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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4326 ratings

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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.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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