Title: “Close to the Edge”
Only three tracks comprise “Close to the Edge,” Yes’ 1972 album and fifth overall studio effort.
The title track is half of the running time, a four-part progressive rock suite that winds from Bill Bruford’s chaotic percussion in the first movement to brooding solemnity as the third part closes with a church organ solo. It swells again in the final section, completing a nearly 19-minute piece the same way it started, with the sounds of chirping birds and running water.
The titular edge refers more to a philosophical cusp than the side of a mountain, drawing inspiration from the Hermann Hesse novel “Siddhartha.”
“Close” marked Yes’ final studio effort before Bruford’s departure, splitting for King Crimson as he felt Yes had reached its creative zenith.
“Siberian Khatru,” the final track, is a banger, the most bluesy and accessible piece on “Close.” Steve Howe’s guitar work stands out, driving the tune toward its big finish.
Dreaming up a piece as complex and expansive as the title cut makes “Close to the Edge” essential for one spin for prog rock enthusiasts.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.