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FRÁGIL

Symphonic Prog • Peru


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Frágil biography
In the mid 70's a new band called FRÁGIL appeared in the Peruvian Progressive scenario and they were the first ones to be really popular in a country where most people listens radio music.

Around 1978 they had a big fan base and full auditoriums of Peruvians went to see Andres Dulude dressed like Peter Gabriel singing I Know What I Like, Octavio Castillo playing with his keyboard the dramatic intro of Watcher of the Skies or Luis Valderrama playing the guitar parts of Stairway to Heaven, but that wasn't all, they also had time for some Yes tracks like Your Move/All Good People which was almost an hymn for them and many other famous classics from Prog' bands.

After a few years of full halls and lots of excellent cover versions, they started to include a few songs with lyrics in Spanish, all pure and pristine progressive, in a first moment their fans accepted reluctantly the new songs because we wanted to feel that we were seeing Yes, Genesis or Led Zeppelin or at least the closest version possible for us, but the songs were so good that soon were accepted by all the audience and from that moment FRÁGIL refused to play anything that was not composed by them.

1980 was a crucial year for FRÁGIL, they recorded their first album AVENIDA LARCO, which was released in 1981 by a TV station producer called Pantel, this album was an immediate success, mostly because of the song Viernes Sangriento (Bloody Friday) that mentioned well known places and common situations related with women and liquor on a famous street of Lima.

All the album has a clear Genesis influence with a touch of Yes and Jethro Tull (especially in the track Lizzy).

After this album their fame started to grow but they lost the chance to became international, mostly because they always refused to release songs in a different language than Spanish.

I read reviews about this album saying it has a clear Marillion influence, but this is not possible, because most of the songs were composed before Marillion even was formed, FRÁGIL is a clearly symphonic band, not Neo Prog' as some people believe.

As the years passed the band lost part of their audience mostly because they had some changes in the lineup especially Andrés Dulude who is a very charismatic front man and the drummer Arturo Creamer who was replaced by the very capable Jorge Durand but also because they started to mix progressive Rock with mainstream and Peruvian Black Folk music.

They ...
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FRÁGIL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FRÁGIL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 17 ratings
Avenida Larco
1981
3.24 | 5 ratings
Serranio
1990
2.69 | 4 ratings
Cuento Real
1993
3.85 | 4 ratings
Alunado
1997

FRÁGIL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 12 ratings
Sorpresa Del Tiempo
2002

FRÁGIL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FRÁGIL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 13 ratings
Frágil
1990

FRÁGIL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FRÁGIL Reviews


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 Sorpresa Del Tiempo by FRÁGIL album cover Live, 2002
3.74 | 12 ratings

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Sorpresa Del Tiempo
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars Frágil have been one of Peru's most important progressive rock bands for over twenty-five years, and to show that they are not at all pretentious this live album was recorded in 1999 with a 26-piece philharmonic orchestra. The booklet and all of the songs are in Spanish, so I can't tell you a great deal about what is going on, but I do know that the band are a five piece with Andrés Dulude on vocals and acoustic guitar (and he seems to wear quite strange make-up), César Bustamante on bass, Luis Valderrama on guitar, Octavio Castillo (keys/flute) and Jorge Durand (drums).

I have been racking my brains and can't think of any other South American prog bands that I have heard, the closest I can get to is Cast from Mexico, but I do know that when prog bands tour over there they get a rave reception. This is one of those annoying live albums that does fade in and out a bit (I know that it is rarely an actual concert, but I like to imagine that it is) yet the music does manage to make up for it. The crowd are obviously huge fans and on "Mundo Raro" it takes a while for Andrés to start singing just because all of the crowd are doing it for him.

This is not exciting or ground breaking prog, but rather music that takes lots of influences (at one time the guitar sounded exactly the same as Gary Chandler's) such as Camel, Tull, Genesis and mixes it with a Spanish feel and local sounds to make music that is enjoyable and listenable without being hard work. The orchestra are used mostly as an extra keyboard player although it can take on a more driving edge when the brass is more to the fore. Overall while not essential it is a very pleasant album.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

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 Avenida Larco by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.12 | 17 ratings

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Avenida Larco
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by debrewguy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Sometimes an album sneaks up on you. This one did, and it took only a few listens for it to find a cherished place in my collection.

