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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.45 | 3503 ratings

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5 stars You have to give Yes credit for whipping out such an album. Everyone cites the five individually-composed tracks as filler, which I can comprehend, but remember that they had a deadline to release this album, so I realize that it couldn't be their perfect masterpiece. However, with what it has, Fragile has become such a cornerstone for the band, and just an awesome progressive work. Jon Anderson's shimmering lead vocals, Steve Howe's technical guitar work, Chris Squire's creative and powerful bass playing, and Bill Bruford's accurate drumming technique blend in well; at that, welcome aboard Rick Wakeman, with his virtuoso (albeit flamboyant) keyboards, and you could see the differences on this album with his addition. "Roundabout" is one of their best works ever, the fast number that furthered Yes' popularity; that bass line is one of my favorites ever. I liked all four of the group tracks, but that and "South Side of the Sky" are my standout picks. I also enjoy the piano/harmony break in the latter, and of course the guitar solo to close. "Long Distance Runaround" is surprisingly concise, but still a solid Yes song with great harmony between Howe and Wakeman on the melody. "Heart of the Sunrise" is an excellent closer with the Squire/Bruford rhythm section at their best pushing the 7/4 melody. Then each band member contributes a solo number; my favorite (and probably agreed on by most) is Squire's "The Fish" though I never really thought any of the pieces were bad at all. Lyrically, Anderson is probably at his sharpest on this album, and the vocals and harmonies (supplied by an overdubbed Anderson, Howe, and Squire) are quite strong. Given more time this might have been the consummate Yes album (in my eyes that would be Close to the Edge), but it's the first one to check out nonetheless. 92/100: SUPERIOR; A PROG ESSENTIAL
CVoss | 5/5 |


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