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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.68 | 5078 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars What about the best album of one of the Prog Dynosaurs bands? The YES have changed their lineup several times during the years, and they are still doing it quite often even after more than 40 years of activity, but I think that Close To The Edge represents the best work f the best YES lineup.

The epic title track is the essence of progressive music. The chaotic intro after a minute of crescendo keyboard's sounds is distinctive of YES music. The sound of Steve Howe's guitar is typical of his way to play, the unusual signatures and the incredible work of Bill Bruford with the unique bass of Chris Squire, Jon's few seconds there's a concentration of what this band of extremely skilled people is able to do. Chaotic, but not disharmonic. It's clear that this apparent chaos is leading somewhere, and it's Jon with his "ta-ta" who introduces the main theme. Something on the border between harmony and dissonance. Genial. Who listens to it for the first time is catched by the harmony but his expectations are often betrayed by the dissonant parts. The band is able to stay on the border so that the listener's attention is kept high wile the epic progresses.

After 4 minutes the singing starts. This is a rock section on which Jon's voice is supported mainly by Chris and Rick. The song is quite melodic here, but the strong bass and the guitar's background are never trivial. I don't think to have ever seen a music sheet with so many unusual signatures as for this album (the whole album, not only the title track). "I get up, I get down"... what else can I say? Even when the drumming stops to leave Wakeman alone with just Howe playing with his pick-ups volume to introduce the melodic singing of Jon, closed by Rick's church organ...then Jon and then Rick again for an organ solo that leads back to where they started...

then after 15 minutes Rick Wakeman at his best for a section that's clearly a trademark of his sound. "Close to the edge, down by the river..." the melody is the same but the tempo is different everytime. This is the epic closure of an epic track. Just one more minute of coda with the birds of the first minute coming back.

On side B the acoustic guitar starts a quiet harping then just three major chords and Rick Wakeman's organ introduce the singing. The music sheet I have mentioned before says everything: about two pages made of D, G and A major, incredibly simple, but when you turn the page what you wee is an incredible number of notes and the most unusual signatures I've ever seen. 11/8 is one that I remember....

To finish, Siberian Khatru is another excellent track. It has rock, it has funky, it has progression. It's not a case if all the three tracks of this album are still often played live. I have seen the YES live three times with three different lineups in a large interval of years. They have played all the three tracks all the times.

An undiscutible masterpiece.

octopus-4 | 5/5 |


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