this work fully encompassing, and it requires every last one among the brain's slew of resources to totally appreciate this music. This, I believe, is what contributes the sense of nirvana that listeners of this piece of music all report.

The beginning is unassuming enough, a crecendo of sounds from nature, accompanied by a celestial, LFO-derived synthesizer pad. Then comes what might be the most intense entrance in all recorded music, an almost cacophonic wash of sound that seems not to be held together by anything, yet boasts an underlying structure that keeps it from falling apart. Several heavenly vocal breaks stab into this entrance, and then a longer, sustained vocal chord signals the transition to the next movement. A guitar figure--a motif that appears time and again throughout the work--plays triumphantly above a complicated bed of instrumentation. After this figure takes its time asserting itself, a truly irresistible rhythmic figure takes over. This serves almost as an obbligato throughout the piece. Then Jon starts singing. Oh, what singing it is! It has been compared to rap, though I think it is far too high-brow (and, let's be honest--civilized) for that comparison. Plus, there is an actual tone to the words, even if their meaning is totally incomprehensible. Oh, and every second word isn't an expletive (can you tell I disapprove of rap?). Don't waste your time trying to figure out what they mean, and don't read the lyrics when you first listen to the music. This will only distract you; you don't need to know a single word from the song to reach the aural bliss so many have affected from this work.

After this movement is explored to completion, a softer, pensive movement begins after an effective segue. This is the infamous "I get up I get down" part of the piece, the instrumentation of which makes the listener feel as though he or she is immersed in the depths of a clear, calm sea. As this section reaches its double climax, Rick blasts into action on a tremendous church organ (set to full plenum), then employs a trick he used on his first solo album, `The Six Wives Of Henry VIII': He doubles the organ bass-- a little thin-sounding in the recording--with the deep growl of one of his Minimoogs. But even before the full impact of this effect is felt, several metallic blasts ensue and the piece propels itself into the next and final movement.

This movement serves as a sort of recap of the others musically, though its beginning is dominated by Rick Wakeman's finest recorded solo. As a keyboardist myself, I realize just how difficult this was to play. Wakeman is without a doubt the best keyboardist in the history of the craft. The climax of this final movement is the most monumental and uplifting in all of music, and its anticlimax/falling action reflects the sounds of nature that begin the piece. Wow! Is everybody still with me? The ride's not over yet...

2. "And You And I" - If "Close to the Edge" was Yes's most complicated epic masterpiece, then "And You And I" was certainly the band's most beautiful work. Written by Jon to his wife, this may well be the most esoteric and gorgeous love song ever penned. Clocking in at just over ten minutes in length, and coming in four parts, the climax will inspire chills. Beginning with the soft sounds of Steve tuning his twelve-string guitar, the piece meanders through myriad musical marvels before ending on a quiet note. I'm a little winded after describing the title track, so you're on your own to fill in the considerable gaps in this description.

3. "Siberian Kahtru" - The words are nonsense. Understand this before you go any further. This song is a straight-up rocker, in that weird brand of rock trademark to Yes. The beginning riff is irresistible, and its permutations throughout the work are never boring. The middle solo section employs some unconventional instrumentation, including a sitar and a harpsichord (played brilliantly by Wakeman). The ending is dominated by an almost jazz-scat type vocal run, then comes a fade-out of instrumentation. All in all, this is an awesome song, fully on par with the other two on this album.

The production quality, as with all Yes albums including and after 'The Yes Album,' is sterling. Eddie Offord was an absolute wizard on the soundboard, and it is largely his efforts that sculpted the highly precise sound we associate with the band Yes. There is slightly more noise in the background of this album (particularly noticable in the quiet passages of "And You And I") than on the previous two releases, though it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the album. The 2003 Rhino/Bill Inglot remaster of this album has what concensus deems the best sound quality, though the 1994 Atlantic/Joe Gastwirt release has its proponents as well. This is a matter of personal taste, though it is exceedingly hard to find the now out-of-print Atlantic release.

All in all, this is a must-have staple of progressive rock. This album is legendary, and when you hear it to completion, you will know why. I agree with the guidelines of this reviewing forum in that extremely high and extremely low ratings should be used sparingly, but I just can't help but give this album five stars. I consider it the pinnacle of symphonic progressive rock, of the entire genre of progressive rock, and of music in general.

Report this review (#87267)
Posted Monday, August 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars I think any album in the first 10 places of prog is overrated. It is just too much weight over an album's shoulders. Still, even if a logical list of best prog albums was possible, and this album was in first place anyway, I would have to say this is the most overrated album ever.

Most "Close to the edge" die hard fans think Close to the edge is a great composition because it is a true side-long-song. But I wonder, is it a true side-long-song because it is composed of a single melody with a middle section?. That reminds me of any pop song. In that way, you could actually take "Tarzan boy" by Baltimora and make it an epic. That wouldn't make it any less poppy and repetitive. This Close to the edge song is indeed a true song, as opposed to Supper's ready, Thick as a brick, Tarkus and many others. However, in order to pull it out as a single song, they had to sacrifice variety, diversity and creativity. Yes !!...creativity, you read right...Or would you say there is less creativity in Supper's ready during the same minutes Close to the edge sings "I get up I get down" for the 15th time?.

It starts very entertaining after that unnecesary 3 minutes intro of cacophony and ultra repetitive playing. The bass and general feeling sounds rather strong and polished, it keeps you alert for at least the first 6 minutes or so, until the absurd and musicless middle section of poppy chorus and ultra repetitive lirics. By the way, the main theme is repetitive as hell too with the "Close to the edge down by the corner, close to the edge down by the river..." repeated over and over just like any pop song (making it so ironic since this is supposed to be the Proggiest song by the proggiest band). Now, you would expect that after the main theme and a musicless and poppy middle part, you would get a different theme or at least another mood, but no, you get almost the same main theme played almost as copy paste. So, yes, this is a true side- long-song, but my question is: Shouldn't the best prog song have way more diversity, changes of moods and atmospheres?. Shouldn't it not repeate a single chorus throughout?. ...And I think of Thick as a brick, Tarkus and Supper's, and I can't remember a single word repeated twice.

Something I find rather disapointing about this song, is that in order to appreciate it, I need to pay full attention on the playing and on specific instruments, being that the main point of interest. Not the structure of the song or the style or the energy or sutile elements you discover after several listens. With this song whatever I had to listen to, I already listened to from the very first time, and that's the chorus being repeated over and over. Just like a pop song, once you can sing along, there;s not much more to discover. For that reason, I've discovered a more precise genre for this album: "Prog- pop"....And who knows?, probably back in 1972 that was exactly what they were trying to do. After all, back in that time there was not such thing as "Progressive rock" as we now very well have it defined. Actually, they had tried very hard to get that effect with the ultra poppy-proggy number "Roundabout".

Now, I can listen to Close to the edge from begining to end with a smile on my face, however, I never get to feel that particular excitement that almost makes you cry. And I don't understand why they couldn't do it anymore. In their first albums their music was full of true feeling and passion. I think of "Astrall traveller", an overlooked song much better than anything in "The yes album", "Fragile", ...actually better than anything afterwards. Not for it's musicianship or anything, but for it's sincere and true passion, where feelings were delivered with conviction. I just don't listen to that in any of these 3 songs where every moment and feeling seems to be intentional and synthetic.

"And you and I" ..well, I could easily say this is a simplistic, poppy, repetitive and overlong tune with a single musical idea that could not stand a chance against any 3 minute song in "YES" (their first album). However, when an album is so highly regarded (and so overrated), you have to try a little harder to talk deeper about it. ....Oh man!!, this is hard, what can I say about a song of which I can only remember a poppy churus and a nice intro with some sincere feeling in it. But you know?, when a song is really a masterpiece you don't need to go that far and talk about tiny moments within 10 overlong minutes. Was this a 6 minutes song with the same number of ideas, it would be a great song, worthy of being part of "Time and a word" or "YES". This song shows everything it had to offer before minute 4, the rest is pure filler and copy-paste.

Siberian katru is probably the best song in the album. And I say it with some caution. In a way, it seems like they put more ideas and true feelings in it. They feel more open. I don't know how to put it. However, it is, as well as the other two, a little or very repetitive. I like the middle instrumental part, very inspiring and full of energy, though. But again, if you pay close attention you'll get to listen the same passages over and over...just like the "prog-pop" genre demands.

After all this, I should not give this album more than 2 stars. However, at this time in the very early morning I am too soft and I will grant it a full 2.7 close to the edge of 3 stars.

Report this review (#87645)
Posted Saturday, August 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, it's hard to add something new about this album, it's an all time classic and there's no doubt it will still be blessed in a century. I would not say that it's the best prog album ever made cos it's a very subjective opinion but we can surely declare that it's one of the albums which had created a lot of emulation around prog music and inspired hundreds of bands around the world, prog or not.

Listening to Close To The Edge is not easy, it takes time to find the beauty of every piece that composes this work. But at the first listening, you immediately know that there's something more than usually, and you want to understand why, so you listen to it, over and over again. That's only after several times that the real magic is operating.

What had fascinated so much people in this album? Complexity of musical structure? technical achievement? amazing melodies? Those are potential explainations.

But maybe there is no real explanation but a moment of grace, perfect synergy, a lapse of time when music is more than music, close to the edge of mystery.

Report this review (#87770)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
5 stars There’s no question Close to the Edge is an essential album for any progressive music fan, and probably any fan of modern music to own. Not only does the album help to explain how the band progressed from something as innocuous as “The Clap” to as daunting and inaccessible a work as “Gates of Delirium”, but probably helped to stoke the fires of creative thought for a generation or more of musical students, avant-garde artists, and even progressive fusion musicians that would later bring us even more eclectic sounds. Not to mention pretty much every pothead in the 70s had all manner of deep inspiration while contemplating this music.

But that said, I think sometimes the reputation of the album itself sometimes overshadows the music on it. While the title track is one of the earliest and most imposing progressive epics, it isn’t particularly accessible, and as such isn’t the kind of music most average listeners are going to keep in heavy rotation on their iPod or CD player. Aside from the rather banal opening and the sometimes unfocused second movement, the music is quite engaging. The interminable opening may be artistically clever in setting up the musical progressions of the song, but frankly it gets a bit boring after all these years of hearing it. On the positive side Anderson’s vocals border on auditory bating at times, and every time I hear this song I find myself waiting impatiently for those few incredible high notes (“I get uuuuuuup!”) in willing anticipation. And Wakeman’s keyboard work almost defies laws of physics in its speed and range, especially in the final movement before it descends back to the bird chirping and rather anticlimactic close. The organ notes are especially engaging and frame the real grandeur of the final climax, which cleverly comes before the end of the song. An awesome piece of music, if you have the time and the inclination to give it the attention it requires to fully appreciate it, but for me at least this is for neither casual nor frequent listening.

“And You and I” on the other hand requires much less of the listener as it casually builds from Howe’s acoustic fingering into a surprisingly melodic tune that is much close to the sound of the band’s second album. Even though this was nowhere near the hit in the States that it was in Britain back then, I think most moderately serious American music fans will recognize this song on the first opening notes. There was a shorter radio version that played back in the mid 70s that out two roughly three minute sections around the end of the first movement and the beginning of the third as I recall, leaving mostly Howe’s acoustic passages and Anderson’s vocals. This was a pretty bastardized version of the original, but at least it had its intended effect of introducing many AOR fans to the music of Yes, so it was not all bad I suppose.

“Siberian Khatru” is a much heavier, almost funky tune that I didn’t even realize was Yes until years after the album released (I didn’t own it back then, not picking it up until college in the 80s). Anderson’s vocals here almost approach normal hearing range for the most part, and I actually think his voice here sounds more like some of his later work in the 80s, both with Yes and solo. This would not have sounded out-of-place on the Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe album, I think.

I’ve been playing this album for weeks now trying to think what I wanted to say about it. There’s not much point in trying to lay out any kind of detailed analysis since there are so many more component reviews already archived for posterity. But I’m working my way through the Yes catalog these days, and it was time to pause and reflect on this one.

Like I said at the beginning, this is without a doubt an essential piece of progressive music, although it is without a doubt unlike anything else I have previously rated among my favorite albums. I think that’s because Yes in general, and Close to the Edge in particular, demand a great deal of participation on the part of the listener in order to get the most out of the music. On those rare occasions when I have the time and energy to devote to this album, I definitely get out of it as much as I am willing to put into it. You really can’t ask more than that. Five stars.


Report this review (#87774)
Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The name "Close to the Edge" carries more significance that would first appear to most people. Perhaps it implies that Yes, who had recently had overwhelming success with 'Fragile' (# 7 UK, #4 US) and 'The Yes album' (UK# 7, #40 US) were suspended on the edge, hanging by a thread. So really when you think about there was a lot resting on the success of the Yes's next album, they were on the edge of fame or obscurity. Luckily for them and us the band were able to create something so amazing, so good, that it continues to enthral people almost forty years after it's initial release. Being very honest "Close to the Edge" is my favourite album, ever, and I believe that it is one of the very few albums that will survive and still be respected and popular in another forty years.

Never before has any piece of music so captured me as this here, for some reason it has had a profound impact not only on the music I listen to, but I daresay my entire life. "Close to the Edge" is on of those life changing albums. Such albums are literally one in a million but when they are found they mean everything to you. Some of this may seem stupid to however is reading this but think of your favourite album, and if you're serious about it has it not altered you life in any way. Everyone potentially can have album that will change their life, it's just a matter of finding it.

"Close to the Edge" is Yes's most experimental album and it, along with counterparts from Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Genesis broke the barriers of conventional rock. The result of this experimentation is some of the greatest music ever written. Think about it, what makes these epics "Close to the Edge", 'Tarkus' and 'Suppers Ready' so amazing? They are basically the first albums to harness the idea of a rock symphony, with varying instruments, methods and ideas. So, why do you think that most modern epics written by bands don't contain the same brilliance? Well, for one it has been done before and therefore are not original, and most importantly in most cases they lack the spark of being something new, unexplored. Man has always wanted to expand his horizons, go unseen places; this new style of music is just another form of exploration. And yes I know that "Close to the Edge" wasn't the first album to do this.

Let's start from the cover. When going through the CD's in my collection The "Close to the Edge" album cover always stands out, all Yes albums do. The spacey, cosmic feel, helped along by the transition from black to green makes the album seen, unknown. The feeling of mystical deepness is easier to feel in the LP version or the remaster special edition version. From the very start you are confronted by strange, but oddly familiar sounds. Take the birds in the into for example whose singing gradually build up until everything falls over the edge and a very Mahavishnu orchestra sounding section ensues. After this opening section there is a different feel, one of quite happiness in space, if that makes scene. It is basically a guitar solo by Steve Howe with minimal backing which is not immediately noticeable but does grate things for the mood of the section.

The next section begins which is called "Total Mass Retained" and it is an almost monotonous chorus sung by Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Steve Howe. There are short guitar licks here and there which add some interesting elements to the section. The Next section, titled "Get up I get down" is where the song starts transforming from masterpiece to something greater. It starts of quietly with floating synthesizers and twinkling sitar. There is the drip of water in the background as the sitar and synthesizers build up the mood and bring the section to the crescendo. At the climax of this section there is an absolutely amazing organ solo from Rick Wakeman which showcases his skill. There is a short lull in which Jon Anderson sing for a while and then the real climax takes place which is overridden by the guitar synthesizer. Following this begins the last and greatest piece of music I've ever witnessed. It starts off with a lavish fusion of everything the band could muster and then the rest as they say is history, amazing stuff at the end of the song. The song closes with the birds singing in a decrescendo.

Following "Close to the Edge" is another song, possibly my second favourite song behind the song mentioned above. And You and I passes through several different stages one may be an acoustic section, then a more textured progressive section then something else. The song starts off with Steve Howe playing harmonics on a 12-string acoustic guitar, I don't think the band intended this to be included in the song but they decided to add it because it makes the intro seem warmer and friendlier. After the harmonics in comes the opening melody played again of an acoustic guitar. This melody sounds disjointed, but not in a random way and after a while you are able to foresee where the pauses are.

Then comes the first section names "Chord of Life" which, at first consists of the 12- string acoustic guitar playing some very nice chords. There is a mini-moog solo a small way into this section which suites the music remarkably well and gives it an otherworldly feel. The very mystical and ambitious vocals then come in which then lead into the next section called eclipse. The title is very fitting for the mood as the song changes pace and the acoustic guitar is replace with a pedal steel and Rick Wakeman provides much of the feel with atmospheric backing synthesizers. You can almost imagine the eclipse taking place, as the music changes, and more mystical vocals lavish the mood of the section you get lost in the content. There is a drop and the next section begins which is called "The Preacher The Teacher." The opening melody is repeated and another breathtaking section of music begins, the major highlight is a mini-moog solo from Wakeman and driving bass and guitar to complement. There is a very short section at the end called "Apocalypse" in which the song is ended on a satisfying note. (side note: I may have the sections mixed up.)

Last of all is "Siberian Khatru" which is slightly different compared to the rest of album as it is upbeat the whole way through. The opening section is the whole band for once as they punch out a dignified tune. There are several guitar and synthesizers solos, the best being a harpsichord solo from Wakeman. Towards the five minute mark the song starts to change slightly and a silent intensity begins to build which is dispersed at the end of the song. The closing guitar solo leaves you shaking after the last forty or so minutes of music.

If you can't tell "Close to the Edge" is basically flawless in my opinion, with only three songs its hard to get anything wrong. I know many people will disagree with this but "Close to the Edge" is the single best album ever. There is magic to this album which doesn't effect everyone, but it did catch me. The remaster of "Close to the Edge" comes with four bonus tracks which range from single edits to studio run-throughs and alternate version of songs. The sound quality of the "Close to the Edge" remaster is superb and everything has amazing clarity. "Close to the Edge" is probably the most successful Yes album overall reaching the highest rank ever in the US by a Yes album, number 3. It also reached number 4 in The UK, but that's to be expected, ha ha ha.

1.Close to the Edge (5/5) 2.And You And I (5/5) 3.Siberian Khatru (5/5) Total = 15 divided by 3 (number of songs) = 5 = 5 stars Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music

When I mean everyone must have "Close to the Edge", I mean everyone. Even if it may not dazzle you or change your life, it's still worth having since it is the best album according to the top 100 list here. So I'll leave you will this message: You must have this album.

Report this review (#88164)
Posted Friday, August 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Due to a countless spining over passed 33 years, A side of my (first pressing) record of 'Close To The Edge' album has been so damaged by stylus that I had to buy a new one, of course in a near mint condition, to be able to listen to it and enjoy for another 30 years. The B side was also ruined but in the less measure, which means that to me it is not so powerful as the title track side. I even do not count Yes to my favourite bands, but this release is their starry moment and definitely deserves highest rating.
Report this review (#88425)
Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definately one of the best albums in prog history.

CLOSE TO THE EDGE contains three songs, "Close To The Edge", "And You And I" and "Siberian Khatru". Each song is outstanding, on a technically infrequent reached level, with excellent chant and a lot of alternation. To cut a long story short: It is a masterpiece.

"Chaotic perfection" (somebody said it in the forum and I think this appellation fits very well), incredible complexity and very bombastic parts which you can find in the song "Close To The Edge", beautiful, classical and also a very little bit more catchy melodies as they exist in "And You And I" and rocky and blitheful parts as they are abounded in the song "Siberian Khatru", this all amounts CLOSE TO THE EDGE.

This album is the best album YES ever produced. It was the last album with drummer BILL BRUFORD (or by all means the last album he played in each song) who left the band after CLOSE TO THE EDGE to join KING CRIMSON.

CLOSE TO THE EDGE is a masterpiece, there exist only a few other albums that reach the same level as this awesome CD.

Report this review (#88781)
Posted Saturday, September 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Close to the edge.... One of the strongest pieces of prog music to hit the grooves, and for a number of reasons -- Mainly, the three very solid pieces of music, none of which ever gets boring and none of which ever sound the least bit flawed.

CLOSE TO THE EDGE, the opener, and the main attraction to this album for most. This song starts leading you into a mystical sounding overture, then blasts you with Steve Howe's guitars, Chris Squires bass and Rick Wakeman's Synthesizers along with Bruford's Drums. This is a classic line-up of prog heros and it sounds just as good as one would expect it to. Everything clicks on this song, and even the slow section "I get up, I get down" is not at all boring and fits in place.

AND YOU AND I, opens side 2, a bit slower than it's predecessor. However, what it lacks in speed it makes up for in musical integrity. This is a great song to relax to, and it's probably one of the better mid-tempo songs ever written.

SIBERIAN KHATRU... it's hard to spell, but it sounds excellent. Howe opens the track with one of his memorable riffs to date and the rest of the band does a great job of keeping up. Really, there's not much more to say about this song, it just sounds really good, really really good. It's easy to get lost for words on this one.

All in all there's no complaints about this album, it is one of the pinnacles of progressive rock as a genre in whole. Covering all the bases, this is the album that may very well characterize best what so many musicians were trying to achieve at the time (and indeed, to this day). My review of this album is over, may others review it in my place.

Report this review (#89556)
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This surely is one of the best Yes album. Close to the edge has a very nice introduction and contains a superb solo by Rick Wakeman. And you And I is the most beautiful song on the album. Fantastic singing by Anderson, and Howe's acoustic guitar is used at it's best. Siberian Khatru isn't made to end an album. This song is a bit boring and that's why this album deserves a 4 out of 5, althought the other songs where 5stars song.
Report this review (#89723)
Posted Friday, September 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars A masterpiece? I think not

It's okay Close to the Edge has it's moments, but overall is long and boring. It's interesting the first few listens, but seems to be mostly unpleasant sounds.

And You and I is the worst album on the track. It just outright boring. There is maybe a minute total in this song this is interesting to me to hear it. The first few times I heard this album this song just got tuned out. When I actually seriously listened to it a few times, I was in shock that this album was #1.

Siberian Khatru, on the otherhand, is one of the best ever Yes songs. Its a good listen, also the shortest song on the album unfortunately. The complexity is there, as it is in the first two tracks, but this time the song sounds good.

Report this review (#89893)
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Close to the Edge is one of the most accessible prog albums, and just generally enjoyable. It mixes great rockability, musicianship with profound, emotional segments. This definitely isn't the greatest prog album, as many have dubbed it, as it lacks a spice, an experimental/exploratory/unique nature.

The celestial sounds in the title track's intro and outro is very tasty. The instrumental section at the beginning is very interesting and talented, but a tad chaotic. The soft interlude is astounding. When the organs come in, goosebumps ensue. The whole song is very moving: a prog classic. The second song, And You And I, is also very beautiful, and focuses on Yes' symphonic direction. The acoustic parts are genuine, though the rest is also great. Siberian Khatru is a great Yes rocker, but a shame it had to end on this song, because really, this is the weakest song on the album. It would have been nice if the track's order was reversed, that way it builds up to the end. But regardless of track order, this album still misses the slightest je ne sais quoi.

Due to its huge popularity in the prog world, it should probably be essential, but it's really not perfect at all, and many more atmospheric, touching musical journeys can be found.

Report this review (#90004)
Posted Monday, September 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Don't need to say much about this one. This album is historically important, but also an amazing piece of music. Is it perfect? What is perfect? There is no such thing as a "perfect" album. Does Siberian Khatru go on for just a bit too long. Probably. Is this album worthy of five stars. Definitely. If you listen to progressive rock, you should own this album. If you are a Yes fan, you must have this album. Close to the Edge, the song, is one of the best, if not THE best, compositions that Yes ever put together. And You and I is bold and exciting, and yet delicate. Siberian Khatru has an amazing solo section featuring a harpsicord, among other things. Great stuff. In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of Yes' music.
Report this review (#91118)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A superb album.

It has received countless reviews, in which just about everything has already been said, so let me just point out one bad thing and one good thing.

1. Bad: Rick Wakeman's church organ was TERRIBLY recorded. Listen to any classical organ disc, or even to the sound Tomas Bodin manages to get with the Flower Kings, and you will see what I mean. The sound should be much fuller. A missed opportunity.

2. Good: Don't you just love Jon Anderson's unwavering vocals during that gentle middle section of the title track? His lyrics, of course, don't make sense - but boy has he got soul!

Report this review (#91269)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is indeed a masterpiece, and it deserves every five-star rating it gets. The title track is absolute genius, but And You And I & Siberian Khatru are excellent as well. There is simply nothing better than going outside on a sunny day and listening to this album.

Close to the Edge opens queitly with sounds that remind me of birds in a forest, and some listeners find this beginnig weird. About a minute into the song, though, it starts to get very intense. I love the wordless vocals in this section. At about three minutes in, it calms down a bit and the best part starts. It's kind of jazzy through this section, and Bill Bruford's drum work is excellent. Many people seem to be bothered by Jon Anderson's voice, but I think it is one of the best aspects of this album, and of Yes music in general. I very much like his lyrics as well; although some listeners complain that they are nonsensical, they just take some attentive listening to grasp. At about nine minutes, it gets quiet again and this part is very sad sounding. I enjoy the delicate keyboard work here, and the somewhat hushed singing. At about twelve minutes, the organ comes in and the climax of the song arrives. The last section is the best. Once again, Bill Bruford proves his completely astounding talent. Rick Wakeman truly shines with some of the best keyboard work in progressive music. Chris Squire and Steve Howe do excellent work, too; I'd feel bad not mentioning them. Squire's bass is, however, not as prominent as it was on Fragile.

And You And I is a very nice song, and I do not find it boring at all as some previous reviewers have suggested. It opens with lovely guitar work, and is on the whole a beautiful song. At about three minutes, there is a short, more rhythmic, section. Four minutes, though is when it really starts to get good. Wakeman's keyboard work is, as always, great. At about six minutes, it seems like it's going to end, but actually carries on with guitar similar to the beginnig. Then, a new musical theme develops which is quite interesting and features Anderson's excellent vocals. The end goes back to the theme from earlier in the song, and closes very beautifully on a note that makes it seem melancholic and almost unfinished.

Siberian Khatru is a bouncy song with strange lyrics. The best part is around three minutes in with the harpsichord solo, followed by some great guitar work. Everything is supported by Bruford's superb drumming throughout.

Also worth mentioning is Yes's rendition of the Paul Simon song America on the expanded remaster. It puts a very cool twist on a song that I enjoyed in its original form as well.

Every progressive rock fan should own this album. It is considered by most people to be Yes's quintessential work (although I secretly prefer Tales From Topographic Oceans), and it is one of the most enjoyable listening experiences to be had by prog fans.

Report this review (#91458)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The name song is very good, but i still prefer Gates Of Delirium. The high moments could have been more euphoric. Harder edges. And You And I is maybe a bit too loose. It has couple of very good melodies, and the kind- of slackness raises them, but it just doesn't sound the right way to me. Siberian Khatru reminds me of Roundabout. I don't like some feeling in it. Some happy, but artificial and seem-like-progressiviness with almost supid patterns, though maybe genious. But it catches me definitely when it is sung "Warm side, the tower", for example.

FOR EXAMPLE. This album is very good and get's me hot almost in it's full lenght.

Report this review (#92487)
Posted Thursday, September 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Of all the 70s prog milestones, Yes was never one of my favorite bands. It's one of those bands everybody seems to dig but that never really appealed to me. But it is unfair to judge this record solely on personal experience and I must admit there is definitely excellent musicianship in there. However, compared to many other "great" prog albums, I could not exactly hum the air of one of the songs...simply because I never found this album to be inspirational and moving. Not as cohesive as a work of art. Enjoyable none the less...don't let this review stop you from buying the record! You might find the masterpiece you are looking for. If it's in there I cannot say for it has always eluded me...
Report this review (#92767)
Posted Saturday, September 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah Close to the Edge. Why is it the greatest album in the Yes catalog and arguably of the whole progressive rock genre? Simple. Yes put out an album that was extremely complex, had long, structured songs, and showcased some amazing musicianship, yet at the same time at the end of the day they knew they had to make SONGS. This was what kept Tales from Topographic Oceans from being the masterpiece they had originally envisioned.

The album is accessible enough that most non prog fans would probably be satisfied with Close to the Edge (the song) until the keyboards/organs towards the middle, and definatly with Siberian Khatru (since it picks right up instead of having a minute or two of white noise and ambience to set the mood). Yet their is still enough to keep the hardcore prog fans happy because of its complex, layered compositions and truly beautiful moments (such as the climax to the title track).

A great album that anyone can appreciate. They stay true to prog rock, yet it isn't extreme enough that it shuns outsiders. Close to the Edge indeed.

Report this review (#93210)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I dare you to deny the power of YES. go ahead, I dare you! There isn't much I can say that hasn't been said, but I can say that this may not be the greatest album of all time, but Close to the Edge is definately the greatest song of all time. The other songs are great too. Close to the Edge defined Progressive Rock to me and I never get tired of listening to it. Maybe it's the best song because it was done by the best lineup of Yes. This linup made the best two Albums from Yes; Fragile and Close to the Edge. Close to the edge has some of the most unique playing I've heard from all the members. I don't even have to describe what I'm talking about. Just read another 5 star review.
Report this review (#93462)
Posted Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars My first contact with this record was in 1978. In highschool we had this "Accounting" teacher from the Netherlands who's name was Mr.Dykstra, he told us lots of great stories about the country he was from, but who also kept a record player in his class which we were allowed to use when he was finished giving his lesson. All the albums were his, and they included this one as well as ELP, PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL and other prog records. I didn't have the appreciation then as I do now of this style of music, but it's pretty amazing looking back on it. First thing i'd like to say about this record is the incredible amount of mellotron that Rick Wakeman used, it's all over the place and only adds to the majesty.

What I like most about the side long track "Close To The Edge" are the songs within the song, and the bass playing of Chris Squire. We start to hear the sounds of birds chirping as the sound builds. It kicks in around a minute. Check out Bruford then Squire as Howe amazes us all as well. There's that famous melody 3 minutes in, vocals a minute later. It feels so good after 5 minutes. Huge bass lines here. A calm with mellotron 8 1/2 minutes in. Reserved vocals come in after 10 minutes, organ 2 minutes later. It kicks back in after 14 minutes. Huge bass as Wakeman impresses. Vocals are back 16 minutes in. The birds are back to end it. .

My favourite song is "And You And I". Acoustic guitar turns into strummed guitar and synths. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes. An absolutely gorgeous section comes in before 4 minutes. Anderson's vocals sound great 5 minutes in.That melancholic acoustic guitar is back before 6 minutes as some themes are repeated. I like the sad synths 8 minutes in. I really like the way Steve Howe plays in the intro of "Siberian Khatru". Nice fat bass lines come in, then Wakeman comes in followed by Anderson. Mellotron after 4 1/2 minutes. It settles 5 1/2 minutes in as the mellotron rolls in. Vocal melodies arrive as well.

Clearly this is one of the best albums ever made, and in my opinion YES' second best after "Fragile".

Report this review (#94778)
Posted Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is incredible. Try to listen to it once in a dark room with your eyes closed, and headphones on. Eargasm. Yes is a briiliant group. I think that as far as full comprehensive composition of music goes, they really outdo themselves here more so than any other album. I read somewhere that "Close to the Edge," was based off of or at least inspired by Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha, which is a terrific story. ONE thing I would change about this album is the order of the tracks. I would have had the A side and B side switched, primarily because the song "Close to the Edge" is more climactic, and would be a better way to finish off the album.
Report this review (#94884)
Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh my god! superb! One may find themselves speechless after hearing the epic title track. The first track alone is worth the price! Track 2 is excellent, but doesn't quite match the title track, but that song was practically perfect! Track 3, the shortest number, is a really good song. It's not too lengthy and full of musical excellence, which is characteristic of yes. You need to buy this album if you don't have it. No wonder it often sits at the top of the top 100 list. This album is definitive of prog music! It almost brings tears to your eyes! If you cry easily, it will! (I don't, but was sure moved!) Just buy the album! You cannot understand prog completely until you really take in this album! 5/5! Masterpiece!
Report this review (#96204)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very little I can add to the multitude of reviews here except to say that for me this is one of the true masterpieces of prog generally and Yes in particular. I've never heard music so complex as on the title track, where each musician's part is so diverse, but the whole ensemble just makes perfect sense.

Wonderful guitar from Steve Howe on so many tracks (title track and Siberian Khatru in particular). Gorgeous growling Rickenbacker bass from Chris Squire. Wakeman sparkling on keys.

Yes's finest hour

Report this review (#96263)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My two cents worth for this heavily reviewed album in the Archives (and any other important prog e-zine anywhere). "Close to the Edge" bears deservedly one of the highest rank medals in the history of prog, and quite rightly so, since it is not only one of Yes's most archetypical musical achievemtns, but it also comprises all the ingredients of classic symphonic prog enhanced at their ultimate expression. A sense of melody that installs while defying itself, a clever set of arrangements that turns basic idea into something complex, well ordained contrasts between serene and somber sections between and within tracks, beautiful and varied colors delivered by the guitars and keyboards, mystic (and even obtuse) lyrics. While not as ballsy as the most energetic "Fragile" material, the "Close to the Edge" repertoire carries on with supreme inventiveness all the way through from the very first sounds of birds at the beginning of the namesake suite. Occupying the whole A- side, 'Close to the Edge' sees the initial bucolic mood of natural sound and synthetic layers effectively broken by the instrumental intro, led by Howe's cleverly dissonant guitar licks and sustained by a precise rhythm labor of Squire and Bruford (special mention to the latter, whose rolls and other adjustments are plain genius). Meanwhile, the keyboard adornments provided by Wakeman are just unreal in its pertinent weirdness. When the sung sections come, you can tell that the new found harmony is set to bring a majestic air to the musical fire that has already been created. The 'I Get Up I Get Down' section comprises the most celebrated use of pipe organ in the history of art rock: Wakeman is so amazing at it, as well as at providing such an electrifying Hammond solo soon after, for the fourth and final section. All thorugh the sung sections, the abstruse lyrics by Anderson had found solid ways of expression across beautiful musical lines and harmonies. If you want more amazing vocal harmonies but in a very different context, you should manadatorily enjoy 'And You and I', one of the most beautiful acoustic-driven prog songs ever. Howe knos how to explore the special peculiarities of the acoustic 12-string and pedal steel guitars for the benefit of a diversity that is effectively developed within the confines of one only song. Once again, Wakeman appropriates a composition not written by him, giving his distinctive Moog sound for enhancing the serenity of the acoustic guitar and the mellotron for completing the cosmic flavors initiated by the floating steel guitar licks. Pure beauty conceived and performed with full enthusiasm: 'And You and I' incarnates a perfect marriage of the mind and the heart. After these two Yes prototypes, comes the third one, the rocker 'Siberian Khatru', which retakes some of the vibe of 'Roundabout' with a lesser level of complexity but a more stylish completion. The harpsichord solo in the middle feels unlikely very coherent within the song's general structure, while the rhythm section builds a solid foundation for Howe's strumming and soloing. The sense of emotional power that this songs inspires in the aware listener's spirit makes it the perfect closure for this undisputed prog milestone.
Report this review (#99720)
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars So, here I am with my review. Actually I have mixed feelings towards Yes' music as a whole. They did great stuff in the seventies. But I have to admit that I listen to "Talk" more often than th CTTE. Overall this one is pretty good. The title-track is essential for progrock, but not the best longtrack of prog (IMHO this crown goes to SR by Genesis) the sounds in the beginning... And You and I is a good song, I like the middle section and the Intro and it also stands out as an example of a good progrock-track. Siberian Khatru gives me more of a rock feeling and is also good. So all in all it is a good and essential album...but not Yes' masterpiece ("Relayer"?). If you are proghead maybe you find your way through this album, whether you like it or not, but somehow you have to relate yourself to it... 4 points.
Report this review (#101409)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok Ok Ok. I admit. This is a masterpiece. I didnt really expect it to be as good as heralded but alas, it is. This has stood the test of time. I bought this cd just because of all the hooplah about it and wanted to see if any of it was true. On first listen I thought "Ya, it's talented but I'm not convinced" second and third listens revealed more depth and appreciation for the structures and now I "liked" the album alot although I still thought some of Jon Andersons vocals and the harmonys were overdone and annoying. After a while I realized, this was prog rock at its finest, up there with the likes of "Brian Salad Surgery" and "Octopus" I cannot say enough about how well this is done, I love structured prog songs (as of right now my three faves are 3 very structured bands ELP YES and Gentle Giant) and this was a great example of it. I am only 16 so I wasnt here when this came out but now I know why it is still such a classic. Fantastic!

Close To The Edge - I still think the main melody line where Jon starts singing is kind of annoying but the rest of it is great ("A time in which to...etc" it gets old). But the rest of it is great and so well tied together. The hammond solo around 15:00 is AWESOME, I pulled on the freeway one day and went a bit to much over the speed limit because this thing was rocking so well. I love the church organ as well, and the angelic "I get up" part is beautiful.

And You and I - Excellant song, kind of folk-symphonic prog. The harmonys on this one are top notch and I love the overall sound of it.

Siberian Khatru - Rocking riff, the instrumental part is so good! Steve Howe does some hardcore soloing on this one and the interplay between bass and guitar and hammond is awesome. I have always respected Steve Howe because he and I have a mutual obsession with Chet Atkins but this really brought my view of him as a guitarist up big time! Awesome prog rock.

The bonus tracks are pretty cool but dont compare to the main three, but I wont detract for that because the original album only consisted of the first three.

I am convinced!

Report this review (#101441)
Posted Saturday, December 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Obviously one of the landmark albums, and probably the most popular of the genre.

Everybody in the band at this point were top rate musicians, and in their prime. Wakeman was preparing to release his masterpeice "The Six Wives of Henry VII", Squire had finally packed down and established his signature dynamic sound, Bruford was at the top of the league with his innovative fills and technical prowess, Howe was peaking on a incredibly wave of talent and writing skill, and Anderson had reached a realm of lyrical obscurity never before explored.

With the grand year of 1972, you may imagine what a masterpeice they were able to create..

Funny fact: I read in "Close to the Edge: The Story of Yes" (Highly recommended), that Bruford was often found walking around the studio with a african flute, tunelessly blowing on it.

Howe threatened his death. Heh.

Report this review (#101485)
Posted Sunday, December 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is without question Yes' peak and a masterpiece of progressive music. Rick Wakeman's arrangements, Steve's versatile guitar, Chris' springy bass, Bill's beautifuuly brutal drums, and Jon's soaring voice all come together and produce what is in my opinion the greatest prog album of all time. THe album opens with soft sounds of nature that lure into a feeling of comfort. That feeling disappears about 30 seconds later when the band comes in ferociously. The near 20-minute epic has all the twists and turns that have become a staple of prog. The great thing about the song is that there is no standout player; everyone works as a cohesive outfit and feeds of the others. There is no weak link in the band.

After the alternately beautiful and cacaphonious title track comes And You and I. The band eases off the power and delivers a stunning ballad with Jon's beautiful voice propelling the song.

Siberian Khatru cranks things back up to 11 with a great solo from Steve as well as one of his best riffs. Steve's flirtations with the country style picking of Chet Atkins are incredible. If you want to learn where Steve Morse, the famed Dregs guitarist, drew his inspiration, look no further than Howe's finger picking prowess.

Though the album has only three tracks, each one is a classic and the album will leace you panting. No one can call himself a prog fan if he doesn't own this album. Along with In the Court of The Crimson King and Foxtrot, this album helped to forge progressive music.

