Close (to the Edit)

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"Close (To the Edit)"
Single by Art of Noise
from the album Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?
ReleasedOctober 1984[1]
RecordedMarch 1984
GenreSynthpop, avant-garde
Length5:34 (Album version)
4:10 (edit)
Songwriter(s)Anne Dudley, Gary Langan, J. J. Jeczalik, Paul Morley, Trevor Horn
Producer(s)Art of Noise
Art of Noise singles chronology
"Beat Box"
"Close (To the Edit)"

"Close (to the Edit)" is a single by Art of Noise, released on various formats in October 1984. It was closely related to their earlier single (and hip-hop club hit) "Beat Box", though the two tracks were developed as separate pieces from an early stage.

The first release of a version of "Close (to the Edit)" was as a nominal remix of "Beat Box" under the title "Beat Box (Diversion Two)". This was then re-edited and partly remixed with different effects applied, to become the version of "Close (to the Edit)" which appeared on the subsequent album Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?. Paul Morley's sleevenotes for the single simplify the relationship between "Diversion Two" and "Close", noting only that 20 seconds were "snipped out".

The song takes its title from Close to the Edge by Yes, and also samples "Leave It" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by the same group, the latter two of which Trevor Horn produced. The single heavily features the recorded sample of a car, a Volkswagen Golf owned by a neighbour of band member J. J. Jeczalik, stalling and restarting. It also contains a (re-sung) vocal sample from the song "Beer Barrel Polka", as performed by The Andrews Sisters. The short spoken-word vocal and the "Hey!" sample – used in a number of songs most notably in "Firestarter" by The Prodigy and "Back in the Day" by Christina Aguilera (uncredited) – was the voice of Camilla Pilkington-Smyth.[2]

The single was released in the UK on what had become ZTT's customary array of formats: standard and picture disc 7" versions, five 12" singles (one a picture disc) and a cassette single, each featuring a number of unique mixes. The many remixes were given their own titles derived from the overall title, including "Edited", "Closely Closely (Enough's Enough)" and "Close-Up".

The cassette single version, "That Was Close", was a medley of a number of the mixes from the various formats, featuring "Diversion Eight", "Diversion Two", "Closest", "Close-Up", the album version of "Close (to the Edit)" and "Closed". This medley lasted in excess of 20 minutes in length, repeated on both sides of the cassette, and remained otherwise unavailable until it was included in its entirety on the 2006 CD box-set compilation And What Have You Done with My Body, God?.

The single was Art of Noise's first major UK hit, reaching number eight in the UK singles chart in February 1985.

Music videos[edit]

Three promotional videos were recorded for the single. The original version, featuring a little girl in punk garb leading three business suit-clad men in the destruction of various musical instruments, was directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński. According to an interview[3] with the band, "The male members of the band were slightly disturbed that they were made to come off as Huey Lewis and the News," Paul Morley said in an interview at the time, "so one of the reasons we tend to hide behind masks or not appear at all is because it opens up more possibilities how Art of Noise can be presented. Sometimes you had video art directors get excited about how they were going to present Art of Noise, and in that particular case, he interpreted it as a strange young girl with Huey Lewis & The News. Half of it was fun and half of it was slightly sad."

"I thought it was a fun video," Anne Dudley said, "but some people thought it was unnecessarily violent. It was banned in New Zealand as encouraging violence towards children. Nothing could have been further from our minds." The video later won the MTV Video Music Awards for Most Experimental Video and the Best Editing in 1985.

A second video version, composed almost entirely of surreal animation, aired in the UK, directed by Matt Forrest,[4] with some clips from the original version.

A third video version, mostly identical to the second video version, included various shots of the band in-studio. ZTT Records have made all of these videos viewable on YouTube.

