CloseToTheEdgeYESVery, very interesting news today from The Second Disc (run by some of my absolute favorite people, Mike Duquette, and Joe Marchese (who also writes for The Digital Bits)). It would seem that one iteration of an audio update isn’t enough for Close To The Edge (SACD from Audio Fidelity), the landmark album from YES.  There is another coming. But what makes this even more interesting than it already is are several pieces of additional news.

First and foremost, this version of Close To The Edge is being remixed by Stephen Wilson, he of the band, Porcupine Tree, and of several acclaimed remixes that include Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, the first two albums from Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and several King Crimson albums.  With news that he is attached to the project is enough to send paroxysms of happiness among fans of his work.

Secondly, the album will be remixed not only into hi-res Stereo status, but also into 5.1 surround sound, which should make fans of surround quite happy.  While I’m not a 5.1 surround fan by any measure, I have to admit to being interested in hearing what could be done with such a fine, fine album classic.  YES is one of those bands that would have used it had it been available back in 1972.

Further, this album is expected to be released not only in CD/DVD-Audio formats but also CD/Blu-ray Audio (BD-Audio).  Now that’s some piece of news.


Acquired by Steven Wilson’s Facebook page, the press release notes that the sets are to be released via the Panegyric label in October.  It also promises more information to come.  To add to the excitement, the label hints at other YES albums to receive the same treatment soooo how excited should we YES fans be?  Of course.

Of course, Panegyric didn’t stop there.  There are a new King Crimson remix of The Road To Red, also expected in October, and a Steven Wilson remix of Nonsuch from XTC, which is due in September.

Looks to be a fine Fall shaping up already!

By MARowe

11 thoughts on “New Mix of Close To The Edge Expected From Steven Wilson (And Other Things)”
  1. Unbelievable. This really gives me something to look forward to (please do Relayer as well). Makes me kind of wish that I didn’t buy the sacd that was just released. Oh well, a bird in the hand.
    5.1 should be awesome if SW is doing it.
    If SW ever gets tired of making music and touring he could make a career out of remixing classic albums.

  2. Great to hear this news. More in surround = GOOD!! :)

    The big question will be: For those of who only want the 5.1 mix, will this be available as a separate purchase or will this be done like the Jethro Tull surround mixes that were only available in the super/ultra/ultimate deluxe sets that sell for well over $100?

    I have the OOP DVD-Audio of Fragile (in 5.1), and it is good…not as good as it could have been, IMHO, but still totally worthwhile. I’d love to get a better 5.1 mix on it, and of of course any other Yes album remixed in 5.1, but I will not pay for some super deluxe set that it a) too expensive and b) contains stuff I don’t want (i.e. vinyl…sorry, just not my thing :) ).

    Hopefully, the powers-that-be behind these upcoming releases will take heed ;) …

  3. Fantastic! This was what our prior discussion of CTTE touched on. You may recall that my impression of the recent SACD of the classic Yes album was less enthusiastic than yours. My only gripe now is the double-dip thing.
    If you’ve been checking out Steven Wilson’s Crimson remixes you know this is going to be awesome.

  4. At the Steve Hoffman forum, Ian Anderson is quoted as saying that he and Steven Wilson have completed the remixes of Benefit and A Passion Play, also in 5.1. Because EMI has been absorbed by Universal, they may be delayed but were set to be released by possibly year end. Going back to the Close to the Edge recent SACD, I was personally disappointed in the sound quality overall, and I have great respect for AF. It tells me that it really needs a remix to get it right – here’s hoping the (4th, 5th?) time is the charm.

  5. wait just one darn minute! when did yes start using imagery based on the Avatar movie? i’m confused.

  6. Of course it depends on so many factors – my personal audio taste, the system I have, the previous release I am comparing it with, but I guess I was expecting more from the Audio Fidelity remaster. Of all the Yes reissues, I have always found Close to the Edge too bright with poor instrument definition in places and a mushy overall sound. If this was a garage band, or Punk, or just good old rock and roll, I could accept that, but this is Prog and this is Yes! So I have accepted that the original master tape is just that way. I was using the last remaster that I own, the 2003 deluxe edition remastered by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch, to compare the audio. The CD versions are nearly identical, with perhaps just the slightest edge to the AF – a touch smoother in the higher end.
    The SACD improved it more, with slightly more detail granted, but with that same (to me) annoying messy sheen across the recording. I think it is the best so far, but that is why I said in the previous comment that the remix, for me, could be the sound I am hoping for. I know for some, tampering with the original mix is heresy, but to me, as long as the actual music hasn’t changed, and the sound has been remixed to allow the listener to hear what has always been there but better, I am okay with that. Sorry to go on for so long, but good audio is super important to me. If you will indulge me a bit further: if you have the last Jimi Hendrix remasters, then check out the bonus discs with Eddie Kramer at the controls when he is demonstrating how he engineered the album. As he is doing so, suddenly the bass is wonderfully alive in the mix, the drums can be heard clearly, and the whole thing gets elevated to a new dimension – it is being remixed before your ears, and the beauty is that none of the music is changed – just better presented. THAT’S what I wanted and still want for Close to the Edge!


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