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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3224 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I became enamored with this record nearly 35 years ago and I literally wore out my first copy and had to buy a second. It should go without saying that this is one of THE MOST important recordings of the prog-rock genre and it may very well be Yes' best record. No other Yes album features such tight grooves and unison lines played at dizzying speeds. Fragile is prog rock's answer to jazz-fusion snobs who claim that the genre lacks virtuosic musicianship.

As GREAT, and unprecedented, as this album may be it does suffer from some serious flaws that without them would have made this album even better!

The small pieces showcasing the individual artist's solo work and their skills at classical interpretation and/or composition are superfluous. These were probably included to show critics and fans that Yes were SERIOUS musicians; or to help sell subsequent solo efforts. Well, whatever the case, they didn't have to do any of that to prove to anyone with two good ears that they were the real deal! Their egos got the best of them and they littered an otherwise PERFECT recording with unnecessary doodling. What a shame. This is not to say that Mood for a Day is bad; it's great and IMO the only solo piece that merits any space on this record(I'm an ardent RW fan, but the Cans And Brahms piece is ridiculous).

That being said, if I had been the producer of this record(ah, Mr. Eddie Offord, please let me fantasize for a few minutes, will ya?!) I would have taken all of the smaller, individual ideas from the ego massaging pieces and used them to extend Long Distance Runaround to the 8-12 minute mark. The track really grooves with Steve's quasi-jazz guitar and the tight rhythm section put down by Chris and Bill. It's a solid piece, no doubt, but way under-developed. LDR could have easily been extended to include solos by each member, hence satisfying their individual thirst for the limelight.

There are, in essence, five meaningful pieces on this record(including MFAD). If the record would have kept to these five(with an extension of LDR), IMO, Fragile would have been the crowning glory of prog rock and today may be considered the very best the genre has to offer. Unfortunately, it suffers greatly from the addition of the the "lesser" pieces.

--------------------------------------------- If I would have produced the record: --------------------------------------------- 1. Roundabout (8:29) 2. South Side Of The Sky (8:04) 3. Long Distance Runaround (3:33) <---extend to 8-12 minutes, Mr Offord ? Please! 4. Mood For A Day (3:57) <----- optional in a Yes album, OK for a solo Howe effort 5. Heart Of The Sunrise (10:34)

A note for the bass players out there: This record features some of the VERY BEST bass playing you will ever hear. Chris Squire rips the Rick to shreds on Fragile! He plays hard, fast and precise...and sweet when called to do so. Amazing, amazing work by Chris!!!

jrfernan | 5/5 |


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