Live performance[edit]

The track was performed live by Horn and Anne Dudley during Horn's 2004 all-star charity event Produced by Trevor Horn (later released on DVD as Slaves to the Rhythm), celebrating Horn's 25th anniversary as a record producer. The performance featured Yes drummer Alan White on drums and Lol Creme on guitar. Almost all of the elements of it (except for a spoken phrase by Camilla Pilkington-Smyth, which was pre-recorded) were live, as opposed to programmed or sequenced: Horn played his elaborate bass part on a 5-string bass, Dudley played live synths and triggered all the samples from the original track (including the "dum-dum" chant) from a Roland keyboard, the "tra-la-la" vocals (originally an Andrew Sisters sample) were sung live by Linda Allen and Debi Doss of Buggles fame, all the other instruments were played by members of the onstage orchestra, and the whole piece was played faster than the original (about 135-136 BPM rather than 129). Indeed, Horn introduced the performance by emphasizing the live nature of it and stating that, since the original piece was "played by machines" (i.e. programmed), the band would introduce some deliberate mistakes to prove that everybody was live. In fact, the actual performance does not include any mistakes, but some of Dudley's melodic synth lines are slightly different from the studio version.[5]

Former Art of Noise members J. J. Jeczalik and Gary Langan do not feature in the performance, nor does music journalist and MC Paul Morley. In spite of this, the track is listed on the DVD cover and menu as being performed by Art of Noise.

Formats and track listing[edit]

7": ZTT / ZTPS 01 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Close (To The Edit)" – 3.51*
  2. "A Time To Hear (Who's Listening?)" – 3.32**

12": ZTT / 12 ZTPS 01 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Close-Up" – 7.37*
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" – 5.10
  • * Significantly different to the LP version.
  • This is the first 12-inch release.

12": ZTT / 12 ZTPS 01 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Close-Up" – 7.37
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" – 5.10
  3. "Close (To The Edit)" – 3.51*
  • * Seven-inch version.
  • This is the second 12-inch release.

12": ZTT / 12 ZTPS 01 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Closely Closely (Enough's Enough)" – 7.15*
  2. "Moments In Love" – 10.17**
  3. "A Time To Hear (You're Listening)" – 3.29***
  • * Resembles the LP version much more than "Close-Up".
  • ** LP version.
  • *** Same as 7" b-side with different title.
  • This is the third 12-inch release.

12": ZTT / 12 ZTPS 01 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Closely Closely (Enough's Enough)" – 7.15
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" – 5.10
  3. "A Time To Hear (Who's Listening?)" – 3.32
  • This is the fourth 12-inch release.

12": ZTT / 12 ZTPS 01 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "Edited" 5:32*
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" 5:10**
  3. "A Time To Hear (Who's Listening?)" 3:27
  • * Similar to the LP version with additional overdubs and effects.
  • ** "Close-Up (Hop)" is not listed on this release.
  • Picture disc.

7": ISL / 7-99754 United States[edit]

  1. "Close (To The Edit)" – 4.10*
  2. "(Do) Donna (Do)" – 3:10**
  • * Early fade of LP version.
  • ** Extended mix of Into Battle track "Donna".

12": ISL / DMD 744 United States[edit]

  1. "Close (To The Edit) (LP Version)" – 5:35
  2. "Close (To The Edit) (Edit)" – 4:10*
  3. "Beat Box (Diversion 1)" – 8:33
  • * Early fade of LP version.
  • U.S. promo.

Cassette single: ZTT / CTIS 106 United Kingdom[edit]

That Was Close – continuous medley comprising:

  1. "Diversion Eight" 2:05
  2. "Close (To The Edit) (album version)" 5:34 – listed as "Diversion Two"
  3. "Closest" 0:43
  4. "Close-Up" 7:18
  5. "Close (To The Edit) (7" version)" 3:26
  6. "Closed" 1:30
  • Total length: 20:36



  1. ^ "Art Of Noise - Close (To The Edit)". Retrieved 19 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "The Art of Noise Paints Futuristic Picture of the Past". PauseandPlay. 20 June 1999. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013.
  4. ^ Booth-Clibborn, Edward (1986). "Matt Forrest". European Illustration 1986-87. Switzerland: Polygon Editions S.a.r.l. ISBN 0-904866-49-1.
  5. ^ "Art of Noise Close to the edit Live Prince's Trust 2004 Produced by Trevor Horn". YouTube. Retrieved 19 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]