Lack of Environment

A blog on the politics and psychology underlying the denial of all our environmental problems

Yes – Close to the Edge (are we?)

with 11 comments

Some young boys are infatuated with their teachers (of either gender). However, thanks to the influence of a slightly older friend, I was totally sold-out on the classic British prog-rock band YES

Yes - album covers

Roger Dean’s Album Cover artwork for the YES albums ‘Fragile’ (1971) and ‘Close to the Edge’ (1972).

Their albums were all brilliant (or so at least I thought at the time); as was the artwork produced by Roger Dean. At one time, I almost had a complete collection of them: I think my favourite was Fragile – for both its music and its artwork. In fact, wow, this is somewhat disconcerting, could it be that this is where my almost subconscious concern for the environment originally came from…?

I still don’t know what Close to the Edge was all about lyrically or, indeed, if it was about anything in particular; but the incorporation and/or electronic generation of sound-effects (like dripping water) in the recording was truly ground-breaking. It is perhaps time, then, for a trip down memory lane…

As you ponder the transient nature – and possibly perilous position – of our existence on planet Earth, I hope you will therefore enjoy this amazing juxtaposition of a live performance of part of Close to the Edge with awesome helicopter video footage of Angel Falls in Venezuela; the Grand Canyon; the Serengeti and Victoria Falls in Africa…

Polite Notice:
Will all those who are inclined to indulge in blame-shifting arguments please note that I do not own a video camera; I have never been in a helicopter; and I have never flown to or over the locations featured in this video.


Update (16 August 2012): For a better appreciation of YES’ artistic merit watch this:

Written by Martin Lack

9 August 2012 at 00:02

11 Responses

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  1. That’s a breath-taking video – close to the edge, indeed!


    9 August 2012 at 14:21

  2. […] Yes – In Close To The Edge (are we?) Martin reflects on the classic British rock band YES, and the artwork that graced their album […]

  3. Only those who don’t grok the magic of large numbers are surprised by coincidences. The fact that I haven’t even thought of Yes for years, let alone listened to any of their music, and yet here you are, pointing me to a post of yours that features them…

    Their albums were all brilliant (or so at least I thought at the time)

    Yes certainly had their moments; and, indeed, still have them. I recently bought ‘Fly From Here‘, but I’m not enamoured with it yet, The music of Yes can, I think, demand a little, um, persistence. But when you get it, you get it.

    I have both ‘Fragile’ and ‘Close to the Edge’ on vinyl, rotting someplace… they were never my favourites; I think perhaps Relayer was, especially the prayer to peace that is Soon:


    4 February 2013 at 20:50

    • Note that this was posted several months ago. The only coincidence, therefore, is that both you and I should have had a fascination with YES as boys. At one point, I almost had a complete set of albums on vinyl. Sadly, now I only have two; and Relayer is not one of them, so, thank you for this trip down memory lane.

      Martin Lack

      4 February 2013 at 21:30

      • I did note the date (I usually remember to check, because it’s, um, very relevant context!); I keep trying to point out the potential for non-linearity in blogging… damn, I will have to finish that post someday soon just so I can point you to it instead of continuing to make half-references to it. You see, from where you sit, you knew this post was here all along, whereas I didn’t — and so, to me, it might as well have been penned yesterday.

        Another sort-of-coincidence-that-you’ll-probably-argue-isn’t is that I’ve just downloaded (and am listening to, as I write this) the complete Relayer album (via


        4 February 2013 at 22:41

        • OK, thanks. I get it now. ‘Relayer’ is a good title for music obtained via cyberspace.😉

          Martin Lack

          5 February 2013 at 10:07

    • A couple of more thoughts on Yes… When I was about 12, my favourite (geography and music) teacher would allow pupils to bring in their favourite music and each week he would allow one to be played to the whole class. My life-long appreciation of classical music (evident even at a tender age) was due to a combination of my Dad and this teacher. The latter was therefore very shocked when I requested that he play ‘Parallels’ (with Rick Wakeman at the Organ of a church in St Moritz):

      But that was only because ‘Awaken’ is too long:

      (Check out the notes by the person that uploaded this to You Tube)

      Martin Lack

      5 February 2013 at 20:48

      • Well, I never. I never heard that before. Thank you!


        5 February 2013 at 22:09

        • Which have you never heard – ‘Parallels’ or ‘Awaken’?

          Martin Lack

          5 February 2013 at 22:12

  4. Another not-coincidence. If I weren’t feeling so semi-convinced of the looming cliff, I’d be feeling optimistic. It’s a funny old world…


    5 February 2013 at 23:17

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