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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4473 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
5 stars Close to perfection

What can I say about this incredible album that has not already been said? I believe, nothing.

I only try to underline some general concept that I consider essential, and I believe that my personal opinions coincide with the views of many fans of symphonic prog:

1) "Close To The Edge" is the highest point of the art of Yes

2) "Close To The Edge" is the album where the virtuosity of the individual is intended to enhance the overall sound. Not a single sequence of notes and even a solo in the entire record is an end in itself (not even in fast-paced intro of the title track, where the musicians perform solos of great technical difficulty).

3) The amalgamation agreement by five musicians is total. If in some cases in "Fragile" you could see some little hesitation, but everything here is close to perfection. It also shows the balance between the different dynamics, with ample space dedicated to experimentation in addition to other more melodic, and again, frantic array of jazz instrumentals follow moments of acoustic or more relaxed atmosphere and dreamy sounding. "Close To The Edge" is a record in which practically all there is.

4) "Close To The Edge" is the last studio album with Bruford, and a drummer of this ability is not easily replaceable (and in fact Alan White, his successor, although valid, did not demonstrate the same skills of Bruford) .

The foundation stone of this magnificent cathedral of sounds is the title track, one of the most finest epic in the world of progressive rock. During the introduction (of a highly technical I have already said) the solos performed by Howe, Squire and Wakeman intersect in an extremely complex way, creating an intricate swirl of notes ending with the famous vocalise of Andeson "DA - DA." At this point a more melodic section, introduced by Howe with a nice guitar phrase that leads to the vocal part. The extraordinary thing that I think regard to that vocal section of Close To The Edge, is that the arrangement is always changing in every verse, like it did for Vivaldi's "Autumn" (the third movement of the symphony "The Four Seasons"), where the main theme is repeated often, but there are always differences between one reps and another. The central part, "I Get Up I Get Down" is the most extraordinary of the album and, I think, the band's career. The atmosphere created by the "dripping in caves" effect is exceptional, and the three voices singing (Anderson - Howe - Squire) absolutely sublime: the vocal techniques of Anderson and the crescendo that leads to the magnificent organ chords of Wakeman, are even legendary.

The second track is another masterpiece. And You And I, that becomes a live classic, is one of the most beautiful example of melodic progressive rock. The central part (where mellotron and guitar performed by Wakeman and Howe, are absolute protagonists) is another highlite of the album. The final Siberian Kathru, a song more exciting and experimental, is great too, but maybe not on the level of the first two legendary tracks. However is an outstanding piece of music where the musicians show all their incredible skills.

In my Top 10 ever. Rating 10/10.

Five stars.

Best song: Close To The Edge

Dark Nazgul | 5/5 |


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