Close to the Edge is the final album Yes to be featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, and produced by Eddy Offord. The album reached #4 in the UK and #3 in the US. It was also Bill Bruford’s final album. According to Anderson, Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha inspired much of the album.
Jon Anderson: Vocals
Steve Howe: guitar, electric sitar, steel guitar, backing vocals
Chris Squire: bass, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman: keyboards
Bill Bruford: drums, percussion
- “Close to the Edge”: This suite is divided into four parts: “The Solid Times of Change” (6:04) “Total Mass Retain” (2:23)–released as a single, “I Get Up, I Get Down” (5:45), and “Seasons of Man” (4:31). It starts with beautiful nature sounds for four minutes. The whole band sounds excellent, but I especially like Rick’s keys. The lyrics are inspired by a dream. Parts of it are in 12/8.
- “And You and I”: The second suite is also divided into four parts: “Cord of Life” (3:46), “Eclipse” (2:30), “The Preacher, The Teacher, and “Apocalypse” (0:47). It features some excellent folksy melodies on steel guitar. Parts of it are in 3/4 time.
- “Siberian Khatru”: This is the shortest song on the album, and the only one that isn’t a suite. “Khatru” means “as you wish” in Yemeni Arabian. It’s a song about unity in all cultures, and is often an opening number at concerts. I love its orchestral progression.
Final Verdict: This album is a masterpiece, even if its cover is kind of bland.