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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4370 ratings

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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.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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