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Romano, Will: Close to the Edge-How Yes' Masterpiece Defined Prog Rock (book)

Acclaimed author Will Romano has written numerous books on progressive rock, so it's not surprising he decided to take an in-depth look at not only one of the most important bands in the history of the genre but also their most beloved album, the classic Close to the Edge by British prog legends Yes. Released literally simultaneously as the band were set to be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, this book looks at the early history of Yes, from their initial line-up and how that came together, to the jettisons of both Pete Banks & Tony Kaye and both Steve Howe and Rock Wakeman making their way into the fold. Lest you think all 250 pages are dedicated to just Close to the Edge, Romano saves plenty of space for deep dives into The Yes Album and Fragile as well, as it prepares and provides a great narrative to the bands buildup for Close to the Edge, the author explaining how Yes honed their songwriting & musical skills into expert progressive rock majesty. Mentions of other classic prog acts and their albums of the same era are mentioned, including King Crimson, Genesis, Rush, Gentle Giant, and Jethro Tull, but of course the focus is on Yes, and Romano's clear love for the bands music always comes shining through, but never into pure fanboy territory. His obvious knowledge of music structure and theory also is apparent, so there is a definite 'technical' nature to some of the text that for some might be diving a bit too far into the weeds, but it's integral I believe to really picking apart and explaining what is ultimately a very complex and adventurous album.

Plenty of quotes and interview snippets from all involved are included, and while there are some photos more would have been a big plus. Ultimately though, it's a concise and detailed look at one of the most important & influential albums in the history of prog-rock by one of the truly legendary bands.

Added: April 29th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: BackBeat Books
Hits: 320
Language: english

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