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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3242 ratings

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5 stars This is my first review in PA, and so I thought I'd devote it to my first genuine prog album.

In late 1971 I was in the 9th grade. Foosball parlors were the rage (in rural North Carolina anyway), and I'd ride my Schwinn Continental 10-speed to the foosball parlor at the shopping center to hang out and thwack the foosballs into the goals. That place was my favorite foosball parlor because the tables were exclusively Bonzini and Rene-Pierre instead of the awful German tables. Something about the softer surfaces of the table and the balls made the game more fun for me.

There was no iPod, so I had to leave my small collection of LPs at home and depend on whatever was on the jukebox for tunes. I was listening to Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, and ZZ Top at home, and the jukebox had some of that. Then one day I heard the 45 version of Roundabout. Wow. That was different. Play it again. How about the B-side? Long Distance Runaround. Also wow, though not quite so much. Next day, rode to John's Music Shop to look for whatever LP this magic music was extracted from. John looked it up. Didn't have it. Ordered it. Not only no iPod, but no FedEx. Wait. Wait. Wait. Several days later, Fragile was spinning on my little plastic record player.

The album opens with 8.5 minutes of Roundabout. I'd heard the 45 version of Roundabout several times by then, but the album version just blew me away. I've now heard it more than a dozen times live and Bog only knows how many times on the stereo, and I never tire of hearing Roundabout. The album also includes 5 "solo" pieces, all of which are somewhat interesting, but only The Fish and Mood for a Day bear relisten for me these days. (The Fish shows up in a HYPNOS 69's The Empty Hourglass -- nice.) Of course Long Distance Runaround is here, but it's the same as the 45 B-side version (or close enough). The other two long pieces are South Side of the Sky, which was another Wow for me -- provocative lyrics, exciting intricate rock and roll music. I still enjoy hearing it, but it's not on my "Desert Island iPod."

And then there's the other long piece: Heart of the Sunrise. This incredible 10-minute song still blows me away every time I listen to it. If there were some way for me to erase this song from my memory and so rehear it for the first time, I'd be tempted to give it a try. It could very well be my favorite piece of music, and is certainly in my top 10.

Even though the 5 solo tunes and Long Distance Around are not masterpieces, this album gets 5 stars from me based on Heart of the Sunrise, Roundabout, and South Side of the Sky.


krishl | 5/5 |


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