A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock Hall of Fame and another in the long list of recordings that really comes alive when you Turn Up Your Volume.
The toughest nut to crack in the entire Yes catalog! We’ve been trying for years to bring you Hot Stamper copies of this one, but it is hasn’t been easy. Here’s the copy that proved to us just how much this album can cook if your stereo is up to it and you’ve got the right pressing.
We went through Imports, Plain Ol’ Domestics, White Label Promos and what have you, and no other copy had two sides this strong.
Before I even get into the sound of this copy, I want to issue a word of caution. Even our Hottest Stamper copies can sound problematical unless your system is firing on all cylinders. Your electricity has got to be cooking, you’ve got to be using the right room treatments, and you should ideally be using a demagnetizer such as the Talisman on the record AND your cables. This is a record that’s going to demand a lot from the listener, and we want to make sure that you’re up to the challenge. If you don’t mind putting in a little hard work, here’s a record that will reward you many times over, and probably teach you a thing or two about tweaking your gear in the process.
The Sound We’ve Been Searching For
We’ve started and abandoned this shootout multiple times in the last few years, because the typical sounding copy is just painful to listen to, and the better pressings weren’t what we had hoped for. Where was the tubey magical analog sound with the HUGE whomp factor that we’ve heard on the best copies of Fragile and The Yes Album?
Folks, when we played this copy in the evening, when the electricity around here is really cookin’, the sound of this copy was INCREDIBLE ON BOTH SIDES. Everything we had hoped for from this album was finally happening — three-dimensionality, tubey electric guitars, punchiness to the bottom, silkiness to the top, and amazing amounts of energy. It never quite reached the ultimate heights of the top copies of Fragile of The Yes Album, but it sure sounds good when you get it to sound right.
Let’s think about it. This is a COMPLEX recording, with HUGE organs, light-speed changes, lots of multitracking, and just an overload of information. Can you imagine how irritating that can sound on a third-rate copy with your stereo having any issues at all? We didn’t have to imagine it — we lived through it!
But that’s exactly what made playing this album last night so rewarding. We had finally gotten the sound we had been searching for from Close To The Edge, and it was anything but easy. The toughest peaks to climb are the ones you feel best about standing on top of once you’ve made it, and I have no doubt that many of you will be able to get there, just as we did, as long as you’re willing to work for it. Are you up to the task? (more…)