Album Of The Week: Close to the Edge

Album Of The Week: Close to the Edge

Maddox Wolfgram, Staff Writer

Close to the Edge, released in 1972, is the fifth studio album released by the English progressive rock band Yes. Widely regarded as one of the best progressive rock albums of all time, it features a wide range of electronics, guitars, and other instruments. This album marked the last time drummer Bill Bruford would work with the band.

The album kicks off with the 18 minute masterpiece “Close to the Edge.” The song is broken up into four sections, “I. The Solid Time of Change,”  “II. Total Mass Retain,”  “III. I Get Up I Get Down,” and “IV. Seasons of Man.” The song slowly fades in with the peaceful sounds of a running river and birds chirping, before exploding into a flurry of guitars, drums, and all kinds of electronic instruments. This first section lasts for a few minutes, before slowing down a bit and adding vocals for section 2. The song features an incredibly catchy chorus that changes as the song progresses. The third section slows the song to a halt. This section has an incredibly peaceful aura and dreamy, light vocals. The vocals ascend into an immense church organ section that gave me chills the first time I listened to it. This section transitions abruptly into another fast paced section, featuring a lightning fast keyboard solo. It leads into one final epic chorus, before fading away into the same bird/river sounds it began with. This marks the end of one of my favorite songs of all time.

The second song on Close to the Edge is “And You and I,” a slower song that starts with a light 12 string acoustic guitar. “And You and I” serves as a brilliantly peaceful decompressor after the first track. The song feels like you are floating down a river on a starry night. It may not have as many complicated transitions/instrumentals as “Close to the Edge,” but it still provides a wonderful listening experience with a fantastic ending.

The third and final song on the album, “Siberian Khatru,” returns to the classic progressive rock style. The song contains everything you could want—themes, bridges, riffs, electronics, and an epic guitar section at the end. The band plays incredibly fast-paced, but you still get a clean guitar on top of everything happening around it.

Overall, Close to the Edge is probably my second favorite progressive rock album, just behind Animals by Pink Floyd. I would recommend it to anyone looking to get into progressive rock. This album, in my book, is a 10/10.