Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Album : Yes – Close to the Edge

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I listened to a lot of Yes when i was younger and I listened to this particular album a lot. Fantastic! Just the way it opens with the, as my friend called it, “bird music’. It sounds like they are warming up, playing free jazz and boom it comes together. Bruford and Squire setting the groove. Howe doing his unique guitar, Anderson adding his distinct vocals and lyrics and Wakeman coloring it with his touch. What a great sound. I love it. This is Yes at the top of their game. They were a great collective that made their own kind of music.

I didn’t find this a lot different to the jazz rock I was leaning towards at this time. Great individual players bringing their ideas together to create this music. All the members of Yes are exceptional musicians and being on the same page they make this album work. If I talk about one member it’s hard not to talk about  the others. Chris Squire’s bass always did it for me. But so does Bruford’s work and Howe’s playing.

yes-close-to-the-edge-back-cover

Catch the groove and beat at the start of side two (And You And I). Howe ( really like his work throughout the record) doodles around a bit then Squire starts laying down his bass and the others come in. I love this stuff. This music really appeals to CB. I’m not trying to sell this to anyone but I think I just talked myself into a listen. Still sounds good today.

Close-to-the-Edge-Inside-Cover-Dean

This is an album of music not a bunch of individual songs. Lots of changes and musical ideas that the band put together. And it works. A long playing album in every sense of the word. I found records like this and similar albums like Santana’s Caravanserai great listens. This is a really good Yes album. A really good album period. The band is in top form for sure. Strap in with a good sound system and get some great sounds for your ears. Anderson sings “River running right on over my head”. That’s what this music is like, a river, always flowing taking in what ever they’re feeling.

Very cool that Yes stuck to the music they wanted to play. I’m glad they did. Jazz, rock, classical touches blend in to make this album. Also you have to love Roger Dean’s classic art work on the cover and inside the jacket.

Take a musical ride ‘Close to The Edge’

39 comments on “Album : Yes – Close to the Edge

  1. Aphoristical
    May 24, 2020

    This is my favourite album ever. As much as everyone is great, I think Squire is the key – huge bass sound and high harmonies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 24, 2020

      “Favorite album ever”. Pretty good choice. I knew you liked it. So much music on it. I wrote this take months ago. So I spun the album again today. It really is a special record. Thing is Aph, I still get surprised by what I hear. What a blend of sounds. Individually all are “great” but as a band they are fantastic. I think we’ve talked about the Bruford/Squire combination before. I cant get enough of it. Like Bruce/Baker, Moon/Entwistle and various jazz duos I like. Squire live was a great performer on top of everything else. Thanks for chipping in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have kept this one since the day I bought it back when it was released in the early 70’s. It’s a masterpiece for sure. Great choice CB

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Heavy Metal Overload
    May 24, 2020

    Love this. Yes are my fave prog band (much as I love Crimso, Genesis etc…) I listened to a podcast the other day where they were described as the most Who-like of the prog bands… which I thought was an interesting idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 24, 2020

      That is interesting about the Who comparison. Like I commented on earlier the Yes rhythm duo and the Who rhythm section are a couple of my favorites. They were much more than just rhythm. Howe is so good. This album just does so much for my ear.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. deKE
    May 24, 2020

    I need to check these guys out more CB. The last Yes album I bought was The Ladder from about 20 years ago. That one was pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 24, 2020

      It is a lot of music to adsorb but if it grabs you, you’re in for a treat. I went on a Yes run a while back. So much music and different members in the band. I really like this lineup.

      Liked by 1 person

      • deKE
        May 24, 2020

        I know Mikey Ladano says Drama is a great record.May have to check them out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 24, 2020

        They have some good ones for sure. I just listened to’Drama’ a while ago. Mikey has spoken.

        Liked by 1 person

      • deKE
        May 24, 2020

        He has spoken indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, Another Blogger
    May 24, 2020

    Excellent musicians. Their music is complicated and trippy. There’s a lot going on in Yes songs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 24, 2020

      Lots of good stuff for the ear Neil. Hey everyone’s a good musician next to CB. But you’re right these guys are off the map.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jim S.
    May 24, 2020

    Great album that I hadn’t listened to in a long time till recently. Probably talking to Aphroristical about it. I love that whole “I get up, I get down” with the ethereal-sounding voices part. When I was out in LA with my new “friend” Jon Anderson, we – the band -joked about doing this album. We were lucky to get through “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” Their stuff is very, very demanding, and takes very virtuosic, committed players.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 24, 2020

      You could slide into Howe’s chair seamlessly.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        May 24, 2020

        Heh! I wish. If that were true I wouldn’t be second shift manager at a car wash.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 24, 2020

        I know how much u like Howe. He cooks on this record. So much a part of their sound. How good were these guys as players Doc? You are my go to guy on the musician side of things. I watched a doc on Coltrane. God given talent plus he practiced like a mad man. Same as Hendrix.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        May 24, 2020

