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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3242 ratings

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4 stars ''The Yes Album'' and the following tour promoting the album marked the last days of Tony Kaye with Yes during the 70's, as he was fired in summer 71' after the conflicts with Howe while the band was still in tour.Rick Wakeman, the Classical-trained keyboardist of The Strawbs was his replacement, thus forming the most talented Yes line-up.While Kaye had participated in the long tracks of the following ''Fragile'' album, Wakeman added his touch in several piano interludes on a couple of them.The work was originally released in November 71' on Atlantic.

''Fragile'' shows clearly the progressive turning point of Yes into more complex forms of rock music, as represented in the three long tracks of the album.In between every member contributed with a solo performance of his own, some of them are succesful (like ''Cans and Brahms, an arrangement by Wakeman on the Fourth Symphony in E minor by Johannes Brahms, or the great ''The Fish'', based on Squire's bass), some are not (I do not like ''Mood for a Day'', entirely acoustic, elegant but rather uninteresting piece by Howe).The long arrangements though are of first class and even a shorter version of ''Roundabout'' prooved to have a great luck in the Billboard charts.The original 8-min. version though is pretty outstanding, featuring nice both acoustic and electric guitar passages by Howe and huge organ runs (originally performed by Kaye) along with Jon Anderson's unique voice.''South Side of the Sky'' is another fantastic piece.The tremendous guitar chops of Howe and Anderson's essential voice are interrupted before the middle by the excellent Wakeman piano work with evident Classical and even Jazz leanings, not to mention the well-worked Yes multi-vocal arrangements and the solid drumming of Bruford.The short ''Long Distance Runaround'', despite the limited length, features an excellent Chris Squire on bass next to Howe's charming guitars.''Heart of the Sunrise'' is no less than a complete Prog and Yes classic.Fantastic bass lines by Squire, huge performance by Wakeman on pianos,organs and Mellotron and complex guitar workouts by Squire, a very tight group offering massive breaks and changing moods in a composition where harmony meets adventure.Even the smooth middle-part with Anderson's voice leading the way is pretty delicate and attractive.A total masterpiece.

A Yes classic Prog album?Definitely.A Prog masterpiece?Not exactly.The short solo tracks hurt the album's consistency, even if most of them are fine listenings.But it will be the longer compositions, which you will stuck with.Tight, complicated and balanced full-blown Progressive Rock of high quality.Highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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