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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3234 ratings

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5 stars Ough .. why bother reviewing old album? Two reasons: 1. This album remarks my first introduction to progressive music dated back on mid seventies (hey, at that time I was not aware on any genre of music. What I knew was: ROCK! That's it, nothing else); and this is NOW: 30 YEARS LATER!. 2. RHINO has just released this album in a nice digi- pack remaster expanded series altogether with other classic albums of YES. So, the above two enough to ignite me for this review. I might add another reason, actually, i.e. as reference for those who are new to prog music and willing to dig out the precious treasure of prog music. I got three reasons altogether! It justifies hah .? I am so happy also that this album is featured in the "School of Rock" movie.

Having gone through what I experienced three decades ago, I realize now how "fortunate" I was that this album was opened by a tune that really blew me up: "Roundabout" man ..!! This track is extremely wonderful, my friend! If it was not this track, I might probably never be in love with prog music. Probably. "Roundabout" has unusual structure : Intro-A-B-A-B-C-Intro-D-A-B-Closing. Dunno what I mean? Listen to the track and observe the melody! You would know what I mean then. Actually, the structure itself does not conclude the prog nature of this track. But if you notice, the transition between melody structure that make up this track justify this track is prog. What is prog, nayway? Opened by a guitar effect followed by acoustic guitar touch is enough to conclude that the track would be an exciting one to enjoy. You bet! When other instruments come into play, you will experience a mixture of sounds that rock but is different compared to other type of rock music (by then, I was listening to typical mainstream rock such as DEEP PURPLE, URIAH HEEP, LED ZEPPELIN). The "D" part of the structure is basically the what so called as "interlude" where Wakeman's punchy keyboard playing is combined with Howe guitar fill. The whole track is really excellent.

"We Have Heaven" was never be in my attention the first years I listened to this album. But when I watched YES Second Leg Tour in Singapore, 25 September 2003 (you may wonder how I can remember the date. Of course I do! I never seen prog band before. I had been waiting for YES performing live for approx 29 years! And most importantly, I got my face shot 'close-up' with Jon Anderson by my camera), I changed my perception. I like this track. Jon performed it very well in Singapore.

"South Side of The Sky" was another track that hit me the first time I listened to it. Opened with a stormy nuance, Bruford's dynamic drumming brings other instruments come into play and create such an excellent melody. It provides solid ground for Jon to sing. The solo piano part in the middle of the track contextualizes the whole track beautifully. Observe when the vocals part sing "na na na na na ." backed up by other instruments' sounds, you would enjoy this piece and try to emulate later. It's nice.

"Long Distance .." is track opened by Steve's solo guitar backed by Rick's keyboard sound. In this track I realize how the bass guitar sound really "walks the melody". It flows nicely with Steve's guitar melody at intro part. Chris' bass guitar playing is really dominant throughout the track. The track is closed by a stunning guitar solo that brings you to the intro of the next track "The Fish". These two tracks are best enjoyed as one track as they look like in the same structure even though the melody is different.

"Mood for A Day" is an excellent acoustic guitar piece. This track would later become the band's masterpiece as many music lovers try to play this piece. That includes me when I did try to become a guitar player.

Tell me if any human being does not like the closing track of this album "Heart of The Sunrise"!. This track is beautifully crafted and well-composed by the band. Opened with an upbeat tempo piece of music and then followed by immediate silent and then punchy bass guitar sound, combined with keyboard sound and stunning guitar. The intro part is really instrumental music for approximately "3:40" minutes before Jon sings "Love comes to you .". All of these are enough to make my adrenalin explodes, really. This track is masterpiece of prog music!

Here comes my rating: **** for sound (as it was recorded 1972), ***** for musicianship (I think all musicians contribute excellently in this album, and this is the best YES line-up, in my opinion), ***** for composition and ***** for performance. So, FIVE STAR for this masterpiece album. Don't call yourself a progger if you don't have this album in your prog collection! What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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