        To your point about jazz, you can’t play this stuff at all unless you have a high level of musicianship. So it’s a given that these guys, Genesis, Crimson, ELP, etc are all top notch. Anybody can play Johnny B. Goode but this stuff takes chops.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 24, 2020

        I hear a lot of jazz licks in this music. I guess it’s the improv letting it take them. Sounds so good to my ear Doc. I love this Yes sound.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        May 24, 2020

        Funny you should say that. They had jazz chops but by the time of this album everything had become more structured to the point where they were voting on how to play each passage. Bruford got sick of it and split for King Crimson. Go back and listen to “I See You” if you wanna hear some jazzier shit.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 25, 2020

        Oh yeah that’s pretty obvious (But very cool). I know Buford was the jazz guy in the band. Like I said earlier I did this take ages ago. So just before I posted it I read a few things about the record. Bill left after it was done. Him and Squire just werent jiving but they sure were on the sound. Similar to Bruce/Baker. How many musicians like to be told what to play? Not knowing all the band politics it sure sounds good to me and you and a lot of other folks.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. badfinger20 (Max)
    May 24, 2020

    John Entwistle and Chris Squire are the kings of British bass guitar players to me…I started off on bass when I was 16 and I tried to emulate those two with those rolling bass lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 24, 2020

      Ahh. You’re a musician. Cool. Two pretty good bass men to emulate. They kind of made it a lead instrument. Squire goes to town on this record.

      Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        May 24, 2020

        I’ve been playing since I was 16…some of the same group of guys since then get together in the garage once or twice a month…or so we did until…
        Those progressive bands had some hell of musicians in them.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 24, 2020

        Again I’m a little jealous of you guys and gals that can get together and make music. I’ll just pull up a chair and puff on a cigar and kick back and listen.
        I was just talking to Music Enthusiast about the musicianship of those guys. You’ve just seconded it. All I know is you just don’t wake up one day and play like that. Dedication, talent and love are a few words that fit. I benefit from it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        May 24, 2020

        It’s therapy for me…an outlet. We play some songs and talk about the old club and bar days. I loved playing back then…but then one morning at 2am I was playing in a club and looked at the clock…I asked myself…what the hell am I doing here? It was fun though.

        Yea bands like Yes and King Crimson…super talented.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 25, 2020

        I like that realization. That scene turns you into a night person for sure. Coleman Hawkins thought there was only one 10 on the clock, He only knew the 10pm time.

        Like

  8. BuriedOnMars
    May 25, 2020

    I’ll give this a spin. I tried getting into Fraglie a few times but really only liked Roundabout. Maybe this one speak to me more easily.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 25, 2020

      It might not grab ya Mars but give it a go. It might cost ya 40 minutes or less depending if you make it. Good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. christiansmusicmusings
    May 25, 2020

    Thanks for highlighting this album!

    While I don’t get tired to rave about great musician craftsmanship, and as I’m listening to this album, it’s obvious there’s a ton of just that, for some reason, I never got very attached to prog rock. Bands like King Crimson and Gentle Giant never really spoke to me.

    I suppose whether I like it or not, at the core, I’m really a pop guy. I just dig catchy melodies. Oftentimes, I also start getting impatient when a song goes beyond 4 minutes. It’s not a coincidence The Beatles are my all-time favorite band.

    When it comes to prog rock, Yes and Genesis are two exceptions. And while they typically get labeled as psychedelic rock, I suppose I can add Pink Floyd to that list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 25, 2020

      Obviously you like the music you like. It speaks to you and moves you. I’ve tried to give certain styles time but at the end of the day it doesnt do it for me.
      I know Aphoristic and Music Enthusiast lean to the pop side and they both love this album. So their ears are drawn to something in the music. The collective music on this record just grabs me. Really cant explain it. I like the sound they have.
      Yeah Floyd is another band I really like. Just keep digging the music you like Christian, that’s the main thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tommy
    May 26, 2020

    Hey CB – basically just going to echo a lot of the others – great musicians playing complex music. It never particularly moved me, either. I love Chris Squire, not so much Anderson, even though his voice is part of what creates their identity. Back in the day, every yahoo who picked up an acoustic played the opening of Roundabout, same as they did with Stairway 😉

    I did listen to them more than ELP, but all in all for me, a band to be admired, but not with any passion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 26, 2020

      I can see what you mean about Anderson. His vocals have always been part of their “identity” for me. It fits. My ear likes him.
      This album and ‘Relayer’ are the ones I listened to the most. Maybe a couple of the early ones also.
      I’m off to practice ‘Roundabout on the uke.

      Like

  11. Nice blog

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dcw0731
    May 29, 2020

    Great album CB

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Another Bit of Prog – Part 2 – Music Enthusiast

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