on 14 November 2013
I hope the title of this review helps you navigate your way around Amazons decision to merge all reviews across all formats across all ages of this title. Thus making it very difficult for anyone to locate reviews of these 2013 reissues without wading through a sea of historic opinion.
Anyway onto the product, if your specifically targeting this version of Close to the edge then you will almost certainly know the music, what you will want to know is whether or not to reinvest your hard earned money in yet another version of this Classic album.
What I like about this cd/dvd reissue is that it compliments perfectly the king crimson double packs ,with the slip case / double disc gatefold inner cover / 1 x cd & 1 x dvd disc / cd inlay size booklet . (Another reviewer has pointed out that the Blu ray packaging is more of a lp sleeve style cd digi pack.)
The Booklet is superb and contains a very detailed essay by Sid Smith who was also resposible for the essays in the King Crimson re-issues. You also get the famous Roger dean painting across the middle pages and a replication of the albums green background lyric inner sleeve.
As to the Steven Wilson remaster - I really liked the Yes 2003 remasters and by comparison this is slightly warmer and more organic but I think the differances are subtle - Do not buy this expecting some sonic revolution, unlike some of the titles Mr Wilson has worked on, the Yes catalogue does not have a legacy of mastering issues to reinvent. Close to the edge in my opinion has always sounded great. I have played the DVD but as i am without surround sound(Simple Stereo has always been my prefered listening set up ) it is difficult to pass comment other than to say it contains the original, the 2013 remaster and the surround sound versions plus several versions of America.
In Summary this reissue is probably a slight luxury if you already own the 2003 remasters, those are still the best value for money if you just want a version of the album. If However you are a fan of this type of product and of Steven Wilson`s remasters then the list price is currently great value and I find the fact that the packaging for the cd/dvd version compliments the King Crimson set is a particularly nice touch -
Bring on the rest of the classic Yes catalogue !
on 10 September 2003
"Down by the edge just by the river" we are told. Andersons Lyrics allude to something but never quite reveal his intentions, thats the vagueness and genius of the title track. It starts with the rich textured soundscape accompanied by intense jazz drum and bass(lovely full rickenbaker sound) provided for us by messers Bruford and Squire. Then the song starts and were taken somewhere we think we may have been before, but are not quite sure. Recorded on newly introduced 16 track equipment and by engineer Eddie Offord, the album sounds beautiful. Played on modern equipment today it shows analogue recording at its best (my recording is in AAD format)and now with remastering (ADD) it sounds even better -lovely clean bass and sharp drum sounds.
Unashamedly I love this album, allured initially as a boy of 16 to the artwork of Roger Dean I found a richer world inside the cover. I should aslo say that all three tracks on Close To The Edge are equally exquisite, both Siberian Khatru and And You and I, are infinitely listernable. this is so-called prog-rock of a different order. So much so that yes never really attained the level of fluidity again.
If green had a sound, then this is what it would be.
on 6 August 2011
I'm glad this album is receiving such a positive posthumous re-assessment. I was fourteen when it came out, and I've listened to it regularly ever since (now 52, put your calculators away!) There are a few albums from that period that I still take the trouble to set up the correct listening environment for, and then actually listen to them (ring a bell?) all the way through with complete attention. Others include Dark side of the moon, The Wall, Led Zeppelin 3,4 and Houses of the Holy, from Yes Topographic Oceans and Relayer. But of this list, CTTE is the album I have played the most. It is truly evergreen, as the cover suggests. They nailed some of the most exhilarating and spine-tingling moments of all music from any genre, combined with a magical atmosphere that sweeps you away each and every time without fail, if you listen to it properly(as opposed to having it on in the background, which would just be annoying!) At one of their live shows in Birmingham a few years ago Jon said that he wrote the lyrics while having afternoon 'tea' with the rest of the band, now THAT makes perfect sense. This music, as the cover suggests so effectively, is like stepping outside on a sunny summer's morning and the air is clean and crisp, and life is full of exciting possibilities. That is the feeling captured on this album. I love it to bits. 'Now that it's all over and done, run to the sea, right to the sun, now that you find, now that you're whole...' This is also why I never embraced punk, which many of my peers did in 1977, but resolutely stuck to my musical guns through thick and thin!
on 5 October 2004
I first saw Yes on September 2nd 1972 headlining at the Crystal Palace Bowl and premiering CTTE just before the album was released. I remember Derek Jewell, the jazz and popular music critic of the Sunday Times dedicating his whole column one week to a visit to Advision studios when they were recording the album. I can remember his attempt at explaining what the music was like and the voices, and that first time I heard it myself in the open air across the water. I can't imagine how many times I've heard it - once a day for the first year, and regularly since, as well as the many live performances. It's still a fantastic composition that brings a lump to throat and a smile of satisfaction when it's finished. I've finally succumbed and bought the Rhino remaster to replace the last remaster that replaced the first CD attempt that replaced the worn out vinyl. Frustrating that it's taken this long to produce a definitive CD version, but it was worth it. The artwork does the album justice, and this version will bring it back to life for you. If you are a fan, why haven't you got this? If you are yet to discover them, don't delay and buy the classic and best yes album - still as fresh today as in 1972.
on 14 November 2013
After the delusion for the latest SACD version finally a beautiful and (maybe) definitive version of YES masterpiece.
