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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3236 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Fragile is the first Yes album to feature keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman. It also stands as their heaviest and most metallic disc. Fragile took the momentum gained from Steve Howe's induction on the previous outing The Yes Album and propelled it forward into one of the greatest prog albums of all time. Fragile consists of five songs written by and featuring one member of the band. The other four songs are group collaborations.

Roundabout opens the album with its lush keyboards before Chris Squire's immortal bassline enters. This is Yes' most popular song and it's one of their best. Rick Wakeman comes prepared to play with his great solo

Cans and Brahms is Wakeman's solo piece. He adapted Brahms for keyboard. This is definite filler, and one expects more from Wakeman.

We Have Heaven flirts with filler, but it is enjoyable, just pointless.

South Side of the Sky makes up for the stumble with its woven guitar and vocal lines and its ethereal jazziness.

Five Percent For Nothing is Bill Bruford's solo piece, and it's the first thoroughly enjoyable solo song. The problem is that it's over in the blink of an eye. If only he'd lengthened it.

Long Distance Runaround is the next group work. It starts strong and heavy, later the volume drops for a moment, then comes roaring back louder than before. Terrific.

The Fish is Chris Squire's solo contribution. He overdubs varying bass parts almost like a bass Brian May (Queen). It serves as a great display of his talents.

Mood For a Day is a classical guitar interlude courtesy of Steve. This track shows just how good Steve is at his job.

Heart of the Sunrise is the album's closer, and what a high note to end on. The song pummels from the get-go with its thunderous bass and frantic guitar, before dropping into celestial keys, only to come back with the riff, similar to Long Distance Runaround. Jon's vocals are stunning, if "SHARP-DISTANCE" doesn't make the hairs on your neck stand up, you're dead inside.

As a whole, Fragile is an incredible work of art with only one, maybe two, filler tracks. This is an excellent starting point for newbies to Yes. The presence of filler prevents it from being a full five star, but it comes darn close. I wish we could give half stars

Grade: B+

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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