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CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

Symphonic Prog


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Yes Close To The Edge album cover
4.65 | 2994 ratings | 485 reviews | 79% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music


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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Close To The Edge (18:50)
2. And You And I (10:09)
3. Siberian Khatru (8:57)

Total Time: 37:56

Bonus tracks on Elektra remaster (2003):
4. America (Single Version) (4:12)
5. Total Mass Retain (Single Version) (3:21)
6. And You and I (Alternative Version) (10:17)
7. Siberia (Studio Run-through of "Siberian Khatru") (9:19)

Lyrics

Search YES Close To The Edge lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search YES Close To The Edge tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / vocals
- Chris Squire / bass, vocals
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Steve Howe / guitars, vocals

Releases information

LP Atlantic #7244 (1972)
CD Atlantic 7567-82666-2 (1994)
CD Elektra 73790 (2003 remaster)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to andyman1125 for the last updates
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YES Close To The Edge ratings distribution


4.65
(2994 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(79%)
79%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
14%
Good, but non-essential (4%)
4%
Collectors/fans only (1%)
1%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

YES Close To The Edge reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by corbet
PROG REVIEWER
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:

Relayer!

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.)

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Send comments to corbet (BETA) | Report this review (#12937) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 03, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#12936) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Review by Marc Baum
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Send comments to Marc Baum (BETA) | Report this review (#12947) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2004

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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".

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#13027) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER Honorary Reviewer
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.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#13051) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
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!!)

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#13019) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 04, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#13043) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, April 18, 2004

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

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Send comments to Peter (BETA) | Report this review (#13058) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Review by daveconn
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Send comments to daveconn (BETA) | Report this review (#12927) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Review by frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Thursday, May 06, 2004

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Sunday, May 23, 2004

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Monday, May 31, 2004

Review by Watcheroftheskies
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Monday, September 06, 2004

Review by penguindf12
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Sunday, September 19, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Sunday, September 26, 2004

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, September 27, 2004

Review by el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
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 don´t say that from a fan point of view, subjectively it´s 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.

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Posted Sunday, November 07, 2004

Review by Philo
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, November 14, 2004

Review by NetsNJFan
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

5/5

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Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005

Review by Muzikman
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, January 23, 2005

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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).

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Posted Thursday, January 27, 2005

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

CLOSE TO THE EDGE.-

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.

AND YOU AND I.-

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.

SIBERIAN KHATRU.-

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.

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Posted Thursday, January 27, 2005

Review by chessman
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, March 19, 2005

Review by Tony Fisher
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

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Posted Friday, April 01, 2005

Review by FishyMonkey
PROG REVIEWER
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 Khatru...fun 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 reason...it'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 Album...it 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...drive, and this album just doesn't have it enough. 3/5.

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Posted Friday, June 03, 2005

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
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?

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Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005

Review by Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
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+

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Posted Monday, July 11, 2005

Review by ghost_of_morphy
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, July 15, 2005

Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Review by kunangkunangku
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, August 11, 2005

Review by Yanns
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, August 12, 2005

Review by Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, August 15, 2005

Review by Eclipse
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, September 19, 2005

Review by belz
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Sunday, October 02, 2005

Review by Raff
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Review by con safo
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Monday, November 21, 2005

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Saturday, January 28, 2006

Review by horza
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, February 13, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006

Review by Peter Pan
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006

Review by sleeper
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, May 11, 2006

Review by imoeng
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Close To The Edge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep On Proggin' In The Free World!!

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Posted Sunday, July 16, 2006

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, July 17, 2006

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

peace

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Posted Sunday, August 20, 2006

Review by Australian
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, August 25, 2006

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
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".

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Posted Monday, October 16, 2006

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Monday, November 20, 2006

Review by 1800iareyay
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, January 01, 2007

Review by TRoTZ
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, January 01, 2007

Review by Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
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!!!!!

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Posted Monday, February 19, 2007

Review by Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
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 it´s 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 prog´s 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 prog´s greatest achievement of all time.

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Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007

Review by Fight Club
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Posted Friday, March 23, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Review by Dim
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
5 stars WE KEEP THE SAME, JUST GETTING BETTER!!!

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!!

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Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 elements 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.

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Posted Sunday, June 24, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, July 16, 2007

Review by SoundsofSeasons
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, July 28, 2007

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Friday, August 17, 2007

Review by jammun
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007

Review by laplace
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, September 02, 2007

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, September 07, 2007

Review by sean
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007

Review by FruMp
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
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 :)

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Posted Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
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.

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Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
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).

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Posted Monday, October 29, 2007

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
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.

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Posted Saturday, November 10, 2007

Review by obiter
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Review by Moatilliatta
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, April 05, 2008

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, April 19, 2008

Review by TGM: Orb
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Review 44, Close To The Edge, Yes, 1972

StarStarStarStarStar

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.

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Posted Sunday, May 25, 2008

Review by The Whistler
PROG REVIEWER
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 actual...you 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.)

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Send comments to The Whistler (BETA) | Report this review (#176257) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 07, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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'!

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Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was rock really pushed close to the edge.

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Posted Sunday, July 27, 2008

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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 it´s 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. It´s 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 today´s perspective you just know that these five musicians were at the top of their game and that they were and are very unique. Jon Anderson´s voice is an aquired taste and a few reviewers have pointed out that they like the music but can´t stand Jon Anderson´s 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 it´s one of the defining things in Yes sound as well as Chris Squire´s loud bass, Bill Bruford´s jazzy drumming, Rick Wakeman´s virtuoso keyboard playing and Steve Howe´s 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 can´t 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 haven´t listened to it yet you´re not a prog fan.

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Posted Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
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!

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#184122) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review by ProgBagel
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Friday, October 10, 2008

Review by Padraic
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Sunday, November 09, 2008

Review by MovingPictures07
PROG REVIEWER
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?

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Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review by Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
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

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Posted Saturday, December 06, 2008

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Friday, December 12, 2008

Review by micky
PROG REVIEWER
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 ..progressive 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)

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Posted Sunday, January 04, 2009

Review by horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, January 19, 2009

Review by crimson87
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, January 24, 2009

Review by J-Man
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, February 16, 2009

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, February 23, 2009

Review by Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
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

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Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
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.

Furthermore:

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.

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Posted Saturday, August 01, 2009

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Monday, August 03, 2009

Review by TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, October 02, 2009

Review by Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Friday, November 13, 2009

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Monday, November 23, 2009

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Review by The Sleepwalker
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010

Review by SaltyJon
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

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Posted Sunday, February 07, 2010

Review by JLocke
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Friday, March 12, 2010

Review by thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
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.

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Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RPI
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.