Report this review (#101750)
Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Close to the Edge... The no 1 album here in ProgArchives. It is considered the ultimate prog album by many proggers, and it's often used to show what is the progressive rock. I sicovered this album pretty early in my excursion through the wonderful world of prog and, at my first listen, it was not sounding the way I was expecting it to sound. The first part of the opening epic (the title song), was quite "unusual" for me at the times. Steve Howe's guitar sound was quite strange for me, and I tought he was improvising, I was not liking it because it was seeming to be some aimless noodling to my poor and previously not brutalized ears. But, after more listens, it has grown on me, a lot. After nearly 10 listens, I found myself worshipping this album, saying that this was an absolute masterpiece. I listened to it a lot, some parts of And You and I, are now sticked to some part of my relatively short past. So I was regularely sitting on my bed, headphones on, loosing myself in the twists of Close to the Edge, sinking in moving emotional waters of And You and I and playing in the wast playground of the upbeat Siberian Kathru !

But now, more than one year after, I explored a lot more the prog world, discovered many new things and developped my artistic tastes, so I think I can achieve a more reflected view on this album. I still think that it is quite a great progressive album, but not the masterpiec I once said it was. The muscianship is of great quality, there his a lot of good musical moments like : the first part of Close to the Edge, the church organ/vocal section that is very pleasant, the keyboard solo (still in the first song), And You and I is good all its lenght and makes a very good use of the Mellotron and let's not forget the clavinet solo in Siberian Kathru !

So, Close to the Edge is a great prog album, but not really a masterpiece, and not the best Yes album too.

Highly Recommended ! 8.7/10!

Report this review (#101904)
Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the first album that really got me into music, deeper than i had been able to experience before. It showed me a whole other world that didn't sound like anything i listened to growing up. progressive rock man. If i hadn't liked jon anderson's voice I may have misplaced the album a week later, but in my opinion he has fantastic voice (especially on his first solo album Olias of Sunhillow). But as for this album. Close to the edge, the title track is almost perfection and rocks way hard. And you and I = beautiful, Siberian Khatru = Groovy. America is one of their best tracks, unfortunately (but no so much) you would have to get the remastered Fragile album to hear the cover of America in it's entirety. No reason to try and describe, you have my recommendation. Go out and buy it, listen to it, and realize it's greatness being one of the peaks Yes had made in their musical career.
Report this review (#102075)
Posted Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I enjoy music that reaches deep into my mind and touches my imagination, that builds a world in my mind's eye and takes me there and Close to the Edge is perhaps the greatest example of that. This is the 9'th Symphony of progressive rock albums. The lyrics are poetic abstraction and it's as simple as this no words are able to describe the greatness and wonderfulness of Close To The Edge. A landmark of progressive rock with a gorgeous performance from all the band! A really masterpiece of progressive music!
Report this review (#103553)
Posted Monday, December 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is quite simple. It is an album that any musician would be proud of. Close to the edge is a superb masterpiece in terms of arrangements, performance. It give us what a masterpiece should give. And you and I is beautiful song, and again, is a masterpiece. Siberian Kathru is the less perfect song but itīs funny, perfect to open a concert, and in terms of performance is great. With Fragile, for me, these are the best pair of records ever made.
Report this review (#103695)
Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have to start saying that, in this month of december of 2006, itīs going to make a year since I truly started to hear progressive rock, and although i initiated my adventure in this world with another group, i decided this should be my first review, and I'll explain briefly. The first music I heard from YES wasnīt any from the prog scene, but it was Owner Of A Lonely Heart!!! Yup, truly surprisingly it was this one, and although i dont find this particular music bad, its not what YES know how to do best ( at least as progressive rock goes), so when my father told me that I should try to hear YES, I asked him: "But they're a pop rock number, How can they be linked to progressive rock?" Little did i know that when i acquired the album, I would be transported into a new world of music style ( at least for me). I'm a guy that since i had 6 i've been acostumed to listen to Jazz, being my father a Jazz musician, so the moment i adventured in the album Close To The Edge, at first i felt kind of different when i heard the beggining with the sounds of birds and all that atmosphere,and then the beggining with Steve Howe's guitar play (just brutal, this guy beats any guitar player that exists now in new rock bands, progressive or not) i remember thinking... "what the hell, this is kind of epic, strange to my ear" and at the same time, i was acostumed to the solo improvisation and virtuoso of the jazz players, it was rather strange, but it was awesome, and I was liking it! Steve Howe really is one of the best guitar players in the history of mankind, not the best, but one of them. At the same time, the piano work of Rick Wakeman, the bass of Chris Squire, just incredible, Brufford in the drums ( it would be his last album with YES) is truly too one of the best drummers alive and musician too ( as he would prove later with his works in the world of jazz rock/ fusion), and then Jon Anderson. Some people find unbearable to hear Jon Anderson's voice, but for me, it fits well the epic, kind of sound and truly, its a great and powerful voice in music people! There might be better singers, but he's too a damn good one ( at the age he has now keeping practically the same voice for more than 30 years isnt for everyone). As for the music Close To The Edge, its one of those pieces I cant stop from hearing it at least once every week, and I'm not going to explain it technically, since i lack patience to do it,and this review is getting bigger than I thought, but the work the group does in this track is excelent as musicianship goes. The next music And You And I, is for me a truly beautiful prog balad if you want to put it this way, but its (again) another epic-feels-like song and Siberian Khatru is the best way to end this magnificent album and one of the fan's favourites to listen live. As for conclusion, I would like to say that the Yes group for me, had (at the time of this album) one of the greatest line-up of rock music, and i feel sad to see that nowadays, people of my age(20) not in general of course, but at least here in Portugal, dont seem to recognize or even know the valour this groups had for the music history and evolution, not only YES, but Van der Graaf Generator, Genesis, King Crimson, Rush, Area, Gentle Giant, and other's I know from the seventies prog scene, which for me is a big sadness. Again, this album is a masterpiece as you might have seen in the other reviews (not all) and who am I to say the contrary? Just the feeling that I get while im listening to the album is worth the trouble I had acquiring it. I Thank these guys for having made music like this.
Report this review (#104185)
Posted Friday, December 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Same line-up as their previous LP. All of them are probably at their best here. A lot as already been said about this masterpiece. Their first epic and title track (almost 19' - lots of more to come) opens the album magnificently. Although the introduction is quite complex and difficult to access, the remaining sections are fantasctic. Third section "I Get Up I Get Down" is superb : Jon's voice at an all time high, sublime church oriented keyboards. It is really a shivering track and one of my YesPreferred song ever. It will be difficult to render live though. Quite bizarrely, the best live performance (IMO) of CTTE is rendered on the rather poor album "Friends & Relatives" that will be released much, much later (1998). Side B opens with "And You & I" which is also a mini-suite made of four sections. We remain in the masterpiece territory. It is probably the most melodious YesSong ever. It is more than 10 minutes of superb music. On par with "CTTE". This masterpiece ends with "Siberian Kathru" which is a quite rocking song and works best live. Since the original album was rather short, the very interesting expanded edition includes the single version (4'12") of their Simon & Garfunkel cover "America". The full version clocking at more than ten minutes was released on their previous expanded work (Fragile) and is more interesting of course. The excerpts from CTTE "Total Mass Retain" will be released as a single but is not very useful. What is really interesting are the alternate versions for "And You & I" and "Siberia" (first title for "Siberian Kathru"). Although they are less achieved and rawer than the final versions, they are quite nice to discover (the end of &U&I with some echo is very good and could have been used in the final version). It is really worth to get this expanded version. Five stars is the least I can rate this one.
Report this review (#105140)
Posted Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge represents the summit not only of Yes art but also, in my view, together with Soft Machine's Volume 3 and King Crimson's In the Court, the essence, the core of the classic progressive rock! This album was years and years ahead in its time - it revealed a supreme magnificence, an ethereal sensibility that many would judge to be impossible to find in rock music. Curiously, the world then was considerably prepared to understand it, since it was with this album that Yes definitely established themselves, something that seems quite unlikely on these days.

Everything in this album is so perfectly balanced, from the band's virtuous passages to the gentlest subtle ones, in an almost super-human sensibility. This is particularly achieved in the title track, which leads then to a cathartic emotional explosion leaded by the church organ. Vocals extol even further the sublime nuances, not only for the inspired melodies or the gentle approach, but also for their mystic lyricism. The two other tracks are other standouts in their complexity, from the joyful solemn "And You and I" to the frenetic virtuous "Siberian Khatru".

When I see some contemporary bands contending in their pretension for creating perfect copy followers of masterpieces like this, and praised by many almost to heaven, I just laugh. It's almost, using a rude comparison, as someone in classical music had the pretension to surpass Beethoven, Mozart or Bach in their genre. There is no point in trying to surpass art at its peak - the real merit exists in surpassing the mainstream visions of the correspondent era. Yes had the vision to create something completely new, while offering rock a supreme sensibility, only seen in classical music. And these are precisely the reasons why this album is a masterpiece, and why it won't be forgotten, persisting in the meanders of rock history.

I wish the world could see again another revolution like Close to the Edge did at its time.

Report this review (#105150)
Posted Monday, January 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the seminal prog rock albums of the 70s and definitely the best Yes album. In its short 40-minute package it encompasses nearly everything that is best about the symphonic rock genre. The band (Anderson, Howe, Squire, Bruford and Wakeman) were at the height of their creativity, performing tight, virtuosic rock, ebbing and flowing between grand symphonic climaxes.

The three pieces are perfectly proportioned, complementing each other well, without being dominated by bloat or ego. The eighteen-minute title track, starting with a futuristic-sounding ambient crescendo, is based around a jaunty song linked by some fantastically complex and energetic band playing. It reaches its climax with one of the most atmospheric passages in all of prog rock, "I Get Up, I Get Down", in which Wakeman's Mellotron and church organ give a sweeping backdrop to Anderson's high tenor and the backing vocal harmonies. "And You and I" is another perfectly composed piece, ranging from the minimalist steel guitar of the introduction, through a strumming, folky song towards a symphonic, Mellotron-laden climax. "Siberian Khatru" provides a great upbeat conclusion with a driving full-band workout, floating ever upwards towards the finish.

If there is a weak point it has to be Jon Anderson's lyrics. The vague cosmic mish-mash of Eastern spirituality and philosophy makes sense to few people, and dates the album firmly in the hippy era. Having said that, Anderson has been writing lyrics like that well into the 90's!

Report this review (#108249)
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I would humbly suggest that this is almost a flawed masterpiece. This is simply from the fact that the title track leaves you gasping for more of the same, something that doesn't happen until the release of TFTO. I have made this comment despite my all time favourite Yes track appearing on side 2 - Siberian Khatru.

This album was quite simply the groundwork for the following masterpiece!! Yes I agree that the work is brilliant but how can I give it 5 stars with the comments already made.

Report this review (#108742)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The day that I knew this album simply not it I could believe, opened the doors to me to progressive music. A luck went to know this Yes that to the one of the 80', this album is perfect in addition by the best formation that was one of the formation of Yes. Rick Wakeman makes a gorgeous "flight" of keyboards that inclusively seems a little horrifying. Does not think it? Anderson does excellent solo before the "flight" of Wakeman. Chris Squire makes a base with low that the rate and maintains and it fuses with Bruford and become a good pair. Steve Howe causes that the guitar is a mere companion and later returns it the center from the attention with its solo. The five are really virtuous and really cause that this disc is infaltable in some colleción of progressive music, a classic one. This it is the Yes that the radios would have to play.
Report this review (#108879)
Posted Thursday, January 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is an awesome album. I was just litening to the title track earlier today. This album is awesome.I'm glad to say that it is one of my favorites.

Close to the Edge: ***** This song is awesome. There's a mean organ solo and mean keyboard playing. Rick Wakeman shines in this song! The fact that it is 18:41 and the longest song on the album makes it fantastic. All the instrumental passages are great. The beginning and end is the same birdsong and keyboard stuff, making it a circular song.

And You and I: ***** This song has great acoustic guitar. It's harmonius during parts 2 and 4, and parts 1 and 3 are very good. Just like Rick Wakeman shined wth his keyboards in Close to the edge, Steve Howe with his guitar shines in And You and I.

Siberian Khatru: ***** It's not like the other two songs on the album, but it still is pretty good. The instrumental passages are still great. Even though it's the shortest song on the album, it's still great.

Report this review (#109092)
Posted Saturday, January 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Few albums can be comparable with "Close to the Edge". That's the best Yes album, where musicians achieved an elevated degree. The entire album is magic. I can't say which track is better. The first track "Close to the Edge" has the better keyboard passage that I've heard.Wakeman is perfect. I just can't realize how that guys compose those musics... There so many passages (complicated ones!), with complex arranjements!

Steve Howe on "And you and I" made me cry on my first listening. Jon Anderson reached the highest level in his carreer - your voice is soft and so expressive! Chris Squire is a genius and shows all his technique and good taste. In "Siberian Khatru", all musicians could show them dexterity. Good balance music, the most "danceble" music, with greats riffs and guitar/key solos (oh... the clavinet passage, by Wakeman, is incredible...).

Everyone, prof fan or not, should listen this album. It's a masterpiece, a mark in music history.

Report this review (#110784)
Posted Monday, February 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes, one of the biggest Progrock bands ever delivered with Close To The Edge a masterpiece, without doubt their best effort ever. Yet only counting 3 songs, it is grabbing you from the start, and only willing to let you go after Siberian Khatru has ended, a little bit less than 40 minutes later. The opening track, Close To The Edge, shows Steve Howe's technical skill, and in the third part Jon Andersons voice seems so fragile, it could almost break. The song changes rougher parts for more calm parts. And You And I handles about a quite extraordinary subject for Yes, it's about love and equality. Siberian Khatru is the only song on the record that isn't a multi-part suite, but it is in the tradition of Progrock, a mix from melodies, tones and sections.
Report this review (#111540)
Posted Saturday, February 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say. This is first and foremost, the most epic, best Yes album to date, and never, I repeat never, loses it's replay ability, And every single track is perfect. The opening track starts from a serenade of water trickling down in the woods, to a fool blown reggae-esque pounding riff that blows my mind every time. "And You and I" is one of the greatest love songs I have yet to hear, and "Siberian Khatru" just plain rocks.

All in all? One of the greatest, if not the greatest album in the history of progressive rock, ever crafted.

Report this review (#111928)
Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, its really pleasent to make a review of such a masterpiece of progresive rock, and, of course, of symphonic prog.

but lets begin with Yes "Close to the edge".

1. Close to the edge

The masterpiece of the masterpiece, the best song of the album, eighteen minutes of pure symphonic prog, its like you are travelling into a world you would never like to leave (unfortunately the song ends). I must admit it, I love Yes, but is not my favourite band, this was the first song I listened from them, and I still think, is the best song of the history of the band.

2. And you and I

Lovely song, Anderson, as always, in a great lavour, for me, the "worst" (they are all great!) song of the album.

3. Syberian Kathru

Pure energy, another masterpiece, not like "Close to the edge" but really a great song, Steve Howe shines in a magnificent way!

as a conclusion, I really recommend this album to everyone that really likes prog rock, a complete masterpiece.

Report this review (#111937)
Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
5 stars "Close To The Edge"? No, try "Close To Blowing My Mind"!!!

OK, just remember that even though there are many masterpiece albums, there will always be one little flaw no matter how minor. The after you know that, you should listen to "Close To The Edge" and think about it again. Completely false. Not a single mistake on this whole album!

The title track is the only number on Side One at 18:50, and it is a good thing too because no human can listen to this hurricane of notes and harmony and expect to go right into two more awesome songs without a break. The song opens slow enough, with a nice ambient bird-chirping-in-the-meadow feel to it. Next time you pop this album in, try closing your eyes and visualizing this, it will serve as a nice stress relaxing tool. But now, don't keep those eyes closed too long or they will pop right out of your head when the thunderclap that is Yes starts kicking out the jams for real. Howe and Squire come in slinging away right from the get-go and Bruford is energetic as ever. Anderson's voice just has such an amazing flow to it here and the lyrics are a real work of pen and ink beauty.

Side 2 kicks off with "And You And I". After being struck down in awe by the title track, it is almost impossible to be captivated by another song in the same month, let alone on the same album. Somehow, Yes manages to pull this off, and brilliantly at that! The song stars off with Steve Howe tuning an acoustic guitar, yet somehow creating a beautiful accompanying piece to Wakeman's keyboard soundscapes. More absolutely fantastic singing follows from Anderson, and although this is not Yes' best song, it is the obvious choice for follow the musical combat that is "Close To The Edge".

Third and final song, "Siberian Khatru", is the shortest on the album. After the beautiful epic that was "And You And I", you are blasted with an almost funky beat right from the start. One of the most powerful and dynamic songs ever written and performed by these prog giants, this is the absolute perfect closing song to the album, even though it is quite ironically used to open most of their live outings. Wakeman once again delivers a stellar performance, and Chris Squire's basslines won't be this groundbreaking until "Drama", 10 years later.

Once you listen to this album, it just puzzles me how this masterpiece can receive any rating less than 5 stars. This album eclipses all of the melodies, moods, harmonies, and dynamics that are the essence of a great progressive rock album and multiples them by 1,000. Every member is at their best here, and this really is THE key album to own.

No less than 5 stars!!!!!

Report this review (#112735)
Posted Monday, February 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A great symphonic rock album, but maybe not the best of Yes. I knew Yes music in 1974 in Uruguay, with this album and it broke my head. Inmediatelly I became a Yes follower and I've heard almost all of they. Now, this album has one of the most beautiful songs of the prog rock history: And You And I. I give it five stars, but it hasn't the freshness of other works like Fragile or The Yes album. The work of the musicians is great in they all, but I like to remark the work of that big drummer like Bill Bruford is (with Yes, King Crimson, Earthworks, ABWH or solo) Maybe this is not for me the number one of the prog albums, but it's a classic, and one of the ten best albums.
Report this review (#113224)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an amazingly surprising album. When I first listened to it, it was quite shocking, but it made me very curious to try to "decipher" the song. Many years have passed, and I still can't say I did. The songs are extremely complex, but they have a very clear atmosphere, and the ideas they are passing on the lyrics are extremely well supported by the instrumental. It's like all of the musicians are telling the same story by different points of view. Close to the Edge doesn't need to be commented, it speaks for itself. And also it was the best Yes formation in my oppinion. The best prog album ever, in my opinion.
Report this review (#115001)
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars IMHO, Close to the Edge is the top, the highest point of the YES career. While Fragile had shown the potential of the band, including many solo contributions from each member, Close to the Edge shows how the mastership of all YES members at the time could be combined into a joint effort.

Many things have already been written about this album. I will just say that, to me, it seems almost like 'perfection' becoming music. It is such a solid, creative work. All members contributions are outstanding, while the whole is too. In addition, it still has such a futuristic sound to me, despite having been created and recorded 35 years ago!!

Of course, many other masterpieces are written by YES in the next years, but Close to the Edge deserves to me the maximum rating.

Report this review (#115178)
Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wonderful. Amazing. The defining moment in progressive rock. Music would not be what it is today without this. This showed that prog is not something you can simply define. Instead, it is a being that takes whatever shape it needs to fill the space where good music cannot be found. More than just a great album, it is a bold statement about how conformist music and conformist thought will always put a cap on greatness.
Report this review (#115308)
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Yes, I must agree with reviewer Chris Engard. This is my contribution too: Close To The Edge was Yes at its peak in the studio. Everything works so well itīs hard to believe. If you want to show someone a CD that represents symphonic rock in just one major work, then this record is the ONE. Actually The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge are progīs most influential, important trilogy. But Close To The Edge is clearly their very best and the band achieved a kind of unity most groups could only dream of. The instrumental virtuosity working side by side with creativity and guts is just unbelievable. From then on Yes would slowly go downhill, but what they left behind is a timeless treasure.

Not much more to add to what others have already said. Close To The Edge is a classic in all aspects: the best line up, the best songs, the best timing possible. Not a single note wasted here. A must have for any prog fan.

Probably progīs greatest achievement of all time.

Report this review (#116028)
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh Yes, I like Yes. Oh Yes, Yes is one of the most infludential prog bands of the history of Rock 'n' Roll (Dumb word play). Oh Yes, Close to the Edge is one of the most breath-taking Prog albums ever, but I dare to say it's not their best. No, it's not Relayer or Fragile. it's Yes Album. But neverthless I decided that my first Yes review should be of this album. Maybe I just want to lift back to #1, who knows?

The title track begins with the sounds of singing birds and waterfall and quickly bursts with a classic Guitar/bass arsenal. Squire and Howe do magnificent job, but naturally we can't forget the rest of the band. Bruford gives his best performance of any Yes album, but I think that his best work is from the albums he made with King Crimson. And naturally Wakeman who gives very nice performances on keyboards. Nice Harpsichord playing especially. Last but not the least, Jon Anderson and his magnificent voice (Singing those obscure writings) will move you to a state of strange feelings. Weakest link on the album is the semi-acoustic And You and I. It is not bad by any means, but the weakest. Took me a bit to get into it. Slideguitar! Siberian Khatru is the hmm... less proggiest song, but I adore it. The Whole songs is a one big, fu**ing diamond (Sorry, but profanity just adds up the effect on the perfectinuum (That's not a word is it?) of the song in general). I love the part around 7 minutes.

Last minute Edit: I was just listening to the album while writing this (Siberian Khatru Harpsichord solo now) and I came to the conclusion that this IS the Best Yes Album ever. Funny isn't it?

Report this review (#116199)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Fight Club
5 stars Well here it is! The quintissential lineup of Yes consisting of the holy prophet Jon Anderson's beautiful vocals, Chris Squire and his pounding bass, Rick Wakeman tearing up the keyboards like no other man does, Bill Bruford with the rythmicly dynamic drums, and Steve Howe's virtuoustic guitar playing skills. At the time, this was the most pretigious lineup prog had ever seen, so one can only guess what kind of album that makes for. This is it, the essential all time masterpiece of progressive music. Never has an album ever been made quite like this and never one ever will.

The album opens with the ambient sound of waves and soon crashes into a barrage of instrumental complexity. The patterns in the first part of the song are purely rediculous and just send my head swirling into some kind of frantic contiuum of bewilderment. No matter what mood I may be in at the time, this song jump starts my energy and sends me going crazy. It's very strange and upbeat and almost impossible to keep up with. Soon enough Anderson's vocals come in and things slow down for a more melodic vein; the patterns continue to be masterful however. Each and every second of this song is planned out with great time and effort. There isn't a single note out of place here. Things become very upbeat with a nice hopping bass groove and vocal lines that are easy to sing to. It's not often we get symphonic prog this groovy and melodic yet so complex. About halfway through the song, things slow down to a very surreal key passage. The organ in this section of the song always sends me musical orgasms. There's nothing else quite like it. I don't really know what else to say about this song. This is just the greatest epic track every produced, period.

After the epic Close To the Edge, things don't fail to disappoint. We get the very beautiful And You And I. This song is completely washed in mellotron and some very clean guitar by Howe. A beautiful piece with not a single second of uneccesary meandering. And after this we get another very groovy track. Siberian Khatru moves on with some nice basslines as always and more amazing musicianship by the rest of the band. If one ever needs to impress anyone with the magic of prog music, this is the album to send them. It's an experience all the way through. 3 epic tracks, not a second of wasted time. Essential!

Report this review (#116223)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is simply the finest prog album that you will ever hear. Coming at the peak time in the whole prog rock movement with foxtrot, trilogy, Thick as a Brick, Octopus, Lark's, Pawn Hearts, Faust, Argus, and many more. It seemed like every great prog band peaked at about this time. Still, Yes beat them all.

Close to the Edge practically defines the word epic and is amazing all the way through. The opening bird sequence is stunning and the "I get Up" sequence is amazing. I have always found this song incredible because it does not lose my interest at all.

What the second side lacks in its "epicness" it makes up for 100% with its total "catchiness" And You and I is possibly Yes's most beautiful song. I have always found the twelve string tune up at the beginning especially cool. The album the closes in great fashion with the rocker Siberian Khatru. This song has one of the greatest guitar riffs in history.

I can think of no album more worthy of a five star rating the Close to the Edge. Its funny because on their next album they jumped clear over the edge

Report this review (#116959)
Posted Saturday, March 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Close to the Edge gets praised a little too heavily on this site, in my humble opinion. Sure, the title track is a classic of the genre and perhaps the archetypical example of a true prog rock epic, and the instrumentation throughout the album borders on insanity. But I just don't think the album is very consistent.

The title track is mind-blowing and I'm not going to take anything away from that.

And You And I is pretty good, but too long for its purpose. The intro also seems kind of just cut and pasted on.

Siberian Khatru isn't really worth the trouble either. It has some very interesting keyboard and percussion work, but doesn't stand out in my mind as a great song.

Yes had better albums, and the prog scene in general most certainly did. This album IS essential for the title track, but is pretty much unessential as a whole.

Report this review (#121419)
Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Close to the Best (but not quite.)

That would come with the next album. But CTTE is a great album any way you slice it and a great starting point for newbies along with Fragile.

The title track is one of Yes' greatest epics. CTTE is complex, well-played, full of emotional peaks and interesting twists and turns. There is nothing like the moment when Howe first kicks in the guitar riff live. How perfect!

Bruford is great as usual but was about to get the famous phone call from Mr. Fripp with a question that went something like "Had enough fooling around yet? Ready to make some real music?" That's not the exact quote but it was in that vein. While it was sad to see Bill depart, Alan White would prove to be more than adequate down the road.

"And You and I" is another classic Yessong beginning with one of those perfect Steve Howe acoustic moments that hook any young person to the band. "Siberian" is the weakest of the three tracks but still not bad.

CTTE, Topographic, and Relayer would mark the zenith of the band Yes and these three albums combined would produce six epic tracks in the neighborhood of 20 minutes long each. All six are outstanding examples of explorative progressive music. Some consider these tracks to be bloated and boring-I humbly disagree. They are gorgeous and they define progressive rock in its most fertile and highest quality period.

Report this review (#122265)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes are probably the real prog band,and Close to the Edge is the best album of the Michael Jordan of progressive :) :) ...After the departure of Peter Banks they joined the rank of superstars, and now,in 1972 (first in Fragile) they also acquired the amazing keyboarder Wakeman (even if I prefer Kaye,much equilibrated,and Patrick Moraz,much good tasted...). If Fragile was an experiment of what would become to be, Close to the Edge is the perfection of the Yessound. The suite in the first side of the LP is the better one in progressive music. And You and I is a great love song, and Siberian Khatru an amazing rock piece..Great album!
Report this review (#122939)
Posted Monday, May 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is not only five stars to me, but also the best example I can think of what prog (and symphonic) rock means to me. Just as perfect, as solid and as great as you cannot imagine until you listen to it and discover new musical boundaries.

Yes found themselves at the peak of creativity and perfection of their career at this point, with the "first classic" lineup: Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire, Wakeman. An absolutely amazing combination of talents into a tour-de-force album.

Not listening to this album means missing an important piece of what can be done in the key of rock.

Report this review (#123934)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars "I get up, I get down"!!!

What can I say about one of the greatest albums prog rock albums of all time? A masterpiece, almost completely flawless, this has album set the standards for many prog bands, and still is.

Close to the edge- One of the greatest if not THE greatest progressive rock song of all time! There is virtually nothing to complain about! My favirote aspect is Brufords completely unique drumming that sets the tone for the song. Sorry Allen, but you just cant stand up to him.

And you and I-Beautiful is the only word that comes to mind when I think of this song! Nothing else to say

Siberian khatru- Very good and aggressive. excellent follow up to the mellower previous track. I will admit though... not one of Howes better solo's

4 stars

Report this review (#124029)
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I consider this album the best of Yes, and maybe the best in all progressive music. The three songs are amazing, there isn't any boring moment.

The album starts with a beautiful atmosphere than feels like being in a lost paradise, and then pass to a crazy combination of instruments, then Anderson stops the music with his voice for a moment, for then continues with the music...

Wackeman and Howe did an amazing job, especially Wackeman in the solos, and Howe in all moment, Bruford is one of my favorite drummers solid in all the record, and of course Anderson with his unmistakable voice gave that special touch to the album. Finally but no less important, Squire didn't want to be less than his partners, and he showed to us.

A masterpiece! Five Stars!

Report this review (#125231)
Posted Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first time I heard the pleasant birdsongs that open the title track of Yes' 1972 masterpiece driven out by the jarring keyboard and guitar figure over some of Brufords sharp drumming I was taken aback. It was like being tossed down one of the waterfalls in the gatefold art. Like that Roger Dean painting showing a disembodied landmass hovering in nothingness, this album is the perfect combination of the earthy and the airy. Their second and last album with the incredible Anderson-Howe-Wakeman-Squire-Bruford lineup found the band abandoning songs, and even lyrics as we know it. Words were chosen for their sound, not their meaning even as the bands compositional sense was as gloriously cut and pasted as Anderson's words. Its difficult to revisit a genre classic such as this with a fresh perspective, but such a new look is worth it for a landmark work of timeless music as this. There are certain parts of this album that I only begin to appreciate with time, like how in the "Preacher and the Teacher" section of "And You And I," Bruford and Squire go into a loose-limbed pattern that perfectly compliments Howe's slide guitar. Or how the guitar solo in "Siberian Khatru" builds off of Wakeman's harpsichord noodlings to soar to unexplored heights. By creating a work so out of trend and singular in its vision, they've left us with an album that hasn't dated a second these last 35 years. Where Anderson's lyrics would eventually reach laughably meaningless levels, here they are emotional and pregnant with meaning. No one else could make a line like "And you and I/walk over valleys of endless seas" so empty and aching. But all this talk of art ignores the fact that this album is catchy as hell. And it is.
Report this review (#125632)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

CLOSE TO THE EDGE has gotten so many reviews so far, i am wondering what i can add to the subject of one of the best prog album ever made.

At this time, YES couldn't do anything wrong; they were at their peak creatively, recording a third masterpiece in a row. RICK WAKEMAN is well-integrated by now and bring a lot to the plate. He is not credited for anything regarding the writing as ANDERSON abd STEVE HOWE carry the load with a little help from their friend CHRIS SQUIRE. But his keyboards parts is what makes this album majestic and grandiose.

The I GET DOWN part on CTTE is still giving me goosebumps after all those years and when RICK WAKEMAN enters with the organ. that's still heaven for me! The music is really getting symphonic with the title track and AND YOU AND I. WAKEMAN is the man responsible for that . Even the usually pounding bass of CHRIS SQUIRE is relatively subdued here compared to the first 4 albums .You have to wait for the rocker SIBERIAN KHATRU to hear him in the front, but Wakeman still steals the show on this one.

This is YESmusic at his best; one of the best prog album ever made; no music collection is complete without CTTE. It doesn' t have aged , it's timeless music to my ears. Beautiful music created by 5 formidable musicians; where you can be highly techinal and still bring the emotions to the listener.

5 stars of course!!

Report this review (#126666)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars I have not replaced my vinyl, but after a recent listen I think I might. The side-long title track is better than I remembered it, a suite of several movements intertwined that actually works together and holds the interest. This is very dense music but with deep purpose, as Anderson attempts to convey in his lyricism. "And You and I" has always been a favourite and remains a superb symphonic ballad with many phases in its 10 glorious minutes. "Siberian Khatru" remains the problem for me, seemingly a holdover from the overly complex "Fragile" album, and the sort of prog piece that has not aged well. Hence the not-perfect rating. Still, it is my most highly recommended Yes album.
Report this review (#126702)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Close to the Edge is generally regarded as the most credited prog album. I had read many marvellous reviews about it and seemed to me that this album must be the best thing on the Earth. When I finally heard it for the first time I wasn't worried about the fact that I didn't like it very much. I thought "Hey, this is a prog album, it's normal that I don't love it from the first listening!" I kept listening, still hoping that it finally unfolds it's treasure. At the present time I don't hope in particular anymore. I think it generally lacks fluent melodies, even though there are some beautiful examples in title track and in "And You and I", it is repetitive, it has too much struggle in it with no apparent purpose. I'm not saying it's a bad album, all tracks contain truly appealing moments. I would rank it higher if it were an option album by a prog band, yet it is supposed to be THE album by THE prog band. 3.5 stars really.
Report this review (#126712)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I get up, I get down...

It's difficult to describe "Close to the edge", because many things come to my head when I think in this album. First, each one of Yes musicians had a perfect performance. Each one of the songs included is a masterpiece of progressive rock. If you want to teach somebody what is symphonic rock, you have to start with CTTE. There are many top albums of symphonic rock, but CTTE has something, 'a kind of magic', that I can't explain. I'm sure it happens the same to many people. CTTE is a masterpiece from the beginning to the end.

(1) "Close to the edge": the most significant work of progressive rock. The counterpoint is perfect at this song. Birds and water. Guitar, bass, drums and keyboards. Climax and solemnity. Voices, ecstasy, furious and calm melodies... This work has many things to analyse. It would be better if you listen to this song than if I try to explain it.*****

(2) "And you and I": beautiful song. The style is a mixture of celtic, classical (from Classicism) and rock music. Anderson's voice is incredible. 12-string guitar is amazing. Also, percussion, keyboards and bass are great.*****

(3) "Siberian Khatru": this is a very strange work. Some of rock'n'roll influenced, but it is mixed with many other styles. Again, the counterpoint is fundamental. Harmony is very important here too. Solo parts are awesome. In different parts, the climax is really high.*****

Besides, the general sound is good. A masterpiece... maybe "The Masterpiece" For me "Close to the edge" and 2 or 3 more albums must be included in a 6-star new category.

Report this review (#126867)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What is another 5 for this album. Not much. Closer to the Edge was the first Yes album I bought. The combination of my friend's suggestion and this site's exceptionally high review of the album was all it took for me to go looking for it at my local record store. I have to say I was not at all impressed with it at first, but not because of any fault on the part of Yes or their effort on this Magnificent album. I just wasn't ready for it. I immediately ran off and bought Fragile which was much more agreeable to my as of yet not really broken in progressive rock tastes. After a couple of spins of Fragile and numerous repeats of Roundabout, Heart of the Sun Rise and America, I timidly put Closer to the Edge back in my CD player. During the silence that takes up about the first 20 seconds of the song Closer to the Edge itself I was wary, really really wary. I felt for that long moment that I had wasted money on a pretty expensive album. Then the birds started chirping and then a small sound, then a louder one then a rolling boom like a wave of base tones. This time it wasn't to hard for me to get. This time it was like pure gold to my ears. It seemed to me that I hadn't heard any of these things the first time I listened to it. It was like some had thrown away the album that was a wall of noise and in its stead was an endless staircase and every time I heard it I heard more and more and loved different parts for different reasons. Close to the Edge is now the album I listen to more than any other album I own. It is positively addictive. If you, like me, are still wet behind the ears when it comes to progressive rock and so callously passed over Closer to the Edge on account of its sheer complexity. Stop, go to your CD player or what have you. Throw it in and remove yourself from distraction and really listen, I promice you won't be dissappointed.
Report this review (#128292)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars For many listeners, Close to the Edge is considered the pinnacle of the Yes catalogue. For almost as many listeners, it's also considered one of the crowning achievements of progressive rock history. I am pretty much in agreement with those two statements as I find Close to the Edge to always be an enjoyable listen, from the first time I personally heard it in the mid-1980s to the present day. To this day, Yes still performs all three songs off this album live and their fans appreciate it. During a post-2000 Yes concert, it is these three songs that outshine the rest of the concert. Thus, on historical grounds only, this is considered a masterpiece by many.

What makes this album that good musically? That's hard to put in words. My initial response is that for this album, Yes just had the right combination of melodies, rhythms, riffs, soundscapes, structures, and lyrics. And they mixed it all together in a grand fashion. It's one of those rare moments when every note fills an important role in the entire project. Removing any portion of the album, no matter how small, seems to make it a lesser album. And the melodies and harmonies... they can attach to your brain like a mosquito in a blood bank. Days (sometimes weeks) after listening to Close to the Edge, I have that "I get up, I get down" line in my head, or the chugging bass line in Siberian Khatru, or the soaring keys in And You And I. It was an amazing experience during my initial listen and continues to excite my musical neurons to this day.

Easily five stars and a must-have essential classic that should be in every prog rock collection.

Report this review (#128814)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Close To The Edge could be seen as the opposite of PF's Wish You Were Here, in the sense that Yes released a masterpiece with a bunch of songs (Fragile), most of them being relatively short-lenght, and now, in this album, they released three loooong epic songs, subdivided in several movements. It means, elaborated movements, but it doesn't avoid some jammin' moments either..... they're overall in the self-titled track, the longest one. And why I said at the beggining that this album could be the opposite of WYWH? Because of the improv style of Yes: in the other hand, their musicianship are EXTREMELY skillful, and it looks awfuly like they're reading sheet music while playing their instruments.

Being more picky: the first two minutes of the CD are the perfect example of what I mean... I cannot see a piece of music well elaborated in particular, it's just a quartet of guys playing their instruments fast and loud. Of course, then the track becomes more recognizable, but that's the first impression this album leaves me everytime I hear it; Squire with his crazy bass lines, Bruford with his multi-rhythmic sessions which are good (not as good as on King Crimson anyway) but doesn't combine perfectly with Wakeman's extreme virtuosity on keyboards and Howe's fast electric guitar solos (I love Steve Howe playing classic guitar, but I gotta say it: he's highly dissapointing when he pick an electric one).

But well, the title track becomes more recognizable as I said, and then? Jon Anderson begins to sing and yeah, he sings very good (although personally I dislike his voice a bit). The outstanding part of this long track supposes to be the vocal session (I get up... I get down.....), and it's excellent, but it could be perfect if Anderson were re-released his own voice to do all the backing vocals too, because he's the only guy in the band that can sing (please don't dare to hear Steve Howe singing)... Chris Squire's voice is ok, but still he ruins a little bit to such a nice vocal work. This part falls into a strong organ noise: very fine.

And you can see: the first track for me is the only reason why the whole album deserves no more than four stars (ok, and a half) IMO, since I have no problems with the second side, which has a couple of tracks, both quite excellent; overall And You And I, with great acoustic stuff by Howe and beautiful melodies. Maybe my all-time favourite Yes song.

Four stars, and of course a masterful follow-up to Fragile, which IMO is the only Yes release that deserves to get the full rating.

Highly reccomended anyway, this is still a must-have for proggies.

Report this review (#130481)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars YES i can say it is very good, although the very good really lies in the musician section. I really don't like Anderson's voice at all, it actually kind of creeps me out. The lyrics don't really speak much to me either. What i really do understand, however, is how good these guys are on their respective instruments. Throught the whole album all i can think is, "Wow...just wow, these guys obviously know how good they are and they will not stop till they throw everything they've got right into your face." So it's kind of sad that i can only really appreciate this album for is fantastic musicianship, because with albums like that i can only listen to them if i have the time to stop and listen to the whole thing. This album wasn't really meant to be listened to lightly anyway though, they probably expected people to put thier all their thoughts on the music and focus on it and it alone. I recommend this to an experieced prog fan only though, because there is a lot to take in, and it may leave you completely disarrayed if you don't "train" for it. Not to say there aren't lots of people who can appreciate it right away, but be warned its a very heavy trip.
Report this review (#130613)
Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Close To The Edge is definitely a groundbreaking album which every prog-fan should have. It's one of the first progressive albums that I've bought, so it means a lot to me as well. Even though I don't like it THAT much nowadays, it's still worth listening. Not a single filler on this album, just 3 masterful compositions by this superb lineup.

