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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4368 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Here it is. The definititive progressive rock album. It contains the perfect progressive rock epic, followed by two perfect accompanying songs.

Let's start with the title track, Close To The Edge. A foreboding introduction, made up of bird and water sounds (before both of those effects became stale), gives way to a powerful, lumbering set of chords, that soon gives way to the most lush symphonic prog of it's time. And when the first verse begins, Chris Squire and Bill Bruford are not content to simply play a rhythm, but create an amazing backup of perfectly synchonized off time emphatic pounding beats.

Jon Anderson's lyrics, while cryptic to say the least, provide an incredibly descriptive world of magic and madness, as the harmonies created by Anderson, Squire and Steve Howe are so good, that bands are still tryin to imitate them decades later.

The break section, titled I Get Up i Get Down, provides a bit of a breather, as Howe and Rick Wakeman provide etherial tones behind the overlayed vocals of Anderson, and alternating verses sung by Squire and Howe. Anderson's high pitched voice has never fit in so well as on this masterpiece.

Before I go on, I must say that on this piece you can hear just how much better a drummer Bruford is than his replacement Alan White. On White's versions, the synchronization between bass and drums does not compare with Bruford on the original recording. And coming out of the break section, Bruford had the good sense to lay back, and let the power of the music take over. White's incessant beating of the drums when Rick Wakeman thakes the song into Seasons Of Man is always a disappointment to me.

And speaking of Wakeman, his solo in the last part of the song has always been one of my favorites.

And You And I, while being a simpler song than the preceding track, is still a work of wonder, It alternates between a folky verse and a full blown symphonic section, where Howe treats us to some soaring slide guitar.

Siberian Khatru is the hardest rocking song on the album, but has so many twists and turns it's like a roller coaster ride.

Some albums may get higher ratings here at PA, since popularity always trumps art. But this will probably always be the greatest prog rock album ever.

Evolver | 5/5 |


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