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Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
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/chorus/verse/chorus/middle8/instrumental-break/verse/chorus/outro. To this point, the general idea had been to make the basic verse and chorus melodies as compact as possible, with a minimal amount of development and deconstruction. But, smart men they were, Yes realized that this structure could just as well support lengthy, intensely developed and complex verse melodies. And so they went this route, and in essence created the world's first 19-minute pop song.

Now, of course, this artistic path is fraught with peril. Lengthy tracks of the 'conventional' manner all had an important safeguard - if one of the 'themes' they wrote turned out to be unlistenable crap, this would be somewhat countered by the fact it would be short, as the band would soon move to better things. In other words, if the 'main themes' that Yes would come up for their epic piece weren't absolutely top-of-the-line, the song they were constructing would end up, potentially, as aural fecal matter. In short, if the band wasn't making quantity of musical ideas their main goal, they sure as heck needed to worry about the quality.

Ah, but that's what makes the song so amazing - I can tell you, with nary a doubt in my mind, that the band pulled this feat off amazingly. First things first, the band probably realized the potential accusations of "lack of diversity" that would come their way, so they compensated by throwing all sorts of influences into the pot at one time and running with the finished product. I mean, take a step back and consider for a second all of the many musical descriptions that CTTE has received in reviews found online; taken all together, the song is a 19 minute free-form-electric-acid-jazzrock/ambient piece with a pop song structure, a classical "form" (well, on the surface anyway, though not really in the guts) and hints of reggae. And every one of those individual descriptions is accurate! Not to mention all of the incredible melodic and vocal hooks found throughout, or (as described below) the brilliant layering of vocal harmonies in places.

The playing deserves special mention as well, even with Yes, where virtuosity is a given. With this album (and song), Yes probably reached its peak as far as collective playing goes. The key to this, actually, was a very slight reduction in the role of Chris Squire - his parts on the album are great, don't get me wrong, but he no longer 'leads the way' for the band. And that is the key - nobody and everybody leads the way here, as one can feel the intense care taken to make sure that nothing overshadows anything else (except in rare instances like Rick's solo). Hence, whereas Chris' role was reduced a smidge, Wakeman was finally unleashed, while Bruford finally demonstrated that, without a doubt, he was the greatest drummer in the prog rock world (and arguably in rock music, but that's another topic).

We meet this "re-tooled" Yes in part one of the title track, entitled "Solid Time of Change." Atmospheric sounds of a river and chirping birds interspersed with synth tinklings greet us, becoming louder bit by bit, until we are met with a loud, strangely discordant guitar assault backed by crawling bass lines and aggressive drumming before Rick gets into the action with his synth loops. It works its way through three segments, each punctuated with emphatic "AAAAHH!!!" (or in the case of the final one, "dah! dah!") vocal outbursts before making its way into the "Close to the Edge theme." This in turn develops itself, proving to be a hummable piece if you can get past the minor key, before giving way to the main chunk of the song, called up by an echoey, quick call from Bill's drums.

And what a strange piece this "main chunk" is. Driven forward by a rising series of Howe riffing and periodic chiming in from Chris, it also features, arguably, the least immediately gratifying vocal part from Jon Anderson yet. That doesn't mean I don't like it, nor that one can't grow to love it very quickly (of course, I had no problem with it from the getgo, so whatever), but Jon has never sounded more alien than in this song portion. His vocal tone here is impossible to describe if not yet heard, not to mention that the vocal melody is *ahem* non-trivial, and the lyrics (on the first few readings, anyways) can come across as nonsensical jibberish. Of course, they're really not (the piece as a whole, actually, contains strong references to Siddartha by Herman Hesse), but if you've hated Jon's lyrics to this point, this may be the point where you swear never to give the band a chance lyrically again. In any case, though, the melody winds along before we hit a series of "vocal exclamations" (e.g. "Close to the edge, down by the corner, not right away! Not right away!") that in turn lead us into the, um, reggaish portion of the melody. Don't fret, though - strange as it may seem, the transition between the two disparate halves of the melody is virtually seamless.

Eventually, section one ends, and we move into part two, entitled "Total Mass Retain," which is essentially a redux of the music of the first ... or is it? The basic melody is the same, but witness all of the subtle changes from before. Chris' bass begins playing a thumping riff, Rick plays an upward cascading synth riff again and again, and Jon's ennunciation becomes slightly sharper. Most importantly, listen to the way these parts mesh - this is a VERY complex interlocking of arrangements, and as a corollary the intensity of the piece picks up even further. Even the vocal exclamations, with Jon and co. singing out the "close to the edge down by the corner down by the edge round by the river" and so on part between ominous chording from Rick are more complex than before. Of course, the reggaish part is the same as before, but this time it resolves itself in some pleasant, though still quite complex noodling led by Rick's synths.

And then, of course, we enter the centerpiece of the track, the heavenly "I Get Up I Get Down." Even putting aside for a moment the beautiful atmospherics (suggesting an oasis of some kind), or the beautiful vocal melody, this chunk is incredible because the vocal harmonies are GORGEOUS. Of course, what the lyrics exactly mean may be hard to tell (though it's fairly obvious that there allusions to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ), but I don't really care here - the point here is to use sound, not words, to dig into the soul of the listener. And oh man oh man, they pull it off. The alternation and interplay between low (Howe and Squire) and high (Anderson) is positively astounding, not to mention the well- timed placement of Wakeman's majestic organs.

Of course, all good things come to an end, so this middle portion eventually closes out - but even in ending the "IGUIGD" sequence, the band goes all out. Words cannot begin to express the feelings I have as Rick buiilds the climax to this part, and then dissipates it all away before Howe's (or Wakeman's? Live it was clearly done with keyboards, but it's awfully noisy and distorted here) triple-call suddenly wrests us back into the "main chunk" This time around, Howe plays the "CTTE theme" with far more venom and distortion than before while Chris pulsates underneath, gradually pushing the band towards yet another climax with the help of Rick. And once again, Rick provides release, this time through an entertaining and impressive-yet-not-out-of-place keyboard solo (it isn't just atmospherics, it is a true counterpoint to the main theme in the literal sense).

From this comes the third instance of the main melody of the piece, yet once again things are different. For lack of a better term, the arrangements have now become a hybrid of the arrangements of parts one and two. Not to mention that, instead of heading into the reggaish part after the first chunk of the melody, the band now moves in for the kill with the grandiose finale, layering their harmonies and arrangements in a way that, honestly, should be able to move even the most hard-nosed skeptic. And, of course, the band fittingly leaves us with an incredible reprise of "I Get Up I Get Down" chantings, before fading out with the same river and such arrangements as began the piece.

