Close (to the Edit)

Close (to the Edit)
"Close (To the Edit)"
Single by Art of Noise
from the album Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?
Released May 1984 (1984-05)
Format 7", 12", Cassette single
Genre Synthpop, avant-garde
Label ZTT
Writer(s) Dudley, Langan, Jeczalik, Morley, Horn
Producer Art of Noise
Art of Noise singles chronology
"Beat Box"
"Close (To the Edit)"

"Close (to the Edit)" was a single by Art of Noise, released on various formats in May 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" by the same group. The single heavily features the recorded sample of a car, a VW Golf, belonging to band member J. J. Jeczalik's neighbour, stalling and restarting. The short spoken-word vocal performed by Gary Langan's then-girlfriend, Karen Clayton (who had also performed a similar vocal task on the single "Poison Arrow" by the group ABC, which Langan had co-produced). 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.[1]

The single was released in the UK on what had become ZTT's customary array of formats: standard and picture disc 7"s, three 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 "Closed". An extended version appeared on the album Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?.

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 featured the voice of caricature actor Chris Barrie. It appeared only in one other format at that time, a white label vinyl (which was actually pressed a bright green colour), and remained otherwise unavailable in any format until it was included in its entirety on the 2006 CD box-set compilation And What Have You Done With My Body, God?.

An edited version of this song was included on the Amiga monthly educational disk, Ready Robot Club. It took use of the Amiga's incredible sampling abilities, and many samples of the song could've possibly competed with samples used in the original song.

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


Music videos

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[2] 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[3], with some clips from the original version.

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

The video was parodied in the season 3 episode of The Venture Bros., "What Goes Down Must Come Up".[citation needed]


The list of versions of the track:


  1. "Close (To The Edit)" 3:51 - edit of LP version
  2. "A Time To Hear (Who's Listening?)" 3:27
  1. "Close (To The Edit)" 4:10 - early fade of LP version
  2. "(do) donna (do)" - extended mix of LP version

1st 12"

  1. "Close-Up" 7:37 - some pressings call this "Close (To The Edit) (Extended Remix)"
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" 5:10
  3. "A Time To Hear (You're Listening)" 3:27 - same as 7" b-side with slightly different title

2nd 12"

  1. "Closely Closely (Enough's Enough)" 7:11
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" 5:10
  3. "A Time To Hear (Who's Listening)" 3:27

12" Picture Disc

  1. "Edited" 5:32
  2. "Close-Up (Hop)" 5:10 - unlisted
  3. "A Time To Hear (Who's Listening)" 3:27 - unlisted

Cassette single - "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

"Edited" was very similar to the LP version, but with some additional overdubs. "A Time to Hear (Who's Listening)" was a montage of extracts and out-takes from the album Who's Afraid of The Art of Noise?.

Several earlier demo versions and rejected mixes appeared on the box set And What Have You Done With My Body, God?.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "The Art of Noise Paints Futuristic Picture of the Past". PauseandPlay. June 20, 1999. 
  3. ^ Booth-Clibborn, Edward (1986). "Matt Forrest". European Illustration 1986-87. Switzerland: Polygon Editions S.a.r.l. ISBN 0904866491. 

External links

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