Bonus tracks: America (single version); Total Mass Retain (single version), and the previously unissued And You and I (alternate version) and Siberia (studio run-through of Siberian Khatru ).
What's it all about? "A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace / And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace." Actually, it really doesn't matter. Later Yes would fragment, lose focus, but here is Yes functioning for once in the band's tortuous career as an organic unit, and individual elements--such as Jon Anderson's trippy lyrics--are less important than the whole. Even Rick Wakeman's Rachmaninov-for-Hammond-organ excesses work in context, compensated for by Steve Howe's amazingly fluid guitar (equal parts Charlie Christian
and Chet Atkins
), in turn counterbalanced by Chris Squire's behemoth Rickenbacker bass and Bill Bruford's jazzy drumming. This is rock music informed by the improvisatory spirit of Miles Davis, allied with the grandiose pretensions of the classics: love it or hate it, Close To The Edge
is the definitive prog album. --Mark Walker
--This text refers to an alternate