Oh yeah, there's also a second side here, imagine that. Of course, neither "And You And I" nor "Siberian Khatru" quite match the sweeping grandiosity (and incredible music) of the title track, but they make a good stab at it nonetheless. On these two songs, the band mostly employs the same "quality, not quantity" ideology that ruled the first side, and once again they succeed marvelously. "And You And I," for starters, is centered around a very clever, very 'jaunty', very catchy acoustic ditty with occasional synths here and there. This theme comes around twice, in parts one and three, but of course there are significant differences between the two occurences. In particular, part three's (otherwise known as "Preacher the Teacher") verse melody is better developed melodically, whereas part one, while also developed well, is most notable for the interesting distortion effects placed on Chris' and Steve's backing vocals.

Of course, this melody, catchy as it may be, pales in comparison to the real reason everybody loves this song. Both "Eclipse" and "Apocalypse," but especially "Eclipse," contain one of the most incredibly beautiful stretches of music I've ever heard. The way the organs majestically rise up, accompanied by some of the most gorgeous use of slide guitar known to man, while Anderson's vocals contribute incredibly appropriate mystical lyrics for such an occasion, is an experience that any serious listener of the song shall not soon forget.

Following the beauty is the rockin', provided by "Siberian Khatru." Now, again, I will not deny that there aren't too many melodical ideas presented within this track ... but what's here is absolute gold. How can anybody deny the coolness of that funky opening riff in 15/4? Or the danceable (ha!) main instrumental melody, or the abundance of vocal hooks?? Or the harpsichord break??!!! I know I can't! Not only all that, but the way it is gradually built and developed positively astounds my mind. Not to mention, of course, that it contains what I've considered Bruford's single finest performance with Yes. And I'll tell you what, I love the ending complex sequence of "dah!" harmonic screams before the band fades out jamming.

So ... after all that, let's play a little devil's advocate; despite all my (perhaps excessive and bloated) praising, this is not one of my 20 favorite albums (it's currently #23), and not even my favorite Yes album. The biggest thing is that I can very easily understand why somebody wouldn't love this album. This is not an album that can really be judged highly from a 'conventional' point of view, seeing as it's more of a symphony (not in form, but in feel) than anything else. And as I mentioned earlier, if you don't like one of the ideas presented on this album, you'll be in trouble, because there isn't a ton of diversity in the musical ideas here (and for all the love I feel towards the album, there are a couple of moments here and there where the noodling doesn't thrill me). I also love it less than Fragile because Fragile had a tinge more 'self-deflation' than this album does (that lack of self-deflation may be a positive to others, but ehn, not to me).

But, well, that's really of the complaining I can muster for this album. If you like early 70's prog rock, but don't like this for some reason, then I'm utterly perplexed.

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Posted Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars An album so fantastic that drummer Bill Bruford quit the group as soon as recording had been completed, convinced that there was no way in hell that 'Close To The Edge' could or would ever be bettered, this 1972 release is, as far as progressive rock is concerned, the real deal. Reviewing the album almost seems a moot point as there is probably nothing left to be said that hasn't already been, and this writer seriously doubts that there are any compliments left in the English book of words & phrases to describe an album that is regularly hailed as the apex of not only the band who created it, but also of the genre of which it is a part of. To (very briefly) re-cap: 'Close To The Edge' was the last Yes album to feature the group's classic line-up of Jon Anderson(vocals), Chris Squire(bass), Steve Howe(guitar), Rick Wakeman(keys) and Bill Bruford(drums). Made up of just three tracks, the album is a thrill-a- minute prog-rock odyssey filled with glistening keyboards, soaring vocals, fluid guitars and beautifully-structured instrumental soundscapes. Each member is bang on form and, despite a couple of great later albums, Yes would never scale the peaks reached on 'Close To The Edge' again. The album was also a huge commercial success, featured a seminal yet womndefully-simplistic pastoral green album cover from Roger Dean(his second for the group) and influenced hundreds if not thousands of bands over the years thanks to it's bravura mix of thrilling experimentation and instrumental brilliance. Just in case you're still not sure I'll sum it up for you in one often over-used(just not this time) word: masterpiece. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010

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Posted Thursday, August 05, 2010

Review by The Truth
COLLABORATOR Post and Math Rock Team
3 stars Close to the Four-star.

The Yes Album is a masterpiece. Fragile is four stars. Close to the Edge is 3 stars. Tales From Topographic Oceans is 4 stars. Relayer is 5 stars. What happened toward the middle there? Not really sure...

Close to the Edge, however ambitious it may be, is not Yes' masterpiece. It contains 3 songs, the longest which should've been chopped down to about ten minutes, and clocks about 35 minutes. Siberian Khatru is a masterpiece, And You and I never clicked with me and the title track is too long. Hmm... Now you see?

The title tracks starts with some beautiful chimes and eventually goes into a great (and I mean GREAT) guitar riff. It has a catchy refrain but is dragged on way past when it was due to end. Long songs is what makes a lot of prog albums great. Not this one. It has some fantastic moments nonetheless and isn't a complete waste of time.

And You And I... It has all the formula for a great prog track, good guitar playing, the vocals are superb, it is pretty much the perfect length for the material given. What's wrong with it then? It never clicked with me, after almost two years of having this album it still hasn't. It's almost sad really, Howe and Wakeman's playing are excellent on this track.

Siberian Khatru though, my gosh what a jam! What gets me hooked is Chris Squire's bass playing, which I absolutely adore, and the utter energy the track displays. Great song.

I'm not apologizing for this for I have nothing to apologize about. 3 stars.

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Posted Friday, August 20, 2010

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Sometimes perfect happens. Not the flawless kind-- after all, Yes was still a rock band. But their 1972 release was beyond the call of duty. In hindsight perhaps it could be seen coming: an inevitable culmination of the greatness heard on the four previous albums, reaching a point of no return and getting literally, dangerously, close to the edge.

But even with all the fantastic theme development, unquenchable thirst for invention, and physical prowess, Close to the Edge was, at heart, a record of three great songs. In fact had these five wanted to be a group of tunesmiths popping out 2 minute ditties praising lovelorn walks on the beach, they would've been the biggest act of their time (which of course they briefly were ). Howe, Squire, Anderson, Bruford and Wakeman wanted to show what was possible, not just plausible. And in some cases, what was impossible.

After the obligatory onset of windchimes and birds, the room explodes with the sounds of one glorious rock band, accented periodically by flashes of delicious discordance. Chris Squire's elastic hands all over the Ric partnered with Steve Howe's chameleon guitars; Wakeman's huge keys never more valuable; percussion math-geek Bill Bruford doing precisely what is required, and Jon Anderson - the real hero here - providing the ideal vocal complement. The quintet's understanding of musical form was only rivaled on their next in '73, and shows their uncanny ability to be both a unified family of equals and a platform for individual achievement. The mix is impeccable, too.