First, let me fully admit that Fragil do have a Pop element to their music. Not the vapid top 40 pablum fed by Corporate Radio, but in the sense of having an excellent melodic sense, i.e the ability to write songs that stay with you long after you've heard them. As such, it is no surprise to read Ivan mentioning that Avenida Larco had been a hit single in Peru.

How would I describe their sound here - imagine if Genesis had built on their approach from And Then There Were Three, reined in the wall of sound synths, balanced it out with acoustic guitars, and displayed the melodies more prominently. Or a less pompous sounding Saga. (not that I mind that sort of sound for Saga) . Or a less morose H era Marillion without the massive synth washes. Again, not to say I dislike that aspect of Marillion, just a comparison. I can't speak of the lyrics, as I speak no Spanish. But the ambience is generally an upbeat one.

One caveat - if you are a purist, and cannot tolerate the slightest hint of Pop music, this is not the album for you. If you can be open to some Pop's ability to fit in well in a Symphonic prog style, this is worth your time.

Best of all, you have MP3s and videos available here that will decisively give you an answer to whether this is music for you.

Put a little South America sun into your prog. Give this a listen !

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 Cuento Real by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.69 | 4 ratings

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Cuento Real
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars There are not a lot of Peruvian bands so even if this effort needs to be mentioned, one will not spend a memorable moment listening to this work (whatever you may or not understand the lyrics).

The intro "Cholita Linda" is a kind of tribal rock track (whatever this might mean) and really a bad opener. "Cuento Real" is much better though : nice vocals, good melody and complex theme. "La Guerra del Quien Soy Yo" starts like a Genesis track (when they were three) and like most of it, it is not brilliant.

Again "Ceja de Selva" can be categorized into the "tribal genre" and could be avoided. "La Historia de Adelaida" has a reggae influence and is above average for this album. "El Caiman" and "Lizy" are short, mellow tracks (à la "Talk to the Wind" from KC).

"Mirando a Travez de un Cristal" is my fave here : starts real slow and builds crescendo with nice background guitar. The highlight. As you see, not much to retain from this album. Two stars only because I guess that they had to "fight" a lot to be able to publish their work in a country that is not known for its rock music history.

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 Serranio by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.24 | 5 ratings

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Serranio
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by AcostaFulano

3 stars I saw Fragil perform last nite for the 25th anniversary of "Avenida Larco"... It was actually Fragil ft. Marcello Motta, a young local guitarist who kicks ass... The show kicked ass... and part of its success was the setlist they chose... which included 5 rockers from this album that really kicked ass...

The tracks on this album range from a very wide variety of moods... the rocker tunes "Cuanto hay" and "animales" or "La del brazo".. powerful and consistent pieces full of social criticism to materialist, indecent and inmoral people.. there is also a beautiful ballad called "Aquella Niña" which's highlight is IMO it's emotive and excellent vocal work. Pilon and El Abuelo are good tracks but the weakest of the album IMO...

Now, my favorite track, and the closer of the album and the one that gives the name to it: "Serranio"... It talks about a phenomenum very common in my country: Inmigration from the outskirts of the land to the big city, the capital... Well... this very proggressive track incorporates elements from prog icons of the 70's in the matter of storytelling and some odd measures and instrumental passages.. this track is probably my favorite by this band and seeing them perform it yesterday was awesome...

At least for this last track, you guys should really give this a try!

This album gets 3.5 -> 3 IMO... definitely worth several spins! Give it a try!

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 Avenida Larco by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.12 | 17 ratings

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Avenida Larco
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by Dream Theater

5 stars This is my favorite Fragil album. They combine the classic sound of Yes, Genesis and King Crimson to make a fantastic progressive mix. The most commercial song of this album is "Av.Larco", it was a well-known song back in the 90's and the song which I like the most is "Obertura", I think it is an incredible intro to a progressive rock concert. "Mundo Raro" is a soft song influenced by "Close To The Edge" by Yes (And You And I). "Oda Al Tulipan" has the same keys sound used in Marillion, it's an excellent song. I really recommend this incredible album, it will not disappoint you.

