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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3236 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars How do you make a band worse? Enter Rick Wakeman.

Coming off of the groundbreaking "The Yes Album" with it's varied solos, time changes, timbres, and "epics", Yes felt it necessary to get heady, pompous, pretentious, and bombastic... and the worst was yet to come. Anderson's squeeky vocals, the periodic meandering of Howe, and the snarling bass of "all tone" Squire doesn't complicate the matter, it just reminds us of how this band truly relies on it's tone and instrumentation, not it's song writing, setting us up for future releases, as well as understanding the expendability (sic) of keyboard players.

On to the good:

An extremely accessible album. Great to get your feet wet. All the long players are extremely well written commercial prog songs. However, the vignettes could be scrapped save for Howe's solo acoustic "Mood For A Day", an excellent classical and classic guitar piece.

Bruford pounds away with that damn snare like a king and exercises precision behind the kit, as he always does.

Wakeman chimes in when he wants as long as his manager says it's ok. I think he was paid by the note, though his Mellotron on "Heart Of The Sunrise" is just divine... but Divine was also a drag queen...

Anderson is being Anderson. Those lyrics are open to arbitrary deciphering, though I wouldn't try it. You might open a rift in the time barrier.

Squire is such a powerhouse. That friggin' Rickenbacker. It's like a snowplow. It comes through the song and sometimes it's all you hear. He knows how to make himself noticed.

Howe shines the most with his chord arrangements and proficiency which shows during "South Side Of The Sky's" heavy parts, the jazz melodies of "Long Distance Runaround", and the swells in "Heart Of The Sunrise", which is among the best moments of prog, until you pass the 20th time you get stoned to it. This is a guitarist's album and he's a killer guitarist.

There isn't too much to say about this album because almost every prog head and AOR rock radio mutt, as I know them, has it. It often get over credited as the proper album to become introduced to prog. I span this album countless times and learned every blasted note Squire pooped out on my own Rickenbacker. That says alot if you ask me. Band rehearsals were grueling when Johnny (me) noodled on "Long Distance Runaround" between breaks.

Get it for the history lesson. Then get Gentle Giant's "Octopus" afterwards. Realize then that Yes, like Dream Theatre, isn't the only band in the world.

You'll see what I mean.

Monsterbass74 | 3/5 |


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