|Song by Yes|
|from the album Close to the Edge|
|Close to the Edge track listing|
"Siberian Khatru" is the third song on the album Close to the Edge by English progressive rock band Yes. Live versions of the song are included on the albums Yessongs, Keys to Ascension, Live at Montreux 2003 and In the Present – Live from Lyon. Multiple performances of the song are included on the 2015 boxed-set Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two, which features seven complete consecutive concerts recorded on the band's late 1972 North American tour.
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"Siberian Khatru" is written in the key of G major and is typical of Yes' music of this period, featuring abstruse lyrics, complex time signatures and polyrhythms, and it is divided into multiple sections, with alternating vocal and instrumental passages. The album version begins with an introductory guitar riff, after which the main instrumental theme (played by the keyboards) is introduced. The structure of the main theme is a four-measure phrase consisting of three bars in common time (4/4) and the last bar in 3/4. This theme is repeated until the verse section begins. The lyrics start at about 1:05. The song progresses through various sections, featuring solos by Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman. There is a polymetric section featuring the guitar, playing in a meter of 12, and bass and drums playing in a meter of 8. Jon Anderson begins singing seemingly random two-syllable words and phrases, which has since become a Yes tradition. The conclusion is similar to the introduction, returning to the main instrumental theme with a guitar solo on top of it, which fades out to the end of the track.
In live performances of the period, when it was regularly used as the opening number, the final chord of the pre-recorded "walk-on" music (the closing passage of Stravinsky's The Firebird) was cross-faded into a bridging minor-key Mellotron passage, followed by the opening guitar riff, and was usually concluded with a reprise of opening riff.
Music inspired by "Siberian Khatru"
John Frusciante, the former guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers has cited the guitar solo at the end of "Siberian Khatru" as an influence for his own guitar solo on the 1999 Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Get on Top": "I was thinking about Steve Howe's solo at the end of Yes' "Siberian Khatru". The band sound is really big — and they're playing fast — and then this clean guitar comes out over the top. It's really beautiful, like it's on its own sort of shelf. For "Get on Top", I wanted to play something that would create a contrast between the solo and the background."
- Jon Anderson – lead vocals
- Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
- Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ, RMI 368 Electra-Piano and Harpsichord, Mellotron, Minimoog
- Bill Bruford – drums, percussion
- "John Frusciante Interview". Retrieved 2012-07-09.
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