Yes release Close to the Edge

Close to the Edge is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes.

According to the vocalist, Jon Anderson, the title track is inspired by Hermann Hesse's book Siddhartha. This interpretation, which can cast the cryptic and mysterious lyrics in a new light, reads the song as tracking 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 suddenly 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 member) Alan White to replace him before starting a new U.S. tour.

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 will come 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, significantly longer than the album's other tracks. Here the centerpiece is the song "Close to the Edge". Later Yes albums that follow a similar pattern are Relayer (which features "The Gates of Delirium"), Going for the One (which features "Awaken") and Talk (which features "Endless Dream").

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.

The album is listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. voted it the greatest progressive album of all time in 2006. Guitar World ranked it #67 in their (Reader's Choice) list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time. As of December 17, 2010, it is ranked as the 72th greatest album of all time on Rate Your Music.

Rhino Records issued a remastered and expanded version of Close to the Edge on August 26th, 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").

Close to the Edge (Atlantic K 50012) was released on Atlantic Records in September 1972. It reached #4 in the UK, and it reached #3 in the U.S. (Atlantic SD 7244) during a chart stay of 32 weeks. In the Netherlands it reached #1 on the Dutch album charts, and has been the only Yes album to do so.

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.