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Close To The Edge
Format: Blu-ray Audio|Change
Price:£22.12+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 25 September 2007
amount of tracks:7
excellent :0
v.good :0
good :0
fair :7
poor :0

Ok - this, along with offerings by 'gong' and 'caravan' is the third album i originally hated which ive revisted through amazon due to the passing of time, re-mastering and reviewers comments. it will be the last one! - goddamn it people, what are you listening to? i was right in 1972 and im right now. yes were and remain a waste of good electricity! yes yes yes they can play! theyre fantastic musicians, of course i know that. but the SONGS people, the songs!!!! where is the substance where is the passion wheres the bite, the fire, the soul? - this is bland bland bland stuff. boring is a better word. twee, twittering art-rock which never goes anywhere except staying its own la de da pretensious and souless world. steve howes guitar shimmers and shines but not once does it, or this album, rock or let rip with anything consequental. its all airy fairy and no guts. its bollocks! it was then and it is now. the only time yes ever got any fire in their belly was when trevor rabin joined and they quickly ousted him. i wonder why? get your heads out of your backsides and see this for what it is!
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on 18 June 2015
'Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, mellotron, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the album which our Lords have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.'

For over 25 years now I've been living with a dark secret. Something too shameful to admit in the presence of other prog fans for fear of social ostracization. However, brave Victor below has finally given me the courage to stand up and state in public: 'My name is Michael, I am a prog fan, and I do not like Close To The Edge'.

I really like the Yes Album, Time and a Word, Fragile and even some of Topographic Oceans. But except for some moments of rare beauty here and there, a lot of this music is just too dense and busy for my tastes, as much as I admire the musicians' virtuosity. The opening few minutes are normally enough to do my head in, but even on those occasions when I've managed to penetrate through that, it is not guaranteed that I will manage to listen to the whole thing in one go, which has been a secret goal of mine for over 25 years now. I first listened to it several times in the early 90s on LP, but was soon forced to admit defeat and move onto other albums and bands. 15 years later when I was buying CD versions of my LPs I thought I should give it another chance, but my opinion was the same, and so it has remained until the present day, as it has with Relayer, surely the Everest of prog.

I know this will be blasphemy to some, and the most fervent Yes devotees would probably not hesitate to throw me off a tall building and stone me for my confession if they could lay their hands on me, or insist that I should not be allowed to marry, but I urge them to consider that I did not choose to be born this way.

We in the west are passionate about our music, for many it's become our religion, and I know that the response I get may be similar to that experienced by those who would dare to leave a 1 star review of the Quran on a Taliban book review website, or of Led Zeppelin II, Sergeant Pepper or Dianetics on Amazon. However, I've written this review not only to purge my conscience and to encourage others who may still be in the closet to come out, but also to make potential buyers aware that it is within the bounds of possibility that they may not like this album despite all the glowing reviews, even if like myself they happen to have thousands of psych, prog and jazz-rock albums from the same era, and also like the Yes albums that came before this one.
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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 !
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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!
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on 13 April 2011
I'm new to Yes somehow. Probably because this album was released 13 years before I was born, I've spent much of the last 10 years listening to a lot of metal, and only in the past few years have I really begun to get into classic rock, prog and a wide variety of electronica.

I've had Fragile for a while but only recently got into it and when I couldn't bring myself to take it out of my car stereo I thought I should look into other Yes works. Close to the Edge was the first I bought and my God, I'm so pleased I did.

There hasn't been a band in my life for some time who have given me the excitement I felt as a teenager when I was discovering all the bands who got me into playing guitar and made me decide to study music. But Yes are that band. I can't stop listening to them and this album has really inspired me in a way that no other music has for some time (other than music I already knew about).

The whole album is flawless. The quality of the playing, composition, and sound is on a level most bands can only dream about and is some of the most inspirational music I have ever heard. Despite being only 3 tracks, with each being much longer than standard song length, the album is incredibly varied and never boring.

The best comparison I could give to anyone who has not heard the album would be with Pink Floyd's recording of Wish You Were Here (not for the sound of the music, but for the scale of the achievement). Both bands had just made a very successful album, and decided to follow it up by making something completely different, an entirely different concept of what an album could be like.
Where Fragile and Dark Side were full of shorter tracks and more commercial hooks, Close to the Edge and Wish You Were Here really explored what the musicians were made of both individually and collectively whilst pushing the band's trademark sound to the limit and beyond.