"Close To The Edge"

The album begins quietly with a weird intro, until it suddenly "explodes" with a chaotic improvisation by the group. I have to admit, even though many people think it sounds cool, I'm not a big fan of these crazy improvisation -parts. It does get slightly boring, until the noise ends at last, followed by a peaceful guitar melody. I'm not a big fan of Jon Anderson, in fact, sometimes I consider his singing a bit irritating. However, he does a great job in this song. After a bunch of some happy verses (typical to Yes) the song quiets down gradually. The beautiful sound of Wakeman's mellotron is absolutely fantastic! This part of the song is so emotional, the artistic sound and the peaceful atmosphere give me goosebumps every time. Unfortunately the vocal part gets a little boring in the end. After some minutes of quiet singing, Rick Wakeman plays a nice keyboard pattern just before the song once again explodes into a mad and loud section. I'm always impressed by that part, because the lineup is just so fantastic. Bill Bruford is definitely one of the most talented drummers ever, and Chris Squire is an awesome bass player. After some nice solos the song returns to a verse, this time a bit louder. Finally the song ends with the same noises that were heard in the beginning. Even though at this point I'm blown away by the awesomeness of this track, I still think that some parts of this song are a bit boring, and this song could have been shorter. A great song, but not a perfect epic.

"And You And I"

The guitar intro is a bit dull, but after one minute the song finally "begins" when the rest of the band start to play their instruments. Once again the vocal melody sang by Jon Anderson is perhaps too happy for my taste, and maybe that's why I don't like Yes that much. But the highlight of this song is definitely the slow part after the chorus. One of my favorite parts of music ever done by anyone! It's just pure art, a really masterful part of this song. Wow! After that, the song basically just repeats itself until the end. A great track definitely, but nothing mindblowing besides the slow artistic parts.

"Siberian Khatru"

The final song on this albums begins with a groovy riff followed by a bunch of some other nice riffs. Another happy song with vocal melodies that remind me of The Beatles. Nice solos here and there, but the song itself is not that special. No "pure art" parts in this song, basically just a groovy rocker. I still like it though, sometimes I even think it's better than the title-track. But one thing I hate about this song is the ending. Such a great album ends with a lousy fade-out?? Anyway, I like this track a lot and it does a great job ending the album.

This album is full of fantastic parts and all the songs are worth four stars at least. However, I think it's a way too overrated prog-album. In my opinion, it's not even the best album by Yes, and I'm not even a big fan of Yes..! Everytime I listen to this album, I miss the rawness of "Heart Of The Sunrise" and other hard prog songs. This album is definitely progressive, but not rock enough for my taste. It's excellent, but could have been better. Even though that doesn't change the fact that every fan of progressive music should have this album. I would give it something like 4,25 stars, if it was possible. So I'll have to give 4 stars.

Report this review (#132928)
Posted Monday, August 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A perfectly balanced record.

Aha. Take the most weird moments from "Ummagumma" (random duck quacking) and mix it with the sweetest, melancholic moments of the 70's AOR (AMERICA, for example) and ad a vocalist who could easily replace Ozzy Osbourne. The result is the record that is Close To the Edge of Tolerance... Because those guys didn't had a sense of measure - I mean, good moments are really brilliant, bad moments are really awful, average moments are average. This is a perfectly balanced album indeed.

To be honest there are more good than bad moments (ratio is approx. 75/25), but the whole picture is not worth 75/100. Even if we have a continuous sequence of good moments, they rarely fit one after another. Take a side-long suite, for example: chaotic (and brilliant!) intro is out of place not only with the rest of the song, but with the rest of the album too (I dare to say career), the over-syncopated 6/8 part with vocals is the essence of Gentle Giant, and it's one of the best moments in prog rock history (sic!), the middle part is mellow, not too inspiring, with lyrics not worth mentioning not even in the song with the lyrics for the sake of the lyrics. I have to admit that dynamics is great, and it leads to...the most unnecessary church organ monstrosity. After that, some repetitions, some more, some less memorable parts, but a nice main theme (once when you get into it) and even nicer variations of chords around that theme.

I won't bother describing the side B, because it's less rewarding than side A , but at least is more focused. Some nice guitar chords are here and there, a few nice melodies - and a few not-so-nice melodies, derived from the first song.

This album contains LOADS of good musical ideas - enough material for FIVE albums worth FIVE stars; focused, powerful, mature. However, this is not the case with Close To The Edge, which is just tacky in piling all of these ideas. What a pity.

Worth a spin, worth having in your collection for historical reasons, and perhaps you're even going to love it - it seems that majority of prog fans do.

Not me. I love pretentiousness, I love complexity, but I love a coherent story too. If the story is not 100% coherent - and almost never is - than the rest of the material must struck me really hard, which is not the case with this one. If I blend my personal taste with the reasons state above, my final rating is almost generous.

Report this review (#133521)
Posted Friday, August 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the edge is a masterpiece, but it is still lacking. This is why I believe that it remains overrated.

Musically, it is amazing, but it lacks character, atmosphere and a good concept!

The sheer complexity and power of this album (particularly on Siberian Khatru) is stunning.

My favourite track is the upbeat Siberian Khatru, second favourite is Close to You and my least favourite is the title one, Close to the Edge (simply because of the extended intro).

Also, I believe that a true masterpiece should have more tracks... Each song has an overall theme and style that takes away from the variation slightly, which makes a lack of tracks a problem. This wouldn't be a valid complaint if it were a normal sized album, though, because it is normal for individual songs stick to one style.

Report this review (#134497)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars YES YES YES!!!!!! I can remember hearing this album on vinyl in the mid seventies when i was probably 10 or 11 years old and could not believe what i was hearing.From the fist driving note of close to the edge i was hooked.the older guys that lived around me were constantly playing this album blasting out the windows of their houses.The musicianship is litearally astonding.I am a musician myself and completely believe that YES was the driving force that made me really get into progressive music.IMHO close to the edge should be the first album you should purchase if you dont own any YES or have never heard the band before.
Report this review (#134543)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hmm, Close to the Edge. This is a tricky one for me.

The title track is monumental, one of the great tracks Yes ever recorded. Starting with shimmering synths, it erupts into Crimson- esque complexity and cacophony. The song finally settles into more normal Yes fare, which is to say it's on a par with their best of this era and is deserving of the highest rating possible. I won't bother to map out what's great about this song -- that's been thoroughly documented on this site.

But I start having problems with the album after that. And You and I, and Siberian Khatru, are both good enough songs, but they never seem to go anywhere. Neither of these would have made the cut on Fragile. There's just not much energy in either, and I think they presage what we'd come to face in the next Yes release.

So I can't call the album essential, though it certainly belongs in any comprehensive prog collection.

Report this review (#134679)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Another crown jewel of progressive rock, Close to the Edge features some of Yes' most complex and challenging music, yet at the same time strikes a balance with some ear-pleasing melodies as well. Close to the Edge was a bold statement hot on the heels of the smash Fragile LP, and it showed the band in dire need to stretch out musically.

The side-long title track is brilliant. It starts off in a hectic 6/4 meter with "Solid Tme of Change", and it features some fine lead guitar from Steve Howe as well as incredible rhythm section work from Bill Bruford and Chris Squire. "Total Mass Retain" features some amazing syncopation from Bruford & Squire, who continue to keep right in 6/4 time. The slow "I Get Up I Get Down" is simply beautiful with some fine vocals from Anderson and lovely harmonies from Squire and Howe. Rick Wakeman adds some grand organ and synthesizer. The final movement, "Season of Man", refrains the first section with a nice key change in the finale.

"And You and I" is a Yes classic and a staple of their live shows. "Cord of Life" features nice vocals from Anderson, Squre, and Howe, and tasty synth work from Wakeman. "Eclipse" features one of the most recognizable sounds from "And You and I, Steve Howe on pedal steel. "The Preacher the Teacher" features more tasty synth work from Wakeman and excellent vocals from Anderson. "Apocalypse" features a nice key change and ends with Howe's pedal steel upward swell.

"Siberian Khatru" is another Yes classic, and it features some phenomenal performances. Howe's terrific main riff propels the upbeat tune, and Wakeman adds a sweet harpsichord solo. Bruford and Squire add fine syncopation again with brilliant harmony vocals from Anderson, Squire, and Howe.

This album is indeed essential listening for the progressive music fan. It features a whole treasure trove of prog elements but also provides some striking melodic work as well. Therefore, Close to the Edge receives the highest of recommendations.

Report this review (#135464)
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Close" is maybe not Yes best effort cause I sometimes prefer "The Yes album" (more direct and should be a good beginning for new fans or those who still believe that YES is "Owner of a lonely heart"), "Relayer" (it includes their best track for me which is "The gates of delirium" even if the line bass strongly resembles to PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI's "Generale"), "Tales", or "Fragile" according to my mood but the musicianship on this album is perfect especially RICK WAKEMAN & BILL BRUFORD who were at the top of their game. I have the two versions : The Atlantic (remastered) & the Rhino (including bonus tracks) ones & believe me you should also buy the latter just for the last two tracks which were previously unissued i.e. "And you and I" which is more direct; rawer if I can tell it like that and especially an alternate take of "Siberian Khatru" which I personally to the definitive version; concerning the two other tracks don't waste your time to hear them closely since "Total mass remain" is only an extract taken from the long track "Close to the edge" and "America" is the single SIMON cover and not the long version which would have been a better inclusion ("Yesterdays" includes it and also various compilations). "Close to the edge" is similar to me to "Acquiring the taste" from GG and "Selling England by the pound" because it is stellar (listen e.g. to the chorus of "And you and I"); it seems that the music had been created by angels or divinely inspired; I gave it 5 stars but I think that humanly speaking no album could reach a 20/20 or 10/10 if you prefer even the better ones but when you listen to this kind of release from YES you are like tranported in an other dimension, like in a trance if I dare say where you are not only a listener but also an active part of the musical structure since the music affects you, soothes your soul, divide your feelings, transcends your preconceptions to become a new person, a new man; that is the reason why "Close to the edge" is one of the few albums you love or hate & I don't think that is only due to subjective reasons. "Close to the edge" will definitely remain one masterpiece of music and it's not only my opinion ... it is certain !; inspiration is the key word and if I had to keep only one cd in a desert island it should be this one ... definitely this one !!!
Report this review (#135663)
Posted Saturday, September 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This one's heralded as one of the all-time classics and there's no reason to disagree - here are three songs which encapsulate the idea of progressive rock and imbue it with the "special" magic that allows it to be timeless, as well as so many peoples' favourite record.

For some, it's hard to find anything wrong with "Close to the Edge"; being more merciless, I sat here and tried for a few minutes only to generate niggles such as "I've never agreed with the track order", or "This is far too upbeat and cheerful for me", neither of which detract from the actual music. The production quality isn't really all that amazing (despite the band's embrace of studio technology) but it's hard to think of a recording technique that could live up to the fairly bizarre Yes sound - goofy, moogish portamento gulping, cheesewire guitar whines and especially Jon Anderson's accented angel approach add up to a band identity that registers as odd no matter who was behind the desk. At least Squire and Bruford made for a relatively sane backing section.

"Close to the Edge" is of course the (regretably front-loaded) defining moment of the album and has all the proggy dynamics and shades, where every player shines in turn, although Squire and Bruford seem to play tightly enough to count as one super-musician. It features the legendary Wakeman double (or triple, depending on who you ask) keyboard solo which is good enough to be billed as such, being fairly musical rather than all fireworks on ice. I won't write anymore about this epic because of the sheer breadth of reviews already dedicated to analysing the hell out of it - I'll just mention that at one stage of my prog journey, I listened to the song every day and it often made me weep with joy. Sappy, I know. Although the song is basically uncopyable, credit must go to Ruinzhatova's faithful, noise-psyche rendition of the tune.

"And You and I" is the song that prevents me from giving this thing full marks - yes, I'm a selfish rater - and is a slow, trundling cheese mammoth full of curdling sevenths and drawn-out pomp. I appreciate Steve Howe's attempt at saving the song with sensitive playing here and there, but the synth section steamrollers the string sensei and, well, oh god! It's full of Wakeman. "Siberian Khatru" is twice as neato and actually rocks, which is what the album needed straight after "Close to the Edge" - yes, my track order niggle has recurred - and it's here you realise that Yes really like the I - IV was-played-out-by-the-start-of-the-sixties chord progression and it really makes their songs better. The "ba-ba-ba" bit near the close of this rocker restores my faith in prog. In fact, the only way this closing tune pesters me is by having an obvious and barebones ridiculous timing pattern is just prog for prog's sake and only serves to force Steve Howe into squelching his accompanying twiddliness into one beat less. Hurray for musical invention.

Another man's masterpiece and perhaps yours, too. Personally I'll save my five star ratings for the moodier side of our beloved genre. In any event, congratulations to Yes for penning such an enduring album.

Report this review (#135879)
Posted Sunday, September 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Man, did Bruford pick one to go out on.

This is the epitome of prog: extended pieces, keyboard solos, guitar runs, complex themes. This is everything people say and more. The title track is just stupefying. The epic of epics. Wakeman's solo I believe is his greatest, at least as a member of Yes (I have not heard all of his solo stuff). Everyone on this track is in top form. It's just something special. "And You and I" is about as progressive as a love song can get. Jon's voice is as beatuful as ever here. It uses images of mountains, rivers, valleys, and seas. It's not just a love song. It's a work of art like everything else on this album. "Siberian Khatru" is a great closer. I really enjoy the harpsichord solo more than anything else on the track. The whole thing is good though. Unquestionably this album is a masterpiece. It defines prog.

Report this review (#136405)
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Few albums have truly revolutionized my whole view of music as much as Close to the Edge. A friend put this on my iPod insisting that it was an incredible masterpiece. At that time, music only appealed to me that had a catchy chorus and a simple: verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. On my first listen, I hadn't paid much attention and was distracted by else things. On my second listen to Side-A, I was completely mesmerized.

The keyboard sequence isn't what really captured my attention, however, "The solid time of change" and "The Total Mass Retain" sections gave me the shivers; from there, I was hooked. There is something about the urgent manner of Anderson's vocals in this song that make give it an extra epic feeling. The lyrics are incredibly cryptic, in fact, I'm not sure that they mean anything at all. The words, however, flow excellently together, almost as if each syllable was chosen specifically to follow the previous.

The "I Get Up/I Get Down" section of the song changes the atmosphere. From this point, it is a continuous crescendo until the very end of the song.

The final section, "Seasons of Man" returns where the first two left off, in one of the closing lines, Squire takes over lead vocals. The lines "On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley, Called to witness cycles only of the past. And we reach all this with movements in between the said remark." Are possibly my favorite of any song period. The song appropriately concludes with "I Get Up I Get Down.

Side-B is equally as impressive as Side-A. And You and I is one of the most lyrically beautiful love songs ever written. Siberian Khatru is a killer ending. Plenty of showcasing each member at their respective instrument.

This album isn't only essential for fans of prog rock, it is essential for fans of music: period.

Report this review (#136453)
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of 5-10 albums in which I would not change a single thing.

Everything on this album works and works well, and it flows together beautifully. There's plenty of rock (title track, Khatru), contemplation (title track), sheer majesty (And You and I), and even some folksy bits (And You and I). Couple that with fantastic instrumentation and production (the vocal harmonies sound great without sounding overproduced), and you have one whopper of an album. Truly a unique moment, both in the band's history and for progressive rock in general.

Probably the greatest progressive rock album of all time in my book.

Report this review (#136872)
Posted Friday, September 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'd say it's proper for my first contribution to ProgArchives to be on this, the finest Progressive Rock Album of all time, Yes' "Close to the Edge". Yes is my favorite band, and Close to the Edge is my favorite of their albums, with my favorite Yes song leading off side two, And You & I .

For me, Close to the Edge is quintessential Progressive Rock. Variety of musical form is the key to this album's greatness, but here I must point out the presence of surpassing talent and musicianship. The sonic textures of this album take one from the sublime to the bombastic, all masterfully segued. Talk about painting pictures with music!

I agree with other reviewers that this is merely where Yes came to their fore, and that the following releases (Tales and Relayer) only stretched their genius further. But with every re-visit to CTTE, one is reminded of why this band got put on the map in the first place, and was able to stay there. Before Close to the Edge, I'd submit that Yes was merely a great band. But with this album's release, all rockdom realzed that Yes was more than a band. It was an entity of five incredibly gifted soloists who were able to harness their talents (and egos!) enough to collaborate wonderfully, but not too much where their genius couldn't shine through.

Other bands before and after have made album-side long songs. But I submit, none are more perfectly crafted than CTTE's title track. With Close to the Edge, Yes made the album-side long song an art form. All 18 minutes and 34 seconds are pure genius -- no instrumental filler at all.

So yes, for any Prog Rock fan and collector, I'd certainly put Close to the Edge in the top ten of essential records to own, if not The Number One.

Report this review (#137293)
Posted Saturday, September 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Close to the Edge" is the album that first introduced me to the entire genre of progressive rock, and after branching out to listen to many other artists and songs, this is still the one album that I come back to at the end of the day. It is a timeless masterpiece and a milestone of progressive music.

I sit here trying to put all my feelings on this album into words, but nothing I write seems to be adequate. The lyrics in each of the songs are cryptic and sometimes seemingly nonsensical, but to me this just adds to the beauty of the music. The seeming vagueness of the words allows them to have a much more personal and emotional meaning.

Listening to the title track "Close to the Edge" takes me on a spiritual journey from the chaos and uncertainty of "The Solid Time of Change" and the search for meaning of "Total Mass Retain" to the contemplative and introspective "I Get Up I Get Down" and finally to the realization and awakening in "Seasons of Man". It really is indescribable and must be heard (multiple times) to be understood.

"And You and I" is, to me, the ultimate love song. "All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you." ...Beautiful

"Siberian Khatru" is an upbeat, uplifting song that for some reason always puts me in a good mood whenever I listen to it. Jon Anderson's lyrics are nearly indecipherable here, but in the end it really doesn't matter because his voice and the harmonies supplied by the rest of the band blend so well with the music that the voices basically become another instrument.

The album's structure, musicianship, and composition have all been discussed to death on this site, so I'm sure there is nothing new I can offer to that discussion, but rest assured, they are all top notch throughout. In the end, "Close to the Edge" is most definitely deserving of 5 stars and is an album that I believe EVERYONE should listen to at some point in their life.

Report this review (#137509)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes Yes Yes and another Yes! This album MUST be considered essential, a masterpeice of progressive music! Here all the main features of progressive music are combined with genius, passion, melody, symphony! This IS the ultimate Yes, the point of no return, one of Yes' best Lps, because they play like hell, the songwriting is perfect, the signing is perfect and the cover by Roger Dean is particular but cool! You must have it!
Report this review (#137634)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 3 songs in the whole album, but each is its own excellent representation of the high point of Yes. CttE is one of the great prog masterpieces of the 70's. Filled with wonder and majesty, this track soars above previous efforts in grandeosity, sacrificing a bit of succinctness, but in the best way possible: with a mastery of the filler. TThe chorous and organ sections are amazing. I wish I had a pipe organ. AllI have is a Hammond , and who in their right mind would use one of those in a recording? Uh, how 'bout everyone.

Khatru builds upon the foundation of Roundabout and "Edgeafies" it, adding complexity and reverb. Although this song is alittle dry- sounding, but it works. Awesome.

AYAI is the most beautiful of the acoustic-intro songs, but not as good as Your move (I've Seen All Good People).

The Second best Yes album with THE best Yes song. This album is essential!!!!!!!!

Report this review (#138680)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes, Close to the Edge: one of the most revered albums in prog. Reading some of te reviews here I wouldn't be surprised if people worshipped it. Well, although I am very new to prog I can confirm that most of this praise couldn't be more deserved. When I heard this I was amazed by the way it was so different from other non-prog bands I was used to at the time. The 18 minute title track is a work of genius, and not a single second is boring. The intro is amazing and one can already see the virtuosity of all these musicians. Then Anderson's unusual voice comes in and it's all epicness (is that a word?) from here on. It includes solos from all the instruments, and to me Wakeman's keyboard playing stands out the most. Also, being a bassist myself, I admire Chris Squire's work here a lot. But of course we can't forget Howe's incredible soloing, and Bruford's excellent playing. My favourite part is the dreamier section: 'I get up I get down'. This is very refined, with possibly the only lyrics on this album that make any kind of sense.

And You And I, is the next song, which sets a very nice mood, kind of happy yet atmospheric. I don't find this song sticks in my memory much, but it is hard to do so while surrounded by two masterpieces.

Siberian Khatru is the closing song, with some very catchy bits, some more outstanding performances... and it's very fun. I like fun music. Again i love Squire's playing here.

If, like me, you have the 2003 remaster, you will have the several bonus tracks. While this is good music most of it is already on the main album and cannot add anything to such a masterpiece.

Another thing to mention is the artwork. The front cover is very striking, yet simple with a logo that i like a lot: very fun like the music. The inner design is also very good. It portrays a detailed landscape with lots of waterfalls, that suits the music a lot.

So, I have to say that this album must get 5 stars, because, while not being my favourite album ever, it is undoubtedly a pure masterpiece, with a lot of originality, and it has inspired many modern bands that I listen to (in fact this disc is what proved to me that Dream Theater are influenced by more than just Rush.)

Report this review (#138830)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album that started my Yes obsession, and subsequently got me into bands like ELP and King Crimson. It only contains three songs, but they are three of the greatest songs ever written. It starts of with the title track, an 18 minute epic with an absolutely stunning organ solo by Rick Wakeman. My favourite Yes song. Next is "And You and I", which is pretty mellow with some nice synth work. The album closes with "Siberian Khatru", which is fun and upbeat, although lyrically it contains darker themes. My version also has some demos of the aforementioned songs, which are good but don't add much to this masterpiece.
Report this review (#140111)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the best progressive rock albums i have ever heard. The title track really starts off the album with a bang. I love how diverse the song is just in itself. And You And I is another great song. My least favorite on this album is Siberian Khatru, but even this is a magnificent song. I am not the biggest fan of really long songs but this album keeps my interest the entire time.
Report this review (#140358)
Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What more is there to be said about this classic album, truly a masterpiece of progressive music if ever there was one, people will argue about close to the edge being overrated and debate about which album is the best prog album of all time but really all that matters is that this is a fantastic prog album by a group of musicians at their collective and individual peaks.

Close to the edge is my favourite song that I have heard to date of any band in any genre, it has such a wide range of dynamics and is so emotionally involving and sincere without ever getting boring - it's everything to me that is good about prog. I remember when I was first getting into prog I got a yes compilation disc upon strong recommendation and I found myself listening to close to the edge a fair bit even though I didn't really understand or comprehend it (or even enjoy it) at that point but now it is clear what I was thinking about.

The other 2 songs on the album are fantastic but it's easy to be let down by them after the side long magnum opus that preceded them, 'and you and I' is a very beautiful more acoustically inclined song that I think deserves more credit. Siberian khatru is generally considered the weakest song on the album and I'm inclined to agree but it is still among yes' best works and is a great song in it's own right.

Overall I couldn't rate this lower than 5 stars, it's a shining beacon of what prog is about and it has changed my life for the better.

Report this review (#140430)
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Most celebrated YES album is their most balanced release. Three long tracks, not that much complex as later on “Relayer”, no throw-away parts like on “Tales…”, no weak places at all! Unfortunately, “And You And I” simply doesn’t work on me, so I always consider this album to be a very good EP (eponymous track + “Siberian Khantru”), and both tracks on it simply marvelous. Top- notch Prog-Rock, with all features that drive musical critics insane: too long tracks, too pompous musicianship, too complex arrangements, too intellectual approach, after all :) “Where are your balls, folks? This is rock and roll, not your another Stravinsky cover!” Fortunately, lovers of good music never paid much attention on those who’re possessed with their own mental problems. Very good album, recommended despite that one track that I always skip :)
Report this review (#141751)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars BRILLIANT!!!!

Close to the edge, in my opinion, is one of the 5 MUST HAVE albums not only in a progressive collection, in every serious musical one.... This album is perfect, has the epic masterpiece of all time Close To The Edge, a classic progressive hymn, And You And I, that calms you down a little after 19 minutes of glory, a very melodic song with a beautifull instrumentation and to finish with the heavy rock song Siberian Khatru, a perfect song to define the Yes work, very psychedelic lyrics, with a strong rickenbaker sound bass, and the characteristic voice harmonization of the classic Yes.

A masterpiece, the king of the masterpieces!!!

Report this review (#141866)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, what can I say? This is the prog milestone, this is the ultimate prog masterpiece, this is The Prog Experience. I've been listening to this record for over 25 years now and I still can't believe that this kind of music was possible. Apparently from the first note there's a touch of genius. This record is absolutely astounding, full of brilliant musicianship that's simply beyond belief. This is Close To The Edge music that can literally change your life. That's probably why a few people might refuse to admit or acknowledge that this is the true gem of progressive music. I guess that not only prog addicts should be grateful to Jon, Chris, Steve, Rick and Bill for making this record. This is one of the best musical achievements since Mozart IMO. I guess you don't have to be a musical expert to understand that what you hear on this record is the very definition of progressive music. Absolutely essential!
Report this review (#143208)
Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close To The Edge deserves every bit of praise it gets in prog rock circles, it's as close to a perfect album as I've ever heard.

Close To The Edge is the centerpiece of the album, a 19-minute epic that sets the bar for virtuosic progressive music. The opening features everything you know and love about Yes. An incredible rhythm section with weird time signatures, great guitar work, spacey keyboarding from Wakeman, some strange Anerson vocal parts. Everything calms down as we segue into the main verse and chorus section, as Anderson gets to shine for a bit, not that everyone else isn't playing their parts perfectly. Everything calms down more as we drift into the "I Get Up, I Get Down" movement, and I won't say a too much about it here. It's absolutely beautiful and if you haven't heard it go listen now. Some organ swells, the music picks back up; the main theme is repeated but darker, and more aggressively. Bruford pounds out some of the finest rhythmic drumming I've ever heard and Wakeman delivers an incredible organ solo. Anderson brings back the main chorus and soon after the song comes to an end. The best prog song ever? Maybe... and if not; very close. Exceptional piece.

And You And I is next, and Yes does the impossible of setting the bar just as high as on the previous song. This one features some great acoustic guitar, gorgeous vocal parts, and is a little more mellow and calm than the title track. However, where as Close To The Edge was fantastic in its aggressiveness at times, And You And I features some of the more beautiful musical passages ever put to tape. "Eclipse" will shatter any myth about the lack of resonance and ability to move a person in Yes music.

Siberian Khatru closes things out, and it's very different from the first two. It's got an almost funky main riff, some stranger keyboard sounds, and more upbeat drum and bass work. Howe and Anderson make this piece. There are vocal hooks abound and Howe busts out some great solos bear the end of the song.

Overall? I can't believe anyone who WOULDN'T give this album a rating of *****. It's incredible all the way through, the best album Yes ever did, in my opinion.

Report this review (#144390)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is as perfect an album as any group has ever done. From first to last you find excellence in voice and musicianship.Take all the good things all the other reviewers have to say about "Close to the Edge" and you have a good idea of what to expect. From distant kaos to maximum beauty, this album has the gold! The only other yes album to outdo this one was "Relayer," which contains the best song ever recorded, namely, "Gates of Delerium." (Hint!Hint!)
Report this review (#145665)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Thank god for the bonus material. It gave me a thrill to rehear this record for the first time. This is of course a prog classic. Released in progs finest hour. It is however a very flawed classic. The lyrics do not bear examination and that could also true- fully be said about much of the arrangement. However truthfully the whole is greater than any one part and this record sounds very nice. The title track takes up one full side of the vinyl release, after a nod to the dawn chores, the track races along at quite a pace. There are plenty of hooks despite the rather frantic and supremely confident muso explorations. Its a pop song of course but it is only later that you realise it. We then hit something of a lull and this is a weakness of prog that sometimes the songs are just to long. The I get up I get down section is really turgid and has dated very poorly, however once we are over this hump its full speed ahead to the end of the song. This part confirms the suspicion that its a pop song in reality. This part has massive amounts of reverb on it and spent a day in the bin at one point before being spliced back on. A brave move and live they would turn the reverb up to reproduce this rather odd sound. The 2nd side has the best track Siberian Khatru (8:57) but first we must sit through the pleasant and you and I. Siberian Khatru has everything that is great about yes and none of the downside it is by far the tightest cut on this and maybe any Yes record it is a perfect 10. There what more can you add, Frankly I hate Yes not for this record but for everything that came after. Bloated and ugly Yes was the first prog band to become seriously uncool. This LP is bright and refreshing, their next record Tales from Topographic oceans almost single handed destroyed prog. Perhaps it was inevitable that in its finest moment prog was sowing the seeds of its own destruction.

Report this review (#146387)
Posted Monday, October 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ''Fragile'' ended up to be a high-selling and very popular record for Yes, entering the top 10 in the UK and North America album charts and climbing at no.4 in the USA.The single version of ''Roundabout'' was also a very succesful, reaching no.13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles.In April 1972 the band entered the Advision Studios in London to record ''Close to the edge''.Finishing the process in June, Yes hit the road for a promotional tour, even if the album was not officially released.This would occur eventually in September, featuring another georgeous, minimalistic cover by Roger Dean.

The first attempt of Yes for a sidelong track became true with this album and for the first time the spiritual side of Jon Anderson comes in evidence in the 19-min. eponymous composition, lyrically inspired by Hermann Hesse's book ''Siddhartha''.A complex guitar-driven kick off by Steve Howe will give its place to a highly melodious line and the chance for Yes to develop their most complicated and charming side.The astonishing keyboard work of Wakeman, full of synth interludes, Mellotron colors and organ vibes, the quirky guitar parts of Howe, the deep bass grooves of Squire and the flawless drumming of Bruford come in full shape.The Classical influences become apparent just before the middle.Wakeman's orchestral Mellotron and smooth piano tunes will give rise to the pompous church organ, supposed to be one of the most dramatic tunes in Prog Rock history.Fiery, slightly psychedelic musicianship is what follows with monster organ and guitar jams for a grand finale with huge vocal harmonies and dominant symphonic keyboards.

The flipside opens with the 11-min. ''And you and I'', practically written by the whole band.A sensitive acoustic vocal/guitar crescendo in the first minutes grows into Mellotron-drenched Orchestral Prog with a grandiose atmosphere and Anderson's emphatic voice supporting.A second round of smooth acoustic soundscapes follows, surrounded by Wakeman's spacey synthesizers and another bombastic keyboard finale.The closing track ''Siberian Khatru'' clocks at 9 minutes and this is another Yew classic track.The naughtly guitar playing by Howe, the already familar Yes polyphonic harmonies and the sweet keyboard melodies of Wakeman are the absolute characteristics of another nice composition.The lovely harpsichord theme and the slightly jazzy guitar work of Howe adds another dimension to Yes sound, while the outro is again excellent with a very dramatic performance by the group both on vocals and instruments.

The album is highlighted by numerous Prog fans as the potential highest peak in the history of Progressive Rock music.Personally I think the shorter tracks are a level down from the amazing opening epic and thus ''Close to the edge'' is an excellent but not masterful album.Either way, the final feeling is absolutely positive, as you get out from one of the finest Prog experiences of the 70's.Highly recommended.

Report this review (#147744)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars At the moment I give this review, 746 reviewers have preceded me. That makes this album (one of) the most reviewed of all. So I think for the ratings it doesn't really matter that I do this one too. But I still want to give my opinion about Yes and about this album, so that's why.

Talking about this album is actually talking about the title track. And that's of course a very special one. When I first heard this song on the radio (!) in the seventies it blew me away, really. I wasn't familiair with prog yet but got very interested of course, as should be the case if you are a progger like me. But I was about 15 years old, so what do you know ? It lasted some more years before I really realized that prog was my thing and the rest of the music styles actually didn't really matter.

Close to the edge as a song is indeed a masterpiece but there are 3 tracks on the album and in all honesty, the other two are far less but of course they have to count in the rating. And you and I is a very nice track but no more than 4 stars and Siberian Khatru is even less to me (3.5 stars the most). So I don't know where all the 5 star-reviews are coming from, it must be for sentimental reasons or something. The justified rating is 4 stars (4.25 at best).

Report this review (#147876)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I find it difficult to understand why this is constantly rated as the best YES album. It is a short album with only 3 tracks. Admittedly, the title track is excellent and one of the best symphonic/progressive tracks I have heard, however the other two just do not work for me.

'And you and I' is an overlong love song that doesn't seem to go anywhere. 'Siberian Khatru' is more of a rocker but I cannot get passed the 'Yankee Doodle Dandee' bit.

If you want to 'get into' classic Yes, buy 'The Yes Album' or 'Fragile' and buy a compilation or live album for the title track 'Close To The Edge'

Report this review (#149107)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The CD I recently bought has 4 interesting bonus tracks that were not on the record. I also comes with an interesting small booklet explaining how the record was produced. The alternate version of You and I (bonus) is fun to listen to, but the original version is much better. The 2 single versions are OK.The studio run-through of Siberian Kathru was a good surprise. Of course the record is worth an alltime 5 stars.
Report this review (#149695)
Posted Friday, November 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The addition of Rick Wakeman to the ranks of Yes gave the band everything they needed to take their music anywhere they wanted to go. Wakeman had joined for previous release Fragile, which itself is a fine release but had a few patchy moments. Here though they get everything totally right. There are only three tracks on the album but each one is a Yes classic.

Side 1 of the original album features the first of the bands full side of an album epics, title track Close to the Edge. It is divided into four sections starting with The Solid Time of Change which has an excellent Jazz tinged intro with superb playing from the band. Steve Howe deserves a special mention here and has rarely sounded better. Total Mass Retain follows and the rhythm section of Bill Bruford and Chris Squire are exceptionally tight with each other following the complex time structure which would leave lesser musicians totally bewildered. Things get more mellow for I Get Up, I Get Down but features a powerful Wakeman Keyboard sound which sounds like a Church Organ leading into a totally off the wall instrumental section before culminating with an excellent Keyboard solo. Seasons of Man ends the piece revisiting The Solid Time of Change before a climatic vocal led finale.

One song that it is almost obligatory for Yes to include in their live shows is And You And I. I have seen them get what seems like 10 minute standing ovations for this live and that's mid set too. A beautifully, melodic piece, starting with Steve Howe's acoustic guitar. Fairly laid back overall but this track really soars to powerful heights capable of taking the roof off and has one of those hair standing up on the back of your neck endings.

The album closes with a Siberian Khatru which has often been used as a live set opener, an excellent choice, this being an incredibly powerful piece. Starting with a fantastic discordant riff overlaid with another brilliant Howe solo before settling into the first verse. It has to be said that Jon Anderson sings like an Angel throughout the album with excellent harmony back up from Squire in particular who has proved since that he's capable of taking the lead vocal slot himself.

Sadly Bruford would leave after this album (going on to great things with King Crimson), feeling that he had progressed as far as he could within the band. He was to leave the band at their creative peak which was a brave move which you have to admire.

5 star reviews should not be dished out lightly but this is an essential masterpiece for any Prog collection and more than worthy.

Report this review (#149863)
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This being the most reviewed album on progarchives, I cannot add much. I will say that it is Yes' best album, with each musician being at their peak, including Bill Bruford even though he left shortly after recording this. Rick Wakeman is incredible on all 3 tracks, laying down some of his best solos and indeed some of the best keyboard solos ever. Chris Squire runs up and down on his rickenbacker making glorious undertones. Steve Howe solos amazingly at the beginning of the title track, and does good acoustic and riffing work on the other two. Jon Anderson's voice has never sounded more heavenly, and his lyrics, although obscure, were chosen for their sound rather than their meaning. The Songs: The title track is one of my favorite 20 minute epics, beginning with the typical mystical tinkling noises, then blasting forward with a steve howe solo. The electric sitar part is nice, and the chord changes from major to minor and back and back again are great. The slow middle section has some of the most beautiful harmonies ever written between Anderson, Howe and Squire. The Hammond ofgan blasts us, then the moog startles us, as the song explodes into the final segment, with an amazing organ solo, and a climactic hair raising ending. Perfect Song, not close to the edge, over it. And You and I is really good, a folky kind of song at the beginning, and moving into more dramatic parts. Siberian Khatru is a great song, but gets a little repetative after a while. I do love the harpsichord solo though, and the opening riff is sick.

Overall, a great album, Im trying to use the term "masterpiece" sparingly, so I will say that the title track gets five stars, the whole abum gets 4, close to masterpiece.

Report this review (#150305)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Seriously great album, CTTE. The title track is one of the most epic, visual pieces of music I have ever heard. One of the greatest songs ever in my opinion. The best part might be the epic (I use that word way too much) keyboard part by Rick Wakeman where it just goes off into another dimension. And You and I is an epic (goddamit) Yes-ballad done in the only style they know how and contains some of the weirdest fantasy lyrics ever (creature nailed upon the colored door of time, like whoa, cool). Siberian Khatru is a catchy but repetitive song with some great riffage. Overall, a really soild album and one of the greatest of all time.
Report this review (#150534)
Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This recording is Yes at its best. From beginning to end, cohesive and consistent, lush and intricate. Bold. Dazzling fastastic poetic lyrics with great delivery by Anderson. Virtuosic performances by Wakman, Howe and Squire abound. Demanding of its listener--- sit down and listen!!! It's not casual listening and it's not light music. Not for those whose number of teeth or shoe size exceed their intelligence quotient or capacity of their attention span in minutes. There are many who would consider this their favorite all time progressive rock recording. I will not go quite that far but will state that it easily fits into my top ten of all time. This is Yes' most representative work and to the young'ns out there looking to explore this band, Close to the Edge is what it's all about.
Report this review (#151834)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The masterpiece of the band, and undeniably a classic of the genre. From beginning to end, this is hard to fault. CTTE is a bold and powerful opener, that is a real contrast to the traditional Genesis school of epics. Both this and And you and I use classical structures, which gives both tracks good cohesion. CTTE is all aimed at the end, however, whereas And you and I is perhaps more balanced. Both are fairly close to perfect. Siberian khatru can recieve a bit of criticism, and while, yes, it is not of the same standard as its fellow two tracks, that is not saying too much. The only criticism I can give it is that it perhaps goes on for too long.

Overall, this is a good candidate for best album of all time.

Report this review (#152904)
Posted Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every opinion has been stated about this album. Each reviewer has taken notice of this, but everyone assesses it anyway. I know I am only reviewing Close to the Edge out of a desire to express my love for roughly all 38 minutes.

The title track is an admirable illustration of progressive rock. Moreover, it is a perfect model of how a prog epic should be. Someone new to the genre could not possibly be scared away immediately. It is all very inviting, never boring. What's more to say?

And You and I is gorgeous: more down-to-earth, symphonic, acoustic, melodic, powerful, and softly instrumented at either end of the song .all that good stuff. If the world really did end with Yes' version of the Apocalypse, I would die happy. Although Close to the Edge is the ideal epic, And You and I is my idea of the stronger of the two.

I say the two because Siberian Khatru is entirely different. It has that upbeat, funky riff punched out aggressively, constantly, similar to the much quirkier one in Roundabout. No doubt it is the most energetic, but perhaps that is why it is the least effective? It's just not as dynamic, therefore not as appealing.

