Album review

Yes - Close To The Edge

Close to the edge (1972) remains an untarnished pinnacle of '70s tech-flash, its mammoth title track beginning with a ferocious flourish to rival the most adventurous of post-hardcore ensembles before introducing elements of cosmic funk, Beach Boys harmony and monolithic organ grandeur. Its much-derided 1974 double-disc follow-up Tales Of Topographic Oceans remains a real curate's egg. "The Revealing Science Of God" is sublime, but the album as a whole lacks the tight structure and focus of its predecessor. Then 1974's Relayer saw drummer Alan White and Swiss-born keyboardist Patrick Moraz replace the disillusioned Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman. Moraz introduced a hefty dose of fusion, but by 1977's Going For The One Wakeman was back on board and a more concise Yes emerged, reining their excesses into a sporadically engaging Euro-rock best illustrated by Jon Anderson's joyful and triumphant "Wonderous Stories".

Rating: 5 / 10


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Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...