Close To The Edge cover
Close To The Edge was released on 13 September 1972 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest progressive rock albums ever recorded. Inspired by Siddharta and their “state of mind” at the time, YES‘s 5th album is widely regarded as their greatest masterpiece.

When YES entered the studio with Eddie Offord to record the band’s fifth studio album in mid-1972, their second with this line-up, the band was on something of a roll. ‘Fragile‘, the band’s previous album, had taken YES to a new level of international popularity with Top Ten chart placement on both sides of the Atlantic & yielding a hit single in the USA with ‘Roundabout‘.

The band was now established in the major music markets to an extent that was, perhaps, unexpected given the complexity of the music YES performed. But with that popularity came a confidence that the expansive material of the two previous albums could be taken a stage further with the new recording.

Rather than consolidating, YES chose to innovate.

Recorded during lengthy sessions at London’s Advision Studios, ‘Close to the Edge‘ is that rarity in recorded music, the sound of a band & its individual members writing, playing and recording at the peak of their collective abilities.

The album was issued in Autumn 1972 reaching chart highs & platinum sales status of 4 in the UK, 3 in the USA & 1 in Holland, though such statistics only hint at the worldwide popularity of the album over a period of more than four decades.

The three pieces of music, the title track which spanned the entire first side of the vinyl album with ‘And You And I’ & ‘Siberian Khatru’ on side two, have remained concert favourites since release.

The album remains the favourite among many of the band’s legion of fans, a defining recording both for the band & for the progressive rock movement. It is also one of the most successful British rock albums ever released.


Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson
Bill Bruford

Bill Bruford
Steve Howe

Steve Howe
Guitars, Vocals
Chris Squire

Chris Squire
Bass, Vocals
Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman

Recommended Versions

Steven Wilson 2013 Stereo & 5.1 Remixes for Panegyric

Close To The Edge front cover
The Definitive Edition. It doesn’t get better than this. All the mixes are presented in better-than-CD-quality Audiophile 24-96 HD Audio and have been approved by the band. Both editions include a 20 page booklet featuring previously unseen artwork by Roger Dean, an essay by Sid Smith and additional photos and memorabilia. Available at Amazon on BluRay+CD (with more extras) or DVD-A+CD.

This is the only version of Close To The Edge to have been completely remixed from the original multitrack tapes since 1972. In keeping with all the other releases in this series, Steven Wilson’s approach for new stereo & 5.1 mixes is to faithfully retain the spirit & sounds of the original album mix, while applying modern mix techniques to bring further clarity to the individual instrument, vocal & overdubs for each track. The songs, instantly familiar to a multitude of Yes fans, remain so, with the new mixes – especially in 5.1 form – providing a greater sense of space for each voice to be heard. Anderson’s voice seems to join the listener in the room, Howe & Wakeman’s solos glisten with clarity and Bruford & Squire remind all that they were unmatched as a rhythm section during that period.

☟See Contents & Extras

Brand new ‘Definitive’ Steven Wilson Remixes in 24-96 HD Audio in 5.1 Surround and Stereo.
The original 1972 Eddy Offord mix recorded directly from the original master tape with no additional EQ.

America in new Steven Wilson 5.1 & Stereo and original Eddy Offord mixes.
Alternate early versions of all 3 album tracks: Close To The Edge, And You And I, Siberia.
3 Single Edits: Total Mass Retain, And You And I, America.

Extras for BluRay Edition only:
A needle drop recording of the whole album from a pristine original vinyl LP pressing .
Instrumental mixes of the whole album.
Instrumental version of America.
All the Original 1972 Mixes and Single Edits are in 24-192.

☝ Hide Contents & Extras

Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music UK/USA

Close To The Edge
Close To The Edge Remastered in 2003 from the master tape of the original 1972 Eddy Offord mix.
Available as:
HD 24-192 or 24-96 Downloads at HD Tracks
Gatefold CD at Amazon
Vinyl LP as per original release at Amazon
MP3 Downloads at iTunes (Standard Edition, Mastered for iTunes), iTunes (Deluxe Edition), 7 Digital
Streaming at Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal
The Studio Albums packshot
This Remaster of Close To The Edge is also available as part of the ‘Studio Albums 1969-1987‘ Box Set at Amazon.
The Box Set contains the following remastered albums with bonus tracks: Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator. Each individual album comes in a gatefold sleeve that replicates the original LP packaging.