The remastering is signed by the "Master" Steven Wilson, a specialist of prog remastering (King Crimson, EL&P, Jethro Tull, Hawkwind).
The album is available in two version: CD + DVD Audio or CD + Bluray Audio.
I don't understand why but the two versions have a different package, the first with DVD Audio is similar at King Crimson 40th remasters in a double digipack, the second with Bluray Audio is a beautiful Mini LP replica like Japan editions.
These are the audio options of Bluray Edition:
audio CD 2013 stereo remix by Steven Wilson
Disc 2 - Bluray audio:
2013 Stereo mixes 24/96 LPCM by Steven Wilson
Original Stereo Mixes 24/192 LPCM from 1972 original master
2013 Surround mixes 5.1 24/96 LPCM e 24/96 DTS HD Master Audio by Steven Wilson
bonus track: "America" with the same audio options
Alternate Album (a different album mix) 24/96 LPCM
Single versions & Edits 24/96 LPCM
Bluray exclusive: 2013 Stereo instrumental mixes 24/96 LPCM (The album instrumental!)
UK vinyl transfer 24/96 LPCM
The DVD Audio contains 2013 Stereo mixes 24/96 loosless by Steven Wilson
Original Stereo Mixes 96/24 loosless from 1972 original master
2013 Surround mixes 5.1 24/96 DTS 96/24
The sound is amazing in all options. I think is very pesonal to define wich is the best... I love DTS-HD 5.1 but the Steven Wilson stereo 192/24 is astonishing.
I also think that is a great experience in sound the loosless 5.1 track on DVD Audio, warm and natural.
'Close To The Edge' was Yes' finest hour, and that hour just became even longer with this amazing and very welcome reissue by the good people at Rhino, who have not only breathed new life into the original album tracks, but also seen fit to include full-length alternate versions of 'And You and I' and 'Siberian Khatru' into the bargain. And bargain is the right word. I'm not big on buying reissues but this is an absolute must-have for any Yes (or progressive rock) fan even if, like me, you already have a copy on CD. As well as the bonus material, the remastering is to die for. Every hour Bill Bruford spent adjusting his drum kit seems time well spent now. Every nuance in Wakeman's subtle mellotron and pipe-organ now sounds crystal clear like never before. And, as if this isn't enough... the original Roger Dean artwork that graced the inner sleeve of the original gatefold album is here in all it's glory (albeit in miniature form to fit the CD jewel case), and detailed information about the recording of the album to keep the anoraks (like me!) happy.
The 3 songs on this album all showcase what Yes were all about... 5 virtuoso musicians at the top of their game. To describe this album as 3 songs, however, is a bit misleading. 'Close To The Edge', originally one entire side of the album, is a sprawling epic that meanders it's way through several carnations, from the frantic opening, to the sublime 'I Get Up, I Get Down', and back to a thrilling and frenetic climax. True, the song may be 'only' 18 minutes long, but there is a lifetime of glorious detail contained within that I will never tire of listening to. 'And You And I' again is more a suite than a song, showcasing some brilliant 12-string guitar by Steve Howe, and has split the critics, some describing it as apocalyptic and awesome, others over-blown and pretentious. 'Siberian Khatru' is a faster-paced track with some stunning musicianship from Wakeman (on keyboards) and Howe (on guitars), although it is somewhat over-shadowed by the towering brilliance of it's stable mates.
Chris Squire pushes the limits and rewrites the book on the role of the bass-guitar in a rock ensemble, with some truly staggering feats of dexterity. Jon Anderson's vocals are in equal measure soaring, powerful, haunting and always note-perfect. His lyrics are quite barmy, (as usual), a sort of science-fiction mumbo-jumbo that Yes would call their trademark until about 1977. Bill Bruford's jazz training as a drummer pays off big-time, and the complexity of the sequences that he executes perfectly on this album throughout are breathtaking. Rick Wakeman shows his virtuousity on nearly every conceivable type of keyboard instrument, from church organ, mellotron, Hammond and even harpsichord, adding an ethereal soundscape to act as a backdrop to the machinations of the rest of the band. But highest praise is reserved for Steve Howe and his dazzling skill with a guitar. Quite simply, I don't know how he does it. His brilliance with a six (or even a 12) string is bettered only by his imagination and creative flair, and this album showcases his talent like no other.
