I have recently listened to the 2013 Steven Wilson remix of Close To the Edge, the 1972 YES classic considered by many to be one of the great albums not only of YES’ career, but also of all time. For me, that’s pretty much a subjective approach but I do love this album immensely. And I do consider it one of the great albums of the Rock period.
I will offer up my opinions of this remix and extra content found on the Panegyric Records release, that is the Blu-ray Audio version. Top suggestion is that, unless you do not own a Blu-ray machine, be sure to acquire it in BD-Audio, if you had plans to pick one up. There’s so much more available on this issue than the DVD-Audio set. And actually, I’m not even sure the DVD-Audio set is accessible any more. Nevertheless, the DVD-Audio package gets: the expected 2013 Stereo remixes, as well as lossless 24/96k files. There are also the original Stereo mixes from the 1972 master along with 24/96k, and the panted after 2013 Surround 5.1 remixes, and a DTS 24/96k remix.
But the Blu-ray Audio (BD-Audio) contains: the CD also found in the DVD-Audio package of the 2013 remix. The second disc adds in:
– 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround (24bit/96khz) mixed from the original multi-channel recordings.
– the new stereo album mix in DTS-HD Master Audio (24bit/96khz).
– the original album mix and America in a DTS-HD Master Audio flat transfers from the original master tape source. (24bit/192khz)
– exclusive instrumental versions of all new mixes in DTS-HD Master Audio stereo (24bit/96khz).
– exclusive needle-drop of an original UK vinyl A1/B1 pressing transferred in 24bit/96khz audio.
-Single edits of “America”, “And You And I”, “Total Mass Retain”
-One sweet booklet with photos, etc.
All of these brilliant tracks are accessible from an on-screen menu. A simple press of the Top Menu key will pop up the unobtrusive selections on the left hand side.
Let me say this: I love this set. Playback in the DTS HD Master Audio mode will really kick open the doors on this masterful three track classic. The album cover, while true to the original artwork , is slightly updated. The music, vocals, and sound, while not always perfect (what is?), are extraordinary listens that will have you sitting impressed.
I’m not sure how long these copies will be around, but if you’re a serious fan of the album, I’d pick it up without hesitation.
With this new version of Close To the Edge in the market place following a recently released Close To the Edge SACD remaster , I have to ask a question. How invested are you in a particular album?
Of course, there are album remasters that the casual buyer will purchase to get a fresh sound of something that needed replacing anyway. But serious collectors of particular albums approach their favorites with a kind of obsession. The argument is, of course, how many different ways do you really need to hear something like Close To the Edge. Really, the music is the music. It’s timeless and is what it is.
Me? I get obsessive over certain albums. If there are three issues in a single year, I’ll get them for what they may offer. However, I won’t do it for everything. My qyestion is this: What album(s) will you obsessively chase no matter how many different reissues occur?