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All Killer – Close to the Edge (1972)

February 11th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

I have been a big fan of Yes for ages, since about 1976, back when John Peel was still playing them on his radio show alongside the emerging punk music. In fact I can remember Peel playing tracks from Going For The One when it was released in 1977. A year later and Yes were the first band I ever saw live, at the Wembley Arena on the Tormato tour.

Since then I have amassed a large collection of Yes albums and DVDs. Although I have given up buying CDs in favour of streaming now, I have made exceptions for the Steven Wilson 5.1 remixes of Yes albums. Despite all that, I can’t argue that many of their albums quality as all-killer-no-filler. Quite a few albums have tracks that I will often skip over.

Not that the skipped tracks are necessarily bad, they might be OK songs and obviously impeccably played, but they just don’t have the special spark. Take the abum Fragile for example. It is the quintessential Yes album according to most people. Not only does it contain the mighty Roundabout, but also three other classics that still feature in live shows – South Side of the Sky, Long Distance Runaround and Heart of the Sunrise. But on top of that, there are solo tracks for each member and there is always one that I will skip. Not always the same one, but I rarely listen to the whole thing all the way through.

No such issues with Close to the Edge. It only has three long tracks, and with only three tracks you can’t afford a duff one. OK, so the lyrics are completely overblown and obscure, but they work for me. The title track is 18 minutes long and takes up the whole of side one of the album. Side two has And You and I and Siberian Khatru. All three tracks are beautiful, intricate and varied. It is the last album before Bill Bruford left – until he sort of returned with the AWBH/Union records – and Alan White took over on drums but either line-up counts as the classic Yes line-up. It was also the first album to feature the iconic Yes logo and lettering by Roger Dean.

I could lose myself in this album, and frequently do, especially playing the new 5.1 surround mix. To be fair, I think I would also count Going for the One as an all-killer album, and possibly Tormato as well, possibly because they were both albums I bought on their release and played to death, but I can’t put it all down to some sort of Stockholm syndrome.

One thing I would say is that this is an album to put on and just listen to. It is not one to play in the background while doing something else. I don’t mean you need to concentrate on it, although you can, but just to get lost in it.

Anyway, here is the album, along with some extras from the remastered version:

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