Close to the Edge (18:38)

Cover of Keys to Ascension 2

From Keys to Ascension 2 and 29 other releases

Part Start Time Length
The Solid Time Of Change 0:00 6:04
Total Mass Retain 6:04 1:55
I Get Up, I Get Down 7:59 6:14
Seasons Of Man 14:13 4:30

I. The Solid Time of Change
The progressive nature of the piece is revealed immediately as the song fades in with the sounds of running water, wind chimes, and birds chirping; a layering of sounds derived primarily from “environmental tapes” collected by lead vocalist Jon Anderson. These nature sounds move through a crescendo and into a somewhat menacing guitar solo, the backdrop for which is a cacophonous musical passage that serves as a replacement for the natural cacophony that preceded it. The guitar solo is punctuated by a series of sudden vocables. Again, a crescendo signals a transformation, this time into a more down to earth melody. Like a classical composition, this melodic passage is the establishment of a theme that will go through many variations throughout the life of the song.

About four minutes into the piece, the lyrics are introduced, along with a chorus that remains throughout the song. Like the previously established melody, this chorus will be developed in many different ways, which will include changes to the lyrical content, as well as changes in time and key signatures, tempo, and harmony:

Close to the edge, round by the corner…
Not right away, not right away
Close to the edge, down by a river…
Not right away, not right away

II. Total Mass Retain


Everyone’s tags

More tags

Play with Spotify

Albums featuring this track (30)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
Yes - And You and I 11:23 89,767
Yes - Siberian Khatru 10:16 98,689
Genesis - Watcher of the Skies 7:52 62,208
Genesis - Dancing With the Moonlit Knight 8:02 79,746
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Tarkus 17:27 64,418
King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man 7:21 138,233

Listening Trend

Sorry, there was a problem fetching these charts. Please try again in a few minutes.

Explore more


Leave a comment. Log in to or sign up.
  • armandosc

    is one of the most amazing songs ever!!

    4 Feb 9:54pm Reply
  • FjordSweetFjord

    so glad I've seen Yes perform this in concert, it's a one of a kind piece of music :)

    5 Jan 7:22pm Reply
  • shingouz

    Probably the perfect song for me. Everything is in its right place, musicianship is astounding, all members show both creativity and restraint, the vocal parts are wonderful, the structure is perfect, you can listen to this song a hundred times and it will still give you something. Never again the band will be able to capture this perfect balance again.

    22 Dec 2014 Reply
  • felixonix

    Yes O key Superb.

    9 Nov 2014 Reply
  • TwistedLogic


    1 Nov 2014 Reply
  • apouroiselle

    so beautiful! love ♥

    25 Oct 2014 Reply
  • mimue58

    YES - progessiv for ever!

    14 Oct 2014 Reply
  • speedking1956


    10 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Hadron24

    An interesting read: By the way, best song forever.

    16 Jul 2014 Reply
  • petross85

    The pinnacle. The greatest music ever recorded in my opinion

    14 Jun 2014 Reply
  • venicechance

    A stunning piece of music.

    4 Jun 2014 Reply
  • pingywings

    the first time i heard this song was an important musical experience for me. i just kind of had to stop everything i was doing when the pipe organ solo came in, i was like "holy shit this is something"

    21 May 2014 Reply
  • radio_face


    9 May 2014 Reply
  • nicolasbj


    28 Mar 2014 Reply
  • pharmman52

    pure genius

    22 Mar 2014 Reply
  • brenta100

    I still remember my first time hearing this. I was in high school, around 1981 or 82. After already being familiar with Yes' hits and Asia, I wanted to explore more of their earlier stuff. I borrowed my cousin's "Yessongs" album and played the whole thing through in one go. After "Close to the Edge", my mind was blown. Still one of my all-time favorite bands.

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • bloodmaw

    the I Get Up, I Get Down section is so fucking beautiful

    1 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Philbitar

    A Progtastic Classic!!!!!!! Church organ section is to die for

    20 Nov 2013 Reply
  • CleanSpoon

    oh.. peaceful, running water and birds..mmm....HOLY FUCK. o_0

    11 Nov 2013 Reply
  • J3_R

    aaaaaaaaaah ah ah aah

    14 Aug 2013 Reply
  • All 495 shouts

Top Listeners