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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.45 | 3564 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Fragile review number 356? Well, at least I'm number 356 to rate it. This album has been so burned into my brain that I'd lost interest in it. Still, I decided to go for the re-master. This marks just my third copy. I have a LP with a slightly worn cover and pristine vinyl disc, an unremastered CD, and now this.

Since this album has been reviewed ad-nausem for content, I thought I might add my thoughts about the packaging. The original LP has of course the classic Roger Dean artwork on the cover, but the inside of the gatefold is just plain gray paper with text. The first CD version did include all the text/lyrics from the LP. But the remaster is extremely well packaged. Lots of photos of the band members. Even better is two pieces of Dean artwork (I assume) on the front and back covers of the CD booklet. Also, for the first time you get the lyrics to We Have Heaven. I honestly never knew Jon Anderson was singing "Tell the Moon-dog, tell the March-hare". To be honest, I was never sure what the hell he was singing.

As to the content, the remaster is excellent. It just arrived today and I sat down, popped on the headphones and gave it my undivided attention. After a listen on the headphones, I can't say I hear anything new. Always a pleasant surprise when that does happen. There are two bonus tracks. I'm glad to see America here, even though it sounds more like something that belongs to the Tony Kaye era than Wakeman's. I really like the mix of "solo" and ensemble pieces, particularly Wakeman's sort of demo of what the keyboards and synthesizers could do in those days. Of course the real gems on this album are the three ensemble pieces, which didn't get commercial airplay: South Side of the Sky, Long Distance Runaround, and Heart of the Sunrise. These are the epitome of what great progressive rock is all about: complex compositions, interesting and sometimes enigmatic lyrics, impeccable musicianship. The only question left is has this album become so common to no longer qualify as essential but merely excellent? I'm going to straddle the fence with a 4.5, rounds to 5.

Slartibartfast | 5/5 |


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