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 Avenida Larco by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.12 | 17 ratings

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Avenida Larco
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by AcostaFulano

4 stars This band is quite famous here in Peru, not as famous as they were back then when I was a kid, but they are still respected in the rock environment, and they deserve it, cause they are our best progressive bands and makes us all peruvian progheads proud, and that's why I write this review with a smile on my face :) This is my favorite Fragil album, but as most albums, it has some parts better than other ones. My favorite tracks are 'Oda al Tulipan' (check out the great intro!), Avenida Larco (this used to be quite an anthem for peruvian youngsters in search for wild nightlife xD) and Hombres Solos (el caiman) filled with a social criticism illustrated with a merciless alligator...

If you want your prog collection to have a little bit of the whole world's best music, you should DEFINITELY get this album.. I know it may be hard to find a peruvian album if you live in switzerland or canada, and that's why I took the time to find a store where you can get it :) I think I can't post the complete link here, but you can find it yourself by searching 'fragil' in PERUCD.COM hehe anyway if you can get it do it, it is a must have for your collection!

Peace out!

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 Avenida Larco by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.12 | 17 ratings

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Avenida Larco
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by jvasquez

5 stars The First time that I went to Fragil's concert, it was at Humboldt School auditorium, in the 70s and I was impressed by the quality of his music, the last time I saw them was in San Isidro in the church next to Camino Real..Then I came to USA but I brought with me their cassette. I used to work as a waiter in a restaurant/bar in DC where every weekend we listen all kinds of music..from Reggae to Bozza Nova. I gave my tape to the Dj and everybody was astonished by this "Unknown band" ..They though they were an Argentinian or Spanish Rock band, and right away they fell in love with their music. I proudly told them They were Peruvians!, They did not believe me...How They can make good Rock in Peru??.. I think Fragil was not the exception, they were many Bands in Lima that played superb, But they were unique and original ....After all these years I have my Fragil tape..and I listen to them all the time...remembering the good times of Lima... .....El caiman es un camion blindado que en ambos lados lleva sendas señas de crucifixion...VIVA FRAGIL!!!

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 Sorpresa Del Tiempo by FRÁGIL album cover Live, 2002
3.74 | 12 ratings

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Sorpresa Del Tiempo
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by eriksalkeld

4 stars An awesome show indeed!! The concert is enhanced with the music of a Philharmonic Orchestra that really fills most of the songs (all tracks except 8, 11, 12, 13 and 14) but never interferes with the original versions. The recording and production of the concert is superb and in cases IMO better than the original versions (like in "Obertura", "Oda al Tulipan" and "Esto es Iluminacion"). I think the highlight of the album is the version of "Hombres Solos (El Caiman)" and the outstanding bass playing of Cesar Bustamante, which in the original studio versions is, at moments, not possible to fully appreciate (he is specially great in Avenida Larco, Pastas, Pepas y otros Postres and Oda al Tulipan, one of my personal all time Fragil favorites). Of course the other members do their jobs great, as always. Here they make an extended amazing version of "Hombres Solos (El Caiman)", with extra choruses and flute, guitar and saxophone (Jean Pierre Magnet) solos. "Le Dicen Rock" is for sure not one of their best songs, but it has become a tradition in Fragil concerts to end the show with that song (check out the lyrics to find out why). The thing i will never understand is why the &%´*^! they put "El Abuelo" in the album, is just a mere fill, is not even a song. After the "Avenida Larco" tribute part of the show (they play all of that incredible album's songs except for "Floral") they play "Animales", one of people's favorite and a great rocker in my opinion, from the album "Serranio". And finally they play "Caras" a new song only available here, also a rocker with pop elemnts and a repetitive chorus, with a cool interlude starring Cesar Bustamante and Jorge Durand, and the fretless main riff of Tavo Castillo. The Bonus Tracks are IMO outstanding songs, Fotograma has a cool intro with keyboards and very good lyrics about nostalgic thoughts of youth, and Sorpresa del Tiempo is one of my favorites, an excellent balad with a latin air brought by Tavo Castillo's flute and Dulude's fine voice that really brings feeling to the song, great. Not a masterpiece but one of the best live albums i've heard. Get "Avenida Larco" first, then "Cuento Real", then this one..... if you are not peruvian, buy whatever Fragil album you find!! I guarantee no regrets.

