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Close to the Edge: The Story of Yes Paperback – Sep 1 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Omnibus Press; 1 edition (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184772132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847721327
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 2.5 x 21.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #565,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Fascinating... book of the month' Record Collector'(Welch's) insider's eye view makes for a refreshing account of the times.' Mojo.

About the Author

Chris Welch is among the UK's best known music journalists. After a long and distinguished career on Melody Maker, he became editor of Metal Hammer magazine and has also edited Rock World. He ws amongst the first British writers to champion Yes in the late Sixties. He has travelled and toured with them and interviewed them on numerous occasions. He has also written books on Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel and Genesis. He lives in Kent.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well researched and documented history of YES. They were the first pioneers of progressive rock. It gets lost a little bit in the extensive details and leaves out some unanswered questions leaving the reader hanging. Still this is a fine effort. YES is an amazing band and Welch manages to capture the initial excitement of their big break into the world of super-groups. It is well worth reading. It also documents the emergence of Roger Dean who is simply an amazing visual artist who was responsible for creating most of the bands breathtaking otherworldly album covers, but that's another story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Good and thorough if a bit uncritical Sept. 13 2010
By B. I SIMPSON - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've always liked the music of Yes, and this is a good, informative book with a lot of information and a massive amount of interviews with all the members of the band, past and present.

The major "problem" with the book is that Mr. Welch is clearly a fan of the band, and the writing tends to be geared more toward a press release, with very little critical view of either the personalities or the music. Almost every album is mooted as "their best yet," and highlights of the various songs are then presented. Each musician to come and go is praised for contributing, but rarely is that contribution put much into the context of what "Yes music" might all be about, and whether that contribution was really what the band needed. Someone left, someone came in to replace him, and it's all to the good.

Yes's music has always been very forward-looking, life-affirming, spiritual and positive, so it's entirely possible that all the members are just wondrous chaps who delight in each other's respective companies, but the various cracks and hints here and there argue that it isn't always so. None of these cracks, hints and arguments are explored with any great depth; we do hear about Rick Wakeman's disappointment with "Topographic Oceans" and the fact that no one--no one--seemed to like the "Union" album. Bill Bruford's frustration with the Yes direction is explored, and though Jon Anderson was sometimes referred to as a "Hitler" or a "Napoleon" there's not a lot here why people would call him that--he comes across as a nice guy who wants the music to be good. (Who would object to the music being good?) Otherwise they just meshed perfectly and created the "Yes sound" each and every time.

I don't want to sound too critical of this book; it's well written, I enjoyed it and it is remarkably thorough as a history of the band and its fortunes. Mr. Welch was there when many of the events in Yes's career actually happened, so there's no third-hand filter. It just seems a little too smooth, a little too hesitant to probe, a little too much like a bio a record company might release in advance of a tour.

Recommended for its impressive arsenal of facts, insider knowledge and interviews with a band that's always seemed very private, even when they were conquering the world.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
average March 25 2014
By keith richards - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a YES fan of many years, hence downloading the e-version. I didn't enjoy the constant eulogising of each album & individual tracks. I would have preferred more about the individuals, and there were many, their lives and interactions.
This e-book needs proof reading to resolve the countless errors where words are sp lit. Annoying isn't it?
Overall I enjoyed the book and would suggest if you're a Yes fan, give it a go.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lots of great info March 30 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes: Close To The Edge doesn't waste a ton of time telling you every detail about the band members early childhoods, which I appreciate, but it does provide the essential introductory info on each and then spends the bulk of its pages discussing events during the band's tumuluous career. There's a ton of great information, some nice photos, and the book flows very nicely.

I think Chris Welch's writing can be a bit odd, and I don't think it's just because he's British. He just has a style that is a little unorthodox, plus he's an insider with the band and maybe he's just being a bit too familiar. The only other thing I don't like is some of the time the author spends discussing specific songs, detailing lyrics or how the band members played/sang. I would prefer biographical information without the disection of the music.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is really terrible writing. It's all over the place with sequence ... April 5 2015
By slipjig - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is really terrible writing. It's all over the place with sequence and he keeps repeating things with slightly different wording. Was there even an editor? Lots of typos too. He keeps trying to sound clever and ends up misusing words. There's no excuse, everyone has access to dictionaries. Really clunky stuff and the awful puns on lyrics are annoying. Nothing particularly revealing in terms of the info you get in this book too. It would be nice to see a good book about Yes but this isn't it.
Oh Yes! Feb. 18 2015
By Jerry A. Novick - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the must-read history for any Yes fan! Chris Welch has been close to the band since the very beginning, and thus treats us to a true insider's look at these masters of Progressive rock. No speculating here. This is the straight truth, complete with tons of input and quotes from nearly everyone who has ever been in our connected to Yes.

Welch's writing style is very accessible and entertaining. This is a smooth read.

The only flaw (and I'm being sarcastic) is that the book only gives us the history up until 2008. I guess we'll all just have to hit the internet to get a glimpse at the happenings during the very recent past.