Isao Kikuchi 2013 Stereo Remasters for Warner Music Japan

High Vibrations packshot
Close To The Edge is also available as part of the High Vibration SACD Box Set at Amazon.
High Vibration is a 16 x Hybrid SACD Box Set made for the Japanese fans, containing their first 13 albums on 15 discs plus a bonus disc of extra tracks. All Remastered by Isao Kikuchi at 24-96 & 16-44.1 with a 220 page book in Japanese.
Albums: Yes, Time and a Word, The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Yessongs, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, Going for the One , Tormato, Drama, 90125, Big Generator and a Bonus Disc.
Bonus Disc: Something’s Coming, Dear Father, Roundabout (Single Edit), America, Total Mass Retain (Single Version), Soon (Single Edit), Abilene, Run Through The Light (Single Version), Run With The Fox, Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Move Yourself Mix), Leave It (Single Remix), Big Generator (Remix).


Soundcloud excerpts

Steven Wilson Definitive Remixes


Dan Hersch & Bill Inglot 2003 Stereo Remasters

Close To The Edge - by Sid Smith

“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” – Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

1972 stands out as one of the key years in YES‘ long history. In a little over nine months the band consolidated its growing popularity and commercial success on both sides of the Atlantic, created one of its most revered and enduring pieces and, in the process, said farewell to a founding member. Even in the face of this setback, the undeniable momentum which had begun gathering with The Yes Album (1970) and Fragile (1971) enabled YES to embrace change with relish. Following January’s short series of European warm-up gigs, in February YES embarked upon a 38-date tour across America, taking the music to bigger and more enthusiastic audiences than before.

Roundabout single
This influx of interest was undeniably helped by the presence of Roundabout on FM radio. Bill Bruford recalls relaxing by a hotel pool and hearing the song roughly every 45 minutes. Returning to London at the end of March, the band reconvened in the basement of the Una Billings School of Dance, Shepherd’s Bush, London, piecing together the ideas and sketches that had accrued from writing sessions between Jon Anderson and Steve Howe in the hotels, soundchecks, and dressing rooms across America. “We knew we were going to do a long­form piece, something that would take up the side of an album,” recalls Squire. “Heart Of The Sunrise had really been the germination of that idea where you had different sections with contrasting flavours all working together.”
There was never any doubt in Jon Anderson’s mind as to shape this new composition would take. Despite lacking the technical skills to reproduce precisely what he was seeing and hearing in his head, Anderson’s abilities as an animateur, which bad been honed out of necessity as he guided YES, were second to none. “I was always aware of where we were heading structurally” he explains.
“I was listening to a lot of classical music while touring and Sibelius’ 5th Symphony I liked. It’s got a very wild first movement, a gentle second and the third movement is very majestic. I thought the band could get into performing with that sort of musical positioning.”
Having heard the recently released Sonic Seasonings, a double album by Wendy Carlos consisting of four side-long suites, brimming with evocative Moog-enhanced ambient environments, Anderson discussed with Eddie Offord how they might come up with something similar. “I wanted to create this sense of energy or force field before the band started, and then have the group climb out of it with a wild and crazy solo section, raving away as though we didn’t know where we were going. You’d get to a certain point and you’re going to stop dead and a very straight choral thing would come in and then the band would carry on again. The idea was very simple.”
Wendy Carlos
As Offord and Anderson looked on from the control room, Howe turned in an octave-jumping daredevil of a solo that owes little to the rock guitar conventions of the day. “I wouldn’t say we were influenced by the Mahavishnu Orchestra directly but we were all full of admiration and respect for them. It was that way-out jazz side of things we were drawing on. Bill’s got jazz roots and so have I. We didn’t want to play jazz standards but rather our own version of rock and jazz”.
The Solid Time Of Change was in part seeded from Howe’s past. “You tend to have plenty of ideas and sketches which don’t necessarily have a home, so you pitch them in. Jon and I worked like that all the time like with one of my songs which had the line ‘close to the edge, down by a river’ which actually referred to where I was living at the time, next to the River Thames.”