On the whole, CTTE is very efficient, and almost flawless. I could listen to it every day if it weren't for a fear of wearing out the enchantment. Without Khatru, I would try for 5.5 stars. With, it is 4.5 (rounding upward to 5). I considered putting "Not a second wasted." as the tagline, but the third track is exceptionally duller in comparison to the others. Not to overanalyze an excellent album. Never the less, Close to the Edge is essential if you are going to call yourself a prog fan. Its magic doesn't affect every person, but at least give yourself the opportunity to experience this classic.

Report this review (#153974)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say about Close to the Edge?

This was the album that made me appreciate music. I'm 17 now, and four years ago I didn't listen to music. I liked Aerosmith and that was pretty much it. I heard my dad playing Yes's America and I liked it so much that my dad gave me CTTE to listen to. I immediately fell in love, from the opening birds and river sounds to the guitar solo fadeout at the end of Siberian Khatru.

Since then, I have listened to the album hundreds of times and purchased the vast majority of the Yes discography, along with hundreds upon hundreds of other albums. Now, four years later, music is literally my life, and CTTE is still one of my favorite albums. One could say that this album changed my life in a dramatic way. One would be right.

Is this album that good that it could be considered lifechanging? Yep. No question.

CTTE (song): 11/10- One of my all-time favorite songs. That opening guitar solo showcases every bandmembers musical virtuosity incredibly. I love every second of this song with a burning, fiery passion.

AYAI: 11/10- I love this song with a burning, fiery passion as well. There are probably ten songs that I would give more than a 10/10 to and they are both on this CD. This is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.

SK- 9.5/10- Nearly flawless, but not as mindblowing as the first two. Incredible guitarwork.

5.25/5- This is beyond a progressive masterpiece, beyond essential. Hearing is believing.

Report this review (#153981)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars " No doubt about it. To me everything I did with the group was leading uo to Close To The Edge ". -Bill Bruford

Close To The Edge contains all the pomp, pretention and bombast that critics of progressive rock have loved to loathe since the onslaught of the genre`s movement in the early seventies. But for conniossuers of this music which challenged the intellect much in the same way classical music did in by-gone eras it is a masterpiece of word, vision and sound.

Changes in personel which occurred on the previous two Yes albums certainly lead to dramatic changes in Yes`song arrangements which resulted in three relatively long tracks which took up two LP sides which was a daring prospect for any band in 1972. This would definitely challenge audiences attention spans and stylistic thresholds. Drawing largely on research and development which took place on the previous Fragile album released only months prior, Close To The Edge embraces many psuedo-baroque compositional techniques which are combined with standard rock instrumentation, most notably the sequential logic offered by the sonata form.

Lyrically, the opening 19 minute title epic explores the philosphical ideas presented by Hermann Hesse in his novel Sidharthra which is set in India during the time of Buddah and could also be taken as an invitation to indulge in his work. While not a literal portrayal of Hesse`s book it basically follows what co-composer Jon Anderson refers to as a dream sequence to spiritual enlightenment using imagery created by church organs, an array of synthesizers, sitar-like guitars in addition to operatic- like vocalizations and consequently the tensions experienced by the seeker on this surreal path are portrayed both instrumentally and stylistically where the classical form meets modern technology. And You And I follows suit after the point of attainment with other hippie philosophies which seek out other portals of consciousness and continue on in creating similar moods of granduer with more organs, slide guitars and just about every synth available to the modern musician in 1972. The final track, Siberian Khatru, rationalizes itself into a more of a rock song courtesy of drummer Bill Bruford who suggested it`s catchy main riff. Mention also should be made of the Roger Dean artwork which graces the original gatefold record jacket with the main painting appearing appearing inside the gatefold. It reflects the concept of truth and enlightment with a minimulistic main cover which represents the grey area of consciousness before a seeker embarks on the journey with the point of hardship and the source of enlightenment being revealed in the serene painting once the cover is opened.

Objectively speaking not the band`s most accessable work as the pomp and circumstance might be a little over the top for some. Nonetheless, Close To The Edge is without question one of the defining albums of prog-rock`s glory years of the early seventies. Unfortunately, Yes decided to beat the Close To The Edge concept to kingdom-come on subsequent work resulting in the loss of two key members, drummer Bill Bruford who threw in the towel even before the album was mixed and keyboardist Rick Wakeman who lanquished on through the monumental catastrophe which would take form as Tales From Topographic Oceans which would give pop music critics even more fodder to feed their campaign agianst the whole genre of progressive rock.

Close To The Edge is a work which should be taken on its own merits because it was a zenith point both for the band and the progressive rock era and stands alone in that sense. It must be listened to on an original vinyl recording which was the canvas of progressive rock bands of 1972 or the full effect of this unusual example of modern music will not be gleaned. Although the 2003 Elektra CD remaster makes a noble attempt at recreating the original album with it`s miniature gatefold cover and lyrics sheet ( as well as bonus alternate takes and a single edit ) it simply does not compare to the brilliance of the original package which included a colour booklet and record dust sleeve with lyrics also penned in by Roger Dean. There are no substitutes. It would be like looking at a masterpiece by Vincent Van Gogh or Claude Monet recreated on a bubble gum wrapper.

One of the most important recordings in the history of rock music which arrived with anticipation, controversy and beauty just like the works of many great composers were in their own turbulent times.

Report this review (#156093)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars 1st listen. Oh my God: Close To The Edge is the summit of Prog and XXth Century music! 2nd listen: Oh my God: Close To The Edge is the summit of Prog! 3rd listen: Oh My God: Close To The Edge is an epochal album! But in other listen to remaine the feeling that puts me in condition to say: Close To The Edge is a masterpiece... but not a totally 5 stars album. Because Close To The Edge is too much a Classic prog album and in perspective is an album that in 2050 will be more appreciated tht today. In every case the three composition are at the same level: too high for a normal people like me! Like the Egyptians pyramids Close To The edge is an enigma, a great enigma: how 5 persons were able to make birth an album like Close To The Edge? The description of music is obvious impossible because Is obvious that 350,000 words would not suffice to describe this music: in fact if I speak to Mozart or Beethoven I say: listen to Mozart or Beethoven. Same thing with Yes and this Close To the Edge!
Report this review (#156627)
Posted Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Many call Close to the Edge THE progressive rock album. While I wouldn't necessarily say it is far and away the best in this very diverse field, CTTE is definitly near the top of the list. Representing the pinnacle of the experimental art rock era (which I had the misfortune to not be a part of) CTTE does many things today's prog bands just can't pull off. Firstly, the songs flow. Really, Really, Really well. Unlike the abrupt changes in volume and tempo, Yes managed to blend the changes together to create one coherent epic, as opposed to what sounds like a patchwork of songs strung together with a few seconds of filler here and there. The transition from Total Mass Retain to I Get Up, I Get Down never strikes one as rushed or forced, as if Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Rick Wakeman were all seperate rivers merging into one slow, steady stream seamlessly. That is the essence that makes Close to the Edge such a fantastic album. Next time you listen to this album, focus on the bridges in between the sections of CTTE, And You And I, and Siberian Khatru and you might get what I'm talking about.
Report this review (#159794)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I think that Close to the Edge is a little overrated but still good. I do like how they made 3 epics all on one album.

Basically, I think that the title track is mostly overrated, but is still ok. They make good use of synthesizers. And You and I is a very acoustic track. It is a nice ballad/epic. Siberian Khatru is more of a rocker. It is more fast-paced.

Close to the Edge is a pretty good album, but I will have to give it 3 stars. Enough said.

Report this review (#160528)
Posted Saturday, February 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the albums which defined prog for me growing up. At times complex, melodic, symphonic, layered vocals giving a choral feel, moog and organ, fabulous bass and drums. It's hard to imagine a prog collection that dos not include this masterpiece.

That said, the very features which make this a flag bearing prog album are the one's which wind the non-proggers up: little interludes of apparently mindless, aimless faffing about for no reason. Periods of wow listen to me! how class am I?. Are you clever or sophisticated enough to appreciate me, my band and music?.

Well, And You and I should blow those objectors out of the water. The music progresses from a simple chord progression and melody into easy rhythm. Just as the normal 3-4 minute single would leave you saying: thast was quite nice actually, not bad at all the band moves on, grander and deeper. This is progressive music.

I suppose there is always the other gripe: just can't take Jon Anderson's vocals. You hear the same about Geddy Lee etc. Well, there's no pleasing everyone ... as JC says

Well, who cares. Make your own mind up. but I suspect if you are visiting PA then you will love this album

For teh record my favourite yes album is Topographic Oceans and I'm not a particular fan of the Jon Anderson's vocal but this is just too good to given anyhting other than 5 stars.

Asbolutely essential.

Report this review (#160842)
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rating: A

Progressive rock has always gotten a bad rap in some circles, and looking at CDs like Tales From Topographic Oceans, it's not hard to see why. Bloated, full of useless solos, and just generally giving off an aura of intellectual superiority, Tales and its ilk represent prog at its very pretentious worst. That said, one need only look at the album Yes released right before Tales to see why prog remains loved to this day. Close to the Edge is one of progressive rock's stone cold classics, a timeless treasure that has lasted thirty-five years so far and will last well into the future. It perfectly blends intelligence and power - in short, it is the perfect example of art rock. It's artsy, no doubt, but man does it ever rock.

And it's beautiful. "And You And I" is imbued with a fragile beauty that allows it to win over fans of all types of music. And how does the CD resolve? With "Siberian Khatru," which is an all out rocker. or, rather, an all-out art-rocker. Once again, Yes show their prowess in mixing artsiness and just the slightest flash of pretentious with their rock roots. The result, a wonderfully fun song that takes the CD out on a bang.

All of that, and I haven't even touched on the title track yet, the rightly famous "Close to the Edge" epic, which embodies everything progressive rock was ever meant to be. Stellar musicianship, complex songwriting, beauty, catchiness, and, once again, an ability to show, through the veil of flourishes, an ability to rock. That's what makes this song so absolutely perfect. Unlike on Tales, where every note seemed questionably placed and at least half seemed entirely unnecessary, everything just *feels* right on the title epic of Close to the Edge.

But, of course, this is still Yes. As such, there are a few predictable problems with Close to the Edge. Well, only one, really, and that's the absolutely terrible lyrics, at least if you approach them from any rational standpoint. They just don't make sense. "Rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace." Honestly? That said, it doesn't really matter that the lyrics make no sense. Jon Anderson (lead singer and lyricist) has made it clear that he chose the words to fit the music, not necessarily to mean anything. Thus it's possible to ignore the lyrics and listen only to the music (of which the vocals are an integral part).

After all, the music is perfectly clear in its intentions and meaning, and, as it just so happens, it sounds absolutely phenomenal. What can I say? A masterpiece by every standard, and a testament to prog rock at its very best.

Report this review (#161375)
Posted Saturday, February 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Normally I wouldn't follow the masses to review the 'most reviewed' prog LP, but I find myself listening to this LP after a decision 27 years ago.

1980-1 was my vinyl procurement heyday and because of what I bought then has finally influenced what I listen to now. Not being a big fan on New Romantics, and flirting with the Ozzy/Sabbath/Saxon sounds of the time, I found myself spending most of my free cash in Sirrels Second Hand shop (incl records) on the Oxford Road in Reading. Prog and 70's rock was cheap; by some chance I managed to avoid lots of crap and bought Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep and, Yes. At the time, Yes had gone off the boil, and I was looking for a harder sound (Gillan was the best live act I saw that year). Yes, therefore always troubled me, Jon Anderson's vocals for me always used to mask some great guitar and I never became a big fan. I had a couple of Wakeman LP's also and I guess I found it all ok orchestral for my young rebellious ears.

However, crawling through my old vinyl and out pops Close to the Edge. I've now listened to it over the weekend a couple of times (and listening to it as I work today). Its good. Though my 'harder edge' has taken my closer to Dave Brock and Lemmy than Steve Howe and Chris Squires. I can see that there is a certain quality that made these guys the leaders of prog.

Its got a feel of magnificence, love it (for most), loathe it (for the non-prog community). You could argue that's the best way to test potential wives/girlfriends/husbands/boyfriends about compatibility with your record collection.

Report this review (#161553)
Posted Monday, February 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my second album in the prog world (the first being Thick as a Brick). It really roped me in with no hope of ever leaving. This album is at worst breathtaking. The original 3 songs all masterpieces in their own distinct regard, with the title track being a contender for best song. Not just on the album, best song at all.

Somehow America made it onto these bonus tracks too. It seems to show up on every set of them.... But it's still a good tune. The bonus tracks are mostly revamps of the 3 original tunes, not quite as breathtaking, but still quite excellent.

Track 1: Close to the Edge:

Ah my, so much can be said about this track. It is clearly all that is good about symphonic prog, and all that is good about most prog in general. 18:42 length, this track takes its time to be epic, and knows it, but doesn't make it a stretch to listen too, in fact, even the duller middle moments have a feeling of timelessness that make them just as welcome as the fast-paced organ solos or warming main melody, flowing in and out of major/minor keys.

This song starts off with 56 seconds of just synth sounds, ranging in volume from nearly inaudible to a good forte. At the end of that buildup, the guitar/bass/drums/whatever that high pitched thing is just come out in a dramatic exposition that almost just seems like musical anarchy, but the sparsely placed vocal interludes show how it's not quite.

But then...


Everything just settles down into the main melody, which is repeated throughout the song. The play it both in a major and a minor key, and multiple slight variations on it.

Then the song really starts.

You get a more chordal guitar riff, leading into a couple verses and the chorus. Both stellar. Then we get a flowing musical interlude (just a little bit). Ten another verse and chorus (the drums a little bit more straightforward this time). One more interlude, and then another verse. Only this time you have a different synth affect showing up all over, very tasty. Then that last pattern repeats itself.

Now they start breaking away from the verse-chorus thing quite so much.

There's a whole section thats just an interlude playing off of the chorus (close to the edge....)

One more verse, then one more chorus.

Then gone!

Musical interlude playing off of the main melody, the organ repeating it in multiple keys and octaves.

This next section is much softer and lyrical. We get just simple organ chords and long synth notes. Flowing vocal melodies, with background counter melodies. Contrasting words even. Very nice contrast to the opening. His lyrics I get up, I get down at the end prove how yes can take a simple melody and words and turn it into gold. They repeat these lyrics multiple times.

This section doesn't change around much, not until the organ solo, which is slow and easygoing, yet surprisingly epic in it's own different way.

Then they ditch that slow crap and go back into the more fun faster-paced playing.

Abruptly right into a rougher sounding revamp of the main melody. And then that leas right into a long and fast organ solo. No more slow chordal stuff, just jamming.

And then we get another verse (yes, the same one as from the first section). And then another verse.

This section really is just a twist on the first part.

They repeat a part of the chorus for a psuedo-vamp about 15 times until they bring back the original synth affect to close it out.

This song is almost more comparable to watching a movie than it is to listening to other music. Completely amazing.

Track 2: And You and I

I've already spammed up your reading pleasure enough with that first track... So I'll cut back a little bit for these next two.....

This song showcases the soft-acoustic side of Yes. Staring off with some easygoing harmonics, and a simple guitar melody, and then progressing from there, is defines that end of their playing as excellent. This song, by itself, could have been an amazing title track if they wanted it too. But no, they just added it after Close to the Edge to showcase their prowess.


Track 3: Siberian Khatru

An amazing exposition of jamming-ness, about seemingly nothing. This song has some wonderful guitar work and vocal lines. It may be the weakest of the three songs on this album, but then again, look what it's up against. Again, this is a track that could've easily led an album by itself, but just got added in here to show how pro-skills Yes is.

Still quite great.

This album is epic to no end, one of the most fine albums ever created, by far!

Report this review (#161955)
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars If I were forced at gunpoint to name the most accomplished of all prog records - it would be this one. This thing is simply perfect from the first to the last note. And if you exchange the studio version of Khatru with the live one from Yessongs - then its even more than perfect (= 6 stars). What a magic year of prog music: Close to the Edge, Thick as a Brick, Made in Japan, all released in 1972, all indispensable. Get the CDs if you don't have them already. This music is one of the experiences one can't shake off. 5 stars.
Report this review (#162983)
Posted Saturday, March 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

Completely mind-blowing. This is YES. Close to the Edge is probably the bands best album, and is just so stunning it is hard to put in words. The work of each member of the band on here playing together in perfect harmony and soul is not possible. This is alien intelligence, definitely not human. And You And I is my personal favorite track and one of the earliest songs in prog I ever heard, and it steadily got me to where I am today. I listened to this song by accident when my computer froze on a blank screen but my winamp was still working, I had picked a random song that my dad downloaded to test some of his interests because my dad is the man, so I put on And You And complete awe I sat through the entire track while looking at that screen, after it was over I knew this was great music and I continued small steps towards my inevitable prog fiendishness.

Well when I eventually bought this album and became a YES fanatic I also noticed Close to the Edge and Siberian Khatru were also masterpieces. It is not really possible to describe it, you have to just hear these songs and feel the passion and soulfulness of it all. Steve Howe's choice of guitar playing is incredible and I must say Squire is my favorite bassist. Just awesome stuff, check this out, incredible YES album time travel to the early 70's where music still kicked ass!

Report this review (#163513)
Posted Saturday, March 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you wanna listen to a progr-rock masterpiece, please have a listen to this album. Only 3 songs, but nothing's wrong in it. The first track, Close To The Edge, is 18-minutes long, and is the best - no way to doubt about it. Part symphonique (thanks, Rick Wakeman), part rock (Steve Howe's guitar, Chris Sqire's bass, are incredible !), with a great vocal part from Jon Anderson. The two last tracks last 10 and 9 minutes, And You And I and Siberian Khatru. Maybe Siberian Khatru is less interesting than the others - too rock...too short ? - but it's really good anyway. And You And I is perfect. If you like the live albums, the entirety of this masterpiece is on the triple live album Yessongs (now double CD). You wanna buy some Yes albums ? Be sure to buy this one (and Tales From Topographic Oceans, Fragile and Yessongs, of course) ! You'll never regret !
Report this review (#163907)
Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like every other Yes album, I could not stand Close to the Edge. It was pompous, pretentious and far too long to require proper listening from a boy who grew up listening to three-minute Beatles pop songs. As with Tales from Topographic Oceans, I had to come back to it and I found myself experiencing the same musical orgasm. While Bruford's drumming is excellent, it doesn't seem to be at the same level as on previous albums. Wakeman however, along with everyone else, have never been better.

The first track begins with the sound of birds singing but soon rushes into a rising crescendo before bringing us to the first movement 'The Solid Time of Change'. The lyrics, 'Close to the edge, down by the river' are first seen here and will be revisited several times throughout the song. 'Total Mass Retain' has a much more forceful feel to it, with Squire's bass driving the melody and we occasionally hear glimpses of Wakeman's organ. The third movement 'I Get Up I Get Down' is very quiet with only the mellotron in the background and possibly a synthesiser. Eventually a piano, playing one note comes in with Anderson singing. The final lyrics 'I get up, I get down' repeated several times brings us to Wakeman playing the church organ. There is a pause for more singing and then it comes back. The fourth movement 'Seasons of Man' begins with the Hammond organ, percussion and guitar all playing the same forceful rhythm just in time for Wakeman's beautiful fifty second organ solo... And now I just feel like I'm waffling on too much.

I think it is best to leave it to the listener to discover the small beauties in each song. Personally, And You And I is the best ten minutes of music ever written. It is entirely deserving of five stars and is truly a masterpiece of progressive music.

Report this review (#164674)
Posted Sunday, March 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
5 stars I won't belabor my love for this album, which in my opinion should appear in the dictionary under progressive rock, nor will I go into fan-boyish praise for its compositional, instrumental, and musical merits-- it has been described enough by the numerous voices above.

However, I will encourage anyone-- in the thousand to one shot reading-- who HASN'T discovered classic progressive rock, that this is almost certainly the best place to start. More than King Crimson's uneven early albums, Genesis' tepid mediocre offerings, and ELP's key-driven pomp: YES' songwriting, instrumental proficiency and energy completely and unfailingly entertain. Each member of the group sets the standards of quality for their instrument, and presents a release here that only gets better with age. Each song has limitless musical secrets to discover, and some of the sharpest and most memorable tunes in the genre.

5 big, fat, solid stars.

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Report this review (#165558)
Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This one goes without saying, but as I have just finished listening to this album, I thought I'd go ahead and type this short review. The compositions are brilliant. And, somehow, even though the band can sound sloppy at certain points, (how does Steve Howe get away with some of this stuff!?) it doesn't sound remotely bad anywhere. This is the perfect combination of their bombastic side and their accessible side. This is Yes at their best.
Report this review (#165778)
Posted Saturday, April 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now there's not too much one can add to all these lengthy reviews, but I'll give it a try and will write down my own experience on this. After buying The Yes Album I was tempted to buy Yessongs and was completely blown away with it. At that time I wasn't into live albums at all, so I considered it as The Best Of Yes. After purchasing all their other albums, Close To The Edge was one of the last ones. Well, I don't think the studio version tops the Yessongs version, and that's because I am really fond of Alan White's more rock approach on Yessongs. But still, this album is completely essential, as the three tracks go into a direction no men has ever gone before. Complex themes with magnificent craftmanship and beautiful themes like the I get up I get down section and moreover And You and I. If you like keyboard oriented rock, or intelligent guitar playing, or the aetherial voices of Jon Anderson, this album is for you.
Report this review (#167209)
Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars ALL TIMES CLASSICS , belongs now to each one of you . In reality , this album is for 4.50$ , and i'm willing to add this Masterpiece to your libraries for free , Yes , it's my gift to all proggers around the world to discover such beauty ,never been done before or after Close to the edge ................... I felt that this introduction satisfies my rage since 1973 , and satisfies yur hunger to whats coming next . To be completely honest in my point of view , I can't rate this album as a Masterpiece because it's not an ordinary achievement by YES , there's no limits in this work at all . no limits about what can talented musicians can simply say to you , by performing excellent music , in different ways , without breaking the red zone in making what was best in progressive . It took me many years & a lot of effort to get the concept behind this concept . Thks God , now i know simply that this masterpiece doesn't belong to any category of music . I wonder always why Fragile & Close were not in the same album as a twins in a double album . In that case , there's no need at all to rate this album . About Close To the Edge .... a big challenge for the market at that time of the 70's , and if anyone is willing to ask me to define symphonic progressive rock , my answer will be , refer to Close to the Edge & Fragile ....................................... no stars available in my drawer anymore , can you lend me some , PLEASE ....................... Tracks Toni .....keep on crossing to the best ........... ))))
Report this review (#167551)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars You must hear this album entirely for a few times to understand how powerful guys they were and fow artistic and fantastic (at the time) songs they created. At the first time I hear Close to the Edge I was disappointed because of such long songs. I liked Siberian Khantru firstly, then it was And you and I and after hearing three times entirely, Close to the Edge itself. I found the title song very boring, espessially intro. But it has so prog-oriented piece - I get up, I get down with charming keyboards, organs and Jon's vocal. Now I think this epic is powerful masterpiece as Pink Floyd Echos, amazing and intelectual art-prog eclectic work. Great stuff! 5/5 And you and I - I began to like since hearing on Yessongs and watching a video. This is something! 10- minute prog-stuff! 5/5 Siberian Khantru - much speedy art-rock song, aslo my favourite! 5/5

This album is a real masterpiece, no doubt!

Report this review (#167674)
Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars In my mind, there are three albums that reach the heights of progressive rock as most of us have come to define it: IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING (King Crimson), SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND (Genesis) and this Yes album. They are the proverbial ''cream of the crop'' albums that all prog fans should get around to hearing, and all three represent the progressive rock genre in the most positive way.

CLOSE TO THE EDGE differs from the other two classics in the mood of the pieces; CLOSE TO THE EDGE is a bright and jovial album as opposed to King Crimson's dark and majestic masterpiece or Genesis's delicate, fragile work. The compositions here have an uplifting feel to them, especially ''Siberian Khatru''. It's very hard to ignore Squire's punchy bass, Howe's dexterous guitar layers and Wakeman's full implementation into the group, adding more memorable fluttering keyboard lines than FRAGILE offered, if that's even possible.

The title epic has become the epic that all prog bands want to emulate. It has enough musical skill to dazzle the listener, yet the band takes a simple approach in construction. We don't have twenty themes coming and going without reason; Yes only needed about four or five to expand, develop and reshape in ninteen minutes of vinyl space, and they can make those themes sound terrific. Plus, Yes decided to further up the ante with a lighter tune (''And You and I'') following the epic and an edgier piece (''Siberian Khatru'') as the closer.

I happen to like FRAGILE more because it was my first Yes experience, but artistically and objectively speaking, CLOSE TO THE EDGE is better and the logical continuation of what FRAGILE represents. This is an album to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Report this review (#168113)
Posted Saturday, April 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The famous Close to the Edge manages to live up to most of its lofty expectations. While not my favorite from Yes, it does deliver an excellent sampling of prog. Taking a structured approach with three long songs, instead of the menagerie of short tunes present in Fragile, each track has a different style that balances the album out. You have the deep, cosmic voyage of Close To The Edge, after which you can relax to the softer And You And I; closing it out is faster, more energetic Siberian Khatru. Though typically overlooked, Khatru is quite possibly my favorite song of the album. I'm particularly fond of Wakeman's harpsichord solo.

Is this the greatest prog album of all time? I have no idea. There are many I like more. However, it is definately an excellent album, and worthy as being mentioned as one of the greats of the prog world. It also makes the best introduction into Yes' more progressive albums.

(As a side note, this the second and final album with the classic Yes lineup. Truly a shame it couldn't have stayed together longer. )

Report this review (#168172)
Posted Saturday, April 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well well well... This one holds a particular place in my heart because it's the one which introduced me to prog : when I got into prog, I just said myself : This one looks nice, I'll buy it and see what it's like. God, I have never had a best idea in all my life. It changed everything : My way to listen to music, my way to play music, my way to talk about music... This is an incredible release on all points : to my eyes Fragile was good but not perfect and too cut to be appreciated fully. Close To The Edge doesn't have this problem as I can listen to it as many times as I want in a row. Any second is a magical moment, a minute is paradise and the whole album is really extasy. All the players are at their best here, especially Howe and Wakeman who are simply amazing. Not much to say about Jon as he is always close to the edge of perfection. Squire plays his bass like he has never did before. Well, Bruford is just perfection, one of the best drummers ever. Close to the edge is the ultimate mix of Rock, Jazz, Experiments, and last but not least, Classical Music. All has already been said about the tracks in the previous reviews, so I won't go any further than the others. One more thing : Close To The Edge is sadly forgotten among youth today, as I'm probably the only one who knows this band in my school (I'm French) and I think Progarchives is a great way to learn about prog, just as I did. I'll never thank you enough.

5 stars.

Report this review (#169936)
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you can get past the chaos erupting out from the ambient sounds of the opener, you're well on your way. If you can appreciate it, you're already there. The problem for me is that while I can always get past these frantic moments, I don't always appreciate them. This is why while I will always recognize Close to the Edge as the classic album that it is, I will probably always have a difficult time ranking it as a masterpiece. Don't get me wrong: this album is brilliant. The seamless transitions in the title track opener are great examples (note Wakeman's crushing organ solos after Anderson's unforgettable vocal build-ups). But brilliant for me doesn't always equate to masterpiece. I've always been a person who bases my reviews on my own personal tastes, and I can't stray here just because this album is one of the most championed of the 70s-era giants. I'm a sucker for prog music that really takes time to explore emotional melodies. GENESIS Firth of Fifth and Cinema Show were almost enough to force five stars out of me, but along came The Battle of Epping Forest. And while my finger will surely hover above the enter key for several seconds, my taste for the melodic will probably take five stars away from THE MARS VOLTA's brilliant Deloused in the Comatorium. Sure, And You and I is more genuinely melodic than anything TMV has ever done, but this admittedly beautiful song still seems like it only flirts with that elusive experience of musical bliss poured from deliberate explorations like the Firth of Fifth solo. Like THE MARS VOLTA, YES' music is structurally brilliant. But I just need something a little more personal.
Report this review (#170936)
Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say that hasn't already been said about this record. Possibly the highlight of Yes' career. The Beatles had a seven year run with incredible creative powers, almost unearthly, from 63 to 69. Then Yes came a long and had a similar 7 year run making extraordinary music. It's a bit unfair if people think Yes should have continued on that same level of breaking new ground forever. You can't expect anyone to change he muical scene twice! They did as good as the Beatles in many ways, and that's good enough for me. Now adays I'm pleased with every new good effort from the Yes men, just as a new McCartney album always will please me. But this is Close to the Edge, probably the highlight of their career. What still amases me is that music like this was the most popular in that periode of time. Yes could sell out any arena 10 times over and they topped the charts. Looking at what sells these days it sound like pure science fiction.

CTTE is in many ways the perfect prog record. Some reasons why: 1. Bill Bruford is still in the band. Nothing wrong with Alan White, but Bruford gave Yes a little jazzy touch which made it all perfect. 2. 3 classic tracks. NO weak ones. 3. Perfectly structured. Possibly due to Wakeman's classical background, the title track is like Overture, First movement, Second movement with variations of the first, a slow Third Movement, A Forth movement with a grand finale. Just perfect. Why didn't they do this more often? (For the next release came 'Tales' which was a total mess structure wise, to Wakeman's grief (But me personaly, I really love it, it still surprises you after years and uears of listening). 4. It's not just excellent music. It's ROCK music. High energy. 5. Beautiful vocals incl. harmony singing (Yes are superb at that).

Most albums I would give 5 stars would probably really be 4.something. This is pure 5.00

Report this review (#171502)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Undisputedly one of the greatest prog albums ever produced. Close To The Edge is often the standout album that is looked to when defining great great prog albums. The album tracks Siberian Khatru, And You And I and the twenty minute epic Close To The Edge have remained staples for live prefomances even 35+ years after the album was released.

This album is a must for anyone's collection and a reccomendation as a great album to start with for someone discovering what progressive music is all about.

Report this review (#171571)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
5 stars Review 44, Close To The Edge, Yes, 1972


This album resists all reviewing. Detailing the features is useless, as anyone on the site will inevitably get the album. Explaining how they contribute to the feel is mostly impossible (for me). Nonetheless, I feel obliged to try. I absolutely love this album. I think it's the best thing Yes have ever done, and one of the all-time greatest progressive albums.

Close To The Edge itself is one of the 'archetypal' progressive epics, and yet is not at all 'by-the-books' (as I've seen one review describe it). Firstly, its structure is distinctly like that of a pop song. It isn't as firmly divided into parts as something like Supper's Ready or A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers, but is a cohesive whole at all times.

I suppose the best I can say for this song is that it is simply utterly gripping all the way through. I have yet to, listening to it, think about anything other than the second of music I'm hearing. There is no spot of weakness or single place which leaves the rest feeling any weaker. The Bruford-Squire rhythm section is one of (if not) the greatest rhythm sections, and nowhere is that more evident than on this song. Squire leaps fanatically around the whole range of his instrument with plenty of groove and force, and Bruford's biggest selling-point, a mastery of the little notes, is on display throughout. He also, notably, handles all sorts of drums, which I'm too musically inept to identify.

Over this lead rhythm section, we have effectively got three lead players: Howe's searing, slippery guitar, which switches between its own bizarre style and excellent soloing. The Caped One's obscenely large set of keyboards both provide a backing atmosphere and fully realise the cosmic feel of the album, as well as one of the most uplifting and powerful organ solos ever handled. Jon Anderson, the final piece of the puzzle, contributes an intelligent set of lyrics, both including killer phrases like 'Sad courage claimed the victims standing still for all to see/As armoured movers marched onwards to overlook the sea' and word choices for sound as well as what I like to call 'word feel' (when a word, usually an adjective, is there because its meaning provides a certain feel even if it's not vital to the sense). He also handles his high vocals with a bit of grit that wasn't there in Fragile, and, while this isn't necessarily better, it does suit the song down to the ground. The accompanying harmonies which frequently feature are no less perfect.

Essentially, this is the only line-up that could possibly have pulled off this song, and the whole is indeed greater than the sum of the parts. From the spiritual birdsong opening to the amazing harmonies of the first half of 'I get up, I get down' to Anderson's triumphant 'I get up, I get down' and the accompanying majesty of the Wakeman organ solo to the truly superb use of tubular bells near the end of Seasons Of Man to the final echo of the opener, every single moment is intensely enjoyable, and can withstand breaking down or being seen as a whole with equal resilience. Even as one of the newly initiated, whose musical ear was at the time incapable of distinguishing the instruments, I was gripped by this piece, its polish and its atmosphere and lyrics, and haven't yet been released.

You And I, however, was the piece that really did seal the deal, because, even when I wasn't capable of working out why the title track was so impressive, I could appreciate the lyrical content, distorted/electro- acoustic guitar and gradual build of this one. The bleak 'Apocalypse' title frame a guitar part and vocals which may at first sound cheerful, but with the title taken into consideration take on a certain desolation or hollowness. Superficial appearances of the music and cheerful-sounding lines like 'In the end, we'll agree, we'll accept, we'll immortalise' take on an entirely different feel when the piece is looked at as a whole. Wonderfully convoluted and cleverly done. Anyone with a sense of wordplay and a an overdrive for examining lyrical material must take a look at this.

Wakeman delights in the opportunity to take a slightly more lead role, giving us all sorts of whirly moogage and keyboards. Howe's guitar is incredibly interesting for me, even though I'm a non-musician and usually have an aversion to acoustic chords. Squire willingly generally handles a lower-ranged bass part (excluding a wonderful quick solo on The Preacher The Teacher, which does provide a bit more bottom behind the fuller sections and provide a better contrast for the softer ones. The grandiose Eclipse features another incredible solo from Wakeman, this time dualling mellotron with another instrument, which slows down excellently to Howe's guitar again. Jon Anderson again gives us a superlative vocal performance, and Bruford is intelligent on the drums/percussion side, creating the grandeur every bit as much as The Caped One.

Siberian Khatru is the album's clear rock piece, with an intense organ riff running through the opening, Howe giving us a superb guitar performance, and Squire's bass (especially) driving the piece by both presence and absence. Bruford's percussion choices are inspired, giving an expanding feel to the piece, and both drum-beats and eclectic percussive battery. What really impresses on this one is how a musician can either change instrument without a moment of pause or awkward transition, with Wakeman gliding between harpischord, mellotron, moog and organ, and Howe employing both acoustic and electric guitars. Jon Anderson's vocals (complete with harmonies) and lyrics are again immaculate. Needless to say, again, this is 100% effort, enigma and brilliance, and essential listening.

The remaster includes the single version of America (the complete version's on Fragile, and I've reviewed that there), which is equally great in both formats. A single version of Total Mass Retain doesn't work as badly as I'd have thought it would do out of context, and could be of interest to a Yes fanatic. The two rehearsals/alternate versions of You And I (much thicker bass sound) and Siberian Khatru (some harmonies missed) are actually quite interesting for me (a non Yes-nut), and I don't feel crowded by the bonuses included or feel that they wreck the album as a whole. Overall, a good set of bonuses.

If you don't have this album, head right for your nearest internet-based or non-internet-based prog store, and buy it. I seriously doubt that you'll be disappointed if you don't try to convince yourself that it can't possibly be as good as the hype.

Rating: Five Stars. No question.

Favourite Track: All of them. Going to say You And I for the lyrical interest.

Report this review (#172146)
Posted Sunday, May 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars First I think I'll state the obvious. Just about everyone who has heard classic prog rock has heard this album at some point. This is a true gem of prog; if any Yes album can be considered absolutely essential to ANY progressive collection ANYWHERE, it is this. It has the most reviews of any album on progachives as of the day of this review, and most likely always will, and for a very good reason: if prog means going beyond the bonds of commercialism, beyond the standard of traditional rock music as to attain a higher, more intellectual form in whatever way, no album succeeds in the achievement as much as Close to the Edge. It is pure enlightenment and euphoria captured in the form of music. This album is more special to me than words can describe. It could be the lowest rated, most despised album on this site, I really wouldn't and don't care at all (though I'd be a bit confused), it still has an eternal place in my heart. Why? BECAUSE IT COMPLETELY CHANGED THE WAY I VIEWED MUSIC, in just about every sense. Now I had been quite exposed to prog before that, Rush, Supertramp, Kansas, and I already knew I liked Yes after hearing Love Will Find A Way on satellite radio (somewhat humorous, obviously). But it never clicked that I loved prog, I just knew I loved rock music, especially when it was really musical. This album was the spark that would launch me into the world of prog in a way that I would never imagine. I received it from my best friend more than a year and a half ago as a Christmas present. I listened to it in my CD player on the way home from school on the bus, and I enjoyed it but knew I had little understanding as to the way it was put together; I had never heard a song longer than ten minutes before that, and at first it was a bit overwhelming, but I knew I would enjoy it in time, I just didn't know how much. I will never forget that day. Within good time, with a few spins, IT CLICKED, and IT CLICKED HARD. I knew I loved prog, and that was when I began to start collecting albums. Suddenly almost all of the hair metal garbage I had been listening to prior sounded so pathetically simple and obsolete. I've always considered prog more a mentality than a subgenre, one that every form of music could potentially embrace, and that mentality ruled how I viewed music from then on. This album influenced me as a person and musician more than any one thing I can think of, even Permanent Waves. And any album like that is a masterpiece. No question about it. As for the music, well, what can I really say? It's as close to perfection as an album can get, the production, the musicianship, the solos, the deep contrast, the melodies, riffs harmonies, atmosphere, all comes together flawlessly. There are times when I listen to it and feel absolute euphoria. I don't think many people know this, but epic is based on a book Siddhartha, the story of the person, in Buddhist religion, who found enlightenment after going through a series of trials in life just before suicide close to the edge of a river which he had crossed several times during his life. In fact, the river taught him overtime what he needed to achieve enlightenment. Throughout literary history, and still today, the river has been a symbol of the flow of time and the connection of all things in the universe; it is its own beginning, middle, and end. And in totality, the song has to do with life and the cycle it is. I get up, I get down is the various ups and downs we face in life. It is all connected, time, space and everything in it, and how it relates to human perception and how all the universe is collaboration of connected cycles. This may seem a bit radical of a conclusion to draw from such ambiguous lyrics but it is true nonetheless, just read the book and really look into it. All of this is perfectly musically portrayed as well, everything about the way the album is put together is meant to portray this enlightened mentality, and I think that is exactly what people are sensing when they describe some sort of magical feeling it gives them. I realize many people, even the most die hard proggers alive, will never feel euphoria at some point in listening to the album, and I must admit truly feel sorry for those people, for I found it a life changing experience. All in all, the album not only represents symphonic prog at its best, but in my opinion, it ABSOLUTELY TRANSCENDS the prog subgenre, if not transcending music overall to begin with in its own way. Yes' best album for certain, and one the undeniably greatest albums of human history of the utmost level of intellectualism. I could go on for hours about this album, so I'll leave you with this. It will always mean far more to me than another progressive rock album - it is THE progressive album that altered my perception and helped me to decide to be a musician for my career. Season will pass you by - so appreciate life, and live it to the fullest, whatever that may mean to you.
Report this review (#172816)
Posted Sunday, June 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I finally got off my lazy butt and listened to Close To The Edge, the song, in its entirety. Without falling asleep. Or dying....This is the first time I hear it, so you're getting a truthful review.

Close To The Edge, this is going to be a long review. I'm going to analyze the entire song, here goes.

