The 50th anniversary of prog legend Yes' "Close To The Edge" album is being celebrated by the syndicated radio show In The Studio With Redbeard: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands.
Redbeard had this to say, "The third jewel in the YES triple crown recorded in barely a year, YES Close to the Edge released in September 1972 is, for some fans, arguably their best. But there is no argument that Close to the Edge, even fifty years later, is on every Progressive Rock fan's Top Five all time list. We gather four of the brilliantly gifted YES musicians who made it here In the Studio, including vocalist/lyricist Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Bill Buford, and keyboard player Rick Wakeman to recall fondly creating and recording 'Siberian Khatru','And You and I', and the epic eighteen minute 'Close to the Edge'.
"Many of the post-British Invasion bands were approaching the rock idiom seriously by 1972, the peak year for this 'progressive ' rock movement which had matured with spectacular results, both artistically and commercially. It was the result of a combination of new technology ( the Mellotron , which crudely emulated choral and orchestral sounds ) and restless frustration with Pop music's self-imposed unwritten rules, with an increasing number of British and European bands expanding rock's canvas, musically and lyrically, without the slightest consideration to the Pop hit mainstream. Londoners YES released Close to the Edge ( Rolling Stone magazine ranked #445 on their Top 500 Albums of All Time) barely a scant nine months after their breakthrough album Fragile, while Trilogy from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, as well as Foxtrot from the Peter Gabriel-led Genesis, had critics raving and cash registers ringing. Of course all of this would culminate in Spring 1973 with the incomparable Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon , an iconic masterpiece which long ago threw off any binds imparted by categorization as progressive rock, but not before both Jethro Tull's Thick As a Brick and the Moody Blues' Seventh Sojourn would each rack up #1 international sales in 1972.
"Close to the Edge was stunningly popular, with Top Five sales in both the U.S. and UK. In these thoughtful, detailed classic rock interviews, YES lead singer/lyricist Jon Anderson, guitarist Steve Howe, extraordinary drummer Bill Bruford, and keyboard innovator Rick Wakeman provide a surprisingly candid recounting of the undisputed peak of the Progressive Rock era. While it took them barely 18 months to write and record The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge, it took almost thirty years for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's version of the Warren Commission to deny any conspiracy to bar Yes from induction. But it wasn't soon enough for YES co-founder Chris Squire, who died prior to the Rock Hall relenting in 2017. And now we have lost soft-spoken, hard-hitting drummer Alan White as well, who joined YES for the Close to the Edge tour and remained for fifty years." Stream the episode here.