'And You and I' is exquisite, barely feeling like ten minutes as Howe's sexy acoustic vibrates through you, Squire's reassuring thumps, Anderson's comforting fairytale, a touch of honkytonk, Rick Wakeman's astral visions, and the metric delights of 'Siberian Khatru' close a piece of work still unmatched by anyone on record.

My ears continue to gape for this LP's always rewarding gifts, and yours should too. Unimprovable, and more than essential.

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Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars I knew that I would have to review this album eventually but it was only yesterday that I realized that it would get to be my review nr. 666. In other words, yes, it's entirely a coincidence!

Close To The Edge is easily one of the top five most celebrated progressive rock classics, marking the new lengthy song format era in Yes' history. All this is highly respected by me but my personal relation to this record is quite a strained one. I'm a huge fan on the album's title track. Even though I happen to prefer the live version from Yessongs slightly more, there's an aura of pure magic surrounding this composition that I just can't put in words. It's just one of those masterpiece performances where everything sounds amazing and it's a joy to revisit the piece and find new hidden details in its instrumental arrangements that I might have previously missed out on.

Unfortunately this is as far as I go in my regard of this so-called masterpiece. And You And I is a great piece of music but it's far from the best compositions that Yes are known for. I honestly really never saw it as a 10 minute tracks, even though the band actually manages to get away with it. This was indeed a strong period in Yes' career where they could do no wrong, but that doesn't automatically mean that they got it all right either! Siberian Khatru is a good example of just that. It's neither a bad nor an excellent track and I honestly never though much of it. Fans might see it as a good complement to the first two pieces but I really can't imagine that many actually enjoy it over them. This is exactly what makes it so average for me.

I have no intension of dismissing Close To The Edge since it's definitely a great album, but I wouldn't call it a huge favorite of mine. It ranks fifth in my Yes collection, which is not something I consider to be unworthy of its high regard in the prog community, but a fifth best album from a great band is still good thing!

***** star songs: Close To The Edge (18:43)

**** star songs: And You And I (10:09)

*** star songs: Siberian Khatru (9:01)

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Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
5 stars Here it is. The definititive progressive rock album. It contains the perfect progressive rock epic, followed by two perfect accompanying songs.

Let's start with the title track, Close To The Edge. A foreboding introduction, made up of bird and water sounds (before both of those effects became stale), gives way to a powerful, lumbering set of chords, that soon gives way to the most lush symphonic prog of it's time. And when the first verse begins, Chris Squire and Bill Bruford are not content to simply play a rhythm, but create an amazing backup of perfectly synchonized off time emphatic pounding beats.

Jon Anderson's lyrics, while cryptic to say the least, provide an incredibly descriptive world of magic and madness, as the harmonies created by Anderson, Squire and Steve Howe are so good, that bands are still tryin to imitate them decades later.

The break section, titled I Get Up i Get Down, provides a bit of a breather, as Howe and Rick Wakeman provide etherial tones behind the overlayed vocals of Anderson, and alternating verses sung by Squire and Howe. Anderson's high pitched voice has never fit in so well as on this masterpiece.

Before I go on, I must say that on this piece you can hear just how much better a drummer Bruford is than his replacement Alan White. On White's versions, the synchronization between bass and drums does not compare with Bruford on the original recording. And coming out of the break section, Bruford had the good sense to lay back, and let the power of the music take over. White's incessant beating of the drums when Rick Wakeman thakes the song into Seasons Of Man is always a disappointment to me.

And speaking of Wakeman, his solo in the last part of the song has always been one of my favorites.

And You And I, while being a simpler song than the preceding track, is still a work of wonder, It alternates between a folky verse and a full blown symphonic section, where Howe treats us to some soaring slide guitar.

Siberian Khatru is the hardest rocking song on the album, but has so many twists and turns it's like a roller coaster ride.

Some albums may get higher ratings here at PA, since popularity always trumps art. But this will probably always be the greatest prog rock album ever.

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Posted Saturday, November 27, 2010

Review by octopus-4
COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars What about the best album of one of the Prog Dynosaurs bands? The YES have changed their lineup several times during the years, and they are still doing it quite often even after more than 40 years of activity, but I think that Close To The Edge represents the best work f the best YES lineup.

The epic title track is the essence of progressive music. The chaotic intro after a minute of crescendo keyboard's sounds is distinctive of YES music. The sound of Steve Howe's guitar is typical of his way to play, the unusual signatures and the incredible work of Bill Bruford with the unique bass of Chris Squire, Jon's accents...in few seconds there's a concentration of what this band of extremely skilled people is able to do. Chaotic, but not disharmonic. It's clear that this apparent chaos is leading somewhere, and it's Jon with his "ta-ta" who introduces the main theme. Something on the border between harmony and dissonance. Genial. Who listens to it for the first time is catched by the harmony but his expectations are often betrayed by the dissonant parts. The band is able to stay on the border so that the listener's attention is kept high wile the epic progresses.

After 4 minutes the singing starts. This is a rock section on which Jon's voice is supported mainly by Chris and Rick. The song is quite melodic here, but the strong bass and the guitar's background are never trivial. I don't think to have ever seen a music sheet with so many unusual signatures as for this album (the whole album, not only the title track). "I get up, I get down"... what else can I say? Even when the drumming stops to leave Wakeman alone with just Howe playing with his pick-ups volume to introduce the melodic singing of Jon, closed by Rick's church organ...then Jon and then Rick again for an organ solo that leads back to where they started...

then after 15 minutes Rick Wakeman at his best for a section that's clearly a trademark of his sound. "Close to the edge, down by the river..." the melody is the same but the tempo is different everytime. This is the epic closure of an epic track. Just one more minute of coda with the birds of the first minute coming back.

On side B the acoustic guitar starts a quiet harping then just three major chords and Rick Wakeman's organ introduce the singing. The music sheet I have mentioned before says everything: about two pages made of D, G and A major, incredibly simple, but when you turn the page what you wee is an incredible number of notes and the most unusual signatures I've ever seen. 11/8 is one that I remember....

To finish, Siberian Khatru is another excellent track. It has rock, it has funky, it has progression. It's not a case if all the three tracks of this album are still often played live. I have seen the YES live three times with three different lineups in a large interval of years. They have played all the three tracks all the times.

An undiscutible masterpiece.