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 Cuento Real by FRÁGIL album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.69 | 4 ratings

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Cuento Real
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by eriksalkeld

4 stars In this album they follow the style taken in "Serranio", playing with pop elements without leaving musical virtuosity aside and mixing (more than ever) peruvian folk and progressive elements. "Cholita Linda (1:33)" and "Ceja de Selva (1:16)" are both peruvian folk oriented instrumental songs, with interesting flute, quena and ocarina playing by Octavio Castillo, the first one is more Huayno (peruvian folk style) oriented while the 2nd is more an atmoshpheric track with wind and peruvian native percussion instruments. "Cuento Real (4:45)" stands as one of their best songs i've heard, with great guitar playing by Luis, a great song!. "La Guerra del Quien Soy Yo (7:21)" also is one of the best songs of the album, a small epic, with various passages, great intro and with the 5 members at its best with its instruments, specially Tavo Castillo with keyboards and Luis Valderrama's guitar. "Se perdieron los Niños (4:39)" is a cool poppy song with a reggae air and a very felt presence of keyboards the reminds me of Santana's songs. Then comes "La Historia de Adelaida (4:58)", a great song with a story told with theatrical moods of the charismatic and versatile voice of Andres Dulude and good intrumentation as part of the fictitious ambient of the story; this reminds me of Genesis' "Harold the Barrel", but it's not to be taken as a copy by any means, it just follows that same idea, as the story takes place on a peruvian rural atmosphere it tells of the persecution of Demian, a young man accused of the violation of a 15 y.o. girl. Then comes "Mirando a través de un Cristal (4:08)" and "Tiempo de Resurrección (3:24)", both fine balads, the first one with a great emotive explosion of heavy guitars at a moment and the second is a slow song that reminds of Genesis' "Entangled" and "Dusk", with not very much musically to offer but Octavio Castillo's mandolin fine playing. The edition of the album that I have, has also two extra tracks from "Avenida Larco": "Lizy" and "Hombres Solos (El Caiman)", both the exact versions of that amazing album. I give it 3.5 stars for being not essential but an excellent addition to any prog music collection. HIGH SPOTS: "Cuento Real", "La Guerra del Quien Soy Yo" y "La Historia de Adelaida (best appreciated if you know spanish!)".

- Octavio Castillo: Synths, Steel Guitar, Mandolin, Flute, Quena, Hammond B3, Ocarina, Peruvian Percussion and Backing Vocals - Lucho Valderrama: Electric, Classic and Acoustic Guitars - Andres Dulude: Vocals, 12 and 6-string Guitars - Jorge Durand: Drums, Percussion, Peruvian Percussion and Backing Vocals - Cesar Bustamante: Bass, 12-string guitar, Mellotron, Electric Piano, Peruvian Percussion and Backing vocals

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 Frágil by FRÁGIL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1990
4.12 | 13 ratings

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Frágil
Frágil Symphonic Prog

Review by eriksalkeld

4 stars What can i say about a compilation? I think a pack of songs from other albums doesn't deserve a review, (the compilation has all songs from the "Av. Larco" album minus 2 songs: "Hombres Solos (Caiman)" and "Lizy", and all songs from "Serranio" but 1 song: "Inquietudes"). The selection of songs could have been better, i think "Hombres Solos" is one of their best songs ever and "Inquietudes" should have been put here too. Songs like Pilón or El Abuelo shouldn't have been packed in here (El Abuelo is just a mere fill from Serranio). If it were for the band, i'll give 5 stars... as an almost 2 complete album compilation... 3.5 stars is fair. Also, the cd cover shown here is not actually the real one, the original has a quote written on the lower part, which reads: "Es todo aquello que nos haga ver y sentir que existe una realidad superior a nuestra existencia / La música, la naturaleza y el espitiru" ("It's all that make us see and feel that exists a superior reality than our existence / The Music, the Nature and the Spirit").

The track listing is as follows:

1. OBERTURA 2. AV LARCO 3. MUNDO RARO 4. PASTAS PEPAS Y OTROS POSTRES 5. FLORAL 6. ODA AL TULIPAN 7. LE DICEN ROCK 8. EL ABUELO 9. ANIMALES 10. AQUELLA NIÑA 11. LA DEL BRAZO 12. CUANTO HAY 13. COMO UN LOCO 14. PILON 15. HUARMI 16. SERRANIO

Also, something which is not true is that Jorge Durand played on the "Avenida Larco" album, in that glorious album the drummer was Arturo Creamer.

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