The water and birds are very calming, but I can hear what sounds like keys in the distance. VERY cool. Woah, it went from very calm to prog fusion! This is amazing! I don't even know what time signature this is in! It's amazing! The protruding of Jon Anderson's harmonical voice is very cool too, reminds me of April Ethereal! Some wicked drum fills by Bruford and amazing bass playing by Squire, hard to believe he's self taught. The band is absolutely mind blowing here. Wow, I REALLY like that guitar line after the whole intro beginning. The band is really firing on all cannons here. This is very amazing, so far. I can't wait for the singing to start.


The singing is amazing! THIS IS AMAZING! Man, I love that. Close to the edge, down by the river. The guitar solo is lackluster...they can do way better than that. The obvious country Atkins influences sticks out like a sore thumb in Howe's playing....I GET UP, I GET DOWN!

This part is amazing...It hit an emotional spot for me for some reason. This song is something else. It's not even near being halfway over either. Woah, they put the Close To The Edge lines to better use with some very amazing drumming from Bruford. The singing is amazing. I love that Seasons Will Pass You By! line.

Okay, the song has slowed down, with Wakeman repeating the main riffs on organ and the rest of the band playing some church like song. Woah...acid trip. This part is trippy. Very trippy. The keyboards in the background and the sweeping synth makes this part all the more enjoyable. The best part is...there's ten minutes left in the song.


This what I would picture heaven to sound like. It's very calm and soothing. Reminds me of some of the music in this video game I love, Earthbound. Wow, I missed something while I typed. Something about crucifiction. I just love the slow singing from Jon Anderson and the repeating electric piano in the background. It's nostalgic for some reason, like I've heard it somewhere before. The background vocals really stun me. I thought Chris Squire couldn't sing at all. I guess I was wrong. This next part is beautiful! An interchange between some church organs and Jon Anderson. It's bringing tears to my eyes. This is wonderful! It really shows me where Keichi Suzuki got some ideas for the music in Earthbound. Sadly, there's only 5 minutes left in the song. I don't know how they're gonna top this part. Woah. Some funky moog power from Wakeman. WOAH WOAH. This music is jaw dropping. I mean, WHAT IS BRUFORD EVEN PLAYING. This song is absolutely an epic masterpiece, I love it to death now. I can't believe I ever thought it was overrated! More solos from Wakeman, he really rips it out on this song. Only 3 minutes left, can they make a zenith even better? Now were back to where we were before. It sounds better though, with some different keyboard playing and different pre-choruses. Jeez, I can't believe this, it's beautiful.I'm so sure now, I have a new entry in my prog top ten records of all time. This song is beautiful! I get up, I get down! Man, these words are forever imprinted in my head. The song then comes like a palindrome, back to the keyboards and flowing rivers. WHAT AN EPIC MASTERPIECE. (11/10)

Opposite to Close To The Edge, I've heard And You And I many times before. I know that nothing can top what I just heard, but I'll still review, because I know this song is one of my favorites.

I always loved the opening guitar lines, especially the rhythm guitar section. It always hits home for me. Nice bass line with Bruford's bass drum following. Funny story, I would walk into snowstorms last year, listening to this song, making a music video in my head for it. It's such a good song.

I really love the And You And I walk across the highest mountains parts. Those are really compelling and outlandish. The parts that come after with the moog are also you say...Apocalyptic. Very out there, I love each minute of them. I can't get over these lyrics.

Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid, Emotion revealed as the ocean made

This is a very compelling song, I love every second of it. (10/10)

Siberian Khatru starts out with an awesome guitar line, and it gets even better. This song, i've heard a million times, It basically cycles over and over, but it's so good, I can handle it repeating itself. My personal favorite part in the song is the Harpsichord solo. Overall solid song, could have had a bit more substance, but i'm so satisfied from Close To The Edge, IT DOESN'T EVEN MATTER. (9/10)

Overall, these guys are one of the most musicallyinclined bands of that era, I absoloutely love this album, I was overdue for listening to it all the way through too. Boy, am I ever glad I did too, this is an amazing record. The only band who would've had as much musical fire as these guys at the time, would've been The Mahavishnu Orchestra. (Yes I stole that from the booklet) A landmark of progressive music, my favorite record as of now. 5.0 stars exactly.

Report this review (#174604)
Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
3 stars Even Siberia gets a 3.5

Okay, just pay attention to the little epitaph up there and turn away, because I am about to insult...everyone. Oh yeah. Time to die, Close to the Fridge! DIE!!!

Argh! I'm sorry. But Close is pretty much the prog-rock equivalent of cock-rock. By which I mean, Close is part of a "mine's bigger" strategy of songwriting. See, ELP does Tarkus, Tull does Thick as a Brick, so Yes suddenly NEEDS to do the whole "lookit my epic" trick. And it leads to...mixed results.

"Close" opens with the sound of some angry birds (or something ambient like that), but quickly turns to a fairly shallow, but nonetheless impressive, jazzy funk-down. The only part that sorta irks me is when Jon Anderson breaks it up to go: "AHHHHHH! AH!" every now and again. I think it's hilariously out of place.

When the know, song starts (with a cool descending organ line), the lyrics are pure liver- witches and disgrace and all of Jonny boy's favorite themes, but the melody is a cute lil' jazz pop theme. Very soon this movement, "The Solid Change of Time" mutates into "Total Mass Retain," but you won't notice. Why? Because it's the same friggin' song. Still bouncy, still synthy, still Jon Anderson rapping.

However, the melody DOES change (eventually) into the somewhat boring "I Get Up, I Get Down," which is supposed to be an ambient ballad or something. It's pretty slow and quiet, and the closest we get to any energy is a short shouting match between Jon and Wakeman's organ near the end. Okay.

Still, the closer "Seasons of Man" is the most impressive part of the whole picture. It's got the searing technical skills of the intro, the catchiness of the middle, and the emotion of the center, all wrapped into a single, delicious ball. I mean, it's basically a re-tread of the whole thing, but it's so much more violent sounding (or, at least, as close to the violence as the Yessers could come).

Anyway, in case you weren't sick of Yes "epics," here are two more for you! Well, at least, one's a multi-part suit, and the other's just kinda long. "And You and I" is the suite, and it's pretty dull. "Cord of Life" is an amusing, totally harmless, folk rocker. "Eclipse" is a far too puffed up piece of symph rock, considering its place in the song AND melody.

"The Preacher and the Teacher" is probably the most charming place on the album; I absolutely adore that little folksy intro with the twelve-string. And fantastic lyrics about mutants (?). Then the rest of the band comes in, and the theme changes, and we're lost. Actually, we've hit the (very un-pretentiously titled) "Apocalypse," a pretty nice and quiet ending to a boring song.

The final song, "Siberian Khartru," is definitely the best. I mean, for one thing it's the shortest, and besides, it's the last. Heh. I kid. "Khatru" has a pretty mean riff, and riffage is not something I expect too much from Yes, so that's pleasant. It's also the most genuine energy and atmosphere on the album, with the band chugging along at top speed with a really groovy rocker (and more dopey lyrics). The little "solo" section in the middle of the song is real neat. Too bad it's overlong, but, what can ya do?

What really separates this from the other good epics of the day is thus: "Tarkus?" It's about a giant armadillo/man/tank. "Thick?" A poem written by an eight year old. "Close?" Well, you know. It's about...uh, SOMETHING, I don't know what, but I KNOW it's real serious.

See, if you're honestly going to try and do this whole "rock suite" thing, you have to do it with a grain of salt. No one in their right mind goes and tries to record a side-long song without at least a portion of their tongue in their cheek.

But Yes doesn't just fail for that reason; oh no, there's more. Like, for the fact that this thing is supposed to be an "epic," nothing here feels all that epic. "Close" might be twenty minutes long (or thereabouts), but it's only about three recycled themes (yeah right, what did they think? "Hey! Three different themes! Dude, we're so complex! Take THAT, Gentle Giant!" "Chris, who are you talking to?" "And who's Gentle Giant?"). Besides, the lyrics don't mean squat. So it can't take me musically on a journey, or lyrically on a journey, so where the crap am I being taken?

Oh, and, what about those themes? Do any of them sound familiar at all? Hmm. Why is it that every time I hear the main "Close" theme, I think of the intro of "Heart of the Sunrise?" Or "Khatru," how come that reminds me of the coda to "Starship Trooper?" OH! I KNOW WHY! It's because I've heard this album before. A couple times before, in fact. I wouldn't mind THAT much (since, you know, Yes isn't terribly internally diverse), but the Close material isn't exactly an improvement over anything. Unlike the aforementioned epic albums of yore, Yes feel no need to reinvent themselves for Close.

Okay, so, it's unoriginal, it's boring, and it's shallow. So why on earth do I give it so high (yes, you heard me, high) a rating? Well, because...because it's actually a fairly sturdy album. Hell, it's pretty good, in fact. I mean, Yes has never been stronger from a technical point of view, and probably never would be again (when they lose Bill, I get depressed).

Besides, some of the material does worm its way into your brain, that's a fact. Yes were probably among the best art poppers on the planet; they just had a habit of burying all these neat little tunes under miles and miles of "atmosphere" and "wolfhounds." I mean, dude! They even took an attempted hard rocker, and made it too long! Why?

Oh well. In the end, "Close" DOES have a meaning that I've discerned; it's about constipation! "I get up, I get down," "Close to the edge, down by the river." Get it? Way to take a turd, guys.

(If Close is proof that at this time Yes was one of the most talent centric bands on earth, then the Close remaster w/bonus trax is living proof that Yes was also one of the ugliest bands on earth. Seriously, there's a group photo where it's revealed that everyone in the band is a grumpy looking freak, or a total dork. Jon looks like someone I saw get beat up in high school. Hell, Bruford looks like someone that I used to beat up in high school; thank God Crimso toughened him up. Okay, seriously now, the bonuses. What can I say? The first song is a very non-ELP cover of the Simon and Garfunkel "America," which is very pleasant indeed. For the first time in my life, I can crawl right into the vocal/keyboard interplay of Yes. Barring that, however, we get re-treads! "Total Mass Retain" is a truncated, single, version of the section from "Close;" I have come to suspect that the only reason the identical sections of the song were given different names was so that the lads could produce a single. There's an alternative "And You and I," but other than the fact that it's thinner (I guess), I can't really tell the big difference between this and the album version. Nor do I have any particular desire to do so. Finally, the live studio run through of "Siberia" is very disappointing; the album version was so nicely produced that this far thinner version fails to excite me as much. This remaster is highly recommended for Close freaks who can't get enough of their Wakeman. As for me, and I know I'm in the minority, I'll stick with Simon and Garfinkle. No raise in rating.)

Report this review (#176257)
Posted Monday, July 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Bah. I don't like yes. I don't like Wakemen's cheezy keyboards. I don't like Bruford's drumming (I love his work for other bands, but with yes he was pretty sissy-ish). I don't like Howe's dry guitar tone and I HATE Anderson's inhuman voice; which is pretty unfortunate, for the band really is pretty talent, and can write good melodies and complex arrangements.

As for the album, well... I like certain parts of it. I like the way it begins with this dissonant guitar solo and freakish keyboards, and I really love the way it suddenly changes into a beautiful, melodic guitar solo. I also love the Acoustic guitar that opens the second song, and the keyboard-dominated climaxes on it (although they are kinda cliched).

Unfortunately, that's pretty much it. Bah.

Report this review (#176420)
Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars An ostensive definition of 'masterpiece'

In my opinion Close To The Edge is simply the best musical composition ever made; not only the best progressive rock composition, but musical composition full stop. It is just perfect and otherworldly good. The two other songs here are equally amazing and all three are, of course, absolute Prog classics of the very highest caliber. For me this album is the one against which all others must be judged.

Fragile was the first Yes album I heard and it changed my life for always. Close To The Edge was clearly more difficult to get into, but now I like these two albums about equally. For me, these two albums are simply far above all else.

Close To The Edge is also the most essential progressive rock album of all time. If you have even the slightest interest in Prog you must have this album. Indeed, if you are interested in music in general you ought to hear this at least five times (you'll need it if you are new to Prog, and you probably will want to hear it more and more).

Almost a definition of 'masterpiece'!

Report this review (#176977)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
The T
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.

Report this review (#178305)
Posted Sunday, July 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars William Congreve once famously said: 'Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast.' Clearly he had not just finished listening to YES's seminal work, 'Close to the Edge'. This music soothes nothing. It IS the savage beast.

Rightly considered the single masterwork of progressive rock, 'Close to the Edge' is a testament to the happy marriage of confidence, talent, compositional skills, arrangement and, above all, the liberation afforded artists in the early '70s. YES had earned the right to make this album by producing two outstanding precursors, 'The Yes Album' and 'Fragile', but even their most dedicated fans had no right to expect the aural ecstasy they were offered on this record. This was no mere development of their already outstanding craft: instead, the band took what they had done and, as though treating those epic songs and albums as rough sketches, filled in all the details on this album. The result was the blueprint for jazz-tinged symphonic rock.

Side 1 is taken up with the title track. On the previous two albums the grand epics had been separated by small vignettes, giving the listener a moment to breathe. Here the vignettes are incorporated into the epics, and each of the three songs are like roller-coasters, plumbing the depths and soaring to the heights of human emotion. By turns majestic, gentle, joyful and diabolic, the title track traces an eighteen minute journey of bliss.

The long fade-in intro begins with birdsong, as though one has just thrown a window open on to a magical kingdom. A cacophony of noise builds into a raucous opening, SQUIRE's bass stamping out a thunderous rhythm, rising note by note, interspersed with BRUFORD's whip-crack snare, guitar shadings and shreddings and a discordant keyboard. Unsettlingly, this free-form, almost improv piece continues, bizarrely interrupted by ANDERSON's vocal cries, until the first-time listener begins to wonder where the melodies have gone. It doesn't make sense on first listen, but the free-form intro prepares the way for perhaps one of the sweetest melodies in rock, a simple motif provided by STEVE HOWE. It is our touchstone, and the tune we will return to later.

It is now that the band reveals CHRIS SQUIRE's outstanding achievement, How a bass player can add something so simple, yet so profound to an already outstanding piece of music is beyond me. But his fret-jumping bass runs leading into the beginning of ANDERSON's vocals are, well, revolutionary. Coupled with the jangle of HOWE's chipping strum, the song is given a personality of its own: no other song in rock sounds like this. What is it? Rock? Funk? The counterpoint of bass, guitar and vocal here, each playing a tune/line/riff other artists would willingly have sold their souls for, is the stuff of legend. A meaty hand reaches through the open window, grabs you by the throat, and yanks you out the window and into another world, a world of mind-altering imagery, of musical intensity, a world that has turned thousands of people on to progressive rock through its sheer brilliance.

And on to my unashamedly favourite moment in music. 'I get up/I get down,' ANDERSON sings at the end of the second chorus, as the music swells. 'Now that it's all over and done/Now that you find/Now that you're whole.' And SQUIRE lets loose with the most astonishing bass run. Mountains fall, seas empty and the world shakes. Yes, I'm indulging in hyperbole, I'm waxing lyrical, but the entry of SQUIRE's bi-amped bass is one of the most intense sounds I've ever heard. Down-slide, up-slide and then two emphatic percussive blows. So simple! Those two offbeat notes at the end of the run are incredible, the very definition of why music unsettles and satisfies us so. An echo is added to ANDERSON's voice, emphasising the power of this piece. The chorus is repeated, but downbeat and in a different timing. There really is no end to the band's creativity.

Deliberately, there is a hole in the middle of this piece. WAKEMAN dominates this central section, calling on all his classical bombast with mellotron and pipe organ sound to evoke a majestic mystical feeling while the band members sing enchanted lyrics. Musically, this section serves the same purpose as the screeches in PINK FLOYD's 'Echoes' - a diminution, a dying away of the intensity, from which we can be raised to the climax of the piece in true symphonic fashion. Yet the shimmering beauty of this placid middle section can be enjoyed as much for what it is as what it heralds.

The next moment of genius arrives at the segue back to the main theme: WAKEMAN'S moog eclipses the church organ, a fanfare announcing HOWE's return. Watch what BRUFORD does, withholding his snare shots, offering the bare minimum as our minds fill in the beats, while SQUIRE pulses away in the background. Now - oh glory - the band reprises all the themes they've used while WAKEMAN playes what must be one of the best keyboard solos ever, especially given the context he's been provided with. This is simply too much. And so we return triumphantly, as ANDERSON says, to the opening theme: with extra harmonies, YES lift us into the skies with the final chorus. This, oh this, is how it is done. Witness. 'Now that you find, now that you're WHOLE!' You bet I am. And down we come, lowered gradually into mortal lands, as the keyboards swirl and the birds chirp, and I reach out and reluctantly close the window on a world I wish I could dwell in forever.

'And You And I' seems to many like a poor relation to the musical triumph preceding it. I don't believe so. In fact, short of the title track, I value it as YES's best epic. It has a slower, more pastoral feel, but to me is the perfect shape for a symphonic prog number. In fact, whenever I'm asked at conventions to describe the novel-writing process, I point to this song. Simple and crisp beginning, evoking wonder, followed by a slow build into a mid-climax, with a falling away and rebuilding until a second, even greater climax is reached, then rounded off quickly and emphatically. Leaves 'em scratching their heads! The harmonics at the outset evoke memories of the previous year's 'Roundabout', but here we're led into something altogether more contemplative, found in HOWE's delicious acoustic guitar, plucked and then strummed, accompanied by a single-note bass pulse and an outrageous moog line. The stage is set for ANDERSON to dominate the song, his rising lines working strangely to lift the listener, his imagery entrancing as always. I'm always fascinated by the counterpointed vocals, two quite different tunes sung together. And then ...

... 'Eclipse', surely the greatest mellotron moment in music. This is pure bliss, surely the stuff of heaven, and when ANDERSON sings again, even the gods bend their ears to hear. WAKEMAN lifts us and lifts us with a series of orgiastic chords in a way even MIKE OLDFIELD at his angelic best can't equal, and then gently sets us down to the accompaniment of HOWE's harmonics. Surely there isn't a greater pleasure available to humans.

Listen to what they do next. The song is funked up with HOWE's 12-string, and as we reach out as forward tastes enter us, SQUIRE plays yet another divinely outrageous bass run, accompanied by his partner in bliss BRUFORD, ending with a note so low it sends us into YES at their funkiest. Another magic moment, propelling us towards the climax of the song, as it all slows down, and WAKEMAN reprises his mellotron glory in 'Apocalypse'. Just have a listen to what BRUFORD does here. Yes, there have been more flashy drummers, who hit harder and more often, but BRUFORD's genius is shown by when he DOESN'T hit the skin. Listen to his work, and feel the tension as you wait for him to accent the beat, only for him to leave it open and snare the off-beat. And down we come.

The third leg of this heavenly trilogy, 'Siberian Khatru', earns its keep here as a reminder that YES rock as well as prog. The main theme is again funky, relying on a ludicrously complex bass line, a straightforward drum beat and and HOWE's great guitar tone. Each time we return to the main theme something is added to it: an extra voice, a new bass treatment, an overdub of the guitar. We get WAKEMAN waxing classical on a harpsichord - very nearly parody, this, but in this context it works - some ethereal and then visceral guitar work. The last three minutes of the record see us leave much as we began, with some rather free-form playing, eventually fading into silence.

'Close to the Edge' is, in fact, anything but: it is right at the heart, at the very centre, of progressive endeavour. Every prog rock path leads either forwards or backwards in time to this album. This record goes beyond mere like or dislike, and is generally regarded as the epitome of the genre. It is a masterpiece not just of prog rock, but of music, and I feel confident it will still be listened to centuries hence. I wish I could be there to share the astonishment and joy every time someone hears it for the very first time.

Report this review (#178460)
Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Good looking album, good musicianship, good cover......(a green shade on a black font, wow). Seriously, it's not a breathtaking album, but, any fans of progressive would enjoy this package. For those who like 10 minutes blank part, you get served, and for those who like 10 minutes of nice progressive parts (even if some of the parts are recycled), you get served too.

A recommendation for those who are patient, in quest for adventure (musical), and in search for something new and refreshing in the fascinating world of progressive.

Overall of the songs: 3.5/5

Remember that an epic is not necesserly good because of its lenght. It should not be an endless bunch of background sound, but one big song divided in many interesting parts with, idealy, a concept behind all this. The problem with this album is that the transition between parts is much too long. It may bore people of waiting and make them stop the record.

It is a good addition to any prog music collection, but non-essential. So I'm going to give this album a chance, because of its contribution to progressive music.


Report this review (#179598)
Posted Friday, August 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Close to the Edge is the fifth studio album from symphonic prog band Yes. Yes started their career making two not too well received albums before making The Yes Album and finally achieving the success they deserved. The Yes Album is a groundbreaking album in many senses and with the next album from Yes called Fragile Yes developed their new progressive and symphonic sound even further. Close to the Edge shows that Yes were not finished developing their sound and itīs even more complete than the two previous albums. Close to the Edge is one of the classic symphonic prog rock albums from the seventies. An album every prog head has at least listened to and most love.

The music on Close to the Edge is very symphonic with lots of beautiful mellotron and other vintage keyboards/ synths. Itīs actually one of the album where the use of mellotron is in the right doses. The music is very dynamic and there are both quiet subtle parts and lots of grand symphonic parts. Yes had always been influenced by many genres but here on Close to the Edge all of their influences melted together and the result is a perfect album. Jazz, classical music and rock in perfect union.

The album consists of only three songs. The fist song which originally filled up all of side 1 of the original LP is the 18:50 minute long title track. This is a prog rock classic if there ever was one. The song has a complex structure, complex rythms, lots of different moods and both subtle and symphonic sections. The two songs on side 2 are pretty long too. And You And I is 10:09 minutes while Siberian Khatru is 8:57 minutes. Both are also classic prog rock songs of high quality. And You And I is the most symphonic while Siberian Khatru is the most rocking but both songs has lots of different sections like the title track.

The musicianship is astonishing and extremely tight. Listening to this album even seen from todayīs perspective you just know that these five musicians were at the top of their game and that they were and are very unique. Jon Andersonīs voice is an aquired taste and a few reviewers have pointed out that they like the music but canīt stand Jon Andersonīs voice. Jon Anderson does have a very distinct voice and I understand the critics, but personally I must say that I really like it and I think itīs one of the defining things in Yes sound as well as Chris Squireīs loud bass, Bill Brufordīs jazzy drumming, Rick Wakemanīs virtuoso keyboard playing and Steve Howeīs original approach to guitar riffs.

The production by Yes and Eddie Offord is absolutely wonderful. Warm and beautiful.

This is one of those few albums we all have an opinion about. What canīt be discussed is the significance this album had in 1972 and still have today. Wether you like it or not this is one of the most important prog rock albums ever made and it fully deserves the 5 stars that I will rate it. This album is beyond recommendable. If you havenīt listened to it yet youīre not a prog fan.

Report this review (#181534)
Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow... What an astonishing masterpiece!This is one of the albums,that let me think every little note is on the right place.The name of the album is perfectly chosen by this great musicians - Close to the Edge,because it is really close to the edge of human abilities.What about the homonymous song of the album.I would like too say that every little moment on the song follows completely the previous one.Perfect balance of the sound and songwriting.The song contains five or six parts in terms of structure.There are first preface,second preface,inception of the action,emotional peak,denouement,end and epilogue.I would like to mark my favourite moment on the song - between 14:55 and 15:45 minutes.This is the emotional peak of the song and I regard these fifty seconds as one of the best sounds I've ever heard.And You and I is classic sounding ballad with clear and correct tempo.Siberian Khatru is fan favourite genius song with superbly variation it tempo signature with crystal sound.Highly recommended for clever brains!
Report this review (#184122)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes - 'Close to the Edge' 5 stars

Prog nirvana.

This is the greatest album ever made in my opinion. Almost all of the credit is due to the title track. Being one of epic size, yet seeming to be so unforced to be that long, a song of ever constant change and the extension of so many ideas. 'Close to the Edge' starts off with a celestial opening, then crafted with the sound of birds and then a full instrumental blow-out akin to that of Mahavishnu Orchestra, because of Bruford's jazz leanings behind the kit and Steve Howe's electrifying chops. The instrumental section is broken into two, by Jon Anderson's cresendo'd voice, producing a truly epic feel. The verse pieces all have a similar structure, yet have their own ability to sound completely different and varied, necessitating the want to create an ever-changing piece. This song has it all, some of the finest breaks like the blissful church organ from Rick Wakeman, before the song finally closes itself out. Possibly the best track to be offered in music.

The next pieces were of a different flavor, yet each brought some great ideas forth and executed them brilliantly. 'And You and I' is a wonderful acoustic track with some of the most beautiful leads by Steve Howe accompanied by very insightful lyrics by Jon. 'Siberian Khatru' is a great rock song, of course, taken into the progressive form. A quirky guitar intro and catchy choruses makes this another great asset to one of the best albums conceived by man.

5 stars and nothing less.

Report this review (#184222)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars 'Close to the Edge' is one of the greatest albums of all time.

It features the showpiece title track that spans the entire vinyl length of side one, a masterstroke in its day that was repeated by many prog artists and continues to be used to this day, notably Mars Volta, Dream Theater, and Spock's Beard. 'Close to the Edge' centers on the theme of getting as close as possible to enlightenment toward a cosmic consciousness and suggests in order to achieve this we must break free of the cycle of the social system that causes turmoil. This theme is based on Hesses' 'Siddhartha', a favourite of Jon Anderson's. The journey from materialism to spiritualism is captured by the use of sparse orchestral arrangements, featuring primarily Wakeman's organ phrases and the spacey guitar of Steve Howe. These minimalist feminine sections are augmented by the masculine rock sections balancing out the quieter moments. The multi-movement suite shifts metrical patterns throughout and climaxes with the huge wall of sound that is essential Yes. There is a wonderful blend of pipe organ and Moog synthesiser building to a crescendo. The sonata form structure is powerfully realised, utilising an opening theme, transition, a second theme, and a final closure. Mozart put to rock. The track is captured perfectly on live performance from 'Yessongs' and 'Symphonic'. Both pieces are masterfully executed.

'And You and I' is my favourite Yes track, after 'Starship Trooper', and it balances out the epic and the last track perfectly. It begins with the beautiful acoustic vibrations of Howe, a real beauty that meanders like a flowing stream. Then we are thrown over the waterfall as the majestic wall of keyboards bursts through like sun bursting through dark clouds. The vocals are simply awesome throughout. The next section allows the mini epic to breathe and changes a new direction that keeps the metronome working overtime with changes in time signatures. Then the last movement is the apocalypse which is a soundwave of multi-layered textures and nuances. This is absolutely incredible music and the live experience captured on 'Tsongas' DVD sends chills down my spine everytime as the gold lights hit the audience and they stand in ovation as Anderson raises his arms like some demi god.

The final track is also excellent; the hard rocking 'Siberian Khatru' that features excellent guitar riffs and that pounding Wakeman motif with chaotic punctuation.

3 tracks of utter brilliance, this is an album that stands the test of time.

Report this review (#185182)
Posted Friday, October 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review 887..........exactly, I'll quote probably at least the last 200 reviewers in saying, There isn't much more that can be said about this album, at least not much I can add. It'll be brief, but I'll give my thoughts.

Retreives Dictionary from bookshelf........Looks up Progressive Rock........see's picture of Yes's Close to the Edge.

You get the point.

An excellent introduction to Progressive Rock. Of course you have to be patient and probablly give it at least three listens.

All I'll say about the three tracks is that they are all equally amazing, if one sticks out its the opening and title track, Close to the Edge.

Is it Yes's best album?? It really is so hard to say, and thats saying a TON about the group. They've got some monstrously epic albums.

5 Stars!!

Report this review (#186942)
Posted Sunday, October 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Certainly one of the masterpieces, if not the pinnacle of progressive rock.

The album begins with Yes' first side long track, the title track Close to the Edge. A sweeping, lush harp along with the call of birds gives way to a furious introduction, with Steve Howe's blistering attack and Bill Bruford's tight, aggressive percussion work featured prominently before transitioning to the main section with Anderson's usual inscrutable yet poetic and brilliant lyrics. The next section 'I Get Up, I Get Down' features sweeping and majestic organ playing by Rick Wakeman, before once again giving way to a stunning instrumental passage that marks the final section, with Bruford initially setting a fast-paced tempo and another brilliant solo from Wakeman. The lyrics fit the last minutes of this epic perfectly and it wraps up with same birds and harps and sucked the listener in.

Side 2 begins with And You and I, a beautiful, soft piece featuring Howe mostly on acoustic guitar, with some outstanding lush keys from Wakeman and some of Anderson's best vocals.

Siberian Khatru concludes the album with a more uptempo track, all the musicians are superb on this yet it is Squire's bass that is a standout for this reviewer.

A must for every progressive rock music collection. Unquestionably 5 stars.

Report this review (#188580)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well, what are you waiting for?

If you don't own this album, get it now. It is one of the most revolutionary albums of all time and is easily one of the most defining albums in the history of music, let alone progressive rock. No music collection is complete without this gem.

1. Close to the Edge- This was my favorite song for a few years of my life for good reason (it's too hard for me to name a favorite song anymore). The majestic chaotic opening deriving from the chirping of birds, the absolute perfect instrumentation and angelic vocals... This is what music is all about. Every moment is pure magic; the atmosphere is perfect and the organ section in the middle gets me every time. Infinitely flawless. 10+/10

2. And You And I- How could one even conceive of trying to follow the title track? It seems like this is the only possible song that would work and still not be overshadowed. This song is the definition of beautiful. The way the song builds is like an opening flower, then giving way to an entire vivid landscape, disclosing its beauty more and more as the song progresses. This song is so effective I can picture the scenery and just spending time with another person in bliss. Flawless. 10+/10

3. Siberian Khatru- Having heard this album for the first time years ago, the first two tracks actually didn't hit my untrained ears too well initially. The title track sounded too chaotic, the second too uneventful, but this track was perfect. This is a great, more rock-oriented song that still knows how to showcase a beautiful combination of excellent musicianship, atmosphere, and song composition. The way these songs fit together and the way they stand alone individually is stunning. You couldn't really ask for a more perfect Yes album. Flawless. 10+/10

Like I said... what are you waiting for?

Report this review (#189544)
Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I have the strange perspective around here of having never heard _Close to the Edge_ until I came to ProgArchives a few months ago. As strange as that sounds, I liked Yes but never was as interested in them as Genesis and just hadn't taken the time to explore the catalog. The sample here, dominated by the chaotic intro, didn't pull me in either.

However, recently, a friend of mine lent me the disc in preparation for our going to the Yes In the Present concert. My first Yes concert, which was to feature _Close to the Edge_ in its entirety. So I vowed to know the disc well prior to the live event. I listened to it over and over. I came to tolerate the first 3:30 or so, and enjoy the music, especially And You and I.

Then came the concert, Siberian Khatru was the first song after the lead in stuff over the loud speakers. Powerful, energetic, great start to the concert. And You and I was good as I expected. But the transformative moment was the title track. The piece was so overpowering and uplifting with a great crowd just floating on the I get up, I get down. Truly a highlight experience and I've seen alot of concerts in my time.

Since then, I've listened to the album 10-15 more times, and as has been said so many times, there isn't a wrong note in the whole album. Each of the three songs work so well alone, and together somehow impossibly make each other better. I love Relayer as well, but the same things can't be said, it has sections that are a little too long, a little too noodly, despite having some unbelievably good music. It just doesn't hold together in the perfect way Close to the Edge does.

So the only question left is how to compare it to my all time favorite, _Selling England by the Pound_. After 15 years of Peter Gabriel fanboyism, with that album being untouchable, I actually wonder whether I might have to rethink things.

But this is certainly among the albums that define the term masterpiece of progressive music

Report this review (#192057)
Posted Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars Close to the Edge is a crowning achievement of progressive rock music for many fans, and while I see their point, I respectfully disagree. For one, I believe there is a superior Yes album out there, and for my own tastes, there are parts in the title track that can conceivably make one cringe; I know the first time I heard it, I wanted to run away screaming (this would be at the 2000 Masterworks tour, where I went only to see Kansas). The day after that concert, I could not get that gentle refrain out of my head: "I get up; I get down." Between that and the chorus of "Starship Trooper," I knew had I to find more out about this strange group. At the time, I thought a six-minute song was lengthy; having heard eight songs in about a two-hour set, I didn't know what to think. My musical horizons had been swiftly and permanently broadened. When I went in search for a "greatest hits" package in order to get a representative sampling of the band, I wound up buying Yessongs. I was initially disappointed in that it was a live album I was hearing (I wanted studio versions), but I credit Yessongs as the album that made me readily familiar with some of their best music, and it prompted to me to begin collecting all the studio albums. Were it not for "Close to the Edge" (and to lesser extent, "Starship Trooper," "Your Move," and "Roundabout"), I might not have delighted myself in countless hours of listening pleasure, despite the song's complexity and how difficult it can be to digest and appreciate. The other two songs on the album are exquisite in their own right, and one would not be doing oneself a favor passing them by. It is challenging to consider a progressive rock music collection complete without Close to the Edge.

"Close to the Edge" Opening up with several seconds of nature sounds, the atmosphere is abruptly broken by the frantic guitar work by Steve Howe, the almost atonal clicking keys of Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire's bass runs, and Bruford's snare-slapping. The beginning of this epic song is fast and frenzied: Howe is all over the neck of his Gibson, interrupted only by the calm but brief interludes of Anderson's voice. After the final choir-like intrusion, Howe plays one of the main riffs of the piece to bring us to the words. The bass guitar pumps through the verses like some growling piston, and Anderson sings his most mystical lyrics yet. Even with all that's going on during the verses, it's difficult not to concentrate on Squire's bass line. The chorus of the song is one of the highlights of all progressive rock. The middle section consists of airy Mellotron, peppered lightly with sitar and bass from the synthesizer. All of the singers are in fine form during one of Yes's best examples of vocal counterpoint; despite Howe being a fairly weak singer, the vocal work of Yes is quite simply not the same without him. Wakeman delivers a haunting church organ section and then, when all is quiet one more time, Anderson sings the refrain. Wakeman's organ and mini-Moog serve as a launch pad for heavy drumming, guitar and bass. Over the music of the first vocal section, Wakeman performs a phenomenal organ solo. The final vocal section is more intense than those prior to it, as it builds to the mind-blowing finale: That final repetition of "Close to the edge, down by the river" is stunning in every respect, never ceasing to have an emotional effect on me. The piece ends as it began, bringing the hearers back to nature.

"And You and I" The harmonics of the twelve-string guitar simulate a player in the middle of checking his instrument to make sure it is in tune. What follows is one of the most gorgeous compositions ever played on twelve strings; it evokes in my mind the image of having gone through a difficult night, but for enduring, getting to watch morning break through the darkness. The verse employs only three chords for quite some time, making this one of the most undemanding parts of the whole album. The following section consists of more counterpoint, with the background vocals sung through a Leslie, which to be honest, makes them hard to understand. The chord progression during this section is amazing, as is the refrain Anderson sings with himself over only Howe's twelve-string. The Mellotron builds and brings the listener to one of the greatest moments in Yes music: Howe's steel guitar and Wakeman's mini-Moog and organ painted on a canvas of Mellotron, bass, and drums. Anderson's vocals soar during this part, and soon Howe reprises his introduction, flowing right into something of a singer-songwriter section. Squire's bass growls as the rest of the band comes back in, building through Wakeman's mini-Moog and some rich vocal work, to the final moments of the song, entitled "Apocalypse," which is merely the refrain from earlier- but is such a lovely, lovely way to end one of Yes's finest pieces.

"Siberian Khatru" The third song opens with a great guitar riff (one that gets fans pumped up at shows when it's the first in the set list), and soon the musicians all come in to produce thick layers of sound. Squire plays a creative bass line under (almost over) Howe's guitar part. Likewise creative are the guitar riffs used for the vocalists to sing over. In fine Yes style, the song features a great example of vocal counterpoint. Wakeman's harpsichord solo is top notch, flanked by two solos from Howe- one on sitar and one on steel guitar. Following the steel guitar part, Howe gives a spirited electric guitar solo. The fantastic aspect of all these little solo spots is that, rather than just highlight the technical proficiency of the respective musicians, they serve as crucial constituents of the piece itself- they all sound just as structured as the rest of the music. There's also some great Mellotron moments not to be missed. The end of the song is based on the main theme from the beginning, during which the singers do some strange vocalizations, and over which Howe gets ample opportunity to show what he can do with six strings.

Report this review (#192701)
Posted Friday, December 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars ahhh... 11:15pm on a Sunday night... what the hell am I doing up. Can't sleep. Rather than debate the pros and cons about whether Van Morrison and Madame George constitutes prog rock and needs to be added here. I decided a review would be a nice way to put to me sleep. (cut me some slack.. it was this or a damn Genesis album hahah)

For anyone sufficiently bored enough to follow my infrequent reviews. I tend to stay away from albums like this. I like my reviews to be promotions of lesser known albums for the most part. This album has been reviewed, over 900..yes.. 900 times. If you are on this site, come on, you know this album probably reviewed it long before I did. So why am I reviewing it, first off to get a new prog card from Robert. Second to maybe put a new spin on what is the defining piece of progressive rock. Forgive me if one of the other 900 reviewers has been down this road. I haven't read them to see. Indulge me.

With due respect to side 2 and the wonderful pieces of music we have on there, the fame and glory of this album rest on side 1 with the nearly 19 minute title track. One of more defining.. yet at the same time moth eaten prog cliches is the side long epic. Of course other groups had tried them before. Some were just extended instrumental jams where stucture and composition were an afterthought. Most were of the cut and paste variety. Song vignettes of several minutes apiece strung together with instrumental bridges. What made Close to the Edge so powerful.. and at the same time so was that it was a single 19 minute composition. The dangers inherent in that are obvious if you take any time at all to consider the music.. and the prospective audience. There is no way to quantify musical quality.. or is there? The proof is in the numbers.. and in the logic. Take a piece like Supper's Ready that some would proclaim to greatest side-long ever. Say there is a piece that doesn't really catch the listeners ear.. it is no problem.. Willow Farm is right around the corner. By the time you've grabbed a ham sandwich.. the musical context has changed. The listener is happy and goes on his merry way. With Close to the Edge.. not so fast. If the merry men of Yes hadn't paid extreme attention to perfection on that song and crafting a near flawless piece of music you would have been left with 19 minutes of sheer boredom. This album would not be considered the defining jewel of progressive rock.. and it sure as hell wouldn't have 900 reviews hahah. In fact the real genius of this song is in the structure. I've read detailed breakdowns of the song on the internet in books that go on and on about the classic sonata style of Close to the Edge. The problem is... most listeners.. even the proud listeners of Prog Archives wouldn't know a sonata if it bit them in the ass. There is another way of looking at Close to the Edge. This is not an original thought of mine.. but once I read it.. it made perfect sense. Yes were not some uber symphonic group fusing classical structures with rock music. Gates of Delirium was a spot on copy of the structure of a space rock masterpiece of Pink Floyd's. A saucerful of Secrets. What everyone seems to forget about Yes.. were they were first and foremost. Incredible song writers. Fans of pop music and HIGHLY influenced BY pop music. The stated goal of the group was to merge ..not classical with rock.. but high powered instrumental ability with the catchiness and hooks of pop music. Close to the Edge is nothing more earthshaking than possibly the world's first..hell maybe only 19 minute long pop song. Complete with the intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/middle8/instrumental-break/verse/chorus/outro format that supposedly seperates prog from lesser forms of music hahaha. While everyone went on thinking that standard popular song formats would only support 2 or 3 minute long songs.. Yes showed that the standard pop format could support complex and sustained melodies. The trick of it again.. to pull it off it had to be all about quality. Otherwise.. you would have to aural equivilant of having 19 minutes of 'My Heart Will Go On: Love Theme from Titanic' pumped into your brain. Even with the kick ass rickenbacker.. I suspect that would not be enough to hold on to many listeners.