The 3 songs here are all equally incredible and each deserve praise so I won't go into the best parts of each, but it is the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction you get at the end of it that makes it feel so special.
If you're into bands like Dream Theater, Mastodon (Crack the Skye), Porcupine Tree, and Mars Volta, then listen to this. This is where it all began and decent as those bands are, they can only attempt to imitate this truly great album.
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on 31 July 2011
This album represents the reason why Prog Rock died: very high standards of musicianship that are very difficult for any up-and-coming Prog Rock band to emulate; lyrics that are nonsensical; some classical music thrown in similar to what you could have heard in Germany in the 1700's, which is OK if, like me, you like Bach's music. This album is so far up its own backside that it explains how punk was eventually able to push out Prog Rock. However, I do very much enjoy listening to the first number on the album which is also called "Close To The Edge".
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 August 2014
First released in 1972, this is the 5th studio album from Prog Rock mainstays Yes.

I like to think that I enjoy a broad range of music. Indeed I love rock, jazz and classical (among other things) so prog rock, essentially a fusion of those three should pretty much hit the spot for me. And indeed I love people like Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd and Coliseum. But a lot of prog leaves me cold, and I am afraid that this is one album that really does not do it for me.

I can see the merits of it for those who like this kind of thing. However, to my ear it comes across as self-indulgent, meandering and noodling. It goes nowhere and takes a long time and a lot of repetition to get there. It certainly does not repay a second listening. It's hard work and the end result is not particularly enjoyable. Listening to music should, for me, be a pleasure. I don't want to have to work at it. I leave that to the kind of masochists who can sit through an entire Harrison Birtwhistle piece. This, however, is hard work. It just goes on forever without ever really getting to the point. It fuses classical, jazz and blues influences into something that was definitely new, but just noodles around with it producing an album that I found monotonous.

Dull. 1 star. It's certainly not the essential masterpiece that its champions claim.
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on 25 June 2012
Surely Yes's peak, in many respects - remarkably original sustained compositions, musicianship that is beyond any criticism (especially Steve Howe and Bill Bruford!). I can follow the soon-to-depart Bruford's reasoning that he might as well leave now, as it could get no better.

Speaking personally, I find that it is no longer the total fave for me that it once was. Perhaps it is the harmonic sweetness of much of the music, and the polish of Jon Anderson's vocals. As time goes by, I appreciate The Yes Album (two albums earlier ...) more and more - despite its moments of naivity it has a rawness and an almost exultant edge that had perhaps been smoothed away in Yes's studio work by the time they reached CTTE.

But this is still a great and unique album. My favourite track is the closer, Siberian Khatru - Steve Howe's guitar licks really burn, and the long fade-out makes a fine conclusion to the album as a whole.
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VINE VOICEon 6 March 2004
'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!
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VINE VOICETOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 December 2012
Yes' astounding 1972 album is the peak of the band's most creative period, the defining creation of the quintessential Anderson-Squire-Bruford-Howe-Wakeman line-up. The original album contained only the 20-minute title track plus two other pieces of around 10-minutes each: the beautiful `And You and I' and the fast-paced, foot-tapping `Siberian Khatru.'

The title track is a fine example of jazz-rock fusion, symphonic in structure (i.e. 4 `movements' finally returning to the main theme) with a collection of fine melodies, tight and often funky playing through time-switches & key-changes, compositionally outstanding & perfect in execution. It's a masterpiece, the apotheosis of the `prog' genre.

The best way to characterize Jon Anderson's enigmatic lyrics, such an essential part of that distinctive `Yes sound', is as a kind of expressionist art painting bright colours on a big canvas, describing shapes you can never quite define. The lyrics of most pop/rock/jazz music are buy contrast more literal-realist, less imaginative.

A real `feel-good' factor pervades the music of CTTE. It's upbeat, and passages often contain that tinge of humour (musical, not lyrical) sometimes found in the work of accomplished artists entering a more mature period of greater confidence in what they can do. There is no weak link in this chain: all five musicians weave a kind of magic together, each essential to the whole.

The 2003 re-master is exquisite, the original 16-track analogue recordings sharp with an unexpectedly `warm' sound. You get plenty of extra material, all of it good: the single version of `America' (much shorter than the full-on 10-minute version); a single of the `Total Mass Retain' movement from CTTE; a nice alternate `And You and I' & a studio-runthru' of `Siberia', less polished than the album version. Roger Dean's tasteful, simple green-dominant cover-art is nicely reproduced too; the perfect artwork for the music.

If you have heard any of Yes' music - particularly from the band's very productive first 10 years - and never heard CTTE, then give it a listen. With `Dark Side of the Moon' it's probably the finest example of the best of the `prog' genre and like the best of Pink Floyd, it hasn't aged a day in 40 years.
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