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Posted Friday, December 24, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post Rock Team
4 stars Well, it's about time somebody reviewed this damn album! To many this is their favourite No album. I slightly prefer both The No Album and Relifter to this. I put the CD in my computer and played it on Windows Media Player. Guess what? The picture of the cover was upside down! How cool. Let's talk about that album cover. Somebody paid Roger Dean to do that? A five year old could do that...for free! What else. There are pictures of Chris Squire and producer Eddie Offord smoking cigarettes. Bad bass player! Bad producer! Don't you know cigarettes are bad for you? In their defense, it was the 1970s, a decade in which it was apparently illegal to *not* smoke cigerettes. Speaking of Offord, he is almost the sixth member here. He basically took a bunch of half-finished ideas and edited them into the title track.

The first 8 minutes of said title track is some of the greatest 8 minutes in all prog. 'Total Mass Retain' has an awesome rhythm section; I'm surprised nobody has sampled this yet. I love the 'Get Up, Get Down' section, but don't care for the instrumental part before the vocals. I also hate that church organ. It ruins everything for me. Nothing against church organ, I actually like it in "Parallels". I just love the part after the organ with the weird sounding synths and the fast bass.

Some moments of "And You And I" are better than others. Never liked the intro. Love the wah- wahed vocals during the part that starts "coins and crosses..." It really sounds like poor Jon is under water! Unless you read the lyrics you have no idea what that voice is saying. As with other Yes songs, I generally don't like the parts that are just vocals and acoustic guitar here. Love the reggae-esque part that starts "I listened hard..."

"Siberian Khatru" is just flawless! I wouldn't change a nanosecond of this song. I like the 1950s rock'n'roll style guitar playing at the beginning. I laugh at people who say that Yes are not rock. If what Steve Howe does at the beginning of this song is not rock, then I don't know what the hell is. I should also mention Howe's electric sitar playing which is a nice addition. He never intentionally tried to sound Indian. This was also the last album with Bruford(for a very long time). His drumming is missed on future Yes albums.

So, why am I not giving this 5 stars? Basically that chuch organ in the title track, and parts of "And You And I" are pretty weak compared to the rest of the album. That cover is pretty lame too. A classic album and a great way to help start one's journey into prog. I give this 4.5 but they can't all be masterpieces can they?

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Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion Team
5 stars An album you should own.

Is this album perfect? Far from it. Is this Yes' best album? Not even close. Is the title track one of the best examples of prog rock? Absolutely. And that's why if you consider yourself a progressive rock fan, you need to own this album. The title track is nearly 19 mins of pure prog bliss. The guitar, the bass, the organ, the drums...everything works together perfectly. Nineteen minutes just slip away. Unfortunately, the rest of the album is average at best. And You And I is a throw away track. Rather bland and boring and existing for much too long. Siberian Khatru is much too simplistic and ordinary to maintain interest for nine minutes. While it isn't a bad song, and there are some fun solos, it is much more standard rock than anything and (probably because of this) it remains fairly static throughout. To be perfectly honest, I don't find anything on this disc to make it stand out in the Yes discog. Howe isn't unattainable perfection, Wakeman doesn't constantly dazzle, and even Bruford (my favorite drummer) doesn't blow me away with his performance. All give solid performances, and really, at the end of the day, that's what you have a solid album, graced with an example of prog perfection. So why give it five stars? Because it is absolutely essential in any serious prog collection. No matter it's flaws it is necessary. It is a beacon from the 70s to show what progressive rock could be. Like Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue is in jazz, this record is in progressive rock.

All in all, this album is quite flawed. Side two isn't anything specular, and at times isn't anything good. But, you're not buying this album for side two, you're buying it for Close To The Edge. In my personal view, based purely on the music, I would rate this three stars and nothing more. However, taking into account the system of judging on PA there is no doubt in my mind I have to give this five stars. (Unfortunately) Essential.

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Posted Monday, February 07, 2011

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 1411 ratings and 436 reviews so far, what else could I add?

This is one of the most recognized albums in the history of progressive rock, some even say that this is THE prog rock album, after all everything is a matter of subjectivity.

During the years I've been collaborating with this site, I've read several reviews for "Close to the Edge", and actually for a long time I thought it wasn't actually necessary to write my own review, because everything had being said. But well, now that I had the will of writing reviews for other Yes albums, I decided that I could add my grain of sand, and maybe use this review just as a simple tribute for a band that has given a lot to progressive rock, including of course this awesome album released in 1972 and entitled "Close to the Edge".

Every time I listen to this album I have the same feelings I had the first time I listened to it, and a think to myself several things: Don't you love it? ? Yes; don't you think it is extraordinary? ? Yes; do you like the complexity, the unique and own sound that the band implemented? ? Yes; do you believe that the title track gathers all the elements that one could ask? ? Yes; are you in another world, another realm while listening to such a beautiful track like "And You and I"? ? Yes; is your soul purified and excited when an amazing track like "Siberian Khatru "sounds? ? Yes; so this is a masterpiece, isn't it? ? Yes.

Yes. As you guessed, I will grade it with five stars, and I have nothing more to say. Enjoy it!

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Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review by Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Yes: Close to the Edge [1972]

Rating: 10/10

Rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace, bro.

Writing the 438th review of this album seems like a somewhat fruitless endeavor. Everyone who knows the slightest thing about progressive music is well-acquainted with Close to the Edge. Outside of a small group of naysayers, this album is generally considered to be one of the greatest progressive recordings ever, if not the greatest. I happen to agree. CttE is majestic, timeless, beautiful, profound, stunning, emotional, breathtaking, and also pretty good.

The title track is Yes's first and best side-long epic. It begins and ends with bird noises, and has some other stuff in between. These things include: a gorgeously frantic intro with amazing guitar and cacophonous keyboards, an abstract middle section with church organ, one of Wakeman's greatest solos (I air-keyboard to it every time), and a powerful conclusion featuring some of Anderson's strongest moments. The album's second side begins with "And You and I", a song that always manages to strike me. Beautiful harmonics from Howe on a 12-string acoustic guitar lead into one of Yes's most emotionally resonant compositions. "Siberian Khatru" is the most rock-orientated song on the album, with impressive guitar work and an excellent harpsichord solo.

Close to the Edge is easily in my top-five albums of all time. I've been listening to it since my childhood, and it only grows more brilliant each time; it will always move me. This is an album that reminds me why I love music so much. Heaping such excessive praise on an album that has already received such tremendous accolades seems pointless, but CttE deserves it. It's a perfect masterpiece and is absolutely essential.

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Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review by colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Close to the Edge is considered Yes' masterpiece, and it would be hard to agree. Progressive at its core with lengthy compositions and masterful playing, this is one the standouts in Yes' catalog and is one of my favorites, along with their next two albums.