So why is this the defining album of all progressive rock. You all have shown it.. by showing that only a group like Yes had the vision, the chops, and songwriting ability to pulll off an album that simply no other could do.. or even tried to do.

*yawn* time for a Winston then nighty night.

5 stars.. for the site... hahahha... it is a masterpiece of progressive rock.

4 stars for me... think Tales is even more daring an album.. and just more fun to listen to.

Michael (aka Micky)

Report this review (#197285)
Posted Sunday, January 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After 942 ratings and hundreds of reviews what more can be said about YES' masterwork? I'm not really sure myself, I can only tell you briefly that I agree with the overwhelming majority of prog archive members: this is an essential masterpiece in the progressive genre. Anderson, Squire, Wakeman, Bruford, and Howe where able to come together at a moment in time and set to vinyl an ageless musical piece that both moves the soul and electrifies the mind. There are only three other albums, in my opinion, that stand along side Close To The Edge as equals atop the progressive rock genre. TAAB, CTTE, DSOM, ITCOTCK (you know the initials) are all complete musical masterpieces. There, that is all I can add. 6 stars if I could but 5 is the max.
Report this review (#198932)
Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first time I heard Close to the edge noticed it's way too long, kinda boring some times But the 2nd time was totally different, I can say, this id one of the top 5 of all prog rock The magnificent opening track 'close to the edge' is way sublime, a tremendous intro, stoped sometimes to put a vocal sounds 'aaaah', unexcpected, and keeps getting better through teh song then come a moment of calm, atmospheric sounds and the words 'i get up, I get down' and that magnificent ending etc. Then a beautiful song called 'and you and I' pretended to be almost all acoustic, with an overwalming guitar sounds, simply beautiful and to close, the funny 'Siberian khatru' showing the virtuosism of each member, and doing a very dinamic song etc.

One of the top of the prog I said

Report this review (#198934)
Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars With no doubt Yes best album and recorded in Yes's most classical line up.....From start to finnish a true masterpiece and one of the towering achievements of Progressive Rock.....A great inspiration to legions of bands...and countless tried to overdo or repeat.....without anyone ever succeding.

The first time I came in touch with this songs was when I brought the Yes Years box....In there Close To The Edge and And You And I were both presented....Later on I heard these songs again when I brough AWBH's live album. It was not untill the first Keys To Acension CD that I also began to listen to Siberian Khatru....So over the years Im more used to all the live versions than to the studio album itself....Especially since ever since se3veral of the songs appeared on countless live albums.

However...I eventually began to play the album itself...and rank it now as one of my all time favorite Progressive Rock albums.

Its indeed true....that if you listen to an album like this carefully you begin to realize how much mellotron there has been squeezed into this album. This is something that I did not realize untill recently....I always halied King Crimson and Genesis as the greatest prog masters simply for their mellotron use....but Yes should be added to that list. The Mellotron is more suddle and not as overblowing as lets say Epitaph, In The Court Of The Crimson King, Silent Sorrow In A Empty Boat or Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, but always greatly present throughout the entire album. (Another example of suddle Mellotron use is also Heart Of The Sunrise).

What always stays with me is the middle part of Close To The Edge, that could be clasified as the organ solo......Indeed Wakeman, perhaps never sounded better as on this album.

Also worth notifying is the specific role of Steve Howe and Chris Squire on this album....Howe displays his virtuosity all over the album..but perhaps best on the album opener...For the ones that saw Yes performing this song live know how much guitars Howe is using only already during this song. Squires role shows as Wakeman's most on Close To The Edge. I still remember a interview with Tony Levin where he was speaking of his abilities to play Squire's basslines and how extremely difficult it was to learn them and eventually play them.......

It will take some time to get used to Close To The Edge...but once you are hooked once and for all. Particulary worth notifying is the remaster that has not only much better sound, but also some interesting bonus tracks.

Report this review (#199136)
Posted Thursday, January 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm not going to spend too much time on this review for two reasons. First off, I can't think of anything that hasn't already been said about this album an infinite number of times. And secondly, I told myself that I wouldn't ever give a review of this album because there are already so many anyway. Needless to say that if I had to sum up progressive rock in one album, this is the one I would pick. It has everything that makes classic progressive rock what it is and has probably inspired most if not all prog bands that came after it. I know most people would expect me to say that the title track is my favorite on here and give the predictable answer, but to be honest, I like Siberian Khatru a bit more. If you don't have this yet and consider yourself to be a true prog fan, what the heck is wrong with you? Drop what you're doing and get it. Now.
Report this review (#199762)
Posted Monday, January 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The essential album of Progressive Rock

Brain Salad surgery is my favourite prog album of all time but I guess it would be fair that for the general public to say that Close to the Edge is the most representative prog album of all time. This album's main feature is that it has an amazing athmosphere and it changes moods very often , from pasoral to agressive from rough to dreamy and etc. Probably the main example of this may be the title track , one of the best in the genre. Features an amazing introduction which is really energetic and technical ( and has nothing to envy of ELP's Eruption) Jon Anderson's voice shines through this tune and the same can be say about Wakeman's synths my favourite part is the I get up / get down segment that has some beutiful vocal harmonies. A landmark in progressive rock without a doubt.

I like to call And you And I as a little cute epic. While not as grandiose as CTTE this ten minute acoustic song features one of the most emotional moments in progressive rock: At 3:47 and the main guilty of that is Mr Wakeman , that mellotron is anthemic! The closing track Siberian Khatu does not have the epic feel the previous ones had in spades , it looks like a song from the Yes Album but much better. There is some incredible bass playing and vocal work on this tune. Plus I love it being that it's somewhat funky.

Finally I'd like to state that this is not my favourite Yes Album , that award goes to the following release and that Close to the Edge is not my favourite Yes epic. That one is The Gates of Delirium , but we ll have time to analyze that in other ocassion.

This record is esential for newcomers to see what prog is all about.

Report this review (#200503)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Growing up in the upper Midwest in the 1970's. Things can get rather cold during the winter months. To pass the time until the thaw, we would spend our evenings playing cards and enjoying various for cabin fever. Music was a large part of this experience. Each of us in turn would select the next audio excursion. Close to the Edge was called "the old standby". You could select this album and never need to worry about taking some heat for upsetting the "mood".

The album Close to the Edge encompasses all the reasons I enjoy progressive rock over all other forms of music. The lengthy songs, the complex arrangements, the tempo changes and layers of audio textures. The swelling, swirling rush inducing keyboards.

The original album was tracked with Siberian Khatru as the first track followed by And You and I on side one. Side two was Close to the Edge. I prefer this track sequence to the current CD's that have Close to the Edge as track one. There was a build up to the final notes of Close to the Edge as you drifted along to the sound of the birds.

I still listen to Close to the Edge at least once a month. I have a playlist on my Ipod that contains every version of the three songs from this album I can get my hands on.

Anyone wanting to get a glimpse of the glory days of FM radio, when DJs played side long tunes and sometimes complete albums uninterrupted, pick up a copy of Close to the Edge, put on the headphones, switch on the black light and relax.

Report this review (#201934)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars After 2 masterpieces, here is the third. Yes, that one with the strong name. Just reading it, you think 'Oh, this must be good'. And it IS. I know that everybody did a review of this, it is one of the most rated albums, but I'd like to give my own opinions and impressions about it. Let's go:

Close to the Edge: Yes' biggest success, the most classic song from this band. It has complex structure, instrumentation and lyrics. Sometimes it's calm and beautiful: the part from 8:00 to 14:00 is magical. Sometimes it's fast, aggressive: the intro is powerful and the beginning is rough. If I write everything I want to write about this song, I'll take about 250 lines, so I think it's better to stop here. 123456789 stars to it.

And You And I: one of my favourite Yes' songs, I really like the melody, the rhythm, the lyrics. Gentle, soft, it is the most beautiful on the album. This song is everything that's good in the world. 5 stars by far.

Siberian Khatru: wonderful song, it has a contagious rhythm, it is very catchy. The guitar work in it is amazing. The keyboard is also very good. The lyrics are very mystic. The chorus is so awesome! This song is much elaborate. The harpsichord solo is so creative and beautiful, it shows us the brilliant mind of Wakeman. The part from 4:14 to 4:48 is the most beautiful melody Yes ever created. How I love that part ! And the part from 7:00 to 7:32 is indescribable. I get out of my body listening to that melody of 'doodoos' and 'dadas' ! 5 stars !!!

So, this is a necessary album to every prog rock lover. 5 stars, obviously.

Report this review (#202195)
Posted Monday, February 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close To The Edge is one of those seminar albums that will far outlast history. The whole shooboodle starts off with the sweet sound of birdsong, underpinned by Rick Wakemans In a bad mood Organ sound, then goes crashing into a jamming like section, where Steve Howe makes the best use of those big boney fingers which whizz up and down the fretboard faster than Linford Christie with diarrhoea. The song then brings Jon Anderson into play with him singing what sounds like Daaaaa Dap Dap and then goes into a really gorgeous section with some nice Steve Howe guitar playing, before we enter the main body of the song which has a kind of reggae bounce ( But not as annoying ) and makes me think of Welsh Miss Hobkinson every time i hear it. The first lyric sings of a witch with herbs and spices all over her helping some people out of disgraceful aspects. One concludes that the disgraceful aspects are the demon drink because she decides to re-arrange their livers ( Back to normal no doubt )

I can never understand why Jon Anderson is taking away the plane - did he hijack a plane at some point? Seems very UnJon.

And you and I is a very mellow song with lots of heavy sounds, and for some reason makes me think of the ex boxer George Foreman wandering around a graveyard. Majestic synths by Rick Wakeman, soaring vocals from Ian Anderson and the whole band taking you on a trip to heaven.

Siberian Khatru is what could be described as the Yes rocker on this album and has some cool hammond playing by Rick Wakeman . Stylistically it is not far removed from "The Clap" from "The Yes album" and ends the album off in happy phase as opposed to the "In a bad mood" organ which started the album off. No prog collection should be missing this beauty of an album

This album is recommended for those of you who like Yes Jon Anderson Druid Flash and The Buggles

Report this review (#202638)
Posted Friday, February 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of the greatest progressive rock albums

The first time I hear this album I was a little confused after hear owner a lonely heart I think than yes could be a kind of rock pop band but that thought quickly disappeared when the first sounds o close to the edge came into my head everything in this song is Magic.

After 18 minutes of dreams and amazing keyboards and guitars you and i came to show me than this guys got a great feeling i think is a kind of ballad beautiful lyric and music.

To the end we have at my favourite yes song Siberian kahthru that riff with the song begins is amazing and the way than the others instruments going on scene is wonderful.

I think than this masterpiece is necessary in any fan of progressive rock and maybe in any music collection.

Report this review (#202847)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I know that everyone has done a review for this album, and everyone knows what it is. But yet somehow, I feel it my duty as a prog reviewer to review this absolute masterpiece.

Any prog fan knows the band Yes. On this album, the lineup was Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, and Rick Wakeman. They all have incredible talent on their respected instrument, and it really shows here especially.

The title track is an 18-minute epic that stands up with the best of them all. It starts out with a really complex opening with odd time signatures and Rick Wakeman plays some really tough stuff, while Steve Howe solos. Next is the nice guitar riff that is one of the themes to the song. It contains some nice vocal parts by Jon Anderson, and has some nice music. The dynamic church organ solo defines Rick Wakeman as a keyboard player, and has great chord changes. They then do a little jamming, and then reprise the section titled "I Get Up, I Get Down". This is one of the best songs ever.

And You And I is the first song on side two, and is obviously one of the bands favorites. Even when they tour for another album, this almost always makes the Setlist on a tour. Why? Because this song's so awesome! Not much more to be said. Just listen to it, and you'll be happy.

Siberian Khatru is a less emotional song than the others, but still is a great, more upbeat, song. It is kind of a Yes anthem, only because people who don't normally like Yes tend to still like it. It's a great song with great guitars, and a nice keyboard sound.

Almost all prog fans own this album. It's a masterpiece that almost every man should own. If you're new to prog, all I can say is start here. You won't be disappointed.

5/5 without a question.

Report this review (#202941)
Posted Monday, February 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars An incredible achievement, this is the LP that catopolted Yes to the stratosphere commercially and artistically. It was so good that Bill Bruford decided it couldn't get much better and promptly left to see if he was ready for King Crimson, as Fripp put it to him.

Much has been written about this album, and I am not sure if I can add much more, but as I am going through each Yes LP, I have to try!

For me, this LP marked the proper emergence of Rick Wakeman as a world class keyboardist. Fragile, as I previously noted, was too bitty and his solo spot too short. On CTTE, Wakeman is allowed to shine and express himself properly in the band for the first time, and what a result it is.

It is impossible for any rock fan, let alone progressive rock fan, not to marvel and get carried away with the exceptional organ solo Wakeman produces in the title track's I Get Up sequence. You realise just what an incredible combination Anderson's soaring voice and the majestic organ sound are, and the blasting sequence that follows with Squire's thundering bass is magnificent.

Everything about this track shouts out BIG. It was an incredibly complex piece of music that absolutely stayed away from the pomposity that many complex pieces fall into. It holds the listener's interest right through the 18 minutes plus it runs. Incredible, and rightly a classic of the genre.

Many might think that, having produced such an incredible side one, that the flip side would fall into comparative obscurity and ordinariness. Not a bit of it. Both And You and I and Siberian Khatru are amongst the finest tracks committed to vinyl that the band produced. The former is a beautiful piece of music, with Steve Howe's sympathetic guitar very much to the fore, whilst the latter is another incredibly complex track which means you cannot single out any particular individual. From the beauty of Anderson's lyrical performance to another incredible Wakeman performance, via very complex drums by Bruford, Howe's virtuosity, and Squire's huge bass, the song again holds the interest all the way through.

There were still some great LPs to follow from this band, but this was the first that convinced the world as to the fact that progressive rock was not merely a phase - it was possible to make exceptionally complicated pieces of music that rocked and entertained, and, crucially, sold by the truckload.

For those very few reading his site that do not own it, please get it. An absolutely indispensable part of any prog rock collection.

Report this review (#204105)
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close To The Edge is probably one of the most reviewed albums on PA and rightly so. It has positively affected so many progressive rock music lovers since 1972. This being my first review I felt I had to say a few words about my favorite album of all time.

The first song I heard from this album was And You And I. I had never heard of Yes before. It was the summer of 1972 and I was driving through the countryside on a warm sunny day. This song came on the radio and no indication was made on who the artist was. The music struck me as so original and uplifting it melded with my view of that beautiful day. It was music that made you feel all would be well with the world. I later learned that the band was Yes.

So 38 years later this music still moves me and brings me back to the innocence of growing up in 1972. It is music that can be listened over and over and new subtleties can still come to the surface. The story of the composing and recording of Close To The Edge is also quite amazing. Finding time in between gigging to piece together minute by minute and track by track of this melodic and intricate work was nothing short of astounding. There are many adjectives that can describe it's beauty but I'll only use one: FLOW . The dynamics and ebb and 'FLOW' of this album for me are perfection. The whole epic is like embarking on an adventure and the end climaxes in a musical fulfillment that leaves me in a totally positive frame of mind.

Siberian Khatru is such a great close to the album in that it rocks, has recurring dynamic themes, builds tension, great counterpoint guitar and keyboard playing, and amazing vocal harmonies. I realize other reviewers have described the details of the music to a much finer degree but I feel great music touches us in ways that sometimes cannot be described subjectively . CTTE is an album that has become part of who I am and I would think to be an artist and achieve that affect on so many people has to be about the greatest reward for creating such a wonderful work.

Report this review (#204233)
Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3 stars for one of the top rated album of prog history... I guess I have to explain myself...

I've tried, honestly, at different times, different moods... but I am really not a Yes fan. Maybe the voice of Jon Anderson? No doubt I prefer Ian's voice. Compositions? It's rather complex, creative, but I rarely succeed in listening a whole song - even the short ones... (I've the extended version, but it doesn't help). It seems that there is no release in their music: no catchy moment, for my ears, technically very interesting but no "haaah.. this is great". But for the inspiration this album gave even to recent groups make it clearly a good addition to any prog rock collection.

Report this review (#209566)
Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Don't get too close to the edge, it will rearrange your liver!!!

(I hope someone hasn't already used that line in a review.)

Hard to believe it's been around thirty years since I first heard this album. I must admit that during the '80's I started to lose interest in Yes and this album along with the band. But, it came up in rotation Yesterday, I popped it into my truck's CD deck, and I was impressed first and foremost by it's timeless quality. It really doesn't sound like an album from 1972. Maybe it helps that I didn't hear it or get into it until 1978. Albums that are fresh out when I first hear them tend to remind me of that time.

I think the single most important factor that gives this album a timeless quality is undoubtedly Wakeman's keyboard work. Anderson's obscure lyrics also help a lot. Not to take anything from Bruford's, Squire's, and Howe's contributions.

My track by track impressions in brief: Close To The Edge - almost nineteen minutes in length, yet I never find myself wishing it would hurry up and finish. And You And I - a beautiful love song that probably could have been a radio hit if it weren't for plenty of Anderson's obscure lyrics and of course the ten minute length. Siberian Khatru - the shortest and most rocking piece on the album.

The musicianship of all is superb, the songs are all long, and the exquisite art in the middle of the gatefold by Roger Dean. What's not to like for the serious progressive rock fan? It will likely remain the highest rated Yes album and in the top ten prog albums of all time on this site and deservedly so.

Report this review (#210768)
Posted Wednesday, April 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am a hard core Yes fan, and I am the first to admit that although Yes has produced some of the greatest music I have ever heard, they also produced a lot of complete CRAP. You all know exactly what I'm talking about. But this album, thankfully, is absolutely not one of those albums. In fact I go so far even as to say that it is my #1 all time favorite over-all album,, and the title track is my #1 all time favorite song.Words don't begin to describe the magnificence of this album. Not a single moment that I am even slightly bored. Yes was truly at their peak of musicianship. When I looked at the top album list on this amazing site (I really do love Prog Archives) I was not surprised, if not a little disappointed to see it as number two. In my opinion, this album deserves to be #1 album EVER!
Report this review (#211324)
Posted Tuesday, April 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I am hard-pressed to find a flaw with this one-save one: Would that all recording artists of the early 70s could have had Pink Floyd's recording engineers. The sound on Yes LPs often gets muddy, washed out, and there's just something lacking in the recording of the voices and acoustic guitars. Though there is a warm organic quality to Yes songs, instrument clarity and distinctiveness are sometimes lacking. Otherwise, you have three long, very well composed, melodic songs performed by four, maybe five virtuosos at the peak of their creativity. And, yes: I still listen to Yes! Five stars despite the poor sound recording.
Report this review (#215175)
Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Here we go again... Jon Anderson spouts off some more of his pretentious twaddle. Every time I hear him sing he reminds me of a wee Gnome I used to keep at the bottom of my garden. The front cover is warning enough... Blue and green must not be seen especially when painted by Roger Dean Grrrrr!

Jon Anderson's lyrics sound like a randomly mashed up bunch of sentences that are spliced together without even the smallest attempt at being decipherable. He completely refuses to present any abundance of ideas over the entire album - singing the same verse for the umpteenth time, over and over again. So why the hell do I like this???

The one thing I can say about this album is that it's lack of diversity at least makes it very coherent. And dammit - despite my moans - it's actually quite good, which is more than I can say for the so called bonus tracks. They really are a waste of time - particularly 'Total Mass Retain' which is just the second part of 'Close to the Edge'. 'And You and I' sounds identical to the LP version and adds nothing at all. It's actually worse than a waste of time because it detracts from the original album which should finish on 38 minutes.

Report this review (#218913)
Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Close to Science

This is a natural progression from their previous effort, Fragile. Cliche, but fitting.

This album has many diverse and open minded musical ideas. In its relatively short running time, many sound spaces are embraced. The title track is certainly a highlight of progressive symphonic music. Each main idea is thoroughly explored, and has a very professional feel. One note, however. The song tends to overextend some sounds, and this makes the track flow less smoothly. With an already short running time, I feel this needed to be cut down to avid unneeded repetition. What I suppose I am saying, would be that Yes didn't master the art of solid and terse composition writing.

But it is still a superb song. The vocals are quite nice, paired together with the skillful imagery. Some of the keyboard solos are absolutely mind blowing. Very talented musicians have placed their trademarks onto this. Side two is commenced with a much more restrained, but almost as encompassing ballad type song, with soft accentuation, and a jauntily majestic reverence. Again, with the title track, and the entire album in general, I feel as if too much time is spent exploring bland musical ideas in between the masterful ones.

And finally, you have the most overtly rock oriented song to close off this science fiction journey. Siberian Khatru begins with a classic rock guitar edge, leading into a steady power rock, with somewhat complex compositions. Yes have crafted three excellent songs that mesh together fairly well. They contain complexities and diverse nuances. However, some of the musical ideas aren't wholly interesting, and a little too much time is spent on them. Normally, I never mind an album's running time, but with one barely over half an hour, all the space you use counts. And here, this makes little blunders all the more noticeable. Still, quite the rush at times, and consistently interesting.

There are more than enough adventurous and intriguing ideas present, and no matter the score, this is carefully crafted professional music, with quite the experimental bent. Wakeman's trademark keys do wonders, and a powerful image is painted within.

**** Edgy stars

Report this review (#219886)
Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I guess it was time for me to, one fine day, get to this momentous piece of music, perhaps one of the most fulfilling and fulfilled musical creations regardless of genre, style or history. There have been hundreds of thousands of reviews praising and dissecting this recording (a very few have decided to slam it, please forgive them for they do not understand) and it still proudly sits enthroned in the perennial classics of modern music. I purchased this beauty when it came out and has been a lifelong companion ever since. Everything about Close to the Edge exudes a sense of assured achievement, from the effortless Roger Dean artwork (have you ever seen a green so luxuriant!) to the grainy "little windows" band photographs, the groundbreaking production and the scintillating compositions. The playing is majestically raunchy and alternately grandiose with Wakeman in particular setting down his eternal reputation as a keyboard wizard/octopus, Howe sexually perverting the electric guitar with dexterous fingering, Bruford setting new standards for rock drumming, bashing in complex simplicity (or is it simple complexity?) while Chris continues being the bass Squire, trebling into new low-end horizons with his deadly Rickenbacker. Jon Anderson was and remains a unique vocal trampoline, singing like few can or would even dare (Okay, except maybe for Robert Plant!).

So I have decided to eschew the usual tszirmay dramatics and the prosaic (Prozac) linguistic virtuosity and refer to what I wrote in 1974 within the confines of a philosophical essay on progressive rock, fully illustrated with vivid and at times lurid pictures, gleaned from various magazines including Playboy, not of women scantily clad but odd pictures and artistic drawings for which the mag was also less famous for). The final segment describes a "trip" while listening to "Close to the Edge", head firmly gauzed in the clouds and pen wildly scratching on paper. I received a great grade and got praise from the philosophy professor who at the time seemed intrigued by this kind of daring music. So here it is, a frozen impression in time back in1974, now dedicated to all those youngsters who wonder what it was like to get up and then to get down in the golden years of Prog. Hey, it's a bit corny but those were the naïve times! "All is dark and all is silent. A shadow and a silence that is dirty, morose and doleful. An emerald spot suddenly emerges, escorted by the clamor of shrill bird chirpings, the noises of the dense jade jungle, of cascading waters brimming with vitality. Oh my, it's a green world, symbol of human purity, I believe! The spot grows, spreading unctuously in depth and width like some melted matter. A warm and soft breeze enters this paradise, it feels so good, I am not cold anymore nor am I too hot, as the wind refreshes me; the green spot is now invading my entire horizon and impregnates everything. Then, as if by magic, the opaque colored mist lightens and reveals a golden staircase with multi-hued railings, surrounded by a lush and bountiful jungle, yet somehow sunny, more like a universe of perpetual sun. There is no night, no death, all is life and seems to breathe. The air is pure with the delicious aroma of luxuriant fauna. The choir, this voice orchestra that trembles with gentleness, is attracting me irresistibly, my feet seem to be moving as I scale the steps one by one, stopping only to watch a macaw, toucans, a silver panther and strangely humanoid monkeys. A universe laden with exotic rhododendrons, wild blue orchids and superb animals. It's unreal, I turn to look back and in the distance the vile demons together with the ugly and dishonest monsters try following me , as I run desperately way. Fearful, I scream, they have disappeared, wiped out by purity and worship. I am safe, I am protected, I am loved, I am no longer afraid! The sublime choirs are singing me their love, their invitation to a celestial paradise that is so spiritual and celebratory. My ascension on this infinite stairway becomes faster-paced guiding me towards the heavens. On the horizon, I can see the crimson red mountains, the deepest vertiginous valleys, the most beguiling gorges and scintillating torrents of limpid water. All this is beyond me! The majesty of the floating liquids stemming from the waterfalls is impossible to resist, what perfection as the firebirds streak across the sky, like plumed meteors suddenly landing on endless trees, perched elegantly atop, preaching the harmony of love to all the other animals below. Celestial messengers of devotion. In such a deliriously gorgeous atmosphere, tears begin to trickle ever so slowly on my cheeks, the joy that intense. Yes, I cry, I am so consumed by happiness on that 7,000th step; I kneel and bring my palms to my face. I sob for a very longtime, so totally overcome with happiness. She was the most beautiful creature that my eyes had ever contemplated! Breathtaking in a dress of a million diamonds, she touched me gently; she was the image of all that surrounded me. I was mesmerized by such pure beauty, the definition and the incarnation of utter exquisiteness, nearing the ideal of a woman. She uttered no word and I was trembling by the unexpectedness of it all. I kissed her, I loved her, words refusing to leave my mouth, no point in saying anything really. I desire this woman with overwhelming power and more than I ever thought possible. She steps back, reversely scaling the remaining stairs while staring into my eyes . I want to follow but her gentle hand signals me to stop and she continues her elevation towards the heavens. Once far away, she sends towards me a paradisiacal avian creature of unparalleled splendor that lands next to me with majesty and elegance. A golden plaque sculpted with expertise had the following words - You love the Universe and it loves you, I am the Universe and you love me. I love you- . The disc just finished its run on my record player and silence reaffirms its place. Where is my love gone? My eyes open with difficulty, my body numb as if frozen. I have returned from faraway; the boring and monotonous life and the daily grey routine is back. My mom calls out for me to buy milk, was I just dreaming?.My cheeks are chafed from dried tears" 5 near abysses

Report this review (#220470)
Posted Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the one. Accept no substitutes.

Of all of the masterpieces of progressive rock, Close to the Edge is the king of kings, the pinnacle of musical achievement. Genesis had Selling England by the Pound, King Crimson had In the Court, Pink Floyd has Wish You Were Here, but none of those hold a candle to Yes' quintessential work.

From start to finish, you will never hear a more complete album. The title track sets a high standard, representing perhaps 18:45 of the closest man will come to musical perfection. From the frantic intro courtesy of Wakeman and Howe to the soaring melodies of Jon Anderson, from the solid rhythms of Squire and Bruford to the powerful solo capabilities of Wakeman, the epic captivates from start to finish; once you turn it on, you can't turn it off until it ends.

And You and I and Siberian Khatru are much more than filler after the suite-long title piece. And You and I represents a shorter Close to the Edge in a slightly less frantic form, but no less powerful. Whereas Close to the Edge belonged mostly to the instrumentalists, Anderson's vocals really take over the middle track. Khatru was a playground for Steve Howe; he must have have had a good deal of fun playing this piece. The song is catchy as heck and you will often find yourself singing along with Jon.

Anyway, if you are reading this on this website, you surely must have heard this album already. But, if you haven't, drop whatever you're doing and get on it. You're denying yourself a listen at immortality.

Report this review (#221522)
Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Aaagh. Yeah. Best prog album? Maybe not, but it's still a total masterpiece. I mean, And You And I is easily the best acoustic song ever written. Close To The Edge is one of the best epics ever written, and Siberian provides an excellent upbeat finale to the album with great riffs a-plenty. Wat more could you want? Well, I have heard people say the album is too short - 37 minutes is short even for an LP - but the quality goes far over what would be expected for any album. If this album sustained the same quality but was on a CD release, THAT, my friends, would be the best prog album. Speaking of which, go listen to some Arena.
Report this review (#224984)
Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars There is a lot that can be said for this album. My first experience with this album (or rather, title track) was back in high school when my friend was raving about how much he loved it. As far as I know, Yes is still his favorite band to this day. This was just at the beginning of my prog journey, before I had a grasp of what it really is. My friend made me want this album desperately, so for Christmas that year I asked for it (along with Dark Side of the Moon and Birds of Fire) Back then I had a hard time grasping the album, it was just so large and grand,and even seemed magical to me. Over time, as my prog knowledge and experience grew, I began to acquire the ability to comprehend this album, grasp it, and even transcribe it for some analysis.

After expanding my knowledge of both the good and bad sides of prog, and even more specifically of symphonic prog, I realized what a cornerstone this album really is. This album is still being discussed, debated, praised, loved, and made fun of to this day. You still see questions about "What is a Siberian Khatru, anyways?" on the forums from time to time. Normal albums, even good albums, don't stick around this long--only the truly great albums do, so 30-some odd years in the future you can tell which albums really made an impact in their era, which ones were the gold standard--which ones are truly the best in their class.

This album deserves a five-star rating not only because of its outstanding musical achievement , but also for it's great impact on the prog world to this day--making it an essential album to own and enjoy.

Report this review (#227062)
Posted Thursday, July 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Safety in (Long) Numbers: The Herd Instinct of the Sacred Cow

It's tempting to imagine how the fruit would have fallen in the prog orchard without the midnight raid visited upon it from this genteel and hirsute gang of apple scrumpers. Without Close to the Edge to refer to, most of the genre's laziest opponents would still be voicing shrill indifference at the output of those it inspired as that befitting hippy classical wank bashed out on electronic gizmos. Like most successful artistic phenomena, its visibility in terms of marketing, sales and exposure has conspired for consumer sovereignty to deign this album as being representative of an entire genre. But we know better on this website. (e.g. classical music? yeah it all sounds like boring Bach innit?)

Once again readers we are faced with the dichotomy between a document's avowed influence and its musical merit. Both criteria surely demand cognisance of context i.e. in 1972 when most of you were still but a crease in your daddy's slacks, Tarkus, Supper's Ready, A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers, Thick as a Brick, Valentyne Suite and Echoes were already 'on the shelves' jockeying for position as frontrunners in an obstacle course of prog's own design. Therefore this albums innovation and prescience pales somewhat when compared to the contemporary developments in music at the time of its release. That is not to say that Close to the Edge rode the slipstream of the aforementioned pioneers, just that 'Yes' were a damn sight better at polishing second hand jewellery than the owners were at securing it.

Although I have cited musical precedents from ELP, Genesis, Jethro Tull, VDGG, Colosseum and Pink Floyd, it seems clear that the only common element to all is that of running time. Yep, big long convoluted epics that even Wagner after rolling a 'big fatty' would have baulked at. Why prog in particular should be so obsessive about ensuring the fat lady sheds some of that adipose tissue before her finale is beyond me. Are Bach's fugues considered 'horrid girly bubblegum' because they are shorter than his concertos?

Where Close to the Edge' becomes unique is that it does not exploit any of the structural tricks and compositional conceits used by its contemporaries. Where Emerson would assimilate classical sources and themes into his own creations and Genesis would segue shorter song and instrumental fragments into a pseudo suite, 'Yes' dispense with either approach entirely. Close to the Edge's title track is a pop song, yes, one mother of a long one to be sure, but still a pop song for all that. Don't let the 'P' word cause your heckles to rise here, as I mean 'popular music song' and not in any pejorative sense.


There are no traces of classical symphonic writing to be found.(Which often explains their 'symphonic prog' label stubbornly refusing to adhere to the bottle) Jazz and blues vocabulary are absent. Riff based composition is nowhere to be seen.

These are observations, not criticisms as there is much to admire and cherish on this very fine album but I do think it is long overdue some sort of critical revision as for way too long CTTE has become akin to prog's (white) elephant in the room.

True to form, Howe's overly fussy playing, 'protesting chicken' guitar tone and ego the size of of a Yes equipment truck, continue to grate throughout. Steve's unchallenged virtuosity makes him easy to admire, but much harder to love. Wakeman is a gloriously unashamed ham, and brings a healthy irreverence to all things 'Yes' as without his mordant sensibilities I fear that the rest of the band would have completely disappeared up their own backsides long ago. As ever, Rick's eloquent playing and apt choice of sounds is an absolute pleasure avalanche (see his panto villain 'Hammer House of Horror' gothic cathedral organ circa 12 mins and try not smiling) Squire delights on just about everything I have ever heard him play on and his gutsy overdriven Rickenbacker is one of prog's most precious phenomena. Chris Squire, I love you and want to have your babies. Mr Anderson does not so much have a mystical streak, but a secular streak which visits him only when his northern orifice is miles from a microphone. Seems such a splendid and reasonable chap otherwise but what lollies were you sucking on in 1972 Jon?:

My eyes convinced, eclipsed with the younger moon attained with love. It changed as almost strained amidst clear manna from above. I crucified my hate and held the word within my hand. There's you, the time, the logic, or the reasons we don't understand.

Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid, Emotion revealed as the ocean maid, As a movement regained and regarded both the same, All complete in the side of seeds of life with you

Smoking is bad for you, ask Wagner.

Bill Bruford has always been one of my favourite drummers and there are on Close to the Edge sections where, in conjunction with Squire's snappy and guttural bass, 'Yes' stray as close as they ever got to within the forbidden outskirts of 'Funkytown'

As accomplished as so much of the music is, I still cannot get my head around the instrumental introduction to this album i.e. that 3 minute freeform Howe dominated squawkfest 'the less than Solid time changes in 3/4' where not content with just trading licks, Yes appear to swap instruments also. It doesn't even sound like Yes and I can't think of a similar instance of such ugliness in their entire discography.

As my old history teacher used to say:

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

Report this review (#229361)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Close To The Edge' - Yes (90/100)

For the longest time, I couldn't understand why people raved over Yes' fifth album. There was no doubt Close to the Edge enjoyed sophistication and depth that made most rock music look neanderthal by comparison, but I couldn't help but feel that the album feel far short of its reputation as a masterpiece to trump all others. Today, I can look back and understand why the album's orchestral density and blocky flow may have made it a slow grower for me initially, but time and experience with Close to the Edge has seen me fall in line with the legions of proggers that sing its praises. I still stand by their polarizing opus Tales from Topographic Oceans and chaotic Relayer as Yes' artistic peak, but Close to the Edge marks the first time where the band finally tapped into the full extent of their potential. It's a slice of near-perfection, and still sounds monumental over forty years since its recording.

Part of the reason I may not have been able to see the full brilliance of Close to the Edge initially may have been my own experiences as a listener. I had started my progressive education with more self-conscious epics like Dream Theater's "A Change of Seasons" and Genesis' perennial opus "Supper's Ready"; by contrast, "Close to the Edge" felt chaotic and spontaneous. Many of the title piece's instrumental sections sound like they could have been spawned from a miraculously devised improvisation; each instrument fills their side of the sound with a groove and rhythm of its own. From the start, "Close to the Edge" forgoes conventions that were commonplace in prog rock epics even by 1972. Rather than choosing to welcome the listener in with a resounding theme or overture, Yes erupt into a chaotic swirl of guitar-based jamming and synthesizer-fuelled madness. When the band brings the chaos down to earth a couple of minutes in and goes for a more typical sort of focus, the melodies and symphonic warmth are refreshing, thanks in large part to the jarring contrast.

Where most progressive epics are most impressive for their composition, "Close to the Edge" has always stood out for its focus on the band performance itself. Like a well-balanced meal, there's plenty to keep a listener busy and occupied; somehow tired of the brilliant guitar and key leads? That's fine, simply look just beneath the surface and there's an equal depth to the sophisticated bass grooves and drumwork. Listening to "Close to the Edge", it's a granted delight to take it all in as a whole, but repeated listens have often found me focusing on one part of the performance without being any less engaged as a result. Even in progressive rock, where this degree of complexity is often a mandate, I find myself hard-pressed to think of a few other albums that have this much depth and engagement in the performance. To name many at all, I'd have to start talking about jazz music.

With the notable exception of the beautifully mellow "I Get Up, I Get Down" section, the eighteen-odd minute "Close to the Edge" remains focused on this performance element of the music. In particular, Rick Wakeman's masterful key solo fourteen minutes in stands out, not just within the context of the composition, but in prog rock canon overall. The epic's fusing of jazz-rock playfulness and Western classical aesthetic feels epitomized by Wakeman here. From a perspective of composition, the epic's climax and finale is one of the most brilliantly genius things Yes have ever done, fusing ideas from the rest of the piece together in a triumphant eruption, the likes of which you would have a hard time finding outside of the symphonic traditions Yes have been inspired by. I still find myself more emotionally drawn towards a few other epics in progressive rock, but from a compositional and technical standpoint, no other suite could stand to compete with "Close to the Edge". Of great note as well are the vocals of Jon Anderson, who has long stood as a personal favourite of mine. In spite of that, it feels like his performance on the epic is the weakest element by default; the instrumentation is often so dense that the vocals can crowded and less interesting. This issue is remedied in full by "I Get Up, I Get Down", the famed mid-section of the epic, wherein the band distances itself from the complexity and lets their softer side shine through. Instrumentally, the piece becomes largely ambient, filtering out the rock element almost entirely and handing the reins to the band's symphonic warmth and cosmic atmosphere. Although it has the tendency of being a reviewer's go-to keyword far too often, Anderson's vocals here really do deserve to be called 'soaring'. Although Steve Howe's backup vocals here have always sounded somewhat thin to me here, Anderson's voice makes "I Get Up, I Get Down" unforgettable, and the note he hits at the very end before Wakeman takes over with the organ conjures up chills every time.

Although the album's second side doesn't come close to the titular epic, "And You And I" and "Siberian Khatru" are two of Yes' most memorable tracks. Although the songs take completely different approaches, they're linked together by an overarching atmosphere of summertime optimism. "And You And I" is build around a warmly psychedelic acoustic framework from Howe, and given breath with an infectious performance from Anderson. Although the piece might be a little too leisurely to warrant its ten minute-plus length, the ideas are drawn from the same well of genius as "I Get Up, I Get Down". Although I may have had initial reservations about the bouncy "Siberian Khatru" when I first heard the album, it's a great way of bringing the album back to the signature density of the epic, before the album is finished. Although the interplay between guitars, bass grooves, drum rhythms and key textures rival the complexity witnessed in "Close to the Edge", "Siberian Khatru" is much less demanding of the listener, with an atmosphere that screams of carefree days and psychedelic camaraderie. Steve Howe's guitar playing here is sophisticated and tightly woven, and Wakeman's signature organ motif over the main theme is particularly memorable. Even if one half of Close to the Edge is significantly stronger than the other, there isn't a moment here where Yes do not sound inspired, or 'in their element'. One could argue that "And You And I" may have felt more effective if a couple of minutes had been shaven from the rear, but even that would be getting nitpicky.

