“We were on top of the world when we made Close To The Edge,” says singer-songwriter Jon Anderson, recalling the early months of 1972 when he and his Yes mates (guitarist Steve Howe, bassist Chris Squire, keyboardist Rick Wakeman and drummer Bill Bruford) holed up inside London’s Advision Studios to record the follow-up to their breakout hit, Fragile, which was released a year earlier.
“The band had just done a huge tour for Fragile,” says Anderson, “and we were quite pleased at how the audiences were loving the longer pieces that we played live. Roundabout was eight minutes long, Starship Trooper was nine, and Heart Of The Sunrise was over 11 minutes. These are well-constructed pieces of music that really worked on stage. We were feeling very powerful, like we could do anything.”
And that they did. Comprised of just three songs – the title track along with And You And I, both four-movement epics, plus the relatively short (at eight minutes, 55 seconds) Siberian Khatru – Close To The Edge was the result of the progressive rock band’s musical impulses running on full, a broad canvas of dizzying instrumental exchanges supporting Anderson’s sublime, mystical poetic vistas. [read]