The title track is epic in length, at over 18 minutes of pure progressive fun. It ebbs and flows flawlessly with terrifically executed instrumentation. The rhythm is a great driving force, Steve Howe shows very interesting guitar work throughout (changing between frantic and beautiful, perfectly in flow with the moods), and the vocal hooks throughout are very singable and memorable. The way this track plays out reminds me of "Roundabout" from their previous album in that it variates endlessly on few themes, and it still works perfectly. The lyrics "I get up, I get down" match the flow of the track perfectly.

"And You and I" starts off with beautiful guitar lines by Howe that develop into folky strumming backed by driving bass lines and optimistic vocals in the forefront. It soon dives into psychedelic funk-rock accentuated by underwater sounding vocals leading into a section that is very symphonic with synth and sounds quite majestic. The majesty last throughout the middle of the song until it reverts back to Howe's folky strumming and Anderson's optimistic vocals. A very nice track with a lot of different moods packed in.

"Siberian Khatru" is my favorite on this album, and follows the "Roundabout" style of composition that I feel makes many of Yes' tracks so great. I consider this to be mostly a Howe track; from the beginning he is showing off fantastic chops that many could only dream of executing so perfectly. The heavy and thumping bass really drives this song along. It gets quite psychedelic in the middle and through the rest of the song, and this track is actually the most straight forward on the album. I've gotten many modern pop fans to tell me that they absolutely love this track.

This album is absolutely, undoubtedly a masterpiece among Yes albums and the progressive rock world as a whole. Highly influential and wildly expressive, superior to most prog albums, giving this album less that 5 stars would seem like a crime.

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Posted Friday, April 08, 2011

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars No progressive rock collection is complete without Yes's 'Close to the Edge'.

You've probably heard albums that have one track that towers above the rest in terms of how brilliant it is. These tracks, like Octavarium from 'Octavarium' and The Musical Box from 'Nursery Cryme', make buying the album worth it just by themselves. If you've ever wondered what an entire album of these sort of tracks would be like, 'Close to the Edge' by Yes will answer your question.

This album shows Yes putting all their eggs in one basket, with the consequence being that this is perhaps the finest progressive rock album ever made. The recipe is simple: there are just three tracks, all of them masterpieces. In my opinion, fewer songs per record is preferable because a) the songs will be longer, b) the artist will usually have spent more time perfecting each track, and c) if one record has three songs, and we compare it to another record that has maybe eight songs, it's more likely that the first record will have no duff tracks, but unlikely that this will be true for the second. On 'Close to the Edge', b) is certainly true, as it appears that Yes spent an astonishing three months writing this album. They were looking to write magnum opus, and they definitely achieved this goal.

The line-up on this album is Anderson / Bruford / Howe / Squire / Wakeman, the same line-up as 'Fragile', and undoubtedly my favourite Yes line-up. In my opinion, Bill Bruford was a better drummer than Alan White for a couple of reasons, the main reason being the way he recorded his drums. By placing microphones around each part of the drum, we get to hear some of the crispest sounding drums in prog history. Also, I've always preferred Bruford's technique, as his drumming always sounds precise and carefully thought-out.

It's hard not to be gushing about the title track, Close to the Edge, as it is one of the best epic songs of all time. I could spend pages writing the words 'amazing', 'beautiful' and 'wonderful' over and over about this song, so I'll try and keep it brief. Probably the coolest thing about this track is that it doesn't sound like pieces of different songs put together, and also doesn't rely on lengthy jams. Instead, the verses you hear in the song sound very similar to each other, whilst at the same time being quite different. Compare this to Supper's Ready, which has several very different sections that appear unrelated to each other.

At the same time, the music is astonishingly complex and intricate. The chaotic instrumental at the beginning immediately grabs you, and the odd rhythms in the verses really push the progressive-ness of this masterpiece. The music throughout is full of depth and it's extremely possible to hear new things with each listen. Anderson himself even plays a part here, as his lyrics are extremely complex and difficult to memorise. Rather than using the lyrics for meaning, he creates a dense pattern of words that are engaging and beautiful. Amongst the complexity also comes simplicity. Half-way through we reach a quieter ambient section, which contrasts to the volume and the bombastic nature of the rest of the track.

Probably my favourite thing about this song though, is that they end it properly. The ending to a song is extremely important, and Yes do a superb job of rounding everything up at the end. The truly symphonic outro here gives the song real direction, and reaching the end of this song feels like a wonderful achievement.

And You And I is quite a peculiar track, but beautiful nonetheless. In fact, I'll even go as far as saying this is Yes's most beautiful track. With no less than four parts, this song is far from being simple, but it is definitely a more relaxed song after the entirely energetic title track. Acoustic guitars account for a significant proportion of this song, but the rest of the band help create a richer sound. The lyrics are absolutely divine. There is a gorgeous mellotron solo full of stadium filling chords that will get the audience swaying. Interesting fact: the writer of TV series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', Joss Whedon, used a lyric from this song to create the title of his production company 'Mutant Enemy Productions'.

Siberian Khatru is a return to a more straightforward rock sound, although at nine minutes, this song is far from being straightforward. This verses of this anthemic song have a lighthearted feel, whereas the tone is more serious in other parts, including the outro. The highlight for me is the complex instrumental that begins around the three minute mark, although another cool feature is the series of rhythmic blasts between 7:00 and 7:32. Squire's bass gives this song real depth, and Bruford's drums give it a clarity that White would never be able to match.

Perhaps my only criticism of this album is that after listening to it many many times, the novelty wears off, and I tend not to listen to it as much as I used to. However, if it wasn't as good as it is, then I wouldn't have listened to it so many times in the first place! Strangely enough, this was my first Yes album, and in my opinion, my first proper venture into 70s prog rock. Before this, I'd listened to a few prog albums from this era, but 'Close to the Edge' encouraged me to listen to more music from this era, and the rest is history. One has to marvel at the breathtaking Roger Dean vista on the inside of the gatefold. Somehow, the simple green artwork with the bold title seems paradoxically appropriate for the complex and intricate music within. In my opinion, this iconic album is second to none.

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Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Anderson & Howe & Squire & Wakeman & Bruford...

No introduction needed.

The Good: This album has been reviewed nearly five hundred times on this site, and probably about half of those talk about how just about everything that could be said about it, already has. Still, it's nice to be able to throw your tuppence worth out their into cyberspace and bump up its overall rating by 0.0005 stars. It's not my favourite album ever, and I don't listen to it all that often as I prefer to indulge in the character that Fragile has to offer. But its hard not to enjoy and appreciate what is undoubtedly a worthy contender for the top ranking.

The Bad: The cover art. Or rather, lack of it.

The Verdict: A token four stars.

