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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.68 | 5078 ratings

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5 stars I don't know how many years had to go by before I finally considered this the best Yes album let alone one of the best progressive rock albums ever. It has attained that status here at Prog Archives and deservedly so. I am a huge fan of Yes and even that took time to admit, the entry for me being "90125" and "Drama". Those two albums enticed me to really research the band. Now they are one of my favorites even before I started coming to Prog Archives. It does my heart good to know that there is a group of people that know excellent music.

What more can be said of this album that hasn't already been said? I'm not going to write a long review here, but I will tell you that if you are like most people in this world, you will not appreciate this album until you have heard it several times and you suddenly come to the realization that it is in your head, your heart and your soul and you listen and can actually become part of the music. This might take some time, but this is attainable for anyone. This album is perfect and has become the standard for symphonic prog and the pinnacle of progressive rock. The sections in these long compositions are never too long and this album always goes by way too fast. You don't even realize that all the time has passed and you only want to immerse yourself more when it's done. The amazing thing about the tracks on here is that two of them are divided into sections. In most multi-sectional compositions in prog rock, usually the point where each sub-section ends and another begins is quite clear cut. Not so on this album. Each sub-section is not necessarily finished when another one begins, there is a lot of overlap among the sections. In other words, you hear pieces of sections in other sections and so on. This is truly innovation and maybe not exactly the first time it has happened in rock music, but it was never really explored as well as it is here. I know King Crimson had done this before and so had Frank Zappa and others. But never has it had such a nice flow as it does here.

At this point in Yes' career, we have come to the point where the music becomes paintings for the ears to enjoy and for the eyes to imagine instead of the other way around as it is in what we normally consider a painting. The lyrics in the album "Close to the Edge" are not something separate from the instrumentals as they are in most songs. They are all part of the painting or the composition. The instrumentals are not written to support the lyrics or the other way around. Instead, they all work together. In most pop music, you can easily substitute the instrumentals for one song for the lyrics of another, but you can't do that in this music. It all works together. And the result is amazing. This is why it's hard to appreciate this (and always in the best progressive rock) at the first listen. The best progressive rock is not casual listening. You have to invest time and yourself into the music to appreciate it fully.

Anyway, if you haven't heard this, or if you haven't invested the time required to appreciate it yet, then you have some work to do. There is a reason this one stands as the best of the best on Prog Archives. I can't tell you what that is because if I tell you, then I am talking and talking is not music. You have to discover for yourself by listening to the music and not to me rattling on about what makes it so wonderful. So I'll shut up now and leave it up to you to do your own discovery. I didn't get it at first. You probably won't either. I do now. I think you will too. Get to work!

No doubt about it whatsoever. 5 enormous stars.

TCat | 5/5 |


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