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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3241 ratings

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4 stars With Fragile the classic line up of Yes took off. You know the lot, Anderson, Howe, Squire, Bruford and newbie and most over-rated musician of all times Rick Wakeman (just trying to upset you really:). Let's also not forget Roger Dean whose defining artwork graces this record. That man is one of the reasons why one keeps holding on to his vinyl! This line up would last for just 2 studio albums that would turn out to be the most relevant for Yes.

My main cause for Yes enjoyment is the exceptional trio of Bruford, Squire and Anderson. Bruford for his sophisticated rhythms and focused virtuosity, Squire for his power (and determining influence on Geddy Lee), and Anderson for his rich vocal lines and stunning voice. The often overstated style of Wakeman is still under control here and so is the nervy string attack of Howe.

As each individual member was given his moment in the spotlight, the album has a number of short ditties that don't exactly make up for a coherent listening experience. On the other hand it brings some diversity and adds a playful twist to this album that is usually absent from Yes's weightiness. With Roundabout, South Side and Heart of the Sunrise, the album will easily float to the top of anyone's list of prog favourites. Only Squire's tuneless la la lala's in South Side spoil the experience somehow. Heart of the Sunrise is an extremely powerful piece. If only 5 minutes could survive from the entire rock scene from the 70's, it might as well be the first 5 of this track for me.

I think all the shorter tracks are quite pleasant, but Long Distance / The Fish and Mood for a Day are sure the most noteworthy. My CD-issue doesn't have the America bonus, but judging from what I've heard, it's quite dreadful. The absence from my CD gives more cause for celebration then a reason to buy this record for a third time.

I'd rate this slightly below CTTE and The Yes Album, but it's a sure classic, essential for Yes fans and excellent for people with less neurotic tastes. (Now I've sure upset you :)

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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