Yes
Close to the Edge


5.0
classic

Review

by Jigglypuff USER (7 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 18 replies | 4,799 views


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist


The final album to feature the revered early-70's lineup of Yes, Close to the Edge remains the shining peak of their artistic acheivement. Recorded just a few months before keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Bill Bruford exited the band (Wakeman would return in a few year's time), the title can be seen as not only a description of the far-out music within but a view on the state of the band's affairs: especially Bruford's conflict over singer Jon Anderson's mystical lyrics, and the resentment of the band members left out of the songwriting process with increasing regularity by Anderson and guitarist Steve Howe.

Still, Close to the Edge remains an amazingly unified and challenging work which time has not rendered dated. The band's vision is as ever ambitious: the whole record consists of only three epic pieces, in which musical texture, lengthy solos and complex layers of instruments are more important than singable hooks or verse/chorus structures. Not that Close to the Edge isn't a melodic or listenable album; indeed quite the opposite.

Let's look at the tracks individually:

"Close To The Edge" (18:36)
The side-length suite that opens the album is an amazing display of melody, focussing often on Wakeman's various keyboards (check out the trippy organ break from the third section). Anderson's colourful lyrics refuse to be analyzed, whether in parts or as a whole: rather, he relies on imagery and expressive phrasing, his role more of a instrumentalist than a traditional singer. Odd time signatures and a logical progression between the song's four parts add an elegant coherence to the piece.

"And You And I" (10:13)
Opening with Howe's excellent acoustic work, "And You And I" negotiates tempo changes and layers of various guitars effortlessly. Bruford's classy drumming is a major part of this track, leading the band through overwhelmingly beautiful cut-time passages and variations on the original 6/4 theme. Anderson's lyrics are once again mystical and catchy.

"Siberian Khatru" (8:57)
The hardest-rocking track is built upon Wakeman's creative use of his many keyboards, from the melodic synth theme to his lead work with electric harpsichord and synthesized sitar. With this framework firmly in place, Squire lays down a funky bassline with Howe's bluesy electric rhythms and slide leads, while Bruford drives the band through expert manipulations of time with his powerful yet jazzy grooves. The bass and guitar soloes near the end are the perfect conclusion to a great album.

Personnel:
Jon Anderson: Vocals
Bill Bruford: Percussion
Steve Howe: Guitar, Vocals
Chris Squire: Bass, Vocals
Rick Wakeman: Keyboards

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars



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user ratings (1456)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BirdsOfFires
January 27th 2004



92 Comments


Very good album. I don't like it as much as your avarage Prog-Rock fan, but it's still great. Keep the awesome Prog reviews comin'.

Jigglypuff
January 27th 2004



31 Comments


[QUOTE=BirdsOfFires]Very good album. I don't like it as much as your avarage Prog-Rock fan, but it's still great. Keep the awesome Prog reviews comin'.[/QUOTE]

Thank you, BoF. I'll keep 'em coming for sure (writing is a hobby of mine, and what better to write about than music?) but I'm starting to get into some jazz reviews as well. In fact I've got the rough of a piece on the latest live disc by Bill Bruford's Earthworks already - sounds great!

Kaden
January 27th 2004



222 Comments


Dang it, I was about to do this review.

This is one of my favorite prog albums. What more is there to say?

6/5

IvortheEngineDriver
January 27th 2004



164 Comments


One of my favorites, Still prefer Fragile though...

Close to the Edge 4/5

mexicanfloydian
June 22nd 2004



165 Comments


great album 5/5

Zappa
June 23rd 2004



355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Highly recommended, 5/5

owlandtree
July 17th 2004



47 Comments


An excellent album. Right there with ELP's Brain Salad Surgery. One of my favorite Yes albums. It's a tough call; Relayer, Tales from Topographic Oceans or Close to the Edge? I love them all. Steve Howe never ceases to amaze me. Eddie Offord did a great job as usual. It must have been tough compressing and adjusting the mix on all that talent at any given time. 5outta5.

Distorted Vision
July 17th 2004



184 Comments


Very good album, 4.5/5

AfroMan
July 17th 2004



101 Comments


I can't wait to get this album - ive been holding out getting it cause I can't decide whether to get the enhanced version or not.

Im reviewing Yes - Fragile just now so no one else touch it:evil:

YDload
August 10th 2004



1207 Comments


I just downloaded the title track; good thing I have DSL. It's already caught my interest after just a few minutes.

el doctor
August 10th 2004



83 Comments


[QUOTE=YDload]I just downloaded the title track; good thing I have DSL. It's already caught my interest after just a few minutes.[/QUOTE]
My first mistake when I got this album was downloading the title track, getting pretty into it, and forget about the other 2 songs. Close to the Edge is an awesome song, but the album as a whole is incredibly solid. And You And I is such a delicate but expansive ballad and Siberian Khatru is a great representation of the bands sound, featuring one kick ass riff.

5/5

Corndog
August 11th 2004



1 Comments


Close to the Edge is definitely one of my favorite Yes CDs. In my opinion it is a triumph of music. It's without a doubt one of the band's greatest achievements.

YDload
August 11th 2004



1207 Comments


After listening to the title track, I can finally tell why The Mars Volta is compared to this band. Crazy guitar riffs in the beginning, I know for sure.

bobthesalesclerk
August 11th 2004



1 Comments


This has been my favorite cd since i was 7

5/5 highly recomended to anyone prog fan or not.

theslideparamita
August 15th 2004



5 Comments


Best album ever (with the exception of Fragile, well actually theyre both great and the Yes Album is great too so I'm not going to compare.)

newWorld
January 13th 2005



24 Comments


This was my favoruite album for a good year or two. Crazy, catchy, melodic, dissonant, and all around solid. These are the kind of albums that you can listen to over and over because they have so much to them; the first time through you catch some of the good stuff, the second time you get other good stuff, and there are so many layers of good stuff. These guys are amazing. Relayer is a close second in my list of favourite Yes albums. 5/5 (and I rarely give 5's)

Zappa
January 13th 2005



355 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[QUOTE=newWorld]This was my favoruite album for a good year or two. Crazy, catchy, melodic, dissonant, and all around solid. These are the kind of albums that you can listen to over and over because they have so much to them; the first time through you catch some of the good stuff, the second time you get other good stuff, and there are so many layers of good stuff. These guys are amazing. Relayer is a close second in my list of favourite Yes albums. 5/5 (and I rarely give 5's)[/QUOTE]

I like the way you put that. Modrep.

KILL
April 20th 2010



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yea might 5 this so fuckin good

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa



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