Steven Wilson's recent 2013 remixing of the album for Panegyric Records brings a refreshing new perspective to the album. The Porcupine Tree maestro has proved his ear for production and mastering countless times before, and Close to the Edge is no different. The instrumentation feels more lively and balanced than before, Chris Squire's bass guitar in particular has finally been given a well-deserved showcase in the mix. I've mentioned that Close to the Edge is an album most impressive for its band-centered performance, and this remix has acknowledged those strengths and capitalized on them. Of course, a remixing isn't so much an improvement as it is a fresh interpretation, and there are some parts of Wilson's reimagining- most notably the upmixing of Howe's thinly performed background vocals on "I Get Up, I Get Down"- that should have been approached differently. The remix is by no means flawless enough to be the new 'definitive' edition of the album, but it has enough changes to warrant a check-out from veterans and newcomers alike.

Although progressive rock has been marching onward for what is now close to half a century, the genre had already reached an outstanding maturity and familiarity by 1972. Though still in the midst of its golden peak, progressive rock was already beginning to get comfortable with its own set of conventions. Both as an epic and as an album, Close to the Edge did not so much avert these conventions as it put a new spin on them, and took them to new heights of sophistication. Yes may have been doing exciting things in 1971 with The Yes Album and Fragile, but the following year and Close to the Edge finally saw them explore the sort of ambitious quasi-perfection usually reserved for erudite composers and traditional 'art music'. Even so, I can't call it my favourite pick from Yes' nigh-untouchable oeuvre, but Close to the Edge has only continued to grow on me as a listener. As Yes themselves were no doubt aware judging from the album's cover art (which is lushly contrasted by its gorgeous inner sleeve), Close to the Edge requires time and a degree of patience to unlock its beauty and charm, but once that beauty is finally revealed, it's utterly impossible to deny or ignore it.

Report this review (#229834)
Posted Monday, August 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars What else can be said about a record that is perfect in every sense? Not much I think. I still remember when I first listened to Close to the Edge; the music, the lyrics and the art. The pleasant experience to hear such a musical adventure never desappears, no matter how many times I play it. I consider it the best Yes album to date. The amazing line up of Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire and Wakeman brought their best to create a beautiful and magical soundscape. "And You and I" remains as my favorite of the Yes' catalog, I always like the incredible acoustic and slide guitar work by Howe, the passionate Anderson vocals and the overall feeling of happiness. Siberian Kathru is a killer rocker and a perfect opener for Yes' concerts. This is a perfect album that summarizes the whole spirit of Yes.
Report this review (#229939)
Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say about "Close to the Edge" after so many reviews that state the masterpiece- character of the album? That they are right.

On the title song, Squire creates some well " later borrowed" rhytmic lines. Wakeman's solo is just amazing (ranging from technical abilities to artistic expression).

I think Steve Howe has two symmetrical outstanding moments throughout the album: the beginning of "Close to the Edge" and the end of "Siberian Khatru". Also must be noted the acoustic-guitar player's qualities on "And You and I". On the whole, a well balanced album with lots of hidden sensations that you witness only after some spins. Prog masterpiece.

Report this review (#232819)
Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars DOWN AT THE END but it's actually Up At The Top...!(at the moment)

Above all the most important thing I have to say:a few months ago I found a great analysis of the lyrics of CTTE and And You And I!!! Can't believe it? Well I don't know if I can post a link in this rewiew, so you will find it in my forum's signature. So great, I must recommended to everyone who likes this album (and don't understand the lyrics)

Now, about THE music... This is the first time the group tried such a long epic and it came out to be one of their best! This is a 18 minute journey (well, without the birds chirping it's actually 16 and a half, that's why it doesn't seem that long!) about spiritual awakening, yeah... The start is one of the most experimental of all Yes (only Awaken has weirder parts and maybe Sound Chaser?). That guitar solo (with churming keybords and drums, menacing bass) may represent the Chaos, after the Big Bang... Really disturbing, but it's getting clearer and clearer (everything points towards the light in this song!) The weirdly interrupting vocal chords are longer and longer...There's more and more light! until you land upon the land of melodies. There is an instrumental theme that turns up three times - shining at the beginning on guitar, than before the slow middle part on Hammond wich is more silent, and at the beginning of Seasons of Man a more energetic one, which is a bit similar to the chaotic opening... Then there are vocal parts divided into... a heavier and a more melodic one. The chorus is simple and cathcy, but it doesn't appear twice in the same form! Maybe these are not the greatest melodies of time, but they are carefully structured and arranged. Key and time changes. The structural integrity is what makes so unique this ever searching music! Everything is just where it's meant to be. The middle part called "I get up, I get down" is much slower with synth fills creating such a beautiful, ethereal atmosphere... It's like an ocean! As the wonderful melody progresses, massive organ chords start to build up to the insane reprise with Wakemen's crossfiring solo on the Hammond. Everything finds its place. And the vocals come again, we are again Down on the Earth, facing reality... The culminating coda is so tight in composition, really like a Bach fugue as a rewiewer mentioned...(no, nothing to do with baroque, I just wanted to depict its greatness!)

The lyrics are about the Seasons of Man... Oh no, I won't tell the whole story. If you are curious, read the analysis!!

After such an uplifting, flawless masterpiece, the two "shorter" songs (10 minute!) may seem inferior, but And You And I is really a different world! After the Down to the Earth manner of the closing section of CTTE, this song is just a dream... I could describe sometimes Yes' music as Romantic (in its classical sense!)(especially the next album!) and this may fit well. The structure even is like an extended Sonata form... I really like the beginning acoustic guitar with light synth background, it's like Roundabout, but dreamier. Then it turns into joyful, a bit bouzuki like guitar chords, playful moog melodies and a melodic vocal. Suddenly it turns to a heavier part with strange backing vocals, that segues into the refrain 'and you and I...' There are two really intense moments called "Eclipse" and "apocalypse" with highly emotional symphonic melody! Thanks to the Moog, these are wonderful parts. Like love... As the titles say, the first is a temporary eclipse, but apocalypse is the final! Between them, the reprise of the first melody just with a different guitar texture. At the end, the refrain simply reprised. Wonderful song!

Of course, the third one is not such a masterpiece like the fisrt two ones, but it's still great, in the vein of Roundabout, and equally good as Roundabout! The middle secion has a crazy clavicembalo part by Wakeman, that's really great. Also at the end the "dah-dah, doo-dah,doo-dah" vocals are joyful!

One of the most recommended albums of all time, and the best of Yes (along with Relayer)


Report this review (#233336)
Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars O.K. I hope to be able to change my opinion on this album. I bought it because it was the first in this page. I had already bought other Yes's albums. Maybe I do not like Yes's music. Anyway I have listened to this album more than twenty times and I find it out with simple music. It has nice parts, but to me they don't go beyond that: nice parts. For instance, the first vocals of Jon Anderson "Aaaah" and then "Aaaaah" again, I don't like them. In general in rare moment I like the vocals of Anderson. I give two stars only. I hope to listen more times to see if I am able to appreciate what many others appreciate. Surely, I am wrong. (Added after listening more times) I have listen this album many times and I find that one lives better without knowing its existence. I understand that some people like it. But I do not like it at all, although I will go on listenning to it. Now one star.
Report this review (#235899)
Posted Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I couldn't resist adding my little piece on this one. Obviously it's getting five stars, this album blows pretty much any other prog efforts completely out of the water and somewhere into the desert. It's a stunning piece from start to finish, and I love it.

Close to the Edge is a song that just doesn't seem possible, so utterly complex and yet it's pulled off with such precision; there's absolutely no doubting the skills in any of these musicians at all. From the frantic intro and the incredible lyrics, it's almost another dimension. The feeling that this song conjures inside of you is intense, it takes you up up up and doesn't bring you down...well, it brings you down a bit, then you're exploded back into the air by the incredible organ solo. Wakeman sure as hell reminds you there ain't just a lead guitarist in this band, there's a lead keyboardist and he AIN'T gettin pushed around. But there's absolutely no pushing or fighting for keyboard/guitar supremacy, and the two blend with each other absolutely perfectly throughout the entire song. The song begins as it ends, with a very "nature" sorta atmosphere, birds tweeting, a river flowing.

And You And I is probably the most beautiful piece of music that I have ever heard and one of my all time favourite songs. Usually a very frantic sounding band, they take it down a bit here, with a lovely little harmonic intro. Throughout the song, the lyrics don't really make much sense, and a lot of the time they're not meant to (I don't think), however they sound perfect, and you almost sorta take meaning for yourself from the lyrics, it's all very beautiful. Wakeman takes control come about halfway with an astounding lead that you can't help but get shivers down your spine when you hear it. It's very much a love song, but sayng that there's always been that slight almost apocalyptic feel to it. Intense stuf, a true masterpiece!

Siberian Khatru, the album closer, wraps up the album with a more upbeat feel. Not a patch on the first two songs, but it does the job, it's a great song an continues the awe-inspiring musicianship that's been present throughout the album. You've got your slide guitar solo, keyboard'd never see anything like this today, and it's a shame. Whether it's that nobody actually has the skill to do it, or indeed the balls to try it. The weakling of the album, but still a staple Yes song, an incredible piece of music.

So there you go, that's my say done, not that it needed it with hundreds of other reviews, which really goes to back my point that it's just an iconic piece of prog...indeed it's an iconic piece of music, a true great of the 20th century. And might i mention the album art? The simplest, but certainly one of the best Yes covers.

Don't hesitate, listen to this album!

Report this review (#238740)
Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is defenitely a masterpiece of prog rock. The very first time I listened to it I thought it was too complicated for me that I didn't like it. By the time a really got into prog rock I tryed to listen to it again and I discovered a new world in music. There are so many changes in rythm on the songs (perfectly done) that listening to them becomes an awesome journey. It's amazing that an album like this was created on the 70's and that at this time it remains as one of the most complete representatives in the prog rock scene.

I think this is not only the best album by Yes but the best prog rock album of all times.

Report this review (#240220)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh my god. This is probably one of Yes' perfect albums (Along with a few others). How can three songs be so rocking and so awesome? I will tell you why, because Yes created them, thats why. The album has some nice hard jazz, awesome guitar and bass parts, amazing keyboards (Thanks Rick for coming in a year earlier!) and some awesome drumming from Bill Bruford. Alan White recently joined after Bill left because of musical differences with Jon Anderson, lead vocalist. I feel that Alan has more chemistry with Chris Squire, so thats kind of why I prefer Alan a little more. Anyways, lets get to it!

The album's 18-minute epic, "Close to the Edge" is near perfection. It starts out with a natural sound, like in a rainforest kind of theme, I would guess. There is some slight keyboards that you can hear in the background if you listen closely like I did. Anyways, after about a minute or so, the whole band decides to join for the heaviest jam that you have ever Yes play in your whole life! Steve Howe, guitarist, does probably the best solo ever. The keyboards are so interesting on this song, and the bass guitar reaches the 19th fret and it sounds stunning, to say the least. Anyway, the vocals don't annoy me too much on tihs track, because its mostly instrumental. Not that Jon has a terrible voice, its just that when I gets really high in his vocal range, it can sound really annoying sometimes. But, this song is perfect, and I would not change a thing about it. The next song "And you and I" is pretty good, 10 minutes or so, not bad. Its kind of boring compared to the previous song or the next song, but its supposed to be slower than the rest of the album, I guess. Anyways, the guitar is beautiful, even if it is simple, it sounds stunning. The next song, "Siberian Khatru" is a keeper too. The intro riff is really rockin, and it sounds kind of Country-ish with the vibe that I get from it, but it's a really cool rock song. The vocals are stunning here, Jon turns in a very good performance here. The solo is really interesting sounding as well.

This is probably a perfect album, no flaws anywhere, really. A masterpiece album that every single prog-lover should have.

Report this review (#242022)
Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Much has been said about Close to the Edge. It has been flitting between the #1 and #2 album spots on PA since I got here. It has, as of this writing, been rated almost 1000 times.

For me, Yes has a deeply personal meaning, and I'd be inclined to give everything they did between The Yes Album and Going For The One five stars just based on how much I love each and every one of those albums. The only problem with that is that, is what's better than five stars? For that reason, I've been trying to sprinkle some four stars in as I go through Yes' classic years. Yet some of the albums that have/will get 4 stars would get 5 stars by another band. Fragile would be a masterpiece, if Yes hadn't come out with this next and proved that they could do better.

Yes is the band that got me into progressive rock. They were the first band I listened to that I thought of first and foremost as progressive; sure, I had been listening to Pink Floyd, Rush, Supertramp, etc. for years, but I thought of them as classic rock. Yes were always something different. For years, I listened to them, and although I never 'grasped' what they were about in this time, I knew they were about -something-. Something tantalizingly near to coming clear to me, yet never revealing itself.

I owned Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, and Relayer for years, and listened to each occasionally, trying to find out what that something was. It wasn't until the smaller, bite sized chunk of 'it' that I got during the Yes Album and Fragile,which I didn't purchase for a few years, that it suddenly become clear. And suddenly, these three albums took on all new meaning to me. I listened closer. I heard more.

Yet I would still be at a loss as to what it is that makes Yes so special. There are many symphonic prog bands out there, and yet, of all that I've heard, none quite capture Yes' magic, or sound quite like them (unless they are trying to be Yes mock 2). Whenever I return to yes after listening to other prog, I remember why it is that I got into prog in the first place. And really, I've yet to find the next 'Yes', the next band with as deeply personal a meaning.

Ultimately, Yes is the sound of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, a drummer (they were strong with Alan White and Bill Bruford, so neither is preferred), and a keyboardist (they've been strong with many of these too). If those three members are in the group, it's almost guaranteed that something stunning will happen.

Close to the Edge is the ultimate Yes album. The chemistry between the musicians is crystal clear here. This may not be their most experimental, or even their best album, but it is their penultimate album. No other album better defines what made Yes so successful in the '70s, or so enduring to the modern day.

The fact that this album contains one of Prog Rock's best known epics, Close to the Edge, is no hindrance to the album. There are only a few epics that you can list that come close to this iconic. Close to the Edge, Supper's Ready, Echoes, Thick as a Brick; it's hard to know what to list after that.

And Close to the Edge is deserving of its status. It starts of excellent, with nature sfx, then strangely hypnotic guitars. It leads into Jon Andersons lyrics, the likes of which could probably only ever be created by the man himself. From the first two lines:

"A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace,"

You know you are in for a ride. Somehow, the lyrics give the feeling that if you really listen and really pay attention, you will learn something, some hidden truth. It's like playing records backwards to find hidden messages, only this time, it's deciphering the codes laid out by Jon Anderson. (I've actually seen studies of the lyrics where people try to find meaning, and there have been some pretty solid guesses as to what the heck Jon Anderson was trying to say). At the same time, even though their meaning may be just out of grasp, the lyrics make perfect sense. I've also heard that Jon Anderson picks words based on how they sound together, not their meaning, and if that is true, he has succeeded here, for the words match the music perfectly.

After rocking, and twisting the music into shapes and words you had never imagined, the song enters the third movement, "I Get Up/I Get Down". This may be one of the most heart wrenching passages that Yes would write (definitely the most heart wrenching until Going For The One came out). Jon Anderson knows how to sing delicately, and displays just how much emotion his unique voice can convey in this part. Steve Howe and Chris Squire are the perfect backing vocalists to add just that extra punch of sorrow. But the crowning moment is when Jon begins singing "I Get Up, I Get Down", accompanied by Wakeman on an organ. It gives me shivers every time, and I've heard this song many times by now. It lasts the perfect length of time, before returning to the more eclectic sound with "Seasons of Man", the last movement.

A track as strong as Close to the Edge will leave you breathless, and Yes was careful enough to give you a rest with "And You And I" afterwards, an excellent, softer piece. Perhaps less can be said about this track, and I find it to be the weakest track on the album, but trust me when I say, you say a LOT by calling this the weakest track. Jon Anderson's vocals are once again in top form. Steve Howe plays multiple guitars to great effect. Rick Wakeman's keys back the song perfectly and create great environment. The whole band is on top form as they roll through this emotional piece.

The album finishes with Siberian Khatru. Nobody knows what a Khatru is but Jon Anderson, but after over 30 years, we've come to accept that it doesn't matter when the music is this good. From the first guitar lick, you know you're in for a treat, and Yes do not disappoint. Catchy guitars, roving keyboards, and haunting vocals (the "dah dah dah" section near the end is surprisingly effective) on top of more of Jon Anderson's ethereal lyrics and vocals create what may be one of Yes' most rocking pieces.

And in this way, Yes has given the world a perfect view of everything that they do well, from the experimental, to the tender and heart wrenching, to outright rocking, to taking you to another world with ethereal lyrics. A masterpiece, and even more, a classic, without any doubt. Would that all music were this good.

Report this review (#242500)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is probably the most reviewed album on this site. Though I think since this is a masterpiece of prog I should review it myself. Yes is known for their epics and this album has plenty of good ones. The title track, "Close to the Edge", is a masterpiece of prog and a great song for the casual listener.

1/3 The title track, "Close to the Edge", is an 18 minute materpiece that is split up into four parts; I. The Solid Time of Change, II. Total Mass Retain, III. I Get Up I Get Down, and IV. Seasons of Man. THis song starts with birds chirping and lots of other morning sounds. Then it transfers into some guitar riffs for a cuople of measures. The lyrics throughout the whole song are great, and so are the choruses. All this shows how talented Jon Anderson and the rest of Yes is. This is a great epic for all kinds of listeners.

2/3 "And You And I" starts off where "Close to the Edge" left off with great vocals and very catchy choruses. It starts off with Steve Howe tuning his guitar then it transfers into some keyboards by Rich Wakeman. The song is split up into four parts which are; I. Cord of Life, II. Eclipse, III. The Preacher, The Teacher, IV. Apocalypse. In between Eclipse and The Preacher, The Teacher there is a very good 12-string acoustic solo. Overall great song.

3/3 "Siberian Khatru" is the only song on this album not split into parts. The word Khatru was supposedly made up by Jon Anderson. This song has a very good guitar intro riff, but for the rest of the song it is mostly centered around the keys. Besides a good solo from Mr. Wakeman there is a very good solo from Steve Howe.

Overall a khatru of an album. 5/5.

Report this review (#242962)
Posted Sunday, October 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yes were one of the first Prog-rock bands I've listened. They've a special place in my heart. Close To the Edge is their Magnum Opus, I like to call this album "The Cream of Symphonic Progressive Music". Three tracks can be found here, the first track takes the whole first side of the vinyl. This is the title track "Close To The Edge", It's almost 20 minutes of pure symphonic Progressive Music. It's start with a gentle sound of birds and wind, when the music enters you can feel your heart sinks, its so powerful and beautiful. Even if you don't like Jon Anderson's abstract lyrical vision, the music here is the main thing, Bill Bruford(his last album with yes) drumming is really great with odd time signatures and amazing Technics behind the kit. Steve Howe guitar playing is amazing as always,Anderson sings like an angel and Chris Squire along with Bill making one of the best rhythm section prog rock has ever heard. A Must have masterpiece.
Report this review (#244770)
Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars It will be able to be said that the flow that reaches this album is one historical masterpiece of Prog Rock that exactly represents the 70 year in the history of the music of Yes. Ideas of men who can listen by "Fragile" and artistic ideas are guessed that the idea of Jon Anderson and Steve Howe came out to some degree strongly at the same time as bringing dramatic improvements in further in this album. And, the attempt of the method and ensemble for the band to express the idea concretely will have been the legends already in the recording.

Some elements can be enumerated as a point to talk about this album. Processing of perfect work by producer's Eddie Offord. And, the fact to which the period of the production of the album is done including the rehearsal at the period of about two months when thinking about the flow of the tour that started after the production of this album. These might be the parts in which it should work on the realization of the idea in union with parties concerned the band.

And, beautiful album Art drawn by Roger Dean might have offered a new change and the creation to the impression of the work of Yes till then. The processing of the gradation based on forest green might have become one of the important factors for the band and the listener.

And, the method of actually recording this album might have included the method of processing the tape. Method of band's having done performance repeatedly to part of recording that Jon Anderson and Steve Howe did to some degree. Or, it is partial where the small knot of an actual tune is delimited and the composition is reviewed. Work to remove the failing part and for the fragment of the tune to tie in detail will have been a result of the producer and the band. At that time, this recording method will have been work that heat shut oneself up as the processing of the recording of other bands. It is said that the band was putting "L'Oiseau de Feu" of Stravinsky on the mind for producing this album. Idea and thought that should be described with this album. And, the method of processing the sound and the height of the composition power are still talked about as a work of the highest peak in the field of Prog Rock.

"Close To The Edge" is making of the melody that gets twisted complexly and the sound of the keyboard. And, perfect SE is introduced. The band advances in union. It is said that "Siddhartha" that Hermann Hesse of the writer in Germany announced is an origin in this tune. Progressing the tune not to be able to forecast by unifying it to the philosophical lyrics might be exactly progressive music. The idea of the bold introduction of Solo of the organ etc. when the part in the back and forth doesn't function well as a flow of the tune that ties at the stage of the edit of the tape by Eddie Offord has succeeded and the width of the tune has been expanded greatly. The idea is completely reflected in the tune and unfolds a perfect element as an album.

The element to feel the deployment of a pastoral part and the space of "And You And I" might be splendid. It is one of the tunes that they represent this tune. Various elements are extracted in the flow of the album, it reflects, and a mysterious part is produced. Making and the composition of a grand sound will have a moving flow. Especially, the theme with the guitar might be impressive. And, the work of Rick Wakeman that made a variegated sound completely established the sound of the band.

The flow of Rock of "Siberian Khatru" might be a tune with the element reflected in the following work at the same time as showing the establishment of the sound of the band. "Khatru" can be translated into "Remain though it hopes" in the word in south Yemen. It succeeds in unification to a religion and philosophical lyrics and the establishment of the meaning of this album. The performance that men who had splendidly reflected the concept of this album in the tune while following the flow from "Fragile" in a good meaning did might have become one of the histories of Prog Rock.

They might have surely received one the top by this album. And, the sound as the band is established to some degree and brings dramatic improvements in further.

Report this review (#245568)
Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars One of the most overrated prog album. Close to the Edge is not even the best Yes album! I always found Yes music quite cold, they just want to show how good they are to play and their music is based more on the tecnique than the emotions. I can never fully appreciate Jon Anderson voice and i never liked Wakeman way of play keyboard he play with just one hand, no left hand it look like a Malmsteen of the keyboards. I talk about Yes music, because CTTE is the archetype of their music, you can find all the good and bads of Yes. Cold and well played songs, great tecnique but music too much flown. The three songs are all on a good level they album doesn't have weak point but but doesn't reach the peak of Fragile in Heart of Sunrise and Roundabout.
Report this review (#245762)
Posted Friday, October 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'd like to start my first review with the album that got me into progressive rock so long ago in the first place. Around ten years ago when I was only around nine years old, I was watching music videos on TV when I saw Yes's "I've Seen All Good People" come up. I was amazed by the song and I asked my dad who it was by and he said Yes. So I looked up their albums online and found that this one was recommended. So I asked him for this album and when I finally recieved it I put it in my radio and noticed there were only 3 songs. I thought to myself who would listen to an 18 minute song?

I did not expect to find myself with a record with such adventure or one that would hold my attention for 18 minutes, but it did and it even left me wanting more. I'd never heard an intro so erratic, and I found the singing much different than anything I'd heard at the time but in a good way. Even "And You And I" blew me away just as much as the title track with it's warm happy aura brought by Wakeman's keyboards. All three songs were masterpieces to me then and they are still to this day. There's not much more I can add or say about the music, but I highly reccomend this album for anyone getting into progessive rock or someone that is already in love with the genre that hasn't given this a shot. I'm thankful for CTTE and all the doors it opened to me musically, and I hope others that haven't listened to it can find the same.

Report this review (#246909)
Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars musical revolution on rock: "the biggest step from pure rock to progressive rock" using sound with effects creates visionary philosophic atmosphere (relationship the river and purgation) on vocals: untraditional singing style and free lyrics type: never ending ambition, puts some heart into sound. on Instruments: chance of free playing for each member: self-actualization sounds comes by untraditional ways multi coloured and dimensional blowing in the theme thousands of note combinations and themes within harmony as well as compete against each other polyphonic harmonies everchanging and supported permanently additional ones and dissappeares : this reminiscents events and persons in our lifetime

chanching from complexity to serenity with the key changes (reflects of the emotions) creating a sound which catches deptness the time the tunes like Gliding Through Space. this hadn't been experienced

on vocals never ending ambition, full of the joys of spring: puts some heart into sound (back vocals are adds big richness to the main theme as lead vocal tunes like instruments)

breathtaking album from the start to the end.

phenomenonal assosiacions of 5 top musicians.

Report this review (#247478)
Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars The epic. Currently the number one album on Progarchives, with hundreds and hundreds of ratings, the majority of which hold this album up as the essential masterpiece not only of Yes, but of all prog bands. This is certainly an accurate portrayal of CTTE, and it should be mandatory listening for all potential prog fans. Not much to say that hasn't been said by about everyone on PA, though I never see a reason not to give my opinion. The title track is easily one of the best things Yes has ever made, containing everything that has given them such prestige in our community. And You And I is, in my humble opinion, the weakest song, though seeing as it's book-ended by two of the best things Yes has ever made, that says very little, and it's actually a very good track, though I'm not as crazy about this side of Yes as I am of stuff like Heart of the Sunrise and the following song, Siberian Khatru. This final song is really great, featuring Howe's amazing guitar work. So, I wholeheartedly agree with my fellow collaborators in saying that Close to the Edge is a masterpiece, five well-deserved stars for the legend.
Report this review (#247721)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Close To The Edge must be the mandatory 'hit' that every reviewer has to perform here. So I thought it would make an appropriate choice for my first review as 'Prog Reviewer', even though we might not exactly need any more reviews of this album. Or do we?

Yes's music is a delicate balance between wit and madness, between musical intensity and annoying virtuosity. For me they sit right on the edge that divides progressive rock between genius and kitsch. On one side I would put emotive prog with a strong focus on songs and lyrical content such as Genesis, Porcupine Tree or Van Der Graaf. On the other side sits music that does not connect with me anymore, such as Tormato, post-'72 ELP, Transatlantic, some of Dream Theater albums and so on.

After the Floyd and Genesis, Yes was one of the first bands I came to love as a teenager, with CTTE as absolute Yes favorite, a perfection of the ambitions of progressive rock, both gripping in its emotive intensity and dazzling by the musical performance that each member put in. I'd say that the reason why CTTE stands out above their other albums is the tight collective that they form here: all of them must have realized that they were at the very boundary of the rock format and all of them put in their very best.

Next to Rush's Peart and Lee, Bruford and Squire had always been the most attractive rhythm section in the world for me and so they are on CTTE. Another main asset of my Yes enjoyment is the lyricism and sense for melody of Jon Anderson, and has he ever shone brighter then here? On the other hand, Howe and certainly Wakeman tend to take Yes to the 'wrong side' of my edge, but not here. Howe shines throughout and I'd even call Wakeman's mellotron-moog passage 4 minutes into And You And I as one of the high points of Progressive Rock.

Bruford stated in interviews that he felt to have taken his drumming on CTTE as far as he could within the Yes format. Well that goes for the entire album I think. Yes had taken rock as far as one possibly could. This is one of the defining moments of progressive rock.

Report this review (#250272)
Posted Friday, November 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I won't talk about the structure of it since people more qualified and certainly more experienced than me has written complete reviews about the "theory" of Close To The Edge. Listen, let the music fill you. Not saying it will fill everyone, but in my case this album is a rollercoaster, taking me from frenetic emotions, to peaceful ones. Every time, depending on my mood. I focus on something else, I let this album drift me into different places every time. It is as it was an amazing book you love so much that every time you read it you like it more and more and you notice different things everytime. If the objective of making this album was to reach deep within their listeners, I can happily say that Close To The Edge fulfilled its purpose.

Report this review (#250652)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Here is my first rating and hi everybody! So lets start! I know everyone have rated this album obviously because is one of the main albums in the history of Progī rock. This is the fifth album of Yes and wow it was recorded in 1972 many bands aported to the Prog scene many gems including this one. We have 3 tracks so sweet for an album, maybe it could be an EP but no at least not for Yes.

The first one CTTE is the main dish in the menu, maybe an excellent opening for an amazing album it could be the final track too. I dont want to say all the sections step for step because everyone have done it, i will say just a little phrase for this one : " If you want to know about prog, you need to listen CTTE... Amazing suite"

Then we have the second track, on it we can see clearly the folk influence specially in the intro of the song, it includes sweets armonics made by Steve, maybe this track is the weakest one in the album at least for me but i love the song is an essential part in the album and i want to say this song is not a filler all the album is essential.

And finally Siberian... wow the main riff is just incredibly, it has a magic from hard-rocky scene but its prog, the bass has a funky sound and all the song is amazing . I love it.

Well i know this album is overrated but this album deserves this category because is an essential piece of knowledge and mature ideas in the band. Maybe this is the highest peak for Yes but i like others albums too. Maybe in others reviews. Classic, Epic, Amazing , Sweet and of course a must-have it addition for any prog colletion.

Highly recommended!!

Report this review (#251836)
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars CTTE. Cutting edge stuff really. I won't spend my time stating how this IS one of the best prog albums of all time; everyone pretty much knows that already. The title track being my obvious favorite, recalling the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Eighteen minutes of otherwordly music reaching your inner depths of thought. VERY majestic. Enough of me rambling on, get your copy of it now! And you shall see how the 1000+ (positive) ratings of CTTE are not wrong.

1. "Close to the Edge" - 10/10

2. "And You and I" - 10/10

3. "Siberian Khatru" - 9/10

29/3 = 96.67% = 5 stars

Report this review (#251986)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Three long compositions. One of the most popular album between symphonic prog lovres. I believe, that it is kind of Yes best quality work standard. Sound is good balanced, not too much overproduced ( but in moments not too far from that), still having rock energy in it. Anderson is at his level, so let say it is very good Yes album. If you like Yes or symphonic rock in general.

I don't like them both too much, but still think that this is good album. Yes, in many moments pompastic, many pieces are just too long ( let say - repetatively too long), but fans of that sound can listen it again and again...

In comparance with previous album , Fragile, this one is a bit better focused and ballanced, but at the same time missed some fresh air and is not so different. I believe Yes found their formula/sound for a moment, and used it at all 100%. With high level musicians, the result is of high quality.

I believe, that symphonic prog maniacs love this album . For all others it's just a good example of still-not-boring symphonic prog. But from that pair, I prefer Fragile.

Anyway, strong 4.

Report this review (#252300)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes - Close to the Edge

This album has always been hard for me to rate. I would never call it a masterpiece, but it has some brilliant moments. It also has some moments I just can't stand! The out of context hailing of this album is also quite irritating. The front cover of the album isn't very interesting, but the inside fold out sleeve is nice (for people who listen to vinyl).

The main track. The sound of nature in the opening are nice, but it is soon to be disturbed by the horrible opening section. Though the idea is quite nice, it doesn't work for me. The guitar-playing of Howe is horrible! I never understood how this man could change his sound from professional to amateur in seconds. His amplification is also not very professional. After the harsh opening the melodic themes arise and the music become gentle and intelligent. The song part is quite nice. After some time the couplet theme is changed with some heavy bass and intelligent rhythmic procedures which I like. The vocals keep going while the rest of the band plays completely different melodies. After this the mellow part of the track starts with some nice keys and gentle vocals of Anderson. The bombastic church organ parts of Wakeman are inspired and truly great to hear. The vocals are the best Yes ever recorded on this part of the track. The key-solo is of Wakeman is nice. After this pretty gentle/bombastic symphonic moment we are thrown into a horrible recorded rework of the main theme of the song. This is truly ugly! Another keysolo gets the music back on track with some interesting nonchalant ideas. Now it is time to return to the Couplet/Refrain themes with some variations which are good. The bombastic vocal section on the end (I get up, I get down) fades back into the sound of nature. Well.. as I said, highlights and horrible moment in just one song. Still this is very worthwhile.

On side two we have two long tracks which I wont describe as accurate. The both have nice song elements, symphonic prog elements and the typical Yes way of doing things with vocals. And You And I has some nice dreamy melodies, but is never as impressive as the main track of the album. Siberian Khatru is more uptempo and has some rockn'roll passages in it.

Conclusion. An album which I respect but don't listen to very often. I can understand the fuss about it, but I would never join. Still this is an excellent addition to your progressive rock collection. It doesn't belong in the list of records like The Court of the Crimson King, Thick as a Brick, Pawn Hearts, etc. It's just pretty good. A steady Four stars.

* Edited. I changed my rating to three stars. I still can't listen to this record without several moments I consider putting it of. This album has very good moments, but some moments are just terrible.

Report this review (#254969)
Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close To The Edge is, without a doubt, my favorite Yes album and one of my all-time favorite progressive albums. The title track, in particular, is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever had the pleasure of hearing; from its eclectic introduction to its triumphant finish ("I get up, I get down" surely will forever be immortal in the world of progressive rock), the passages are saturated with some of the finest examples of musicianship on record. I find myself consistently lost in its majesty and form; it is definitely my favorite song on the album. To me, the album seems to get weaker as it progresses; "Close To The Edge" is the best track, followed by "And You And I", followed by "Siberian Khatru". However, saying that the latter two songs are worse than the first is like saying that "8 1/2" and "The Deer Hunter" are worse than "The Godfather"; not only is it a matter of opinion, but every song is an amazing one. The atmospheres presented to us by Anderson, Howe, Wakeman, Bruford, and Squire are indefinitely absorbing. It well deserves its current rating on the site and the ubiquitous accolades directed towards it. It really has all been said before, but I simply adore this album and it would be a crime to not include it in any record collection, let alone a progressive rock collection; Close To The Edge is a true masterpiece of the genre.
Report this review (#258586)
Posted Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'll admit, I'm a sucker for progressive rock. I give out five stars to prog albums pretty sparingly, seeing that I personally don't hear any major flaws in the genre; sure, it at first appears to be a complete contradiction to 'rock n' roll', what with its complexity and complication and everything (I was a skeptic myself, at first), but you have to at least respect the instrumental talent of the band members. I mean, dear GOD, have you heard the way Chris Squire shreds that bass? He plays it more quickly and potently than Clapton plays the guitar! And what about Steve Howe? His guitar-playing prowess outranks some of the guitarists from the greats of rock music, including Pete Townshend of the Who and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. And Rick Wakeman on the keyboards? Man, he is a MONSTER! Some of his stuff is just mind-blowing, man! Not to mention how he helped popularize the instrument (along with Emerson). Anderson's lyrics, vocals, and know, it's all absolutely enchanting, and Close to the Edge is, without a doubt, the group's masterpiece, their chef d'oeurve, their magnum opus. Maybe even the greatest progressive album there is! Better than Selling England By the Pound, Dark Side of the Moon, the Crimson King? Arguably, yes. Even if it isn't the all-out BEST, it's certainly at least among the most quintessential records of progressive rock. The three things that define the genre: instrumental and lyrical complexity, often similar to that of jazz and classical, long (often overbearingly) songs, and (here it comes) pretension, are ALL staples of this record, this monolith, this absolute masterpiece. The group's previous album, Fragile, was a success in its own right, but this capitalizes on all it's weaknesses and shortcomings; the overt pretentiousness of "We Have Heaven" and "Cans and Brahms" is gone, but the lengthy, experimental epics (which were absolutely Fragile's centerpieces) are all here. That's the Yes song stereotype: long, self-indulgent, and decently epic. Unlike the almost unendurable (at some points) tracks of their next album (Tales from Topographic Oceans), each song on Close to the Edge keeps your attention, not a single moment makes you want to lift the needle off the record or push the 'stop' button (something a lot of progressive bands struggle with). All three tracks are prog classics, without a doubt, and each one has had considerable influence on rock music (at least this kind). I doubt Dream Theater or the Flower Kings would deny "Close to the Edge" (both the song and the album) to be generously influential to their sound, you know? I mean, they're all just absolute masterpieces, three of my all-time favorite songs.

Of all the five-star ratings I've given, Close to the Edge is arguably the most deserving. So I applaud Jon, Rick, Chris, Steve, and Bill, and I really, really recommend this album to any progressive fan, be you a collectionist or not.

Report this review (#259522)
Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars As the description of 3 stars states, this album is good, but definitely non-essential. The title track is, in my opinion, the worst track on the album. It starts off great, with excellent drumming from Bruford and complex guitar from Howe. As the song progresses, however, Anderson's vocals prove to be sloppy at best, and at times quite annoying. The middle chunk of the song is quite airy, with not much happening, then thinks become bogged down by bloated organ work from Wakeman, but it does get slightly interesting when he starts throwing in bits of synth. Overall, Bruford and Squire provide excellent musicianship, and Wakeman and Howe have their moments, but its just not consistent enough for an 18+ minute song. Anderson has a few nice vocal moments, but again, its just not consistent. Wakeman's keyboard work is often sloppy as well. The next song, 'And You And I,' the second best on the album, is done very well. A very good listen. The last track, 'Siberian Khatru,' is my personal favorite. Howe's guitar intro work is possibly one of my favorite moments from him. Overall a very consistent track in terms of musicianship, with very likable vocals from Anderson.

In my opinion, this album gets its stars from the two latter tracks on the album, with the first track being one of the most overrated progressive songs of all time.

3 stars

Report this review (#260700)
Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars At the age of 16 (1997) I had just picked up a guitar for the first time and was cutting my teeth -- and fingertips -- on nothing but Led Zeppelin and Blink 182. That's when a new- found friend, who was 15 at the time, introduced me to Yes. Now, I had heard Yes before on Classic rock stations, but when my friend handed me Close to the Edge, it turned out to be one of the most important events in my musical life. Close to the Edge showed me that there were so many more possibilities in music beyond the radio, and to this day, it still monopolizes my CD player for long stretches of time.

From the first seconds of the title track "Close to the Edge" you get the feeling that something Epic and special is about to take place. In the 49 second intro, Yes takes makes you visualise the beginning of a journey through what sounds like a vast and colorful digital jungle full of life and wonder. Only to bash you over the head with a dazzling musical second-intro featuring an ever ascending Chris Squire bassline and schizophrenic jazz guitar solo by master axeman Steve Howe. When it seems as though Howe has hit every last note on his fretboard at least three times, the song finally settles in. From this point, breaking the song down part by part is completely unnessecary. It may seem like a cop-out on this reviewer's part, but I mean it. Just let the song take you on the journey. As with most epic or progressive music, If you are listening to this CD/record with anxiety about the length of the tracks, you are already mentally in the wrong place to enjoy it. In the 18+ minute epic, "Close to the Edge," every member of Yes shines and reminds you just how talented they are/were. Standing out in particular, for me, is Bill Bruford's erratic jazz based drumming thoughout the song, Rick Wakeman's frantic keyboard solo at about the 10:00 mark, and Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire's flawless vocal harmonies.

On the second track "And You And I" Yes takes you to a whole new place. Much more subdued technically on this track, they succeed greatly in hitting that sweet spot between restraint and pretentiousness. Jon Anderson's soaring lead vocals, Steve Howe's work on the 12-string acoustic and Pedal Steel, along with Bill Bruford's effortless drumming modesty are standouts here in a truly beatiful song that makes a perfect follow up to the album's title track.