My only grumble is 'America' (a cover version of Paul Simon's track from 'Bookends'), which is worth having for completion, but is available on the box set 'Yesyears', and is horribly out of place as part of this album. To make matters worse, it sits bang-slap in the middle of the playing order... why??? It's like painting glasses on the Mona Lisa.
What can I say, but if you don't have this album, you should. And if you have an older version on CD, BUY IT AGAIN, you won't be disappointed!
on 17 November 2013
Well, I've lost my Blu-ray remote...
Look, I'm not going to tell you about the music, I'm sure you all know about that. What I will say is that Steven Wilson's 5.1 job on this is sublime. It's like listening to several layers of Onion at once, fair brought tears of happy joy to my eyes.
If you have a surround system get this. If you don't buy one and then buy this.
on 4 March 2007
It's now 2007, and there's not really anything novel that can be said about 'Close To The Edge', the seminal 1972 album from Yes. Similarly, it's difficult to avoid a gushing, superlative-laden eulogy when reviewing the album.
So, whilst musings on the album may understandably lack originality nowadays, the actual music is still as enchanting, euphoric and fresh as ever. Personally, I'd say that the exhilarating nature of this album is its most startling and enduring aspect. Yes have mastered the art of rousing auspicious emotions, and on CTTE they flaunt their abilities with unrivalled élan. From start to finish, this whole experience is just astonishing!
Okay, so maybe this is another gushing review, but if any album deserves lauding, it's this! Sure, there may `only' be three tracks, but each track, to me, is like a mini-album, exploring a myriad of esoteric musical concepts, drifting the listener in and out of contrasting soundscapes; never stalling, always captivating!
The lyrical concepts here are somewhat impenetrable, and, for some, this may be off-putting, however Yes rightly concentrate all their energy into structuring the perfect aural experience, and the words correlate with the sounds flawlessly, generating a cohesive palette of unparalleled sonic beauty.
Each track presents a stimulating musical voyage, and it's impossible to single one out for special mention, as the essence of each song complements a different mood perfectly. Essentially, therefore, the album is unexpectedly versatile, and warrants a listen anytime, regardless of your contemporary psychological disposition. The music invariably engenders joy, anyway - accordingly, it's a tremendous way to elevate your spirits.
So, to abridge: An album that is as good today as it was in 1972 (if not better). Buy!!
on 24 March 2002
I have followed Yes and progressive music for some years now (well 20 to be precise!!!). I still believe that 'Close to the Edge' remains the definitive Yes album, and more importantly, the most significant progressive rock album ever!
The title track is a collection of ideas that have been melded together to create a seamless fusion of jazz and rock that is near perfect and always timeless. The 'classic' line up of band members (Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman and Bruford) were at the time, at the peak of their powers and 'Close to the Edge' was never bettered. Most notably, Squire's bass, Brufords percussion and Howe's guitars work together as one single unit, and cut as sharp (and as deep) as a razor.
'And you and I' remains the most gorgeous of all Yes songs. The quirky Steve Howe, Jon Anderson intro paves the way to some of the most beautiful and haunting (Rick Wakeman's melotron) passages in the history of rock music. Its always been a live favourite an is definately one to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
The last track 'Syberian Khatru' (I still dont know what a 'Khatru' is. Answers on a postcard please..or just e-mail me) is Steve Howe's moment of glory. His guitar passages sweep, swoon and soar (almost) as high as Anderson's voice.
The album may not have the enthusiasm of 'The Yes Album' but it is not as self indugent as 'Fragile'. If your new to Yes, but are familure with prog rock, i urge you to give this a try. If your new to Yes and to Prog i would suggest you start with 90125.
on 30 July 2005
The difference between Yes as an instrumental band and most other bands was that they in their classic line ups (including both Bill Bruford and/or Alan White on drums), had chemistry. They were the prog equivalent of deep purple's HM classic line up; you can hear the musicians feeding off one another throwing out licks and riffs - creating more than the sum of the parts.
But the biggest difference between Yes and any other artist is Jon Anderson's songwriting; he does not write conventional lyrics at all - he transports you to another world, really takes you out of yourself into a world of pure emotion with only a few physical objects to focus on,and he's obsessed with music, but there are love lyrics, spiritual messages and blues themes (for want of a better term). As Rick Wakeman always said prog rock has got to be the Blues - if it's not then it's rubbish.
"Close" is a rich powerful symphony of a rock album, and everyone's got to get a listen to it or lose a valuable experience.
Recommended parallels: Hendrix Electric Ladyland, Moody Blues In Search of a Lost Chord, the Who's Tommy and Sell Out, Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer.