Close to the Edge (Yes album)


Close to the Edge (Yes album)
Close to the Edge
Studio album by Yes
Released 13 September 1972
Recorded April–June 1972
Genre Progressive rock
Length 37:51
Label Atlantic
Producer Yes and Eddie Offord
Yes chronology
Fragile
(1971)
Close to the Edge
(1972)
Tales From Topographic Oceans
(1973)

Close to the Edge is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes. It was released on Atlantic Records (Atlantic K 50012) in September 1972. It reached No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart[1] and No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200[2] (Atlantic SD 7244) during a chart stay of 32 weeks. In the Netherlands it reached No. 1 on the Dutch album charts[3], the only Yes album to do so.

Contents

History and content

According to co-composer Jon Anderson, the title track is inspired by Hermann Hesse's book Siddhartha. The song tracks the awakening of Hesse's character "close to the edge" of a river (and, symbolically, of the serial lifetimes of his soul), where he experiences a spiritual awakening. Bruford says in his autobiography that he came up with the title to describe the state of the band itself, as he had with its predecessor Fragile. He left the line-up after completion of the recording in order to play with King Crimson, which led to Yes finding ex-Plastic Ono Band Alan White to replace him before starting a new U.S. tour.

Inside of the Close to the Edge LP cover.

The spiritual influences introduced by Jon Anderson, which later formed the basis of Tales from Topographic Oceans, are already evident in the music and lyrics of all three tracks on Close to the Edge. Renewal and repetition are other main themes; the title track starts and finishes with the same sound effects of running water and birds, and in "Siberian Khatru" there is the repetition of two-syllable words and phrases. This came up many times later in songs like "The Revealing Science of God", "Going for the One", "To Be Over", and "Rhythm of Love".

This album set a trend for Yes of structuring an album around a single epic song. Here the centerpiece is the song "Close to the Edge". Later Yes albums that follow this pattern are Relayer (which features "The Gates of Delirium"), Going for the One (which features "Awaken"), Talk (which features "Endless Dream") and "Fly From Here", off of the album of the same name.

The cover art was by Roger Dean. Some of the photography for the album sleeve was by bass player Chris Squire's former bandmate in the Selfs and The Syn, Martyn Adelman.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[4]
Pitchfork (9.0/10)[5]
Robert Christgau (C+)[6]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[7]

A special promotional only, white label, "banded for airplay" version of the LP was sent to U.S. radio stations in 1972. It has the title track broken up into shorter segments. This was done to try to increase radio exposure as most radio stations did not want to air an 18 minute song. Most of the segments were in the range of 3 to 5 minutes and all were marked on the record to assist disc jockeys.

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came No. 3 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[8] It is also listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Progarchives.com voted it the greatest progressive album of all time in 2006. Guitar World ranked it No. 67 in their (Reader's Choice) list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time. As of 17 December 2010, it is ranked as the 72nd greatest album of all time on Rate Your Music.

Reissue

Rhino Records issued a remastered and expanded version of Close to the Edge on 26 August 2003. It added four bonus tracks: single versions of "America" and "Total Mass Retain" and early versions of "And You and I" and "Siberian Khatru" (as "Siberia").

Track listing

  • Tracks 1–3 Published By Rondor Music & Yessongs.
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Close to the Edge"
  • "The Solid Time of Change"
  • "Total Mass Retain"
  • "I Get Up I Get Down"
  • "Seasons of Man"  
Jon Anderson, Steve Howe 18:43
2. "And You and I"
  • "Cord of Life"
  • "Eclipse"
  • "The Preacher the Teacher"
  • "Apocalypse"  
Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Chris Squire 10:08
3. "Siberian Khatru"   Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman 8:55
Bonus tracks (2003 reissue)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
4. "America" (single version) Paul Simon 4:12
5. "Total Mass Retain" (single version) Jon Anderson, Steve Howe 3:21
6. "And You and I" (alternate version) Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Chris Squire 10:17
7. "Siberia" (studio run-through of "Siberian Khatru") Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman 9:19

Personnel

Charts

Year Chart Position
1972 Billboard Pop Albums 3[2]
UK Albums Chart 4

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1972 "And You and I (Part II, Eclipse)" Billboard Pop Singles 42[9]

Certifications

Organization Level Date
RIAA (US) Gold 30 October 1972
CRIA (Canada) Gold 1 December 1976
CRIA (Canada) Platinum 1 December 1977
BPI (UK) Gold 5 December 1984
BPI (UK) Platinum 5 December 1984

Reissues

Year Company Medium
1982 MFSL LP (original master recording)
1986 Atlantic CD
1994 Atlantic CD (remastered)
2001 JPN CD (limited edition)
2003 Rhino CD (remastered with bonus tracks)

Sources

  • Close to the Edge, CD booklet essay, Mike Tiano, 2003
  • "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002
  • Musical Analysis from YesWorld

References

  1. ^ "UK chart history – Yes Close to the Edge". chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/release.php?release=37414. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Close to the Edge – Yes > Charts & Awards > Billboard Album at Allmusic. Retrieved 19 May 2006.
  3. ^ "Netherlands chart info – Yes Close to the Edge". ultratop.be. http://www.ultratop.be/en/showitem.asp?interpret=Yes&titel=Close+To+The+Edge&cat=a. Retrieved 16 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Dave. Close to the Edge (Yes album) at Allmusic. Retrieved 18 March 2004.
  5. ^ Dahlen, Chris; Leon, Dominque; Tangari, Joe (8 February 2004). "Yes The Yes Album / Fragile / Close to the Edge / Tales from Topographic Oceans / Relayer / Going for the One / Tormato / Drama / 90125 > Album Reviews". Pitchfork Media. http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/reviews/albums/11869-the-yes-album-fragile-close-to-the-edge-tales-from-topographic-oceans-relayer-going-for-the-one-tormato-drama-90125/#review-album-13615. Retrieved 5 April 2005. 
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Yes > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=yes. Retrieved 19 May 2006. 
  7. ^ Cromelin, Richard (9 November 1972). "Yes Close to the Edge > Album Review". Rolling Stone (121). Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20061214071332/http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/yes/albums/album/260563/review/6067858/close_to_the_edge. Retrieved 4 March 2005. 
  8. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.
  9. ^ Close to the Edge – Yes > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at Allmusic. Retrieved 19 May 2006.

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