When Anderson heard the phrase, the symbolism of the river immediately connected to metaphors within Herman Hesse’s Siddharta, which he’d been reading at the time. “The river leads you to the ocean, all the paths lead you to the divine. So the idea was that as human beings we are close to the edge – the edge of realisation, whatever anybody else might want to think,” laughs Anderson.

Another Howe song pre-dating the rehearsal and recording sessions was thrown into the mix. As the guitarist sang “in her white lace” Anderson countered his own melody. “I started singing ‘two million people barely satisfy’. I had my head to the ground about what was happening around the world, starvation in African countries, where so many people lived so well and so many people didn’t. I get high and low on the whole concept of life. I get up, I get down. So it worked out that Steve and Chris sang that while I sang my melody over these exact same chords. It was magical more than anything because it… well, it just happened.”
Not so spontaneous, though just as crucial, to I Get Up, I Get Down is the cathartic appearance of the church organ. Recorded in the London church, St. Giles­ Cripplegate, Wakeman recalls there were huge challenges. “Back then, technology couldn’t do what I wanted it to do. So it was a matter of recording the church organ separately and then ‘floating’ it into the track from quarter-inch tape, a long and very fiddly process but absolutely worth it.”

The build in the finale of Seasons Of Man is a glorious example of YES at its most cinematic and remains a favourite ‘goose­bump’ moment in the piece for most members of the band. “That big end section, climbing the mountain. That’s that place where it’s like we were climbing the mountain, you get there and you sit back and take in the view… my head was spun every time I listened to it or sang it” says Anderson.

“When we started touring it, we had to drop that end section a full tone below, in F,” comments Howe. “To this day I think how Jon sung it originally in the studio in G minor is just amazing.”

St Giles
If Anderson knew where everything was going with side one of the album, he was less certain when it came to the second side. “With And You And I I’d written this very simple song but we got to a certain point where I said we had to create a theme, somehow it had to get bigger.”
Rick Wakeman
Although there were contributions from all of the band, Wakeman’s skills as an arranger and musical fixer were crucial to the track’s development.

“Rick was everything you wanted. He had a studio background so he knew when to speak and when not to speak, unlike me!” recalls Bruford. “If you had a problem, you went to Rick. You’d say I’ve got this thing and it’s going really well but it won’t fit this thing over here, which is also good and we’d like to use it, but when we bang the two together it doesn’t work. Rick would give the harmonic modulation necessary to do that. He’d smooth over the joins so you didn’t see it, just the person you needed.”

Wakeman agrees. “I really enjoyed doing this kind of thing and always felt this was my greatest contribution to YES in many ways.”


While And You And I explored the magisterial side of the band’s sound, Siberian Khatru remade and remodelled the archetypal driving rock song, endowing it with brilliant and typically idiosyncratic flourishes. From its jagged mutant chordal opening, the Bruford-composed cyclical guitar riff, the soaring Mellotron­-driven main theme, shifting time signatures, ornate arrangements, and visionary lyrics, its nine minutes is full of surprises, not least of which is the eclectic rush of Wakeman’s harpsichord solo.

“The late Thomas Goff built the finest harpsichords and he came to Advision to oversee the setting up of his instrument, even instructing Eddie Offord on the best way to mic and record it. I always felt that just because an instrument was perhaps labelled as doing a particular job and a particular kind of music, that that didn’t mean you couldn’t think outside of the box. What was great was the rest of the band felt the same way. Rules are there to be broken.”