Toward the end of "And You and I," you should be feeling uplifted and ready for the next journey. The decidedly more uptempo third track, "Siberian Khatru" provides the appropriate plateau for the home stretch of this fantastic journey. Blending blues, jazz, and classical styles, this song features some of Steve Howe's career best guitar work in my opinion, but is almost thoroughly outshined by Jon Anderson's vocal mastery. Although I'm trying, it is very difficult for words to express the absolute joy I get from listening to "Siberian Khatru."

Whether you are a young musician seeking to expand your horizons beyond Three Days Grace and Theory of a Dead Man, or an established music aficionado looking for that new gem from Yesterday, or a Progressive Rock freak looking for the classics, Yes' Close to the Edge is a MUST have. Buy it, borrow it from a friend, obtain it by whatever means you have at your disposal, and listen to it repeatedly. Each time through the record you will find something new to learn from or to just "wow" at. For me, Close to the Edge is one of the most important achievements in the history of music.

Report this review (#260724)
Posted Wednesday, January 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
4 stars I'll be the 986th member of ProgArchives to rate Close To the Edge. One could say that's useless, but I want to share my opinion anyway. Close To The Edge is a very highly regarded album by prog fans. The album is often said to be the absolute highlight of prog music, but I disagree with that. In my opinion there are better albums made, by Yes as well as other prog bands. Close To the Edge features three epic pieces, one being an almost 19 minute long epic, the other pieces both being about 10 minutes in length. The album is a very symphonic one, and has a very pleasant sound.

The epic title track opens the album with nature sounds. Soon a powerful instrumental part will come in, featuring some striking guitar playing by Steve Howe. This powerful intro takes us to more gentle and much more symphonic music. From here on, the song is full of brilliant songwriting and catchy, melodic music. The overall sound is very warm and delighting, with the exception of the "I Get Up I Get Down" part, which has a slightly darker sound, thanks to for example Rick Wakeman playing on a church organ. The song is fantastic and absolutely nothing less, though I also want to mention it does not have moments as brilliant as some other Yes pieces.

The remaining two pieces are great as well, though both are very different from each other. "And You And I" is an acoustic guitar driven track, having a very "cosy" mood. This piece is, just like the title track, a multi part suite. Some of the parts are more powerful than others, but thanks to some reprises and pleasant transitions I don't get the feeling of listening to a bunch of pasted parts, which is a very good thing. "Siberian Khatru" is a more up-tempo piece, which I have mixed feelings about. The piece is very creative and gives the members of the band the chance to play the best they possibly can. On the other hand it sounds a bit forced at some parts, like for example the vocal harmony part near the end of the song.

I think Close To The Edge is a weaker album than for example Fragile or relayer, though it still is a fantastic album. I don't think it truly deserves the status it has right now, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, I think because of it being a wonderful album it deserves a 4 star rating.

Report this review (#261111)
Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Again, what can one say about the greatest masterpiece of all time! Yes was at the peak of writing and creativity and with an All-Star Line-up, put out an essential record! The Title Track is a tremendous incorporation of jazz and classical sections which give the song wonderful dynamics. "And You and I" is a very touching piece, and after seeing a live performance of this song from Yes' Magnification Tour, gave me such a wonderful perspective on this masterpiece. Finally, Siberian Khatru is the more rocky song with great hooks and a perfect demonstration of how to execute odd time signatures. If you have not heard this album, you are truly missing out.
Report this review (#261130)
Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Close to the Edge is a popular album among proggers, as the 1000+ ratings/reviews with an average rating of 4.63 as of the time I'm writing this go to show. The album is, in fact, somewhat of a legend around these parts. The classic lineup of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman Howe and Squire is present, the tracks all display excellent musicianship/vocals, and the album art is amazing.

Things start off rather quietly in the title track, with some bird noises and running water slowly building up until the band comes in, full swing, to get the show really moving. And move they do. The beginning is a rather frantic passage, with everyone going a little bit nuts on their respective instrument. Near the three minute mark, things calm down a bit, and we're given a melody to hold on to via the guitar. Eventually, Jon joins in on vocals and the track continues on with Squire and Bruford being the great rhythm section we all seem to know (and generally enjoy). The track continues on until a change to a calmer, ambient bit around 8 or 9 minutes in. Nearly 10 minutes in, Rick comes in with chiming keyboards, then light vocals join in for a while, getting up and down. Things stay calm here for a while, the vocals are given a chance to shine until Rick comes in on the church organ for a bit of a solo. They trade back and forth for a little while, with Rick finally winning out and moving us into the next bit of the song. Bass and drums finally rejoin us as Rick switches back to a keyboard. Chris Squire and his Rickenbacker sound really help define Yes in my eyes. The track ends with "I Get Up", and then we're on to And You And I.

This song is a much quieter affair overall than the title track, and it starts the second side of the album. Mostly acoustic guitar from Howe and quiet keys from Wakeman to begin, with fairly minimal bass and drums. The song is more about the vocals to me than it is about the instrumentals. Near the three minute mark, Squire and Bruford get to play a bit more interesting snippet. Near the four minute mark, we get a nice instrumental bit, with Howe being in the spotlight here for me. Jon rejoins before long, and the track continues on. The riff from the song's introduction comes back for a bit, then changes up a bit and brightens the track up some. Eventually the rest of the band joins back in, and the track continues on until its end. It's a good song, but lacks some of the punch of the first and third tracks for me.

Finally, we come to Siberian Khatru, probably my favorite song on the album. The bass is good and chunky, the drums are active, Steve keeps guitar moving with a fun riff, Rick plays some tasteful keys, and Jon sings about whatever a Khatru is in his mind. Everything seems to work well on the song, and it seems to be just the right length. The rhythm section is probably my favorite part of it, if I had to choose. Not a surprise, though, as 1) I'm a bassist and 2) this is, as far as I'm concerned, the best rhythm section in symphonic prog.

Overall, the album is great, but as I prefer two other Yes albums over this one (Relayer and Tales From Topographic Oceans), I can't justify giving it 5 stars. I will, however, give it a healthy four star rating.

Report this review (#264890)
Posted Sunday, February 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars What can I say about this album that hasn't been said? In many people's opinions it is the best prog album from when prog was in its peak, but I beg to differ.

Agreed that this album has the guitar-oriented Siberian Khatru and the famous title-track, and both are masterpieces of Yes and the genre in whole, but And You and I is, in my opinion, one of the worst songs ever written.

It's dull, in the vain of Wonderous Stories, which is also very dull, it has no soul AT ALL! It's acoustic-12-string-guitar-eighties, which sucks, and the lyrics are just plain cheesy. Gibberish cheesy. "And you and I, climb over the seas to the valley, and you and I reached for seasons to call.". That's one too many season in this album!

"A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and re-arrange your liver to the solid mental grace!"

I would recommend this to all proggers, because it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection, but the only thing stopping me from giving this a five is the boring third of the album, AYAI.

4/5, subject to change in the future.

Report this review (#264898)
Posted Sunday, February 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I just can't understand how a simplistic and pop-attachment album it is consider an absolute masterpiece of progressive rock music.

Rick Wakeman composed one of the worst keyboard solos ever (just after "I Get Up, I Get down), Bill Brufford is in his worst and the chords cuple show it's knowledge of playing only in the first half of "Close to the Edge" song. A band does not need to be virtuous, but in this album we found a weak instrumentation. It's an album that i prefer to sing than heard. Are the songs delightful? Yes, and that's for sure. I think this is an absolute truth. It is a nice album just how the "three stars" means.

About the songs... "I Get Up, I Get Down" has "honeydew" structure, it is a song that remembers me a love soap opera, "And You and I" it's a 10min love song and "Siberian Khatru" an 8min hit. The only highlight goes to the beginning of "Close to the Edge".

I just will not classify it as a poor album because it is realy delightful and we can hear a 10min weel played music.

Report this review (#265566)
Posted Thursday, February 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can add about this classic of Prog Rock that others haven't said better than I before? It may be as close to the perfect album as you can get. It deserves it's spot among other Prog classics such as Wish You Were Here and Foxtrot. An essential addition to any collection. I wore out my vinyl version of this masterpiece long ago. I would put it at the top of the Yes discography with The Yes Album a far second. From the bids at the beginning to the masterful musicianship this is the one! Lyrics? What do they mean? Who knows? Does it matter? Not to be, but I still sing along anyways! Enough excessive compliments....5 stars.
Report this review (#270446)
Posted Monday, March 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I realize this album needs to be judged according to its own time period. I also realize that it broke a lot of new ground, pushing this genre we all love so much further into unknown territory, and as such became a very significant moment for Prog Rock.

Despite all of that, it doesn't change the fact that this is one of my least-enjoyed Yes albums from this 'classic' era. The title track is overly long and boring, with too much filler and not enough is included to keep things interesting, at least not for my tastes. Jon Anderson is brilliant as usual, but to me it's clear that this song was just a bunch of disjointed ideas crammed together for the sake of being unusual, and for me, it just doesn't work all that well, or all that often. There are times when it's enjoyable, but more often than not, it just sounds like complexity for complexity's sake, and I've never liked music like that, no matter which band is guilty of it.

Oddly enough, though, the two (ever-so-slightly) shorter tracks on the album are two of the best Yes compositions I have ever heard. ''And You And I'' is a beautiful acoustic piece that gradually builds into soaring, heart-tugging synth-string sections brought to life by Rick Wakeman's keyboard 'wizardry' that everybody's always so crazy about. He really does do really work on this one, though, and he adds a lot to the music on the whole.

Likewise, ''Siberian Khatru'' is one of my favorite songs by this Yes lineup, and I still return to it quite often. The melodies are strong, the playing is exciting and varied, and overall, it's just a really enjoyable, worthy listen. However, the majority of the album's length is the epic title track, which I dislike quite a bit, so it splits my opinion of this record significantly. On the one hand, the album should receive high marks because it houses two really great Yes songs, yet at the same time, it doesn't deserve all the praise in my eyes because of the large imperfection the title track makes.

Ultimately, two shorter songs with great content can't fully outshine one epic song full of filler, so it's a wash. The album's rating evens out for me. It's a three star album, not just because it's more realistic in my eyes, but because the content held within is a mixture of sub-par instrumentation and memorable composition. A mixed bag in the truest sense of the term, Close To The Edge is one of those monster Prog albums that many people consider the masterpiece of genre, while others like myself only find it a little more interesting than the more average of Prog releases.

Not a bad record, but it's centerpiece drags it down more than lifts it up, in my opinion. If you want a truly life-changing listening experience via Yes, listen to Relayer.

Report this review (#271249)
Posted Friday, March 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Without a doubt a true masterpiece in prog music!

"Close to the Edge": The best track on the album of course.

It's divided into four sections: The Solid Change of Time, Total Mass Retain, I Get Up I Get Down, and Seasons of Man. The song opens with the faint sound of running water, birds and wind chimes. The volumes swells into a dissonant guitar solo by Steve Howe, which lasts until about two and half minutes into the song. His solo is sometimes interrupted by chanting at very nice spots. I remember the first time I listened to this track--my first Yes track ever to be honest--and being amazed by the chanting. It doesn't strike a beautiful chord or anything; it was just so well placed and unexpected that it threw me off my feet. As music become more and more dissonant--and Howe's solo draws to a close--the song progresses into a beautiful melody which is played by Howe and repeated and varied upon. This melody becomes a theme repeated throughout the rest of the composition. At around 3:35, the first lyrics come in overtop some very cool rhythmic interplay between Howe, Squire and Bruford. The verse turns into a slightly slower chorus and then into a short solo by Howe. After this, Total Mass Retain begins. A similar verse continues on for a bit and at the end of the chorus we hear the first bit of the "I Get Up I Get Down" chorus and then the song transitions into the third segment. This segment is very gentle and very soft. Gentle keyboards paint a very delicate and slowly moving image. We listen sublimely until Anderson comes in with a pianissimo verse. There a couple of voices overlapping at this point in the song as the second "I Get Up I Get Down" come in and the music slowly crescendos with more chanting and a little bit of more guitar work from Howe. This is one of the most beautiful segments of music I've ever listened to. (I remember this second of music being stuck in my head for at least a week solid after my first listen.) As the piece gets louder and the music gets some more feel some heavy organs come in at the moment of tension. While I like the organs at this part and they make a kickass transition into the next segment, I remember I always felt like they were lacking in my first listen. This whole segment of the song was building up to this moment and of instead of doing something like playing an overdramatic melody or throwing in some chaotic chords to really shock the listener, Yes gives some anticlimatic organ chords. After many many listens, I can say I have found myself liking this organ part, but its always struck me as odd with each listen--that is my only vice about the whole album. Anyways, the organ dissolves back into more of the beautiful "I Get Up I Get Down" theme and then that goes back to the organ. The organ starts playing a dissonant chord and a synthesizer solo slowly builds and then here comes the much needed crash after the anticlimatic organ. We hear earlier theme played after the intro solo by Howe with some very fast drumming underneath. Then that turns into an amazing keyboard solo--my favorite solo of the whole track. The song returns to its early verse music--with some nice variations--and we feel the approach of the end of the song. The song closes with a variation on the "I Get Up I Get Down" variations and we end on the same sounds as the intro.

Overall, I give this track 10/10: great melodies, better harmonies, rhythmically very interesting, and the lyrics are great as well. After listening to this track, my opinion of music was changed. Yes is truly amazing in how controlled there sound is. Its all pitch perfect--with the right amount of zest--and their rhythms are so interesting--a big inspiration to my young ears when I first heard the track. This song very well changed my life--at least musically--so, I can say that anyone who wants to listen to good music needs to check out at least this track. It takes a few listens to really follow everything and appreciate the music. I've listened to this track many times as stated above, and still I'm moved to action with dissonant Howe solo at the beginning, brought to tears with "I Get Up I Get Down," and the close of the song I'm self-actualized. This is a damn good track.

The layout of this album very anticlimatic in my opinion. The next two tracks are both very good and, although not as amazing as the title track, they are still very much worth the listen. I mean any song you listen to after title track is going to be a let down.

Anyways, And You and I is very good tune. Unfortunately, the weakest of the three tracks but still good. The song is very pretty and mystical, and I just need a bit more meat with my songs. I find the guitar bit to be kind of repetitive, but I still like this song. Just not as much as the other two tracks.

Moving on, Siberian Khatru is a very very good song. Its of adequate length and features some very good solos by Howe. There is a lot of use of harmony and dynamics in this song. A lot of the song is spent with all of the band members doing lots of different stuff, so when the band all comes together towards the end of the song before Howe's final solo, it's very cool. This track is worthy of being the final song on this album. Although it isn't some groundbreaking epic, it is still a very very good tune.

Overall, this album is beyond words. Every aspect of the music is in control and interesting. There is no player here that is lacking and no one instrument steals the show. I focus my ears on Howe as much as a I do Squire. Lyrically, this album is based on the novel "Siddharta." Everything about this album is great. I almost wish I didn't have so much to say about it cause in retrospect this review looks a bit lengthy. Anyways, this album is absolutely mind-blowing and a good choice for my first review on this site.

with respect, a young prog fan

Report this review (#273054)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really am not sure what to say that hasn't been said a billion times before--Yes' concept album slash tribute to Siddartha is perfect in every way imaginable. The title track has the honour of being one of the greatest songs ever written in the genre, in my estimation. The catchy yet unpredictable versechorus sections juxtaposed with the lengthier ambient sections work extremely well and create an unparalleled musical catharsis. I swear, if you're not tearing up as you sing along with the climax of this song, there is something medically wrong with you. "And You And I" is another fabulous piece, the acoustic guitar intro and main riff being amongst my favourites. And of course, "Siberian Khatru" has got to be one of the best rockers ever written, even for a nine-minute epic. It has what can only be described as a "kick-ass" riff. You won't even be able to tell when it switches into 15/4 right under your nose. I really wish that I could do this album justice in a short review, but I cannot. Just take everyone else's testimony along with my own and listen to this freaking album.
Report this review (#275174)
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The highest rated CD from the prog legend group Yes is described by many as a masterpiece, an essential prog music to have in a collection. Plus, about everything has been said on this Yes album. In that context, I would simply add my feelings on a CD which I confess to have bought to have in my collection !

Well, it does not blow me away, as do some others in the Top-20 list of all-time. And there are some others in there that are to be considered as very good prog music (much better than good pop music, anyway !), but not quite as heading to perfection. That's the interest of this site : variants in opinions... The reason for this one to be below 5/5, in my view, is that it contains a few 'cacophonic' moments, along with other passages which are not easy to place in the context of the rest of the song. There are the starting moments of the first track, and many spots in the third one. It just does not please me a little bit, musically. I love 'And you and I', though, a track that has all the qualities we search in prog : well-played guitar, huge variations and developments, harmonies, etc. But, besides that, it should be considered easily as a super addition in a prog rock collection. And I recognize that there is a lot in it for being considered by many (the majority ?) as a 'masterpiece', and I understand it good.

I would go for something around between 4.3 and 4.5. A definite classic.

Report this review (#276948)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hello!

What have we here?! Potentially the best progressive rock album ever, that's what.

Perfect in every aspect, fulfilling all the requirements for being a masterpiece. This is Close to the Edge, the peak in Yes's Career. And it is very difficult to put in words what a personal attachment I have to it. Anything I can come up with seems to have been said. And that doesn't surprise me, a lot of people connect with this album. It's beautiful yet sharp. It's catchy yet dignified. It's virtuosic yet modest. It's colourful yet thematic. It has the initial wow factor, but remains challenging and interesting for many many listens. The title track is about a spiritual awakening, and that seems to be the best way to describe the song, because I feel like I'm HAVING A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING when I hear it. And that's not a super-fan's exaggeration either. It's just that it's simply a very powerful piece of craftsmenship, it can move anyone. The only people it doesn't affect are those who already decided before pressing the play button that it was "overated" or "pretentious" or "too succesful". It is all of those things, but why is that a problem? The millions of us who have given the album five stars have done so because of the music, the emotion and feeling, not the surrounding statistics. Even those who are immensely turned off by commercial success will find it hard to deny that this album is VERY GOOD. It simply is. And those who are in denial of that will say "The fans are biased". But why are we biased? Are we loyal to the band? In many cases no. We are biased because we fall in love with this music. Some of us overate it, true. It can't be helped. The only way to truly express your love for Close to the Edge is to some how extract the feeling you get from it. The shivers down the spine, the tingling of muscles, the overbearing feeling of positivity and beauty, is a difficult thing to describe without sounding like an idiot, or like Jon Anderson.

'And You And I' is incredibly emotive, strong and colourful, with beatuiful chords and melodies and a soundscape that is to die for. 'Siberian Khatru' is hard-edged and progressive, with interesting structural motifs and bright, angular breaks and themes. 'Close to the Edge' contains all of the above, building in epic-ness to reach it's fantastically orgasmic climax. the exterior artwork is simply green, lush, natural and colourful, a wonderful colour to represent the music. The interior is more impressive. The logo is there, finally! Everything falls into place with Close to the Edge. It is a moment in history, a time capsule, a forty-minute dream. It's an inspiration. It's inspired me to become a musician. I live for this music.

People can disagree about the nature of prog, even the nature of God, but never the nature of Yes.

Report this review (#277889)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm probably one of a small minority of Prog Archives members that actually bought Close To The Edge in 1972. Despite knowing it so well, it has already been rated over a thousand times here so there's no need to provide even the broadest of outlines for its three songs; a cursory mention of each may even be redundant. Foremost among these three is the side-long title track, something that was still a novelty at the time of the album's release. It's perhaps ironic that in the space of a few short years this conceit became one of the sticks with which critics would beat the then ailing beast of progressive rock.

The other songs, And You And I and Siberian Khatru, are more than just ''chasers'' for the epic title track. Steve Howe tuning his guitar at the start of And You And I even sounds good. Interestingly, Siberian Khatru is the only song that isn't a multi-part suite and for me it doesn't quite match the quality of the other tracks, good though it is. Close To The Edge may not be as abstruse as it first appears, and I've read comments elsewhere that it's not even that progressive. It's certainly not perfect. However, there are a handful of albums that should be in every prog collection and this is one of those albums.

Report this review (#277936)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Looking at some of the other reviews here, I suspect that some reviewers use the following system: I like it = 5 stars; I don't like it = 1 star. I'll try to avoid that particular route (I'll try!). Looking at the explanations, I ask myself: "into which category does Close To The Edge fit?" So, although it's not my personal fave by the affirmative ones, I would have to say that it's essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music and, therefore, gets 5 stars. If I had to explain to a newcomer what Prog was, I'd probably tell them to listen to a copy of this album. The music itself has been dissected and analysed so often that it's hard to come-up with something that hasn't already been said. This album, more that any other, defines Prog a la Yes: we have the side-long piece, the complicated arrangements, the symphonic sound, the baffling lyrics (Bill Bruford: "Jon - what exactly is a total mass retain?"), even the cover is different: Roger Dean's artwork appearing inside the gatefold rather than on the front. This was the same line-up as Fragile, although it would be Bruford's last studio outing with the group. It all got too much for our intrepid young hero, who went over to the dark side and joined the cirkus of Doktor Fripp. While Bruford expanded his jazz chops alongside the possessed Jamie Muir, Anderson and Squire replaced him with the straight-ahead rock style of Alan White. This set-out the path ahead - all they had to do now was trump Close To The Edge... anyone for a curry?
Report this review (#278286)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This would be the magnum opus of almost any other band...but for Yes, it's not even one of my favorites. It's one of the most complex, progressive rocks ever made, and at the time, it was groundbreaking to say the very least.

The melodies, solos, lyrics, everything is detailed and well-thought out. Some would say that it's almost TOO detailed, and in some ways, they're right. Some times I felt that the songs sacrificed emotion for complexity, which I could see wouldn't be something everyone would like. I actually didn't like it either at first, but once you get used to it, you'll never stop listening to it.

It's an acquired taste, but like all great prog, it's a taste worth acquiring.

Report this review (#278600)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah Yes, will i ever tie of your great 70's releases? Most likely not since I used the word great. Close to the Edge is a brilliant work of emotion, poetic majesty in lyrical composition and a highly skilled technical mastery of various instruments. I was reading Rolling Stones top 100 guitarist and Steve Howe was not in the top fifty. I feel that Close to the Edge is one example of great and talented a guitarist can be when he takes the instrument in different directions, Howe's composition and playing style is so deep, complex, unique and stunning. But this doesn't end at Howe, it extends to Anderson, Wakeman, Squire and Bruford. Every song takes you into a completely different mindset, it really takes you on a journey. I never feel that anything in the album drags, every note, every chord progression, every time changes, all builds a unique piece. A friend of mine who plays piano at my church and writes music professionally says that writing music is like painting a picture. Close to the Edge is on par with any great painting and will remain a timeless masterpiece.
Report this review (#280047)
Posted Friday, April 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first heard part of "Close to the Edge" on the radio while I was in Okinawa in 1972. When I got back to the states in January of 1973, I purchased the album. I had a little stereo at the time and I put the record on. It was pretty cool the way you are hearing birds and one note on the organ as it swells into what sounds like chaos. Where did they come up with that at? It was great. I never heard anything like it before. I guess it would be akin to a type of "Canterberry" sound. Then as control takes over, Steve Howe, and Chris Squire are fighting their way through to the first verse. It is wonderful!

John Anderson is at his best. The band sounds hungry and it comes out in the playing. This would be Bill Bruford's last stand with Yes, but he is killing you with his tasteful pounding. He is one of my favorite drummers. It sounds like they are chompin' at the bit to get to the next idea. Just a great prog tune.

"And You and I" takes it down a notch with some wistful and moody acoustic stuff by Steve Howe. Then Rick Wakeman comes in with the keys. It is also a great prog tune. It doesn't get stale and moves nicely through ideas.

Lastly "Siberian Khatru" grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Also very good prog. I like the last part the best.

Everything is working here and the whole album is killer. It gets 5 stars from me, period!

Report this review (#281227)
Posted Monday, May 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am writing this review when dodging the empty beer cans and scorn from the other Collabs and members of PA. This is the 1044th review of this album in PA. But I still think I should just include my own two pence worth of views on this album.

I love the church organs on the title track and all it's eighteen minutes of complexity and layers of melodies. I think it is one of the best songs of all time.

I love the tenderness and the melody of And You And I. I also love Siberian Khatru. These three songs forms the best ever prog album in my view. A giant in the world of music.......... among those of us who love progressive rock, that is. And that is not many. This album is so complex that it also sort the non-progheads from the progheads. Those who does not understand and those who understand. "But there is no melody here !!", my object of desire cries out when listening to the title track. She does not understand progressive rock. She is not a proghead.

This album is a masterpiece, no less. And I love it.

5 stars

Report this review (#282726)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Yea I now. You probably think that something is wrong with me. I didn't want to write a review for this album in a first place because I didn't want to spoil a highest ranking album on our pages just because I didn't understand it. But while reading reviews of one of mine favorite albums (Comus - First Utterance) I realize how many people have rate it very low. At first I just thought that they don't understand it but after a while I realize that they just don't like it. After that I decide to write why I don't like this album even If I did try to like it and try thoroughly to listen it.

I now that everybody are saying that great prog music should be complicated but fore me Yes with this album have just overdid it. The music is just to complicated I can hardly ever force myself to listen the songs to the end. They are just to boring. Close To The Edge starts ok you here something like a birds singing which when it gets louder becomes bit acid. Than start guitar and arrhythmic psychedelic music, voice appears for a second and music continues. Two and half minutes of song has past, music continues in somewhat slower rhythm but similar guitar playing is still here. After four minutes starts singing. I never did liked Andersons singing, always thinking that is a lowest part of bands music. It is somewhat to weak, incompatible with the music. But even with that way of thinking singing parts are still best parts of this song and only parts where music gets a god rhythm . After 8 and half minutes is coming atmospheric music and singing the best part of this song and this album. Last 6 minutes are repeating what we have already heard in this already overlengthed song. All in all its not that bad but I cannot rate any song higher than three if it had boring parts.

And You And I nothing extraordinary here its just ok at least for 3 minutes and 40 seconds after that follows 2 totally unnecessary minutes of song. And than again follows part that is even worse than the first 3 minutes and 40 seconds of song. I would never consider one album to be a close to perfection if it had this song on it.

Siberian Khatru offers nice opening, nice rhythm, god guitar solo but even after all this it gets boring and I cannot wait fore this song to finish but finish never comes and when it comes I all ready have a headache. So the reason why I don't like this album is because songs are unnecessary long and they have habit becoming boring . Although I don't deny that Yes is a great band and that they are superb musicians which can be seen even in this album I still think that they have over did it here and that this album is overrated.

Songs ratings: Its very hard fore me to rate these songs but considering all in the and just 2 stars.

Report this review (#283073)
Posted Saturday, May 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars If I would be in a non progressive rock site making this review I would give 3 STARS for this album, but I know that unless Close to the edge is an excellent addition for any progressive rock collection. The problem with this album is that at many moments the music sounds forced, it not flows freely, everything sounds too much mechanic, cold. Much virtuous musicianship but not much feeling.

The title song is just a classic epic, but not one of the ones that I prefer. The intro is too long and seems to go nowhere. After Jon starts to sing, things get better but the music is too cold. The I get up I get down section becames more warm and the subsequent instrumental is good. Then the main theme repets once more till rich the 23 minutes.

And you and I is the best song of the album. It's just a progressive ballad with great sections in which the keyboard and the guitar combines in a perfect way. Here Jon Anderson sings with passion. A great track.

Siberian Kathru. Simply I don't like this song. I can't find where this track wants to go.

So, if I think that the reviews that we make tends to give an idea of the quality of an album into a progressive rock context, I will give 3.5 STARS to this album. Not 4 STARS because Siberian Kathru wich I don't like.

Report this review (#283244)
Posted Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars I was listening to 'Close to the edge', and was thinking of giving it three stars, but I put on some Carl Palmer afterwards and realise that this album is only two stars, actually I really would give it two and a half if I could. At least 'edge' doesn't have muddy production that flawed the following tow albums, but this suffers from a total lack of feeling or lack of any hooks.

Although fellow prog bands get hammered for slight filler material, a 'Benny the bouncer' or a 'who dunnit?' is desperately needed on this deadly serious album. Actually this album isn't even serious, rather robotic. From beginning to end this album is dead-spot on and John Anderson's delivery is totally limp, he's like a politician reading from notes that were written for him by a PR man. There's no emotional quality or any hooks or anything. The bit on the first song where they sing 'close to the edge, down by the corner' just sounds picture-perfect rehearsed, but there seems to be no emotional connection at all. It's just like someone reciting lines. From beginning to end John endlessly sings these lyrics that mean nothing to him or anyone else for that matter.

The production is good and the bit on the title track where John softly sings 'I get up I get down' and it flows into an organ solo, that has some emotional quality, but the rest is just a meandering, pointless exercise.

This album is okay while it's on, but once it's off you wont remember it, and you'll be kind of glad it is over.

Report this review (#283387)
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's hard to write about this album, since I personally consider it one of top five all times. Suffice it to say it is one of those rare albums which are equally enjoyed listening to it in whatever mood you may be, day or night, spring, summer, winter or fall.

Close to the Edge was made in Yes' prime - their most productive period, along with such incredible achievements as Fragile, The Yes Album and Tales from Topographic Oceans. The album has three pieces - three extraordinary examples of spiritual abundance and musical creativity. They are in perfect constellation and that's why the album offers you enough of everything one would like to find in a prog rock album - the theme, the development, unexpected shifts, rhythm and melody, faster and slower parts, great solos etc.

The song Close to the Edge should be studied by new prog rockers in order to understand the basic rule of progressive rock mastery - not every long song is a good song. This song (18:50) has a carefully designed structure, from the beginning to the end, nothing pretentious, nothing redundant. It does not let you wait for a concrete development (such a frequent weakness among krautrockers), but rather strikes you right in your head, with powerful, aggressive, frantic introduction, where the forest of sounds raises your temperature and prepares you for the whole story. After the brilliant singing parts one could witness one of the most amazing use of church organ in modern music (the only parallel I momentarily have in mind is Birth Control's Hoodoo Man). And then, after the ecstatic ascension, a new entangle - the song explodes and culminates with a magnificent manifest, when Rick Wakeman plays one of his best hammond organ solos ever. What a song, what an experience!

The production of the album - brilliant. The lyrics - sometimes too complicated. The only objection I have is the cover. Roger Dean illustrated the inner cover. The main cover? Only green. Still, the overwhelming green suits perfectly with the mood one experiences during the journey.

Report this review (#284615)
Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A simply wonderful record.

Everything about Yes oozed class back then, and this record oozes more than most.

Expansive, warm and very very worth the effort.

There's not much to say that hasn't previously been said. It's simply THAT good. Rick Wakeman's finest hour; The best sounding album Yes ever made; Steve Howe is absolutely magnificent.

The title track is perhaps definitive Yes, so good that even Bill Bruford can't put it down, and in latter years he has put virtually everything Yes ever did down in some way (mostly in his book), and with good reason as his drumming leads the band through that track and beats it into different shapes each time through it's multiple themes and variations.

And You and I is Jon at his most winsome and engaging, and this version of the track benefits from Bruford's more controlled tempo and stacatto stylings to Alan White's later dramatic tempo fluctuations at the climax.

And Siberian Khatru is simply marvellous.

Perhaps the best progressive rock album to date.

Report this review (#284667)
Posted Thursday, June 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I really hate to review this album. There is nothing new I can add to the conversation. I can only say that I consider this to be the finest work in all of Progressive Rock (the title track in particular I consider one of the crowning musical achievements of the 20th century, no less!)

If you are a fan of complex music at all, you owe it to yourself to own this album. If you enjoy music with emotional highs and lows, you need to hear this. This album has been rated and/or reviewed 1053 times on this site, so I suspect that most everyone has heard it. If, however, you have been hiding under a rock, or possibly stubbornly ignoring this album due to its universal acceptance, you must listen. Right this second.

That is all.

Report this review (#284851)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ah, one of my first progressive albums that I've ever heard. And what a great album it is! This is probably Yes's best work and it will always have a special place as one the greatest progressive albums of all time...

1. Close to the Edge- Probably the first progressive epic that I've ever heard and I immediately loved it. It's still one of my favorite epics in all of progressive music. It starts off with some quiet nature noises and blasts into awesome prog with great vocals and everything that you would expect to hear on a Yes song. You know the rest. Favorite song on the album. 10/10

2. And You And I- What a beautiful song! It's a great relaxing/sad song that gives you a really special feeling. Though some parts are slightly weak, this is a great song nonetheless. 9/10

3. Siberian Khatru- A great way to end the album. It's a rocker that has beautiful harmonies and killer riffs and all that good stuff. 9.5/10

All in all, this is definitely a must-have and will always be one of my favorite progressive albums...

Report this review (#285125)
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The ultimate progressive rock album!!

When we talk about symphonic progressive rock album,Close To The Edge is the first album that we talk.

I will see this album from the side of each members.

This album is full of keyboard experiment. As Wakeman told in one interview,in this album he played so many monophonic machine to made a polyphonic sounds. It's almost impossible at the era,when all synthesizer is all monophonic. But he made everything is possible.

Now,if we talk about Steve Howe,this album is his highest track for his skill. In this album he played so many instruments such as pedal steel,steel string acoustic guitar and his favorite, Gibson ES-175.

Chris Squire,he played some flowing line bass,not too hard like Fragile (see Roundabout) but in this album he's the leader of the utopia of this album.

Bill Bruford. He's the best progressive drummer of all time. In this album,he showed how patient is he to play the drum kit. But he also showed the tactical beat,as his style in every band that he joined.

Overall,this album is masterpiece of symphonic progressive album.

Report this review (#285647)
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Prog keystone

Visual aspect : Too bad, the cover is just a declined green, with the band 'bibendum' logo and the 'bibendum' title. Fortunately, there are some very beautiful pictures inside and in the booklet. I particularly love the majestic central picture, showing a lake circulated by precipices, and the photograph on which we see the band at rehearsal. That's the real Yes at work !

Lyrics : Anderson is a marvellous composer, even if I do not understand everything (since English is not my first language). But some verses are incredibly majestic and are quite 'everlasting'. For example :

"[...] A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun [...] Crossed a line around the changes of the summer Reaching out to call the colour of the sky [...] There's you, the time, the logic, or the reasons we don't understand [...] As we cross from side to side we hear the total mass retain [...] On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley ----> this is my fave part, a real 'fermata' Called to witness cycles only of the past [...]" - CLOSE TO THE EDGE

"[...] Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid Emotion revealed as the ocean maid All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you [...] A clearer future, morning, evening, nights with you [...] And you and I climb crossing the shapes of the morning, And you and I reach over the sun for the river, And you and I climb, clearer, towards the movement, And you and I called over valleys of endless seas." - AND YOU AND I

I gave 4 points out of 5 for the lyrics. The lost point is related to the fact that Anderson always arranged words to sound good, sometimes damping the signification down.

The compositions are faultless. Whether you love Close To The Edge or not, I think you'll agree on this point.

Instruments diversity : Yes is a "democratic" band, every member has his word. On this album, each one adds his part to create a masterpiece.

Tracks personal appreciation : Close To The Edge : I get carried by the progressive expositions. First, it seems you enter in a wild jungle, don't know where you go, but you're lucky, Squire knows it. The bass gradually goes higher and higher, we could think it's going to blow out, but the crescendo stops on time. An other great moment is of course the Wakeman's baroque solo more or less amidst the track, with Anderson's voice reaching highest notes. And You And I : my favourite track on the album. The Mellotron is very well used to express the ascension feeling (see lyrics). Siberian Kathru : it sounds like a journey. I love the main theme rehearsal throughout the track.

Instruments contribution : as explained above, each one gives something to the atmosphere. Squire's loud bass shows the way, Howe's guitar is a virtuosity demonstration (and the acoustic one is very beautiful on And You And I for instance). Wakeman's keyboards are inextricable with the atmosphere on the three tracks. Anderson is brilliant, so is Bruford, what can I say ? This is, in my opinion, a masterpiece.

Prog level : the tracks are at the same prog level. No pop sound, real experimentation here. Each track contains themes rehearsals, sound research and majestic moments crystallised in And You And I crescendo. One of the best prog sound I have ever heard.

Personal notation in prog history : of course 5 on 5, Close To The Edge was voted number one on Progarchives a few years ago. This is a sufficient piece of evidence.

Bonus : this album is a source of inspiration since decades. When I discovered it I was "in heaven", one thing I especially like in prog is epics. Here I got three ones.

Visual aspect : 3/4 Lyrics : 4/5 Length : 1/1 Compositions quality : 10/10 Instruments diversity : 5/5

Tracks personal appreciation : 1/ Close o The Edge 5/5 2/ And You And I 5/5 3/ Siberian Kathru 5/5 Total : 20/20

Bass contribution : 3/3 ) Drums contribution : 3/3 ) Guitar(s) contribution : 3/3 ) Keyboards contribution : 3/3 ) Voice(s) contribution : 3/3 ) Total : 10/10

"Prog" level : 10/10 Personal notation in prog history : 5/5 Bonus (epics) : 4/5

TOTAL : 73/76 TOTAL ON TWENTY : 19,21/20 NUMBER OF STARS : 5/5

Report this review (#285839)
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Close to the Edge is one of those "cosmic experience" albums that brings you into its own dimension when listening, and is part of my holy trinity of such albums, along with Gorguts' Obscura and Sleep's Dopesmoker... Obscura is chaotic, avant-garde and heavily layered, and Dopesmoker very droning, hypnotic and powerful... but there is a reason this album is #1 here: CTTE, with its grandiose themes and harmonies, has classic written all over it - much like Casablanca, a fan-favourite episode of The X-Files or the N64's Zelda: Ocarina of Time... the arrangements and their underlying instrumental lines are sophisticated and complex without being excessive, making for an easy listening experience despite its peaks and valleys of intensity.
Report this review (#293359)
Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Fragile, Yes had firmly established itself as one of the premier prog rock groups in Britain. Alas, they had yet to fufill a necessary obligation, a rite of passage if you will, needed to associate with big shots (much like reviewing this album is a progarchives rite of passage) - a sidelong composition. Sure, sure, they'd cracked the ten-minute barrier with "Heart of the Sunrise," but that would hardly do the trick. After all, ELP had had "Tarkus," Genesis was about to put out "Supper's Ready," King Crimson had had, er, "Lizard," not to mention Jethro Tull with Thick as a Brick and so on. Even groups that weren't necessarily "pure" prog rock in the strictest sense of the word, like Pink Floyd and Procol Harum, had had sidelong tracks. So Yes just had to keep up.

Thing is, though, none of these tracks had really been "20-minute songs" in the truest sense. Pretty much all of them fell into one of two categories: (a) several "conventional" pop and rock songs strung together with instrumental breaks instead of pauses, with a couple of reprises here and there to provide a proper feeling of "completion" at the end, and (b) lengthy multi-part noodles that didn't really have much connection with conventional song structure at all. Now, one may certainly argue that these two ways are the preferred way to approach a side-long track; with the former, the tracks could easily be split into different songs and listened to separately (er, if you had that capability with your listening device), and with the latter you could just lose yourself in jazzy noodly goodness (or badness, depending).

So Yes took a different route, a route that was both simpler and more complicated than what had previously been attempted. And what was that route? Well, first of all, examine the basic structure of a pop song, at its most stripped-down level: Intro/verse/chor