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Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars What can I say at this point about Close to the Edge that hasn't already been said by other reviewers? Well, for a start I can say that this is my favourite of the Yes albums with the short- lived "classic" lineup of Squire, Anderson, Howe, Wakeman and Bruford - Bill Bruford would jump ship from the band after recording this album and join the revived and regenerated King Crimson, and would only appear on two songs of the excellent Yessongs triple live album, and to be honest his participation here is rather overshadowed by Wakeman's keyboard magic, Squire's characteristic bass work and Steve Howe's guitar, not to mention Jon Anderson's singing (the lyrics may not make much sense, but his voice is on fine form here).

Although Bill Bruford wasn't happy about the album's direction, the disc does at least provide a cohesive, unified musical vision, unlike Fragile whose solo pieces I found to be a bit of a distraction from the wonderful full-group tracks. It's certainly one of the most consistently excellent Yes albums, and finds a perfect balance between accessibility and experimentation - whilst the music here is still highly original, novel and complex, at the same time the album is a bit more approachable than Relayer or Tales from Topographic Oceans. This or The Yes Album should be your first port of call when exploring the Yes back catalogue.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#498760) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 06, 2011

Review by Isa
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars |A+| For some, a life changing - and defining - experience.

Well, I knew this day would come at some point, reviewing one of the renowned prog classics of all time. I could go on forever typing things that anyone can find somewhere in this album's reviews, so I'll suffice for a personal reflection on what this album has meant to me, and the indescribable impact it has had on my life and who I am as a person.

I received this album as a Christmas present from my best friend in high school, during my Junior year. I was still doing much personal growth in who I would become as an adult at the time. The philosophical minded individual I am, I had an open mind to new ideas and concepts, seeking "enlightenment" if you will. By chance, this album happened to come along and change the whole course of my life. I'll never forget listening to it the first time walking home from the bus down my street. How long the songs seemed! How brilliant and lush and complex the music sounded... how much there was to listen for! And for the rest of high school I'd find myself listening to this album constantly, the lyrics and their cryptic meaning captivated me. I decided this was the kind of artistic music I really love, and it was a big part of what lead to me choosing to be a musician rather than a doctor, a hard decision as the achieving individual that I've striven to be. Music became my life after this album.

Now, I still listen to it on occasion during points of my life of great achievement or failure, of great elation and sorrow, and it never fails to put things back into perspective: I get up, I get down. Life will always be an up and down. However, during this bumpy journey, we must strive to increase our love and holiness. This is, what I believe, the meaning of the work itself: coming closer to God, which would made sense considering its authorship. I found a brilliant interpretation that I think captures the spiritual Christian mentality for which Jon Anderson was aiming by a quirky guy online who runs a ministry, code-named "yhwh." Really the meaning of the lyrics is often unveiled (and, for me, still are at random times) when a person gains a deeper understanding of Christian faith, particularly theological and biblical topics, especially from the more "hippy" peace and love angle of Christianity. Even a week ago, reading something out of a theology book, I suddenly heard lyric from the album in my mind and realized "oh, that's what that means! It fits!" And I'm sure it'll keep happening for the rest of my life.

Suffice to say, it is an album close to perfection that is an essential masterpiece of work, up there with the symphonies of Beethoven, the choral music of Bach, and the pinnacle jazz works of Davis and Coltrane. A timeless piece of music.

So, just check it out once and give it a chance. It just might change the course of your life.

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Send comments to Isa (BETA) | Report this review (#500287) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 08, 2011

Review by Sagichim
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars There are not many bands who managed to release three masterpieces one after the other. But yes did, 'close to the edge' is regarded as the masterpiece of the masterpieces. Yes were at their prime, and at their most creative peak and left us with another wonderful piece of work. The music is as intricate and complex as before, combining howes fast eclectic guitar, squiers thick bass lines, and wakemans fabulous and bombastic keys. Yes is trying to experiment with longer pieces, and not like in their next album, where they failed to do so, this time they really succeeded. The pieces have a logical development and flows from one part to the other pretty smoothly. Yes created an entire world, as it shows on the amazing cover, which suits the music perfectly. The music is pure symphonic rock, where everyone of the band donates in the right time to the beautiful picture, wakeman is doing a very good job creating all sorts of sounds to match howes multiple guitar sounds.

The complicate arrangments is never boring and makes the listener to stay on his toes all the time. All three pieces are equaly interesting, the first and the third follows the same line although the first is longer and has a wider line of development reaching higher than the other two. 'close to the edge' does have a good main theme which revolves around itself for about 9 minutes, then lets the listener to relax with some beautiful sounds created by all, with great singing, it climaxes to wakeman heavy church like organs and then suddenly breaks to a fierce comeback to the main theme. Beautiful stuff. The second piece is much more relaxed but still very symphonic, containing beautiful acoustic guitars and some bombastic keys creating a wonderful mood. Siberian khatru is fantastic coming with one of the grooviest guitar riffs ever, amazing guitar throughout and some masterful keys work.

Although i enjoy a lot of albums more than this i can not deny that this is one of the best albums created in the 70's and yes deserves all the credit. 5 stars

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Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012

Review by Second Life Syndrome
COLLABORATOR Math Rock Team
3 stars Honestly, I don't get what all the hype is about this album. I'd never heard a Yes album, and I thought I'd start with the best. It's an okay album: yes. I get that it was influential. And I get that I am young and probably know no better. However, I find this album pretentious. Annoying, even.

Sure, there are some catchy choruses, but that really doesn't matter all that much to me. I just find the vox to be shrill and irritating, the melodies to be pedestrian, the musicianship to be average at best, and the overall theme of the album to be vague and uninteresting. For me, this is a 2-star album, but I'll give it a bump up for being influential. I thought that I would find something great in Yes, but I find that I just prefer Gentle Giant, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and even The Moody Blues.

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Posted Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Review by b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The famous Close to the edge from 1972 is considered one of the most influencial album in prog rock history. Well, even I really like the album is not my fav Yes release, is only in my top 5. Solid playing, Wakeman now is a 24 from 24h integrated in the Yes machine, but sadly this is the last album with excellent Bruford behind the drums, optaining for another major band from this field King Crimson. Now, about the music here, symphonic prog 100%, 3 pieces, the first one, the title track being the longest clocking around 18 min is one hell of a piece. The musicianship is tight and the comunications between musicins is awesome, very high standards even for today music not to mention for that period, 40 years ago. Squire bass is impressive, I simply love his playing on last pieces Siberian Khatru, my fav tune from the album. It has a slightly Gentle Giant feel to it in instrumental parts, but it diffrents when the voices comes in. This is an essnetial album for sure, everything they done here remains as a collective effort , this is their peak for sure, Yes managing to create something of a true value who remains over the years a milestone in prog rock history. Together with other big names from this zone, Yes were fighting shoulder to shoulder in an elegant manner with names as Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, revealing in the end that possibly they find the magic potion that makes a perfect prog rock album. To many this is the best symphonic prog album ever, to me even is a masterpieces is little behind after Going for the one and Drama, The yes album comes at same level. 5 stars for sure.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#991649) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 04, 2013