Just after seven minutes as the throbbing heartbeat bass pulses, the track becomes the musical equivalent of looking into the back of a watch with the inner mechanism exposed; cogs and wheels perfectly synchronised, oiled with energy and intelligence. When the main theme kicks back in, Squire’s ascending bass almost sounds like giddy celebratory laughter, as though they can hardly believe how good the moment was. “We stole a bit from Stravinsky by having that pounding staccato pounding and at the same time throwing those accents on voice and drums and having me driving through it with that constant guitar motif. It’s a good example of hi-tech arranging circa 1972,” says Howe. If you want to understand progressive rock you need look no further.

Close To The Edge inner sleeve

“When I work on covers I don’t paint the music. I talk to the band and listen to where their ideas are coming from and what they’re trying to achieve,” says Roger Dean who was at Advision during recording sessions. Inspired by his own visits to the Scottish Highlands and the Lake District in England, Dean’s work not only encapsulated the environments implicit in the music and lyrics but, in effect, created a space into which listeners could project their own stories and interpretations. “The Close To The Edge cover came from wanting to paint a world that was magical and miniature and impossible but totally credible. I was painting landscapes to look real and, in the most literal sense of the word, enticing. I wanted it to pull you in and make people want to imagine what it would be like to visit that place.”

Close to the Edge billboard

Complete with its striking cover artwork, Close To The Edge not only raised YES‘ game, spurring the band on to even more audacious experiments, but setting the bar at a higher level for other bands of the day.

What should have been a moment of triumph was undercut when Bruford announced he was leaving to join King Crimson.

“It made finishing the album a bitter-sweet experience. Bill leaving for King Crimson was always the strangest thing to me at the time, especially as we were doing so well. It was confusing, really. Of course, we ended up with Alan White and he’s been with us ever since, so it didn’t work out too badly,” chuckles the bassist.

“I didn’t have a clue he wanted to leave until the last day when he dropped his bombshell,” admits Wakeman. “I always respected Bill for his decision which was purely musically based, but I was very upset at the time.”

41 years after its release there’s a unanimous enthusiasm and affection among the players for Close To The Edge.
“There’s a lot of good music on that album, good arranging, good melodies. We were pioneering something and we pulled it off,” says Squire.

“Its impact was immense. It shaped YES‘ music for a long time to come,” offers Wakeman. “We weren’t trying to be complex but the complexity of our parts produced a music that was quite unique,” observes Howe.

“It’s still a record I love to hear,” says Bruford, “and it cheers me up no end. A masterpiece.”

YES onstage
Anderson sums it up as a fine example of YES remaining true to its collective/shared artistic vision. “It had nothing to do with radio, nothing to do with rock’n’roll, nothing to do with the business, nothing to do with the record companies. It had everything to do with music. When I listen to Chris, Bill, Rick and Steve performing and me singing, it’s one of those pieces where you just thank the gods that you were able to be in that place at that time to be able to be part of that experience.”

Sid Smith
August 2013, Whitley Bay

Sid Smith is a freelance music writer and author of numerous sleeve notes. A regular contributor to Prog magazine, BBC Music and other publications, he is also the author of In The Court of King Crimson and Northstars. You can find out more at


Click on the song title to view the lyrics.



A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace
And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace,
And achieve it al l with music that came quickly from afar
Then taste the fruit of man recorded losing all against the hour

And assessing points to nowhere leading every single one,
A dewdrop can exalt us like the music of the sun
And take away the plain in which we move and choose the course you’re

Running down at 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

Crossed a line around the changes of the summer
Reaching out to call the colour of the sky,
Passed around a moment clothed in mornings faster than we see
Getting over all the time I had to worry
Leaving all the changes far from far behind
We relieve the tension only to find out the master’s name.

Down at the end, round by the corner
Close to the edge, just by the river
Seasons will pass you by.

I get up. I get down.

Now that it’s all over and done
Now that you find, now that you’re whole.


My eyes convinced eclipsed with the younger moon attained with love
It changed as almost strained amidst clear manna from above.
I crucified my hate and held the word within my hand
There’s you, the time, the logic, or the reasons we don’t understand.

