Yes: “Close to the Edge”

Posted: April 4, 2018 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
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Tune du Jour: “Close to the Edge” – Yes
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Karmic Juggernaut vs. Portland School of Rock vs. Close to the Yes
Broc 3 - Cover Me Impressed

Everybody’s Dressin’ Funny … Cover Me Impressed!



Read it in the Sunday Papers …

A college art teacher in Colombia won the right to legally change her name to the entire alphabet. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWEYZ said she changed her name “so people wouldn’t know it’s me.”



(Please bill your time to Douglas Zaner for time spent on today’s post.)

The Original



THE CLASH of Cover Tunes


Karmic Juggernaut vs. Portland School of Rock vs. Close to the Yes
Karmic Juggernaut:

Portland School of Rock:

Close to the Yes:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. It is your solemn responsibility to decide which cover song prevails. In other words … Which Side Are You On?!!? 


  1. Cuspid says:

    Well, one must surely like this song in order to listen to three 17+ minutes covers one right after the other. But since I absolutely love this song I had no problem doing so.

    I was pretty amazed and very impressed with all 3 versions. Karmic Juggernaut suffers from the fact that they were recorded on a hand held phone. I imagine it sounded a lot better in person. And I was totally amazed the the kids at the Portland School of Rock could execute so well a song so enormously difficult as this.

    It may be a bit unfair. But I’m going with Close to the Yes even though the had the unfair advantage of being a Yes cover band by design, as well as benefiting from superior equipment and recording facilities. So it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

    Yet the real reason Close to the Yes gets my vote is the vocals. This is such a hard song to sing. The vocals were the real weakness in versions by Karmic Juggernaut and Portland School of Rock. The the female lead vocalist for Close to the Yes was right on the money. She didn’t try to cop Jon Anderson’s every phrase and note. But everything she sung fit nicely, was in key and without any sour notes that I heard.

    By the way, if anyone reading this can stand it, check out the live version of this song by Yes themselves recorded in 2001 with a full symphony. It’s absolutely thrilling and inspirational, keeping in mind that all 4 original members were in their early-to-mid 50’s here. I bought the dvd just for this one song.

  2. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I listened to this song a few times back in the day. Invariably, I was in an altered state of being. I have no problem with progressive rock and, in fact, have come to appreciate it more, even though my leanings tend to be more power-chord guitar-based rock. I supposed I was able to tolerate it back then because hey, I was stoned. I can’t tolerate this kinda stuff today, sadly. I just cannot relate to any of it. I gave it to the kids because, well, they’re kids. They did a bang-up job. I also confess to only listening to the first ten minutes of each version because c’mon, I have a life to lead here. Cuspid and I often see eye-to-eye on about 87.3% of all music, but I’m afraid we don’t on this one.

    • Cuspid says:

      You fool! You only listened to the first 10 minutes of each. But the last 7 minutes of each is the best part!

  3. Pete Black says:

    I embrace the long songs now. In the Eighties when music had gone to Styx/Journey/Foreigner/Richard Marx/Billy Squier/Synth Pop/clothing over content hell I was all about returning to the 2 to 3 minute song as addressed by The Clash, The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks etc. But as I approached 40 I went back to more greatly appreciate not only prog bands but also The Dead, Allmans, Traffic, Can, Amon Duul II, Pink Floyd, and others who stretched out and extended songs to open them up and let them thrive beyond the constraints of not longer relevant radio. This was an interesting treasure of a departure. Close To The Yes were amazing especially for a five piece. They sounded great playing live in the room with no effects. I planned to vote for them but Karmic Juggernaut had three things in their favor: horror films on the backdrop, a keyboardist with a cape(Wakeman?), and a live audience. Then I went back and voted for Close To The Yes. The school of bit off more than they can chew failed too compete. Not even close. too ambitious for young uns.

  4. Pete Black says:

    Anyone that can appreciate Yes should also listen to the 1971-73 or 74 Genesis period led by Peter Gabriel. Foxtrot, Nursery Chryme, Live and Selling England By The Pound are all among the best prog ever to me along with yes and Tull.

    • Cuspid says:

      The music of Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd and Supertramp were a huge component of my social life within the dorm during my first 2 years at the University of Florida.

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