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View Poll Results: How would you rate Close to the Edge in this poll?
Horrible! 0 0%
Bad 0 0%
Mediocre 3 5.00%
Good 2 3.33%
Very Good 12 20.00%
Brilliant! 43 71.67%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-16-2010, 12:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
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Default Yes - Close to the Edge (1972)

This is a discussion for the Yes' legendary album "Close to the Edge" from 1972. It was the PFAC homework for week 32, but of course anyone should join in!

If you forgot which album it is, here's a recap of my little write-up :

Quote:
Originally Posted by tore View Post
Yes - Close to the Edge (1972)



This is a famous album by english prog band Yes which, at the time of it's creation, was made up by singer Jon Anderson, keyboardist Rick Wakeman, guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Bill Bruford , all legendary prog rock musicians. The album was a creative effort where the whole band added creatively to the compositions and each of it's three songs is a puzzle with pieces added by the different members.

Close to the Edge is a concept album and the title drack draws inspiration from Hermann Hesse's book Siddartha. According to this interpretation, the song tracks Hesse's character who is close to the edge of a river which is symbolic of life and being close to the past lifetimes of one's soul. Close to the edge of this river, the character has a spiritual awakening. This theme of spiritual awakening, spring, rebirth, rivers, valleys seeps through the album. For example, the title track is birthed out of sounds of birds and running water and fades out much the same way.

Drummer Bill Bruford figured this was as good as Yes would ever get, so he left the band after it's completion to join up with King Crimson. It is indeed largely regarded as Yes' Magnum Opus and as a rock masterpiece. In short, it is one of the most famous and widely appreciated prog rock albums in the world.

It requires a few spins before it sticks, but it's not particularly hard (title track may be the hardest). So get to it!

edit :

Bear in mind that many versions of this album now contain bonus tracks! There are only three songs on the original album.
So .. What do you think about it?
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There's not much that i can say about it that that review didn't explicitly state. Great write up. For as many times as I've listened to this album, I'm astonished that I've been completely unaware that it's concept is based on Herman Hesse's Siddartha, one of my favorite novels of all time. Knowing that fact alone will add such an amazing amount of depth and dimension to an album I've loved immensely for a very long time. I need to give it another spin right now.
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It's no secret I have a lot of love for this album I see it's currently beaten by Genesis' "Selling England by the Pound" as the top album in progarchives' list of the 100 best prog albums ever and I can't understand why .. To me, it is my all-time favourite prog album.

There are some particular things I think it does well. I think that the concepts the record deals with, the circle of life stuff and spiritual awakening and so on - is incredibly ambitious. Yet, they've executed it in an almost flawless way. Everyone who knows a bit of Yes know the almost religious heights their music can reach. With such a difficult concept, their sound is the perfect marriage. This album has an interesting dynamic in that it builds up and tears down. The music builds up and becomes structured until a counter-melody mixes things up or the whole song suddenly becomes abstract and fleeting again (ex. 8:30 minutes into the title track). Musical themes come, go and then come back again. Yes are by far not the only ones to do this of course, but on this album they did it particularly well, I think, and again it really fits the overall theme.

Also, although some criticize them, I quite like Jon's lyrics. The continuing references to the sun, valleys, rivers etc. throughout the album is genius. I don't mind the abstract lyrics and the symbolism either. Tackling the themes without those tricks would've been pure stupid.

Overall, I just think it's a beautiful album with a lot of lovely harmonies. The beautiful bits are the ones I appreciate the most and everything else going on mixes things up a bit and makes it a little more interesting. My favourite song these days is actually "And You And I". I think it's a brilliant piece of music from it's first sound to the very end ..
And you and I climb, crossing the shapes of the morning.
And you and I reach over the sun for the river.
And you and I climb, clearer, towards the movement.
And you and I called over valleys of endless seas.
Ahh ..

Of course I love the title track and Siberian Khatru as well, but I guess I can save some love for subsequent posts.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is by far my favorite Yes album and favorite progressive rock album. I just love the baroque keyboard solo in Siberian Khatru.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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my favorite prog album and possibly my favorite album overall.

one of the highlights for me is around the 14:45m mark of "close to the edge" with the incredible organ solo by wakeman which is complemented brilliantly with the guitar + bass. also, around 6:15m of "and you and i" when the acoustic guitar suddenly intervenes. this moment never fails to put a smile on my face(and depending on my level on introspection, brings tears). "siberian khatru" is certainly the most accessible track on the album and the highlight for me is the keyboard solo that pomegrant noted(around the 3m mark).


PS: has anyone ever found a flac copy of this?
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is the only Yes album I've heard, and it's pretty damn awesome. Only thing I don't like about it is the particularly spazzy intro to the title track... aside from that it's all good.

EDIT: Also, can remember a particularly funny story my dad told me - this came out when my dad was still in school, and apparently one of the kids had heard this song and thought the lyrics were the most incredible form of poetry, and decided to read out the whole thing, in it's entirety, at some social club meet or something of that sort... with all the repetitions of 'I get up, I get down'.... spoken word :P

Weird thing is, I hadn't heard anything about it being a concept album (as admittedly, I havn't looked into the background of this album that much) but my dad was under the impression that the lyrics were basically just made up out of nothing, apparently from some interview he read or something.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i adore the spazzy intro... the backing guitar work is a brilliant little loop and the song just keeps building for the next few minutes until they tear it down.
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Mop View Post
Weird thing is, I hadn't heard anything about it being a concept album (as admittedly, I havn't looked into the background of this album that much) but my dad was under the impression that the lyrics were basically just made up out of nothing, apparently from some interview he read or something.
Hehe, I did call it a concept album and my reason for doing so is really nicely summed up in this bit of quotation from Wikipedia :

Quote:
In a May 27, 1996 interview with Elizabeth Gips on her show "Changes" (KKUP, Cupertino, CA), transcribed in the Notes From the Edge fanzine, dated August 23rd, 1996, Jon Anderson mentions, probably not for the first time, that the song—indeed, the whole album—is inspired by Hermann Hesse's book Siddhartha.[2] "[We] did one album called Close to the Edge. [It] was based on the Siddhartha... You always come back down to the river. [You] know, all the rivers come to the same ocean. That was the basic idea. And so we made a really beautiful album[....]"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_to_the_Edge_(song)

Whether or not other prog rockers think of it as a concept album, I don't really know!
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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A classic. I am amazed every time I listen to it how fast it goes through those songs. They honestly feel like average length songs, but they are all around 10 minutes or more. It was actually this album along with Selling England by the Pound that really kick started my prog phase.
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