Sad courage claimed the victims standing still for all to see
As armoured movers took approach to overlook the sea
There since the cord, the license, or the reasons we understood will be

Down at the edge, close by a river
Close to the edge, round by the corner
Close to the end, down by the corner
Down at the edge, round by the river.

Sudden call shouldn’t take away the startled memory
All in all the journey takes you all the way.
As apart from any reality that you’ve ever seen and known.
Guessing problems only to deceive the mention,
Passing paths that climb halfway into the void
As we cross from side to side we hear the total mass retain.

Down at the end, round by the corner
Close to the end, down by the river.
Seasons will pass you by.

I get up. I get down.


In her white lace she could clearly see
The lady sadly looking saying that she’d take the blame
For the crucifixion of her domain.

Two million people barely satisfy
Two hundred women watch one woman cry too late.

Thru the duty she would coil their said
Amusement of her story asking only

Interest could be laid
Upon the children of her Domain.

The eyes of honesty can achieve
How many millions do we deceive
Each day?

I get up. I get down
I get up. I get down

In charge of who is there in charge of me
Do I look on blindly and say I see
The way?

The truth is written all along the page
How old will I be before I come of age
For you?

I get up. I get down.
I get up. I get down.
I get up. I get down.
I get up. I get down.
I get up. I get down.


The time between the notes relates the colour to scenes,
A constant vogue of triumphs dislocate man so it seems,
And space between the focus shape ascend knowledge of love
As song and chance develop time lost social temperance rules above

Then according to the man who showed his outstretched arm to space,
He turned around and pointed revealing all the Human race,
I shook my head and smiled a whisper knowing all about the place.

On the hill we viewed the silence of the valley

Called to witness cycles only of the past
And we reach all this with movements in between the said remark

Close to the edge, down by the river.
Down at the end, round by the corner.
Seasons will pass you by
Now that it’s all over and done
Called to the seed right to the sun
Now that you find now that you’re whole
Seasons will pass you by.

I get up. I get down.
I get up. I get down.
I get up. I get down.


Jon Anderson & Steve Howe


Jon Anderson – lead vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – keyboards



A man conceived a moment’s answers to the dream,
Staying the flowers daily sensing all the themes.
As a foundation left to create the spiral aim,
A movement regained and regarded both the same.
All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you.

Changed only for a sight of sound the space agreed
Between the picture of time behind the face of need.
Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid
Emotion revealed as the ocean maid
All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you.

Coins and crosses never know their fruitless worth
Cords are broken, locked, inside the Mother Earth.
They won’t hide hold
They won’t tell you
Watching the world,
Watching all of the world,
Watching us go by.

Turn round tailor assaulting all
The mornings of the interest shown,
Presenting one another to the
Cord, all left dying, rediscovered
Of the door, that turned round to close
The cover, all of the interest shown to
Turn to one another, to the sign
At the time
Float your Climb

And you and I climb over the sea to the valley,
And you and I reached out for reasons to call.


Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid.
Emotion revealed as the ocean maid

As a movement regained and regarded both the same,
All complete in the side of seeds of life with you.


Sad preacher nailed upon the colour door of time,
Insane teacher be there reminded of the rhyme,
There’ll be no mutant enemy we shall certify.
Political ends as sad remains will die.
Reach out as forward tastes begin to enter you.

I listened hard but could not see
Life tempo change out and inside me.
The preacher trained in all to lose his name,
The teacher travels asking to be shown the same.
In the end, we’ll agree, we’ll accept, we’ll immortalise
That the truth of the man maturing in his eyes
All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you.

Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid,
As a movement regained and regarded both the same
Emotion revealed as the ocean maid
A clearer future, morning, evening, nights with you.


And you and I climb, crossing the shapes of the morning.
And you and I reach over the sun for the river.
And you and I climb, clearer, towards the movement.
And you and I called over valleys of endless seas.


Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford & Chris Squire


Jon Anderson – lead vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – keyboards


Sing bird of prey
Beauty begins at the foot of you
Do you believe the manner?

Gold stainless nail
Torn thru the distance of man
As they regard the summit.