Latest members reviews

5 stars I really have no idea how to "review" this album. I unabashedly feel that this album is perhaps the best music album of all time, any genre, any era. Okay, that's an overstatement, but it is truly great. This is maybe not the place to START for newbies to Yes and progressive rock in general, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#1145893) | Posted by mneil1968 | Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here I am to deliver what I know everyone was waiting to read. Another CLOSE TO THE EDGE review! I am merciful, let me keep this succinct. Let me review this track by track. 1. Close To The Edge is MUSICAL PERFECTION! 2. And You And I is MUSICAL SUBLIMENESS! 3. Siberian Khatru is MUSICAL ... (read more)

Report this review (#1089139) | Posted by siLLy puPPy | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What kind of new insight could be brought about the record that is possibly Prog's greatest achievement? The general consensus is right. CTTE is a Prog rock masterpiece. Yes were building up to this moment, and it shows. Not one note on this album feels out of place and not one minute is wasted. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1085741) | Posted by thebig_E | Wednesday, December 04, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars There's the big one : Close To The Edge by Yes. For me and many others, this is the best prog album ever. Why ? Because the songs are good, the lyrics are good, the instruments playing is good, everything is good ! The first song is the longest and the best : Close To The Edge. An epic of 18 m ... (read more)

Report this review (#1060301) | Posted by floflo79 | Tuesday, October 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "What's so special about Close to the Edge? Let's see: 1 - Jon Anderson's crazy lyrical imagery creates a natural sense of fantasy and wonderment 2 - Steve Howe plays guitar leads like no one before him had. sounds like mice scampering up the fretboard 3 - The album contained three epic piece ... (read more)

Report this review (#1037332) | Posted by VOTOMS | Tuesday, September 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's no wonder that this album is the highest rated on the website - an absolute masterpiece of progressive rock: Close To The Edge - Yes. Starting with the cover, Roger Dean's minimalist green artwork fits in brilliantly to the tropical sounds heard at the start of the album. The title track of ... (read more)

Report this review (#984597) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I see Close to the Edge as one of the most influental records made in the 70's. And it's not only me. Everything on this album is perfectly sophisticated and super clear. This is just a fact. All the voices, all the guitar parts or bass licks are cultivated and precisely functional. There are n ... (read more)

Report this review (#984163) | Posted by TKristyna | Saturday, June 22, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After just having enjoyed the wonder of attending to a fresh live execution of this timeless masterpiece by Yes, during their Rio stop from the South America Tour 2013, I cannot excuse myself from writing some thoughts down with the rest of the world about this particular piece of art. Before I fir ... (read more)

Report this review (#967278) | Posted by Mutante | Friday, May 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is probably the most representative of what a "progressive masterpice" means. I don't think in terms "better or worse" when i talk about music because everything is subjective, but this album really provides most of the qualities i find possitive in a prog rock album. It's not fair ... (read more)

Report this review (#966583) | Posted by marcobrusa | Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Close to the Edge is Yes's masterpiece and deserves its place as the top rated prog record. All three songs are brilliant. "Close to the Edge" has everything: a jazz freak out, sick bass driven verses, a catchy chorus, epic bridge build (with a pipe organ!), an amazing keyboard solo, time signature ... (read more)

Report this review (#951817) | Posted by Friday13th | Tuesday, April 30, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What can I add that "Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music" doesn't already say? Way back in 1972, I heard Roundabout on the radio, listened to the B side on the jukebox at the foosball parlor, bought Roundabout, and fell in love. My next purchase (IIRC) was Close to the Edge and ... (read more)

Report this review (#927289) | Posted by krishl | Saturday, March 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I bought this album in 1978, after an older friend suggested I might like the album and the band. This is when my love of prog-rock began. This is undoubtably the greatest Yes album ever made, and it may well be the greatest prog album of all time. As a teenager, I listened to side 2 (And You ... (read more)

Report this review (#922878) | Posted by progpunk67 | Sunday, March 03, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The album that started my life long Prog. obsession. My first Prog Rock experience. I bought it at a record store in the Deep South because the cover fascinated me, around 1976 or so. A musical sea change occurred and I've never stopped playing it. The best Progressive Rock album I've ever heard. ... (read more)

Report this review (#922414) | Posted by aerosolgrey | Sunday, March 03, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Yes's Close to the Edge is as close to a perfect album as has ever been recorded by anyone. This is their magnum opus, an album whose heights they could come near but never exceed. The title cut is absolutely magnificent, starting with a Frippesque soundscape before moving into the song proper ... (read more)

Report this review (#913271) | Posted by wehpanzer | Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Well; stating the obvious; is no fun. So this is the way it went for me with this pages´s Top 1 of 10 unmovable (almost) Monster! The first time I heard this "small-wonder" I was around 12 and in a 90 minute cassette tape; as a filler; of a hand written "CHICAGO" album recorded in that tape. "Chic ... (read more)

Report this review (#890885) | Posted by admireArt | Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars By 1972, Yes had four albums finished and packaged out for the world to listen to with Fragile being the strongest effort up to then, then... then... came Close To The Edge. This album, is personally my favorite Yes record it has everything that the band was known for at this point in time, but th ... (read more)

Report this review (#889753) | Posted by ProgMetaller2112 | Tuesday, January 08, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have listened to this album various times. I apologize that I cannot rate this higher. This album (for some reason) kind of bores me. There are some strong moments, for sure. I LOVE some of the more upbeat moments, but many times, the chords seem atonal. For some reason, I don't like it ... (read more)

Report this review (#881494) | Posted by dragonspirit | Monday, December 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 5/5 Close to the Edge is an amazing album, a pinnacle of progressive music by a pioneering band of the genre. On this album, Yes have combined the factors which make up progressive music and executed it flawlessly. This album is very well known in the progressive rock community, and that's not with ... (read more)

Report this review (#860786) | Posted by zeqexes | Saturday, November 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If there is such a thing as an album that feels too perfect, Close to the Edge might be it. While I enjoy listening to it very much, I usually come away with the feeling that it's all too neat, too pleasant, too mild. Not mild in terms of lacking rocking energy, but there's not much pain or me ... (read more)

Report this review (#831994) | Posted by rogerthat | Tuesday, October 02, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hi all, this is my first review (so be gentle). Seeing that this was my first venture into the Prog world back when it was released and a year or so later seeing them do this album live as well as their next release, Tales, which was my first concert of any kind, this had to be the first revi ... (read more)

Report this review (#805922) | Posted by AEProgman | Friday, August 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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