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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.46 | 3772 ratings

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5 stars What a great collection of songs this is. Even the short "filler" tracks have something interesting. Fragile was the first studio album with keyboardist Rick Wakeman. It certainly was a step in the right direction. Not that Tony Kaye was bad in any sort of way, but Wakeman's playing on piano and synthesizer was a better fit for the group, in order to make that full leap into progressive rock territory.

"Roundabout" is probably the most recognizable song in the band's catalog aside from "Owner of a Lonely Heart", and for a good reason. It is a very well made tune that stands beside many other classic rock favourites such as "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin, and "Hotel California" by The Eagles. "South Side of the Sky" would be lesser known compared to "Roundabout", but is also a worthy song. I especially like the middle section with the wordless vocals and ethereal piano. "Heart of the Sunrise" has to be one of the top 5 Yes songs. The intro is incredibly energetic and continues building for what seems like forever, but sounds absolutely amazing. The ending of this song mirrors the opening and somehow feels even more dramatic. It never fails to give me chills.

Those are the group compositions of course, the rest of the album contains solo pieces created by each member of the band. The highlights of these would be Chris Squire's "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" and Steve Howe's "Mood for a Day". Another standout is "Long Distance Runaround" which is recognized as a group composition even though it was written solely by Jon Anderson. The other tracks - Wakeman's "Cans and Brahms", Anderson's "We Have Heaven", and Bill Bruford's "Five Percent for Nothing" are quick segments which are more like ideas than songs. These are still entertaining to listen to.

If by any chance you don't own this record or haven't heard it, go out and buy it. If record stores aren't your thing, then just download the album on iTunes. The 2003 Rhino reissue even includes their excellent take on the Simon & Garfunkel song, "America".

thebig_E | 5/5 |


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