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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4573 ratings

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5 stars There are already many excellent reviews about this album, from musical point of view, historical backgrounds and even extensive discussion about the philosophical lyrics, with some of them even has sources from interview or commentary of the band members. So I'll be less technical and share what I feel about this album.

'Close to the Edge' is released in 1972, in the same period as the release of other great works in progressive rock genre such as Genesis' Foxtrot, Gentle Giant's Octopus and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention's Grand Wazoo (what a period of feast !). Still this fifth album of YES stands out until now. The band line up remains the same as previous 'Fragile' album , but Bill Bruford left the band after recording this album.

The best thing about this album for me is that the two lengthy masterpiece tracks 'Close to the Edge' (18:50) and 'And You and I' (10:10) are so well composed to keep the listeners enjoyment before getting confused or bored by excessive noodling. Both tracks have four parts with clear change of mood and nuanced rhythm (yet still very well connected), and has a strong theme. The structure of those songs is a really good definition of what symphonic prog is. Jon Anderson voice gets along so well with these songs. The band also uses a lot of additional sounds like Wakeman's pipe organ ('I Get Up I Get Down' section of CTTE) and Howe's console steel ('Eclipse' section of AYAI) that give the album a very rich timbre. The rhythm by Chris Squire and Bill Bruford is very dynamic and successfully create the different mood of the each part of the track. The third track 'Siberian Khatru' is another distinct work of YES, more rock feel, with a lot of great guitar works from Steve Howe. All three tracks are among YES finest repertoire, and has become staple song in live performance.

I (as well as many, I believe) vote this album as YES best achievement, and one of the important masterpiece in the progressive rock genre. Composition writing and chemistry among the band are sublime. There are articles describing the recording session as very intensive, exhausting and really push all the band members to their limits (while they are already among best instrumentalists in the genre by the way), but we know that extraordinary hard work they had done paid off.

Mark-P | 5/5 |


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