Even Siberia goes through the motions
So hold out and hold on
Hold down the window.
Hold out the morning that comes into view.


River running right on over my head.

How does she sing
Who holds the ring and ring
And you will find me coming.
Cold reigning king hold all the secrets from you
As they produce the movement.

Even Siberia goes thru the motions
So hold out and hold on
Hold down the window.
Hold out the morning that comes into view.


River running right on over my head.

In time

Hold down the window
Hold out the morning that comes into view
Warm side the tower
Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru

Gold stainless nail,
Torn thru the distance of man
As they regard the summit.
Cold reigning king shelter the woman that sings
As they produce the movement
River running right on over my head.

Blue tail
Tail fly
In time
Cover lover
June cast
Moon fast
As one
Heart Gold
Soul mark
Called out
Moon Gate
Turn Round


Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman


Jon Anderson – lead vocals
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
Steve Howe – guitars, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – keyboards

A note from Steven Wilson about his 'Definitive Edition' YES Album Remixes

Understanding the difference between remastering and remixing is fundamental to understanding why these new ‘Definitive Editions’ of classic YES albums sound so different to previous ones.

Since the advent of CD in the early 80’s, all the 60’s and 70’s YES albums have been remastered for the different editions by various mastering engineers. Each time this remastering process broadly involved taking the mix from the same original Eddy Offord stereo master tape and applying different amounts of EQ and compression to it. This means that if the mastering engineer decided that the bass guitar needed more bottom end then he/she had to add bass across the whole track, therefore affecting other elements in the mixes too. Additionally many of these reissues have been subjected to mastering compression to make them sound louder and in theory more “exciting”, but at the expense of the natural dynamics of the recording. For a band like YES where there is so much subtlety and dynamics in the music this “ear-fatiguing” approach would seem to be wrong to me.

Remixing, on the other hand, entails a more sophisticated and time consuming process – going back to the original 16 or 24 track multitrack session tapes, and then recreating the mix from the drums up. Applying EQ to each individual instrument (rather than across a whole mix), rebalancing, recreating echo, reverberation, phasing and other effects, making volume moves, positioning elements in the stereo spectrum, and more. In doing this, since we now have the ability to work with the latest high resolution audio tools, it allows for greater clarity between instruments to be achieved. No additional compression has been added at all. The remixes may seem quieter, and you may have to turn up your stereo, but that is because all of the natural dynamics have been retained.

That’s not to say that this means these new mixes are “better”, because particularly the original mixes of albums such as The Yes Album, Fragile, and Close to the Edge are brilliant. So if you are intimately familiar with them the new versions may sit uncomfortably with you, no matter how faithfully I tried to stay close to the originals. But if you treat the new mixes as an alternate perspective, you may notice additional details you hadn’t before, and more importantly the new stereo mixes are a step along the way to creating the 5.1 surround sound mixes. (Note that if you just can’t get on with the remixes, then the original mixes are also included in these reissues for the first time as high resolution flat transfers, so none of that added mastering EQ or compression, exactly as they left the studio after Eddy had mixed them).

Additionally returning to the archives gave me a chance to mix unreleased material from the multitrack session tapes for the very first time – either things that the band had originally recorded but abandoned prior to mixing, alternate takes, or different perspectives of the album takes (such as the instrumental mixes, or the a cappella mix of “We Have Heaven” from Fragile).

I hope you enjoy the definition and clarity of these new mixes in high resolution 96/24 audio, and of course especially in 5.1 surround sound where these classic albums really open out and shine!

Steven Wilson

YES albums available in Steven Wilson Definitive Editions

Get the Definitive versions of 5 Classic YES Albums on Amazon: The Yes Album, Fragile, Close To The Edge, Relayer and Tales From Topographic Oceans.
Remixed & Remastered by Steven Wilson in HD24-96 5.1 & Stereo, and also including the original YES/Eddy Offord mix, with a host of extra tracks.

The Yes Album
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Get BluRay/CD (more extras)

Close To The Edge
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Get BluRay/CD (more extras)

Tales From Topographic Oceans
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